Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ibis Hotel @ Bencoolen Singapore

The hotel chain, Ibis recently opened a hotel in the commercial district of Singapore. The lobby looks pretty nice. Cosy red couches dots the lobby with gleaming tiled floors. Basically the interior colours are red, black and white and lines are modern. Ibis is actually a budget, no frills hotel.

Reception Area


I tried the hotel restaurant, Taste's breakfast buffet. It is definitely not worth the SGD$15. They have the common selection of cereal, bread, crossaints, fried noodles, scrambled eggs, porridge, chicken sausage, bacon and an assortment of fresh fruit. The taste is just so-so. The bacon is soft and not fried properly. The only thing I like is the chicken sausage and soya milk.

Towards the Restaurant


The rooms are pretty small but very clean. The furnishing are pretty minimalistic. There are two things that I find missing. That is toothbrush and tooth paste. They are being sold by the hotel for SGD$2.50 for both. No slippers too! I like the peach shower gel that they provide in the bathrooms.

LCD Flat Screen


The Queen Bed

All in all, it's a pretty decent hotel (not sleazy and clean). No frills for a lower rate but not exactly that low. It's very convenient as it is just right in front of the bus stop. Plenty of eateries (a lot of vegetarian restaurants too) nearby as well as convenience stores.The MRT is about 10-15 minutes walk and Bugis is also about that time. Good location! And they provide free complimentary WIFI or LAN access internet. However, connections tend to be slow at night around like 830-1030 maybe due to more users during that time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Choong Kee Kampar Claypot Rice @ Damansara Jaya

Choong Kee Store Front

I will write about my favourite claypot chicken rice place at Damansara Jaya. It used to be at the Koon Kee coffee shop but they moved to their own shop about 10 shops away from its previous location. Prices are a little more expensive (about RM1-2) compared to last time but the place is pretty cooling and not as stuffy as before.

Ordered the double boiled chicken and peanut soup (RM5). Looks plain heh? Scroll lower

Double Boiled Chicken and Peanut Soup

It's full of ingredients! Chicken feet, pieces of pork, peanuts, oysters and red dates. Was really flavourful. The meat pieces are really cooked til tender. So are the peanuts. Thumbs up!

Chockful of Ingredients

Claypot chicken rice (RM7 for small, RM13 for big) is one of the best I ever eaten. You can opt to add in Chinese waxed sausages and/or salted fish for Rm0.50 each. The chicken rice is really fragrant and delicious. The chicken pieces are very well marinated and tasty.

Infamous Claypot Chicken Rice

Soup Menu

They do serve vegetables too. It can get a little pack at night. So do come earlier to get your own table. Or if you want to takeaway, just give them a call and all you have to do is pick it up.

Choong Kee Kampar Claypot Rice
No 80 Jalan SS22/25,
Damansara Jaya,
47800 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: 017-871 7739

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Singapore and Malaysia

I am a Malaysian and I have been staying Singapore for the past few days for training. I know, I know. It is too short for me to say anything but I will just comment about things that I noticed. Just my simple analysis.

Differences between Malaysians and Singaporeans.

1. Cleanliness
Yes Singapore is cleaner. It is true that Malaysia is dirty but only in certain areas.

2. Arrogance
It is true some Singaporeans are pretty arrogant and not really friendly. But they do have their own fair share of nice
and friendly people as well. Just like in Malaysia, we have our own share of friendly and arrogant people.

3. Mandarin
Here anyone who opens their mouth to speak to you and you are chinese, automatically they will speak to you in

4. English
Singaporeans generally think that the Malaysians are not very fluent in English. Well that's not the case. However,
I do find practically all Singaporeans have good English though. From the hawker selling food to professionals, they
can speak good English.

5. Exercise
Singaporeans do walk so much more than Malaysian and they take alot of public transportations. No wonder the
girls in Singapore have nice legs :p

6. Shopping Malls
Malaysian shopping malls are better organized and not so confucing. Singaporean malls tend to be like a maze,
full of corridors and pretty narrow at times. Maybe due to scarce land their design tends to be like that.

7. Japanese Food
Japanese food here is so much better compared to what we have in Malaysia. Plus, it is more affordable for their
fellow Singaporeans due to the strong exchange rate. The fish and ingredients really fresh because Singapore is an international import/export hub. Thus, fresh seafood is more easily accessible.

8. There is definitely a higher number of foreign people in Singapore. Mostly western foreigners or chinese nationals. Malaysia too have a lot of foreigners but from Indonesia. :p

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chao Yen @ One Utama Shopping Center

Chao Yen is located at the Ground Floor of the New Wing One Utama Shopping Center. It is situated near Teppanyaki and BBQ Chicken. It serves authentic Teochew dishes that are not commonly found in other places.

Crispy Marinated Duck (RM20) was pretty tasty and a little on the spicy side because they top the sliced duck with loads of crushed black pepper. However, there were only a few thin slices of duck which is considered very expensive for that price.

Cripsy Marinated Duck (just a few miniscule pieces!)

Long Bean with Minced Pork and Preserved Olives (RM15) tasted really good with rice. Preserved black olives is normally eaten with porridge in teochew cuisines as it is very salty. This dish is an acquired taste as not many people like it. I find it good though :)

Long Bean with Minced Pork and Preserved Olive

For dessert, we had the Sweetened Mashed Yam with Gingko Nuts (RM6) also known as Or Nee which was really good. The yam was really smooth and it was not as oily the ones I tried before.


Sweetened Mashed Yam with Gingko Nuts

They do serve plain water at RM1.20 and a bowl of fragrant rice at RM2 plus 10% service charge. I would eat here again but I find the price on the heavy side especially the crispy marinated duck.

Restoran Chao Yen
Lot LG 311A, Lower Ground Floor,
1 Utama Shopping Center,
No 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama,
Bandar Utama Petaling Jaya,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Crystal Jade Kitchen @ Pavillion KL

One afternoon while shopping in Pavillion KL, we decided to try the Crystal Jade Kitchen. There was a queue on that day as it was the day where most office workers start work after a long Chinese New Year holiday. Thus many decided to have a good chinese lunch there. After waiting for quite a while, finally there was a table for us. If only they have a numbering system where at least we are assured a table while waiting instead of us standing at the entrance.

The roast pork belly is served with a spicy mustard sauce. It was pretty delicious but I find that the Singapore outlet's Roast Pork Belly tastes better than the one here. It is still pretty decent to me.

Roast Pork Belly

Brinjals with minced pork was really good. Nice young and tender pieces of brinjals cooked with minced meat was really good with white rice.

Brinjal with Minced Pork

The hot and sour soup has chockful of ingredients like bamboo shoots, black fungus, mushrooms, scallions and tofu.

Hot and Soup Soup

Papril Chicken have nice meaty pieces of chicken and cashew nuts. It tasted really good too. Compared to the one I always eat at Esquire Kitchen, I would prefer this one. It's not as oily and it has got meaty pieces of chicken instead of nearly "minced-sized" pieces of chicken.

Paprik Chicken

It was a good experience eating here. The food is good but a little on the pricy side. It is located on Lower Ground floor (LG) of Pavillion KL.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ministry of Food (MOF) @ Pavillion KL

The name is pretty interesting. Ministry of Food (MOF) instead of Ministry of Sound :p Don't think it's related anyhow. MOF is actually a Japanese dessert place. You know how attractive the Japanese decorate their food. Same goes with their dessert. Situated on Lower Ground (LG) of the mall which is the same floor as the Food Republic food court and next to Pastamania, it is a little hidden.

We had the Shiratama Kurian (RM13) that consists of vanilla ice cream, strawberries, peaches, red bean paste, kanten jelly, mochi and it comes with a small cup of maple syrup and was excellent. Well what's kanten jelly? MOF actually gave a card that explains what it was and here is the summary
"Basically it is made from the root part of the plant and is rich in fibre. Thus in Japan, it is believe to have slimming effect and it is very healthy. MOF Kanten jelly series is made from Black Prunes and Black Dates"

Shiramata Kurian

Inaka (about RM12) is basically the very traditional rice cake that has been bake til puffed up with red bean soup. The rice cake is pretty chewy inside and cripy on the outside. It's my first time trying the puffed up version of rice cake. It tastes pretty plain on its own but better with the sweet red bean soup.


They have a wide variety of desserts and drinks. They do have a small selection of savoury sandwiches to those who want to eat a meal. I kept on catching a whiff the sandwiches next to my table which smells good but was too full to eat anymore as I just had lunch.

MOF Japanese Sweets and Coffee
Tel: +603-2144 1489

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jack's Place @ One Utama Shopping Center

Looking for affordable steak? Well, Jack's Place offers very good deal on their set lunch. Jack's Place is from down south (not Australia but Singapore :p). You can get a set lunch with steak for RM15. Cheap! They have a rotation of set lunch where everyday they offer different set lunches. Everyday, there would be a chicken, dory fish fillet and striploin served with different sauces. All set lunches includes soup of the day, dessert and coffee/tea. There is another category of set lunch called Business Set Lunch that has Deep Fried Dory Fillet, Australian Chiled Ribeye Steak with Brown Sauce, Australian Grain-fed T-Bone Steak with Brown Sauce and Steak and Chicken Combo.

We ordered the Saturday Steak set lunch which was the Australian Chilled Striploin with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce and the Australian Chilled Ribeye Steak with Brown Sauce Business Set Lunch. First came the soup of the day which was Tomato soup. I love the tomato soup. Not too thick and not too sour. The texture is just nice :) You can upgrade your soup for an addtional RM3 to lobster bisque. The lobster bisque is a no no for me as I didn't really like the taste. Very strong shellfish taste and not fresh.

Tomato Soup

The Creamy Peppercorn Steak was really thin, lack of the beefy smell and taste and was a little tough. The sides of cauliflower and carrots were poor as it was tasteless.

Australian Chilled Striploin with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

The Australian Chilled Ribeye Steak with Brown Sauce was much better than the previous steak. However, I do find that it lacks the strong beefy smell. (I am missing the Maredo's steaks). The sides are better with a whole baked potato and brocollli, carrots and cauliflower.

Australian Chilled Ribeye Steak with Brown Sauce

To top it off, the dessert was ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup! In fact it was pretty good. Coffee was ok. You can upgrade it with a better grade of coffee with a certain amount which I can't remember.

Ice Cream and Coffee

All in all, it is very affordable steak but definitely not very tasty. Very mediocre.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

KL City Day Run @ Dataran Merdeka

I had my first ever and longest run at Dataran Merdeka last Sunday on the 22nd. There are three categories to choose from. 3 km, 7 km and 10km. Being optimistic, we chose the 10km one :p We parked our car at Lake Gardens and walked to Dataran Merdeka. The run was alright. Two hills to climb. I did not manage to run all the way I how I intend to. I stopped a number of times and continued running. I managed to get a finisher's certificate though. Not too bad :)

However upon returning to the car, we discovered our car was broken into. The bags were stolen. I was lucky as I only brought my identity card and my money and they were with me during the run. My other friend who was not so lucky lost his bag with his wallet in it. Another friend of mine lost her bag but luckily her wallet was with her during the run too. Just that she had a lot of sentimental belongings in her bag.

It was a long day as we were directed to different parts of KL to different police stations to make the police report. We had to meet up with the Investigating Officer based at Jalan Tun HS Lee that was in court that day and he was only back to his office around like 3pm. During that waiting period, we went makan at Yut Kee (roti babi yum yum), travelled down to Klang to collect my friend's car keys in our wet and sweaty clothes.

Need to be careful when parking the car at Lake Gardens. Do NOT put your bags into your car boot in full view while you are there. If you want to put it into the boot, put it there before you arrive in Lake Gardens.