Monday, December 29, 2014

Wan Li Chinese Restaurant at Renaissance Johor Bahru

Wan Li Chinese Restaurant at Renaissance Johor Bahru

We had a lovely stay at the Renaissance Johor Bahru, which is a fairly new five-star hotel popular with both business guests and families (see pics of the rooms and facilities here). One of the bonuses of staying there is having a fine-dining Chinese restaurant right on site. Wan Li serves Cantonese with modern touches and isn't afraid to borrow ingredients from other cuisines to give dishes a lift beyond the usual renditions.

The kitchen has been inspected and the food deemed suitable for Muslim consumption. They just can't have a halal license because they carry liquor. "Lots of Muslims actually like Chinese food," the restaurant told us.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Renaissance Hotel Johor Bahru - Rooms and Facilities

King bed

The Renaissance Johor Bahru is where we spent Jolie's birthday. It's five-star, it's elegant, and it's still got that clean new hotel feel. The hotel is between the city centre (about 15 minutes drive from the Causeway) and the busy trading port of Pasir Gudang. So it gets both families as well as the business crowd.

We had the junior suite and adjoining twin room. Let me show you the rest of the rooms.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Awesome Birthday Stay and Legoland Package at Renaissance Johor Bahru, A Five-Star Hotel

What a wonderful day we had last week. It was Jolie's birthday, so we brought Nadine and her to Legoland. We chose to stay not at the Legoland Hotel, but at the five-star Renaissance Johor Bahru (part of the Marriott group). Once you read through, you'll know why. We all loved this new hotel when we first stayed there last year. It's beautiful, elegant, clean and food is great there!


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Entertainer 2015: "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" Dining, Spa, Travel Deals

Want to halve your dining, spa, fitness and travel costs? 

There's an app for that.

The Entertainer app gives you in total S$89,000 worth of "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" vouchers from 254 merchants in Singapore. Whether it's a burrito from Muchachos or luxurious nights at the Grand Hyatt Bali, this app will give you 1-for-1 savings.

The Entertainer 2015 edition also includes Entertainer Travel 2015 which is loaded with 250 hotel offers throughout Asia, Indian Ocean, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The app is available on iOSAndroidWinPhoneSamsung and Blackberry platforms.

Download the free app to try before you buy. There is a 14-day free trial period with a few sample offers you can test out. If you like it, you can choose to unlock the full app for the rest of the offers.

If you are planning big ticket items like a trip to the Maldives, you could get 1-for-1 savings at resorts like Banyan Tree or Shangri-La Vilingili! 

I can't list all the 254 merchants for 2015 here (scroll fatigue) but they include:

The Spa Artisan
Aramsa The Garden Spa
The Bank
Masego The Safari Spa
Oriental Spa Chamber
Pink Parlour
En Japanese
Nara Thai
Bistro 1855
Milagro Spanish Restaurant
Gusto by Alfresco Gusto
Sopra Cucina
The Lokal

I have the 2014 app and love checking it to see for offers. You can easily bookmark your favourite places and keep track of your savings that are stacking up.

There's no need for pre-booking (except for hotel stays, naturally). Just show up at the merchant and show them the app with the product you want. I tried out the app at The Disgruntled Chef and this post shows the step-by-step screenshots of how you use the app at the restaurant, along with review of the dishes!

This video neatly shows you to register for an account, set your PIN number and search for deals. You can view places on a map, or query by location or category (body, kids, leisure, restaurants and bars, services, travel). The offers are stackable too, so you can use up to 4 vouchers at the same time for up to 8 people or more (some conditions may apply at certain merchants).

I am keeping this post brief because you must not waste any more time.

Grab the early bird discount: the FULL app is now S$60 (usual S$70) until 31 Dec 2014.

Plus, get an extra 10% off with this promo code: 2015CAM 

Honestly, I think the Entertainer 2015 makes a great Christmas gift - something that keeps giving the whole year round! Yes, goodies to redeem all year round. Plus there are monthly offers in addition to year-long deals.

This post is brought to you by the Entertainer.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Crystal Jade Opens in San Francisco, USA!

Bravo! Crystal Jade has made it to the United States! What a proud moment for them. The US$14 million CJ Jiang Nan in San Francisco is their first outlet outside Asia, and it's a grand statement in the food savvy city. At 20,000 sq feet, it's easily one of San Francisco's largest restaurants. This is where they are bringing their brand of authentic Chinese cuisine to the world stage. America sure could do with some real Chinese food, not the greasy General Tso's or chop suey variety. Many of my friends were so happy to hear about CJ opening in San Francisco.

My story on this epic opening is out on Yahoo and Makansutra:

But here are more photos and insights from the trip. This is a bumper post with over 40 photos! CJ Jiang Nan truly is a gorgeous site, carved into so many areas to explore - spacious dining hall, private rooms, a chic bar, plus magnificent outdoor patio. And the food is astounding. You'll see.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Five Hidden Gems for Foreign Cuisine in Singapore @CokeSG #CokewithFood

In recent years, Singapore has become more cosmopolitan in terms of the cuisines we can now find on this tiny island. Yes, we are fiercely loyal to our chicken rice and char kway teow, but we also can't get enough of foreign bites, especially after trying them overseas. Travel has helped us embrace food that used to be obscure to us. Most of these dishes I like to pair with something familiar like a good old Coke zero or Coke light - ice cold and bubbly!

What are your favourite foreign foods and where are your favourite eateries for those? Let me know in the comments; I would love to check them out. Meanwhile, here are five "hidden" or lesser known gems that I have discovered along the way.

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