Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / seremban

Earlier this month, I decided to bring Haze to somewhere quiet and relaxing for a short birthday holiday after a super busy end of 2013.

After a bit of research, I chose picked The Dusun for a night stay, recalling the blogpost kinkybluefairy wrote about the place a couple years ago.

vacation in the rainforest, The Dusun
vacation in the rainforest, The Dusun

Dusun translates to plantation in Malay, and this is precisely what this place was, and still is, a small family run resort situated within a durian and other tropical fruits plantation about an hour away from KL city.

Started in 1984 as a private family retreat, the couple turned it into a nature resort in 2009. It started out with two houses, and since expanded to five unique houses  that fits 2-5 adults each.

our room at the Berembun House, with a bathroom and kitchen
our room at the Berembun House, with a bathroom and kitchen

Each houses come with bathroom, a private kitchen, BBQ set, and are situated apart from each other. We chose Berembun House for the night as it is closest to one of the two infinity pools at the resort, with an expansive view over the Berembun forrest reserve.

lovely infinity swimming pool
lovely infinity swimming pool

While the chalet style room is only big enough to house a queen size bed and a small furniture somewhat resembling a closet, there’s a huge deck and a big outdoor carved bench to laze about.

There isn’t air condition units nor you really need one at this resort. The Dusun is located about 250 meters above sea level, making it a few Celsius below average and rather windy and comfortable at night.

took a well deserved afternoon swim
took a well deserved afternoon swim

The swimming pool too was gorgeous, it isn’t much for swimming laps, but that’s not what we went there for anyway.

After a dipping session while admiring the nature, we also spent some time playing boardgames that’s available with the room. It was a bliss staying away from all that city noise.

dinner was a self-cooked BBQ affair
dinner was a self-cooked BBQ affair

Being a small resort, The Dusun doesn’t have an in-house restaurant, what they provide tho is a private kitchen at every house and a BBQ pit with charcoal. So for dinner, I marinated some chicken chops and bought along a fish and a couple sweet potato for grilling. We also ended up buying some brinjal and sambal at the local grocery store 5 minutes away.

We had a great dinner under the stars that night, it was awesome.

breakfast and a walk around the fruit plantation
breakfast and a walk around the fruit plantation

Fortunately, breakfast is included, and we were served coffee, fresh juice, toast, and scrambled eggs the next morning right at the table on our balcony.

We then spent some time walking about the surrounding area before heading back to the reality of city life.

Other activities provided at the resort includes jungle trekking to a nearby waterfall, bird watching, massage, and even fishing trip. For a longer stay, those distractions will be quite welcomed.

I can get used to holidays like this.

map to The Dusun, Negeri Sembilan

Address:
The Dusun
Pantai New Village
Negeri Sembilan
GPS: 2.8018, 102.0151
Web: thedusun.com.my
Email: hello@thedusun.com.my

One of the other places we dined at during the trip to Seremban was this very nice looking restaurant called La Esquina, or “the corner” in Spanish. Naturally, it specialized in Spanish cuisine. The interior of this place is modern yet very cozy, it spots a full bar and has seating areas both in and outdoor. The first Spanish cuisine in Seremban is also probably the nicest decorated restaurant at Era Square.

La Esquina Spanish Restaurant
grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon

La Esquina doesn’t have a huge menu when it comes to food selection, they do, however, serve all sorts of drinks and a variety of tapas. As we were still half full from our very satisfying meal at Kensington, we only had some light dishes at this place.

La Esquina Spanish Restaurant
a full bar and a nicely decorated interior

The grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon slice was a pretty delicious dish. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with grilled asparagus and bacon. The bacon, however, is of the beef variety rather than the non-halal version from pork. Though I think the later might have jazzed up the taste just a tad more, the beef bacon wasn’t a bad substitute.

La Esquina Spanish Restaurant
tapas

We also had fresh button mushroom, mussel in white wine sauce, Spanish warm potato salad, and spicy chicken sausage. The tapas were served with slices of bread to go with the sauce that comes with it. I mentioned that the spicy chicken sausage isn’t exactly spicy for our taste, the owner Mr. Satwant explained that the level of spiciness in Spanish cuisine is a lot less than what we are accustomed to.

La Esquina Spanish Restaurant
basque crab casserole

The last dish served was not tapas, but the pretty unique basque crab casserole. Generous portion of crab meat and some other ingredients I can’t name were baked in flowery crab shells. This dish carries a slightly salty taste that I imagine would taste pretty well with some red wine.

map to era walk, seremban
La Esquina is located at Era Square

Tapas at La Esquina ranges from RM8 to RM15, the crab casserole goes for RM18 per pair.

Address:
No. 49, Jalan Era Walk 3,
Era Square
70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan

GPS: 2.725641,101.930938
Tel:
06-768 7405

One of the eating places I visited at Seremban during the trip was Min Kok, probably the biggest Chinese restaurant in all of Negeri Sembilan. The massive restaurant sits right next to the main commercial center of Era Square (from Era Baru, nearby Terminal 2), can host over 150 tables, and even have a website!

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
KY, Captain Sam, Owner Joan, Ringo, Nicholas

A group of us arrived at Min Kok on Sunday morning for their famous dim sum and was greeted by Sam, the Captain who has been in the restaurant industry since before I graduate from primary school. The owner, Joan Chong (seated center in the photo above) is actually just a couple years older than me, a very capable lady who also won the Bursa Pursuit Challenge last year and walked away with RM 100,000 prize money, not to mention owning this huge restaurant. But never mind, I shall console myself with the fact that I own this blog…

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
Restaurant Min Kok Sdn Bhd

Anyway, lets get back to the more relevant important bit.

Sam told us that a typical morning at Min Kok starts very early, the chefs and kitchen helpers come in at around 4am to start preparing the food as they want to have their dim sum fresh and not left overnight. Some 40-50 serving staffs come in at around 6 something, and usually, there are already customers waiting at the door.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
check out the scallop dim sum!

We were served quite a variety of their offering. The steamed dim sum were fresh and tasted very good, I particularly love the scallop dim sum, very luxurious and actually quite hard to find else where. The prawn dim sum, stuffed chili, and ribs were all rather delicious too. We had about a dozen types in all.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
porridge, siu pao, egg tart, fried carrot cake

Other than the steamed dim sum, we also had some fried snacks, porridge, fried carrot cake, chee cheong fun, egg tart, and Min Kok’s version of the famous Seremban siu pao. I gotta say I was quite impressed with the quality of food there. The siu pao was actually so good I had to dedicate a picture just for it.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
the yummy Seremban siu pao

As for price, the dim sum goes from RM 2.00 (porridge) to RM 5.00 (the scallop), very reasonable especially if you factor in the fact that this place is fully air conditioned, and has plenty of staff to keep a good service level. Which explains why this place is always packed despite having over a hundred tables for the morning crowd.

map to Min Kok at Era Square, Seremban
map to Min Kok at Era Square

Address:
No 7645, Lot 5990,
Jalan Labu Lama, (Terminal 2),
70200 Seremban,
Negeri Sembilan

Tel: 06-761 8458

Yes, you read it right, I partied at Seremban! Who would have taught there’s a decent party place outside KL and Penang, but even to a not so keen party goer like me (age laaa), Trilogy Bistroat Era Square was actually a pretty good place and I had a great experience overall.

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
KY, DJ Jerryca, Suanie, and co-host Lum

We actually headed to the club right after dinner, and as Saturday nights go, the crowd doesn’t get there before 10pm. We practically had the whole place to ourselves. As our friend Lum knows the director of the club Mr. Loo very well, we actually got to leech some alcohol from the house. Suan was of course, very happy about that..

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
plenty of drinks, and the hamsup Nicholas

The music was a bit of hip hop and contemporary stuff at the beginning. After about 10+ when the crowd was starting to build up, DJ Jerryca came in and put in some awesome tunes. It was a bit of dance and techno style (I think, since I’m a total idiot when it comes to categorization of music), but I really did like it. Too bad I was somehow still in my shorts and sandals, hence was not able to showcase my talented dance moves to the Seremban people. What a let down, right?

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
chilling at the club

Now the director Mr. Loo is just too nice a guy. For the 5 of us (Nicholas, Suanie, Ringo, Lum, and I), he actually prepared a couple pitchers of beer, a bottle of imported Vodka, and something like 8 glasses of cocktails, including Bloody Mary, Long Island Ice Tea, Margarita, and some stuff I can’t name. The mixtures tasted pretty good, I particularly love the Bloody Mary that comes with fresh celery, very refreshing while packing a punch.

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
Lum & Suanie, Ringo and director Mr. Loo, DJ Jerryca

If you think about it, getting to Seremban only takes about 45 minutes from Klang Valley. The free parking pretty much offsets the toll price, and getting to and from there could be faster than getting stuck in the KL Saturday night traffic. Maybe the next time I want to party, I can make an excuse to get down there and sneaked in a dinner at Kensington at the same time!

More photos at my Era Walk flickr set.

Address:
Trilogy
No 18 , Jalan Era Square 3 ,
70000 Seremban,
Negeri Sembilan

Tel: 06-672 6619

A couple weekends ago Suanie, Nicholas, and I arranged a trip down to Seremban to lepak a bit at Era Square, a pretty new commercial area just right to the yet-to-be-opened Terminal 2 interstate bus terminal. We met up with Cheeser the local girl there, and of course, the first agenda after the 45 minutes drive from KL is to get our stomach stuffed.

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
the awesome prawn, and live oyster from Canada

Due to the power that be, we had an invitation to eat at Kensington, a nicely decorated Western/Fusion restaurant. The owner Grace Chia had prepared a total of 8 dishes for us, she was super friendly and actually sat us through the whole meal to tell us everything about the individual dishes and how they (with her husband the chef) got into this business.

Grace actually lived in UK for quite a number of years and have been involved with satisfying stomachs of the public for over 15 years. Kensington at Era Square is their latest venture.

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
KY, Grace the owner, and Ringo (Cheeser)

Now lets get to the food, shall we? Since there are so many dishes and Grace had laboriously explained each of them to me, I think I shall just list them one by one here.

Prawn Mango Salad (RM 18.50) – This is one Suanie’s favorite, an American recipe that has the prawn cooked with fresh mango (seafood and fruit, interesting heh?). The slightly sourly sauce is particularly excellent, very buttery and flavorful.

Aromatic Crispy Duck (RMR 18.50) – A quarter duck peeled off from the bone, served with lettuce, cucumber, and plum sauce. I find this to actually taste better than the Schezuan duck I had at Soho, 1 Utama. The fresh vegetable compliments the taste of duck meat and the sauce very well.

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
prawn mango salad, aromatic crispy duck, live oyster, and baked potato

Live Oyster (RM 6.50) – Flown from Canada, fat and juicy. You can have them cheese baked for an extra buck.

Baked Potato – Somehow I have lost the description for this dish, but if you like potato and cheese, do not miss it!

Filet Steak with Shitake Sauce (RM 31.50) – A generous serving of beef with the shitake mushroom in with cream and a touch of wine. I gotta admit that this dish did not look like a proper steak and I had doubts about it. However, a bite the red meat confirmed what Suan kept telling me “You gotta try this, it’s great omg!”

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
filet steak, lamb shank, chicken veronique, and mushroom soup

Lamb Shank (RM 18.50) – A huge piece of lamb shank serve prepared with black pepper sauce. The meat is very tender and it definitely tastes better than those you can order from the particular chain restaurant famous for their cakes. A very good value too.

Chicken Veronique (RM 15.30) – Chicken breast cooked with grapes (yes grapes!), cream, and white wine. While chicken breast is chicken breast, the sauce made all the difference, a very interesting taste with actual pieces of grape in it. Though I’m not used to having chicken served this way, I like it.

Mushroom Soup and Garlic Bread – When the mushroom soup came, I was already more than half full and wasn’t exactly overly keen on “just mushroom soup”. Grace proved me wrong, the soup actually have bits of onion, potato, shitake mushroom, and celery in it that made the taste and texture that much better. Goes very well with the garlic bread too!

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
Suan doesn’t eat oyster, so I had extra. Grace the friendly owner

This is certainly one of the best lunches I’ve ever had. I really really wish Kensington can open a branch just outside next to my house. The price is very affordable, and the food is excellent, combined with a comfortable dining area, there isn’t anything to complain about.

I am sure I will go there again, after all, going to Seremban can actually be faster than heading down town KL sometimes.

map to Era Square, Seremban
Kensington is situated at Era Square, just 5 minutes from Seremban Toll

Address:
Kensington Western Restaurant
34, Jalan Era Square 3,
Era Square,
70200 Seremban, N. Sembilan

GPS: 2.726541, 101.931442
Tel:
06-768 7288