Monday, 4 June 2018

#MakanReview : Sri Nirwana Maju [USJ9]

I think I just found the best halal banana leaf rice place in Klang Valley; which is not a surprise considering how famous the place is 💖

Sri Nirwana Maju has 2 branches; one in Bangsar and the other in USJ 9 (less congested area).


Banana Leaf Rice Set
  • The basic set is actually a vegetarian dish. Rice served on a banana leaf, with 3 vegetable dishes, papadum, fried salted chilli and curry/dhal
  • Curry - you can choose between the different type of curries they have [kuah sahaja]
  • Add on your protein! Mutton, chicken, fish, squid, prawn, you named it.
So we ordered 2 sets of banana leaf rice, fried squid and mutton varuval with mango lassi. 

Amergerd, everything was really really good [except for the mutton varuval].



Three types of vegetable.

The fried bitter gourd (red-scary-looking vege on the left) is to die for!
The other two; stir fried cabbage and cucumber yogurt salad are also good.



The whole course.

The fried squid was amazing! They fried it upon order.
Fresh and succulent. The portion is great, too.

Mutton varuval (dry curry) on the other hand, just mediocre.
Can skip that next time.

Already looking forward to the next meal here! ❤

Rating : 4.5/5 
Read More

Thursday, 31 May 2018

It's Official, I'm an ACCA Member


Just because you passed all the exams, it doesn't mean you are automatically accepted as member.

The various ACCA Status;


So the requirement to be an ACCA member are;
  • Pass all the exams (with or without exemptions)
  • Complete the online Professional Ethics module
  • 36 months experience in relevant accounting / finance role [to be recorded in the system, signed off by immediate supervisor and you have to write several essays to illustrate your competency]
The most tedious part believe it or not; is not passing the exam; but the final step.

Tips
Start recording your experience in the system as early as possible to account for different employers, promotion etc. You can use your 6 months internship experience in getting the total 36 months. Jadi kalau record lambat, belum tentu you are still in contact with your former boss, so how are you gonna get the sign off? [You can record the experience that occurred before, during or after you sit for ACCA exams]

The great thing about studying part time is that you're working concurrently. 
So in my case, I started ACCA after 1 year of work experience so by the time I completed my papers, I've achieved the 36 months requirement. 

Not only you have to meet the 36 months experience requirement, you will need to meet 9 performance objectives. In order to prove this, you'll need to write a 300 words statement to demonstrate your competencies for each and every one of the objectives.


However, if you are employed at ACCA approved employer with Gold/ Platinum status (like I am) you could potentially ask for exemption from all the performance objectives ; but only after you completed the 36 months experience.

After everything is set and done, your supervisor will receive an email to sign off your working experience.

Only then, you can submit the application to become a member. 

Of course, it's not free. 
£236 for membership admission + first year annual subscription

Wait for a few weeks to get the reply on your membership status and they will mail you the hard copy certificate all the way from the UK. 


Now, you can use ACCA designation after your name ❤
Read More

Friday, 25 May 2018

#MakanTrip : Melaka

At last, a reality ❤

2D1N trip, just before Ramadhan starts. 

This time we stayed at Arissa Hotel. Was tempted to stay at nicer hotels outside of the city center but decided against it at the last minute. And I don't regret it a bit!

arissahotel

Pros : Very comfortable bed, clean, ample parking, strategic location, free shuttle van to/fro Jonker Street

Cons : Open parking, receptionist was a tad cold

Rating : 4.5/5


The trip to Melaka was solely for food hunting. We went to most of the famous eateries. And here's my review. 

Ee Ji Ban Chicken Rice Ball


Lama juga mengidam. My verdict : over hyped. I really love chicken rice and this place, they do serve a good plate of chicken rice, succulent chicken and all. But. I felt like it's a bit overprice and not worth the queue. The nyonya cili garam dish was a bit bland, not full of flavor like I have anticipated. And oh, they charge you for the tapau container too 😣

The chicken rice set does not come with soup. Say whattt? Even chicken rice set at the food court provides you with 1 small bowl of soup. Here you need to order separately. 

[Tips : Chee Meng serves better chicken rice]





       
Rating : 3/5


Klebang Original Coconut Shake


Obviously the line was long but they were efficient. It's very affordable seeing the quality of the ingredients they used. I don't even bother to buy coconut shake at most night market because it is watery, too much water, not enough coconut, chunky ice etc

But here, everything is blended nicely. One of the best coconut shake I've tasted but would love if even more if the coconut bits are not as gritty. Well, to each his own; right?

Rating : 4/5


Jonker Street


The coconut is a hard pass. I thought it's gonna be as amazing as the one I had in Thailand but nooo.
The reason I bought it was to cool down. It was freaking hot, a lottt of people squeezing in the tiny road. The coconut water was warm. WARM! *laughing at myself* The flesh was too hard to eat, had to ask them to cut it for you. (In Thailand, if was so soft, you can just poke it with your straw) And it was not tasty. Kelapa tua. What do you expect...

Rating : 1/5




This baby, it's the bomb! So delicious, warm and gooey, make sure to buy it!!
Muah Chee : Glutinous rice ball covered with sugared peanuts

Rating : 5/5


Asam Pedas Claypot Kota Laksamana


Huge, huge place. Quite cheap for the price because the fish was big, N can barely finished it. Set comes with an asam pedas of your choice, rice, sambal belacan, salted egg and fried vegetable. Quite good!

Rating : 4/5


Awang Roti Canai, Bukit Beruang


The. Best. Roti Canai. I. Had. Ever!!
It's thick, crispy, fluffy. All at the same time. The curry was delicious. A must must try!
*parking can be limited tho

Rating : 5/5


Kuih Keria Antarabangsa Haji Jalil & Hajah Rahmah

Hajah Rahmah's
So we tried both, freshly from the fryer. Personally I'm more in favor of Hajah Rahmah's keria. 
The combination between flour and potato is just perfect. The sugar coating ... Just divine. 

Rating : 4.5/5


Mango Float Royale Melaka


Our final pit stop.  
At first, it tasted too sweet for my liking. 

But I kept on drinking because it's so good! Topped with mango cubes and vanilla ice cream. 

Rating : 4.5/5


Can't wait to be back in Melaka. #Eh
Read More

Monday, 14 May 2018

Why I'm Saying No to UUM

This is my personal experience and you may or may not experienced the same thing.

So I'm looking to pursue my studies locally and I want to start as soon as possible *typical me*.
UUM offered classes in May, so I applied.

First things first. The reasons why I chose UUM;
  • The MBA program is quite good, accredited by global bodies
  • MBA structure : classes + exam + without thesis
  • Location is in central KL
  • Classes were held on weekend
  • Fee : RM18k

Just before I applied, I read through the new program book and surprise! Major changes!
  • MBA structure : classes + exam + thesis
  • Fee : RM35k (an increase of 94% / almost doubled)
  • Upon graduation, will receive Chartered Manager status by Chartered Management Institute
To fork out and invest RM35k for a local university MBA is not worth it.


Then okay, my second choice was to take MSc Management. 

Deep down in my heart, deep deep down I felt like it will be less challenging for me. Since I have my diploma, degree and ACCA. All of the modules in this particular MSc program are merely extensions of what I've learnt before. 

But I was stubborn. I want to start studying as soon as possible. 

So I bought the pin number to apply at UUM.

The due date for application was 31st March. I completed everything in the final week of February; the online application, referee report, everything. 

I know the registration day will be on May 6th. Ideally, candidates should know the result and gotten the offer a month before; early April right?

That leaves UUM about a week to decide. So I thought, it must mean they reviewed the application on a rolling basis kan, kalau tak everything will be super last minute. 

So I wait, and wait and wait until the third week of April.

This. Cannot. Be. I contacted UUM on FB since they are quite active. 


Eh? How come the result announcement is on 9th May, while semester starts on the 6th?

It's my own fault that I didn't clarify further.
Instead, I take it as 'Oh.. Maybe they defer the registration day to a later date'.

On May 6th, I saw a post on FB 'UUM welcomes 80 new postgraduate students'.
I was like ^%&#$#^

Mind you, me and N wasted RM200 for the application fee (N applied for another program).
We were confused. And pissed off.

Few days later, I received email from them.



Terrible customer service. No apologies, no explanation on the late offer whatsoever.

To make things worst, they send me the WRONG offer letter.



I replied to the email, asking for my correct offer letter; no reply.

My husband got his offer letter right but didn't get all the supporting documents.


I got all 4 documents while N only got the offer letter.

All in all, a terrible experience.
I truly believe the admission office did a bad job for this cycle of potential-students.

I did not regret saying no to UUM even though I've secured the offer.
Can't imagine the problems I will encountered as a student there.

Not to say other university is perfect but this is too much, for me.

Dodged a bullet!
Now I can apply at my first university of choice 💗 [will be in separate post].
Read More

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

#MakanReview : KFry [IOI City Mall]

Had been excited to come here for nearly 2 months before I finally gave in to the temptation.

So we arrived at 11am (on a Saturday) and there was already a line extending to the shop beside them.

Guess how long did we queued? 
1 hour 15 minutes. That's 75 minutes!!!

In my head - 'this better be good, this better be good, this better be good....' 

Since it was only the 2 of us, we did not ordered much. 
  • Krazy Spicy Cheezy Fried Chicken Bumbuk
  • Anchovies & Tuna Rice Ball
  • Strawberry Cheesecake Mini Bingsoo
These 3 menu comes down to RM120+ (whatttttttt)


Anchovies & Tuna Rice Ball

This was the underdog menu but my God, it was sooo soo good. It looked simple. But trust me, it has all the elements right. It was crunchy, soft, tasty and filling all at the same time. 5 stars for this!!




Krazy Spicy Cheezy Fried Chicken Bumbuk 

Memang crazy betul pedasnya. For me personally, I don't do very well with spicy food and this is a BIT too much for me. The dish for me, is overrated. Don't get me wrong. I love cheese but this; I think they charge too much and the not worth the queue. But again, that's my personal view. 




Strawberry Cheesecake Mini Bingsoo

Initially we ordered the melon bingsoo but it was not available. The option left was mango, strawberry, matcha and oreo. I'm not fond of matcha (read:hate), and oreo would be too sweet for me. Mango; I've been eating a lot of it the past weeks so we chose strawberry. Basically by the process of elimination. Hahahaha For me, it was okay. 

Even though it's mini bingsoo, it's quite big and the price is in the same range as the normal sized bingsoo.



Overall Rating : 3/5

Verdict : Didn't see myself coming for more except for the rice ball ✌ 
Oh and their service was great!
Read More

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Review on Billabong Scuba [Mabul]

Using iPhone6s #majorlove

I decided to stay at Billabong because let's face it; I think Billabong Scuba is one of the best budget accommodation in Mabul. 

From my point of view, there are two extremes in Mabul; budget vs luxury resorts.

Most of the so called 'hotel' in Mabul offers packages [2D1N, 3D2N etc] since you'll need to pay for the 1 hour boat ride to the island plus food and snorkeling. Everything is done in-house.

To be honest, I chose Billabong Scuba because it looks the nicest *vain*.


However, my initial interaction with them were not that great. 
  • Contacted them via email [in English] asking for the package price. 3D2N in seaview chalet cost RM763 per person. Was told that they don't accept 2D1N bookings
  • Which is a bit weird considering I've read people sharing their experiences online
  • Using another email address, I contacted them again [in Malay this time] and wallaaaaa .... the price for 2D1N package is RM510 per pax
  • For your information, sea view chalet is the best class of accommodation they had. Other room types are cheaper
  • In the end, we ended up paying only RM426 during check in. Tak pasti kenapa.

The sea view chalet

Things To Take Note
  • They only have 1 boat trip from Semporna to Mabul everyday - at 8am
  • The checkout time is at 12noon but the boat to Semporna will come at 3.30pm
  • Electric is only available from 11am-4pm and 6pm to 6am 
  • Don't bring food into the room [rats]
  • 3 snorkeling trips daily; 8am, 10am and 1.30pm

What I Love About Them
  • guided snorkeling + free water confidence lesson. These guided snorkeling is very useful as the ocean current was ridiculous. Hahaha
  • compared to other places, they offered cheaper cooking charges. Ranges from RM5-RM15.
  • comfortable bed
  • good food
  • in the morning and evening, the locals will be selling fresh seafood just below the resort


All these for RM50


RM90 lobster

What Could Be Improved

  • the toilet was a bit run down [toilet bowl cover was broken]
  • streamlined the communication ; how can different people quote different prices?

Other than that, it was great considering it's a budget accommodation.



RM510 per pax [Quoted Price]
  • welcoming drink
  • return boat transfer
  • accommodation with en suite bathroom and AC
  • 3 snorkeling trips around Mabul /Kapalai
  • 2 lunch, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast
  • 24/7 hot drinks + bread + spread



Read More

Friday, 16 March 2018

Semporna and Mabul ; Make The Best Out of It

To say that our trip to Semporna is perfect; would be a lie.
But we enjoyed em and that's the most important thing.

Bought the tickets on a whim, during AirAsia promo early last year. RM240 per pax (return flight) which I think is quite reasonable considering the distance.

I would highly recommend for you to stay for at least 5 days to cover all the attractions. Being there for only 4 days, it was a bit tiring and we can't stay for more than a night in Mabul.


Things To Know
  • Nearest airport is Tawau Airport. From here, it takes around 1 hour to get to Semporna. [RM90 per taxi or RM25 per person via shuttle van] - I liaised directly with my hotel for the transport
  • Mabul Island is open throughout the year since they are monsoon-free
  • There are two marine parks; Tun Sakaran and Sipadan. Tun Sakaran is where Bohey Dulang is plus all the island hopping activities. Sipadan includes Mabul, Kapalai etc. 
  • So if you are planning to go to Bohey Dulang, you'll need to be in Semporna; they don't do Tun Sakaran trips from Mabul
  • That is why ideally you'll need 5 days to cover both marine parks
  • Earliest flight to Tawau is at 7.15. You'll arrived at Semporna at approximately 11ish am.

Day 1
Airport transfer and checked in. Okay, about the hotel I chose. The only reason I chose Poga Backpackers is that it has 8.1 rating on Booking.com 
Some hotels scored higher but they only offered shared accommodation [dormitories]. But this place has its pro and cons. 
Pros : super strategic location, nice hosts, AC
Cons :  super thin bed, super slow water pressure, thin walls

I would recommend Dragon Floating Inn or Sipadan Inn 2. They're super near to everything; Giant, Watson, pharmacy, the jetty and restaurants. 

We ate at Restoran Bismillah and Fat Mom - for seafood [both are highly recommended].

For cheap seafood, do go to Fat Mom; they even open during lunch. We ate here twice, both not costing more than RM40. Once we ordered small portion of dried butter prawn (RM16 : 9 large prawns); so cheap!

During the first day, we just walked around, not doing much because the boat to Mabul leaves at 8am and we obviously missed them. The snorkeling trip starts at 9am and again, we missed it.


Day 2
Woke up early to go to island hopping. Booked the trip with Semporna Travel on FB. To be honest, it was a bit disappointing. We paid RM95 each for a 4-island visit. The tourist jetty was 1.5km away. So we walked in the scorching sun 💀

  • Pulau Tatagan : the sea gypsies village. Basically we just went near their floating houses and the children will just hop over your bot and kinda harassed you for money and treats. When it went overboard, the guide will chase them away. But it was good  seeing a different way of life there.
  • Pulau Bohey Dulang : should be the highlight of our trip. Were promised a hiking guide but we didn't have any [there was 12 of us] The route were crazy, nearly vertical from the get go. Not even 100m in, I gave up. I has torn ligaments on my ankle and still recovering. So we went back down and wait for others. They said the view from the top is amazing.
View on top of Bohey Dulang [from Google]
  • Pulau Mantabuan : perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day 😖 It was a small island, yes. Beautiful, clear water but not much to see underwater. It's a bit like Pulau Beras Basah in Langkawi, not so much of a snorkeling spot.
  • Pulau Sibuan : this redeemed everything! Very very beautiful place.
Pulau Sibuan
For our trip back to hotel, we called Uber [nasib baik ada].
That night, we ate at Fat Mom again. Ordered 'kerang' and we got this weird version instead. Hahaha Not as juicy as the usual type we had.



Day 3
After breakfast, we went to Billabong office which was only a few steps away and got on the boat to Mabul (the jetty was just beside the office). One hour later, we arrived at Billabong Scuba [will do a dedicated post later].

Checked in, had lunch, went snorkeling, walked around the island...


Day 4
Breakfast, snorkeling again, lunch then checked out. Went back to Semporna and then to Airport.

The End.


*some companies provide an all-in service [Mahligai Semporna & Adli Ayob on FB] just compare their prices with your budget!

**all in all, we spent around RM1,100 per pax 
Read More

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Lombok : Itinerary & Tips!

Bukit Merese, 2016

Though this is my second time here, I wanted to give N the quintessential Lombok experience. 

However, I'm not so much of a culture person so I skipped Desa Sade (traditional Sasak village) and Desa Sukarara (traditional weaving) since I've visited them before. 





Gili Trawangan before Tiu Kelep! 
The first time around, me and Ika went to Tiu Kelep before Gili. We were not fit at all and the hike were a bit strenuous for us. The distance were not too bad but the elevation really ... really made it hard. So when we got to Gili the next day and had to cycle, God it was soooo painful (our legs were super sore)! With N, I pushed the visit to Tiu Kelep towards the end of the trip. So soo much better.


Things To Bring To Tiu Kelep
Suitable footwear (can be slippery + need to cross a river), bring a towel at least because it can be super cold [and no changing room so at least you can wrap your body] and waterproof phone case because you can feel the cold blowing mist even when you're far away. Imagine when you get closer to the waterfall to take pictures, the lens will be covered by water, trust me. And oh! Bring water along.


Villa Hantu
I remember getting the most beautiful picture on top of Villa Hantu in 2016.


There used to be a makeshift ladder by the villa so you can get to the rooftop and take amazing photos.



But now the ladder is there no more. You'll need to get inside the villa to take pictures. Tips : Go there around 11-4 when the sun shines bright!

From @intansuehaini


Wear A Lot of Sunblock and Don't Forget to Reapply! 
I had the worst burnt ever in 2016; even with applying sunblock. With snorkeling trips, you'll need to constantly reapply the sunblock after every dip in the water. Just our luck, the boat was filled to capacity and we had to sit at the front part of the boat (without any cover).

I had sun spots on my nose which has slowly healed after more than 2 years. But still not fully recovered until this very day. Better be safe than sorry! #loveyourskin





Not to Be Missed : Bukit Merese
If I had to choose between the waterfall and Bukit Merese, I'll choose the latter. It offers such amazing view that my breath were taken away every single time I'm here. *Best to bring a hat + water because it can be scorching hot*






Choose the Tour Guide Correctly
Always always read reviews on tour guide / supir before making your decision. I've engaged with Eka Senggigi during my trip in 2016; a pleasant experience. This time his brother, Made accompanied us. [You can find @ekasenggigi on Instagram]. I would definitely recommend their service!



Lombok has been great and beautiful ❤
Till next time!
Read More

Copyright © Travel. Eat. Love Made with ❤ by azhafizah.com