Sunday, September 20, 2015

Huey & Wah Marshmallows

Years ago, I chanced upon Huey and Wah marshmallows, thanks to Big supermarket. After being satisfied with the marshmallows we bought, we decided to do a bulk order, as a giveaway, for my daughter's birthday party. We were happy and satisfied.

One time, we went to Penang, we visited their cute little cafe. It was nice to meet the people behind their brand. And we had a memorable visit.

Fast forward many years, we were pleasantly happy to see that they came to Publika, for a short 3-day exhibition. There was KAFFA, a cafe exhibit in the middle of Publika. We went to Publika especially for that -- to drop by and say hi and buy some marshmallows!

They were making SMORES on the spot, and offered many new flavours.

I opted for my usual weakness -- salted caramel. While my daughter took her usual Chocolate flavour.

For lovers of marshmallows and want a good quality (and artisanal), try their goods!

Making Smores... check out the flame!

Inserting melted marshmallows into the biscuit

Happy girl!

Selection they had

My weakness -- Salted Caramel!

Huey And Wah

368-1-14, Bellisa Row,
Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang
+604 . 228 3962

Noriter Cafe at One Mont Kiara: Birthday Party Review

I first wrote about Noriter Cafe months back, for Mother's Day. Old review can be seen HERE.

Since it was a good experience, I decided to throw my son's 2nd birthday party at their location. It seemed like an easy task, since I can get some assistance from Noriter to organize it.

The birthday celebration was held on a Sunday lunch time, 11am - 2pm. In true Malaysian fashion, most of the people came at about 12 noon already, which was expected. Usually, Noriter rents out for 2 hours, and you will need to pay extra to extend to 3 hours. We had a dilemma as well as another birthday party was booked after us... so it was kind of a rush to pack up in the end.

I'm going to share my honest review of what happened so that people can make their own choices when it comes to your child's birthday party. That way, you know what to expect. I will also give my comparison against the other experiences, where I held a party for my daughter in other locations such as Kids E World in Gardens Mall, as well as J KIDS at Publika.

Things I liked about Noriter:
  • The owner Jason was very helpful in everything. Even their staff are also helpful and friendly. They have the service to help you organize some of the party stuff, such as putting some signages, setting up balloons, etc. Of course, all that for a reasonable fee.
  • Location is easy to access. If you are like me, you will most likely want to drag stuff to the party, like your own food, give-aways, etc. You can take the lift (elevator) from the basement parking straight to the cafe area. Likewise if you have tons of gift to bring home afterwards!
  • The decoration which they already have in place is sufficient for a nice photo opportunity. It doesn't take much to decorate the place up. Great for people who want to have memorable photos and ample lighting (due to the location of Noriter it is near the rooftop and good sunlight during the day time).
  • They allow you to bring your own food, after you have fulfilled the minimum requirement payment based on the number of adults and children you have estimated. They have a checklist of things if you want to do a party. Talk to them so they can help you plan and estimate it.
  • They had their own branded plastic bags -- if in case you need (suddenly) to give out additional stuff. I wanted to give away some of the cold-pressed juices, and forgot to bring our own plastic bags, Luckily, they provided it.
  • They provide easels for you to make your own signage. They also have pillars where you can hang your own birthday announcement. I made all our own signages to ensure the theme was well executed.
  • Jason, the owner was flexible and agreed to allow me to bring my own cold-pressed juices as I explained that it's my own company and I wanted guests to enjoy the juices that day.
Compared to the children other parties I have made:
  • Noriter is picturesque and well-lighted
  • The young kids (from 6 months old - 5 years old) really enjoyed playing in the play area. They all stayed and didn't want to leave yet. The play area is small, but full of interesting toys. It is safe for young kids and one can easily keep an eye on the kids. Unlike the parties at Kids E-World (which is a HUGE place), you can rest and chat with people while your kid is inside the play area. J-Kids at Publika is also manageable inside, as it is not too big, yet not too small. Though so far, this is the best venue for young kids ... and I would recommend it for max up to 5 years old.
  • One can bring own food here, unlike Kids E-World, which totally disallows everything. They want to charge you for everything there -- inclusive of bottled water, etc. Their food catering was so-so. I wouldn't do it again as I found the food really below par as to what you are paying for. It would have been a good option for them to allow people to pay and also bring their own stuff to add to the food.
  • For J-Kids, they completely allow you to bring all the food you want! They just want to charge for the venue and the number of kids coming to the party.

Needs Improvement:

  • The food that we paid for, based on the listing, was below my expectation in terms of execution. The fruit platter was mediocre. The rice ball was okay, though people didn't eat much of it. For the price of the afternoon tea time set, it was also extremely small and mediocre. I guess that is expected perhaps for a captured market? I seriously think they can improve themselves in this area. It would make more happy customers if they placed a little more love, effort and care into what they are charging vs what they are serving.
  • I decided not to take a photo of the final bill since I was a bit put off about what happened in the ending. I was happy more people came in the end, that what I expected and assumed. Jason, the owner, went ahead to charge me all the additional heads who arrived -- which is okay and fair. However, the charges he did, which should equate to additional food, did not happen. He informed me that it seemed there was a lot of food already, so they didn't prepare anything anymore. I didn't want to ruin a good party and just left it at that. Whoever wants to do a party there, just be informed of the consequences, or perhaps inform him early that if he is going to charge additional heads, he should at least bring out the food which is what you are already paying for.
  • Back to back parties are really stressful due to the timing, and the need to shoo away all your guests because you need to pack up as well. Though they were quite helpful in the packing up, since they want to ensure the next party will be satisfied with their set-up time. 
  • Air Conditioning at One Mont Kiara (at that Noriter floor) is not sufficient. At that area, it can get very warm and hot, depending on how sunny it is that day. Noriter has electric fans on standby, which is good to cool down the place. Though it kind of blows away those pretty balloons that you have set up.

In conclusion.... would I recommend this place?  YES, I WILL.  All the guests -- both adults and kids, had a good time. And that is what's important.

Just wanted to share all the experiences, so it may help other people out there.

In terms of expenses, the party at Kids E-World (the Gardens) is the priciest of all. Followed by Noriter. JKids is the most affordable and flexible venue.

Birthday at Noriter Cafe in One Mont Kiara

Birthday cake, this was bought from another supplier (a fiend of mine who makes cakes)

Our very own cold-pressed juices 

Birthday Boy and daddy

The place has good lighting. Good for some solo shots!

Easy to decorate the area. All the guests had a good time.

Kids enjoying the toys 

Juices for kids and adults

Playing with the car and reading books

Our helper and birthday boy. Balloons set-up , simple yet effective.

With some of our guests 

blowing of cake

Family Picture

Busy playing

A Happy Ending.

Noriter Cafe
2nd Floor of One Mont Kiara Mall
1 Jalan Kiara, KL 50480
Jason - 010-2953099

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nara Kitchen Again at Damansara Utama

This is my third visit to Nara Kitchen, all three times were for breakfast. This third round was solely for hubby to get to try some of the stuff which I enjoyed in the past visits. 

At first glance, their menu doesn't have much for breakfast -- same comment from my husband in his maiden visit to Nara. I noticed that most of their menu is more for lunch time. Though I totally appreciate the thought that they open at 8am on weekends. I love early morning breakfasts, which is hard to find. Most places open at 9 am or even 10 am -- which leaves me missing Manila, where some breakfast places as early at 7am!

Meantime, my own observation in the three visits, I have seen customers who sat down inside Nara, looked at the menu, and left. This didn't happen only once. I suspect there is a disconnect on the expectation of breakfast. They were probably on a search for the typical eggs, ham and bread combo. And I don't blame them. There are days I would love to have that... and perhaps one day Nara would also consider to do that.

We enjoyed our round of waffles, and breakfast pudding. The granola was okay, nothing to shout about, though I love the presentation. Breakfast pudding was creamy -- and I shared with my 2-year old son. Waffles was a hit, daddy and little girl finished it.

Coffee was once again, just okay. 

My daughter tried the hot chocolate. Looked nice, but she didn't manage to finish it.

Would I come back again? Yes. But it will be to try our their lunch or dinner menu.

Staff are friendly. Nice little place. Worth visiting, and you be the judge.

They are located beside The Good Batch, another cafe, which I am yet to check out.

Standing at the window of Nara Kitchen

Beautiful Breakfast Pudding

Hot Chocolate


Partial view of their Menu

Coffee (and a Shopkin!)


Bill for 2 adults and 2 kids

Nara Kitchen & Co.
61 SS21/1A, 47400 Petaling Jaya (uptown)
Located facing the main road. Beside the Good Batch. Alongside Soft Srve and Wondermilk.
They accept credit card now.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Number 76 Bangsar Hair Makeover

With my busy schedule and trying to squeeze in quality time with the kids, it's hard to find time for myself. I took a few hours off from work today to treat myself to a makeover, as my hair was in dire need of cutting and some TLC (tender love and care).

I booked with Number 76 Salon, as I trust Yoshi can do his magic. He carefully listens to your concerns, wishes, wants (and dreams, haha!). You can be sure that he is all ears and wants to understand exactly what you want.

After a short explanation, he brought his Japanese magazine and showed me some photos. I pointed out to what I wanted ... and the process began.

Despite being a weekday, their salon was always buzzing with customers. Ironically, the salon that I came across before reaching the upper floor, where Number 76 is, are all empty. They all had nice interiors and I am sure the people are talented too, however people were just not going. Or I caught them on a bad time?

Salon 76 Bangsar 1, located in front of Bangsar Village (entrance is near Tous Les Jours bakery). Access it via the escalator and go 2 times upwards.

The staff are friendly and they serve tea, coffee and water (with a cute biscuit). Much needed if you are like me -- staying for 3 hours (or more). You can get thirsty just by sitting there!

Service was a bit slow, simply because Yoshi was attending to so many people! Everyone wanted him to cut their hair or have a chat with him to get his opinion. I sat there for a good 20 minutes waiting for him... though I didn't mind because from a business perspective, I know he is trying to be good to all the clients.

I went to the salon at 3pm. And I left at 7pm. In that time that I spent inside the salon, I did the following: haircut, digital perm and treatment. The products they use all smelled good. And in the end, I was happy with the result -- which is the most important of all. Getting what you have in mind is the most wonderful feeling a woman can get after a salon session.

Documented my experience through photos below. I would highly recommend this place for people who DO NOT WANT to risk anything. People who want results and taken cared of by an expert Japanese stylist... this is the place to be. The Chinese staff who were assisting Yoshi were all very nice and soft-spoken. They always do some Japanese greeting when people walk into the shop, when you are about to do a hair wash in the washing area, and also when you are going back to your seat. 

Wasn't able to capture a "Before" picture for the day. However, the end result photo is there below.

After the hairwash -- which is the initial stage before you get into anything else. They also served some refreshments while you wait. They had the latest magazines as well, to keep you entertained.

Getting a haircut before anything else

That's Yoshi behind, doing his magic!

Yoshi working hard in putting the perm rollers in place

That's me --- from behind! Check out the kick-ass machine they have for perming. It took less than 10 minutes (I think) to perm the hair. No bad smell also (unlike traditional perm). It really is Japanese technology!

Yikes! The result after removing the perm curlers... don't worry, it's not as curly as it looks!

Smile time with the staff assisting Yoshi

Applying the cream after all the perming, It didn't sting nor smell. I am loving this Japanese tech they have for the hair. Much better experience than my usual digital perm at Korean salon that I used to frequent

All wrapped up after the treatment. I took the MILBON AQUA SMOOTH VEIL treatment, which was recommended for someone who just did a perm. The other popular one, which is Ultrasonic Premium, Yoshi was afraid it will straighten out the hair , so we didn't do that one this round. 

All smiles after everything that I endured. Smiled until I had no more eyes left. Haha!

Et Voila! Selfie on the street right after the salon session

Number 76 Salon Bangsar 1

The entrance from the street view. Go up the escalator

My bill for today!
September promotion worth checking out

The space where they create beautiful hairstyles

Number 76 Salon Bangsar 1 

Tel:            +603 2284 0076 / 0176

10:00 - 19:00 (Closed on Monday)
Shop 9 & 10, No. 39-2, Level 2, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Shopkins in Malaysia

Prior to our Manila trip a month ago, I had no idea what Shopkins was.

My daughter seems to have caught onto the Shopkins fever through the occasional YouTube. I sometimes allowed her to use my iPad *yikes* and she discovered Shopkins there.

I only became aware of it when we were in Manila ... obviously my sister and mom spoiled the little kiddos, who came with me, and went on a toy shopping spree.  My daughter chose Shopkins, which at that time, seemed ummm... different (to me). For someone who didn't know what it was, I was kind of expecting more from it. I didn't understand why the little figures mattered. Nothing moved. It wasn't Disney stuff. There was no cartoons (at least to my knowledge) on our Netflix back in Malaysia. Hmmm... this is a mystery!

Fast forward after a few weeks ... specifically in the month of August. I had to breathe a sigh of relief. Thankfully my sister and mom bought her Shopkins because it seems Toys R Us in Malaysia ran out of it. The ones we visited (Bangsar, Plaza Damas) didn't have any Shopkins at all.

Fast forward August also -- I was much aware of how to play it and why it's so popular. They are encouraging kids to collect all the hundreds (YES HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS) of Shopkins! And everything is promoted through online only. They didn't even have a proper full-length cartoon! Just snippets of 1-2 minutes  video. However, they had a lot of "seeding" wherein kids are playing and doing a monologue as they open their Shopkins and collecting them. Genius. These people really knew how to reach out to the kids in this modern day!

After careful googling, this desperate mother finally saw one blog that mentioned that Hamley's at One Utama may have it -- because she was able to buy it there. Of course, being the mother that I was, I made it into my objective for that weekend to head towards One Utama.

We dropped by Toys R Us before walking to Hamley's and saw there was a rack with limited Shopkins packs... so I took note of what was available and went to Hamley's.

There at Hamley's, the experience is soooooo much better .... space for kids to run around, the staff were knowledgeable and friendly. And their display execution was much, much more classier.

Imagine my daughter (and mine, too) excitement when we saw a whole rack of Shopkins! Daddy bought her one pack and she was so happy.

I went back to Toys R Us to buy some small packs (to keep as reward gifts from time to time). Imagine the shock : some of those that I took pics of were not there anymore. Half of the rack was finished. All in just 2-3 hours time. Shopkins marketing is GOOD!

Posing in front of Hamley's Shopkins rack

Giving daddy a great big hug !

Came back for these at Toys R Us and they ran out. All i have is a photo of it! 

Cheaper price for the 5-pack since this is from Season 1 
Newer seasons are priced higher. Currently they are at Season 3 already (according to my source... hahah my little girl!)


The official Shopkins TV Commercial

Blind Basket Opening Video  (seems like one of the more famous videos which my daughter has been watching)

Opening 30 baskets in one video (I wonder why kids love watching this? I guess it is entertaining!)

Nara Kitchen at Damansara Utama

Fell in love with the pictures I saw on Instagram, so decided to check out this new place called Nara Kitchen. One thing that caught my attention, apart from the nicely taken pictures and soothing ambience, is that fact that they open 8am on weekends.

I look forward to returning there with my family. Simply because I have always wanted a few things, which are simple, yet hard to find in Kuala Lumpur:

1. A place that always opens early. The only other decent 8am place for breakfast is Antipodean. And we have been patronizing Antipodean for the past 5 years now. Finally, some new addition!

2. I want plain and simple waffles. The last few places were a disaster. The pancakes or waffles are always overloaded and covered. Here, I could have it plain and simple. With homemade butter and maple syrup.

3. Coffee was good. I want a good cup of coffee together with the simple waffles. They even served it with Acme cups -- my kind of place already!

4. Happy and friendly service. The owner (i think), the lady there was so cheerful and welcoming. Even the other staff were very attentive. In fact, before we entered the cafe, there was a staff standing outside -- simply welcoming customers.

Breakfast for Two

Outside view of Nara Kitchen in Uptown

Breakfast for 2 pax

Simple and nice -- the way I like my waffles. Nothing complicated.

Beautiful and creamy overnight oats. Healthy and lovely to look at.
They seem to have different opening hours for weekdays and weekends. Based on their latest Facebook / Instagram posting, it shows that as of September 2015, they open as early as 8am for weekends. While weekdays will be 12 noon to 10pm (because they want to cater to the dinner crowd).

Will surely go back to try out other stuff.

Nara Kitchen
61 Jalan SS21/1A Damansara Utama (Uptown) Petaling Jaya, Selangor

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