Monday, 22 May 2017

End your Fasting nights at Royale Chulan, Penang!




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8th May 2017 marked the grand rebranding of The Royale Chulan & Bintang Hotels with the now name Royale Chulan Hotels and Resorts for all the 8 hotels in KL, Damansara, Cherating, Hyde Park London, Bukit Bintang, Seremban, Penang and The Curve.

Recently, I got the chance to attend to the grand Ramadhan buffet of The Royale Chulan Penang. With a catchy slogan of “macam macam ada” that was a day whereby I had a countdown to attend to!

Firstly, thank you for Royale Chulan for hosting Boggler Blogger’s Chocolate Monster at your newest buffet dinner, Selera Ramadhan: Macam Macam ada.

Believe me not, Royale Chulan’s bountiful buffet includes 10 action stalls, which varies from Sushi Kerabu Mangga to Nasi Briyani Gam with Kambing Panggang Golek.

The Kambing Panggang Golek was said to be last year’s crowd favourite and it definitely won a lot of attention at first glance. Truth to be said, the Kambing Panggang which was marinated in a secret blend of spices and roasted to perfection was love at first sight for many. I kid you not, I saw it in the eyes of many around me!



The action stalls includes Chicken and Beef Satay with condiments, Ikan Bakar, Sushi Sotong Kerabu Mangga, Kambing Panggang Golek, Apam Balik, Char Kway Teow, Cucur Kerang Berlauk, Bubur lambuk, Roti Canai & Murtabak and Ayam Goreng Berempah.

Although everything tasted amazing, my personal favourite was:
11)   Chicken Satay- there were no fat part in the middle of the satay
22)   Char Kway Teow- Penang’s favourite and was done great!
33)   Ayam Goreng Berempah- Fried to perfection!

The main buffet had amazing varieties, from Spaghetti Sotong Sambal to Sweet & Sour Prawn. The Nasi Tomato and Briyani were also spiced very well and gave the whole meal a perfect balance! I really enjoyed the Ikan Keli Goreng Berlada and Kari Ikan Tenggiri Bendi! The fish was very well cooked.


I personally loved that Roti Canai was not left out from the Penang’s authentic food row, and the Murtabak they offered was very well flavoured and was hot throughout the buffet night!

Here are some of my plates from the night!
Because Chocolate Monster likes to start off with desserts!

Who hates Briyani? XP

CHAR KWAY TEOW WAS THE STAR HERE!

Because, cucur!

My attempt on making round ice cream (epic fail, haha)

This was the best sup tulang ever!


They had amazing desserts too!!!!
A buah kurma pineapple? TAKE ME IN!
Fruit tarts <3 
Fancy Jellos!



Here are some of the main dishes!










The buffet dinner will be available from 28th May to 23rd June 2017 at it is priced at RM78 per adult and RM40 per child or senior citizen for the first and last week of Ramadhan and RM88 per adult and RM44 per child or senior citizen for the second and third week of Ramadhan.



So Penangites, what are you guys waiting for? Call +60402598888 to book your spot for your Buka Puasa at The Royale Chulan now!



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Friday, 12 May 2017

Spectacular Sabah: Things You Should Try Out at Kota Kinabalu!

Vacations never fails to rejuvenate me, especially when I have a beach type vacation. With that added energy in me now, I just had to write it out my vacation experience in Sabah and hopefully it serves as a guide if you ever choose to visit this magical place

HOTEL

The hotel I decided to stay was called C'haya Hotel. It is located within 10 km from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). As KK has now Grab and Uber services, you can easily catch a ride within minutes of using the app and it will cost you around RM 6. Else if you want to rent a car, feel free to contact Ah Seng @ 012-831 8899

The best part about the hotel is that it is located with in 10 minute drive from the airport and all the other tourist attractions. With ample of Grab and Uber rides available around RM 6, it makes it very easy for you to travel via this services to all the spots at an affordable rate.

Being a person who likes being in water, the swimming pool at C'haya Hotel was my favourite part. Although they didn't have the biggest of pool but it provided beautiful views at either end of the swimming pool. At one end you can get a clear view of airplanes taking off from KKIA and on the other side you can catch a beautiful view of sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach.


I found the price of the room at C'haya Hotel to be rather reasonable. I was able to get a room for 2 people below RM 200 per night and the room was cozy enough to stay and have drinks at nights with beautiful views of airplanes flying nearby.

SUNSET

If you want to do something relaxing or taking beautiful photos, then catching the sunset at KK is a must do thing for you. Primary there are two spots for you to watch the sunset. The first being Waterfront and the second being at Tanjung Aru Beach.

To my bad luck, the day I went to Waterfront, the clouds were very gloomy whereby I couldn't see a proper sunset. Nevertheless having some bites and chilling to the sea view was indeed relaxing.


I did not go to Tanjung Aru Beach as time did not permit me, but I manage to snap a photo of the sunset from the roof top of my hotel of the Tanjung Aru Beach backdrop and below is the photo



SNORKELLING

The best thing about Sabah is surely it's island. You have to try out snorkeling at Sabah. It is like entering into a whole new world. Don't worry you can even do it if you don't know how to swim. How do I know that? Well that is because I can barely swim myself, and yet I was able to completely do the snorkeling experience on my own.

All you need to do is head down to Jesselton Point at KK. This is the spot where you can rent the speed boats to head to the island. If you are going with a group of friends/family you have the option to rent out a speed boat fully for your uses or you can choose to share the boat with other people. The sharing option is of cause cheaper.



There were 4 of us in my group and we decided to rent a full boat for ourselves. The price per person for the boat inclusive of the snorkeling gear, island entrance fees and safety locker cost us RM 115 each. For the experience I got, I felt it was value for money.
You would be brought to do snorkeling at 3 spots. The first spot is at the shallow part of the Manukan Beach. Although it is shallow, when you snorkel, you would be able to see many types of fishes swimming near your body and hands.


Once you are done there, they will bring you to the middle of the sea near Manukan Island where by you can snorkel to see the coral reef. This was the best moment of my entire vacation. Dipping my head in the middle of the ocean and it open up to a whole new world. So many different type of fishes and coral. It was so beautiful and such an amazing experience. I just didn't want to leave there.

The final spot for snorkeling is an area which has Starfishes and Sea Cucumber. If you are able to swim without a life jacket, you can actually take a small dive in and grab the Starfish and Sea Cucumber with your hands and bring it up to take photos with it. Since I am not good at swimming, I got my guide to dive in and get me the Starfish and Sea Cucumber. It pays to be nice to people.



An additional item you can try out while at the island is to go to Sapi Island and try the longest flying fox which is a line from Gaya Island to Sapi Island.

PARAGLIDING

If you are an adrenaline junkie and not afraid of heights, this could be the perfect activity for you to do in KK. You should drive up to Bukit Kokol and try out the paragliding activity. If you are not familiar with what paragliding is, this is what it means. 

It is almost similar with parasailing, whereby you are attached to a parachute and a boat pulls you. With the wind at the sea you will start to fly up until the boat brings you back to land. Now instead of having a boat pull you at sea, you will fly off the hill of Bukit Kokol to an amazing view of KK. Worry not you will have a pilot to fly you and pilot you to ground.


It will cost you RM 250 if you are a local and RM 370 if you are a foreigner. You will get a flight time of about 12 minutes depending on the wind and your entire flying experience will be capture in a go pro camera which will be transferred to you upon landing.

Sadly, the time I went up the take off zone, it started to rain heavily for hours and I had to cancel my slot. This is perhaps the one thing I regretted not doing at KK. I got a full refund as the rain forced us to cancel our slot.

It is advised to book your slot in advance as the pilots does limited slot per day. You can contact this pilot called Christopher. He was a friendly guy has some amazing stories to share with you and help you understand Sabah a little better. His contact number is +6013-8645606 

SEAFOOD

Sabah is all about seafood when it comes to food. It is cheap, fresh and delicious. What else you can ask for when it comes to food. I spent 2 nights at KK and I ensured that I had seafood dinner for both nights.

The first restaurant I will suggest you is called "Welcome Restaurant". It is perhaps the most famous seafood restaurant in KK. Nearly every tourist who comes to KK goes to this shop. You should go too and you will have no regrets. I had huge prawns, fish and super big lala plus vege and drinks for just RM 30. That's a bargain in my opinion.


The second spot you should try is not for it's seafood but for the chicken they serve. The place is called Ang's Hotel. Nope, it is not a fancy hotel buffet or anything but it is a small chinese shop which located below Ang's Hotel.

It took us an hour to get a seat there and they are famous for their fried chicken wings with oyster sauce. It was the bomb. It tasted a little sweet yet you will find yourself can't stop eating it. You will find that dish on every customers table the shop. When comes to pricing, it cost me only RM 20 per person as we had 3 types of chicken, 1 vegetable, 1 type of tofu and 1 type of prawn. Super duper cheap. 


SINALAU BAKAS

Sinalau means smoked and bakas means pork if I translated it correctly. It is smoked/grilled wild boar which is sold by the road sides when you drive up to Kundasang. 1 kg of Sinalau Bakas will cost you RM 20. It is the perfect food to have for your alcohol drinks.


Mix your Sinalau Bakas with the local chili paste (sambal) and squeeze a piece of lime on it and you are good to go. It was the best dish I had throughout my Sabah experience. It is one dish I want to go back and try again.

LEHENG

For those who drinks alcohol, Leheng is the local alcohol. It is in essence Rice Wine which is brewed by the local people. It has a sweet and fruity taste and it goes well with the Sinalu Bakas. A big bottle (beer bottle size) will cost you RM 15 and a small bottle of Leheng will cost you RM 7.

This was a summary of my experience in Kota Kinabalu and some of the fun stuff I feel you should try. For those who are yet to visit Kota Kinabalu, I hope this post gets you excited and for those who are planning to go to Kota Kinabalu soon, I hope this post serves as a good planning guide. Cheers and have a great holiday in Sabah!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Under The Spot Light: Bahubali 2

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Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? This has been a question lingering in the mind of people since 2015 ever since they watched Baahubali 1. As soon as the released date was announced, I knew I had to watch the film to find out how this magnum opus comes to end.
Finally we find out why!
Story Review

To ensure my memory of Baahubali 1 was fresh in mind, I watched back the film a couple of hours before going for the Baahubali 2 show. Watching it back again with a keen eye for detail and more cinema sense, I had in mind my own prediction of how Baahubali 2 will shape up.

Honestly I hoped that whatever I had predicated will be wrong and be wowed with a brand new different story line.  To my disappointment, I managed to get 60-70% of Baahubali 2 right. This because in certain scenes of Baahubali 1, the director has giving heavy hints how the film would shape in the 2nd part. Take note of these few scenes and you will understand why.

1st point, Queen Mother Sivagami is shown in the flashback as a righteous and fair leader. She is wise and strong with principals and it is proved further by the fact she would crown Baahubali as king instead of her own soon because Baahubali was more keen about saving people.

Yet in the opening scenes, before she drowns while carrying the baby, she utters something in the line of "God, you may take my life for all the sins I have done, but the baby must live and he will go back to rule the kingdom."

How could someone who is so fair and just could have sin so bad that she is willing to give up her life and why the king to be son is being carried away from the kingdom. This one scene in the beginning of Bahubali 1 is so key to the second part of the film.

2nd point, Kattappa is the epitome of loyalty, his family and generations has pledge loyalty to the leader of the kingdom. You could also see in Baahubali 1 that when Bhalla Deva fights the bull, Kattapa was willing to sacrifice his life to save him to which Bhalla Deva tells him that "I can sense that you so badly want to kill me yet you are willing to sacrifice your life for me".

Also in the flashback he is showed to love Baahubali very much, thus if he was really betraying King Baahubali, why doesn't he try to kill King Bhalla Deva now. This sequence also tells you very much of what might potentially happen in Baahubali 2.

3rd point, the fact that Sivagami is hunt down to death and Baahubali killed, why has Bhalla Deva kept Devasena alive all those years. Could it be she meant something important to him that he doesn't want to kill her. This also plays a key role in the second part.

The fact that I was able to identify this three clues in the first part of the film, took the joy out for me in the second part of the film as I almost knew exactly what was going to happen with minor alterations. The climax too was obvious from part 1 on where exactly it would happen

Looking at the flow of events of Baahubali 1 to Baahubali 2, I felt the story itself was very empty in nature. They had a strong plot line for 1 film, but by making 2 films, they forced many fillers which doesn't add much weight into the film. With lots of clues left in part 1, therefore this leads to a low rating in terms of story for part 2
Rating: 2.7/5.0

Director Review
SS Rajamouli

Having only watch Tamil films, I always thought Shankar means Grandeur. I take that back now. S.S Rajamouli looks to have rewritten the history books in terms of grandeur. He took 4-5 years out of his life to crave this magnum opus out and what a film it was.

Full credit to Rajamouli sir on the way he executed the film was absolutely brilliant. He and his entire VFX team deserves maximum credit for this. Loved the way how each and every scene was crafted. His art designing team lead by the legendary Sabu Cyrill was top notch.

War scenes with thousands of extras can be so hard to shoot but they kept us glued to the screen. Wonderful work Rajamouli. I was awed at the technical brilliance of the film. It goes to show what these guys are truly capable of creating when you don't set a limit to them.

Some of the scenes will take your breath away. Scenes on how Baahubali defends Devasena, Devasena bold potrayal, the way Baahubali loves his mother and many more. Goosebumps!

Loved the design and modulation of his character and how he got his casting perfect for the film. Rajamouli has set the benchmark in terms of grand film making and I hope he gets another shot to do something similar. World class!

Rating: 4.8/5.0  
The Cast
Prabhas

He is going to be remember forever as Baahubali without a shadow of doubt. Let it be role of Mahendra Baahubali or Amerenda Baahubali, this guy was so convincing to the point I feel he is the only actor I can see playing this role.

Love the way how he strikes a pose, let be the way he holds his sword, the way he sits or fights. The mannerism of a great king was so blend in to him as if he was an actual king. Loved the scenes how he tries to court Devasena, because he still had the body language of a king without looking like a king.

It is hard to believe the fact that he is only 16 films old. He played the role like a veteran with ample of experience. He looked to be on par with Sathyaraj and sometimes overshadows him during the duo's screen time.

If you US has Ironman, we have Baahubali!! Top class acting

 Rating: 4.3/5.0

Rana Daggubati

To make your hero outstanding, you need a villain who can push him to the limit and refuses to go down till the very end. Not an Ammul Baby villain, but a Joker kind of Villain. Strong villain makes the hero better and I can't stress that enough.

This was everything what Rana Daggubati was. He was an equal match to Baahubali, perhaps maybe even physically stronger. If anyone can take down Baahubali in a fist fight it is this man. He had to play his evilness  in silence for many parts of the film but he makes you feel how his anger is growing.

Perhaps it was his role which impresses me the most film and I think he deserves a special article shootout for his role

 

 Rating: 4.2/5.0

Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj, Anushka, Nassar

The grace and confidence which we saw in Neelambri is back in the form of Sivagami. So much strength and brilliance portrayed by Ramya Krishnan for this role. Let it be anger or love she plays it to perfection. She balances well the emotions of a mother and a leader. She nails it.

Kattappa is another name that is going to be fondly remembered after this film. Sathyaraj brilliant performance as a loyal slave worth a mention. In some ways he has enough screen time to be considered a second hero of the film. Loved the way he plays the one liner comedies as it was a natural strength for him and tops it with his emotions of loyalty and aggresion.



Finally a director managed to utilize Anushka's capabilities right. She is a vastly talented actress who has been so poorly used in Kollywood. Here she gets an opportunity to display her talent in such a solid performance so much so I feel Devasena can be an inspiration to all ladies out there.

Besides Prakash Raj, if there is another person who can don any character roles, that person is Nassar. In this film he plays the role of a handicap evil instigator and is the root of all evilness in the film. He is one you will hate so much in the film because he was that convincing

 Rating: 4.0/5.0
The Music
M.M. Keevarani

I believe this guy is someone who is big in the Telugu Industry and not too much in Kollywood. As the film was a Telugu movie and dubbed into Tamil, I didn't feel any of the songs stands out too much but he wins well on the sound effects of the film. Let it be a war scene or a sword wielding scene, his sound gives life to the film


 Rating: 3.0/5.0

Final Verdict: World class film, average story

Final Rating: 3.8/5.0


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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Chocolate Monster visits Mocktail Bar!

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Let me give you one good reason to visit Mocktail Bar. They have a kickass slogan!
What’s that you ask?
“Because bubble tea is so yesterday” 
For me, bubble teas are heavily overrated (probably because they don’t have a proper chocolate flavour)

So, let’s talk about Mocktails before jumping into this new franchise. I’m not sure about others, but for me, mocktails, belong in a bar, because of the alcohol content. And while walking around Sunway Carnival about two weeks ago, I was surprised to see a pop up outlet for mocktails. How did the Malaysian government allow this? Curiousity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back (YES THAT IS THE FULL IDIOM). I took a step in, and was greeted by this cute bartender, who was called a mixologist


To my surprise, it was all non-alcoholic beverages. I mean, who would’ve thought? Also probably I was living under a rock to not have known that mocktails are only non-alcoholic drinks that consists of a mixture of fruit juices or flavoured sodas.

Mocktail Bar offers 8 different types of drinks to choose from, which includes Frappé, Chocolate, Juice-based, Lifestyle coffee and freshly brewed. Pravin, the mixologist from Mocktail Bar in Sunway Carnival Mall, Seberang Jaya suggested a few of the best sellers for me.

The first drink that was served was, of course the Choco Chip Cookies. I didn’t mention about my love for chocolate to the mixologist, but he was good at reading his customers, I guess. As the name suggest, this drink was chocolatey-chocolate but it wasn’t too sweet or rich, which I really liked.  Comparing to Chocolate Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks, I’d say the Mocktail Bar’s Chocolate Chip had better balance. It was not overwhelming. Mocktail Bar puts in Chipsmore Cookies in it and probably that’s why it tasted like my childhood. Hershey’s chocolate syrup as a topping on top of the whipped cream was a winner!

Remember your ideal vacation to crystal clear sea somewhere around Boracay? That was my first thought upon glancing at their Blue Lagoon. The calming blue colour in this drink made a perfect Instagrammable photo! Blue Lagoon consists of some apples, oranges, lime and blue curacao syrup, and it was a delight not only to see, but to drink as it was cold and filled with subtle flavours that would definitely want you to go back for more!

“What can be more refreshing than lime and mint, but how bizzare would it be to mix that in a cup together with apple and brown sugar?” That was my thought when the mixologist served me with their signature Virgin Apple Mojito. To my surprise, these flavours do go well with each other. I am not someone who is brave enough to mix and match, but this drink really made the cut!

Lastly, it was Georgia Peach.  A burst of flavours is what I experienced with this drink where orange, cranberry and peach came together. But what I enjoyed was it was very well balanced. There wasn’t too much of anything although the drink’s base soda was peach flavoured. The zesty orange flavour did come through the luscious cranberry taste to suplement the velevty peachy taste. It tasted like a childhood carnival!


If you're a Chocolate lover like me and you are thinking to visit Mocktail Bar, delay no more as now they're having a Chocolate Confections promotion whereby 4 more Chocolate drinks are being introduced!



Mocktail Bar can be found at:
- Sunway Carnival Mall
- Sunway Velocity Mall
- Sunway Pyramid
- IOI City Mall
- Low Yat Plaza
- Mesa Mall Nilai
- Midvalley
- Shell Sungai Dua

And their operating time will be:
10am to 11pm

Price is as per below

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