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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Korean food and Bingsu at Cafe Koel, Kota Damansara

Remember I said we will be back here for their Korean food? Yea, we came back for the third time already. The second time, we came with my parents since both my parents hardly touch any Korean food and I thought the food here might suit them.

HB and my dad chosen the Bulgogi Deopbap (RM16.90) since both of them love beef. I am not into beef but I had a spoonful from HB's plate. I did enjoy eating it. The beef is marinated well with a hint of sweetness from the tender and juicy meat. The kimchi works well by balancing the whole flavor of the dish..

If you go for the Bulgogi Deopbab set (RM24.90), you will get a Milk Snow Flake PatBingsu. I liked the way they serve the condiments (kinako, condensed milk and red bean paste) separately which allow you to mix in the shaved ice.

Iced coffee topped with cream. Yumms!

My mom has a very traditional Chinese palate. I thought getting her the Japchae (RM18.90) is just nice for her. She enjoyed it to the bit since it was her first time getting a taste of sweet potato noodles. Pretty simple with only mixture of slices of chicken, vegetables and eggs but overall it is a comforting dish but I wish for a bigger portion though.

I loved Kimbap (RM7.90). I first had this when we bought from a Korean mart. The rice roll is wrapped with seaweed and stuffed with fresh vegetables and pickles and eggs is my kind of comfort food. I can eat this every day.

The Korean lady owner was so kind to give us extra 3 servings of the milk bingsu, albeit we only ordered a Bulgogi deopbap set. She said it was a treat for my parents.'Kamsahamnida, sajang-nim."

And last weekend, we ended up at the same cafe again. Both of us were craving for the milk bingsu and I was keen to eat a bibimbap.

Bibimbap (choice of chicken or beef) - RM16.90
Look at the fresh and vibrant vegetables topped with a fried egg! So inviting that I can't wait to dig into it. HB told me I have to add the gochujang sauce and mix everything together. Yea, mind you this was my first time eating bibimbap and glad it was a good and delicious one.

HB ordered a Bulgogi sandwich set (RM16.90). The toasted bread is stuffed with minced beef and a slice of cheese and salad as the side dish.


The set came with a cup of coffee but we got two instead. Yup, it was a complimentary from the owner.

That's just not all, she even whipped up a Korean pancake for us! I was speechless because how many F&B nowadays is that generous by giving you more than you order. Instead, some even charge you for a glass of iced water. Thank you very much for your kind service.

We were looking forward to the dessert after our meal.

Injeolmi Milk Bingsu (RM39.90) - Double Size. I was shocked to look at the huge portion, even the owner doubt if we can finish it.Hahaha...It was completely clean then! We both were crazy about the kinako and happy to see the bingsu was fully covered with the roasted soy bean flour.

Mix well everything together and you will be surprised at the flavor. I told HB of so many bingsu I had before, Cafe Koel serves the best bingsu and every time I think of it, I want to come back again for more. It is divine of what you pay for.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Our Ryokan Stay - Overview at Shikotsuko Daiichi Hotel Suizantei, Hokkaido

Since it was our maiden visit to the Land of the Rising Sun, we make it a must to stay in ryokan for at least once. Thus, HB spent quite a bit for the stay considering we will receive a top notch hospitality from the ryokan.


Upon reaching JR Chitose Station, we waited for the complimentary shuttle bus to arrive.You will need to make an advance reservation with the hotel if you wish for the free pick up.

At the main entrance

Classic with zen setting at the lobby area.

Our welcome drinks with Japanese traditional sweet.

Complimentary coffee


This is awesome stuff! I never seen a cold brew drip tower before. At first we did not notice what it was until we came back the second time, only then we found out it was a coffee maker.


Help yourself with a cup of cold brew while enjoying the white scenic view.


A place where you can chill and relax


...with a book, perhaps.

The onsen! You an opt for special guest rooms with private open-air baths and private gardens.

I actually forget to take pics of the bedroom because I was hypnotized by the beautiful view from the balcony...hahah

Shikotsuko Daiichi Hotel Suizantei is located at Shikotsu-Toya National Park which is surrounded by Lake Shikotsuko. You can even spot the Mount Eniwa.

Every season, they have different activities going on around the park but during winter many activities have been restricted because most of the trails are covered by the thick snow, hence not much things you can do but to enjoy the lovely and serene scenery.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Melon Milk Snow Flake Bingsu at Cafe Koel, Kota Damansara

It was a hot Sunday and I was craving for some icey cold dessert. I already knew what I wanted and drove down to the dessert shop after our brunch.I was surprised that the shop is no longer there...I kept annoying HB by asking him many times when..when it has closed down?

Nevertheless, I spotted the opposite row of shops with this particular cafe displaying a bright yellow signboard has exactly what I wanted. So, we dropped by and little that we knew it is run by a Korean expat when we were greeted 'Anyeohaseyo' by the friendly lady owner when we entered the cafe.

They have several options of flavors to offer, but I reckon the flagship is Melon Milk Snow Flake Bingsu (RM49.90) and Pineapple Milk Snow Flake Bingsu which served in a whole fruit! Awesome, isn't it?We chose the former one since I would not enjoy eating a whole pineapple.

Abundance of little sweet and round juicy melon balls were topped on the bingsu with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.It also comes with red bean paste and extra melon milk to drizzle on the bingsu. I never had such a huge and satisfying dessert...and this is truly a mesmerizing moment when the bingsu was served.

The nice Korean lady owner even surprised us with her new bingsu flavor for us to try. It is Coffee Snow Flake Bingsu and it tasted great. It is rich with coffee taste whereby you can immediately feel the caffeine effect. Those who love coffee, I think you will like this too.

Cafe  Koel not only has bingsu to offer, they also serve Korean food and we are looking forward to go back to try their food.

Add:
19-1, Jalan PJU 5/10, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya

Sunday, August 7, 2016

LIVING UNDER THE SHADOW OF HEART DISEASE

Frankly speaking, at this age of mine now, I did not really pay much attention to my heart health and because of that I take this matter lightly. Well, not until I have read this article that has fully alerted me. I think I would like to share with you, folks too.

Seeing my father pass away from a heart attack has changed my attitudes towards heart health,” said Farah Nadia. “I know that there is a very real chance that my siblings or myself could develop the same heart disease risk factors, such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or even diabetes if we are not careful.”

Farah is right to be concerned – preventative heart care is not a top-of-mind consideration for most Malaysian adults, as heart disease is usually perceived as an illness that affects the elderly. Research has proven this is not the case - in fact, Malaysians in their thirties are now more likely to have arteries which are similar to a person aged seventy years old due to their lifestyles. One out of two Malaysians are suffering from high cholesterol. The sad conclusion is that Malaysians are simply succumbing to heart disease at a younger age.

In Farah’s case, the risk is even more pressing given that her father has passed away after thirteen years of battling with never-ending coughs, feverish bouts and breathlessness brought about by heart disease. According to the World Heart Federation, “If a first-degree male relative (e.g. father, brother) has suffered a heart attack before the age of 55 , you are at greater risk of developing heart disease.” Risk factors can be inherited - familial hypercholesterolemia refers to a build-up of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood that can be passed down from one generation to another, leading to the development of coronary heart disease.

To encourage Malaysians to take action for their heart health now instead of much later when the symptoms of heart disease have already manifested, brands such as Nestle Omega Plus have made it their mission to be Malaysia’s heart health advocate. Saturday Sept 3rd will see Malaysians young and old converge on Lake Gardens (Perdana Botanical Gardens) for Walk-A-Mile, Malaysia’s longest running walk for heart health advocacy, jointly organised by Nestlé Omega Plus and Yayasan Jantung Malaysia (YJM).

“For the past 14 years, Nestlé Omega Plus has reached out to Malaysians to take charge and care for their heart through Walk-A-Mile in collaboration with YJM and we look forward with great excitement to sharing heart healthy activities with everyone at Walk-A-Mile. Caring for your heart does need to be a big monumental step, simply taking the stairs or swapping sugary treats with fresh fruits and drinking two glasses of Nestlé Omega Plus with added plant sterols daily to manage cholesterol can improve your heart health,” said Ng Su Yen, Business Executive Manager, Milks of Nestlé Malaysia.

Nevertheless, for those of us that inherit these risk factors, heart health can still be managed. For most of us, making a few simple lifestyle changes might be all we need to avoid the development of heart disease. Heart disease manifests itself in many different forms – a heart attack, narrowing of arteries, abnormal heart rhythms, breaking down of the heart valve or heart muscle and degeneration of blood vessels, amongst others. Collectively they are known as cardiovascular heart disease, or CHD.

There are 3 key factors to manage your heart health holistically. Aim to get some form of physical activity every day – the American Heart Association suggests a combination of moderate and vigorous activity thirty minutes a day, five times a week. Anything that makes your body move and burn calories is considered physical activity. Walking more is a great way to improve heart health.

I like the third one, walking! I will drag HB to walk around the mall during the weekend.The other day we just walked about 2000 steps recorded via the fitness apps in his mobile. I was shocked that we actually walked that much.Haha

Even though we do not have any heart issues, it's still important to get our heart health check-ups with our doctor. When doing the check-ups, you might want to ask your numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, blood glucose and weight.These numbers will help to provide a benchmark for upcoming check-ups.

Eat a balanced diet - at the dining table, aim to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits, consume milk with added plant sterols to block the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Plant sterols are especially effective in lowering cholesterol levels – according to Heart UK, the Cholesterol Charity, plant sterols can reduce cholesterol levels by up to 10% when taken at optimal doses and as part of a diet low in saturated fat in just over 3 weeks. They are considered to be the most effective single food that can lower cholesterol as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Plant sterols can be found in small amounts in many grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. However you may have to eat very large amounts of these items to have an effect on your cholesterol, with Nestlé Omega Plus, you only need to drink two glasses a day to manage cholesterol levels.

Now 28, Farah Nadia is clear of any heart disease symptoms but she has to be vigilant as her father’s family tree has it – both her father’s elder sister and younger sibling has heart issues. To make sure she stays free from the onset of heart disease, she drinks milk with added plant sterols to block cholesterol, gets regular exercise and has her heart health checked regularly by doctors. “I’m not going to let heart disease happen to me, not when I’m able to do something about it,” is her response to this turn of events in her life.

Hey, after reading so much about heart health related matters, how about some fun work out? You may want to start up by joining Walk-A-Mile 2016! Waste no time but start to take charge of your heart health now. For more information and registration, go to
https://mro.myraceonline.com/wohd16/registrations
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