January 25, 2017

Cafe-hunting in Penang: Soul Cafe and Dolce Dessert

The reason why I'm writing this one post for 2 cafes is because they are located just a few doors away from each other, on Jalan Kek Chuan (off Macalister Road).

Soul Cafe also lists themselves as the 1st Photography Cafe in Penang. On their website, they describe themselves as "a hobby coffeehouse in George Town for all photography enthusiasts, creative expressionists, food connoisseurs, and coffee lovers". 

I don't drink coffee, but I love pasta! And Soul Cafe does pasta really well. I had the Linguine al Vongole Con Curry (RM21.80) and it was delicious to the very last bite. The pasta was cooked al dente and the curry was creamy and flavourful.

My friend had the Spaghetti Al Affumicato (RM24.00) which had smoked duck, bacon and mushrooms. This was also quite delicious.

We will definitely be back to try more of their pasta dishes.

Soul Cafe also serves desserts, but just a few doors away, we discovered Dolce Dessert. I had actually been there a few weeks earlier to celebrate a friend's birthday and we had tried the afternoon tea set for 2 (RM54.00). It comes with Harrods tea.

Closer look at the food. The scones are quite nice and I think they make their own jam.

Besides afternoon tea, they have quite a wide variety of cakes and other petit desserts.

We tried the mango cheesecake - yummy!

Matcha tiramisu:

We also tried the matcha lava cake which is like chocolate lava cake (which they have too) but with green tea filling instead. It was yummy as well.

The main seating area is upstairs and they had this quirky looking shelf which looked quite artistic.

Also check out the paintings on the wall:

It's a nice place for dessert, we will be back here too!

Soul Cafe 

Address12, Jalan Kek Chuan, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Open today · 8AM–11PM
Address18, Jalan Kek Chuan, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Open today · 11AM–11:30PM

January 19, 2017

Helene @ 2 years 8 months

Of the 3 girls, Helene has definitely got to be the most active and cheekiest, even compared to when Hannah and Heidi were at that age.

She can speak 4 and a half languages/dialects (English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Thai - the "half" would be Malay) and as my mother puts it, her mouth is always either busy talking or eating :)

Here are some recent pictures of her.

This is one of her funny habits. She can sit on her high chair and fall asleep! It has happened more than once before. I posted this photo with the caption "Unlike Goldilocks, she sat, ate and slept all in the same place!" :)

 She loves her food, but sometimes she can be quite choosy about where she wants to eat! The other day my parents wanted to take her to the hawker stalls to eat roti canai, but she didn't want to and said that she wants to go to the "other shop". So when my mum asked her if it was Ananda Bhawan, she said "haaa". And she "haaa-d" again when my dad turned the car into their compound!

She recently got a new tricycle from my parents and she was grinning from ear to ear when she saw it.

She even woke up before sunrise and wanted to go down to cycle, while still wearing her pyjamas!

Our cheeky little princess! The hat was a gift from her uncle and aunty from their trip to Chiang Mai :)

January 9, 2017

Our trip to Australia

Happy new year! This blog has been rather quiet over the last few weeks as we have been away, and now back to the usual routine of work and school.

We were in Australia over Christmas and we all had a great time. It was Hubby, Heidi and Helene's first trip Down Under. Hannah had been twice before so she was able to tell her Daddy and sisters all about what to expect :)

Before bombarding you with the many many pictures of what we did there, let me digress. We achieved 2 milestones during this trip. The first is that Heidi is now fully toilet-trained. We were getting quite worried because even though she was toilet-trained for No. 1 (she doesn't even wear diapers at night), she still insists on wearing diapers for doing No. 2. There were no incidents in school last year, but we were coaxing her to do it in the toilet and she absolutely flat out refused to do it. Until on our way back to Malaysia, we transited in Changi airport, and she suddenly needed to go. We did have spare diapers in our carry-on luggage but it would be difficult to clean her up. So her daddy convinced her to do it in the toilet. Surprisingly she did it without a fuss, and from then on, she no longer needs to wear diapers.

Secondly, Helene is now fully weaned. I told her that she would be a big girl going to school soon and she cannot have nen-nen anymore. Surprisingly, she took it quite well, and said she will be like Hannah and Heidi going to school and no more nen-nen. So those are 2 big achievements unlocked!

Okay, now for our trip. There are too many photos to post, so here are some of the highlights of our trip, most of them taken from my Instagram feed, cos there is where I post some of the nicer photos haha.

We took a night flight from Singapore direct to Adelaide and the kids managed to sleep for most of the way, especially Helene who knocked off almost immediately upon boarding the flight. We arrived early in the morning, and after freshening up, we went to buy cherries! The cherries were big and sweet and much cheaper than what we can find here. Just yesterday I was at a fruit wholesaler here in Penang and the cherries were being sold at RM80 per kg!

Next, we paid a visit to The Big Rocking Horse. Hannah had been here the past 2 times but she never made it all the way to the top! This time she was determined to try and she did! It's not an easy feat as the way up is by a series of ladders (not steps or stairs) so going up is hard, and coming down is even harder! But even Heidi did it with some help from Daddy. So they were all pretty pleased with themselves and they got a certificate for their achievements. Next time Helene can try - for now she can hold Daddy's certificate :)

There was a small wildlife park just next to the Rocking Horse so we saw some wallabies and kangaroos, amongst some other animals, and we could feed them too. Heidi and Helene were pretty excited to see the kangaroos!

The next day we took a drive to the highest peak in Adelaide, Mount Lofty. Beautiful view of the city from the top.

And then it was time to pick strawberries! The strawberries here are nothing like what we can get in Malaysia. They were big and sweet and juicy. Access fee for adults is $4 and children have free access. Eat as much as you like and pay $9.95 per kg for whatever you bring home. Helene couldn't stop munching away - she loved the sweet strawberries, and so did Heidi. Hannah didn't really fancy eating the strawberries, she just wanted to pick them!

We bought ice cream to eat with the strawberries at home - perfect!

My parents have a home out in the Riverland, in a small town called Waikerie, which is about 2 hours drive away from Adelaide city. So we spent most of the time there. There is nothing much to do but to enjoy the beauty of nature. The weather was really good most of the time that we were there - sunny but with a cool breeze. These photos were taken on our way back from church - we walked to and fro since the weather was so nice. See how green the grass and how blue the sky is!

The town is one of many by the Murray River, so we took lots of nice photos of the river in the background. These were taken at sunset. Now is daylight saving, so the days are really long. Sunset is almost at 9 pm and sunrise is around 6 am everyday.

These are more scenery from another town along the river. They look like they belong on a postcard. Incidentally, all these photos are taken from my mobile phone and the ones below have not been filtered.

We took a few days to visit the city as well. The girls found the famous pigs at Rundle Mall.

  And they enjoyed a ride on the carousel.

Helene especially enjoyed the buskers all along the street. She even sat down and clapped her hands for one performance :)

On the 21st of December, it was the winter solstice festival. Usually back in Malaysia, the girls will help their Amah to make the glutinous rice balls. Since we were in Australia, my mum made them also and the girls helped her instead. They had great fun, but don't judge the look of our rice balls - they tasted better than they looked haha.

Since it was Christmas, Waikerie had set up their town hall to resemble "Santa's Cave". Look how pretty it is.

The girls even got to meet Santa and take a photo. Daddy seems to be pretty excited too haha :)

 On Christmas eve, my mum made a roast leg of ham for dinner. It was yummy!

The girls also got to open some of their presents on Christmas eve,

And the rest on Christmas morning! We grabbed them for a photo before they started with their mass destruction haha.

After church, it was time for Christmas lunch! Look at the spread. We had guests over and everyone brought something for the table.

Here are some more scenery we explored and took lots of photos. Hubby found his property:

These were vineyards growing grapes to make wine.

Oranges! It wasn't in season so not that many fruits on the trees. 

Love this one of the girls:

More photos by the river:

And this was a lookout point of the Barossa Valley, which is a renowned wine-producing region in South Australia. As none of us are wine drinkers, we didn't go for any wine tastings, so we just enjoyed the beautiful view instead :)

On the second last day before leaving, my brother-in-law took Hubby and the girls to Cleland Wildlife Park while my sister and I had a girls' day out in the city. I think this was one of the highlights of their trip because they got to see and touch a koala! They also got to feed so many kangaroos, much more than during the time at the first wildlife park.
There are so many more places and photos that we took, and you can see them on my Facebook page. But for now, we will have fond memories of our holiday, and we hope to be back!


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