Friday, October 15, 2010

Bharat Cameron Valley Tea Plantation @ Ringlet, Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands Boh's Plantation may be more well known among the people. Only the locals and a handful of people know about the Bharat Cameron Valley Teas.

If you take the old winding road to Cameron Highlands via Tapah, you will notice that there is a huge tea plantation on your left side along the main road. At this time you know that you are reaching Cameron Higlands but not all know that the tea plantation is actually the Bharat Cameron Valley tea plantion.
Bharat Cameroon Valley Tea Plantation

Bharat also operates a tea house in the name of Cameron Valley Tea House which offers Cameron Valley teas to those who are seeking some refreshments after a winding journey up or before heading down.
Bharat Cameron Valley Tea House

This Cameron Valley Tea House is a popular stopover for tourist due to the excellent view of the Bharat Tea Plantation. Not only that, it is way easier to access here as it is just located at the trunk main road of Cameron Highlands as oppose to the narrow bending road heading to Boh Sungei Palas Tea House.
Popular spot for a stopover

Panoramic view of Bharat Cameron Valley Tea Plantation

You will tend to forget about the hustle and bustle of a city life thanks to the soothing view of the green sea tea plantation and the smell of the fresh air.
Green sea of tea plantation

After you had enough of admiration at the tea plantation, maybe it is just time to grab some tea at the counter. It's a self service though, and you have to carry your own tea back to your table.

Self service counter

Can you finish a cup of tea at this size?

I would love to have a English breakfast style by having some scones. However, I had to hold back after getting to know the price of a scone set.
Cameron Valley Tea House Scones
Man, you kid me not? RM 12 for a set, this is definitely a daylight robbery!

Disappointed at the price of the scones, we ordered something else.
Chocolate Cream Cake (RM 8 per slice)
A pretty small slice of a chocolate cake that is topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Fortunately, it was a quality chocolate cake that comes with a thick infusion of chocolate.

Strawberry Cheese Cake (RM 6.50 per slice)
Just a very ordinary cheese cake with a coating of strawberry jam. Nothing to shout about.

Cameron Valley Black Tea (RM 4 per mug)
It was thick, rich and full with the fragrant of black tea. Try sipping it without sugar to enjoy the real kick of black tea.

Do continue to pamper your eyes by viewing the spectacular soothing sight of the Bharat Cameron Valley tea plantation.
The calmness of the valley of tea

When the cloud shed the sunlight

From the verandah of the tea house, you can notice that the tea plantation is accessible to the public.
Accessible to the public

Most of the people will get themselves closer to the tea plantation after their tea break. Perhaps, it's a good idea to follow suit to capture some pictures as memory.
Steps heading down to the tea valley

The staircase will only lead you to the front valley of the tea. You can pick a less crowded spot for some shots of pictures. However, do exercise caution as certain stretches of the valley terrain can be very steep and slippery.
More and more tea

Let's pluck some tea leaves

Drown in the sea of tea

Old time buddy at Bharat Tea Plantation

This Bharat Tea Plantation offers an alternative option for those who dislikes driving on the narrow road to Boh Sungei Palas Tea Plantation. You will understand and feel the term of holiday better when you sip on a cup of teh tarik here while enjoying the breathtaking view of tea plantation. Just awesome!

Do make sure you grab some Bharat Cameron Valley tea products be it for yourself or as a gift because up til now, it can only be purchased in Cameron Highlands, making it more exclusive than of the Boh tea products.

Atmosphere: 7/10
Tea: 7/10
Food: 5.5/10
Price: 5/10
Verdict: You will not want to miss out their teh tarik if you are a fan of one.

Bharat Cameron Valley Tea House
Along the Main Road between Ringlet and Tanah Rata
Ringlet, Cameron Highlands

Tel: 605 - 491 1133

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pasar Malam Brinchang @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands

One thing that you should not miss out when you are at Cameron Highlands is their pasar malam (night market) in Brinchang. Located 1700 metres above sea level, it is dubbed to be the night market that operates at the highest altitude in Malaysia.

Brinchang Pasar Malam operates on every Saturday from 5pm onwards till late with stall vendors selling a range of goods from vegetables, food to decorative items.
Pasar Malam Brinchang, Cameron Highlands

If you are a food lover, you will have even more reasons to visit Brinchang night market as they have more vendors that sell a variety of different food, some in which you can't find in a normal night market.
A Fried Stuff stall

Thanks to the chilly weather of Cameron Highlands, fried foods are one of the most sought after. Thus, it is no surprise to see many of the vendors selling a variety of fried food.
Fried Yam and Fried Abalone Mushroom (RM 3 per plate)

Fried Cameron Asparagus (RM 3 per plate)
Not my cup of tea as I find the taste of the asparagus does not blends well with the fried flour.

The making of Fried Sweet Potatoes Ball

Fried Sweet Potatoes Ball (RM 3 for 10 )
This is my favourite! Full with the fragrant of sweet potatoes, mild crisp on the outside and spongy in the inside. Each bite is so orgasmic. Even better when it is hot from the wok. This is when you ask for more.

It is the norm here to keep walking forward while you are munching on your favourite food or else some people will remind you to do so. As you keep going forward, you will notice even more and more stalls, particularly on food.
Jambu Kahwin Epal (RM 5 for two)
Literally being translated as Apple Married to Guava, it is actually a preserved guava fruit with added preservatives of apple flavour.

Organic Honey Comb

Honey Comb (RM 2.50 per plate)
It tasted very pure and extremely OMG so sweet! Not to be consumed as snack I supposed.

And here we had Iris having almost the whole chunk by herself.
She seems to be enjoying it

Since Cameron Highlands have an abundant of strawberries supply, the vendors had been very creative over the years in coming up new food associated with strawberries. One which caught our attention was the Fried Strawberry Sorbet.
"Frying" of the strawberry sorbet
Basically, the sorbet is prepared by pouring the strawberry syrup onto a freezing pan. To prevent the syrup from being frozen, the vendor will keep stirring the syrup in a "frying" style while pouring on extra syrup until the quantity is enough to form a cup of sorbet.

Strawberry Sorbet (RM 2.50 per cup)
I would say it is a very smooth sorbet with a kick of strawberry taste. I just love strawberry stuff!

Ayam Percik in skewers

Roasted Chicken
It definitely looks good and smells good. But too bad I did not try them out as I was impatient with the long queue.

Ayam Goreng Berempah (RM 5 each with rice and sambal)
It is literally fried marinated chicken coated with spices. The chicken was well marinated and it offers a mild scent of spices, but the best part is to have them with some rice and their sambal belacan (chili sauce).

Roasted Sweetcorn (RM 3 each)

I'd always preferred steamed to roasted sweetcorn as I believe roasted sweetcorn will reduce the juiciness of a sweetcorn. It is important to note that genuine Cameron Highlands sweetcorn consists of yellow and whitish corn seed.
Steamed Sweetcorn (RM 3 each)
Try them without the butter to experience the juiciness and sweetness of Cameron Highlands sweetcorn.

Enjoyable steamed sweetcorn!

It seems that strawberry enjoy a good reception in Cameron Highlands to the extent that they even have strawberry pillows.
Strawberry shaped pillow (RM 35 for two)

If you are fan of preserved food, you will not definitely not want to miss out grabbing a few box. They have many preserved fruits namely bitter gourds, roses, strawberries and many more that you will not be able to find at your home area.
Variety of preserved fruits (Seasonal, remember to ask for bargain)

Due to the chilly weather, it definitely felt different when you are walking at the Brinchang night market. I did not feel sweaty or humid unlike the experience at a typical night market.

The pictures above are only a small fraction of what you see at the night market. It is definitely worth the visit and do remember to make sure you have some empty space in your stomach for some of the food at the night market!

Atmosphere: 5/10
Overall varieties: 7.5/10
Food: 6.5/10
Price: 5/10
Verdict: Sweet potatoes balls, strawberry sorbet ice cream and nasi ayam berempah are amongst the few that you should not miss out. You can try to bargain for some fresh strawberries as well.

Pasar Malam Brinchang
(in front of Brinchang police station)
Along Jalan Besar of Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

Monday, October 11, 2010

Charcoal Steamboat Restoran Silverstar @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands

When you are feeling cold, you will eventually think of having something steaming hot. With Cameron Highlands weather potentially reaching below 20 degrees Celsius when the sun sets, steamboat is one of the favourite food here amongst the locals and tourists.

Preparing all the ingredients can be troublesome if you plan to have your homemade steamboat at your rented apartment in Cameron Highlands. However, no worries as they have abundant of steamboat restaurants in Brinchang town. On our previous trip, Silverstar Restaurant was our choice for some hot charcoal steamboat.
Silverstar Restaurant Charcoal Steamboat

While the ingredients are pretty standard for a steamboat, one thing special about having steamboat in Cameron Highlands are the freshness of the vegetables.
Variety of fresh vegetables

You will also notice that steamboat pot comes with a vertically long "chimney" which I believed the purpose is for venting the smoke from the fired charcoal beneath the pot. Call me outdated, but it was my first time seeing such long a "chimney" attached to a pot!
"Chimney steamboat"

Each pax are priced at RM 15 each with a mixture of raw ingredients that include noodles and fresh vegetables. As for the raw ingredients, there were sotong balls, Japanese tofu, fish balls, fuu chuk, chicken meat, fresh water prawn and cuttlefish.
Mixture of raw ingredients

As for the vegetables, abalone mushrooms, siew pak choy, wong dei miu, lettuce and enoki mushrooms were served. The vegetables choice is at the discretion of the shop and is very much dependent on their availability.
Fresh vegetables and mushrooms

The default soup here is chicken soup,
no tomyam or other fancy soup base. The best thing about steamboat is that you just dump all the ingredients into the pot of soup and wait for it to boil.
Chicken soup as the default soup

And it's feasting time, when the soup started to boil.
Cameron Highlands Charcoal Steamboat

We paid a total of RM 120 after some discounts for the 8 pax of mix ingredients and a pot of Chinese tea. The price is considered reasonable for the portion of ingredients that we get. While I would agree that most of the steamboat tasted the same, however it is important to note that Cameron Highlands weather brings out the better taste of a steamboat. Oh yes, the vegetables were definitely fresh, juicy and crunchy!

Surely one of the shop you can consider should you want to have some charcoal steamboat in the comfortable weather of Cameron Highlands.

Atmosphere: 4/10
Food: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10
Verdict: Serves pretty good steamboat with fresh ingredients and vegetables that went well with the clear chicken soup.

Restoran Silverstar Charcoal Steamboat
(facing the main road of Cameron Highlands)
Brinchang Town
Cameron Highlands

Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Villa Dahlia Apartment @ Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands

Frankly speaking, I have not stayed in any of the hotels in Cameron Highlands. The reason is simple, because the rate of the hotel can be very expensive especially during the weekends or public holiday. Furthermore, hotel has limited space and as such, an apartment would be more an appropriate choice when you are on a holiday trip with a bunch of friends

The apartment where we crashed in for a night was Villa Dahlia apartment which is located at Tanah Rata. It is located opposite of the Cameron Highlands Golf Course, along the main road of Cameron Highlands.
Villa Dahlia Apartment, Cameron Highlands

The apartment is pretty huge with a sizable living room, equipped with television and basic Astro TV channels.
Living room with Astro TV facility

A refrigerator and stoves are available to aid those that have the desire to cook on the highland. Basic utensils such as fork, spoon and plate are available as well.
Kitchen equipped with basic utensils

Dining area

The apartment does not have a balcony. The windows are attached to the living room, overseeing the main road of Cameron Highlands and the golf course.
View from the window of living room

Each unit of Dahlia Villa apartment came with 3 bedrooms and 2 washrooms. The master bedroom were slightly larger than of the remaining 2 rooms. The rooms are equipped with basic furniture such as a dressing table and cupboard.
Master bedroom with an attached washroom

Second room

Third room

The cleanliness of the washroom was acceptable. Nothing unsightly were spotted.
The washroom

You could see the surrounding apartment units when you are at the walkway.

There is an open air park located in the middle of the surrounding apartment units. For those who enjoy chatting outside the apartment, do utilized the park as it offers some tables and seats. Do note that it can be very chilly though especially during the night time.
A park in the middle

A unit of the apartment is being rented out at RM 250 to RM 300 dependent on the seasonal chart of Cameron Highlands. It might not be a luxurious experience of staying here, but I felt comfortable staying overnight here. In fact, this was my second time staying over here. This apartment might just be a great bargain if you have a group of more than six planning to crash in for a night!

Comfortableness: 6.5/10
Price: 6.5/10
Verdict: A good choice for a big group who intended to a have little cooking in the apartment!

Villa Dahlia Apartment
Lot 214, Jalan Besar

39000, Tanah Rata
Cameron Highlands

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