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Sunday, February 23, 2014

~ Piping Curry Fish Head @ Curry & Curry ~

Has been contemplating to try Curry & Curry's Fish Head for awhile ever since its opening. Hubby and I finally managed to have some personal time and drove down to Kovan for our Curry Fish Head dinner.

It was always crowded whenever we were on our way to NTUC Finest (Curry & Curry is located next to NTUC). We got a seat outside in the open area and were lucky to have the breezy wind to help us tide through the heat.


Apart from Curry Fish Head, there are also other dishes you can order to go with your meal. We decided to settle for a plate of onion omelette ($6). 

The Curry Red Snapper Fish Head (Nonya style) costs $18. I was a little disappointed that this pricing no longer includes 2 free drinks as indicated on the banner that was placed outside the stall. We ended paying $1.50 each for our cups of Luo Han Guo. 



We waited for about 15 minutes before the dishes were served. 

Onion Omelette 

Nonya Style Curry Fish Head - The spiciness of the curry was just right for me and I like the tingling taste of sour which blends in nicely with the dish. It opens our appetite and we ended ordering 2 more plates of rice (60 cents each). Fish meat was fresh and chewy. Not too stiff or soft.


Total cost of our dinner for 2 comes up to $23.40. The curry fish head was tasty and the sourness of the soup goes perfectly well with my rice. I love onions and seeing onions and brinjal bubbling in the hot pot makes my day. Serving was a little less for us though but overall dining experience was satisfactory.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Johor Bahru Food & Leisure Itinerary

Johor Bahru is only a causeway away from Singapore and is a great place for staycation and leisure while enjoying their local delights. Lately, we have made a few trips crossing the border and venturing our way in search for fun and yummy-licious food.

Here's a compilation of where we have stayed, places where we had fun and delicious food which we have eaten in Johor Bahru. Hopefully it will be helpful when you are planning for your upcoming itinerary.



Whenever we are in JB, we preferred to stay in hotels which is centrally located, reasonably priced, with easy access to eateries and shopping malls.


KSL Resort Hotel and Grand Paragon Hotel fulfilled our criteria and have been one of our top accommodation choices to date. Both hotels are only about 10 minutes walk away from each other and is strategically located at each end of the popular Pasar Malam which opens every Monday.



8 Days Boutique Hotel has 3 branches conveniently located within Johor Bahru offering comfortable and affordable stay. We stayed in the Permas Jaya branch during our 3D2N food trail. AEON Premas Jaya is just beside the Boutique hotel and Senibong Village (Malay Seafood Village) is only 5 minutes drive away. There are also many dining options around Permas Jaya which is within walking distance.


8 Days Boutique Hotel - Mount Austin is slightly further up from the causeway. Mini Kuso 3D Trick Art, Mystery Room Escape and Aeon Tebrau City Shopping Centre are minutes away from the hotel. There are also a few eateries nearby but for more alternatives, it would be best to drive out.

Ample Hotel (formerly known as Kingston Hotel) is strategically located about 7-10 minutes walk away from Sutera Mall and surrounded by many cafes, eateries and restaurants. It has a big family room which has 1 Queen and 3 Single bedding suitable for large families. A no-frills hotel that comes with free Wifi.

Grand World Hotel is a boutique hotel with modern contemporary deco. It offers guests a variety of room types to choose from, which comes with en suite bathroom. We stayed in their Family Suite which has 2 Queen beds. Room is spacious and it comes with free Wifi.

Palm Tree Hotel is strategically located within the heart of Permas Jaya where many cafes and restaurants are nearby. It has multiple room types at an economical price. We particularly fancy their family room (1 Queen & 2 Single bedding) that comes with 2 attached toilets/bathrooms.

Yangtze Hotel, (formerly known as The Great Wall Hotel) a boutique hotel in Permas Jaya with a car porch within that can park 12 cars. Family room comes with 2 Queen beds and offers free WIFI.

Eco Bed & Breakfast is a unique homestay alternative situated within the gated and guarded residential estate - Setia Tropika (Johor Bahru). About 20 minutes drive away from KSL City, the little white house provides travelers with comfortable overnight accommodation and delicious home-made breakfast.

Check out more photos and our reviews of the hotels at the following links;
KSL Resort : http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2013/12/jb-makan-shopping-trip-dec-13-day-1.html
Grand Paragon Hotelhttp://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2013/08/3d2n-trip-to-johor-bahru-day-1-part-1.html

Mount Austin
8 Days Boutique Hotel (Mount Austin) http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2015/04/8-days-boutique-hotel-mount-austin.html

Taman Sutera Utama
Ample Hotelhttp://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2015/11/ample-hotel-taman-sutera-utama.html

Permas Jaya
8 Days Boutique Hotel (Premas Jaya) : http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2014/06/sponsored-review-8-days-boutique-hotel.html
Grand World Hotelhttp://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2015/06/grand-world-hotel-permas-jaya.html
Palm Tree Hotelhttp://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2015/04/palm-tree-hotel-permas-jaya.html
Yangtze Hotel http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2015/05/yangtze-hotel-permas-jaya.html

Setia Tropika
Eco Bed & Breakfast http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2015/03/eco-bed-breakfast-homestay-in-johor.html

With the opening of Legoland Hotel, there are more alternatives to consider when you are planning for your stay.


During our stay-cation, we went shopping and have loads of fun at Legoland. Here's what you can plan for your next road trip.

- Legoland 


- Angry Birds Activity Park


Mini Kuso Trick Art


- Go-Kart Circuit (Permas Jaya)


- Escape Room

- Johor Premium Outlets (JPO) - Johor's finest shopping outlet
- KSL City - Shopping Mall - Cinema, Indoor Playground, Karaoke
Meldrum Walk - Food street with local delights


Sutera Mall - Shopping Mall - Dining, Indoor Playground, Arcade, Supermarket, Library
- Tan Hock Nee Cultural Street
- Tesco Extra Plentong


Other places to consider visiting includes:
- Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park (Housing Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and The Little Big Club)
- Danga Bay


Near KSL City - Opens every Monday
Taman Johor Jaya - Opens every Tuesday
- Taman Impian Emas - Opens every Thursday
- Taman Puteri Wangsa - Opens every Friday
Taman Ungku Tun Aminah - Opens every Saturday
Taman Cempaka - Opens every Saturday
- Taman Munsyi Ibrahim - Opens every Saturday
Permas Jaya - Opens every Sunday



Food is always the main agenda in our trips! Check out our listing of what food you can indulge in and where to find them. :)



Bakery
Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory (协裕面包西果厂) - Famous for its Banana Cake!
Salahuddin Bakery - traditional bakery selling assorted puffs

Bak Kut Teh
- Hwa Mei Bak Kut Teh (华美肉骨茶)
Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh Restoran (顺顺兴肉骨茶)
Shun Fa Bak Kut Teh (顺发肉骨茶)
Shi Wah Restoran (古来世华肉骨茶)

Cafe
- Chaiwalla & Co - Container Cafe - Unique Cafe in a Black Container.

Chinese Food
- Restoran Pou Wok (补锅佬菜馆) - KL Hokkien Mee, Sambal Kampong Chicken, Fried Bittergourd Salted Egg

Coffeeshop
Kim Wah Restoran (锦华咖啡店) - Nasi Padang, Breakfast toast and half-boiled eggs, Coffee, Fruit Rojak
Hwa Mui Coffee Shop (华美茶餐) - Coffee, Hainanese Chicken Chop
Bestcook Restoran (好美食咖啡餐室) - Selling cakes, kueh, noodles, nasi lemak. Nice variety of food within the coffeeshop.

Curry Fish Head
Curry Fish Head @ Kam Long Restaurant Johor Bahru (阿福街金龙阿仔咖哩鱼头)

Curry Noodles
Fat Mom Restoran (肥妈)

Dessert
U Dessert (Permas Jaya Branch)
U Dessert (Sutera Utama Branch)
- La Gourmet Desserts (乜都撈)

Dim Sum
D'Shanghai (大上海) - KSL outlet
Gui Yuan Restoran (桂苑港式點心茶樓) - Nice Dim Sum
Kai Xuan Chinese Restaurant (凯旋) - Halal Dim-sum
- TaSiXi Restoran (大四喜香港点心小厨) - Impian Emas outlet
- Yoong Lei Restorn (古来云来包点) 

Drinks
- Bali Coconut - KSL City Mall

Fried Fritters
Wah Cai 3 in 1 Chinese Cake (华仔3合1招牌炸年糕) - Fried Durians, 3 in 1 Fried Nian Gao

Kacang Pool Haji
- Kacang Pool Haji (Larkin Bomba Branch) - Thick toast with robust beef dip

Kway Tiao Kia (Kway Chap)
Guo Tiao Zi Tasek (果条仔)
- Meng Fang Kway Teow Kia (茗芳粿條仔) - Cedar Point Food Centre
268 (果条仔)

Laksa
- D'Laksa (No Pork, No Lard Penang Laksa)

Mixed Vegetable Stall
Chau Zhong Restoran (潮宗菜饭专卖店) - Teochew stall (Dimsum, Assorted mixed vegetable rice
Good Taste Food House (美丰味菜饭之家) - Near KSL City. Curry mee, Mixed vegetable rice, Satay

Nasi Uduk
- Nasi Uduk (兰花饭) with Ayam Rendang

Noodles (Kway Teow, Mee Pok)
- Ah Hua Kueh Teow Restoran (亚华粿條汤)
- Xiao Lee Kway Teow (小李粿条) 
- Restoran Kiang (十五楼阿坚面簿)
- Triple K Cafe

Organic Food
- Zenxin Organic Park Chef Garden Restaurant

Paper Baked Chicken
Teck Seng (德星茶餐室)

Prawn Noodles
San Ming Penang Prawn Mee (三民槟城福建虾面) - Inside Heng Heng Food Centre

Roti Prata
- Bukit Chagar Roti Canai
MD. Salleh Restoran - Roti Prata

Roast Meat
- Tong Tong Cross Way Bay Hong Kong Roast Meat (糖糖尖沙咀港式臘)

Seafood
- Star Chef (星名廚)

Western Food
IT Roo Cafe Restoran - Signature Dish - Fried Chicken Chop with Mushroom Sauce


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A typical 3 days 2 night stay in Johor Bahru would includes driving in early in the morning (avoiding the traffic jam). Normally, we will cross the border by 7am. Where do we go from here?

Day 1: 
7am - Early Breakfast! - There are many eateries which are already open.
8am - TESCO Extra Plentong - walking around the mega mart before the shopping malls open at 10am.
10am - Registration at KSL Resort Hotel. Shopping while waiting for our rooms to be ready. (Consider visit Tan Hock Nee Cultural Street)
12pm - Lunch at Tan Hock Nee and explore other eating hideouts.
2pm - Check-in to hotel and resting.
3pm - Free & Easy (Swimming/Massage/Resting)
5pm - Dinner (Meldrum Walk/Pasar Malam)
7pm - Free & Easy around KSL City (We preferred not to drive out in the nights for safety concerns. Staying within KSL Resort has the advantage of shopping, eating and leisure all under one roof)
9pm onwards - If you are movie goers, why not stay up and catch a late night movie at MBO.

Day 2:
9am - 6pm - Legoland

Day 3:
8am - Morning swim and breakfast
9am - Travel down to Johor Premium Outlet
2pm - Lunch and drive back home. :)

Travel Tips:
1) Check the opening hours of the shopping malls or eateries. Key the location coordinates into your GPS prior to travelling. (we try to group them by location to minimize driving around places)
2) Print out a copy of your travel itinerary.
3) Purchase data sim card for staying connected.
4) Avoid driving out in the nights.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There's SO MUCH to do and EAT in Johor Bahru. Time to consider it as your next vacation. :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

~ Team Lunch @ Astons Steak & Salad ~


ASTONS began its business in a coffeeshop, providing tasty western food among the heartlands at an affordable price. Within a few years, it expanded and moved into its own shop-front, establishing its brand name in Singapore. Currently, ASTONS Specialities and ASTONS Express have outlets across island wide.

Last Saturday, I joined my lovely and fun colleagues to have our very first team lunch at ASTONS Steak & Salad at Centrepoint.


I like the ambiance which is quiet and cozy, suitable for gatherings. 

Any order of the main course comes with the Supreme Salad Buffet, offering more than 80 items at the Salad Buffet Bar! Alternatively, you can just indulge in the All-You-Can-Eat- Salad bar buffet at $19.90.

Looking through the menu, we decided to go for the Grilled Chicken at $21.90 and it comes with the salad bar buffet! :) If you are interested in their steak selection, check out their Ribeye or Wagyu Grade 6! Surely looks tempting... 
The course also comes with free flow of cold and hot beverages.

Salad bar buffet spread

So colourful and appetizing! 

I'm not a salad lover but seeing the range of selections did made me drool... I always thought salad is cold and raw. Seeing the warm items available at the counter proves me wrong.


There are baked rice, steamed vegetables, baked onions, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, soups and many more!
Even the salad buffet alone is enough to fill my tummy. I had so much fun filling up my salad bowl with my favourite ingredients. Children will love the fried onion rings and hash browns. 

My Salad Combi - Warm 

My Salad Combi - Cold

I thought their soup was pretty tasty. In order to save some space for my main course, I had more soup than my free flow of cold drinks.
Soup of the Day
By the time my Grilled chicken was served, I was already half fulled! 
Still, there's always room for dessert! I LOVE their ice-cream! Soft, sweet and creamy! I even went for another round to satisfy my sweet tooth! I can imagine my kids making root-beer float if they are with me. :)
Fruits to end our fulfilling lunch. :)

I think the main highlight was the salad bar which I really enjoyed. Personally, I don't mind coming back again just for their salad which is filling and satisfying. I thought the pricing was pretty reasonable and it's a great place to spend a quiet afternoon chilling with a group of friends.

ASTONS STEAK & SALAD
176 Orchard Road, The CentrePoint
#03-45/46/47, Singapore 284483
Telephone : 6235 0556
Operating Hours : 11.30am - 10pm (Daily)
Website : http://www.astons.com.sg/

Monday, February 10, 2014

~ KIDSFEST! 2014 - Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians ~

Thanks to Ai Sakura's recent KidsFest 2014 giveaway contest, we were lucky to win 4 Category 1 tickets to the "Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians" last Saturday! We could not hide our excitement as this is our family first experience attending an Art performance!

Our first visit to The Singapore Repertory Theatre.

This is the show that we'll be catching later! 

Denver & Gladys waiting outside the theatre patiently. 

Don't be surprised that Art performances as such attracted quite a fair bit of audience! We arrived earlier and manage to catch a glimpse of the overwhelming response from the 3pm show. Seems like a full house!

The shows printed on the booklet looked very entertaining and captivating. Hubby highlighted to me that "The Gruffalo's Child" is an interesting story about a child seeking into the deep dark wood looking for the 'big bad mouse'. Browsing through the story books pile, I felt like I'm a child once again.

 It's time to enter and we were thrilled to join SengkangBabies and Ai Sakura for the performance!

The one hour play was filled with songs and humor. We joined Professor Storey, Bill and Maisie in their little adventure as Ramsses's spirit, which was hidden inside the statuette appears, bringing us back to the ancient Egypt to learn abnout the ancient pharaohs, pyramids and the mummification.

It wasn't as gross and awful as the title suggests. I thought it was FUN and AWESOME. Kudos to the actors and actress who injected a lot of humor along the way. I particularly love the part where bits and pieces of the dead body parts were thrown onto the stage - as it was collected. Sounds petrifying? But it was nothing of that sort and the audience joined in the laughter.

Our first arty experience and we enjoyed every single bit of it! We would love to bring our children for more such exposure in the future!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

~ Year of the Horse - 恭喜发财 ~

大年初一, first day of Chinese New Year, is the most hectic day of the celebration for our family. After only catching a few hours of sleep, we were up early at 6 plus in the morning getting ready to doll up and go to my in-laws place.

Denver & Gladys were neatly dressed in their traditional costume to go 拜年.

Gladys looking neat and pretty 

Denver with his Korean style beady eyes and smile. 

Its a tradition to go to the temple first to offer our prayers for good luck, good health and good fortune. 

Our kiddos posing at the temple - looking great! :)

CNY is not the same without visiting our relatives and hopping from house to house. Apart from collecting the red packets (ang pow), this is also the golden opportunity for the children to play games and munch on CNY goodies.

This bowl of home-made agar agar, specially made by Hubby's 3rd uncle is what we have been craving for every Chinese New Year. It's sweetness and fragrance is made to perfection that we only have the luxury to taste it during the festive season.

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (四马路观音堂) is one of the temples that we will visit during the CNY period. Unlike the previous years, we decided to brave through the heat and crowd, patiently joining the queue to enter the temple. Many stalls stationed along the queue, were selling joss-stick (发财香). The heat gets even more intense with smoke hovering around us making our wait challenging and difficult.


Lucky for us, we managed to enter the temple and offer our prayers after 15 minutes. 

God of Fortune

It is a tradition for married daughters to visit their parents on the second day to avoid being dis-respectful to their husband. However, with the new generation, many has made their visit on the first day, like myself. Going to my mom's place for lunch also serves as a resting point after visiting a couple of places in the morning.



Denver & Gladys with their Grandma.

More visiting after we re-energized our bodies! Our children interacting with their cousins and grabbing every opportunity for a quick game.

Games room for the boys!

Home-made agar agar by Big Brother-in-law
 Lots of CNY goodies to 'clear'!

Day 2 (初二) was dedicated for more temples visiting. :) 

Family photo on Day 2

We were up early again on the second day and our first destination was Koo Chye Ba Sheng Hong Temple (韭菜芭城隍庙). We were just in time for Lion dance performance too!


Every year without fail, our kiddos will sit on this horse statue. This year it has a greater significant since it is the Year of the Horse!



Our family stamp with pictures of us and our animal zodiac.

Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple (洛阳大伯公) is another favourite location during the CNY period attracting a huge crowd, who came to pray for good blessings for the year.


Spotted any lucky numbers on this Horse?

Long queue was formed to get an angpow with a lucky coin and 4D number.

Free red bean soup, mineral water and newspaper for the public.


As part of the celebration, two horses were 'invited' to Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple. Public queued to take pictures with them.



Praying sincerely at the temples for a smooth sailing year ahead is also part of our CNY festive celebration. We hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend and wishing everyone a Prosperous and Happy New Year.

快马加鞭祝愿大家:

龙马精神,马到功成,一马当先,万马奔腾

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