December 24, 2012

Cake Fads in 2012

2012 saw 2 cakes popping up in the Jakarta scene: Red Velvet cake and Rainbow cake. When they first appeared, people were willing to que for hours in order to try these cakes.

Both of these cakes are originally from America, if I'm not mistaken. Red Velvet cake is named after its red velvety appearance while Rainbow cake has layers inside according to the colours of the rainbow.
I'm not a food lover so I wasn't that intrigued to try the cakes. After the ques were no longer in sight, I tried the famous rainbow cake made by the The Goods Dept cafe. I must say it was nice, but for a slice which costed me Rp. 60,000 (equal to 3 times lunch at KFC), I think trying it that one time is enough :) 

Nowadays, almost all cake shops or cafes in Jakarta have these cakes available. But of course, the level of "deliciousness" will be different :)

Source pic: Red Velvet cake 
Source pic: Rainbow cake

December 7, 2012


Adding to my list of cultural centres I follow is @america.

This american cultural centre is quite active in providing various events. Some are just for fun (such as free concerts, cooking lessons), some are more serious (discussions on entrepreneurship, politics etc.). 
Recently I joined an event commemorating Walt Disney where Sketsa band and Indonesian singer Andien performed Disney songs. It was great and it was FREE!

Another thing I like about this centre is its convenient location at Pacific Place mall, 3rd floor. So before or after an event, it is easy to grab a bite to eat as you're not allowed to bring food or drink inside.

Further information, please visit their website:

December 4, 2012

Bubble Tea

Source pic: Wikipedia
A happening drink lately in Jakarta is Bubble Tea. This drink is by no means a traditional Indonesian drink, it actually comes from Taiwan. This drink is also not entirely new, two famous bubble tea brands "Quickly" and "Hop Hop" have been in Indonesia for years now. But recently, various bubble tea brands have been popping up across malls in Jakarta.

I must say, I'm a fan of bubble tea ever since I tried this drink when I was still attending college abroad. But current bubble tea stalls have made the act of buying bubble tea an "art" as you can customize your drink starting from choosing the flavour, to the type of topping, the temperature of the drink and even its sweetness level.

So how many bubble tea brands are there now in Jakarta? Here are just a few useful links I loved reading (now these bloggers are true bubble tea fans):

November 29, 2012

The Goods Dept

Having trouble finding local Indonesian fashion brands? 
Besides (X) S.M.L and Minimal, I'm not sure there are any other Indonesian brands that have successfully opened their own stores yet (please let me know otherwise).

Luckily though, you can alternatively go to The Goods Dept at Pacific Place mall (1st floor). This department store carries brands made by local Indonesian designers. Not only clothing, you can find here shoes, bags, wallets etc. Cotton Ink (a brand already quite well-known online), is an example of one of the brands you can find here.

And after browsing the store, they have a cafe as well where you can sit down and relax :)

Source pic:

November 28, 2012

Europe on Screen 2012

Just a quick post......It's that time of year again for movie goers in Jakarta: Europe on Screen 2012!

This year, the European films shown are divided into 3 categories:
- Xtra: high profile films (box office movies or those with well-known actors)
- Discovery: interestingly themed movies though with lesser known actors
- Docu: documenteries

As usual, most films are free :) so hurry up and check out their website.....

May 29, 2012

Affandi Museum

Address: Jl. Laksda Adisucipto 167, Yogyakarta
Phone : +62 274 562593

Photo of one of Affandi's self-portrait

Affandi is one of Indonesia's famous painters. This museum was once Affandi's house and studio, but now it showcases his works.

The entrance fee is only Rp. 20,000,- which includes a free souvenir and 1 free drink. I felt the museum was really pleasant as the surrounding was filled with lush greens. In the middle, is his residence which has been turned into a cafe where visitors can relax after going through the museum. The roof of this building is quite unique - shaped as a banana leaf.
Residence turned cafe

There are 3 main galleries in the museum. The first gallery showcases Affandi's paintings, the second is filled with paintings made by his friends, and in the third gallery, you can find paintings painted by some of his children who have also become painters. 

You can also watch a documentary about Affandi in the third gallery. I watched for a few minutes, where Affandi explained how he needs to observe objects before painting them so that he can "become" them. 

Affandi, as one probably would expect from an artist, was quite eccentric. Before going to the museum, I have heard stories of Affandi where he would not bathe for days, so his wife would hose him down. I actually got to see a photograph of this in the museum :)

Affandi & Wife
Affandi museum lies near Yogyakarta's international airport, about 15 minutes drive. So it is a good stop to spend 1 or 2 hours before you hop on your plane.

March 29, 2012

Indonesia's best dishes

I stumbled across an interesting article yesterday on where CNNGo readers voted Rendang as the most delicious food in the world. 


Rendang is a meat dish originally from West Sumatra. The meat is slowly cooked for hours in a mixture of coconut milk and other spices. You can find it easily across Indonesia (and even in Singapore and Malaysia!), especially when you go to a Rumah Makan Padang (Padang food restaurant).

Interestingly, CNNGo then made another article featuring 40 of Indonesia's best dishes and also suggested restaurants to try them when in Indonesia. Very useful as an introduction to Indonesian cuisine!

All pics from 

Ayam goreng sambal

March 27, 2012

The Raid: Redemption

I was very glad to hear that an Indonesian film actually got some recognition abroad. The Raid: Redemption (Indonesian title: Serbuan Maut) is a hard-core action movie about an elite cop team trapped inside a building full of mobsters. 

From what I've read, besides the awesome fighting choreography, this movie should be commended because of the low budget it took to make it ("only" around 1 million USD).

Seeing the reviews, I wonder whether it is too hard-core for a chick-flick fan like myself. But after posting the question on my facebook page, my girlfriends say that it is still a great movie to watch even though there are scenes where we girls would squint. 

Well, I'm planning to see it later this week. Will post reviews then!

February 29, 2012

Indonesian shoes & clothing

These are two of my favorite Indonesian brands: Andre Valentino & Minimal.

Don't be fooled by the name (as I was), but Andre Valentino is not an Italian brand; it's actually an Indonesian shoe brand.  There are shoes for men, women and kids.

My first pair of Andre Valentino shoes were wedges which I completely fell in love with that I actually bought another pair but in a different color. They are sturdy so that you can walk hurriedly without being afraid of wobbling. And of course, the main thing, they are very comfortable. I could wear them the whole day at the office (and I really mean the whole day, since we often work until midnight).  

It turns out that Andre Valentino also has outlets in Malaysia & Singapore.

This brand started business in Bandung, so it used to be that I could only buy it when I was in Bandung. But luckily, they now have opened outlets in the major malls in Jakarta. Minimal specializes in women's wear and accessories. 
I love the designs which are clean cut and well-tailored.

February 10, 2012

Java Jazz Festival 2012

I'm tempted to buy tickets for this year's Java Jazz Festival. They have a great line-up (as always) with special shows this year by Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Al Jarreau and Herbie Hancock.

Source pic:

But then, I remember that it is held in Kemayoran (which is quite far compared to Jakarta Convention Centre where the festival was held in early years) and also the crowds of people ;)

But for those of you who have never attended the festival before, come on...this is the time! Info can be found on their website:
And for those who will attend, Have Fun!! :)

February 5, 2012

Cikini Basket Market

I'm on a mission to tidy up my room and thought of buying rattan baskets for storage. But these baskets are quite pricey as I found out browsing through a shop located in one of Jakarta's well-known malls. I then decided to go to Cikini's Basket Market to try my luck there.

This market lies under Cikini train station. It is well-known for selling all kinds of baskets and boxes to be used for gift hampers. 
In Indonesia, gift hampers are especially sought after during the Ramadhan since it is customary to give gift hampers to your business relations. This practice has been discouraged though in recent years by the government amongst government officials, as it can be misused to bribe officials.

Because I went to Cikini outside the Ramadhan period, the market wasn't too busy. Still there were customers because people also search for hampers to be used for seserahan - a tradition where the groom gives a wedding gift for his bride before the wedding. 

Even though I know Cikini is well-known for its hamper collection, I was still surprised seeing the range of baskets and boxes: there were round-shaped ones, rectangular-shaped ones; made from rattan, carton, wood, bamboo; in natural color and bright colors. 

I spent a nice 1 1/2 hour just browsing through the "shops" to get a feel of the price and looking at the selection. Eventually, I bought 2 small rattan basket and 1 large one. I may have tried harder at bargaining but I was already satisfied since even the initial asking price was 50% cheaper from the ones in the malls I saw earlier :)

January 24, 2012

Singing Karaoke

Karaoke is a popular pastime in Asia, and Indonesia is no exception. Unlike the Karaoke bars in western movies where a person would sing in front of the bar's audience, in Indonesia, when you are asked to go karaoke-ing, this would mean going to an establishment where you will be singing in private rooms with your friends.
So, less embarrassing for us mediocre singers ;) 

My favorite karaoke place is Inul Vizta.
It is owned by Inul Daratista, a famous Indonesian dangdut singer. Inul Vizta has many outlets spread across Jakarta, so it is easy to find one near you. But the main reason I like it is because it has a broad song selection and it quickly adds new/recent songs. 
The room ranges from small ones for 4 persons to large rooms that can fit over 30 people.

Other popular karaoke places are Happy Puppy and NAV Karaoke.

Small note, karaoke places can often refer to "gentlemen's bars". To distinguish, the word "Family" karaoke is added to point out that this is a hangout place, the conventional way ;)

Go wild! It's just amongst your friends :)

January 16, 2012

Discounts on the Net

Do you agree or disagree: It never hurts to be thrifty :)

If you agree, you may want to check out this website:

This used to be a site called DealKeren, however it has change management I guess. This site offers discounts for mainly restaurants but there are also offers related to well-being and travel.

I have used it a couple of times and it worked out well. Just a tip though, you really need to think before buying. It is easy to be tempted to buy things you don't need or more vouchers than you actually need.

There are other similar sites as well. However I haven't tried them out yet:

And this site is dedicated to travel offers:

Spend wisely!

January 5, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

I fell in love with this quote when I read it a few days ago. Suddenly I was aware of the possibilities I haven't tried. This may also have to do with my current situation, where I have been given the chance to just take a break from my current career and re-evaluate my life. It is literally a NEW YEAR for me!

I know I have neglected this blog quite a bit duing 2011, but hopefully in 2012 I will have more time to write. Actually, I've started another blog as well but in Indonesian and it will be mainly about my experience living & travelling to places outside of Indonesia (so the opposite of this blog).

Btw, do you know that in Indonesia, we celebrate a few New Years?
- of course there is 1 January
- and then we have another new year celebration not long after: Chinese New Year
Chinese New Years is based on a lunar calendar, so every year it differs. This year, Chinese New Years will be celebrated on Jan 23rd. It will be a public holiday on that day. And since it falls on a Monday this year, that means: Long Weekend (21-23 Jan). Expect ticket prices to go crazy :)
- Islamic New Year: The Islamic calendar also follows the lunar cycle. This year it will fall on Nov 15th.

A friend of mine makes a habit every New Years to mark her calender for all the upcoming holidays. This is so that she can plan her trips. Maybe you would want to do the same as well? Here's a list of Indonesia's public holidays in 2012:

Come on...let's flip a page ;)
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