Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ministry of Coffee: Our Revisit (in fact, we visited 3 times in the past 3 weeks)

Let me make it clear -- our coffee indulgence is on weekends or sometimes not even! The only reason we went back again and again -- well, three times to be exact -- is because of their babycino. Yes, babycino for my daughter, who seems to fondly remember the place. Actually, there are other plus points to the place, and I am happy there is a joint in the neighborhood.

Reasons why we went back:

  • Child-friendly
  • Spacious
  • Good service
  • Coffee was decent. I wouldn't say out of this world, but decently good
  • Again ... BABYCINO! Daughter loves the little cup they serve it in... it makes her feel like an adult or perhaps makes her feel "included" in such a coffee place
  • Decent food. We tried their salad and creamy pasta. Not bad at all.
  • Easy to find parking inside the parking lot of Solaris, especially on a weekend. You can choose to illegally park outside the driveway too (haha)
  • Decent price

Enjoying her cuppa
Blueberry Pancakes - we had this for breakfast during the 2nd visit
Would have preferred it less cooked so that the yolk would ooze out
My Baked Poached Eggs before I attacked it
MOC Fruity Meal - hubby's choice
Informed the waiter that the pears were extremely (and I mean EXTREMELY) salty. I think they soaked overnight in salt! Nice touch though, grilled fruits
Barista in action
Bill for 3 adults and 1 toddler for breakfast. Take note we bought the RM45 baby plastic cup -- like a little cutie coffee tumbler for my little girl
Happy & contented after finishing her Babycino

Lunch Bill when we revisited
The food was okay. Not ultimately fantastic, yet not too bad.
Also, the dessert was just okay, I wouldn't order the same thing again.
Salad was good, but could have enjoyed more if they added more leafy greens.

Ministry of Coffee
Solaris Dutamas 
(facing the highway, this place is hidden from sight if you are driving)
You can try to find Haagen Dazs and walk across to the back area

DV Ristorante Pizzeria: Italian Restaurant at Damansara Heights

Another Sunday afternoon without my helper as she took the day off. I wanted an easygoing Sunday lunch, if possible without having to step into the mall. Kind of getting tired just going back again and again to Publika (our trusty neighborhood mall), so I let hubby decide where to eat.

He brought me to this Italian place which is located in Damansara Heights. If you don't know this place, you wouldn't just accidentally drive by and discover it, at least not for me. It's called DV Ristorante Pizzeria.

I am glad we went there for lunch!

When we got there about 12-1230, we were the only customer. Was kind of worried. Is this a bad place? 30 minutes after, the place was packed. Lucky we got there early (and that the empty place didn't scare me off!)

To summarize quickly what we experienced:

  • Authentic Italian food at decent price
  • Good service from the Filipino staff (great job!)
  • Spacious... even had space outside to push the stroller so that my 5-month old son could fall asleep
  • Easy parking! Love that
  • Pizza was good! And the fact that you can order half-and-half flavor... that was a plus for me!
  • Cheese platter was good
  • They served water
  • Pasta was small but tasty
  • Bumped into some friends -- which means this must be a popular place or simply I discovered it late!
  • Ambience was nice
  • Toilet was clean

Would we go back? Definitely YES
Nice for Sunday lunch with kids? YES

simple and friendly ambience
Initially it was empty
Mushroom pasta with cream sauce - could have used some more cream ... though it was delicious. I prefer more creamy (and sinful, haha)
Cheese Platter - nice! Loved this one.
Happy for the half and half pizza... good for families who want to taste 2 flavors
Place getting busier by the minute
Decent price for 2 adults and 1 toddler
Took a coffee after paying ... had to kill some time before heading off to a kids party

DV Ristorante Pizzera
77 Jalan Setia Bakti, Bukit Damansara
(beside Decanter)

Podgy & The Banker Hartamas

Sunday, after our casual lunch at the nearby Japanese restaurant (Isaki), we decided to pop by Podgy and the Banker cafe, which is stone's throw away. In the quiet neighborhood of Sri Hartamas, I was surprised to see this place busy on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Many of the customers had profiles like us: families with kids. Sometimes we just want a place to bring our kids where all of the family members can enjoy:
  • good coffee and hot chocolate - far from the "watery" coffees of some of the popular coffee chains
  • some nice desserts and ice cream - to keep kids (and adults) entertained
  • spacious - with kids, you don't want to go to places that are too tight or crowded
  • friendly staff - you don't want to see grumpy staff serving you on your rest day
  • ambience - doesn't have to be posh... just comfortable, and of course 'cool' especially on a hot & sunny day
  • enough seats and tables - you don't want to end up waiting too long
  • oh -- and of course not too pricey... charge a decent amount for the service and goods that you provide

Would we come back? Yes.

Especially when we are tired of going into a shopping mall for just an afternoon coffee-dessert delight. 

Would we bring our kids again? Yes. Good experience.

Coffee was good. Dessert was okay. The Vanilla Ice Cream we ordered was nice. 

Piccolo Latte, Hot chocolate and a slice of carrot cake
Lazy Sunday Afternoon
Bill for our afternoon coffee time
Piccolo Latte and Carrot Cake - cake was just okay. Piccolo latte was nice... a coffee with not-too-much milk
Busy Sunday 
Podgy and The Banker
2 Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, KL
(located at the corner lot)
Closed on Tuesdays

La Juiceria Cleanse - Detox the Natural Way!

This was a wonderful week for me. Our new bottles and stickers arrived. Had a TV interview discussing about Juicing vs Blending on Bella NTV 7, followed by a demo! Made 3 juicing recipes using the Hurom Slow Juicer.

Very happy to share the rainbow of nutrients to everyone. It's not just great-tasting juices, but the benefits it brings to my customers, that is what makes me so happy! Received positive feedback this week from 3 people:

  • Weight loss within doing 3-days cleanse (2.5 kg)
  • Removing dependency on coffee (used to drink 5 cups a day); daily headaches have stopped
  • Didn't have a gout flare up, despite holiday eating indulgence, due to the prior detox
I feel so blessed this week. Happy to help people. Happy with my progress.

Don't just take my word for it. Try juicing. It can change your life, too! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Croisette Cafe - affordable French food in Bangsar

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Interview at Bella NTV 7

Updated as of Feb 26, 2014

In case you want to see a demo on Hurom Slow Juicers at Bella NTV7, you can check out the video here: DEMO 

If you want to listen to the discussion on Juicing vs Blending, you can watch the video here: INTERVIEW

Bella NTV 7 Host Elaine Daly
Did a taped episode yesterday at the studio of Bella NTV7 at Glenmarie. It was a fun experience and the host was Elaine Daly.

It will be aired on February  21, 2014 Friday. Topic is about Juicing vs Blending. 

It was a fun experience! Unsure if I will be able to get a copy of the episode so I can upload to my YouTube. Anyway here are some of the photos!

Had some touch-up done.
Before the juicing demo

The set of Bella NTV7

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gourmet Marshmallows from Penang: Huey & Wah are the best!

The first time I encountered the Huey & Wah gourmet marshmallows was at Big Supermarket in Publika. I loved the cute container and the way they packaged the product. Plus of course, my daughter is into her "marshmallow" phase which helped me notice these little sweet things more than usual.

I decided to give their marshmallows a try and fell in love with it. I visited their website  and got even more excited when I found out that they could customize these marshmallows. I did it for my daughter's 4th birthday -- it seemed only appropriate to give away her favorite gourmet marshmallows.

Imagine our delight when we went to Penang from Christmas last December 2013. We went to this new shopping mall called Straits Quay in Penang and found that Huey & Wah shop was there. I was like a little kid -- excited (just like my daughter).

It's a cute little shop (and workshop, where I guess they make their sweet concoctions). To my delight, they had a special lemon-orange flavor at that time which was sold with a packet of hot chocolate -- oh my. I was so happy to try it! I was into the "hot chocolate" phase (as I have quit coffee for a while now)... so it was such a treat!

I must warn you though. Because of my "letting go" of myself with these cute marshmallow treats (I bought a lot and added it into my hot chocolate mornings or tea time), I believe I gained some weight and extra fat around the belly. It was too late when I realized this... and I was kind of relieved we finished all our stocks after the Xmas holidays, so that I can get back in shape without temptation at home.

I recently saw these stocks also at Jason's Food Hall in Bangsar Shopping Centre. I am glad that anytime I, ahem, we decide to buy marshmallows for our treat, it will be within reach. 

Definitely something worth checking out for marshmallow lovers.

Little Alex and her cousin checking out the free marshmallows they gave out to them -- so sweet!

Beautiful view at Straits Quay Mall

A view of the dock at Straits Quay Mall

From the parking lot, this is what you can see as you enter the new Straits Quay Mall

Had lunch outdoors at this Italian restaurant-- too pricey, please avoid it! Even for us KL-ites, we found the price unreasonable for the type of food and service they gave... sigh!

Huey & Wah Gourmet Marshmallows in Penang (cute little shop)
My daughter's birthday give-away: Heuy & Wah Gourmet Marshmallows

Juicing Container Ideas

In case you are planning to start a healthier lifestyle this 2014, one of your best bet would be juicing. If this is something you are considering, then you will need some stuff to help you get started.

I would recommend a Hurom Slow Juicer -- which is a masticating juicer that will squeeze the juices out of vegetables and fruits, in the most efficient way possible without oxidizing it.  This is the most potent and enzyme-rich juice you can make yourself at home.

Once you start juicing, you will need containers. Some ideas you can consider:

1. Repurpose old glass jars (like those from mayonnaise or jams)
2. You can also use pasta bottles. I love buying the Italian pasta sauce from De Cecco (which is widely available in Malaysia). Their bottles are wide-neck and tall... perfect for juices!
3. I recently discovered glassed with plastic covers. Perfect for the fridge. Easy to wash. Looks beautiful, too! RM5 only per piece. Bought it at Daiso!

Happy Juicing!

De Cecco Glass Bottles - Italian Pasta Sauce

Hurom Slow Juicer - my morning ritual
Juicing glasses with cover - RM 5 per piece : Daiso

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Ministry of Coffee: Worth Checking Out

Found another good coffee place. After a long break of not having coffee, hubby and I decided to indulge this week and had our coffee rounds. While my helper was away on her day off, we went to nearby Solaris for our lunch meal at Simple Life. It was very quiet and had only one customer there. We enjoyed our meal and did not regret. Again, we were still traumatized by the horrible experience of Morganfield's which had a lasting effect until now!

We truly enjoyed our vegetarian meal and wanted to follow it up with a taste test of MOC - Ministry of Coffee. It was featured recently and we decided to give it a go.

We were not disappointed. A short summary of our experience:

  • They had such a cute babycino. My daughter loved it and finished the whole thing
  • The ambience is nice. Spacious. Lots of sunlight coming in.
  • They serve cold water
  • Price was okay 
  • My latte was good. Hubby's cappuccino was also good. I would have wanted mine extra hot though, but didn't want to complain
  • They even have a 2nd floor... I am wondering if this place will be that full?
  • They have their own toilet
  • Different seating styles: sofa style, normal wood table and chairs 
  • Spacious is an important factor if you had a baby stroller... so this is kind of baby-friendly in my book
  • Awesome-looking coffee machine

Enjoying her babycino
My latte
Babycino vanished!
Little elephant fountain with fishes at the entrance
Natural light going into the shop
They have another floor
Nice ambience
Bar stools if you are enjoying coffee alone
Coffee machine --- shiny!
Bill for 3 drinks

Ministry of Coffee
Solaris Mont Kiara 
(from Haagen Dazs you need to cross going to the place near the highway)
It is not facing the main street, so you might find it challenging to look for the place if you are just driving by Solaris
The waitress said they open at 8am. Will surely come by for breakfast one of these days
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