Friday, December 23, 2011

Away Notice :)))))))

nope I won't be lugging my Macbook along to blog during this trip
sorry to disappoint u but then again this Monkey needed a break fr blogging too

Happy Holidays folks!!!!
have a smashing time and let us all welcome 2012 with wide open arms and HUGE SMILES

Thursday, December 22, 2011

El Palace Hotel Barcelona

I looked so tiny at the hotel lounge
can u spot Monkey among the trinkets of stuffs????
where's everybody???

We seldom blog about hotels coz there's no priority on posting about it
then we realised since this blog is a Monkey-JS-pedia for everything in life why not?
and JS has got extra work --> snap pics of the place
hahahah coz usually we'll bunk in bunk outta hotels without much thought about it

our main priority in selecting a hotel is usually LOCATION
location LOCATION location
it has to be central *like really really right smack*, transportation (tube, underground, Metro etc) and a supermarket nearby to purchase the most important source in life = WATER

JS drinks like a camel about 6 litres of Evian every 2 days
Evian cost about Euro 3.80 for 6 bottles = RM 15.20 for 6 = RM 2.53 per bottle
now go figure why is it so expensive in Msia
El Palace is about 92 years old
yes we lurve all this heritage hotels

situated on the main shopping strip
walking distance to La Ramblas, All of Antonio Gaudi's works *OMG he was the highlight of my trip*, all the makan places/cafes, even to the port wasn't that far....
I love Barcelona really much that we must return to visit Gaudi's works again...and spend more time on it
that lil green bowl on the table, which I found out is for us to throw sweets wrappers

the only time that I saw such similar clock was at a Museum in Switzerland
Read about it *here*
after a personalised tour by the concierge we finally arrived at our room
the main street of Barcelona, Gran Via de la Corts Catalanes
it is similar to Orchard Road in Singapore
and it's also the very same street where Antoni Gaudi was hit by a tram in 1926 and died
*why didn't u look left right left b4 u cross the road????*
since El Palace was refurbished in 2009, it has got a lot of gadgets in this classical hotel
all lights were of moving sensors
and that includes its TV
Fire place and a beautiful mirror
the chandelier was very pretty too but forgot to snap pic
yes the TV is the mirror
the mirror is the TV
cool eh?
even the phone has got so many buttons and caller ID of the other guests
all the detailing......
actually this is a great idea to hide the seam of the wallpaper
The Bathroom was HUGE
with a separate HUGE tub and a Rain Shower
JS forgot to snap pic :P
toilets were set separatedly with a sliding glass door
the beauty of goin to the toilet is the lights were all by "movement censor"
how come we never thought of then when renovating our home?
Readers if it is not too let, I think this feature is truly important
especially when u r half asleep walking to the toilet
hmmmm and that's me sleeping
one of those morning we decided to try their breakfast
it's set on the garden at the back of the hotel
but bcoz it's winter, there's a marquee over it

the marquee was so well built it looks permanent
I can imagine how beautiful it is during summer
enjoying breakfast among the lush tropical greenery

thank gawd they had heater at every table
else it's too cold with the winter chill

highly recommended hotel
for more details, visit their website here

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Khan's Restaurant, London

established since 1977 by the Khan family
it is one of the best Indian restaurant in London
truly authentic and everything remained the same from its recipe to menu and interior deco

However be aware
there's another imitation of Khan's nearby
so make sure that u are at the right restaurant *coz apparently the other one sucks big time*

crispy sweet onion bhaji
the service here is fast and communal
but definitely not for the Europeans and locals
yeah locals as in Londoners

coz it's amazingly spicy
anyhow this is just the way Msians lurve it
a good place to cure your pang for spicy food
*the only thing I missed while travelling = chilis*

Mutton Curry was melt-in-your-mouth
yes spicy...and the taste of spices just lingers
very long length, must be the cardamom

chicken dopiaza
was very sweet thanks to heaps of onions used to cook this curry

if u are looking for atmosphere then this place is not for you
Khan's is a family restaurant with loud atmosphere and no-frill services
but rest assured, the food is REALLY REALLY GOOD

a bowl of homemade fresh yogurt to kill all the spiciness
I guess being Msian we dun really need this but it was good coz it's homemade!!!!
oh YUMSSS!!!!
crispy and warm garlic naan fresh from its Clay Oven
and I promised myself not to pile too much on this.....
coz the STAR of the nite has yet to come!!!!!!
we came all the way for this :))))))))))))))
the most authentic biryani good as those from Hyderabad
ok ok I've never been to Hyderabad, India but testimonials said so
We also ordered another plate of CHICKEN BIRYANI
*all the chickens were hidden underneath the rice*

but my recommendation would be Lamb Biryani, NOT bcoz the chicken version wasn't good but your stomach can only store so much unless u have a huge group!!!!
the grains were cooked together with the meat layers by layers
together with lots of precious spices
the mutton tears by itself......*sigh* aaaaAAaaaaaaaaaaaa
OMG I want this now!!!!!

since it's all done in layers....u need to scoop some rice and some meat
coz most of the gravy sticks to the meat
now I wished JS can make this at home
eh why are u not Chindian??? then I get to eat all these at home
*chinese and indian food*

Sag Paneer
a vegetarian dish of spinach cooked with homemade cottage cheese

there are other exciting stuffs on its menu
but our stomach can only store so much
Monkey almost.....*almost*...really that close to "tapau" more Mutton Biryani home
it was so so so so so so EXTREMELY good
Remember to go to the original Khan's
and not the other fake one :P
Khan's Restaurant is really value for money
a plate of Mutton Biryani cost GBP 7.40

there are huge numbers of Arab customers
coz this place is Halal with no alcohols

anyhow Britain has got one of the highest Indian immigrants
so this place better be good and be as authentic as possible

Khan's Restaurant
13-15, Westbourne Grove,
London W2 4UA.
Tel: +020 7727 5420
Take the tube to Bayswater and walk pass Whiteley Shopping Centre until u reach Westbourne Grove, then turn left...the restaurant is just there.

PS: around this area there is another popular Roast Duck place called Four Seasons. Am sure all of u know this...they've opened a branch in Malaysia at Empire Gallery. Go visit. :))

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Harrods, London

The famous Harrods Departmental Store
I guess it is alwiz "a must" to come to Harrods whenever u r in London
even if it means to do window shopping coz there's just so much to see!!!
especially during festive season like Christmas

Spanning across the land of 5 Acres with a total floor space of ONE MILLION SQ FT, I am sure there's something for everyone
yeah one million square feet if u r still asking urself

Founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1834
it went through different hands and the last owner Mohamed Al-Fayed sold it to Qatar Holdings in 2010

u have anything against an Arab country? if u do, then don't go to Harrods
I dunno what is this with ppl and globalisation
"Oh it's a Jew company....I'm not goin and buying from them."
if u have problem with Jews then there's lotsa store u can't go dude!!!
Example, Chanel is Jew...Cartier is dun get me started on other goods....and mind u, I work for a Jew company....if u guys are still wondering...ASTRO's satellite was launched by Jews so u not using the product? and also don't drink Coffee Bean & Starbucks huh...coz r Jew too!!!
GAH!!! why some ppl are so backward thinking??????

anyway back to happier thoughts......of me and JS and Berr @ Harrods
after visiting their amazing and beautiful home department we went down to Food Hall
just to refill back all the energy burnt upstairs...
nope, we didn't really check out the clothes/apparels/cosmetics/branded luxury stuffs etc
just household and food alone were enuff

their merchandisers and buyers did fantastic job in bringing together all the exclusive brands
beautifully displayed in their departmental store
there's so many things that I wished we could have purchased and shipped it back to Malaysia
its Christmas Ornaments section is as HUGE as a book store
ooohhhhh now I regretted not getting that Crystal Angel for the tree :((((((((

so JS said "Nvm Monkey, if u like it here, we can alwiz come back anytime."

yeah I know...every visit to Harrods is different....our last visit here a few years back, we almost carried back the whole kitchenware department T_T
and this round I wanted that WHOLE DINING TABLE with all its ornaments and cutleries and tablecloth!!!! after all the browsing and shopping....wat to have for tea
yum yum yum......
I want the cakes, the pastries, the ice creams and the....

my luck was shortlived...JS said only ONE ITEM....ONE ITEM...
*he's treating me like a kid huh....learning to make choices in life....*
so I had had HAD to choose SCONES!!!
how could u not have SCONES and TEA in LONDON?????

ooooooo it came in a normal buttery one and a raisin one
then I can't decide which one to have first, me eyes darting from one to the next
yes Life is all about making DECISIONS!!!!!
okie just one more pic to make u salivate
the outer crust was so gooood
and on the inside it was buttery soft and WARM~~~~~~~
served with fresh strawberry jam and CLOTTED CREAM!!!!

such simple scones can make my day so happy :))))))))

and mind u pls pls pls PLEASE
this is a WARNING
DO NOT eat the scones at Harrods Kuala Lumpur International Airport
those, I can throw it back to its glass display, and it will crack....
get my drift???
the tea place isn't either u come at off-peak hours or queue up
we lurve to enjoy our tea here and do ppl watch down there....coz this tea house is just on a mezzanine floor.
all the hustling bustling of ppl doing groceries shopping

no complain
Life is Good
as long as I am healthy, I can do a lot of things for myself and for others
Blessed :)))))))))))

so Folks...take care of yourself and that body of yours
it's the most precious tangible thing u ever have!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Boulevard Raspail Organic Market, France

How eppy can u get....on a beautiful cool Sunday morning just by looking at these??????
*oh yeah Parisiens dressed up nicely every single day including goin to the market, so u better be!!!!*

the kaleidoscope of colors were sufficient to wake me up
if u happened to have hang-over fr the night before.....lots of stalls selling freshly squeezed juices to replenish all the dehydration.

the noise,
the smell,
the sight,
the touch....yes notti me like to touch everything on display
the texture
the taste......

late Autumn also happens to be pumpkins and squash season
such beautiful dark orange pumpkins!!!
if it ain't good enuff to eat, they are good to sit in the kitchen as deco
but with such deep hue of color, it had received sufficient sun hence these pumpkins are very very sweet!!!
I knew it coz I had Pumpkin Soup!!!!! :)))))))))))))))))

more pumpkins of different sizes and species

Boulevard Raspail Market is a Biologique Marche = Biologic Market
Opens every Sunday without fail even if it snows!!!!

lucky us coz we were staying a few steps away and we found it by accident
one of those mornings, when we woke up and stretched the curtain to unveil Eiffel Tower, we saw this market at the corner of the street.
All produce in the market are grown organically
so pretty!!!!!
I'm not a carrot person, but looking at irresistible!!!

JS was so obsessed with Lamb Lettuce which we can't buy in Malaysia
it has a crunchy clean taste and u eat them as salad
beautifully stacked on crates so they are not damaged
another different variety of Lamb Lettuce
its leaves are smaller - younger shoots
I hate Radiocchio for its bitterness
but here, it tasted different....a different type of bitterness which I like :)))))))))))
Monkey bz sniffing at flowers :))))))))))))
I especially lurve Tulips and been drawing tulips since I was in my lolly dresses and crayons
simple and smart machine - roasting decks
at the top tier are the HUGE chickens of different species
*in France there is an AOC system for their chickens, just like how they classify wines*
underneath the HUGE chicken are the NORMAL ones
and beneath the NORMAL ones are SPRING chickens
the juices from the top flow all the way down~~~~~

down to the next level which consist of
Potatoes in chunks
Potatoes in wedges
cut smaller pieces of chickens
Chicken and pork sausages
and finally at the most bottom deck are Mixture of zucchinis....
so the juices from all of the above were never wasted
different species, classification and sizes of french oysters!!!
usually u can ask them to shuck it for u

there's also organic fish vendors
meat vendors...
so many things happening at the same time
our eyes were busy darting from left to right
my stomach can't decide wat to eat :D
aaaAAAaaaaa freshly baked bread
if only I lived in Paris,
I'll come here every Sundays!!!!!!!
these are really HUGE tomatoes!!!!
I dun know if u call them Heirloom Beefsteak Tomatoes of wat????
all the produces here makes me wanna learn COOKING!!!!
if only we can buy them back to cook!!!!
wat a fantastic place to be :)))))))))))))
Yes I a market....hahahahaha
lurve the size of the market coz it's not too big and definitely not crowded :))))))))

Boulevard Raspail Biologique Market 
along Boulevard Raspail
intersection of Rue de Rennes and Rue de Cherche-Midi
Opens every Sunday = Biologique produce
and on Tuedays and Fridays = Non-Biologique Produce