Lebaran Trip Day 6 [Guangzhou – Shenzhen]

♫ ♫♫Strolling along Beijing Road♫♫♫
Beijing Road is the number one busy street in Guangzhou, famous for fashion shops. I did not look through fashion that much; instead, I spent quite some time at a store called Mini So, originated from Japan.

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Mini So is similar to Daiso, but it offers wider range of goods, including snack and beverage. I wanted to buy the pink colored boxing punch stick to hit my boyfriend when he is naughty (hihihihihi just kidding).

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This year is the 40th anniversary for Hello Kitty, so there are some companies that do co-branding with Hello Kitty, such as Daphne, which released Hello Kitty collection of shoes and bags.

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♫ ♫♫Taking Train to Shenzhen♫♫♫
We took the fast train from Guangzhou South Railway Station to Shenzhen North Railway Station. Normal train takes 1.5 hour from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, but with this fast train that travels at the speed of 267 km/hr, it only took 36 minutes.

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The business class seats on the train are better than those on the airplane. You can lie down 180 degree and charge your phone.

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We arrived in Shenzhen on time.

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We asked a porter to help us carry our luggages. He is very helpful and polite.

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Lebaran Trip Day 5 [Guangzhou]

♫ ♫♫ Good Morning Chai from The Coffee Club♫♫♫
The Coffee Club is located just across the Marriott Hotel.

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I ordered a glass of hot Chai Latte 印度茶拿鐵 (RMB 36). I could not find good Chai Latte in Jakarta since most cafes use syrup instead of fresh spices and tea leaves. I like the chai latte here. The chai spices come out, the overall taste is not too sweet, and the fresh milk was steamed properly.

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I like the history timeline pasted on the wall, showing the journey of The Coffee Club since 1989, the year in which I was born.

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The bar counter looks elegant as it is dominated by black color.

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♫ ♫♫ All-you-can-find Shopping Center♫♫♫
My dad’s friend took us to this magical building that has everything you can think of; from furniture to households to electronics. Here are some snapshots of the stuffs I like, because it will takes ages to upload all the pictures that I took. Be careful that some stores do not allow us to take picture, but they luckily they reminded us politely and did not yell. Some store keepers ignored the customers, it seemed like they did not need anymore business.

i. Water bottles many colors, many size

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ii. ClocksF&B themed clocks

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iii. Ceramicsfrom normal to abnormal shapes

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iv. Hello Kittyradio player, poker chips and mahjong

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v. Food Miniature they look so real that they makes us hungry

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vi. Zakkasoft colors, clean look, Japanese style

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vii. European Antiques

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viii. Furniture & Decorations

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Lebaran Trip Day 3: Shanghai – Short but Sweet

♫ ♫♫ Dimsum at Tang Gong♫♫♫
People come here mainly to eat the pigeon 唐宮金乳鸽 (RMB 29).
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The siomay did not look fresh.
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The chicken feet was so so.
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We wanted to order rice rolls with shrimp, but the waitress made a mistake.
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My mum wanted to order her favorite dimsum item, BBQ pork buns, but this restaurant only has the steamed version.
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♫ ♫♫ Coffee Time at Seesaw Coffee♫♫♫
Seesaw Coffee is tucked inside the Center of Design on Yuyuan Road, Jing’An district of Shanghai.

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This is a real coffee shop where it only sells 7 types of coffee drinks and some baked desserts. The choices for coffee drinks are Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Mocha, Latte and Piccolo.

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I ordered a small cup of hot cappuccino (RMB 25) and a slice of apple cheesecake.

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The coffee beans are from Ethiopia, Yunnan and Guatemala.

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The cheesecake comes in three flavors, which are almond, apple (the one I ate) and chocolate. The cheesecake itself tastes light, but the layer of soft apple bits in the middle added just enough sweet to the overall taste. However, I was expecting the crust to be crunchier like the one from the Cheesecake Factory in the States, which made of something like graham crackers. The crust of this cheesecake is too wet for me.

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The bar chair is quite unique, but I don’t know if it is comfortable to seat on. This girl looks happy though.

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In this small space, they can fit a polaroid board where guests can pin their narcist pictures on and a bookcase.

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♫ ♫♫ Walk around K11♫♫♫
K11 is an artistic shopping mall originated from Hong Kong, is located on Huaihai Road, a station away from iapm mall.

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We went to the skygarden, which I think looks prettier at night when the animal lamps are lighted.

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My mum took a picture with one of the animal lamps.

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The most eye-catching restaurant in this mall is G+ Urban Harvest with its pretty Rose Garden, Pig House and Mushroom Room.

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The pigs do not smell bad, and look very clean.

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The mushroom grown here is used as ingredients in the restaurant.

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♫ ♫♫ Killing Time at Andaz Hotel♫♫♫

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♫ ♫♫ Fine Dining at Mercato♫♫♫
I had a mini reunion with my very good old friends; one of them had to drive from Hangzhou just to see me, and also to introduce his boyfriend, soon to be fiancé.
Mercato is an Italian restaurant by a very well known chef Jean Gorges, located at the Bund no. 3, just right next to RYU.

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While waiting for my friends to arrive, I had some free appetizer, cheese sticks, served at the bar.

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We opened a bottle of red wine. I don’t like red wine, but this one is out of ordinary.

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We shared pizza and each of us ordered a main course.

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♫ ♫♫ Chilling at Light & Salt, Rockbund♫♫♫

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I was overjoyed to meet my very special friends, although very short, but it was so sweet. It could have been sweeter if my boyfriend were there.

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Lebaran Trip Day 2: [Shanghai] Eat & Window Eating

♫ ♫♫ Big Brunch at Mr. Pancake House♫♫♫
I used to work part time at Mr. Pancake House when I was taking Chinese language course in Shanghai after college. The first outlet was just 5 minutes away by foot from my apartment in Jing An district. Now, they have 6 outlets in Shanghai. Amazing. I was curious to see their new outlet in DaPuQiao.

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The interior design has improved a lot. The sofa is stamped with their logo, although the logo is a not very appealing according to my brother.

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I like the outdoor seating area.

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My dad ordered Chicken & Waffle (RMB 75) – whole waffle with fried chicken choice of 3 chicken wings, 5 chicken legs or half chicken.
My dad chose chicken wings. Surprisingly, he managed to clean his plate. Superdad.
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My mum ordered Salmon Scramble (RMB 48) – 3 eggs scrambled with salmon, cheese, served with 2 pancakes and homefries.
However, my mum exchanged the pancakes with waffles with extra charges. She also cleaned her plate.
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I ordered Spinach and Mushroom Omelet (RMB 42) – 3 eggs omelet with spinach, mushrooms, onions, cheese, topped with diced tomatoes, served with 2 pancakes and homefries.
I requested to omit the cheese, and replace the regular pancakes with Whole Wheat Pancakes. However, it turns out that the whole wheat pancake is simply a regular pancake sprinkled with oats. I only ate a quarter of the pancake, but finished the rest of the food on my big plate.
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My brother ordered Grilled Sausages Combo (RMB 65) – 2 eggs, with a choice of fried or scrambled, with choices of grilled Thurigian, Backwurst, or Nuernberger sausages, 2 pancakes and homefries.
My brother had the most leftover on the plate.

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Overall, this restaurant is very competitive tastewise, but in terms of the standard of service, it is still far behind the real American Breakfast restaurants in the States. We were quite annoyed by the waiter who did not have good understanding of the menu and talked impolitely.

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♫♫♫Late lunch at Tsui Wah♫♫♫
Tsui Wah 翠華餐廳, established in 1967, is one of famous Hong Kong chain restaurants.

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This restaurant has noticeable servings of milk tea drinks, both hot and iced, as well as the Signature Homemade Fish Balls Noodle (RMB 33) dish.

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The veggie is served with ice, maybe to keep the color green, as the ice stops cooking process ~ what I learned from cooking school.

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I never tried their bakery, but it looks very appetizing. Maybe I should try when I arrive in Hong Kong.

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I gave plus point for the furniture design, including the craving of the name of the restaurant on the side of the table and the handle at the back of the chair to easily move the chair in and out.

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There are many dessert stores nearby the restaurant. One of them is TianPin 甜品, with its signature durian desserts:
A) durian kueh
B) durian flat noodle
C) durian ice cream
D) durian milk with mango and banana
E) durian cheesecake
F) durian mille crepes.

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I should surprise my durian-addict-boyfriend when we come to Shanghai.

♫♫♫Window Eating at iapm Mall♫♫♫
iapm is a new shopping mall located on the busiest shopping street in Shanghai, Huaihai Road.

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Here is the guideline for window eating in this mall.
i) StayReal CafeA coffee shop connected to a clothing store

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The color of the mascot of Stay Real reminds me of McDonalds.

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ii) Uncle TetsuJapanese cheesecake

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The mascot of Uncle Tetsu is cute, so Japanese.

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iii) Mochi SweetsMochi donuts with Hello Kitty promotion

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♫♫♫Fine Dining at RYU♫♫♫
RYU 留 is Japanese fine dining restaurant located at The Bund no. 5.

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We ordered a super long sushi boat and a big plate of sashimi for sharing.

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Look at how fresh the sashimi is.

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Each of us ordered a main course. I had a set of salmon rice. What an adorable soup pot.

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My mum ordered a tempura set rice.

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My brother ordered grilled fish, simple yet delicious.

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I like the classic feel of the building, such as the needle as an indicator of the elevator.

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Lebaran Trip Day 1: Shanghai – Long time no see 「上海,好久不見」

After more than a year, I finally came back to Shanghai. Somehow I feel like it’s emptier now.

We had dinner at my dad’s favorite Hunan restaurant: Guyi 古意, located inside my favorite’s shopping mall, Jiu Guang 久光.

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I’d like to give tips for anyone who wants to try this restaurant:
1. You have to love spicy food.
2. Do not come during dinner time, as you cannot reserve and there is usually a very long queue line. Luckily, they serve free plum tea and or fresh cut watermelon for those who are in waiting list.

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3. You have to order these two menu below.
Menu 1: Frog

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Menu 2: Fish Head

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After eating spicy food, it is very nice to freshen up your mouth with some free gums and candies. Take some on your way out of the restaurant.

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Do not miss out the culinary scene at the basement of Jiuguang Department Store. Following is my favorite Japanese patisserie, Mon Chou Chou, with new collection of Hello Kitty desserts.

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I was surprised to see many newcomers occupying the foodie heaven.
Chaumont – gorgeous collection of macaroons

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Some of the flavors that intrigued me:
~Noix
~Bergamote
~Tonka
If I come to Shanghai with my boyfriend, I will definitely take him here.

Marion Crepes – Harajuku style crepes

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Kika – Italian Gelato Art, 3D ice cream

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Milk Top – Homemade ice cream

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Apart from the food and beverage section, this Japanese shopping mall has a very nice florist called Hibiya Kadan.

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I love the pastel colored flowers kept in a cake display.

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A Dream Came True

It’s certainly not easy to turn a dream into reality; it is much easier to daydream. Once you make it happen, it is even much harder to maintain it. You need extra patience, care and persistency.

The Tha Timeline
6 April 2014: Grand Opening of Caffé The Tha Bekasi
20 June 2014: Soft Opening of Caffé The Tha Pontianak

Here are some pictures on the soft opening of Caffé The Tha Pontianak

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Cutting the ribbon by Thatha
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Slicing the tumpeng by Mr. Rudy

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