Sunday, September 6, 2020

Saturday Night Live! All-You-Can-Eat Seafood Galore @ Starz Diner, Hard Rock Hotel Penang

With the new SOPs in place and buffet is no longer allowed in all eateries, many cafes and hotels have come out with new dining concepts to retain their loyal customers who have been loyal to their food. 

To feed the diners with what they have been expecting, Starz Diner has recently launched their new dining concept, "Saturday Night Live!" 
The All-You-Can-Eat concept allows diners to feast on local, Japanese & Chinese fusion seafood, grilled meats, pasta and many more on the menu. 

Instead of the usual buffet spread, Starz Diner now focus on serving hot food and set up several action counters to cook their offerings on the spot upon order. Diners can now enjoy better hot food nicely presented to you but at the same time you can just order more portions and cut down on food wastage. 

Starz Diner at Hard Rock Hotel Penang has recently introduced their new dining concept, now featuring the All-You-Can-Eat concept every Saturday with the theme "Saturday Night Live!" and serving local, Japanese & Chinese fusion seafood. 
As new SOPs in place where every restaurant has to follow the new guidelines, Starz Diner is now setting up several action counters to provide wide variety of dishes to all diners. All food will be prepared upon order to keep their hot and fresh. 

All tables has a standee to show that the table has been sanitised and alcohol wipes will be given to all diners to further cleaning their cutleries. QR Code menu is also available for a la carte order if you need any additional beverages or snacks. 

Tables have been rearranged and now only limited number of persons are allow as maximum capacity is now different than before. Advance booking is recommended to avoid any disappointment.

First I've went to soup counter and they are serving Sweet Corn Crab Soup, Indian Rassam and also Japanese Miso Soup with choices of udon or soba, or you can have it without any noodle too.

Do expect some queue because this dining is only available once a week, which is the Saturday evening and everybody since Hard Rock Hotel is so popular, the same situation to be expected for Starz Diner.

Pan Fried Sea Scallops
-served with papaya salsa & Japanese Ebiko

Unagi no Kabayaki
- served with soba noodle, Mentaiko & Bak Choy
The sliced unagi was smooth and tender, the moment you took a bite and it just melt in your mouth. Not forget to mention that the soba was nicely done. This dish was one of my top favourite of the night.

Braised Beef Cheek
- served with cauliflower puree & baby carrot
The beef cheek was so soft and tender, it simply melts in your mouth with a soft bite. The beef was so flavourful that I believe they took a long time to braise it, you can taste the efforts spent on this dish.
Portion was small but don't forget you can just order again and again. Remember to try everything before ordering a lot to avoid food wastage. 

Asian From The Wok counter offers all the Asian delights that we all loved especially the Chinese specialties. All these dishes must be cooked on the spot as they don't taste as good if you leave it on the table for a long time. Except the dim sum dishes though.

Sweet & Sour Prawn
- served with capsicum, onion & tomato

Chicken "Keong Chong"
Stir fried chicken with onion & ginger.

On the Seafood & Sashimi counter we get to choose several types of sushi, sashimi as well as some seafood on ice. There were also fresh oysters, flower crab, prawns and etc.

Who wouldn't like a plate of sashimi and fresh oysters like these?
Simply fresh and smooth, slide into your mouth like a piece of jelly. Every bite is simply delish.

The pasta counter offers a few selections of pasta noodles as well as sauces where you can customise your own pasta according to your preference.

I've tried the squid ink pasta with seafood aglio-olio, which was perfect and the flavours was awesome!

You can also expect some roasted meats and vegetables available at the meat counter.
You get to choose whether you want to have some tender roast chickens, lamb shoulder or some beef to ease your meat craving. 

I'm definitely a sucker for these juicy meats.
Tell me how to resist la?

On the grilling section, you get to choose fresh ingredients of the day and they will grill them for you on the spot. I have tasted the slipper lobster, prawns, squid, and ayam percik. There are several more dishes available.

What's life without some sweet and mouthwatering desserts? 
Starz Diner offers a wide variety of choices on their dessert spread and this is the heaven for people with sweet tooth.

We tried several cakes and tarts and I particularly love the lemon tart which was sour and really refreshing. You just feel like having it again and again after trying one.
Not forget to mention for chocolate lovers you should try the Chocolate Mud Pie which was really chocolaty and you can taste the strong dark chocolate flavours in this pie. 
The menu could change from time to time so you may expect different desserts available on different Saturday.

That pretty sums up my dining experience with Starz Diner. 
The Saturday Night Live! dining is only available every Saturdays and booking is recommend. 

It is more worth it if you invite your friends and family to dine here with you as you get to taste more variety of food. It is now priced at only RM115 nett per person and you get to dine for 3 hours at Starz Diner.

Saturday Night Live! @ Starz Diner, Hard Rock Hotel Penang

Hard Rock Hotel Penang, Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang

Business hours: 
Saturday | 6:30pm - 9:30pm

RM115 nett (adult) | RM60 nett ( kids 6-12 years old)   
Add RM25 nett for free flow of Coke & Sprite 

Reservations Contact:
+604 886 8057 |

More info:

Monday, August 24, 2020

Staycation at Le Embassy @ George Town, Penang

A Staycation is even better than a place filled with a lot of attractions and makes it pretty convenient to travel around. Especially if you are travelling to Penang this kind of city that is filled with good food and heritage buildings that you should be walking around and exploring this beautiful city. 

George Town is where you can find most good food and beautiful attractions in Penang, also stands this beautiful and affordable Le Embassy Hotel that provides ultimate comfort and convenience to all travellers with its ideal location. 

Built in 1957, Le Embassy Hotel is a fully restored heritage hotel situated in the historical heart of George Town. Travel back in time the moment you set foot into Le Embassy Hotel and be charmed by its timeless yet modern design concept.

Le Embassy Hotel is a luxury yet affordable hotel that offers the best value with an ultimate experience. Inspired by the scenes in the early 20’s, the design concept introduces a nostalgic throwback - a classic good old yesteryear with a sense of sophistication, quirkiness and upperclass.

I've choose to stayed in their signature Counselor Room, a harmonious blend of traditional and modern interior that exudes comfort and luxurious ambience. This category is available in Queen bed or Twin beds, perfect for business travellers or couples.
 The room is fully equipped with a safe deposit box that could fit my 13" Macbook Air, a minibar for you to store your drinks, and all basic amenities like writing table, big mirror and many more.

The best yet? A powerful rain shower which is perfect for travellers especially after a long day of tour around Penang. 

Another bigger room was the Ambassador Room, a slightly spacious room that emanates a sense of understated elegance with modern and contemporary appeal. The Ambassador Room is designed to accommodate a small family of three.

Here are some of the recommended things to do in Penang 
if you are staying in Le Embassy Hotel.

Have a plate of Penang Char Koay Teow
Enjoy how "wok-hei" best presented in a plate of Char Koay Teow in Penang!
There are so many selections if you walk to Penang New Lane for wide selections of Penang street food. Trust me, you will be spoiled with choices.

Even in the morning you could visit this particular coffee shop named Kedai Kopi Goh Chew.
The Fried Fish Bihun is a must! (Try to go early for the homemade curry, which is what I've missed)

One of the best Prawn Sauce Chee Cheong Fun in Penang! 
Right opposite the hotel is Kedai Kopi Seow Fong Lye, where you can find of the the best Penang style chee cheong fun and fried koay kak. 
The steaming hot cheong fun (flat rice noodle rolls) served with oil, prawn sauce, sweet sauce, chilli sauce and sprinkle sesame on top. Mix them up and enjoy the best combination of these sauces and rice noodle rolls.

Bamboo noodles pair with some roasted goodies in 鴻記(廣式)竹昇雲吞面 Hong Kee Bamboo Noodle. This is where you can get the tangy homemade noodles with several serving styles and also must try the roasted pork, duck and siew yok.

Apart from all the eating, visiting street arts is a must in Penang!
The classic street arts created by Ernest Zacharevic are still as popular as ever attracting tourists for photo opportunity. You can still see the crowds gather at around the Unesco Heritage site just to grab some shots with the famous street arts. 

Volchkova Indian Women Mural @ Lorong Lumut

Dinner time?
In just 5-minute walking distance is where you can find the famous Green House Hokkien Prawn Noodle. Located at Jalan Burmah as well in just about 100m walk and this is where you can see the coffee shop.

Craving for midnight snack?
Perhaps you can grab a slice of exotic cake from MoodyCow Cafe, just a stone throw away from Le Embassy Hotel too!

The day before I checked-out and I took a short walk around the hotel, this is also where I found the famous Roti Canai in Transfer Road(Jalan Transfer). 
You can see a big crowd queuing for the food, this place is famous for the roti canai set with Ayam Ros.

Due to new norms, do expect a longer waiting time but the wait is definitely worth it with a plate of tangy roti canai top with fragrant curry sauce and chicken. 

Feeling hungry still?
Come grab the famous fried Loh Bak(also known as 5 spice pork rolls) at Kheng Pin Cafe located on Sri Bahari Road, all within walking distance. Don't forget a glass of kopi-peng(local iced coffee)!

Before I walk back to the hotel is where I can have a bowl of icy cold Chendol, perfect to counter hot weather. Simply refreshing and satisfying.
This is from the famous Penang Road Teochew Chendol!

It is so important and convenience to stay in a place where every good food and attractions are located nearby you. Le Embassy Hotel is the answer in George Town, Penang!

Best available rate if you book through their official website!
Do check out their Facebook page for more updates and offers too!

Special thanks to Le Embassy Hotel for hosting my stay. If you are looking for a place that is convenient for you to travel around in Penang, Le Embassy Hotel definitely should be on the top of your consideration list.

Le Embassy Hotel

12, Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Contact number
04-227 6363

Official website

Facebook page

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Forest Bathing Experience @ The Habitat Penang Hill

We all know that we have been busy with life, be it work hard to earn a living, taking care of children, tired of the same daily routine or taking in all the stress from work as we live in this stressful city. 

Somehow we all need a way to destress, to relax and rejuvenate, to set free our mind and soul and give them a break sometimes. In short term destress moment, people choose to go for travel, go for drinking or some just choose to ignore it. 
However, some people go for relaxation classes like yoga, meditation or many other methods that can help us destress. 

The Habitat understand how stressful city life can be and with the idea of going back to nature, they have recently launched a new program called Forest Bathing Experience. Forest Bathing Experience was introduced as a therapeutic session that helps you to calm your mind and senses by surrounding yourself in the forest and will be guided through the session to experience the nature through 5 senses.

What is Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing meditation was first introduced in Japan as Shinrin-yoku. Shirrin refers to "forest" and yoku refers to "bath" which Shirrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere and taking in the nature through our senses. 
Forest bathing is one of the nature therapy that can help us improve our mental and physical health by exposing and blend into the forest throughout the treatment.
There are plenty of benefits of doing forest bathing that can help improve our health, you can read more at 

So in The Habitat, we were first introduced to this programme similar to Forest Bathing in Japan only except the bathing session. 
Throughout the session we will be guided to experience and blend into the nature through our body's 5 senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

The session includes a Penang Hill fast lane train ticket so you save your time from queuing at the train station.
(Or it will cost you RM40 for Malaysian and RM80 for non-Malaysian)
Even now the entrance to The Habitat is offering at half price for Malaysians so you basically saved a lot by participating in this Forest Bathing Experience by The Habitat  when you pay only RM88(promo price until 31 August)

As you will be guided throughout the session, first we all started with a brief by Low, the Naturalist at The Habitat.
Low was really passionate in his job and ready to share his experience with all the visitors. 
So he shared with us the benefits of Forest Bathing Experience and how it can help to improve our lifestyle and health within a short period of time through part of meditation, breathing exercise and many more.

We were given a magnifying glass to begin our exploration. "Sight"
There were so many details that we are unable to see with our bare eyes. With the help of magnifying glass, we are able to see these tiny details and realise how beautiful ants can be, or the beauty of leaves from certain plants.

Beautiful hoya blooming, lucky for us to see that! 

Through magnifying glass, I was lucky to saw a bee harvesting honey from the flower(probably?)

Tiny details from moss

Stood at one of top hills in Penang and looking at the beauty of nature. We were taught with breathing method to relax of mind and senses as we do our "Sight" experience.

Move on to "Touch" as we feel the texture on the leaves, the trees through our fingers, or through hugs. We are able to experience how special the forest could be as there are so many different kind of texture could be in a single plant or how some plants react to human touch such as one of the plant which the seedpod actually explode after you press it. 

Hug a tree, it was a belief that trees can help us absorb the bad energy and channel in some positive energy back to our body.

There was a meditation session which we all were given a yoga mat and we were suppose to lay down on the floor, listen to the guide as we breathe through the method guided.

The experience we get from this breathing exercise was simply amazing, we can actually find our peace through this exercise and some participants even fell asleep during the session as it was too relaxing.

Through "Smell" session, The Habitat lit some essential oils and we meditate for a while in a rest area surrounded by the forest. As we relax we can hear the sound of nature where we can hear birds chirping and also sounds that came from bugs especially Cicada.

During this session we were also given a few types of herbs and we were guessing what it was through smelling it and our eyes shut throughout the session. 
Interesting and fun.

The actual view on The Habitat

Beauty of nature, you can spotted numerous flowers blooming in this sanctuary.

Look up!
You might just be able to capture a new picture for your desktop screen wallpaper.

Beautiful spider spotted!

Canopy Walk in The Habitat

There was this giant ant that I spotted.
Was told it could be painful if bitten.

How many bugs do you see in this picture?
Can you count?

Barefoot walking was also one of the session that brings us closer to the nature. 
We walked around the park and feel the temperature with our foot and also how comfortable it was stepping on moss at certain areas.

The last session was "Taste"
We were served with water harvested from the forest as well as some fruits, nuts and teas.
We also shared our experience before we finish our Forest Bathing Experience. Through this session everybody felt far more relaxed and happier after attending the Forest Bathing session.

Fresh air on top of Penang Hill

Grab some souvenirs from the shop!

Beautiful blue spider spotted!

Curtis Crest Treetop Walk

Forest Bathing Experience @ The Habitat Penang Hill
Address: Jalan Stesen, Bukit Bendera Air Itam, 11500 Penang, Pulau Pinang
Business hours: Daily 9:00am - 7:00pm
Contact no: 04-827 2677
Price: RM138 RM88(promo until 31 August)