Monday, 11 April 2016

Ichiban The Izakaya (Rooftop Kota Damansara) : A La Carte Japanese Buffet Dinner Review

I was stumbled upon this Japanese restaurant Facebook page few days ago when I was browsing through my feeds and the words Japanese A La Carte Buffet at RM69 NETT caught my utmost attention. Yes, i was really hungry at that point and who can resist the thought of unlimited order of all the fresh sashimi without the need to worry about the bill. I always in the look out for A La Carte Buffet as i personally prefer food to be served upon order to ensure they are fresh and warm when i consume.

Before i know it , my fingers automatically dialing their phone number as advertised to make a reservation for the coming Saturday. I was worried if it may be fully booked and i have to suffer my crave for another week but boy i was lucky! Or maybe their recent buffet launch still not known by too many yet. So I went for it last Saturday night wearing one of my most comfortable outfit as i know i will be adding inches to the waist and it was the best decision ever!

This branch of the restaurant (currently the only branch that offers buffet) is located at Dataran Cascades Kota Damansara. If you are following Google Maps, please make sure that you select the correct one or you will end up being leaded to Sri Hartamas instead (like me) fml.

My view from where i was seated
I was seated next to the main entrance by the ceiling high window and facing the bar where beverages are prepared. I saw batches of their frozen beer (by Kirin Ichiban) being served to the diners on that night. I did not order any as it is not included in the price of the buffet and i hate the taste of beer. Green tea is the only drink they offered in the buffet menu btw.

Menu Page 1

Menu Page 2
All appetizers except Edamame are provided self service at the left corner from the entrance. Same goes with Miso Soup and Green Tea. I personally prefer their menu over Maiu's as they provide pictures of all their food in the menu. If you are wondering, they do not offer any dessert in the buffet menu which is a miss!

The appetizers i took from the self service corner

Salmon Sashimi and TunaTataki
I am a big fan of Salmon Sashimi and their Salmon Sashimi was definitely one of the best for a buffet standard. I could not help it but to gobble down 5 servings of them. Tuna Tataki was good too!

Ika Shioyaki
Ika Shioyaki was a disappointment. Not only it did not look like what it was shown in the menu, it was dry and tasteless.

Saba Shioyaki
Besides Salmon Sashimi, Saba Shioyaki is in my must order list. While this dish tends to be a little dry in most of the restaurants that i have tried, Ichiban The Izakaya has done it perfectly. Juicy and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. *thumbs up*

Smoked Duck Yakitori
Being a fan of smoked duck, i was surprised this is on their menu as there are not many Japanese restaurant that serve smoked duck. I love the bold flavor and the tenderness of the meat.

Tori Gyoza
Fried Gyoza was good but be prepared as they serve six pieces in one serving. With the generous amount of the meat inside, it was quite filling as both of us had to eat 3 pieces each.

Ebi Teppanyaki
Take a look at the size of the prawns. Honestly, i did not have high hope when i ordered Ebi Teppanyaki. I was expecting some low quality prawns being served but i was wrong!  It came out pretty good. Fresh and sweet with a hint of butter.

Ebi Tempura
One of my favourite of the night, the picture above was my 3rd serving. Yes, i know fried food is not healthy but this was really good. It came with the dipping sauce and they went so well together. It was piping hot when it was served and again good quality prawns were used. The crispness was no joke. Must order!

Soft Shell Crab Hand Roll
Due to the dim lighting, the soft shell crab was hardly visible in the picture but trust me, it was there. The only rice i had that night so i could make more space for my tummy. Hand roll was okay but if you noticed from the picture, a slice of avocado was used. This is the only Japanese buffet restaurant that I have visited so far that uses avocado in their soft shell crab hand roll. They can totally omit the avocado for cost saving purpose but they decided not to which is definitely worth mentioning.

Service was okay and staff were helpful. Do expect some waiting time if the restaurant is running full capacity. Our orders came pretty fast for the first hour as we reached there before 7pm and it got slower when the crowd came.

Restaurant Indoor
This was the crowd on last Saturday night. I expected a live band with all the music instruments on the stage but i could only see two people singing on that night. The restaurant is very spacious and the ambience is pretty good although it would be better if it can be a little brighter. It felt more like a pub & bistro to me with all the moving coloured lights that flash on and off in time to the music.

Restaurant Outdoor

Main Entrance
The restaurant is located at the rooftop of the building. From the car park, walk to where the lifts are and take the transparent lift to the highest floor, 3A. You will be able to see their main entrance once you are out from the lift.

I was not able to try everything on the menu but i definitely will be going back again. If only dessert can be added in the menu then it would be perfect *hopeful*. Maiu used to be my only option whenever i want to go for Japanese Ala Carte Buffet and i personally do not prefer Mitasu after one visit. I am glad that i found my new favourite place for Japanese A La Carte Buffet and i hope they will make this permanent.

A La Carte Japanese Buffet Dinner  
Price : Adult RM69 NETT     Child RM35 NETT
(available Tue - Sun 6:30pm to 9:30pm) closed on Monday

Ichiban The Izakaya 
A-34-08 (Rooftop) Dataran Cascade

No. 13A Jalan PJU 5,
Kota Damansara PJU 5,
47810 Petaling Jaya,

Tel : 010 254 5764 (Reservation is recommended)

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Shorea : A Retreat for You & Your Furry Kids

Throwback Post

Hello, as mentioned above, this is a throwback post. I was browsing through my old SD card of my camera and i found there are more than 2k pictures in it which I have totally forgotten about them. I suddenly realize i went for plenty of nice places for some short getaways during the last couple of years. Nice pictures are meant to be shared right. So today I am going to share about my short getaway at this resort, The Shorea which is only approximately 2hours drive from KL. It was not that well known two years ago but now they are listed as one of the recommended places for a short getaway in Malaysia.

The Infinity Pool
Sun deck in front of Villa Bougainvillea
 Villa Shorea and common kitchen
Taken on the bridge that connects Villa Bougainvellia to the common kitchen area

Sun deck and dining area in front of Villa Bougainvillea
Plunge pool, a salt water pool with no chloramines

Common kitchen

Elaine, the owner has been very helpful throughout the whole reservation process. She recommended Villa Kemboja for any couple as this villa is located at the highest point of the resort which offers the best view and ultimate privacy.

Villa Kemboja located at the highest point of the resort
Villa Kemboja
Villa Kemboja
 Open air bathroom/toilet 
Balcony and that's my boy, Jellybean exploring the villa XD
The view from the balcony of Villa Kemboja
                Villa's kitchenette ( you just need to bring ingredients for cooking your own meals )

 The staircase to Villa Kemboja

Since every villa has their own well equipped kitchen, guests are welcome to bring their own ingredients to cook their own meals. If you are too lazy to cook like me, meals can be catered through their chef's menu in the Welcome Pack once reservation is made. Meals that offered include BBQ, steamboat, western food etc. BBQ pit can be set up with a small charge if you are bringing your own food to grill.

       Everything was prepared by them except the sausages that i brought on my own

 All are well set up and prepared if you are paying for the catered meals.

I remembered paying RM50 per pax for this not so tasty BBQ dinner which i find it pretty expensive so i would suggest bringing your own and pay for the BBQ pit set up fee instead. Luckily breakfast that included in the room rate was surprisingly good though.

Breakfast which included in the room rate

Breakfast at the balcony. You may choose to have it at the common dining area instead.

Or where I had my BBQ dinner 

Despite the steep price, i must say that The Shorea is definitely a place worth visit for a retreat or a short getaway. Every corner of the resort is so instagram worthy. What's more, it is a pet friendly resort where you can bring along your furry kids without feeling guilty to have to leave them behind. By the way, there are no TV and air-cond in the villa which make you spend more time talking with your loved ones (and spending time with your furry kids) and enjoy the natural breeze.

 Jellybean is enjoying the view at the balcony

See that happy face? That is why it is worth it =))))))))))))

For more information about the resort and rates, here is the link to their website.

Or you can check them out at Facebook and here is the link of their FB page.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Taipei Crazy House : A clean & convenient Airbnb in Ximending Taipei

I am still having my post holiday blues even am back from my Taipei trip for almost a month now. Missing the weather, the environment, the food and most of all the bubble milk tea from 50 Lan (can someone please bring in this bubble milk tea to Malaysia? please please pleaseeeeeee) To me, it is better than Chatime and Gongcha and whatever bubble milk tea that you can find in Malaysia. Yes, that's how good it is! Btw, am a fan of bubble milk tea. So when ppl ask " Are you a coffee person?" I will reply '' More like a bubble milk tea person '' hahah Oops I apologize, I just got carried away when I mentioned about this bubble milk tea as I miss it so badly *sob*

Anyway, in this post I will share about this airbnb that I stayed for 5nights during my trip to Taipei last month. This is my second experience staying in an airbnb. The first one was during my trip in Hong Kong early this year which I did not take any photos of the room at all. I wonder why hmm... Here are the reasons why I choose to stay in an airbnb over a hotel;
1. Cheaper
2. Feels like home
3. Nicely decorated with unique touch
4. Save time (no check in or check out procedures)
5. Since it feels like home, I dont feel afraid like I would if I stay in a hotel (fear of ghosts phobia)

I normally only looks for two criteria when choosing an accommodation; Cleanliness & Convenience
As this is my first time in Taipei, it is important to stay somewhere that is convenient. It only took me 7 minutes walk from Ximen Station and I didn't feel the distance at all as the whole street to the airbnb is line up with so many restaurants and shops and it is pretty happening in the evening till late. There is this Watson outlet that opens 24hours is just a few steps away. 7-11 and 24hours McDonalds are just 3 minutes walk away from the airbnb. That is how convenient it is!

And for the cleanliness, i give them a full 10 out of 10. Here are some of the pictures taken in the room. This room that i stayed is without windows. There are some bigger rooms with windows which of course the rate will be higher.

Personally i love the simplicity of the design. I just feel really comfortable when i step in, feel very much like home. Their furniture are mostly from Ikea and im a fan of Ikea!

And i superb love the bathroom, the colour and the design are just what i wish to have at home. Too bad all three of the bathrooms at my home are not possible for a shower screen to be installed due to some bad architectural planning from the developer fml.

My first experience staying in an airbnb was in Hong Kong and there was no housekeeping service which i thought it is normal staying in an airbnb. But this airbnb in Taipei, even there is no housekeeping to tidy the bed and clean the room, the staff came to change our towel and empty our dustbin everyday which is a bonus.

This is the corridor of the airbnb. Bright and clean. The room that i stayed located at 2nd floor. I stayed at the 1st room (01) at the right end of this picture below.

This door (room 10) in the picture below belongs to a bigger room with window which is facing the busy street of Ximending.

They even provide a cold and hot water dispenser which is convenient for coffee / tea making or some late night supper for cup noodles lovers.

More pictures of the beautiful corridor.

This picture below is the main door. The lift to the ground floor is right outside of this door. This door can only be opened from the outside with a sensor key. So i was given a total of  3 keys, room key, this main door sensor key, and the key to the metal door at ground floor.

They do provide washing machine and dryer as well which i did not use during my stay. I find this very useful for those who like to stay longer and do not wish to bring too many clothes.

I paid a total of RM1287 for 5 nights which if divided by two, it only costs RM643.50 per person. With such convenient location, i find this airbnb pretty worth the price I paid. I will love to stay here again and i will definitely recommend this to whoever that looking to stay around Ximending.

Here is the link for those who are interested.

Check out this listing on Airbnb, 西門町Ximending(205號房)2人房 5 min to MRT -

Hope this helps and thanks for reading! :-)