Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Royal Caribbean Cruise: Day 2.1 - Heading into KL, Breakfasts and the Mahathir-Owned Loaf
Rise and shine! It's Day 2 and we have berthed at Port Klang or Pelabuhan Kelang in Malaysia. Here are the views that greeted us as we poked our heads through the curtains of our stateroom window.
We have been given a shore excursion to Kuala Lumpur (KL), which required us to convene at the Anchors Aweigh lounge at 7.15am! That meant getting up really early!!
Now I am not a morning person. And so it was a tussle between more sleep or waking up earlier for breakfast. We had no idea what they would be serving at Windjammer. Would it be worth giving up precious minutes of sleep for?
Hoo yeah!!! It's got everything. Your Western breakfast staples - bacon, sausages, eggs, potatoes. Asian stuff like congee with condiments. Healthy options like fruit, yoghurt, oatmeal, grits, cereals and milk. There are also manned stations serving breakfast ham and eggs whatever style you like.
The array of breads, rolls, danishes, croissants, and pastries! All freshly baked on board the ship itself. Give up your carbo prohibitions and indulge!
There were some unusual dishes I had not tried before too. Bhurji, for example, was something like curry-tinged scrambled eggs. It is drier than scrambled eggs and has bits of onion, chilies and spices in it.
And here's Sheera! Spiced semolina pudding with crunchy slivered almonds. How sugar and ghee make everything ridiculously tasty! I had to stop myself from having seconds. I mean thirds.
Yes, Windjammer has some really excellent Indian food, not just at breakfast but throughout the day. Sambhar, chutneys, chapatis and naans. Some of them may not look photogenic, but oh man, just try them!
And one of the best things at breakfast - these mini hash browns! You know how good they are when they're freshly fried? I don't know how they do it, but these do not feel oily at all.
Suitably well-fueled by this first breakfast, we set off on our land adventure!
We got off the ship and arrived at the Port Klang Cruise Centre.
I loved how the clouds seemed to sashay that morning.
Keropokman/Philip and I had booked the "On Your Own" excursion which would allow us total freedom to do as we wish in KL - no guided tours, unlike the others. We followed our group and boarded coaches like these to get to KL - it's a smooth 30-45 minute ride.
And soon we were in city! Ah, the familiar sights of Bukit Bintang! The bus deposited us at Lot 10 around 8.30am, and we would have to be back by 2.30pm. If you want to do shopping in KL, this is a good option to take. But we had our own plans. We were going to lunch with some dear friends - fellow food bloggers in KL! How lucky we were that the excursion happened to be on a public holiday (Awal Muharram or Islamic New Year) in Malaysia. We could all have a nice leisurely lunch!
But it was still early, so Philip and I roamed about a bit. Being total geeks and Internet addicts, the first thing we sought were local pre-paid SIM cards for our iPhones, so we can get calls and data access on the cheap (and later on the ship as well). No luck at first, cos it was still too early, so we walked about til we got to Pavilion, one of KL's more upmarket malls. Ah yes, thank goodness for Starbucks - not coffee, but free wi-fi! And it's a lot faster than my home wi-fi!
After sating our Twitter, Facebook, email and online needs, we spotted "The Loaf" on the ground floor of Pavilion. This Japanese-style bakery and bistro is co-owned by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir himself. We had to go in and have a look.
Oh glory be! Such lovely goodies! Look at all the nuts and melted chocolate! Wait, are those smiley faces with three eyes?
So, yes, we could not resist a second breakfast (much like hobbits!), and took this selection. I really liked this mixed nuts pastry (foreground, RM4.90) filled chock-a-block with almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts held together by caramel, drizzled with icing sugar.
Their signature bestseller is the cream cheese cranberry bread (middle right, RM3.60) and it was smooth, sweet and tasty. The raisin-cheese equivalent in Singapore falls way short.
The chocolate-filled pastry cup (middle left, RM4.90) really is an indulgent well full of thick, melted chocolate! And the red bean walnut roll (top, RM2.90) is a pleasing snack.
Their coffee and tea are good too. Prices are not that exhorbitant (RM5-6) for nice big mugs of belly-warming drinks. We sat here and enjoyed the cool morning. I would absolutely love to come back here again.
Meanwhile, it would soon be time to meet up with the KL bloggers. That's coming up in the next post. Yeah, I've had to split up Day 2 into three parts, or else it will be a 80-photo post. I don't know about you, but with long posts, I eventually just end up scrolling and not reading. I'm sure some of you nearly died reading my previous bumper post. Will try to keep it shorter going forth!
THE LOAF (other outlets at Bangsar and Langkawi)
Lot 3.13.00 & 4.12.02
Level 3 & 4 Pavilion
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2145-3034
Posted 4:33 PM