Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cheap convenient way to Singapore

The December holiday mood urges everyone (or should I say every woman) to go shop , shop, shop and take advantage of YES --year end sales. Hubby and I decided to take a short trip to ex-hometown Singapore. We haven't been back there for almost 4 years. We decided  to be adventurous and take the bus called Odyssey. It is super convenient and affordable. 2 Way trip cost around rm180, which includes a simple meal and drink. Total trip is around 4 hours. The ride was okay. The experience of crossing the border was a first for me as we usually take the plane. It was a breeze, no hassle at all. The Odyssey bus stand is so conveniently located at Mont Kiara (beside Coffee Bean and Las Vacas). We walked from our condo that morning departure.

The seats were comfortable and spacious.

Overall good experience road trip to Singapore via Odyssey.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birthday Getaway Celebration at The Club Saujana

My little girl turned one today. Time flies!
Just a year ago, I was at the hospital delivering my little one.. and now she do baby step walking already.
For the birthday celebration, we decided to keep it simple. Rather than throw a big party which she won't remember anyway.... we decided to just book ourselves to a nearby hotel and enjoy the good service. Stress-free celebration.

We made a right choice choosing The Club Sauajana. It was a short drive from Mont Kiara to that hotel. The lush greens around made you think you are not in the city anymore.

After reading several blogs, comments (tripAdvisor), we decided to give this place a try and indeed we were not disappointed.

A quick rundown on the POSITIVES of this hotel:
  • short drive from KL
  • great view from our room
  • they gave us a free upgrade to Terrace Suite
  • the "happy hour" club lounge free drinks at 530pm-630pm was nice... not only did they give free drinks, they had some free nibbles as well -- impressive foodies like carrot soup served in a glass shot and a spoonful of tasty risotto -- perfect company to our Perrier and white wine!
  • they were very quick with all requests we made -- when we called for extra body shower gel
  • the price we paid (we booked the Rejuvinate Package from their official website) includes everything in the mini-bar, this is a great concept! all the drinks you want!
  • aircon was very nice -- the room got cold quickly. the aircon system seems to be very new
  • the pool was very well maintained
  • lots of greeneries around... we were near the golf course... i would highly recommend to golfers!
  • the spa was superb! it was the most most most comforable massage bed we have ever experienced. the place is huge! the service was good also
  • free shuttle to the yummy Japanese restaurant Kogetsu (where I had a super yummy beef teppanyaki -- one of the best i have tried)
Well, not everything is perfect... so there are some points for improvement ...
  • I requested for a baby cot when I booked online, they forgot about it. I had to remind them 2 x when we checked into the room. Finally they sent it over when we were out for lunch
  • the room didnt have a hair dryer --  I kept looking for it... finally in the end I had to request for one
  • there were some small insects near the bathtub... although i assume it is hard to really maintain such a place especially with all the greens around -- prone to insects
  • they only provide 1 bath gel for the huge toilet ... dont know how that is enough if you will use some for the shower and some for the bath-tub... then again, i didnt allow them to come in and do "make-up bed for the evening"... they probably would have refilled?
  • the bar guy who was in charge of the happy hour at club lounge didn't service us immediately after we sat at the sofa, then when i asked about the drinks, he said that the service was over. When i walked to my handbag to get the phone, it showed 630pm... so i had to go and show him the time. in the end he said he can still serve last call. After we got first round of drinks, they came with the food nibbles then asked if we wanted a free second round of drinks which we declined.... i guess that good service made up for the earlier complaint that i have
  • no one taking care of the pool area.... every now and then there would be some staff, but most of the time no one is around so you have to take your own towel. maybe on weekends they are more staffed at the pool area?

Overall, we spend RM1,300 for 1 night stay. This included the Rejuvinate Package (which had 2 x Balinese massage), our lunch at Kogetsu and our dinner in-room.

Highly recommended for those looking for 5 star quality around town.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Boracay: how to get there from Malaysia

Ahh... the superb sand of Boracay (Philippines). Perfect weather. Sunny all year. Superb temperature as you jump into the clear waters of Boracay. My recent re-visit to the island was another good experience. The sincere service given by Pinoys (or Filipinos), plus the affordability and great location -- makes up a good vacation.

The Malaysians and expats in Malaysia always ask me about Boracay. How to get there. How much. What is Boracay.

Few bullet points:
  • I am a spoiled brat when it comes to beach quality and water temperature & clarity. This is because going to Boaracy spoiled me and made the standards so high!
  • Every cent you spend on Boracay trip will surely be worth it. Be it single person looking for adventure, party and getaway. Be it couples on honeymoon or lovey-dovey trip. Be it group of friends who want a getaway with adventure and food trip and diving.
  • Of course, this also depends on where you stay. Different hotels are differently priced. And if you stay in a ultra cheap place, well, maybe you won't have the super-duper service or experience,,, but honestly I don't think that will stop you from having a great time either
  • GOOD NEWS on flights. On our recent trip to Manila and Boracay (last September 2010), we took the CEBU PACIFIC flight. And we noticed that it now lands into the "new" airport Terminal 3. This means this is the same airport as the domestic flights that go to Boracay! So for Malaysians who fly to Philippines just for a Boracay trip.. this is what you do.... KUALA LUMPUR --> MANILA (there is only 1 flight out, which leaves 1am from KL and arrives 5am in Manila). You stay at the same airport, take your breakfast. Then catch a domestic flight to CATICLAN BORACAY. There are a number of different airlines you can catch. Check online (this shows a list of different airlines and flight times). Some airlines I have tried: Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, SeaAir and Asian Spirit. So many options to make sure you catch a direct flight instead of staying overnight in Manila
  • The flight from Manila to Caticlan Boracay is just 1 hour!
  • Then there will be a short ferry/ boat ride, then a car ride. This is slightly different from my past experience which is outdated now. Things seem to have a changed a bit.. modernization!
  • My personal recommended hotel (tried and tested, to avoid disappointment!!!!) I will arrange in order from Best to Good : Discovery Shores Boracay (perfect even if you have a baby !!!), SeaWind,  and Waling Waling. These are all located in Station 1 (the best side of the long stretch of beach in Boracay)

Happy trip! I swear ,,,, you will enjoy your visit to Boracay. My personal favorite despite all the other travels. Or maybe I haven't discovered some of the other superb beaches??? If you know any, do let me know!

Anniversary Gift Idea for Expat Couples

Whenever our wedding anniversary comes up, I panic. I try to think of fantastic getaways, which I used to succeed (during our engaged days and the first 2 years of marriage) -- simply because we were still "single and carefree" couples. Last year, when I was heavy & pregnant, we couldn't go anywhere and the only option was to splurge on a super-duper spa treatment (that catered to pregnant women). We went to Khayreyana Spa (after I reviewed some of the blog entries of other people -- thank heavens for online reviews!) They had masseuse who knew how to treat pregnant women, so I was overjoyed with that. We had a couple's room and did the whole 4-hour long spa treatment which came with scrub, bath, and massage. Overall it was a nice experience, but it will take a while before I go back. I prefer to be adventurous with our little indulgence. If I am not mistaken, we paid around RM 700 for our massage treatment at Khayreyana... and this price became that way because of the "upgrade" options on the scented scrubs (I was a sucker to fall for it!). Anyway if you are on a tight budget, I think this place is a good alternative. Different, very Malay influenced design. Not bad for a 1-time try.

Now let's move on to something more recent. This year's anniversary meant we couldn't escape anywhere as well because I will feel too guilty if baby doesn't come along with us. And if baby did come along without the nanny coming with us, that will mean to spa nor alone time with hubby. So again, the option was to go spa-splurge for our celebration. I searched. And searched. Then I finally had a good idea! After all the advertising that Hammam has done (at the Expat magazine, etc), it was time to finally try it. After a little online search, I saw that people who tried it were fairly satisfied. So we went ahead and booked.

To sum up the experience in very short bullet points:
  • For typical spa-goer like me, this is definitely DIFFERENT
  • If you are too shy to be scrubbed or splashed with water by a complete stranger, then please do no attempt to go
  • Or, if you are the above entry (a bit shy), please go there with you BIKINI or your SWIM TRUNKS. That will protect you a bit from all the exposure that will happen
  • Literally, there will be a person assigned to you who will scrub your whole body (while you are seated and standing up positions), and after the scrub they will take a plastic scooper to pour water on your body. Yes, it sounds like a mother bathing a child.
  • That is the "Hammam and Gommage" part... where they literally will scrub you clean and you can view your DEAD SKIN everywhere... "where did all that come from???"
  • They also make you lie down on a very warm tile... I found this relaxing and different from the sauna
  • The whole Hammam and Gommage was done by Moroccans for both me and hubby. They placed us in a toilet-looking thing (but with exotic Moroccan design). Then they do their thing. So for couples, at least you stay in the same "toilet" room
  • We had our 90 minute body massage afterwards, which were done by Indonesian masseurs
  • Overall we had to pay RM830 for everything. I found it pricey but it was worth the 1st time experience
  • they have a very pushy salesman-cum-receptionist (male) and will try to sell you a whole package. he really tried and tried. He is a pretty good salesman but I think a bit too pushy. Don't be "pushed" okay??? Just insist you want to pay for a 1-time experience and you need to think about it
  • I think overall - great experience especially if you need that "EXOTIC BREAK" with hubby. Though I honestly wouldn't go there every month for a relaxing massage.
Last but not least -- Avi Spa at Port Dickson.
  • short drive from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson
  • Superb, superb and I mean superb views from the room!
  • Fantastic staff, very welcoming, not pushy
  • After 4 trials (by myself and with my hubby), i think it is most worth it when you take the COUPLE'S room. Superb view. It wasn't so fantastic for me when I stayed at the single room. Not the same effect.
  • Price is reasonable. Please visit their site. I always take the AVI SIGNATURE RUB
  • Best time to go: always try to book the 4pm or 5pm massage. that way, after your massage you can enjoy the sunset view. super relaxing. love the view. makes the whole thing worth it
  • I would say this is the best choice if you need a short getaway, reasonable yet stunning view
  • See pictures below

Khayreyana Spa in Petaling Jaya
Khareyana Spa
36 Jalan Selangor
46050 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, MALAYSIA
T : +603 7958 6219
E : thespa@khareyana.com

Avi Spa Sdn Bhd
Avillion Port Dickson
3rd Mile, Jalan Pantai
71000 Port Dickson , Negeri Sembilan
t: 606.647.5740
e: info@avispa.com.my

Tel No 03-22822180
Bangsar Village 2 (highest floor of BV2)
You won't miss it.. the doors itself are designed very creatively with a "Moroccan" look

Monday, October 25, 2010

Affordable Japanese Lunch at Mizu in Bangsar Village 1

Parenthood has changed the way we spend weekends. Sundays are now dedicated to bringing our little princess to Gybmoree for her play class. That way she gets to see other little ones and also get to learn new things. She is 11 months old now, and getting more active everyday. As for Gybmoree in Bangsar, well, I will have another entry on that. It is a good place -- but honestly the management and the staff can be improved. Especially as it is pricey!

Nowadays, Sundays mean having a yummy lunch (to relax and enjoy)... and we would usually have our superb Japanese fare at Mizu. It is right beside the old MPH and nearby Gymboree (which makes it a strategic lunch place for parents!). The price for LUNCH menu is so affordable. I read on many blogs that if you go for dinner there (which means they don't make the lunch menu available), it could cost up to RM100 per person. This is of course depending how and what you order.

I didn't take any photos this time. If you do search online for MIZU BANGSAR, you will hit many blog entries who have great and fantastic photos. As for me, I just wanted to share to the community that it is a superb deal, especially on lunch time. I super, super love thier BEEF TERRIYAKI lunch set. The price is RM 30 only. This comes with Chawan Mushi, Soup, Fruit Dessert and of course the yummy beef and white rice.

Yesterday we had lunch there with another expat friend who has a little boy. It is a family-friendly place with high-chairs available for your little one. There is also enough space around, which  means you are not cramped.

Our lunch for 5 people -- 2 couples with babies and 1 nanny came with us... we ordered 5 sets and this is how the breakdown looks like for Japanese dining at Mizu:

Salmon Teriyaki Set - RM23
Beef teriyaki Set x 2 - RM60
Chicken Teriyaki Set - RM 20
Salmon Teppanyaki Set - RM 25

Sub total - RM128
Service Charge 10% - Rm 12.80
Tax - RM 6.40


If you are looking for Japanese fine dining at a good price... do visit this place! Details below.


1st Floor, Bangsar Village I, Bangsar, KL.
Tel: 03 – 2283 6988

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cruising at Putrajaya: nice experience

To the expats who have friends and family visiting KL, they know exactly how I feel -- need to cook up itinerary to keep 'em busy! Well, recently with family coming to visit the 3rd time around, I brought them to Putrajaya to experience the lake cruise.

After the recent movie Sex and the City2, my kid sister is fascinated with the Muslim architecture, so this trip to Putrajaya was interesting for her. She saw the huge mosque from the outside. Then we went for that lake tour which lasts for about 45 minutes. I even brought my baby along with the pram -- she is only 8 months old. Very suitable for families, whether you have children or elders.

You can visit their site for more info. Best to call to ensure they didn't cancel that day's schedule. At one point, I was also able to try a private cruise when our company booked it for a private function. The catering was done by Shangri-la Hotel and the set-up was superb. Highly recommended if you are looking for a different kind of dinner experience for a private function.

It's also a nice experience for newly arrived expats who have not seen Putrajaya yet.


Waxing in KL - Honeypot style!

To all the ladies who love pink & like to keep things "in order".... you will love the waxing place called HONEYPOT in Bangsar Shopping Centre. The place is oh-so-pinky and the room smells like sweet candy. And of course, the main highlight of the place is the experienced waxing therapist who would be using the pinky hot wax -- which is less painful than the traditional waxing. They don't use a cloth to pull out the wax. Rather, the wax hardens and they pull out the wax itself. So for those who have experienced waxing before, you will find this one less painful (if not no pain at all!). I swear -- the bikini wax I had was the most comfortable one I ever had!  To the first timers on waxing -- i need to warn you that honestly you will feel some kind of pain -- but after that first time, it will be a breeze. The therapist will explain to you why. You should see it for yourself!

Overall the ambience and cleanliness is top notch -- something I look for when I go waxing!

Honeypot Wax Boutique is located at :

Bangsar Shopping Centre
S123 2nd Floor, 285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar
Call (03) 2092-5598
Mon - Sun : 10.30am - 8.30pm

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Satisfying stay at Pangkor Laut YTL

When I was 7 months pregnant I went to Pangkor Laut for some r&r and it proved to be worth every ringgit spent. Now that little baby is with us, we decided to go back and visit. We were not disappointed as the quality of their service was still as good. A pleasant surprise was that they changed their menu to keep returning guests entertained with new selections. Our baby was 6 months old and we stayed at the beach facing villa which is the most recommended for couples with baby strollers. If you are a Singapore or Malaysian resident, it is super worth it if you take the resident package which is accommodation plus food all inclusive. I would definitely recommend to all expats who are in need of a short 3 days 2 nights break. It us a short 3 hours drive from KL and when you reach the jetty, another 30 minutes by boat. My 6 month baby enjoyed the trip and so will you!!!

My favorite bread shop PAUL

Summer in France was superb and now we are back in KL after 2 glorious sunny weeks. It makes me wonder what happened tithe deal of Paul bakery, a super nice bread and patisserie place from France. A year or two ago, I saw the Paul signage put up at The Gardens and at Pavilion. That got me really excited and waiting, waiting. After a while it just disappeared! I guess the business deal dissent push through. How sad. Would be nice to have something like this in KL. The picture here is the Paul branch in CDG airport Paris.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Breakfast Place : Pink Sage Diner

finally... The Pink Sage Diner came to me instead of me going to them!

Ages ago when I was craving for good pancakes in KL, I surfed the blogs and found write up's on this place. Unfortunately the one attempt we had one earely morning ended up in dispair because it was so difficult to locae Dang Wangi KL even though we had a gps! Our circling around KL that time ended up in Delicious Dua for breakfast instead becof my frustration.
well... Now things have changed. I was pleasantly surprised to see The Pink Sage Diner at Solaris Dutamas, which is nearby Mont Kiara. On Sunday breakfast we gave it a try and was not disappointed.

I had the banana pancakes and hazelnut coffee. Hubby had the Stack breakfast with flat white coffee. Plus an additional apple juice (because they ran out of orange juice... Hmm needs improvement there).

Food quality was good. I found it personally better than our pricey La Bodega breakfasts.

It is yet still to be filled up by customers maybe because simply they don't know they are open at 8am.

Breakfast bill came out Rm 58.65

The staff and waiters need some improvement though... The cleaner was mopping the floor even though she saw that we were sitting waiting for our breakfast and we could smell the chemical or whatever they put into that bucket of water to wipe the floor. The waiters could cheer up a little as they look bored and neutral... I guess for a diner ambience I was looking for the usual cheerful staff that comes with it.

The address of Pink Sage Diner
A4- UG1 - 01 Solaris Dutamas

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Good French food at a casual ambience at Nathalie's Gourmet Studio

Have you ever wondered where you can get fine dining quality French cuisine at a casual ambience and okay price? Well now you can have that at Nathalie's Gourmet Studio which newly opened at Solaris Dutamas. This is great for Mont Kiara residents. So nearby and accessible.
We had a hearty lunch yesterday at that restaurant, which is ran by Nathalie herself. I first met her when I attended one of her cooking classes at her residence. She also launched her own cookbook which is popular with the expats.
Our lunch was tasty and different from our usual weekend choice, so it was a nice change.

Menu choice is limited at the moment, maybe because they are just about to have their grand opening that evening. Also take note everything is freshly made, and you have a view of the kitchen to watch how everything is prepared.

The starters that we had were superb! Hubby had the fennel soup while I had the appetizer tomato tart with tapenade at the bottom and top with parmesan cheese... Mine was superb!
They also gave some french small baguettes... Which were super super yummy. I think all French expats who miss their authentic french baguettes will surely agree with me. It transported me back to my baguette experiences from France!

Mains were okay -- I had the lamb dish while hubby's was yummier (codfish). Dessert was of course the highlight for us... I had the sample platter dessert which came with a sall glass of chocolate mousse (heavenly), a piece of macaroon (i chose the strawberry flavor, yumm!) and a small biscuit tart topped with raspberry. The dessert platter came with choice of coffee or tea.

Be ready to fork out at least rm100 per persn to experience the 3 course meal at this uber french-chic-yet-casual place. A unique concept in Malaysia-- it brings back memories of wonderful family-owned small restaurants that I visited in France.
They are currently only open for lunch. Closed on Sundays.
Be sure to make a reservation.
Call them at 03-62079572
They are located at Solaris Dutamas, the new commercial center which is built right in front of Duta Tropika.

Bon appetite!

Sent from my Windows® phone.


As of October 2010 : latest update

I was a disappointed with their service when I went back the 2nd time around... and after that snobbish French waiter did his thing, well, I don't think I will ever go back. I did inform him that he should be more friendly to customers and understand the needs and requests... hopefully he got the idea. He is living in ASIA, and he needs to treat Asian customers like CUSTOMERS. I didn't want to bring it up with thier management as they were not around at that time... I took some cooking classes with Nathalie a while back before she opened this place and she is a very nice person. Hopefully she gets to read this and improve the service at that place. It is NOT CHEAP to eat there -- so in my view, customers should be treated well especially with the tons of different restaurants available in KL.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Great japanese food Zakura @ plaza mont kiara

Hubby, baby and mommy walked together one sunny Sunday to have a relaxing japanese lunch. Unlike last week's adventure to Xenri, we had a better experience this weekend. The walk as pleasant and when we got to Plaza Mont Kiara we decided to try Zakura which is located near Secret Recipe. We were not disappointed. The food quality was very good and pricing was reasonable. They hd interesting bento sets. Hubby took the seafood teppanyaki while I took something hat had chicken teriyaki with tempura. The salmon sashimi was also good quality. We would surely go back again for a lazy weekend late lunch. The pleasant walk home was a plus!

Perfect for a late lunch on a weekend for Mont Kiara residents!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good Japanese Lunch on Weekends at Kuala Lumpur (My Opinions!)

Whenever hubby and I try to narrow down which restaurant type to go to on weekends, he knows that I will only have 1 answer in mind : Japanese! Sometimes he says I am very "makulit" (that's a Tagalog word, if you translate into English I think you can say I am redundant or always repeating the same thing)

I can't help it but I really love Japanese food. Even back in Manila.

Anyway, this entry is all about my latest Japanese escapades for the month of April 2010. I will make it brief and direct... no beating around the bush on food reviews !

1. Kirishima Japanese Restaurant
Their lunch bento box are so worth it! The quality of food is good and service is great. I would highly recommend to Japanese lovers. I discovered this place only lately thanks to my expat friend Tram. The prices are also very reasonable for the quality of food. Do make sure to visit during lunch time where prices are cheaper than dinner time. Their bento box selection is very, very impressive!

Kirishima Location and Details:
Lot 1.2, First Floor, Dua Annexe, 211 Jln Tun Razak
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2162 8127

Of course, when we visited I didn't have time to take photos. Baby Alex was with us, and we had lunch with our friends. We really enjoyed the speedy and attentive service. Easy to get parking at that location and very easy to bring little baby with us. I would definitely go back.
2. Xenri D'Garden Terrace
We tried their buffet lunch on a Sunday. First of all, you will need to book reservations due to the popularity of their buffet which was offered at RM 55++ per person. First impression: the venue was nice because of the greens around. It was surprising especially as it was located inside a building at the heart of KL.

Food: I wouldn't say it was top notch but quality was okay for that price. They had good refill timing for shrimp tempura so that means you don't need to wait forever before you can grab your share. They also had good steak and yakitori as part of the buffet. Downside: the sukiyaki guy manning the booth gave me such a small bowl and not enough soup.. maybe he was under pressure with the number of people?

Downside: the place is very tight if you want to bring a small baby with stroller. I would say that the place is bordering on "cramped" becuase you would literally come face-to-face with some customers or waiters as you stroll through the buffet spread. Also, after we had our meal we were too stuffed and full. Hubby and I will not go back for the buffet anymore... it's very bad for the health! I think we over-ate, and we admit it's purely our fault. Anyway... from this point forward we will favor sit-down Japanese meals than buffet!

Service: it was good, they had a lady waiter who was attentive to our needs. They also allowed me to order ala carte for my maid who tagged along to help take care of baby.

Xenri D'Garden Terrace details:
Lot 2.04, Second Floor The Podium Menara Hap Seng Jalan P Ramlee Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-2078 6688
3. Rakuzen Plaza Damas
Because this Japanese restaurant is very accessible from Mont Kiara, we would go to visit often. One thing I learned over the months is to book a reservation because they are popular and they are always full! That is what I would usually do to avoid disappointment. Many locals told me about Rakuzen's popularity and they have been riding the success over the past few years. Lately some of my friends told me about the detriorating food and service quality. And now I believe them. When my family came to visit from Manila I brought them to Rakuzen. The ambience was still nice. Service was bad, you had to literally get the attention of the waiter just to get green tea refills. And the worst of all, we had to eat our food one bento box at a time... meaning the food didn't arrive all at the same time. The timing gap was too long. I told the waitress about their bad service, which she said she would tell the manager.... though it didn't seem sincere. I guess they don't really care because they have so many customers! Plus during my last visit, they delivered the last bento box without the chawan mushi. The waiter said it would follow. And we eventually had to follow up (after successfully catching a waiter's attention), and when it came it was really too late already.
Well... despite having visited that joint at least 20 times already since we lived in Malaysia... I think that will be our last visit. Service was bad. Food quality declining. I will just have to look for other alternatives for my Japanese craving.

Lot P17 Plaza Ground Floor, Hartamas Shopping Centre,
60 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: (03) 6201 2060 (03) 6201 5060

4. Sugimoto
The lunch box at this place really impressed me during my last few visit. Simply because the price was so, so affordable! You could also build your own bento box selection, which was great because you had the freedom of choice. But during the last visit this April, well, sad to say the quality has declined. Imagine, they even told my husband he couldn't have sushi in his choice bento because they were running out of fish and can only serve it for the sushi orders ala carte. That fact aside, we still stayed to eat and unfortunately I think their quality has gone down... or could my taste have changed after the pregnancy? I asked hubby if he agreed and he said yes.
It was also a pain to bring baby there as you need to take a small elevator to go up to the restaurant. The place is a bit old. Service is okay. There used to be a very attentive lady waiter and I didn't see her anymore. Maybe she left?
Sugimoto is located at 36-1 & 38-1, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL.

36-1 & 38-1, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas,50480, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03- 2300 1102 or 03-2300 1202
That sums up my April Japanese restaurant adventures... just my honest opinion. Hope this helps out some people who are looking for japanese food! In case you have great places to share, do leave a comment so I can check it out next time :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Picture Company in Kuala Lumpur

Last Feb 2010 my baby turned 3 months old and of course being the mommy that I am -- I wanted to capture that moment forever. New moms are probably like me -- going through a stage where you just want to take photos and videos of every moment, change and development of your little one!

While strolling at 1 Utama shopping mall, I discovered that they launched a new store called The Picture Company at the new wing, very near Baby Gap store and Parkson. I was delighted and quickly went in to check out the shop!

What is the Picture Company? Well, since I was originally from Manila, I immediately knew what it was. It's a company started by a Filipino who specializes on photography for babies and children. There may be many photographers around nowadays, especially with the affordable prices of digital SLRs... but believe me, without the proper lighting in a studio, the pictures just don't come out the same. Also, one of  the reasons you may want to check out this place is because they are baby-friendly. They have tons of "props" -- like costumes, hats, toys, etc which can enhance the "captured moment" you are trying to achieve.

Maybe there are many parents like me out there: we have 2 digital cameras and 1 Canon SLR. I love taking photos and I believe I have mastered the art of taking great photos. I have tried gazillions of photo shoot with baby at home, in every part of the apartment. The challenges I faced were: not enough lighting at certain parts of the apartment, no nice backdrop, and of course trying to keep baby steady to get a nice shot. To top it off, it is impossible at this point to try to have a beautiful family photo even with the timer options in digital cameras. I have tried all sort of ways to take a family picture: using the Canon Ixus with timer, using my Canon SLR with timer, asking my mom to take several shots hopefully to get lucky with 1 nice shot, and even training my maid on how to use my digital camera to take some shots when we are out and about hoping to capture 1 nice family photo. We did get some nice shots, but never one which is good enough that  can capture the oozing happiness we have with our new little baby. We needed a perfect photo -- something that will transcend through time. Something I can treasure when I look back at the early years of baby.

And so, I reviewed the rates of the Picture Company, decided to try some test shots that day. On the 1st day I visited we didn't print any of the photos. We simply had a photo shoot and I decided to come back again a few days after -- this time with dad in tow. So in the end, we had dad-baby-mommy photo and we were happy with the results. Here I attached a photo of my little baby when she was 3 months old. Believe me, it takes extra work to be able to get a little baby to look at the camera, smile and pose at the same time.

For some people they may find the rates exorbitant. For some they will think like me -- capturing such moments are priceless. It may be pricey but all you need is a few really, really good photos to keep over the years. Of course, it also makes a nice gift to grandparents who are all so excited about your little one.

Overall I think it's an activity worth checking out for parents... it makes a nice activity for the family on a weekend. And especially on important occassions! We went back for a photo shoot last month when my mother and sister were in KL visiting us. So we had a nice group photo will little one. Now the picture is framed out and proudly sitting in grandma's apartment back in Manila. Indeed, a nice gift which is priceless!

They are currently at 1 Utama but I think they will open another branch soon in Gardens Mall.

For those who may find this interesting, check out:

Good bread at KL: Levain Boulangerie

My expat friend (Tram) told me about this new bread place at the heart of KL. Her hubby is French and he was all praises about this bakery's baguette. You know how the French love their bread so if he says it's good, it must be good. So on Saturday morning hubby and I decided to give it a try. The place was easy to find (thanks to the gps, ha ha)

Levain is a nice big bakery. Very different from the french bakery I am used to which is at Sri Hartamas. It is a big bungalow which they turned into a bakery, which means ample parking space and seating capacity. We were greeted by a chinese cashier who is a bit so-so (they should look into putting someone more cheerful in the morning!) The first impression of the bakery is that it was filled with all sorts of bread so I took my time to look around. We ordered different type of bread and all were good quality. The coffee was average and it's a shame they don't offer decaf (for breast- feeding mothers like me !) anyway we enjoyed the bread we ordered as we sat on the sofa couch seats tucked away at the corner of the bakeshop. I saw some corner seats which had power plugs which means people who want to surf the net or work long can hang out here for a long time.
The croissant almond or croissant d'amando in french... It was yummy! The rest were of good quality as well...we tried croissant turkey ham, custard creme donuts, and butter roll. There is surely a wide selection of bread to choose from!

Shame that it's a bit of a drive from Mont Kiara to this place, else we would frequent it for breakfast.

Levain is located at No. 7 Jalan Delima off Jalan Imbi KL
Phone no: 21426611

Another nice place for weekend morning breakfast!

Sent from my Windows® phone.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vaccination for Baby in Kuala Lumpur

We brought little one to the doctor today for her next round of vaccination. We tried a new doctor, which was recommended by a Swedish friend. I was surprised to find out the price disparity among doctors for the same type of service! The doctor at Sunway Medical Centre was at least RM100- more than what Global Doctors in Mont Kiara are charging. And to think Global Doctors in Mont Kiara is already a price premium over the typical doctors at the hospital (e.g. Glenneagles pediatrician).

For those expats who decide to live in the Mont Kiara area, one of the advantages is the easy access to a clinic or doctor. They have a small Global Doctors clinic which is 5-minutes walk from my condo. While the bigger branch which has more specialist and doctors would be at the other Mont Kiara street (I need to take the car to drive there, there is plenty of parking space in that facility so no worries). It is a very modern and new medical center where the nurses and receptionists all speak English -- so that expat clients won't have a hard time communicating.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Full house breakfast time at The Bread shop

I was very surprised to see a full house on Saturday morning at the Bread Shop at Damansara heights.

I guess good food really attracts people from all sorts of background. The place was packed with expats and locals alike.

Great bread selection and good coffee!

Sent from my Windows® phone.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

breakfast @ el meson Bangsar

Despite the lack of sleep, hubby and I had to get up early last Saturday to bring my car for servicing at Suzuki in Bangsar. They dropped us off at Bangsar Village while they did they servicing, which is very nice and convenient!
We walked over to El Meson which is just right in front of Bangsar Village 2. The Breakfast Like a King was rm 25 and I tried that. Hubby took the orange juice and black coffee that came with the set while I took a latte. Food was good especially for pork lovers. Hubby ordered something else like a chorizo thingy with egg & potatoes. They also had 2 types of newspaper so we enjoyed some reading time. For 2 person we spent rm 59 for breakfast. Considering our last breakfast experience at La Bodega which costed rm 99, I would say the pricing of El Meson is more reasonable plus the fact it's non halal.
Hubby and I walked back to Suzuki to pick up my car. A great way to burn those calories from the tasty breakfast!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sunny Day Before CNY

I'm out here at the poolside enjoying the rays of the sun and planning to get some exercise to get back in shape. Sitting out here with a book, my phone (blogging) & relaxing is such a luxury! I'm trying to enjoy the last days of my maternity leave and fully profiting from having such a good nanny.

Last night wasn't easy though as little one had a crying spell. We tried to put her to sleep at 10pm. We succeeded at 1am. Now I really understand what other parents meant when they told me "it's not easy!".

Baby, mommy and maid spent a whole 7 hours shopping at 1 Utama yesterday! We saw many Chinese shoppers going about hunting for nice CNY (Chinese new year) clothes as the year of the Tiger comes.

We had a fun time doing photo shoots at The Picture Company at 1 Utama. It's a specialized shop for professional photography for babies and kids. It was franchised from the Philippines and I think Malaysians will love it! Will write more about it on my next entries.

Meanwhile let me get some tan before I go back to my sun-less office. Til next time!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Fun Time at Bangsar Village with Baby

Decided to be different today so we packed up in the morning and got ready for an adventure at the mall. Yaya (the maid, that's the familiar name we call nanny in Tagalog) together with Baby came with me to Bangsar Village. We had a nice lunch at Fit for Two. Surrounded by other babies, children and mothers, we felt right at home! The food was good. We also used the breastfeeding room and was able to change nappies! They give out free diapers, what more can a mom ask for, he he!
The small shopping mall Bangsar Village is so nice for an afternoon adventure with Baby! Mommy was able to buy some clothes at Zara (since pre-pregnancy clothes do not fit yet!). Not only that ... Mommy was able to get a pedicure too! Talk about fun day! Baby was super well-behaved even inside the nail salon. The french pedicure at that cozy chic salon cost Rm65. The service was good and they served nice tea. I was even able to drop by The Village Grocer to pick up some items. Spending the afternoon there was great. We stayed from 1130am til about 330pm and parking cost was rm 6. Parking was easy because that mall is not full of people. We parked at basement 2 which had easy access because of the lift. A baby-friendly mall in my opinion!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Black & White paintings

Hubby finally had the chance to put up my Black and White series paintings which I completed when I was 3 months pregnant. Some Chinese friends advised us against putting up paintings, hacking or renovations of any kind during pregnancy (some kind of bad luck). So we had to wait for post pregnancy before we could finally hang (drill on the wall).
Now that baby is around I am not sure when is the next opportunity I can pick up my paint brushes again! It's going to be tricky but I'm sure we'll find a way (probably when she's 1 year old, ha ha!)
Painting is such a great way to relax and express myself. I always have this elated feeling when painting. And last year was such a superb year as hubby sold some of my paintings to expat and local friends. It was pure bliss to see friends hang up my painting at their place. Indeed, it's one of those dreams I've had which became reality :)

best banoffee pie

I have always been a fan of banoffee cakes / pies. The combination of bananas with caramel is appealing to me and I indulge every now and then. Today I was able to go and swim 10 laps at the pool so I rewarded myself with a treat. So far in our 3 years stay in Malaysia, the best banoffee pie I have tasted is from Bijou at Mont Kiara. I used to think the one at Delicious is pretty good. But when I tried the one from Bijou, not too sweet yet sweet enough, I was constantly looking forward to my next visit there to take that pie. In fact it's more of a banoffee cake than a pie. I wasn't able to take a photo of it today because I was too eager to finish it!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Good Service in Kuala Lumpur

One of the things I appreciate here at this side of the world is the service you can get. You need something fixed or repaired, you can call someone to come and help you with it. Hubby's family and friends have shared their stories of how they had to lay their own flooring, put up their own sliding cabinets, etc etc etc. With service and cost of living very high in France, one cannot just easily afford hired help!
I wanted to share a list of effective Malaysians who have helped us during our stay in our condo in KL. I am very happy with the quality of their work and maybe by sharing their contacts you will also benefit from their services. By the way... should you call them and they wonder where you got the contact, you can say it's from "Anabelle of Mont Kiara"

  • LIGHTING (add light points, replace lights, electrician, installation wifi CCTV) MR. LEE 019-2088045
  • AIRCON cleaning / repair / maintenance: MR. LAM 019-2228331
  • SCREEN installation at home (to keep mosquitoes away!) MR. KEVIN 016-3332850
  • APPLIANCES for sure great price & can deliver to your house (you pay cheque once they deliver the goods) ESH 03-78753692
  • MALAY WRAP URUT service (for post pregnancy slimming, very effective so far!) MS. SITI 019-3309622
  • CAR INSURANCE / CAR REGISTRATION (no need to go & register your car, they do the car insurance & car registration for you, courier or deliver to your home/office) WESTSTAR AUTO 03-20315151
  • DRIVER LICENSE for expats - this guy can do the driver license for you and no need for you to go anywhere. he will pick up your documents & deliver back same day your driver license for MALAYSIA MR. RAJA 012-2099552
Hope this helps!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gardens Restaurant @ The Curve

Hubby and I had time to drop by The Curve last Sunday. We saw the new restaurant called Gardens and it had a nice set-up with greens and flowers everywhere. Decided to give it a try and was disappointed. The food was so-so. Salad came out together with my cod fish order. Salad quality was bad. The cod fish with mashed potato was cold. The shish kebab order came out last. Drinks took a while to arrive and I had to follow up before arriving. Total bill was rm 103 for 2 person. Not worth it in our perspective. If at the Curve we would rather go to The Apartment restaurant for better food quality & service at almost same price. Just sharing my opinion so you won't get a nasty surprise if ever you try that new place.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Year New Life

2010 brings a whole new experience for me. So many insights, discoveries, and things to look forward to! As I lead my new life as a mother, things have changed. You can see I haven't blogged for a while, simply because there is NO TIME :) Having a little one depending on you changes the whole perspective of time and priorities.

While I am awake in the middle of the night or hanging out at my "pumping station", I think of the entries I could write in my blog... but there is just no time! So now that I was able to sneak a few moments of online bliss, let me quickly enumerate my thoughts, experiences, insights and whatever went on my mind for the past few weeks...

  • A whole new perspective on time (especially 1am, 3am, 5am...)
  • Going to the gym used to be a drag. Now it's a luxury!
  • Checking my Facebook & hotmail account is another luxury!
  • Being able to write a whole blog... only possible if little one is asleep & I am not dead tired!
  • My mobile phone is now put aside & I don't get to answer SMS nor phone calls immediately
  • During the MANGO and ZARA sale, I was a bit apprehensive about buying anything bec I feel I still need to lose weight! Eventually I accepted that I might be a size or two bigger and went in anyway! Was able to buy stretch jeans at my original size! Yehey!
  • I am so thankful to have Malaysian friends. They are such nice people!
  • I am stronger than I think... and I need to be especially as little one is depending on me.
  • It was not easy to follow the Chinese confinement. I will go crazy if they really lock me up at home for a month! We sneaked out on the 18th day & brought little baby out ... he he
  • There are so, so many wonderful baby equipments out there! Getting dizzy deciding on which baby carrier sling to purchase.
  • It's always best to ask advice from other mothers :) They have such great insights & tips!
  • Whoever said "Don't cry over spilled milk" is not talking about breastmilk for sure!
  • I discovered a wonderful new way to slim down & enjoy a massage as well. Local friends introduced me to the MALAY WRAP and after 2 sessions I do see a difference! Thankfully I am living here in Malaysia!
  • It's easier to talk to my condo neighbors in the lift... they see the baby & strike up a conversation
  • Going to the shopping mall or restaurant needs time, planning & logistics.
  • I can't bring myself to go watch a movie yet. Time away from baby still too hard.
  • Discoveries of singing talent : myself, hubby and my mother... we transformed into singers as we try to entertain little baby.
  • My choice of shopping malls now depend on whether they have good baby changing facilities or breastfeeding rooms
  • The breast pump is one of my most used electric equipment for the past weeks.
  • Never thought we would end up installing CCTV cameras. Thank God for wifi CCTV. Technology is great!
  • I have never taken so much video in my whole life! Now I take video moments of baby -- using my phone, videocam, & digital camera.
  • My mom is super active in using Facebook & email -- so that she can see my little girl across the miles. I even managed to teach her how to download pics from the digital camera and how to upload to Facebook! She's more than 55 yrs old & still learning :)
  • It's tricky to take passport pictures of a 1-month old! We had to do it bec we had to apply passport for our little one
  • When asked to categorize our baby at the Malaysia government office for birth certificates, my hubby had to choose between "Chinese" or "Caucasian". Hmm, that was a tough one as she is 50-50. He chose "caucasian"!
  • I seem to see prams, baby pushcart everywhere when at the mall. Either there is a baby boom or I was simply not interested in the past
  • Now I know & use the lift/ elevator of shopping malls more often.
  • I appreciate my mother even more. And all the mothers of the world!
Time's up. It's time to catch some ZZZZs before little one wakes up. Posted a photo of her during her 2 month anniversary! Time flies!

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