Flew to Subang last weekend for C’s wedding, which was held in The Saujana Resort. The plan was to take the chance to unwind by having an extended weekend.
We flew in to Subang via Firefly FY3125, which was flown on a 72-seater propeller plane. It was the 2nd time I flew on a turbo-prop, though nothing compared to my virgin turbo-prop experience from Kathmandu to Pokhara!
Since the plane was small, we flew rather close to the ground (the pilot said 25,000 feet), so the landscape could be viewed for the whole journey, only if the sun wasn’t that glaring! And due to aircraft limitations, the trip took about half an hour longer than if we were to fly on a jet plane, at 1h20m.
As a budget shuttle, we didn’t expect much from the service, which was why it was a surprise when we were offered a choice of peanuts or Curry Puff F.O.C. Curry Puff! In contrast, SQ only serves drinks for Economy passengers and MH served peanuts only.
Subang Airport (it has a longer name, in honour of some royal, that I could not remember) was an airport so small, we cleared immigration about 10 minutes after touching down. If one has no check-in luggage, he could have been out of the airport in 15!
The Saujana Resort
The Saujana Resort is a sprawling complex just next to Subang Airport. 4 accommodation blocks lined one side of a lake, overlooking the golf course on the other side.
Each 4-storey block houses a category of rooms which were arranges around a square courtyard. We stayed in an Executive Deluxe room, which was far from the main reception, but was quieter in comparison.
The whole place felt more like a student hostel/chalet than a resort/hotel, so I was rather glad that our room was more towards the latter. Yes, we only had a tree view, the walls looked tired with its stains and cracks and the staff refused to give us more than 2 bottles of mineral water, but we had a couch, spacious room and bathroom. Not bad for a chalet-standard.
Breakfast was at its restaurant called Charcoal, which served decent food. My favourite was its Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf, which had more ingredients than what we would usually find in Singapore, with a little bit more greens! The best thing of course was that the place was never really full and crowded, even though it looked small and the resort was almost full over the weekend.
Another favourite item available was their Chicken Curry, which reminded me of my childhood haha! The Curry Chicken scene in Singapore has evolved to 2 types of Chicken Curry: one type is super sweet and coconut-y, and the other where the chef spams chilli till there’s no other layer of taste to the dish.
The Chicken Curry at Charcoal harked back to the old days where you could still taste the spices while enjoying the kick from the chilli. It was so nice I mixed it with the Japanese rice and Roti Prata just to savour the curry!
Service wise, the staff embodied the stereotype of “Malaysian service staff”. Waiting time to check in was long; the reception staff could not answer queries about their cake-store which was literally just steps away from the reception. Our classic encounter came from returning to our room after an afternoon out of the resort to find an extra bed in our room.
And we already turned on the “Do Not Disturb” sign!
Guess our parents’ advice to lock all our valuables when we’re not in our rooms rang real true in this instance!
We had one of our dinners at the in-house Italian restaurant, Senja.
The atmosphere and setting felt like a top-grade establishment, minus the heart-stopping price found in Singapore! I had Oven Baked Chicken Breast, while N had Grilled Chicken and the others shared at 1kg T-Bone Steak.
My chicken was great initially, as I liked how the skin was baked to a fragrant, even crisp. But as I dug on, I found that the chicken was too dry and tough and I gave up near the end. N said the same for his grilled chicken.
The others were raving about their steak, though and promptly cleaned up their plates even though I thought the serving was darn huge!
The joke of it all? Only 1 person ordered Rissoto, the only Italian food ordered for the night!
And so there was a little celebration for 3 of us November babies, though I it suddenly dawned on me I was The OLDEST among them…
The wedding dinner itself was held at one of the function rooms. It was a small, intimate affair, with about 20 tables for guests. Having eaten dozens of Singaporean wedding dinners, C’s wedding was both familiar and novel.
Familiar, because it was still a Straits Chinese wedding, so the 10-course meal featured regulars like steamed fish, cold platter and Asian desserts (like Tang Yuan (rice dumplings) in Soya Bean Milk and Salted Egg Buns). Novel, because of the slight twists in the food.
For example, their Salted Egg Buns were like Chilli Crab Buns with the filling of Tau Sar Pau (Green Bean Paste Bun), which was my first taste of such a fusion food! They also had Curry Chicken, Hong Kong style, meaning the chicken was pan fried to have crispy skin before being served in a bed of curry.
Even the cold platter was slightly different. Other than the familiar Salad Prawn and Ngor Hiang, there was this item that was a fusion of 活佛飘香Huo Fo Piao Xiang (Yam Ring) with 宫保鸡丁Gong Bao Ji Ding (Kong Pau Chicken Cubes). It was quite a good dish, though it was darn sinful! One of the items was also Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf (remember that dish I praised earlier this post on the breakfast experience?). This version was actually different from that served during breakfast! Yes, they didn’t just simply “copy and paste” their food items from breakfast to wedding dinner!
Malaysian wedding dinners are also more interactive; Singapore wedding dinners tend to be a one-way communication event, with the organisers pushing videos, march-in, cake cutting ceremony one after another. At C’s wedding, there were games and the emcee didn’t read from scripts that were shared and passed down from wedding dinners that took place 20 years ago.
Yes, it was less structured and at times lost me (but ermmm… I surfed IG even at Singapore wedding dinners), but the casual, DnD like atmosphere made up for a great time to catch up with folks.
The Saujana Resort is unlike Downtown East, the latter being a self-sufficient resort. We ended up Grabbing our ways to nearby shopping malls to shop and eat during our free times.
For example, we spent a lot of time at Centrepoint in Bandar Utama, Subang.
Alright, to be frank, we were there for massage at Healthland, which was just beside Centrepoint, but we roamed the shopping mall in between waits for the massage.
The non-airconditioned mall was like a typical Singaporean heartland mall, low-rise and had mostly offices and tuition centres. It also housed White Elephant, which some of us went to because Healthland was full.
The F&B options in Subang were a mix of franchise and local brands, but being the typical Singaporeans, we chose to have our first meal at Pappa Rich.
We were not disappointed, though. My Fried Rice came with Chicken Satay that was well-caramelised and tender to the bite. The rice was yummy, though it was a tad too oily at the end as the oil all settled at the bottom of the pile. My drink, Cendol with Red Beans was the most gratifying, albeit sinful, item I had! It was like the Southeast Asian milkshake, with the milkshake replaced with blended coconut drink and the bubbles of bubble tea replaced with red beans and cendol. Sedap!
What made the others happy was how cheap the meal was… Each of us only paid like SGD10 for what we would have paid SGD20 for in Singapore. Can we not be laughing at the end of our lunch??
N and I also spent a morning at Subang Citta Mall, which was deceivingly 2 roads away from The Saujana Resort. Like Centrepoint, it was also a low-rise commercial development, but with bigger brands like Harvey Norman and Village Grocer. Needless to say, we shopped at those 2 places and went back with ermmm… At least 3 bags of stuff. Hurhur…
We wanted to sing KTV at Citta Mall, but the KTV was only open after 12, which conflicted with our schedules. We also had our lunch Marrybrown (my virgin experience!).
To be continued…