Saturday, February 3, 2018

Hanoi 5D4N Itinerary Part I

It was a random decision to go Hanoi with my family and surprisingly we managed to grab cheap tickets even though it is kind of last minute! It usually cost around RM600 for AirAsia but I managed to book it at around RM380+. Great deal ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, it was a 5D4N short and sweet getaway with parents and grandma to Vietnam. Seriously, I miss the scenery and Vietnam coffee now! 

****Day 1****

We took a noon flight to Hanoi and it was close to 3pm when we arrived. Not a great timing as we spent most of the day waiting and traveling. Too exhaustive. Suggest to book an earlier flight so that we could rest and have more time to explore the town.

I know this is repetitive. But I really love the cotton candy-like clouds. They are so cute!

Upon arrival at the airport, we went to a travel agency to book our transport to the hotel at Old Quarters. They quoted us USD 41 for return trip and we decided to take it. To be honest, I didn't do much research before the trip and have no clue how much it should cost. But less than RM200 for airport transfer for 4 pax, I think that's fair enough. And, we got a huge van! It is so comfy. =)

It took us about an hour to reach the hotel. As I booked with rather cheap price, I don't have high expectation and from outside, it looks really small. HOWEVER, the room was huge and the service was superb! Never judge a book by its cover. So I would strongly recommend you if you are looking for a comfortable place, but don't have to be classy, this hotel could be your choice. I booked a family room at RM360 per night and it includes breakfast! The staffs were very nice to us and helped us to book restaurants/tickets which resolved our problems of language barrier. Oops... I haven't mention the name of the hotel ---Golden Legend Diamond Hotel Hanoi. There are a lot of hotels in Hanoi with similar names, which makes us confused when we arrived as there is one called Golden Legend Hotel just down the road. XD

Our family room! I literally enjoy my sleep here as the bed is so my type! 

We settled down and quickly went out to hunt for food. We only had breakfast for the day. Felt so guilty for being such a bad planner.
We went to this famous Bun Cha stall for our first meal -- Bun Cha Dac Kim. 
We were clueless on how to order and how to eat actually. I just simply ordered 4 sets of meats with some fried spring rolls. 

This is our first meal! I think my parents and grandma were a little shocked with the amount of vegetables that they served. The bowl of meat was seriously a big one and I like those lean ones. It took me a while to digest them. But the spring roll here was too oily, which is not my liking.

After dinner, we walked to the Hoan Kiem Lake for night view and also to check out the walking street. They blocked the roads during weekend evening to allow for people to walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and also the night market. I felt so safe to walk here as compared to the rest of the days which I have to risk my life to cross the street.  

Me being a tourist, as usual.
It was about 16 degree celsius that time. I really enjoy the weather there. 
Note to self: travel to Vietnam end of the year

After walking around the lake, I brought my family, forcefully, to try out egg coffee with me at an old cafe -- Giang Cafe.It was about a 10 minutes walk from the lake. It was founded in 1946! According to their website, egg coffee was found in the days when milk was scarce in Vietnam, where they use egg yolks to replace milk. However, the current recipe includes egg yolk, coffee powder, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese. 

The egg coffees! They were served in a bowl of hot water to keep its temperature. 

The taste was really special where you can taste the egg and the strong Vietnamese coffee as background taste. Love it! Worth having insomnia after drinking -- but in fact I slept like as if I was coma that night. =P

The seats were rather cute!

After that we went to check out the walking street a.k.a night market

There are a lot of bars and eateries around.

Look at the crowd!

We were full and hence just walked around and decided to rest early for the Halong Bay tour the next day.

****Day 2****
I booked a 2D1N Halong Bay Tour with V'Spirit Cruise 1-2 months before my trip. I wanted to book other cruise initially but they were all sold out! If you want to book those famous cruises, I would suggest you to book it 3-4 months before. I chose this cruise because I randomly saw my friend posted about it on Instagram and the price was rather cheap. It costs about RM580 per pax for a 2D1N tour, which includes pick up from hotel, tour guide, meals and of course the room on the cruise. I find it very worthy, although the cruise was not fancy.
At the port. Was really excited to check out Halong Bay! It is my dream place and it will still be ๐Ÿ’—

We had to take a small boat to board the cruise, which I don't get quite understand as we could walked from the port and reach the cruise as well. But anyway, looks more fancy, maybe?

We got two connecting double rooms. 

When you are on cruise and got nothing to do, try out Halong Beer XD

Chilling with stunning view of Halong Bay.

Too bad it was cloudy. If not I believe it would be more beautiful.

Halong Bay cruise is not just about staying on the cruise for a night.. They will stop by a few stops for us to go down and explore. The first stop was my favorite spot -- Sung Sot Cave aka Surprise Cave. 

It was a long climb before you reach the cave and it was really challenging for granny. The stairs was quite steep and I was really amazed by grandma's stamina. But it was all worth it when we reached the cave. You will know why in a second.

The first glance into the cave.... 

Really a surprise 

With daddy

Loving the colorful limestones

Then we were sent back to the cruise and those who were keen to go for the second stop were invited to board the small boat after 10 minutes rest. Second stop was Titov island where you can climb up for a panoramic view of halong bay and also have a swim at the beach. However, when we reached there around 4.30pm, it was about sunset as it was winter. We only managed to climb half of it to snap a few photos of the bay and then waited for the boat to fetch us back. 

This is my best photo of the bay, unfortunately. It was too cloudy plus sunset. 

While waiting for the boat to fetch us back. It was so windy and there was no place for us to hide except a statue XD

After that, we had dinner on the cruise and they gave us some board game to play with. We also had chance to try to fish squid! It was so windy and it really needs patience. None of us got squid but managed to pull up a plastic bag. Haha! Helped to clean the ocean.

****Day 3****
I tried waking up early to catch the sunrise but it was raining in the morning. :( It was really disappointing! So hard to get up from bed early in the morning! 

After breakfast, they have a kayak session but it was raining. I opted out as I didn't want to be wet and can't enjoy the view much anyway. So we chilled on the cruise until check out time at 1pm. Then we took another 3.5 hours in the car to reach back Hanoi.

Initially I was planning to go 4P's for pizza but the hotel staff recommended me to try the restaurant right in front of the hotel -- Madame Hien. It is a fusion restaurant and the environment is really nice. Romantic I would say. We randomly picked some recommended dishes to share and ordered two glasses of white. 

                                             The Vietnamese style Chee Cheong Fun
Our dishes of the night with romantic lighting. 

After dinner, we walked around the town and headed for dessert because I wanted to try. xP sorry for being demanding. It was quite a distance from our hotel and luckily Google map didn't fail me. The dessert shop is really a hidden gem and it looks really traditional. The desserts they served were really special to me as they served shaved ice separately which is different from our usual ice kacang back in Malaysia. 

I personally prefer the banana coconut milk dessert, which is the one on the right of this photo 

It was really tiring as we had too much traveling in the day though not much physical activity. We rested early and stay tuned for Day 4 & 5 details! :D

****To be continue****

Friday, December 15, 2017

Petaling Jaya: Shugatori Dessert Cafe @ Damansara Uptown

If you are looking for a good waffle place at Uptown, you could try Shugatori! It serves toasts, waffles and pancakes, but the price is slightly more expensive. I went there with two friends and we decided to order one waffle to share as we were quite full after lunch and worried that it might not be nice. As we are matcha lovers, we ordered the matcha waffle with a scoop of matcha ice cream. 

Sorry for my bad memory! I can't recall the exact price. I remember it is RM20++. The ice cream was a little sweet for me- I prefer matcha ice cream with more bitter taste. The waffle is the bomb - crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. =3 

Trying out flat lay! This looks.....great? What do you say? XD

Address: 95G, GF, Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya. (same row as Good Batch)
Opening hours: Tues-Sun (12pm-11pm)

Kuala Lumpur: Birch @ DC Mall

Birch @ Damansara City Mall is the new, famous cafe hopping place for brunch lovers or Instagrammers. I have been seeing people checking in and my friend who tried, told me that they serve good food (coffee just so-so). Two weeks ago, I finally get to try this place out with a friend. 

DC Mall is a quiet mall and hence parking wouldn't be a problem. And guess what, the parking rate is RM1 per day for weekends! That's a plus point as you can spend quality time with your friends without worrying of your parking fee that will increase exponentially.

They offered us bar seats or else we have to wait for table. As we were quite free that day, we decided to wait for table instead. We left our number and walked around the mall for about 10 minutes. Since there are nothing much that we can see, we waited in front of the cafe and surprisingly was called immediately to our table. Lucky! Note: It would be safer if you call to reserve a table if you have a large group. I observed that a lot of tables were reserved and that's why we need to wait. 

Simple 2 pages menu - Immediately spot for Eggs Benedict that my friend recommended. XD 

Birch Benedict (RM26) -- served with spicy pulled chicken, BBQ sauce, hollandaise sauce!
Favourite combo and it is really good! Finally a brunch place that satisfy me.

Shakshuka (V) (RM25) - Baked eggs.
We shared our meals so I get to try this too! Surprisingly good and better than Breakfast Thieves and VCR in my opinion. My friend who loves meat like this as well. =D 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Petaling Jaya: Milligram @ Taman Mayang Jaya

A catch-up session with friends should be matched with good environment and good food! We were thinking where we should meet and finally decided to try out a cafe at Taman Mayang Jaya which we found out months ago -- Milligram.

It was a Friday night but we don't have much parking problem in this area. Great! It was quite pack when we arrived and managed to get a sofa seat.

It was not difficult for me to locate this place. Waze brought me there without much hassles.

As I arrived slightly earlier than the others, I ordered a cup of coffee and read my book while waiting. The coffee was of usual cafe price range (RM10) and pretty decent.

They have mains (e.g. sandwiches, pasta), cakes, waffles, cute macaroons and drinks (e.g. tea, coffee). Their macaroons are really cute! However, I am not a macaroon person, so I didn't try. We ordered three different mains, cheese macaroni, pork sausage carbonara and bacon carbonara. Overall, the mains were quite nice and I personally preferred my friend's pork sausage XD (but didn't manage to a photo of that).

Here's mine - Smoked Pork Bacon Pasta - it was served with poached egg. The taste was quite nice - slightly saltier than usual and cheesy. 

Overall, the service here was nice and we enjoyed the environment here. It would be a good place to chill for some conversations over coffee. =)

Address:             8, Jalan SS26/4, Taman Mayang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours:  Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm; Fri 11am-2am; Sat 10am-2am; Sun 10am-11pm

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Petaling Jaya: myBurgerLab @ Seapark

#throwback Merdeka month

A lot of restaurants introduce special menu in conjunction with Merdeka month. The one that attracted my attention is Nasi Lemak burger by myBurgerLab. Undoubtedly, they serve good burgers. So, for this special menu, I was tempted to give it a try although my spicy tolerance level is rather low. I was lucky to have a good friend who read my mind and said, let's go burgerlab! Woohoo! It Dream comes true! Thanks angel! 

We planned to go early at 5pm to avoid the dinner crowd. But, other people might have the same thought and there was a long queue! Oh no.... it was a horrible experience to queue under the hot sun. I wore my sunnies, ignoring how others look at me. =P

Can you feel the heat????

Luckily the queue moved quite fast as now seapark branch has two floors. My last visit was years ago where I had to queue under the hot sun for hours when there was only one floor. Thank goodness! Here's the advertisement board for nasi lemak burger. So tempting! *slurps*

Two Nasi Lemak Ayam Rendang burgers and one Bait & Switch burger. 
Bait & Switch is good too! It came with Kelantanese sauce which is sweet and sour. Love it!

Close up of the nasi lemak burger! It was served with egg, onions, fried chicken, rendang sauce, sambal, peanut butter sauce, ikan bilis and charcoal buns. Never thought nasi lemak would go so well with peanut butter sauce! But yes, it was oily. How many km to run to burn this off? It was huge. It took me almost 6 hours to digest it. 

I know you miss my face! with a close up of Bait & Switch burger. 

No doubt, this is still my favourite burger place after this visit. Fat with no regret. LOL!

Address:             SEAPARK BRANCH (14, Jalan 21/22, SeaPark, Petaling Jaya)
Opening hours:  Mon-Fri (5pm-10.15pm), Sat-Sun (11am-10.15pm). 
                             Closed on 1st Monday of the month

Kuala Lumpur: Merchant's Lane @ Petaling Street

Thanks to the change in job scope, now I have much lesser or almost no free time to spare for this blog. Deeply sorry if there is anyone who follows this blog and is hoping for an update these few months. I am back here today as a method to release my stress. =)

So yeah, here's to share my cafe hopping over the past few months in KL! Let's start with a famous one -- Merchant's Lane.

Merchant's Lane is located at first floor's of a corner heritage shop lot. I was lost when I tried to find my way to this cafe, even after friend's guide from upstairs through the phone. I was walking along that row of shops for several times and still missed it. Indeed, the entrance is rather small and with green doors (Maybe that's why I didn't notice, not obvious to me. Finding excuse XD). It is actually the same row as ChoCha Foodstore (which I tried few weeks after visited Merchant's Lane).

If you still can't imagine what is Merchant's Lane so special about, this is the place where a lot of people posted photos of them on a wooden string. But unfortunately, I did not take any instagrammable photo when I was there. As I was there to meet up ex-colleague for an overdue catch-up over a short time.

Their menu has food with fancy names but not much choices like most cafes in town. I ordered South China Sea as this is recommended in many food blogs whereas my friend ordered their burger. Rose honey milk that was served to my friend was really beautiful, not sure how it taste though. My cappuccino was rather normal only.

Look at this beautiful rose honey milk. So girly!

My dinner! South China Sea - poached eggs, salsa and crispy hash. 
To be honest, this is very disappointing! I can't appreciate/enjoy such combination. Taste is just so-so. Overrated dish.

After finishing up our mains, we decided to give their dessert a try! They have a dessert named "Better than Sex" and we were interested to try out. Haha! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pontian: Restaurant Heng Heng and Kedai Kopi Keng Guan Hiong

Hello there! This would be my last post from Pontian. I am leaving this small town for good after 4 weeks here. As I was really bored, I explored a few food places around this area, including day trips to Batu Pahat and Johor Bharu (JB)! Unexpectedly but predictably, I've grown rounder after stranded here for weeks. Oopss!!

So tonight I am gonna share 2 famous restaurants in Pontian town, which can be found in other Pontian food blogs! These 2 places are apparently very famous, as I saw a lot of Singapore tourists there during my visit. 

#1 Restaurant Heng Heng (ๅ…ดๅ…ด)

This restaurant is famous with its Wantan noodle, which is a specialty in Pontian too! In Pontian, they mainly serve Wantan noodle in ketchup, unless you request for soy sauce version. I requested for ketchup with a little spiciness. Really curious about the taste!

It's almost 2pm and there are still a lot of people here.

Apart from noodles, they also serve otak-otak for each table. They will count according to the amount that you consume later. It is around RM0.80-RM1 per piece. Sorry, my memory don't serve me well recently. I decided to try one and it is just so-so. 

The noodle is served!! It is typical Wantan noodle combination, with fishballs! How does it tastes? It's sweet but won't be too over as I requested for some chili to be added. Overall, it is fine. I still prefer my soy sauce Wantan noodle XD Good to try though! 

Can't really see the red colour in this photo. 

Address: 766, Jalan Parit Mesjid, Taman Anggerik, Pontian, Johor. (It is not too hard to locate! )
Opening hours: 9am-6pm (closed on Fridays)

#2 Kedai Kopi Keng Guan Hiong (็ผๆบ้ฆ™)

I have been craving for good coffee and went to try out this famous coffee shop, which is quite near my hotel! I have read about the sourness of coffee in Pontian and feel really interested to try it out. To be honest, I am craving for a cup of Ipoh White Coffee now! How I miss Perak! Haha...

There's also a lot of people here! Why is it crowded everywhere I go??