Eat: A Sri Lankan Feast With Famed Gigantic Crabs at Berjaya Times Square Hotel


~ the way the Singhalese greet one another ~

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For the whole month of April 2018, Berjaya Times Square Hotel brings you the opportunity to sample the finest taste of Sri Lankan cuisine, available exclusively at Big Apple Restaurant, Level 14. Sri Lankan cuisine has been influenced by many historical & cultural factors which have been largely contributed by their strategic location, right in the middle of trading routes for sea farers in the ancient times as well as contact with foreign traders who brought new food items, cultural influences from neighbouring countries. Influences from India, Indonesia and Dutch cuisines are most evident in shaping the taste and ingredients of their dishes.

One of the most common yet a specialty in Sri Lankan cuisine are their famed, gigantic crabs. Deemed as one of the finest dishes among the Sri Lankan cuisine line-up, these Sri Lankan crabs will be the highlight of the month-long food promotion. Two distinguished chefs from Berjaya Hotel Colombo are specially arranged and flown in to prepare authentic Sri Lankan cuisine throughout the promotion.

Savour with a delightful authentic Sri Lanka dishes prepared by renowned Chef J.M.D.K. Jayawardhana and Chef H.L.M Hettiarachchi such as Pol Sambol (shredded coconut sambal), Seeni Sambol (spicy caramelized onion relish), Lunu Miris (Hot and Sour sambal paste), Gotukola Sambol (Sri Lankan Kerabu salad), Thebu Cola Sambol (Costus Speciosus), Mukunuwenna Mallum (Herbs Sri Lankan salad), Fish Ambul Thiyal with Gravy, Prawns Mellum, Chicken Kalupol Curry, Brinjal Moju, a selections of Deep Blue Seafood on Ice Display, such as King Crab Claw, Prawns, Crabstick, Mussels, Tuna, Smoked Salmon and also some selections of dessert such as Curd & Treacle (Buffalo milk yogurt with palm sugar), Laddu, and Kesari.

During the Sri Lankan Seafood Festival, guest will have the opportunity to experience Sri Lankan tea; from Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah. Garden fresh, unblended tea is a hallmark of Dilmah and offers a unique taste of unblended Ceylon Tea.

The Sri Lanka Food Festival will be available throughout 2 April – 30 April 2018 at Big Apple Restaurant, Level 14 at 12.00pm – 2.30pm (Weekday Lunch), 12.30pm – 4.00pm (Weekend Hi-Tea), 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Daily Dinner) and will be priced at RM98 (per adult), RM61 (per senior citizen) & RM41 (per child). You will also be entitled for every 3 full paying adults, 1 dines for FREE! While Maybank credit card holders will be entitled to a 30% discount for full paying adults.

Share: Clever tricks to Enlarge Small HDB Flats and Condos

Image Credits: Source

Open spaces are becoming the norm in newer property developments. More and more people are choosing to knock down a wall or two to create a more spacious interior. What’s more, with spaces getting smaller and smaller, and developers choosing to build upwards , it becomes even more vital for you to make your space look as big as it possibly can look, such as hdb tao payoh and certain high rise apartments.

For an open-plan concept to succeed, you’ll need to make your space look cohesive, with the challenge of not using restrictive walls. “Fluidity” and “flow” are the key words to any open-plan space. However, do remember that less is more when it comes to a wall-less home.


Image Credits: Source

Dividers are your friend. Although the lack of doors and walls in an open-plan concept make your space appear much bigger than it actually is, it sometimes makes everything jumbled together. It can be hard to discern which part of the room is the living room, which is the kitchen and which is the dining area. Add in some mid-wall partitions to help split up and designate these different areas. Or you can also use an open bookshelf for this purpose. What’s more is that they can also double up as your storage space.

Low-ceilinged partitions

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A ceiling-based partition is a clever take on traditional mid-wall partitions. Rather than removing the wall completely, you can leave a bit of wall extended from the ceiling. This helps section up spaces in your home that have individual purposes in order to keep each part of the open-plan space distinct from each other. You can also think about incorporating mid-wall partitions together with ceiling partitions to mix it up and create a separate space but still maintain a space that breathes.

Brighten up

Image Credits: Source

Bright and light spaces open up the room even more. White and light color palettes give the illusion of being bigger, brighter and cleaner. White alone may be a boring choice, so add in some wood tones and pops of accents. The key here is to make sure your interior space flows from one into another to maintain the needed coherence. One way to do this is with seamless wooden carpentry such as built-in cabinets that are in a light stain. This helps maintain a bright and coherent open space that is sure to suit any modern lifestyle.

Let light flow

Lighting is an important aspect of any space, even more so for smaller apartments. Give your wall-less home a cohesive ambience with coherent lighting throughout your home. It helps give purpose to your design and makes your ideas “flow” from one room to another. For example, you can use track lighting and black connectors to tie your rooms together if you are going for an industrial design.

Vertical flooring

Just as vertical stripes elongate a person’s stature and make them look taller, the same notion can apply to your space as well. Consider adding vertical striping to your floor – it can be in the form of a wooden floor with grains laid out vertically – to help elongate your space. This concept does not only apply to your floors. You can use this idea in your furniture as well. Add in a large wooden dining table with grains that flow in the same direction as your flooring. Not only does it unify the look of your entire space, it looks stunning as well! You can bring this theme even further by emulating it through paneled cupboards and half painted walls (which is also a trick to make homes look bigger).

White all around

Image Credits: Source

Although it can be a nightmare if you have children, a white theme adds to the open space look and feel. It makes your home without walls look even more spacious and welcoming than it already is. Finish up your space with white and light furniture.

Modern design

Think you might lose a bit of privacy by removing the walls? Not to worry. You can try an approach somewhere along the middle. Replace your traditional doors with pivoting panels. That way, you can have a fun and unique way to separate your rooms when you need the privacy, and a more open breezy space when you don’t. This not only a creates a space that is special but is also functional as well. You can even go further and go for a door-less bathroom – if you have the courage, that is!

Cement it

Image Credits: Source

If you’re afraid of your space being too monotone with all the wood surfaces, consider adding a bit of ruggedness with cement. Contrast your white walls and ceilings with raw concrete flooring. While you’re at it, add in a tile dining counter to up the industrial factor.

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Eat : Naughty Nuri's Stand By You Campaign with Slashed Down Prices!

Were you at Naughty Nuri’s Biggest Ribs Eating Event - the ‘Now Everyone Can Eat’ event? This event took place on the 28 February 2018 where hundreds of their Signature BBQ Spare Ribs was served for FREE! What a sight it must have been, seeing everyone there armed with plates to enjoy the free ribs.

During the event, Naughty Nuri’s introduced the ‘Stand By You’ (SBY) campaign to its participants who braved through to the end of the event. They walked away gleaming with happiness and with a ‘Stand By You’ BY ALL ACCESS card in hand, which grants them any dishes from the ‘Stand By You’ campaign menu at any time, within the three months duration.

I recently had the opportunity to sample some of the dishes from this campaign menu and boy, there were not only delicious but very attractively priced too. The campaign will feature three varieties of ever-changing fare, including Naughty Nuri’s signature items such as ‘Ayam Bertutu’, ‘Indonesian-style Nasi Goreng Sambal Kambing’, ‘Roast Pork Salad’ and newcomers, ‘Black Ribs Rendang’, ‘Beef Rendang’, ‘Roast Pork Curry Mee’ and many more.

If you managed to get your hands on the ‘Stand By You’ BY ALL ACCESS card from the event, you'll be glad to know that you're able to access all the items in the menu and order them whenever you visit Naughty Nuri. However, if you don't have the card, do look out for the various contests ran on their Facebook platform where you will have a chance to win one of those coveted cards >> (Note: Each outlets have different Facebook pages, so do check each respective pages.)

Fret not, if you're not able to get those cards because there would be dishes are released on a weekly basis for the span of three months, beginning from March 1 to May 31. The selected three dishes would be published on their Facebook page, at the beginning of the week. The best part of this all, is actually the slashed down prices of these dishes  which starts from as low RM8 to RM15 and it's a promotion for everyone!

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Let me share with you on what this week’s dishes are! If you notice.... the dishes are only till 13th April 2018, so you'll need to look out for the next update of the new dishes!

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These are some of the dishes I’ve tried from the campaign menu and I’d highly recommending them because they are absolutely delicious and super value for money at that price point. 

| Wah Tusuk Babi |

This is one of the most sinfully delicious pork belly skewers I have ever eaten. Would you just look at the gleaming layer of porky fat? These skewers are marinated for 12 hours with the Naughty Nuri’s Ubud-inspired sweet sauce and char-grilled to perfection!

Wah Tusuk Babi |

Naughty Nuri's Pork Loin |

The pork loin is the obvious healthier option in contrary to the pork belly skeweres, with less fat and more meat to satisty your cravings of pork meat. The serving size is also generously thick. It’s very well marinated and grilled till the ideal balance of tender, juicy meaty goodness.

| Lavender Crispy Pork Salad |

For those looking to try something different, try this salad where the dressing sauce used is a fruity lavender dressing. Since I am personally not a fan of lavender, it appeared rather odd for me to eat it. But the deep friend pulled pork is interesting to munch on, and the salad was accompanied with cucumber, pineapples and longan.

Lavender Crispy Pork Salad |

| Indonesian Style Mee Goreng |

It is impossible to go wrong with fried mee goreng and Naughty Nuri’s version certainly didn’t disappoint. The serving size is amazingly generous, with portions size enough for two person. It is cooked with mixed vegetables, onions, chillies, sliced pork belly and Balinese black sauce accompanied with the special roast pork.

| Balinese Ayam Bertutu |

This dish right here is my absolute favourite – the Balinese Braised Ayam Bertutu! If you haven’t tried this before, you’re missing out on one of the most delicious Balinese food. The chicken is tender, with the meat falling off the bone and so well marinated with various herbs and spices. It makes me salivate, just thinking about it now. Naughty Nuri's serves this with caramelised onion rice, Acar Awak, Sambal Hijau and Sambal Dadakan.

Balinese Ayam Bertutu |

| Asian Roast Pork Burger |

I thought this was the most interesting way to serve a roast pork burger. You actually get a slab of crispy skin roast pork belly sandwiched between two charcoal burger bun, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onion rings. The sauce used is a fusion sauce of Asian BBQ sea-coconut mayo and it comes with french fries on the side.

Asian Roast Pork Burger |

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Eat : Champignons at Oasis, affordable fine dining at its best in Ara Damansara!

For food gluttons alike, indulging in delicious food brings us joy in ways that only a true blue gourmand will understand. Splurging on food that are delicious is a need and much less of a want. So, it’s no surprise that we are willing to spend much for food. For me, I always believe in finding the best value for money, in relation to the price paid and the satisfaction obtained from devouring the meal. 

In my quest to hunt for the right balance in that equation, I found Champignons at Oasis, located in Oasis Square of Ara Damansara, a restaurant helmed by Gary Chang. With over 20 years of experience in serving contemporary European cuisine, he aims to to showcase what the European cuisine is truly about, but at reasonable pricing where you will get the value for what you paid for. 

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// B-G-02, Oasis Square, Ara Damansara, 47301, Petaling Jaya, Selangor //
// 03-7832 2629 //
Open from 10AM to 11PM (Friday – Sunday)
For the rest of the days, there are two sessions 10AM to 3PM and resumed at 6PM to 11PM

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To start the dinner, we were served with the Amuse Bouche of Croque Monsieur, which is a classic boiled ham and cheese sandwich, but with a truffled bechamel sauce used. This combination was absolutely delicious despite how simple this dish actually is. This dish was on the house and it varies depending on the chef’s daily specials.

Homemade Smoked Salmon with Citrus | RM26

Next, we had the Homemade Smoked Salmon with Citrus which in my honest opinion, is hands down one of the prettiest dish I have ever laid my eyes on. The combination of the different ingredients which are rich in colours appears striking against one another and it makes the dish stand out even further. 

Homemade Smoked Salmon with Citrus | RM26

Essentially, it is actually a beetroot and apple salad with smoked salmon. But within this dish you’ll find various treasures like crispy flat bread dough and dollops of avocado puree. There are generous servings of smoked salmon and the best part is that it’s homemade by the chefs themselves!

Wild Mushroom Soup | RM26

This Wild Mushroom Soup is a classic favourites and was executed perfectly well by the chefs. For this soup, there were two types of mushrooms use which is the button and oyster mushrooms. These two are used as they are more balanced in terms of flavour and it goes very well together. Chef Gary’s preference lies in giving the soup its texture hence, you’ll find chunks of suateed mushrooms and the soup is topped with tempura oyster mushroom. The soup is accompanied by a mushroom bruschetta topped with parmesan cheese.

Grilled US Pork Ribs with Plum Glaze Sake | RM26

Grilled US Pork Ribs with Plum Glaze Sake RM26

The pork ribs are infused with plum sake to give the ribs that tangy taste, rather than just the typical flavor of grilled ribs. The meat was cooked to perfection where it’s tender and the flesh falls out from the bone. The highlight of the dish has to be the topping of crunchy pork rinds. Those are so sinfully delicious!

Australian Lamb Short Loin with Homemade Lamb Sausage | RM48

Lamb loin is the chef’s preference of meat, where a simple marination of salt and pepper is used. This is to allow the natural taste of the lamb to shine and hence, the sauces takes the accompanying spotlight. For the sauce, coarse mustards seeds were grinded and cooked to make the sauce. 

Australian Lamb Short Loin with Homemade Lamb Sausage RM48

To add colour to the dish, you’ll also fine carrot puree with cumin as the side. There is also a salt-baked cumin on the side, along with the tiny dots which actually is puree-d caramelised onions. Besides the loin, homemade lamb sausages are also served. These sausages were extremely flavourful and a joy to savour them with each bite.

Black Truffle Chicken Breast | RM35

Hands down, the Black Truffle Chicken Breast is my absolute favourite dish. I’ve always been slightly biased towards dishes that has truffle in it, but this one is really delicious! It’s chicken breast marinated with truffle oil, then cooked using the sous vide method of cooking to maintain its juicy-ness. After that, the chicken is seared and pan-fried so that the skin is crispy.

Black Truffle Chicken Breast RM35

Most have the impression that breat meat is rough, but you’ll be surprised with this dish. I was tender and bursting with flavours too! According to Chef Gary, the flavour and essence of chicken is actually more intense in the breast meat compared to the thigh or drumsticks. The sauce served with the chicken is also a yummy sauce made from chanterelle wild mushrooms. This dish is served with rosti potato, a recipe that chef learned from Switzerland.

Champignons Chocolate Delights | RM18

Champignons Chocolate Delights RM18

What is a dinner without desserts and so, we ended the night with a serving of the restaurant’s signature dessert known as the Champignons Chocolate Delights. The dessert was presented gorgeously with a white chocolate dome  which is designed to resemble the mushrooms in the Mario game. There are also bits of chocolate sponge which supposed to look like moss and the ground. 

Champignons Chocolate Delights RM18

You’ll find bits of marshmallows and raspberries jelly too. The idea is for it to be a magical adventure with various textures to awaken the senses within. There is also some bits of sparkly popping candy and only the lucky ones, will get to taste that (if you’re lucky enough to get a scoop with that candy in it!). Warm raspberries sauce is poured over the Mario chocolate dome and it’ll reveal a delicious raspberries lychee sorbet.

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Champignons at Oasis is a rare gem, where the restaurant excels in serving delicious, high-quality dishes with most of the ingredients made from stratch. That is the level of commitment that Chef Gary has in ensuring that his customers savours only the best that he can offer. It really shows in the dishes that we tried today, because you can tell how much thought and preparation went into it. 

On top it, the prices here are very reasonable in proportion to the value you get. It’s a semi fine-dining concept with a more attractive and affordable price point. I’m counting on them to maintain their standards and set the bar higher for restaurants alike. :)

Review : My Virgin Eyelash Extension Experience at Luminous Beauty Parlour, Desa Park City

After much hesitation and consideration, I finally decided to have my eyelashes extended at Luminous Beauty Parlour! Luminous Beauty Parlour is located in Plaza Arkadia in Desa Park City and I have posted previously about how gorgeous the place is. To read about one of the most prettiest parlour I have ever been to, click here >>> The Beautiful Luminous Beauty Parlour!

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// G-1-7, Plaza Arcadia No.3 Jalan Intisari Perdana, Desa Park City //
// 017-260 3180 //
Open daily from 11AM to 8PM on weekdays and 10AM to 7PM on weekends

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There are many myths and concerns surrounding the eyelash extension procedure, most of which was what I heard from others or thought it would happen should I have an extension of eyelashes done. Let me list them down below and do share what your concerns are too, if I didn’t list it!
  1. The procedure of the extension is painful or uncomfortable.
  2. They can damage your natural eyelashes.
  3. Eyelash extensions will make your natural lashes fall out.
Prior to my session in Luminous Beauty Parlour, I had no expectation of the procedure and was pretty much clueless on how the procedure was like. It is not as scary as what it seems like, you don’t have to go under the knife! Haha, what is there to it is that false lashes would be glued onto your natural lashes. That is all to it, basically.

The process starts with the bottom lashes being taped down and your eyes closed. When your lashes are taped down, there shouldn’t be any discomfort. My eyelash technician used a mild sticky tape to hold my lower lashes down and I honestly didn’t feel uncomfortable. The next step is to pick up lashes with tweezers, dip them in glue, isolate one natural lash at one time and then attach the synthetic lash onto your natural lash one by one. It’s a very meticulous process and it would explain why the procedure actually takes up about 2 hours for me.

On average, the number of lashes applied would be approximately 80-120 lashes. Over at Luminous Beauty Parlour, the eyelash technician will decide the number of lashes to apply based on the look you’re trying to achieve. Before the start of the procedure, she asked on what look I preferred and whether I would like the focus to be at the center or on the end of my eyes. As this was my first time, I told her I’d prefer a more natural look with more focus at the center. A center focused one would mean my eyes would appear larger whereas the end focused one would create the illusion of a longer eyes.

So, it really depends on what your preference really is. Based on my preference, my eyelash technician opted for a 10mm length of curly lashes. The effect achieve with the kind of lashes used in Luminous, is a resulting 3D effect which is why it’s known as 3D Eyelash Extension. During the application of these lashes, sometimes there would be a tingling session as the false lashes are glued on. This sensation is mild and should be expected. What it should not be is a painful experience. I had a friend, Tiffany Lee who shared with me how painfully horrible her experience was because of bad quality glue used by the beauty centre. You can read more about her experience in the screenshot below.

Rest assured that Luminous Beauty Parlour uses good quality glue because I didn’t even feel any tingling sensation. The only thing I felt was my lashes was touched, because a false eyelash was being placed over it. It was only at the end of the procedure, that I finally felt the tingling sensation. It will cause you to tear a little, but that is normal and painless.

There is an art to this eyelash extension procedure because the eyelash technician would need to know the balance of applying just the right amount of glue on the lashes. Too much of glue would actually damage your real lashes as the real lashes could fall out with it or it would irritate your natural lashes. So when the extension is done right, it won’t hurt your lashes.

On the last myth, the lashes extension does not cause your natural lashes to fall out. The false lashes simply rests on your natural lashes and if your natural lashes fall out, the false ones would do. Otherwise the false lashes might even drop on its own due to wear and tear, given that we use face wash and make up remover or any other beauty products which would result in the glue wearing out. Hence, it’s recommended to avoid using oil-based remover or any heavy oily eye cream whilst you have the extension.

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Overall, my experience on the eyelash extension procedure is a positive one. This is greatly contributed by the fact that my eyelash technician was very professional and skilled to perform the procedure. I was very satisfied with the end results. She was thoughtful in choosing the right length of false lashes as well as the placement of the lashes. She avoided putting them too close to my inner eyes as she was afraid it would irritate my eyes and cause me to rub my eyes.

Oh, do note that these false lashes are extremely fragile so you’re absolutely not allowed to rub it at all. Doing so will cause your false lashes to all fall out, leaving weird spaces in between the lashes. At the point of writing, it’s been a week since and some of the lashes have fallen off as with the wear and tear. But the effect of the eyelash extension is still is noticeable.

Over time, these false lashes will slowly fall out until it’s all gone. I think I will need some time to get used to just my natural lashes. I’m growing to love my look with these amazingly curly lashes. To extend the lifespan of the lashes, it is recommended not to wear thick eye makeup as it would result in a need to use makeup remover. The usage of remover will result in the glue losing it adhesiveness. Besides that, after wetting your lashes (especially after washing your face), it is recommended to use a mascara brush to comb the lashes so that they will dry evenly. The false lashes have a tendency to clump together when it’s wet.

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For latest updates and promotions, you can check out their Facebook page here >> Luminous Beauty Parlour's Facebook Page and Instagram here >> @luminousbeautyparlour - Instagram.