Dec 18, 2015

Drinking Lemon Water: You Are Doing It Wrong!

You've probably heard it from somewhere that adding few slices of lemon into your water is healthy. While so many of us doing it to reap the goodness from this simple recipe, many of us are doing it wrongly.

Adding slices of lemon into your water is one of the gross things you can do to your body. Living in Malaysia, we don't have lemon trees growing behind our yard. The lemons we purchase from supermarket are imported from far far away (mostly from Australia or New Zealand). In order to keep the fruit fresh and look good for a long time, lemons are rubbed with a layer of wax. A simple washing will not remove the wax away.

If you add the lemon into your water and consume it, you are taking in the wax into your body. In a long run, it may clog your system. So, what should you do?

There are two simple ways - cut the lemon into wedges and squeeze the lemon juice into your water. Or simply cut away the skin of the lemon before putting it into your water.

Now you know...

But, do you know the nutritional value of drinking lemon water?
  • It balances the pH level in our body
  • It flushes out toxins from your body
  • Promotes good blood circulation and good skin (for reason above)
  • It increases the metabolism level, indirectly helping you to lose weight
  • Boost your immune system
  • Contains antioxidant properties which keeps you looking young
  • Dissolves uric acid which causes inflammation in your joints. 
  • Replenish body salt in moderate level

Dec 9, 2015

Freeport A' Famosa Outlet Haul, Deals Spotted & Shopping Tips

I guessed most of you already know about the opening of Freeport A' Famosa Outlet (FAO) recently. I was one of the first one that got so excited about it. It's so near my house!

Some info about FAO:

  • FAO is a joint venture between Freeport (investor, asset manager and operator of portfolio of European outlet centres) and Langkah Realiti Sdn. Bhd.
  • The current project is the first phase of FAO, which house over 100 retail units
  • It is located right next to A' Famosa Resort and accessible from the main road
  • The retail concept mimics Dutch heritage design based on the local heritage value. The project is designed by leading Australian architect, LGM Architecture

Anyway, let me get straight to the reason you're reading this - what are the shops available and what are the good deals that I spotted there. 

1. Nike

Very good deals at Nike. Nike Free for RM179 (original price RM300+). Dri-fit long pants RM99 (original price RM160+). T-shirt RM39 for older styles. 

2. Forever 21

The prices are about 20% cheaper than the retail price, plus But 2 Free 1 deal. Shopping tips, purchase clothes with the same price so you will get the free item of higher value. If you have a mixture of other products, sort out the items according to the price range and check out separately. 

3. Levi's

What's worth getting here is the jeans. The prices are marked down about 20%. On top of that you will get additional 40% off from the tag.

4. Triumph

Triumph have different deals based on their different products. Some come with "buy 3 free 1" bargain and some have fixed price of 2 for RM169. On top of that, the additional storewide special includes 5 for extra 10% off, and so on.

6. Clarks

As expected, the prices at Clarks are cheaper than retail. The sales assistant mention that they are about 10-30% cheaper than retail. Additional sales include buy 2 for 20% off, buy 3 for 30% off and buy 5 for 50% off.

7. Rip Curl

Rip Curl swimwear is approximately RM130+ for a pair, excluding the store 30% sale. Female clothing option is limited. However, if you dig into the accessories part, you might find some gem, like a wallet for RM39.

8. Carlo Rino

All Carlo Rino deals are different. The store provide up to 70% discount. For the newer season, it is up to 30% discount.

9. Moodboard

Moodboard store carries different brand under their roof. The main brands are Amori, Joy & Peace, Santa Barbara, Jaguar Shoes, Fiorucci & Everbest. These are famous brands in European countries and other parts of Asia. You can get a very good quality shoe at the price of RM100+.

10. Sacoor Brother

Sacoor Brother is a very prestige brand in Portugal & UK. They offer up to 75% on winter clothing. The store items change according to the four seasons.

11. Puma

Prices of Puma products are between 10-50% cheaper than retail. And take additional 10-20% off when you check out, depending on how many item you purchase.

12. 57th Street by Zang Toi

Surprise! There's a Zang Toi Cafe in Melaka. There's no good deal here, but there are plenty of good cakes here.

13. Crocs

The photo is pretty much self-explanatory. Not sure until when the deal ends, however their stock run out really fast. Do grab the opportunity if you are a Crocs fan.

14. Luv Lux

Luv Lux carries plenty of upscaled designer brands under their wings. Some of the brands include Moschino, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Tods, Miu Miu, Sergio Rossi and many more. Spotted Moschino bag for only RM700+.

15. Esprit
16. Cotton On
17. Young Hearts
18. Cosas United
19. Narquirkee
20. G2000
21. Curiosity
22. Only
23. Vero Moda
24. Sketchers
25. Florsheim
26. Samsonite
27. Sembonia
28. Elle
29. Folli Follie
30. Stay Fit
31. Poney
32. Aviva
33. Nature Republic
34. Daphne
35. Melinda Looi
36. Camel Active
37. Geox
38. Aivoria
39. Wonder Rococo by Candy Flowers
40. IL Fragrance

... and many more stores are opening soon.

As of now, only 50% of the stores are fully operating. Some stores are still in renovation and some are still empty.

In my honest opinion, I really like the FAO because it has variety of brands. And the brands are those brands that I usually buy from such as Forever 21, Cotton On, Nike and Puma. There is a mixture of upscaled branded items and average daily brand that we purchase from. The combo of brands make it a pleasant experience to shop because you have different options.

I had the chance to participate in the 'Style on Shoestring' contest during the launch, whereby I was given RM350 to shop for an outfit for a casual occasion. This is my before outlook..

After 2 hours of shopping at FAO, this is my new look...

Top: Cotton On (RM44.90). 3 layered necklace + leather pants + quilt studded mini bag: Forever 21 (Total RM198). Loafer shoes: Moodboard Everbest brand (RM149).

It is easy to look for what you want at FAO when you shop for a full outfit. Unfortunately, the crowd make the process more complicated. It takes time to queue at the changing room and cashier counter. And some shops limit the walk-in customers, so you have to queue outside until some shoppers come out. Restaurant and food outlet is very limited at the moment. However, you can find good coffee there! Dr. Cafe has the best coffee (among all the main coffee joints). I foresee myself coming here every weekend for morning coffee.

If you are planning for a shopping trip there, here are some shopping tips:
  1. In case of crowded carpark, go into A' Famosa Resort and park near the Cowboy Town. There is a small access at the side of the carpark to the main road. You can walk along the main road to reach FAO. It's about 1 minute walk, which is not as bad as getting stuck in the carpark with no space to park your car.
  2. Currently, there are some shops still setting up their cashier system. It's best to bring along cash with you. ATM may run out of cash due to the massive crowd.
  3. Wear flat shoes! There will be a lot of walking. And also bring some water, just in case.
  4. Some stores allow you to keep your haul at the counter before check out. You can scout the entire place first before settle for the best. If you decided to let go of your haul, do have the courtesy to tell the cashier. 
  5. The FAO is a single storey construction. It is pram and wheelchair friendly.

Have you been to FAO? What do you think of it?  

Nov 2, 2015

Food in Hong Kong Disneyland & Halal Food

Contrary to popular belief, food in Disneyland is actually very good. For those who claims that Disneyland food is inedible probably don't know where to look for the good ones. Or maybe people presumed that theme parks food are restricted to food truck or fast food only. If you explore around, Disneyland has plenty of restaurants and cafes that serve food that is not only heavenly, but also fit for a king.

Crystal Lotus Restaurant (Disneyland Resort)

This is my favorite restaurant, which happened to be the very first place I alighted when I first reached Disneyland. Since the hotel was packed and I was waiting for a room to check-in into, I got myself a wholesome dim sum breakfast at Crystal Lotus. The cute Disney characters dim sum is one of the higlight at the restaurant. the barbecue pork bun is made into Three Little Pigs character, seafood pancake is made into Mickey Mouse, vegetable bun is made into Little Green Man and red bean bun is made into Duffy! Kids will love the dim sum here. There is also the seasonal Tasmanian crab. The Crystal Lotus Restaurant is located at the Disneyland Resort.

Enchanted Garden Restaurant (Disneyland Resort)

The Enchanted Garden Restaurant is a great place for buffet breakfast. Not only there are a lot of options on the buffet deck, there is also character dining where the Disney characters go around from one table to another to greet the guests. What a great way to start your day. There are also cute foods that made into Disney character shapes. In terms of decoration, the Enchanted Garden Restaurant is by far the prettiest. It feels very princessy and reflects Snow White and Cinderella story. It's a great place to start your day with a healthy breakfast.

Corner Cafe (Disneyland Park)

The Corner Cafe is located right at the corner of Main Street. I would recommend this restaurant for dinner while waiting for the fireworks at Sleeping Beauty Castle. Reservation is preferred due to its popularity during dinner time. The meal is mainly Western, vegetarian meal also available here. I ordered the half lobster and wagyu beef steak. Of the many restaurants in Disneyland park, the Corner Cafe is probably one of the best ones. The Corner Cafe is hosted by Coca-Cola, so you can find a lot of Coca-Cola memorabilia in the cafe.

Tahitian Terrace Restaurant (Halal)

Muslim friends, the Tahitian Terrace is a certified halal restaurant endorsed by Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong. Most of the dishes are familiar to Malaysians, such as chicken korma, tandoori chicken, satay and Laksa Sarawak. The Tahitian Terrace Restaurant is located at Adventureland. Its grand entrance of African design is hard to be missed.

Starliner Diner (Disneyland Park)

The Starliner Diner is a fast food restaurant located in Tomorrowland. It is a great place for a quick bite in between your activities. I ordered the pork burger meal and it was really good. The patty was juicy and huge made of whole chunky of pork meat. The fries are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It melts once you put it in your mouth.

Walt's Cafe (Disneyland Resort)

To end my tiring day at Disneyland, I treat myself to fine dining at Walt's Cafe which located at Disneyland Resort. For dinner main course there were choices of steak, lamb, fish, lobster, veal and vegetarian. Halal menu also available upon request. I chose the fish dish which is a piece of buttery cod. To start the meal, I was served with cold scallop with moscato jelly. For dessert, I picked the Rosemary Almond Apple Tart with caramel ice cream. The Walt's Cafe is the only fine dining restaurant here.

That is not all that I ate at Disneyland! In between my rides and shows I stopped by The Small World Ice Cream Stall, popcorn, turkey leg and waffle. In my utmost honest opinion, all the food are good. Some are better, but none of it is bad. If food is what you worry about at Disneyland, just go to Corner Cafe and it won't go wrong. 

Oct 27, 2015

Hotel Review: Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

If you have plan to go to Hong Kong Disneyland, I would advise you to check-in into the hotel and plan your trip towards the end of your stay in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland is pretty far from the main city area and is located near the airport (approximately 10 minutes taxi ride) and there is a direct train to airport as well. Staying a night at Disneyland allows you to maximise your trip and leave to the airport from the hotel the next day. 

Initially, I was hoping to stay at the Disneyland Resort Hotel, which has a vibe of Disney Princess' Castle. It was fully booked. Then I tried my luck at the Hollywood Hotel and they have a few rooms left. 

The room has all your necessities taken care of - large bed, modern bathroom, TV, mini fridge, phone, wifi and room service. Rest assure, it is heavily decorated with Mickey motives, I almost died. To be honest, I am not a fan of Mickey Mouse. I prefer the Disney Princesses rather than the classic Disney characters, which is why my first preference was to stay at the Disneyland Resort. But I quickly give in to the cute toiletries pack. Toothbrush, toothpaste and vanity kit is presented in a Mickey tumbler. The bath gel and shampoo were not spared from the Mickey concept.

It is very convenient to travel around the Disneyland area when staying here. There is a shuttle bus that connects Disneyland, Disneyland Resort and Hollywood Hotel which I utilize a lot. From the time I touched down, I took the shuttle to Disneyland Resort for breakfast, and then back to Hollywood Hotel for a quick shower and then to Disneyland for a whole day trip. The shuttle bus also drops off at the main MTR station. A special Disney MTR 

Some may argue that the price for hotel at Disneyland is very expensive. Let me justify that, Disneyland is HUGE! There is no way you can have a fulfilled trip in a day. Moreover, it is located in Lantau Island which is out of the city. Traveling to Disneyland and back to the city will cost you a lot of time and money. I would take a relaxing trip to Disneyland and stay there to experience the magical vibe that you can't get anywhere else.

The Hollywood Hotel brings back the 1950's Hollywood glamour to your stay. If you are staying there, I would advise you to explore beyond the courtyard of the hotel, you will find a lot of hidden spots for great photos.

 After two nights at the Hollywood Hotel, I still find my trip to Disneyland was lacking. There are so many things to explore. Each time I visit Disneyland, there's something new. Alas, my wish to stay at the Disneyland Resort is still not fulfilled. Til the next time..