Thursday, May 28, 2015

Acme Bar Coffee, A.B.C. to celerate Mothers day and Hubby's Birthday

For a double celebration, I get Naim to suggest a new place other than going to our usual favorite diner spot. ABC, means Acme Bar & Coffee has an attractive website and ambiance, which attracted me the most. Furthermore, it is located on the ground floor of the Troika Building that I assisted IJM's construction team representing the Risk Management Department, way back in 2011. We did not have made any reservation though, hence, we got to wait about 15 minutes before the waiter ushered us to the seating right at the back, with KLCC Tower as background. All of us were happy with the choices, though this fine dining cost a bit high.

24 years together, celebrating his 53 year old birthday and 2015 mother's day 

Some photo while waiting at the reception, gazing at the menu

We parked our car at an opposite 3-storey public car parking, added the whole area becoming so convenience. Troika seated just across to PNB Darby Park, where another favorite restaurant of mine, Koong Joong is located. A.B.C. added to a vibrant dining scene in the heart of KL. It had a modern feel of the West with hints of Asian influences without the usual cliches. The food is simply cooked, in an ambiance that is stylish without being too fussily designed. There's no rushing in serving, which what was our mood for the special night. The service style is friendly, relaxed and attentive. The waiter that serves us through the night is very passionate to our request. 

We just love the whole restaurant decoration which is very rich, elegant and stylish. The restaurant owner engaged a US based design team to decorate the place in Us's style. The basic design idea was to make the space feel timeless (indeed) and gave personal feeling to every visitor (we felt it). I hope you may able to grasp the feeling by looking at the shared photos in this entry and give this place a try. A meal for a family of 5 that night cost us RM480, most reasonable for a double celebration. 

As for the menu, the owner has used their dining experiences to create a restaurant that cooked familiar dishes. That was their starting point and by looking at the selected dishes by all our family member, everybody really satisfied with the menu and the outcome. It's nothing too fancy though, so we had some starters, main dishes and dessert especially a slice of cake with the candle that is nicely placed by the friendly waiter. That guy was very passionate with us, waiting patiently for hubby to finish his cigarette session outside before serving the cake and sang along. 

Smoked Buffalo Wings with Mash potatoes as starter

Roast Lamb Rack for Hubby and Nazhif

Parmesan Pot Chicken Pie for Nasrul

Spicy Prawn Pizzadilla for me

Char grilled Sirloin Steak for Naim

Sizzling Brownie & Oreo Ice Cream as dessert

Birthday cake for the birthday man
While passing toward the exit, I had my last moment snapping below 2 photos. Gorgeous! You may visit their website in here, "" to find out more about the food and the place.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bungkus, a Korean family restaurant in Damansara Perdana

Empire Damansara seated just across the road. Do not mistaken, it is not a shopping mall but a mixed stylish development by Mammoth Empire Group (Australian based company). It compliment MK Land, a large property developer in Malaysia surrounding towers, i,e. Menara Gamuda, Menara Hasil, Menara Bata & Menara MK. These are all nestled in the heart of Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya. The complex, recently completed in 2013 houses 5 components of Empire Residence, Empire Soho 1, Empire Soho 2, Empire Studio, Empire Detached Office and a hotel, Qliq Damansara.  

When I first shifted to this area, Empire Soho 2 stand tall right visible from the glass wall of my office. A colleague advises me that I could go for high end meal where varieties of International food are available. I'm a huge fan of Korean meal, so that's where I went on my first week, to the Korean Restaurant seated on the Ground Floor just opposite Tous Les Jous. However, the captain politely chased me away with a huge apologies face and genuine smile that the food at their outlet in a non-halal. I was disappointed but returning there last week to a halal 1 on the 1st floor, Bungkus Restaurant. This time, I snapped some photos just to share how nice is the Empire Damansara's design, it's a true act of modern  building.

The restaurant is run by a Korean's family, introduces Korean fusion food to their patrons, notably known as the Rice Burgers. The Kimchi Bulgogi Rice Burger is their top selling dish that Bungkus owner can boast off. A blend of kimchi and bulgogi beef is sandwiched between layers of Korean rice mixed with seaweed bits. The seaweed bits gave the necessary fragrance, and the Kimchi Bulgogi is a mixture of sweet and sour combination. The Bulgogi Beef Noodle, on the other hand, is a mix of Maggie Mee with Bulgogi Beef, which was pretty decent for Korean noodles. I copied that from their advertisement.

The chef is Muslim and the owner is Buddhist, both respecting what not and what can be eaten by both believers. I bumped into the owner on Thursday when he was shifting some beverages up, who later apologised that their restaurant is close on Thursday. Take note ya! I returned again on Friday whilst picking up a Madeena suit from Madeena boutique located just below Bungkus. I was enjoying the Bulgogi Beef Noodle and Affogato alone, in a peaceful and beautiful ambient of the restaurant which compliment teh entire Empire Damansara as a whole. Hope you may agree with my view :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

DIB Cafe at Menara Gamuda

DIB stand for "Deaf In Business" has its main outlet in our Tower, Menara Gamuda. It became my favorite spot for breakfast. For some unknown reason, their toast bread tasted much better than any other place, including the bread I toast my self. I was late and hungry this morning when I decided to have a quick and quiet breakfast at their outlet located on Level "L" of my office. I should have increased an entry post relating to "Foods label" while I still have some time left between work and study. It's time to promote all good places to eat in Malaysia. You may visit the website "DIB Coffees of Hawaii", in here,  that tells everything about them. 

The brewed Hawaiian coffee is a must

DIB is a unique community business project established by Dr Allen Teh who has been in the restaurant business for the last 12 years. With an assistant of Miss Selina  Ooi, a digital and marketing and social media specialist, Dr Allen manage to connect with a large number of hearing-impaired to join his group. Let me assured you guys, that their teamwork amaze me personally. I'm entering their restaurant twice a day for Zohor and Asar prayer (our surau seated at the back of their restaurant), that's where I observe their passion towards the place and towards each other. The presence of love and belonging are in the air. For information, our Gamuda group has donated the DIB outlet in our tower to DIB for 2 years, rent-free and we have taken care of the premises renovation for them. Hence explained the 20% discount enjoyed by all Gamudians.

We enjoyed a staff special discount, i,e, 20%, for example a set breakfast as what I chose to have this morning cost RM10. After showing my staff card, I enjoyed a RM2 discount as the company has some kind of sponsorship to the cafe

The restaurant outlets is a "Made in Malaysia" brand, becoming the first gourmet coffee chain in Malaysia operated fully by deaf personnels, guided and trained by a few hearing coaches. Please take note that the establishment of DIB Coffees of Hawaii is based on a non-profit business, purely to assist the employment of a more employment opportunities to deaf Malaysians. It is here, the DIB management trained and challenged the deaf to become future businessmen, opening more outlets for them for encouragement as there's place for everyone in this world, no discrimination and no unlucky. After all, we are equal in the eyes of the Creator.

I'm sharing all photos that I snapped inside while having breakfast this morning. Hoping that you guys will support their existence. Let's care for the Malaysian people. Love our fellow Malaysian, make our country a peaceful and a harmony place to stay. With much love - Aswana!

Collection of photos inside their restaurant

Relevant articles about them and the vision for the future

My colleague in Administration Department has turn this place into an acceptable medium class restaurant

Some accessories in the outlet that is so catchy

Breakfast options

Lunch choices

Argh, Level 2 of our office

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A date with hubby at the tiles shop

It is Sunday, 24th May 2015 and we both had no plans. There's no class for me and hubby is still resting his muscle which was slightly injured from too much tennis game last week. His tennis group keep calling him since morning for a match as today is indeed having a beautiful weather. EPF, stands for Employees Providers Fund had bank-in my withdrawal application yesterday. Therefore, we decided to shop for tiles for our new bungalow. Today's entry is all about our vision for the new house.

Kitchen show room, display items on sale - the coffee machine was RM15K, the same price for the designer's electric oven but microwave oven was RM3,000 after a 50% discount! Am considering buying the whole set!

The house construction has been left abandon since November last year while waiting for the fund to be released from many sources of financing. Co-incidentally that hubby secured a bungalow construction project from our neighbor, located only a few plot from our unit and has been busied since then. Now that we have some money in hand, we thought of proceeding with furnishing the bathrooms, kitchens and laundry area first while waiting for the next course of financing be released. We had also getting the external works back in progress tomorrow and a day after. It's been a blessing from the Almighty for the patience and observance that we two had for the last six months.

After breakfast with some friends somewhere near where we now stay, we went straight ahead to Jalan Ipoh where most of the tiles shop are. It is where my husband bought tiles and other finishes for his customer and it was I who first brought him there when we were first started off the business 12 years ago. How times has fly.

We went inside 4 shops altogether, purchased 2 deep bowls stainless steel for wet kitchen and an imported granite bowl for the island top plus an extremely expensive sink tap  (Groehe brand) which I pray that no one will ask.

Therefore, I'm sharing in this entry some of the tiles that we planned for our 9 bathrooms, wet @ dry kitchen and laundry are. Hope I will make in regrettable decision when the house is ready. And I too hope to start sharing the story of the construction soon in this blog.

Wish me luck, will you 💝

Just like in my dream few nights now - a feature wall for my laundry

Hubby immediately agreed when I chose this for our guest bathroom

Feature wall inside my bathroom, very mediterranean look, says hubby

Snapped this for some ideas

I chose this for our future maid bathroom. I hope she would be very please

Hubby chose this for Nazhif bathroom

For wet kitchen - you would be surprise how I would Ah Seng to lay the floor/wall combination, so very excited!

Fallen so deeply in love with the pink wall - aiming this for the dry kitchen

We can't decide what type of finishes suited our beautiful staircase, timber or granite anyone?

Both will turn my Island look hot!

The flower series is quite nice but I have no clue where shall I placed them

Considering this combination for Naim's bathroom

Friday, May 15, 2015

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Part 3

Part 3

I'm coming the last part of the Halong Bay, the grotto. Entering the cave reminded me of my visit to Bora Caves in Vishakapatnam, India way back in March 2012 where I lost all of the photos when the hard disk crash. But of course, Thien Chung Grotto is much more commercialize than Bora Caves in Araku Valley. The colorful lighting fixed inside the cave by the Authority looks almost similar. 

Thien Cung Grotto is located at the height of 25 meters above the sea level. Once inside the grotto, any tourists would feel like visiting an art museum with variety of sophisticated statues and reliefs. In the center of the grotto, there are 4 big pillars propping against the roof. The original inhabitants of Halong Bay have told an ancient story about Thien Cung Grotto over many generations. 

The myth is passed down from earlier generation to present generation that the Dragon Prince was fallen in love with “Nang May” (means Miss Cloud) who were there to pray for the rain. Vietnam was once on a very  bad drought which villagers went to pray for help from the descending dragon. The wedding was held lavishly inside the grotto in 7 days and 7 nights. All kinds of animals and all genies took part to share the happiness with the couple. The celebration was that fun and bustling like on the heaven. Nowadays, entering Thien Cung Grotto, visitors can gaze at the myth party sceneries in the setting of stalactites and stalagmites inside. 

So. our guide has repeatedly asked us to spot all the animals resemblance from the stalactites and stalagmites. He had also shown the area where the couples children were bought up including the nipple to feed the children when the mother decided to abandon the dragon prince, their grotto and their children after she discovered that the husband was having an eyes for many other women. It's a myth story okay, nothing seem serious about it.

The grotto has been discovered recently by the explorers. I fully agreed that Thien Cung Grotto is considered as one of the most beautiful caves of Halong Bay. The grotto means a "Heavenly Palace Cave" in english. It is located in the southwest of Halong Bay about 4 km away from Dau Go Island. It is considered as the most beautiful primitive cave of the Bay drawn many tourist to the spot. The cave is 10,000 square meters with complicated interior structure, many floors, and high ceiling. It becomes famous due to a unique system of stalactites and stalagmites with different forms and shapes.

Exploring Thien Cung Cave’s craggy cliffs is no an easy task. Going through a narrow door, you would be surprised by a large space inside the cave that the further you walk, the more beautiful formation of stalactites come to your eyes. On the wall of the eastern side of the cave, an impressive picture of stalactites and stalagmites give tourists the most fantastic feeling ever. The travel guide would never forget to tell you legends or folk tales interpreted from the picture by the local Halong people.

Our guide kept on pushing us to use our imagination to create a pictures of fish, flocks of birds, and the daily life of people from a giant natural rock pillar all naturally sculptured by stalactites inside our mind ever since we reached the center of the cave. It was beautiful to see above our head, on the ceiling of Thien Cung Cave, amazing rows of stalagmites drooping through million years that create a colorful pictures and melodies with the fixed man-made light. Besides, the wind flowing inside the cave has given a cool circulation.

Leaving the cave, tourist would feel a lingering sensation like just finish a tour to a massive art museum created by the Mother Nature. That was how we felt. 

The family of dragons that was sent by god to defend the country from invaders has spitting out the jewels and jade, as shared in Part 1 of this entry. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, linking together to form a great wall to protect Vietnam from the invaders. Under magics, numerous rock mountains abruptly appeared on the sea, ahead of invaders' ships; the forward ships struck the rocks and each other. After winning the battle, the dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth, and then decided to live in this bay. 

The place where the mother dragon descended was named Hạ Long, the place where the dragon's children attended upon their mother was called Bau Tu Long island (means dragon's children). The place where the dragon's children wriggled their tails violently was called Bạch Long Vy island Hence, Thien Chu cave belong to one of the descending dragon son.

Remarks: Full historical background came before the photos to test a different style of writing.