Tag / sister
When I was very young my late dad told me about this place where they build model of cities with LEGO called LEGOLAND. I thought that must be the most awesome thing ever. I mean, the whole place full of real LEGO? I thought my imitation pasar malam Lego pieces were pretty sweet, but a LEGOLAND? That must be something!
we got our tickets, here we go, LEGOLAND!
Fast forward almost 30 years later, here we are, we have LEGOLAND Malaysia in our own backyard (sort of) at Johor.
I went there twice in the span of 4 weeks, first with a bunch of jokers averaging some 30 years of age, and the second time with my sister, brother, my niece, Haze, and my cousin’s son.
Fun fact: did you know that our first visit would not be possible in some countries which denotes that adults must be accompanied by children? LEGOLAND at Toronto is one such place, read the news about a 63 year old man passed away without being able to realize his dream of visiting LEGOLAND.
He should have travelled to Johor!
you don’t need to act your age when at LEGOLAND (pics from Winnie)
Getting into the park isn’t exactly cheap. On our first visit we paid RM 300 for 2 pax with a free one night hotel stay at Grand Sentosa in JB from some group buying sites.
If you’re paying normal entrance price, it’ll come to RM 120 per MyKard holder, while Malaysian kids pay RM 90. You do get RM 10 worth of food voucher for every ticket.
Foreigners will have to fork out RM 140 & RM 110 for adults & kids respectively, no food voucher for them. I’m not complaining.
Miniland is the bomb! I think they were shooting Bollywood film
LEGOLAND Malaysia is separated into a few areas, all of which has direct access to the all important MINILAND in the middle. This was what my dad told me when I was a little boy, cities built with Lego bricks!
There were scenes of supposedly famous places from 17 Asian countries. I recognised KLCC and KL downtown area, the Merdeka Square, Taj Mahal (there was couple Bollywood shooting on our second visit!), Merlion statue, Angkor Wat, and more.
more Miniland buildings, I love the way they use bonsai as trees
The MINILAND was indeed impressive, I particularly love the fact that they use bonsai as miniature trees too.
There were also train tracks with miniature LEGO train that’s supposed to go around the different cities, but they didn’t seem to be operating when we were there. I sure hope this is not the norm. Malaysia has a reputation of not having good upkeep on our theme parks, but this is supposedly an international brand.
On a sunny day, this area stupifyingly hot. We were lucky that it was a cloudy day on our second visit and hence was able to spend a lot more time there. My advice? Bring an umbrella or a large hat, and ample sun screen too.
Dino Island ride, prepared to get wet
What my dad didn’t tell me was that LEGOLAND is more than just MINILAND, there are rides!
While not overly thrilling like those you find at more extreme and adult oriented theme parks such as six flags or King’s Island, LEGOLAND strikes a pretty good balance on their offering with decent amount of rides just for kids and others for adults as well as children.
The Dino Island ride is perfect right after going to MINILAND, for this is where you will definitely get pretty wet. I also suggest that you bring a bottle of water and pour it on your friend’s head while going down the big drop for extra kick.
Dragon and Project X roller coasters, thrills!
There are three roller coasters at LEGOLAND, Project X, one very mild The Dragon for kids, and another for children and adult.
Access to the main Dragon ride goes through the castle, and it was my favorite ride. Due to the children centric nature of the park, these rides are also some of the shortest in wait time, while other milder rides usually have much longer queue.
If you love to be thrilled, don’t miss out on these two rides. My very naughty and rather annoying cousin’s son was pale and all quiet after the rides, it was awesome.
Lego Train, Taasha on Royal Joust, and I scored 40000 on Lost Kingdom Adventure!
Another one of my favorites is the Lost Kingdom Adventure, which is basically a laser tag type of ride where you sit and shoot at targets, similar to the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster in Disneyland Hong Kong.
If you want to get higher score, make sure you sit at the front row of the 4 seater cart, otherwise your big friends right in front might block some of your shots.
with my brother, sister, Haze, niece, and my cousin’s son
Other attractions at the theme park includes many other rides that are quite mild, driving school for kids and toddlers, boating school thing (always a damn long line), observational tower, kids power tower (pull yourself up, very tiring), fire fighting game, Mindstorm classes (never had the time to do this), and more.
Joyce, Haze, Suan, Winnie, Gary, Shiang & friend
While it is not exactly on the same par with Disneyland (I’ve been to HK Disneyland & Tokyo’s DisneySea), LEGOLAND is still a pretty sweet place to visit and you can easily spend better part of a day there. I imagine the place would look pretty cool at night too, both our visits ended by late afternoon.
If I stay in Johor or Singapore, I’d probably get an annual pass.
P/S: Don’t eat the burger there, it tasted like cardboard soaked in meat sauce, I threw more than half of it away despite the fact that I was starving.
As promised on the Taman Desa Japanese BBQ post, here’s how you spend less than 1/4 the money and DIY some pork bbq goodness at home. An awesome BBQ chicken wing recipe is thrown in as well.
This BBQ was done several weeks ago when my sister and my niece were in KL to get their visa application finalised. They have moved to the states now.
pork, chicken wings, vege, we have it all. Kerol & FA working on the grill
pork belly BBQ:
- buy pork belly from the market, I paid RM 25 for about 15 portions of what you’d get from Taman Desa BBQ place, cut them in squares
- marinate with half a cup of cooking sake, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoon vinegar
- as for sauce, add chopped garlic to Japanese salad dressing (wafu dressing, shoyu vinegar)
- BBQ on medium heat till cooked
pro tip: soak the satey sticks in water for 5-10 minutes before BBQ to prevent burning
pro tip 2: don’t mix vege in between meat, they have different cooking time
came up with the recipe and marinated the pork, everyone loved it, need to make more next time
my sister & niece, with a few friends & ex housemates
awesome chicken wing BBQ:
- marinated chicken wings (together with drummets) with 3 parts oyster sauce, 2 parts soya sauce, and 1 part dark soya sauce
- add some pepper to the marinate
- let it marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge, longer = better
- BBQ over medium fire, poke the drummet – no juice coming out = cooked
instax pic with my sister, the niece, and me. =D
- er.. just put them on stick and burn away!
- add some salt to serve
That’s it, simple and yummy BBQ. The experiment was a success, will have a bigger BBQ party next time!
One of the hawker dishes that is always in my list whenever I go back to Penang is kuih teow soup (粿條汤), and especially those those that serves duck meat.
You can find pretty good substitutes for char kuih teow, hokkien mee, and even curry mee and laksa in KL, but when it comes to kuih teow soup, there’s very little choices in Klang Valley (I can only think of Penang One and O&S)
satu satu tiga is the name of the kopitiam
So on my previous visit to Penang a couple weekends ago for my sister’s farewell, we decided to have this for breakfast. Our initial destination was the famous kuih teow soup stall at Anson Road wet market (tried it once, my mom tapao, was excellent) but the eccentric operator wasn’t selling that day. So we decided to head to the shop at Lebuh Carnarvon, which was originally from Lebuh Armenian.
We turned into Lebuh Melayu to park the car, and that’s when we chanced upon this other kuih teow soup place by the name of Satu Satu Tiga (太牛后) and decided to give it a try.
kuih teow soup with fish ball & duck meat, we ordered extra duck meat/skin
We ordered three bowls of kuih teow soup and a plate of extras with “everything” in it to share.
The kuih teow soup was excellent. The soup subtle but has that sweet savory taste in it, duck meat soft, tender, and fish balls bouncy and flavorful. It was as good as anywhere.
my sister got an organ donor card too
The extras though, was even better! There were plenty of duck meat, skin, and intestine on a bed of crunchy bean sprouts with some fried garlic sprinkled on top. Anyone know where I can order this outside Penang? I miss it!
The same place also serves koay chap, they are open for business for breakfast and lunch. Try it if you’re in Penang.
Kedai Makan dan Minum Satu Satu Tiga
113, Lebuh Melayu,
GPS: 5.414283, 100.334341
HOurs: breakfast & lunch
In the past few years, quite a number of restaurants that has a primarily pork laden menu with good choices of beer (and wine) selections rose to prominence. Some of the more well known players are Brussels at Solaris & Jaya One, Berlin Biergarten at Solaris Mont Kiara, Weissbrau at Pavilion KL, Hoofed at TTDI, Racks at Changkat, Sid’s pub at TTDI/Bangsar South, and Jarrod and Rawlins at a few locations.
Now, it looks like the same trend is happening in Penang, one of the latest of such establishments is BeerBQ at Precinct 10 (right next to Island Plaza).
Beer BQ at Precinct 10, next to Island Plaza in Penang
First, a disclaimer. Two of my ex schoolmates are share holders of this restaurant, and they invited me to this review session. I’ve known these blokes for the past 20 odd years, they told me to treat this with honesty, like any other review, which I will gladly comply.
I like Precinct 10, it is a brand new commercial center that reminds me of suburban US. The shops are aligned in U shape with ample of parking in the middle. That way you never need to have a very long walk to any outlets. Most commercial areas packed in too many shop units with too little parking space, this place is a fresh departure from those greedy developer’s SOP.
wild mushroom soup, cauliflower soup, caesar salad
Now to the food. Together with mom, sister, brother, Haze, and Horng, we had the restaurant manager recommended us some of their signature dishes to share.
We started off with some complimentary bread, with plenty of butter.
Then the soups: Wild mushroom soup (RM m9.90) has all those chunky bits of mushroom which I like, and soup of the day (RM 7.90) that night was cauliflower soup with very smooth texture and slightly “strange” taste to me, but Haze and my siblings absolutely loved.
The Caesar salad (RM 15.90) has bacon, croutons, and chunks of Parmesan cheese in it, and was easily one of the best Caesar salad I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if this is the best for someone who’s on diet, but it was awesome!
buffalo wings, roast pork, smoked salmon salad
What’s a beer place without some good old beer food?
We tried their Buffalo Wings (RM 15.90) which has quite a kick, they were strongly flavored with homemade Hot BeerBQ sauce and really does go well with beer. Comes with Blue cheese dressing too!
Anyone who loves roast pork (RM 16.90) would agree that this is always the perfect finger food to go with beer. While I did find the skin for the roast pork a tad too chewy, it was overall still plenty satisfactory. They suggested Stella Artois to go with this, but I think any beer would work!
We also had the smoked salmon salad (RM 19.90) that came with home made cheese sauce. This is a dish most suited for those who are really on diet. Tastes decent.
BeerBQ pork ribs – succulent and yummy
Then we moved on to the real deal, the BeerBQ pork ribs (RM 38.90). Drenched in their signature BeerBQ sauce and very well marinated, this rack of ribs was tender and absolutely flavorful. If you have already order some starters, I recommend sharing this dish, the portion is rather generous for the price.
This is one of the better ribs I had.
BeerBQ seafood platter, fish and chips, brownies
Another main dish that we shared was the seafood platter (RM 40.90). There were king prawns, squid, mussels, clams, and even scallops. While the ingredients were superb, the platter is covered in the same BeerBQ sauce that I thought suited the ribs perfectly, but not quite well with seafood. It was a decent dish though, but I think perhaps the standard bread & fry preparation might work better here. Especially if you’ve already ordered the ribs.
My mom had a serving of fish and chips (RM 21.90), and she liked it. Mom helped sell fish at the market in the morning, so if she says that the fish is good, it is good.
At this point, we were pretty much stuffed, but was convinced to try their brownies (RM 8.90). We ended up finishing it in about all of 20 seconds, the brownies was top notch.
brother, sister, haze, myself, mom, and horng
Other than the dishes we tried, BeerBQ also serves five pasta dishes, rib eyes, grilled salmon, chicken chops, beef ribs, and lamb rack. Other beef food includes fries, calamari, fish fingers, and onion rings.
This is a real restaurant that does concentrate on their food instead of a beer place that “oh by the way we” also serves some food.
Konig Ludwig Weissbier, Franzishaner, Konig Ludwig Dunkel, Leffe
As for beer, there’s Hoegaarden, Carlsberg, and Franziskaner Weissbier on tap. On bottles they serve Konig, Franzishaner, Leffe, Stella, Budweiser, Erdinger, Beck’s, Lowenbrau, and more.
So if you’re looking for porky goodness and a cold one to spend the evening, this is a place to go in Penang.
Jalan Tanjung Tokong
GPS: 5.449262, 100.305524
Tel: 04-890 5157
Penang is a heaven for supper lovers, and if Gurney Drive is your destination, there isn’t a better place for these few yummy late night dishes than at Song River, one of the old school bangalow turned kopitiam eateries that has been gracing the 1-mile sea side road for decades.
ikan bakar stall does offer quite a few choices of fish, Haze & my sister
During our stay at Penang over Chinese New Year, we were lucky to be within walking distance from this place, the photos on this post were compiled from a few visits. Though I’d love to eat all these in a single seating… only my limited stomach space saves me from doing that.
The first must-have at Song River is the ikan bakar/ikan panggang (grill fish). As with most other places, you get to choose from 3-4 different types of fishes as well as prawns or squid. My go-to choice is always sting ray.
ikan bakar – positively hot
The wait time at this stall can sometimes be quite substantial, but the honest (or sometimes very blunt) operator will usually tell you up front: “have to wait 30 minutes wan”. Fine with me.
The grill fish here tastes almost completely different from anywhere else. The fish is covered in a special sauce that has a strong presence of fermented beans, belacan, chili, and shallots. The flavor is so intense that very little of the sauce on the side (which is probably made from similar ingredients) is needed.
This will leave the weak with inflamed tongue, but definitely worth it!
Song River bbq chicken wings
While waiting for the ikan bakar, you should grab some bbq chicken wings as appetizer.
For RM 2.20 a pop (or was it RM 2?), this is also one of the best chicken wings in town. The operator has perfected the BBQ timing to give the skin that crispy texture that you get just before screwing up and burning the whole thing (I usually mess this up).
This while the meat is tender, juicy, and the accompanying chili sauce is yummy too. They also serve BBQ drumstick and thigh.
cuttle fish with kangkung, classic Penang “junk” food
And while you’re at it, why not some cuttle fish with kangkung too?
The version here is not shabby either. This plate was RM 10 and came with plenty of cuttle fish with kangkung soaked in delicious prawn paste and chili sauce, good stuff.
You usually won’t need to wait for more than 5 minutes for this dish.
and this is how you have supper in Penang
All that is missing from these supper is of course, some ice cold beer. Damn it I am missing Penang food again.
Song River Cafe
65 Persiaran Gurney,
Tel: 012-488 8275
Tel: 017-477 7938 (chicken wings)