Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Staycations have been all the rage for a number of years now, as folks look for a weekend getaway within the city they live in. Serviced residences nowadays provide facilities on par with hotels, often with the added bonus of much more space at very competitive rates.

To keep things exciting plan your stay based around the serviced residences location as we did when we recently stayed at Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya Serviced Residences. Visit the nearest mall, eat at the neighbourhood restaurants and explore a new part of town, and return home feeling well-rested and rejuvenated.



Somerset Damansara Uptown is one of the premier collection of The Ascott Limited's serviced residences in over 100 cities around the globe. It is conveniently located next to the new Starling shopping mall as well as right in the middle of a commercial hub where numerous offices, restaurants and cafes are situated, making it the perfect home away from home for travellers, those on business or for families looking for a new experience.

The 24-storey serviced residence features 211 contemporary serviced apartments, with a choice of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.  We stayed in the two-bedroom premier apartment, which comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, a living room, dining area, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. We were impressed with the spaciousness of the unit (1066 sqft) which can comfortably accommodate up to five people.


There is a king-sized bed in the master bedroom, as well as a separate working area and ample wardrobe space.The ensuite bathroom comes with shower and eco-friendly bath amenities.



Twin single beds in the second bedroom, just nice for our kids :)



BabySumoKids love their welcome gift


Making themselves at home in the stylishly furnished living area





The apartment is elegantly furnished, with homely comforts such as LED television with home entertainment system, DVD player, washing machine and dryer, a steam iron and ironing board and complimentary Wifi in rooms and all common areas. And since it is a serviced residence, there will also be complimentary housekeeping services which will come and tidy your room for you.


All snuggled up for movie night



In the kitchen, on top of the usual coffee/tea making facilities, you will find cooker hob with hood, microwave oven, toasted, oven, refridgerator, glassware, crockery and cutlery; all of which are available for use should you wish to cook during your stay. Otherwise, there are lots of fantastic dining options within the vicinity. Some of the local eats that we checked out included: Annie 1, Nam Heong Ipoh, and Village Park Nasi Lemak.




There are kids channels available on the TV, or pay a visit to the Children's Playroom located on the Reception level. It kept our kids entertained for hours; they can engage in role play, read a book or play with the toys.  Daniel wanted to take the Shark home.





For guests, there will be a small continental spread served for breakfast, such as cereal, fried rice, fried noodles, eggs and pancakes as well as coffee/tea and juices. You can enjoy an alfresco breakfast or in the Resident's Lounge.





There is also a fully-equipped gymnasium, as well as outdoor gymnasium area should you wish to work out. There is also an outdoor swimming pool as well as children's wading pool with lounge chair to just sit back, relax and enjoy the city skyline.







Verdict: Great for family staycations. We love the swimming pool and children's playroom and there is a shopping mall directly next door if you are looking for more things to do (eat/visit the bookshop/watch a movie). 



The Ascott Limited is a member of CapitaLand. It is one of the leading international serviced residence owner-operators with more than 300 properties in over 100 cities spanning more than 25 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. It operates three award-winning brands Ascott, Citadines and Somerset, and lyf.


Room rates start from RM292.50/night for studio. Check-in time 3pm, check-out time 12 noon.

Location: Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya, 2A, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. (For parking, head to Level 3 of The Starling Mall, and follow signs for Somerset guest parking).

Tel: 03-7730 0888


GPS Coordinates: 3.135867, 101.623416


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Argentine Gastronomic Week @ The Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur

The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur and the Embassy of Argentina welcome yet another celebrated Guest Chef at The Library, from 23rd to 26th May 2017. In conjunction with the National Day of the Argentine Republic and in celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Argentina and Malaysia, The Library presents the Argentine Gastronomic Week, showcasing the best of Argentine cuisine in a specially curated menu by Argentine Chef Patron Diego Jacquet.

Chef Patron Diego will illustrate through a three-course menu, exquisite flavours representative of this South American nation. Argentina is world-renowned for its love for beef and wine both of which will be prominently featured on the menu.

Currently Chef Patron at London’s award-winning ZOILO, and boCHINche in Singapore, Diego began his career in Buenos Aires. He has great passion for food and wild products – something that transpires into the menus at his restaurants. He has worked alongside Argentine legend Francis Mallman and Ferran Adrià of three Michelin-starred restaurant El Bulli. Diego is also an ambassador and founder of the Comilona Food and Wine Festival, a nomadic Argentine food and wine festival that aims to build a community of cooks, producers and writers with the insatiable appetite for knowledge and the desire to discover, learn and improve their Argentine cooking.



To whet our appetites, we were served Empanadas Salteñas (hand cut beef, onions, potatoes, olives empanadas) and Trucha Curado (cured trout). 



Other than its beef, Argentina is also known for its seafood and Chef Diego highlights it in his appetizer, the Cangrejo Y Humita Nortena (crab on toast, humita, pickled radishes, coriander). Wonderfully vibrant and photogenic, this appetizer was nice and light - pick up the crisp toast with your fingers and enjoy! I especially enjoyed the combination of crab with corn, which adds a little sweetness in each bite. This course is paired with the Chakana Torrontes 2015, a pleasing, smooth and easy-to-drink white. We learnt that Torrontes is the only grape variety that originates from Argentina.





For main course, diners can choose between the Ojo de Bife (grilled Argentine rib eye, chips Provenzal, chimichurri) or Ravioles de Calabaza y Garrapiñada (pumpkin ravioli, sage, goat’s cheese, garrapiñada).

I was very pleased that they decided to serve Argentina's national pride to us - the Argentine beef. Air-flown in specially for this event, the Argentine rib eye is simply grilled and seasoned with salt and pepper, just as they would serve in Argentina. Unadulterated, pure goodness. The portion was huge, more than generous, and the steak was cooked to a beautiful medium and served with chimichurri. As it's grass fed, the steak was much more robust in flavour, yet tender. Hubby and I were both in meat-lover's heaven. The steak was paired with the Luigi Bosca Malbec 2015, a red wine which was smooth on the palate and was equally enjoyable on its own.





Oh, and the chips... they were amazing! They were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Chef Diego tells us that these fries are triple-cooked; first steamed, then poached in oil and then finally deep fried to crispy perfection. The fries are then tossed in a garlic and herb mix before serving.




The Torta de 3 Leches (milk cake, coffee, citrus crumble, passion fruit) is made using 3 types of milk, which gives the cake its moistness. Delicious!




The Argentine Gastronomic Week is available from May 23 to 26 from 7pm until 11pm. The three-course dinner is priced at RM250 nett per person (food only) or RM375 nett per person (with wine pairing). For reservations and enquiries, please call +60 3 2142 8000 or email dining@ritzcarlton.com.my.




Location: The Library, Level 1, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2142 8000

GPS Coordinates: 3.146901, 101.715438

Website: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/malaysia/kuala-lumpur

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