Eat Healthy Taste Italy

Special thanks to Sevenvault for extending this event invitation.

The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) is launching a campaign called "Eat Healthy Taste Italy" in conjunction with the Authentic Italian Food Excellence Week. The program aims to promote awareness of made-in-Italy products in Malaysia. To this end, the organizer is having a roadshow event at the atrium of Intermark Mall.
Today's event is officiated by the Italian Ambassador to Malaysia, Cristiano Maggipinto. The launch begins with a cheese-cutting ceremony by representatives of ITA, Jaya Grocer and Intermark Mall.
Throughout the campaign, authentic Italian products are made available to consumers at selected Jaya Grocer outlets. In today's roadshow event, the grocery chain has handpicked several renowned brands that best represent the wholesome nature of Italian cuisine.
While Italian expatriates will be thrilled to see familiar brands, this is also a great opportunity for Malaysians to savor popular Italian snacks. Interesting ones include sfogliatine (puff pastries), savoiardi (ladyfingers), crostini (mini toasts), grissini (breadsticks), potato chips, rice crackers and more! Samples are available.
Do you love baking? Jaya Grocer has wheat flour for pastries, breads and even pizzas. And if you like risotto, you can also buy starchy rice that is cultivated in Italy.
In addition, Jaya Grocer carries Italian canned products such as beans, peas and lentils. Ciao products are certified by the Halal International Authority.
Looking for extra virgin olive oil, truffle oil, grape seed oil or balsamic vinegar? Jaya Grocer has these condiments covered too. Do you know that white truffle can only be found in Italy?
Italian cheese varies from region to region. For instance, Parmigiano-Reggiano (commonly known as parmesan cheese) only comes from Parma and Reggio Emilia provinces in northern Italy.
Jaya Grocer also imports fresh, air-flown produce from Italy. Notable vegetables on sale are mâche (corn salad), fennel, radicchio rosso, onions boretana and cactus figs.
Today's event includes a cooking demonstration by Chef Domenico Piras, the Italian Chef de Cuisine of Favola, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. Chef Domenico presented several easy-to-prepare Italian dishes like Caprese salad. All ingredients can be purchased at Jaya Grocer.
The roadshow event at Intermark Mall's atrium will be around till 4 October 2020. During this period, customers who spend at least RM25.00 on Italian products stand a chance to win a 1-night stay for two at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. In case you missed the deadline, you can still participate at selected Jaya Grocery stores until 18 October 2020.

Hard Rock Hotel

Special thanks to Hard Rock Hotel for extending this hotel review invitation.

Hard Rock Hotel Penang is a popular resort along the idyllic Batu Ferringhi Beach. The rock n' roll-theme hotel greets arriving guests with an enormous guitar monument at the main entrance.
The 4-star resort has 250 guestrooms spread across 6 floors. In my opinion, the building looks like a guitar when viewed from above. Check out the aerial view and decide whether you agree!
Hard Rock Hotel offers 11 room categories to suit the needs of each guest. For instance, the Lagoon Deluxe gives direct access to the swimming pool from the balcony! Meanwhile, guests who need extra space may take advantage of the large patio afforded by the Seaview Deluxe Terrace.
We are staying at the Seaview Deluxe this weekend. The room is quite spacious for two people. Staying faithful to Hard Rock Hotel's rock n' roll theme, our room is decorated with imagery of various music artists. I love the iconic Hard Rock vibe presented by neon-like lighting!
The ensuite see-through bathroom is another feature unique to Hard Rock Hotel. The vanity mirrors can be slid across to serve as the screen. You may want to check out what's behind these mirrors!
The Seaview Deluxe commands a good view of the resort grounds. Numerous palm trees dot the poolside area, providing ample shade from the warm tropical sun.
Do you know that Hard Rock Hotel has the largest free-form swimming pool in Penang? A substantial section of the pool is bedded with fine sand. Now there is no need to go to the beach!
Quite recently, Hard Rock Hotel enhanced the swimming experience with underwater speakers. Believe it or not, you can now hear the beat while submerged!
As a children-friendly resort, Hard Rock Hotel has a non-slip splash pad equipped with water slides, sprinkler jets and tipping buckets. And fret not if you forgot to pack your swimwear; you can easily rent one at the towel counter.
Not feeling like getting wet? There are cozy sunloungers, daybeds and hammocks surrounding the swimming pool. The cooling marine breeze is most rejuvenating!
Facing the sea are several private cabanas that can be rented for RM60.00 daily. Guests can also request for body massages in the comfort of these cabanas.
Speaking of massages, the award-winning Rock Spa provides a range of spa treatments from body scrubs to pedicures. Customers can opt for treatment indoors or at an outdoor villa. Be sure to experience Rhythm & Motion, a one-of-a-kind immersive music spa!
Body Rock Gym is equipped with exercise equipment like treadmills, stationary bicycles and weight machines. The fitness center affords a nice view of the swimming pool.
Parents with young children can take advantage of Roxity Kids Club. The club has interactive activities throughout the day such as arts and craft, puzzles and cooking. Roxity Kids Club is meant for children between ages 4 and 12.
Meanwhile, TABU Teens Club keeps older children entertained with foosball, pool and video games. As for outdoor recreation, rent a bicycle and explore Batu Ferringhi at your own leisure!
In effort to inspire the next generation of musical talent, Hard Rock Hotel loans electric guitars for free under the Sound of Your Stay program. Just pick a Fender guitar at TABU Teens Club and start jamming in your own room! Headphones are provided, so don't worry about disturbing other guests.
Hard Rock Hotel Penang is home to more than 500 pieces of music memorabilia. These collectibles are proudly displayed at the lobby, corridors and restaurants. Rock n' roll buffs can request for a guided tour with the Rock Agents at TABU Teens Club. The tour starts at 11:00am on selected days and usually takes about an hour.
Hard Rock's memorabilia tradition started in Hard Rock Cafe London when Eric Clapton hung his guitar on the wall to lay claim on his favorite seat. At present, Hard Rock International is the world's largest private collector of rock n' roll memorabilia with over 80,000 pieces and still counting.
Starz Diner is Hard Rock Hotel's all-day dining outlet. The restaurant serves local and international fare that appeals to the whole family. Vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are available.
Starz Diner features two open kitchens where diners can watch the chefs in action. The extended dining section has a glass ceiling to take advantage of natural light during daytime.
Starz Diner is also where in-house guests have breakfast every morning. Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 11:00am daily. On weekends, it is advisable to arrive before 8:00am to avoid the crowd.
The breakfast menu primarily consists of à la minute dishes like pancakes, omelettes and noodles. Just place an order at the food counter and food will be sent to your table momentarily!
Local favorites include nasi lemak, fried rice, congee, dim sum and more. As for drinks, quench your thirst with coffee, tea and fruit juice. Starz Diner serves premium espresso from Chicco D'oro.
Every Saturday, Starz Diner also serves Saturday Night Live! from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The all-you-can-eat menu features a variety of à la minute dishes especially seafood.
Lobby Lounge and Sand Bar are conveniently located at the lobby and poolside respectively. These outlets serve alcoholic beverages such as beers, wines, cocktails and liquors. Meanwhile, Pizzeria and The Shack Swim-Up Bar are temporarily closed.
Hard Rock Cafe is the resort's most iconic dining outlet. The restaurant features a statue of Michael Jackson at the entrance. Hard Rock Cafe is known for serving American comfort foods in humongous portions. In-house guests enjoy priority seating and 10% discount on the bill!
Hard Rock Cafe received an extensive facelift last year. The eatery now has a rustic ambience thanks to the use of wooden finish. Like the hotel, Hard Rock Cafe is decorated with priceless music memorabilia.
During your stay, visit any of the three Rock Shops to purchase limited-edition souvenirs, some of which are exclusively sold at Hard Rock Hotel Penang. Be sure to flash your keycard to get 10% discount on selected merchandise. Hard Rock collectibles have a large fan following, so you know you are in good company!
Although Hard Rock Hotel primarily attracts leisure travelers, the resort also has MICE facilities like conference halls and meeting rooms. The largest venue is the marquee-style Hall of Fame Ballroom, which can be partitioned into halves. As for business travelers who need printing services, there is a @Bizz business centre on Level 2.
While vacationing, in-house guests can keep abreast of the outside world through PressReader. PressReader has over 4,000 newspapers and magazines in electronic format. Simply connect your device to Hard Rock Hotel's Wi-Fi to access PressReader for free.
In addition, guests of Hard Rock Hotel Penang enjoy a long list of complimentary perks such as in-room blockbuster movies, Bose Bluetooth sound systems and high speed Internet access. Future holidaymakers can book through Hard Rock Hotel's official website to take advantage of the resort's Best Rate Guarantee!
Name: Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Address: Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-881-1711
Business hours: 24 hours
Coordinates: 5.46776 N, 100.24164 E
Directions: From Tanjung Bungah, travel west towards Batu Ferringhi. Hard Rock Hotel is approximately 6 kilometers from Tanjung Bungah's floating mosque, located on the right of the road. There are parking spaces in front of the hotel.


Special thanks to J-Garden for extending this food review invitation.

Formerly operating near Queensbay Mall, J-Garden has moved to Bellisa Row at Pulau Tikus. The restaurant occupies an end unit right next to the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
The 2-floor premises presents a cozy atmosphere for both business and casual meals. The eatery is also sufficiently large for holding private events.
J-Garden specializes in yōshoku (洋食), or Western cuisine with a Japanese spin. Since its reopening, the restaurant has introduced several new dishes like the Fresh Avocado Salad (アボカドサラダ).
Meat lovers can go for the Mixed Hamburger Steak Beef & Pork (合挽ハンバーグステーキ, RM30.00). The patty goes well with ponzu sauce, a tangy mixture of vinegar and yuzu. Most dishes can be served as part of a set meal (rice, side dish and miso soup) for RM6.00 more.
Salmon Cream Croquette Curry (鮭クリームコロッケカレー, RM25.00) is another popular dish here. The croquette is served with rice and Japanese curry. The latter is aromatic and delectable to the last morsel.
Melted Cheese Doria (昭和レトロドリア, RM24.00) is a classic dish from the Shōwa era of Japan. The gratinéed rice has a rich taste thanks to the infusion of chicken stock, tomatoes and béchamel sauce.
Flavorful Citrus Saba Spaghetti (スパゲッティー.ゆず鯖, RM29.00) is sautéed with olive oil and yuzu sauce. The latter has an acidic taste that stimulates the palate. Al dente pasta is topped with mackerel slices, which are marinated and fried to golden perfection.
Melted Cheese Katsu (とろーりチーズカツ, RM33.00) is yet another signature dish at J-Garden. The cutlet is made of Spanish pork tenderloin stuffed with melted cheddar cheese. This dish is typically enjoyed with tonkatsu sauce.
Originating in Kyūshū, Tender Chicken Nanban (ぷりぷりチキン南蛮, RM25.00) is now widely enjoyed across Japan. The boneless chicken thigh is seasoned with Nanban sauce, a special blend of vinegar and tartar sauce.
As for dessert, Rich Dark Chocolate Fondant (濃厚チョコレートフォンダン, RM13.00) is a recommended choice. Liquid chocolate oozes out the cake as soon as it is punctured. The aromatic scent of dark cocoa is simply irresistible. This dessert comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
J-Garden's beverage menu covers coffee, English tea, Japanese tea and beer. As for juices, J-Garden serves refreshing ones like Fresh Avocado Juice (アボカドジュース, RM14.00) and Fresh Mixed Juice (ミックスジュース, RM9.00). In addition, the restaurant has a small collection of wines too!
Nearly all dishes on J-Garden's menu are available for take-away and delivery. The restaurant provides free delivery within Pulau Tikus with minimum spending of RM60.00.
J-Garden is frequented by Japanese expatriates, a feat which speaks volumes about the authenticity of the yōshoku cuisine here!

Name: J-Garden
Address: 368-1-1, Bellisa Row, Jalan Burma, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-446-2230
Business hours: 11:30am-10:00pm
Coordinates: 5.43280 N, 100.30957 E
Directions: J-Garden is located at Bellisa Row at Pulau Tikus, George Town. The restaurant covers 1 hour of private parking with minimum spending of RM80.00.