Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

Wow! This will be my last post for 2009. Wishing all of you a Happy New Year and may Prosperity, Good Health, Happiness and Success be with you throughout the new year!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Lunch @ Misato Japanese Restaurant

Our colleague, Mr. Koh, brought us out for lunch at Misato Japanese Restaurant @ Kiulap last Wednesday (sorry for the late post as I have been busy with other matters) after he received his early "bonus" LOL! As with most restaurants anywhere in the world, Misato has had its fair share of positive and negative reviews since its foray into Brunei in 2003 (you can't please everyone!). I'm a fan of Japanese food (cos' it's healthy food) and my favourite dish has always been the salmon shashimi, a dish which I never failed to order everytime I go to a Japanese restaurant! On this occasion, the salmon shashimi was fantastic as it was fresh and the portion was reasonable. Pricewise, as I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, Brunei is still the cheapest place to have your Japanese food!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Empire Hotel & Country Club, The Pride of Brunei!

Opened in 2000 in time for APEC, The Empire Hotel and Country Club has since played host to numerous heads of states, celebrities, VVIPs, delegates and participants from many international and regional events which were held in Brunei. Boasting more than 500 rooms, cinemas, exhibition/conference rooms, various signature restaurants, golf course, sports facilities, swimming pools, concept stores, etc; in fact everything you need is here and you need not even leave the hotel at all! It has also won numerous awards including Best Resort Hotel (by TTG) for 2004 and 2005. For travellers to Brunei (even if you're not staying at the Empire), a visit to this grand hotel is a must or you cannot truly claimed that you have visited Brunei! The Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei is undeniably one of the best hotels in the world and is certainly the pride of this small nation!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas! From BAH

We would like to wish all supporters, friends, colleagues, associates, partners (business or otherwise!), a "Merry Christmas" and a "Happy New Year" from all of us at the Brunei Association of Hotels and special thanks to Shamsul Pehin Ahmad, our Honorary Secretary, for coming up with such a beautiful design.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Secret Recipe @ Serusop

Another franchise is in town; it's the Secret Recipe, a popular brand name "by virtue of its fine quality cakes, fusion food and distinctive service". They have two outlets, one in Serusop and other is at the Mall, Gadong. The Serusop outlet occupies three shoplots with a centralized kitchen on the upper floors and on this particular day when I visited, the place was packed with customers. It might be due to the the public's curiosity (Bruneian culture) whereby they would visit any places that are new or maybe it was a Sunday and its lunch hour but let's hope this trend continues. At least Bruneians have one more choice when it comes to choosing restaurants for their meals which can sometimes be a daunting task!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas Decoration @ NBT

True to tradition, NBT (B) Sdn Bhd had once again put up a Christmas decoration that is un-matched by any other companies or organizations in Brunei. When I took the above photos last night, the place is like a carnival with more than a hundred people taking pictures or posing for pictures. The advertising firm did a fantastic job of designing and making good use of the slope which further enhances the impact of the decoration and creating a sort of a "fantasy land" albeit on a much smaller scale which also serves as a "tourist attraction" for this festive season. NBT (B) Sdn Bhd is the sole distributor of Toyota and Lexus in Brunei (the most popular brand in Brunei in term of sales) and judging from the budget they have for such extravagance each year, their cars must be selling very well!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas Promotion @ Patisserie Cake Shop

Christmas is just around the corner (less than a week away) and this year Patisserie Cake Shop is promoting the following traditional Christmas cakes (but with its distinctive style & decoration) at its outlet located on the ground floor of Traders Inn in Gadong; prices for the above cakes are as follow:-

Classic Rich Fruit Cake - B$25.00

Dark & White Log - B$40.00
Fresh Fruit Cream Log - B$35.00
Ginger Bread Man - B$2.00
Ginger Bread X'mas Tree - B$10.00
Minced Pie - B$4.00
White Christmas - B$42.00
Patisserie X'mas Tree - B$42.00
To avoid dissapointment, do book in advance; the telephone number is +673 2425618 or book online @ Merry Christmas! Source: Patisserie Cake Shop
Update: Patisserie Cake Shop is now on Facebook!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Lunch @ Escapade Sushi

Yesterday afternoon, I took some of my colleagues to lunch at Escapade Sushi in Gadong as we have not had a get-together for quite awhile. Escapade Shushi is one of the most successful Japanese restaurants in Brunei and now boasts 4 outlets; 2 in Kiulap, 1 in Gadong and 1 in Kuala Belait. Its success could be attributed to the quality and freshness of the ingredients used and its reasonable pricing. I am a regular patron of Escapade Sushi and I find that they are very consistent in their food preparation, presentation and taste. I spent slightly more than $120 for my seven guests (and with quite a lot of orders as well) but the bill could easily be more than $200 if we were to order the same dishes in Singapore or other Asean cities!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Ouch! My Tooth!

My front tooth has been giving me some problems and there's is a numb feeling whenever I chewed on food so last Tuesday I decided to extract it when I traveled to Miri for some other unrelated matters. The extraction was done by my dentist friend, Dr. Ho of Ho's Dental Surgery, who used to travel to Brunei and stay at our hotel and at first he was quite hesitant to extract it but fortunately he did as the tooth was in pretty bad shape and wouldn't have last very long. It is definitely much cheaper to have your dental problems sorted out in Miri than in Brunei. The total cost of extraction and a temporary denture cost me RM120 whereas a denture alone (without the extraction) would cost me B$120 in Brunei! When I posted the picture of my tooth on Facebook, I never expected so many comments (see last pic)! Anyway, my next appointment with the dentist is in two weeks' time; to prepare the gum imprints for my crowns and bridge but that is another story......

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Join me, support UNICEF!

This afternoon, while browsing around the Bintang Megamall (yes, that's what it's called now after its major renovation and extension of a new wing which is still on-going) in Miri, I came across a donation drive by volunteers of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); an organization dedicated to "the wellbeing and helped transform the lives of children in difficult circumstances and give them hope for the future". For a pledge of as little as RM38.00 per month to be deducted from my credit card, I am "supporting programmes that focus on education, child protection and fighting HIV/AIDS". The reason I'm not smiling for the above photos is that I just had my tooth extracted; definitely not because of the donation, LOL!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Good Taste Bak-Ku-Teh Restaurant

One of my favourite eating places whenever I travel to Miri is the Good Taste Bak-Ku-Teh Restaurant situated at the Centrepoint area, a new development of shophouses in Miri. This restaurant used to operate at an old shophouse in Krokop and its Chinese name is "Shi Li Xiang" which translates literally into "aroma at a distance of ten miles". It has since moved to its new location at Centrepoint occupying two shoplots and it is so popular that it is sometimes quite difficult to get a table during peak hours. This place is a "must try" if you happen to be a bak-ku-teh lover but don't bring along your Muslim friends!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Get-Together @ Sheraton-Utama

Members of Brunei Association of Hotels (BAH) held a get-together at the Sheraton-Utama Hotel last night to celebrate the successful hosting of the BAH's Charity Gala Night last November. Although we had planned this function several weeks ago, not many members turned up. This function was originally planned for tonight but as Mr. Alex Riva, the GM of Sheraton-Utama Hotel, is flying off today, this function was held earlier; let's hope nobody turns up tonight! This function is a good opportunity for everyone to interact and socialize with one another (especially for Richie of Traders Inn who has just arrived in Brunei for over a month). We also encourage Richie to join BAH's Sports & Social Club which is headed by Jack of Orchid Garden Hotel (OGH). We will definitely organize similar gatherings in future to promote interaction and networking between hoteliers!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Jian Qing & Jin Fu's Wedding Reception @ Phongmun Restaurant

Two of our colleagues invited us to a dinner reception last night at the Phongmun Restaurant to celebrate their marriage which in fact had already taken place in China sometime last month. The bride, Jian Qing, is a Chinese national while the groom, Jin Fu, is a Malaysian. The reception here is for close friends and colleagues who are unable to attend their wedding in China. Congratulations to the new couple and may they have a baby (or twins) soon!