Thursday, June 29, 2017

Australia (2014) Day 4: Brisbane & Its Attractions in CBD & South Bank

I have to admit that spending 3 days in Sydney is indeed pretty short but what to do as our vacation days weren't long enough. So right after Sydney, we proceed with our next destination which is Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland.

Of course the fastest and convenient option is by taking flight from Sydney to Brisbane. Tigerair Aiways, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia and Qantas are among the airlines flying directly without any transit. The first two are low-cost airlines, similar like AirAsia. We chosen Jetstar Aiways not because it's the cheapest one but because my friend had worst experiences flying with Tiger Airways before. We managed to book one way flight which cost us AU$74.50 (approx. to RM290) including 20kg luggage allowance. 

Day 4 - Sydney Domestic Airport
#1: Jetstar Aiways check-in counter at Sydney Domestic Airport (T3)

Day 4 - Jetstar 01
#2: Boarding pass - Checked. Luggage tag - Checked. Time for boarding! 

After 1 hour and 30 minutes, we landed safely at Brisbane Airport. From the airport to Brisbane city, we travelled via Airtrain to South Bank Station, where our hotel situated nearby. One way fare cost us AU$21.70 (approx. to RM65) and the train journey took 33 minutes. 

Where We Stayed in Brisbane?
My friends and I stayed at Riverside Hotel South Bank, which not far from Brisbane River. The room was good value for money and short walk to museum, art gallery, train station and CBD. It was pretty clean and comfort. Overall, we're satisfied with it and couldn't ask for more. 

Brisbane Southbank River Hotel
#3: Riverside Hotel Southbank

Date Stayed: 14 October - 16 October 2014 (2 nights)
Rate I Paid: AU$130 per night (approx. to RM404) for a standard double room with one single bed (Booked via Booking.com)

Day 4 - Brisbane 01
#4: Just across the bridge to CBD

What To Do & See in Brisbane's CBD & South Bank
Getting around in Brisbane is pretty easy. The CBD is relatively flat and condensed, which makes it excellent for walking or cycling and virtually all other areas can be reached by public transport. Here are few attractions and famous landmarks we managed to visit during our stay in Brisbane: 

Day 4 - Brisbane 02
Queen Street Mall - pedestrian mall situated in the center of Brisbane. It offers an unrivalled mix of local, national and international labels and flagship stores. Besides shopping, the mall also offers wide selection of restaurants and cafes for dining and relaxing option.  

Day 5 - Brisbane 03-1
Brisbane City Hall and King George Square - city's most significant historical landmark which situated between Adelaide Street and Ann Street in Brisbane.

Day 4 - Brisbane 04
Albert Street Uniting Church - heritage listed church with red and white decoration.

Wheel of Brisbane 01
Wheel of Brisbane - A city ferris wheel that you able to observe the city from 60 m with views across the Brisbane River. The trip is a 15 minutes ride in an enclosed, climate controlled gondola.

Wheel of Brisbane 02
One ride costs AU$15 for an adult but we got half price, so we decided to try.

Day 5 - Brisbane South Bank Grand Arbour
South Bank Grand Arbour - Take a stroll under this colourful and vibrant magenta bougainvillea arbour at South Bank and you'll be rewarded with the beautiful sights of Parklands along the way. This is my favourite spot and I can't stop taking photo here. This arbour has won multiple awards for its stunning and excellent architecture. A must seen and visit attraction in Brisbane.

Day 5 - Brisbane Museum & Art Gallery
Museums and art galleries - If you are type that love art and history, then Brisbane is an ideal place for you to visit. You'll find scattered across the city for its world-class art galleries and interactive museums that delve into both the past and present.

Day 5 - Brisbane South Bank River Bridge
In case you have nothing to do at night, why don't take a stroll nearby the Brisbane River for its spectacular night view?

Overall, I personally heart Brisbane so much. Brisbane is the most underrated city in Australia and it has so many different layers to be explored. I'm wondering why so many people tend to skip this beautiful city and only focusing on other cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and etc. Brisbane is no longer a sleepy and boring rivercity like what many people expected. Therefore, don't forget to include Brisbane in your itinerary. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Foodie Friday: Lifestyle Cafes in Kota Kinabalu

UPDATED POST ON 16 NOVEMBER 2018

Lifestyle cafes in Kota Kinabalu are springing up like mushrooms after the rain. There are more and more options of these cafes opened lately and honestly to say, it's kinda hard for me to chase up sometimes. Some of these cafes are specialise in producing the best cup of coffees in town and some of them do serve from breakfast to dinner. Some I even patronised over and over again for their good  and delicious food. 

October Coffee House
[Serve pastries, desserts and beverages]
Read here for my full post of this cafe.
October Coffee House - Jalan Gaya

For your information, based on the survey done by Sabaheats for Favourite Coffee Cafe in Kota Kinabalu, October Coffee House ranked as the No. 1 best coffee in town. They even beat the international coffeehouse chains such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Well done, October Coffee House!

Up to date, October Coffee House has three outlets located at three different locations;
i) The Peak Vista, Lorong Puncak 1, Tanjung Lipat, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Opening Hours: 11am until 10 pm (Closed on every Wednesday)

ii) Jalan K.K. Bypass, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: 11 am until 12 am

iii) Latitude 6, Off Jalan Lintas (Opposite Taman Iramanis)
Opening Hours: 11 am until 12 am

The Coffee Lab By Frankie Interior Design
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts] #nonhalal 
Read here for my full post of this cafe.
KK Cafe - The Coffee Lab

What we like about this cafe is not just they serve great coffee and affordable desserts, but they do also served scrumptious main meals for lunch and dinner hour. Imagine Japanese cuisines such as Chicken Katsu Do, Curry Chicken Don and Oyakodon are available here at reasonable and lower price.

Address: Lot 10, Ground Floor, Taman Soon Kiong, Lorong Bernam 3, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 10:30 pm, Saturday 8:30 am - 3:00 pm (Closed on every Sunday)

Joe Sun - Food & Coffee Co. - Damai
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-coffee drinks]
Read here for my full post of this cafe.
Joe Sun - Food & Coffee Co 00 (2)

Majority of the food served in Joe Sun are extraordinary and pretty unique, not the kind of typical meals you found in any restaurants or cafes. Absolutely beyond your wild imagination. Beside their signature dishes such as Chicken & Waffles, Ultraman Ham Dan Chiu Yan, they even served Ramen Burger sandwiched with beef party, Lobster Fettuccine, Soft Shell Chilli Crab Pasta and more. Making you wanna go back for more food adventures. Not forget to order a beautiful cup of Rainbow Latte to kick start your day.

Address: Lot 47, Ground Floor, Block D, Lorong Pokok Kayu Manis 2, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. (In between Maple and Nok Thai Restaurant)
Opening Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily (Kitchen closed at 8:00 pm)

Hello Strangers Cafe - Riverson
[Serve breakfast, lunch, desserts, coffee and non-coffee drinks]
Read here for my full post of this cafe.
Hello Stranger Cafe 9 Viet Summer Roll with Chicken

Hello Strangers Cafe serves an interesting Asian fusion cuisines which inspired from Japanese, Vietnamese and Western foods. Here, you will find dishes like Banh Mi (Vietnamese kind of sandwiches), Vietnamese Spring Roll, Japanese Chicken Curry Udon, Thai Basil Chicken and more. Don't forget to try their Butter Chicken Linguine too which is so creamy and yummy making you wanna lick the whole plate.

Address: B-2, The Walk Riverson, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday (8.30 am to 6pm)
                             Saturday & Sunday (11am to 6pm)

Sharikat Biru-Biru - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts]
KK Cafe - Sharikat Biru-Biru

This cafe offers mixture of local touch with western food. For example, they served tomato pasta with tuhau, a Sabahan Kadazandusun delicacy made from wild ginger. These fusion meals will surely tickle one tastebuds to the max. To end your meal, don't forget to order their signature dessert - Waffle with Coconut Ice-cream with Gula Melaka. I guarantee you will be back for more.

Address: 24, Jalan Dewan, Kota Kinabalu.
Opening Hours: 8 am to 12 am daily

Nook Cafe - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
[Serve breakfast, lunch, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
KK Cafe - Nook Cafe

Besides serving wide selection of tasty hearty breakfast and brunch and sandwiches, do try their mouth-watering pancakes and waffles such as Choc Kinabalu Waffles and Jungle Book Pancake pair with a cup of premium specialty coffee.

Address: No 8, Lorong Dewan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: 9 am to 11 pm (Closed on every second Wednesday of the month)
Instagram: look.for.nook

Woo! - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
KK Cafe - Woo copy

One of their signature dishes are the crispy and crunchy tarts especially the Belgian Dark Chocolate tart. Not forget to pair with hot green tea latte. If you are looking for instagram-worthy cafe, this is one the place to be. With a minimal, modern yet classic interior, there is an airy with a huge window at the back looking over green jungle.

Address: No 7, Jalan Dewan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 11.30 pm daily

Print Cafe - Jalan Dewan (Nearby Gaya Street)
[Serve desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
Print Cafe 04

So far, Print Cafe is the only cafe that serve a 3D art coffee. Besides coffee, they do serve a selection of cakes, waffles and pizzas. While enjoying the coffee and food, you can spend your time playing Jenga along with your family and friends.

Address: No 12, Jalan Dewan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: 8.30 am to 10.30 pm daily

Mosaic Cafe, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
[Serve lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
KK Cafe - Mosaic Cafe copy

Operating under Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Mosaic Cafe is ideal for lights snacks, pizza, drinks and freshly baked cakes and breads. There are two things I personally recommend to try in Mosaic Cafe - Rainbow Latte and homemade ice-cream.

Address: Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, Kota Kinabalu
Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm daily

The B Side - Lido Plaza
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffees and non-caffeine drinks]
KK Cafe - The B Side

B Side consider as one of the earliest cafes set up in KK town. So most of the times, my friends and I love to hang out here especially for their wide variety of food. By far, their most popular dish is the soft shell crab pasta which is ordered by almost every table. Aside from a selection of pastas, B Side also have breakfast options including pancakes and French toast.

Address: Lot 21, Ground Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang
Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm on every Tuesday to Friday
                           9 am to 12 pm on every Saturday and Sunday (Closed on every Monday)

Teddy 'N' Me - Lido Plaza
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffees and beverages]
KK Cafe - Teddy N Me

The cafe is reminiscent of a doll house with its white-washed furniture and full with fluffy teddy bears display at each and every nook. It claimed to be one and only with the teddy bear cafe theme in KK town. They used to serve light meals only but now, they have extended their menu from serving eggs Benedict to Spaghetti Carbonara, Japanese Curry Beef Rice and Grilled Chicken. Don't forget to try their homemade buns, breads and waffles when you visit this cafe.
[Latest Update: Unfortunately, they are permanently closed now.]

KK Cafe - Teddy N Me 01

Address: Lot 15, Ground Floor, Lido Plaza, Kg Kobusak, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang
Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm on every Thursday to Tuesday (Closed on every Wednesday)

Ice Dream Cafe - Lido Plaza
[Serve breakfast, desserts, coffees and beverages]
KK Cafe - Ice Dream Cafe

A cafe that specialise in producing their own gelato and ice-cream using the fresh local fruits without using any whipped cream, eggs and preservatives which means it's more healthier to consume compare to conventional ice-cream. Besides waffles topped with homemade ice-cream which is their specialise, they also served all-day breakfast, coffees, non-coffees and fresh juices too.

Address: Lot 11, First Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang
Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm daily

Furball Heaven - Lido Plaza
[Serve desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
KK Cafe - Furball Heaven

One of the two dog cafes in town where you can bring along your furkids while chilling coffee and cakes. What if you don't have dogs but love to play with them? Don't worry as this cafe has its own adorable and friendly in-house dogs.

Address: Lot 9, Ground Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang.
Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

The Bean Cafe Lounge - Lido Plaza
[Serve breakfast, lunch, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
The Bean Cafe Lido Plaza

A cafe with cozy and relaxed yet executive environment. This is an ideal place if you are looking for a place to do your work while having a cup of smooth blend coffee as they provide a table for laptop users. Occasionally, they will organise a mini concert or live band as well. They have two The Bean Express currently which situated in Lintas and Wisma Merdeka. I saw there are more coming soon.

Address: Lot 8-1, First Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang.
Opening Hours: 10am to 11pm

Inch Cafe Movement - Tanjung Aru 
[Serve specialty coffee, non-caffeine drinks and desserts]
KK Cafe - Inch Coffee

Besides specialise in coffee, their waffles claimed to be the best one in town. From their menu, they served Sabah Tea Waffle (only available on weekend) which using Sabah's very own tea in the form of ice-cream, Apom Balik Waffle, Banana Waffle and Caramel Waffle. Another thing I like about their coffee is they have variety of latte - Rose Tea Latte, Chai Latte, Masala Chai Latte and Green Te Latte.

Address: 1B, Perdana Park, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 2 pm to 10 pm (Closed on every Monday)

Crown's Coffee Corner - Tanjung Aru 
[Serve breakfast, lunch, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
KK Cafe - Crown Coffee Corner

A cosy and simple cafe situated at the ground floor of Crown Hotel serving good and cheap coffee with simple and comfort food like toast, Korean Shin Ramyun and fluffy Pandesal Hot Buns.

Address: Crown Hotel, Jalan Pinang, Pekan Tanjung Aru.
Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (Closed on every Sunday)


World Travel Cafe - Aeropod
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
World Travel Cafe Aeropod 01

A newly opened cafe with the world theme concept. You will feel like travelling around the world in a single day. This cafe serves all sort of cuisines; ranging from Japanese, Italian and more. And you know what, you can even witness and enjoy the beautiful sunset from this cafe too. Provided the weather is good. If not good, don't blame me cause I'm not the weather forecaster 😜

World Travel Cafe Aeropod 02

Address: Block C-3-8, Aeropod Commercial Square, Jalan Aeropod Off, Kepayan.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 12 pm

Puppucino Cafe - Plaza 333
[Serve lunch, dinner and desserts]
KK Cafe - Puppucino Cafe

You can now enjoying your food and drink with your furkids. One of the two dog cafes in town, this cafe owner has this very cute and fluffy Corgi with the name of Tedy which is so hyper active. Unfortunately, they are permanently closed now. Tedy, I miss you so much!

Address: 1st Floor, Lot 15, Plaza 333, Block B, Kobusak Commerial Center, Penampang (Just above Fook Yuen)
Opening Hours: 3 pm to 12 pm daily

the 1985 Cafe - Plaza 333
[Serve breakfast, pastries, desserts and beverages only]
KK Cafe - the 1985 Cafe copy

This is one of my favourite cafe that I love to spend my time here. What to expect from this cafe? Besides coffee, they served two types of breakfast and various selection of pastries. One of the most recommended is Avocado cake. Currently, they are serving three different choices of freshly baked croissants - tuna, chicken ham and egg. Oh boy! I love their croissant that I'm looking forward to come back for more.

KK Cafe - the 1985 Cafe 02

Address: 1st Floor, Lot 9, Plaza 333, Block A, Kobusak Commerial Center, Penampang (Just above Pick N Pay)
Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 11 pm on Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on every Monday)


Omma's Oven - Lintas 
[Serve breads & buns, breakfast, pastries, desserts and beverages only]
Omma's Oven 01

This cafe specialise in making wholemeal buns and breads. If you are looking for healthier and organic pastries, this is cafe you should head to as the pastries are without any artificial colouring, preservaties and softener. Besides selling freshly baked pastries, they also served all-day breakfast and waffles.

Address: Lot 19, Lintas Plaza, Lorong Lintas Plaza 3.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 5.30 pm (Closed on every Monday)

Scoopee - Coffee & Ice Cream Co. - Lintas
[Serve ice-cream, pastries, coffees and non-caffeine drinks only]
KK Cafe - Scoopee

Another cafe I love to spend my time here after meeting clients and auditors for its cozy and comfortable environment. The highlight of this cafe is their nitrogen ice-cream which they regularly surprised the customers with new and unique flavours such as Salted Caramel Chocolate, Pistachio, Fresh Watermelon, Baby Blue Lychee, Sweet Potato and more.

KK Cafe - Scoopee 02

Address: 21-0, Ground Floor, Block H, Lintas Square, Kota Kinabalu
Opening Hours: 11 am to 12 pm (Closed on every Monday)

Cafe Haru 하루 - Hilltop
[Serve light meals, coffees and non-caffeine drinks only]
KK Cafe - Cafe Haru copy

Another Korean cafe in town. This cafe is operated by a Korean husband and wife who is currently living in KK. It's pretty obvious when browsing through their menu, I spotted few Korean dishes like Tteokbokki, spicy stir fried rice cakes which is very popular in Korea. So far, I only been twice and I'm looking forward to go back to try more of their other dishes.

Address: 7, Lorong Gunung Juo, Taman Far East, Kota Kinabalu.
Opening Hours: 8.30 am to 10.30 pm (Monday to Saturday)
                           10 am to 10.30 pm (Every Sunday)

5ive Degree Celcius - Latitude 6
[Serve desserts, coffees and beverages]
5ive Degrees Celsius

Another cafe in town that specialise in making their own gelato and ice-cream. Oh look! They even have charcoal waffle which is their signature dessert. Don't forget to pair with ice-cream flavours such as Salty Caramel, Rum and Raisin, Pistachio and more. Must try when visit this cafe.

Address: Latitude 6, Jalan Lintas, Taman Bunga Raja (Phase 3 & 4), Kota Kinabalu.
Opening Hours: 12pm to 11pm (Closed on every Monday)

Haus Cafe - 88 Marketplace
[Serve breakfast, pastries, desserts and beverages only]
KK Cafe - Haus Cafe

Address: Lot 3A, Ground Floor, Block F, 88 Marketplace, Lorong Pusat Komercial 88/1
Opening Hours: 9 am to 11 pm on Wednesday to Monday (Closed on every Tuesday)

Chiu's - The Modern Local (88 Marketplace)
[Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and beverages only]
KK Cafe - Chiu Cafe 01
The first time my friend and I went, we walked away with disappointment as there are many things were not available. But then, we decided to give another second chance and it's worth for another revisit. Another cafe I found out served simple but unique comfort food like Pan Fried Grouper dipped with Curry Laksa Veloute, Cajun Chicken Thigh Burger and more.

KK Cafe - Chiu Cafe 02

Address: Lot 8, Block D, Ground Floor, 88 Marketplace, Kota Kinabalu.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm (Closed on every Tuesday)

Tree Monk - Lintas Jaya Uptownship (Nearby Open University)

KK Cafe - Tree Monk Cafe
Latest cafe in town serving not just great coffees, but their desserts making us hard to choose which one we would love to have.

Address: Lot 2, Ground Floor, Block 1 Lintas Jaya Uptownship.
Opening Hours: 12 pm to 10 pm daily

See World Cafe - T1 Bundusan
[Serve lunch, dinner, pastries, coffees and non-caffeine drinks only]
See World Cafe 1

Another cafe with a world theme concept but with lesser decoration. Instead they decorated using more of their own personal touch like where the owner display her SHE albums collection. Somehow I feel like their cafe resembles Taiwanese cafe.

See World Cafe 2

Address: B5.3, Block B, 5th Floor, T1 Bundusan, Jalan Bundusan, Penampang.
Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm (Monday to Friday)
                             12 pm to 12 am (Saturday & Sunday)

Relax Coffee Cafe - Menggatal
[Serve lunch, dinner, pastries, coffees and non-caffeine drinks only]
KK Cafe - Relax Coffee Cafe 02 copy

Address: G-1-12, Menggatal Plaza, Menggatal, Kota Kinabalu
Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

Cafe De Vie
[Serve lunch, dinner, desserts, coffee and non-caffeine drinks]
KK Cafe - Cafe De Vie copy

If you are looking for the best layer crepe cake, I personally recommend Cafe De Vie. Well of course not as best as Nadaje Mille Crepe but so far, this cafe served the best layer crepe cakes in Kota Kinabalu town. Some of their crepes are very unique like Cempedak, Red Bean Sauce, Plum Crepe cake and more. You can either buy a slice which cost from RM11 to RM13.70 or even the whole 1kg to 1.4kg of crepe cake. 

Up to date, Cafe De Vie has three outlets located at three different locations;
i) Lintas
ii) Metrotown
iii) Pavilion Bundusan

In order to compile more than 20 cafes into one post, it took me months and months to complete this. But can you imagine there are almost 40 different cafes in KK town. Therefore, this post would be updated from time to time once I visit the rest of the cafes. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Australia (2014) Day 3: Sydney - Blue Mountains (Echo Point / Three Sisters & Scenic World)

Date Visited: 13th October 2014

On the third day in Sydney, we took a train from Sydney's Central Station to World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. It's going to be a long journey so we decided to wake up early and catch the Blue Mountain Lines train at 8.24am.  

Day 3 - Blue Mountains
#1: Board train from Sydney's Central Station

Why called as Blue Mountains? It was given as a result of the blue mist that rises from forests of eucalyptus trees, enveloping the surroundings in a hazy tinge. Blue Mountains has some of the country's most spectacular natural attractions.

Right after almost 2 hours journey, we approached Katoomba Station and we hopped off from there. Obviously, there are many passengers dropped off here heading to the Blue Mountains as well, just like us. But actually we haven't reach yet as need to catch another local bus #686 in front of Carrington Hotel, which is just across the Katoomba train station. Alternatively, you can tour with Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, a regular hop-on and hop-off service.

Blue Mountains Options from Katoomba
#2: From Katoomba Station, can opt for either catch local bus #686 or tour with Blue Mountains Explorer Bus. The cheapest option would be the first one for sure.

In order to view the famous and popular Three Sisters rock formation, stop at Echo Point for dramatic views over the deep valley through gouged out over millions of years. It's very obvious that we finally reach there as it was crowded with many tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't on our side as it was cloudy on that particular day. Unlike yesterday where it was shining bright with a clear blue sky. 

Day 3 - Blue Mountains Three Sisters 3 Sisters Echo Point Katoomba
#3: Three Sisters rock formation from Echo Point viewpoint