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Monthly Archives / October 2015

On the first morning at London, I was brought to one of the more charming little restaurants in town at Bill’s on Clink Street for some good old fashion English breakfast.

Bill's at Clink Street, inconspicuous exterior, beautiful ambiance within
Bill’s at Clink Street, inconspicuous exterior, beautiful ambiance within

The restaurant looks pretty inconspicuous on the outside, but the interior was quite something else. It was beautifully decorated with plenty of old school charm, like something out of a classy old movie. You’d easily be mistaken Bill’s as a quaint family run operation instead of one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in UK.

had a glass of latte to start the day
had a glass of latte to start the day

I started out with a cup of latte, and ordered a glass of tomato juice to accompany my breakfast. The coffee was as good as any, and the bottled tomato juice served here was one of the spiciest I’ve tried, it was quite interesting, now I want to put pepper in those v8 tomato juice I have at home.

vegetarian breakfast, and Bill's big breakfast
vegetarian breakfast, and Bill’s big breakfast

The breakfast menu consists of your usual English selections – bread basket, big breakfast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, egg benedict/royale/florentine and so forth. Micaela, my host for the day, ordered the vegetarian breakfast (£7.95) while I went with Bill’s breakfast (£7.95).

The vegetarian option comes with free range eggs, tomato, hummus, mushroom, guacamole, sweet chilli sauce, basil and toast, while my big breakfast had cumberland sausage, fried free range eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, smoked streaky bacon, and toast as well. Both dishes were beautifully plated and did not disappoint in the taste department. The bacon was crispy and savory, and while I don’t care much about eggs being free range or not, my taste buds were happy with them. It was definitely a good way to start the day.

Borough market at Clink Street
Borough market at Clink Street

We then had a brisk walk by the famous Borough market nearby before heading to the meeting point for the East London Food Tour (next post on that), a thriving old fashion outdoor market with plenty fresh produce and street food on offer. You can find dozens of different cheese, olives, fresh vegetables, flowers, fresh seafood, and more, all for the taking. I almost wished we had a kitchen so I could buy some stuff to cook at night!

map to Bill's restaurant at Clink St, London

Address:
Bill’s Restaurant
Victor Wharf, Clink St,
London SE1 9DW, United Kingdom
GPS51.506964, -0.091507
Tel: +44 20 7234 0000

Note: This UK – Malaysia Influencer Exchange programme was organised by Malaysia Airlines.
However, opinions are of my own. Malaysia Airlines flies between London and Kuala Lumpur
twice a day on the A380. There are 8 seats in the First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420
in Economy. Make your flight reservations today on www.malaysiaairlines.com.

On our first night to London, after checking into Dorsett at Sheperd’s Bush, we walked to the nearby Westfield London in search for dinner, and was greeted by Five Guys Burgers & Fries right at the entrance that we took.

I’ve heard about this burger chain on some forums before, so naturally we thought we’d gave it a try, after all, it is one of the most crowded restaurants in the mall (which turned out to be the largest mall in London).

£22.5 for 2 burgers, a milkshake, a soft drink, and 1 serving of fries
£22.5 for 2 burgers, a milkshake, a soft drink, and 1 serving of fries

Five Guys currently operates only in North America and in UK (since 2013), and is focus on burger, fries, milkshakes, and everything with bacon.

Ordering is a pretty straight forward affair – line up, order, pay, pick up your food, and get your drinks. Not very different from most fast food restaurants. They also have an open kitchen and prepare everything right in front of your eyes, it was super hectic, and I think most of us won’t last half an hour in there.

ermm.. cheeseburger, and bacon infused milk shake
ermm.. cheeseburger, and bacon infused milk shake

The menu is actually pretty simple. There’s burger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, bacon cheeseburger, and the “little” size of those variations. You then choose from over a dozen toppings & sauces to add to your burger

Additionally, there’s also sandwiches and hotdogs, but we’re not interested in those anyway.

We ended up ordering a little cheeseburger, a little bacon burger, a milk shake with bacon bits, a medium fries, and a soft drinks. All of which adds up to £22.50, London is certainly not a cheap place for food, even if it was fast food.

Haze & KY at Five Guys, Westfield London
Haze & KY at Five Guys, Westfield London

The burger was certainly juicy & wholesome, even though we opted for the “little” version, they still fill up the stomach pretty easily. The milk shake with bacon bits though, was excellent, and I wished it came with those “bubble tea” type of straws instead, sucking the bits via those tiny straw was a bit of a struggle.

It was overall a pretty satisfying meal. I think Five Guys sits somewhere in between the usual fast food chains and gourmet burger outlets, but those milkshakes though, that’s something else. Would not hesitate to try again.

map to Westfield London

Address:
Five Guys
Westfield London,
London W12 7SL, United Kingdom
GPS51.506733, -0.222849
Tel: +44 20 8740 7290

Note: This UK – Malaysia Influencer Exchange programme was organised by Malaysia Airlines.
However, opinions are of my own. Malaysia Airlines flies between London and Kuala Lumpur
twice a day on the A380. There are 8 seats in the First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420
in Economy. Make your flight reservations today on www.malaysiaairlines.com.

On our trip to London, we were lucky enough that accommodation was arranged at Dorsett at Sheperd’s Bush located about half an hour from Heathrow Airport by taxi, and only some 10 stops from the heart of the city via the tube on central line.

Dorsett Hotel at Sheperd's Bush, London
Dorsett Hotel at Sheperd’s Bush, London

The hotel has some 300 rooms separated in eight floors. The design is a mix of contemporary British style with Chinese influence, pretty interesting. Right in front of the hotel is a park, with Sheperd’s Bush tube station about 5 minutes away on foot, and conveniently, Westfield (as we found out later, the largest mall in London), less than 10 minutes away.

our suite on the 8th floor, Dorsett Sheperd's Bush
our suite on the 8th floor, Dorsett Sheperd’s Bush

Though we booked the deluxe room, the hotel was kind enough to bump us up to their suite. This was like the business class of hotel room that comes with all the bells & whistles – there’s a full master bedroom, a separate seating area to entertain guests, a “living room” with 42″ TV & sofa, as well as a nice bath tub and shower facilities.

Other convenience such as a work desk, mini fridge, iron board, hair dryer, bathrobes, and even small bottles of wine & sparkling water are included too.

executive lounge & the gym at Dorsett Sheperd's Bush
executive lounge & the gym at Dorsett Sheperd’s Bush

There’s also a gym, meeting room, spa (unfortunately we didn’t get to try), business center, and access to the executive lounge if you stay in the suite or executive guestroom.

Best of all, to me personally anyway, is that the hotel also has SUPER FAST wireless internet connection. I did a speed test and got something like 700 MB/s download speed – definitely first world connectivity.

English breakfast at the hotel
English breakfast at the hotel, we have bacon!

Like most hotels, Dorsett Sheperd’s Bush serves continental English breakfast daily. While the buffet spread isn’t particularly huge, the quality of food made up for it. The bread & pastries were all so delicious (must be the butter & flour they use?), and I also particularly like the bacon and those pork sausages, so yummy.

"Pictures" restaurant on the ground floor
“Pictures” restaurant on the ground floor

The hotel has three restaurants on the ground floor, on the second night, we had our dinner at Pictures, their all-day dining brasserie style restaurant with European menu.

The restaurant was tastefully decorated, and got its’ name from the building’s previous role as a theater. There’s even pictures of classic movie stars on the wall, pretty neat isn’t it?

crayfish cocktail & crispy calamari as our starters
crayfish cocktail & crispy calamari as our starters

To start, we had crayfish cocktail and the hotel manager’s recommendation – crispy calamari as our starters.

The mixture of fresh water crayfish and avocado was somewhat interesting, as most savory but cold dish tend to give. I think it’ll be great to have it as a filling in a sandwich too.

The calamari however, was excellent! I’ve never had fried calamari in coriander dressing, but the recipe turned out to be sophisticated and beautiful. I certainly would want to try to make this at home one of these days, you don’t even need mayonnaise or beer to enjoy this, no wonder it’s one of their best sellers.

21 day aged 6 oz Scotch fillet
21 day aged 6 oz Scotch fillet 

For mains, I had the 21 day aged 6 oz Scotch fillet, while Haze went for the 28 day dry aged cattleman’s 8oz striploin. Both dishes came with portobello mushroom, cherry vine tomato, and skinny fries.

While wagyu and kobe is all the rage these days, I still enjoy my proper aged beef, and they were very well executed here – tender, juicy, and full of flavor, can’t ask for more.

we enjoyed our stay at Dorsett Sheperd's Bush, thank you for the lovely time
we enjoyed our stay at Dorsett Sheperd’s Bush, thank you for the lovely time

We enjoyed our 3 nights at Dorsett, and if you head to London for business or leisure, this place should be in your short list.

Note: This UK – Malaysia Influencer Exchange programme was organised by Malaysia Airlines.
However, opinions are of my own. Malaysia Airlines flies between London and Kuala Lumpur
twice a day on the A380. There are 8 seats in the First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420
in Economy. Make your flight reservations today on www.malaysiaairlines.com.

I remember the first time I flew business class. It was back in 1996 when I had to make an unplanned trip from KL back to Penang due the fact that I had contracted dengue. When checked in at Subang Airport, I was bumped up a class as the flight was overbooked, and obviously I did not complain.

It was a pretty sweet journey, but that 35 or so minute flight was way too short to enjoy a proper Business Class experience. Thank fully some two decades later, Malaysia Airlines came calling and offer me a chance to experience what business class has to offer today on a flight to from KL to London.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge at KLIA
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge at KLIA

We flew on MH 04, the morning flight departing from KLIA. The business class check in was quick and painless with only a few minutes spent on the line. This is probably due to having only 66 business class seats vs 420 economy on the A380 we’re flying in.

Travelling on business class also entitles one to access the Golden Lounge in KLIA where you can get your stomach filled with proper breakfast, juice, and the all important cup of morning coffee while waiting for departure. There are two such lounges at KLIA.

Business Class seats on board the A380, MH04
Business Class seats on board the A380, MH04 to London

Then we got on the Airbus 380, turned left to the business class section, and life on 36,000 feet was never the same again. Instead of row of 3 or 4 seats, it’s a couple, and with leg room for days. Going to the loo doesn’t mean you have to “excuse me” to the guy happily snoozing in his seat closest to the aisle.

Each passenger were also given pillow, blanket, and premium headphones to use throughout the flight.

more adjustments than a fancy car, goes totally horizontal too
more adjustments than a fancy car, goes totally horizontal too

Then there’s the adjustment the seats offer. You get to tilt the head rest, adjust the angle of the seat on your back, bum, and leg. Additionally you can also extend the leg rest, fiddle with lumber support, and there’s even a massage function built in to give you a gentle rub on your back. Imagine a bed + the most comfortable cinema seat + the fanciest car, and that’s the Malaysia Airline business class seat aboard the A380. It was truly a luxury.

the famous Malaysia Airlines satey, a must have!
the famous Malaysia Airlines satey, a must have!

And then there’s the food. While Malaysia Airlines generally serves some of the best foods in flight, their business class offer a menu that’s a step above the usual.

First of all, never say no to the satey. These are the very same satey that is sometimes flown to our embassies in other countries (as I heard years ago), and they were really as good as I thought they would be. It was succulent, juicy, flavourful, and with peanut sauce that’s not overly spicy but yet so satisfying.

the scallop starter for the first meal was superb
the scallop starter for the first meal was superb

Fist and business class customers are also entitled to book meals in advanced via chef-on-call. We didn’t do so and just went with the flow.

Real cutlery were used, and the food was definitely a step above any I’ve experienced while flying. The scallop starter was memorable, while the beef was more than decent if not slightly too done for my liking.

fish or lamb? take your pick
fish or lamb? take your pick

For the second meal we had the choice between fish and lamb, both were beautifully plated and tasted as good as they looked.

The best thing though, is that if you are hungry in between meals, there’s a little pantry by the front where chocolates, fruits, drinks, and even cheese platter can be found.I certainly took advantage of that.

want some snacks in between meal time? you're covered
want some snacks in between meal time? you’re covered

A few movies from the personal entertainment system and a couple of naps later, we reached Heathrow Airport at London. Instead of a drag, it was a rather enjoyable long haul flight. I wouldn’t mind an even longer flight if I was treated this way on air every time.

Oh, by the way, Business Class customers got the priority queue at immigration check in in London too, so that was another surprise in a good way.

I’ll share the experience at London in subsequent posts. Stay tuned.

Note: This UK – Malaysia Influencer Exchange programme was organised by Malaysia Airlines.
However, opinions are of my own. Malaysia Airlines flies between London and Kuala Lumpur
twice a day on the A380. There are 8 seats in the First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420
in Economy. Make your flight reservations today on www.malaysiaairlines.com.

Well, I did mention that I am going to try as many bak kut teh places in Klang as possible, right? So here’s another “less famous” places I had the chance to visit several weeks ago – 大肥婆肉骨茶, or LYL FOOD CORNER, which is completely not what 大肥婆肉骨茶 translate to at all.

大肥婆肉骨茶, Taman Berkeley
大肥婆肉骨茶, Taman Berkeley

The bak kut teh restaurant is located somewhere in between the two branches of the more known establishments – Samy & Ah Her, and Mo Sang Kor. It is a single shop lot basic set up, which is similar to probably 90% of the Klang BKT restaurants.

I happened to be the last customer of the day, but lucky me, they happened to still have my favorite cut of the meat available – kahwan.

kahwan, my favorite bkt cut
I was the last customer of the day

The single serving came in claypot with actually rather generous amount of soup, it carries a pretty strong herbal taste with a hint of “tong gwai” taste which I enjoyed. As with most Klang bkt, the meat was tender, and fatty part of pork soft enough to to be cut by the spoon.

大肥婆 did not disappoint actually, it wasn’t as strong tasting as the other two, but the extra amount of soup should cater for those who enjoys slurping down BKT soup. Oh, there’s also fried shallots, which is always good to go with BKT.

 

map to LYL bak kut teh at Taman Berkeley

Address:
大肥婆肉骨茶
Jalan Lang,
Taman Berkeley, Klang
GPS: 3.059388, 101.463141