Saturday, September 27, 2014

1919 Restaurant , Jalan Medan Ipoh (Opposite Tesco Ipoh Garden)

There's tons of Chinese restaurant in Ipoh and was looking for something different for the family dinner. Went for Nyonya food this time at 1919 Restaurant. We seldom go out for family dinner because my aunt's house serves wonderful home cooked food everyday! That's the reason I'm back every weekend :)

 This 1919 Restaurant is located at the row of shops opposite Tesco Ipoh Garden. It's the corner shop and it's the same row as Fu Tien Vegetarian Restaurant. We made a reservation at 7.30pm and we had a little disappointment when we arrived. The table which was supposed to be reserved for us (8pax) was still occupied by the previous customers who dined in earlier. And the restaurant was full at that time thus we had no tables to sit! Well, we made a reservation and even booked the all the dishes too but we had to stand there staring at other customers while waiting for the previous (or any other tables) customers to complete their dining. This is not a good thing to start our dinner with because we only managed to get our seat at about 8pm (which we supposed to be home by 9pm). Well, it looks like "reservations" is not taken care well by them :(

We got a pot of tea served to us right after we got our table. Not bad this tea huh. 

 Then, all our dishes which we had ordered the day before arrived. Presentation of the food was ok and the taste is good too.

Fillet was removed from the fish and cooked with Thai styled sauce? Was too hungry to figured it out but it's a little bit spicy and sour. Sauce is good and it complements the rice well. The fish bone was deep fried to crispy and served as a decoration for the dish. 
Thai styled fish?

Oh, I love this! It's Salted Egg Chicken. Cubes of chicken was coated with strong salted egg batter and deep fried. Very well executed because you can taste the salted egg on the chicken. Most shops outside only contains a little salted egg taste. Bravo to this dish. 

Salted Egg Chicken

 Beancurd is a must have dish when dining in. Sorry for the blur pic because too excited to chop it down. This beancurd is unique (oh well, the name is unique beancurd) where the tofu is made in a shape of a pot and there's a little hole in the middle that contains cubes of prawns, asparagus, etcc.. Love this.

Antique beancurd.

 This is deep fried soft shell crab with thin and crispy shreds of egg. Love the crispy egg and there's curry leaves too. Double thumbs up.

Deep fried soft shell crab

Next is the deep fried yam ring stuffed with kerabu ( cucumbers, peanuts and young mango). The combination is fantastic. The heavy feel of yam paste is lighten by the sour and crunchy taste of cucumbers and young mango.

Deep fried yam ring with kerabu stuffing

 You must not missed this. Thin shreds of brinjal is coated with batter and deep fried to crunchy. Then, special spicy sauce is drizzled on top of the crunchy brinjal. A great appetizer!

Deep fried brinjal

Overall, food was good but it will be good if our reservation was appropriately taken care of. The bill was about RM280 for 8 of us with extra bowl of rice. Do note that all our food was in big portion. We had to chop these food down in less than an hour to be home at 9pm as we had some errands to run. These are their specialty and most are fried food :) If you prefer some dish with gravy or non-fried food; there's plenty of choice to choose from the menu. But it's good to indulge in these "fried" food once in a while. 

1919 Restaurant & Galley 
1, Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, 
Taman Ipoh Timur, 
31400 Ipoh, Perak

Friday, September 26, 2014

Taiwan 2014 Day 2: Exploring Cingjing at night

Since we were there in Spring, the sunsets at around 6 something in the evening and the sky turned completely dark at about 7pm. The weather was very cold at night due to the wind.

Dinner at Misty Villa was great at it was only about 8pm when we finished our dinner. Since the night is still young; we walked out of our minsu in the dark for some adventure. The road leading to our minsu was very dark and there's no street lights along this road; we used the light from our handphone to guide us. After a few minutes walking downhill, you'll reach the entrance of the road where there's lots of signboards indicating some of the minsu that are located along the road which we walked and they are all located further in from Misty Villa. Thus, Misty Villa minsu is the first minsu located along the road leading uphill and you will see other minsu if you walked uphill from Misty Villa. We're glad that we chose Misty Villa as it's nearer to the attractions in Cingjing. But probably if you staying in the minsu located uphill; the scenery will be even better :)

The signboards at the entrance of the road leading to our minsu.

From this signboards, we walked across the road towards the 7-11 store where the Carton King and Small Swiss Garden are located. Be careful while crossing the road because many cars were "racing" uphill and downhill along this road. Our first stop is the Small Swiss Garden because there's a musical fountain at night. It was drizzling but that did not stop us from our adventure :)

As we entered the Small Swiss Garden in the late evening, our entrance tickets entitled us for another free admission for the next day :) Thus, we can see the beauty of Small Swiss Garden at night and in the morning too. There are few sessions of musical fountain at Small Swiss Garden; do look our for the showtime at the entrance. 

The musical fountain was a simple one but it's enough to entertain us. The music consist a peaceful and calming tone compared to those loud and fast music which you can get from the typical musical fountain in Sentosa Island or the one used to be in The Mines, KL. A unique experience watching musical fountain under a cold and windy weather.

Entrance to Small Swiss Garden

The end of the musical fountain

Then, we explored the park before the drizzling starts again.

The windmill on the lake. It looks more beautiful at night due to the lights.

Still Christmas in March?

A beautiful garden surrounded by Christmas inspired statue.

There's a cafe located at the end of this park but it was closed.

One last pic of the night view before we left due to rain.

Since it was drizzling, we went to explore the Carton King located beside the Small Swiss Garden. This outlet of Carton King is quite small compared to the one in Dakeng.

Made from paper too!

It's made of paper!


Animals figurines made from cardboard.

Besides Small Swiss garden and Carton King, there's a 7-ll there where you can grab a whole bag of snacks as supper. I love Taiwan's 7-11 where there's a variety of fast food available. 

There's also an outlet of the infamous Mina Chocolate store outside Carton King and several store selling souvenirs and ice-cream.

Mina Chocolate stall.


Opposite the area where the Carton King, Small Swiss Garden and 7-11 is located, we saw some buildings with bright lights. Without further delay, walked across the road to explore that area. This area is a huge area complete with food stalls, cafes, a MOS Burger outlet, Lavender Cottage shops as well as bus station hub.

cute panda!

There's an outlet of Lavender Cottage to buy your souvenirs!

Colourful bath salts at Lavender Cottage

There's a giant teddy outside the shop for photo taking.

The Old England is a famous place for high tea in Cingjing. If you would like to book for a high tea in the Old England hotel or minsu, you can do so here in the Old English kiosk or cafe. Dining in Old England hotel/minsu is very expensive; but you can try their food here in this Old English cafe.

Old England cafe !

They sells dried tea leaves, coffee, pastry and sandwiches here.

Explored the Starbucks outlet to grab a coffee.
Since it's spring season, there's lots of cherry blossoms inspired tumblers and mugs for sale.

Looks presentable and yummy!

 There's also a tourist bus station here where they can take you to Hehuanshan to see sunrise. Since it's Spring, the peak is still covered in snow. But we had a packed itinerary the next day, thus need to save this for our next trip. Really wish to see sunrise at Hehuanshan!

That's our adventure for the night.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Afternoon tea at THIRTY8, Grand Hyatt Hotel Kuala Lumpur

It was pig's birthday and guess what I treated him for a nice high tea as a birthday present! Well, it's bored to buy presents for every occasion (Valentine, Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas?) and when you don't know what to buy when we have everything we need. Thus here you go, an afternoon high tea at the infamous Thirty8 Restaurant in Grand Hyatt Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

We parked at KLCC and walked over to the hotel since it's located right beside KLCC. Heard that parking rates in Grand Hyatt is expensive thus went for KLCC instead. We were glad to grad a nice seat with good view that day even though we didn't make a reservation. Oh well, it will be good enough if we get a seat without any reservation as reservation is essential because it's always full house. If you come on weekends, make a reservation few days or a week before hand.

Since it's a weekday, they only have afternoon high tea set and some ala carte menu available. The infamous ala carte dessert featuring their Signature cake and other famous desserts was not available and it's only available on Saturday ;(  It's okie; we'll come on weekend one day to try their signature cake. For now, let's go for their afternoon high tea set instead.

Their afternoon tea set is available from 3 to 5pm on Monday to Thursday. Priced at RM68+ per set per head. Which means each set consist of the portion for one person at RM68+ . You can share the set with your friends because if you're going for a heavy dinner; you might not be able to fully digest your high tea meal in time for dinner. We ordered 2 sets for sharing since we had 3 pax dining in and 3 hours later; we'll have scrumptious dinner at a fine dining Thai restaurant nearby. Thus, sharing is essential ;)

Each afternoon tea set comes with either a coffee or tea. Although we went for 2 sets only, they gave us another drink too. Yay! Thus, we had one coffee and two jugs of tea.  0.o

A pot of tea

Mocha served with a chocolate cookie

Here's the elegant looking afternoon high tea set. The three tier serving stand filled with pastry and cakes looks appetizing indeed. FYI, this picture consist of the portion for 2 sets of afternoon high tea.
Afternoon high tea set at RM68+. Here's 2 set's portion

From the bottom tier, it's the world of cakes and puffs ;) There's 2 pcs of cream puffs, 2pcs of Chocolate layer cakes and 2 pcs of Strawberry Cheesecake.
World of cakes ;)

Here comes the second tier; mini sponge cake or is it Madeleine? and tarts.

Top tier with MACAROONS and thin slices of nougat. Macaroon was okie (those at TWG was better) and I love the nougat. 

It also comes with 4pcs of scones and c-r-e-a-m-y cream and strawberry preserve. I love the cream! Creamy and light. yum. Scones was freshly baked too.

Last but not least, there's sandwiches too. There's 3 types which are egg mayo, tuna and chicken ham versions.

Afternoon high tea was good! You can enjoy the beautiful view of the Petronas Twin Tower as well as the scenic KL view. A good way to spend your afternoon overlooking the scenery while sipping your tea.

We sat right in front of this view.

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

Grand Hyatt Hotel Kuala Lumpur
12, Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Taiwan 2014 Day 2: Misty Villa CingJing

From Alishan (previous post), we headed to Chiayi HSR station. It took more than 2 hours through the winding road downhill. Tired from trekking through the Alishan Forest in the morning, we slept throughout the journey downhill. If we had more time, we would stop by Fenchihu for a bento or Chiayi town for turkey rice :) Well, save this for next trip.
We had fun time exploring Alishan with our driver+tour guide and it was time to bid farewell to him ;(  Well, we brought some of our local bak kut teh packets for him as a souvenir. If you would like to engage a safe and reliable driver to bring you uphill to Alishan, do inquire one from RoundTaiwanRound.

*    *    *    *    * 

From Chiayi High Speed Railway (HSR) station, we took the the HSR to Taichung HSR station. Taichung HSR station is just the next station after Chiayi HSR station and it took approximately 25 minutes to reach Taichung HSR at NT410 per head. Along the  journey, we saw different shades of green representing different types of plantation or crops which they plant outside their house. Or you can say that their house is surrounded by squares of crops. A great view.

From Taichung HSR station, we took a cab to our accommodation in Cingjing. The journey takes 1 hour 40 minutes and it costs about NT1600 to NT2000. Do haggle your price with the cab driver. Alternatively, you can catch a bus too but we arrived at Taichung HSR late in the evening and it will be lots of hassle to catch a bus there. The journey uphill to Cingjing is not easy too, the driver needs to goes through lots of sharp turning on a hill and it's amazing that they can drive up the hill so fast. Going through all the sharp turning on a hill without any safety barrier surrounding them and even without breaking or pause halfway is amazing. I give the driver a round of applause!

The minsu that we are staying for the night was Misty Villa CingJing. The cab driver even knew the owner of the minsu and he described her as cheerful and chirpy ;)  Thus, we were looking forward to our minsu ;) Our minsu is located on the hill and the driver took us right to the door step. Brought our luggage to the reception which also served as the main area and dining venue. It's lovely where the whole area is decorated with various homey feel decorations. Oh, and the owner is very pretty and cheerful ;)

Our room is located at the most top floor of the villa. From the entrance, you take about 10 steps up to the main area (reception + dining) and from there; there's about 100 steps up leading to various types of room on each level. And for us; the most far top above for the best view. It's not easy to climb those steps and thus they helped us to bring our luggage up to the room :) yay!

Ours is the standard room at NT2400 and there are a few designs of standard room. Guess what, we got the pink theme! Double yay!! At NT2400 it was worth it, the room is big enough and there's a balcony. The weather was cold and chilly thus we can't see the beautiful mountain view due to the thick mist.

View from the balcony

Very thick huh the mist ;(

Here's some snapshot of the pink theme room:

LED screen television to watch the local Taiwan channels. Beside the television on the right is the fridge and there's some complimentary coffee and tea sheets for you to enjoy.
Cute wall stickers

More cute stickers!

There's a huge comfortable round chair and above it is the place to hang your clothes.

You can drink your way down with the warm and cold water dispenser in the room. Looks antique huh.
Water dispenser

I'm impressed with the amount of wall stickers in the room.
Another cute wall stickers

One part of the room overlooking the balcony. So pink! Love it.

Don't worry if you feel cold at night because the bed is installed with a heater thus it's really warm and comfortable. With the balcony being kept open, fresh mountain air makes us feeling fresh all the time.
The bathroom is huge and equipped with water heater too!

We booked our dinner with Misty Villa after we read so many good reviews about it. You need to make a call to Misty Villa on the day of your dinner before 4pm. The dinner package was at NT550 per 2 pax and the food was GOOD! It's Yunnan style dishes. Yum. We felt like home here in Misty Villa and were a bit shocked by the amount of food they served here. We were served 7 dishes (including fruits) for dinner!!! Wow, that's like a meal that can feed one big family. Probably it was too cold and the dishes was delicious that we chop down all the food ;)

Steamed fish with plum. Yum. I can eat lots of rice with the gravy.
Steamed fish

Just like you're at home; steamed egg for dinner!
Steamed egg with mushrooms and angelica.

The chicken is good too. Top with herb and sesame seeds.
Grilled herb chicken drumsticks and with a flower beside it!

This is one of their specialty. Wrap the pork with the locally grown lettuce and voila!
Minced pork with Yunnan spices and served together with raw lettuce

The vegetables planted on the hill was crunchy and sweet.
Stir fry locally planted vegetables.

A bowl of soup keeps us warm and there's lots of ingredients in the soup such as meatballs, white radish, carrots, etc. It taste like a clear soup on the sweet side due to the corn.
Corn soup

Normally, you only can have this feast in a restaurant back home here but imagine you are served this in a minsu. It's a great hospitality here at Misty Villa.
Dinner is served.

Was surprised that there's fruits served too! It was sweet and juicy.
Local mandarin oranges

Dinner at Misty Villa.

I personally love the food in Misty Villa. Amazing. You can't taste any MSG and you don't feel thirsty after eating. Yet, it's tasty! Recommended to book a lunch or dinner with them even though you're not staying here. We had extra rice at no cost too. They do make you feel comfortable staying here. Oh, if you would like to know more about the food served in Misty Villa, do visit their site yeah.