Category Archives: Photos

“Why Manis”?

“Manis” in Malay means sweet. It could be in character or flavour. Developed by Ebizu Sdn. Bhd, there is a new Manis App that you can download to snap your receipts and earn points. With sufficient points, you can then redeem for vouchers like Tesco, Giant, MPH, Lazada and much more! Instead of throwing away your shopping receipts, why not keep them to take a photo via the Manis App. There are explanations on the steps to snap, enter shop name and location if not found, enter date, amount spend and SNAP it! With grey circles at corners of the snapped receipt, you can adjust and crop for best view before uploading the photo.

Just make sure that the receipt has a store name, location, date and total amount spent. You can even fold the receipts if they are too long and just show one or two of the items bought so that the photos fits into the smartphone for clarity.

Hence, now it pays to keep your shopping or dining receipts and remember that you have to snap it within 24 hours, otherwise it will become invalid and will be rejected. So, don’t throw them away and keep snapping until you hit your targetted points to redeem for vouchers. I have already gotten my RM 10 MPH voucher since I love to buy books and read them in my free time. In Penang, I patronise Gurney Plaza once in a while and will visit MPH for the latest books on finances and self help material. The RM 10 MPH voucher that I got for hitting 3250 points was redeemed earlier and there is an online help chat to query them on any issues or problems. They will reply within 3 days or earlier.

Above is the list of vouchers that you can redeem including McDonalds that I did not mention earlier. Yes, there are many vouchers to suit your taste and likes. Since I love reading, I chose MPH voucher instead to get a discount of RM 10 should I buy a new book to upgrade myself.

After accumulating up to 6000+ points in 2 months, I redeemed my MPH voucher for slightly over 3000 points and the total points are now halfed and deducted. Each RM 1 = 1 point. Normally I myself don’t spend so much, which is RM 6,000+ in 2 months!. These are shared receipts with my partner and note that petrol receipts are also accepted, which helps to increase the points quite a lot. We also buy rather a lot of vitamins and supplements which helps the points to increase a lot whenever they are accepted.

Certain receipts are NOT accepted such as hand written receipts, hotel receipts, travel receipts, just to name a few. Just check their terms and conditions and you will find out more information. If you refer friends, you will get 500 points too.

Above is the Manis app that you can download from the App store on your smartphone.

Free Website Builder

Paradise Hotel sea view

You can check out on www.wix.com which is a free website builder with hundreds of templates for mobile friendly smart phones and desktops. There are various prices from the most affordable to the premium ones with e-commerce supported. Note that the prices are in US dollars. So, for anyone staying in Malaysia, that means multiplying by 4.5 into Ringgit. I just came back from a free 1 night stay at Paradise Hotel with stunning view outside the balcony. Using the voucher for pay for 3 adults, free for 2, the 5 of us had a buffet dinner last night at Paradise Hotel where my partner was forced to be a member since he did the tennis court for them.

The buffet dinner was worth the money. It has flower crabs, satay (marinated barbequed chicken on skewers), ‘char koay teow’, salad, soups, drinks, lamb shank, vegetables, noodles, and much more. Should there be any leftover, we will keep them in a plastic bag to bring home for free meals instead of going out to buy.

Paradise hotel hill view

Above is another shot of the hill view while the first photo was sea view. I guess our room was both sea view and hill view facing in Tanjung Bungah. Paradise hotel was formerly owned by Berjaya which was unsuccessful and the elevator took 15 minutes to arrive in the good old days! With the new management, they have upgraded the elevator and it was faster now, even though we had to wait some time due to peak period as many guests were checking out before 1pm. Otherwise it will be chargeable after 1:00pm.

Overall, the stay was worth is since it is located by the beach with splendid views of the hills and seas. It is a getaway for 1 night from all the stress of work and busyness in the daily grind. I was rejuvenated and felt relaxed and it was therapeutic for the soul. Going for holidays now and then such as this is certainly worth the time and effort in driving up the winding roads to Tanjung Tokong in Penang.

I am not saying work is a burden. It is good as I need to put food on the table for my family especially dad with my monthly contribution of RM 1,050 for the household expenses. With this, they are able to eat out every day and mum does not have to cook for a regimen anymore unlike in the past.

Classic Teddy Cafe at 1st Avenue Mall

Classic-Teddy-Cafe

Classic Teddy Cafe recently opened on the 4th level of 1st Avenue Mall in Penang. It is a British establishment with a teddy bear theme. This photo was taken at the entrance with the famous UK soldier with a tall black hat and rifle in red blazer and black pants. It is located opposite Sakae Sushi and near the rest rooms. The place was left vacant for some time until it was refurbished for the new cafe.

Mushroom-soup

For starters, I ordered mushroom soup for RM 10 per bowl that comes with thick gravy and chopped button mushrooms and perhaps some black shitake mushrooms and soup cream outlining a teddy bear face. I also had Earl Grey tea in a cute teddy bear designed mug while my friend ordered strawberry smoothie topped with whipped cream in a clear container.

The mushroom soup tasted delicious with plenty of mushrooms flavour in a thick soup. The Earl Grey Tea was just right and I had a sip of the strawberry smoothie that was pleasant and sweet.

Pan-Fried-Seabass

For the mains, I had pan-fried seabass with florets of broccoli and carrots on the sides. There was a scoop of mashed potato drizzled with gravy together with the seabass that came in a big portion. My friend had barbecued chicken breast with the same vegetables on the side.

I think the seabass would have tasted better with a slice of lemon to squeeze out the juice for that extra kick and more sauce like lemon butter or even thousand island. As it was quite new, except for another table and our table, the rest of the place was empty, perhaps due to its pricey selections.

Interesting Places to Visit at Penang Hill

Welcome-to-Penang-Hill

This is Penang Hill’s entrance, the most and only famous hill patronised by tourists worldwide in Penang. There is Bellevue Hotel right at the top since time immemorial and I am not sure if they have also refurbished the old hotel, but under DAP’s rule, things have certainly look much better than it was before with more attractions and improvements.

Reached-to-the-top

Waiting time is about 20 minutes or less with a long queue; hence the train is much faster now. When you reach to the top, this is the view you will encounter as you disembark on the left side of the train if you are facing the hill. There is Owl Museum and Cliff Cafe.

Love-Locks

If you would take a walk up to the top of the above structures, you will encounter ‘Love Locks’ similar to the one in Paris’ Love Lock Bridge. But this is safer and will not weigh down the metal holders as they are made of pink plastics. You can sign on the pink love locks with your name and that of your loved one or husband or spouse to seal your eternal love and bonding. Simply look for an empty one.

Hill-Buggy-Service

Tired of walking? Just pay RM30 for the buggy service with a tour guide cum driver to ferry you around the place and along the way, you can see a few privately owned mansions atop the hill, with one supposedly owned by Ananda Krishnan, Maxis’ head honcho, a Malaysian businessman and philanthropist. Nicknamed A K, currently he is estimated to have a net worth of US$7.9 billion according to Forbes’ latest annual report.

At the end of the route, there is Monkey Cup walk-about tour with commentary from a guide. For the adventurous, you can also access Penang Hill by hiking up via Moon Gate in Tanjung Bungah or take a 4-wheel drive or SUV up the hill road.

The-Habitat-Banner

Take a walk in Penang Hill’s latest experience called ‘The Habitat’, experiencing breathtaking vistas of a fragrant jungle walk.

Cliff-Cafe

After some walking around and viewing ‘The Habitat’, you can have your food at Cliff Cafe near the train station.

Various-Desserts

This is a banner showing the wide repertoire of delicious desserts ranging from RM4 to RM20 to choose from. The local desserts will quench your thirst after some exploration around the hill.

Souvenir-shops

Inside the Cliff Cafe are 2-3 souvenir shops selling a plethora of fridge magnets, including Hard Rock Cafe Penang t-shirts, plus a host of other memorable items. The ambience is made of wood and you could feel like you are in Papa Rich Restaurant, well known for its wooden interior.

The-Owl-Museum

After a round of chendol at the Cliff Cafe, take a walk downstairs to Owl Museum. The first museum of its kind in Southeast Asia, the Owl Museum displays a collection of owl-inspired artifacts, sculptures and paintings created by various artists across the continent. There are souvenirs related to owls including t-shirts and fridge magnets for the buying.

Hand-Wax-Art

At the exit of Owl Museum, take some flights of stairs up to reach another food cafe where you can see hand wax art as shown above. Simply dip your hand into the warm wax for it to form the shape and the process is fast with your model hand wax finished in a jiffy. You can make your own hand wax creation in various colours too.

Exotic-Pets-Instant-Photo

As you come out from Cliff Cafe, you will hear loud chirps of a cockatoo and a blue-and-yellow feathered parrot that seems to call out “come take photos with us”. For RM15 you can take your favourite photos holding the birds. There is also an iguana in a cage for the bold-hearted and a python which we did not see.

David-Browns-Restaurant

On the way up from exotic pets instant photo taking, you can walk up to an upmarket restaurant called David Brown’s Strawberry Hill @ Penang Hill. We had the signature dish – chicken and mushroom pie for RM48 with Virgin Pina Colada without alcohol and a cappuccino for RM94 total, including 6% GST and 10% service charge.

Viewing-Deck

There are several binoculars at RM1 for 2 minutes of viewing at the viewing deck. Stools of various heights are catered to children of various ages for them to see the whole of Georgetown. Perched atop Penang Hill at a breathtaking 800 meters above sea level, visitors will literally get a bird’s eye view of the island.

As you walk nearer to the train station, there is a high lift to take you down to the ground, around 2-3 storeys height, instead of using the long stairs for more nature walk. And if you are tired, just head for the lift up again. There are rest rooms at the station before taking the train down back home again. That wraps up your visit to Penang Hill.

Why You Should Try Ming Garden Restaurant, Penang at Least Once

Chinese-kale-kailan

Ming Garden Restaurant is situated in Phase 1 of Penang Times Square on the second floor. Every week, it is fully packed with diners due to Chinese Weddings, and you’d be lucky to get a table for walk-in patrons. Above is ‘kailan’, a Chinese name for Chinese kale or Chinese broccoli, cooked in 2 styles – One is julianned and fried with salted fish and small prawns, the other is stir-fried in garlic.

Grouper

Above is a large grouper, steamed with scallion sauce and garnished with spring onions. This dish alone cost RM 156, which I think is way too pricey, but then again groupers are supposedly more costly compare to other fishes like pomfret, etc. This fish was very fresh, straight from the water tank, gut removed and into the cooking wok.

5-seasons

This is 5 seasons consisting of stir-fried baby squids in sweet-sour savoury onions, deep-fried soft shelled crabs, mocked prawns and fried real prawns. Another dish is the green peas stir-fried with scallops, button mushrooms, carrots and ginger. It was delicious with 5 varieties of dishes. The cold platter was around RM 60 which should be affordable for Singaporeans due to the exchange rate.

Noodles-with-mushrooms

The last dish was braised ee-fu noodles with very little crab meat and some ‘shitake’ black mushrooms and vegetables on the sides. It came in a big serving, so we had to take away and pack some back. There were 5 of us and Ming Garden Restaurant is the biggest Chinese Restaurant in Penang co-owned by Bali Bali Seafood and Fong Wei Restaurant.

Stayed at Maritime Waterfront Hotel

maritime-waterfront-hotel

On 30th August, a Sunday, we stayed at Maritime Waterfront Hotel, choosing the Executive Suite for $448 per night plus another $3 for the Penang government. It was to celebrate our 12th Anniversary together and it seems to be a long time with its many challenges of working together and sharing a life as soul mates with its ups and downs. Above is a picture of 2 swans pecking together made from white towels. Rose petals were scattered on the side table with 2 red hearts cut out from paper.

maritime-waterfront-view-from-sky-garden

Here is a view from the Sky Garden of Maritime Waterfront Hotel, possible a 4-star hotel with a swimming pool and gym. For $448, buffet breakfast is included for 2. It includes nasi lemak, fried noodles, various cereals, veggies, milk, juices and muffins.

crab-claws

For dinner, we drove to the nearby hawker centre in Sungai Pinang which is just 3 minutes away. My spouse ordered several dishes, amongst them crab claws as shown above for $12 a plate of 3 pieces. It has chopped vegetables mixed with crab meat, patted into a dough on crab claw and deep fried for a sumptuous meal.

scallops

We also ordered scallops, garnished with stir-fried garlic for $12 a plate as well for 2 pieces. It was finished in one mouthful which was yummy. This particular hawker centre has 42 different stalls and many varieties of affordable food to choose from. For my main meal, I had sliced grouper in soup with thin noodles, mixed with sliced ginger for an ‘oopmh’ taste that lingers on the taste buds. Hope you like the pictures taken in my iPhone 6 and emailed over without using any Photoshop to resize or edit the pictures.

My Birthday Yesterday at Foong Wei Heong Restaurant

I celebrated my birthday yesterday at Foong Wei Heong Chinese Restaurant at Sri Bahari Road in Penang. My parents, youngest sister and best friend came along. The dish above is four seasons consisting of stir fried scallops garnished with vegetables, honey coated fried chicken, spring roll and mayonnaise prawns. This dish cost $60 and enough to serve 5 of us.

Gold Choice Gourmet Coffee was open last month in Penang Times Square and they offer barrista classes on how to serve gourmet coffee. They are a franchise business with several machines for coffee making costing in the range of thousands and easily 4 thousand upwards. I guess the boss must be quite wealthy, because they close rather early compared to the surrounding places and by 9:00pm, it is already closed.

The above was ordered at Chinese Recreation Club where my friend is a lifetime member with no monthly charges. It is called green dragon vegetables stir-fried with garlic and garnished with stripes of red chilly. It tasted rather crunchy and soothe the palate.

This is one of my favourite dish – stir-fried egg with chunks of crab meat, dried scallops and water chessnut, garnished with julienned lettuce. Depending on who takes the order, the dish can taste as ordinary as fried egg or a gourmet dish with lots of crab meat chunks.

This is the first time I ordered and tried the Indian curry prawns with fried bun that was crusted on the outside. The bun was superb when dipped in the curry and the flavour melts in your mouth. The prawns were large and I think could be Tiger Prawns.

The food taken all together where we had our dinner at Chinese Recreation Club recently.

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