Tag Archives: Ipoh

Case for buying fruits from the wet market?

I normally buy lemons from wet market, they are often cheaper than buying from supermarket. Especially AEON supermarket. Some would argue that the quality of those sold in AEON is better. Maybe, after all they are not exactly the same, from different countries too.

But lately we found that the blueberries sold in AEON are considerably more expensive, even with the same packaging and all!

This one is sold for RM9 in wet market, compared to RM11 in AEON supermarket. I think a new batch of blueberries put on the shelf of AEON will be priced at RM11, until the quality deteriorates then only they give out discounts. In that sense it is still better to buy such perishable items from the wet market than the supermarket as they are better at handling such items, price and quality wise, by small business owners. And I believe there is less wastage too because small business owners are more in control of the fruits, compared to say employees in the supermarket. They will try to sell them off before the fruits turn bad, or they might just consume themselves!

Classic Dining 玲瓏軒, another concept dining outlet?

Just saw a sponsored post on my Facebook news feed about Classic Dining 玲瓏軒, a fairly new restaurant, having just updated their food menu. If you haven’t heard of Classic Dining, it is a new Chinese restaurant that is located in Fair Park, close to General Hospital (Permaisuri Bainun), in a new row of shop that has just been completed last year.

Facade of Classic Dining
The facade of the restaurant is completely different from the rest of the shops, as you can see in the photo above (nicked from their Facebook page, uploaded by a customer), so it is very difficult to miss it if you are looking out for it. It is very impressive, if I’m honest with you. Just to give you an idea, a nice, big LED signboard can cost you in excess of ten thousand Ringgit. And this facade is three storeys high.. But most importantly, it is nicely done, to make it look like a Chinese restaurant from the olden days, but with a modern feel obviously.

And then they carry this through all the way to the rest of the restaurant (photos nicked from their FB page again, as my own photos couldn’t do it justice).

Interior of Classic Dining

Interior of Classic Dining

Interior of Classic Dining

Interior of Classic Dining
All these took 15 months to complete, before they open for business 5 months ago. A great deal of money, effort, and time have been put in, whichever way you look at it.

But interestingly, despite the superb settings and ambience, the restaurant is criticised for delivering only very average food, and which are commonly available at local eatery, like 大炒 I guess. Basically the Ipoh folks are not willing to pay a premium for average food, regardless of however classy your premise is. Service vice can be a bit of a hit and miss, because of high turnover of staff and high demand, at least initially, with limited tables. But customers can be a lot more forgiving if the price is right and the food is up to their expectation. Like I said before in my other posts, Ipoh folks are a very picky bunch. They are, generally, not quite willing to pay a premium for food, just because you have a nice setting. They will probably still compare this restaurant with the likes of Yum Yum, 孖寶 and even 大炒, rather than Dragon-i 龍的傳人 when it comes to Chinese food. I was just thinking why Dragon-i is always full of customers. Obviously many Ipoh folks can afford paying such money for Chinese food. And in fact they are quite willing to spend on food, perhaps not all the time, but once in a while and according to occasions. You think eating seafood is cheap? But I guess people are limited by the number of choices there are for Chinese food in a shopping mall. And what Dragon-i is offering is much different from other Chinese restaurants in Ipoh.

So back to Classic Dining, I think it needs to be more than just a concept dining outlet, where customers only go for the novelty, in their settings in this case. Novelty wears off quickly. To survive in Ipoh, they need repeat customers, naturally the local Ipoh folks. And to please the locals, they need to back the superb settings with good food, or food that is different from their “competitors”. They have just updated their menu. We shall see if that works out better. Having spent so much money on this restaurant, I am sure the owner will want to make their business work, i.e. profitable.

Tutti Frutti Medan Gopeng has closed shop

Brought my daughter to Tutti Frutti in Medan Gopeng today because she kept pestering us to bring her there, claiming that we haven’t brought her there to eat yogurt for ages already. But when we were finally there this afternoon, the Tutti Frutti shop is no longer in business. What a disappointment for my daughter. This means that there is probably only one Tutti Frutti left in Ipoh, in Ipoh Parede. There used to be one in De Garden and one in Station 18 too.  They have since packed up, in that order. You see, franchise businesses are not guaranteed to do well. And Ipoh is, in particular, a tough nut to crack.

Howard Lee accused unpatriotic


Howard Lee, an elected state assemblyman for Pasir Pinji Perak, is in a bit of a pickle lately. He is accused of being unpatriotic to Malaysia for having applied for U.K. citizenship, but which was unsuccessful, 15 years ago. The attack began by a blogger called Lee Sian See, but which was then picked up by The Star here:

DAP assemblyman denies acquiring foreign citizenship

Howard denied having acquired U.K. citizenship on his Facebook. But  what is damaging is when the correspondence between him and his local MP, Charles Clarke, at Norwich at the time and forum discussions in 2007 about his failed application to naturalise surfaced. It is damaging in the sense that he did try to become U.K. citizen when he was young, having just turned 18 or so, in 2002. And he was upset the application was rejected a year or so later because the U.K. Home Office claimed that they did not receive his passport. He appealed, because without a passport to show, his status to remain in the U.K. is thrown into question, let alone applying for citizenship! So he had to come back to Malaysia to get a new passport before he is allowed to enter the U.K. again. When he was in Malaysia, he went to the British High Comm to apply for a settlement visa, equivalent to Indefinite Leave to Remain, as a spouse of his British wife. Mind you this settlement visa is not U.K. citizenship. I believe he re-entered U.K. and reunited with his British wife after having been granted the settlement visa subsequently.

A few years later in 2010, he ran for local council election in Norwich, as a Liberal Democrat, but which he lost narrowly to a Labour candidate. He could run for local council election because Malaysia is one of Commonwealth countries. And as a commonwealth citizen Malaysian can vote in the U.K.’s general election too!

Another few years later, he came back to Malaysia and ran for a state seat in Pasir Pinji Perak with Democratic Action Party (DAP) in Malaysia’s 13th general election in 2013. That was the year I moved back to Malaysia and I voted for him. Nothing suggests to me that he’s not fit as a state assemblyman in Malaysia, having spent many years living in the U.K. In fact I think he’s more qualified than many, with track record running for public service in the U.K., with good command of Bahasa Malaysia, and above all else he seems to me a person with a good heart, from the work he has done so far.

So whoever playing this patriotism to the country issue is basically just trying to make a meal of out of it now that the 14th general election is looming. It is not as though he applied for U.K. citizenship after he was elected in Malaysia. So in no part was he lying to the voters nor when he swore an oath when he took office after he was elected. We the voters, and I am, living within his constituency, will decide who we think best represent us at the state level, on local issues in the coming election. Unless there is proof that he is also a U.K. citizen then he, by Malaysian law, cannot also be a Malaysian and hence cannot run for public office. Until then, the detractors can make all the noise they like, he will remain our representative. And I believe a fine and committed man like Howard Lee will be elected for another term, and continue to serve his fellow Malaysians. We shall see who has the last laugh LOL

iMiirage has closed shop or is relocating?

iMiirage, touted as the world’s first ambience dining restaurant (according to their website iMiirage.com), has closed on the 31st March 2017. Whether it is closed for good or is just merely relocating, as they claim on their website, is not clear. One would have thought that if they are relocating, they should be able to provide more details on where they are moving to. Like Marianis, they gave notice to their patrons where they were relocating to before they closed the one at De Garden. And there were rumours where they were relocating to too even before they put up the notice. Because as a business you want continuity, to keep your existing customers, and the staff who are working for you too. Otherwise you’ll essentially be starting your business from scratch, almost, all over again.

Anyway it’s not my business and the owner, apparently same owner as the “mighty” Nam Heong, might have other ideas, for example to cut the loss first whilst finding a more suitable location for the business. Or he might be more keen to just end the business, hence not really thinking much about its subsequent reincarnation. It does seem to me that the latter is more likelier the case.

It is a shame, really. The restaurant was opened with great fanfare about a year and a half ago. It does provide a fairly unique dining experience, with fancy scenery like underwater, skyline of Hong Kong etc. Perhaps Ipoh is too small a market for such fine dining experience. And it’s expensive, by Ipoh standard. Whether their food is up to standard is debatable, perhaps not consistent or good enough for people to want to pay top dollar dining there. Last but not least, the location. I’ve written a piece on Nam Heong, where iMiirage was located. The location of that SOHO area is a complete non-starter for retail business in my opinion. It’s very inconvenient to get to, much worse than De Garden. And now that there are more shop lots built there, finding parking space will be big issue. Lack of planning is so common in Malaysia. Or maybe it was deliberate for SOHO’s case, as developers are mostly only interested in maximing their profit. Building a multi-storey car park costs money. Anyway I think the location is still the killer.

Okay we shall see if iMiirage will be resurrected somewhere else. If you know any news about it I’ll be interested to know.

Energy consumption stays the same with just one air cond!?

Bloody hell, following my move to cut energy consumption by getting my daughter to sleep in the same room as us, in essence reducing the number of air cond running at night from two to one, this is what I got:


In terms of kWh, the reduction was only 27kWh, compared to last month’s reading! WTF, I was certainly expecting a lot more than that! Basically getting into all this hassle of moving my daughter to sleep with us only save us a meagre RM15 a month!

Okay we accept that we are not using the latest inverter air cond, which can cut down on energy usage over regular air cond by (up to?) 50%, in our master bedroom. And the air cond in my daughter’s room is more energy efficient than the air cond in our room. But still this is so bloody demoralising. So much so that we checked the TNB rates per KWh, just in case. But they haven’t risen over the past few months! So we have asked the air cond service guy to come service our air cond today, to ensure that our air cond is not running sub-optimally. We’ll see how the energy usage is like next month. In fact, to think about it, I can check the meter reading tomorrow to see if there’s any improvement, considering that on average we are using about 30kWh a day based on this latest bill. Will keep you lot up to date.

Foam pit can be a hazard too at trampoline park!

Came across this news on Facebook today about a Chinese woman who got injured at a trampoline park in China. The video captured showed the woman did a somersault into a foam pit. 

http://www.chinapress.com.my/?p=928372

I can’t tell what went wrong, perhaps she should have landed in a seated position. With a foam pit as a cushion I would have thought it shouldn’t be much of a problem even if one lands too awkwardly. But the woman broke the T12 vertebra as a result.

Then I googled to see if I can find more information about this news and found the following reported in The Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/14/trampoline-park-injuries-trigger-hundreds-of-ambulance-call-outs

Another woman did a jump into the foam pit and fractured her T12 vertebra. Different kind of jump, but both into the foam pit and got injured. So looks like it can be hazardous too even when you jump into something that is supposed to provide you protection. I wonder if the park owners could have done more to minimise such injuries, or that equipment suppliers should move on to use other material as cushion or something. Because the foam pit does give people the false impression that it is safe to do any silly jumps into it. And there lies the main problem I believe.

It’s official, MAPS to open on 26th June 2017!

So it’s official this time, that Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) is opening on the 26th June 2017. Despite all the rumours that they can’t make its opening in June, we now have an official date to look forward to, finally. For those who have bought an annual pass, you are advised to get your photo ID done on your first visit to MAPS. The annual pass will be valid from their opening date (not on the date of your first visit, remember!) for a year. Those who have bought a day pass during their promotional period will have their day pass valid for three months from their opening date. If you haven’t bought any yet, you can purchase a day pass from their ticketing website at https://ticketing.mapsperak.com/.

Hope this theme park is going to bring many many tourists to Ipoh, projected to be one million a year! And that it will help boost the economic activities in Ipoh, which has been dire in my opinion for the past 2 years!

Have to really cut energy use at home

Just received my TNB electricity bill. Price has gone up, again! Used to be around RM200-300. This month has gone up to RM440! Unbelievable, the most expensive electricity bill (for residential use) I have received, yet. I know we switch on two air cond at night, everyday. But apart from that we have not been doing anything too differently. Must be to do with the hot weather lately. I wasn’t aware that there was a price hike from TNB, or was there?! Whatever it is, we are moving my daugher to our bedroom, so that we only need to power on one air cond at night. It’s just too bloody expensive to keep two air cond running everyday at this rate. And we probably need to take shelter in places with air cond more often, it is so bloody hot lately, especially in the afternoon! It is going to be this hot for how much longer??

Interesting insight into Lost World of Tambun

Spoke to a friend who is working in Lost World of Tambun today. Whilst it is not hard to figure out that a theme park like Lost World is a lot quieter on off peak days like school days, I was shocked when my friend told me that on a busy day there can be 12,000 visitors visiting Lost World in a day! Yes, twelve thousand! Initially I thought I heard it wrong. But nope, she then gave out further figures on their not so busy weekends that they can still draw in five to six thousand visitors. On school days (weekdays) the number of visitors is a lot smaller, in the hundreds. The variance is SO huge! 

So they open from 10am to 11pm. This means that on average there’ll be like a thousand visitors clocking in every hour on a busy day. Most probably quite a lot more at a certain time like in the morning when everyone wants to come in early for a day of fun!
Mind boggling stuff. I haven’t been to Lost World before. I guess when I do decide to go there, I’ll most certainly want to avoid their peak days! Now I understand the business case for letting out properties as homestay near Lost World.