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Monthly Archives / July 2016

A few weeks ago we went back to Penang and instead of staying at home at mom’s place, it was a short staycation at Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, a place with fond memories from my teenage years as I used to work there as a casual workers (as mentioned on the entry on their Spice Market buffet). It was a like a 20 years fantasy come true of sort.

Rasa Sayang at Batu Feringghi, Penang
Rasa Sayang at Batu Feringghi, Penang

Rasa Sayang has always been one of the best hotels from the Shangri-La group. Situated at the East side of Batu Ferringhi beach, it is some 20 minutes drive from Geogetown, the capital city of Penang.

In addition to the access to sandy beach and all the fun beach activities such as parasailing, banana boats and such, the hotel also spot a huge garden with some of the oldest and biggest trees you can find. The landscape is simply amazing, and from someone who’s just started to work on a bit of a green patch at home, I can only begin to imagine amount of effort required to upkeep this huge garden.

our Rasa Premier Wing, as big as some apartments
our Rasa Premier Wing, as big as some apartments, with mom!

Rasa Sayang is separated into two different wings – Garden Wing & Rasa Wing.

Rasa Wing is catered more towards couples and adults while Garden Wing welcomes family oriented holiday goers. Each wing has its own swimming pool, with Rasa Wing pool allowing only 16 year olds and older and the Garden Wing main pool accessible to all.

there's a huge outdoor bathtub at the balcony
there’s a huge outdoor soaking tub at the balcony

Rasa Wing guests also enjoy several additional privileges, such as a balcony with private soaking tub, complimentary high tea, semi buffet breakfast at Feringgi Grill, and in-room express check-in and check out.

The service is definitely more exclusive and personal for Rasa Wing guests.

the gym at Rasa Sayang is rather well equipped
the gym at Rasa Sayang is rather well equipped

Other recreational facilities at Rasa Sayang includes a par-3 pitch & putt golf course, a tennis court, an adventure zone, and a rather well equipped gym which we made full use of on our 2-night stay.

Rasa Wing guests get to have breakfast at Feringgi Grill
Rasa Wing guests get to have breakfast at Feringgi Grill

Ferringi Grill has won awards an often regarded as one of the best restaurants on the island, so when we had the opportunity to sample the breakfast buffet as a staying guest on Rasa Wing, it was a no brainer.

The breakfast is served as a semi-buffet style, with a rather decent selection of pastry, cheese, and other breakfast dishes in addition to several main dishes you can order. Haze had fresh waffles with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, berry compote and pistachio powder, while I opted for roasted sea bass with spinach and mushrooms. They were quite delightful, a class above ordinary buffet for sure.

there's complimentary afternoon tea at Rasa Lounge
there’s complimentary afternoon tea at Rasa Lounge

We also took advantage of the complimentary afternoon tea at Rasa Lounge, again available for free to Rasa Wing guests. I had a cup of coffee while Haze opted for tea to go with scones, sandwich, and other carefully crafted pastries. I particularly enjoyed the little sandwich with grilled capsicum & onion, simple and exquisite.

Was our stay at Rasa Sayang as good as I thought it’ll be 20 years ago when I was serving the guests? Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t say no to retiring at this place.

map to rasa sayang

Do check out some of the offers from Rasa Sayang if you’re planning a trip to Penang by clicking the links below.

Address:
Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa by Shangril-La 
Batu Ferringhi Main Road,
Kampung Tanjung Huma,
11100 Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang
GPS5.478865, 100.254181
Tel+604-888 8888

When it comes to a Malaysian kitchen, soya sauce and oyster sauce are some of the most important ingredients for cooking. I must admit that I used to be one of those people who doesn’t think twice and choose the closest shelve at the grocery store when buying those sauces. What I failed to realised tho, is that these sauces aren’t make alike at all.

Last week, I was given a few bottles of some of our favorite sauces by Bidor Kwong Heng to try out – Angel Soya Sauce, Angel Oyster Sauce, and Angel Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. These sauces are made from non-GMO ingredients and obtained international food safe certificates.

I’m made a couple dishes with these sauces in their ingredients to try them out. First – soya sauce chicken.

Bidor Kwong Heng's sauces with ingredients for soya chicken
Bidor Kwong Heng’s sauces with ingredients for soya chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 table spoon Angel Soya Sauce
  • 3 table spoon Angel Oyster Sauce
  • 1 quarter chicken (leg part)
  • one bulb of garlic, peeled
  • 5-6 slices of ginger
  • star anise (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil

first, mix Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce in equal portion
first, mix Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce in equal portion

Cooking instructions:

  • mix soya sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl with 1 cup of water
  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic, ginger, and star anise till fragrance
  • add everything and simmer for 20-25 minutes with lid cover, flip the chicken half way
  • enjoy while hot!

soya sauce chicken, this goes well with a bowl of porridge
Soya Chicken with Angel Soya Sauce & Oyster Sauce

The dish turned out pretty good, Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce did a good job in adding a hint of complexity with its umami while not being overly salty. The chicken goes best with porridge especially if you mix the sauces all in. Enjoy!

For more about the sauces, check out www.bidorkwongheng.com

I made it to the top of Low’s Peak on Mount Kinabalu after a grueling two day hike from about 1800+ meter to 4095 meter above sea level.

We’re still at Kundasang nursing sore legs right now. Will pen down the experience and share some of the other exciting stuff around this area on the blog soon!

Here’s a simple mushroom chicken with oyster sauce recipe that allows you to whip up a comfort dish within 15 minutes or so. Ingredients are pretty simple and straight forward, so is the cooking method, do disregard the cooking wine if you want to have it the halal way.

ingredients - chicken, oyster sauce, mushroom, garlic, ginger etc
ingredients – chicken, oyster sauce, mushroom, garlic, ginger etc

Ingredients (fit for 2 pax):

  • 3 tablespoon oyster sauce, 3 tablespoon cooking wine, mix in bowl
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • a handful of mushroom
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoon cooking oil

always start with garlic and ginger
always start with garlic and ginger

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic & ginger till fragrant
  • add chicken and fry till surface is brown (a couple minutes usually)
  • add rest of the ingredients, stir fry
  • cover up for steaming action for 4-5 minutes
  • serve when hot!

end result is a plate of comfort food
end result is a plate of comfort food

This is a pretty simple recipe, and you can also substitute chicken with other white meat as well. I’d usually have this with some chili padi and soya sauce, but whatever rocks your boat!

Heading East from Klang Valley via the Karak Highway towards the direction of the East Coast, there exists quite a number of restaurants that offers “proper” food just a few kilometers away from the exit that brings you up to the mountain top wonderland that is Genting highland or Berjaya Bukit Tinggi (if visiting a Japanese garden is your thing.)

Late last year, we did just that with a couple Singaporean friends of Haze’s.

Garden View restaurant at Bukit Tinggi, there's actually a vegetable garden
Garden View restaurant at Bukit Tinggi, there’s actually a vegetable garden

Our stop-over for late lunch was at Garden View restaurant, a pretty big zinc-roofed restaurant over viewing a vegetable garden. Looking at the size of the little farm though, I can’t be sure if it is sufficient for the crowd that this restaurant gets. Doesn’t bother me anyway.

The menu is quite extensive. They offer a variety of river fish, kampung chicken, pork, seafood, and a selection of “wild” meat such as wild boar, frog, ostrich, soft-shell turtle, and deer.

river patin, this is the expensive bit
river patin, this is the expensive bit

We ordered a river patin (RM 90, 1.2kg of RM 7.50 per 100 gram) prepared in its purest form – steam with soya sauce. The portion was perhaps a little too big for just the four of us but it was delightfully prepared and certainly very fresh, smooth, and absolutely packed with seafood fatty texture which I really like.

You can also have the fish prepared by steam with ginger, with assam sauce, teo chew style, with chili sauce, in clay pot, or even deep fried. There’s also quite a variety of fish to choose from, with tilapia (RM 3.50/100gram) being cheapest, all the way to kelah  (RM 40/100 gram)

steamed kampung chicken, wild boar curry, four kingdom vege dish
steamed kampung chicken, wild boar curry, four kingdom vege dish

In addition to the fish, we also ordered steamed kampung chicken with ginger (RM 15), wild boar curry (RM 15), and “4 kingdom vegetable” (RM 15). These are very reasonably priced and tasted more than decent.

The chicken is my favorite and a speciality of sort of Bukit Tinggi. You can get pretty good ginger steamed chicken just about at any restaurants around the area, the key being the Bentong ginger they use, which is really spicy and extra fragrant.

Singaporeans, same as Malaysians, are trigger happy
Singaporeans, same as Malaysians, are trigger happy

Over all it was a very satisfying late lunch for us. The river fish is pricey but expectedly so, if you stay away from having river fish, the prices at Garden View restaurant is very competitive. So if you’re around the area looking for a good meal especially with a group, this place won’t be a bad choice.

map to Garden View Restaurant, Bukit Tinggi Bentong

Address:
Garden View Restaurant
Lot 19326 Pesona Heights,
Kg Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
GPS: 3.353010, 101.826982
Tel: 09-233 0282