Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kapitan Lodge, Port Dickson :: Wonderful Family Vacation Spot

*Click on pictures to enlarge*
Kapitan Lodge

This year, both my two beloved sisters were back from the UK for raya, so we decided on a little family vacation. The specifications were:
  1. An all out family BBQ where we get to taste my brothers exquisite kambing cooking skills
  2. A place where the kids could swim because a holiday with no water is no holiday
  3. Handicap access for our dearest mom; and
  4. Not too far from Bangi because she can't travel too long in the car. 
We found the perfect holiday destination. We loved it so much I am sharing the whole experience with anyone who loves to travel with big families.

Kapitan Lodge--the place we stayed-- has 5 comfortable really cold air-conditioned bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a huge dining and living area with a big flat-screen TV subscribed to Astro Kids. It is a colorful old wooden kampung house on stilts with one huge bedroom and en-suite toilet located on the ground floor which was just perfect for our mother who needs wheelchair access. The remaining rooms were upstairs. 

Zahir's room
Living room
Our parents room downstairs
My room

Shaza & Jah's room
Living room 2nd angle

The kitchen and dining area was also on the ground floor, open-air, and faces the courtyard and sea, with enough tables and chairs for all 24 of us and just a wonderful place to chitter-chatter and eat a hearty family meal. At around 8pm there was an open fire show for the beach-goers right in front of our lodge which the children thoroughly enjoyed. I am told the show runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Luke with fire-dancer
Spitting out fire yowl

Dining area
Dining area 2nd angle

Preparing mushroom soup and
salad in the kitchen
The lodge faces the sea but is enclosed by a brick wall so the children can run freely in the area without us having to worry. Within the property, there are benches under the trees and hens and baby chicks running wild that lives in two little hen-houses at the far-left corner. On the opposite side is the BBQ pit right next to a gazebo. A little gate at the end of the compound would take us right out onto the white sandy beaches which is unusually quiet - - probably because the guests at Lexis Hibiscus have their own little private swimming pools. I forgot to mention that the beach was exactly facing the row of Lexis hotels sitting on the water, complete with water fountain to match. It was like we had our own private beach complete with beach chairs and gigantic umbrellas. We were in the water before sunset and right after sunrise. It was awesome.

We found a boat! you can see our lodge in the background

Five happy sisters

Family pic with Lexis Hibiscus in the background

For me, the best thing about the property was the privacy we get as a family and the cleanliness of the place. The toilets were modern and superbly clean-- given the traditional setting of the place, and the sheets were white and cozy. Three workers living on the property ensured everything was up to par and responded to all our requests in a friendly manner. They even help set up the BBQ pit and then later, moved the spotlight and chairs so that we can take a family picture after our dinner.

Say cheeesee!!

Row of eateries just outside our lodge
So you don't have to cook if you don't want to!
There were a row of restaurants right by the sea about 30 m from our lodge but we brought and cooked our own dinner and breakfast. For the big-family holidaymaker like us, here's a helpful to-bring list:

Home-made BBQ dinner:
  • 5 kg marinated lamb
  • 3 marinated chickens (potong 10)
  • 3 packets of hotdogs
  • Salad raita/coleslaw
  • Garlic bread and mushroom soup
  • Made-from-scratch mashed potatoes
  • Condiments (chilli sauce, mayo, mustard etc)
The BBQ cookers
The hungry kids. Back from fire show and waiting
for dinner!!

My mother waiting for dinner!!

  • Three loaves of bread and filling of choice for sandwiches (we had scrambled eggs)
  • Croissants, butter, assorted jams (ordered a box of croissants from Aryzta for RM49)
  • Beras 2kg, santan, pandan, halia, sambal bilis siap masak dari rumah, fried anchovies, cucumbers and hardboiled eggs
  • Coffee & milk and carafe for the coffee
  • Don't forget sugar & salt.

The kitchen has a gas stove, a traditional kettle and a huge refrigerator but we pretty much brought all our own cooking utensils including the Noxxa, serving plates, knife and chopping board, disposable plates and cups and spoons. The children were also on a Coca Cola high for the weekend because Shaza my doctor sister bought a whole carton of 1.5l coke which they splurged on, probably for the first time in their lives. It was either that or Sarsi she said. 

Early in the morning..
View from our rooms.
You can see the lifeguard tower and Lexis hotel flag

I had made the booking on https://www.booking.com and the rate was RM1100/night. I always make my hotel bookings at booking because they don't ask for credit card details to reserve a room and you can always cancel for free before a pre-set date. For anybody wishing to book the place, I recommend looking up the dates early as it seems Kapitan Lodge are already booked most weekends. We loved the place and we would love for you to enjoy it too!! Family friendly, private, open air, very clean, beach, sand and sea. The perfect family holiday getaway! 

TQ to my dedicated cameraman for the pictures!
Kapitan Lodge, Port Dickson
Cleanliness: A  
Food: Of course A, masak sendiri kan...
Price: Very affordable
Satisfaction Level: A
Service: A
Atmosphere: A

Monday, June 19, 2017

Suraya Thai Cuisine, Bandar Baru Bangi

18, Jalan 7/7a, Seksyen 7 Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia,  +60 3-8920 2181 

Suraya Thai Cuisines latest customers..

I have not written for so long, but this little restaurant simply propels me to! It was such a good bukak puasa (break fast) experience, I think I owe it to the community to let them know of it's existence.

The plan was to eat out on Father's Day because it was the only excuse I can come up with. I had called Cibiuk Bangi -- Full, Ocean Hauz -- Full, Red Wok -- Line Busy, gave up after 5 tries, and finally Suraya Thai. Suraya Thai crossed my mind because we had tried to break fast there once without booking in advance and they literally shooed us away. This squished little restaurant had to park half of its ravenous customers in front of the closed tire shop next door and all over the parking lot.

You may have read my old entry on Suraya @ Kpg Baru, I have a feeling this is the Bangi sister shop. It's on the same block as Pustaka Rakyat, Bangi's biggest bookstore, just across from Mydin Seksyen 7, so all you sub-urban people can skip the its-too-far- and-I-can't-stand-the-jams-in-KL excuse to get there, Its in Bangi and it serves the Kpg Baru menu, among them -- fresh grated Som Tam and pulut mangga. Wowww..says Luqman, the latest addition to the family that has stopped me from blogging these past 2 years, what's thiss??? --latest favourite words.

To cut it short, here is what we ordered:
  1. Rice for 6 people (they served it in a big rice bowl with lid)
  2. Ikan siakap 3 rasa (rated A++, finger licking good)
  3. Sotong goreng tepung (rated B+ -- sauce was nice, serving was small however)
  4. Som Tam (rated A - one of the best ever)
  5. Tom Yam Pok Tek (rated B+, first time I had it so can't compare. It had Lala and squid in it)
  6. Big glass asam boi, teh o ais and jug of fresh orange.
  7. Pulut mangga x 2 (rated B+, really nice but the pulut could stay a bit longer in cooker, but that's just me, I prefer pulut lembik).
  8. Total price: RM120.

Siakap 3 rasa, Big size, (enough for 5)

Tom Yam Pok Tek (enough for 4)

Som Tam (enough for 5)

Sotong goreng tepung (enough for me only!)

For 6 people, which includes one really messy individual who throws food around and makes our bibik pull her hair in despair everyday and mops the floors twice daily, it is a very very reasonable price. I had called in to book the table at 3 pm and selected the menu by looking up some google images and advice from helpful comments. The general rating online from FB, 4square etc is about 3.6 but I would definitely give it a 3.999999 ~ 4 rating. Those who pull down the average probably had to sit in front of the corner tire shop. (Request for table inside. Say you're sensitive to rain or something.)

Enjoy the pictures. Selamat berbuka puasa!

Pulut Mangga
Suraya Thai, Seksyen 7, BBB 
Cleanliness: B
Food: A-
Price: A
Satisfaction Level: A
Service: A
Atmosphere: A

p/s Special TQ to Mr Hubs who bought us all baju raya yesterday~

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New food review coming soon: stay tuned~~

Raya 2014. Selamat hari raya peeps!

No, I haven't forgotten to write. Yes, I am still around. Although I eat out less now, because my husband prefers to eat at home. Anyway, a new review coming soon. Please bookmark this page/subscribe for updates. Just down there.

Stay tuned. Iallah by this Friday. Eaters.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

TalentLounge :: PJ Tradecenter :: Ramadhan Buffet Review~

My tasters and fill-in-the-blankers.
I feel really happy to pen this one down. A restaurant after my own heart. Small and sweet and a selection of food that is just right, priced just right. With shelved books nearby to flip through for those times you just want to chill out by yourself and pretend you have a life outside your phone and some very friendly and helpful waiters. Like I said, I am really happy to pen this one down.

This was a weekend trip with the entire family. Tomorrow is Ramadhan. Alhamdulillah for the honor of another Ramadhan. Coincidentally today is Iman's birthday. And the brownies we had (to make up for the cake) were delicious. And now, full of cake she announces:

Hear hear!!

The crazy thing is, the event manager of TalentLounge is hub's old pal. So he was pretty much in Jejak Kasih mode and pretty happy with the whole set-up. He could eat, take pictures and reminisce with his pal while I daintily nibble and wait for inspiration. Thanks for his expert help at getting the kids off me, I managed to blog this one down on location and won a hamper from our sponsers. Thank you Hungrygowhere. Go where? Go TalentLounge.

Group photo~~
With Event Manager, Azlan. Also old friend.

Colorful is probably the best word I can use to describe the dishes. There were, amongst others, red chicken (ayam masak merah, B++), yellow fish (ikan masak lomak cili padi, oh my--A), brown rice (mediterranean briyani with beef, big crazy A), green salad with honey dressing, orange carrot crunchies (loved the presentation for this), white thin pita to go with some real humus (one of the best, A!), crispy potatoe wedgies (quality potatoes, A+) and the chocolatiest-ever brownies (this one just made my day and the kids too). And drinks were pink bandung, red tea and black coffee. The chefs pretty much covered the entire color spectrum. If they could come up with something blue I am sure it'd be pretty good too.

crunchy carrors and cucumber, white
pita and humus. A++
mediterranean rice with pieces of beef.

The buffet they are offering this Ramadhan costs RM45+ per pax and RM20+ for 12 and under. The best thing is, surau and very clean toilets are just few metres away and they'll be laying out carpets too for people who want to pray just outside. The restaurant is on the ground floor of the PJ trade centre, a quiet area, facing a grove of trees on a gravel patch where hubs did a kuch-kuch hota hai on me (Jejak Kasih mode). Parking should be easy. Go Green and tie your bike to a tree. Restaurant closes 9 pm so you can go home and do terawih.

The chewwiest brownies...I loved it..
Selection of local kuihs..
Hubs selection of food..
Lamb with rocket

One more very important observation worth mentioning is the deco. The sofas were really really comfortable. Birthday girl asked me: mama can we sleep here tonight? I couldn't be bothered to reply. The next question might be even more challenging. But I do know where that came from.

Loved the layout of the place. There were places to read, eat and lepak.
There's something about the trees I guess.. :||
My camera-guy cum babysitter for the day being interviewed by NTV7 reporter.

TalentLounge in a nutshell: colorful selection of great food that is reasonably priced in a very creative set-up at a strategic location. This is a Sheemz recommended restaurant (yaayy~). Mazlan cannot comment. He's bounded under Conflict of Interest laws.

PJ Trade Centre, Damansara Perdana

Cleanliness: A
Food: A -- loved it even though it was a small selection, it was just right
Price: A -- appropriate.
Service: A -- waiters were friendly and helpful
Atmosphere: A++ very comfortable. Kids didn't want to leave it seems..
Satisfaction Level: A

“This event was organised by HungryGoWhere Malaysia – Discover, Eat, Share today!” Download the HGW app for your mobile here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

HRC Melaka :: Evaluation of Kid's Menu with Hafiz and Pals

With Akim and Afiz. Armand took.

Another expedition with hubs, this time for Hafiz and friends (friends being Akim and Hazama). This was a weekend trip and we brought all the kids along and stayed in a Super Cowboy Hotel. Literally. If you don't believe me, check it out on Trip Advisor. Hotel nie mmg koboi habis. Enough said.

I am going to iterate on the kids menu because that's all we ordered. The kids meals cost RM17 per order and comes with a drink; your choice of milk, ice lemon tea, sprite or coke. We've made it a point to eliminate coke from the family menu. So we ordered milk and ice lemon tea all the way. Milk tasted like Dutch Lady and lemon tea was cordialish okay. Go for it.

Here's what we ordered while we watched Hafiz and friends' stretch their jugular veins to quasi-bursting point as they hit the high notes. But I must say, the choice of songs that day was excellent. There's that song about you giving all of me and me giving all of you and I am still winning even though I am a loser, and one about I regret putting work above you and if I could I'd put you first next time. Stay tuned for Hafiz and friends on Astro. Since I married this guy (i.e., Mazlan), this is the best show he has had to engineer to date. And Akim, although skinny, is not bad looking at all. He's just not that photogenic on paper.

Kid's menu. For under 100s

Back to the food, all these menu are tried and tested so here goes:

1. Cheeseburger and fries --- A++ enormous and wholesome, deprived of all vegetables and condiments. Armand loved it. And the fries tasted UKish. Wonderful.

2. Hot dog --- exceptionally big and long. Again, deprived of all vegetables and condiments. Qayyum had TWO. It must be very good.

3. HRC Pizza --- cheese and red sauce. Very2 basic. No veggies, no pineapple, and no taste. The cheese was chewy and good but it didn't stick to the crust. It tasted like cheap microwave pizza you can get from Walmart. I suggest you skip.

Iman with her 2nd plate of mac and cheese.

4. Cheesy Mac --- the bestest of them all. We ordered 5 of these and Iman had 4. I took few spoonfuls off her plate though just to be fair. But it really was exceptional. Please just order the mac and cheese.

The bill came to RM180. That's what happens when you take kids to work with you. You win some you spend some extra.

Waiting for the next invite for Hafiz and friends get together. Here's to hoping Hafiz gets some new friends. Like Maher Zain.

Hardrock Cafe 

Cleanliness: B+ (toilets were clean. Very nice)
Food: B++
Price: B
Service: A. Staff was excellent. Very friendly and all smiles.
Atmosphere: okay. There was a performance going on--what did you expect.
Satisfaction level: B+ Melaka is fun, as always..

For all your audio and video needs, for personal and corporate functions, contact me at 012-3055144 for best rates.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Singapore Zam-zam Restaurant :: Briyani Galore!!

Andy again, our Singapore food expert, and Najib.

Everytime I go to Singapore, I end up here. And of all the clean restaurants in Singapore---because you won't believe how clean Singapore is---I would say this one is the most comot of all. It comes very close to a Malaysian mamak restaurant: hustling, bustling, with floors needing a good scrub. The only clue that it's outstanding are the customers lining up outside waiting for a table. 

Menu. Click to enlarge.

I won't say that Zam-zam's briyani is spectacular (I just said it didn't I), but its definitely Very Very Good. A trip to Singapore is definitely incomplete without a visit to Zam-zam, even though you're just here to accompany your husband on a business trip and slow him down because you wore your least favourite high heels and its killing you. Slowly.  

Chicken briyani. Hot stuff!
kurma. A!

Here with Andy again, and Najib, another one of Mazlan's colleague. I have to say, my husband has very cool colleagues. All they do is talk about how wonderful their wives are and how much they miss them. When I am with my girlfriends, we usually talk about work. And where to get the best prices for everything. 

I ordered briyani with ayam kurma (4.5/5) Mazlan and Najib had chicken briyani (4/5) and Andy had murtabak singapore kambing version (4/5). I loved my kurma. It was delicious. Mazlan's was a bit hot but it was good too. Service was fast and after we were done we were almost ushered off our chairs and out onto the street. I noticed a big sign on the walls along the lines of "eat quickly and give your seat to our other much important hungry customers please".

Outside of the Masjid Sultan.
Interior. Men's place.
Road facing masjid. Around 10 pm. Awesome shot MM!

Masjid Sultan is right across the street from the restaurant and I fell instantly in love with it. It was old and ancient and Mazlan said the chandelier is the same as the one in Masjidil-Haram in Mecca (I guess they nicked one). I would have definitely liked to explore the mosque and the area around it further but I am reminded of the fact that I am here on a business trip and not on a Jalan-Jalan Makan Angin excursion. We don't want Mazlan to be the only husband who doesn't talk about how wonderful his wife is. :O

Singapore Zam-Zam Restaurant
North Bridge Road, Singapore 
near Masjid Sultan (Waze it!)

Cleanliness: C
Food: A
Price: A -- Reasonable
Service: B+ , food arrived fast, but so hard to get the waiters attention!
Atmosphere: B 
Satisfaction Level: B -- felt a bit rushed