$1 Happiness at Nyonya Colors

Whenever I crave for Mee Rebus, Assam Laksa, tongsoi (Chinese dessert) or Nyonya kueh, I’ll go to Nyonya Colors. When my SIL was back from LV, we both went to Nyonya Colors and SIL bought lots of Nyonya Kueh. Luckily, both of us have almost the same taste, we both shared them and she could have more varieties of Kueh to eat.

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Even parents love the Nyonya Kueh too. After breakfast at Nyonya Colors, they wanted to buy more Kueh home to eat.

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Breakfast at Nyonya Colors. A day after Ah Niu Concert in Genting in Feb 15

This photo was taken when I was busy with annual budget at work previously and I went to Nyonya Colors on a very late afternoon for my lunch, tea and dinner … all 3 in 1. While waiting for food to be served, I took this photo of nice oriental paint on stools and wall.

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Nice oriental prints on stools and wall – May 15

Today, I went to Royal Selangor to get a souvenir for John and Minh who are leaving KL for Toronto.

While at the shopping complex, I stopped by Nyonya Colors to pack my favourite food. While putting my change back into my wallet, the lady behind me made her order. I heard her telling the cashier that she only brought $15 for lunch and wanted to check if she had sufficient money for her order. She wanted to have a main and dessert but the cashier told her she was short of $1. I saw disappointment in her face.

I took out a $1 note and said “You can have this”. Both the lady and cashier were surprise but soon after, I saw joy in the lady’s face. I asked her “Do you need parking money?” and she said “I’m fine”.

Looking back, it was all on impulse. I’m glad I did what I did. I know the feeling of craving for favourite food, especially when you are hungry. And I also know how happy a person can be after a satisfying meal. The $1 note is a small token in exchange for joy and happiness in someone face.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta and Smoked Salmon Bruschetta

My body was aching after taking care of Jared and Jaden all by myself for the last 9 days. I was their driver, cook, cleaner, tutor, etc and it was just the 3 of us for more than a week, which was a record for me. Tough job, no wonder my body was aching terribly.

I made a massage appointment for 11am. Before left home for the appointment, I prepared and cooked meat sauce for spaghetti Bolognese for dinner tonight. Looking at the ingredients, suddenly bruschetta came to my mind. The thing about Italian food is all in few ingredients i.e. olive oil, garlic, tomato, salt and pepper. I decided to make Bruschetta as appetizer for dinner tonight which has been ages since I last made it.

I felt so good after a good 1.5 hours of warm oil massage with hot stone. I was served with ginger tea. While sipping the hot ginger tea, I admired these lanterns hanging at the massage place. Such a sweet colour and pretty lanterns.

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Sweet and pretty lanterns

There’s a nice Korean restaurant next to the massage place, owned by a Korean lady and have lots of Korean dine at the restaurant. I’ve been there several times and particularly like its kimchi pork stew.

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My favourite Kimchi pork stew

On the way home, I stopped by neighborhood café to buy baguette. The staff asked me “Do you want to cut the baguette into slices?” “Oh … yes please”. And that made my work even easier.

Bruschetta is another easy to prepare food. It’s just a mixture of chopped tomatoes, balsamic, basil and garlic, spooned over olive-oil brushed slices of toasted baguette. It is a perfect finger food for a party or as appetizer of Italian dinner.

We can prepare in advance a large bowl of bruschetta topping, cut baguette into slices (or asked shop assistant to cut for you) and toast them ahead of time. I remember preparing this and brought to friends house to eat and watch football match together. And it was a hit, especially we paired it with beer.

In this recipe, I’ve replaced balsamic vinegar with Maggie Beer’s Verjuice which we bought from Maggie’s Farm Shop in Barossa Valley.

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Simple ingredients for Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 8 plum ripe tomatoes (cut out stem base, remove seeds and diced).
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Verjuice (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette French bread, sliced diagonally 1 cm thick and toasted

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix together tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese and garlic.
  2. Mix in Verjuice (or balsamic vinegar), olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Brush one side of each slice of baguette with olive oil and place olive oil-side facing up on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Toast in toaster or on the top rack of oven at 230°C, for 5 minutes until bread lightly browned around the edges.
  4. Serve the toasted baguette slices plain with a bowl of the tomato bruschetta mixture on the side for guests to top their own, or use a spoon to gently top each toasted bread slice with some of the tomato mixture, right before serving.

If you do not like the sour taste of tomato, peel away the tomato skin.

  • Put water in a pot to boil.
  • Make shallow cuts in a cross pattern at the tip ends of tomatoes to peel tomatoes easily.
  • Once water boiled, remove the pot from heat.
  • Put tomatoes in the hot water and blanch for 1 minute.
  • Remove tomato from pot and once cool, gently peel off the tomato skins.

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I made these few for my photo taking. And my bruschetta didn’t make it to appetizer for spaghetti dinner as they were all consumed during tea time.

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We can also add slices of smoked salmon on top of the bruschetta topping to make smoked salmon bruschetta.

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The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket

 

We checked in to The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa Phuket for a two night stay. We were greeted with cold towels and drinks on check in while the hotel reception processed the check-in and kids pass for Jared and Jaden.

Club car to commute around the hotel

After about a ten minute wait, we were taken by a golf buggy to our room. Jared and Jaden loved riding the golf buggy.

Hubby standing at our room balcony

The rooms at Westin are built into the sides of the hill and to get to the rooms involve walking steep inclines.

There are walk paths, which we took at times, but the kids loved the experience of riding the “club cars” especially the golf buggies (but not the Tuk Tuks).

Their favourite ride

The drivers who took us up and down were friendly and smiling. They were concern of our kids safety who prefer to sit at the back of the club cars.

Superior King Bed with Sea View

Our room was spacious and clean, with The Westin’s trademark “The Heavenly Bed”. The bed was very soft which was very comfortable to lie on but not for night sleeping. I still prefer firm mattress bed.

View from our balcony – The Westin

The view from the room was spectacular. All the rooms basically overlook the bay and it’s a good hotel for a retreat.

View from our balcony – Blue Sky

View from our balcony – sunset soon

Comfy chair at hotel room balcony

You could just lounged on the balcony with a drink and a book and have a lovely quiet “me” time.

Rain shower with sea view and white tea aloe toileteries

As we stayed in the corner room, we had beautiful sea view from our bathroom with rain shower.

The major complaint was the electrical problems we had in this room. First of all, the bell boy and the driver who carried our luggage should have explained how things worked in the room. We did not know at first that the air-cond will cut off if we opened the balcony door, etc. There were a few blown bulbs that had to be replaced and was done promptly after Hubby called. The technician was efficient.

Suite that was offered to us complimentary

However, over the next two days we had several strange problems with the lighting. Once when I was bathing the boys and once when Hubby was having his shower. The lights came back after 5/10 mins. The Westin suggested that we change room. However, I didn’t like the idea of packing and unpacking our stuff on the last night in The Westin. The hotel management was kind to offer us another room which was its Discovery suite, two doors down from our room, while we left our stuff in the existing room. But, we were too lazy to move and only Hubby went over to sleep there for a night and had The Heavenly bed all by himself.

There were 3 pools at The Westin.

Splash Pool

We tried the Splash pool on the first day but it seems to lack atmosphere.

Hubby and 2 boys playing Pool.

The great thing was the Splash was nestled on one of the highest points in the resort and it offered spectacular sunset view.

Spectacular sunset view

While the boys playing pool, I watched sunset and took lots of sunset photos.

Since we already had our fill of Phuket before we checked into Westin, the plan was to essentially enjoy the hotel facilities including having all our meals there. We paid for SPG Kids Pass for our boys which was THB300 per child per day. They had unlimited food from the Kids Menu at the in house restaurants and as much as they could eat. It was a fantastic offer. We ate in all the in house restaurants and found them very good.

Mango sticky rice dessert from the Kids Menu

The dinner at Eest was lovely.

Just nice, four Apple iMac for the four of us.

After dinner, we went to the Business Centre and there were 4 Apple iMacs available for guests for the Internet access which were just nice for the four of us. The boys helped themselves to the iMacs and played their favourite online games. It is unfortunate that Westin does not provide complimentary Internet access in the rooms unlike many hotels in Phuket. Internet access was available around public areas in The Westin.

Breakfast at Seasonal Tastes

We had awesome breakfasts at the Seasonal Tastes.

Jared registering at Kids Club

We sent Jared and Jaden to Westin Kids Club after breakfast and the staff there were very helpful to keep the boys entertained for half a day till lunch. There were no other kids there at the kids club apart from my boys. Although the kids club room was well furnished for kids activities, they were not entertaining enough for Jared and Jaden. Luckily there were a couple of Xbox 360s to keep them occupied for a while. There were very few children around Westin for most part of the days we were there.

Aquacise at Horizon Pool

Hubby and I tried the Horizon pool where there was Aquacise conducted by The Westin at 10am.

Infinity Pool with bay view

This infinity pool has a fantastic view of the bay. We loved it.

Lunch at Seasonal Taste

While the 2 kids dined on SPG kids pass, Hubby and I ordered mutton biryani. The food was a little spicy but the taste was great with strong spice taste. Our lunch only cost us THB350 for the adults and kids were dining on SPG kids pass which cost THB300 per day per child for 3 meals in a day ie breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their meals were full course meals with soup, appetiser, salad, main course and dessert.

Beach soccer at Westin Beach

The Westin had its weekly program and activities. One of it was beach soccer. On our day of visit, there was only Jared but the staff was kind enough to still have the beach soccer and played with Jared.

Italian dinner at Prego

On our last night at The Westin, we had our dinner at Prego by the Beach.

Dinner at Prego

Prego just had a new menu and we loved the food there so much, especially the mushroom soup and pizza. As our kids had SPG kids pass, our dinner only cost us THB480, after the Starfriend 15% discount.

Our 2nd day breakfast

The stay at The Westin was about rest and relax, with lots of food and swimming at its pools.

2nd day Aquacise

I enjoyed the daily morning pool exercises at Horizon Pool while Hubby and the two boys enjoyed their swimming at the infinity pool.

Lunch at Seasonal Taste

On our last day at The Westin, we had our lunch at Seasonal Taste again. This time round, I ordered Tom Yum Goong with Thai fried rice to share with Hubby. This was my one and only tom yum that I had during this 5 days holiday in Phuket. This meal only cost us THB550.

We had a great time enjoying The Westin at Phuket except for the electrical gremlins in our room. The part that really made our stay so memorable were the staff there, from the front desk, the drivers, the restaurant servers, the kids club staff (Na and co.), the hardworking houskeeper on our floor and the lady manager who met us on check out. We were surprised that the management of The Westin gave us a one night rebate (we only paid 1 night stay) on check out for the inconvenience caused. We did not expect this as they had already offered us the suite.

When we came back and relate the story to our family, they said could it be the “spirit” from Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival and I got so frightened by it. Thank God that this did not cross my mind then.

The Westin was beautiful. We spent two nights in the hotel and we just stayed in the hotel for the 3D2N, enjoyed the hotel facilities, rest and relax and had all of our meals in the hotel.

We arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the hotel, stopped at Robinson for shopping and thereafter, adjourned to the airport for our 6.05pm flight home. We paid THB800 for the taxi.

At Phuket Airport Check in counter

Overall, it was a good trip. We are glad that we had a safe journey. We are also glad that we split our Phuket holiday into two parts ie Phuket City tour around Kata Beach and rest and relax at The Westin in Phuket town.

Horn Grill Steakhouse and Kata Beach

After a good foot reflexology and resting in hotel, we took a walk around our hotel vicinity to look for a good restaurant for our dinner.

We saw this Horn Grill Steakhouse which was ranked No 1 steakhouse in Phuket by Trip Advisor.

Horn Grill Steakhouse, No 1 steakhouse in Phuket by Trip Advisor

We went inside the restaurant and the restaurant was very spacious. It was separated into 4 areas, each with its own aesthetic appeal:

  • Outdoor Terrace
  • Stylish Bistro
  • Jazz Dining Room
  • Outdoor Tranquil Patio

We chose the Jazz Dining room with a classic, warm feeling of European decor. The waitress told us that there would be live Jazz Music at 7pm and recommended us to have our dinner during that time. So, we decided to take a walk around the Kata beach area and went back to the restaurant at almost 7pm.

The restaurant did have kids menu. Jared ordered garlic bread (THB85) and Fettuccine smoked salmon (THB325). Jaden and I shared fried rice (THB75) and Hot Dog (THB115) from the Kids menu and Hubby ordered Rib Eye Steak (THB625). I had coconut ice-cream too. The ice-cream was so, so yummy! So far, I havent found good coconut ice-cream in Malaysia.

The food is alright but we enjoyed the live Jazz music. It was a perfect place and atmosphere for us to sit back and relax, enjoying family bonding time along with Thai beer … not wine. Both Hubby and I enjoyed Thai beer. The dinner cost us THB1,390 … not expensive for the food, environment, service and live Jazz music. 

The following morning, after our breakfast, we walked across our hotel to the Kata Beach.

Since it was not peak season for Phuket, there were not many people and activities at the beach.

Kata Beach Resort & Spa

We passed by this impressive entrance of Kata Beach Resort & Spa.

It was a hot morning to walk around Kata Beach and we decided to go back to hotel, freshen up and check out early from the hotel. Hubby wanted to check out the Premium Outlet that we saw on the way from airport to hotel.

We are moving to The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa. We stayed at Kata for the experience there as well as sightseeing, knowing that Siray Bay was more isolated.

Ming Ren Restaurant, Resort World Genting

Hubby and I enjoyed the food at Ming Ren Restaurant which is famous for its Lamb Specialty Cuisine. The last time that we were in Genting Highland with my parents, we brought them there for dinner. Unfortunately, we were refused entry as we did not make any dinner reservation.

The restaurant entrance

This time round, Hubby made a reservation a day earlier. The staff adviced Hubby to be punctual at the restaurant as they will only hold on for our reservation for 15 minutes.

Quiet corner with nice view

We were ushered to this quiet corner with nice view of Genting. 

Mini Yellow Rice (RM3++ per bowl)

This yellow rice were cooked with shallots and have a nice aroma and taste. Ever since we’ve tasted this rice, we’ll always order this yellow rice and not the normal white rice.

HK Kailan (RM18++)

HK Kailan vegetables

Yam Papaya Soup (RM12++ per bowl)

Soup for Jaden. We ordered one portion which came in bigger bowl. I’ve divided the soup into smaller bowl for Jared too.

Beancurd Hot Plate (RM16++ for small)

Beancurd for the 2 boys.

Lamb Chunk (RM32++ for small pot)

The last time that we dined at Ming Ren, we ordered 2 types of lamb, Roasted Lamb Ribs and Roast Lamb Skewer. This time round, we ordered Lamb Chunk and Roast Lamb Skewer.

Roast Lamb Skewer (RM8++ each)

The Lamb Skewer in Xinjiang’s traditional spices and seasonings make Ming Ren’s “Lamb Specialty Cuisine” undoubtedly some of the most tantalising, tender and succulent lamb dishes around!

The service at Ming Ren was good. The staff were very attentive.

Jasmine Tea

As we walked out from the restaurant, the staff greeted Hubby and wished him Happy Birthday. The service was so personalised.

Ming Ren Restaurant

Level 2, Highlands Hotel

 

Early Birthday Treat at Le Midi Restaurant @ BSC

 

Hubby’s and my birthday is just a few days apart. Auntie YC offered to take us out for a lovely birthday dinner. She wanted to take us to Le Midi Restaurant at Bangsar Shopping Centre. Since it’s a long festive holiday, we decided to have an early birthday treat on Monday, the 2nd day of Hari Raya.

The restaurant setting.

The waiter told us that their dinner set menu was not available on that day. Probably due to short of staff working on that Raya holiday.  

Jelly fish in designer aquarium

Photo taken by Jaden

Since Jared is having holiday in Penang with his grand mother, we brought Jaden along for the dinner.

Lemidi chef variation of appetizers (RM68++)

To start with, we had Lemidi chef variation of appetizers and Mediterranean Seafood salad. Hubby likes the seafood salad made with extra virgin olive oil, seasonal vegetables, cherry tomatoes, garlic and lemon.

Mediterranean Seafood Salad (RM38++)

Broth of Scallops (RM28++)

 Auntie YC had this scallops broth. She didn’t quite like it as the broth was a little blend.

Cappuccino of Wild Mushrooms, Black Truffle foam (RM30++)

 Mushroom soup … Jaden’s favourite.

Grain fed Wagyu Sirloin with Balsamic reduction and rocket salad (RM118++)

If we are eating out, Hubby is very likely to order beef, since we do not cook beef at home. Hubby gave a thumb ups for this Wagyu Sirloin that he had it with red wine.

Dutch Lemon Sole, Fennel sauce with glazed vegetables (RM98++)

Auntie YC ordered this pan seared Lemon Sole and had it with White Wine.

Perreney Lamb Rack with Rosemary, Red Wine reduction and seasonal vegetables (RM108++)

Jaden chose to have lamb for main course and I ordered this lamb rack to share with him. I like the taste of the lamb with the red wine.

Dessert Platter (RM68++)

After dinner, Auntie YC recommended that we should try their desserts, especially this is for our birthday celebration.

We requested the restaurant to recommend their desserts. The restaurant owner, Ms Melissa Groot suggested that she will ask the kitchen to prepare a dessert platter for us to experience the few varieties of desserts that the restaurant offer.

Lemon Ricotta Tart, Panna Cotta, Profiteroles and Almond Parfait

From Top, left: Lemon Ricotta Tart, Panna Cotta with passion fruit coulis, Profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce and toasted almond and Almond Parfait.

All of the desserts were yummy. We particularly like the Panna Cotta and Lemon Ricotta Tart. In fact, the Almond Parfait was very nice too and so was the Profiteroles. So, all of the desserts were good. I would love to return to the restaurant just for the desserts. 

The Happy Me with the lovely dessert platter.

This is also my first photo with my new hair cut (cut it two days ago).

Haha … the clean plate. Who is on diet?

Thank you Auntie YC for remembering our birthday and also thank you for the lovely dinner.

Jaden said he would tell his brother what he had for his dinner. We tested him “What did you have for dinner?” and he said “I had bread with butter. Then, I had mushroom soup with squid and prawns (from the seafood salad). For main course, I had lamb. Then, we had desserts”.

Le Midi Restaurant

3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre

285 Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur

For Reservations Telephone: +603 2094 1318