Breakfast at The Loaf, Langkawi

Although we were in Langkawi last July, we missed the opening of The Loaf, Bakery & Bistro at Perdana Quay, Telaga Harbour Park by a few days as we had come home earlier. So this time around, I told myself that I had to visit.

If you don’t know yet, The Loaf is owned by Tun M as he is fondly known in Langkawi. Tun M being our ex-Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir. That is reason enough to pay a visit to The Loaf! Two types of visitors abound – those who are simply curious and want to find out what it’s all about and if Tun’s bakery is all that it is made out to be. The other type of visitor is probably a foodie and wants to follow where the stomach takes her! I am a combination of both so yes, a visit to the most famous bakery in Langkawi was in order.

Ann told us that we simply must go because of the breads, the sheer fantabulousness of the place, the attention to even the minutest detail and of course, the gorgeous view of the quay as one enjoys a leisurely breakfast at the bistro.

Located in a three-storey building by itself, The Loaf on the ground floor is elegantly Japanese; understandably so as Tun M’s partner is a Japanese (The first and second floor is actually Tun’s office cum apartment whenever he comes to Langkawi).

You can see the kitchen and the staff at work if you come in via the side entrance. The main kitchen with all the high-tech baking equipment (also where they knead the dough and bake bread) is located at another building, just a skip away.

Ann revealed that the bakery’s uncompromising attention to quality breads means two shifts work at any time. The real bread chefs clock-in at midnight to knead the dough and make the breads, buns and loaves till the next morning. When the staff arrive at seven in the morning, the chefs’ jobs are done. All that’s needed is to pop the dough into the oven and bake them in batches and bring them to the bakery throughout the morning. The best time to come is mid-morning as all varieties of breads and buns are just out from the oven!

Anyway, we arrived at ten-ish – a good time as the sun was bright and the boats and yachts rocked gently on the harbour. The bakery & bistro smelt heavenly – I am definitely a bread fan.

You can sit outside, al-fresco and watch the yachts rocking gently on the waves and imagine, just for a while, you are in Ibiza or Monaco. Or if the sun’s too warm, take a seat inside and be lulled by the bread-y scent!

I ordered the American Breakfast set (RM29+) – a hefty mushroom omelette accompanied by hash browns, chicken sausages, light salad with toasted bread and the melt-in-the-mouth almond croissant.

The breakfast set also came with tea/coffee and real orange juice (like Ann says, “not those diluted stuff but freshly squeezed juice, you know”). Butter, strawberry jam, marmalade and kaya for the toasted bread came in exquisite dishes!
Nic opted for Tun’s Favourite (RM22+) which was a unique Malaysian breakfast comprising a bowl of fragrant mutton curry (you can opt for beef too), two soft boiled eggs and chunky toasted bread. Dipping bread into the thick spicy curry is a charming way to have one’s breakfast!

After my large American Breakfast, I could not try any of the pastries or the breads but we went back two days later for another round; this time, just to try the breads. I loved the quiche loraine (RM7) – each mouthful is rich and meaty!

I also enjoyed the Focaccia Chili (RM5), a plain but tasty focaccia with bits of chopped chili, black sesame seeds and herbs. Nic picked the house favourite croissant (RM5) to go with his espresso. He also chose the Boronaise (RM5), a bun filled with minced beef ala bolognaise. Yum!
Beverages start from RM8 while bread and buns start from RM4 onwards.

I also spied the Sicillian Riccotta Cheesecake – a lowfat Italian cheesecake with white chocolate, honey and ricotta cheese and filo pastry. Oooh! Besides, they have fig tarts, bostock aux fleurs (a brioche of cream cheese, Belgian butter and dry apricots), baguette levain (or what we know as the regular French loaf), Rueben sandwich made up of toasted rye, pastrami, swiss cheese and sauerkraut, chapeus, and lots more.

The Loaf is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8am to 11pm daily except Thursday. The wait staff are attentive and friendly and you’ll probably enjoy yourself so much that you’ll be chatting with the Executive Chef, Chandran in no time.(Psst…by the way, he’s Sarawakian!)
When you are here, take your time. You must enjoy some things in life.
Breakfast on the quay is one of them.

The Loaf, Lot C9, Perdana Quay, Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, 07000 Langkawi. Tel: 04 959 4866
More about The Loaf:

Watch Prestige Magic!

Nic and I rarely watch movies at the cinema unless the movies are really good – good plot, great directing, amazing cinematography and with our favourite actors.
But we caught a movie with a difference two weeks ago. The only cineplex which played The Prestige was GSC Gurney Plaza. None in Bukit Jambul Complex (that’s our regular movie place as it is only 10 minutes down the road from where we live). Prangin Mall was out of the question – that place is maniacal even on weekdays.
It was a two-hour plus movie which started with a dead person. The movie began with Hugh Jackman playing The Great Danton found dead in an eight-foot tank of water. The type of tank where magicians like to be bound and thrown into before they escape being drowned just in the nick of time.
The person who is accused of murdering him is none other than his arch rival, Borden who is also a magician in his own right (perhaps one that is a little more successful!). Thus the movie plays backwards and forwards – zipping between magic tricks, elaborate hoaxes and ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ storytelling.
The directing, I must say, is masterful. It was one of the most well-crafted movies I have seen in a while. Though I was impressed by the Da Vinci Code (the novel), the movie was left wanting.
Now this movie, The Prestige, is like a magic trick nestled within a magic trick. Think Sherlock Holmes-type of movie, beginning with the death of Danton’s wife which is caused by a mistake of Borden when they were both magician apprentices. Add in science, the antithesis of magic, and a complex love-hate relationship and you have The Prestige.
But the movie is more than that. It deals with human psychology and how magicians work their craft. The underlying message is about ultimate self-sacrifice – how far would you go for the sake of your magic? Enough to kill someone? Enough to masquerade for the rest of your life? Enough to send your own brother to the gallows? Enough to travel far to learn what you thought could be learnt for those few moments of thunderous applause from your awestruck audience?
The movie is a splendid storyteller’s dream – it is fast-paced when it needs to be and slow and dark, investigating the more frail of human emotions – love – when it has to. It talks about love in all manner – the love of magic, the love of lovers, and the love of brothers.
But the magic in the movie is something else. You are a spectator and you get amazed too at the elaborateness of the tricks. Magic is a delicious secret never to be revealed for it is beautiful cloaked in mystery but cheap and tawdry when you know how it is done.
I highly recommend this movie. It is definitely one of the best movies I have seen in a while (I watched Jacky Chan’s Rob-B-Hood a few weeks ago but that’s a formulaic and typical Jacky Chan movie. It’s funny and full of action but I’m not that keen on Mr Chan). I won’t spoil the movie for you but I can say it is full of clever intrigue and immensely enjoyable at each turn. You’ll want to know why and the ‘why’ grips you intently. It helps that Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman look very hunkilicious in the movie.
When the movie ends, you’ll have more questions than before. And you’d want to watch it again, if only to catch bits of what you missed because you blinked.
Exactly like a magic trick!
Here’s a bit of magic trivia: Every magic trick has 3 segments – the first is the Pledge, the second is the Turn and the final is the Prestige. It is the climax of the magic trick, one which leaves the audience momentarily stunned before they erupt into magnificient applause. That’s why the movie is called The Prestige.
Read the reviews over at

Roti Canai at Argyll Road

This used to be a ramshackle place where the roof is the blue sky and the big pokok sena tree. Well, it isn’t so rundown now because they’ve put a zinc roof to shield their customers from the sun and rain. Plus the old house is no longer there. Still, the Argyll Road roti canai is a lepak place for breakfast.

Cleanliness levels may not be high – yes, this is a Malaysian roadside stall we are talking about here – but the food is yummy.

Ambience-wise, they do have something going on although the old house is torn down and the area partially fenced up. You can get a soft breeze on good days.

The Indian-Muslims of this place sell regular Malaysian breakfast fare such as roti canai, roti telur and murtabak. Their chicken curry is good but Nic says their kopi is even better. Me, I’m not a coffee drinker so I took a sip but didn’t find it fantastic. My milky-rich tea was creamy enough though I do wish these mamak fellas would go slow on the sugar.

You get a sizeable crowd of Malaysians here for breakfast – Chinese families with kids in tow, dating Malay couples, elderly Indians. Everyone just enjoys the food under whatever’s left of the pokok sena (the tree is still there, intact).

Maybe the crowds return because the prices are reasonable and the roti is good (the roti telur is fragrant and crispy! Good enough on its own without lashings of curry or dhal). Roti canai under the big pokok sena – this is Georgetown, Penang, after all!

How to get there: From Upper Penang Road, go past Cititel Hotel and the Indian cinema/Odeon. Turn right into Argyll Road when you see an Indian restaurant on your right. You will see a big parking lot on your left after you turn into the road. The roti canai stall is about 100m from the turn-in.

Sunday at the Japanese Bazaar

I spent today doing what I love to do – going to a charity bazaar. I had invited a couple of friends to come with me but in the end, everyone had their own plans. So I did the next best thing – grabbed my husband and off we went to the annual Sakura Charity Festival, organised by the Penang Japanese Association Women’s Club at Traders Hotel (formerly Shangri-la Penang) this morning.
I thought I was early – it was only 11am but the crowd was huge! There’s something about Penangites and bazaars – we love good deals and we love sales and bazaars and we won’t mind jostling for the best buys.

The crowd was so big that the ticket counter had run out of printed tickets and so we had to settle for this cartoon character stamped on a circle of sticker! Tickets going at RM5 as well as the day’s proceeds were going to charity so everyone in Georgetown probably came for a nosy look-see!

Japanese people are known for their detailed handicrafts and lovely fabrics and that’s what we the excited and anxious crowd got. Lovely handmade cards, kawaii little fabric pouches and totes, gorgeous quilts and wall hangings, watercolour art pieces, homemade snacks, swavarowski crystal rings and trinkets, kimonos, crocheted bears, table runners, edgings and doilies, origami boxes – everything Japanese was on sale. It got to a point where I had to force myself through the masses of folks if I wanted to peer closer at the items for sale.

In the end, I bought some handmade cards and a piece of watercolour painting by this artist called Shimizu-san. The other interesting things going on were a Japanese tea ceremony (Sado-bu Urasenke) and an Ikebana demo and Ikebana flower arrangements exhibition. A little corner was cordoned off as a mini cafe for drinks and snacks. All the food seemed to be sold out!

The bazaar wasn’t the only highlight. In the next room was the jumble sale of secondhand goods like clothing and electrical items. Naturally all the electrical items were already gone when we got there.

The clothing were cheap, all were around RM1. But one had to rummage and pick and choose. I initially thought I didn’t have anything in mind but a roomful of enthusiastic women poking around mountains of clothes can be mesmerising. Soon I too joined and started rummaging. I wasn’t looking for clothes but more for fabrics which were colourful and unique (this being castoffs of Japanese, I was sure I could find some eclectic stuff!).
I wasn’t wrong – I found 3 dresses which if I could not wear, could be transformed into something usable such as a bag or a skirt. Even Nic found himself with two silk Zegna ties! All going for RM1 each. He said he was lucky he grabbed the two ties first because one Chinese guy came later and grabbed the rest of the ties!

Anyhow, it was a good day at the bazaar for me. I had found what I wanted and left feeling contented that it was a Sunday well-spent!
Oh by the way, we Malaysians are welcome to become members of the Penang Japanese Consulate’s Japanese Library or J-Library. I have yet to go over there to check it out (though I should do it one of these days) – it’s located on Level 28, Menara BHL (Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah).
Apparently they have a selection of videos, books, magazines and Japanese language learning materials which the public can borrow. According to a good friend, the consulate people are friendly too. Learn more about the J-Library at

And yes, J-Library membership is FREE. Japanese being Japanese, they are so efficient that you can even download the J-Library membership form from their website. But should you return the borrowed items late, points are deducted! When your points become zero (you start with 20), your membership is terminated.