Sunday, July 31, 2016

OYO - A Promising Branded Network of Hotels, The Story

Once upon a time, in the land of India, lived a young chap by the name of Ritesh Agarwal.
This fellow young chap once had gone far and wide and had traveled extensively starting from the age of 17. During his adventures of wanderlust, he had boarded in more than 150 different places of accommodation ranging from bed and breakfast to guest houses to hotels and many more. On his wide experience of expedition, he found out often not knowing of what to expect on his next place of stay. It is usually a surprise as there were no standardization across hotels especially when it comes to non-chain or unbranded hotels.

Many a times the trolls of unsightly linens and the ghoulish plumbing system with shoddy carpentry work alongside with the monstrous and devilish electrical systems.
And so our young protagonist decided to wield his sharp weapons and take on those shady characters with full-on combat! Away he went on the month of March 2013 with his trusty weapon of choice called OYO.
OYO had once been "Oravel Stays" but had since leveled up to a much powerful weapon rather than just a handy tool. With the weapon being wield, those pesky and unassuming monsters all die by it's hands and soon rooms booked with the OYO system can be assured of a set standard and people know what to expect those bearing the symbol of OYO.
Travelers can expect a clean and spacious rooms with hygienic washrooms, free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast and 24X7 customer support across every room at any hotel bearing the OYO symbol. And that's not all. It also provides the affordable prices that no other in the budget segment offers today. They also link all it's functions using technology so that the customers can have a seamless experience.
Users can do so through their website as above (at or through their apps.
After vanquishing a many foes from the land of India, they have decided to take their quest in helping other lands in fighting this similar problem. And so, Ritesh with his mighty OYO had since then taken their battle outside of India starting with Malaysia.
Currently, there are 200+ hotels and over 5000 rooms that's setup with the OYO mark of standard across cities in Malaysia, namely, Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Petaling Jaya, Rawang, Seremban, Shah Alam, Subang, Penang, Malacca, Johor Bahru, Langkawi, Ipoh, Taiping, Kuala Kangsar, Kampar, Seri Iskandar, Kota Kinabalu and Cameron Highland and as one by one those notorious shrouds of mystery gets slain by the OYO brand, the expansion to other states and soon to other countries is forthcoming and imminent.
So join in in helping out the standardization throughout boarding places by downloading their app here: Download App Page or have a look at their Facebook Page here.

As we move towards the ending of our story, I hope you will make it a happy one.
My gift to you would be this 20% Discount code that you can use whenever you book a room through the OYO app.
Enter in the discount code:
And you will be given a 20% discount on it.

So what will be the ending to this story? You decide on it. And I hope that I can see you at a happy ending to this story where we're assured of a satisfactory standardized boarding room with seamless and hassle-free bookings all across the world.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Appreciation Night at Nicsmann 1940s by Lewre

A fine slow step towards another event which I braved through to see what dinner at Nicsmann offer.

Since TREC is such a new location with Zouk being the main anchor tenant of the place, I cheekily headed to a recently discovered free parking due to that place still have not being fully completed whereby the main tenant at the end of what still is considered TREC is Jupiter Club. Though Jupiter Club had opened it's doors and occupies the ground floor parking area as their valet parking service area, due to those barrier gates still not operational, the parking there is free and that was clearly to my benefit during that time. But of course, Jupiter Club wasn't the place that I was going to. Oh, no. Instead, off I went headed off to Nicsmann 1940s by Lewre to eagerly anticipate on what they had cooked up for dinner on this very fine evening where becomes our main event organizer.

Nicsmann 1940s by Lewre is a part of Friendscino, a name that I'm more familiar with than the former mentioned. It's address is at: TREC Kuala Lumpur Unit E1-02, 436 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the opening hours as follows:
11:00 am - 2:00 am
11:00 am - 5:00 am
11:00 am - 2:00 am

But enough ramblings on the restaurant let's dive right in to what dishes has been offered to us thanks to for providing us a taste of it that night in collaboration with FoodInk.

Our menu for the evening was simple. A usual complete meal course which consisted of an appetizer, a soup, a main course and a dessert with a free flow of Mango Ice Tea to wet your parched throats.

First came the appetizer in the form of the Classic Caesar Salad with Smoked Duck Breast.
Easily identifiable which I simply adore eating smoked duck breast. Some may find it a tad too salty but usually Smoked Duck Breast tends to be that way and can have it's similarity as pork ham. But putting it on a Caesar Salad can balance off by hitting on the greens. In this instance, the greens were adequate but I wish that the cheese provided were a little more spread out rather than concentrated at a layer and an area. Of course you can just push it aside with your fork and spooned it into your mouth when you want to mix it along with what you're eating so that's not much of a problem. Croutons are always a welcome delight for me in any given salad dish.

Soup provided would be the Homemade Wild Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil:
Just tiny 3 dabs of Truffle Oil onto a nice sedimentary mushroom soup where the taste of mushroom was excellent and every scoop tends to send off some good bits to chew on where it's tiny enough to swallow whole should you prefer so. A well made mushroom soup which I adored heartily sipping through it.

Next were the main dish where you have a choice of Grilled Chicken Chop, Fresh Salmon Trout, Grilled Rack of Lamb or Grilled Meltique Beef which I chose to go for the Lamb route.
Due to the variety they're providing and they're cooked to order along with the many guests in the event, this took some real considerable waiting time before they finally dished out to everyone at the event. However, we get the distraction in the form of some live saxophone music to appease our mood as we await for the much anticipated dish of the whole evening.

The Rack of Lamb came and the presentation was impressive. Stacked with some sauteed fresh vegetables that's nicely cooked and some mashed potatoes at the bottom, those are nice and I can tell that it's fresh. The Black Pepper sauce provided that goes along with the lamb was nice but unnecessary for the rack of lamb. If anything, I think it would go better with some mint sauce. A little on the tough side for the rack of lamb but it's still a nice dinner that I had. I managed to savor the Grilled Chicken Chop chop a bit and that one was more delicious and goes really well with the black pepper sauce.

And finally dessert. They cooked up a spectacular dessert display to end our night with glee and celebration:
A sharing 4 items dessert platter that starts off with some fireworks for the pizzazz effect.
There's a Chocolate Lava cake with Vanilla Ice Cream on top, a Bread & Butter Pudding that's soft and almost has the texture of an egg tart, A Chocolate Brownie and also the Creme Brulee. They certainly capture the attention with such a presentation and the dark and light color balance contrast is certainly an amusing sight to behold.

The night ended off rather late due to a lot of waiting in between. Well, what do you expect from such a fine dining establishment. They cooked to order your mains and they ensure everyone finishes and starts off at the same time and I thank you for the experience to taste their food.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Ippudo Malaysia Grand Menu Food Tasting - Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) Outlet

Continuation from the previous post, the next day, I went for the Ippudo BSC outlet for a completely different menu to savor what they have to offer.

Again like the previous night's menu, it consists of 5 appetizers, followed by the main ramen and then conclude with a dessert.

So let's jump right into what we had on this good evening at this very elegant place of dining.
The first starter was the Salmon Mango Salad:
As the name suggests, besides the main ingredient being salmon, the mango too takes on a dominant role in this dish. It's natural sweet flavors tends to stand out and permeates throughout this dish giving it an otherwise missing key feature. The salmon was there for the providence of meat while the other assortment of vegetables along with croutons on yuzu dressing became the necessary filler in order to make this into a complete salad.

Amaebi and Avacado came as the next starter for our very fine dinner for the night:
Sitting atop prettily those avocados, seaweeds were provided where you're supposed to grab one, make a nice cone shape out of it and scoop the sweet shrimp and avocado to dump it in there and eat the whole thing up. This is quite a refreshing taste for me and I quite like it. Dabbed with some wasabi sauce, it gives off a little kick towards the end and the gravy at the bottom propels it to a much more succulent taste.

Next came the Chicken Nanban:
Basically, this is just marinated deep fried chicken served with homemade tartar sauce. But it's excellent in it's flavors. Enough to get it at every bite instead of a dry and bland chicken. Generally, you don't need the tartar sauce at all because the chicken in itself tasted fairly good in each bite and should be considered eating on it's own.

It's time for some sushi and we were given the Salmon Sushi Moriawase:
How can I ever resist eating salmon sushi. That's my favorite type of sushi among all. We were given 3 types of different sushi and you guessed it, all comes from Salmon with one being the Salmon Roe Sushi. A salmon 3 way if you may. This Salmon Sushi Platter costs RM44 though.

Another foil dish like the previous day but this one is the Seafood Foil Yaki:
Just like the previous night's Salmon Foil Yaki, the sauce remains the same and so it looks the same as well but because the ingredient now is seafood, it changes the taste drastically. I find that this seafood pitted against this sauce is a much better mix and makes a much better tasting dish. I also like how they throw in the chili with loads of seed in it so be warned if you aren't able to take spicy. Do not accidentally partake of the chili with seeds because that's really hot. This serves at RM39.50.

With the starters all said and done, we moved on to the main ramen dish.
Though it may look like a dish of raw ingredients being portioned and ready to be cooked, I assure you that this is how it is served. You're supposed to mixed everything up to eat it. It serves with a bowl of soup at the side. The soup is to be had as itself with one Gyoza in it and not to be mixed together with the ramen dish. The pork that's served along with the ramen may be all too fat but I'm sure they'll fix it up the next time with some lean meat in em. All of the ingredient mixed together provide a much exciting taste with a lot going on when you eat it altogether. The price of the ramen (which is called Mazesoba) is RM28.

Finally came the dessert:
Some refreshing Watermelon Sherbet that's served with some strawberries, pineapple preserves and some cheesecake aptly washes down all the grime that was had earlier with the ramen. There's some chocolate chip sprinkled around on the watermelon sherbet which gives off some nice chew to the otherwise soft dessert. This costs RM19.

An overall wonderful experience thanks to the people of Ippudo for providing this tasting menu and I'm truly grateful I'm able to be a part of it.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Ippudo Malaysia Grand Menu Food Tasting - The Gardens Mall Outlet

Over the period of last week, I had the privilege of being invited to Ippudo's Grand Menu tasting at 2 of their outlets with the first one being The Gardens Mall outlet. Located slightly hidden from the more main and heavier walkway of the pedestrian foot traffic, this place still garner quite a crowd when the time strikes dinner time. Here are the delicious items savored during the tasting of the menu at Ippudo, The Gardens Mall.

It started off with a few appetizer, to be exact 5. First came the Peperon Edemame.
I'm sure most of you are familiar with what an Edamame is should you eat Japanese food. They're usually this appetizer that are peas in a pod. Mostly had an exterior that's coated with salt, the one that's called Peperon Edemame is a unique blanched one that's tossed in dry chili, Japanese spice and olive oil. Though the olive oil may prove to me something that gets my hand grimy, the blend of this unique taste has got me addicted in consuming it.

Next came the Hakata Hitokuchi Nigiri:
Hand made rolled nigiri, these rice balls contains sliced omelet and basil topped with mentaiko on top and as you can see, consists of a seaweed as it's base to which the nigiri is placed on top. Perfect for a mouthful of goodness as you pop these babies into your tasting organ. It has that slightly sweet taste with the omelet and such and a nice crunch to it having the seaweed at the bottom.

Further along in this tasting event, the next was this Soft Shell Crab Bun:
This reminded me a little of the Hong Kong Pork Chop Bun where they have a piece of meat in between "mantau" buns. The same concept applies here and the meat at the center was the soft shell crab. It goes very well with the bun where the bun in itself is nice and delicious. Soft in it's texture and once that flavor of the soft shell crab sinks in, the bun tones it down and gives birth to a lovely combination of flavors. This probably was one of my favorite for the evening.

Along came the Takoyaki next:
If ever you eat Japanese food before, Takoyaki is a common well-known Japanese dish. Takoyaki or Octopus Dumpling comes traditionally with the teriyaki sauce for an enhanced taste and some Bonito Flakes on top dancing away to the beat of the heat and steam emitted from the Takoyaki. These are priced at RM14 at Ippudo.

Our final appetizer came in the form of Salmon Foil Yaki:
Bathed in their special spicy ponzu sauce, the steamed salmon has a variety of assorted vegetables to go along with it. I must warn you though, it contains quite a fair bit of bones on their salmon and it's kinda annoying fishing out those bones from the fish. But their sourish spicy sauce is a delight to be had.

The main Karaka-men next were brought to us:
The broth that goes along with the smooth ramen is a joy to me and their chashu would satisfy my meat cravings. They have up to level 3 of spiciness on this dish and though the spiciness increases at level 3, it does not deter the taste nor make it any difference as level one. The heat does cause me to sweat quite a bit but didn't stop me from finishing it up be it level 3 or level 1. Priced at RM27.90 a bowl.

Our dessert came in the form of the Ice-cream Bun:
There's 2 scoops of ice cream served with some deep fried buns and that is the Vanilla and Green Tea ice cream. Just pop them altogether and enjoy a symphony of much going ons. LOL.

The Ippudo at The Gardens Mall is on the 3rd Floor, Lot T218 and opens from 10am - 10pm, daily.

Next, I venture off into the tasting menu of Ippudo's Bangsar Shopping Centre outlet where a completely different set of dishes were eaten.