Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Food in KL: Sari Ratu Nasi Padang

Indonesian food is one of my favorite cuisines and Nasi Padang is something that I can eat everyday without getting sick of it. So far I have only tried Nasi Campur at D'Cengkih Restaurant at Taman Tun (my favorite Nasi Campur restaurant  so far) Sambal Hijau Restaurant at Kg Sg Penchala (average taste and a bit overpriced for the taste in my opinion) and Garuda Nasi Padang Restaurant at Jalan Raja Alang (less expensive than Sari Ratu Nasi Padang Restaurant but food is not served hot and tasted average) so it is with an eager heart that my husband and I decided to try Sari Ratu Restaurant that claims to serve authentic Nasi Padang as we passed by the restaurant at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman; Kuala Lumpur. 

The place looks comfortable enough, spacious, air-conditioned and most importantly clean. Dishes are pre-cooked and displayed at the food display area which is typical in a Nasi Padang restaurant. Variety of dishes looks deliciously inviting and truly we were not disappointed. 

Indonesian Food in KL : Ayam Panggang

First dish is ayam panggang @ RM7.50 delectable Indonesian-style grilled chicken..tender and not too spicy, we like this version better than Garuda Nasi Padang Restaurant's.

Indonesian Food in KL : Beef  Rendang 

Next dish is beef rendang @ RM6.00, juicy beef slices slow-cooked in rich gravy with spices and coconut milk. Heavenly sinful.  

Good Food in KL : Gulai Sotong
Third dish is Gulai Sotong @ RM 9.00, squid cooked in gravy with coconut milk, tumeric and other spices. Tastes mildly hot, gravy is not too thick with a hint of tangy taste. I would have prefer to order the Gulai Ayam instead (Chicken Gravy) but we only asked for the gravy as we have ordered Ayam Panggang. The Gulai Ayam has a more flavorful gravy and slightly spicier.

Good Food in KL : Sup Ekor

Of course, you can't dine in an Indonesian restaurant without ordering Sup Ekor @RM12.00; this is beef soup cooked with tomatoes, potatoes and carrot. Soup tasted pleasantly light though I would prefer the beef to be a bit more tender. 

Sari Ratu Nasi Padang's Omelette

Omelette @ RM4.00 - priciest omelette I've ever eaten I think! But it was fluffly and not oily though a bit salty for my taste.

Indonesian Perkedel

Perkedel (Mashed potato fried with egg) @ RM3.00 per piece is also on the high side but the size of it is huge, I would say that one piece can be shared by two person. The potato is also sweet , very fresh and not oily. Comes plain with no fillings like some places.

Sari Ratu Restaurant's Sayur Lalap
Some fresh salad @RM4.00 as I was not in the mood for gulai singkong or pucuk paku. The accompanying sambal was also finger licking in true Indonesian style. Savory with just a tinge of sweet and not dry. 

Jus Alpukat in KL

And lastly, avocado juice to down it all. A must order for us in every Indonesian Restaurant we dine in. Sari Ratu Nasi Padang Restaurant's Avocado Juice is thick with just the right amount of milk and sugar, though the chocolate syrup is a bit too little for a chocoholic like me and the avocado is a slightly bitter. 

Sari Ratu Restaurant's Mee Goreng

For the kids, we ordered a simple dish of fried noodles not knowing that they used egg noodles but still the dish is nice and my first son loved it. The vegetables in the dish is also very crunchy. Which added a refreshing taste to the otherwise maggie-goreng mamak style dish. 

We came out of Sari Ratu Nasi Padang Restaurant with a full and satisfied tummy. Had it not been for the pricey dishes, we will definitely dine in this place often. Or maybe next time we will be less greedy since this time around we went a bit overboard satisfying our crave for Nasi Padang. 

Sari Ratu Nasi Padang has a few outlets in Kuala Lumpur (as stated in their website) :

1) Desa Pandan 26 7 28G, Jalan 4/76C, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
2) Theme Park Hotel - Genting
3) Ground Floor No 24-2 Bukit Bintang - Jln Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur

But the one that we tried was next to Houz Depot at Jln Tunku Abdul Rahman, opposite the MARA building and near SOGO.

For Singaporeans living in KL and craving for their Nasi Padang fix, this is one good Nasi Padang restaurant in KL that you should not miss. For Singaporean tourists in KL, this restaurant serves Nasi Padang of Rumah Minang / Hjh Maimunah / Sabar Menanti standard in Singapore. So, you don't have to go out of your way to check this place out.  For tourists of other nationals eager to try out Nasi Padang, this is one of the best restaurants serving local cuisine that you should try.

Restoran Sari Ratu - side view

Restoran Sari Ratu - Interior

Restoran Sari Ratu - interior

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thai Express : Halal Thai Restaurant in KL

Thai Express is our favorite halal restaurant for convenient thai food in an air-conditioned environment in Kuala Lumpur. I don't think Thai Express is halal-certified in Singapore as they are not listed in the halal directory. 

In Singapore, I would choose Siam Kitchen any day over Bali Thai for halal certified thai restaurant while in Kuala Lumpur, we would eat at Thai Express only because it is one of the rare Thai restaurants that have a halal certification instead of "our supplier are halal certifies" claims. 

Back to Thai Express, currently they only have 1 outlet  in Kuala Lumpur and that is at The Curve Shopping Centre; Mutiara Damansara. 

Our favorite Thai dish at Thai Express is the Beef Basil Rice, yummy.. a simple yet satisfying dish of sliced beef stir fried with fish sauce and basil (among other ingredients) served with sliced cucumber and tomato and fried egg.

Halal Thai Food in KL - Basil Beef with Rice at Thai Express

Recently we tried one of the grilled dishes (prawns and squids) I don't really like the taste of the squids (I like mine well done)  but the prawns were ok and the accompanying sauce is nice enough. 

Thai Cuisine in KL - Grilled Seafood Platter

But, the dish of the day had to be the crispy fried soft shell crab. That dish converted me into a soft shell dish lover (used to dislike soft shell crabs find them difficult to eat) The first time I tried this dish at Thai Express, the crabs were big and fleshy and it was very crispy, I just swallowed everything! It came with mango salad and I would say the mango salad at Thai Express in Kuala Lumpur is among the best mango salad that I've tasted. It's decadent sliced mango, slightly sweet not too sour, with bits of peanuts and small dried prawns and tasted tangy either from freshly squeezed lime or tamarind juice. I absolutely loved it. 

Thai Food in KL - Crispy Fried Soft Shell Crab at Thai Express

My first son used to love the pad thai noodle from this place but now he has outgrow his pad thai  noodle phase. Nevertheless, the pad thai noodle here is still recommended. On this trip though, we ordered kway teow noodle soup for my second son. The soup was clear, not spicy but still flavorful. 

Thai Express - Kway Teow Noodle in Clear Soup

My only gripe with Thai Express in Kuala Lumpur is the drinks. The bandung is too sweet, and the lemongrass tea is too overpowering. So far, I only like the red bean drink but still I can't finish the whole glass.

Overall, Thai Express is a Thai restaurant that serves good enough halal Thai food at medium range price with an extensive enough menu to accommodate the whole family. (But the food quality may not be consistent as when we came back another day and ordered the crispy fried soft shell crab again, it was not as fantastic as the first time. This time around the crabs were smaller and a bit soggy not very crispy.. what a bummer)

You May Also Like:

Golden Triangle - Indochine Cuisine
Lala Seafood Kg Baru
Royal India at The Intermark

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jalan-jalan di Singapura: Sky Park MBS

Jalan-jalan Singapura: Pemandangan Fullerton Hotel dari Sky Park MBS

Jika anda merancang untuk bercuti ke Singapore, Marina Bay Sands adalah salah satu tempat perlancongan terbaru di Singapura. Ia merangkumi hotel mewah bertaraf 6 bintang, kompleks membeli-belah yang amat luas dengan jenama-jenama mewah, Sky Park di tingkat 56 bagi pemandangan Singapore yang menakjubkan, persembahan air dan lampu percuma "Wonder Full",  muzium seni dan sains (artscience museum) dan jembatan helix yang ikonic (Helix Bridge).

Jalan-jalan ke Singapura : Waterway for Sampan Ride at MBS

Jalan-jalan Singapura: Kompleks membeli-belah mewah di MBS

Kami berkesempatan melawat Sky Park di Marina Bay Sands pada bulan Oktober lalu dan pemandangan dari Sky Park pada waktu malam memang teramat indah. Dek observasi ini sangat luas dan boleh menampung sehingga 3900 orang pada satu masa. Anak-anakku begitu gembira berlari-lari disekitar dek ini. Malangnya akses ke kolam infiniti dan taman kini dihadkan kepada 50 pendaftar terawal bagi setiap sesi pelancongan yang diadakan pada jam 10 pagi, 2 petang dan 9 malam. Pada pendapatku, Sky Park Marina Bay Sands adalah lebih menarik dan berbaloi dari Singapore Flyer. (Anak kecilku tidur tatkala di Singapore Flyer akibat bosan di dalam kapsul yang terhad)

Sky Park di Marina Bay Sands dibuka dari 9.30pg - 10.00 mlm (Isnin - Khamis) dan 9.30pg - 11.00mlm (Jumaat-Ahad) namun mungkin adakalanya ia ditutup atas tempahan acara privet. Anda boleh membuat panggilan di talian +65 6688 8826 sebelum melawat Marina Bay Sands untuk memastikan samada Sky Park dibuka pada hari lawatan anda.

Jalan-jalan ke Singapura: Pemandangan Singapore Flyer dari Sky Park MBS

Tiket kemasukan Sky Park berharga:
SGD20.00 (dewasa)
SGD14.00 (kanak-kanak 2 - 12 tahun)
SGD17.00 (pesara 65 tahun ke atas)

Selesai dari melawat dek observasi ini, singgahlah ke Event Plaza di Promenade untuk persembahan air dan lampu percuma pada jam 8.00 dan 9.30 setiap malam dan jangan lupa bergambar di Jembatan Helix (Helix Bridge) dan Artscience Museum dalam perjalanan pulang anda. 

Jalan-jalan Singapura: Pemandangan ArtScience Museum dan Helix Bridge dari Sky Park MBS
Bagaimana hendak ke Marina Bay Sands? Sila turun di stesen MRT Promenade (Circle Line) atau stesen MRT Marina Bay (North South Line) dan ambil perkhidmatan bas ulang-alik secara percuma ke Marina Bay Sands. Anda juga boleh berjalan kaki dari stesen MRT promenade ke Bayfront Avenue (jarak 10 minit perjalanan).

Jalan-jalan ke Singapura: Helix Bridge di MBS

Saya nasihatkan mereka yang bercuti di Singapore dan ingin melawat Marina Bay Sands untuk mengisi perut dahulu sebelum ke sana kerana tempat makan halal agak terhad buat masa ini. Sebaik-baiknya datanglah pada jam 6.00 petang - 9.00 malam supaya anda dapat menikmati pemandangan malam Singapore yang indah. 

Jangan lupa untuk mendapatkan harga terendah bagi penginapan anda di Singapore di sini.

Kalau boleh tolong saya ye tempah penginapannya di sini. Terima Kasih!

Selamat bercuti di Singapore!

Ingin idea lain untuk jalan-jalan di Singapore? Anda mungkin berminat dengan:

local singapore food
Halal Food Marina Bay Sands
Arab Street Singapore
Geylang Serai Singapore

Bercuti Di Singapore; Jalan-jalan di Geylang Serai

Melancong Ke Singapura: Geylang Serai

Jika anda bercuti ke Singapura, antara tempat yang seronok untuk membeli-belah pakaian dan aksesori muslimah adalah di Geylang Serai. Geylang Serai adalah kawasan tumpuan masyarakat Islam di Singapura bagi keperluan barangan pasar dan busana muslimah. Gerai-gerai makanan halal juga mudah ditemui di sini namun untuk makanan halal yang lebih enak dengan suasana restoran yang lebih selesa, Arab Street adalah pilihan yang lebih baik. 

Kampung Melayu yang telah ditutup

Berbalik kepada Geylang Serai, anda boleh ke Geylang Serai dengan menaiki keretapi (MRT) Singapura dan turun di stesen Paya Lebar. Dari stesen Paya Lebar, anda boleh berjalan kaki ke Tanjong Katong Complex; sebuah pusat membeli-belah di Geylang yang menawarkan berbagai-bagai butik-butik Busana Muslimah yang agak mewah namun harga agak lebih berpatutan berbandingkan harga busana muslimah yang boleh mencecah RM400-RM700 di beberapa butik di Kuala Lumpur. Di sini juga terletaknya butik "First Lady" dan "Second Chance" yang menawarkan pilihan yang lebih banyak dengan harga yang lebih menarik dari butik "First Lady" dan "Second Chance" di Johor Baru. 

Bercuti di Singapura - membeli-belah di Tanjong Katong 

Busana Muslimah di Singapura

Selepas menerokai Tanjong Katong Complex, anda bolehlah berjalan kaki ke Pasar Baru Geylang Serai dan Joo Chiat Complex. Dalam perjalanan anda akan melalui "Kampung Melayu" namun sayangnya "Kampung Melayu" sudah ditutup dan kawasan ini akan dibangunkan semula menjadi pusat sivik. 

Kawasan Penjaja Makanan di Pasar Geylang
Antara gerai-gerai di Pasar Geylang

Pasar Baru Geylang Serai menawarkan gerai makanan di tingkat dua dan gerai-gerai tudung dan pakaian pada harga yang murah. Mungkin boleh disamakan seperti Masjid India di Kuala Lumpur tetapi gaya yang ditawarkan agak berbeza sedikit. Antara gerai makanan yang popular di sini adalah Satay Al-hambra, satay yang enak, manis dagingnya dan tidak berlemak. Jika anda ingin makan nasi, Restoran Hajjah Maimunah berhadapan tempat menunggu teksi Joo Chiat Complex lebih sesuai dan enak. Inginkan makanan laut masakan orang Islam? Anda boleh cuba Chai Chee Seafood at 359 Changi Road berdekatan dengan Masjid Kassim (Stesen MRT Kembangan - 2 perhentian selepas Paya Lebar) lazat dan lebih murah berbanding dengan Pusat Makanan Newton. 

Membeli-belah di Singapore

Membeli-belah di Singapura

Ingin memanjakan diri anda dalam percutian ke Singapura? Terdapat sebuah spa milik Islam di 150 Changi Road, Guthrie Building (1 stesen bas atau 7 minit berjalan kaki dari Pasar Geylang). Spa Jelita, sebuah spa milik orang Islam bergaya Moroccan, sungguh eksotik dan nyaman! Informasi lebih boleh didapati di laman web mereka di sini.

Geylang Serai juga mempunyai beberapa hotel-hotel bajet bagi memastikan kos percutian anda di Singapura tetap rendah. Namun jika memilih hotel bajet di sekitar Geylang, berhati-hati dalam memilih lokasi kerana beberapa kawasan di Geylang ini adalah kawasan lampu merah dan kebanyakan hotel murah di sini lebih digunakan untuk kegiatan haram ini. Adalah lebih elok sekiranya hotel bajet pilihan anda terletak di kawasan Bugis atau Bencoleen supaya percutian anda di Singapura tidak bertukar menjadi pengalaman yang kurang enak. 

Jika anda akan memandu ke Singapura bagi percutian anda dan akan membawa anak-anak kecil, terdapat beberapa tempat menarik tanpa bayaran di Singapura yang sesuai untuk kanak-kanak. Sila lihat post saya di bawah "Singapore for Kids". 

Selamat Bercuti ke Singapura!

Jika anda belum menempah penginapan anda di Singapura, tolong saya ye.. tempah menerusi website ini.. terima kasih!

Inginkan idea lain bagi percutian anda di Singapura? Anda mungkin meminati:

Jalan-jalan di Singapura : Sky Park MBS
Halal Food @ VivoCity

Monday, December 19, 2011

Singapore Zoo Animals - Loads of fun for kids

singapore with kids
My kid posing with the cow at Singapore Zoo's entrance
If you are traveling to Singapore with kids, Singapore Zoological Gardens is a definite tourist attraction to visit. It's a wonderful zoo that not only tourists enjoy but also the locals. 

singapore kids attraction
Scooters, Wagons and Strollers for rental at Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo is very child-friendly too, amenities like scooters (sadly rental of scooters has cease), wagons, strollers and ponchos are readily available for rental. There is a water park, pony rides, elephant rides and animal feeding through-out the day. You can feed giraffes, elephants, manatees, white rhinoceros, kangaroos and baboons or watch the feeding of jaguars, cheetahs, lions and white tigers among others if the former is not exciting enough for your kids. In short, Singapore Zoo is one tourist attraction in Singapore that you should not miss when traveling with kids. More on feeding time here.

singapore zoo with kids
Elephant Ride at Singapore Zoo

where to bring kids singapore
Elephant bath and elephant ride timings at Singapore Zoo

Enough of looking at animals? Why not introduce them to some Tropical plants at the Tropical Crop Plantation just opposite the Lion enclosure? I like introducing my kids to different types of trees and am proud when they can name different types of trees or plants. There are banana trees, sugarcane trees, mangosteen trees, native herbs used for cooking, paddy and betel nut tree too. 

singapore farm
Banana Tree

The plant that is used to make loofahs?

Paddy at Singapore Zoo

Sireh or Betel Nut at Singapore Zoo

Sugarcane Tree - yummy!

If you are a muslim, there is a surau near the Singapore Zoo entrance, near the loading and unloading bay (tram parking area) there is an ablution area at the back of the room and telekung is also available.

Singapore Zoo Animals:  A Meerkat - Just like in Animals United!
singapore zoo animals
Singapore Zoo Animals: Babirusa - Hakuna Matada..
Halal food is also available at Singapore Zoo as there is a KFC at the entrance and also Ah Meng Restaurant inside the Singapore Zoo compound is halal certified by MUIS. See my post on halal food a Singapore Zoo here.

zoo singapore
Singapore Zoo Animals : Zebras like Madagascar
During our last visit to Singapore Zoo, we went there around 4.30pm and the animals were very active. The pygmy hippos were swimming non-stop and the lions were roaring loudly for like a full 10 minutes (1 lion and 4 lionesses to be exact) . My kids were in awe and kept roaring like a lion all the way home. I like going near closing time even though it means we will miss the shows as the weather is much cooler and the show is not that great anyway (in my opinion the Night Safari show is much better though quite short) though for tourist visiting Singapore, I think 1 whole day with the kids there is very enjoyable. Do take the trams or rent the scooter so that you won't be too tired with all the walking. 

Singapore Zoo Animals : Pygmy Hippo 

Singapore Zoo Animals : Crocodile
These are just some pictures of the animals at Singapore Zoo that I managed to snap keeping in mind that I had a 3 year old and 20 months old in tow :) 

jalan-jalan singapore
The White Tiger at Singapore Zoo

African Lion at Singapore Zoo
The White Rhino at Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo is open from 8.30am-6.00pm daily, get the park hopper tickets for a reduced admission ticket price. You can get to the zoo by taxi, bus or coach. For more details click here.