Sunday, May 24, 2015

Kidzoona Empire Subang for Short Playtime

For mothers like me, we are always constantly on the lookout for new places to bring our young kids on the weekends. Weekdays are busy packed with work stuff so weekend was about finding something new for the little ones.

I heard about the Empire Subang place. Kidzoona. I knew it was small. I just wanted to check something new, since we have always frequented same kids places.

Didn't regret. It was cheap and good crowd. Not overly crowded. And bonus is they have a little kiosk Tutti Frutti right beside to give the kids a treat.

Some pics of the Sunday afternoon play time at Kidzoona:

Cheap Entrance Fees

My Bill for 2 kids

Empire Subang 
10 am to 10pm

Summer Zest at La Juiceria Detox Bars

After the GST implementation in Malaysia, we could see that the people are hurting. Even for myself, we could see the impact it has -- on our restaurant bills, groceries and more.

So it was time to launch something more affordable, to bring health to more people through cold-pressed juices.

This weekend was the debut of Summer Zest -- something better than your typical OJ (orange juice). Summer Zest is cold-pressed Valencia Oranges paired with Pineapple to deliver anti-inflammatory and immunity boost benefits, to name a few.

Do check it out at La Juiceria Cold-Pressed Detox Bars in Kuala Lumpur! With 6 outlets (and counting), it's easier to grab your favorite cold-pressed juices.

Juice on!

Summer Zest in stores and fridges at all Detox Bars

Weekend Indulgence

Coffee + Juice .. the perfect marriage for weekend mornings!

La Juiceria Cold-Pressed Detox Bars

  1. 22 Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, 50480 KL
  2. LGK-08 Lower Ground Floor Mid Valley Megamall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur 59200 , Malaysia
  3. T-005B Third Floor Mid Valley Megamall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur 59200 , Malaysia
  4. Ground Floor GK-12 Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 KL
  5. P1.02.00 Level 1 Pavilion Mall Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
  6. LG.44 NU Sentral Shopping Centre, 201 Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 50470 KL

Sitka Revisit in May 2015

Jalan Batai in Bukit Damansara has undergone a facelift and you can see the improvements after months of construction. My last visit was December 2014 and have been meaning to come back. However, work and other things have gotten in the way. We decided to have a date night on a Friday evening, thanks to the several What'sApp messages that Sitka has been sending out every now and then.

Just like last visit, was able to have a short chat with the friendly owner lady (Jenny, I think!).  I came back specifically looking for the white chocolate dessert I had the last time. Unfortunately, they have changed their menu and do not carry that dessert anymore. Darn. I was really, really looking forward to that one.

Meantime, the improvements at Jalan Batai was worth all those months of scaffoldings and dust. During the construction period, I can imagine that it would have affected the business in the surrounding area. However, I really like what I see. I am sure it will bring crowds to this area pretty soon.

Back to Sitka, we enjoyed our dinner in our little corner. New menu meant new stuff to try. Was excited to jump into dinner as I did not eat all day! Had a busy day at the office and literally juice cleansed my way to dinner.

As always, the presentation of the food is creative, with a touch of elegance and finesse. And just like our last experience, we walked away after the meal -- satisfied (and not overly full). You don't get that heavy feeling. Perhaps maybe because the portions are small -- great for dining for two. People who prefer to eat more dishes in small quantities will take a liking to this place.

We arrived about 7:30pm. Tables were not yet full. By the time we left, the place was buzzing with people.

Ambience inside Sitka

Our little corner 

Bread with butter -- starters

Enjoyed this cauliflower appetizer -- definitely a must-try especially for vegetarians!

The Tiger Prawn is the highlight of my evening -- a MUST!

Duck - nice however it wasn't as superb as other places that I have tried.

Another must have -- especially for vegetarians. Pumpkin with a creamy taste inside your mouth. Lovely and different.

Had my bias -- I was still hoping for the dessert I tried the last time. This one pales in comparison to the white chocolate with sorrel leaves.

Creative and different dessert. Another combo with sweet and herbs. However, again, it pales in comparison to the last one.

Dinner for two. Sitka. 2 glasses of wine.
Jalan Batai, Damansara Height, KL

They have limited food on the menu. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that it is tasty and done to the best way possibly. Do check them out!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vegetarian Meal Ideas at Home

Just some of our own home-cooked vegetarian meals at home.

If you like rice (since we are all Asians, we love our rice!) , one idea is to stuff some already-cooked rice into vegetables (like capsicum and zucchini) and bake them with some herbs and cheese. You can also choose to saute some onions and garlic and mushrooms to mix with the rice before stuffing it into the vegetables and then baking it inside the oven for 20-30 minutes to cook the veggies. On the side, I also did some baby tomatoes baked inside the oven with some olive oil and sea salt.

Stuffed Veggies with Rice and Cheese

Another easy dish to do is a quiche -- with stuffing of spinach and mushrooms. The quiche recipe is very easy and common. You will find many easy quiche recipes. All you need is to saute the stuffing you want and add into your egg-cream batter before putting inside the oven. You can opt to make your own crust or buy it off the shelves from groceries. For us, we make our own, and you will need to pre-make them as it takes time. Once you make it, you can even freeze some of the dough so that you can re-use next time.

Vegetarian Quiche at home

IOI Putrajaya Mall Weekend Discovery

Living in the city means that you are on the lookout for new stuff -- new restaurants, hangouts and perhaps new shopping malls. Lately, I heard a lot about IOI Putrajaya Mall and decided to check it out on a weekend. We went early, before lunch time. The crowd was thin but decent. We specifically went there to check out the Choo Choo Train and the Ice Skating Rink. Unfortunately, my daughter didn't want to try out the skating rink, citing that it may be dangerous since there is no helmet. Didn't want to push her further so we ended up checking out the Choo Choo Train, which was located at the highest floor of the mall. 

You can get tickets inside the Area 21 and they even do COMBO train with carousel ride. I would say that this is suitable for kids 1-7 years old, as they will still find it "entertaining". The Choo Choo Train will drive you around the top floor of the mall, and will last about 3-5 minutes only. The carousel also about 3 minutes. Good fun for young kids who want to play indoors.

As for outdoors, they also have it well prepared with a fountain area. What's cool is that they have F&B (food and beverage) companies located near the fountain, which provides a nice ambience for coffee lovers as well as those looking for a meal with a view.

Different from the typical malls of KL, this one has ample space and good lighting. I was pleasantly surprised with the built up of the mall -- good quality design and materials. Definitely a gem for those living around that area.

Saw interesting new stuff there: Gourmet Popcorn which had a lot of different flavors; Dal.Komm coffee a Korean chain of coffee (who had a good water view). Area 21 which is a place for team-building or those looking for physically-challenging obstacles. Great for bigger kids or young adults looking for something to do.

Other things in the mall worth mentioning are : Magnum Cafe, Milk Cow (and I believe there are at least 10 Ice Cream brands in that mall!!!), they also have a huge Tesco (which has a more improved/clean look compared to other Tesco), they have Franco, Absolute Thai, and tons of restaurants at the Lower Ground floor. Other restaurants like Namoo (i know of them from Publika) and Pancake House (from Philippines) are at the 1st floor. Shopping-wise you have H&M and Uniqlo galore along with other brands. They have a cinema as well as ice skating rink.

On a Sunday, we saw tons of Chinese and Malay traffic, with a sprinkle of expatriates around the area. The crowd is good traffic, not too packed yet not empty. Being a new mall, I would say you will easily find parking and enjoy roaming around freely without feeling cramped. It feels like a Mid-Valley Megamall type of tenant mix in the middle of Putrajaya area.

popcorn overdose with coffee 

Caramel and Chocolate flavor popocorn

The Symphony, the water feature area where you can enjoy the view

Kids can sit near the water area

Water features at work

View from Dal.Komm Coffee outdoor area
Dal.Komm coffee interior
Juices and Dessert selection

Coffee time

Outdoor seats at Dal.Komm Coffee IOI Putrajaya

View of Dal.Komn coffee outdoor seats near the fountain area

Interior of Dal.Komm Coffee IOI Putrajaya

Lunch at Franco - quality of food was inferior to the One Utama FRANCO outlet.  I preferred the service and food quality of the one in One Utama.

Cost of Train Ride and Carousel. You can buy the combo ticket or just Train ride only

Popcorn at IOI Putrajaya

Coffee for 2 person

IOI Putrajaya Centrecourt
It's a 45-minutes drive from KL to IOI Putrajaya on a Sunday. It's a far journey so we spent the whole day there from about 11 am to 5pm.

iOi City Mall Putrajaya

Lebuhraya Lembah Kelang Selatan
Ioi Resort
62502 Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Google Map,+Lebuhraya+Lembah+Kelang+Selatan,+Ioi+Resort,+62502+Putrajaya,+Selangor,+Malaysia/@2.9697882,101.7140752,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x31cdca0c21c0aa13:0xaa3bc6729a2c0fd1

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Number76 Hair Salon: A Place You Can Trust To Get Your Hair Done

In my 9 years living in KL, I have not encountered a salon worth blogging about, despite trying several different ones. For expats like me, it is hard to find the right salon, and I can imagine especially for newcomers who will be overwhelmed by the amount of salons in the Klang Valley! Though there are many salons out there, not all shops are equipped with the latest knowledge on trends.

After having a good-hair-gone-bad experience due to my last digital perm at a Korean salon in Desa Sri Hartamas area (this happened in January 2015), I decided it is time to go back to Number 76 Salon and see what they can do for me.

A few weeks ago I visited their Salon 76 at Mid Valley and loved the interiors of the place. I did the ultrasonic treatment there and learned about the many outlets they have. I registered via an iPad (very modern way of registering!). Definitely a cool place! The treatment smelled nice, however I think I made a mistake by going there a week before I went off for my Krabi holidays. 

Anyway, fast forward to today -- I am curious what Mr. Yoshi could do for me so I can achieve a better looking hairstyle. And like I said, I am in search of a reliable and trustworthy salon to help take care of my tresses.

I parked at Bangsar Village 1 and walked across the street to TELAWI SQUARE (at the bottom of the square is Tous Les Jours bakery).

Take the escalator up two flights and there you will see it immediately. It's funny that there are 2-3 (or maybe more) salons in that same building. I noticed that on a weekday (I went on Thursday 10am appointment , finished by 1pm) that all other salons were almost empty, save for one customer. Business is slow nowadays especially after the GST implementation by the government of Malaysia. Or perhaps Number 76 Salon is just really good -- they had customers walking in and out in the whole time I was there. They have many regular customers and I don't wonder why.

They treat customers with respect, they greet (in Japanese), serve tea and biscuits, kept the place modern and clean.  No wonder they have a huge following (on their Instagram HERE).

Yoshi was very patient with me, asked me lots of questions, and you could really see that he wanted to be sure that he understood the hairstyle you aim to achieve. He is Japanese, and he has good command of English so it was a breeze to sort of tell him my dilemma.

In the short span of time that I was there in the salon, I could see many regular customers who came to see him, and I could understand why. He is a nice guy and seems like someone who aims to create beauty and satisfaction.

To correct the nightmare perm I had : he suggested to relax (straighten my hair) , do haircut and the Ultrasonic Treatment. 

I have before and after photos down below... and yes I was satisfied with his suggestion. 

The Ultrasonic Treatment is very different from other stuff that salons offer. They use a special equipment to "SEAL" the treatment into the hair shafts. You could feel the difference after they wash off the treatment -- so I guess it is effective. They also give extra vials of treatments for your post treatment -- one vial per week to maintain it.

Overall 'damage' to the wallet is about RM 456 for everything. I had the 10am appointment and finished by 1pm.

Telawi Square, you can walk across from Bangsar Village (through the exit near BRICS / Delicious )

Interior of Number 76 Salon

Busy on a weekday morning

Before I left for the salon

Took a pic at home before the salon

They are very thoughtful. Black bag sack to protect your handbag, tea and biscuit, as well as jewelry holder for your earrings

This is the treatment you will bring home with you after the Ultrasonic Treatment

Inside the treatment has 4 vials for 4 weeks

Yoshi cutting my hair

Ultrasonic Treatment

Deep-penetrating treatment

Enjoying my pamper day

Many customers on a weekday

Voila! The result after Yoshi relaxed the too-curly-perm I had earlier. This hairstyle was just quick blowdry with fingers. They didn't use the brush to do a hard dry with curls. Wanted to see how it looked like ACTUALLY if I did dry it myself next time. 

Bill for the day RM456

Other locations for Number76 includes Publika, Mid Valley ans StarHill

Menu of their services
Yoshi working on a customer when I left
Thanks Yoshi-san for today!

Locations for Number 76 Salon can be found HERE

Having been to both Mid Valley and Bangsar 1, I preferred Bangsar. The Mid Valley one is bigger space, while Bangsar is smaller. I feel more welcome and at ease in Bangsar -- as I was in the hands of an expert. 

Will surely be back for more. Finally, a salon I can come back to.

Number76 Salon Bangsar 1
Tel: 03-22840076 / 0176

Additional information: 

10:00 - 19:00 (Closed on Monday)
Shop 9 & 10, No. 39-2, Level 2, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Located inside Telawi Square, a corner lot facing the Bangsar Village shopping mall. From the Tous Les Jours bakery by the corner, take the escalator up twice and head towards right.

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