Christmas 2012 Blog Series includes :



Happy 2013! I hope everyone had a blast in your holiday celebrations as much as we did. I just came home last December 30th from my very first (hopefully not the last as per permission from Tina) solo backpacking trip in Chiang Mai and enjoyed 4D3N of awesome Thai-adventure! But prior to that, my family and I left our work and current home base in Penang and went to Kuala Lumpur from December 22nd-25th, last year (still feel quite weird saying that “last year” phrase!).  

24 December 2012. Leboh Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Immediately after we checked out from our budget hotel accomodation in Hotel 1915 and left our luggage and bags in its concierge, we strolled our way to a nearby Gereja Katolik (Bahasa Malaysia for Catholic Church) called St. John Cathedral located approximately 5 minute-walk from Leboh Ampang or the so-called, Little India in KL and around 10-15 minute-walk from Masjid Jamek LRT station. I learned about St. John Cathedral via what else but googling and thankfully, it’s located so close to where we stayed for our first 2 nights.

Despite there was no scheduled Holy Mass that high noon, we entered the church, said our prayers and words of gratitude. There was an atmosphere of Christmas-in-the-Philippines somehow in this part of Malaysia with the sight of parol at the facade (Christmas lantern that symbolizes the star in Bethlehem that guided the wise men and shepherds to the Infant Jesus) and a belen or a Nativity scene beside the main altar.


St John Cathedral | No. 5 Jalan Bukit Nanas 50250 Kuala Lumpur | www.stjohnkl.net

Then we headed back to Leboh Ampang for that necessary lunch. We were thinking of getting our bags first from Hotel 1915 and tranfer to JW Mariott where we decided to spend our Christmas eve but we opted to fill in our almost empty tummies before anything else. Glad it was on the top of our priorities; Abraham Maslow would agree! 😀

Another happy problem rose and that was where to eat? The area boasts of common fastfood joints -from McDonald’s, Burger King and Chatime and some local restaurants and hawker food stalls.  It wasn’t difficult for Tina and I to convince Gabby for us to have an Indian-Malaysian lunch because our wonder boy himself loves to put his hand on some Cheese Naan and dips it to dahl or some spicy sauce before savoring it in his discriminating mouth. Soon enough, we found ourselves seated inside the airconditioned Indian Restaurant in Leboh Ampang called Sangeetha.

Lunch @ Sangeetha, an Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

Seriously checking the menu…

Tina and Gabby had baskets filled with Cheese and Garlic Naan with cheesy dip for their light lunch. It’s a family favorite!


While the big-eater-in-me sampled one of the restaurant’s most frequently ordered items from their menu. It’s called Sangeetha Special Thali and this is how lovely it looks like :


Sangeetha Restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant so it offers less guilt on the diet (for those diet-consicous).

Sangeetha Special Thali was served beautifully first with vegetarian-orange-colored soup that’s thick and hot and flavorful! Then it came with a visually stunning set of cup of rice, a piece of chapathi,  papadom and dried salty chili. Those carbo-rich items placed at the center of the entire set were complemented by Indian saucy dishes- kootu, potato masala, rassam, veggies that reminded me of lumpia, dahl, yoghurt and sweet and yellow dessert. A scoop of berry-flavored ice cream was also served as part of that Sangeetha Special Thali set. And did I tell you already that those dishes and even the rice were refillable? I didn’t challenge my appetite to ask for another serving. Everything was satisfyingly good and I highly recommend it when you find yourself in this part of KL but my palates are still biased with Restoran Kapitan in the heart of Lebuh Chulia in Pulau Pinang. 😀

Detail shot of that impressive Sangeetha Special Thali…
Then we became busier of course! Nom nom nom…
Smiling while something is in your mouth wasn’t easy, lol
Done with lunch!

We collected our luggage and bags from Hotel 1915, hailed a cab (we could’ve taken the LRT as we used to when we were there if not for our heavy loads) and trooped to Bukit Bintang.

Checking in at JW Mariott was a breeze. Detailed review of our stay deserves a separate blog post.


After quick freshening up, I was excited to bring my family to Feast Village at the basement of Starhill Gallery which is located exactly adjacent to JW Mariott -we didn’t even have to go out of the building of the hotel (everything mentioned is owned by YTL).

When I was invited to an exclusive food-tasting-tour last November, Feast Village at Starhill Gallery generously gave me a 100-ringgit-voucher to be spent either at Fisherman’s Cove or Village Bar.

Look at how Gabby’s amazed with the live lobsters and fish-ready-to-be-cooked-upon-order at Firsherman’s Cove.


Tina and I must bring this kid to a bigger aquarium when we get a chance. He’s so fascinated with Science as he gets a load of info not only from his school but from watching NatGeo Wild on TV.

A decision was made by the two. We sampled Village Bar for free and passed up Fisherman’s Cove.

village bar christmas 2012

Once again, I was in awe with this ultimately quaint bar located at the basement of Starhill Gallery. I’m glad my family loved it too! We all admire those vibrantly colored and fascinating lamps; Tina and I wished that we would have a lanai one day with all of them dropping from our very own ceiling. Lovely, isn’t it?

With a 100-ringgit-free-voucher at hand, we ordered Mojito, Cosmopolitan and Vanilla Madagascar from a Filipino bar tender in Village Bar. I had the Mojito, Cosmopolitan for Tina and of course, Vanilla Madagascar which is non-alcoholic for our kiddo. A serving of assorted nuts was offered free. 😀


I like these next shots. Look how Gabby enjoyed his drink from Village Bar…

Blurry, I know but I love this photo taken at the mall in Starhill Gallery. It certainly spells the holiday we savored!

After those drinks at Village Bar in Feast Village, we went to Pavilion Mall which is located just across Starhill Gallery and Mariott. It was a fine afternoon filled with Christmas spirit and a very blissful atmosphere amidst the holiday rush.

Festive mood in front of Starhill Gallery and JW Mariott Hotel…


Crossed the street to Pavilion Mall and we’re greeted with more gold, green and red colors of the season…

In my opinion, Pavilion’s holiday decors and ornaments topped that of Suria-KLCC-Shopping Complex’s this year. Pavilion’s nothing but magnificent! One Christmas tree was absolutely not enough! lol

ANS_4172christmas 2012

We had no game plan in mind but to buy something for our Noche Buena that we planned to celebrate inside our room and for Gabby to buy a Lego toy. Inside Parkson’s Department Store, Tina’s excitement was so apparent after seeing Pucca dolls. I was somewhat left out because I don’t know anything about Pucca! I did nothing but to capture the moment! …Picture!


We grabbed what we wanted for our Christmas Eve dinner from Mercato grocery and Lavander Bake Shop inside Pavilion and went out of the said mall. It was already dusk and Jalan Bukit Bintang was indeed living up to its name (Bukit Bintang means star hill); everything was lit up! Bikit Bintang was screaming Christmas!!!


It was a lovely night for my family. Will definitely share what we think of JW Mariott, what it needs to improve and provide to clients, our Noche Buena and Media Noche soon on the concluding post of this Christmas 2012 Blog Series.


From my family to yours, Happy 2013, everyone and may we all have a healthier, happier new year!

Cheers to more family bonding, food and fun adventures!


20 thoughts on “‘TWAS THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS 2012

  1. .. one word: fabulous! i also loved thali doc when i was in delhi! the days you spent in kl was well planned and worth it. i know there is more to come in this series. 🙂

  2. Malaysia seems to have so many food choices and crazy restaurants! Beautiful and very intricate interiors. Visual treat kaagad just to see these photos inside these food shops!

    Happy New Year Doc! 🙂

  3. Happy New Year, I hope you have more travels that will include family, because that’s what I want travels to be. I want family to know and get to familiarize themselves on different places too, much as I would like them to be my experiences alone. But then again, it wouldn’t hurt to explore life’s travels alone. Happy New Year again! Thanks for being my good friend.

  4. I can see Gabby growing fast before my eyes. Ang bilis lumaki ng mga bata! Wala pa bang kasunod hanggang ngayon? Just kidding. Happy New Year!

    1. Happy 2013, bert!
      sana nga po may kasunod na e!
      we want another kid of course.
      perhaps the Lord is just putting everything first in order as we have greater plans in the near future.
      who knows, baka po magkita tayo dyan sa bansa nyo in 2- 3 years time *wishful thinking*

      thank you po and happy new year!!! 😀

  5. had thali one time, but i’m not really into it 🙂 when it comes to indian food, i cannot do it without meat in the dish, i simply cannot, hahahaha!

    btw, we had indian food for new year’s lunch. it was a buffet and all i got was chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken, hahahaha!

    i love the outrageously ornate christmas decors. so very festive. next year, my hubs and i will make our own parols 🙂 we have a project.

    1. that’s a great project you got there, maria! considering your husband is a foreigner, i’m sure he’ll appreciate parol-making next year! 🙂

  6. We went to the place last night to avail of our Ensogo Dinner Voucher, and we were told then and there that we couldn’t use our voucher because of the fireworks display in MOA. Funny thing is this was never clearly stated on the ensogo website.

    Apart from it, we were already paid for VIP access to the fireworks display.
    I tried explaining this to the waiters and attendants there or at least ask for assistance on what work around could be done, but they wouldn’t help or listen. At a certain point one of the attendants was even rude to us and told us that we are not paying customers becuase we bought vouchers via ensogo. Very nice experience… uhh nope, no customer service, no emapathy, no sir nothing good came out of the experience.

    I’ve already filed a complaint VIA DTI – wouldn’t recommend the place for now, at least until they improve their customer service training for staff.

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