June 30, 2017

VIP Hotel @ Segamat, Johor

A Short & Sweet Staycation in Sleepy Town of Segamat

Time sure flies. It didn’t seem too long ago a good friend rope us into exploring the sleepy town or Segamat in Johor for a short weekend trip. Soon after, the weekend came quickly and we all packed up and head over to Segamat for our short getaway from the hustle bustle of the city.

My little one was excited. To him, every road trip was an adventure, even if it’s only a nearby or short one. The drive to Segamat was barely under 3 hours and we took off Friday afternoon to try and avoid traffic. The road there was small and narrow as we zoomed consistently on the two-lane road, passing lots of rural kampungs along the way.

By the time we arrived Segamat, it was dinner time. Without much at sight since the sky has already turned dark, we finally reached VIP Hotel where we were supposed to check in for the weekend. Much to our surprise, VIP Hotel stood out among the rows of shops and houses in the vicinity. We didn’t expect much from 3-star hotel but we were very much pleased when we saw VIP Hotel.

The hotel stood out for its height and size compared to all the other buildings in that area. Well-lite, the hotel looked new and well-kept from its outside appearance too. There’s a big space for parking upfront, which is already a plus point since we were all a little tired from traveling and it really didn’t take much of an effort to park our car and lug our luggage to the front desk.

A quick check-in with minimal fuss, we were literally starving as we could see and smell something wonderful from the restaurant in the hotel next to the reception. Literally dropping all our luggage, we head over to The Chef’s Restaurant to grab a quick dinner.

The Chef’s Restaurant is the hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant that features a menu filled with local as well as international dishes. At sight, the restaurant is spacious and well-designed with warm tones and soft lighting that immediately welcomes us to be an ease.

Although the restaurant does have buffet during weekends or festive occasions, there is always a regular a la carte menu for diners. We opted for a la carte that evening and was pleasantly surprise at the delicious list of familiar favorites as well as some local Segamat dishes.

My little one’s Great & Famous Creamy-licious (RM13) turned out to be a very delicious and satisfying thick mushroom soup served with crispy tempura mushrooms. Beautifully full of earthy mushroom flavours, we took turns and stole a few spoonful of this yummy soup from him.

He also had the Fisherman’s Delight (RM26), a classic combo of fish and chips. Two thick generous pieces of fish fillet beautifully crumbed and fried till golden is served with lots of crispy steak fries, tartare sauce with lemon and a side salad. Needless to say, he polished off the whole plate happily.

I opted for Chicken Chop (RM32) since I didn’t want rice or noodles. Mine was also yummy with two pieces of crispy battered chicken thigh served on a bed of creamy mashed potato, sautéed vegetables and my choice of black pepper sauce.

Though my dish was delicious, I couldn’t help but to long for my dining companion’s Mee Rebus (RM22). It’s a house signature and I can see why. Generously served in a large bowl, the yellow noodles was smothered in lots of thick tomatoey rebus sauce and came with two large prawns and some other condiments. Darn it, I should have ordered that… wink!

My other half had the Cantonese Style Noodle (RM22) which looked decent too plus it also comes with two large prawns. The generous portions and quality of ingredients really surpassed the price they charge since it is after all a hotel.

After that satisfying meal, we head towards our room for the weekend. For a relatively small hotel, VIP Hotel offers a few types of rooms from standard rooms to suites. We had the Family Suite that has Queen bed and a Single bed as well as enough space to even add another single bed upon request. Price for Family Suite starts from RM248 onwards.

We really like our Family Suite at sight, happy from the fact that the room was very spacious in size and everything looked neat and clean. There were even extra touches of elephants folded from towels that we never would expect from a 3-star hotel.

Little D couldn’t wait to jump on the bed to pose with the cute elephants!

While the room design didn’t look as modern as some of the hotels we’ve been, I must commend that the room was certainly clean, bright and well-maintained. Most importantly to me was the clean factor and the coolness of the room.

There was a long desk at the side of the room for work amenities. It was also here that the extra Single bed was added and yet there was plenty of space for us to move around effortlessly.

Simple cabinet with a small safe for private keeping, along with a small fridge, coffee & tea amenities and room slippers were sufficient niceties for a hotel stay.

The bathroom comes with a shower room and the usual bathroom amenities as well as hair dryer.

Room view at night

Our bed was firm and we certainly had a good night of resting as soon as our head hits the pillows. So much so, we really hesitate to rise and shine the next morning.

Nevertheless, a quick shower and we head down to the hotel’s all-day-dining for breakfast. Much to our amazement, the breakfast buffet spread is fairly decent with a long spread of local and international breakfast treats.

From local Nasi Lemak, Fried Noodles, Chicken Rendang, Mee Rebus, Teochew Porridge to American breakfast of Eggs, Omelettes, Sausages to Cereals, Toast, Cheese & Crackers, Fruits and Yoghurts, there’s even a Waffle and Pancake station for freshly ordered waffles and pancakes with jams and honey.

After such a lovely breakfast treat, there’s nothing more satisfy than to head to the swimming pool for a leisure swim in the morning sun. VIP Hotel is the only hotel with a swimming pool in Segamat. So we are actually glad we stayed at VIP Hotel considering my son loves swimming a lot.

The swimming pool is large and although it doesn’t have any fancy design, we still enjoyed our leisure swim with its airy spacious setting.

The gym is also located next to the swimming pool so one can get your exercise with a lovely view of blue waters against blue sky.

As the evening sets, our view from our room was serene and calming. We stayed till Sunday and checked out feeling refreshed from our short but sweet staycation. VIP Hotel impressed us more than expected for a 3-star hotel. Service was decent and the most important was that the hotel was well-maintained. If I am ever heading to Segamat or nearby in Johor, I would certainly return here again with my family.

For reservations, please call the VIP Hotel Hotline, tel: 07-931 2101 or check: www.viphotel.com.my

Stay tune to find out what we ate in Segamat in the coming Food Trail in Segamat!

Batu 1, Jalan Buloh Kasap,
85000 Segamat, Johor
Tel: +60 7-931 2101

June 29, 2017

La Juiceria Superfoods @ Verve Shops, Mont Kiara

Scrumptious Superfoods!

There are many definitions to the word ‘Superfood’ and they are basically referring to food considered to be beneficial for health and well-being. Healthy food often mislead people into thinking that these food are bland. Superfood usually consist of fresh ingredients, more vegetables, fruits and beans, accompanied by protein. These are usually also prepared with minimal cooking and heat to retain its nutritional value. If prepared well, superfoods won’t be bland.

A recent visit to La Juiceria Superfoods at Verve Shops in Mont Kiara has also reiterated what I mentioned. Known for their cold-pressed juices, La Juiceria Superfoods is their latest café from the group offering healthy superfood dishes at affordable price. There is also its sister café called Goodness Greens in TTDI that serves similar healthy dishes.

La Juiceria Superfoods is spacious and bright. We were there one fine day for lunch and the ambiance was cozy and eclectic. There’s the main air conditioned dining area as well as a large alfresco area. One orders at the bar at the end of the room and your food will be sent to your table.

The food menu offers all day breakfast, soups, soba, wraps & pastas to superbowls, supersnacks and signature salads. The drink menu is just as long as the food menu, offering cold-pressed juices, smoothies, smoothie bowls, coffee, tea and raw desserts.

Our smoothies of Acai Berry (RM10.99) and Cream & Cookies (RM10.99) were thick, luscious and deliciously satisfying.

At La Juiceria Superfoods, every order of coffee comes with Chlorophyll water for detox, including this Americano (RM9).

Lunch started with a decent Truffle Mushroom (RM10.90) soup. Chockful of earthy mushroom flavours, the soup was creamy and velvety. Laced with a wonderful aroma of truffle oil, we polished this off happily.

La Juiceria Superfoods has a tempting all-day breakfast section, so much so we had to order one to try. Truffle Omelette (RM18.99) looks absolutely drool worthy with the sunshine yellow of fluffy omelette stuffed with sautéed veggies and mushrooms. It also comes with a side salad. Such a happy looking and delicious platter and certainly a great one to start the day with…

Nasi Lemak Wrap (RM21.90), power packed with flavours and a healthier version of our favorite national dish. Tender grilled chicken, kampung boiled egg, quinoa, lettuce, cucumber, tomato all wrapped in flour tortilla and served with side of sambal and crispy anchovies with peanuts summed up the wrap. It’s yummy and easy to enjoy but the best part of this is that it doesn’t leave you with a heavy note after savoring it.

Soba, made from buckwheat, is a healthier noodle option than the regular noodles. La Juiceria offers a few dishes served with soba and one of them is a scrumptious Teriyaki Chicken Soba (RM18.90). A yummy combo of charcoal soba noodles topped with teriyaki chicken thigh, soft boiled kampung egg, crisp greens and shoyu sesame dressing proves that healthy food can be very tasty when done right. The soft boiled egg makes the noodles extra silky smooth.

We moved on Superbowls of salads and first one up, the Protein Power Bowl (RM18.90). Protein packed with brown rice, chickpeas, pumpkin, almond, mushroom, tofu and more, this one is served with a creamy and lightly nutty dhal curry sauce on the side. When mixed together, it’s surprisingly delicious. Love the light spices and heat of curry as it makes everything more appetizing too.

The Tofu Garden Salad (RM17.90) was decent too. Tofu itself is pretty bland but when paired up with turmeric roasted cauliflower, roasted sweet potato, steamed broccoli, red cabbage, fried tempeh and maple balsamic vinaigrette, this bowl of salad isn’t as bland as it sounds. I was particularly happy with the fried tempeh as it gives the salad a nice nutty flavour.

If you’re pickier like me, I highly recommend the Build-Your Own Gourmet Salad (starts from RM16.90 onwards).

I went for the Grand with 1 Base + 5 Mains + 2 Supplementary + 1 Dressing + 1 Protein (RM24.90 – Grand + RM9 - Salmon). Mine had Norwegian Salmon Fillet with mixed salad leaves, beetroot, grilled mushrooms, roasted pumpkin, sweet corn, almond flakes, smashed avocado and Green Goddess dressing. Generous large piece of salmon nicely grilled and the Green Goddess dressing is sublime!

There’s even dessert to end your meal. La Juiceria offers handcrafted raw desserts by The Honest Treat. Select from lots of various flavours from Banoffee, Raspberry Chocolate, Minty Chocolate, Orange Chocolate to Raspberry Dream, Berry Banana and Tropical Surprise. These are pretty decadent and tasted fudgey, fruity and chocolaty. You might as well order their cold-pressed juices to go with these for a sweet and guilt-free ending!

G-2, Level G, VERVE® Shops,
No. 8, Jalan Kiara 5,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-6280 6381

Business Hours:
Daily 8am to 10pm