Thursday, May 31, 2018

Mandala Cafe & Bar @ Publika, Solaris Dutamas, KL

Hey guys!
How's your week going?
Tuesday was a public holiday, but it's still a busy week for me as I'm rushing to complete all my works before I fly off next week.
Today, I would like to share a new restaurant that I came across during the last weekend.
Have you heard of the Mandala Cafe & Bar that situated at Publika?
Don't be surprise if you never heard of it because this restaurant is quite new which just opened in 6 months ago.
After my first visit on the last weekend, I would say that I'm very happy with how great the food are, and also absolutely loving the delightful atmosphere.
So, shall we continue to find out more about this newly opened restaurant?! :)

Mandala Cafe & Bar is located in the building outside the Publika mall.
There are quite a number of restaurants, cafes, bars at the outside Publika mall, so it actually took me a while to locate the restaurant.
Well, if you know about the Banana Curry Hour restaurant, an Indian restaurant, Mandala Cafe & Bar is just situated right next to it.

The restaurant is not very spacious, but the interior design turns the whole area into a beautiful place.
It features many elements made from different materials and make the room looks contemporary and stylish.
I also kinda like the colour palette and the materials they used because it makes the place look so comfortable.
It really provides an inviting atmosphere to the guests.

The restaurant also has a simple uncluttered outdoor seating area too.

If you are looking for a place to organize a small event or party, there is also a VIP room at the back of the main dining area.
This special room can occupy with a group of 10 pax, with minimum RM1,000 spending requirements.
I'm already thinking to bring my whole family here for our next family gathering. :)

Spotted a wine cellar with different red and white wines.
It's a certainly a good place for you to choose the right wines to pair with all sorts of delicious dishes.

One of the reasons I visited Mandala Cafe & Bar  is because I like to try different variety eatery and concept, and another reason is because of the 3 Course Set @ RM70 they just launched recently.
The set meal includes starter + main course + dessert + a glass of their in-house red/ white wine.
There are many options for the starter, main course and dessert, so basically you can just mix and match with your favourite dishes from the list to complete the 3 course set meal.

Shall we start with the starters now?
Mandala's Green comes with fresh green romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Japanese cucumber, carrot slices, half boiled egg topped with Parmesan cheese, bread cubes and tossed in Caesar dressing.
Love the great taste and smell of the carrot!

Mushroom Soup is a creamy soup topped with truffle oil and served with 2 pieces of garlic toast on side.
I enjoyed the soup while dipping it with the crusty garlic toast. :)

Oxtail Soup served in vegetable soup with rich but clear beef broth, and also comes with 2 pieces of garlic toast on side.
It's such a lovely rich soup that can make you feel warm and comforting.

Move on to the 5 options from the main course now.
Golden Soft Shell Crab Spaghetti is a Carbonara pasta that served with an Asian twist of buttermilk sauce and lightly fried crispy soft shell crab.
I'm pretty impressed with this dish as it is quite well balance in overall taste; with a salty taste on the soft shell crab added on to the pasta was an ideal dish.

Grilled Chicken with Buttermilk is a perfect grilled boneless chicken that serves with side salad and garlic toast.
I find the chicken has a light taste of the wolf-berries which I enjoyed it very much.
Also, with the buttermilk coating, it really makes the chicken meats taste so juicy and moist!

Jumbo Soft Shell Crab with Charcoal Bun is a crispy jumbo soft shell crab served with charcoal bun, french fries and chili sauce.
Tucked in between buns, the soft shell crab is served with a sunny-side egg to meet a healthy balance of sweet and savoury taste.

Fish & Chips are freshly battered white fish served with a side of french fries, tartar sauce and lemon.
It's a simple and straight-forward dish that leaving the meat as moist and juicy yet crackling crisp crust when giving it a bite.

Are you a lover of salmon?
Grilled Salmon with Mashed Potato is freshly salmon fillet served with a side of finely mashed potato, and a generous amount of fresh salad.
The salmon is nicely grilled from center to the brim, however I was hoping a more creamy dreamy type of mashed potatoes. :)

It's dessert time! #huray
Daily Crepe Cake has variety flavours and the choices may different from time to time.
To be honest, it's hard to choose which flavours I like the most, because all these 4 flavours that I tried are really super good.
I can really have more than one piece at a time by myself!

Other than the crepe cakes, you can also choose the Brownies with Ice-cream that topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
The whole thing is so chocolaty, and the texture is so moist, which makes it such a delicious classic dessert to enjoy!
This will surely make your mouth water, and I'm sure you're gonna fall in love with this! #ITSREALLYGOOD

All the 3 Course Set Meal also comes with one glass of Mandala's House Pouring Wine with either Shiraz or Chardonnay.
As a wine lover, I think the wine is pretty smooth and taste beautiful.

Some of the main courses from the 3 Course set meals are also available in Ala-Carte menu, such as the Golden Soft Shell Crab Spaghetti @ RM28, Grilled Chicken with Buttermilk @ RM20 and Fish & Chips @ RM23.
If you like pizza, I would recommend to try the Pizza Margherita @ RM18, a typical Neapolitan pizza that served with Mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes.
I believe you can handle more than one piece with this thin-crust pizza!

It was a great experience and great restaurant to enjoy it in.
The set meal that provides a glass of wine, a starter, a main course and a dessert is such a perfect meal that needed to give it a try.
Personally, I think the prices are reasonable and the food tastes are good and also well presented.
I think normally a glass of in-house wine at some other restaurants would cost around RM20, and probably a starter and a dessert would cost about RM20 of each?
So, I think the full set meal @ RM70 at Mandala Cafe & Bar is really worth a try!

Mandala Cafe & Bar
Add: D3-G3-8, Solaris Dutamas
No 1, Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 6419 0382 / 6016 742 5339
Opening hours: Daily 11am - 1am

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Top 10 Things to do in Prague, Czech Republic!

Finally, here comes my final Eastern Europe blogpost with the beautiful Prague in Czech Republic!
Someone told me that you must visit Prague once in your life time, and I really couldn't agree no more!
Prague is really gorgeous!
I think this is one of the most beautiful towns to see in Europe country, so make sure you must visit Prague if you are planning your trip to explore Eastern Europe.
Though Prague doesn't have super famous icons like Eiffel Tower in Paris, Statue of Liberty in New York City, or Big Ben in London, Prague is a historical city that involved with a rich history, an outstanding architects, a hint of romance, and happening nightlife.
The city became a popular spot for travelers from all over the world, so I think the only drawbacks of visiting Prague is the big crowds everywhere, no matter they are local people or tourists.
We spent one full day wandering around in Prague city, hence I'm hoping my today's post has enough to put the best things in Prague that able to help you while organizing your itinerary. :)

Good morning, Prague!
In Prague, we didn't travel the city with the tour bus, just like in Krakow.
So, we started the trip early, at 8 in the morning so that we are able to cover all the places we wanted to go in Prague city.

#1 Prague Castle
First destination in Prague must be the Prague Castle.
To access to Prague Castle complex is easy as there are several tram stops in the town.
Since the castle is located on top of a hill, so I don't really suggest to walk all the way up there. :)
We took the tram at one of the tram stops which nearby the Sheraton Prague Charles Square Hotel we stayed.
The walking distance from our hotel to the tram station was less than 10 minutes, yet it was a long wait to get up to the tram as we waited for at least 20 minutes at the station.

Ahoj(it means Hello in Czech)

The Prague really huge which includes royal residences, offices, gardens, cathedrals etc.
We spent the whole morning over there and trust me it's definitely not enough to cover everything.
I would suggest to arrange a longer visit at the Prague Castle if you have enough time in Prague.

#2 St Vitus Cathedral
This is the main attraction to visit when you are in the palace.
The church was built over a time span of 600 years, and this is also the largest and the most important church in Prague.
Apart from religious services, coronations of Czech kinds and queens are also took place here.

Inside the castle is really big and full of interesting stories.
It's good to have a knowledgeable tour guide to bring your around and explain the history through superb displays and exhibits to you, otherwise I'm afraid it's kinda waste your visiting time and you might have a feeling that the church looks just the same as the other churches in Europe. :)

Near to the Vitus Cathedral, there is a little tiny statue on the hill.
People said you should touch the "shiny" part of the status to bring you good luck. #lol

#3 Golden Lane
This is a street situated inside the Prague Castle, which consists of small houses in bright colours.
Originally, these are the houses for the castle guards in the 16th century, and now many of the houses are used as souvenir shops, gift shops, museums etc.
The whole street is very cute to take beautiful photos!

#4 Panoramic view from the walls
There are plenty of great views from the walls, make sure to look around and find a good spot for a great views along the wall around Prague Castle before leaving the palace.

Fabulous view panoramic view of the whole city! :)

#5 Charles Bridge
After the Prague Castle, we slowly walked to the Charles Bridge.
It was a nice walk because the streets are gorgeous and extensive with beautiful photo opportunities.

Love locks again popping up on the Charles Bridge.
Is that also an attraction trend in Europe?! :)

When we were up at the bridge, the place was so packed and busy, but I enjoyed that!
It's really a wonderful and historic bridge to walk across.
There are many vendor stalls selling postcards, souvenirs, caricaturist portraits etc, and also wonderful statues all along on both sides of the bridge.

Of course the view from the river looks superb too!
Really a must see if coming to Prague!

The panoramic view from the Charles Bridge. :)

Really too many photos to spam at the Charles Bridge lol. :)

#6 Panoramic view from Old Town Bridge Tower
Both ends of the Charles Bridge are guarded by towers, the Old Town Bridge Tower, and these towers can be climbed to see the view of the city.
I would highly recommend you to climb up to the tower for a spectacular view of the city and the river.

#7 Must eat Czech Traditional Roasted Duck Leg
Time for lunch!
Mlýnec Restaurant is totally above my expectations in terms of their interior, services, and also food qualities.
It is located very near to the view of the Charles Bridge.

Tried out the must eat in Czech Republic, Traditional Czech Duck Leg Confit (7 hours), which includes red cabbage foam, and butter seared mashed potatoes.
But I think the dessert with ice-cream is the best to make me happy!

Black coffee in Eastern Europe is really too bitter!

When you came out from the restaurant, walk to your right, and there is a very nice view to take a beautiful picture with the complete Charles Bridge.

#8 Astronomical Clock
After that, we walked to the Astronomical Clock that located in the center of the city square.
The clock is sophisticated construction with 12 medallions signs of the zodiacs and also said that that every hour the visitors get to enjoy mechanical performance with the clock.

Unfortunately, the clock was under construction when we visited; but since the clock is located in the city center, there are other beautiful buildings to enjoy seeing and take pictures.

#9 Botanicus
Time for shopping!
There are a lot of organic face, body, and hair care products in the Botanicus.
The prices are very reasonable and qualities are good too.
Apparently, there are many Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China people come here to get the products.
I bought some essential oils, face masks, eye creams from there, and I really would like to recommend you to visit this store to pick some products or get the soap which is less than RM10 as your souveniers from the Czech Republic!

#10 The Old Town Square
I first known about this attraction through the song 布拉格广场(Prague Square) from Jolin Tsa蔡依林 back in year 2009.
And yeap! I'm finally standing in the center of the square and ready to make a 360° spin around the big place! #ohyeah!

The Old Town Square is in the heart of the Prague City, and it is remained almost untouched since the 12th century.
The most important attractions here to see are the Jan Hus Statue situated in the middle of the square, Old Town Hall Tower, and also the Tyn Church.
If you have been here before, you should know how busy the entire square is; the square is full of tourists, vendors, musicians, performers etc.
That's why I have so many photo bombs in all my pictures. #lol

It's the Tyn Church behind me. :)

Before we wrapped up our day in Prague, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for our dinner.
It's really been a long time since I dine at the Hard Rock Cafe; my last visit was in Washington D.C back in 15 years back?!
Oh! I miss their Buffalo Wings! :)

Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe was fantastic!
I had the Legendary 8oz Burger, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, fried onion-ring, served with seasoned fries, then ended the dessert with Lil Brownie that comes with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge on a chocolate brownie, then topped with chopped walnuts and fresh whipped cream.

Awww! That's so full!

Prague is beautiful like the others said!
It's a perfect place to go and explore in Europe.
But, the biggest problem in Prague are the pickpockets.
We have seen many people wandering around at the attraction places trying their lucks.
And, on our last day in Prague, before we leave Prague, one of our group members got her bag stolen at the lobby inside the Sheraton Hotel we stayed it.
It was totally unbelievable that the pickpockets can be happened in a 5 star international hotel!
Really gonna be cautious with your surrounding when you are in Prague City!

Words are not enough to describe the wonderful travel experience in Eastern Europe.
If you wanna read all my Estern Europe posts, you can click on the label #EsternEurope and I've got you cover all the places I visited.
I really feel so thankful that I had the opportunity to fulfill my wish of traveling to Europe again in my life time.
Though I have been to quite a few countries in Europe like Netherlands, UK, Paris, Germany, Brussels, Switzerland etc but I think Eastern Europe is very different.
I think Eastern Europe culture is being more reticent than the Western, and also Western European countries are much more advanced than the Eastern European.
So, if you are looking new places to visit in Europe, Eastern Europe is certainly a YES for your travel list!
Lastly, do watch my travel vlog in Prague, and I will see you again on my next post soon!

Remember to subscribe my Youtube channel too! :)