Those crappy fun fairs you see in small towns – FUN!
I met with this bunch of people this trip to Ipoh and on the very first night, Jazz wanted to head out for drinks. I was super tired but thought it’ll be fun to go along with them. I saw Anas downstairs and asked him to come along.
Thus, our group comprised of me, Jazz, Anas, Nicki, Jotunn, Li Wei. Anas and Li Wei wasn’t drinking though.
Anyway, we saw this fun fair from the hotel and the plan was to get some beers from a 7-Eleven and then walk to the fun fair. There was no 7-11 so we detoured to a Tesco and got our ethanol there.
It was fun to actually go to one of these small town fun fairs. I spent RM 24 on tokens trying to fish out a prize…
…and later shoot with a compressed air gun.
It actually kinda worked. Kinda being the key word. Jazz with the haul.
Tonight, we’re at the designated party room…for the second round. This time Emily is with us!
I’ve been to Genting quite a few times and when I was told we’re going to be staying at Maxims for an overnight experience I immediately set my alarm clock to 5 am so I could arrive early the next day for the trip up. Heh.
The luxury treatment started when we met up at Wisma Genting in KL. There was a Toyota Alphard complete with a driver waiting for us. The vehicle was equipped with water, candy, and everything you’ll need for the 45 minute drive up.
…so this is what being a high roller feels like. :)
We were whisked away to lunch at Imperial Rama the moment we arrived in Genting. We had a private room with a dining table, couch, and karaoke system. Imperial Rama is a fine dining restaurant specializing in authentic Thai-Chinese cuisine.
Imperial Rama is one of the most awarded restaurants – it’s one of the prestigious winners of the 2011 Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF). They also use organic food where they can – they own vegetable farms and source their chickens from Ipoh. I hear the free range chickens sells for RM 30 per drumstick…and that’s in stalls in Ipoh!
Lily Bulb with Emperor Sprout Orange Salad
This is the appetizer and I like the usage of lily bulbs in this dish. It’s an unusual twist and the tangy citrus flavors from the orange works very well with the emperor sprouts. It even had flowers inside it, and I ate some of them. Delicious!
Shaggy Mushroom with Truffle Oil Salad
The second appetizer to come out of the kitchen, I was mesmerized by the intensity of flavors absorbed by the mushroom. It’s practically bursting with truffle oil. Very nicely done.
Thai Fish Crackers
The third appetizer was an interesting interplay of textures with fresh fish crackers and a peanut based dipping sauce.
Stewed Chicken Essence Soup
I’m not a huge fan of soup but this had me scraping the bottom of the bowl. The chicken is made into a mousse like consistency. It’s one of their signature dishes and I highly recommend it just so you can taste the chicken mousse.
Steamed Marble Goby Fish with Crispy Ginger and Garlic
I’m sold. The steamed fish is my favorite dish in Chinese buffets and I love the freshness of the marble goby fish.
The topping of crispy ginger and garlic adds a different texture to the dish and it’s good to see that they keep the traditional spring onions on top – it goes very well with the soy sauce base.
Australian Abalone Braised in Curry Sauce
This is one of the Thai-Chinese dishes that Imperial Rama is so famous for. The curry is rich and full-bodied and almost overwhelms the palate…
…until you eat it with the bread stick and side dish. This is one of their flagship dishes as well and I can see why – it’s challenging and different.
Twin Flavored King Prawns
This is king prawns done two ways – one of them is deep fried with a salted egg batter that tastes awesome but the one that steals the limelight is the cheese king prawn. It’s dipped in a melting cheese batter that enhances the natural sweetness of the prawn and seals all the crustaceans juices inside. Totally recommended.
Pork Ribs topped with Black Current Sauce
Now this is something that I can really appreciate. Pork ribs with a twist on the sauce. The black current sauce adds a wholesome sweetness to the pork ribs and the lightly fried rice served on a crab goes well with the pork ribs.
I was very full at this point but I couldn’t help finishing all the rice. It’s really good – not too heavy, with judicious use of premium ingredients.
Durian Tempura with Lemongrass Jelly
Now this is a dish that you’ll either love or hate – it all depends on whether you like durian. I love durian and the durian tempura is a relatively new creation using D24 durian. The batter coating the durian cracks open and piping hot durian oozes out. I could eat it all day long!
I ate Lee Ming’s portion as well. It’s just that good. Check out this video, the host agrees! :)
The lemongrass jelly is sipped from a straw and the consistency and palate cleansing properties makes it an ideal finish after the decadent durian experience. Do not miss this if you love durian! Best. Dessert. Ever.
Anyway, after that huge lunch, we went down to Goh Tong Jaya to walk off all those calories. We used the Genting Skyway cable car.
Chloe got us into the RWGenting WorldCard line. You can skip the queue if you have a Silver WorldCard and above.
I have a lot of fond memories of the cable car ride from when I was a little kid and my parents brought me up to Genting.
I felt like a little kid again, being on that cable car. :)
There was a red vehicle waiting for us – it’s the Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm transport! The shuttle bus departs every 20 minutes and you can catch it at the Genting Skyway exit.
Genting has a Strawberry Farm in Goh Tong Jaya.
There are rows and rows of strawberries covering the wide expanse.
You can go in with a basket for a small fee to pick your own strawberries.
It tastes really good too.
I had a couple and they are practically bursting with juices when you bite into it.
This is Lee Ming at the area where they were planting flowers. Yes, it’s the very same flowers that was in our salad at Imperial Rama for lunch. Now that’s low food miles for you – they grow it themselves!
There’s also a place where you can sit down and browse the strawberry related merchandize or eat and drink strawberry flavored food (strawberry coffee anyone?) right before the exit.
We basically spent the better part of the hour at Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm before heading back up the cable car to check into Maxims Genting. I couldn’t wait!
Maxims Genting is the newly revamped Genting Hotel. It’s the first hotel ever built and houses the main casino. Maxims commands a rate of at least RM 550++ for a Maxims Premier Room. There’s even a dedicated floor for high rollers which is by invitation only. It is the most exclusive hotel in Genting.
This is where all the celebrities stay when they perform in Resorts World Genting. More about that and the wonderful award winning fine dining restaurant The Olive in the next post! :)
These things are popping up like mushrooms. I’m currently in Johor and staying at Zoom Inn Boutique Hotel in Danga Bay for a night. I got it online for about RM 90+ and realized that the walk-in rate is only RM 78. There are three shoplot hotels within the area (not including Tune Hotel) and from looking at all (the room wasn’t available until 3 pm) this seems to provide the best price-comfort consideration.
Ill omens and portents. (!!!) Game Over all over the room. I’m not sure I want to see that whenever I open my eyes. However, it is pretty creative, each room is has its unique theme and decoration…and the repeating game overis tethered to a quasi picture frame of someone playing a console game. Very artsy fartsy.
Either-Or sliding door for toilet and shower.
The large LCD TV right at the foot of your bed is awesome though – it has all the premium channels but I only watch Discovery Channel or National Geographic variants/spinoffs. I’ll be happy with those channels.
Pretty comfortable for a night
Good selection of cable channels
Friendly and apologetic staff
Weak to non-existent WiFi
Room is dark
No writing desk
It also has stains on the duvet that looks suspiciously like blood. I can only imagine what the previous occupants were doing but since their hairs are still sticking to the pillows, a multitude of entirely unwanted vivid scenarios come into mind.
I’m still waiting for housekeeping to change the sheets.
Speaking of creative, MilkADeal is having an awesome deal for novelty 8 GB USB drives in a variety of designs.
How does breaking your fast with royalty sound? Warong Saga has been operating for decades near the old cemetery in JB. The proprietors running it are the second generation and contrary to popular belief, it’s named after pokok saga instead of Proton Saga. ;)
Anyway, Warong Saga’s main claim to fame is their lontong kering. JB makes the best lontong kering in the country, or so they’ll have you believe. Lotong kering is a breakfast meal of nasi impit (compressed rice), a potpourri of vegetables (long beans, leeks, potatoes) and a piece of chicken rendang.
The entire dish is then doused with a generous amount of peanut sauce. It’s a pleasure to use the nasi impit to wipe the gravy from the plate before devouring it. The multitude of textures and flavors in lontong kering makes it an ideal breakfast.
The walls of Warong Saga is adorned with sultans, prime ministers (both ours and Singapore’s) and other people of historical importance and it attracts a healthy local crowd for breakfast.
This place is a bit hard to find for non-locals but if you follow the old royal cemetery and watch out for a small shop by the road you’ll see it. The lontong kering and the chill, relaxed atmosphere in Warong Saga makes it well worth the trip! :)
I just had the best mee rebus tulang gearbox at Restoran ZZ Sup Tulang in JB. This is one of those local foodie treasures that you need a local to bring you to.
The place is a rather chaotic assembly of huts and trees. The huts with the thatched roofs is meant to keep the sun and rain off your head and I found that dining in nature whets the appetite like nothing else.
What is mee rebus tulang gearbox? Well, it’s basically Malay style noodles with an interesting component – the tulang gearbox part. Tulang gearbox is basically the large bones from a cow, usually from the shank. There is still quite a lot of meat, cartilage and tendon on the bones but when you request for it “gearbox style” it comes with a straw.
The straw is for you to suck the marrow out of the huge bones.
The portion of the noodles in mee rebus tulang gearbox is a bit small for me but the gravy is sinfully rich and delicious. It leaves you hankering for more. It’s about RM 8.50 and comes with 4 good sized bones.
You’ll find at least one HUGE bone in there and you’re supposed to insert the straw deep inside it and suck in all the marrow and juices. It’s a visceral experience like no other. The bone marrow is sweet, warm and hearty. It’s simply the best mee rebus tulang gearbox I’ve had!
You know, I’m not a particularly photogenic person. The concept of angles and poses is like an arcane art which I never quite mastered. People tell me I look better in real life than in photos.
I was browsing through my photos from JB (the most recent one that I just came back from) and saw this photo of me and Jayne drinking in the hotel room at night. We were both in our PJs and Jayne had this priceless expression on her face which I found hilarious.
She’s one of those people who’s really photogenic – the camera just adores her. It’s a great skill to have, but I guess it’ll forever elude me…it’s like how I can never style my hair properly unless it’s done by a hairstylist. :x
There is a Chinese style curry fish head place in JB that seems to be VERY popular among the locals. Kam Long Restaurant serves curry fish head and curry fish head only. It’s their flagship, signature dish and…the only item on the menu. ;) I have heard about the prodigious queues forming just to get a taste of this very dish and I was very keen to check it out.
The funniest thing I heard (which I didn’t get the first time) was from Lainey bff who told me – DON’T WRITE ABOUT IT. Geddit? I didn’t the first (or second time) either.
Anyway, it just so happens that I was reading The Dead Cockroach’s review of the place the day before we were heading down. We drove along Jalan Wong Ah Fook twice and still couldn’t find the place so we stopped and asked for directions several times.
Okay, the problem with this place is that you can’t exactly see the Kam Leong Restaurant signboard while you’re driving. It’s obscured by some pull down canvas shutters to keep the sun out. It’s actually not hard to find – you just have to drive down from the BEGINNING of Jalan Wong Ah Fook and stop at the first traffic light.
You’ll be able to see the queue of people outside the humble restaurant – just cross the road to join in.
It should be noted that the queue is not strictly first-come-first-serve. The small size of the restaurant and the limited seating arrangements allowed us (a group of two) to share a table with other people while if you’re in a larger posse, you might have to wait longer until a table clears.
Well, since there’s only one thing to order, we went for the famous curry fish head for two people. It’s RM 18 inclusive of rice and you best be able to read Chinese coz there are no other languages on the menu. In fact, there is no menu, save for a small signboard beside the industrious kitchen.
I have to admit, the Chinese style curry fish head is very good. Lainey finished her rice, which is quite uncommon and I loved the curry sauce. They put in a lot of vegetables too – okra, long beans, tofu and so on but the fish head is the centerpiece and it does not disappoint.
The flesh of the fish is tender and juicy and the curry sauce complements the fresh fish head very well. My only complaint is that there isn’t enough fish meat to go around so if you’re feeling particularly hungry, order +1 people more than your group. :)
Anyway, I’m heading to JB again in a couple of hours despite just coming back early this week. Heh! We were in JB for Freedom. There’s another one this Saturday right in KL so don’t miss it! I’ll be going to the Freedom in Penang at the end of the month too!
Spotted at a JB toilet. It basically says “Beware – Thief. Don’t hang your pants here. Thanks.”.
Surreal. In other news we’re staying at Zon Regency Hotel by the sea and Gods be good it’s a duty free haven.
I can’t say much about the quality of food (it’s alright but nothing to write home about – wait till my next post for an awesome JB specialty). However, it IS exactly like the photo in the menu so no one can say that it’s false advertising.
The best thing however is the ambience – it’s al fresco dining beside the sea…and yes, you can see Singapore yonder.
I just came back from a road trip to Bukit Tinggi (also called Berjaya Hills) with Christy, Hollie, Nic and Patricia. We headed up Monday morning and spent the night at the French medieval themed resort.
It seems that Colmar Tropicale has been around for quite a while and the last time I came here was during my birthday.
This time around it was supposed to be a very chill and relaxing trip and I think we spent the most time fishing for ducks (and eating). Heh.
Christy booked one of the regular rooms and I was bunking with her while the other 3 squeezed into another room.
Some of them went to sleep as soon as we got there but me and Christy started watching TV and talking instead.
Lunch at Ryo Zantei @ Japanese Gardens. Most of us had the Ten Zaru Soba (RM 29) coz the weather was rather hot. It’s cold soba with tempura and soy dressing topped with…
…a raw quail egg.
Walking around the Japanese Gardens. A lot of people come up here to rent kimonos and have the Japanese tea ceremony that it’s become a bit of a cliché.
Tea time pastries at La Boulangerie.
There was this duck pond full of yellow ducks with hooks which you “fish” with a pole. We spent the better part of an hour and about RM 50 trying to get a duck with a winning number on it.
The fruits of our labor. One tiny stuffed toy.
It was a lot of fun though and it’s surprisingly hypnotizing to watch the fake ducks swirl around the plastic inflatable pond.
Dinner at La Flamme.
Drinks at Le Vin. Notice all the French names? We ordered a bottle of wine to share before finally retiring to the room.
I think me and Christy was the last ones to sleep – we spent the night in bed talking about all sorts of stuff…like long distance relationships back in your grandparent’s days where they had no technology. Heh.
It all started on Friday night at Brussels Beer Cafe. It was during this inspiring round of drinks that the impromptu trip hatched. I was supposed to meet Bonnie there and truth to be told I don’t even remember how I got to know her and inquiring minds want to know. I also had half a mind to FFK the drinks on Friday thing coz I was really sick but I’m glad I didn’t coz it turned out to be one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. :)
We were having drinks in Jaya One when I finally got around to around to asking her how we know each other. It turns out that we don’t. She reads my blog, added me on Facebook and it was a random and casual “Okay, let’s have drinks sometime” that led to this particular day. Bonnie turns out to be 22 (!!!) and she’s a student at Monash. She also acts part time in local productions.
Anyway, it seems that we have something in common so we were just talking and suddenly I thought about going on a road trip. It was 12 am at the time and the plan was to head down to Ipoh for the dim sum.
I’ll follow her car back, pick her up, and then head down to Ipoh and stay the night at a hotel before waking up for breakfast.
Losing my wallet
The first thing that went wrong was losing my wallet. I think what happened is that I took it out and used my credit card to pump gas. I remember leaving the wallet on the boot of the car and taking the receipt but I did not remember taking the wallet back into the car. I suspect my wallet was still on the boot when I drove off. FML.
I had about 1-2k inside but what’s worse is the MyKad, driver’s license (!!!) and credit cards which I have to replace.
I only realized it when I got to Ipoh coz when it came to the toll, Bonnie paid for it but I was puzzled as to where my wallet was – it was supposed to be on the dashboard. However, after a prolonged search when we arrived there, it was nowhere to be found. My car can be a black hole sometimes, but it’s still a confined space so after looking into every nook and cranny, the most plausible explaination is that I left it on the boot and drove off.
Naturally, without any money, Bonnie had to withdraw from an ATM and we went in search of a hotel.
She also took over the driving.
I think we went to 5-6 hotels but all of them were full. It was insane! There’s apparently some kind of military function going on there and it was about 5 am when we finally drove up to this dodgy looking place called Shanghai Hotel.
They had one room left and it was RM 40. I guess some would call it rustic and charming and maybe even full of character but it’s the kind of place where you’re afraid you’ll get syphilis, gonorrhea AND herpes just from sleeping on the sheets. >.<
This is what the hotel room looks like.
Anyway, my pillow had this really weird smell to it so I shared Bonnie’s pillow and we slept, fulling intending to wake up at 8 am in the morning.
It was 11 am when I woke up.
Foh San dim sum
This is what we were down in Ipoh for. Bonnie swears by the lam mei pau. It’s a bun that’s filled with fatty pork and it’s absolutely fabulous. It was well worth the drive down.
We also had some other stuff – my usual har kao (prawn dumplings) and a memorable dim sum made with juicy succulent prawns and salted egg yolk.
However, the lam mei pau was every bit as good as Bonnie said it was. We were afraid we’ve missed it but apparently even though the dim sim place tells you it’s no longer available, you can get it by going to the take away counter and ordering it.
Try it, and thank Bonnie (or rather, her mom) if it works. We even got a box to tapau back home.
Caption: Why drink canned Ipoh white coffee in Ipoh?
Anyway, since I didn’t have a license and Bonnie was rushing for her class, she drove down instead. It was an interesting experience to have someone else drive you car at 160 km/h and swerving through lanes to avoid traffic. It’s like a roller-coaster, without the safety features. ;)
Oh, and I also lost my rear bumper somewhere during the drive to Ipoh.
It’s not an epic weekend unless you’ve lost a car bumper, your wallet and all the identification in it, slept in a dodgy hotel and sped back to KL…and the weekend is still not over. Bonnie crashed at my place last night and helped me out with something I had to get done during the weekend.
I know it sounds like a tragic weekend, but it’s really an awesome one. Seriously, it’s not a havoc weekend unless you’ve lost something and now I’m driving with no driver’s license, MyKad and with a missing bumper.
Cop magnet much? This illegal PRC immigrant says yes. I’ve been diligently avoiding roadblocks so let’s hope I can keep up with that until Monday.