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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Colonial KFC and Royale Hotel Penang

Continuing from my previous page, I went on a short trip from Kuala Lumpur to Penang Island and went to see what I could see.

But first upon arrival, we went to check into the hotel. After the 5 hour drive up from KL I thoroughly was done with sitting down and the slight slip disk injury earlier didnt help.

A month before the trip we decided to make a reservation as December was school holiday season in Malaysia and that means all the hotels would be filling up pretty quickly. So we hopped on over to Agoda and managed to secure a cheap enough hotel and pounced.

The hotel we finally decided on was called Royal Penang Hotel and while the name is all glitzy and glamoury, it was slightly on the ok side. Sorry for the pics of the unkept room, but I forgot to take pics of the room beforehand.

 The room itself was spacious enough and had all the normal necessary facilities like a tub and shower and amenities. It did not however make me feel like it was trying hard to please people to think it was a good hotel. But I guess they werent trying hard to promote themselves that way too. So maybe we just had high expectations. For me I had some issues trying to get 3G coverage in the room and there was no wifi in the hotel. So I had to make do with the sketchy connection. For those who brought a laptop, they did have a dedicated network cable that you can attach at the study table in the room. The tv in the room was a 21 inch CRT TV with very limited channels.

Anyhow the views from the room were quite ok. We managed to have a view of part city and part sea and after looking down, we managed to see that there was a funny looking KFC across the road.

Messy room
View of Room

 The funny thing about this KFC is that its actually housed in an old colonial home. So in a sense, you can call it Colonel's Colonial Home.

It was interesting to see that they had actually gutted the whole building and replaced the rooms with a KFC inside.  We did try to ask for access to see how the kitchen was but they were a bit hesitant on granting us permission. But anyhow from what we could see, they did keep most of the original design in place.

Check out the place below :

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cheap Malaysian Comfort Food : Nasi Kandar Line Clear in Penang

So what to do in Penang? ... Well generally you ask anyone from Malaysia whats good about Penang, they would definitely start telling you about the FOOD! and I dont know about you guys, but I LOVE FOOD!

hehe... So if you continue on that conversation above and ask what sort, then you'll get the list of foods which form Malaysia's staple or favorites like Char Kway Teow, Cendol, Nasi Kandar, Passembor, and if you go another step further, they will start listing down the stalls and shops which are their favourite.. haha (tried at a mamak shop with my frends once.. almost an hour gone by plotting the best shops for the above).. but beyond all that is told, irregardless of whom you ask or where you check, they will come back and mention Line Clear in Penang.

So with such a notoriety and legendary status amongst Malaysians, I decided to create that stop as a NOT TO BE MISSED portion of the trip and shortly after arrival and resting up, my appetite was ready to go and find this legend.

For something sooo legendary, Line Clear does not seem flashy or pretentious. It is literally situated at an alley in between a row of shops along Jalan Penang and basically thats it. Expect a literal alley and thats what you will get.

Alley tucked between buildings

So as I said above, the place isnt pretentious but it isnt bad either... I mean i've seen worst establishments and yet I wouldnt call this place very clean or great, i've dined at worst... So check out the place in the pics below :

Line Clear Penang
Line Clear

Tables to eat

Not bad right? Now lets get to the good stuff.. THE FOOD!  So whats served at Line Clear? Well nasi kandar of course.. What nasi kandar is is basically rice with some gravy and possibly a choice of chicken, mutton, fish, fish head, fish eggs or prawns with some choices for veggies. Check out the selection below :

Line Clear Fried Chicken
Fish Eggs (Taken from some curried fish I think thus the yellow colour) and the ayam goreng or fried chicken

Other selections include egg, lady fingers, other types of curries

So as most of my readers are foreigners,  I would like to teach you  how to order nasi kandar. Generally in most nasi kandar places, people tend to choose for 1 main dish and 1 veggie dish and then the gravy types. Here's how :

Step One :

Inform him you want to eat there or take away (say bungkus).

Step two:

Choose to have a main dish (Ie. Chicken (Ayam) or Fish (Ikan)  or Mutton(Kambing) )

Step three :

Decide how you want the main dish to be (ie. In Curry form, fried, or some other sort of gravy)

Step four:

Add any other dish or veggie

Step five :

inform the person if you want gravy. If you dont, tell him no curry (say tak mahu kari/kuah), or if you want a little (say kari/ kuah sikit) or if you really want to go all out (say banjir which means flood in Malay) and when doing this, you can also inform them if you want mixed gravy (say campur which means mixed) or any type of curry of your choice (usually chicken curry, fish curry, lamb curry, dark gravy or kuruma)


Pick up the payment receipt and go pay or keep it later for payment in case you wish to add anything else.

and if all else fails, just point at what you want and you will get it...

 So.. this is what we ended up getting:

Our dinner!
basically we all almost ordered the same thing, but in my case I had the banjir gravy campur (which is the mixed gravy flooded) and some veggie and extra lady fingers...  :D

So whats the verdict? In my humble honest opinion, I think i over did it with the gravy thus dulling certain flavours, but I must say the ayam goreng is the best, its HUGE and crispy and yummy. As for ambience wise, it is slightly ok.. but not great.. or bad either but I guess it can repel some people. I was told about the half an hour waiting line but when we got there it was quite brisk and cool... and as for the price, all of the above and a few extra drinks totalled to RM 24 which is damn cheap...

I would definitely come back to this place but I think I would try other places too as everyone seems to have a recommendation for me..

Lastly, this uncle will out of the blue blow his whistle and then shout out "Line Clear!"

oooo yeah dont forget this:

Line Clear anthony bourdain.
Anthony Bourdain was here

Monday, December 30, 2013

My FIRST Penang Trip

Phewh.. I just woke up after almost a 5 hour drive down from Penang and boy was traffic heavy.... at some points went to a standstill and it RAINED all the way..

Anyhow, as seen above, it was my first trip really to Penang... I am not trying to lie to you but prior to this trip,  I have only been to Penang twice to pick up someone and leave all within a span of less than 2 hours... so I dont really count those as times having been to Penang.

So.. the story goes that my interest in going to Penang started in 2006 or 2007 when I met up with this RAF officer on one of my trips to Phuket who used to be stationed in Penang. So lo and behold, he told me stories about Penang only for me to go err... I havent been there... haha yes a shocker but true enough, I wont lie.. I havent been to Penang...Anyhow add to that and listening to people jabber on and on about Penang, I definitely told myself I have to go to Penang!

So.. on 28th Dec we took to the road and made the 4 hour plus journey and drove up and  tada! I made it..

Here's some views upon arrival

Penang Bridge

Penang bridge
Penang Bridge

Penang from Penang Bridge
Penang from Penang Bridge

So I went for a short trip.. only 2D 1 N but it was all good. I will be sharing the blog in several posts and you can refer to the links here later.

Day 1 : Royal Penang Hotel
Day 1:  Nasi Kandar Line Clear
Day 2:  Penang Mural Hunting
Day 2:  Fort Cornwallis

Thursday, December 26, 2013

[26.12.2013] Merry X Mas

Hellow all!

I havent blogged in awhile and its christmas! Anyhow.. Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday and be safe! Will update more soon. I think I have missed out on the following :

Hanoi (1st and 2nd trip)

Hong Kong

and all I can say is.. err.. oops.. haha.. My pc sucks and most of the tech I have for updating this is pretty laggy so I am kinda deterred from making new posts. Lets see if I have the energy to do it tomorrow... As for now.. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5/11/2013 Hong Kong!

Reporting live from HK! Another trip.. and another round of aching feet.... Will definitely be blogging abt it... but for now... some pics! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

[27.10.2013] Fail

Hmmmm i have failed to update my travels.. things have just go sooo hectic recently and constantly from one event or obligation to another that whenever i get time i tend to just try to sleep.

Anyhow am chilling out now accompanying madamme do work and seems like a good place to do my blog....I like to blog but it just gets very time consuming...

Anyhow am going to HK next week!!!! :) cant wait... been reading sooo many of my friend's posts and blogs about their travels to HK that I wana try it out myself... :) 

I hope I would get some time to chillax and blog again when I am there... Plus it will also be my first time on the A380! :) Till then!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

[7-10.9.2013] Laguna Redang / Dive Trip

Heylo... Just came back from a dive trip to Redang with the Lyn Divers. Sorry saying that does not cover the fact that I have been MIA for the past few months... Anyhow work is depressing and sometimes really annoying that I totally get why ppl choose to end it sometimes.

Anyhow. Lets go on to the trip..

A few months ago the discussion with the Lyn Divers on whatsapp resulted in us making reservations at Laguna Redang Resort. It was totally a spurr of the moment decision but I dont think any of us regretted on that decision at all. What started out with only 16 divers ended up with 19 as suddenly there was a lot of interest in us going there.

I have been diving regularly with the Lyn Divers recently and I really like the crazy bunch of people.

So how does Laguna Redang look like u ask? Check below :

As you can see the place looks awesome... I never thought I would be able to go to a resort like this.. EVER.. but turns out that paradise was really affordable with the right group...

So when we departed, there were different groups who went.. One group left the day before and stayed in Merang and another group went by air the next morning and my group which left by car. Driving there isnt really bad except the stretch from Jabor tol to Bukit Besi which is frankly a 100km stretch of potholes and dangerous roads.. This stretch is such a pain on your butt and on the car... From what I hear the entire highway will open next year.. I hope at least by the next dive season the road is open as the whole stretch is such a dangerous stretch of road that it slightly falls on the level of craziness.

So to get to Redang you must first get your butt to Merang and the Merang jetty is located at where you will find a set of wodden jetty's. I think each resort has their own Jetty and ours looked like this..

So here we waited for the rest of the group who arrived on that morning's flight. Take note that there are two ferry's per day to and fro and if you miss one, you will need to catch the mid day one. We managed to delay the ferry long enough to allow the other members to arrive.. hehe..

After the ferry ride which takes for about 1 hour to reach the island, you will be brought to the arrival hall for a briefing on how to check in and how to go for snorkelling trips and get food.

After we got settled in, we went to get Lunch. The thing about Laguna Redang is that most of the people who go there go with packages. So included in the package is the buffet meals and when they say buffet meals, they really meant on feeding you. Check out the yummy foods I ate over the course of the whole trip.. hahaha

Well the food looks good right. Anyhow.. the food is served at the upstairs restaurant. You give your voucher to the lady manning the counter and she will give you a table number to sit at. This is good if you go in a big group. We always have the first group book 3 tables and slowly bit by bit the group arrive and then they are assigned to the same table... The place is wonderful. If you get the right place you could have your meals facing the sea....and its such a wonderful sight...

After eating well we all suited up and went for our dives! Here's some pics I managed to take

Oh yeah.. a big attraction here at Laguna Redang is this place..

I think this place was the set of a chinese movie which was really popular amongst the visitors.

All in all, I think that a trip to Laguna Redang is totally worth it... The food the activities and the corals is just wonderful...