February 26, 2013

Italian dining @ La Risata

A few weeks back, we were invited to a friend's birthday cum reunion party. It was at a Italian restaurant just behind Victoria Station along Sprint Highway. 

We had bread to munch on while looking at the menu. Bread was just OK but the olive oil thingie was really really good. 

We ordered 3 appetizers to be shared among us - The beef slices, the seafood soup and something else which I don't have a picture and can't remember what we ordered. I like the beef slices - it was sliced so thinly that it almost fell apart in the short space from the main plate to my plate and from my plate to my mouth. The cheese gave it extra flavour. The soup had a very tomato-ish base and it was cold. Not really my thing but it still tasted quite delicious. 

I had the salmon which I must say, not one of the best I have tasted but still above average. The fish itself is a lil overcooked but the dressing and sauce made it overall a satisfying dish. 

Rockstar ordered the chicken and it was good. Soft and slightly crisp on the outside. And the sauce had a unique tinge of taste. 

Another friend ordered the seafood pasta.

And another ordered the risotto, I think. 

Obviously I didn't take enough pictures or taste enough food to do a proper review. However, I would say that overall the ambience, the service, the food quality is above average. I would have to go back for a 2nd round to made a conclusive decision. The entire bill for 9 person came up to RM125 per person ; but that included wine and some other expensive main course. If you skip the wine and cut down on appetizers  you might get a good meal for about RM50-60 per pax. 

We had a cake and its delicious.

Happy birthday Arun & Aiman. It's very late but I did wish you that day :p

La Risata - Bar. Pizzeria. Ristorante.
128 Jalan Kasah
Medan Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur
+ 603 2095 9572

Lunch : 12.00pm-2.30pm
Dinner : 6.30pm-10.30pm

February 25, 2013

Frogs at Geylang

*Just remembering my meals in Singapore

A trip to Singapore isn't complete without a trip to Geylang. No, not for chickens but for frogs. Seriously. Geylang is well known for its frog porridge and at almost every street corners, you'll find restaurants serving frogs. We meet a friend who had just started working in Singapore and was recommended to try the frog porridge on Geylang Street 3. 

We ordered a Fried Mango Chicken as I do not eat frog. Yes, I find them disgusting, even more so after watching the Japanese video on eating live raw frogs. Ewwww... 

The chicken did not have much mango taste but was fried to perfection - crispy and juicy. 

We ordered 2 types of frog - 1 spicy, 1 non spicy. According to the guys, the frogs were really good. They both find it tasty especially for the spicier version. 

Total meal came up to 16sgd per pax for 3 person. 

Besides frogs, as mentioned in my previous blog post, I had lunch at the Arthur Center Food Court. 2.50 sgd for a big bowl of fish ball noodles. 

 While waiting for our friend, Rockstar and I also had a snack. Old-style crackers sandwich with butter slices. Super yummy. Have to buy crackers and butter for my breakfast now. Tea and biscuits for 2.80 sgd. 

And to end this post and my trip to Singapore - a sight Rockstar spotted along the highway and had to wake me up to snap a picture of - Cows on a lorry. Something you don't see everyday... :)

February 21, 2013

Staying in Pariss Hotel, Johor

I have been asked whether its better to stay in Johor or Singapore if you want to enter Singapore for a weekend of shopping/ sightseeing/others. And its been a constant debate on which is better. There is actually no right or wrong answer. However, here's my take it it.. 

Staying in Singapore is of cos going to be more convenient. Shopping, sight-seeing is all so near considering that Singapore is such a small island. But it will definitely going to cost you much more. Yes, there are some accommodation options which are reasonably price but that would meant giving up on the comfort, location and the pleasure of staying in a hotel 

Staying in Johor is inconvenient. You will need time to travel and get through the hassle of immigration. However, accommodation is way much cheaper. For a smaller price, you'll get a much bigger and nicer hotel  room without forgoing the comfort. 

Here's where Rockstar and I stayed the last time we had to travel to Singapore. 

Pariss Hotel is located in Taman Nusa Bestari, just 15 minutes drive to Singapore via the Tuas link. 

The hotel is directly opposite a Giant Supermarket, and surrounded by Tesco, Jusco, Sutera Mall and many other food and entertainment establishment. 

Entering the room, we were greeted with a reasonably sized room, much bigger then a lot of other hotel rooms we have been before. It's air-conditioned, has all the basic necessities and we even have an LCD screen that shows various channels, including Singaporean channels. Rockstar and I watched funny Singaporean and movies late into the nights. 

Toilet comes with a glassed rain shower cubicle. Basic amenities were provided like soap, shampoo, shower  gel, tooth brush, hair-dryer and others. However, I could spot some mould building in the corners and some things were falling apart too. 

I like huge bed and this king sized bed is just so good, slightly hard yet comfortable. But the pillows were too thin. I wish that could provide fluffier pillow. 

Room came with a safe and some extra pillows but we didn't use them as they seem to be a little dusty and stale-smelling.  

Kettle were provided. Coffee and tea were complimentary from the house. Free wifi is also provided. 

Breakfast came included with the room. Layout of the breakfast area has a modern Indian/ Middle Eastern vibe with big floor length windows that allow lots of lights to spill in the room. Clean, sleek, yet warm at the same time. However, food was a different matter. Very basic with a fusion of western and Indian. Cold and untasty, it was horrible. 

If you decide to stay there, my advice is to skip the breakfast and head out for some other better local food. 

All that came with a reasonable price of RM115 (via Agoda) per night for a Superior King room. They have other room options and also a Honeymoon Suite name "Love in Pariss Suite". We were both happy with the overall accommodation. To add to that, the staffs were all pleasant and provided us with good service. 

So if you were to ask me, I would say staying in Johor beats staying in Singapore any time  Unless of cos if I strike the lottery and could stay in any fancy pansy Singaporean hotel I like :)

Pariss Hotel
38, Jalan Bestari 7/2,
Taman Nusa Bestari, 
81300 Skudai, Johor,
+607-232 8250

February 17, 2013

Bargain Hunting in Singapore

Just a week ago, Rockstar had to travel to Singapore for work. I took this as an opportunity to go with him for some work cum shopping trip. We spend our nights in Johor as we could get cheaper and better options. 

We drove into Singapore via the Tuas link which cost us RM7.50 for the toll but so worth it. It was a breeze. Hardly an traffic and no queue. We parked at the Peninsular/Funan Shopping Center as the parking was one of the cheapest. And then with just my trusty google map and some directions from Rockstar, we separated - he to work, me to shop and sight-see.

I passed by some important building. I think its a musuem or sort.

Then then just around the corner, I spotted this quaint little building with such a peaceful atmosphere. Like a swan gracefully floating/sitting in a pond. It's an Amish Church (Armenian Church). I didn't get to go inside as there was some shooting going on with a couple dressed up in anime fashion. But I did like the white washed building - so white, so pristine, so pure. 

Walking along Victoria Street - I spotted another church. St. Joseph's Church. 

Since everyone who comes to Singapore goes to Orchard Road, I didn't want to follow the crowd and instead headed towards Bugis Street. 15 - 20 mins walk later, I arrived at Bugis+. It's a new mall, not unlike any malls in Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya, but I did get some good buys. 

I walked across the bridge to Bugis Junction. Bugis Junction is just directly opposite the road to Bugis+ and is slightly upmarket compared to Bugis+. It's a very friendly mall with both indoors and outdoor shopping experience. 

Finally, Bugis Street. Very similar to Kuala Lumpur's Petaling Street with small shops, messy atmosphere, lights but with way better air-ventilation and walkways. There were some sections which had air-conditioning too. Oh, and its wayyyy cleaner. You could get all sorts of things there and surprisingly, it was reasonably priced. 

Lunch was at the Albert Center Food Court. I had a big bowl of Fish Ball Noodles which only cost me SGD2.50 and a shy old lady for my lunch companion. She had come to pray at a temple nearby and stopped here for a meal as well. 

About 4 hours later, I hurried to meet Rockstar at where we separated. I passed by the Raffles Hotel and spotted some tourists busily snapping pictures. I went to kepo (busybody) and snapped a picture too.. :)

I kinda lost my way a bit as my Ipad battery died but it gave me an opportunity to sight-see a little bit more. 

All in all, in the 4 hours of shopping and sight-seeing; I got myself 4 necklaces, 12 pairs of earrings and 1 bracelet which cost me 29 SGD in total. I think I've just proven it wrong that Singapore is expensive. Bargain buys like this makes me happy. Can't wait for another trip to down to Singapore.