Second Best Hotel in Xiamen, China – Part 3

As mentioned earlier in my first post of Xiamen, we were supposed to switch hotels after the first night. The second hotel, without a doubt, was much better than the one we stayed in. The next morning, we went for breakfast, packed and took a cab to the next hotel.

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Couldn’t resist taking the picture of giant sneakers!

The hotel that we were going to was called Wyndham Hotel Xiamen, which is also ranked #2 by TripAdvisor. Once we entered the lobby, it felt like we were in a different world altogether. The majestic chandeliers were so grand and sparkly, the floors so smooth and shiny, and the area so spacious! Luxurious, definitely luxurious.

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Grand chandelier in the lobby

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Spiral staircase

While Saucer was performing the necessary check in procedures, I couldn’t help but be awed by my surroundings.

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Spacious reception area

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witch at Wyndham Hotel

Soon, our room was ready and we were given a key card. Look, even the lift lobby was so classy!

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Lift lobby at 15th floor

We were given a twin bed room, but each bed was wide enough for 2 persons! It was larger than the standard size single bed, but just slightly smaller than a queen bed. Best of all? The bed was super comfy and the pillows were made from down. Heavenly! :)

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The large twin beds

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Study desk by the window

The room had a floor to ceiling window which opened to a  glorious view of the river!

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View of the room

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Coffee and tea making facilities

Each day, two bottles of complimentary water were given.

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Complimentary drinking water

The bathroom was spacious, with a cubicle for shower and a cubicle for toilet.

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Basin in the washroom

The shower head was huge with strong water pressure – exactly what a good shower is made of. :)

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Huge shower head

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Toilet bowl in a separate cubicle

But what I love most of the wash room is the bath tub! I actually spent a lot of my time in the tub having a bubble bath! Exceptionally delightful especially after working out in the gym. :)

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Every morning, we woke up to the amazing view of the river.

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Morning view from the room

And every evening, we were treated to a beautiful sunset, all from the comfort of our room. The island opposite of the river is called Gulangyu, which is synonymous to Xiamen’s pride. It’s an island that we visited a few days later, together with my friends from Beijing. :)

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Sunset from our room

Needless to say, our experience in Wyndham Hotel had been nothing short of fabulous. Well, when the room rate is about RMB1,000+ per night, some expectations are bound to be there, no?

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Wyndham Hotel Xiamen

For more information of the hotel, check out this website:

Street Food in Xiamen – Part 2

As a continuation of Part 1 in Xiamen, once we reached the famous Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian Street, we started looking for food! Our first meal of the day was 6 hours ago in the plane and we were famished! After a few minutes of walking, we spotted a busy shop with a long queue. Our principle was simple, if there’s a long queue, it’s good. 😛 Don’t judge us!

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Walking along the Zhong Shan Lu

The shop apparently sold noodles with various types of toppings! Again, we couldn’t understand the Chinese words which were apparently the directions on how to order, so we just watched and learnt. :) So we were supposed to order either noodles or dumplings (two of their specialties), and if we chose noodles, then we had to point out which toppings we wanted. Since we weren’t sure how they charged, we just chose around 3 toppings each.

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Various toppings for noodles

I chose the shrimps, squid rings and pork belly, while Saucer chose mostly pork innards and pork belly, which seemed popular with the locals! We also ordered a dumpling and when everything was ready, we paid. By then only we found out that each bowl of noodle was only charged RMB5, regardless of the number of toppings chosen! Aisay, should have chosen more! *kiasu*

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沙茶面 “Sha Cha Mian” – literally Sand Tea Noodles (RMB5)

So these noodles are actually known as 沙茶面 “Sha Cha Mian“, literally translated to Sand Tea Noodles. These noodles are actually very popular in Xiamen, for you could see them being sold in almost every noodle shop. The soup had a clay colour, due to the addition of pulverised peanuts, which made it very aromatic. There was also a hint of spiciness to it, though not strong. Overall, the soup was just thick and hearty, flavourful and warming to the stomach!

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Saucer’s noodles with pork innards

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My noodles with shrimp, squid rings and pork belly

We loved the noodles so much that we went back a few days later! :) Of course, not to forget their dumpling which was another specialty. The dumpling was different from the ones we have back in Malaysia, in that the amount of filling used was less and the rice much softer. It was also customary to eat it with chilli sauce, which I found to be quite special. After a few bites, I got used to it and found myself enjoying it! :)

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Rice Dumpling

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Restaurant 1980 – famous for Noodles and Dumplings

After the satisfying meal, we continued our adventure down the Zhong Shan Road. It’s actually a really long road and we were barely a quarter way through! Remember I was saying how Xiamen is famous for tea leaves? You could even see Chinese tea pot and cups as statues for a fountain!

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Cute fountain

Since we didn’t have any drinks during our meal, we were hunting for something to soothe our thirst. And we spotted this unassuming booth almost hidden just under an escalator, named 700cc. Fortunately, they had pictures on the booth or we would have had difficulty ordering.

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700cc Pearl Milk Tea stall

The stall sold Pearl Milk Tea of various flavours served in a 700cc cup, which was actually quite large, all for RMB3! Yes, you heard me right! Only RMB3, which translated to about RM1.50 for a large glass of Pearl Milk Tea! Oh my, we were really happy with our find! And best of all, it was delicious! They gave PLENTY of pearls and the tea was fragrant and strong. I loved it!

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700cc Pearl Milk Tea (RMB3)

It was getting dark and Zhong Shan Lu was getting busier by the minute. What was initially a rather quiet road had turned to be busy with people!

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Look at the crowd!

The street was lined with lots of fashion stores, restaurants, fast foods, tea shops and souvenir shops! Just like this one that Saucer was looking at!

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Souvenir shop

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KFC spotted!

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So was McDonald’s!

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Zhong Shan Lu

Further towards the middle of the road, there was a cross road with more hawker stalls selling street food! The street with hawker stalls was really narrow and packed with people that it was a chore just standing there waiting for our food! One of my favourite was the BBQ squid! This man was really kind and could customize the squid according to your liking. I asked for extra hot and spicy, and he put in extra spices and chilli while he was grilling it. *drools*

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Grilled BBQ Squid stall

This stall was quite hard to miss, not because of the seller but because of the smell! It was seriously the stall with the most fragrant smell along the street! I guess it must be the spices he used, it kept me going back for more. *LOL*

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Grilled Squid (RMB5/each)

Another popular street food there was this popiah-like roll, which was filled with lots of chopped vegetables and tea leaves. The tea leaves added added another dimension to the otherwise plain vegetable roll. Very creative, don’t you think? Best of all, it only cost RMB2 each!

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Vegetable popiah (RMB2)

There were plenty of other hawker stalls along the street, but we didn’t have a big enough stomach for all of them! *LOL* Let me just show you some of the street food available.

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Looked like beef

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Variety of meat skewers

Oh Saucer tried this jelly-like thing which was filled with octopus and some other weird stuff! Don’t really know why he’s into these weird cuisines but they’re certainly not my cup of tea!

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Octopus in jelly?

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Looked like agar-agar

Last but not least, before we headed back to the hotel, we stopped by for a last dosage of dessert! It was a glass of mixed beans and nuts which was pretty filling.

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The Dessert Stall

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Concoction of mixed beans, nuts, yam and sweet potato

With that, we walked back to the hotel happily but exhausted! Look at how pretty the street was at night!

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Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian street at night

The next day, we would be checking out and move to another hotel paid by Saucer’s company. *hint: More luxurious!* Wait for it!

Landing in Xiamen, China – Part 1

If you have been following my Twitter updates, you would have known that Saucer and I flew (again!), this time to Xiamen, Fujian province, China, about one month ago. It was technically Saucer’s company trip which was supposed to last 3 days, but we extended it to a week since we were already there. We arrived a day before his conference started, so the first night’s hotel was under our own expenses. I consulted my Beijing friends on the hotel recommendations and we ended up staying at this hotel called East Vanguard or Wan Jia Dong Fang (万佳东方) Hotel.

Xiamen Part 1

Wan Jia Dong Fang Hotel

It is quite a pain if you don’t know Chinese whenever you visit China, because most of the communication is being done in Mandarin. Also, if you noticed, the hotel name is also purely in Chinese characters! So, if you’re Chinese-blind like both of us, you better start jotting down the names on paper. :) From the Xiamen airport, we took a cab to the hotel (by showing the driver my piece of paper :P) and it was only less than RMB40 (~RM20) for the ride!

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Customary tea set in every hotel we stayed in Xiamen

When we reached the reception, it was another headache as I muttered out the little Mandarin that I knew, trying to get my room reservation. Luckily, the girls understood my difficulty and were really friendly to me! Before long, we were given keys to our double room! I must say, for RMB288/night (~RM144), we got a pretty good deal!

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King-sized bed

The bed was King sized, with comforter and plush pillows. One gripe though, for I felt that the bed was a little too hard! *LOL* Also, I realized that out of the 2 hotels that we stayed in, both provided the tea-making facilities. I soon found out that Xiamen was actually famous in producing “Tie Kuan Yin” tea leaves, hence you can see loads of tea shops in Xiamen!

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King-sized bed

The room also came with a flat screen LCD TV! Not bad, right? But I didn’t really watch that much TV as most of the programmes were local and in Chinese. 😛

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Flat screen LCD

The bathroom and toilet were spotlessly clean, and there was even a bathtub!

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Bathtub with window to the bed :)

Toiletries were plentiful and I loved their comb and toothbrushes! They looked like they’re of higher quality compared to the normal toothbrushes I found from hotels. Will show you a picture perhaps in the next post? 😉

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Artsy painting on the wall

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Entrance of Wan Jia Dong Fang Hotel, Xiamen

On our first day, by the time we checked in, it was already past 3pm. Since we were hungry, we decided to go out and look for food. We asked the receptionists for recommendations and they asked us to walk to their famous Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian Market, which was about 15 minutes away. Considering their cool weather that time (around 16C), we decided to walk and do some sightseeing along the way.

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Zhong Shan garden

Along the way, we passed by the Zhong Shan garden, but we didn’t go in, because I was already famished! In fact, the only thing I was paying attention to was food! *LOL*

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Balloons outside the Zhong Shan Garden

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Building just opposite the Zhong Shan road

Soon, we saw the road that we were looking for! Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian Street!

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Welcome to Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian Street

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Saucer at Zhong Shan Lu

We were actually at the other end of the Zhong Shan Lu, the quieter end, in fact. The road stretches for quite long, perhaps over 1km? And it ends just by the sea, overlooking an island. Anyway, once we entered the road, we spotted a few young girls sitting on their skateboards.

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Young girls on skating boards

They chatted for a while and soon, they were all sliding down the slightly sloped road having fun!

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Sliding down the road

If you noticed, this road is also special because it’s closed to motorists! Which meant that one could walk anywhere along the road without much danger of getting knocked down. And I liked that! Most of the time, pedestrian streets are usually packed with people but here, the roads were so wide I actually felt comfortable walking along them.

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The wide streets of Zhong Shan Road

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Can you spot Saucer?

Of course, we didn’t just go there to walk! My mission was to look for food, and indeed, we found a really nice noodles place! That will have to be saved for my next entry, since my stomach is growling again now. *LOL* (Why am I always hungry?)

EveryoneConnects Turns One!

Telekom Malaysia Berhad’s (TM) youth-oriented website recently celebrated its 1st anniversary with a fresh look and feel as well as the introduction of new features and applications.

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1st Anniversary Celebration

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At the event, TM unveiled The World of EveryoneConnects, the newly enhanced interactive website of where fans will be able to interact within their own communities, send greetings to one another, listen to music, view sporting events and movies as well as participate in more interactive and upcoming events.

EC anniversary (1)

Cake-cutting ceremony

Features of The World of EveryoneConnects

Among the features of the newly-enhanced website include the Stadium, the Jamming Garage, Open House and Sini Maa, representing diverse communities and interests of EveryoneConnects’s fans. I found the concept really interesting and new, so I went to the website and created an avatar of myself! :)


Choosing my avatar


Hello there! Isn’t she cute? :)

Once created, the Avatar is free to move around and enter the few stations available:

The Stadium is designed as a sports locker room. From here, fans will be able to access “hot off the pitch” features which showcase news, highlights, interviews and videos from Manchester United TV or MUTV. These rich football content are offered by TM in collaboration with Manchester United as the Official Integrated Telecommunications Partner of Manchester United in Malaysia. Another feature of the webpage is a game play board that also serves as a chat room for fans.

The Jamming Garage emulates aspects of a garage music studio. This studio features “Camp Bunkface”, where fans can get all the information they need about Bunkface, listen to their songs and watch video previews as well as exchange music information.


I entered Jamming Garage!

Sini Maa is a playful webpage for movies. This webpage highlights movie trailers and videos available on Hypptv (UniFi), and (web channels) including video clips from Pilih Kasih, the acting reality program sponsored by TM. The webpage also features Movie Buzz, a chat room for film buffs.

To provide further opportunities for fans to connect, communicate and collaborate, Open House is the perfect place for fans of EveryoneConnects to extend various messages and wishes for birthdays, festivals and celebrations. The Open House is designed to appeal to all Malaysians and features video wishes, a wish board called Spread Some Love, and a selection of personalized e-cards for the user’s selection.


Open House – Can send greeting cards from here!

The EC Hall of Fame webpage is a walk down memory lane for all the activities that have occurred since EveryoneConnects first launched in November 2009. The webpage highlights previous content of and fans can sign the guestbook and view videos and photos of past events and activities.

In addition to the featured webpages, The World of EveryoneConnects brings out the personalities of EC fans who love music, movies, sports and more as they can select their own personalized avatars as they enter the website. Via their online avatars, fans can truly connect, communicate and collaborate with each other online in real time.

Quick create your own Avatar now and get connected! :)

At the event, TM unveiled The World of EveryoneConnects, the newly enhanced interactive website of where fans will be able to interact within their own communities, send greetings to one another, listen to music, view sporting events and movies as well as participate in more interactive and upcoming events.

Hearty and Wholesome Italian Food

It was just a few days ago when I was rushing back from work to get ready for dinner. Braving through the rain and the after work traffic, Saucer and I finally made it to the heart of KL, at Renaissance Hotel. We had a dinner appointment with a few of our friends but I guess the traffic was holding some of them back, which was good! Because we then had the chance to sample these cute little cocktails which tasted like margarita. :)

Med @ Marche

Cocktails before dinner

While waiting, I also went into their wine room to check out some of their wines. Halfway browsing, we saw something generating smoke inside the room! Upon asking, it was just the humidifier, maintaining the humidity of the wine room. :)

Med @ Marche

Some exquisite French wines

Med @ Marche

Glorious collection of white wine and glasses

Med @ Marche

The collection of wines

Soon, when the party arrived, we proceeded to the dining area of Med @ Marche-Live. Being a Mediterranean restaurant, Marche now has a new and hip Executive Sous Chef Paul Lewis who hails from Australia, serving his rendition of fine Italian food. Did I hear Italian? That’s my favourite! :)


Dining area of Marche

Med @ Marche

Some bread sticks and rolls, Dipping of Pine nuts with eggplant and Olive oil with crushed pistachio

I loved eating these long and crispy bread sticks whenever I dine at Italian restaurants! Why don’t more restaurants have it? I’d much rather eat these than rolls. 😛 The rolls here were divine too, warm and fluffy, they were perfect with the dipping that came together – Pine nuts with eggplant and Olive oil with crushed pistachio. Whoever invented the combination of pine nuts and eggplant is a genius! The texture was creamy and nutty, with a slight saltiness, making the roll taste so good! It’s almost like eating butter without the guilt! Awesome!

Med @ Marche

with my favourite bread stick <3

The first appetizer arrived soon, which was Pesto Pizza, a thin layer of pizza crust topped with semi-dried tomato and parmesan  cheese. Simple as it was, crispy at the edges, chewy at the insides. The cheese was not overpowering, making it just nice as an appetizer.

Med @ Marche

Pesto Pizza (RM28)

If pizza sounds too heavy for an appetizer, perhaps a bowl of Seafood Brodetto should do the trick. The concoction of seafood, garlic, tomato, saffron and white wine vinegar was hearty and flavourful, sure to put any stomachs to satisfaction. :)

Med @ Marche

Brodetto (RM40)

I opted for a glass of white wine to go with the pastas, which was smooth and pretty easy on the palate.

Med @ Marche

White wine

Med @ Marche

The bottle of white wine

Since there was a group of us, we ordered several types of pasta to be shared. The first to arrive was the Tortellini stuffed with goat cheese, thyme, roast pumpkin and balsamic vinegar. This was Saucer’s favourite as he loved the chewy texture of the tortellini combined with the gorgeous and creamy texture of cheese, pumpkin and vinegar as the filling. This was perfect for anyone who loves cheese!

Med @ Marche

Tortellini (RM38)

The Pappardelle was something new to me as I’ve never eaten pasta this shape. It looked like fettuccine except in shorter pieces. This was served with a ragout (stew) of beef shin, green pea and oven dried tomato and gremolata.

Med @ Marche

Pappardelle (RM40)

Now the next dish may look a little similar to Pappardelle but it is not. This was a plate of fabulous Gnocchi, which was served with braised lamb shank, anchovies, olives and pecorino (a type of cheese). I never liked Gnocchi because I always thought it was just a blob of flour and why would I want to eat flour anyway? But Chef Paul Lewis was brilliant in mixing the Gnocchi with his amazing lamb shank, making it almost impossible to resist. Yes, gnocchi and all! I was really impressed with this dish, with how soft, tender and flavourful the lamb was and how it combined perfectly with the gnocchi. I was instantly a convert!

Med @ Marche

Gnocchi (RM42)

The Chicken Piccatta was a slice of deep fried chicken breast served with sauteed mushroom and asparagus, and in my opinion was rather average. But I might be biased since I’m not a fan of chicken breast. Give me chicken thigh anytime! :)

Med @ Marche

Chicken piccatta (RM60)

When the Ocean Trout came, I simply couldn’t stop admiring the delicate presentation. It was served with lemon sole, tiger prawn, calamari fritti, bread salad and basil pesto and the aroma itself was mouth-watering! I had a small piece of the fish and found the meat to be flaky, smooth and firm. Definitely a sign freshness, don’t you think?

Med @ Marche

Ocean trout (RM78)

I imagined the Wood Fired Whole Tuscan Chicken to be much bigger but I guess spring chicken was used. The whole chicken was spread across the plate, without bones and came  with garlic roast potato chips and balsamic roasted vegetables. Don’t you just love how the chicken was presented on the plate?

Med @ Marche

Wood fired Whole Tuscan Chicken (RM66)

The Florence Steak served with Panzanella Salad and Garlic roast potato chips fell short of my expectations as I found the steak to be a little to tough and dry, especially at the edges. I loved eating the garlic roasted potatoes though.

Med @ Marche

Florence Steak (RM68)

Now it may seem that we ordered a lot of dishes but we really only had a small bite from each plate, so I guess they all add up nicely? 😉 The Balsamic Brushed Lamb Cutlets was served with a side of polenta or boiled cornmeal, which was soft and smooth, almost like mashed potatoes. The lamb was grilled nicely, resulting in tender and juicy meat, much better than the steak before. This would be my pick! :)

Med @ Marche

Balsamic Brushed Lamb Cutlets (RM66)

The Home made Linguine with tiger prawn, scallop, garlic, chilli, parsley and tomato was pretty decent, except that I would prefer it if it were less oily. The tiger prawns were deliciously succulent and fresh though.

Med @ Marche

Linguine (RM44)

The Penne with wild mushrooms, truffle and chives was the last plate of mains served and by then, most of us were already full. I didn’t think much of the penne, but the mushrooms and truffle were out of this world! They were juicy and delicious, and I ended up picking them out from the pasta to eat. 😛

Med @ Marche

Penne (RM42)

Last but not least, desserts! The first was a Cannoli, which was a deep fried pastry in the shape of a tube, filled with light cream cheese and crushed dried fruits/oats, which I found very similar to muesli. This was not the typically sweet or rich dessert, which allowed me to have more than one spoonful of it. 😉

Med @ Marche

Cannoli (RM26)

Med @ Marche

Apple Pudding (RM26)

The amazing feast was a genius preparation by the hip and happening Chef Paul Lewis himself (if you have a chance, check out his tattoos!). It was because of him that we had the opportunity to sample authentic Italian food with all the authentic Italian ingredients.

Med @ Marche

witch with Chef Paul Lewis


Med @ Marche at Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Med @ Marche-Live
West Wing, 2nd Floor
Renaissance Hotel
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2162 2233 ext 33168
Business hours: 5pm till 1am
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Peter Pan the Musical Gala Premiere

It was my first time to the Sunway Lagoon after almost 20 years! And this time, it was to watch the Opening Premiere of Peter Pan the Musical. Held at the newly renovated Amphitheatre, the musical production is the first collaboration between local and international talents who are no strangers to the stages of West End and Disney. The show was supposed to start at 8pm but we were already queuing up at 7am to get good seats! Talk about kiasuness. LOL!

Peter Pan Musical

Queuing up to Sunway Lagoon

Since it was my first time to the Amphitheatre, I was surprised to find that it’s actually quite a distance to walk in from the entrance. I was actually holding tickets for some of my friends who were not there yet so I had to walk back out to the entrance later to pass the tickets to them, before walking back in again! *phew!*

Peter Pan Musical

The stage from my seat

We managed to get seats at the center of the stage, even though the seats for media were actually allocated at the front side of the stage. Luckily we didn’t sit at there for I heard the sound system at the side of the stage were deafening! I actually had no problems with the sound system sitting where I sat, so I guess sitting in the centre is much better. :)

Peter Pan Musical

Us with Saucer’s colleague

The show started after some opening speeches and the first to sing was this group of dancers together with Wendy.

Peter Pan Musical

Opening act

I shall let the pictures do the talking from here on eh? 😉

Peter Pan Musical

Wendy singing

Peter Pan Musical

Wendy with her dad and “nanny”

Peter Pan Musical

And Peter Pan came to stage!

Peter Pan Musical

Peter Pan

Peter Pan Musical

Peter Pan and Wendy flying

Peter Pan Musical

Pirates dancing

Peter Pan Musical

The strong and powerful pirates!

Peter Pan Musical

Pirates again!

Peter Pan Musical

Captain Hook came to stage!

Peter Pan Musical

Look at the cute boat! 😛

Peter Pan Musical

Red Indians dancing

Peter Pan Musical

Love the picture of the ship in the background

Peter Pan Musical

Funny how Captain Hook was always scared of the clock ticking

Peter Pan Musical

Peter Pan and Captain Hook’s battle

Peter Pan Musical

Wendy is saved!

Peter Pan Musical

Their final duet song

Peter Pan Musical

Closing act

It was quite an entertaining act though there were some complaints about the sound system. But I guess the kids loved the show to bits because I heard a lot of them next to me laughing and cheering throughout the show! :)

For more information on ticketing, please go to