Tonight’s Menu: Two types of fried fish 🐠 with Thai chilli sauce 🌶, Broccoli 🥦 with oyster sauce, Crispy duck egg 🦆

I sometimes (not often) get the motivation to cook something other than my usual chicken rice – buffalo stew meal prep. Yesterday was such a day. I was driving my housemate Mandy to her workplace when we saw a morning market. I seldom wake up early enough for these things and she wanted to eat fish so I went to check out their offerings.

I got ikan bulus – a tubular type of white fish which is delicious when fried and a small broccoli. She wanted the small, flat kind of white pompfret but all the stalls there didn’t sell it. I managed to get some from the Jaya Grocer under my condo though.

I remember why I don’t cook fish often – it’s troublesome to remove the guts and descale the fish. I also don’t like how the scales fly everywhere and get my cat all excited. She’ll pounce and pat the scales and distribute them to the furthest corners of the kitchen, necessitating a good mop after.

I didn’t do much to the ikan bulus and small pompfret – just salted them liberally and fried them in hot oil. I bought a small bottle of maize oil cooking oil for this occasion. I don’t use oil in my regular cooking. I even skim off the buffalo fat the next day!

I also scalded the broccoli and pan-fried it with oyster sauce. If you’re wondering where the stem of the broccoli went, I blended it with cold water and drank it. I consume a lot of raw vegetables each night as a source of fiber and nutrients.

The fish kemek (lost structural integrity) during the frying process. I’m not sure what went wrong. It just started disintegrating. Maybe I should have battered it with tapioca starch so it’ll maintain its form. It still tastes good though. Half of the fish is ikan bulus and half is small white pomfret, served with Thai chilli sauce.

I also fried two duck eggs with a crispy bottom a la Chinese style. I’ve been buying duck eggs instead of chicken eggs lately coz I prefer the creamier yolk. It’s about 50% more expensive than chicken eggs but worth it.

This is the broccoli pan-fried with oyster sauce as a source of greens. I cooked fresh basmati rice to go with dinner and I also served my tom yam buffalo stew with beer.

It was almost 10 pm when I finished cooking. It tasted pretty good despite the simple execution. The fish was really fresh!

My new housemate

Mandy

I have a new housemate. She’s 24 and staying here for 3 weeks. I have lived most of my adult life alone, so I was a bit hesitant to have someone stay over. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t mind paying a bit more for the entire unit instead of having to share rooms. That’s not to say that I’ve never had roommates. In various stages of my life, I’ve had female companions (I hesitate to use the word girlfriend) stay over at my place long term.

Mandy-KL

The most memorable (though not for the reasons you think) was this wild girl who stayed in my room when I was 17. She was 19 and hung out with this lesbian crew of motorcyclists. No need to fantasize coz they’re all very dismal looking. Hideous, rough and stocky. Except her though, she was slim, feminine and quite good looking! A friend of mine who joined the 3rd Mile gang in Kuching introduced her to me. “Eh tang chiau eh,” he whispered conspiratorially. You can play with this one. God knows where he found/met her.

Mandy-Milk

I had to go back to Sibu for Chinese New Year and she convinced me to let her stay on while I was away. Bad decision. She ran up a RM 200+ phone bill, threw parties with her lesbian biker friends, got into a fight with the neighbor who told her to keep the noise down, police were called, my landlord was called, they were all kicked out. She even wanted my landlord’s address so she can go kick her ass! I was almost evicted for letting an unauthorized person stay over.

Mandy-Office

Needless to say, that experience did not endear me to housemates. The sex wasn’t great either, mostly coz she had a serious BO problem. Her armpits were very funky! I’ve had other roommates since but none I remember as vividly as that first one. She gave me PTSD about people staying over. Hahaha.

Housemate-Shopping

Thus, when my friend asked if his girlfriend can stay over, I was exceedingly reluctant. My roommate from hell 20 years ago was still fresh in my mind. Also, I’ve seen her photos and she’s very attractive. I thought it best to not expose myself to such enticement. Flee from temptation, the bible extorts us. Flee! I grudgingly said okay.

Mi-Sedaap

She came on Saturday and we’ve had a chance to hang out and talk. She’s grown on me. This one is a college psychology graduate – a nice, soft spoken girl miles apart from my first ever roommate. I was secretly pleased when she asked if I’ve eaten when she arrived at KL Sentral – she wanted to tapao for me. Gam sek zou! She also likes Mi Sedaap so bonus points for that. Haha.

New-Housemate

I found myself enjoying her company. It’s nice to have people around. Like a cat, but more interactive. 😄

Mandy-Housemate

There’s really no point to this post. I just remembered my terrible housemate from 20 years ago and wanted to share the story. Here comes the abrupt ending.

Kuching-Housemate

I know my first housemate was a rare outlier and she’s on one extreme of the negative-experience-with-roommates scale. This one is on the other end – the positive-experience-with-housemates end. Both are rare and most people fall somewhere in the middle. I don’t mind nice housemates. Sekian, terima kasih.

Vishal Food & Catering BLR, Brickfields

Vishal-BLR

I got recommendations from 3 separate people to try Vishal BLR (banana leaf rice) after my previous post on the best lunch spots around Brickfields. I did a bit of Googling and heard a lot of positive things about them. Thus, I roped in my colleague and went to check it out just now. My office is in Menara 1 Sentrum but getting lunch partners interested in Indian food is a bit of a hard sell. The workplace is predominantly Chinese, and we usually go for Chinese food.

Vishal-Me

However, I’m a huge fan of Indian food and two of my favorites around here are Husen’s bombastic onion chicken and Singh Chapati House. I’m also going to Singapore in a week’s time and I booked 1 Michelin star The Song of India to check out their Deepavali dinner.

Vishal-Banana-Leaf

I decided to see if Vishal would impress. It certainly has its legion of fans. Vishal BLR is a 9 minute walk from my office, which is at the upper limits of how far people are willing to go for lunch. The furthest place we’ve been is 2 minutes less than this.

Chicken-65

I was told to get the fish cutlet and the “red color chicken”. Thanks June…that’s very helpful. 🙄 It’s not like most Indian chicken dishes are red. Hehe. She later clarified it looks like tandoori chicken and it’s fried, so I think I managed to get the right one. It’s Chicken 65 but I later found out this was the wrong red colored chicken. It wasn’t anything special.

Fish-Puttu

I also got some fish puttu, which is minced baby shark fried with egg. This tastes exactly like the dai chow shark’s fin and egg dish they serve at old school Chinese restaurants. The one you wrap in a lettuce before eating. It’s very plain. I expected more from Indian food. It didn’t make me go doo doo doo doo in joy.

Stringray

My third selection was stingray cooked in a sour sauce. “Eh, how come this dish sour one?” my friend squinted suspiciously. I also noticed she didn’t eat the stingray after that first bite. The flesh of the stingray was overcooked and rubbery and the sauce wasn’t the best I’ve had.

Vishal-Brickfields

I want to say that the flavors are beautiful and inviting. That it’s a symphony of seasoning on my palate. Or probably a Bollywood tune since it’s Indian food. That the distillation of spices and aromas into a song-and-dance in my mouth with lots of loose-flowing saris and grinning men doing the Indian head bobble on my tongue is a magnificent experience. That it was a “10/10 groomed mustaches” experience.

Vishal-Food-Catering

Unfortunately, I found the whole experience rather mediocre. Worst still, I felt like I have wasted my calorie allowance by eating this BLR. The prices are quite reasonable though – RM 6.20 for the rice with refillable veggies and curries and around RM 6 per small plate of protein. But I probably wouldn’t ever return. Have you ever been to Flavortown? I have, and it’s not here.

A 2D/1N staycation at MOV Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Lobby

I was invited to check out this new hotel smack in the middle of the heart of the city last weekend. It’s just a 3 minute walk from Bukit Bintang MRT station. I know coz I took the train here. I’ve been taking the LRT/MRT a lot lately since I work in KL Sentral and live in USJ 21.

MOV

I hadn’t consulted my friend Google before coming and half expected it to be a boutique or shoplot hotel. I was quite surprised to see it was a recently built, tall, standalone building.

Slide

One of the highlights of the hotel is the awesome slide that goes from the lobby to the in-house restaurant in the basement. It’s quite fast but a blast to use.

Bathroom

The rooms are very modern, with hip architectural accents like wooden ring towel hangers at different heights.

Bed

The bed was comfortable and large and there’s blackout curtains. The entire place smells fresh and clean and that’s always a huge plus point for me. I’ve been to more than a few musty smelling hotels with the scent of the previous occupant’s hair gel, deodorant, or worse – armpit stank on the bedsheets/pillows/linen so it’s refreshing to smell freshly laundered sheets.

Switch

I was also intrigued by a switch that states “No More Monday Blues Here. Just Rainbows. Turn it On.” in the bathroom. It activates the ambient mood lighting in the shower. This is a pulsating glow that fades to different colors every few seconds. It sounds like it’ll be distracting but the effect is quite pleasant.

Rooftop

There is also a Rooftop which is home to hanging lounge chairs…

Pool

…a swimming pool with an excellent inner city view,

Gym

…and a gym. I have been getting into the fitness lifestyle lately and bemoaned many hotel’s focus on light weight dumbbells which do not offer a challenge to intermediate and advanced users.

Curl

Not here. They have dumbbells up to 25 kg, which is honestly more than I can curl.

Me

Joyce also took this photo of me in their gym, which I promptly uploaded to Facebook as my cover photo. I’m happy to report that it has received the most likes and reacts out of all the cover photos I’ve used.

Wings

MOV Hotel is located within easy walking distance to eating hotspots like Jalan Alor.

WAW

This is where you can indulge in the famous chicken wings and Hokkien mee at Wong Ah Wah. They’re equally famous for their brusque and no-nonsense service, so keep that in mind.

BBQ

This is not someplace you’ll want to bring a business client, lest the captain be rude to him, but if you’re on a vacation and have a hankering for overpriced wings, it’s worth a try.

Gelato

There’s also a gelato place called Jersey Jack right beside the hotel which is owned by an expat. They have creamy creations ranging from Guinness gelato to Asam Boi with Apple and Tangy Lime. Highly recommended.

Changkat

Of course, the hotel is also close to the nightlife of Changkat Bukit Bintang, where you can grab a beer and listen to some live music.

Wurst

Wurst is the in-house restaurant/cafe and the room I stayed in has breakfast included. You can come down via the slide or the more pedestrian lift/stairs.

Sausages

I read they’re famous for their sausages!

KLCC

I like how clean and new the hotel is and how central the location is to everything. There’s the MRT if you need to get around and you’re right in the middle of the action at Bukit Bintang. Lot 10 and Pavillion shopping malls are just a short walk away and we even went to KLCC via the covered and air-conditioned pedestrian overhead bridge. I didn’t even know that existed before last weekend! I would definitely stay here if I were travelling to KL. The prices are not as cheap as the dodgy hotels lining Bukit Bintang itself but the experience is way more comfortable. The rooms start from RM 209 per night.

Hotel

MOV Hotel
43, Jalan Berangan, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Save electricity like a boss!

El Nino

It’s the El Nino season and that means we’ll have plenty of hot, sunny days to look forward to! Or not. Most of us dread the heat wave that comes every time this year. We turn to the air conditioning on full blast and shut ourselves indoors to stay away from the heat. Heck even our home appliances like fridge operates on more electricity to stay cold; influenced by the residual heat from our home.

TNB has released figures which shows Malaysians use a peak demand of 17,171 MW last month (a staggering figure and an all-time high) and there have been news reports which featured a few residents getting shocked by their bill (not literally).

Here are some other tips which might help you cut down on electricity usage and save a little:

Air Con

1. Clean your air con filter

This really helps. Keeping your air conditioner filter clean is important in making in run efficiently. More cool air flows out of a clean filter so to take a huge amount off your bill, take out your filters and start dusting them. It’ll also help make the air cooler!

2. Watch the lights

Turn off the lights when you’re going out. You really don’t need a lamp to be on while you’re out, it just wastes electricity. That little bit can really add up so make sure all your switches are off before you go out. If you tend to be forgetful, you can try sticking a bit of tape beside your switch to remind yourself to switch it OFF before you leave. This works wonders in an office too – put something up like “Last one to leave, hit the lights”.

Lights Off

3. Use energy saving light bulbs

The energy saving light bulbs might cost more at first but they really do use a lot less energy in the long run. It’s just a little bit more to pay up front and you can easily recoup the cost back via energy savings (and then some). There are also slim florescent lights like the T5 variants which provide more brightness while consuming less energy so if you’re still using an old model or a non-energy saving bulb, make a trip to your local hypermarket to pick up one and start taking a huge chunk off your bills today.

5 Star

4. Look for 5 stars

Have you seen these stickers around electrical appliances? This is actually a rating that can help you reduce electricity consumption. Whenever you need a new kettle/fridge/washing machine (or any other electrical appliance) make sure to see how efficiently they run. These stickers rate each device and they can really cut down your bill over the long run. Make sure to go for as high a rating as possible, 5-star if possible. Those are the most efficient appliances and you can rest assured that buying a 5-star device can give you 5-star savings.

5. Turn off the computer

We love to be on Facebook and watch YouTube videos and some of us has even taken off the settings so the notebook or PC is on forever. The features to turn off your monitor and hard disk after a set amount of time is there for a reason – when you’re not using it, it’s better for the device to be off. This can really help you save so make sure the settings are correct and when in doubt, just turn off your computer when you’re done.

Switch

Need more cool tips to help you save? Surf on over here!

Saturday Night Fever The Musical 2015 in KL (and backstage tour with cast!)

Saturday Night Fever KL

I was at the opening night of the Saturday Night Fever The Musical in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday night. This is not the original or Revival version, the song list is similar to the 2014 UK Tour Production that premiered in Bath, England with different casting. The main character Tony Manero is played by Brandon Rubendall, who pulled it off perfectly.

Saturday Night Fever Kuala Lumpur

I got to meet him and Carla Guevara-Laforteza at the end of the musical during the backstage tour.

Saturday Night Fever Backstage Pass

Yeah, I was lucky enough to get a media and backstage pass, courtesy of Nuffnang (thanks Jack and Samantha!) and it was an awesome performance by the cast overall. A lot of the cast came from Broadway backgrounds in New York.

This is the second time I’ve seen Saturday Night Fever and during the first, I never heard the word “spic” and was quite surprised to hear it here.

Saturday Night Fever The Musical

That word is considered a racial slur nowadays, along with the n-word (though the latter did not make an appearance due to its offensiveness to every single culture). My theory is that not many Malaysians are familiar with the term – interestingly, the term is missing from Strictly Ballroom The Musical, but IIRC appears in the movie version.

Saturday Night Fever Merchandise

I managed to get an official Saturday Night Fever The Musical fridge magnet for my dear.

Saturday Night Fever 2015

The opening night of Saturday Night Fever The Musical was slightly marred by bad weather – it was flooding in some places and visibility was down to almost zero but it started more or less on time. There were constant interruptions in terms of people who came in but I thought the ushers did a pretty good job in waiting until musical numbers were done before getting the late-comers seated.

I actually didn’t know that we could take photos or I would have brought my dSLR. We were allowed to take photos and videos not exceeding 2 minutes during the first four (4) numbers. I managed to use my better half’s iPhone to do it, my apologies for the quality.

Saturday Night Fever Stage

The seating was perfect too – the tickets we were allocated were VIP tickets so it was right in the middle of the action. Istana Budaya has pretty good acoustics too and I thought the cast did a really good job.

I was impressed by the special effects too – there was a sequence which simulated a train going by right after the death of a character (don’t consider this a spoiler since everyone knows the plot by now) and it did so very realistically with the video screens, strobe effects and the metal scaffolding of the bridge, which we later got to see close up.

Saturday Night Fever Backstage

There is no rape scene in this production though so I thought it was a bit confusing to new viewers for continuity and the end scene isn’t as impactful because of that.

Saturday Night Fever Props

We got to go for a backstage tour after the musical too – it was led by one of the cast members and we got the see the props and set up close.

Here’s a video of the backstage, cast and interesting facts about the production.

Saturday Night Fever Call Board

I loved the backstage tour, I thought I’ll give everyone a glimpse of the magic that goes into a production so here’s your backstage pass!

I got a photo with the lead character of Saturday Night Fever The Musical – Brandon Rubendall (Tony Manero)!

Brandon Rubendall Tony Manero

He was nice and kind enough to do the signature pose with me, which prompted another guy to ask me to re-take a photo with him doing that as well. smirk

Saturday Night Fever Backstage Tour

Saturday Night Fever The Musical runs from 4th – 13th September 2015 in Istana Budaya, KL. You can get your tickets from Milestone Productions by calling 03-9222 8811. Tickets starts from RM 138. I highly recommend it if you like musicals and if you loved the original movie featuring John Travolta.

Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar @ The Gardens, Mid-Valley KL

Sage Fine Dining KL

My better half booked us dinner at one of the best restaurants in KL during our weekend staycation at St Giles The Gardens. Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar isn’t directly affiliated with St Giles The Gardens but you can make reservations though them. They have a degustation menu (RM 398 per pax) and a gourmet menu (RM 298 per pax) when the chef is in but we were told Chef Daniel was in Sydney during the weekend.

Sage Restaurant Wine Bar

Sage KL serves a fusion of French and Japanese cuisine, and we saw a lot of interesting dishes on their website. I was quite surprised to see a lot of couples dining there. Most of the seats are for two, with several table arrangements for 4 pax in the middle. It has a view of KL for the tables flanking the restaurant and a view of the open kitchen for the tables in the center, where the chef would be working.

Sage Restaurant KL

The service was very attentive and patient, and we went for the Sage Menu (RM 218 per pax) which was the only option available. This allows you one (1) choice each of Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert from their a la carte menu. It’s essentially a 3-Course menu with Chef’s Appetizer and an Amuse Bouche.

Amuse Bouche

Sage Amuse Bouche

This was an interesting combination of diced salmon (raw) with macerated tomatoes and a citrus base. I thought it was decent enough, we actually thought the “Chef’s Appetizer” was the amuse-bouche but it turned out to be something else entirely.

Chef’s Appetizer

Grilled Scallops with Peaches and Walnut Sauce

Grilled Scallops with Peaches

Amazing! To be honest, I was mildly disappointed by the amuse-bouche, it tasted good but it didn’t have the “Wow Factor”. This had it in spades. The scallops were grilled to perfection and we each had two (2) large medallions. It was paired with unpeeled slices of peach (which my dear thought was apples) and walnuts, which was genius – the peaches provide a sweet and slightly acidic element while the toasted walnuts mixed in a textural element.

Vieux Chateau des Templiers

I also had a glass of Vieux Château des Templiers, Pomerol (RM 65 per glass). It’s a 2007 vintage French wine. The wine list is quite comprehensive but they only sell by the bottle or half bottle. This is one of two red wines they sell by the glass – they also have 2 types of whites, for RM 62 and RM 65. It’s quite good, with depth and a nose of dark berries.

Appetizer

Feuillete of Anago with Foie Gras and Cèpes Mushroom Veloute

Anago with Foie Gras and Cepes Mushroom

Anago is a salt water eel (vs unagi, which is a fresh water eel) and it’s cooked just the way I like it. There’s also a generous slab of foie gras on the plate, which I ate smeared on top of the freshly baked bread that was put in front of us during the start of the dining session. The cèpes mushrooms were wonderful! I gave my dear a taste and she really liked the mushrooms too. The feuillete pastry is under everything, it’s de-constructed so they can put more anago and foie gras inside (plus it looks better). Very well thought-out dish. I was very happy with my pick.

Warm Capellini Pasta with Trio of Seafood and Seven Flavor Chilli Pepper

Capellini Pasta with Trio of Seafood

This was my dear’s choice. She gave me a taste just after I had my first mouthful and the strong flavors overwhelmed my palate! I couldn’t eat any more if I were to enjoy my milder and creamier starter. It is very yummy though – the perfect starter, if you think about it. The chillis makes your mouth water and want more and the juicy large king prawns and scallops sealed the deal. It’s quite unfortunate that they ran out of Maine lobsters that night so there’s only two types of seafood inside. This was conveyed to us before we ordered but my better half still wanted this as a contrast to my dish so they gave her more prawns.

Main Course

Wasabi Crusted Wagyu Cheek with Flat Beans and Carrot Puree

Wasabi Crusted Wagyu Cheek

Flawless! I loved the freshly grated wasabi crust on my tender Waygu Beef Cheek. The beef cheek was so perfectly cooked that I can slice through it like a hot knife through butter! There’s plenty of fat and collagen inside and this was such a rich main that I had problems finishing it. The carrot puree was slightly too wet according to my partner, but I liked everything on the dish. I just wish there was more wasabi to cut through the richness of the Wagyu cheek – the saving grace was my glass of red wine, or else I’ll wouldn’t be able to finish it.

Confit of Ikejime Sea Grouper with Abalone and Iwanori Butter Sauce

Ikejime Sea Grouper with Abalone

My better half had this for her main. It’s quite ingenious, except a bit on the small side for a main dish portion. The abalone is sliced and scattered on top of the sea grouper fillet and it tasted quite good to me. Ikejime is actually a method of paralyzing fish to maintain its freshness, which originated in Japan. A spike is inserted into the hind brain, causing immediate brain death and preventing reflex action like muscle movement which would consume ATP and produce lactic acid to make the fish sour.

Dessert

Classic Crepe Suzette with Orange Segment and Grand Marnier Ice Cream

Crepe Suzette with Grand Marnier

My better half chose this for her dessert. The Grand Marnier ice cream is delightful – it actually tasted like Grand Marnier! However, the crepe suzette was disappointing. She did not even finish it and I was too full to finish it for her. I thought the Soufflé of the Day (which is also made with Grand Marnier) would have been a better choice.

Fresh Berries with Champagne Sabayon and Vanilla Ice Cream

Fresh Berries with Champagne Sabayon

I liked the vanilla ice cream, which is made with real vanilla pods. The fresh berries were altogether too sour and the champagne sabayon made it even more so. It’s a very tart dish and while it looks slightly more appealing than my partner’s choice, I had trouble finishing it too and left the rest uneaten. The dessert were the only disappointments during our visit.

Sage KL

We were also served a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and petit fours (chocolate and nougat dusted with cacao powder) were presented to us at the end of the meal. The service was flawless, the food was well thought out and executed, and we had a delicious dinner at Sage. However, the only downside were the desserts – both of our desserts failed to impress and we were left wanting.

Petit Four

Nevertheless, we had a great night and we enjoyed most of the food that was served here. The bill came up to RM 535++ for the both of us, inclusive of a bottle of Sole Sparkling Water and my glass of wine (which was charged separately). Thanks for the wonderful dinner, dear! <3 It was a great experience and I can see why Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar is consistently voted as one of the best restaurants in KL.

6 things we did during our Raya staycation

1. Had dinner at one of the best restaurants in KL

Sage KL

My better half surprised me with this treat. It’s actually the second most expensive meal we’ve ever had in KL (the first being the Michelin star Le Gavroche chef who came to town) but I thought it was worth it. Delicious appetizers and mains – thanks for booking us dinner at Sage dear.

2. Watched Ant-Man

Ant-Man

I’ve been wanting to watch Ant-Man for a long time. We even had passes to the premiere screening but missed it coz I thought it was the next day. Thus, I got ourselves Premier Class tickets (RM 63) at The Gardens to go watch the movie. I had actually wanted Gold Class but my dear thought it was too expensive. It used to cost RM 40 per pax but that’s the price of Premier Class now – Gold Class is double.

GSC Premier Class

It’s still quite an exclusive viewing experience though – the seats are all couple seats, which you can remove the middle partition so you can snuggle up together. That’s actually a *necessity* since the air-conditioning was so cold everyone in the Premier Class cinema was shivering. It’s still better than watching it in their regular cinemas though, this is a more intimate environment where no one talks loudly or uses their mobile phones – the higher ticket prices weeds out most badly behaved cinema goers. Ant-Man was awesome, a nice conclusion to Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

3. Ate escargots and drank Valrhona hot chocolate

Yeast Mid-Valley

We had lunch at a Parisian style bistro/bakery which also serves wine. I had Escargots a la Bourguignonne while my dear had a ham and cheese croissant (Croissant au Jambon et au Fromage). This was our lunch the day we checked in, she also had a Valrhona hot chocolate – we bought a lot of the famous French chocolate a while back, it’s not for kids, their single origin stuff is utterly bitter, in a good way.

4. Walked around the mall

Lifejuice Gardens

We loaded up with fresh cold pressed juice before spending most of the day walking around the mall. My dear wanted to get a clutch bag and we went to most of the stores in The Gardens and Mid-Valley but couldn’t find one that she wanted. I was secretly observing at what kind of bags she was looking at so I could KIV for our anniversary. smirk

Lifejuice

The Sun Kissed Stress Reliever (RM 13) is a mixture of ginger, red apple, pineapple, orange, carrot and grapefruit in a glass bottle. I liked the Nutty Professor Energy Booster (hazelnut, almond, cashew, soy milk, raw cacao, Medjool dates) and 50 Shades of Grey Stamina Booster (Earl Grey team hazelnut, Himalayan salt, coconut, agave necter) too.

5. Chilled in our hotel room

St Giles Gardens

I booked a room as St Giles The Gardens, the best hotel among the 3 at Mid-Valley. I also considered Pullman Bangsar (which has a shuttle service to Mid-Valley) but ultimately wanted to stay at Mid-Valley itself since we were out almost the entire day!

6. Had a hearty breakfast

Antipodean

This was at Antipodean, which my better half wanted to try. It was decent and cheap (relatively) fare but not as good as their original Bangsar Telawi II outlet, probably due to the huge crowd here. We had to wait five (5) minutes in queue while we got seated and that’s considered a very quick seating. The service was good though and I quite liked my order of Eggs Marlborough with Salmon.

I think we spent only 10 hours or so total in our room but it was fun and we got to spend the time with each other during our staycation. :)

Our Hari Raya Aidilfitri Staycation @ St Giles The Gardens

The Gardens Hotel

I decided to surprise my better half with a night at a local hotel during the long holiday weekend. Yup, it’s our biannual staycation, where we spend a night (or two) at a KL or PJ hotel and chill, eat and shop. My better half suggested Mid Valley this time but I don’t really like Cititel Hotel (although it’s the cheapest option, the rooms reek of cigarette smoke).

MidValley Gardens

Thus, it’s down to St Giles Boulevard or St Giles The Gardens. The latter is slightly more grand, a step up in both standards and price so I splurged a little and went for that. The rooms are significantly larger than St Giles Boulevard (27 sq m) and make the ones at Cititel Mid Valley (18 sq m) look almost like closets. smirk

St Giles The Gardens

All three hotels are managed by the same people – it’s supposed to be for different segments of the market with St Giles The Gardens as the premier choice, with larger rooms (38 sq m). I paid USD 116.26 (RM 442.35 per night) for our room and thought I overpaid coz I forgot to switch the currency to MYR. It turns out that MYR was even more expensive at RM 452 so it’s a good thing I have a PayPal account with USD inside.

St Giles The Gardens Rooms

I almost went for the 72 sq m 1 bedroom suite which is about RM 80 more but I ended up going for a deluxe room instead and the extra cash went towards a single glass of wine (more on that later).

St Giles The Gardens Us

It was a lot of fun, we crammed all the things couples do into a 24 hour period – ate at a restaurant rated as one of the best in KL, watched a movie we’ve missed and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a great and relaxing staycation, plus we managed to stay within the budget of RM 1,500 for everything – can’t wait to do it again! :)

I’ll write more soon.

Our biannual staycation in KL!

Hotel Royal

We have made a tradition of taking time out to do a staycation (which refers to staying at a local hotel, not staying at home) twice a year in addition to our yearly overseas trips (Melbourne last year and Frankfurt and Paris this year) and our shorter trips like to Hat Yai about a month ago.

Pavilion KL

You could say that travelling is our passion in life. :)

Timelapse Hotel

It’s actually a lot of fun and you get to experience the city where you live from a visitor’s perspective!

Hotel Royal KL

This time around, we stayed at Hotel Royal in Kuala Lumpur and basically:

Staycation Food

1. Ate a lot of food

Mamma Mia Musical KL

2. Caught a musical

Blurry Photo

3. Enjoyed each other’s company.

Staycation 2014

I’ll write more tomorrow, part of the purpose of having a staycation is to get away from the daily things you do and not do anything remotely work related. smirk

Posted: 10:38 pm Kuala Lumpur time



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