Saturday, 28 February 2015

Interview with Yasmin Rahim Ismail, London Sandwich Co.

healthy food delivery
Yasmin Rahim Ismail, Operations and Product Development Director of London Sandwich Co 

Interview with Yasmin Rahim Ismail, London Sandwich Co.


What do you do and how did you get into the industry?

I am Operations and Product Development Director of London Sandwich Co (LSC). I returned to KL after living in London for 25 years and ran my own cafe. I truly got involved in all sides of the the Food and Beverage industry however with the set up of Boost Juice Bars Malaysia in 2009 with my sister, Dr. Soraya and her husband, Nick Tiernan. We view LSC as an extension of our company's mission to provide healthy alternatives for Malaysians.


Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.

In our store, we love having music playing in our kitchen to give the team an 'energy charged' working atmosphere.


What's the best/ worst part of your job?

I love the interaction with customers I meet from all walks of life and from different parts of the world. The the worst is having to deal with staff turnover, the bane of all in this industry!


What's your personal favourite sandwich at LSC?

Our signature, The Londoner, as I love Branston pickle!


What's one of the craziest things you've seen behind the scenes?

Power outages. During the early days in LSC, KLCC was having some power outage problem on our side of the building. We came to work but couldn't get into our store as the roller shutter is power generated.


What do you do for fun?

Go to bootcamp!


What's something you'd like guests to know about LSC?

Our company and team are dedicated to providing tasty alternatives to fast foods that are currently found on the market.


What's in store for you and LSC in the upcoming months?

Creation of new sandwiches, broadening our product range and possibly another new outlet before the end of the year!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Upbeat Health Bar, Avenue K

Upbeat Health Bar and Juice Cleanse Delivery Service
“Time to Shake Things Up: Our mission is to change the way people eat on the go.”


Words by Patricia Podorsek
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

Residents of KL are busy. In a single day, we might try to squeeze exercise, culture, and a social life around the demands of work, school, and family. We often eat on the fly, and sadly, too many sugary, palm-oil laden fast food options pounce at us from every street corner. Upbeat Health Bar is working to provide an alternative. Strategically positioned next to Fitness First at Avenue K, Upbeat offers a terrific selection of healthy beverages for the nutrition and weight-conscious crowd in KL. Their protein shakes, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices can power even the busiest days.

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Upbeat Health Bar
“Made Better, Taste Better: We avoid refined sugar and fat. Sweetness from fresh fruits and natural ingredients.”

Three varieties of Powerhouse Protein Shakes head up the menu. Our favorite was Peanut Butter Goodness, a creamy combo of peanut butter, banana, chocolate whey, milk and ice. The banana helps keep the consistency smoother and less icy. Other power shakes include Cocoa Delight, a tasty blend of chocolate and banana, and Mango Mania, fruitier but not too sweet, kcalories 225 - 350, depending on size and flavor.

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Peanut Butter Goodness
Of the protein-based but lighter Skinny Shakes, Berry Slim stole our hearts. The zing of fresh strawberries popped and paved the path for the more subtle flavors of honey and vanilla. Upbeat Mocha reminded us of an iced latte with its strong coffee base that wasn’t at all sweet. And Matcha Energizer was a tasty combo of bananas and green tea whey. Skinny shakes go easier on the waistline, kcalories only 140 - 250, depending on size and flavor.

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Berry Slim
The last option set for drinks are “Smoothies,” high on taste but lower on protein, using yogurt or milk to add body instead of whey. The tangy Mango Matcha jumped out for us. The taste of slightly unripe mango at the start gave way to the zip of real green tea and Greek yogurt. Matcha-lovers will find this the most flavorful of the options on the menu. PB and Choc took us back to childhood days of chocolate malts, and we found Strawberry Field fruity and light.

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Mango Matcha
Shakes and smoothies typically run RM9.90 for a small and RM10.90 for a large. Flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, or creatine can be added boosters for an additional RM2.

Such worthy drinks are complemented at Upbeat by three varieties of Tortilla Wraps. Wholesome Croquette combines a pillow of potatoes and mushrooms with tomatoes, garlic, sweet mustard onions, and lettuce with a herbed-yogurt sauce before grilling it panini-style. The Mushroom Galore is similarly prepared but features chewy oyster mushrooms as the central piece, and Gourmet Chicken offers a little meat for the carnivores in the crowd. Wraps will set you back a modest RM8.90.

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Croquette Wrap
Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Mushroom Wrap
Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Chicken Wrap
“Food with Purpose: Every ingredient we use fulfills a purpose.”

In addition to providing meal options for busy Malaysians, Upbeat prepares cold-pressed juices that are delicious once, but even better as part of a digestive cleanse. 

Keep Calm and Detox combines apple and pineapple for a little tropical sweetness with the refreshing and clear flavors of cucumber. It also has a terrific ginger kick at the end of each sip. Drink Me Skinny is a slightly bitter, citrusy mix of grapefruit, lemon and orange. Beet the Flu balances the sweetness of beets, carrots and apples with the more subtle flavor of celery without being overpowering. 

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K
Cold Pressed Juices
These healthy jewel-colored beverages run between RM9.90 and RM11.90 in store, but can also be delivered to your home or office in sets of six as part of a physical cleansing program. Juice cleanse packages are offered in plans of one up to six days, with all you need provided in a handy cooler. Information about each juice and when to take it is also supplied.

Upbeat Health Bar, Healthy Wraps, Shakes & Juice Cleanse Delivery, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur
Juice Cleanse
Next time you’re at Avenue K, stop by for a quick and delicious shake, smoothie or juice and do something nice for your body. Even if you’re busy.

Reasons to visit/ order: Highly nutritious protein shakes, especially Peanut Butter Goodness and Berry Slim; many flavors of cold-pressed juices; and juice cleanse delivery making a change in your eating habits fuss-free an convenient.

Upbeat Health Bar
Level 2, Avenue K
156 Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
017-606 2833
Open Daily 10:00am - 10:00pm

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort

Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Spa Entrance, Spa Village at Tanjong Jara Resort

Spa Village Tanjong Jara


Without doubt, YTL’s Spa Village brand across the country is one of the most highly respected and desirable names in the industry. Weaving together a magical formula of well-designed spaces, highly skilled therapists and locally inspired treatments, peaceful havens of wellness and relaxation are a trademark assurance. 

Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Spa Reception
Spa Village Tanjong Jara is no exception. Celebrating an “Unmistakably Malay” school of thought, the local concept of sucumurni is brought to the forefront valuing “purity of spirit, health and well-being.“

Stand alone villas with both indoor and outdoor areas gift guests with a freedom of mind encouraged by open spaces and connection with nature, while at the same time maintaining privacy and an intimate experience.

Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Treatment Villa
Treatments draw on the wisdom of local healing therapies, and staff are not only experts in their field, but extend a warmth and sense of caring that sincerely feels as though it comes from the heart.

Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Welcome Drink and Refresher Towel
Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Spa Walkway
Mandi Bunga, a local bathing ritual, begins all treatments. Guests are doused with seven blessings of water, “each bestowing purity, sincerity, health, beauty, happiness, prosperity and longevity.” A final cascade is reserved to make your own wish, and the invigorating experience ends with a toweling off and change into a sarong, ready to begin the session.

We partake in the signature Asam Roselle experience. The pretty red flower, used as the base of the treatment, grows wild across the country and is valued for its high vitamin content, fruit acids and minerals. In traditional medicine roselle is believed to be of benefit to the kidneys, reduce blood-sugar levels, and have diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also said to form “natural collagen” and assist in “vitamin absorption thus improving complexion, and assisting with anti-aging.”

Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Hibiscus Flower
Long pummeling strokes rid the muscles and joints of tension, easing away aches and pains. Thumbs, palms and heals of hands glide over the skin with facilitation from a refreshing and faintly sour scented aromatherapy oil. Roselle, ginger, nutmeg, galangal and karoteno infused oil not only awakens the mind with its mild asam scent, but too nourishes the body with its power pack of vitamins A, C and E.

Temperature, comfort level and pressure are checked in on and the therapists quietly continue the treatment. Blue skies, the sound of running water and lush landscaping are taken in from the privacy of our villa, and this ambience, fused with the masterful hands of our masseuses, causes a total state of bliss.

An exfoliation follows with a Roselle Cream Scrub, and while the product is left to permeate the skin for 10 minutes, a head massage concludes the final part of the session. Showering after, dry skin cells are removed and our bodies are left smooth and hydrated.

Now completely at ease, and wearing the complimentary sarong gifted as part of the package, we return to the open tearoom capping the line-up with roselle tea and a few moments of hush. Transitioning from the last 100 minutes of serenity, we’re prepared to face the world again with a little piece of sucurmini is our hearts and spirits.

Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Sarong Souvenir
Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Before and After Treatment Area
Spa Village, Tanjong Jara Resort
Dates and Roselle Tea
Reasons to visit: natural spacious setting, highly skilled therapists, locally inspired treatments.

Spa Village Tanjong Jara
Batu 8
Off Jalan Dungun
23000 Dungun
Terengganu
Malaysia
+6 03 2783 1000


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Epic Fit Meals Co.

Epic Fit Meal Co. – Healthy Food with On-Demand Delivery

Words by Kristin Cosgrove
Photos by The Yum List (aka Monica Tindall)

There are many great health food delivery services popping up around KL, but many require ordering at least a day advance - until now.  Epic Fit Meals Co. is the first healthy meal delivery service to offer on demand delivery in 30-45 minutes! Make a call and less than an hour later, you’ll be enjoying comfort food with a healthy twist. For now, delivery is open to those in Damansara Perdana, Damansara Mutiara, TTDI and Bandar Utama areas, with hopes to expand the area over time.

A full professional kitchen makes on-demand ordering possible; Epic Fit includes a small storefront on the ground floor of Metropolitan Square in Damansara Perdana where they also offer takeout and dine-in options. Epic Fit’s outlet is simple, but trendy and very pleasant. A row of stools and a low counter along the window allow for five or so diners to have a view of the street, while a large wooden bar table and stools for 12 dominate the remainder of the dining space. A white brick wall with black statement letters announce, “Epic as Usual”. 

The folks at Epic worked for six months to develop their menu, ensuring a good variety and food that will taste as good delivered as it does in the dining room.  Comfort food from across the globe is represented, like Irish colcannon, pizza, Thai wraps and much more. Most dishes are chicken based, with some beef. Juices, salads, and a large range of sides round out a varied menu for easy mix-and-matching into a healthful meal, no matter what eating plan you are on. Calorie counts are thoughtfully listed on the menu and using fresh ingredients mean lower calories; dishes here are typically around 300 calories with fairly large portions!

We tried a smorgasbord of dishes from the menu, all of which were very filling, flavorful and ultimately wholesome.  Epic Fit meals come in an attractive paper packaging, both when dining in and for delivery. This is a nice departure from the scourge of plastic takeaway containers usually associated with delivery. 

The cold pressed juices would make a fine light meal on their own. With no sugar added and only fruits and veggies, these elixirs are so pulpy and fiber-full they are almost chewable. Classic Trifecta (RM 7.80) is a refreshing blend of carrot, apple and pear.  Green juice lovers will enjoy the Coolie Beauty (RM 7.80) with cucumber, apple, ginger, celery and lemon. For a thicker smoothie with yogurt as a base, try the Red Apple Honey (RM8.80).

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Cold Pressed Juices
We dive into the Epic Grilled Chicken and I’m delighted to find a tender and juicy breast with a secret blend of Epic’s own herbs and spices. How I’d love to get my hands on that recipe! This marinated chicken is the basis for all the chicken dishes and was so good, that we forgot to even use the sauce we ordered.

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Epic Grilled Chicken
The chicken comes with a choice of four sauces, including the O.Z’s Barbie-Q, Apple Salsa, Bonza Peppa and Eziki. Chicken can be ordered a-la carte or as a set with one or two sides.  We order it with a salad and side of cauli-rice. The latter is made from riced cauliflower (as the name suggests), which has a consistency much like rice, but the flavor evokes nuttiness of the cruciferous veggie. It’s a great Paleo option for those watching their carb intake but craving a more sinful taste.

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Epic's Cauli-Rice
Epic Fit’s baked fried chicken is so good, it has me pondering making the drive from Ampang for a fix. It comes in three flavors; we dig into an order of Epic Curry Grande, delectable chicken smothered in Japanese Chicken Katsu-Curry sauce, a built from scratch vegetable-based curry minus the sinful coconut milk. I’m surprised by the crispiness of the breading despite the gravy, due to having baked the chicken rather than frying it in heavy oil. 

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Epic Curry Grande
Flanking the chicken is a tremendously tasty side of coleslaw - some of the crunchiest and freshest I’ve ever tried. Instead of mayonnaise, a yogurt dressing coats the cabbage, carrots and onions, adding to the flavor of the veggies rather than overwhelming them. Mashed Japanese sweet potatoes are a flavorful paleo side option, which my dining partner particularly enjoyed.

Eziki chicken was probably my favorite dish of the day, with a tangy tzatziki sauce of yogurt, cucumber, mint and dill. We add a side of traditional Irish Colcannon, mashed potatoes with leek and cabbage. Yum! The creamy potatoes are accented with the crunch of the cabbage, making for a hearty and interesting side dish.


Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Epic Grilled Chicken with Eziki
Perhaps not considered the most healthy of meals, Epic’s “Flying” Pizza is as healthful as a pizza can probably get, and extremely delicious! A crispy, flaky and very, very thin crust is topped with all natural, premium meats and 100% real cheese. The proof is in the taste! 

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Pollo Supremo Pizza
If you’re looking for a warm hug in a bowl, look no further than the home-style beef stew. Just as good as mom used to make, with fresh celery and carrots in a rich broth, served with coleslaw and your choice of Cilantro Lime Rice or Brown Oat Rice.

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Homestyle Beef Stew
Finally, if you’re hoping for a meal in a wrap with a kick for your taste buds, the Zesty Thai wrap (RM12.80) will not disappoint. With the right mixture of soft wrap, crunchy veggies and spicy meat, I could eat one of these every day.

Epic Fit Meals Co., Healthy Food Delivery, Damansara Perdana
Zesty Thai Wrap
Even after trying so many usually heavy foods, my dining companions and I still feel great, ready to conquer the rest of our day. Surely a little sweet treat wouldn’t hurt. Epic Fit is still trying to develop a good dessert that will withstand the delivery process. What would you suggest?

Reason to visit: On-demand healthy food delivery, great variety, comfort food with a healthy twist.

EPIC FIT MEAL CO.
Phone: 03-7733 3375
Hours are 11am-11pm.


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Most Romantic Setting in Malaysia, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort

Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Tanjong Jara Resort - The Rock

The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
The Most Romantic Setting in Malaysia


A rocky outcrop juts from the coastline, supporting a white linen-dressed table for two. Aquamarine waters swirl around its base, and the sun’s golden rays reflect off the water streaking a shimmering trail to the shore’s edge. Palm trees sway in a blackened outline between your perch on the sea and the slowly descending sun. Ocean spray tickles your ankles sporadically, as a butler tops up your glass with Champagne. You toast your beloved and give gratitude for this breathtaking experience made possible by Tanjong Jara Resort.

The Rock is a unique private dining experience exclusive to Tanjong Jara Resort, Malaysia. Words cannot possibly do justice to this location, so I leave you with a photo journal of this awe-inspiring setting below.

Best Place to Propose, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resot
Best Place to Propose, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Butler Waiting for Us to Arrive
Best Place to Propose, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Butler and Chef Preparing Some Hors D'oeuvres
Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Dinner for Two on The Rock
Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Table for Two
Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Perfect Place for a Proposal
Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Laurent Perrier Champagne
Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Sunset Drinks
Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Bubbly and Hors D'oeuvres
Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Sunset Romance
The Rock is available from February 13th until October 12th, depending on weather and high and low tides. Generally it can be used at any time of day when the tide is out, but we found the most magical time to be at sunset.

Experiences and packages can be arranged with the management at Tanjong Jara Resort. It’s an extremely exclusive setting, only catering to one couple/ small group at a time so we highly recommend booking well in advance if you’d like to encounter this extraordinary location.

Best Place for Romance, The Rock, Tanjong Jara Resort
Can't Get Enough of Those Views
Reasons to book: the most romantic and invigorating setting we’ve come across in Malaysia, a perfect place for proposals, a truly unique experience.

The Rock Private Dining
Tanjong Jara Resort
Batu 8
Off Jalan Dungun
23000 Dungun
Terengganu
Malaysia
+6 03 2783 1000