During the weekend of Labor's Day, my friends (Anggerek and Jae) and I went to Johor and Malacca, just to spend some quality time together.
The trio
All ready for the road
Also, a major factor because I was given a Passat to test drive and one minor fact that Anggerek has never been to Johor Premium Outlet (JPO). About the test drive, I wouldn't be explaining about the Passat technically as I am as blind as a bat about cars, I only know how to drive a car and complain when I feel that there is something lacking or missing.

The first thing that I did when I received The Passat was to check its trunk. I want to know how much junk can I put into its trunk because I am not a light traveler. That was the reason why I bought my current car - for its trunk! 

Guess what! The trunk was deep enough and big enough that it could fit Jae and Anggerek at one time. And if I squeeze in real tight, the trunk could fit the three of us. 
Are you expecting to see my friends and I in the trunk?
Jae even mentioned, "You could put someone into that trunk and nobody would even realize it at the police checkpoint".

So, early Saturday morning, we started our journey to the south. Jae and Anggerek each brought a bag and yours truly had to have two bags (told you that I am not a light traveler).  Into the trunk they go! 

The traffic was amazingly clear and smooth. We reached JPO exactly 4 hours after we started the journey. We made two stops along the way as we needed the toilet break and also to freshen the face. 

I couldn't drive more than 110 km/ hr - I would have if not for Jae's constant reminder about being summoned for driving past the speed limit. Truth be told, the Passat was so quiet and easy on the pedal (due to its DSG 7-speed direct shift gearbox and 160PS turbocharged Direct Petrol Injection 4-cylinder engine) that you wouldn't notice that you were going almost 130 km/hr at times. The ride was so smooth that I think we have managed to record at least an album of 13 songs along the way. The video? Here are some of them.


We spent almost 6 hours at JPO and Anggerek was the biggest shopper of us all. She bought everything in sight and she was over the moon about it. She bought a watch, a backpack, a spectacle and she wanted to buy more if not for us reminding her not to do so. However, she keeps on saying that she might need all those things and it was better for her to buy them as they were on sale. Woman and shopping right!
I think we must be the earliest people at JPO that day
We started our journey to Malacca right after 4 pm as we want to shop at Jonker Street too. And we also have a movie (Captain America: Civil War) at 11:30 pm that night so we want to have ample time to shop around Jonker Street.

The journey back was not as forgiving as our down south trip. The road was so congested as it was raining heavily and due the long weekend too. Amazingly, the Passat reacted well to the nasty standstills along the way. We only reached our hotel for the night (Rama-Rama Designer Boutique Hotel) around 9 pm. 
The beautiful and comfy Rama-Rama
I was not that tired at all after the long, hard drive. The Passat also behaved and very helpful during the rain. The wipers were very intelligent (The Passat has rain sensor obviously), they wiped the screen as soon as they detected raindrops on it, so my full attention was on my driving. The brakes were great, they are anti-lock braking system ABS with brake assist BA after all.

After a bath, we left the hotel for Dataran Palawan and Jonker Street, which was just 15 minutes away from the hotel, dreaming of the items that we will buy around the Jonker Street. However, due to the development in the middle of Malacca, the roads were so congested and we only arrived at Dataran Palawan at 11 pm. So, there goes our imaginary shopping at Jonker Street. We went straight to the hotel right after the movie.

The morning after, we were too lazy to move around so we settled for a brunch at a coffee shop nearby the magnificent boutique hotel. From the hotel, we drove to Jonker Street and spend almost an hour there. Anggerek found her grilled squid and she was a happy woman.
Why so expensive one?
Because we are using fresh squids and all done by hand, no machines involved
From there, we decided we wanted to take some pictures at the beautiful white dunes along the Klebang Beach. We canceled the plan as there was no 'road' that allows The Passat to go through, only sandy road. Although the Passat is readily armed with 'Minneapolis' alloy wheels 7.5J x 17" tires 235/45 R17, we decided it was not worth it. We then headed towards the famous Kuih Keria Antarabangsa where we waited in line for almost one hour for the kuih. Thank God it was totally worth it!
The long line
From there, we drove to Freeport A'Famosa Outlet as Jae and Anggerek have never been there and it was along the way too. We stayed there until 9 pm and drove back to KL. The journey back was quiet, everybody was tired I guess. I was tempted to try the 'Rest Assist' function that can detect drowsiness of the driver but thought the better of it. Hehe. Too risky.

So, what's my thought about The Passat?
1) The oil consumption: I only filled RM100 worth of petrol for the whole trip (the whole trip was around 730 km) and I still got gas to send The Passat back to its headquarters. Probably because of its 1.8l TSI engine, which is synonymous with maximum power and minimized consumption.

2) Safety: The Passat has dual front airbags with front passenger airbag deactivation, dual front side airbags, 'Rest Assist' function, excellent Cruise Control, the amazing anti-lock braking system and the Rain Sensor.
Very comfy leather seats. And mine has memory function too!
3) The seats: Very comfortable 'Vienna' leather seat upholstery and the front seats are equipped with electric 12-way adjustments with memory function for driver's seat. Being 'vertically-challenged, the 12-way adjustments and memory function does keep me comfortable.
Park Distance Control in action
4) The parking assistance: The Passat is equipped with Park Distance Control that alerts you whenever there are obstacles/ objects beside/ in front/ at the back of The Passat. And all these can be viewed via the clear LED monitor on the center console.

Here are some other features of The Passat that might strike your fancy.
I love this compartment beside the steering - so convenient!

My honest opinion about The Passat?
It is worth every cent and more.
(I was actually thinking of getting The Passat as my second car after test-riding it. Actually, I still am thinking about it)
Haiqal Rawlins
012.280.1977
What is the best and most convenient food to have whenever you are hungry?
BURGERS!
Nowadays, burger stalls are everywhere and we have to admit, burgers has become the most loved food by us Malaysians. And we love the ever loyal companion to the burger, the lovely fries too! 
Fact: In terms of per capita consumption, Malaysia is the number one market for U.S. fries in the South-east Asia market and only number 2 to Japan in Asia.
Burgers, Fiesta, food, Fries, Instagram contest, US Fries and Burgers Fiesta, US Potato Board,
It is coming your way!
Starting from May 1 until 31, The U.S. Potato Board is introducing its first "U.S. Fries & Burgers Fiesta" in 19 popular burger joints and cafes within the Klang Valley. You can bet your grandma that it is going to serve up a unique repertoire of U.S. fries and burgers like we have never seen before.

Why do we love U.S. produced fries? Because it produces the best fries due to its ideal growing temperature, rich soil, state-of-the-art processing facilities, and expertise. Another reasons are the potatoes used must contain high 'solids' and low sugar content to achieve the desired appearance, taste, and texture of the finished product.
Burgers, Fiesta, food, Fries, Instagram contest, US Fries and Burgers Fiesta, US Potato Board,
And we can expect to see (eat) the best fries served with the best fries for the whole month of May, courtesy of U.S. Fries & Burger Fiesta. And, all these goodies will come in all sorts of shapes and sizes too. The objectives of the campaign are to stimulate creativeness in burger & fries presentations and to acquaint the public to the U.S. fry varieties.

The 19 outlets are as eager and excited as the crowd to try out the new U.S. fries and burger combinations.

The crowd will have another reason to be excited about - there will be an Instagram contest where 3 weekly winners with the best pictures of them enjoying (devouring) the promotion US fries and burgers will win RM150 cash prizes, weekly. 
Just remember to #USFries&BurgerFiesta
Burgers, Fiesta, food, Fries, Instagram contest, US Fries and Burgers Fiesta, US Potato Board,

For more information on the fiesta, contact Mr. Lent Low or Mr. Eddie Saw (03-8070 7216).
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Haiqal Rawlins
012.280.1977
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, diet, fruit juice, dark chocolate, cook your meal, eat fruit, byrawlins, fitness
Did I Eat That - DIET
Is this what diet means to you?

Funnily, some of us seem unable to lose the extra weight despite the strict diet programme and ridiculously extreme exercise. 

Perhaps it is time for us to rethink the method of our diet.
Here are some tips from Fooyoh.com to improve our diet.

1) Eat Actual Fruit - Ditch The Fruit Juice
Drinking the fruit juice can actually do more harm than good. The sugar contain is doubled in the juice which brings the good taste of the juice.  
According to AuthorityNutrition.com
a) fruit juice contains just as much sugar and calories as a sugary soft drink and sometimes even more; 
b) fruit juice contains no fibre. 
 Whereas the actual fruit contains less sugar and has lots of benefits, one of which is beneficial to your teeth.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, diet, fruit juice, dark chocolate, cook your meal, eat fruit, byrawlins, fitness
Eat it, it is healthier.
2) Healthy Food Delivery
If you belong to the old age group, food shopping might become quite a hassle for you. Get people to buy them for you instead. There are a lot of healthy food services nowadays (such as Dah MakanThe Lean CanteenThe Naked Lunchbox and a few others). Combine the food with regular exercise and your diet will be better.
p/s: this tips is applicable to those with mobility problem.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, diet, fruit juice, dark chocolate, cook your meal, eat fruit, byrawlins, fitness
The companies that deliver healthy food
3) Only Dark Chocolate Please
Dark Chocolate contains less sugar and milk as compared to the milk chocolate. Meaning you are eating less fat and is higher in fibre too. It has more calcium and iron too (souce: AuthorityNutrition.com).
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, diet, fruit juice, dark chocolate, cook your meal, eat fruit, byrawlins, fitness
4) Smaller Plate Only
You can trick your mind into believing that you are eating more by using a smaller plate. Use a smaller plate to cut the portion, reduce the fat intake and don't forget to exercise too.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, diet, fruit juice, dark chocolate, cook your meal, eat fruit, byrawlins, fitness
Which one should you eat?
5) Be Your Own Cook
Use fresh ingredients and ditch all processed foods as our bodies could do much better without the saturated fats, preservatives and lots of salt contained in the processed foods.

By preparing your own food using the fresh ingredients, you could plan your healthy meal, enhance your cooking skills and strengthen the family bond by cooking together. Not only you will have a much healthier meal, you will have a blissfully happy family too. 
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, diet, fruit juice, dark chocolate, cook your meal, eat fruit, byrawlins, fitness
The family that cook together stays together
I hope that we all stay strong by our DIET and do not quiver to any temptations.
Remember - all that is sinful always look so delicious! Hehehe.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, diet, fruit juice, dark chocolate, cook your meal, eat fruit, byrawlins, fitness
Which one suits you better?
Haiqal Rawlins
012.280.1977
Ramadhan Review, bufet ramadhan, Ramadhan Buffet, Putrajaya, Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside, makan di Putrajaya, buka puasa, buka puasa di Putrajaya, byrawlins, Magical Nights of Ramadhan,
Ain't it beautiful? Credits to Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside
The last time I was in Pullman Putrajaya was like 4 years back, and I left the hotel with such great memories of its food and beautiful scenery surrounding the hotel. It stands like a castle by a seaside, being it is hotel situated just beside the famous lake Putrajaya.
Magical
Mystical
When I was invited to review its Ramadhan spread, I was ecstatic.
And befittingly, the theme of spread is 'Magical Ramadhan Nights'.
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With Fatin and Jae
Imagine eating your most favorite and special dishes, just like what Mum always prepare for you during Ramadhan, by the lakeside. What could be more Magical than that?

'Magical Ramadhan Nights' boast of more than 300 all-time favorite Ramadhan dishes which includes fresh BBQ, Turkish delights, desserts and fresh fruits!
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Now, let's see what Pullman Putrajaya has to offer.
The first section that I visited was the fresh BBQ section. 
Look at how fresh the seafood are!
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Now let's see what 'heavy' food they have.
This is just the food that I love, especially during Ramadhan.
They also have a salad bar and live cooking section (such as pasta and pizza) but I was so engrossed with its BBQ section that I have forgotten to take the pictures of the live cooking section.
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And now the best section ever of any buffet (the best for me that is) is the dessert section!
Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside dedicate the whole room just to accommodate its lavish spread of dessert.
There were ice-creams, milkshake, fresh juice, Turkish desserts, local kuih-muih and arrays of succulent dates!
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For those who prefer to have fresh fruit instead, there are a variety of  fresh fruits await.
And the one that people flock towards to, Durian!
Yes, Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside has Durian for you too.
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Nyum nyum!
So, what's the deal with 'Magical Ramadhan Nights'?
The buffet will start from 7 June until 3 July, from 7 pm onwards until 10:30 pm. Whereas the buffet price is as follows:   
Adult: RM169 (nett) | Kids ( 4 - 10 years old): RM130 (nett) 
If you book before 15 Mei 2016, you are entitled to 25% discount. And if you book for more than 10 pax, you will be in the running to win a one-night stay at the DELUXE room at the Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside.
All you have to do now is call to book the spots for your family, friends, and officemates and pray upon your lucky stars.
Telephone: 03-8890 0000 | Email: magicalramadhan@putrajaya.com
Official website : http://www.pullmanputrajaya.com/  
Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside, No.2, Jalan P5/5, Presint 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia


Haiqal Rawlins
012.280.1977