Sunday, 30 August 2020

Hiking Bukit Ketumbar, Cheras

Highlights of this hike: 
1. Tame babi hutan (wild boars)
2. A partial KL view halfway through the hike

Bukit Ketumbar is a seemingly popular hill amongst locals around Cheras. I've been told by friends, as well as read reviews online stating that this is a relatively short and easy hike. There are only two trails to the peak - one shorter but steeper trail (around 20-30 mins up) and one that is slightly longer but more scenic (around 40-50 minutes up). Most would choose to take one up and the other way down, completing one loop. 

As mentioned, as this place is seemingly popular with locals and families, parking can be an issue - it is very limited and can be rather...haphazard. There is a paid parking lot but because we were lucky enough to find a spot to park, hence I didn't bother to find out the rates, my apologies.

There's a small altar to your left at the start of the trail. 
About 30m from the trail head you'll reach a junction -The trail to the right is the longer, more scenic, and "easier" trail, whereas the trail to the left is the shorter and steeper trail. The trail to the right is seemingly more popular so we decided to follow suit.

The were a few small stream crossing, but nothing too deep nor wide! 
Even though we took the "easier" route, the trail was just uphill all the way... Nothing too unmanageable/too steep, but certainly it's a little more challenging than other hills like Bukit Sri Bintang 
There are guiding ropes all the way though, so fret not :) 
Halfway up there's a viewpoint featuring the partial KL city view - would be great to come here for sunset :) 

When you start seeing oil palm trees, you'll know you're near the peak :p The terrain is a lot flatter from this point too!

The Peak

The peak features a large flat land with self-made exercise equipment sprawled around and decorated elaborately with colourful umbrellas and flags. There is plenty of space for groups to sit around and chill. 

I think there used to be a coffee shop (?) here at the peak once upon a time - not too sure about the details to be honest, but whatever this was, it wasn't in operation during our visit. If you have the answer, do enlighten me. 

The views from the peaks are obstructed by trees, but...

You get a different highlight at the peak - wildlife. Tame wildlife. The monkeys and wild boars are seemingly accustomed to human presence. 

We descended using the other trail - the supposedly shorter and steeper trail. Descending was a breeze and this other trail is definitely a lot shorter compared to the one we took to ascend. 

I liked this hike because it's short-ish and steep enough to make me sweat and feel as though I am putting in effort in exercising. The wild animals are definitely a highlight. I find that this trail is somewhat similar to Bukit Sri Bintang where it's short and sweet, but Bukit Ketumbar definitely is more challenging, but nonetheless, it's a great hill for beginners :) 

Bukit Ketumbar 
Difficulty: Somewhere in between "easy" and "moderate" (it's a short hike with stretches of steep uphill hike)
Duration of hike: 1+ hour (including rest stops) 

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Farmer's Bar @ Subang Parade, Subang Jaya - Craft Beer Bar in a Small Green Oasis

I think I found my new hangout spot in my neighbourhood! 
Farmer's Bar is a craft beer bar located at the outdoor area of one of Subang Jaya's older mall - Subang Parade.  It's been around since early 2020, but I didn't even know the existent of this place until a friend told me about it early this month!
Farmer's Bar is located just right below Coffee Bean (near the entrance at the middle, if it makes sense). You can only access Farmer's Bar from outside Subang Parade

View of Farmer's Bar while walking down the stairs - you'll see the green-carpeted grass roof 

Farmer's Bar had about twelve beers on tap during my visit. I visited a week later and found that the on the tap menu has changed, which is a good sign I suppose :) 
And a vast array of bottled craft beers. Prices are around RM30-40+. 

The Environment

I absolutely love this little green oasis - quaint and peaceful, this place transforms itself at night time. Indoor seatings are available too :) Seatings are extremely limited though, especially now during RMCO when social distancing have to be enforced - one might find it harder to get a seat on busy nights.

Every Wednesday's ladies get a free beer, on tap, no minimum purchase! Like their beer on tap menu, the beer served rotates every week.
Rogue Hazlenut RM32

Pinacoloda Beer (not too sure of the actual name - apologies)

You can never go wrong with beer on tap. Farmer's Bar @ Subang Parade is officially one of my favourite chill-out spot here in Subang :) There is a Puchong branch and Kota Damansara branch too, but I personally feel that the Subang Parade branch is the most tranquil of them all, based on pictures I have seen online :)

Farmer's Bar (Subang Parade branch)
Subang Parade, 
LOT SP01 Lower Ground Floor, 
Jalan SS 16/1, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Business Hours:
10am-12pm daily


Sunday, 16 August 2020

Shin Zushi Bar, Taipan USJ Subang Jaya [Non-Halal]


A new sushi bar popped up at Taipan USJ somewhere early this year, and I've noticed that there is always a queue outside it (even before MCO kicked in - there's a queue almost everywhere now, as diners have to adhere to SOP and maintain social distancing even at the dining table, which leads to lesser tables available for diners and hence, queues). A quick Google search of this place resulted in many positive reviews, applauding their affordable price tag yet quality food. 
Menu on first glance - billboard outside of the shop, seems pretty reasonable 

So we decided to try it out on a Saturday evening - we thought we could skip the crowd by coming at 5.45pm, but turns out we had to queue and wait for a table already! We ended up waiting for about 20 minutes for a table. 
The interior - it felt more like a casual Japanese restaurant or a kaiten sushi place, rather than a sushi bar, with the chitter-chatter of patrons buzzing away. But again, looking at the price point, I don't expect an "atas" (translation: high end) atmosphere here. 


Shin Zushi serves most "typical" Japanese dishes you can think of - from sushi, sashimi, dons (rice bowl), noodles, teishouku (set meals) etc. etc. This is not the full menu by the way - there were too many pages for me to document them all. You can refer to the full menu on their Facebook page.

The Food
Salmon Hara Sashimi (RM15) / Salmon Belly Sashimi
This dish consist of three THICK slices of salmon belly sashimi. Not bad, especially for this price. Not the freshest I've tasted, but it's not unfresh. Honestly I have nothing to complain about with this price. I'm satisfied.
Rosta Sushi to Sashimi Teishouku RM34 (Torched sushi and sashimi set)
A set like this would typically cost up to RM40/50 in a Japanese restaurant. So again, I'm satisfied. 
Volcano Spider Maki RM10.50
Ika Maruyaki RM24 / Grilled Squid

I have to agree with most comments I've read on the internet - food at Shin Zushi is relatively affordable, and quality's there as well. Definitely a place that I'd visit again. Again, just want to remind that it's more of a casual Japanese restaurant and not really a high-class sushi bar, and you might have to queue for a table should you visit at peak hours. 

There are two other branches in Bukit Jalil and Puchong, and it seems like their reviews are mostly positive as well, just a FYI for you guys :) 

Shin Zushi Bar (USJ branch) 
19-G, Jalan USJ 10/1, Taipan USJ
Subang Jaya, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 11.30am-11pm daily

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