Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Win a 3D2N trip to Macau Blogging Contest!

I am in the midst of planning our vacation for next year and one of the places I would love to visit is the beautiful and vibrant Macau. 



Throwback to our lovely Scotland trip - we really loved chillaxing at the gorgeous Balmedie Beach. And I just read that Macau has a really unique natural beach, famous for its black sand. Would definitely love to go there someday :)



Macau is located on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta in southern Guangdong Province, China.In the mid 16th century, the Portuguese arrived and settled in Macau, hence the city's architecture, art, religion, traditions, food and community reflect the integration of Chinese, Western and Portuguese cultures.

Macau is easily accessible from Malaysia - you can fly direct from Kuala Lumpur to Macau, with up to 17 flights weekly to choose from. Malaysians also do not need to obtain a visa when visiting Macau.

Photo credit: Wikipedia - Mimihitam



There is just so much to see, do and experience in Macau..... here are a few reasons why we would love to visit Macau!



1. The sights
In 2005, the Historic Centre of Macau was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a result of its unique historical and cultural landscape. The historic district comprises of over 20 ancient monuments and urban squares such as Ruins of St. Paul's, Senado Square, St. Dominic's Church and Guia Fortress. There are also a heap of museums to visit to gain more knowledge and insight into the history of this city.

The statue of Goddess of kun lam (Goddess of Mercy) located on the outer Harbour is another popular attraction in Macau. It is 20 metres tall and made of special bronze with a dome-shaped lotus base.



2. The Food
During our travels, we love trying the cuisine a city has to offer. In Macau, one can find Macanese cuisine with over 450 years of history, is a special combination of Portuguese and Chinese cuisine, with ingredients and seasonings assembled from Europe, Africa and South East Asia. A few signature items include Galinha à Africana' (African chicken), minchi and Macanese Chilli Shrimps. Not to be missed are local snacks such as Portuguese egg tarts, pork chop bun and ginger milk. You can also find high-quality Chinese and International cuisine here - sounds like a real foodie heaven to me!




3. Exciting Events &Festivals
Macau has a wide selection of events and entertainment all-year-round. The biggest event of the year is the Macau Grand Prix in November, and other popular annual events include the Macau Arts Festival in March, Macau Lotus Flower Festival in June, Macau International Fireworks Display Contest in September and Macau Food Festival in November.


4. Shopping
There are shops to suit every budget, from designer, top-of-the-range items which you can find at Wynn Esplanade, Shoppes Grand Canal, Shoppes at Four Seasons, Shoppes Cotai Central, The Boulevard in City of Dreams, One Central Macau and Galaxy Macau to bargains and knick knacks at Taipa Flea Market. Rua de Tercena near St. Paul's is the place to go to find art, antique items and pottery.


5. Fun for all / Entertainment
When in Macau, you can catch various spectacular shows including the extravagant production "The House of Dancing Water" by Franco Dragone - a brilliant water-based show which showcases the Asian culture on stage. Macau is also a family-friendly destination - I know my kids will absolutely love to visit the Macau Science Centre for some educational fun.

There are also two beaches in Macau - Cheoc Van Beach and Hác-Sá Beach – located in the idyllic southern and eastern part of Coloane Island, for some outdoor fun. The latter, which translates as "Black Sand Bay" is Macau's largest natural beach and is famous for its black sand.




And now, you have the chance to win a 3D2N trip to Macau, thanks to a blogging contest hosted by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO). To enter the contest, simply follow these 3 steps:

1. Write up a blog post with the title – Dream Trip to Macau.

2. Blog about three most amazing things that makes you want to visit Macau and why you think you should be sent for this awesome opportunity.

3. Drop your blog post’s URL to the comment section of Nuffnang’s Official Blog Post by 23rd November 2014 (Sunday) 11:59PM.


Visit Nuffnang’s Official Blog Post for detailed information regarding the contest.

For more info about Macau, please visit their official website or their Facebook page.



Good luck in the contest!


Photo credit: Macau Government Tourist Office official website, unless stated otherwise.

*This is a sponsored post.



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Indian Food @ Nazma Tandoori, Aberdeen, Scotland

Nazma Tandoori is one of the Indian restaurants in Aberdeen that we used to frequent while we were still dating. During our last vacation in Scotland, we took the kids here for a family meal and to satisfy our craving for British-Indian curries. 



Having won the British Curry Awards for four consecutive years, it is often touted as the best curry house in Aberdeen.  In their menu, you can see testimonials from many famous people who have dined here.

They have a pretty extensive menu here, ranging from mild to spicy curries, various types of naans, rice, and side dishes. To start, we always have the crispy pappadoms with comes with 4 different condiments (raw onions, tomatoes, mango chutney, yogurt)... kids liked it too.

Modern interior


We decided to go for the milder curries - we ordered the lamb rogan josh (our fav!) as well as the murgh tikka makhani (butter chicken) as well as a peshwari naan and paratha. Since British Indian curries are quite rich, these were more than enough to feed our family of 4.


The lamb rogan josh, a Nazma classic was rich and creamy with lots of tomatoes. Love the curry sauce which we mopped up with the naan. (If you would like to try making it at home, here's a recipe for it)


Lamb rogan josh


State as one of the chef's special, the murgh tikka makhani was rich and creamy but the sauce was a tad too sweet for me - the chicken is lightly marinated and roasted in a tandoor and then served with a spiced, buttery sauce. I would like to recreate a butter chicken dish at home, do leave me a comment below with a good recipe if you know of any. Thanks :)



Naan and paratha


We also ordered a side of aloo gobi aka cauliflower and potatoes. This was nicely spiced, definitely enjoyed eating this.



After our Indian meal, we dropped by Duthie Park again with the kids :)


One of the Wild Dolphins that we found during our stay - Yellow Dolphmarine. Dusk by the River Dee 


Verdict: Certainly one of the best places for Indian curries in Aberdeen. A bit pricey but nice ambiance and good service.

Price: Total bill £51.30, including 4 drinks.

Location: Nazma Tandoori, 62 Bridge St, Aberdeen, AB11 6JN, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 1224 211296

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recipe: My Mum's Chicken Curry with Potatoes + Happy Diwali

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a photo of my mum's chicken curry on Facebook and Instagram, and got some email requests for the recipe. So, here it is!




This is an Asian-style curry which is fragrant from the fresh herbs used - ie lemongrass, curry leaves and daun kesum (Vietnamese mint). My mum has been cooking this for us since we're kids, and it is one of my favorite versions of chicken curry. The gravy is so delicious, that you can't help but have extra helpings of rice. We do recommend making a huge pot of this, so that you'll have leftovers for the next day (we like dunking toast in the curry sauce - I think this is quite a Malaysian way of eating leftover curry). Even Hubby enjoys eating it this way for breakfast!

Now everyone, say thank you Aunty for the recipe :)



And to all my readers and friends celebrating Diwali, Happy Deepavali to you all! :)





My Mum's Chicken Curry
Recipe by Baby Sumo 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
Serves 4-5

Ingredients
1 chicken maryland
1 chicken breast
1 bulb garlic, minced
3 large onions, sliced
3 stalks lemongrass, bruised with your cleaver
8 stalks curry leaves
6 stalks daun kesum (Vietnamese mint)
6 tbsp curry powder
4 medium potatoes, cut into big chunks
1/2 grated coconut
4-5 tbsp cooking oil
700ml warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp light soy sauce


1. First, squeeze out as much coconut cream as you can from the grated coconut, you will get about 60-70ml. Set aside. Then, soak the grated coconut in 600ml warm water and squeeze again to get coconut milk.

2. Mix the chicken pieces with 2 tbsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp light soy sauce. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

3. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the potatoes and brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Add chicken (from Step 2) into the same pot and cook for 5-7 minutes,until the chicken pieces are evenly browned. Remove and set aside.

5. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onions are slightly softened and garlic is golden brown. Then, add the curry leaves, lemongrass and daun kesum and cook for a further 30seconds. Add the remaining 4 tbsp curry powder and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk only and bring to the boil.

6. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and add the potatoes. Simmer for 1 hour, then add the chicken and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt as necessary.

Note: If you have any leftovers, simply reheat before eating and serve with toast bread (soldiers). Dip and enjoy!





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Monday, October 20, 2014

Hotel Review: Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

Staycations rank high on my kids' list of favorite things to do. We recently had a great staycation at Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, KL. It is centrally located near the KL Sentral area and less than a 30-minute drive away from home for us.


There are a total of 357 rooms and suites in the hotel. For the duration of our stay, we were booked into a 2-bedroom club suite on the 20th floor, the highest category room at the hotel. To access the hotel rooms, only guests with key cards can access their respective floors.

Also known as the family suite, this spacious 150 square metres suite can accommodate up to 4 adults and 2 kids. There are 2 queen-sized beds in the first bedroom and another king-sized bed in the other room.  There is a 32" LCD flat-screen TV in every room and also one in the separate living area. There are also 2 bathrooms (2 showers, 2 toilets, 4 vanity counters and 1 bath tub in total). The suite also comes with a kitchenette, with coffee/tea making facilities, mini bar and complimentary drinking water. Complimentary wifi is available in all rooms and public areas of the hotel for hotel guests.

Some of the attractions located nearby are National Museum, Central Market, Little India Brickfields, KL Bird Park, KL Butterfly Park and Nu Sentral shopping mall. The hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to KLCC, KL Sentral and Midvalley Megamall.


Separate living area with a spacious work desk

King-sized bed in second bedroom


Comfortable beds - our Penguin & Hello Kitty making themselves at home.

Bathroom no.1 with separate shower, bathtub and Best Western branded amenities


A bathtub is a must during our staycations!

 Plush bathrobes


Kitchenette

Welcome amenity - thanks for the 3-tier of goodies!


We like the modern interior of the suites - very nice and sleek!

The swimming pools are located on the 6th floor. There is an infinity (adult) pool and also a kids pool. You get a really great view from up here on a clear day - you can see both KL Tower and the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers from here. Copious amounts of fun were had here! :)


View from the pool area


Infinity pool




We certainly had a great time here :)





Cool bird cage showers at the pool side


The gym/fitness centre and Bhuvana Spa Luxe is also located on the same level as the pool. Bhuvana Spa Luxe offers a wide range of massage therapies, body treatments (scrubs and wraps), facial treatments and Bhuvana blends (spa treatment combinations) as well as manicure and pedicures. I had an ultra-relaxing massage here.


There are 3 restaurants and a lounge at the hotel. Kembali Kitchen is the hotel's all-day dining restaurant which serves both International and Asian cuisine (a la carte or buffet). We had our breakfast here as well as lunch on one occasion. Hugo's on 6 is located on the same level as the swimming pool, and offers Mediterranean cuisine as well as steamboat and BBQ on select days. Grill 582 is the hotel's fine dining restaurant, serving the finest meat cuts and seafood, and is only open for dinner. Punch Bar & Lounge offers pre- and post-dinner cocktails (happy hour between 6-8pm) as well as afternoon tea.


Nasi goreng from Kembali Kitchen


BBQ at Hugo's on 6


Sunset from Hugo's on 6


Delicious steaks at Grill 582


English afternoon tea at Punch Bar & Lounge


Verdict: Hotel in a great location. Rooms are spacious, modern, well-maintained and the rates are very reasonable. Good selection of F&B outlets, nice spa and swimming pool with a great view. 


Thank you to Best Western Premier Dua Sentral for the kind invitation to stay at the hotel.


See other posts related to Best Western Premier Dua Sentral:
Bhuvana Spa Luxe Spa Review
BBQ Sensation at Hugo's on 6
Lunch at Kembali Kitchen
Grill 582
English afternoon tea at Punch Bar & Lounge

Check-in time 3pm, check-out time 11am. Flat parking fee for in-house guests at RM8/car/day.


Room rates start from RM239 for deluxe room.

Location: Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, 8, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03- 2272 8888

Join their Facebook page here.

GPS Coordinates: 3.136185,101.693356


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Taste Enclave Classic + Chapter Two @ Pavilion KL

Taste Enclave Classic has been open in Pavilion KL since August 2014, and this week we stumbled upon it when we were looking for a lunch place. Located on Level 2, you can find authentic hawker fare here, and the difference with Taste Enclave in Avenue K is that you get table service here i.e. you will be seated by the staff, and will receive table service (look through the menu, the staff will take your order and serve you). I guess you could call this a "classy food court".



There was a slight queue when we arrived since it was lunch hour but still, we were seated within 5 minutes. Over here you can chooose from the famous Sentul Ah Yap Charcoal Hokkien Mee, Ah Hu Bak Kut Teh, Nasi Ayam Singapura, Tong's Roast, Jalan Kayu Prata, Heun Kee claypot chicken rice and more. There is also a cafe here, Coen cafe, which serves Scandinavian cuisine.



Hubby decided to try the Penang char koay teow with duck egg (RM12.90) from Sentul Ah Yap stall. It was decent enough, but slightly lacking in wok hei. Should have went for the Hokkien mee since the last time we had it in Avenue K, it was really good.


Kopi ping (RM3.30) and tea (RM2.30). All their cups and even chopsticks are branded with Taste Enclave.


I thoroughly enjoyed my order of dry wantan mee from Tong's Roast; I opted for roasted duck (RM14.90) and requested for duck breast. The duck meat was juicy and flavorful. It also came with a small bowl of soup and two wantans. We also ordered a plate of char siew (honey-glazed BBQ pork) and siew yuk (roast pork) to share - I was pleasantly surprised that the portion was quite generous and I would happily pay the RM20 charged for it. The siew yuk was excellent, one of the best I've had - super crispy crackling (don't you just love hearing the "cruk cruk" sound as you bite into the crackling) and the char siew wasn't too shabby either.

Dry wantan mee with roasted duck


Roasted duck breast


A glorious plate of porky goodness!


Overall, we had a nice meal here at Taste Enclave Classic. Prices are a bit higher than normal food court/hawker stalls, but it's worth paying for the nice ambiance and dining comfort. Yup, I don't need to sweat buckets to enjoy these local delights.


Checked out the Moschino store in Pavilion KL and spotted these McD-inspired bags and shoes



After some shopping, we stopped by at Chapter Two cafe (near Mercato supermarket) for some coffee and cakes. We shared a slice of tiramisu mille crepe (RM12.90), and it was really really good. The texture and flavours were spot on. I'm impressed.



Really lovely kolam display at Pavilion KL for Deepavali/Diwali


Opening times: 8am - 10pm on Sundays to Thursdays and 8am - 11 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays.

Non-halal.

Price: Total bill RM58.75.

Location: Taste Enclave Classic, Lot 2.65.00-2.67.00&2.74.00, Level 2, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chapter Two, P1.02.00, Level 1, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2110 6968

Website: www.tasteenclave.com



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