Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Davis, Bangkok

This is my second time staying in Davis hotel in Bangkok. It is not as convenient as the other hotels on the main street like Intercontinental, when it comes to transportation. However, in terms of food and massage, it is fantastic.

Staying in Davis do not require breakfast. I came out of the hotel, and could see Starbucks on my right.

Starbucks outside Davis

I went in and ordered some simple breakfast, just sandwiches and coffee.
Starbucks breakfast

While I was sipping my coffee and reading my book, I found 2 other nearby cafe for great breakfast. Could have gone there earlier, but I took the shortest way!

Just opposite the Starbucks, it is the Kakao Cafe, which serves chocolate stuff - drinks nad food.
Chocolate Factory

And just on the opposite right of Starbuck, is AuBonPain, a bakery with nice chicken wrap - I ate there the night before. :)
Au Bon Pain

Further down the street, there are nice dining restaurants too, but for lunch and dinner. I went there the last time, not this time around though...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What kind of balcony is this?

I came across this in Bangkok:


I kept wondering, why would people build a door that leads to no where, on the first floor? The roof of the lower unit is just made of thin aluminum. From the look, I can tell it definitely cannot support human weight.

So, why have that door? And they are all opened. Yes, I used ‘they’, coz the whole stretch of the wooden shop lots are like that! Interesting…

Friday, January 25, 2008

Car fell off from 8th floor, 1 dead 1 traumatized

When I was in Jakarta few days ago, there was a tragedy in the building that I visited. It happened in the morning, before I arrived – thank God I didn’t have to witness such thing. It could happen just in front of me, just at the taxi drop-off area!

There was a car fell off from 8th floor parking bay. When the car fell off, it went upside down, and hit another car on its left passenger’s side. Luckily the car on the ground, driven by a lady, has no other passengers. She was traumatized, of course, but alive.

The driver of the fallen car died on the spot. Some witnessed told me that the scene was very scary, with blood and brain everywhere. They said his body was half gone!

Apparently the driver wanted to do reverse parking, somewhat went over the edge, hit the grill. It is very common for Indonesia’s building to have such grills for upper floor car parks. That is only to prevent human from falling off, but definitely not cars!

I was told a few months ago, there was a similar incident in a shopping mall, where the whole family died on the spot – a mother, father, 2 kids.

This makes me chilled, when think of parking my car at upper floor.

I remember many years ago when I just got my license, there was a minor accident for me. I wanted to slam on the brake, but something has blinded my senses, I slammed on the accelerator instead! Luckily it didn’t hit any one nor any cars. It just went down to a drain. With some help of a few guys, my car came off easily. Imagine if this ha happened on upper floor? I’d have died long time ago, before I graduated!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nadaman restaurant, Shangri-la Jakarta

This is the first time I stayed in Shangri-la hotel in Jakarta. They have a very nice Japanese restaurant, with very good food and services. I liked it so much that I revisited the second day – both for lunch as my meeting ended too late.

First Day
I always like to eat gindara shioyaki (grilled cod fish), but not every place serves it. Teriyaki is more common than shioyaki, but I dislike teriyaki sauce.

The Gindara Shioyaki set includes 3 servings of sashimi. As I was recovering from food poisoning, I requested to change that to tempura.

The appetizer is very good. A small portion of chopped toufu covered in some fish flakes. I like the fish flakes, yummy!


They served the tempura first. Ordinary, but fresh.

This is the salad, which has the jellyfish on top, quite different.

And here is the gindara shioyaki. Some simple cooking, just rub some salt on the fish and shallow fry it. Really don’t understand why some restaurants don’t serve this!
Gindara Shioyaki

Here is the hot ocha, which they serve in individual pot! A luxury, I’d say.
Hot green tea

Finally, fruits to end the meal.

Total Cost: IDR 242,000 (RM 84)

Second Day
As I was in a hurry, I ordered from the quick lunch set menu -- mini donburi set. Donburi is usually served in a large bowl, with a lot of rice at the bottom and covered with your choice of topping. Usually chicken, beef, egg, or veggie.

This mini donburi set is very cute. It comes in 3 small bowls, each containing rice about the amount of 2-3 sushi. One topped with salmon sashimi, one with unagi teriyaki, and the last one with prawn tempura. They are really delicious, and I guess their sauce is nice, which makes them different.
Mini donburi set

It is served with 3 other items, 2 from the pic above – salad (similar to the previous lunch) and agedashi toufu. And here is a bowl of chawan mushi (steamed egg) too.
Chawan Mushi

This time, I ordered cold ocha (green tea), hoping it is not served in pot as it is too much. Well, they still served it in a JAR. LOL!
Cold green tea

The dessert that came with this is green tea ice-cream. Very nice, not those type that is too sweet without any ocha fragrant/taste.
Green tea ice cream

Total Cost: IDR 155,955 (RM 54)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Nighmare dealing with accommodation rental

Since JohnChow has blogged about this, you'd have already read this. If not, let me share this ridiculous travel story with you.

Before reading on, let me ask you a question: When you stay in a hotel, are you charged by day or by night stay?

Pedro & Grace are frequent travlers, who has travelled to many places and stayed in many types of accommodations. They will start travelling around the world nonstop for 1 year starting from January 2008, with their second stop in NYC from 18 Jan to 18 Feb, i.e. 31 nights.

As they planned to truly experience NY Living, they wanted to rent an apartment instead of a hotel. They have booked themselves in Furnished Quarters (Jersey City).

Their nightmare has just begun after the availability is confirmed. First, they had to pay $1k for deposit which would only be returned 45-60 days after check-out. Next, they were asked to produced a lot of personal and financial documents including bank statements. And then, they were charged based on days stay, instead of nights stay - i.e. 32 days. The check-in and check-out time is like many hotels (or shorter): 4pm check-in, 12 noon check-out.

Just like many of their experiences, Pedro & Grace blogged about this in their travel blog.

The drama started here...

These guys from Furnished Quarters, apparently read the post, started to make disguised comments there, under various identity posting fake customer testimonials backing up the company. Their comments are not consistent, and their IP is from within the company!

One of the fake customer claimed himself to be a consultant, then later he said he is a real estate broker. LOL! I think he is none of these, but a joker. Hahahah!

You may want to hop over there to read more. Anyway, my comments here are:
1) I've also travel a lot (though not as much as the couple)
2) I've never been charged by days stayed.
3) I've also stayed in business apartment before. And they also charge by nights - instead of what they claimed to be 'standard policy' of daily charges. It is NOT standard.
4) I've never been asked to produce documents of such, really wonder what's the point, isn't credit card and deposit sufficient?

And my final words -- one question to ponder. I normally would check the quotations before making payment. I wonder what the process in their case when securing the booking. If they had checked the booking detail carefully, and refused to pay for the extra 'day', they'd probably not caught in this situation. They are uncomfortable of staying there now, but cancellin at this stage would cost some penalty. Maybe a good lesson learnt?

I hope this blog doesn't catch their attention to place a few fake customer testimonials. LOL!

Friday, January 04, 2008

'Personal' Steamboat

I like to eat steamboat, but I hate to sweat in front of the hot pot, in Malaysia's hot weather!

Recently restaurant with new concept of individual steamboat is mushrooming. Unlike the conventional steamboat where everyone shares the same big 'boat'/pot, this new concept gives everyone an individual pot - all by one self.

On the New Year Eve, we dined in one of these restaurants near Carefour Kepong. I guess people normally order 1 set per person, which costs from around RM18 to RM30 each, depends on the type of meat (beef is more expensive than chicken).

As we went in a group of 5 adults (incl maid) and 2 children, we ordered a 'couple set' (for 2) and another single set. With that, they gave us 3 individual pots. I had one, which I cooked for my 2 children and my maid, which MIL and FIL shared a pot, DH has one for his own.


This is the single set, for 1 person. As you can see, they give 1 noodle per person.
mix ingredients

This is the chicken slices that came with the set.
chicken slices

After this, I couldn't take any more photos, as my kids were too curious about the whole 'game' and I had to 'control' them before they hurt themselves!

The experience, despite the mess of dealing with my kids, was extremely good. I agree with my sister - if you have one pot by yourself, you can do whatever you like with it, including throwing back a piece of meat that you bite and realize it is not cooked properly! LOL!

The soup and the 'balls' (fish balls, meat balls, whatever 'balls') are just ordinary. What I like the most is the noodle. It looks and tastes just like instant noodle, or even better. However, the noodle comes in very small size. I can finish it is just 2 bites! We ended up ordered many more. LOL!

Of course, what we ordered weren't enough for all of us. We purposely ordered that way (3 pax set), so we can add on many side dishes. There is one fried vege-balls that I really love, and I'm glad to see they have it on the menu! :)

I think it is a nice place for gathering, for meeting with friends, and for couples too! A place that you can eat slowly and chat for a long while. And since steamboat is rather easy to make, I believe any outlets that offer this type of steamboat would be just fine - as long as the ambience is good I'd definitely walk in!