Sunday, March 31, 2013


Meet the first and still the most wanted red velvet in Jakarta. Since it's first appearance on mid-2011 until this very moment where red velvet can be found easily anywhere (even BreadTalk is now serving this cake), Union's still remains to be my (and maybe everyone's) favourite. Four layers of  moist chocolate based cake, cream cheese frosting, and crunchy caramelized nut topping at the price of IDR 50.000. Heaven!

The fact is, even though I've had Union's red velvet for countless times, this was my first time dining in. Usually I won't bother waiting, I'll just take away the cake and eat it at home. But this time we waited 40 minutes just to got seated. Luckily we don't have to wait in boredom. We just have to register our name and leave our phone number at the front desk, and they'll call us when the table's ready. Meanwhile, we can do the shopping ;p

At first we only planned to have dessert, since we've had our lunch before, but in the end, we also ordered a plate of Calamari (IDR 75.000). Portion was very generous, too much for two people. It tasted good, love the tomato sauce.

Service was very satisfying. The waiter were friendly and polite. One tips, if you're not a smoker, came here before 3 PM. 

Plaza Senayan Courtyard, Ground Floor 
(Inside SOGO Dept. Store)
Jl. Asia Afrika no.8 
Jakarta, Indonesia
ph. +6221 5790 5861-62

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manado Trip 2013 - Day Three

On our last night in Manado, we stayed at Sintesa Peninsula Hotel. The hotel was very nice, located up on the hill so we can see the Manado city view beautifully from up above. I forgot to take picture of our room, but it's very spacious and comfortable. One little thing, the hotel is a 5 star hotel, but it was originally a hospital, and that fact made me a little scary. But thankfully nothing weird happened during our stay.

Manado city view at the morning. The mountain at the back is Mt. Lokon.

And here's the night's city lights.

Our third day in Manado was basically a culinary day. I forgot to take picture of the hotel's breakfast because we were in rush, but the breakfast were good. It offered various kind of food, from traditional breakfast such as tinutuan to western style breakfast.

Our first stop is the traditional cake hunting at Lililoyor Market. It was previously a street full of shops before, but now there's only a few shops selling traditional cakes, due to the government rule. But it still got wide selection of traditional cakes and cookies. It only opens in the morning, and closed as soon as they ran out of cakes, so the earlier the better.

For lunch we went to city extra. I've written a review for this place before (read it here), so I won't be long. But it seems like I've found a new favourite, the Squid Ink Woku! Yap it's the black one at the center.

Afternoon view from City Extra

My personal favourite daydreaming spot

After lunch we went to Rumah Kopi Bintang Wayang (Bintang Wayang Coffee House) which (I just found out) actually share the same ownership with Rumah Kopi Gembira at Kawangkoan, which I also have reviewed last year (read here). It's very exciting to be able to get my favourite pork bun here in Manado, especially when we weren't make it to Kawangkoan the day before.

The heavenly pork bun

And the coffee milk, made by the owner herself. The blurry face behind is the owner, who actually happened to be a friend of my mother, and has ran this coffee house for more than twenty years.

After the heavenly pork bun, pleasant coffee, and long chitchat, it's time for another round of dessert. Here's es kacang from Nyiur restaurant (read previous review here), perfect closing for the 2013 Manado trip.

Pasar Lililoyor (Lililoyor Market)
Jl. Sudirman 4
Manado, Indonesia

City Extra
Jl. Raya Tanawangko, Desa Kalasey
Manado, Indonesia

RM Bintang Wayang
Jl. Wayang
Manado, Indonesia

Nyiur RestaurantJl. Piere Tendean Boulevard, ManadoPhone: (0431) 857-700

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Manado Trip 2013 - Day Two

Moving on to the second day, first thing in the morning we picked up some relatives and headed straight to Danau Linow (Linow Lake) at Tomohon. It's about two hours drive from Manado, but it was two hours well spent catching up with my grandmother and my cousin in the car.

Danau Linow is famous for it's water could change color, because of the high sulfur content in the water. When we visited that morning, the color is kinda green. Located up in the mountain, the weather was breezy even though the sun was shining brightly.

The entrance ticket fee is IDR 25.000 per person, including first drink (coffee or tea) and a piece of bangket cookie, manadonese traditional cookie which uses walnut as the main ingredient. They also sell some snacks, so we ordered a portion of banana fritters with bakasang.

And that's how we spent our morning, sitting in a peaceful natural place, chatting with family and relatives, accompanied by great snack. Priceless!

Afternoon arrived, and so did hunger. We had lunch at RM Tinoor Jaya, still at Tomohon, which serves traditional Minahasa food, including Paniki (Bat Meats), RW (Dog Meats), and Boar Meats. I've tried all of them on my previous visit, but none of them meet my tastebud (and I feel like crying when I eat the dog meat), so this time I just eat something ordinary like chicken and pork.

The eating system here is similar to Padang Restaurant. The food is all served on the table. You touch the bowl, you pay for the whole bowl. If you're not interested, just stay away from it.

Continuing our journey, we went to Bukit Doa (The Hill of Prayer). The place is beautiful, they've got a Maria Cave, Stations of the Cross, chapel, and outdoor amphitheater. Too bad that time the Stations of the Cross was hit by the landslide earlier (you must have heard of the huge flood and landslides at February on TV), so it's not available.

Beautiful chapel at the Hill of Prayer

After the long hours of sitting in the car, we finally got back to Manado and had our dinner at Rajawali restaurant. Here's my favourite, Crisp Fried Carp Fish. In Jakarta, people usually avoid carp fish because they've got a lot of tiny spines, making it hard to separate the meat and the spines. But in Manado, people love it. I personally prefer the carp fish to be fried until crispy so I can just eat the spines along without separating them.

Having enough adventure for the day, we headed back to the hotel and had rest to face the third and also our last day in Manado.

Danau Linow
Jl. Tomohon - Kawangkoan
Minahasa, North Sulawesi

RM Tinoor Jaya
Jl. Raya Tomohon 
Minahasa, North Sulawesi

Bukit Doa
Jl. Lingkar Timur no. 99
Kakaskasen 2, Tomohon
Minahasa, North Sulawesi

RM Rajawali
Jl. Sudirman No. 18
Manado, North Sulawesi

Monday, March 18, 2013

Manado Trip 2013 - Day One

Last month, me and my family went to Manado again to celebrate Cap Go Meh. It's always fun to celebrate Cap Go Meh in Manado, since the town celebrated it with a huge parade. And it's always fun to catch up with some relatives :)

Anyway, here's the highlight of my 2013's Manado trip.

People said that you know you're in Manado when you see coconut trees all around you. They're just everywhere!

What greets us as soon as we landed: Nasi Kuning Kampung Kodo (Manado style turmeric rice served with beef, cakalang fish, potatoes, and boiled egg)

After lunch, we immediately went to my relative's house to help the parade preparation. Spotted this cute girl just got her hair done and playing cheerfully with her new long braids.

The Cap Go Meh Parade started at 3 PM until the evening. All people from Manado and the town nearby gathered near the Ban Hin Kiong Temple, the main temple in Manado. The parade participants are mostly children under 12 years old, dressed as the Chinese historical character.

Opening the parade at the very front row is the king. Isn't he a little too cute to be a king? 

Right behind the king are his warriors. Now this is fierce.

And followed by the carnaval cars called "pikulan" The car is decorated beautifully to support the chinese dressed kids on it.

The cutie before has became a beautiful chinese warrior

At night, the pikulan is equipped with festive lights

Tan Chi is another interesting thing to watch. It is said that Tan Chi's body is possessed by the God's spirit. He's hurting the body by slicing his back with sword and stabbing his cheek with the wire to redeem the sins of mankind. But amazingly, the body is not bleeding at all.

The super crowded spectactors

Me taking picture with one of the crew

*Nasi Kuning Kampung Kodo
Rumah Makan Selamat Pagi
Jl. Sudirman
Manado, Sulawesi Utara

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Gantea

Whenever we go to Pantai Indah Kapuk area, we always have two rounds of meal. The first is our lunch/dinner, and the second is bubble tea. This time, after having our late taiwanese lunch at Ilha Formosa, we decided to try A Gantea, which is only a block away.

A Gantea is located under the same roof as Brooaster Chicken, and it's serving chicken menu too other than bubble tea. I wonder if it's the same chicken or not. But our tummy was full, so we only tried their recommended beverages, Signature Milk Tea (L) (IDR 23.000).

Signature milk tea is using green tea as the mixture, and two kinds of pearl (big and small) as the topping. What I found delicious is their big pearl. Unlike other pearls, the color of the big pearl is not black, its more like yellowish brown. And it's bursting with sweetness when we took a bite. The small pearl tasted just like another pearl, and so the milk tea.

Bottom line, it tasted good, and the place was also nice and comfortable. It could be another choice to hang out with friends sometimes.

Rukan Cordoba blok E no 11
Pantai Indah Kapuk

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Ilha Formosa

Last saturday, me and David were wandering around Pantai Indah Kapuk area (again), looking for a late lunch. This time David said that he's looking for something chinese, and so we ended up coming in to Ilha Formosa. 

A little trivia, Ilha Formosa is the former name of the Taiwan island, created by the Portuguese when they first came in 1544, which means "beautiful island". So as the name said, this restaurant is serving Taiwanese food, which is tempted for us. But later after we got seated, we found out that the kind of Taiwanese food they served is the authentic one. As far as I remember, the a la carte menu is mostly serving various kind of food cooked with wine, arak, and other medicinal herbs. 

We never tried that kind of food, and not tempted to, so we went for their rice menu. I chose Braised Pork Rice with Egg (IDR 40.000), which is recommended by the waiter, and David chose Taiwanese Braised Chicken Rice (IDR 40.000).

The waiter told me that I should mix the rice and the braised pork together to get maximum delicacy, and I did it. And my braised pork rice turned out unexpectedly delicious! David said that the spice tasted like medicine, but somehow I like it. In the other hand, David's braised chicken tasted kinda dense for me but he said he's quite like it.

The service was also quite nice here, the waiters were friendly, and they came to asked how the food tasted, so I said it's good. So if you're looking for authentic taiwanese food, there you go. 

Ilha Formosa
Rukan Cordoba G no.1
(Seberang Waterboom)
Pantai Indah Kapuk
ph. 021 56983535

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Marugame Udon

Watch out ramen, you've got a new rival. And yes, it's udon!

Marugame Udon has just opened their first outlet in Mall Taman Anggrek, claiming as the first authentic Japanese udon restaurant. Yesterday me and David passed the restaurant while we're heading to XXI to watch Warm Bodies, and I got curious seeing the long queue in front of the place. Since we still got 30 minutes before the movie, we decided to join the queue.

The order system reminds me of Hoka-Hoka Bento, only the difference is your meal is cooked right in front of your eyes, so that you know that it is fresh. Their specialty is udon, but they also have rice and tempura selections. All the food displayed in the counter looks delicious, so be careful, you might want to try it all.

Since our time is short, we decided to share a bowl of  Tori Baitang Udon (IDR 45.000), a piece of Ebi Tempura (IDR 14.000), and a piece of Kakiage (IDR 10.000). Tori Baitang Udon is one of Marugame's specialty. The udon is served with homemade chicken meatballs and chicken broth soup. It was extraordinary, the chicken broth was rich and the meatballs were soft and delicious. I seriously cannot put down my spoon until the bowl is empty. 

Their Ebi Tempura and Kakiage were also nice, but that's just it. Nice. I don't think I'll come back for the tempura, but surely I'll be back for the udon soon. 

Marugame Udon
Mall Taman Anggrek
3rd Floor, no 004-005
(Across Skyring)
Jl. S Parman Kav 21

Friday, March 01, 2013

Pesca -- Homemade Italian Ice Cream Cake

"Tomorrow we can eat broccoli, but today is for Ice Cream"

That quote was written on Pesca's flyer, an ice cream shop I visited a few days ago. Me and David were just having our dinner in Pesanggrahan area, heading to my house, when we passed this ice cream shop and suddenly decided to give it a try. And let me give you a hint, it is worth to try.

When we enter the humble shophouse, our eyes were spoiled with colorful and cute ice creams on the display. Pesca offers various kind of ice cream, starts from the ordinary ice cream in the cup and on a stick, to their creative invention such as cupcake ice cream, mochi ice cream, le petit rocher (round shaped ice cream, looks like the famous ferrero rocher chocolate), rainbow ice cream, and much more variants.

After a long time deciding which ice cream we should try (since all of them looks yummy), we went for Sandwich Ice Cream (IDR 25.000) and Mocca Cupcake Ice Cream (IDR 12.500). I like them both! The mocca cupcake ice cream was crunchy on the outside, and the mocca flavor was delicious, got a hint of coffe, and not too sweet. The sandwich ice cream was actually a strawberry cheesecake ice cream flavored, sandwiched between two cookies. I love the flavor, creamy taste from the cheesecake, and a little sourness from the strawberry. Very refreshing. But the cookies was not crunchy anymore when we ate them.

I am not a big fan of ice cream, but now I'm a fan of Pesca's ice cream. Cute shape, delicious flavor, who could resist such beauty?

Jl. Pesanggrahan Raya 6C
Kembangan, Puri Indah
Jakarta Barat
ph. (021) 5801455

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