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An Eggs-traordinary Easter With Hilton Hotels

If you haven’t made plans for the weekend, Hilton welcomes you to celebrate Easter with a sumptuous spread of Easter delights and fun activities, to make the season a memorable one.

Rooftop Bar, Hilton Garden Inn KL South – Easter High Tea Specials

Gear up for an afternoon of sipping and feasting with the accompaniment of the KL skyline at Rooftop Bar. The high tea buffet has plenty of mouth-watering fare to dig in to, including special highlights such as Red Devil Egg, Sweet Potato Congee and Meatloaf with Crockpot Potato & Carrot that are guaranteed to delight one’s taste buds.

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4 April 2021 | 12pm – 3pm

  • RM99 nett per person
  • RM169 nett for 2 persons (inclusive of 2 welcome drinks)
  • RM299 nett for 4 persons (inclusive of 4 welcome drinks)
  • RM50 nett for kids (below 12 years old) & senior citizens

For reservations, call +60 3 2771 6888, email KULMY_FB@hilton.com or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com.

Vasco’s, Hilton Kuala Lumpur – Easter Day Luncheon

Celebrate Easter weekend at Vasco’s as they bring you an exciting line-up of festive delights and activities. The chefs have decked up an Easter feast, featuring premium gourmet specialties such as Slow-roasted Victorian Lamb from Australia, Egg Benedict with Smoked Salmon Caviar on Brioche, Mac n’ Cheese Soft Shell Crab Slider and Crispy Wanton Noodle with BBQ Duck. Children will be thrilled to join in the Easter egg hunt, egg-painting and get their faces painted as well.

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4 April 2021 | 12pm – 3pm

  • RM158 nett per adult | RM68 nett per child (aged 5–11)
  • Option to add on RM120 nett for a free-flow of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Prior reservations required. 20% discount applicable for in-house guests and partner credit card holders.

For reservations, call +60 3 2264 2264 or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com.

Axis Lounge, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang – Easter High Tea

Bring the whole family to Axis Lounge for a fun time together. The Easter Sunday High Tea includes some notable highlights such as Chocolate & Strawberry Sandwiches, Grilled Medallion Beef with Mushroom Sauce and Easter Deep Fried Egg. The Little ones will be thrilled, as they’ll get to take part in a treasure hunt and egg-colouring activities too.

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4 April 2021

  • RM88 nett per adult
  • RM44 nett per child (Kids below 6 years old eat for free for every full-paying adult.)

For reservations, call +604 892 8000, email to PENMB_FBD@hilton.com or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com.

Tosca, DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru – Easter Brunch Buffet

Famed for its rustic Italian fare, Easter at Tosca will wow you with an abundant spread of exotic delights such as Seafood with Pepper & Cocktail Sauce, Roasted Lamb Leg with Rosemary Sauce, Boeuf en Croute with Tuscany Vegetable and Italian Pizzas. Let your little ones try their hands at artsy activities such as DIY pizza and egg painting, before having a splash at the poolside.

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4 April 2021 | 11am – 2:30pm

  • RM118 nett per adult | RM59 nett per child (aged 5–11)

Prior reservations required. 20% off for selected credit card holders and TABLEAPP bookings.

For reservations, call +607 268 6868 or email us at JohorBahru.FB@hilton.com or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com

Caffé Cino, Hilton Kuching – Easter Goodies

Bright flavours and ornate decorations are par for the course with Easter desserts. Indulge your friends and family with adorable treats such as homemade Easter Cookies, Bunny Strawberry Sponge Cake and Bunny Chocolate Sponge Cake at Caffé Cino. Bound to add the perfect sweetness to your Easter holiday.

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29 March – 4 April 2021

  • From RM15 nett per item | Pre-order is required two days in advance.

For reservations, call +6012 496 3500, email KUCHI_FB@hilton.com or visit www.takeus-home.com.

Review: DoubleTree by Hilton Penang – Day 2

Rise and shine, folks! It’s our second day at DoubleTree by Hilton Penang, and you know what they say about great mornings – it always starts with a great breakfast.

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Makan Kitchen is DoubleTree’s signature restaurant found at all of their hotels in Malaysia, and it serves mainly authentic Malaysian fare. The dining area is spacious, with plenty of seats and an alfresco dining area with views of the pool.

Breakfast featured the usual Malaysian favourites like roti canai, nasi lemak, char koay teow (wok fried glass noodles) and dimsum, but they also had a small selection of Western items like chicken and beef sausages, cold cuts and toast.

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Breakfast of champions. 

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It was time for the official opening ceremony. The VIPs were welcomed with an energetic drum performance at the resort’s entrance.

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Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (centre) and senior management of DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, accompanied by the brand’s Cookie mascot.

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We then went on a tour of the resort’s facilities.

(Above) the children’s pool, complete with slides and water fountains. In the background is the bridge leading to the beach across the road.

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The resort prides itself in catering for families. Just next to the pool is the bright and cheerful-looking Kids Club, where the little ones can take part in activities, games and classes to keep them occupied while mom and dad chill out. Don’t worry – there is a member of staff on site to make sure things don’t get rowdy.

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Business travelers can utilise the quiet space near the Axis Lounge to do some work or surf the internet, if they ever need a break from being cooped up in the rooms.

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The resort has 316 rooms and suites in total – but the grandest has got to be their King Suites, available in one or two bedroom configurations. The one that we toured had a giant (very comfy looking) king-sized bed, a lounge bed for an extra guest, a separate living area, kitchenette and a swinging TV in the middle (so you can turn it to either the living area/the bed. Pretty neat!)

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Bathroom had a bathtub with a clear window.

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Seaview from the terrace. The terrace is large enough to fit a dining table for six with room to spare. Great for parties.

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For all the fitness enthusiasts, being on holiday doesn’t mean you have to give up on your routine, as the resort has a well-equipped gym – with a gorgeous sea view to boot.

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Took a dip in the pool in the afternoon. I liked that they had these large shaded cabanas where you can just chill and lounge around with a book and a drink. There was a sandy area with beach chairs as well.

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Before dinner, also paid a visit to the spa! It feels exclusive and tranquil.

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Very large room, complete with shower and toilet.  The spa faces the sea, which you can catch glimpses of through the bamboo shutters. However, it is also close to the children’s pool, so you will hear children giggling and splashing throughout the spa session. I suggest coming in the afternoon when people are less likely to be outside due to the heat.

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Items to pamper yourself.

My massage session lasted just over an hour. Before going in, they ask you about your strength preferences (how hard you want the masseuse to go) and any injuries that you may have. My therapist was good and professional, and really loosened up the tight knots I had in my shoulders.

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Finished off with a spot of warm ginger tea.

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Dinner time at Makan Kitchen. I felt like they could do with a bit more variety, but if you’re tired after a long day and don’t want take a bus to Georgetown or Gurney Drive, the place offers typical Penang street food (like assam laksa, curry mee) in a nice and comfortable setting. I really enjoyed the pasembur (below)!

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All in all, DoubleTree by Hilton Penang is well catered to families and leisure travelers. Although their location is a wee bit aways from the central hub of Georgetown, it’s still easy to get there via free bus services provided by the hotel. Even if you’re not doing any sightseeing, it’s nice to chill around the hotel and enjoy its facilities, from the gym and spa to the pool. Also, don’t forget to check out the TeddyVille Museum, located within the resort.

Rooms average about RM300 for a one night’s stay.

doubletree3.hilton.com/penang

Review: Double Tree by Hilton Penang / Exploring Batu Feringghi

Hey guys! DoubleTree by Hilton Penang, the brand’s first DoubleTree resort on the island, has finally opened, and I was privileged to be invited for a media review of the place! 🙂

We took a bus from Hilton KL which departed an hour late because some members of the media had no respect for other people’s time, so it was well in the evening when we finally pulled into the resort’s courtyard.

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Located on the northern shores of Penang near Batu Ferringhi, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang sits on what was once the Hydro Hotel, but has been completely revamped and refurbished. The lobby was wide and spacious, with rattan chairs and cushions to lounge on, Peranakan-inspired tiles and a gorgeous view of the sea. We were then welcomed with their freshly baked, signature warm cookie.

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Adjourning to the Axis Lounge for tea.

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Evening view from lounge balcony. Guests can walk over to a small beach via pedestrian bridge. They do have warning signs about jellyfish though so swim at your own risk.

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Was super tired after the long bus ride and gladly went to freshen up in my room, where I’d be staying for two nights. It was nice, cosy and pretty spacious, with all the amenities you’d expect from a DoubleTree: comfy, fluffy bed, plenty of soft pillows, warm duvet, TV channels aplenty, coffee and tea making facilities, and bathrobes (!)

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I liked the decor of the room which had lots of Peranakan-inspired details – harkening to Penang’s rich culture and heritage, like this tiled wall decoration.

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Welcome chocolates and cookies.

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View from balcony, which faced a housing area and some condos, with a sliver of sea visible on the right.

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Chairs to chill out on. Not in the daytime though as the room seemed to be facing the sun directly during the evening and it was super hot.

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Toilet was clean, although I was expecting a bathtub.

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Crabtree and Evelyn bath products.

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Room 712.

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(Above) children’s pool

When it was dinnertime, we made our way downstairs to the resort’s restaurant, Makan Kitchen.

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Another tribute to Penang’s colourful art and culture scene: street murals.

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Dinner was an interesting showcase of local flavours with a twist. Our starter consisted of lobster bergedil with acar nanas, duck pie tee cup and tandoori salmon roulade on masala kulcha with Indian chutney. My favourite was the duck pie tee, which had a crunchy and crisp pastry skin coupled with succulent, slightly gamey duck on the inside.

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Also enjoyed my oxtail terrine Infused with Chinese Herbal Soup. The rich flavour of the oxtail terrine contrasted nicely with the light, savoury broth.

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For mains, Briyani flavoured polenta cake with Kadai Lamb Shank, Steam Cod fish with signature nyonya turmeric gravy and authentic roasted percik quail with white percik sauce. The percik had a strong gamey taste which I think some people would find unpleasant. The lamb and polenta cake was rich and a little overwhelming, but the fish was nice, tangy and appetising.

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The dessert of Peranakan Cha Cha cheesecake was beautifully presented like a work of art. The cake was not too dense and paired well with all the other elements like candied fruit, white chocolate and spun sugar on the plate.

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I felt like I could walk off the calories after the meal, so a bunch of us went to Batu Feringghi market, about a five minute drive away.

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There’s nothing much to see at the market, unless you’re keen on shopping for knock off goods, bags, cheap clothes, shoes and souvenirs. It reminded me a lot of Petaling Street, down to the foreign vendors.

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A reflexology center called Desire. Not dodgy at all, nope.

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Well at least there were some Instagram-able places to take pictures at 😀

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We ended up sitting at the Starbucks for an hour (drinking coffee… ie more calories lol) before heading back to the resort.

More in the next post! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teddyville Museum @ DoubleTree By Hilton Penang, Malaysia

**Note: Photo heavy post! Video at bottom.

Here’s some good news for teddy bear fans: you don’t have to fly all the way to South Korea to visit their Teddy Bear Museum. We have one right here in Malaysia, and it’s pretty awesome!

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Tucked within DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang at Batu Feringghi is Teddyville Museum, a fun and interactive space that features the iconic, well loved toys that have been (and still are) a comforting companion to generations of children and adults for over a century. Covering 9,000 square feet, the museum is a good place to learn not only about teddy bear history, but also the story of Penang island.

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Don’t forget to pose with this giant teddy at the entrance! It stands (or sits) at a height twice as much as an average human, namely me. lol.

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The first section of the museum is dedicated to classic bears, some of which date back to the 1900s! The teddy bears of today have a pretty standard look, but classic teddies varied in material and appearance, and came in all shapes and sizes – like the one above which had very long strands of ‘fur’, next to two carved wooden ones.

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TEDDY TRIVIA

Have you ever wondered why they call it a ‘Teddy’ bear? The toys were named after US President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt. The story goes that the president was on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902. Roosevelt’s assistants cornered and tied a black bear to a willow tree, and suggested he shoot it, but viewing this as unsportsmanlike, Roosevelt refused. News spread about the ‘big game hunter’ who refused to shoot a bear – and it was immortalised in a caricature published in the Washington Post.

By Clifford K.Berryman.

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It is perhaps for this reason that early bears were depicted with ‘sad’ expressions, having been spared of a grizzly fate (grizzly/grisly geddit? i amuse myself sometimes ha.)

It wasn’t until the 1920s that bears started having happier expressions.

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World War I soldiers often brought teddies along as companions. Sadly, not all (both teddy and human) returned to their loved ones.

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Some of the most expensive pieces in the house include this 1925 ‘Peter Bear’ by Gebruder Sussenguth, valued at RM21,000 (5000USD!). It had a hollow head with movable eyes and tongue, and was made from a moulded type of plaster called composition.

It may be 21k but to me this looks like the Annabelle of Teddies. I wouldn’t want to have it in the room, let alone sleep with it!

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The original Winnie the Pooh bear!

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In the 1940s, World War II came and due to a shortage of materials, teddies were made with shorter snouts and limbs. This is much closer to the version we see today.

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Rolling into the Rock N’Roll era, we have an Elvis-inspired teddy, complete with the singer’s signature white studded jumpsuit with flared collar.

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The Teddy Ruxpin series, which were fitted with casette tapes and could ‘read’ stories, became best selling toys in the 1980s.

The next few sections of the museum tell the story of Penang from its inception. I loved this section and spent well over an hour exploring the displays and noting small details. It really showed how much heart and effort was put into the making of these teddies and sets! 🙂

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(Above) Arrival of the British, as told through miniature teddies. Was super impressed with the level of detail !

For those not familiar with Malaysian history, Penang island was ‘founded’ in the 1700s by Captain Sir Francis Light, an Englishman for the British East India company. Foreign powers were expanding quickly in the Malayan Straits and Southeast Asia, and everyone wanted a piece of the pie. Penang’s strategic location allowed it to become a bustling centre of trade and commerce – so kudos to Light for having the foresight to ‘book’ the island under British influence.

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A large teddy version of Light.

Stories go that he was a bit of an ass though, as he leased the island from the Sultanate of Kedah with the promise that British forces would help if Siam attacked the kingdom, but then bailed on his promise. He died from malaria at the age of 54, and visitors to the Protestant Cemetery in Penang will find his tomb there.

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The next section highlighted the three main races in Peninsula Malaysia, namely Malay, Chinese and Indian.

The miniature Indian teddy set was done like a Hindu temple, complete with an intricate silver chariot pulled by bulls, kavadi-bearing teddies, temple priests, tiny coconut shells to represent the real ones used during religious festivals, and of course, teddies dressed in traditional Indian cultural garb.

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The large kavadi-bearing teddy in saffron robes and a metal rod skewered through its cheeks.

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A traditional ‘kampung’ (village) setting was used to highlight Malay culture. The ‘female’ teddies even wore tudungs, lol. In a corner (not pictured) were teddies cooking food in a kawah (cauldron) – a scene familiar to festivals and events in the kampung, where everyone pitches in to help with the preparations.

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Immensely amused that the ‘Chinese’ teddies had slits for eyes lol.

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Scene based on Penang’s famous Taoist/Buddhist temple, Kek Lok Si.

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Moving on to landmarks in Penang, we have a recreation of Siam Road’s famous char koay teow stall. They even have the owner’s grumpy expression down pat! (PS: The owner of the stall is always grumpy looking coz he has a lot of customers to serve.)

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Mini set of Gurney Drive’s hawker stalls. Again, super impressed with the level of detail. The teddies aren’t just in the same poses – we have teddies taking pictures of the food, teddies ordering, etc.

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Penang is an island after all, so of course the museum has to have a set featuring its beaches.

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Another famous attraction – Penang Hill – featuring the funicular train.

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Lol school trip with cikgu and students in uniforms.

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I could spend hours looking at the tiny details: teddy kids holding lollipops, a group of (presumably) teenage teddies with a miniature iPhone taking selfies, teddies looking through the observation binoculars.

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Typical scene at a Chinese kopitiam in Penang.

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We also have a teddy dedicated to Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, who popularised Penang through his beautiful street murals.

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The process of making traditional batik.

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Teddy decked out in the Penang International Marathon runner’s tee. I have one of these 😀

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The dragon boat festival is one of the highlights of the island’s annual calendar.

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The museum also gives a nod to Penang’s industrial side, with these factory workers assembling electronics.

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Paying tribute to our national sporting heroes. Can you guess who they are? 😀

Here’s a short video I put together:

I really enjoyed my visit to the Teddyville Museum and it exceeded my expectations with its beautiful sets, meticulous attention to detail and wonderful showcase of Malaysian heritage. I think it’ll be a great place to take the kids to and teach them in a fun and educational way about Penang’s history and culture.

TEDDYVILLE MUSEUM

56, Jalan Low Yat, Puncak Ria, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang

*Located within DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang

Entry: RM36 (adults/MYKAD), RM25 (children/MYKAD)

Open daily: 9AM – 6PM

Crispy Friday by Swallow @The Saw Emporium X Penang International Food Festival 2018

Love all things crispy? A trip to Swallow @ The Saw Emporium is in order, as the pop-up dining joint brings together the crunchiest goodies from Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore – for one night only – at the annual Penang International Food Festival 2018.

Crispy Friday, happening on 20 April from 5 – 11PM, will feature local street food vendors, a food eating contest and local music bands. Meanwhile, kitchen takeovers, guest shifts and a beer party continue throughout the weekend.

Wolf Burger

Kicking things off at 5.30PM is the Crispy Fryday Food Eating Competition, comprising two rounds where participants consume either gourmet burgers by WOLF Burgers or a Mega Japanese Curry Rice by Teppei Syokudo in the fastest time possible. Up to 5 two-person teams can compete to win up to RM250 cash prizes. The contest is open to all nationalities, genders and ages where pre-registration is strictly required.

Local street vendors will pop up in dedicated food stands including Hock Seng Rojak King @ Lebuh Macallum with its signature sticky rojak sauce, fried banana fritters by Ah Boy Pisang Goreng @ Penang Road, as well as Keropok Lekor, Murukku and Belachan Chicken.

Crispy Fryday Flatlay

Look out for Crispy Fryday special menus from Swallow dining partners, featuring Assorted Tempura, Pork Tonkatsu, Seafood Kakiage, Deep-Fried Soft Shell Crab With Pork Floss and Assorted Kushikatsu Sticks by Teppei Syokudo, Sesame Street Deep-Fried Chicken Cartilage by WhatSaeb แซ่บ Boat Noodles, Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls by Pho Viet.

Crispy Fryday Jumbo Chicken and Pork Skewers on Grill

Throughout the night, enjoy live music with acts such as a 4-piece rock band helmed by guitarist Kelvyn Yeang, as well as three-piece acoustic band Wedding in Charlie.

Swallow mainstay partners such as TAPS Beer Bar, Qwenchers Juice Bar and Norm Café continue to operate as usual from 11am to 12am.

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Patrons can look forward to extended Weekend Kitchen Takeovers from 20 to 22 April, so if you missed out on the action on Friday night, fret not. Gourmet burger specialists from Pasarbella Suntec City in Singapore, WOLF Burgers will take over the kitchen at Embers BBQ Grill to showcase their burgers and fries including the signature Classic Wolf Burger, Honey Mustard Fried Chicken Burger and Pulled Pork with Chipotle Sauce & Corn Salsa, plus fan-favourite Kimchi Cheese Fries and Crispy Fries.

Kimchi Fries

Crispy Fryday Mega Japanese Rice Platter

MICHELIN Guide Singapore Bib Gourmand Owner-Chef Teppei Yamashita at Teppei Syokudo will launch a new menu following the kitchen takeover as he curates new dishes daily alongside signature Ten Don, Salmon Belly Don and Tonteki Fried Rice.

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Kuala Lumpur’s sole entry on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2017 and #10 the year before, speakeasy Omakase + Appreciate will take over the DaVinci Gourmet Cocktail Bar as three-time Diageo World Class Malaysia Champion, mixologist and co-owner, Shawn Chong guest shifts to showcase specialty and personalized cocktails true to the “I leave it to you” Japanese essence of omakase.

KL Bar Awards Best Beer Bar Winner, TAPS Beer Bar will hold the TAPS Beer Party, a sequel to the TAPS Takeover in January which invites beer drinkers on craft beer tasting flights from more than 50 international craft beer bottles and on tap, including ciders from global breweries including small batch brewers.

PIFF 2018 Crispy Fryday
20 April 2018, 5 – 11pm

Swallow @ The Saw Emporium
1 Gat Lebuh Macallum, George Town 10300, Penang Follow the Crispy Fryday event updates at http://bit.ly/CrispyFryday

 

Swallow @ The Saw Emporium – The Hottest Pop-Up Dining Joint in Penang Now Extended Til July 2018!

What can you do with an old, disused saw mill?

You turn it into the hottest, most happening food spot in town.

At least, that’s what the folks at The Steamship Merchants have done with Swallow @ The Saw Emporium, located at Gat Lebuh Macallum in Georgetown, Penang.

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Open since November 2017, Swallow is a multi-concept culinary and lifestyle pop-up event, housed on the first level of a 1950-built art-deco industrial heritage building.

Swallow, The Saw Emporium @ Macallum Road, Penang, Malaysia - 2017 - Kian Contract Malaysia (134)

Make your way from the carpark to the Courtyard and through the original sawmill, lined with timber, tools and saw blades along a walkway. A repurposed 5-metre-long timbre table in the al fresco Courtyard seats 24 on stools from Kian Furniture.

Ultra. Instagrammable.  

Though, it’s really the food and lifestyle offerings that draws the crowd – and they’ve got brand spanking new concepts, new hours, updated food menus and upcoming kitchen takeovers. Originally scheduled to end in early 2018, response has been so encouraging that they’ve extended it until July 2018! 

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New to Swallow is Pho Viet, a Vietnamese café-restaurant committed to serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine with healthy, fresh ingredients. Feast on authentic dishes, from banh mi sandwiches and barbecued meats to fresh and fried spring rolls and steamed banana cakes.

Embers Braised Pork Belly Rice

Mainstay dining partners return with updated menus and well-loved favourites. Leading the charge is Embers BBQ Grill, a fully-flamed and fired-up Asian interpretation of the classic All-American steakhouse. Expect slow roasts and smokey meats marinated in herbs and condiments typically found in Asian kitchens, cooked over a glowing charcoal fire. The  menu also showcases savoury snacks for sharing such as Luncheon Meat Fries and Happy Like Duck Nachos, as well as more substantial items like the Taiwanese Pork Rice.

Whatsæb Flatlay

 

For tantalising Thai dishes, head to WhatSaeb แซบ Boat Noodles. The word saeb is an Isan/North-eastern Thai word for delicious, and Whatsaeb certainly delivers with panache with its authentic Thai boat noodles, served in dainty bowls that easily stack up – because one is never enough. As part of their updated menu, the pop-up now offers Pad Thai Nong Khai and Larb Moo Tod (fried pork and herb meatballs) as well.

Teppei Syokudo Eat

Not to be missed is Teppei Syokudo, the flagship of the award winning Teppei Japanese Restaurant from Singapore. Famous for its great value omakase set dinners in Singapore, Malaysian guests will be able to tuck into its expanded rice bowl offerings, with hot-sellers like Unagi Tamago Don, Katsu Curry Don and Mentaiko Rice.

Swallow Bottled Cocktails

Food is not the only thing that Swallow brings to the table, as they carry their own brand of bottled cocktails, now available via the DaVinci Gourmet Cocktail Bar. Meanwhile, beer lovers will not want to miss out on TAPS Beer Bar, a pure craft beer bar with outlets in Kuala Lumpur, as they continue to expand their craft beer and cider bottles with weekly specials in limited quantities.

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Qwenchers Logo Embedded

Those who prefer something non-alcoholic (like yours truly) can quench their thirst at the Qwenchers Juice Bar, where one will find everything from coffee to tea and cocktails, prepared using only the best and freshest natural ingredients coupled with unique homemade recipes. Alternatively, hop on over to Norm, where its baristas-cum-bartenders present to diners skyscraping waffles, signature tiramisu and specialty coffees from 9AM, whilst infusing limited-edition cocktails via Noct from dusk until midnight.

Weekend takeovers and quarter long pop-ups with partners such as SOi 55 modern Thai, Yin’s Sourdough Pizza, Three Food Truck & Wham ensure that every visit will be a different experience to Swallow. Friday evenings from 9PM – midnight are a great time to chill, as the venue showcases local artistes, musicians and songbirds.

Swallow, The Saw Emporium @ Macallum Road, Penang, Malaysia - 2017 - Kian Contract Malaysia (62)

From April 2018, Swallow opens from Wednesdays to Sundays and Public Holidays from 11 am to 12 midnight or until the last guest leaves. The Saw Emporium is available for private event bookings and corporate event reservations with customized menus including non-Swallow days on Mondays and Tuesdays, subject to availability via enquiries@steamships.co

Swallow @ The Saw Emporium
1 Gat Lebuh Macallum, George Town 10300, Penang

 

*Photos courtesy of Steamships.co

Penang Design Village – First Outlet Mall in Malaysia’s Northern Region

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Avid shoppers and bargain hunters in Penang must feel like Christmas came early to town! The much anticipated Penang Design Village is finally open, and it promises bargain prices on branded goods, all year long. As the first outlet mall in  the Northern Region, DV boasts some 150 shops over 25 acres of space, with brands such as GAP, Sacoor Brothers, Timberland, Superdry, Esprit, Guess, Levi’s and Samsonite among its list of tenants.

The mall is located in the Bandar Cassia district of Batu Kawan, about 40mins away from Penang International airport. Granted, it’s a bit far from the city centre, but since lots of developments are in the pipeline for the area, such as residential homes, condos, offices, an international college, golf course and theme park, we can expect the place to be busy very soon.

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So what makes PDV different? Instead of an enclosed, air-conditioned ‘box’, like most other malls,  DV is designed to maximize the retail experience – with wide walkways, lots of green space and an open-air concept with naturally cooling ventilation systems. In fact, the mall reminds me of the large retail spaces I’ve seen in the US and the UK, like Liverpool One in Liverpool or The Grove in LA. Greenery aside, there are also spots for relaxation, seats for resting and beautiful water features.

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Decorations are up for Christmas! 🙂

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One of the key points of PDV’s design is their eye-catching ‘jewel boxes’, built with steel struts wrapped in Italian perforated fabric. At night, they glow from within with LED lights, casting a soft light resembling precious jewels. Quite a sight to look at! 🙂

The layout is such that it loops around all the shops without some being ‘left out’, as is usually the case with normal shopping malls where shops on certain floors or at the end get less traffic.

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Padini Store had clothes going for super cheap. Some T-shirts were less than RM10! Too bad we didn’t have too much time to go shopping coz we had to attend the launching event. We did drop by BVO to use our vouchers though. Got some pretty mugs for Christmas 🙂

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As of now they don’t have too many F&B outlets yet other than Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Wendy’s, but more are slated to come soon. You know how Malaysians are – we have to have our food anywhere we go.

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Some other facilities visitors can enjoy: 

  • -Shuttle bus from KOMTAR and Gurney Drive to PDV daily
  • -‘Jungle’ playground facilities for the little ones
  • -over 2,500 parking bays, electric charging stations

Brands to look out for: 

  • Guess, Esprit, Banana Republic
  • Cotton On, Bonia, Sembonia
  • Carlo Rino, Brands Outlet, Beryl’s
  • Hush Puppies, Akemiuchi
  • Beauty Scents, The Cosmetics Company
  • Hush Puppy, Obermain, Bratpack

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Got some goodies to take home! 🙂 A lovely soft scarf, a coin purse, and a small bottle of Bvlgari perfume (which smells awesome btw!)

So if you’re looking for good deals on branded or alternative brands, PDV is the place to hunt for them. There will also be loads of activities and performances throughout the month of December and New Year’s. Merry Christmas, and Happy Shopping! 🙂

Review: Lexis Suites Penang @ Teluk Kumbar Malaysia

Hey, guys! So I was in Penang recently for an assignment, and the organizers put us up at a five-star luxury resort called Lexis Suites. Newly opened this year, it is located at Teluk Kumbar, about 15 minutes away from the Penang International Airport. Granted, the location is a bit far from the city center, but nothing a cab or shuttle can’t handle.

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An hour’s flight from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.

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Trip companion

bookingcom
Source: booking.com

Didn’t manage to get a photo of the exterior, so here’s one from Booking.com.

The building is easy to spot, since it’s the tallest in the area. On the outside, it looks like your regular hotel/apartment. Even the lobby is nothing fancy…but wait til you check out the rooms!

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View from the main lobby area on each floor.

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I checked into an Executive Pool Suite. The main area had: two king-sized beds (each with seven pillows lol), two lounge chairs, a long counter, large LCD-screen IPTV, mini-fridge, safe and coffee/tea-making facilities. The room had an orange and blue colour scheme that was cheerful and bright! 🙂

Bed was good and pillows were really soft…but I didn’t sleep that well because I’m a peasant and I’m used to sleeping on something with a bit more hardness to it. ._.

My only other complaint is that the air conditioning wasn’t strong so I flung everything away in the middle of the night.

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The IPTV allows guests to watch TV, listen to the radio, and even order room service so you don’t have to use the phone to call.  🙂

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Pulling the curtains apart and through double doors is the ‘open’ bathroom area with sink, mirror and loads of towels + hairdryer.

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Comes complete with all the toiletries and travel essentials – shaving kit, sewing kit, ladies sanitary kit, lotions and shampoos – you won’t even need to pack your own. 🙂

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Closet on the right has two fluffy bathrobes and slippers + a foldable ironing board/iron.

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No five-star hotel would be complete without a tub for soaking.

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Saved the best part of the room for last – the balcony area, which has a small private pool for you to dip in. Course, you definitely can’t do laps, but it’s a nice place to soak in while you’re looking at the sea. All the rooms at Lexis Suites come with a private pool. Next to the pool is a steam room/sauna area.

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Didn’t get to check out the rest of the facilities coz was out for assignment the whole night, but they do have all the stuff a proper resort should have, like a large swimming pool, gym, sky terrace, spa where you can get massages/ restaurants and such. Breakfast is at the Mezzanine floor, although selection is rather limited.

Price per night : from RM450 onwards

PROS 

  • Huge rooms, value for money if travelling in bigger groups
  • All rooms have private pool and beach view
  • Beach is just a few minutes away, although it isn’t a touristy beach and has lots of fishing boats so probably not a good idea to take a dip
  • All the facilities – Gym, swimming pool with more beach views, spa, Kids Playground and Karaoke center
  • Japanese resto on ground floor, bar and sky terrace on upper floors

CONS

  • Location is in south part of Penang Island, so getting to the heritage enclave, commercial center and tourist attractions can be tricky. PS: They do provide intermittent shuttle services
  • Not suitable for solo travelers.. unless you want to sleep in a huge ass room all by yourself
  • Breakfast selection was rather limited during my stay, but then again it could have been because it was a weekday
  • Not enough TV channels: they had the basic TV1-3, NTV7, 8TV, TV9, BBC, a sports channel and an entertainment/lifestyle channel, but that’s about it. Management should look into getting a Movie channel like HBO or something, coz I think that’s what most people enjoy.

Verdict – Lexis Suites is a great pick for families and travelers who want some luxury. If you like someplace quiet to relax, away from the city, then this is the perfect choice.