Tuesday, September 30, 2014

~ 3D2N Johor Bahru Food Trail - Day 2 (Part 2) ~

After spending the entire morning hunting for food, it was time to shop, play and rest. We drove down to Sutera Mall - one of our favourite one stop family shopping mall in Johor Bahru. Families can shop, dine, indulge in leisure activities all under one roof.

In case you are not aware, apart from AEON hypermarket where you can find your daily household grocery needs, Trendy Zone featuring latest fashion wear, footwear and other products, Sutera Mall continues to expand its space to add in more leisure activities.

Bounce N Play is one of the recently opened indoor playground at Level 4 (East Wing). Charges is slightly more expensive than "Go N Play Playground" in KSL City Mall.

Mon - Thurs : 30 mins - RM7, 1 hour - RM14, 1.5 hours - RM21, 2 hours - RM26
Fri - Sun : 30 mins - RM8, 1 hour - RM16, 1.5 hours - RM24, 2 hours - RM30

No extra charges after 2 hours of play. Child needs to wear socks prior to entering. Only applicable for child 12 years and below and height not exceeding 150cm.

While Gladys entered the play area with Hubby, Denver and I took the opportunity to roam around MY Library which is next to Bounce N Play. The first full-fledge mall library in JB is beautifully renovated with a nice collection of books for children, youth and adult. It is definitely a good spot to rest my tired feet and for the kids to grab a book.

Another interesting addition is Escape Room which is located opposite of MY Library. The reality escape room game has become a hit especially among the youths. It is a game of logic, intuition and collaboration to search for clues and solve all the puzzles in order to escape from the room. 

There are 6 rooms to choose from. UP - BON Voyage seems to be more suitable for families where young children can also join in the fun solving the mysteries to escape. We gave it a miss due to time constrain but will probably give it a try on our next road trip to Sutera Mall.

After shopping, resting and playing, there is one stop that we have to visit before leaving the mall - The Arcade at basement level. Ever since Gladys' lucky win on her previous visit, she was determined to strike again. True enough, she won herself another Bunny stuff toy within 5 minutes of play.

Name: Sutera Mall
Location: 1 Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300, Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
GPS: 1.517699, 103.671487

We walked out of the mall and explore the shop houses along Jalan Sutera Tanjung. There are many dining options (cafe, restaurants, coffeeshops) that you can consider on your next visit. It was a hot afternoon and we spotted one welcoming and familiar sight - U Dessert! If you recall, we spotted this dessert shop on Day 1 at Permas Jaya. The children adore the icy cool dessert and we promised them to be back and try out the other selection from the menu.

This time we decided to skip the mango-theme items and go for ice-cream and durian! Gladys picked Double-skin milk topped with chocolate ice-cream. Unlike the Hong-Kong style 双皮奶 which is thick and milky, it tasted more like steamed egg. It is a sweet dessert that children will enjoy, particularly with the ice-cream topping. However, I thought the chocolate flavour over-whelmed the double-skin milk. The two flavour did not seem to match. I wonder if Vanilla ice-cream would be a better alternative or this dessert should be served as it is without any toppings.

Double-milky with ice-cream (雪糕双皮奶)

Banana Boat Ice-cream is commonly available on almost every dessert menu. It is one of the hot favourite as you can share this among families and friends. I ordered one to share with Denver and we were satisfied with the fresh fruit servings and ice-cream toppings. What I like about this version of the dessert is there is lesser whipped cream. I prefer my ice-cream to go with more fruits than stuffed within piles of cream.

Banana Boat Ice-cream (香蕉船)

This is a dessert specially for Hubby. He is a durian lover while I'm not. Based on his review, the durian meat is fresh and thick. It blended perfectly with the sweet sago soup. It is refreshing to enjoy a scoop of cooling mushy durian meat mixed with chewy rice balls and sago.

Chinese believes that every food has either hot or cold nature. I thought it was a nice combination of durian (heaty) and pomelo (cooling) together to neutralize both effects.

Durian & Pomelo in Sago Sweet Soup with Mini Rice Ball (榴莲甘露小丸子)

Dessert pricing at U Dessert is ranged between RM5 to RM14. It is fairly reasonable and affordable. I like the way they present and showcase their dessert items which is creative and attractive. A nice hide-away and indulgence, particularly on a hot Summer day.

Name: U Dessert (Sutera Utama Branch)
Location: 73, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/2, Taman Sutera Utama, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
GPS: 1.514983, 103.667885

Saturday, September 27, 2014

~ 3D2N Johor Bahru Food Trail - Day 2 (Part 1) ~

Day 2 continues as we ventured out to explore for more good food around Permas Jaya. Combing through the streets, we stumbled upon a stall selling cakes and kueh. This is a very welcoming sight especially for the children.

The pastries were nicely displayed and all we need to do is to pick and pay. :) According to the boss, the kueh and cakes are homemade and selling at RM0,60 per piece! We definitely can eat to our heart contents. Bestcook has been doing business in the district for many years. In the morning, they sell Nasi Lemak, noodles (lontong, mee rebus, laksa etc), porridge and pastries. In the afternoon, they provide catering services.

Our assorted cakes and kueh selection - including Hokkaido cake (RM1.50)

The boss highly recommend us to try their specialty - Mee Rebus (爪哇面). Made of yellow egg noodles, the sauce is sweet and slightly spicy which is to my liking. I thought it was a very decent dish with a nice combination of beansprouts, green chilies, tau kwa, fried shallots and hard boiled egg. Comfort food in the morning. :)

What I like about Bestcook Restoran is the variety of food available within the shop space that will suit all our dining needs.

Name: Bestcook Restoran (好美食咖啡餐室)
Location: 18 Jalan Permas 9/2, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750, Masai Johor Malaysia
GPS: 1.498576, 103.818999
Closed on every Tuesday

If you are craving for some roasted pork, 万合鲜猪肉专卖店 is just located beside Bestcook! Hubby could not resist the temptations and we ordered a packet to taste along our way as we continued to search for more food. 

Shi Wah Bak Ku Teh is our final stop for the morning. Shi Wah is an established name with many outlets spanning across Johor Bahru.

It was still early in the morning and most have started their day at work, there was no crowd and I guess we were probably one of their first customers. We ordered a bowl of Bak Ku Teh, Pig Maw Soup (猪肚汤) and 油条 to share among ourselves.

While it was delectable, I find the pork meat within the Bak Ku Teh a little too firm. I also prefer the soup to be more peppery. On a good note, it was not too oily and the pig maw soup was delicious.

Name: Shi Wah Restoran (古来世华肉骨茶)
Location: 6, Jalan Permas 9/5, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.496014, 103.819835

After breakfast, we returned back to our hotel to rest before driving more than 12km to Jalan Kempas to savour the popular Kuay Teow Kia as recommended by Johor KakiHubby is a great fan of Kuay Chap and this is one destination not to be missed despite the longer journey.

Located within M2 Food Court, its not hard to spot 268 果条仔. Just how good is their KTK? We will find out very soon!

This simple bowl of Kway Teow is heavenly! The flat rice noodles are smooth and slurping good! Exceptionally yummylicious with the dark braised sauce topped with fried shallots. We know its good when the kids finished them all and still desire for another bowl!

Hubby ordered a lot of assorted braised items including pork innards, pork intestines, pork skin, pork belly, pork tongue and meat. What I like about the food here is the absence of strong porky stench and the intestines are nicely cleaned.

I gave pork tongue a miss but we wiped out the braised pork meat and pork belly as these are our common favourite. Braised pork meat is nicely sliced and not too fatty.

I adore the pork skin which is sweet, smooth, chewy and tender! I would say this is my favourite to date.

I don't fancy pork intestines but decided to give it a try anyway. It was not mushy as I thought it would be. Instead the braised large intestines are soft and tender with a bit of sweetness. Hubby said it was good.

We went for second round of order after clearing the first! Hubby ordered "粉腸" which he says its more expensive as it is only available in a smaller portion. If it taste bitter means it has turn bad. :)

Braised egg for all to share. :)

Would we travel down here to have our Kway Teow Kia again? YES! Pricing is reasonable (~RM20) and the food is good! It's not too salty and every pig parts are well-braised and nicely presented. If you love Kway Chap, do not give this a miss!

Name: 268 果条仔
Location: Jalan Kempas 1 and Jalan Kempas 1/18 junction, Taman Bukit Kempas, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.527691, 103.695219

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

~ IKEA Swedish Crayfish Buffet - 2014 ~

This is our 2nd year joining in the IKEA's Swedish Crayfish Buffet. Held annually in August, this year "Kraftskiva" (Crayfish party) is much more organised. While there was a queue for the food, it was not as chaotic as compared to the previous year. The restaurant was closed to public and only ticket holders can enter.

Since it is a party, we can't miss out the party hats! IKEA decorated the restaurant with crayfish-themed bibs, hats and serviette.

The buffet spread was sumptuous. Apart from IKEA's hot favourite food - Swedish meatballs, spaghetti, mash potatoes and hotdogs, you can also expect soup, bread, dessert, fruits, salad and not forgetting the highlight of the buffet - Crayfish.

IKEA Crayfish Buffet

This year, the buffet price  has increased with IKEA family members plus 1 guest at $20 each and children (4-12 years) at $10 per pax. In return, all paying adults received a $10 IKEA voucher.

Denver & Gladys had fun picking their favourite food. This time, we were more cautious with our food selection to ensure that we do not over-eat. While many took plates and plates of food to share, we only picked the food for our personal consumption.

Salad is a great start before we indulge in our 'main course'

Crayfish Buffet is never complete without Crayfish!

Little pastries that never fails to bring a smile on our kiddos. ^_^

I prefer to go for my bowl of warm soup and end my meal with some fruits.

"Family" photo after our meal. 

If you missed the Crayfish buffet and would like to experience buffet dining at IKEA, do check out their website for updates. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

~ Celebration of Drums 2014 ~

While the screeching sounds of the Formula 1 cars is roaring its way at the Singapore Grand Prix, we were experiencing a thunderous thumping joy from the Celebration of Drums 2014 at Vivocity. It was a free event where public can grab any music-making instruments and join in the fun with the performers.

The crowd seated at the Amphitheatre was extremely co-operative and participative. Using their DIY instruments, everyone followed the cue from the performers and blended in with their drumming.

Check out the various performance items by Singapore Dhol Federation, Djembo Singapore Club, Tenko Taiko (Hibikiya) and Urban Drum Crew.

Singapore Dhol Federation - Established in 2006, the Dhol drumming group unleashed energetic Bhangra-infused rhythms that moved the crowd to dance with them.  

Djembe Singapore Club - It was our first hearing and learning the traditional African rhythms on the goblet-shaped drum from West Africa - Djembe. The performance was presented in a fun and an teasing way which brought smiles on our faces. :)

TENKO TAIKO - the performance we have long awaited for throughout the night. :) We were awed by Hibikiya's Tenko Drums performance at Hibiki IV and decided to re-experience the Japanese drums ensemble once more.

Once again, we felt like being part of Hibiki IV seeing the familiar faces of the performers and the astounding drumming.

Urban Drum Crew - Drumming is taken to new heights with the group improvising their drums with LED lighting and also their Water LED Drums! It's going to be a party wherever the group performs. 
Water LED Drums

After almost 2 hours of drumming, it is time for the Finale! All the performers came back to the stage and joined in a communal music-making finale full of fun and surprises!

Finale for the Night - Let's Drum!

We ended our night filled of energy. Denver & Gladys are honored to have photo-taking opportunity with the young talented Taiko drummer - Domu. He was definitely the limelight for the night where many salute to his awesome drumming performance. ^_^

Looking forward to more drumming performances in the future. :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

~ Homemade No-bake Cheesy Yogurt Cupcake ~

Baking is always a challenge for me, particularly so since I do not have the proper baking tools and equipment. Hence, I usually look out for easy recipes as I do not see myself as a fantastic cook. Lucky for me, my children appreciate and love my cooking no matter how 'badly' I grade my culinary skills.

While there are many no-bake recipes available online and in the cookbooks, I made a little modification to how the dessert can be presented. Plus, the steps are so simple that children can also join in to help.

~ Ingredients ~
30 - 40 digestive biscuits
6 tablespoon of butter
1 packet of 250g Cream Cheese
1/3 cup of plain low-fat yogurt (~ 3 tablespoons)
1/3 cup of sugar (~ 4 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of gelatin
5 tablespoon of warm water

1) To make the base of the cupcake crust, we need to crush the digestive biscuits. Gladys is my little helper for the day as she helps me to coarsely chop the biscuits in the zip-lock bag.

2) Mix with the melted butter and finely crush the digestive biscuits with fork.

3) Lay and press the biscuit mixture firmly onto the base of each cupcake tin. Store it in the freezer.

4) Mix gelatin into warm water. Stir it till dissolved.

5) For the filling, put cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice into a large deep bowl and beat the mixture until well-blended and smooth.

6) Take the crust out from the freezer. Spoon fill each cup with the filling. Gladys used the back of the spoon to smoothen the surface of the cupcake.

7) Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or until firm.

To add more colours to our cupcakes, I decided to add fruit toppings. Kiwis and strawberries are great choices as they are healthy and perfect for decoration. Once the cupcakes are ready, remove them from the refrigerator. Place the cut fruits onto each cupcake. Children can choose to decorate in accordance of their preference.

BPDG's Homemade No-bake Cheesy Yogurt Cupcake 

Not only does it look appetizing visually, the children love the sweet and cheesy flavour of the cupcakes. :) Success and thumbs up!