Mar 14, 2018

10 Penang : Gurney View Inn

With a waterfront view, Gurney Drive is one of the most happening places to hang out in on Penang island. It's a stretch of road known for high end condominiums and pricey hotels. There are many eateries offering authentic local food along it, modern shopping malls and even a local products center for the tourists . Across the road is a promenade lined with trees and tiled benches.

Gurney View Inn, Penang

Nestled between impressive tall buildings is the hidden gem that is Gurney View Inn - a small, cheap hotel for budget travelers. It was RM130 per night for a family room. A surprise find considering the expensive hotels along the stretch! Housed in the same building is a Thai restaurant on the ground floor.

Gurney View Inn - Entrance

I was pleased with the compact sized room - one single bed, one double bed. Bath area was clean with nary a hair nor mould. An old rickety aircon kept us cool at night. The bonus was the unobstructed view of the waterfront. 

The only thing that would have been a put-off was the worn out peeling wallpaper, but hey, we're not fussy people! A comfy bed at a reasonable price to lay our head and within walking distance to several tourist attractions is a dream thing for us.

Gurney View Inn - Family Room

Gurney View Inn - Family Room

Check-in was quick and efficient. Arriving hours early than recommended check-in time, I was prepared to be turned away but the hotel staff was kind and accommodating, and we got our room after half an hour of waiting.

Gurney View Inn, Penang

There is a smoking corner right behind the reservations counter.

Smoking Corner at Gurney View Inn, Penang

The view from our window.

Gurney Drive, Penang

Gurney Drive, Penang

A short walking distance away behind the hotel is the famous Thai reclining Buddha temple and a Burmese Temple with an impressive Golden Pagoda Bell Tower. If you're into wet markets, the famous Pulau Tikus wet market is a street down.

To summarise, this is a good place to stay because it's convenient to get around. I saved on taxi fare. It's near several tourist attractions, has great scenery and food is abundant. I loved the sea breeze walks and having my cuppa at Mr. Pot, a roadside cafe that sits under a big old tree that looks out into the blue of the horizon.

Gurney View Inn
Address: 75, Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Penang
Telephone: +6 04-226 1668

Mar 6, 2018

10 Two Weeks Into Woof Woof Year

If it were possible for blogs to collect dust - FuuuUuuhhHh ..*cough-cough* .. that's how long I've been away. Life happened and it happened interestingly. Weeks were spent spring cleaning and redecorating the home.

I took my sweet time too, having read at least fifteen books in between, my hands unable to put any down once the first page is turned save for food and the occasional cuppa. It was difficult trying to disconnect myself from tales of vampire romance and sword wielding unearthly creatures.

Then there were meet-ups with close friends and relatives to pass on CNY goodies. We caught up with what's going on with each other. There was the traveling - seven days in Penang! I'm now back in KL and ready to rumble.... at least I think my washing machine is,looking at the pile of dirty laundry I have to do.

Penang Island

I thought to ease into the New Year with some quiet time but phlegmy cough and a runny nose made me miserable for a week. Miserable, but not wholly uncheerful. That didn't stop me from tidying the home and cleaning up the mess left by my partying pigeon buddies - and boy, did they party!

These are some of the food I enjoyed in the early weeks of the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration. It began with an eight-course Reunion Dinner at Baview Hotel.

Prawn Dish

Reunion Dinner

On the first day of CNY, mee sua (longevity noodles) in herbal chicken soup is a must for us as it is a symbol of longevity. MIL never fails to cook this. It's a family tradition that has been practiced for decades. Long live Sharon!

Mee Sua in Herbal Chicken Soup

We headed out to catch the lion dance after that. It is an auspicious thing for us, all about ushering in good luck.

Lion Dance

Tong Tong Chiang

Days later, MIL treated the family to her famous 'kiam chye boey' - a sour, spicy, moreish stew made from leftovers. Roasted pork belly, roasted duck, chicken, mustard greens, dried chilli and preserved plums cooked in a huge pot until the flavours come together in a rich gravy best savoured with rice or noodles.

Kiam Chye Boey (Mustard greens, leftover meat stew)

To summarise, CNY is mostly about food, friends and family for me. So there you go - my first couple of weeks into The Year of The Dog.

Jan 15, 2018

20 Eats : New Year Lunch At TGI Fridays, The Curve

It was a slow moving New Year's day for us. We had returned home late from a countdown party. No one was keen to leave the warmth of blankets and the heavenly feel of a soft mattress that early.

I pulled myself out of our cosy bed, reluctantly greeting the late morning sun and checked on my pigeons. Then I sent everyone New Year greetings and switched the TV on, lying comfortably on the sofa as I pondered on life. Haa..kidding. I was too much in a state of inner peace to be thinking about anything other than Lets-Not-Do-Anything-Today.

There was a tingle of newness in the air as though I'd stepped into another life. It was already late afternoon when we decided to lunch at TGI Fridays. Hubs was asking, "Is there a word for lunch and tea like 'brunch' is for breakfast and lunch?" I don't know. Anyone?

TGI Fridays, The Curve

I settled for a chicken dish with turkey stuffing on the side and cranberry sauce. The Christmas menu was still available then.

Roasted Chicken with Cranberry Sauce

Hubs went with fish and chips.

Fish and Chips

We shared a bowl of mushroom soup.

Mushroom Soup

TGI Fridays is a great place to hang out with besties for long hours. Cosy ambiance, cheerful staff and comfy seating. Love.

TGI Fridays, The Curve

TGI Fridays, The Curve

It was nice coming here on New Year's. Now a fond memory - my first meal in 2018. Do you remember what you had on 1st Jan?

TGI Fridays
Address: The Curve Mall, 6, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Jan 11, 2018

19 Eats : Steam King Seafood Restaurant, Kota Damansara

Eleven days into 2018 and it's full steam ahead workwise until the next holidays for many people. But that doesn't mean the festivities is over, at least not in my case. It doesn't help that my Birthday falls in January and that Chinese New Year is looming.

Anyway, Hubs and I celebrated with a delicious meal at Steam King Seafood Restaurant. It has a typical Chinese eatery ambiance with tables draped in red tablecloth and chairs wrapped in bright yellow covers. Hubs and I were their first customers that evening and we had the place to ourselves. The chef had just arrived.

We ordered one of their best dishes which is Seafood Beancurd Curry. Slurp-worthy, tasty, I was ladling spoonful after spoonful onto my half plate of rice. It is one of the yummiest curry soups I had tried!

Seafood Beancurd Curry

Sweet potato leaves stir-fried belacan style is a Malaysian classic. I enjoyed it thoroughly of course, having had this countless times and never finding fault with the aroma and flavour. It's a taste we've been familiar with since young and is considered local comfort food.

Belacan Fried Sweet Potato Leaves

We also ordered a plate of Stir-fried Spicy Lala. Now this is us getting greedy! That's three dishes on the chilli side for this gloomy weather.

Spicy Fried Lala

Yet we couldn't resist adding another after drooling over the Creamy Butter Chicken  pic in the menu. Was this good? Yes! 

Creamy Butter Chicken

The meal came with a complimentary bowl of steaming hot ABC soup. Five dishes for two people? Mmm..

Steam King Seafood Restaurant

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable meal and we went home satisfied.

Jan 5, 2018

18 A December To Remember

Out of all the months in the year, December is most magical for me. Peace, joy, love, all these words sum up the general atmosphere. People seem happier - school is out, holidays are in. This means lots of family gatherings and meeting up with friends.

I hung greeting cards we received on our Christmas tree this year. It's a nice feeling, this warmth that creeps up on me every time I look at it. The holiday season was not as hectic for me this round. I was most efficient having spring-cleaned my home in November and getting all the decorations up. I'd also gotten the presents wrapped and sent out!

Christmas Tree

My aunt and cousin flew in for a visit a couple of weeks before Christmas. We had a fabulous time shopping, catching up and teasing one another mercilessly. 1Utama and The Curve were the first places we hit. My aunt's luggage was filled to the brim on the first day itself. We felt very proud of her ..haha!

In a bid to avoid crowd and queue, we woke up at 5am the next day just to take my aunt to the legendary Big Bad Wolf book sales at Mines Convention Centre. I got ten books for myself. The rest were for my nephews. With the ones I purchased earlier from Popular Book's RM5 sale corner, I figure it could last me a year. I read pretty fast and have a habit of not putting a book down until I'm done. That's why I make sure I don't start on a new book until I've done my chores and run my errands. Also, my eyes need a break!

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale

Books I Bought

Pavilion Mall is always stunning at this time of year so aunt and I headed there for a look-see. Lucky us came across a LINE pop-up store at Tokyo Street corner - they were giving out free gifts to anyone whose Birthday fell in January. My aunt and I qualified! We showed them our MyKad, the LINE app on our phone and voila, we were given a cute tee, a bag and stickers. My aunt found it unbelievable - "So easy to get free things one meh..."

Christmas At Pavilion, KL

Free LINE Merchandise

My aunt went home, there ended her adventures in KL. Then came the Winter Solstice Festival. This year, I made a different version of 'tangyuan' (glutinous rice ball). I rolled some up with organic moringa powder - it turned a lovely shade of green. We enjoyed it with honey chrysanthemum tea.

Moringa Tangyuan

When my cousin informed that she would be popping by my house one Saturday, I decided to bake her a cake. I woke up early, whipped up a batter for butter cake and kept my fingers crossed as it went into the oven.

It was wrapped prettily and passed to my cousin. She buzzed me later asking for the recipe, saying that they loved it so much. Sigh day ever.

Butter Cake For My Cousin

Christmas day itself was a quiet affair. We skipped doing the 'open house' thing this year. Hubs and I were feeling the after-effects of too much celebrating. It was nice to just chill at home. The feasting and festiveness hasn't ended and we both needed the break.

Rest Is The Sweet Sauce Of Labour~ Plutarch

Jan 1, 2018

12 Heralding The New Year With Music And Fireworks

Happy 2018 my wonderful friends,
I wish you a year filled with joyous moments,
And if you're hit with life's twists and bends,
I wish you strength and perseverance.

May you be blessed with all things good,
May your days be warmed by love and kindness,
Let no negative situation ruin your mood,
Do what you need to find your happiness.

Release the chains of hurt and regret,
Live a life of adventure and cheer,
Remember these wise words - forgive and forget,
It is the secret to feeling better. ๐Ÿ’

Happy New Year!
~ Sharon D.

Ten, nine, eight, boom! Fireworks lit the sky. I stood rooted to the quiet spot, mesmerised by the flowery display of light above. I wasn't the only one I realised. A group of firefighters had their hands in the air with their mobile phones on video mode. It put a smile on my face to see that. Sure wish I'd thought of taking a photo of them!

You must be wondering how I found a 'quiet spot' in such crowded place. Easy, just stick to the men in orange uniform by the roadside. I'm not sure about other places but being a regular countdown attendee at Publika Shopping Mall, I'm experienced enough to know where to stand for a great view of the fireworks and that debris can get into your eye if you're not careful. Best to have your glasses on.

A short video on the fireworks I oohed and aahed over:

Hubs and I actually started our adventure at 9PM, heading to the food court first for a meal. We explored the outdoor mall area only after that, maneuvering through crowds patiently and finally settling on a spot near the stage where live music was playing. A number of the songs were familiar and catchy, suitable for the crowd to join in.

Publika - Counting Down To The New Year

To tell you the truth, whilst I enjoyed the singing, I was really hoping to catch 'Hands Percussion'. I'm pleased they left it as the last performance of the night just before the countdown. They had the crowd at first drum beat. The energy was fantastic!

Amazing, huh?

Hands Percussion

I'm glad I still enjoy late night New Year Countdown celebrations. What can I say? Young at heart and still happening. Lol. Watching live performances by various artistes was a great way to end to my 2017. The fireworks were a magical start to 2018. Happy New Year ..cheers to another wonderful one!

Dec 22, 2017

22 The Newbie View : Mercedes-Benz E350e

Let me just start by saying that I am not a car enthusiast nor do I know much about the technical aspects of one. Other than occasionally watching Formula One races on TV, the automotive industry is something that I do not have a strong interest in. Simply put, I get that a car is a means of transport for me and you to get around. I also come with the driving expertise of an average Joe or some of you might conclude, the average senior citizen, if you have ever been my passenger.

But here I am at Hap Seng Star, surprised that I didn't fall asleep the moment I walked in. No, it was pretty interesting listening to Hubs and the car salesman discuss and argue points over Mercedes-Benz's E 350e plug-in hybrid model.

Mercedes-Benz E350e PHEV - Exterior

Mercedes-Benz E350e PHEV - Exterior

Mercedes-Benz E350e PHEV - Exterior

We even went for a test drive. This was when it really impressed me. The car comes with 'airmatic suspension'. Huh? If this was a cartoon show, you'd see a lot of question marks popping up around my head! This function allows the car to adjust itself when going over uneven surfaces ensuring a smooth drive. The car raises up an inch when going over small humps and lowers itself for more stability when driven at higher speeds. I certainly felt the difference sitting in the back seat. The ride was comfortable, very.

Test-Driving Mercedes-Benz E350e PHEV

Mercedes-Benz E350e PHEV - Interior

Mercedes-Benz E350e PHEV - Interior

The panoramic Sunroof is the stuff of dreams. I love the feeling of driving with the sun on my cheeks and as a passenger, looking at the stars and the moon on road trips afar.

Panoramic Sunroof

What else did I like about the car? Repeat after me - BURMESTER. Possibly the most awesome audio system ever! We cranked up the radio and it felt like I had my headphones on. The surround sound experience was out of this world. Burmester is now my favourite word.

Burmester Audio System and Ambient Lighting

Worried about side parking? Hah! The car does the job for you. In and out! It's almost eerie watching the car maneuver itself into the parking lot without driver assistance but it was also spectacular. It does reverse parking too. Makes you feel like giving the car a name, doesn't it?

"Well done, Kitt. Excellent parking skills."

"You're not too bad, Sharon ... given a mile of space."

"Really, this wireless charging pad is brilliant, Kitt but it's too small to fit a Samsung Note 8.

"The plus point? I don't like Apple either."

To be honest, the central door locking system wasn't my favourite part of the car. It irks me that the button is located on the driver's side. You have to use a stick just to reach it. There are so many occasions I can think of where this inconveniences both driver and passenger, especially when we take our old folks out. Like when you're on a road trip and stop for the loo for awhile leaving your parents or spouse in the car, or when you step out for a moment to buy a drink for them. In short, either everyone gets out of the car or someone has to reach over to the other end to lock it. The car's so wide, I'd need gorilla arms for that!

I love the boot which is equipped with contactless opening though. Swish your foot under the car and it pops up. No longer will I have to fumble for keys to open the boot when my arms are full with shopping bags ..that's if we get the car.

Overall, this car's a beauty with comfy leather seats and 64-colour ambient lighting. What's that, you say? It's that soft lighting inside the car illuminating door handles, the console and so forth creating a futuristic yet zen-like ambiance.


I find it amusing that I have written so much about a car but I dare bet that a couple of months into 2018, I probably won't remember many of the terms I mentioned above other than 'Burmester'. Lol.

Anyway, please forgive me if I have provided you with any inaccurate information. I was trying to keep up!

To tell you the truth, there's a whole lot of other cool stuff about the car that I've left out in this blog piece because I thought my brain was going to switch off from 'information overload'. I don't think I can take anymore technical stuff. Can we talk about food instead and how delicious it is? ๐Ÿ˜…

Let me end by wishing you Happy Winter Solstice Festival and Merry Christmas in advance. May you and your family be blessed with many happy moments and fond memories. ๐Ÿ‘ช ๐Ÿ’—

Dec 18, 2017

17 Taman Megah Night Market

December. Aah, the busiest month but I love it! Friends, family, food, fun, all the fond memories that come with - I like F words, don't you? Anyway, it was the cause of me leaving my blog unattended for awhile. Life happened!

Today, it being a quiet me-day, I decided to crank up the computer and tell the world that I finally had the opportunity to pop into Taman Megah's Sunday night market. It was a buzz of activity at 4.00PM with food vendors putting their tents up, arranging trays of goodies onto the table and cooking from their makeshift stoves.

Taman Megah Night Market

I met this wonderful lady who made the yummiest red velvet and most decadent chocolate cake. It was RM12 for both, I'm assuming at RM6 each.

Red Velvet and Chocolate Cakes at Taman Megah Pasar Malam

The kuih stall beckoned to me like bees to honey. I was drawn to the many variety of local cakes on display but resisted overbuying.

Kuihs at Taman Megah Night Market

These were the few I brought home. Come to think of it, it looks like I bought more than planned ..haha! The white and green domed sticky cakes on banana leaf were my favourite out of the lot. It was both filled with preserved radish, one stronger flavoured than the other. I have always had a preference for savoury kuihs. Hubs, on the other hand, leaned towards the sweet ones.

All these cakes are made with just a few ingredients mixed together typically involving the use of coconut, palm sugar, rice flour, tapioca, glutinous rice flour, sticky rice. They are all sticky cakes but vary in taste and texture. The blue glutinous rice cake is topped with grated coconut mixed with palm sugar. The green and white coconut milk cake comes with palm sugar and coconut filling. Then there's the sticky 9-layer steamed rice cake and tapioca cake. See? As we Malaysians would say, "Same-same but different!"

Sweet and Savoury Sticky Cakes from Taman Megah Night Market

For dinner, we packed home rice and some curry dishes. It was the aroma of spices that drew us to this stall and made us salivate. I drool every time I look at this picture.

Droolworthy Curry Dishes

Some other mixed rice dishes that were available. This is local food for you right there.

Mixed Rice Dishes

A small slab of roasted pork belly came home with us too. Don't know how that got into my bag. Alright, guilty for overindulging! I'm going to start pointing fingers at the guy who asked me to pay a visit to this night market - it's all his fault I'm a couple of kgs heavier today - that TM!

Roasted Pork Belly

But let's chill it with these awesome asamboi/sour plum drinks. Too satisfying for words.

Kedondong and Honey Lime with Asamboi

My walkabout at Taman Megah's Sunday night market ended with us heading to the car, sipping on these ice cold drinks. Can't wait to come back here to try the food at the other stalls, most likely in 2018!


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