Monday, December 22, 2014

RIch and Famous Lifestyle: Macau Casino Hotels

How do the rich and famous spend their money on their travels?

Indoor heated pool on your 40th floor suite? Automated self-lifting self-heating self-flushing toilet seats in your hotel room? Grand Piano next to the your walk-in wardrobe on the presidential suite?

Let's look at some of the hotels in Macau.

1. Hard Rock Hotel: Presidential Suite

Jacky Cheung stayed in this suite during his performance here; and the room was designed with his comfort and taste in mind. Other than the walk-in wardrobe, panaromic view in the master bedroom, and jacuzzi tub in the larger than life toilet, perhaps the most stunning element in the suite was the all-white grand piano, with its own city view; followed closely behind were the racing game chairs next to the living room.

side note: worthy to watch at the Hard Rock Hotel was this massive dome shape theatre where they showcase life-like show (we watched one that talked about dragons and the pearl) that made you felt like you're inside a fantasy world; almost 4D-like. It's worth paying the entry fee which was MOP50 per ticket if you're not a guest at the hotel.

this scene was especially heart-stopping: giant octopus enveloping the dome

2. Galaxy Macau

There are three hotels inside this development: Hotel Okura, Galaxy Hotel and Banyan Tree.

Frankly, Banyan Tree wins hands down on having the classiest and most expensive rooms. All their units come as suites and the most basic unit is equipped with stunning view of the garden and an indoor heated pool overlooking said stunning view.The hotel also comes with its own boutique spa centre.

Hotel Okura is specially designed to cater to Japanese, though most of their guests were mostly Chinese, Japanese who do visit Macau would find this hotel very pleasant with stay in. Features like automated self-lifting heated toilet seat would be one of them. The hotel also comes with a Japanese restaurant on a high floor with Japanese chefs and Japanese waitresses in kimonos.

Third hotel is the Galaxy Hotel, which has access to the wave pool (that looked like an artificial beach) and has rooms that cater to the lower range income group; lower, but not completely affordable.

Despite the high density of rooms available in this property, all the hotels are, at all times, 90% occupied. Which says a lot about the booming tourism industry in Macau. Rich and famous from mainland China would flock here to spend their wealth in the glitz and glamour.

wave pool

butterfly garden

Banyan Tree Suite: Indoor heated pool

Banyan Tree Suite

Banyan Tree Suite

Banyan Tree Suite

Banyan Tree Spa

Banyan Tree Spa

Hotel Okura display

Sake tasting at the lounge of Hotel Okura

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blackmores Collagen Review

This is going to be a long post. Because I am doing a proper review, so read on if you are interested in taking collagen or are already taking them but want to know how Blackmores Collagen fare in comparison to the other brands.

I have always strongly believed in taking supplements to keep ourselves looking youthful and radiant. Years ago I started taking collagen, initially in bottle form, not going to name the brand here but basically it wasn’t before long that I couldn’t handle the sweetness to be consumed on a daily basis over a long period of time. And I have a sweet tooth. That was why I had to throw half a year of supply away because I was procrastinating drinking it for so long that they all expired eventually. T_T

Few years down the road, I started taking collagen in its pure powder form (imported). I thought it was a brilliant idea, save for the fact that collagen is rather fishy on its own, so I would mix it with my breakfast (cereals, milo, juice). However, that lasted for a year and soon the habit died off because frankly I’m not really a breakfast person and the powder does change the taste of my milo. Three bags of premium quality collagen expired eventually. T___T

When I was offered Blackmores Collagen to try, I thought, why not, wouldn’t hurt to try.
And I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the taste was. It wasn’t super sweet, nor super sour like the other brands I’ve tasted, it was just nice. 

While I’m not an expert on the science of food, these are my thoughts based on my knowledge on collagen drinks: products with no preservatives would have to resort to natural ingredients that has preservative characteristics; such as honey, sugar, or Vitamin E, or citric acid, etc. Sugar is the cheapest, and you would have to put a LOT of sugar to have a shelf-life of 1-2 years. Which would result in an extremely sweet concoction; i.e. my first bottled collagen experience. But too much on other ingredients won’t cover the fishy taste and/or will result in a rather sourish taste. And an unpleasant taste is difficult to consume over a long period of time.

I love how Blackmores uses more expensive ingredients such as grape seed extract, Vitamin E, citric acid to aid in natural preservation and maintain a balanced flavor on top of sugar instead of abusing  a single main ingredient (which could result in the drink being either too sweet or too sour or too fishy).

The second thing I love about the Blackmores Collagen was that it uses 10,000mg of collagen, a significant higher content of collagen than many other brands out there, but has better execution of ingredients (to preserve and cover the fishy taste) than other brands that use the equal amount of collagen.

A person needs a daily dose of 5,000mg of collagen a day, and at 10,000 mg it is sound advice to tell you to drink it once every two days. While I’ve seen other collagen brands with 10,000mg asking their consumers to drink it once every three days so to make it seem more worthwhile if you were to drink it monthly.
Again, this review is based entirely on my understanding on collagen and view of different types of collagen I have taken so far.

For me, this is a good product. Priced at RM159 for 10 bottles in a box which is affordable but definitely worth setting aside a budget for should you be serious about maintaining your youthful looks.

Blackmores Collagen 10,000mg is available in major pharmacies and Blackmores Concept Store (Klang Valley has one in Mid Valley, Queensbay Mall for Penang & Permaisuri Imperial City Mall in Miri, Sarawak). 

For more information about Blackmores Collagen 10,000mg Drink, do visit

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Best of Macau Food in 24 hours

So you've landed in Macau, and you're not sure where to go for food. Sure you have internet and perhaps GPS (who doesn't these days) but with so many recommendations from the media on the greatest food you'll find in the finest restaurants Macau has to offer, where do you head to for the real authentic Macanese food?

Have no fear. I'm here to share. And you get to enjoy all of Macanese authentic goodness in less than 24 hours. Loosen those belts and here's my list of things to eat in Macau in 24 hours:

8:00am - Cafe Nam Ping (Sa-Yung)

You can start your day earlier if you wish because this small coffee shop opens really early and they serve these buns called Sa-Yung (沙翁) - buns made with egg coated in sugar. Basic but awesome with a good cup of coffee. It's legit authentic because you'll find lots of locals in this shop. Don't forget to order a freshly made egg sandwich (with or without char siew) to go with your sa-yung too. They're perhaps the fluffiest egg sandwich you'll try in a long time.

Cafe Nam Ping 南屏雅敘
54 Rua de Cinco de Outubro, Macau
Tel: (853) 2892-1205
Operating Hours: 0630 to 1830 daily

10:00am - Cafe Seng Kei (Crock Coffee)

Who says you can't have two coffees in one morning. You're on a holiday. So strap on your boots as you make your way to the 3rd floor of the fresh produce market near Senado Square and enjoy a cup of genuine Macanese crock coffee. Don't forget to order lamb stew while you're at it at a nearby stall. But pace yourself as you still have all day, and night, to go.

Cafe Seng Kei 胜记咖啡
3rd floor of the Market at Rua dos Mercadores
Tel: (853) 6667-9695
Operating Hours: 0700 to 1800 daily

12:00pm - Belos Tempos Private Kitchen 老地方 (Portugese Food)

It's time for lunch. How can you come to Macau and not try Macanese version of Portugese food. Do order their Paozinho Recheado (免治炸包仔), Pasteis de Bacalhau (马介休球). Costoleta Panada (猪扒包) and Serradura (木榶布丁). In English, they're basically two starters, the famous Macanese pork chop bun and a whip cream pudding dessert with dusted biscuits.

Belos Tempos Private Kitchen 老地方
Rua da Felicidade, n 10, Macau
Tel: (853) 2893-8670
Operating Hours: 1200 - 2200 daily

2:15pm - Le Chinois Chinese Restaurant @ Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 (Mango Pudding)

Now is this an odd place (and a rather posh place) to try for authentic food but I assure you, you will not regret this. It's a brief swift-paced walk from Belos Tempos as they end their lunch service at 3pm. Of course, you're welcomed to order some dim sum (点心) should you still miraculously be hungry. If not I urge you to order what will be the best mango pudding you will ever have the luxury to savour. If you like soup, try their kung fu soup while you're at it. Points given to presentation and creativity. See it as a treat. *wink*

Kung Fu Soup

Le Chinois Chinese Restaurant
Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16
Rua do Visconde Paco de Arcos, Macau
Tel: (853) 8861-0016
Operating Hours: 0900 - 1500 for dimsum breakfast and lunch, 1730 - 2200 for dinner daily.

4:30pm - Lord Stow’s Bakery 安德魯餅店 (Portugese Egg Tart)

Take a cab and head over to the other side of Macau and visit the most famous branch of the famous Lord Stow's Bakery that sells that famous Portugese egg tarts in Macau. You may order boxes of these egg tarts and bring them with you on your flight home like all the other passengers would.

Lord Stow’s Bakery 安德魯餅店
1 Rua Da Tassara | Coloane Town Square, Macau
路環市區市中心撻沙街 1 號地下
Tel: (853) 2888 2534
Operating Hours: 07:00-22:00 daily

6:00pm - Taipa Village 氹仔 (Macanese snacks)

Not to far from Venetian Macau is the old street of Taipa, or called Taipa Old Village. After all the food, it's time to head down here for a stroll and do some souvenir shopping. But don't think your food tour ends here. This is the best place to sample all the best of Macau's titbits: almond cookies, pineapple pastries, beef and pork jerkies, egg rolls, etc.

Taipa Village
Old Taipa Village, Taipa, Macau
Closing time: around 2100 daily

7:30pm - Macau International Food Festival

If you're ever so lucky to be visiting Macau during their International Food Festival period (there's one every year around the month of November, do check Macau Tourism for info), do reserve all your dinner capacity for it. Located next to Macau Tower, hundreds of local food merchants set up their stalls in this massive food bazaar to bring out the unique food culture of Macau. There are various food zones catering to different genre of food, from Chinese, European, Asian, Local Macanese to Dessert. With so much to sample, you will need all night. Here are some bizarre food available there.

Frozen Top Kirin Beer

You can have your abalone with your Musang King durian cake.

Eel (Unagi Kabayaki) - There was a section dedicated to 25 Japanese stalls from all regions of Japan in their 14th Food Festival. Each of them as fine and authentic as the Japanese food in Japan.

Sai Van Lake Square
Operating Hours; (Mon- Thurs) 1700 - 2300; (Fri - Sun) 1500-2400

**Should you not that the fortunate fate to stumble upon the Macau Food Festival dates, your next best thing is to stay back at Taipa Village and enjoy your dinner at one of the many available local restaurants there. 

10:00pm - Leitaria I Son 義順牛奶公司 (doubled-boiled milk/milk pudding)

Assuming you stay near Senado Square, which really is the looking to explore the old town of Macau. After dinner, head back to Senado Square and end your night on a sweet note with this doubled-boiled milk 炖奶 (or you may call it milk pudding). You can have it warm (with or without ginger) or cold (plain or with red bean). They cost between MOP16-22 per bowl.

Leitaria I Son 義順牛奶公司
No. 7, Largo Senado
Tel: (853) 28573638
Operating Hours: 0930 – 2300 daily