Hungarian Chimney Cakes @ Rollney, Setia City Mall, Shah Alam

Kürtőskalács, or chimney cake, is a traditional Hungarian dessert – so called because the bread-like pastry is wrapped around a spit in a truncated cone, then roasted over a charcoal fire, with the end product resembling a hot chimney. The cakes have a rich history dating back to medieval times, and was once favoured by Hungarian nobility in the 18th century.

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In Malaysia, you can get these sweet treats from Rollney, which has outlets in major shopping centres in the Klang Valley. Apparently the brand has been around since 2017, but I only came across it recently while shopping at Setia City Mall in Shah Alam.

N and I just had lunch and were craving something sweet, so this was right up our alley. Although seats are limited at the kiosk, I recommend dining in as eating the chimney cake can get pretty messy due to its sugar coating.

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You can choose to have the bread on its own with flavours such as cinnamon, chocolate, and peanut, or as ‘fries’ ie chopped up into bite-sized pieces and drizzled over with peanut and chocolate sauces. Savoury rolls with sausage and chicken are also available. We opted for ice cream with our chimney cake, where the bread acted in place of a cone. Again, it’s pretty messy because the cake doesn’t have a base, so your melted ice cream pools to the bottom of the paper cup.

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Staff in action rolling the dough.

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The ‘cake’ is baked then rolled in granulated sugar.

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We went for the Honey Pretz (RM15.90), which came with mini pretzels and chopped peanuts, drizzled over with honey syrup. You can’t see it but they put cornflakes to fill up the ‘hole’ at the bottom, which was an odd addition because the ice cream made the cornflakes soggy.

I like the chimney cake. It has a solid, slightly chewy texture, with a crisp crust coated in sugar. The ice cream can do with some improvement, though. There was way too much ice and not enough cream; felt like a sorbet. I did not think it was worth paying RM15.90 for it, especially when McDonald’s churns out good vanilla sundaes for like 1/3 of the price. Cake = good, ice cream = not so much.

Would I have Kürtőskalács from Rollney again? Maybe, but minus the ice cream. I think it goes better with something like cream in the hollow. Something to consider for their menu?

ROLLNEY

LG-K03, Lower Ground Floor, Setia City Mall, No. 7, Persiaran Setia Dagang, Shah Alam

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Shah Alam Lake Gardens, Shah Alam

Malls may be popular in Malaysia because of our sweltering tropical weather, but for those who want a green respite in the city, there are many well landscaped parks to explore too. One of the largest in Selangor is the Shah Alam Lake Gardens, located in the heart of the state capital, Shah Alam.

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Designed by renowned Japanese landscape architect Fumiako Tanako, the Shah Alam Lake Gardens opened in 1985, covering a massive 43 hectares (roughly the size of 35 football fields). The park is built around three man-made lakes, and includes playgrounds, exercise lawns with equipment, elevated walkways, cycling and jogging tracks, gazebos, a floating seafood restaurant, and even an extreme sports tower where you can ride the flying fox across one of the lakes.

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N and I came here for a walk after our visit to the immigration nearby, thinking it would be a nice and relaxing stroll. We’ve never been here before, so when we parked at the east entrance and saw the smallish lake there, we thought ‘meh we can do this in under an hour’.

What we didn’t know is that the park is divided into three sections. We only ‘discovered’ the Central and West sections after walking through an underpass and emerging into another massive area lol. Still underestimating its size, we decided to make a ‘circuit’ around. It ended up being an absolute workout that took over two hours. The good news was that I got almost 20,000 steps in!

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The east section is smaller than the others, but has one of the most picturesque views of Shah Alam’s famous Blue Mosque. If you stand at the bridge spanning the lake (or a bit further, like in this shot), you’ll get wonderful shots of the building reflected on the water’s surface.

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The park is beautifully landscaped with a variety of different trees and plants. On the East end, you’ll find sparse-looking trees forming an archway over the bridge, which I think is very-eye catching for photography.

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Peeping Tom

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Some of the flowers you’ll come across at the park.

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After passing an underground tunnel of sorts, we emerged to the gardens’ Central area. It was massive, but it looked like there was an elevated walkway built across the lake where we could cross—so we (foolishly) decided to press on. We would later find out that the walkway was closed 😛

By then we were too far in to walk back the way we came so there was no choice but to finish the entire circuit lmao.

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If you’re an adrenaline junkie, look out for a tower in this area where you can sign up for the Flying Fox activity. N and I are too old for that sht, so walking on these elevated walkways was plenty of excitement already. The walkways were connected to each other with these wonky wooden bridges that swayed dangerously whenever someone walked on them—and although they weren’t high above the ground, it was a strenous workout to balance ourselves and not fall over.

The large trees provided plenty of shade. We even saw a couple of bushy-tailed squirrels darting across the branches!

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Taking a breather.

I actually missed out on taking pictures because I was getting tired by the time we got to the halfway point and was only focused on getting to the end. But along the way we passed by well-maintained exercise lawns complete with equipment, a massive children’s playground, the floating restaurant, and a boat rental area where you can rent paddle boats out onto the lake. There is also a museum, which was closed during our visit.

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As you loop to the other side of the lake which faces the Immigration department, you will see birds such as storks and geese. We even came across a giant monitor lizard slithering along the water’s edge.

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What we thought would be an easy, hour-long walk turned into a two-hour excursion—but not an unpleasant one. If you cycle or jog, this is a great place to workout, soak in the sights, and breathe in the fresh air. I think it’s wonderful that we have such nice parks right in the middle of the city that offer a respite from the concrete jungle.

SHAH ALAM LAKE GARDENS

Persiaran Tasek, Seksyen 14, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor

Parking: Public parking is available at several entrances around the park.

Transport: It’s best to drive to the park. Alternatively, take bus T754 from the Shah Alam KTM station.

I-City Shah Alam: A Neon Forest Of Lights And Fun (Revisited)

I-City in Shah Alam has become one of my ‘staple’ places to bring out-of-towners visiting KL. They’re usually impressed by the neon trees and overall atmosphere, which makes for great photos – so I took the Boy here on his last visit.

There are a few new additions to the place, but most of the attractions like the Horror House, Snow World, Wax Museum and the rides are still the same (and still overpriced, lol).

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The main area features a cluster of trees and a fountain illuminated by changing neon lights.

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Not sure if these were put up just for Halloween or if it’s part of a permanent decoration.

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The forest of neon trees, modeled after Nami Island in South Korea (popularised by that old K-Drama Winter Sonata) is I-City’s main attraction, drawing many visitors to take photos and selfies. Last year, CNN Travel named it one of the brightest, most colourful places in the world. The best part is that entrance is absolutely free! (minus parking)

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Within the ‘forest’ are various rides which you can go on for a fee; such as a double-storey carousel, a small (but fast moving!) swing ride, a pirate ship and more. The scariest, though, has to be:

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… this. Dubbed the ‘Disco Ride’, the car rotates at high speeds up and down a bowl-shaped track. The Boy and I were supposed to go on this together, but after we paid and everything he decided he couldn’t (lol) so I rode on it alone. It was a good call on his part; because the ride was scary. Whenever it rode up to the top of the track it felt like I was going to fly off into the trees at any second lol. Maybe it also has something to do with getting old – I can’t go on amusement rides like I used to. I was a real rollercoaster junkie back in my college days.

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These are new structures – they look like dandelions with very thin filaments. The effect was pretty magical!

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The Ferris Wheel is always popular at any amusement park. There was a long line waiting to go on it so we gave it a miss.

There are also carnival games and smaller rides like bumper cars, which are more suitable for the kids.

Verdict: Although it’s not in the city center, I-City is a fun place to visit at night, if you have the time and want to go beyond the usual KLCC-KL Tower-Bukit Bintang attractions.

Best way to get here: The nearest KTM station is Padang Jawa, but I suggest getting a Grab. Public transport is not the best in the area, and taxis will most probably fleece you.

 

Forest of Lights, i-City Shah Alam

I remember when I-City first started off a couple of years ago.

It was just the Forest of LED Lights, before they added all the other attractions. Designed to look like an avenue of trees like the one on Jeju Island, made famous by the Winter Sonata Korean drama series, it was a new thing for Malaysians and they’d flock to it in droves, especially on weekend nights. Since then, there has been various additions to the place, including rides and magical fountains – transforming it into a family-oriented theme park of sorts.

Although I’ve been here a couple of times before, it was still nice to walk around, because entrance is free.  It can be quite romantic to stroll around with your significant other 🙂

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A new feature is the ‘mist fountain’, which emits.. well, mists as visitors walk around a clump of LED trees. The foggy atmosphere creates a faint halo around the lights. The resulting effect is quite magical!

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Went for this ride called Skytrax – basically a two-seater mini car contraption that travels around the ‘trees’ via an elevated track. Highly recommended for couples – just no hanky-panky coz they have people standing on platforms taking photographs, which you will be able to buy at ridiculously inflated prices when you get back on the ground.

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The lights can hurt your eyes after a bit

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Swingy thing with a double-storey carousel in the background.

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The ‘music’ fountain, which is lit up by more lights and ‘dances’ according to music.

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I went on this rotating thing which goes up and down in a U-shape. Although it didn’t look very impressive, it’s quite scary when you’re actually on it. Or maybe I’m growing old. When I was younger, I was a real adrenaline junkie – I’d go on the scariest looking rides like they were nothing. These past couple of years, I prefer having both my feet solidly on the ground. Signs of aging (?)

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Pirate ship and (right) Giant Ferris wheel. The line was super long, so didn’t go on it.

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Since I still had a lot of money in my card, went into this random kiddie ride where you sit on a cramped little boat on shallow water through a sea-themed tunnel. The boat’s movement was extremely slow, and the passage was so narrow that it often got stuck. I got impatient so I kept pulling it forward. It still took 15 minutes, even though the space wasn’t very big. There was nothing to do but wait for the boat to inch forward….

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Exhausted by then, so time to call it a night! The next morning, we had a couple of hours before checking out, so it was on to the Water World – i-City’s water theme park.

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We played some games as part of an ‘ice-breaking’, then everyone went off their separate ways. I stuck with a few other media members so that we could go on the Typhoon ride (it’s that big funnel thing on the right), which required four members. It was empty on a Sunday morning, so we basically had the whole place to ourselves. Honestly, that ride was the best of everything I had visited in i-City so far.

That’s all for my trip to i-City! There are some sights more worth visiting compared to others, but all in all, a fun affair for all the family. Just pick the right attractions to get the most of your money’s worth.

iCity

Jalan Multimedia, 40000 i-City, Malaysia.

Phone: +6 03 5521 8800

Red Carpet Wax Museum, i-City Shah Alam

The only wax museum in Malaysia, Red Carpet@i-City, Shah Alam is modelled after an ‘Oscar awards’ setting, just like the one in Madame Tussauds all around the world. My first visit was a year ago when they first opened (the entry was >Rm100!), and they have added a couple of new exhibits this time around. The price is much more reasonable now at only Rm30 per ticket.. I guess they reduced it because nobody was going lol.

Anyway, I highly recommend coming on a weekday afternoon, because you have the whole place to yourself.

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The wax figures aren’t very impressive as some do look like.. well, wax figures. But I know I can’t be comparing it to Madame Tussauds in London, which is THE standard for wax museums all over the world. Anyway, the place is not hard to locate within I-City; it’s the flashy fire-engine red building with lots of colourful, flashy stars. Once you enter, famous actresses dressed in cheongsam-dresses greet visitors. These are mechatronic and will bow periodically with a ‘welcome’.

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The place is divided into small themed sections. On the landing going up, there is a Monkey King figure (featuring HK action star Donnie Yen in his latest fantasy flick), and Marilyn Monroe who is only recognisable by her dress. Once you enter the actual exhibition area, the first section is dedicated to political leaders from all over the world.

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On a podium is Obama(left), next to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Some other notable figures include Mao Zedong, Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan, the ex-Pope, and our very own Tunku Abdul Rahman(center).

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Some of the wax detailing seems to be fading a little, coz the ‘skin’ looked patchy in places, but otherwise the hands were realistic with curves, grooves and tiny indentations in them.

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The late Steve Jobs and (right) a young looking Bill Gates.

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Movie stars. Not just from Hollywood but from Asia as well like Andy Lau (far left).

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Sport personalities..

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In a random room, an alien.

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And just before leaving, the Governator.

Verdict: At Rm35, I guess it’s pretty affordable and there are ample wax figures to take pix with. 😀 If you’re a foreigner, it’s gonna cost you triple though at Rm100 per ticket.

Red Carpet Wax Museum

i-City, D-1-G, Jalan Multimedia 7/AJ, Seksyen 7, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Business hours: Open daily from 10am to Midnight (until 1 am at Weekends and Public/School Holidays).

 

 

House of Horror & Space Mission,i-City

We continue our exploration of the various attractions around i-City: namely the House of Horror and a new addition, the Space Mission. First things first, some spooks!

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Unlike Scream Park in Sunway Lagoon which has actual actors in it, the House of Horror relies solely on atmosphere and mechatronics. Since it’s located in a double-storey shoplot, you have to climb the stairs to get to the entrance. Once you enter, you’ll be greeted by low creepy lighting and some skeleton/cobweb props. When we visited that afternoon, the place was completely empty, which kinda added to the creepy factor.

As you make your way through the exhibits, sensors detect your presence and will trigger the appropriate mechatronics to move or make noises. After the quiet ambience, this sudden loud explosion of noise can make you jump. Mum and I ended up walking through the whole thing with our fingers stuffed in our ears, because we both disliked sudden loud noises.

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Apart from some regular ghosts and ghouls like the Headless Horseman, they also incorporated some local flavour with things like the Pontianak (a local female vampire) and Pocong (corpse).

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Overall, the ambience isn’t spooky per se, but visitors are kept on their toes in anticipation for the next cheap scare. If I were to compare Scream Park with House of Horror, the former is much better because it is not only interactive, but they also have trained staff and realistic setups that can scare the bejeesus out of you.

Ticket price: RM15. Not worth the hefty price tag, but if you’re REALLY bored…

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We moved on to the Space Mission, supposedly a new attraction designed to emulate a ‘space adventure’. What we got was basically a boring walk-through a cold, empty hall with a couple of exhibits bathed in blue light. There was virtually no interactivity, other than the odd robot or panel emitting some noise. I thought we could have at least interacted with the ‘boards’ which were done like a space ship panel, but no – they were simply boards with lights behind them. No buttons, no nothing.

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They ripped off Transformers with a badly done Bumblebee replica.. I wonder if Universal Studios licensed this?

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“Alien section” with non-moving alien replicas. To be fair, these were done pretty well, but they were just statues, so… I guess kids would love them.

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The nicest part in this entire attraction – A tunnel of ‘running’ lights.

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Avatar and the Tree of Life or whatever you call it… they actually had boobs and nipples. I mean, wouldn’t the religious authorities come swooping down on them for indecent portrayal of statues? *inside joke*

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There was a ‘ride’ which took us through another area. It was really slow , and the only difference was that I could sit instead of walk lol. The ride was less than 2 minutes and involved looking at more static exhibits.

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Finally some touchscreen quizzes… but do they not proofread?

Entry ticket price: RM15.

It’s quite a ripoff, because we were out in like 15 minutes. It would have been better if it was more well thought out and had more interactivity. Not worth the entry price.

House of Horror/ Space Mission

i-City, D-1-G, Jalan Multimedia 7/AJ, Seksyen 7, Shah Alam, Selangor

 

Trick Art Museum, I-City Shah Alam

HOW is it like to be one of the first guests at a brand spanking new hotel? Interesting, to say the least! We were invited to a media getaway at I-City Shah Alam‘s new three-star hotel, the Best Western, with a complimentary night’s stay and free buffet meals. Since I was allowed to bring a guest, I had my mum tag along, even though my house isn’t that far away from Shah Alam. At least we got to sleep in a comfortable and spacious room with fluffy pillows and comforters and cold air conditioning.:)

As part of our trip, we were also given free reign of the various attractions within I-City.

To those who haven’t been here before, I-City is a theme park of sorts with rides, places of visit and other stuff all under one roof. It is particularly popular for itsforest of LED trees at night – but has since opened many more attractions, including the Trick Art Museum – which was our first stop of the day.

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The place is divided into five sections over two storeys of 3D-paintings, designed to look like they are ‘popping’ out of the wall. The five theme are Masterpieces, Egyptian, Marine Life, Animal Kingdom and Modern Classics. Some of the famous paintings you will see include the Mona Lisa and The Scream. There are helpful photos next to each painting for visitors to refer on how to take the perfect 3D-looking pic.

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I think youngsters and families would enjoy the place, since you can be as creative as you want with the pictures. You don’t necessarily have to follow the examples given! When we went it was afternoon so there wasn’t much of a crowd so we could take our time, but I imagined it would be a long wait if it was busy.

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Upstairs where all the other themes are located and jumbled together. Some of the paintings didn’t look very 3D though.

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Various ‘modern’ paintings depicting European life. Idk why they didn’t put in some local flavour as well.

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There were even some famous movie characters, like ET, King Kong, Spiderman, The Mummy and Batman.

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Entry tickets are priced at RM10 per person. It’s a unique concept, but there aren’t like a tonneload of exhibits on display. We were out in less than 30 minutes. But if you have families with small kids, or teens, could be a nice place to go to for the weekend + visit other attractions in the area.

Trick Art Museum@I-City 

i-City, D-1-G, Jalan Multimedia 7/AJ, Seksyen 7, Shah Alam, Selangor

Opening hours: Daily (11am -12am/1am on holidays)

Entry: RM10

 

Travel Diaries: I-City, Shah Alam

I’ve been to I-City a few times before, but it’s still a place I’d bring guests to visit whenever they’re in Malaysia. Situated in Shah Alam, the amusement park of sorts comes to life at night with brightly coloured neon lights on real and artificial trees. Some are designed to look like the Winter Sonata trees pavilion on Nami Island in Korea.

It would be a romantic stroll if it wasn’t so hot. @-@ Despite that, there were many couples at the place.

Electricity bill much

Viewing the trees themselves are free, but there is practically no public transport to the place, so you’d either have to take a cab or drive. You can park in the basement for a fee.

They used to only have trees, but they’ve expanded to add lots of other attractions, where you have to pay to enter. These include carousels, a few rides, a giant Ferris wheel, a Snowhouse, interactive 3-D art trick art museum and the latest addition, a ‘Red Carpet’ wax museum. While nothing at all like Madame Tussauds in London, I guess this is good enough for those of us who can’t just fly off to the UK.

If you’re bored of shopping malls and don’t mind getting a little sweaty, why not drop by at I-City? After you start seeing light spots in front of your eyes, you can take a break at the numerous mamak stalls and cafes around the area.

iCity

Jalan Multimedia, 40000 i-City, Malaysia.

Phone: +6 03 5521 8800