Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nuffnang Raya Open House 2014 (#NNRAYA)

Exactly 168 hours ago, NNRaya Open House 2014 was held at Wanaka The Bungalow.
Attended the event with Jade and it's been a long long long--g-g-g time since I attended any Nuffnang event. It was because of unsuitable timing, dates and work schedules. And I'm glad to be able attend this Raya Open House event. Based on the overall visual, communications and environment of the venue, the concept of this event falls on a simple but fun community gathering in a traditional kampong style. It's great to see that all elements gels together to bring a memorable gathering ala traditional kampong feel.

Was quite excited when I saw the e-mail to RVSP for this event. To gain a chance to receive the invites, you need to post a picture of the event poster on Instagram with the reason why you would like to attend this event. Here's the event poster set in a traditional kampong house feel complete with the coconut trees ;)
And thanks to UMobile and Ambi Pur for being the official partners and Wow Photobooth for sponsoring this event.

The event started at 3pm and I could only make it at 4pm because I had some work to do in the office that morning. There were many guests there when we arrived! Hurried to the registration booth and got our welcome gift. Basically, it a P&G Hari Raya special sample pack completes with Joy dish washing liquid and Scoth-Brite green sponge. It's not a simple pack but it does tells a story:

Imagine this, you receive a welcome pack with a shape of a simple house celebrating Hari Raya, and then you open it by flipping the page to the left (it means open-house) and Ayam Masak Merah with Nasi Briyani welcomes you (oh well, the recipes is right on the page). You smell the freshness of Ambi Pur in the living room (Look to the left page and cute cartoon welcomes you to the "house" too). Oh, you spend the moment of togetherness and of course-the feast! "Open the house" even further after that and it's time for cleaning up the mess (No worries because you've got the tool for cleaning).

[Hmm, well; actually when you "open the house" someone would welcome you into the living room smell of Ambi Pur and then the host will offer you the delicious feast. But I see the recipes first rather than the living room. Ahah!]

It's the "Open House" pack!

Armed with a list of fun things to explore in the bungalow and at the garden; we went for station hopping to complete the list of joy. Oh and when you enters the bungalow, you can see it as entering the host's house!

 Started our hunting on the top side of the house. The site featured Ambi Pur and UMobile worlds. Oh and Ambi Pur products decorated the whole "living room" of the house. Okay, we saw this mini living room complete with sofa, carpet, piano and table decorated with Ambi Pur products and props. And we saw 2 cars parking outside this living room. Thus, it supposed to be the entrance of the house? You know, park your car in the house and enters the living room? Aha! We took our selfies with the Ambi Pur products, upload them on Instagram and got our gift! Brought home the Ambi Pur Blossom & Breeze with me :)

Ambi Pur world!

The other room situated upstairs was UMobile world! You can tweet and get to make a free call to anyone instantly. By doing this, you get to participate in a lucky draw too which was held later. Hmm, didn't try to make the free call though. BF was busy working at that hour; don't wanna make a free call with no one picking it up :P It's great that UMobile gels into the Raya concept where it helps you to connect you with your beloved ones. Well, it's the time for jumping into the feeling of togetherness during festive season! Best part, UMobile helps you to communicate your message to your beloved ones for FREE.

Back to downstairs, there was a cooking demo on sambal ikan bilis by Ceera and Filla.

Cooking yummy Sambal Ikan Bilis!

And there's a Wow Photobooth and Wowgram! Since there's no people queuing up for the photo-booth at that time, we went crazy over the selfies at the booth.We also uploaded pictures of our selfies to Instagram with the selected hashtags and our photo will be automatically printed out at Wowgram booth. Oh, together with special event frame too! The frame is in orange (It's the colour of UMobile!!).

Selfies printed thanks to Wow Photobooth!!!!!

There were some lucky draws and games where you can win UMobile and Ambi Pur products. Ambi Pur showdown was interesting where teams with three members in a group need to do sketches using Ambi Pur product as props. And it was a great opportunity to have CMO of UMobile Malaysia to give a short speech. And guests had a chance to win products from UMobile during the question and answer session. [What's the colour of UMobile? Orange!  What's the hashtag representing UMobile during this event? #The BestFree]. Okie. I remembered the answer of those questions but not so much on the question. ;P

CMO of UMobile (left) and emcee of the day!

There's a green theme going on with the props too to match the Raya theme! There's many UMobile logo hidden in the house. Guess the number of UMobile logos and you might win a prize! There's another interesting game with UMobile during the event. Make a call to anyone and ask them certain required question (oh well, it's the same question during the question-and-answer session), if the recipient got it correct, both caller and receiver will get a prize!! 

Greenn-ny props in and out of the house!

An open house is not complete without the food! There's a whole roast lamb and common and simple open house food such as chicken noodle soup, sambal, curry chicken, kuihs, fruits and Raya biscuits. Just like a feast when you attend a Raya open house. The food was served on a table at the garden making it looks like how we are in a traditional kampong environment. I think more covers are needed to cover the food; well you know, it's outdoor. Oh, there's samplings from Humble Beginnings too but not much left when I arrived :( 

Feast of the open house.

And guess what! We managed to meet Fighter in person there!!! He's so-so cute and cheerful. Glad that he's enjoying his moment at the open house and he might wondering who all these people are. Aahaha...

Thanks my dear Jade for attending the open house with me!  Had a fun moment there! We left about 6pm as the sky looks like it was going to cry. Bravo to Nuffnang to bring the great open house concept.
Though need some improvements here and there but overall, it's okay!.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hobahn Korean Restaurant, Desa Park City

On one of the weekend, we happened to stop by Desa Park City on our way to Bandar Utama from Kepong. Since it's weekend and LDP is forever-jam in the evening; why not make a detour to Desa Park City to have dinner and avoid the "redcurrant jam". It will be good if it's a real redcurrant jam.. Muahaha,!

Not many choices to dine in though and most of the restaurants were packed. Luckily, we spotted some customers leaving from this Korean restaurant and hence, here we were.

From a glance look; their banchan looks colorful and presentable.It's a BBQ Korean restaurant but if you're not into BBQ, fret not you can order their ala carte soup, rice or noodles too.

After looking and flipping through their elaborated menu; here's our dinner:

We ordered the Bersot Doeji-Bulgogi; medium size with set. It consists of stir-fried marinated pork with assorted mushroom. There's a choice of medium or large size portion to choose from and we went for the medium size since we wanted to try their pancake dish too. And you can choose to have your main meal with or without set. If you choose the set one; it comes with the banchan. Unlike the typical Korean restaurant; it you don't order the set, there's no banchan to goes with your food. 

Banchan of the day.

Their banchan is pretty and colourful. Too bad that there's no free refill of banchan. 

Pretty and well presented ;)

 And here comes the main actor of the day! You can choose to cook it yourselves on the BBQ grill or have it "Kitchen cook". We chose the Kitchen cook option instead because we were too hungry :P
 The dish came out to be good! Rich in flavor and the marinated pork was sliced at the right size. And it goes well with rice. And there's tons of mushroom too.

Bersot Deoji-Bulgogi, medium size RM36 with set.

Craving for pancakes too and we had this Bulgogi Kimchi Jeon. And you can choose from a choice of beef, pork, lamb or chicken. Well, the pancake is ok but can't really taste the lamb. Probably would try their seafood pancake with cheese next time.

Bulgogi Kimchi Jeon (lamb); RM16.

Our set does not comes with rice and we had a bowl of steamed rice for sharing at RM3.50 each. They also charged ice water at RM1 each glass and warm water at RM0.50 per glass.

Overall, it's not bad. Will come again if I happen to pass by this area ;)

Note: 10% service charge and 6% government tax applies.

Hobahn Korean Restaurant
GF-12, The Waterfront @ Parkcity
No.5 Persiaran Residen
Desa Parkcity, 52200 Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Taiwan 2014 Day 2: Sunrise at Mount. Alishan

We start our crazy adventure of day 2 (Day 1 here) as early as 3am in the morning (oh well, which means I slept for about 3 hours only). Thanks to the receptionist at Alishan House hotel, we got the wake up call and make our way to the hotel lobby as fast as possible. It's because Alishan House hotel provide complimentary drop off at the railway station for those who are going to see the beautiful sunrise. 

A piece of advice for those who would like to watch the sunrise at Mount. Chusan. Basically, you can ride the sunrise railway train up the peak or for those adventure seeking ones; hike up the hill by foot ;P (well, I bet you won't since it's freaking cold at 3am in the morning.). Do note that the sunrise railway ticket is limited to a certain amount of people. Well, there's only 2 trips of train going up the hill every morning (Thus, the number of tickets sold is based on the numbers that can fit in those 2 trains). You can start to purchase the train ticket in the evening the day before your sunrise trip at the railway station in Alishan itself. For those who are staying in Alishan House hotel, you can purchase the tickets at the reception itself. However, do tell the staff when you check in because it's limited pieces too. 

Alright, in our case; we check in at night. Thus, by the time we checked in, the tickets at our hotel reception are already sold out. Freak not, because there's some limited tickets sold at the train station itself in the morning. Well, I'm glad that we stay at Alishan House hotel because their staff will go all the way out to ensure their guest have the best time here in Alishan. Back to our story, we were the first ones to wait at the lobby for the free shuttle to the railway station. When we were down at the lobby, the receptionist who checked in for us the night before was there and he remembered us that we did not get to purchase the sunrise railway ticket. Normally, there will be a hotel shuttle bus to pick up the guests and send them to the train station. Understanding that we did not get our train tickets but other guests did, the hotel reception arranged us to stand at the entrance door first. When more guests gathered, he took the hotel van keys and straight away ask both of us to get in the van first while asking other guests to wait for the shuttle bus explaining that we had not get the train tickets. Of course, he asked some elderly guests to come into our mini van. And there we go; on the way to the train station. He drove as fast as he could (but safe of course) to bring us to the train station and even asked us to ran up the stairs to go to the ticket counter as the tickets might be sold out. 

I'm glad that we stay at Alishan House hotel because if the receptionist did not took the action to bring us to the train station first, we might not be there to see the sunrise because there's only less than 50pcs tickets left for sale when we bought our ticket. I'm really thankful to the staff of Alishan House hotel because all of them will go all the way out to ensure all their guests bring home a wonderful memory from Alishan. Alishan House hotel is your right choice of accommodation if you have some money to spare during your vacation. Unique hotel rooms with wonderful scenery (especially during cherry blossoms season where the hotel is surrounded by cherry blossoms trees) and staff that brings personal touch to all guests. A hotel with good hospitality ;)

NT150 per head for return journey to see sunrise at Chusan. 

Right after we bought the train ticket; ran (again =.=') all the way up to the platform to board the train. To your surprise, there's a sea of other guests already lining up (I was there at 4.30am btw) eagerly to board the train.

Sea of people lining up to board the Chusan sunrise train. 

Ancient train that we used to see in the movie. 

 The train departs at 5am and it took around 20 minutes plus to reach the peak; Chusan Station. Along the way, it stops at ZhaoPing station to pick up some guests. Oh well, we were squeezed between all the mainland China tourist in the train. And in fact, we were the odd one out as the whole train was filled by their citizen. Oh, and the train is full of diesel smell. Shut your sensory smell when you're in there and do shut your ears too because those other guests were freaking noisy (It's real noisy like you're haggling for prices in the market).

Chushan Station for sunrise viewing!

It was very cold, windy and dark up at the peak of Mount. Chushan. I should have brought my winter clothing along if I know it's that cold. Luckily I did not fall sick up at the peak. But it's all worth it because I came all the way up to see the first light of the day.

Sunrise of the day will be at around 6.40am. 

It's that cold up there at Mount. Chusan. 

There's some food stalls selling local delicacies and the food helps to keep your body warm under this cold weather.

Sunny toast. 

Local fishballs or meatballs?

At the peak, there's thousands of people there and you will hear an old man talking through a loudspeaker. Basically, he's explaining the wonders of Alishan forest, the Shenmu trees and of course promoting the so called Shenmu oil which has quite a long list of health benefits.

Our free "tour guide" talking through the loudspeaker

When we were there, the sky is dark and cold and we could barely see any rays of sunlight. We thought that we might not be able to see the sunrise that morning because the sky is cloudy. And at the mentioned 6.40am where it supposed to be the time of sunrise, what we see is this:

A sky of clouds. 

And there's 2 trips of railway going downhill from the peak. If you missed these 2 trips, it means you need to hike downhill as there won't be any railway coming to Chusan station till the next morning. However, there's many tourist or locals who took the train uphill and hike downhill by foot.

For us, we decided to wait and take the later railway downhill because we thought that the sunrise might be delay or so. And we're glad we waited because at about 7am, the sun is rising. Here's what we saw:

It's coming!!!

The first ray of the day!

Here's the sunrise of the day. 

We saw the sunrise of the day or so called the first light of the day. It's beautiful. It's worth it to come all the way to Alishan to see sunrise. The sunrise did not last long and within minutes, the wind blew the cloud over and the sun is covered again. However, it forms the sea of clouds. 

Sea of clouds starts to form. 

Enjoy the beauty of the "Sea of Clouds" here in Alishan! It's an amazing view that you need to see it at least once with your own eyes in life.

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After enjoying this beautiful scenery, we took the railway and went back to the main railway station. Making our way back to Alishan House hotel for breakfast ;)