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Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay To Open First Restaurant in Malaysia in June 2021

Gordon Ramsay may be known for his fiery persona on shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares – but with 16 Michelin stars and dozens of restaurants around the globe, you can’t say the man doesn’t have the chops.

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Come June 2021, Malaysian foodies will be in for a memorable dining experience, as Sunway City Kuala Lumpur has announced a groundbreaking partnership with Gordon Ramsay Restaurants to open the chef’s first ever restaurant here in Malaysia.

Blending culinary brilliance and eclectic entertainment, the Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill is the first concept to be implemented outside of its original outlet in Mayfair, London, and it is set to serve all-day dining fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a chic and contemporary setting.

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Photo rendering: via Sunway Resort

While the menu has yet to be finalised, it seems that Malaysians can look forward to some of Ramsay’s signature dishes, such as his world-famous Beef Wellington (apparently Ramsay’s version of the baked pie features fillet steak with layers of prosciutto, savoury chive crepe and Dijon mustard, wrapped in puff pastry), as well as Sticky Toffee Pudding.

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Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington. Photo via masterclass.com

It seems fitting that Ramsay has chosen Malaysia as the launchpad for his next expansion. The chef has visited Malaysia several times for his travel shows – like for Gordon’s Great Escape (2011) where he helped at a Buddhist temple to serve vegetarian food to then prime minister Najib Razak, learned how to make rendang from local chef Aunty Aini, and competed in a local cooking contest. He returned in 2018 for another show, Uncharted, following locals into the caves of Malaysian Borneo to harvest bird’s nest.

Although the restaurant’s opening is still a few months away, bookings are already full for the month of June – so if you’re looking to secure a slot before the end of the year, go to sunwayhotels.com/sunway-resort/dining/gordon-ramsay-bar-and-grill.

Just don’t ask for any idiot sandwiches.

Lush Opens Second Outlet At Sunway Pyramid !

When British cosmetics retailer Lush opened its first outlet in Malaysia at Pavilion KL back in 2018, fans of the brand rejoiced – bye bye, exorbitant shipping fees, hello lovely soaps and bath bombs ! You can read about my first visit here.

Now, just in time for the New Year, Lush has opened its second outlet at Sunway Pyramid – so good news for all the folks living this side of the Klang Valley! You won’t have to get stuck in the jam to Pavilion; just the jam at Sunway instead. 😛

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Innovation and inspiration has been at the heart of Lush since it was started 24 years ago, and this is reflected in everything from its products and philosophy to the very design of its outlets. The Sunway Pyramid store is no exception. Spread across 741 square feet, the new shop is larger than the one at Pavilion KL, which means more space to showcase its products and features.

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One of these is the Fresh Face Mask counter – a deli-inspired display for Lush’s iconic fresh face masks. Slate consultations are offered to customers where products are strung together to make a cohesive and personalised skincare regimen- including benefits on the products, demonstrations and pampering sessions.

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Looks good enough to eat (please don’t)

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Expect to find the brand’s iconic bath bombs, soaps, shower jellies, and much, much more.

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Embracing the environmental movement, the shop is outfitted to eliminate wastage and recycle materials where possible. Many of the products are ‘naked’ (ie no packaging), and if you do need to buy them as gifts, there are beautiful fabric wraps (reusable, and so pretty!) that you can purchase. That aside, the shop uses an LED lighting scheme to save on energy, while all paint and internal materials have been carefully selected to have a minimal environmental impact. No products used have ingredients tested on animals.

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Attractive, colourful displays.

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Creams and skincare products

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Shampoo bars

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Curious about a particular product? Try them out! The friendly staff are always on hand to assist.

LUSH (SUNWAY PYRAMID) 

G1.53, Ground Floor, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway, Selangor

 

**Photos courtesy of Lush PR. 

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Hotel Review: Staycation @ Sunway Putra Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

I remember Moo scoffing when she first heard of ‘staycations’, saying: “Why stay in a hotel (read: spend money) when you’re like 30 minutes from home?”

But that’s exactly it. Staycations are perfect for when you don’t want to travel too far or jostle with crowds at popular tourist spots, but still want to unwind and get some well-deserved R&R. With the hectic lifestyles we have in the city, god knows we need a bit of TLC.

Since working in the media and bringing the Moo for a couple of these because I’m a sad and lonely person who has no friends , I think she has warmed up to the idea of staycations. So here’s one we went on recently at Sunway Putra Hotel, located within the Sunway Putra integrated development in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur.

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Moo and I checked into our Club Suite, which was massive. If I had an apartment this large in the city, I can die happy. The living room had a cosy couch and a swivelling chair, while the space between that and the TV was large enough to do a couple of cartwheels in. The interior was modern and contemporary but cosy, with lots of nude shads and warm wood accents. There are two TVS – one in the living room and one in the bedroom, but the former was busted. They did change it once we gave a call to the concierge though.

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For families, there’s a kitchenette and dining area, with a mini fridge stocked with soft drinks (included with the room).

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An equally spacious room. Beds were firm, which I like because it’s better for the back (don’t like those super soft ones that just beg for you to wake up with a sore back and neck), although the sheets weren’t super clean and had some stains.

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Marble bathroom had a shower and amenities, but lacked a tub. The shower area had a bench-like design which is a good feature for the elderly.

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In-room dining menu.

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View from our room, with the Y-shaped confluence being part of the Gombak River.

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The hotel has a well equipped gym as well as an outdoor pool / kids pool with a nice view of the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers in the distance. Didn’t get to try the pool as it was quite crowded in the evening, but got some workout done in the air conditioned gym.

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Dinner was at the hotel’s all-day dining Coffee House Restaurant, which serves both Western and local fare. Meals are ordered ala-carte and they have some pretty value-for-money sets that aren’t much more expensive than dining at a regular cafe. Moo opted for the grilled salmon which came with a buttercream sauce and vegetables on a bed of potatoes. Portions were a bit small but just right for a small eater.

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I had the soft shell crab carbonara. The soft shell crab was just a tiny sliver lol. Taste wise, tasty but the cream got cloying after awhile. I did like that they had arugula to cut through the creaminess, and the garlic bread was pretty good.

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Since we had the set, it came with dessert – butter cake, fruits and a chocolate tart.

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Breakfast was a busier affair, and there was a large crowd at the buffet. The selection isn’t great but the food is tasty enough. There was the usual breakfast staples like cereals and salad, but do check out their Middle Eastern fare such as hummus, as well as the excellent bread pudding.

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While it’s not located smack in the city centre, Sunway Putra is still a convenient place for travelers, and the price per night is fairly reasonable. The monorail and MRT is within walking distance so you can get to KLCC/Bukit Bintang quickly, and there’s also Sunway Putra Mall which is just downstairs from the hotel.

Rooms start from RM188++.

SUNWAY PUTRA HOTEL 

100, Jalan Putra, Chow Kit, 50350 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Reservations: +603 4040 9888

putra.sunwayhotels.com

Disclaimer: I was invited to as a guest to write a review for work. Views here are entirely my own.

Review: Fusion Food + Coffee @ Garage 51 Bandar Sunway

I had originally intended to grab some beef noodles for dinner at Bandar Sunway… only to realise that the Soong Kee Beef Noodle outlet near Sunway University had closed. 😦

Most of the other restaurants were crowded, so I popped into Garage 51, a cosy place serving fusion food and coffee. They’re also one of the pioneer Australian-style cafe/restos in the area, known for their gigantic milkshakes.

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The decor hasn’t changed much from my last visit; ie still sporting the ‘industrial chic’ look with lots of wood, steel and ambient yellow light.

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For drinks, the Mochatella (RM16) comes with a small pitcher of milk, which you can pour into a glass filled with coffee cubes and hazelnut chocolate. Since the cubes are made from coffee, you get an ice cold drink that isn’t diluted – and you can adjust how ‘milky’ you want it to be. Hazelnut chocolate on the bottom gives the beverage a good level of sweetness. I’d suggest not ordering this for dinner though, or you’d end up hyper until 5AM like I was lol.

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Garage 51 serves a good selection of fusion dishes, from pastas to grilled proteins, salads and rice bowls. I went for the Hoisin Smoked Duck Rice Roll (RM16), which came in a generous portion with Japanese rice, tempura mushroom and onsen egg. Considering the price vs portion, it was pretty value for money! The duck had a sweet flavour which was closer to a teriyaki glaze, and the meat was tender but not gamey. Loved nibbling on the flavourful extra layer of duck fat on the top ! The tempura mushrooms weren’t greasy and gave the dish a crispy element. Egg was perfectly poached. All in all, a solid rice bowl.

Look at that egg: 

GARAGE 51 

51, Jalan PJS 11/9, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Business hours: 11AM – 11PM (closed Mondays)

Phone: 03-5612 5618

Opening hours: 11AM – 11PM (daily)

2D Cafe @ Sunway Geo, Bandar Sunway

Hey guys!

I was reading an article recently about how ‘selfie culture’ has changed the landscape of travel and lifestyle offerings. Now, it’s no longer about travel for the sake of experiencing things, but documenting and snapping photos of ourselves all along the way; a journey of narcissism and self-validation through likes and follows. Perhaps that sounds cynical, but its the nature of how things are today.

One of these purpose-built places is 2D Cafe @ Sunway Ge. Modeled after the 2D-cafe trend in South Korea and Japan, the cafe’s entire interior has been designed to look like the pages of a black and white comic book, with bold black lines creating an illusion of ‘flatness’ against the all-white furnishings. The result is eye-catching and certainly unique, as subjects pop against the backdrop.

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The cafe itself is a bit hard to find, as it is located on the 3rd floor, away from all the other restos and cafes clustered on the ground floor. Once you get there, the entrance is a little confusing as well. The seating area is shielded from sight, and patrons enter through a narrow corridor. The theme for the cafe is European x Japanese, and you see the European portion of it at this section which features famous works of art such as the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, Edward Munch’s Scream and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, cheekily holding up bubble teas (the shop’s specialty).

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Once inside, the Japanese elements are apparent, with geishas, darumas, maneki nekos and vending machine murals aplenty – and even a drawing of the Great Wave of Kanagawa adorning one side of the wall. All of the furniture and deco is handpainted and took the artist (who is also a share holder) two months to complete.

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Me taking photo of a dood taking a photo of me #photoception

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A section of the cafe made to look like a classroom.

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Another section with a bath ‘tub’ / ball pit (not pictured), made to look like a traditional Japanese public bath.

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Counter where they take your orders. You will find about five different types of bubble tea here, although prices are above average (RM14.90). To match the cafe’s aesthetics, the bottles are also packaged in the same ‘comic’ art vein.

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Picture courtesy of 2D Cafe. 

I did not try their drinks because I thought they were too pricey, but there have been reviews on Google which are less than stellar. Let me know what you think if you’ve tried it!

Only time will tell if these Instagram ‘concept’ cafes will last, because personally, no matter how attractive you spruce a place up, if the food/drinks aren’t great and the price point is expensive, most people will probably only go once. That being said, from an arts perspective, I think it’s pretty creative, even if it’s not original.

2D CAFE 

F-03, 10, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, SUNWAY GEO AVENUE, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 9PM (Closed on Wednesday).

 

Chemistry Themed Bubble Milk Tea @ QR-Tea Lab, Sunway Geo Avenue, Bandar Sunway

Update 1/2/2021: This outlet is now permanently closed. 

With bubble tea craze in Malaysia reaching critical mass (there are now close to 30 brands), smaller outlets have had to compete in creative ways – by upping their Instagram game. Which is why you get new ‘concept’ bubble tea shops, such as QR-Tea Lab at Sunway Geo Avenue, Bandar Sunway. Themed after a science lab, the cafe features decor such as a periodic table of the elements on one side of the wall, and servers dressed in lab coats.

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Aside from your standard bubble milk tea, QR Lab also allows patrons to customise their own drinks by mixing different concoctions together. You can select your own mix from a test tube display counter at the front, with tea options such as oolong and black tea, fruit flavours such as peach and pineapple, and flavoured syrup the likes of jasmine, rose and more. If you like the foamy cheese tea, they have that as well.

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Colourful beakers adorn one side of the cafe.

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A small area at the back for photos, complete with microscope, test tubes/beakers and a model skeleton.

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Photoshopped pictures of famous scientists with the brand’s bubble tea.

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Ever since I tried the Brown Sugar Fresh Milk series (they have it at almost every single bubble tea outlet these days), I’ve found it hard to drink anything else when I go to a bubble tea shop. The QR-Tea version was pretty good, with small, chewy bubbles that went well with the cold fresh milk. They only come in one size and cost RM12.90 per cup.

That being said, I don’t condone having bubble milk tea too often – high sugar content and all that. Treat yourself after a month of hard work, or have it for a celebration or something. 😀

QR-TEA LAB 

B01.05, Sunway Geo Avenue, Bandar Sunway, Selangor.

Opening hours: 12PM – 11PM (daily)

Lost World of Tambun Hot Springs and Spa and Night Petting Zoo

My last trip to Lost World of Tambun Hot Springs and Spa was earlier this year. H & I were invited to experience their newly opened pools as part of a media trip. It was a blast, since they closed it off to the public and we had the whole place to ourselves.

This time around, I came with my fam over the weekend.  It was a far cry from ‘relaxing’  – the place was so crowded we barely had space to move around, let alone enjoy anything..

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Since it was Halloween month, fun and spooky decos peppered the theme park – from paper cut outs of clowns and zombies to a Carnival-esque atmosphere and props.

We went straight for the hot spring pools after putting our stuff in the locker. I didn’t want to get my phone wet, so if you want to see more photos of how the hot spring pools look like, you can read my previous review here.

….Let’s just say I prefer coming here when it’s quieter. With so many people the pools got dirty and there really isn’t much relaxation to be had when you’re crowded into a small space with like 20 other half naked people. .__.

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Don’t leave after soaking though – walk a little further and you’ll come to the Petting Zoo, which is also open for visitors at night.

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Greeted by the sight of a couple of fat raccoons running around in their enclosures and up on the branches which are very close to the walkways – visitors can reach out and touch them but be careful since these are not fully domesticated animals: they might bite !

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The fish in the little stream seemed to glow in the dark, thanks to the lighting.

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Fluffy guinea pigs in an enclosure. There were also hamsters running around in a very large hamster cage with dozens of ‘rest stops’ and play spaces.

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Wee little wabbits. One came close enough to the side for me to touch. So soft and warm I wanted to take it home. .__.

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These…. can’t be touched

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Iguanas keeping warm under the lights.

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A fluffy cockatoo. Didn’t touch it because that beak looks painful.

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Tortoises hardly move and they live for a really long time.

That’s a lesson for all of us, innit?

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Out of nowhere, a chicken.

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Over at the reptile area were some really huge snakes, such as the reticulated python which is the second largest snake in the world after the green anaconda.

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I know some people who can’t even look at snakes out of fear, but I think they have very pretty skin. They also feel nice to touch.

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What does the Tapir sound like? Ever wondered?

We found out first hand when this guy started screaming at us for no apparent reason. Maybe we looked at him/her wrong. It sounded very screechy, a cross between a trumpet and someone trying to clear their sinuses.

Did you know that tapirs are wonderfully well-endowed? Don’t google it, you will be traumatized.

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The Zoo also has Fennec foxes, which are very rare in the wild and also very very pretty. Mum says they look ‘haughty’ and I agree. I mean, if you’re this beautiful, why shouldn’t you be a little haughty, right?

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We walked over a bridge across the crocodile enclosure, which was home to a number of smallish crocs and a big ass labi-labi (softshell turtle).

Although the hot spring was crowded, we still had a lot of fun exploring the mini zoo – but I would recommend visitors to come on weekday nights instead to avoid the throng of visitors. All in all, the facilities are well maintained and it’s very value for money. Great place to take the kids.

LOST WORLD OF TAMBUN HOT SPRINGS AND SPA/THEME PARK 

No.1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1, Sunway City Ipoh,
31150 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan,
Malaysia

Operating hours: 6pm – 11pm (closed on Tuesdays)

Theme park tel: +605 542 8888
Hotel tel: +605- 540 8888
Email: lostworldoftambun@sunway.com.my

Monster MilkShakes – Messed Up Family @ Garage 51, Bandar Sunway

Hey guys! So if you noticed, I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to(sad). I’ve been really busy with my freelancing work/errands and stuff.

To make it up to you, here’s a post from when S and I went to ‘celebrate’ his birthday last week 🙂

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He wanted to try these gigantic milkshakes at Garage 51, Bandar Sunway. Who am I to say no to the birthday boy, right?

Garage 51 used to be, well… a garage. Before it was converted into a car-themed hipster cafe. The place is right across the road from Sunway University College and caters to a big student crowd. Place was packed for dinner/supper.

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Inspired by the ‘messy milkshake’ trend from Australia, the two young brothers who helm Garage 51 decided to bring this monster of a dessert to Malaysia. It was a phenomenal hit when they first released it, but the hype seems to have died down a little. The original ‘Messed Up Family’ range had four drinks: the Father, Mother, Son and Daughter. Each had their own ‘personalities’ and matching ingredients. The Mother, for example, had a sweet and mellow Matcha Green Tea as a base, while the Daughter’s sunny disposition was shown through coconut and raisins. They have since expanded the menu to include seasonal releases like the Halloween Monster, and for Raya, the Bandung Milkshake.

S got The Son (above)), which had Hazelnut with Nutella and was topped over with salted pretzels, Perfecto Popcorn, cornflakes, marshmallow and a love letter stick.

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I went for The Cousin – salted caramel topped with a huge chunk of brownie, and loads of whipped cream underneath. Like seriously. Half of that cup was whipped cream. Fat as hell but oh so satisfying.

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Verdict: While they tasted good as far as sugary, creamy drinks go, I will never attempt to drink these again after having dinner (I had tacos at a shop next door). S and I were practically rolling to the car, trying not to throw up. Wasn’t that the drinks were bad, it was just too much for our aging stomachs. We’re not 18 anymore lol.

Each glass sells for Rm18.90.

GARAGE 51 

51, Jalan PJS 11/9, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Business hours: 11AM – 11PM (closed Mondays)

Phone: 03-5612 5618