Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cup Half Full

Muahaha.
I'm on leave today!
(Yay for Annual Leave)

Now, before I go out and have my full day of relaxation/ shopping/ etc, here's the question to ponder : WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MALAYSIA?

I know there are things that you may not like or outrightly HATE but in conjunction with our nation's 49th birthday, let's focus on the positive side, ok?
:)
*sings*.. Negarakuuuuuuu.....

For me, I love Malaysia because of:
1) The fact that my family and (most of) my friends are here,
2) The food (except petai and durian and other smelly things like that),
3) The wonderful multicultural blend of the people and culture,
4) The peace and harmony (Yay - no war!)
5) The lack of natural disasters like volcanic explosions and earthquakes,
6) The... the...

Ok, I'll have to stop at 5) then.
Your turn now....
:)

Oh,... and I'm gonna take this opportunity to apologise to Babe_kl because I had promised to contribute something for the Merdeka Open House but have to break my promise as I'll be away from home for the Merdeka holidays...
So sorry, Babe!
(Tolong jangan marah..... *hugs*)


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Kenot Sleep

:(

Sitting here listening to Nirvana.
... I used to be so in love with Kurt Cobain.
Well, until he had that unfortunate encounter with the wrong end of a gun and took a dirt nap, that is.
*sigh*

My favourite song?
Erm... can't choose one actually - I think they're all nice.
In fact, I like most kinds of music - from hardcore industrial to jazz, from alternative rock to big band, from pop to classical, etc.
(As much as I'd like to, I still don't quite appreciate yodelling much though)

:)


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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Lunch (aka. The Naughtiness Continues)

What I ate for lunch today:
  x 4

Was it a healthy and nutritious lunch?
Honestly, I don't think so....

... But do I feel contented and happy?
Oh, yes.... DEFINATELY.


Signing off,
J (A Chocoholic, through and through)

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Steak Out Operation

The Dinner

That night, we ventured to La Suisse. This restaurant has been around for many years now and is a popular choice for juicy steaks in the Bukit Damansara area....
La Suisse Exterior

Although it definately cannot boast of having a breathtaking ambience, I found it simple, comfortable and cosy (other than the distinct lack of music in the background):

La Suisse Interior

The appetizers we had that night were the Deep Fried Cheese (sorry - there was some funky Swiss name for this but I've forgotten), the Escargot and the Sauted Mixed Mushrooms:

Clockwise from top left: Sauted Mixed Mushrooms,
Deep Fried Cheese and Escargot

Overall, all the appetizers were good.
(They all cost around RM25++ but the servings are pretty generous so you won't feel cheated)

I love a good plate of Sauted Mushrooms and the one at La Suisse was well balanced and seasoned with herbs that the shitakes do not overpower the delicate button mushrooms at all - delicious!
(Something I would order again)

The Deep Fried Cheese was also good, gratinated cheese atop golden brown bread - so simple yet sinfully sublime.
(I apologise for the bad photo but someone got overexcited and dissected it before I could snap a proper shot)

The Escargots were really juicy, served with a cream sauce and sandwiched between 2 pieces of fluffy pastry and a bed of spinach - also worth a try.
(I would love to be able to explain further but I only managed to steal one piece from Ken)

For the mains, we tried the Braised Lamb Shank, Lamb Chops and Grilled Monkfish with Basil Sauce:

Clockwise from top left: Grilled Monkfish with Basil Sauce,
Lamb Shank and Grilled Lamb Chops

The Lamb Shank was good - the meat was tender and was cooked in a simple brown sauce...

The Lamb Chops, served with a flavourful rosemary sauce, was only ok... The meat was tender but just a tad to salty.

I didn't like the Monkfish very much either - the basil sauce was nice but the fish was also a bit too salty.

Anyway, how could we go to La Suisse and not try it's famous Angus steak?:

Various Photos of The Angus Steak with
the Bearnaisse and Mushroom Sauce

Mmm-MMM. It was GOOD.
Just look at it!
Juicy and flavourful, you can have your steak served with a few different sauces (I like the black pepper, the mushroom and the bearnaisse sauce). They even generously give you a serving pot of extra sauce so that you can have as much as you want.

We ended the night with a bevy of desserts... That night, we had the Raspberries with Vanilla Ice Cream, Red Wine Cherries with Crepe & Vanilla Ice Cream and Red Wine Cherries with Vanilla Ice Cream:

Clockwise from top left: The Red Wine Cherries with Crepe, Red Wine Cherries,
The Raspberries with Vanilla Ice Cream and the Extra Serving of Raspberries

The desserts are generally quite simple but very yummy so please make sure you reserve space for them at the end of your meal.

The Raspberries with Ice Cream were scrumptious - the sharp, sweet and sour taste of the warm raspberries were absolutely striking against the cool, creamy sweet vanilla ice cream.
(It comes served with an extra serving of warm raspberries on the side)

The Red Wine Cherries, either way, were also great! (if you have them with the crepe & ice cream you get slightly less cherries). The cherries, served warm in a red wine sauce, were ripe and rich in flavour - paired beautifully with the vanilla ice cream.

Note: La Suisse gets very packed on weekends so please call ahead to book a place or be prepared to wait for a table.

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(Dec 2007)
:(
Be warned!
Saturday nights seem to be getting increasingly packed and noisy because La Suisse is popular with families. I do try to be as tolerant as possible with kids because well, they're young and we should all let them enjoy it while it lasts but when they start running around in the small space of the restaurant.... Well, let's just say it's pretty annoying.
(Week nights and Sunday nights are usually nice and quiet though)
(Have deducted a point off the Ambience score accordingly)

Oh, the steaks (and most of the other food) are still great though!
:)
[ END EDIT ]

So it's: Good food, comfortable and simple ambience, reasonable prices for the serving size BUT not very impressed with the fish, no background music and nothing much really, I'm definately coming back - watch out not to overdose of red meat though.


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

La Suisse @ Bukit Damansara

Taste: 7.5
Ambience : 7 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM80/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2094 6587
Opening Hours: 11.00am - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - late (Closed on Sundays Now open on Sundays!)

NO PORK SERVED



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Monday, August 28, 2006

Such A Naughty Girl....

Last Friday, I was very naughty....
It's terrible when you know how bad it is to do something... but you do it anyway because it just feels so damn good....

What am I talking about?
Eating fa(s)t food lah, of course....

Some sins taste so goooood:
"Resistance is futile....," whispers the burger,"... you KNOW you want me!"

How bad was I?:
Double Cheeseburger : Roughly 580 calories, with 36gms of fat, 27gms of carbs and 38gms of protein each,
+
A small packet of French Fries : Roughly 250 calories, with 13gms of fat, 32gms of carbs and 2gms of protein,
+
A cup of soft drink : Roughly 260 calories, 0gms of fat, 66gms of carbs and 0gms of protein.
= 1,090 calories, 49gms of fat, 125gms of carbs and 39gms of protein!

That's scary....
It's about half of the daily calorie requirement in one meal......
O_O

I suppose it's ok if it's only once in a while though, right?


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Selamat Pagi

Random thoughts from a Chocoholic's head (pre-coffee on a Monday morning):

  • Arrrghh, where did the weekend go? How come it's Monday so quickly?
  • Weekend was fun though - Wow, can't imagine that I've known Z for so long already. He was so sweet to give a belanja for his birthday.
  • Hmmmm,... where's my coffee?
  • Last few days till my transfer - fear + excitement, what a combination!

Anyways, ... I'm putting the finishing touches on my La Suisse review so shall put it up soon...

Till then,
J

Ps/ Yes, yes, this is SO a filler post... *pout* ... Am having severe blogger's block - how to cure? :(

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Seize The Day

Recent events have gotten me thinking:
Life is so precious and fleeting - at any moment, something could happen and that would be it.

No one is given any guarantees.
There's no certificate stating how many years you'll get on this earth and how you will have to leave it eventually...

There are also so many evils out there, waiting to hurt you if you give them a chance by lowering your guard - whether it's the deadly kiss of cancer if you don't take care of your health or the wretched hands of a disturbed pervert if you don't take care of your surroundings...

:(

Some of us suffer from encounters with these evils...
... while some of us are lucky to go through life (relatively) unscathed, but watch in pain as our loved ones get hurt.

So what can we do?
Live each day to the fullest,
... hold on to the people we love,
... guard, cherish and take care of them (and ourselves) as best as humanly possible,
... and well, just pray for the best, I guess.

(I hope all of you will have a happy and safe weekend ahead)


Hugs,
J

(OMG. I sound like a Hallmark card - so corny... Arrgh)
(Don't get me wrong though, I mean every word sincerely and truly, 100%! *more hugs*)


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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sweet And Simple

Soppy post ahead....
(You have been warned)


It was just like any other night...
We were just sitting there watching a DVD and just having idle conversation, joking, laughing...

Then, he turned to me and said: "You know,... I love the way you laugh. There's just something about it - so warm and infectious - it makes me happy to hear it...."

... and THAT is possibly the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me in my life.

In fact, that almost totally negates all the comments he made about me gaining weight last week.
:)


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Comment Moderation Is Fun

Everyone has a right to an opinion.
Right?

RIGHT.
(I think so, anyway)

I usually make it a point to approve & publish every single comment posted by visitors (save for the overly rude/ lewd ones). However, my comment box may not be the right place for posting a 2,000 word essay on racial discrimination in Malaysia.
OK, Mr/ Mrs/ Miss Anonymous?

So, I apologise that I have chosen not to publish your comment but please go air your grouses somewhere more appropriate.
Thank you very much.


Cheers,
J

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mamma Mia!

... diverting back to the regularly scheduled programme....

The Dinner

This time, we ventured to a (relatively) new Italian restaurant in the One Bangsar area called Vincenzo Ristorante Italiano. I must say though, it is really unnerving when you are in a romantic restaurant with dim lighting and modern furnishing when there is upbeat Spanish/ Mexican music playing in the background.
(Music that, I might add, is usually played in any given Nando's outlet in Malaysia)
(It's not a MAJOR flaw but it definately spoils the ambience somewhat)

Vincenzo Interior

Anyway, we started off with the Grilled Mushrooms and the Grilled Eggplant:

The mushrooms and the eggplant

The Mushrooms were nice - lightly grilled with herbs. The Eggplant on the other hand was only ok - tender and juicy but just a tad too oily, cooked in a rich tomato based sauce.

Next up for the mains we had the Chicken Kiev/ Pollo Al Funghi, Grilled Cod and Spaghetti with Scallops and Prawns:


Clockwise from top right: The Chicken Kiev, Grilled Cod and
Spaghetti With Scallops and Prawns

I was very disappointed with the Chicken - dry and generally quite tasteless - it reminded me of a chicken breast from KFC with some turkey ham, mushrooms and cheese rolled inside.

The fish was pretty good though - tender and delicately flavoured - it is supposed to be one of Vincenzo's specialties.

My favourite of the 3 was definately the pasta - both the scallops and prawns were cooked juuuuust right and were bursting with flavour. I find that Vincenzo's does pastas very well. You usually can't go wrong choosing any one of them.
(I've tried the Pasta with Artichoke and Prawns on a prior occasion and remember liking that too)

Lastly, for dessert we had the Panna Cotta and the Chocolate Pie:

The Panna Cotta and the Chocolate Pie

I haven't tried many Panna Cottas before so I don't really have a good point of reference but in any case: I didn't like it - the texture was moist but strangely bouncey (for lack of a better word), with a vanilla flavour.
(Definately not ordering this again)

The Chocolate Pie was quite nice though - sinfully rich and satisfyingly chocolatey.
(My only complaint is that it costs more than RM20)

Overall, it was an enjoyable dinner (I wouldn't mind going back there sometime) - I really liked the pastas but will definately make it a point to be more careful when choosing any of the meat dishes (seeing as the chicken I had was a waste of money).

So it's: Nice romantic ambience, attentive waiters, nice pasta BUT strangely out of place music and hits & misses on the menu.


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Vincenzo Ristorante Italiano @ One Bangsar

Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM75/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2287 1686
Opening Hours: 11am - late

NO PORK SERVED



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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On The Lookout

On a lighter note......

I saw this cute little doggy from my car while I was stuck at a traffic light:
"Woof"

I had ever noticed it before this but nowadays I always keep an eye out for it while driving on my way to work. It's so adorable: sitting there like the guardian/ protector of the house, watching out for bad guys from its sentry point.

(The doggy is probably a little too fluffy and cute to look scary though)

:)


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Thank You God

I have heard first hand from my friend that Michelle has been found by some very kind people in Bangsar, who have sent her to the hospital....
(Further details can be found in Michelle's friend's blog)

It's funny - I actually don't know her personally - she's just my friend's cousin.... but the whole situation has really struck a chord in my heart....

I know, hundreds of girls go missing in Malaysia everyday (it's a real tragedy) and sadly, some of them are never found. I prayed anyway and thank the Gods, she has been found and is now safely back in her family's care...

We all need these small miracles in our lives.
(If only they happened more often)

Anyway, to Michelle, if you ever come across this:
I hope you feel better soon.
Remember not to think to deeply and dwell on the past... All that is history - the most important thing is the future.
(Time heals all wounds, as corny as that sounds)
And remember, even though you have to make it a point to be more careful in the future, do not be afraid to live your life to the fullest.
*hugs*

With love,
J


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Monday, August 21, 2006

MISSING PERSON.. (I'm Serious).. HELP NEEDED

[ UPDATED ]
I don't usually post up stuff from emails like this (as you can never really tell whether it is true unless you have seen it in the newspapers) but this is my friend's cousin, so please take it seriously and help out if you can...

---------------------

Hi Everyone,

This is Jessica Wong. My cousin Michelle has been missing since Friday (18/08/2006) around 5 pm and has not contacted any of her family members since then.

We have reported to the police station and also to the MCA service centre in Cheras and also post her missing news all over her blog and also email all the friends email that we have.

We really need your help to send out as many emails/ smses/ etc to everyone possible.

If anyone of you seen have her, please kindly call me (Jessica) at 012-653 2114, her father (Mr Tai) at 017-8835 118 or her brother (Kelvin) at 012-3080 670.

Please help as this has very urgent and we are all very worried about her.

She was reportedly last seen in Cheras near Leisure Mall around 5 - 6 pm (on Friday) and was said to be wearing pink top and dark bottoms (pants/ skirt - not sure).

These are photos of her:



Please help us as we are really desperate already.


Jessica Wong

---------------------

--BEGIN UPDATE--
NAME: Michelle Kirsten Tai Sue Ping
AGE: 21
FEATURE: Long hair - just off her shoulders,with
fringe, big eyes, pouty lips, fair skinned, and
is wearing a gold necklace with a key pendant
given to her by her mom.
HEIGHT: About 5' 5" / 5' 6"
SHOE SIZE (dunno if this will help): 8 but she wears 9
HER BLOG : http://www.michelle-kirsten.blogspot.com/

More Info On What Happened:-
Michelle told a few people she was going for an interview around / in Cheras Leisure Mall on Friday, 5pm and had been missing till now.

We tried calling her on her cell but did not succeed to get through. It would be either out of coverage or the voice mail. Several of friends sms-ed her. Many did not get any reply, but one did.

The sms said that the phone (digi sim) has been picked up near Cheras and the replier doesn't know who it belongs to. The replier also added that the phone will be handed to the police and he/she was in Malacca then. Till now, there are no news.
--END UPDATE--
---------------------


Imagine if this is your daughter/ sister/ cousin/ friend....
Wouldn't you want her back safely?
:(

Please....
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, guys.
(Let's all pray this turns out well)


Hugs,
J

Ps/ DO NOT PRANK CALL the family members, for goodness sake - they are in enough anguish already. If you do, I swear, Karma WILL come and bite you in the ass some day soon, causing inexplicable pain to you, both mental and physical. Thank you very much.


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Isn't It Funny....

... how the simplest of words can cut SO deep, when it comes from certain people?

Isn't it also funny how this only happens because you care so deeply and completely for these particular people - that because they are so close to your heart, you are completely exposed and vulnerable to their every thought and opinion?

So, how to stop the pain?
Just stop caring, I suppose.

(Yeah, I'm not in a particularly peachy mood - I suspect it may be PMS)
(Later, I will attempt to reverse this with a healthy dose of positive thinking and chocolate but if that doesn't work then all bets are off)


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Sri Paandi's @ TTDI

A short post on some sinful Banana Leaf Rice .....

Met with my friends Z and TL one day to catch up over some banana leaf curry at Sri Paandi's in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (it's on the same row as Secret Recipe):
Clockwise from top left: The Fried Chicken, The Various
Vegetable Chutneys and The Mutton Curry

And here it is! The full spread:

My Sin For The Day

Overall, I found the whole meal vastly satisfying. Mind you - the fried chicken was a little dry and the curry, although flavourful, was also nothing to shout about....

No, it was definately not the meats that sparked my appetite.... the thing that made my day were the several varieties of vegetables and chutney served with the rice.
Yum yum.

I know that it's not the best Banana Leaf rice in Malaysia (I've tasted better in Penang and I think the Sri Paandi's in the Section 11, just off Jalan Universiti, is much better too) but I feel it was a good meal - convenient location (for me), tasty and pretty affordable.
(It came up to about RM10 per person, including a drink)

(Caution!: Consuming banana leaf curry during lunch will usually lead to intense cases of heavy eyelids and sleepiness - all symptoms of acute after-lunch syndrome)

Details:
Restaurant Sri Paandi (TTDI)
36, Jalan Tun Mohd Faud 1,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
03-7726 8581

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Friday, August 18, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened....

... on my way to meet my baby for dinner the other day.

I saw a stoned looking cow standing on the curb opposite the shophouses in the Aman Suria area... it was just there staring blankly at all the cars that drove by.
(You'll have to take my word on it, I couln't take a photo as I was speeding past at about 70kmh and only had enough time to think: "WTF?" to myself)

P was very clever and suggested that it was the Chinese restaurants in the area keeping some fresh stock in case of emergencies like a sudden and voluminous order of black pepper beef.
(Riiiiiiiight........)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"Moo?"

It's just so strange to find a moo-moo standing there seeing as that area and the surrounding areas are so developed...
(What? It cantered over from One Utama?)
(Or is it some eccentric millionaire's pet from Tropicana?)

Strange.... very strange.

Anyway, hope that you all have a great weekend ahead - see you on Monday!
(Next week, I'll be posting up about Sri Paandi's @ TTDI and Vincenzo's @ One Bangsar so check back for more food then)


Cheers,
J

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Renovation In Progress

Just so you know, I am in the process of revamping the links in my sidebar....
(I think there's some need for streamlining there)

Pssst... Boo_licious, Babe, Meiyen, Tekko, Joan, Nekochan, Wye Jon Lee, KY and Lilian, I have linked you!

That'll be all for now.
Further changes to be made when I am free.
(I've been meaning to change my template for a while now but haven't had enough time to get down to it... *sigh*... My "To Do" list is getting awfully long....)


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My Birthday Booty!

... as in "Goodies That I Got For My Birthday" so Perv-y ppl go elsewhere please!

This year, my darling friends have bestowed upon me:

The Entire Stash of Birthday Presents

There's something to make me laugh:

Snoopy! :)

Something to make me feel pretty:

A funky necklace...

Something to keep me sane in the office:

A Collection of Funny Quotes.
My favourite line so far: "Situation Desperate - Send Chocolate"

Something useful to fuel my addiction to taking photos:

A Canon Camera Battery

Something to make my lips more kissable:

Waaah... La Mer Lip Balm

And last but not least, CHOCOLATES!:

Yay! Chocolate! :)

*HUGShugsHUGShugsHUGS*
Thanks everyone!
I really appreciate all your lovely, thoughtful presents.
It was also very nice of you all to come for dinner an celebrate with me (to those who couldn't make it - nvm, I understand... but it would have been great to have you there) .

And to darling P who not only provided all the booze but also the entire dinner:
*MEGA-HUGS*
Luv ya!
You have earned a million brownies points in everyone's books and infinite ones in mine.

Anyone out there feeling guilty that they forgot to get me a present?
No worries! - I will happily accept your presents anywhere from now till Aug 6, 2007.
:)

(muahaha)

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ada OOMPH!

On a recent trip up to Cameron Highlands, I ventured to the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Garden and Tea Center (the turn off is near the market area at the Peak/ near the Equatorial):
A sign on the way to the Boh Tea Centre

One of the signs said that it was only 2km away from the main road so we thought: "Heck - why not? That doesn't sound very far!"

... but Good Friggin' Lord that was the longest 2km of my life: The road is very curvey and unbelievably narrow, where once in a while you will get a crazy lorry/ van/ car hurtling around the (blind) corner with a real "devil may care" attitude.
(Schoolyard rules apply here: "I bigger = I scarier so YOU give in to me")
Tea pickers along the way and the excitement of Taxi Vs Truck!

When we finally arrived though, it was nice to smell the fresh air (there were also hints of tea aroma from the nearby Boh factory) and enjoy the lush greenery that surrounded us. The Boh Cafe at the Boh Tea Centre, pearched on the hillside, was absolutely breathtaking though:

A look at the Tea Centre from outside and in...

The design of the entire Tea Centre was absolutely gorgeous - very modern but with natural elements such as bamboo and wood contrasting beautifully with the hard concrete and metal finishings.
(I want a house like that!)

Anyway, we eventually sat down to enjoy an early tea at the cafe, choosing the scones from the variety of pastries and cakes available there:
The Cafe at the Boh Tea Centre

Sadly, the scones were entirely forgettable - dry and rather tasteless (the butter and jam helped a little) - but the view!
*siiiiiiigh*
Well,... the view was worth chowing down a 100 dry scones.
(You MUST get a seat on the balcony area though)
The tea&scones and the view from the cafe balcony area

Sitting there, sipping on my tea and staring out to the endless expanses of green was really relaxing.... In fact, I almost succeeded in zoning and drowning out the irritatingly noisy baby/ bunch of teenagers/ tourists seated around me.
(Just so you know: 2 scones and a pot of tea came up to about RM12)

We also went on the Tea Factory tour while I was there:
The waiting area for the Factory Guided Tour

Seriously though, if there doesn't seem to be any "tour guide" appearing, just go into the little factory by yourself... That's what I did and I didn't get thrown out - besides, you don't really need someone to explain the process to you, there are some informative signs on the walls.

I suspect that for the most part, it is only a "pretend" factory...
There is no way in Hell that those 5 wobbly old machines and 10 workers can produce even 5% of Boh's monthly tea requirement....
A Part of "The Factory"

All in all, I think it was worth the treacherous drive in....
(Easy for me to say though - I wasn't the one doing the driving! - haha)

Details:
Name: Boh Sungai Palas Tea Garden and Tea Centre
Opening Hours: 9.00am till 4.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Mondays)
Admission: Free


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