2014 Shining Bright

January 1, 2014

Looking forward to a brand new year!

Sherman Tan Performs at Sutera Harbour Resort

August 28, 2013

Catch Sherman Tan in action at the Resort's Fun Pub JUGs!!!

Together We Care-A PCA Effort

June 20, 2013

There were shy laughter, quiet giggles and whisperings among the patients at the Palliative Care Unit and the Palliative Care Association’s Day Care today when the female members of Australian band, Big City Beat started dancing.

Slowly, after warming up to the group’s lively mood, some of the patients even broke into a loud cheer, waving their hands to the music and even clapping in sync.
Big City Beat visited the venues today to bring cheer to the patients through their music before the Association’s annual charity dinner and concert kick-off tomorrow night.
These patients have always been in the ‘care’ of the Palliative Care Association (PCA). PCA is a voluntary charitable organisation that provides home care to terminally ill patients from all age groups. The association have for many years been the pillar of strength for many of these patients by giving them not only moral but emotional support as well.

A total amount of RM4000,000 per year is needed to run the association, man by several core staffs and volunteers. Being a non-government voluntary body, the Association gets its support mainly from donors.

Every year, the Association would organise its charity dinner and concert to raise funds to run the Association’s Home Care Programmes for the benefit of these patients. Last year, the annual event raised RM240,000 and the Association hopes to do even better this year by targeting to raise RM320,000.00.
This year’s 13th Palliative Care Association Annual Charity Dinner and Concert will be held tomorrow night (Friday, June 21) at the Grand Ballroom of The Magellan Sutera Resort. Besides the dining and entertainment, there will also be the auction of three paintings – one by Christianne Goonting and two by Tina Rimmer.

Big City Beat will perform several covers from megastars like Taylor Swift, Pink, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Madonna and Queen. The opening act will be Shaneil Devaser, a Sabahan singer-songwriter who recently launched his self-titled solo debut EP.
If you would like to support the cause, call +60 88 231 505 / +60 16 841 1499 to book your table for the Black Tie event.

KK Jazz Fest @ Sutera Harbour Resort SOON!

June 12, 2013

I Bake for My Baby’s Sake

May 30, 2013

Balini BAKES! She truly does and who would have thought she would after all those years of slogging behind the computer mastering IT!

Her mum gripes at time: Waste of money sending her to take her Masters in UK and now she’s a baker! Well, Mom. You can’t win EVERYTHING!

Some people have the knack for cracking their heads to break some codes on Internet programs, some prefer to take it easy and let that wonders of wonders of a brain to just chill and look at pretty colours on delicious cakes. And that’s Balini.

She breaks into uncontrollable laughs whenever her mum starts complaining on her new chosen career.

“She doesn’t eat sweet cakes and that is why she’s complaining. Maybe I will make her something with less sugar,” she said.

“But that’s just a thought,” she added cheekily.

To be honest, she loves cakes. Eating them that is. Chocolates are her daily diet and when she’s eating them she looks like she’s chewing on a piece of heaven. So perhaps she got to a stage of thinking why buy occasionally when I can have them on the table at home from my kitchen? And so she started baking.

“I’m not much of a kitchen person,” she admitted. “But while living in England all my perception about baking took on a different level. It was the amazing baking stuffs on Amazon UK that got me started."

She spent her college years getting a Degree in IT before she took the long flight away from home to do her MSc in the University of Sussex. That was just plain studying and it was not after her recent stay in London that she started trying baking.

“I went online, looked at some recipes and tried them out and things just continued from there.”

When she returned home, her first baby was growing up so fast that she kept falling in love with him more and more by the day.

“I couldn’t see myself sending him to a day care or having a maid look after him so I decided he is far more important than a job.”

That was a conscious decision of a loving mom who enrolled in a basic baking class at ICCA Kota Damansara and now produced all these lovely cakes you will see in her home kitchen.

“Yes, I bake from home and run the business via my social media platforms,” she said.

Balini Bakes does the classic Vanilla Cakes, which is an all-time favourite. There are also the Cupcakes, which are such hot items now and Balini Bakes offers them in different flavours and toppings – Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate and Mocha flavours) and Chocolate Ganache.

Her customers have also place orders for her 1kg 6” Neapolitan Cake and the 1kg 8” Vanilla and Moist Choc Cake. And Balini Bakes hopes to add on to the recipe list soon.

Her favourites are the improvised Banoffee pies, available in mini sizes and presented in a similar style to the Cupcake. If you’d like to try out her Banoffee specials, then order a day before your next breakfast as she recommends them as a weekend treat when you have more time to just indulge.

Since kicking off the business seriously early 2013, Balini Bakes have catered to various orders. From a simple Birthday Cake to a medium-scale home parties.

The Oreo Cheese Cup Cakes come in mini sizes to make them less “guilt-free” she said.

“You know how we women are,” she laughed. “If we take something in small amounts it makes us feel like we have not succumbed to indulgence.”

Balini Bakes is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can get all the menu and pricing including delivery etc. on her social media online:

FB: www.facebook.com/balinibakes
Instagram: balinibakes
Email: balinibakes@gmail.com

Simple Yet Fun Finale

May 20, 2013

It was a fun nine days for some of us who were at Sutera Harbour Resort’s recent gourmet fest. Two of the guest chefs were from hotels in Kuala Lumpur while the main act, Chef Carmelo Greco was flown in from Italy.

My friends and I did not actually go to each and every session of the activities spread over the nine days. However the few we attended were impressive enough to leave a good impression of Sutera Harbour Resort’s maiden effort at introducing a gourmet fest of modest standards.
Over the nine days, foodies made up of young adults with their parents in tow as well as housewives and career ladies flocked the three participating outlets to learn a trick or two from the celebrated chefs. I’m not much of a cook and so the classes were given a big miss.

I did however attend the SPP Night at Spice Island. It was a beautiful night with good company although the menu wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped. The ambience however was first class and we ladies couldn’t help falling in love with the almost life-sized grey elephant placed inside the restaurant just by the entrance. We heard he will have a partner soon.

The closing of the event was on the eight day, hosted by Winecellars at the boardwalk of the Marina. It was an evening of wine sampling and enjoying the sunset. At that hour we thought it would have been good to have a few food counters selling a selection of dishes that complement the wine. No, not satay, of course.

The Sutera Harbour Resort & Winecellars Gourmet Fest 2013 introduced this year could probably be made into a yearly event. A collaboration with the Winecellars, the fest is aimed towards bringing together refined tastes through fine dining and premium wines.

If you are keen to participate next year, get in touch with Sutera Harbour Resort’s Marketing Communications at +60 88 303 355 (Marketing Communications) for enquiries.

Best Food Forward at Island Holiday Hub

May 12, 2013

As mentioned in my earlier post, I would be at Tariks Lobby Lounge of The Magellan Sutera Resort as part of the 200 guests invited for its inaugural Gourmet Fest 2013. How did the evening score? Well, it was reasonably impressive and fun.

The setting was simple; the Lounge was divided into three corners with each of the three participating restaurants occupying a corner each. Chinese restaurant Silk Garden of The Pacific Sutera Hotel was at left, Italian restaurant Ferdinand’s of The Magellan Sutera Resort at right and Malay-Indian restaurant Spice Garden of The Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club took centre spot.
Fantastic drinks, great ambience, friendly staffs.
When my friends and I arrived, I heard some guests commenting that in terms of d├ęcor, Silk Garden scored 1st. The fierce-looking lion sculpture seemed to be guarding the spot and female wait staffs dressed in body-fitting red cheongsam were enough to pull in the crowd.

Spice Island was charming and rustic with the elephant sculpture, the trishaw and the simple, true-to-life old-styled Malay-Indian stalls. And, having the Guest Chef himself sweating behind the stove left a very good impression among guests.

Ferdinand’s however was a little simple and bright. I was expecting a more romantic setting – dim lights, a few petals of pink roses on the tables maybe. And most times I only saw in-house chef, Daniele Rossetto preparing the food. Probably Chef Carmelo’s surprise will be on Ferdinand’s Host Night itself. Some friends gave different reviews on Ferdinand’s offering and friends who tried some of the items showcased were impressed with the risotto.
Chef Carmelo Greco (top, centre) and Chef Daniele Rossetto (bottom, right).
When it comes to food, my preference is on Malay and Indian, Italian (depending on dishes and my mood) and Chinese (occasionally). So it’s obvious that I zoomed in on Spice Island, shook hands with Guest Chef, Chef S K Sabuddin and the rest of the team manning the station and tried out most of the items featured. The verdict – mostly delicious except for the Samosas, which were fried too brown. But flavour wise, everything scored high, especially the Fish Tikka, which had just about the right amount of spiciness in it. Good on its own, even better with the Murtabak.
Spice Island - Chef S K Sabuddin busy making Murtabak and pretty girls dresssed in traditional Indian costumes.   

Many of the guests were actually circling the Silk Garden spot from the start of the event but when we finally noticed the food was not yet ready, we moved on to the other two stations. However, when the chefs were ready with their entire preparations, the team took the crowd by surprise with items showcased. Among the three outlets, I’d say Guest Chef, Chef Roy Wong surprised me most.

The Smoked Egg topped with sauce flavoured prawns served in a simple presentation – halved egg placed on a porcelain Chinese spoon – had a unique sweetish flavour that’s simply addictive.
The Silk Garden team and their impressive food selections.
Judging from guests’ turnout, the Sutera Harbour Resort & Winecellars Gourmet Fest 2013 may well be a yearly calendar as it has many attractive features that would help boost Sabah’s tourism especially now that Visit Malaysia Year 2014 is just around the corner.

Launch of Gourmet Fest 2013

May 11, 2013

Tonight is the opening night of the Sutera Harbour Resort & Winecellars Gourmet Fest 2013. The event is by invitation only, accommodating a maximum of 200 guests including Press. I will be there with friends and some of us are pretty excited, seeing that this will be the first time that Kota Kinabalu is having such a glam event.

Two Italian chefs, one a Michelin Star and two award-winning chefs based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will highlight during the fest period. Tonight, the chefs will showcased their signature items for guests to savour.

We heard the evening's agenda has been kept simple with light food complemented by selected wines, provided by the event's partner, Winecellars belonging to Ms Meng Tan.

Initially the event was planned at The Magellan Sutera Resort's Club Garden but because the ground is rather soggy due to the constant rain over the past few days it has been moved to the Resort's Tariks Lobby Lounge instead.

Well, it's just a few hours more to the opening and the sky looks dark. Let's see if everyone is in high spirits because we are!

Earth Hour at Sutera Harbour Resort

March 23, 2013

My colleagues and I were at Sutera Harbour Resort's Earth Hour event and we captured some shots but due to the limitations of our handphones our photos didn't turn out even close to brilliant. But still, they are my keepsakes for my first Earth Hour participation.Enjoy the read!

The start of a beautiful day. Catch the early moon.

It's now 11 minutes past midnight. I've just had a smashing time celebrating Earth Hour at Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (East Malaysia). The boardwalk and the area just at the bottom of the Resort's prominent landmark; the Bird of Paradise was the selected venue for hosting this year's celebration.

Earth Hour 2013 was not opened to the public. Invitations were extended only to special guests that include long-staying hotel guests of the Resort’s two 5-star hotels, The Magellan Sutera Resort and The Pacific Sutera Hotel.

It was drizzling at past 4pm and most of us were so afraid the sky would open up and spoil the night. But it didn’t. In fact there was little wind compared to other evenings. The sunset though was glorious, much better than the previous day.

Although the Resort’s Earth Hour celebration was a closed door event, it did enjoy the presence of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah YB Datuk Masidi Manjun officiating. Also present were the Resort’s President, YBhg Datuk Edward Ong and YBhg Datin Enung Njoman and several other prominent figures.
Glorious earthly beauty - the majestic sunset!
It seemed this year’s celebration was taken a notch higher by tying up the 1-hour darkness campaign with a marine conservation effort. This year, the Resort embarked on a coral planting project in the Marina as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.
Preparations for the evening.
It was no easy task to plant corals in the dark but with the help of University Malaysia Sabah’s team from its Borneo Marine Research Institute headed by its Director, Professor Saleem Mustafa everything went smoothly as planned.
The in-house emcee, Ms Imelda doing last checks before the kick off.
The night’s event was fairly simple. There was the screening of the official Earth Hour video on a giant screen, the bell ringing ceremony to signal the 1-hour darkness that started universally at 8.30pm, the lighting of the Tiki torches and followed with the planting of the corals by the Marina’s pontoon.
As the sun sets, the boardwalk lit up with minimal lights.

Universal countdown with the help of Earth Hour's official video.
The UMS team preparing the corals for planting under minimal light.
The VIPs at the pontoon with the divers assisting in planting the corals.
The rest of the night was spent enjoying good food by candlelight and soft music provided by The Magellan’s strollers.
Romantic setting combined with good food.

No Drama In City Centre

March 11, 2013

Everyone’s talking about it – stay away from Sabah. Sabah is not safe. Red alert!!! Don’t travel anywhere close to it. And here I am, right smack in the centre of Sabah and life is as it always is – PEACEFUL!
Relax at Sutera Harbour Resort's beachfront by The Pacific Sutera Hotel.
I’m from West Malaysia and I’ve been in Kota Kinabalu for the past eight months – change of job, change of lifestyle and reasonably happy. And then the Lahad Datu incident where some intruders attacked a village in Sabah rocked the entire world (or almost) with negative reports. But what is actually the truth? Does anyone out there really know how unsafe or safe Sabah is? For those of you who are not residing in Sabah, or anywhere close to where the intruders are, don’t spread crazy news. You are not helping the situation. Why do you want to cause panic when there is no reason for panic?

I live in Sabah’s capital city, Kota Kinabalu and that is about 6 to 8 hours drive to Lahad Datu and Semporna where the incident took place. There are no curfews here or any of the nearby areas. The only areas that are under tight security are Lahad Datu and Semporna. While our security forces are everywhere in the areas, protecting the innocents the rest of the world shoot their spirits down by spreading news that things aren’t under control. Have some faith in them, ok?

My family has called several times. They have asked me to book the next flight out. Take a long holiday, they suggested. When I said no, they planned my escapade should the entire office come under siege. Pack a bag they said. Bring your passport with you at all times, stash a sports shoes in the bag as well so you can change from those killer heels. So now I travel in my sporty little car with a black luggage bag in the boot filled with a track suit, a track top and a pair of running shoes. And my passport? It’s inside my handbag, just in case I can’t make it to the car and I have to make an instant dash to the airport. I mocked my family by asking, "What if the airport is under attack?" They ignored me. Instead they said: Leave everything else behind BUT your passport.

Okay let’s get serious, my family buzzed on Skype. But I am serious. Sabah is doing fine. Kota Kinabalu is operating as usual. Businesses continue without a hitch. I’m still driving around safe and sound and the clubs around town are still buzzing in the evenings. 

Seriously romantic - an evening watching the sunset at Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
So chill, ok? Time is ticking so why not enjoy the beautiful sunset like I did this evening or go for a swim at Kota Kinabalu’s beautiful beaches? Things here are under control and if it’s really as bad as what you've been hearing then wouldn’t you think the entire state would have been under curfew by now?

Read from reliable sources: