Confessions of a Chocoholic ☆ Chocolate Concierge!

Had you asked me earlier, I would've dramatically - hand-over-heart - proclaimed myself a serious chocoholic.  I thought I earned that title having meticulously curated my taste buds through years of dedicated research, otherwise known as gobbling chocolates at every opportunity.

I was sorely mistaken. 

Enter Ning-Geng Ong Lingam, founder of the exquisitely crafted Chocolate Concierge and title bearer of flavor junkie, hardcore chocoholic and general cacao-know-it-all! 

Deconstructing Suhaimi Fadzir - Acclaimed Contemporary Artist

It was fortuitous to discover Suhaimi Fadzir's latest exhibition "BEBAS" in Artcube, a gallery tucked away on the 3rd floor of the Intermark building.  My husband and I were on the prowl for new contemporary furniture pieces and instead, it was contemporary art that caught our eye. 

Artcube has a wonderfully open and accessible feel for a gallery that showcases some of the best Malaysian contemporary artists and so we paused, double backed and entered the gallery.

 

Ramadan Bazaar Delights ~ Kampung Baru!

Yes, it's that time of year again when Malaysia seems to quieten down and pause for a slow and restful month.   When those who fast take a deep breath to internally reflect during the holy month of Ramadan. It's also the time when Malaysians and foreigners alike can sample an amazing ensemble of local delicacies, specially prepared for the breaking of fast!

Batik&Bubbles decided to explore the ramadan market of Kampung Baru, a neighborhood which happens to be a stone's throw away from KLCC.

Sense & Scent-ability ~ introducing Josh Lee!

When you are young, it is a very common occurrence to be asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?".  The usual answer, especially in this part of the world, is either a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer.  Well that's not the case with Josh Lee, a Penang-born fragrance designer who has held this ambition close to his heart since a very young age.  

China Tiger ☆ A Prowl Around George Town!

Although I've been to Penang a number of times, somehow I've always stayed on the outskirts. Most recently, my husband and I stayed at the beautiful Lone Pines, which proved to be fantastically relaxing but rather secluded.  In fact, we hardly left the shady hammocks poolside.  And before that I'd stayed in the gorgeous Pinang suite in the famous Eastern & Oriental hotel with three balconies and a crisp white pool overlooking the ocean.  Yet, even that meant a hot long walk to get into the interesting, historical parts of town.

This time with just a few days in Penang, we were determined to stay right in the heart of Penang's UNESCO heritage zone!

Tales from Tiger Rock, Pangkor ~ Our Great Island Escape

With two young kids, we don't get to travel as often as we would like to, but when we do, it is always handy to visit somewhere in the domestic scenario.  One doesn't need to face the hassle of flying or wading through long and frustrating immigration lines, which can be a burden with young impatient children in tow!

It just so happened, that we got invited to spend the weekend at Tiger Rock, a boutique jungle hideaway on the beautiful island of Pangkor, which lies on the western coast of peninsular Malaysia.

Investigating Ipoh's Charms

Ipoh .. oh Ipoh.  What does Ipoh remind me of but memories of a time past.  I remember numerous trips back to this city which my parents referred to as their kampung (hometown).     Both sets of my grandparents had lived and retired in Ipoh, my mum even attended a convent school run by French nuns called Sacred Heart there during her teenage years .  

One can't help feeling a bit nostalgic, remembering the numerous trips back to Ipoh as a child.  Every couple of years,  we would return to Malaysia from London for long summer holidays. After holidaying in KL, we would often go to Ipoh to visit our grandparents.                        

When Heritage and Tradition meet Modern Style ~ Frankitas!

t's not everyday that you get to meet someone so absolutely passionate about her ethics and proud of her roots, that's what I thought when I met Francisca Turner Shaik, the Founder and Creative Director of Frankitas, a modern Malaysian ethical fashion brand that designs and produces boho-chic handbags, stylish home accessories and more.

I had met Franki many years ago at a HALAL certification conference, back when I was still working as a consultant in public relations and marketing, and even then I was struck by her friendly and warm demeanor. Fast forward to 2016 and here she is, the proud owner of Frankitas and doing extremely well with her unique ethnic-chic handbags and home accessory line.  So Batik&Bubbles curious as ever, went along to interview Franki at her bright and cheery showroom in a quiet leafy neighbourhood in Damansara Heights, to ask her on how she came upon this amazing journey .

The Colourful Life of Nini Marini!

We at Batik and Bubbles would not call ourselves art experts or art connoisseurs but we are inclined to appreciating art in its various forms, be it contemporary art, high fashion, intriguing sculptures or glamorous interiors.  Whenever there is a chance to learn something new, we will go forth to find out the latest news on interesting happenings to introduce to our readers.  

This time around, we are pleased to feature an emerging artist on the local arts landscape, Marini Ramlan aka Nini Marini.  We've been following Nini's impressive rise on the Malaysian arts scene. She's fast becoming lauded as a contemporary Malaysian artist at the fore-front of her generation. 

"Love Me In My Batik" ~ Conceptualizing Batik♥

My mother, or Amala as I call her, used to travel frequently to Malaysia, Indonesia and other Pacific Rim countries.  In Malaysia, she worked mainly in Sarawak and at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) on community forest issues.  She specialized in multi-stakeholder and conflict management practices and applied these tools in the building of community forestry networks, along with new policies to support these Southeast Asian communities.

As children, my brother and I would await her return, the inevitable unpacking of suitcases and uncovering of a roll of colorful batik cloth or beautiful shadow puppets 'Wayang Kulit' and 'Wayang Golek' figures that ended up adorning our home.