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Places To Go On My Days Off

Places To Go On My Days Off

"You shouldn't feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Every so often, everyone needs to give themselves a big ol' bear hug and treat themselves to some TLC."- Sean Covey Taking some time off from work, be it a rest day from the work week or a long quiet break, should go with some TLC and that means food! In this list, I'm going to share with you the way I enjoy my TLC with great food and excellent drinks!
Kate Mun Yi
Kate Mun Yi

A quaint restaurant that exudes simplicity and fulfills every pork lover's desires with their array of pork dishes. Go for their Porchetta, which you have to pre-order in advance. This place has a special Italian dessert that is quite unusual for a restaurant in Malaysia, the Limoncello Baba. It doesn't take long for the dessert to grace us with its presence. Its looks are simple, yellow in a tiny jar, but don't underestimate it. The first spoonful surprises you with a burst of limoncello liquor and lemon flavours. The cake is soaked in lemon juice and some limoncello, bringing out the taste of alcohol, bitter lemon rind, tangy lemon juice. Lastly, you might note lemon zest in the cake and cream. It's an alcoholic and lemon lover's dream dessert!

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The ambience at Yellow Brick Road reminds me of a fairy tale story. It's filled with wooden furnitures, a long trail of yellow tiles (the yellow brick road) and a tree along the path that leads you to the tables with comfy pillows. This is home to great coffee and both sweet and savoury pancakes that leaves you wanting more! People will sit here for hours to catch up with friends or for a leisurely brunch after grocery shopping at BIG's. It's my go-to when I'm craving fluffy pancakes! For desserts, I ordered their Apom Terbalik (RM22), which is their pancake interpretation of the classic local snack. Yellow Brick Road translates the local elements into fluffy pancakes topped generously with sweet corn and toasted coconut shavings, not to mention, strawberries and blueberries paired with a side of coconut candy ice cream, chopped nut and gula Melaka syrup. It's just to die for!

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This is the most affordable place to have fresh sashimi, oysters and great poke bowl! You might require a little leg exercise up the stairs to savour the seafood at this haven hidden in Taman Desa, but I promise you that it's worth it. The restaurant greets you with a warm welcome, and a huge display of oysters waiting to be shucked. The open space has a concrete feel, with simple Japanese decor and the menu will entice you to order everything! After a long read and much thought, we decided to have fried oysters (RM19.90). Five fried oysters are presented with a side of mayonnaise sauce. These are really delicious as it was crispy on the outside with Panko breadcrumbs and surprisingly still moist and juicy on the inside. A delicious starter and one you may have to fight for with your dining partners. Parking is limited and the lunch session ends early at 3pm. If you want to have a long, relaxing meal, opt for dinner which is between 6pm to 10:30pm

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Saturday mornings are for brunch and good coffee. Breakfast Thieves has become the most popular place for Melbourne-inspired brunches in the vicinity. This cafe is really an Instagram-worthy spot as the cafe basks in natural lighting. We tried one of their signature dishes, My French Lady (RM26). We didn't need to wait long. This French Lady is a French toast beautifully dressed with strawberries and thyme and coated in salted dark chocolate soil. The plate surrounds the lady with lusciously sweet and sour lemon curd and raspberry cream and to top it off, mixed sesame shards. In appearance, this dessert really exudes the style of a French Lady and the taste doesn't disappoint us too. The pillowy French toast, the earthy scent of thyme and lemon curd with raspberry cream manage to complement each other in taste and texture, alongside the sesame shards and salty chocolate soil. Take note of long queues and that you may have to share tables.

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If you grew up with the clumsy, honey-loving Winnie The Pooh Bear in your childhood, you might like this place that evokes sweet memories of the character through a delicious yet decadent waffle dessert. This cafe doesn't have much space, so avoid visiting on Fridays when it's packed to the brim! The menu is filled with the names of cartoon characters that inspired their desserts. We got to try their signature Pooh Bear's Favourite (RM18), a waffle with elements that reminds you of Pooh Bear love for honey, with fresh fruits to cut the sweetness. The waffle is really crispy, yet still fluffy like you're eating clouds coated in honeycomb and Hokey-Pokey ice cream. It's pure happiness in every bite! A must-try, although parking is difficult.

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"Pizza makes me think that anything is possible."- Henry Rollins. Proof is the place to be for great gourmet pizzas and creative combinations that tantalise. The metal racks on the walls are filled with bottles and bottles of wines and the exposed kitchen lets you see a woodfire oven and an artist at work. It's a rather warm and homey feeling. You can bring your own bottle for RM50. Their menu is simple but we were told it will soon feature more in the coming months! For this visit, we opted for their eight-inch Umbrian Black Truffle Pizza (RM32). The decision didn't disappoint as the first bite of the pizza nearly brought us tears of joy. The crust is crunchy-thin yet soft and fluffy on the inside, while a robust truffle paste smeared on the dough was layered with soft tallegio cheese. The combination brings out creamy richness, along with shaved truffles on top. We fell helplessly in love with this pizza! It will be excellent with Italian Amarone or Sangiovese-based wines.

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What better way to celebrate the Friday than with a glass of beer... or a flight of beers? Only at Takumi Craft Bar! It's something unique for us Malaysians as we're used to pints and bottles. The Beer Flight is reasonable priced for quality beers crafted and brewed in Japan! This Takumi bar does also whisky and Japanese wines in flights, as well as retail beverages that you can buy and drink at the bar (Hibiki is available. Shop at your own risk!) We went to try their beer Flight — three craft beers either curated by you or the friendly staff who has great beer knowledge. I ordered the pale ale, amber ale and the espresso stout. It was a really exciting and educational experience as you get to curate your own to suit personal preferences. Made from British malt and hops, the pale ale has a golden hue and sweet,floral flavours with a hint of caramel. It's also the lightest one among the three, and enjoyable to have on its own. The amber ale has a more intense flavour and a slightly roasted aroma, so it would go well with chicken or grilled fish. Finally, the espresso stout, which is a full-bodied beer. The longer roasting for this malted barley brings out the bitterness of the malt, dark chocolate and coffee beans, reminding you of how espresso tastes. Do note that this bar has limited space and it closes at 9pm.

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Botanica + Co is a relaxing restaurant in tune with nature and service is really friendly. You may find trouble getting a parking but you can reach this place via train and Uber. Since we were there for tea, we decided to go for this milkshake, which we've been wanting to try since seeing it on Instagram. The RM28 milkshake looks really attractive and appetizing. From the first sip, we fell hopelessly in love with this pint of stout that tastes like a rainbow of slight bitterness, salty caramel, liquorice with fluffy cream on top that just wraps things up in one perfect sip! Fantastic creation, so be sure to have this when you're here.

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In APW lies a dragon that guards its fortress of great food marrying Thai and Japanese cuisine. The space exudes a minimalist ambience. Bear in mind that the establishment does not take reservations and is cash-only. Come early if you want to avoid the long wait. Their menu is really a simple one and certain items may not be available sometimes so be sure to ask before ordering. For starters, we had the Sake & Lemonade (RM20). This is a perfect drink to relax with after a long day, or even a hot day as it is really refreshing.The sourness of lemon and plums is balanced with the silky medium body of the sake.

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Make life interesting with crepes, a thinner cousin of the pancake that resembles the kuih ketayap minus the filling. This place is really spacious and there long tables for group dining. The moment we arrived, we were greeted warmly and seated at a table in the corner with much privacy. There are savoury and sweet crepes to choose from and they also have matcha lava cake! From the enticing menu, I chose the Kayaman (RM13), pandan coconut crepe filled with pandan custard, goreng pisang and vanilla ice cream. It looks almost too photogenic to eat, kudos to the chef for the amazing plating! The first bite is a flavour explosion of silky smooth pandan custard and crispy and sweet goreng pisang. The gula Melaka dressing and coconut cream just adds to the dish. Wiould go excellently well with Earl Grey tea or even a port wine.

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This ice cream bar happens to be the sister shop of the ever-famous The Inside Scoop! The non alcoholic options strikes a similar chord but this wicked bar has something naughtier up their sleeves, like the Asahi sorbet, XO cranberry, whiskey cream, whiskey coffee and chocolate cognac ice cream flavours. We are spoilt for choice! After much deliberation and tastings, we decided to go with a double scoop of whiskey cream and XO cranberry! Loved every spoonful of this sinful dessert. The very creamy whiskey cream is made with Singleton 18, which gives subtle yet smooth notes of caramel and coconut notes. The XO was quite strong, not enough to knock you out but enjoyable to eat. The cranberries are quite chunky and generously soaked in the XO. Really a place for sinful treats.

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myBurgerlab is actually a place that I was dying to visit and one fine evening I finally managed to do so! Got to know from a friend that you gotta be extremely early to avoid long queues. Thankfully we only had to endure a short wait. Note that their menu is on the wall facing you. From their creative menu, choose from burgers that range from tofu, vegetable, chicken, lamb and beef! They also have sides like Awesome Fries (RM4.50), Nacho Libre (RM13.50) and Mashed Potatoes (RM4.50). We tried their Beautiful Mess (RM19.90), affordable as you can top up RM6 to get it as a set, which includes a side of awesome fries and bottomless soda. The service here is impeccable, speedy and polite! The moment the burger arrived at our table, there was a brief moment the song "Can't take my eyes off you" came into my mind. The melting cheddar cheese on beef patty, deep fried portobello mushrooms, honey mustard and a sunny side up egg all wrapped within the charcoal bun. This sexy-looking burger may look like a challenge but don't fret as being messy is part and parcel of enjoying great burgers! There is joy in every bite of its juicy beef patty! A great place to have a simple date or gathering, or even to have a fun burger dinner alone! Do note that parking is difficult, so take Uber or the train to get here.

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A food ,dessert & wine lover www.katelifefood.blogspot.com Instagram: @kate_munyi18

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