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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / winnie

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!
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
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
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
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
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!
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!
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
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
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.

websitelegoland.com.my

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.

Thanks to the good people at ROYCE, I got my hands on a few limited edition chocolates slated for their upcoming ROYCE Maccha Fair (available from 1st August, 2013 for limited time) a short while ago. Since Lance invited us for his almost-birthday BBQ party at Genting last week, I took the opportunity to bring those chocolates some 1000 meters above sea level for sharing.

ROYCE Maccha Fair chocolates and the bunch at Genting
ROYCE Maccha Fair chocolates and the bunch at Genting

I’ve previously wrote an entry on ROYCE chocolate and was impressed with the quality of this chocolate maker from Hokkaido, therefore I was quite keen to sample this latest offering.

While many choose to buy chocolates in duty free shops, ROYCE is one of the very few brands that have their outlets in various malls around Klang Valley (check location here), offering a wide range of chocolate products.

To me, the only downside is that they don’t serve coffee on location since these two goes so well together.

ROYCE Maccha Almond chocolate, Kerol as the model
ROYCE Maccha Almond chocolate, Kerol as the model

Anyway, lets talk about these Maccha Fair chocolates.

The Maccha Almond chocolate is pretty self explanatory. Roasted almond coated with green tea flavoured chocolate on the outside. There is something about nuts that always goes well with chocolates, and I think this goes extremely well with beer too.

Lance & Haze with ROYCE's Prafeuille Chocolat
Lance & Haze with ROYCE’s Prafeuille Chocolat

ROYCE’s Prafeuille Chocolat made by having fragrant green tea sauce sandwiched between light-textured chocolate and mixed with powdered green tea leaves. A box of this contains 30 pieces of chocolates, all individually wrapped.

The taste of green tea is very strong and suppresses the aroma of chocolate somewhat. Whisky did not go well with this, but I believe coffee would be lovely. Kinda reminds me of those minty chocolates you get for Christmas, except this one tastes a whole lot better. Perfect for those who loves green tea, but if you just want the taste of chocolates, this might not suit.

Michael enjoying some ROYCE Nama chocolate - Machha
Michael enjoying some ROYCE Nama chocolate – Machha

Then there’s the Nama chocolate, ROYCE’s most famed product. This is one of the smoothest and tastiest chocolate you can get. Laced with a hint of liquor with perfect balance between the aroma of green tea and fragrances of chocolate, this was pretty much everyone’s favorite of the night, including myself.

If calorie intake and money isn’t a problem, I want ROYCE Nama chocolate to be in my fridge at all time. So good!

You can find locations of Royce’ stores in Malaysia from http://www.e-royce.com/english/shop/shopintheworld/malaysia.html and their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ROYCEMalaysia

it was Lance's birthday BBQ celebration, did it like a rock star
it was Lance’s birthday BBQ celebration, did it like a rock star

Well, the chocolate was just desserts for this awesome BBQ party that we had. Lance made us plenty of awesome BBQ goodness, which includes lamb rack, steak, bacon, mushroom with cheese, chicken, salad, clam chowder, and more.

The birthday cake for the boy was a pavlova cake from Alexis at Bangsar, which is of course, one of the best pavlova cakes you can get (Serai serves pretty good pavlova too).

plenty of drinks, meat, and good times with friends
plenty of drinks, meat, and good times with friends

Mike’s job for the night was handling all the alcohol related drinks since Ahfa was unable to join us on to night. We had great fun as always, and as always, looking forward to the next session!

And it was another Xmas Eve Party at SS3, a yearly tradition that we’ve had since 2004 (except for 2010), if you’re counting, this was the 8th time on the same venue with the same concept – plenty of drinks, a bit of food, and a tricky gift exchange program by midnight.

The idea is for everyone to have some fun counting down to Christmas day, and at the same time an excuse to have a few drinks and mingle among like minded friends.

xmas eve party at SS3, 2012
xmas eve party at SS3, 2012

Carlsberg Malaysia was kind enough to sponsor us some beer for the night – we had 2 cases of Carlsberg, Asashi Super Dry, and Kronenbourg Blanc each. Thank you Pearl, Calvin, and Serin!

I made full use of the Jagermiester freezer and Carlsberg beer tower I won from the Jagermiester Halloween Party a couple months ago.

I made some bergedil, haze marinated pork for bbq, Fresh made santa berries
I made some bergedil, haze marinated pork for bbq, Fresh made santa berries

Other than the beer, we prepared some food for the night. Haze marinated more than 3 KGs of pork for BBQ and prepared a small slab of roast pork, I made some bergedil, and Fresh prepared her little cute Santaberries.

It wasn’t a dinner event, so these were just beer food.

Jeniffer & Jenine; Fooi, Sam, Kerol, Terence; Shany & Desmond, Eiling, Horng
Jeniffer & Janine; Fooi, Sam, Kerol, Terence; Shany & Desmond, Eiling, Horng

Guests started coming in just slightly before 9 pm. In fact, David and Michael actually went to my place while we were out having dinner, talk about being too punctual.

Fresh, Huss, Janine, Winnie & Terence, KY, Erin, Yuki, Martin
Fresh, Huss, Janine, Winnie & Terence, KY, Erin, Yuki, Martin

The returning party goers were:

KY, Haze, Horng, Yuki, Kim, Gareth, Terence, Kerol, Ruby, Michael, Li Ling, Lance, Eiling, Yee Hou, Firdy, Zess, Shiang.

Fiqa, Eiling, Ruby & Desmond, Terence, Vindy, Cherlyn, Desmond, Terence

Fiqa, Eiling, Ruby & Desmond, Terence, Vindy, Cherlyn, Desmond, Terence

New Faces were:

Fiqa, Huss, Fresh, Erin, Martin, Jennifer, Janine, Winnie, Fooi, Desmond, Sam, Geoffery, Shany, Cheryn, Vindy, David, Gary

So that was 17-17 with a total of 34 people, a pretty nice turn out despite a few notable absence due to work, travel, and family commitments. You know who you are, and we hope to see you next year.

David, Yee Hou, Desmond, Michael, Kerol, Horng, Firdy, Gary
David, Yee Hou, Desmond, Michael, Kerol, Horng, Firdy, Gary

We had another fun filled gift exchange program with the following rules this year

  • every participant contribute a gift worth over RM 49.90, and then draw a number from the box
  • smallest number start by picking and unwrapping a gift
  • next number can snatch the opened gift, whereby the person who lost it gets to choose another gift, or snatch another opened gift
  • maximum of 3 snatching sequence per round

The most snatched gift was a sweet Puma Ducati bag from Fooi that’s actually retailed at over RM 300, Lance went home with it. Other memorable gifts include portable air bed, Chinese liquor, ice cream, Thor’s Hammer bottle opener, a couple of salami from Australia.

Terence ended up with a pair of blue lingerie, who would have thought, right?

Gary, Geoffery, Horng; Yee Hou, Fresh, Yuki, Haze; and finally, the drunken man
Gary, Geoffery, Horng; Yee Hou, Fresh, Yuki, Haze; and finally, the drunken man

The men in blue visited us by around 2 am and that’s when the party was winding down. The ending of this party is almost exactly the same as the one in 2008 where we had a dude in Afro K-O-ed on the floor. It was a blast.

See you guys next year!

Some 9 or 10 years ago a friend brought me to a Malay/Mamak place that was pretty special. There were tables set under and around a garden, and even a few on platforms set on trees, like childhood tree houses. I also remember the place to be beautifully lit, and that they served some decent food as well.

I had no knowledge of its location since I wasn’t family with KL then. It wasn’t till I mentioned to Yuki about this place that I found out it was actually Naili’s Place at Sentul.

We decided to check it out a few weeks ago.

Naili's Place, not your average night time hangout
Naili’s Place, not your average night time hangout

The place has probably changed a bit since my first visit almost a decade ago. It looks quite a lot cleaner and more comfortable. There are trees sprawling throughout the place, and yes, the tree houses are still there, but you’d have to be very lucky to get those tables unless you call ahead.

We picked a spot near the bar and ordered our dinner, it was on a raised platform with shoes off, pillows, and low table. Comfortable and informal. The music in the background goes well with the type of food served too.

tomyam seafood, nasi lemak, nasi temasik
tomyam seafood, nasi temasik, nasi lemak, 

The menu is pretty extensive (available on their website here), they serve local delights, Western foods, snacks, and some “special” drinks.

The Mixed Tomyam (RM 15) got the seal of approval from Haze & Yuki. It was a pretty big serving loaded with chicken, squid, prawns, mushroom, and does carry a kick. Positively spicy, and goes really well if you’re having some rice to go with.

I had the Temasik Rice Special (RM 12.90) and that came with spicy shrimp, beef rendang, and fried chicken alongside butter rice. This is similar to Madam Kwan’s Nasi Bojari but with better value, and equally as tasty. Make sure you’re really hungry before ordering this.

Nasi Lemak (RM 6.90) here tastes pretty decent too, it comes with a choice of  Rendang Chicken, Rendang Beef
or Sambal Sotong.

naili's special fried rice, "twin mermaid", fried chicken wings
naili’s special fried rice, “twin mermaid”,  fried rice with beef rendang

Naili’s Special Fried Rice (RM 12.90) is a pretty decent dish that came with fried chicken wings, fried egg, and keropok, but in my opinion the Temasik Rice Special is a superior dish at the same price.

We also ordered the twin mermaid (RM 14.9) to share, the fish can be either deep fried or grilled, we had the former since the grill wasn’t ready yet. They tasted pretty decent especially with the condiment, I’d love to try their ikan bakar next time though.

Winnie, KY, Horng, Haze and Yuki
Winnie, KY, Horng, Haze and Yuki

We didn’t try any Western food at Naili’s, they serve salmon, lamb chop, steak, chicken chop, pizzas, pastas, and even burger. It’s a pretty sweet place to hang out that is friendly to most everyone (it is halal). Other than Sentul, Naili’s place has branches at Ampang Point, Uptown, and USJ Taipan.

map to Naili's place, Sentul

Address:
Naili’s Place
116C, Kampung Chempedak,
Jalan Taman Dato’ Senu,
51000 Sentul, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.194678, 101.69353
Tel: 019 2020755, 019 393 0878, 013 205 6419, 019 919 2165
Website: www.nailisplace.com

Restaurant Goldview Hakka Food, situated next to Giant at Taman Paramount, is one of those restaurants that is somewhat a victim of its location for the fact that it is located just a stone’s throw away from the more established Kong Sai, the famous herbal soup & rice stall that is Meng Kee, and another rather popular outdoor tai chao place – Ming Heong.

This was why it took us all these while before finally giving it a try, and that turned out to be a nice little surprise.

Restaurant Goldview Hakka Food at Seapark
Restaurant Goldview Hakka Food at Seapark

Restaurant Goldview has a pretty basic set up, there’s air conditioning indoor and a couple of tables outdoor on the balcony. Interior decoration was done probably in 5 minutes, but it is clean, and the tables & chairs are rather comfortable.

The photos here are from 2 separate visits.

"fa tiu kai", omelete with preserved vegetable, hakka fried pork with black fungus
“fa tiu kai”, omelet with preserved vegetable, hakka fried pork with black fungus

“Fa tiu kai” (RM 19, medium), a type of clay pot drunken chicken cooked with Chinese wine, is as good here as anywhere I’ve had. The flavor seeps its way through the poultry and mixing those sweet, fragrant sauce with steamed rice will leave you wanting for more.

We also love the simple “choi poh fried egg”, or omelet with preserved vegetable (RM 6, small), though usually taken with porridge, it goes pretty well with rice as well.

Hakka fried pork with black fungus (RM 12, small) is one of my favorite dishes in Hakka cuisine (New Grand View’s wantan mee has this), but the version here was just passable in taste, perhaps the pork we had wasn’t fatty enough, or that the taste of namyu (preserved red bean curd) was not as strong as I prefer.

salted steamed chicken, "mui choi kao yok"
salted steamed chicken, “mui choi kao yok”

Hakka salted chicken (RM 12, small) is a steamed chicken dish that carries a hint of saltiness, goes pretty well with rice, and would have been better with a more superior (chili) sauce or other condiment. This is something that Kong Sai fared better, but truth be told, it didn’t disappoint.

We love the “mui choi kao yok” (RM 12, small) here, the cut was excellent. Those glistering fats in between layers of meat topped with that perfectly cooked skin, oh my. I can have this pretty much every meal. I suspect that their “wu tao kao yok”, or yam with pork belly, should be equally as good.

and the spicy soup "lat thong" was superb! KY, Winnie, Horng, Yuki
and the spicy soup “lat thong” was superb! KY, Winnie, Horng, Yuki

Last but not least, for those who can read the signboard in Chinese, you’d notice that spicy soup is mentioned on their business name. So naturally, we had to order a bowl to share.

There’s a choice of kampung chicken, pork stomach, and lala as the main ingredient. We had wanted to try lala but ended up with pork stomach (RM 14, small) instead due to availability.

The soup was super peppery and spicy, but in a good way. It was one of the bests we’ve tried and I dare say, on par with Kien Kee at Seri Kembangan. If you find yourself here, this is a must order.

map to Taman Paramount

We ended up with less than RM 15 per person for dinner, excellent value for pretty awesome food. This is a place that we surely will visit again. Other dishes that I wanted to try include trotter vinegar, sweet sour intestine with pineapple, salted fish steamed pork, ginger duck, and more.

Hakka food might not be the most popular type of Chinese cuisine, but you should definitely check this place out.

Address:
Goldview Hakka Food Restaurant
26, Jalan 20/16A
Taman Paramount
Petaling Jaya
46300 Selangor
GPS: 3.107092, 101.62475
Tel012-321 2725
Operation Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm (Closed on Tuesday)