Thursday 4 November 2021

A Note to Readers

Thank you for stopping by this humble blog. The blog is still under construction and only several entries are available, but more are coming in the future! Hopefully you will enjoy what is available for the time being.
For your information also, I back-dated my entries to the date where I visited that place to avoid misleading readers. This is to make sure that the information I provided in the entry regarding the place are correct on the said date. Due to this also, you may suddenly come across a post dated, say, February 2017, the next time you visit (when previously it wasn't there at all).
Thanks and happy reading! :)

Friday 15 October 2021

Destination: Souq Shoppe, Putrajaya (Malaysia)

Chocolatey Goodness Under One Roof!

I have been to Souq Putrajaya once or twice before: it used to sell a wide range of Malaysian souvenirs such as pewters, batik clothing, keychains, fridge magnet, handicrafts and the likes. And the place (at least, whenever I visited) was almost always quite deserted. I suspected it was because most of the visitors in the area were locals, thus the superfluous need to buy any souvenirs.

But now, in year 2021, the Souq had been converted into a full on chocolate boutique – and the place might finally be able to attract locals as well. I saw a promotional poster somebody sent me through Whatsapp about the opening of Souq Shoppe, said to be the largest chocolate shop in the Klang Valley area.

And so I went to check out the place during its opening day on 15 October 2021.

I arrived around 2.00 p.m. and there was already a considerable line queuing outside the entrance. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, entrance was limited to 100 customers at a time. And only fully-vaccinated individuals were allowed access.

Souq Shoppe’s foyer was decorated with giant-sized chocolate replicas, allowing visitors some photo opportunities – be it hiding behind a large mug of Hershey’s chocolate bar dipped in melting chocolate, or standing below a toppling tower of Reese’s chocolate cups.

Fancy gigantic chocolates for your Insta-worthy poses

As I entered the large hall, I saw a long line of customers queuing to make their payment at the cashier. Souq Shoppe offered some fairly good discounts during its first three days of opening, hence the crowd of people today.

The long line of people queuing up to pay

There were rows and rows of shelves filled with many types of chocolate and sweets brands, including some of which I’m not familiar with. There were Hershey’s, Kinder, Toblerone, Kit Kat, Ferrero, Nutella, Snickers, Mars, Loacker, Fidani, Pepero, Ritter Sport... and many more (forgive me but I cannot continue saying all the names without drooling 😅).

Kinder chocolates were placed at a fancy aeroplane-like shelf

Fidani chocolates were packed beautifully for gifting purposes

More Hershey's... and these ones are edible ;)

Bebeto's halal marshmallows, imported from Turkey

Some chocolate brands are unfamiliar to me

The many flavours of Ritter Sport chocolate bars

I was looking forward to buy some M&Ms, but unfortunately, I found none being sold there. So I bought a box of Kinder Bueno and a bag of Daim chocolates instead. (And I regretted forgetting to buy the Peperos as well! 😵)

Towards the back of the shop, there was another photo-worthy spot: a lighted Hershey’s logo, wedged in between two streetlights that made it look like someplace from Disney’s The Cookie Carnival (1935) cartoon.

Welcome to Hershey's town... apparently

All in all, Souq Shoppe is great for those looking to buy a wide range of chocolates under one roof. Personally I don’t think it could surpass the variety or low prices offered in the duty-free shops of Pulau Langkawi, but still, Souq Shoppe is more convenient to go to for Klang Valley residents.

Do you remember The Cookie Carnival? (image from

How To Get There:

Souq Shoppe was situated under the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya. You can park anywhere in the Dataran Putra area in front of the mosque, and find the escalator down to the lower level where the food court and Souq Shoppe was located.

Saturday 13 October 2018

Destination: Freeport A'Famosa Outlet, Melaka (Malaysia)

This is apparently one of the favourite weekend getaway among the locals, be it the local Malaccan people or other domestic tourists. It had been open almost three years ago, but it was only today that I had the chance to check it out.

Freeport A’Famosa Outlet is, simply, a shopping mall similar in concept with the Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) in Johor, or the Mitsui Outlet in Selangor. It is a one-stop centre for factory outlet products of various brands; it houses brands such as Levi’s, Sacoor, Crocs, Triumph, Kickers, Esprit, Clarks and Hush Puppies, amongst others. It is not as big as the JPO, with less choice of brands compared to the latter – nonetheless the real attraction would be its architectural design.

The design is inspired from Dutch architecture, chosen due to Malacca’s past being a part of the Dutch colony in the 17th – 19th century. The main highlight is the windmill, situated at the centre of the mall. You can climb a flight of stairs to get to the floor above. Freeport A’Famosa Outlet offers plenty of photo opportunities that attracted the swarm of local tourists in the first place.

When I arrived at around 3.00 p.m., the allotted parking spaces were full. However, there are still plenty of clearings around the parking area that people can use to park their cars.

I walked towards one of the two main entrances, accompanied by the aroma of KFC wafting in the air. Plenty of food outlets are also available here apart from KFC, such as Pappa Rich, Auntie Anne’s and Marrybrown.

How to Get There:

On the North-South Expressway, take the southbound route and exit at Simpang Ampat / Alor Gajah / Tampin (Exit 227). After you pass through the toll plaza, you will arrive at a small roundabout. Ignore the roundabout and turn left. Drive straight on until you arrive at a junction with traffic lights. Take the left turn. Continue straight on – don’t worry about the narrowing road with twists and turns; you are on the right track. After you cross a bridge, you will then see your destination on your right.

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Food Notes: Halal Japanese Food Awaits at Citraida

Location: Citraida Butik & Kafe, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor

"Succi Sushi" became the tagline for Citraida boutique cafe, indicating its offer of halal Japanese food, particularly sushi, maki and bento sets. Also available at the place are other side dishes such as chawan mushi, edamame and takoyaki.
I had the Ebi (prawn) Tempura, which also comes with spinach, carrot and enoki mushroom tempuras. The tempura is light and crispy, drizzled with a bit of mayonnaise and special sauce. Ah, the heavenly taste made me realize that preparing them as tempuras are the only way to make me eat carrots or spinach.
If you would like to have a more complete meal with tempura, try the Ebi Katsu Bento set, which is basically the aforementioned Ebi Tempura that comes with rice, soup and also cut fruits. Rest assured you will be completely full after having this dish.

Ebi Tempura

The Ebi Katsu Bento Set is basically the Ebi Tempura served alongside rice, a bowl of soup and cut fruits.

I also tried the Egg Mayo Sushi and Salmon Mentai Sushi. Each sushi platter you order consists of two pieces of sushi. I thought the size of the sushi might be a little bit smaller than what I'm used to. Nevertheless, it was easy to eat as you can have one sushi in one bite only. I really like the Salmon Mentai (salmon and fish roe) Sushi; each one is torched moderately to add more flavor.
Then I tried the Daging Sambal Hitam FBI Maki, a fusion of the Japanese maki and Malaysia's beef sambal hitam. Sambal hitam is made of bilimbi / belimbing buluh (a close relative of the starfruit) cooked with bird's eye chillies, anchovies and shallots until dried. Meanwhile, the name "FBI" is derived from the initials of a local celebrity, Faizal bin Ismail who came up with his daging hitam recipe for the Malaysian market. Citraida's Daging Sambal Hitam FBI Maki is FBI's Daging Hitam rolled up into a maki and topped with crispy tempura crumbs. It was totally scrumptious with a tinge of hot sambal hitam.

The Daging Sambal Hitam FBI Maki, a fusion of Malaysian and Japanese delicacy

Meanwhile, a recent addition to Citraida's menu is the Soft Shell Crab Larva, which is softshell crab pieces topped with fish roe, mayonnaise and sauce. Though it is a bit salty, the crispy softshell crab is delicious nevertheless.

The Soft Shell Crab Larva 

Citraida is a casual dining place alongside a mini boutique near the entrance, which sells women clothing and hijab / shawls. The owner of Citraida is Khairul Noormaidah Zali - also known as Aida - who shot to fame after winning a local reality television show, Gadis Melayu, back in 2008.

Saturday 14 April 2018

Food Notes: Japanese Dishes at an Affordable Price

Location: Sukiya - Tokyo Bowls and Noodles

Fancy enjoying Japanese food for less than RM 20.00? I can still hardly believe that everytime I dine at Sukiya (available at several locations including Mid Valley Megamall, Uptown Damansara, IOI City Mall Putrajaya and AEON Bandaraya Melaka), I would only have to pay a bill totaling less than RM 20.00. Except for the Unagi-don (which is priced above RM 20.00), other dishes on offer here would mostly cost you around RM 15.00 including drinks.
Sukiya's signature dish is the gyudon, which is a bowl of rice topped with thinly-sliced beef simmered in a special sauce. Apart from its gyudon, a variety of noodles are also on offer. Its tagline "Tokyo Bowls and Noodles" says all about the menu on offer.
I have tried several of Sukiya's gyudons. My favourite would be the Osaka Okonomi Gyudon, which is particularly fulfilling with a mixture of cabbage, mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce and some sort of meat floss added on top of the rice and beef. It also comes with a wobbly, perfectly poached egg in another small bowl to top the dish. Carefully pour the egg onto the rice and let the yolk burst in your bowl!
The Osaka Okonomi Gyudon comes with a poached egg

When the wobbly round egg bursts...

There are also the Three Cheeses Gyudon (gyudon topped with three types of cheese) and the Snow White Cream Gyudon (gyudon served with mixed vegetables in a creamy white sauce).
The Three Cheeses Gyudon
Other rice dishes I have tried here is the Teriyaki Chicken Bowl: rice served with tender, boneless chicken marinated in teriyaki sauce. Then there is the Tokyo Oyakodon, pieces of chicken meat and egg served on top of the rice with spring onions. According to the explanation included in the menu, "oyakodon" literally means "parent and child bowl", which directly refers to the chicken as the "parent" and the egg as the "child".
The combination of chicken, egg and spring onions goes well with each other to produce the scrumptious Tokyo Oyakodon.
Tokyo Ramen with Double Chicken Meat
As for the ramen, I had had the Tokyo Ramen With Double Chicken Meat. The shoyu soup is totally perfect and the steamed chicken meat is so juicy that I felt fortunate to have ordered the one with "double" chicken meat (there is another, the Tokyo Ramen With Chicken Meat, which obviously contains lesser chicken pieces).
Oh, by the way, please note that prices of some dishes vary depending on the size of the bowl - you can choose from sizes S, M, to L accordingly.

For Muslims, rest assured that Sukiya is certified halal so you can enjoy the dishes without doubt.
Apart from its affordable pricing, I also like the fast service at Sukiya. I have never been kept waiting for my food - it usually arrives within ten minutes or less. I usually spend about 30 minutes at the outlet. Save money, save time! :)