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An Italian's Adventurous Food Trip to Malaysia (By Happysuffer)






Tuesday, April 22, 2014



Cinzia Greco, who loves travelling made a trip to Kuala Lumpur recently and enjoyed it so much that she wants to share her wonderful experience.



Food, good food at that, elevates a travel experience. Here. Cinzia (Cynthia) shares the food she eat at her friend's new outlet. And if you are in Kuala Lumpur, you may want to give the Gastro Project in Section 17, Petaling Jaya a try and be blown away by their food, the decor, well, the whole experience!



Cinzia also shares some travel booking sites that she uses for her travel needs.  Images are also courtesy of Cinzia.



Thank you, Cinzia, for sharing your experience. I hope you enjoyed yourself here in Malaysia and will be back soon.



Read Cinzia's travel story:



One visit to Malaysia is enough to make you fall in love with it and to inspire in you the desire to travel there again.



However, if you are expecting a post describing the countless natural beauties of this country, you should not be reading this as I would rather focus on a specific aspect of my most recent experience in Malaysia. So, keep on reading if you like to find it out.
 

What is so great about Malaysia is the extraordinary melting pot of races and cultures, the balanced mash-up of traditions and religions where diversity is seen as something positive, an enrichment rather than a limitation.



Perfect evidence for this is the local cuisine, an explosive combination of gastronomic ingredients that, if combined together in the right way, can create exquisite recipes and dishes.



During my last trip to Malaysia, I got the chance to have an excellent guide: a good old friend of mine I met in UK several years ago.



I was really excited to see him after so long (unfortunately, in my previous visit to Malaysia we could not meet up as he was abroad for work).



Plus, I was particularly excited as I knew he and his family had open a new fusion restaurant and bar in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, just for the sake of their shared passion: food.



I could not wait any longer to go there and try what they describe as a sublime culinary experience and not only.

 

This time, I did not have to bother with accommodation search as my friend was putting me up in his apartment. But just to provide readers with useful information, during my very first visit to Malaysia I checked the various accommodation options listed in the main hotel booking portals, such as Booking.com and Expedia. Eventually I ended up choosing a nice hotel through the HotelsClick website simply because they were offering the best price. Before booking my room, I gathered some information about this site that was previously unknown to me and, although opinions were different and not all positive, I just clicked the book now button… And I have to admit that everything went great!



For my next trip in general, I’d like to use this site http://www.homestaybooking.com/ that put travellers in contact with local host families: I think it could be a different way of travelling.



But let’s go back to my latest trip. My friend couldn't pick me up at the airport and, to tell you the truth, that was better for me as, when I travel on long distances, I tend to suffer from jet-lag quite a lot. So I was happy to have some time to recover and to meet my friend at the top of my shape.


We had arranged to meet the day after my arrival at The Gastro Project, their restaurant. He didn't tell me much about the place so it was a great surprise to find out that, apart from food, they had conceived it almost as a movie sanctuary with plenty of photos and posters from the film-making industry (loved the Godfather series!). That was a goal for me considering my passion for movies: the combination between food and cinema is a winning one! (They also have a wall screen projecting movies on a daily schedule).



Cocktailing at the bar

So, on my friend’s tip, I started my experience at The Gastro Project at the bar with a cocktail, of course. I had Hmmmm which is made of fresh strawberries, almonds, brown sugar, dark rum and midori liqueur. Sublime!



They also serve beers and different types of wines. To make sure you have something to taste along with your cocktail, finger foods and canap├ęs are always handy.

Chatting with my friend made me hungry: time had come for dinner!



Dining at the restaurant

So we moved to the restaurant area where, you know what… I could not make my mind up while I was reading the menu. So I had to trust my friend once again. According to him, one of most popular dishes, something The Gastro Project has become famous for, is the Japanese salad. And after tasting it, I understood why!



I don’t think there is a better dish to begin your dinner with: your belly will be grateful to enjoy this delicate salad made of greens, avocado, pomegranate, pine nuts and edamame with a delicious topping of sesame dressing.



After the salad, I opted for a selection of two pasta dishes: spaghetti aglio e olio with crabmeat andorecchiette with lamb and cumino sauce.



My friend had pumpkin ravioli: of course I tasted them and I must say they were excellent.

Being a lover of lamb meat and couscous, my second course choice was obvious: lamb stewed with carrot and apricot and served with aromatic couscous. The meat literally melt in my mouth as though it was butter.



I was ready for dessert, but first I need to refresh my palate with a mint sorbet.  I have to say that I am not passionate about dessert, but still I had to taste their offer. So I went for a trio of dessert including:



• an English strawberry trifle with layers of fresh cream, custard and strawberries

• some chocolate cake balls with rum cocoa sauce (a must for chocolate lovers)

• a truly original cardamon pannacotta with a caramel sauce



I don’t need to say that every dish was paired with the most appropriate selection of wines.

I am Italian and the passion for good food is ingrained in my DNA. Also when I am travelling, I’d love to enjoy the most typical local recipes or, as in this case, the combination of different influences merging into the same dish.



So, it was a pleasure for me to discover that we Italians have this passion in common with the Malaysian people.

By Happysuffer
http://all-about-malaysia.blogspot.com

My top 5 dream experiences on my bucket list for Malaysia (By Getsetandgo)

My top 5 dream experiences on my bucket list for Malaysia (By Getsetandgo)


“Malaysia” – just the mention of this name is enough to conjure images of a country with a mix of everything – from a multitude of cultures to landscapes to experiences and as a tourist / traveler you are definitely spoilt for choices. Malaysia or “Truly Asia”, as its campaign says, has been on my bucket list for a while, but somehow a trip here has never materialized. Hence when MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest was announced by Blogadda, I saw a chance to finally visit this exotic destination and hence jumped on the participation bandwagon.

For this contest, we need to write a blog post about 5 things we would want to experience in Malaysia. Tough isn’t it? More so for me  since I am a budget off-beat traveler and Malaysia has numerous things for me to see and do. But I somehow managed to prioritize and create a mix of every thing   i.e. art, culture, nature, kiddy, etc to be a part of 5 dream experiences on my bucket list for Malaysia.

1. Heritage trails in George Town, Penang – This heritage walk (or rather my aimless wandering) through George Town in Penang is for the Art and Culture buff in me. George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a 200 year history with well-preserved colonial buildings and historical architecture.It is said that the architecture here is unparalleled anywhere in East or South East Asia.  I have seen numerous pics of other fellow bloggers and feel that this should be on the travel list of every off beat traveler to Malaysia.

2. Scale the Kinabalu Park in Sabah – A visit here is a must for the Adventure Traveler in me and a way for me to train and challenge myself. This park is again a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to Mount Kinabalu (Malaysia’s highest mountain and one of Southeast Asia’s highest peaks) and  one of the most important biological sites in the world, with between 5000 and 6000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and more than 100 mammalian species identified. One of the most famous species found here is the gigantic Rafflesia (large parasitic plant).


3. Walking through the Mangrove swamps and meeting the orangutans in Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve, Sabah – I recently saw a travel documentary made on a walk through the mangrove swamps & meeting with orangutans in this nature reserve and the animal lover in me was completely sold on it. This Reserve has been named after two rivers that flow through it and has interesting and diverse array of wildlife and vegetation, various nature trails and the world-famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The centre opened in 1964 as the first official orangutan rehabilitation project for rescued orphaned baby orangutans from logging sites, plantations, illegal hunting or kept as pets. The orphaned orangutans are treated for injuries and then trained to survive in the wild and are released as soon as they are ready. On many occasions I have even considered volunteering here.
 


4. Relaxing on the beaches of Tioman Island, Pahang – I recently heard from a friend about the beautiful beaches of Tioman Island and decided that these beautiful beaches would be an ideal place to relax and rewind after scaling Mount Kinabalu. The beaches here are picturesque with twin volcanic peaks, golden sands, lush tropical rainforest and clear waters with some amazing dive sites.  There is also a local legend according which Tioman Island is the resting place of a beautiful dragon princess. While flying from China to meet her Prince Charming in Singapore, she stopped to seek solace in the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea, was enraptured by the charms of the place and decided to discontinue her journey. She then took the form of an island and pledged to offer shelter and comfort to passing travelers.
 

5. Legoland and Hello Kitty Town, Johor – For the kid in me who’s grown up with Lego blocks (smaller version) a chance to visit Legoland is like a kiddy dream come true. This international park is an out of world experience with thrilling rides, interactive displays, themed areas and Lego stores :). As a kid I used to ask my dad to always get me Hello Kitty stuff on every visit to Hong Kong and now a chance to see a world of Hello Kitty is just too good to resist.
 

Since I havent been to any of these places myself, detailed information about the locales is courtesy Malaysia Tourism and Wikipedia and the pictures are courtesy Wikipedia.

Now that the wish list is complete, day dreams are on and fingers are crossed. Hope to be one of the three lucky winners who get a chance to be in Malaysia this year :)

Getsetandgo
http://getsetandgo.wordpress.com

10 Islands You Want to Visit in Malaysia




I love island life. I love the sea, the sand and the sun. Ironically, I live in Singapore (which is technically an island) but I just don’t get the satisfaction of what I expect from an island escapade/adventure. I always dream of island hopping in the Caribbean and I absolutely miss my time in Greece 2 summers back. Out of desperation, I sought out islands next door (Malaysia). I’ve been to some on the list and there are others that I’m dying to visit

i.e. like #1 & #2 (insert love sick emoticon).
Totally random, but seeing this picture makes me want to scream “wheeeeeeeeeee~~~~~”.

photo credits: petukhov.anton
* I will be using the term Island and Pulau interchangeably in this article. Pulau means island in Malay Language.
10. Tioman Island
Tioman is situated in Pahang within the Mersing Marine Park and being in Johor, it’s one of the closest island getaways for Singaporeans. In particular, Tioman Island created memories for my first dive trip and it is a fantastic starting point for all of you who are interested in getting your scuba diving certification. (Read 5 Reasons to Make You Want to Dive) Time magazine has also selected Tioman Island as one of the most beautiful islands.

photo credits: paradiseistheworld.com
9. Tiga Island a.k.a Survivor Island
Pulau Tiga is the first location for the popular reality tv show “Survivor”. The island is situated off the West Coast of Sabah in Borneo. There are trails, plenty of trails on the island (including one that leads to a mud bath). It may not be your typical luxury island getaway but this uninhabited place will certainly let you escape from reality – or perhaps bring out the Chuck Noland in you?

photo credits: borneotrails.com.my
8. Rawa Island
Rawa Island is another option close to Singapore (even closer than Tioman!) To only way to get there is by a 1 hour ferry ride (or 30mins speed boat) from Mersing Jetty. There are lesser tourist on this small island compared to Tioman so it may be a better choice for those of you who prefer less crowd. Rawa is known for its soft white sand and coral reefs rich with marine life (as it is mostly untouched).

photo credit: Yiping Lim via photopin cc
7. Tinggi Island
Also accessible from Mersing Jetty, Pulau Tinggi is bigger than Rawa but smaller than Tioman. Not only does Pulau Tinggi offer a tranquil island life, it is also populated with lush jungles. This island can be a great family adventure offering both water activities in the deep blue, as well as rock climbing or trekking leading up to waterfalls amidst the rainforest.

photo credits: tourismjohor.com
6. Tenggol Island
Pulau Tenggol is part of a string of islands including Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang, off the coast of Terrengganu. This island is more well-known amongst the divers as it offers abundant marine life compared to other commercialised islands like Tioman. Sightings here include sharks, rays and nudibranch. For the  interest of non-divers, I will quit rambling on and introduce you to Pulau Perhentian – #5

photo credits: travel mylaunchpad
5. Perhentian Islands
The Perhentian Islands have been dubbed ‘paradise’ by some. It is made up of a big island (Perhentian Bersar) and small island (Perhentian Kecil). Both islands are fringed by sandy white beaches, and the reefs and crystal clear water are host to a wide variety of coral, sea-turtles, jellyfish, small sharks and reef-fish. Expect yourself to be part of a scene in the Beach and the Perhentian Islands are certainly not a shabby alternative to Ko Phi Phi.

photo credit: Elmar Bajora via photopin cc
4. Pangkor Island
Pangkor Island is situated off the coast of the Perak state, somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. It was previously reported that celebrities such as Kiera Knightley, Sting and Anna Friel are fans of the island (or more accurately the privately owned sister island Pangkor Laut). Having said that the main Pangkor Island offers a more affordable getaway with beautiful beaches like Coral Bay and Teluk Nipah. 

photo credits: Malaysiavisit.com
3. Redang Island
I don’t think I need to introduce Redang Island. It is a haven for all islanders. There are plenty of accommodations to choose from; budget to the ones you can splurge on. Period.

photo credits: wallpaperax
2. Layang-Layang Island
Layang Layang Island is also commonly known as Swallow Reef Island. It is one of the most population dive destinations for enthusiast and for the rest, it is a serene island to basically chillax. Bird watching is also a popular activity on Layang Layang. For the wanderers, do be careful because there is a naval base and trespassing will result in detention! Otherwise, just stay underwater, there’s so much to see, or bask in your deck chairs. Either way, this is a blissful island retreat.

1. Mabul Island – (Sipadan)
Just look at that accommodation! I want to jump into the waters right there and then. Who needs Maldives when you have Malaysia?! (Haha okay I’m kidding, I want to go Maldives too). But this place is heaven – friends who have been there swear by it. I’ve included Sipandan as part of Mabul Island as it is a beautiful dive destination but I’ve been told by Malaysian friends that you need a dive permit to head there. If you don’t have one, stay on Mabul Island, which is equally deserving. Though, being number 1 comes with a price, be prepared to burn a hole in your pocket!

photo credits: Sipadan Water Village
DREAM of living in a beach house, by the deep blue sea and waking up to the waves crashing against the shore.
Peace & Love,
Eileen x
 
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