Breakfast at Novotel Pekanbaru starts at 6am and lasts till 10am. I think it’s probably the lull season in January. We stepped into the restaurant at around 7am and there were just a few occupied tables. Novotel’s breakfast spread offers many kinds of porridge (chicken, pitan, etc) and rice. Of course, for the angmohs, there’s also toast, muffins and a cereal bar. I thoroughly enjoyed the beef and mushroom porridge and had two servings! 😀 I think there are only two things about Novotel Pekanbaru that I like: the location and their breakfast spread! 😀
The lontong was a little overly salty but I loved everything else, especially that cute porcupine or anteater shaped pau. The cut fruits are stored in the chiller, making them easy to miss. The melon also seemed a tad unripe. As for the pineapple, if you know how to select the ripe bits, it tastes delightful! *burp*
Checkout takes a while at the Novotel so make sure you only book your ride after you are done. The front desk staff need to communicate with housekeeping staff above and then again and again before finally releasing the deposit. My three crisp 100,000rp notes which I’d handed over for the deposit were returned to me in the form of six old 50,000rp notes. Bummer.
For some reason, old (crumpled, creased, stained) notes are not phased out. And as tourists (obviously), you might often find yourself the recipient of old notes. But it is ok, just hand them to the driver for your next Grab ride. So far, no one has refused any old notes… unlike in Singapore – you know how our aunties are.
Since our flight was at 6.30pm, we decided to do some last-minute shopping before heading to the airport. That’s easy since Mal Ciputra Seraya is just next door.
And there’s always time for another LIANG sandwich:
We went back to LIANG and found that they take really long to prepare your order. The lady before us had placed her order, gone into the cafe next door and started working on her laptop. I was impressed at how customers can order from LIANG and eat in Cinnamon & Coffee, after ordering a beverage of course.
The LIANG “sandwich” (which is more of like a prata than a crepe or sandwich) has scallions in it. So it is different from the plain ones we are able to buy frozen from supermarkets. Smart! This means we will still have a reason to visit LIANG’s outlets.
The Nyonya Spicy Chicken tasted just so-so. The previous one I had with mayo and mushrooms tasted a lot better.
Then we went shopping…
At the Polo Ralph Lauren shop, we found just one female staff seated on a stool near the changing rooms. No greeting. No recommendation. And interestingly enough, I found the top I had held up the day before and placed back down at an awkward angle was still there in the exact same awkward angle on the same pile. 🤣 Looks like no one bothered to fold the clothes properly even though customers would see them the minute they entered the store.
When my darling asked if a particular top came in a larger size, she replied with a simple “no”. She didn’t need to check, had no other styles that came in a larger size and that she’d recommend.
The good thing is she doesn’t do any selling. So you can take your time and look through everything on display. She really doesn’t care.
I’m not saying all sales staff are like that. There is one particular boutique next to a shop selling teddy bears whereby the staff stand outside the shop to invite customers to enter. We went past a couple of times and I had to avoid looking them in the eye.
We then took a different exit from Mal Ciputra Seraya and next, a very short walk to 88 Plaza. It’s like Sheng Siong. With slightly cheaper snacks. Masks were flying off the shelves there! We saw one shopping trolley with 5 or 6 boxes of masks. And there were more people picking up the last few boxes near the cashier. Apparently, the Indonesians are panicking just like us in Singapore.
After heading back to the hotel, repacking our luggage and chilling a bit in the lounge, we took a Grab ride to the airport and it cost just 46K – cheaper than the ride from the airport! Along the way, we saw people peddling keropok once your vehicle stops at traffic junctions.
Here’s a lady who’d come right up to your vehicle to ask if you’d like to buy keropok:
When we finally reached the airport, we located the Information Counter and confirmed that there’s no departure tax and we were free to spend all our remaining rupiah. 😀
We then found a cafe that looks quite popular and has an obvious plus: it disallows smoking. However, according to the sign at the entrance, they do not allow DATING COUPLES too. 😅
I’m really not sure if they are serious about this:
I turn to my darling and point out the sign and he immediately says we are not dating. 😎 OK. 🤪🤪 So we sit and chat as if we are two serious business people. We’re totally not dating.
Food takes REALLY long to be served here. Like maybe the chef fell asleep halfway or they had to make the meatballs from scratch. Order only if you don’t mind waiting. If you have a plane to catch, A&W might be a better choice.
And we DID go to A&W after that too! 😀 We were obviously trying to stuff ourselves silly before returning to Singapore:
My darling ordered the Deluxe Burger and it turned out to be one sad burger. How is this deluxe?
Since there’s no departure tax, we spent just about all the remaining rupiah we had. Then we went to the check-in counter.
Note: After you have checked in your baggage and gotten your boarding pass, take the escalator up and look around as there is a departure lounge for domestic flights and one for international flights. The domestic one had a long queue. I spotted the sign for domestic and turned back in time to see the one for international flights which had no queue! We could have easily joined the queue for domestic flights, reached the front after much waiting and then found out we joined the wrong line. So please pay attention, ya?!
The boarding lounge has washroom facilities and it also has a water dispenser. Plus a booth selling snacks and drinks. So if you don’t wish to pay for pricey F&B items on the plane, you can get what you need here.
And that’s the end of my Pekanbaru travel series – nothing terribly exciting, just a relaxing trip for both of us.
Read, if you haven’t already done so: