Sunday, 21 December 2014

Early Christmas Gathering

 "Dine in the Dark" experience
 Sardine with Sicilian Sauce
 Cream of Mushroom Soup
 Grilled Salmon
 Lamb Shank
 Chocolate Almond Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
 Orange Zest Caramel Pannacotta
This year, our  Christmas Gathering with the PWM fraternity was held on 20th December 2014 at a cosy restaurant in Kiulap, in a private room complete with X'mas decor. The starter was "Sardine with Sicilian Sauce", followed by "Cream of Mushroom Soup". The main course was either the "Lamb Shank" or "Grilled Salmon" and the majority of us opted for the "Grilled Salmon". The dessert was either the "Chocolate Almond Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream" or "Orange Zest Caramel Pannacotta". Sammy, the organizer also arranged a "Dine in the Dark" experience but we didn't get to eat in the dark as we waited too long for the starter and everyone were hungry! There were also restaurant vouchers for the "best dressed" male and female guests and several guests also got restaurant vouchers which were placed under the table by the restaurant staff beforehand. The last item on the programme was the exchange of gifts as Christmas is the season for giving! Everyone of us (there were 17 of us) enjoyed this fantastic evening in the company of awesome friends! 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Renaissance Hotel Kota Bharu

 They don't serve liquor here
 We had dinner here (Kow Lun Restaurant in Chinatown)
Renaissance Hotel Kota Bharu is one of the better hotels (or best) in Kota Bharu and I stayed there on a whirlwind trip on 10 December 2014. The staff here are very friendly and helpful. I hardly had any time to do any sightseeing or shopping though there is a shopping mall (Kota Seri Mutiara Complex) next to the hotel! I booked through and the rate was B$145.88 nett per night. Liquor is not served in this hotel.
That night, we had to go to Chinatown (just a row of shophouses) for dinner and some beer. Ironically, Thai music was played here instead of Chinese music and I can feel the Thai influence here due to its proximity to Thailand (Sergei Golok, a Thai border town is 40 minutes away by car).

Saturday, 22 November 2014

MKM Charity Dinner

 Mr & Mrs Raja
 Mr & Mrs Low
 Selvi, Raja & Tiong
Introduction of Datin Hajah Intan's cookbook "Flavours & Colours"
The main courses 
 Kris, Raymond & Selvi
 Sago Gula Melaka (dessert)
Last night, we (PWM President, Mr. James Lee and several Excos) attended a charity dinner organized by Majlis Kesejahteraan Masyarakat (MKM) at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall, The Empire Hotel & Country Club. At least a thousand people attended with the Minister at the Ministry of Industry & Primary Resources, Pehin Haji Yahya as the Guest of Honour (GOH). The evening started with a speech from the Chairwoman of MKM, Datin Hajah Intan, followed by a speech from the GOH. A short video clip depicting the activities of MKM was shown followed by dances and songs from local artistes. Great job! 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Ho Chi Minh City (12-15 November 2014)

The streets around A&EM Hotel
Supper on the 1st night (can't remember the name of this restaurant which is near A&EM Hotel)
 Moon Hue Restaurant (near A&EM Hotel)
Traditional Broken Rice Restaurant (near A&EM Hotel)
Cuc Gach Quan (home style) Restaurant; we took a taxi to get there
This is the first time I visited Vietnam and this trip was planned last April before Royal Brunei Airlines (BI) resumes its direct flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCM)! James and I flew to Singapore by BI (12 November) and then to HCM on Jetstar. Another friend, Mr. Chong joined us on 13 November and returned to Brunei on 16 November via BI's direct flight. However, my return sector (15 November) on Jetstar was delayed for 1 hour and 10 minutes giving us less time to catch the connecting flight back to Brunei. Just before landing at Changi Airport, we moved to the first row so that we can exit the plane first. It was such a rush but I managed to do a little shopping before boarding the plane back to Brunei. I was the last passenger to board and they even announced my name over the PA system. I'm so glad I made it! 
Currency exchange: It's advisable to bring Singapore Dollars to Vietnam as it commands a better rate than Brunei Dollars. The exchange rate in Vietnam is SGD1 = VND16,500+ which is better than the rate offered at Changi Airport (SGD1 = VND14,500+).