The Journey of a Simple Man

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swagat: An Oasis for Moslem

If you are moslem and you happen to be in Makati City, Philippines then you might want to visit this restaurant.

Surely you will know that it's difficult to find halal food in this country. Normally your choices will be limited between pizza or sandwich restaurants (you can order vegetarian pizza or sandwich here although I don't really recommend this kind of restaurant), seafood restaurants, and Indian restaurants.

Among few Indian restaurants in this city, I find this one to be one of the best. The food is good and authentic while the price is very reasonable. The restaurant is not very big actually but always full during lunchtime. Insterestingly, they also claim themselves as Halal Restaurant. That means their target market includes moslem traveler and expats as well.

Map is taken from

Name: Swagat Indian Cuisine
Type: Restaurant, Indian
Location: 119 FCC Building, Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines
Budget: Can't remember as a friend treated me to lunch
Rating: Very Recommended

Somerset Grand Citra Jakarta: Hospitality in a Big Bad City

Personally I never like Jakarta. People there are relatively rude than other place in Indonesia. Not to mention that the criminal rate is also higher than any other places in this country. However, Somerset Grand Citra is the exception.

I stayed there from March to July 2008. All their staff, be it the management, receptionist, room service staff, even their security guards and cleaning service staff are very polite. Most of the time they will greet us nicely. Not only the attitude, their service was also quite good. All of that makes me feel like home and very comfortable.

Facilities in general are more complete than a hotel. In a unit with one bedroom, you can find a kitchen with a big fridge and microwave, a washing machine, a living room and dining room, as well as two television sets. Other facilities are the same as you will find in a hotel room. This makes it a good alternative to hotel if you plan to stay for a long time, especially if you want to bring your family.

Their swimming pool is nice and artistic. My kids loved to swim there. The children playground is another favorite place of my kids although it's relatively humble. Other facilities are gym, spa, business center, a cafe, and a mini market. Surprisingly, the prices in the mini market are the same as the ones outside the apartment. Hence I feel very convenient to buy my daily needs there.

Name: Somerset Grand Citra
Type: Apartment
Location: Jalan Prof Dr Satrio Kav 1, Kuningan, Jakarta 12940, Indonesia
Budget: Not sure, it was paid by company but if you stay for a month it will be cheaper than staying at a hotel
Rating: Very Recommended

CityGolf: Comfortable Indoor Golf Venue for Everybody

I went to this place last week cause we had our practice meeting for the first quarter there. It looks easy to find this place but actually it's not. Well, at least for me. I took a taxi of a silly guy - well, as many other Malaysian taxi drivers - that didn't even know Bangsar area. On top of that, Bangsar Shopping Centre, where CityGolf is located, was being renovated. We passed by the building once but I didn't notice that it was a shopping complex. Only after we turned back, I realized that was my destination.

CityGolf is an indoor golf venue with four simulators that they called Full Swing Golf. So it's like playing a computer game but with real golf clubs and balls. We just need to strike the ball as hard as we normally do on an outdoor course.

All elements of the ball flight are tracked by the built-in infrared systems, including flight angle, ball speed and spin. This is then instantly displayed on the hitting/projection screen. The moment the golf ball strikes the screen, a computer-generated image of the ball takes over, flying up the fairway ready for the next shot.

The simulator tells the player where their ball is, what distance they have to the green, where they are aiming, and what the wind conditions are. We can choose over 50 of the world’s best courses.

In short, it was fantastic. I really had a good time there although that was the first time I touch a golf club...

Name: CityGolf
Type: Sport, Golf, Lifestyle
Location: Bangsar Shopping Centre, Level 4, 285, Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Budget: RM100/hour from 12pm to 6pm, RM150/hour from 6pm to 12am
Rating: Recommended

Images are taken from and