Mid Valley: 9-10 Nov 2011

I'd been to Malaysia a number of times this year. Usually I would stay at Sunway Pyramid Tower Hotel near Shah Alam (where my client's office is) but this time it was fully booked. My colleague recommended Boulevard Hotel at MidValley Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya. I didn't want to stay in Kuala Lumpur city because it's too far from Shah Alam and I don't like heavy traffic. It would just be an overnight trip so it was worth trying a new hotel for a night.

I considered flying by Firefly (budget) airlines so that I land at Subang airport (closer to Shah Alam) instead of KLIA but the flight time wasn't ideal. Besides, there will be no travellators or trolleys at the Singapore budget terminal, so I gave the idea up.

Upon landing at KLIA, I had to eat. The selection at the airport was poor. I liked that there's free Wifi at the airport. I had a prepaid SIM card which can be used for internet data (with my USB modem) but the Wifi is good for use with my iPad.

I went straight to my client's office from the airport, and checked into the hotel after work.

I had arranged to meet my ex-colleague for dinner. I'd not seen her for about 4 years.

I took the recommendation which some of you posted on my Facebook page. We had dinner at Madam Kwan. The restuarant was crowded. We had to wait rather long for our food.

I ordered Nasi Bijori. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera down from my room so I don't have any pictures. My food was good and fresh. The rice had the colour of Indian Briyani but it was a different type of rice. Certainly not something I'd seen in Singapore before. My friend ordered fish and chips. When her food arrived (a large portion of fish was placed on top of the fries), it was missing the lemon slice. Strange that it wasn't served with a lemon slice. She asked a waiter for one. He came back and told her that he can serve 3 slices but that would be chargable. She decided to do without.

"I don't really like Madam Kwan anymore," I said.

After eating the fries that were hidden under the fish, my friend exclaimed, "Sorry! There is a lemon here!" She discovered a slice of lemon underneath the fish and the fries.

It's strange to hide the lemon underneath. And the waiter could have suggested to her to find the lemon under the fish. We didn't have any dessert. I try not to over-eat when I'm overseas.

She offered to take me around but I preferred to walk around the MidValley mall because it was my first time there. The mall is huge. My friend was with me so I just walked with her, without bothering to note which direction I was walking in. Like in every mall, there's always many shops selling designer goods. The basement was more interesting. There was a shop selling traditional Chinese herbal soups and desserts but it was already late in the evening so I didn't want to take any "cooling" stuff. There's a money-back-guarantee fruit shop as well. My friend said that you can return the fruit if it's not up to expectations, e.g. too sour. My friend wanted to get me to try chilli ice cream. Sounds interesting! But the shop didn't have stock for that flavour. Maybe too many people like it?

I forgot to look for the popcorn from a cupcake shop next to Robinsons. Would have been a nice snack to have on the plane. No food is served on short flights and I get hungry! I usually encounter flight delays at least once on every trip :( If I don't get delayed on my inbound and outbound flights, I should go buy Toto. At Jakarta, my flight was delayed by an hour. Thankfully, free cakes, curry puffs and drinks were served. For a short flight from KLIA, I don't think passangers would get any food at all. So I would always buy food to takeaway or eat before flight departure.

I asked the hotel reception whether they issue free parking coupons. One of the staff took out a book and wrote out a voucher. Then he asked us to pay for it. We said we don't want a voucher. My friend said that she already had a parking ticket. The guy said he heard us saying we want a voucher, and added that since she had a ticket already, he just needs to stamp on it. Then later he came back and told us to go pay money somewhere. I asked isn't parking free of charge for hotel guests? His answer was, "Parking is only RM 2. We don't have free parking." It wasn't the parking cost that my friend was trying to avoid but the hastle of looking for a machine to pay the fee. Anyway, the guy just wasted our time.

Another point that I didn't like about the service was that I'm unable to check out and get my receipt in advance. I prefer to do this the night before check-out so that I don't have to queue and wait to pay in the morning.

Upon check-in, the receptionist said that mine was a twin smoking room. I said I didn't book a smoking room and the printout should show "non-smoking" if it was a non-smoking room. She said there weren't any non-smoking rooms left. I insisted that I didn't want a smoking room. Then she checked again and said asked whether it would be ok for me to take a twin non-smoking room. It made me wonder whether she checked at all before I insisted. I took the twin room. Then I double-checked the website: there was no option to specify whether I wanted a smoking or non-smoking room.

The breakfast at the hotel was boring but that may be because I'd had one hotel breakfast too many in the past months. The good thing though is the breakfast charge is optional so if I don't want the breakfast, I don't have to pay for it. Next time, I will get breakfast elsewhere. It takes about 15 mins longer to reach my client's office. I find the facilities at Boulevard hotel nicer (will post pictures later), and the room rate is lower than Sunway Pyramid Tower Hotel, though the service at the latter is excellent.

I saw a big gym complete with weights overlooking the pool at the breakfast area. The hotel room and bathroom was comfortable and well-maintained. The room temperature was ok and I had a good night's sleep.

As expected, my flight was delayed by half an hour because of late arrival of the plane from Singapore. It's rather irritating but not unexpected. With my Secret Recipe takeaway food in hand, iPad and free Wifi, the irritation is not as bad. But it still sucks that I'll get home later than expected and I hadn't showered since morning!


Anonymous said...
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Lee Wee Tak said...

Dear Kym

I was the culprit to point out nasi bijori at madam kwan....so my regret and apologies for the disappointment you felt.


Yu-Kym said...

It was ok what! My friend located the lemon slice after all!