I realised that I had taken a lot of pictures during my East Coast trip and the blog might get too long if I insert one by one. A quick chat with my one of my best friends (Andrew Lo) whom I regard as my own brother & he told me to download Photoscape in order to combine several pictures in one, thus saving space... btw, it's FOC :) Thanks a lot bro! I knew that I could count on you like I always do!
We started our journey up north towards Terengganu after having light breakfast. Why light? Because Kedai Kopi Hai Peng was on our list to stop by on the way to Awana Kijal. Since it was only less than an hour away from Kuantan, we figured that we had a good cup of coffee would kick start otherwise an ordinary day! Since it was my first time going to Kemaman, I was worried that I could not find this place. However, this white building was visible from the main road leading towards Awana Kijal (if you see Public Bank, it's just opposite the bank).
True to its name, Hai Peng was packed with patrons most of the time. This place still maintain its old school way with some touch of modernity. LCD TV (behind the cashier) is used to introduce their food and beverages; some old (is it antique?) plates were seen hanging on the wall; pictures of the kopitiam in its early days as well as the founder were proudly hung on the wall; and variety of kuih-muih were placed on the wooden table in the middle of the shop for patrons to choose. It took us 5 minutes to secure a table for ourselves.
The kopi panas that Jenn's parents had was aromatic when it was served. One sip and I could see their eyes brighten up. "Wow! We have not tasted such good coffee for a long time" came their reply. My choice of kopi ais was not bad either! I wanted something cold rather on such a hot weather. It was rich and robust with each sip.
It took us another 20 minutes to reach Awana Kijal. Even before we came here, I had done some research on this resort. If you are looking for plenty of activities, then this is not the place for you. Our objective was to relax and therefore, it suited us. I didn't take many pictures of the hotel as I was busy taking pictures of Sher Ryn. to those who have not been here before, do not.. I repeat, DO NOT have high expectation on Awana Kijal. The rooms although clean, the interior seriously need refurbishment as the carpet, bed sheet and the wall look like from the 80s.
As soon as we checked into our respective room, Sher Ryn started exploring & venturing to prohibited areas.. starting with the cupboard. But then, I loved to see her mischevious look so I just let her continued with her ways.
Since it was hot outside, we decided to have lunch in the hotel instead. The resort is quite big and some places can be hard to find. Our lunch at Waterfall Cafe exceeded our expectation. Quite frankly, I never expect their food to be good especially after reading mixed reviews on their food through tripadvisor. My choice of nasi goreng with grilled seafood (squid, chicken and prawn) burst with flavour. The fiery belacan got my attention too! I had a mouth of the nasi ayam berempah (herbal spiced chicken) and thought that it was good too. The chicken was aromatic and tender. The curry however, tasted just like regular curry out there.
After the lunch, I sent Jenn's parents for Balinese massage before heading to the swimming pool. Did I ever mention that Sher Ryn loves swimming pool? Ever since I brought her to the pool for the first time, she couldn't get enough of playing with water. As it was still scorching hot outside, we planned to go to the beach later in the evening. Jenn just watched by the pool side as Sher Ryn and I had fun. Well, a pregnant woman should not move too much. The father and daughter had great time together... we just kept ourselves at the shallow areas. The swimming pool too looked it need refurbishment.
Alright! Time's up... it was time for Sher Ryn's afternoon nap and therefore I wrapped her with the newly bought robe & went back to our room.
After recharging the battery, the little princess was ready to hit the beach for the very first time. Initially, we thought that she would love the sand and the sea. Instead she stayed close to Jenn when she tried to put her down. Once Jenn left her by herself so that I could take pictures of her, she got nervous and started to cry. Her expression? Priceless (just look at the combination of pictures)
It didn't take her very long to get used to the surrounding. She started to play with the toys that we bought from Toy'R'Us. I built many sand castles which she destroyed shortly after.. sigh! Little children are very good in destructing stuff :) happy daughter and mom!
Look! An extra pair of feet (^_^) and soon, another one will join us!
Our dinner was at Grandview Restaurant late in the evening. The restaurant is located right outside Awana Kijal. There are only two rows of shophouses in front of the resort so you should be able to find it in no time. My friend reckoned that I had dinner at Grandview as the food is better (according to him). It was still early when we arrived but it was packed in less than 30 min. Tiger beer to cool down!
Most of the dishes that we had that night were good! Especially the sweet, sour & spicy soft shell crab. The gravy was great to be paired with white rice. A recommendation by the waiter, it didn't disappoint.
Butter prawn was another hit with us! The aroma of butter enveloped all the prawns and curry leaves added extra zing to it. The fresh and succulent prawns were finished in no time.
Oyster omelette - puny oysters but the omelette was fragrant. I just imagined that I was having telur dadar instead :P
Black pepper venison - tender meat and great sauce without over-powering the dish.
No complains on the green!!
Tomyam chicken - forget this! Sour is the only word I could use to describe this soup.
Leo's verdict - not many option to dine if you are looking for Chinese food as there are only two outside the resort. Otherwise we will have to dine inside the resort and pay exorbitant price for hotel food; or KFC which is also outside the resort. We visited Mesra Mall (about 10min drive from Awana Kijal) and also Kerteh Oil Rigs after the dinner.
Hai Peng Kopitiam
3753 Jalan Sulaiman
(6.45am – 6pm)
09 - 859 7810
No.12, Back Row, Jalan Persiaran Bunga Araya
Kijal Beach Resort
24100 Kemaman, Terengganu
1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.