arrive genting

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.

transport

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.

lobby

…so this is what being a high roller feels like. :)

imperial rama

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.

regal room

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 salad

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 mushrooms

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

Thai Fish Crackers
The third appetizer was an interesting interplay of textures with fresh fish crackers and a peanut based dipping sauce.

chicken broth

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 goby fish

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.

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.

curry abalone

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…

abalone

…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 flavor prawns

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 blackcurrent

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.

crab fried rice

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.

lemongrass jelly

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! :)

durian tempura

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.

lunch

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

Chloe got us into the RWGenting WorldCard line. You can skip the queue if you have a Silver WorldCard and above.

cable car

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.

genting skyways

I felt like a little kid again, being on that cable car. :)

strawberry truck

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 strawberry farm

Genting has a Strawberry Farm in Goh Tong Jaya.

strawberry rows

There are rows and rows of strawberries covering the wide expanse.

strawberry park

You can go in with a basket for a small fee to pick your own strawberries.

strawberry

It tastes really good too.

eating strawberry

I had a couple and they are practically bursting with juices when you bite into it.

lee ming

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!

strawberry cafe

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.

strawberries

Mmm…strawberries…

genting strawberry park

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!

room

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! :)

big red strawberry cafe

Big Red Strawberry Café is located in the renowned Big Red Strawberry Farm in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands. The place was packed full of tourists during the long weekend. We went on Sunday afternoon and I couldn’t even take a decent shot without at least two tourists armed with cameras blocking my view. ;)

cafe montage

We headed straight for the Big Red Strawberry Café (the official café of Big Red Strawberry Farm) coz I was famished – we woke up late after sleeping in until 10 am and haven’t had anything to eat since the previous night. The Big Red Strawberry Café mainly concentrates on strawberry products but they also serve a very fresh salad due to vegetables being one of the main produce of Cameron Highlands.

big red indulgence

Behold! The strawberry indulgence (overdose?).
The actual food looks nothing like the photos – this is after all, a tourist trap and they make do with disposable forks and spoons and paper plates instead of the well presented menu pictures.

big red drinks

I had the Strawberry Juice (RM 3.90) while my girlfriend went for the Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie (RM 5.90). The strawberry juice is very sour – Cameron Highland strawberries tend to be small and a bit on the acidic side, but it tasted very fresh. The Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie was better, since the tanginess is diffused by the yogurt.

big red strawberry waffle

The Fresh Strawberry Waffle (RM 5) is a mass produced item made with a waffle iron (I stand witness) and strawberry preserve and jam. It still tasted pretty good though due to the rather frigid temperatures up there. Big Red Strawberry Farm is located on the highlands and the wind chill factor can be quite cold. It’s topped with ice cream AND whipped cream.

big red fried ice cream

This is the Strawberry Fried Ice Cream (RM 3.90) adorned with two Cameron Highlands strawberries. The strawberries they serve in the Big Red Strawberry Café is a bit on the minute side, the big and juicy ones are in the farm, where you can pick your own. It’s good nevertheless, I like fried ice cream – despite knowing my physics and heat transfer it still amazes the inner child in me that the ice cream does not melt while being fried. :)

big red yoghurt

My girlfriend had the healthy Strawberries with Honey and Yogurt (RM 3.90) for dessert. Big Red Strawberry Café uses real yogurt (e.g. the very sour kind) and it goes well with the honey (from a bee farm in Cameron Highlands) and strawberries. I pronounce it Heart Healthy (TM).

big red sundae

I, being no stranger to cardiac arrests and strokes, opted for the Strawberry Sundae (RM 5.90) topped with whipped cream. In my defense, it has a plethora of fresh strawberries at the bottom of the sundae…at least a quarter of the dessert consists of fresh strawberries.

big red strawberry cafe us

I think we both felt nauseous after the strawberry themed brunch – I had to eat a healthy plate of Maggie Mee Goreng with a Heart Healthy (TM) cholesterol laden sunny side up egg to counter the fructose and glucose intake.

picking strawberries

The best part about Big Red Strawberry Farm? You get to stroll through the strawberry farm and pick your own big and juicy strawberries. :)

arrive

I drove up to Cameron Highlands over the long weekend with my girlfriend at 6 am in the morning. I consulted Google Maps and wrote down the directions from my place to Tapah. It wasn’t very difficult once we got on the PLUS highway but we still managed to get lost coz we didn’t realize the NKVE highway is part of the PLUS expressway.

speed
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (of the accelerator)

I managed to clock a decent speed once I got on PLUS, managed to hit nearly 180 km/h driving on the fast lane before switching from D to 2 and maintained about 190 km/h. My girlfriend wouldn’t take any photos of the speedometer after that, preferring to hold on to the passenger side handle with one hand braced against the glove box.

fail
Tourist destination peace of mind for travelers – FAIL

The toll costs a cool RM 19.20 so it’s about RM 40 for a return trip – make sure your Touch ‘n Go card is loaded with the appropriate amount coz we had to reverse (much to the annoyance of the cars behind us) and switch to the cash lane due to a lack of credit in the card.

lata iskandar

We managed to reach the Lata Iskandar waterfall after about an hour of driving. The Lata Iskandar waterfall is a popular rest stop for people driving up to Cameron Highlands.

lata iskandar waterfall

The Lata Iskandar waterfall is a magnificent sight with (very cold) water from the highlands rushing down a steep cliff. People can be seen frolicking in the water and generally chilling out before heading towards Tanah Rata (the main strip of Cameron Highlands).

lata iskandar us

It’s a great spot for vacation photography too – the “I was here” type shots. ;)

fake strawberry

I didn’t get to eat a real strawberry then but the next post will be on the Big Red Strawberry Farm where we picked our own strawberries. :)

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