May 27, 2018

Places to Eat in Cameron Highlands

I'm a frequent visitor to Cameron Highlands. I love the cooling weather (although it's getting hotter each year when I return) and I love being surrounded by nature. Cameron Highlands is my ideal place to retire, so I make it a point to explore the place little by little. I find that each year, there will be something different, a new road is paved, a new building is erected and development is unstoppable. It's a pity that the old Cameron Highlands is no longer visible, but this place has a special spot in my heart.

Most of my friends often ask me where they are the good places to eat, so I thought I should compile it in a blog post to make it easy for everyone's reference.

#1 Boh Tea Plantation

  • Location: Sungei Palas BOH Tea Plantation, Brinchang
  • Business hour: 9:30am - 4:30pm, closed on Monday
  • Halal

Never miss the Sungei Palas Boh Tea Plantation. Despite the name, there is a very cool tea house at the plantation. The teh tarik is my usual order. Somehow teh tarik tastes so good here, perhaps because it is freshly picked and processed there. There is also a savory menu where you can order some bites to go with your tea.

The best spot to have your tea is at the verandah overlooking the tea plantation. This is also where you can get the best spot for photo.

#2 Jasmine Cafe

  • Location: 45, Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata
  • Business hour: 12:30pm - 8:30pm, closed on Tuesday
  • Pork-free but serves alcohol
I always crave for the smoked duck at Jasmine Cafe. It is a pub more than a cafe. The smoked duck has always been the best seller here. It comes with two options - the normal smoked duck and the flaming smoked duck. I would recommend you to order the normal one because the flaming smoked duck is drenched with gin. In my opinion, the taste of the alcohol affects the original taste of the smoked duck.

I like the salmon steak here too. But for first timer, I would recommend you to go for the smoked duck.

#3 Cameron Highlands Resort Jim Thompson Afternoon Tea

  • Location: Cameron Highlands Resort, Tanah Rata
  • Business hour: Daily, 3pm - 6pm
  • Halal

Arguably the best afternoon tea in Cameron Highlands. The afternoon tea set comes with various Western and local cakes & savory, paired with the locally produced tea. For the price of RM45 per person, this is a deal to steal. If you are a guest of the hotel, you can opt for a picnic afternoon tea by the tea plantation. It is only available from Tuesday to Thursday. I will blog about the Cameron Highlands Resort in a separate post. You can definitely drop by at the hotel for an afternoon tea even if you're not staying at the hotel.

#4 Nasi Lemak Strawberry @ 200 Seeds Cafe

  • Location: 200 Seeds Cafe, Taman Abang
  • Business hour: 8am - 8pm daily
  • Halal

This is a recent hype at Cameron Highlands. It is almost customary to try out if you've not been there. The nasi lemak is served with strawberry sambal (not exactly different from the usual nasi lemak sambal, except the taste leans towards sweet instead of spicy). The red colored rice is unique but I wasn't quite mentally prepared for the taste. It has a hint of strawberry flavor but can be easily overpowered by the sambal. The fried chicken is good though.

Definitely a one-time trial option. Can be skipped if you have other better place to go to.

#5 The Mossy Forest Cafe

  • Location: C-G-3 Cameron Fair, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands
  • Business Hour: Opens daily, 10AM - 12AM
  • Pork-free, serves alcohol

For a cafe that is much familiar to the city people, try the new Mossy Forest Cafe for brunch or tea. We tried the mushroom soup & salted egg chicken burger. Both were extremely good. The mushroom soup is made of fresh mushrooms picked from nearby farm and promising a genuine mushroom flavour. They don't serve you ready-made canned mushroom soup. And the burger comes in a generous portion of chicken patty with charcoal bun. It was a pit-stop for us here while waiting for the rain to stop, otherwise we would love to have a full meal here if our next food stop was not planned. You can have variety of beers at this cafe too. Because of the new setting, more Western food options and the food is pricier (same price as in city cafes), this place probably appeal to the younger people.

#6 Cameron Organic Produce Steamboat

  • Location: 10, Bandar Baru Brinchang, Cameron Highlands
  • Business hour: Opens daily, 12PM - 10PM
  • Non-halal

A trip to Cameron Highlands is not complete without a full course steamboat meal. I have been to the Cameron Organic Produce Steamboat restaurant twice and I would love to go back for more. As the name suggested, the vegetables are extremely fresh and it is sourced from organic farmers around Cameron Highlands. You have an option of chicken broth or herbal based broth. I tried both, but personally prefer the herbal broth for the strong flavour. The broth are made without MSG or additional flavouring. I didn't take a photo of the steamboat cooking because I was busy cooking & eating at the same time. With Ah Xian cardboard mannequin promoting outside the restaurant, you know this place can't be that bad.

There are several complains online about this restaurant which I think don't do justice. During busy hour, it is best to avoid this place if you're impatient because the owner has a bad temper. Otherwise, just focus on the food. The homemade sauce is to die for!

Although been there a few times, I truly can recommend the ones above. I had some of the meals at the hotel, which I don't want to recommend. I'm looking forward for my next trip. There are a few other places to eat which still remain unticked on my bucket list. They are:

  • Lord's Cafe at Tanah Rata - Apparently the scones are near perfect.
  • The Smokehouse Breakfast - They serve traditional English breakfast. 
  • OK Tuck Steamboat Restaurant 
  • Jin Jin Steamboat Restaurant
  • Mayflower Chinese Restaurant

If you've been to those places, do let me know if it is good. 

May 19, 2018

How to own your first Hermès Birkin Bag

There are so many hypes around the internet (or entire Malaysia) about the Hermès Birkin bag. I want to share a fair bit of information here if you're looking to own a Birkin bag.

If you don't know, I'm a crazy bag lady myself (not as crazy as Rosmah). I do work hard for my bags and they don't come home easy.

Buying directly from the Hermès Boutique

Getting the Birkin from the Hermès Boutique is almost impossible if you have no stature in the society. This means you must be someone really important. Even famous celebrities aren't able to get it. Hermès determines who they want to sell the bag to - this is to control the brand image, the craft and also controlling the price (which they failed badly).
  1. Build your reputation by gradually increase your purchase. Start with smaller items such as keychain, then scarf, wallet, shoes, bigger bags, etc. The point here is to get into the Hermès clientele list.
  2. Once they determine that you're a "valued customer", they will be sending you gifts or invitation to their private events. Look for the sales manager at the event and request him/her to put you on "THE LIST". You may wait forever, or they might be offering it to you right away. 
The thing is, Birkin bags aren't limited as how it is portrayed. Behind the store counter, I can bet there are one or two Birkins waiting for the right owner. The most important question to solve is, whether they are willing to sell it to you?

There is "THE LIST" that is a taboo for all Birkin followers. We don't know if THE LIST really exists or it is just a polite gesture by Hermès to tell you fuck-off-you're-not-getting-that-birkin. I don't know because I don't work at Hermès but you can certainly try. This is probably the only way to get it out right from the brand store.


Most people get their bags from agent. These agents have reputation of buying lots of Birkin bags and Hermès willing to sell them more. Some agents have the privilege to get 100 of Birkins in a month. Their job is simply to fly around the world to purchase the bag from different store.

How to find these agents? There are a lot of research to do. The best place might be eBay. Look for those seller that list the most Birkins on their store. That is a high possibility that they're an agent. Or get connected to luxury brands reseller such as Reebonz.

Also read:


I get the same questions from friends asking me:

Why is Birkin so expensive?

  • It is not. You can get it as low as RM30,000+. It is expensive because of the abuse of price. Those who have the power to buy, will keep it to control the stock (i.e. Rosmah). Once it is limited, it becomes expensive. Read the demand-supply rule.
  • The limited edition are the ones worth a lot of money. Not all Birkins are worth "investing" like how you read. If you really consider investing in one, go for the crocodile or ostrich skin. the ostrich skin is no longer in production, so the price can fetch up to RM200,000+. Meanwhile, the crocodile skin is regulated. Although production is still on-going, the quantity is scarce. 

Why do people buy it?

  • It is the same concept why men buy cars. Hermès created this bag out of practicality and it was meant to be a weekend bag for Jane Birkin when she travels. It quickly became a sensation among rich women and soon it became the symbol of "powerful woman". While women power is at its prime time, corporate women buy this bag to reward themselves.

Should you buy it for investment?

  • I totally against buying for investment. You will further abuse the price system for Hermès. To be honest, the quantity is not as limited as you think. Hermès will continue to produce the bag because it is one of their highest sale. You need the "eyes" to tell if it is worth an investment. 
  • If you have RM300,000+ lying around, then go for the limited edition skin (crocodile or ostrich). Otherwise, don't buy it for investment. 
  • I have the 30 Togo in rose. At the time I got it, the price was around RM20,000+, but now, it might be around RM15,000+ because it is the normal leather type. There really isn't any resale value at all because it is so common. 

Are you interested to learn about the Hermès Birkin such as the types, size, and there's even Birkin bankcruptcy that happens once in awhile. Want to know what is Birkin bankcruptcy? 

May 13, 2018

Brush Calligraphy Workshop by @novebyvivient

Two weeks ago, Alie & I signed up for a calligraphy class at Seremban. Pretty strange right.... why Seremban? I'm living in Melaka, and Alie lives in PJ, so Seremban is our middle point to meet. It took me only 1 hour of smooth driving to Tabiyo (Seremban well-known Japanese stationery shop).

My table was set up as soon as I arrived...

Teacher Vivien showing the strokes...

The workshop was quite fun (mainly because Alie & I were really noisy dropping jokes in between), otherwise, the rest of the group were pretty quiet.

I think it is good to attend the workshop. I tried to follow YouTube lessons and imitate the curves, but it didn't turn out well. During the workshop, I was able to ask Vivien a lot, especially where I should turn, what is the pressure I should put, etc. Those tips aren't available through online lessons. Vivien is also able to comment on my work as we progress through the practice.

I started really badly to the point I almost give up. But I managed to get through all the practices and finally produced this...

Yes! I can proudly say that this is my work! Notice the crab I wrote on my practice sheet? I couldn't wait for the legendary crab feast at Seremban Seafood Village. I highly recommend ordering the baked crab.

And that's the end of my lovely weekend in Seremban. I will go back to explore more. Please let me know what's good (food) to try in Seremban.