mother deserves lots of pampering. After all, our mothers literally spend most
of their lives taking care of her family every day. This coming Mother’s Day, it’s
the perfect time to take her out for some delicious pampering moment at Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant, One World
refine Chinese cuisine set in an elegant Oriental ambiance, Zuan Yuan’s Chinese
chef Lee Siew Hap goes classic prepared with lots of premium ingredients and
created three special set meals of Joyful, Lovely and Superb for this special celebration.
The Mother’s Day special set menus
are available from 2 May to 10 May, 2016 for lunch and dinner.
off every Chinese meal is the obligatory soup course. Braised Fish Maw Soup ‘Fook Chow’ Style with Abalone is a luscious
thick bisque of highly-prized ingredients. Savory and moreish, the soup has
lots of seafood strips of fish maw, crab meat, bean sprout, egg fluff and
crowned with a whole baby abalone. Add a light drop of vinegar and the soup is
perfect to whet the appetite for more dishes to come…
simple but perfectly executed dish of Sautéed
Prawn with Green Soy Bean in Garlic Sauce won many hearts that evening. The
prawns were so beautifully sweet and bouncy that it literally won us with its
freshness. It was a clever thought to allow the prawns to shine with its
freshness and sweetness and the nuggets of bright green soy beans added nutty
and cream note to the dish.
simply cannot go wrong with this all-time-favorite method to enhance the
freshness of a beautiful fish. Our Steamed
Tiger Garoupa with Bean Curd and Soy Sauce was steamed just right. The
flesh is flaky and soft with a sweet creamy note. The light soy sauce gave the
fish its signature flavour. Its dish that will definitely be appreciated by
many, especially moms.
to its theme, the vegetable course also showcased simplicity in Braised Mushroom and Assorted Vegetables
with Conpoy Sauce. The dish is a nice changed from being the usual ones
drenched in brown sauce. The vegetables are crisp and naturally sweet while the
braised fresh Shitake is superbly juicy and earthy in flavours. The crispy
dried scallop was definitely the crowning glory of the dish.
Egg Noodles with Sauteed Crab Meat,
Egg and Bean Sprout
was the finale of the savory course and it was deliciously light, tasty and
satisfying. I would be happy enjoying this dish daily.
was an unexpected presentation of Chilled Mango Puree with Pomelo and Sago with
Vanilla Ice Cream and Mini Crystal Longevity Bun. The modern presentation
really was so pretty to look at. Both desserts are crowd pleasers with its
chilled sweet fruity flavours as well as fluffy bun with creamy filling.
Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant Mother’s
Day set menus are
available for lunch and dinner from 2 to 10 May 2016 at RM138.00nett per person
with a minimum order for two persons, RM452.00nett for 4 persons and
RM686.00nett for 6 persons.
Visit Big Ben,
Parliament House, Westminster Abbey
Visit Buckingham Palace
– Changing of the Guards
Santander Bicycle Ride
Lunch at Hache Burgers
Visit Camden Market
Dinner at Bill’s
Lyric Theatre for
up bright and early this morning at the sound of my alarm. For a few minutes, I
was a bit groggy and then I realized that I wasn’t home but I was actually in
London! I quickly ran to the window to peek out and saw that the sky had
started to lighten up. I had such a good slumber that I actually felt really
good despite the time difference.
quick shower and warmed up, I headed down to Thyme Restaurant for breakfast and to meet up with the rest of the
gang. Thyme Restaurant was decent and fairly large in space. There were plenty
of tables spread out comfortably and the buffet counters were set at the end of
a simple breakfast, I was indeed surprised when I saw that they were very
generous with their breakfast buffet. It was a delicious sight of the Full
Monty English breakfast filled with loads of goodies!
was hungry and happily load up my plate with all the typical must-have English
breakfast of Cumberland sausages, bacon, hash browns, egg, grilled tomatoes,
mushrooms, sautéed potatoes, toast and juice. There were also a British classic
of black pudding too if one is game to try this. Besides the hot breakfast,
there’s plenty of fruits, yoghurt, pancakes, muesli, pastries, muffins, bread,
sourdough crumpets and more. Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10.30am.
an awesome breakfast spread…
up with the rest and everyone was well-rested and happy to start our day. After
breakfast, we took a leisure walk from our hotel through York Road across the
Westminster Bridge to check out some of the famous landmarks of London.
this fella dressed in one of the Queen’s guard and couldn’t resist a picture of
him on stilts….
Big Ben, Houses of Parliament,
was some traffic on the Westminster Bridge as it was a peak hour for work and
so we strolled past lots of London double decker buses, trucks and other
vehicles on the bridge. It was such a gorgeous sight despite the weather being
a bit grey. Though the sun did not shine through, I was still captivated at the
sight of London Eye, Big Ben and the
Houses of Parliament at sight.
was charming. The air was cool and there were people walking everywhere. The
sight of Thames River and all its
city buildings and skyscrapers painted what London city is all about. I
couldn’t help but to really hope to capture as much as I can behind my lens for
you know that Big Ben’s official
name was Elizabeth Tower? Previously
known as just Clock Tower, Big Ben was renamed to Elizabeth Tower to celebrate
the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012. Holding the title as the second
largest four-faced chiming clock in the world, the architecture of this
building and clock tower is majestic with a Gothic charm. One can only admire
Big Ben from the outside as it is not open for public viewing inside.
Palace of Westminster or more
commonly known as Houses of Parliament
stood in grandeur as Big Ben. The iconic landmark of London and United Kingdom
is always a major sight for everyone and has appeared countless times in many
movies. It has also been listed as UNESCO
World Heritage Site since 1987.
walked further and halted at another famous landmark of London – Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is
where many coronations of royalty were held since 1066. This Gothic abbey
church is one of the most notable religious buildings in UK and is also a place
for many royal nuptials, memorials and burials. We were at their North entrance
and couldn’t help but to admire the amazing façade of the building.
was already a long queue of visitors waiting to go into the Westminster Abbey
that morning. Visit their website to find out more on the visiting hours as
well as all other information.
can’t resist takings lots of pictures at this amazing architecture. The Gothic
style architecture is so impressive at sight that I could stare at this for
hours. We didn’t manage to go in as we were trying to make it to Buckingham Palace to catch the Changing of the Guards.
can also visit St.Margaret’s Church
that stands between Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament too if you
have time because that is another beautiful building to admire.
heading towards the Buckingham Palace, we saw Santander Cycles. There are many places with London’s self-service,
bike-sharing scheme and one will see these Santander Cycle docking station
everywhere. These are really easy to use for short travels. I tested one and
paid a minimum of only £2 for one.
great thing is that it’s very easy to rent one as there is no booking required.
Basically you hire one, ride it to where you like and dock it back at the
closest Santander Cycle docking station. Love cycling this in London because
the air was cool and seeing the streets of London is easy and less taxing than
last time I was in London, I had missed the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham
Palace because we had arrived a little too late. This time, I was early.
Despite it being a regular week day, there was quite a crowd already at the
were eager to witness this royal tradition carried out by soldiers on active
duty from the Foot Guards who have guarded the Sovereign and the Royal Palaces
since 1660. We picked out what we hope to be the best spot and waited excitedly
among the thousands of spectators that morning. Despite the grey sky, it was
still a lovely moment to be able to experience this.
spring and summer, the Guards would be clad in their famous red tunic and
bearskin hats but during the cold months, they have their cool grey long tunics
and their usual bearskin hats.
a video of them marching into the Buckingham Palace while belting out a
selection of music ranging from traditional marches to songs from musicals and
familiar pop songs. It’s a truly unique experience that one won’t be able to
experience anywhere else in the world…
top-on-list-to-do in London, the grand Changing of the Guard ceremony, or
‘Guard Mounting’, exhibits the moment where one regiment of Guards takes over
from another. The grand British pageantry ceremony lasts about 45 minutes and
takes place at about 11.30am when we were there.
schedule might change slightly during certain months during the season so it’s
best to visit the website below to find out more before you plan your day.
Buckingham Palace, we head towards Camden Town. One can continue the Big Bus Tour to catch more sightseeing
before heading to Camden. Another option would be to take the Metro to Victoria
stop. From Victoria, take the Underground Line to Euston Station where you
would change to the Northern Line to Camden Town station.
Hache Burgers Camden
moment we arrived at Camden, we headed straight for Hache Burgers Camden. Hache Burgers is one of the best burgers in
London as claimed by many. Unlike the usual burger bars, Hache Burger echoed an
urbane modern restaurant dressed with chandeliers, lots of fairy lights and
casual woodwork. Hache Burgers started at this Camden outlet in 2004 and has
now expanded to over five outlets in London.
burgers are their signatures and Hache serves premium quality 100% scotch beef
steak burgers. Taking burgers to new heights, Hache bumps up their burgers with
their signature Brioche and Ciabatta buns and quality ingredients. Expect
simple but solid burgers made really well and to your order.
left to right: Grand Avocat
(£10.95), Hot N’ Spicy Chicken Wings
(£8.95), Steak Reblochon (£10.95),
Middle left to right: Goat’s Cheese
Burger (£8.50), Steak Reblochon
(£10.95), Nachos (£4.50)
left to right: Steak Canadian £9.50,
Grilled Halloumi (£5.95), Sweet Potato Fries (£3.95)
had their Grilled Halloumi (£5.95)
to start off and enjoyed the simple chargrilled halloumi cheese on a bed of
mixed greens. Lightly dressed with a honey and lemon dressing, it was tasty and
love cheese and so when I saw the Steak
Reblochon (£10.95) on the menu which was served with Reblochon cheese, I
made my decision to try this. Happy to say, the moment I saw my burger, I knew
I had made the right choice. The two generous ooey-gooey looking Reblochon
cheese was so tempting at sight. The patty was cooked really well and to my
order of medium. Juicy at every bite, the burger was an explosion of salty and
creamy rich cheese well balanced with the tasty beef burger, sweet brioche bun
and tangy caramelized onion chutney. Must order the Sweet Potato Fries as it is
great lunch indeed… Hache Burgers
are super scrumptious and got many good praise among all of us. Ambiance is
charming indeed and it’s a place where one can certainly hang out in comfort.
Service was good too as our server was efficient and friendly.
our delicious lunch, we went exploring at Camden
Town, which is located at the inner Northern district of London. This is
certainly part of London that I didn’t really expect. The whole township has
such an amazing labyrinth of everything from its culture, people, food, shops,
art and more.
around canals, Camden was only more renowned after the development of the railways.
Filled with lots of open-air markets as well as enclosed ones, Camden is where
one comes to hunt for treasures. It’s definitely another must visit when one is
in London. Before I had arrive, I had actually done a little research on Camden
and found that Camden is sectioned into the following markets and areas.
Camden Lock Market – crafts, books, clothing, jewelry
and fast food
Camden Lock Village – clothing and accessories, as well
as a range of unusual items.
Camden Market – fashion and accessories
Inverness Street Market – fruit and vegetable, cheap
clothing, footwear and souvenir stalls.
Stables Market – household items, vintage clothes,
antiques and food
Electric Ballroom – indoor market during weekends only
with lots of fashion, unique and unusual items
of these markets are open 7 days a week except for Christmas Day and those
listed for weekends only. Though it was dark and grey with light drizzle while
we were heading towards the markets, it was still nevertheless a sight to take
in for this was an unexpected side of London that I never knew.
Camden Lock Marketand
Village was situated next to the Regent
Canal and one can see all the waterbus on the canal. An interesting site
indeed as we proceed to head into the market, the first thing that hit our
senses was an aroma of deliciousness wafting through the air.
stalls, and gloriously plenty of it, are gathered at the open-air market. For a
moment, I had really wish that I had stomach space for these stalls. Rows of street
food stalls from all over the world is here. Needless to say, my eyes and lens
went overdrive as I try to capture all the delicious moments. It is really a
haven for foodies like me and the hardest part of this was not being able to
try them all.
the corners of the world, there are Italian fresh pasta, pizzas and calzones,
Middle East falafels, kebabs and doners, Polish sausages and pierogis,
Colombian rice, beans, potatoes and meat, Spanish Paellas, jazzed up Mac and
Cheeses, Indian roti and curries, Filipino beef pares and chicken asado, French
crepes, Thai noodles and rice, Tibetan Momo dumplings, Venezuelan Arepa filled
with beef and pork, Dutch baby pancakes with Nutella, Peruvian grilled meats
and potatoes, desserts and so much more.
even spotted our very own Malaysian stall run by a Malay lady and her son
selling various Malaysian curries. Of course we couldn’t help but to chat with
also found a local brewery, Half Hitch
that makes their own handcrafted gin.
shopping continues as we went inside some of the market buildings and found
lots of fashion clothing, warm shawls, special unique handcrafted jewelry, art
paintings and lots of other trinkets and souvenirs. I couldn’t resist and even
bought this cool one-of-a-kind cufflink made from recycled watches!
we were about to leave Camden, I spotted Poppies! My sister had told me that I
should definitely try Poppies Fish &
Chips if I ever see one and I did. Though they are famous for the fish and
chips, Poppies also serves pies, chicken and sausages. Since this one is not a
restaurant but rather a takeaway stall, I bought my Cod & Chips (£8.50) to-go. Had this with plenty of malt vinegar
and loved how thick and moist the crispy fish was as well as the thick cut
Town has so much to offer that one can spend a whole day here and still not
cover all their stalls. Do plan more time if you wish to do some shopping and
food hunting here…
Camden Town, we decided to head back to Premier Inn County Hall and freshen up
because we all got a little wet from the rain. Head towards Chalk Farm Road and
take the Underground Northern Line (Southbound) to Waterloo Station to head
back to the hotel.
a quick freshen up, we head over to get an early dinner as we have our West End
musical show to catch. Take the Northern line (Northbound) from Waterloo
station to Leicester Square station.
Leicester Square, there is a small
booth that sells discounted theatre tickets for shows that evening. This is a
great way to catch a musical show in London with at least 25% off!
Bill’s Restaurant was close by our theatre
district, we opted to dine at the contemporary European chain serving
breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch and dinner menus. Despite being early for
dinner, there was already a solid crowd at the restaurant, denoting that food
must obviously be pretty good.
ambiance was warm and cozy, with lots of shabby chic injected with modern
touches. The restaurant is quite tight in space but we managed to get a cozy
corner with banquette seating to ourselves. Menu looked good and there are
plenty of dishes I would order from it. Since time was something we didn’t have,
we all decided to go straight for a main course each.
opted for the divine sounding dish of Slow
Cooked Barbeque-style Pork Ribs (£14.95) served with sweet potato mash, smoky
barbeque beans and creamy coleslaw. I loved it when I make a delicious
decision. When the dish was placed in front of me, the others were also ogling
it as it looked really gorgeous. Generous as well, I was glad to share this
pork rib with the others. Definitely lip-smacking good because the ribs were so
tender and moist. The balance of the BBQ sauce was spot on and it had just the
right sweetness as well as savory notes. Not a fan of beans but I do enjoy the
creamy sweet potato mash and purple cabbage coleslaw.
was very generous and offered me a taste of her Bill’s Fish Pie (£12.95). The pie was also pure comfort food made
really well. There were generous chunks of cod, salmon, smoked haddock, prawns,
peas and roasted baby onions and topped cheddar mashed potato. Superb!
had the Green Curried Chicken (£11.95)
and Avocado, Bacon and Spinach Salad
would to go back to Bill’s one day since there are many more dishes I want to
try in their menu. Service was brisk and solid and we were out of the
restaurant in time for our show, thanks to the awesome servers there.
last time when I caught the musical Charlie
and Chocolate Factory, I was really impressed by the show. This time, I was
even more excited because we were going to catch the King of Pop at the musical
Thriller at Lyric Theatre. 45 years of glory, the late Michael Jackson is truly a legend of the music industry.
in December 1888, Lyric Theatre is the oldest theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.
Like many other buildings in London, the theatre is well-maintained and looked
very regal in its interior.
Thriller Live, a 2-hour performances of the very
best of Michael Jackson’s singing list from the early Jackson Five days to the
very last one at the end of his life, is worthy of a visit. The artistes
certainly did the King of Pop’s music justice as they belted out pop to rock
and soul to disco together with the dancers on stage. One of the artiste almost
replicated the legend’s moon walk!