Sunday, August 14, 2011

Interesting Restaurant in Johor: George & Dragon cafe

Interesting name and decor...that was the first thought that came to my mind about this restaurant.

After weekend of cleaning and house work, we took some time and went for a nice dinner with our lovely neighbour. We decided to try the George & Dragon Cafe which is located at No 1 & 3 Jalan Glasier, Taman Tasek, 80200, Johor Bahru.

George and Dragon cafe is a little medieval England in JB. You will dine in a nice cosy envinroment which is surrounded by genuine English artefacts, including; suits of armour, knives, maps and shields. They have done a great job at making you feel like you are back in England, visiting some castles!

We ordered soups (asparagus & mushroom), ribeye steak, crispy chicken in pepper sauce, rosemary lamb and mushroom sauce lamb. This restaurant's specialty is steak, but since I do not eat beef, I had cream asparagus (soup of the day) and crispy chicken. The cream asparagus was OK, not superb, but I liked the crispy chicken. Everyone seems to like their food as well. Each main course cost 25-30RM on average.

Though a bit pricey, this restaurant is a nice getaway for western food, hence, I'm sure that we'll be going back again for weekends meals once in a while.

1 Week in Our House

Time flies, it's been a week since we moved into our house. We have officially terminated our rental agreement for the temporary housing...a 3 months rental which turned out to be a 9 months rental.

Moving and living in our house is a bittersweet experience. I'm very happy that we are finally living in our own house, which is the first house that I have ever owned in my life. However, I do get frustrated that things have progressed super slowly and there are still so much more to be completed. I spent this whole weekend cleaning as much as possible so that we don't feel like we are living in a warehouse (still do, but at least a bit better). At least, the big pile of rubbish outside is gone :)

Top 10 things that we've learned so far from our renovation exercise:
1. Lower your expectations, you would reduce the disappointment & heartache :)
2. Do detailed checks for defects & chase your developers to fix it. Developers here, (UEM included) tend to take shortcuts and things are often not up to the standards that we are used to, especially if compared to Australian standards etc.
3. Best to supervise all work done, unfortunately, micro-management is compulsory most of the time.
4. Some things are still cheaper in Singapore, e.g. electronics, top quality taps, LED lights.
5. Install water filter system for your house. We engaged a company to install and clean the water tank last week. You'd be surprised to see how dirty (I'm talking about dark brown) Malaysian water is...yuckie yuckie :)
6. Always compare multiple quotes.
7. Try to include some penalty clauses into your fit out contract if possible to help you recover from delays (in case).
8. Use stainless steel as much as possible, other iron/materials fall apart very quickly.
9. Whatever time frame you've given your renovation project, best to multiply that by two.
10. Most important point of all, never fully pay after a job is done, most of the time, you'll be calling the company to come back and redo something.

That would be my top 10 learning to date, I am sure that there would be more interesting experience that we will go through down the track. For now, here's to our 1st week anniversary in our new house.

Have a great Sunday evening & great week ahead everyone.

M'sia's Iskandar plan may aid S'pore housing market - Channel NewsAsia

"I think we are realistically talking about something that is still in the works, perhaps a decade or more before we can really talk about Johor as a real hinterland," Mr Song said.

KPMG corporate finance partner Vishal Sharma said: "I think in terms of the land price arbitrage I expect you would see the Iskandar land prices going up,

M'sia's Iskandar plan may aid S'pore housing market - Channel NewsAsia

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moved into Our House Finally!

Finished or unfinished, furnished or unfurnished, we decided to take the plunge and forced ourselves (+ contractors of course) to move into the house on Saturday.

I engaged a cleaning company to clean 3 rooms, but I must say that I was not too impressed with the cleaning quality. The cleaning company I hired was Suria Supply & Cleaning services. They sent 4 people to clean, but still missed a lot of dirty spots, so I would not recommend engaging them. Looks like there'll be lots and lots of rounds of cleaning still to do.

After months of back and forth, our container has also arrived from Bali on Friday. Unfortunately, some items were incorrectly sized and a few items were damaged. We still need to go through all items and measurements in details, so I'll blog more about this episode down the track.

Overall, it's good to be finally in your own house. It's taken us 6 months since we started planning the interior design and we're far from being done. I can only hope and pray that we'll be able to get major items completed asap, reassess and reengage a new contractor (hopefully a very reliable one) for all remaining items.

Wish us luck!

If there's any word of advice that I can give based on my experience, that'd be lower your expectations and never pay fully after a job is done, most of the time, you'll be calling the company to come back and redo something (be it aircon fittings, painting, water filter, cleaning - you name it, we've experienced it all :)

Here's to all home-owners who are going through renovation headaches like most of us here :)