doha

Best Burger in Qatar & our 1st Shoot at Mia Bazaar!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Been staying in Doha for the past 1.5 month already, and it's surprising there's so much more to explore about Qatar! Its swamp forests, beaches, sand forts, dunes and many more. This time, I googled the best burger places in Doha, and I found one really near us!!

ASPIRE PARK, QATAR


Burgeri
Located just adjacent to the back of Villagio Mall (near Laduree entrance), we realised that Burgeri is actually located in Aspire Park, which is sooo cool. We went there for lunch on a weekend afternoon, and the park was really gorgeous in the daytime. There are families and joggers around, but serene enough for you to enjoy moments with nature.

The industrial style interior of Burgeri is TOTALLY hashtag house goals. So many details into their decor and lots of details in each area too. 




Plenty of light, feels like a small little cafe in the huge park.

My favourite person in the whole wide world.... So much misses for this one. :'(

Featuring Wagyu Mushroom Melt and Wagyu Majestic Double, along with our sweet potato fries, onion rings and lemonade tea

The bread was soft, in a goo way because it was a great combination.



The moment I took a bite out of my Wagyu Mushroom Melt burger, I knew that this was the ONE. The meat was succulent and juicy, not like your typical kind of meat patty. The entire combination of mushrooms, cheese and beef go so well together that it'd be hard to not go for a second helping. 


Sugar and Spice
Next to Burgeri is Sugar and Spice, a dainty pretty fairytale-like decorated candy house cafe serving western food and desserts. D said we could go there for some desserts after our lunch. Highlight of the day! Heehee.


Ain't the cafe cute!

The interior is sooo pretty too!



Thankful for this man. He pampers me like a princess most of the time, feel so blessed to have him in my life. 


After much consideration, (SO MANY OPTIONS in the menu) we settled for this cake in a jar which turned out to be pure AWESOME, just a tad sweet. The malty aroma mixed with warm chocolate cake chunks and vanilla ice cream complement each other very well. Just thought they can cut down on the caramel!


Am a big fan of this blueberry cheesecake too! The cheesecake is so decadent and tasty, unlike the bland ones you'd find in established coffee joints. *Ahem* 


There's two other cafes in Aspire Park as well, which we didn't have the chance to check out due to time constraint. However, Burgeri is definitely a must-try, along with Sugar and Spice! :)



We did a traditional photo shoot with the Qatari local costumes just a night back, and it's super cute!
Don't think we can pass them off as well as the locals do, but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Dear went for the Saudi Arabian style, which I stuck to the stylist's recommendation.

By the way, we did our shoot for QR80 (around SGD 30) at Mia Bazaar, just located right outside The Museum of Islamic Art :) It's a fortnightly weekend market that happens every once in a while, with many vendors selling food and handmade stuffs!








So much fun doing the shoot because we've never done such a photoshoot wearing traditional costumes before! People started gathering around us and taking photos! We were sweat profusely - not sure whether because we were abit nervous or the warm night. Hahaha.


Loving Doha so far :)

food

Holiday Villa Review + Guide to JB

Sunday, October 30, 2016



It's been the most fattening weekend for myself, just back from a 3D2N stay at JB!


I know, I know. 3D2N IN JB?!
When I told my colleague, she was like - what're you gonna do there? Got so many things to do there meh?

Well, there really is! From stocking up on your necessities at their local Watsons / Guardian to exploring pretty cafes, the list is endless! But the real reason we're there - we wanted to stock up on our camping gears before heading to Sydney next month, and KSL has a super huge sports store called Sports Direct that has super affordable sports wear and camping gears!!!

We chose Holiday Villa Hotel (or Holiday Villa Johor Bahru City Centre) which has just opened not long ago this year, and the location is perfect - just right next to KSL Shopping mall, with Holiday Plaza and yummy food nearby the hotel as well.

Btw if you happen to come on a Monday, there's a Pasar Malam going on along the entire stretch from KSL all the way to Grand Paragon Hotel.

How to go
We arrived on a Thursday night, took the CW2 bus from Bugis (Queen Street Bus Terminal - $3.30) right to Johor's customs and that only took around an hour. From there, we took a bus from JB Sentral (take the escalator down when you exit the customs) to the a bus stop nearby Holiday Villa.


About Holiday Villa
Checking in was a breeze. Considerably fast, staffs were friendly and nice. Since we were (kinda) hungry, we had some desserts at a Vietnamese coffee cafe - Doi Chaang just right next to the lobby. By the way, there's a few other restaurants including Chicken Up at Holiday Villa too!


Verdict: Skip the desserts, go straight for their signature coffee!



THE ROOM
Here's a couple of photos I took of our room in the day, and during the night.




The amenities were quite okay, everything is pretty new since it's a new hotel. Our king sized bed was HUGE! (I think can fit 3 people)

I thought it'd be perfect if they had a bathtub, but the bathroom was quite decent with basic toiletries and a built in rain shower head.


And I loved the fact that they have a window balcony seat.. And we can look out to the city. 


THE BREAKFAST
Okay, I am extremely particular about breakfasts. It's complimentary (I booked it on Booking.com and it comes with free breakfast - yay!) and from what I read on Tripadvisor, it seems like the breakfast spread is pretty promising.


The dining space is huge, and I've to say that the staffs are really attentive and efficient! 

I remembered the staffs at Hatten Hotel @ Malacca were so rude, slow and super not accommodating, but the staffs here at Holiday Villa were so nice and friendly! They ran out of pineapples during their breakfast buffet, and when requested for more, they didn't say no and went to the kitchen to cut fresh pineapples for us! 


Prawn mee, nasi lemak, fried bee hoon with curry chicken, hash brown, eggs of your choice, salad, fruits and many more! 

 And we chose a seat just right at the window. Love the view!

Happy girl gets her pancakes! (But erm, don't take the pancakes coz it tastes like cardboard hahaha)


THE POOL
The main reason being why we booked this hotel was their infinity pool! I guess it's the one feature that sets them apart from all other hotels in JB - coz their infinity pool overlooks the entire city! Their gym is also the same level, which we didn't get to use because his priority - BREAKFAST. *rolls eyes* hahahaha.





 The water was really cold.. Especially in the morning! 


Anyway the 1.2m pool was really picturesque, we spend more time taking photos than swimming actually. Hahahaha. 




We had the whole place to ourselves on a Friday morning, there was only 1 or 2 guests around the pool and it was just perfect! I can't imagine if it's super crowded. :( 

The toilets have lockers for you to place your belongings and a hot pool to dip in as well, perfect after swimming!


WHAT TO DO

1. Cats Cafe (Cats At Their Sanctuary)

 My colleague recommended this place to me, she says their cats are really cute and it's super affordable! There's no entry fee and all they require is for you to order a drink / anything from the menu to play with the cats.

We used Uber, booked a car from our hotel to here, and it only costed us about RM10!
This was one trip that we learned, to save money since the taxi drivers on the road are always over-charging people.






It's like a heaven for kitties, and I'd be a happy cat if I get to stay here too! So many things for these cats to do. Some of the cats were wearing Halloween costumes too.. Awww~

You get to feed these kitties at just RM 1 for a packet of their dry food.


 Sitting like a boss!

Some of them are really playful, hiding in cabinets and hogging the cashier counter and refusing to move! Hahaha.  


We were playing with this baby kitty, she was so concentrated on the toy!!

 Yes, the CATS Cafe serve yummy main course, desserts (like waffles, cakes, ice-cream) too.



Anyway, we were quite hungry by then and decided to order their main dishes to try. I've always been skeptical of ordering food in themed cafes like such, since food is not much of a priority in such places. We were wrong! The food was really good at the Cats Cafe :)

Tokyo Chicken Chop - drizzled with teriyaki sauce 

This is the bomb. Super good, though a tad expensive (RM23.90) but their portion was quite generous :)

My darling ordered Chicken Curry with rice, and it was so nice as well!!

And of course, we couldn't resist desserts! Nutella Cheesecake and IT'S SUPER YUMMY!

And it's happy Pusheen and Bear together... :3


2. Lavender Bakery



Try their Hajuku Cheese Tarts. (RM6 for one)
Of course, it can't beat the cheese tarts back in Japan but this is really unique too. Filled with generous amount of egg cheese custard, I promise you - it's worth the calories!





3. Century Claypot Chicken Rice

We were walking along Jalan Serigala just right outside KSL, famished and tired when we stumbled upon this Claypot rice restaurant. Seems pretty legit, since they've been featured on newspapers so we decided to give it a try!

We ordered this minced pork tofu and a veggie to go along with.....



And their famous Claypot rice!

Omg. It was so good.
I'm not sure if we were just hungry but we finished within 10 mins coz it's really good. Especially the tofu!!!

The next thing I'm going back again - It'll be straight for this claypot rice.

4. Get your massage and hair cut at Holiday Plaza

So many hair and beauty salons at KSL mall and Holiday Plaza, but honestly I find the prices at Holiday Plaza a lot more affordable!

We did our 90 mins thai massage at Thong Thai only RM90 per pax, and their skills are imo, better than Thai Odyssey's. So many spots they pressed - super shiok . After the massage, we felt so much better and a lot more energetic as well! So good that we heard other customers screaming. In a good way, hahaha. Their masseurs are mostly Thais too!



After that, we went to a hair salon located at the corner of the same level as Thong Thai. Bear had his hair cut at only RM30, I got my hair treatment at only RM150. Their service is really good too and we were super satisfied :)




5. Eat their local delicacies (also at Holiday Plaza!)


ASSAM LAKSA. 
I used to hate assam laksa so much when i was younger, but all that has changed now. Super love it so much I don't mind having several bowls per day and the best Assam Laksa is at the basement of KSL City Mall - D'Laksa. 

We also had our lunch at the basement of Holiday Plaza, a quiet little eatery that serves local cuisines at super affordable price. Forgot the name, but they've got Sarawak Kolo Mee, Wanton Mee, Assam Laksa and many more as well and it's really good! Their Avocado Milkshake with Gula Melaka is literally the bomb. Hahaha.



6. Visit a pretty cafe 

Among all the cafes in JB, our favourite cafe has got to be Flowers In The Window CafĂ©! 


We've never tried their main dishes before, but their cakes are already amazing. My favourite is their Chocolate Beetroot Cake! Never fail to disappoint :) Their cakes are freshly baked in house everyday. Some cakes are gluten-free, dairy free too!

There's free WIFI in the cafe as well. We spend the evening watching Westwood while enjoying the cakes :)


We explored JB mostly via Uber and Grab, and that really saved us ALOT of money. It'd have easily cost us RM30-RM40 from Bukit Indah to KSL (as quoted by taxi drivers since they don't turn on their meter after 6pm) but with Uber/Grab, it only costed us less than RM20! So long as you have Wifi, just request for one! :)


I can't wait to explore more of JB - heard they've got farm stays and nice places to trek as well.

Yay!

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