Ben’s Cookies

I was curious to try Ben’s Cookies since there was always a line whenever we passed by. 20141227_194604

I immediately jumped into the waiting line after I saw that the word “ginger”. FYI, that wasn’t my hand that pointed to the label. 20141227_194618

There were ten kinds of flavours: coconut, ginger & dark chocolate, white chocolate & macadamia, cranberry & white chocolate, milk chocolate praline, double chocolate & nuts, milk chocolate orange, dark chocolate chunk, and double chocolate chunk. 20141230_141718 20141230_141802

I ate the Ginger & Dark Chocolate cookie with a glass of warm fresh milk.
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Look at the ginger candy in the middle and a triangle piece of dark chocolate. 20141231_090111

I bought two pieces of cookies for my bro who assured me that Ben’s Cookies is worth a try. I picked the Double Chocolate & Nuts by judging from the number of cookies left on the display.20141231_090700

This one below is the  Milk Chocolate Chunk20141231_090843

Wandering Around Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Mission Impossible: Searching for Dorami

My friend, Siska, asked me to buy Dorami toy since she couldn’t find it in Jakarta. Annie and I looked for Dorami in 20 different toy shops, but still couldn’t find it. When we almost gave up, we suddenly saw 3D puzzle shop in Island Beverly that sells Dorami. Yay! Mission accomplished. 20140917_161047

Funny floor guide in Island Beverly20140917_161906

Chinese Herbal Jelly

Annie took me to a legendary traditional Chinese herbal jelly shop. 20140917_181757 20140917_181901

It was so bitter that even after I added 3 tablespoons of honey, it still tasted very bitter.   20140917_181908 20140917_181936

The seating area is similar to cha chaan teng. 20140917_182029 20140917_182102 20140917_183230

City Super @ Times Square20140917_184526

Here are some items that I cannot find in grocery stores in Indonesia:

Hong Kong Beer

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Coca Cola Life 20140917_185231

Le Cordon Bleu Tea 
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Palm Island Premium Sea Salt. Comes in many flavours: White Silver Sea Salt, Bamboo Jade Sea Salt, Red Gold Sea Salt, Premium Pink Diamond Sea Salt   20140917_185658 20140917_185610

 

Anpan あんパン by Chef Riri

Anpan is a Japanese term for sweet bread filled with sweet red bean paste (anko). Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 9.27.04 AM

Chef Riri took the anpan to another level by adding jasmine tea and sesame. Chef Riri put a generous amount of homemade sweet red bean paste (anko) in each bread. The sweetness level of the anko was just right for me, but some of the red beans were still a little bit hard, maybe they should have been soaked longer or cooked longer. Overall, I love Chef Riri’s anpan, and it saved my tummy after a long flight.20140922_05533320140922_055505

Black Sesame Cookies

 

A surprised gift from Riri: Black Sesame Cookies. It is a type of soft baked cookies; the softness level is just right. Riri spilled his secret baking recipe, he used cake flour instead of all purpose flour. 20140907_203557-1Thatha likes black sesame more than white sesame, because black sesame has stronger nutty flavour. Black Sesame is called Kuro Goma in Japanese, and 黑芝麻 in Chinese. Thatha wanted to add Black Sesame Purin into Java Japa menu, but the cost will be too high. There are so many desserts can be made with black sesame, including: ice cream, mousse cake, madeleines, and so on. blacksesamemadeleines1 japanese_cuisine_pic7

I think Riri would love this black sesame macarons16129fbeca7e167b1d4f253846e49515

Tau Suan 豆爽 (Sweet Mung Bean Soup)

Tau Suan is one of my favourite desserts, originated from my parents’ hometown, Pontianak. However, I didn’t find a good one in Pontianak. I prefer the one in Sunter, Jakarta, or those in Singapore. The main ingredient for Tau Suan is split mung bean, and the thick soup is made of water, sugar and pandan leaves. It is usually served with you tiao 油条 (Chinese dough fritter). I’m not a big fan of you tiao, so I replaced it with walnuts.

20140906_072246This Tau Suan was made by my aunt, Aunt Laura. I really liked it. The sweetness level was just right, and the pandan fragrance didn’t taste artificial. Aunt Laura said that her ingredient was Vitamin C. I was a bit confused. She then explained that the “C” stands for Cinta (Love), because everything that is prepared from heart will taste better. This is true. A message to Riri: let’s make Tau Suan one day. My mum likes it too. I like these two recipe: Ellena Guan and Miss Tam Chiak.

walnut

I read a little bit about the history of walnuts in China. Walnuts are used for hand exercise, known as Walnut Therapy. Some even believe that walnut symbolises longevity, safety, reunion, faithful love, health, and wealth.

Saudagar Kopi

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then let these pictures speak thousands of words.

Part 1: Exterior20140602_09202420140602_101540 20140602_09203320140809_172543

Part 2: Interior 20140602_092140

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Part 3: Menu 20140602_09210320140602_09215420140602_09240820140602_092135

A different single origin coffee was offered when I came two months later. 20140809_180008

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Part 4: Barista in action
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Note taken from Thatha about Saudagar Kopi:

  • Started in October 2013
  • Owner is from Bandung
  • The killer House Blend is a mix of Toraja Sapan, Padang, and Bali Natural
  • Single origini: Silimakuta
  • Round clock service
  • Bakmi Koji Bakso Goreng – both the bakso goreng (fried meatball) and the mie ayam (chicken noodle) are homemade. They also produced homemade srikaya (coconut egg jam)
  • Colenak Retro consists of three pieces of tape (cassava), topped with palm sugar. “Colenak” is another word for “tape bakar”
  • They offer two types of pisang goreng (fried banana): Pisang Tempura and Pisang Aroma. I tried the Pisang Tempura, where they cut a banana into three wedges and deep fry it. One portion has six wedges, which means they used two bananas.
  • Roti Bakar Baheula is kind of toast topped with condensed milk, margarin and sugar.
  • The decorations displayed are also for sale. Very smart.
  • Nearby coffee shops / cafe within walking distance: Oey Kopitiam, Rumate, Dr. Dre, Sabang 16, Eatology, Coffee World (inside Maxone Hotel)

Mooncake 月饼

The Mid Autumn Festival 中秋节 falls on September 8 this year. There is a tradition of gathering as family, enjoying full moon and eating mooncake on that day.

I saw this adorable elephant mooncake at Pacific Place Hong Kong.

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There are two big categories of mooncake: baked and snowskin. Here is a general anatomy of baked mooncake. 20140831_072017

Here is an example of baked mooncake in an innovative shape. pig-moon-cake-1

Hello Kitty Mooncakes

Good Chen Hello Kity Mooncake 2012

Hello Kitty Baked Mooncake

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Hello Kitty Snowskin Mooncake Hello Kitty snowskin mooncake0

Indonesian version of mooncake (kue bulan): pia or bakpia. There are differences between Indonesian mooncake and Chinese traditional mooncake:

  • Fillings. Chinese traditional mooncake is filled with lotus seed paste, but it is more expensive and harder to find in Indonesia, so we replace it with variants of fillings: chocolate, cheese, durian, pineapple, cempedak (jackfruit) and many more.
  • Crust. The chewy crust of Chinese traditional mooncake is made of alkali (lye) water, thick sugar syrup (maltose), flour and oil, while Indonesian mooncake only use flour, oil and sugar so that the texture is more similar to puff pastry.
  • Color. The color of bakpia is white, but the traditional mooncake is reddish brown.

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Other regions in Indonesia also has its own version of bakpia; for instance, Bali has Pia Legong,  and Jogja has Bakpia Pathuk.

Pasar Santa

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Pasar Santa is redesigned to relocate Pedagang Kaki Lima “PKL” (street vendors). The building has three floors, consists of 1.151 kiosks, each kiosk is 2*2 m.  20140830_163322 20140830_163501

We stopped by at this petit coffee shop run by a foreigner called Obsessive Coffee Disorder (OCD). 20140830_16405920140830_163831

The menu is very simple, it is written on a narrow blackboard.
20140830_163853 20140830_163904We had a glass of Cold Brew Tea (left, light brown) and a glass of Cold Brew Coffee (right, dark brown). The cold brew tea is composed of tea from nitrogen machine, ice cubes, fresh lime, and simple syrup. The cold brew coffee is shaken with ice cubes and simple syrup.
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While making our orders, the owner / barista told us story of how he started this business and the variants of drinks available. Everything is handmade in his shop, including the bar table, ceiling, and so on. The takeaway paper cup is hand-stamped with OCD logo. The owner said that it is his family project, in which all members of his family are involved in the process. So sweet. He inspired me to have my own couple / family project in the future. 20140830_163855 20140830_164724 20140830_164811

There are two other coffee shops: A Bunch of Caffeine Dealers (ABCD) and Gayobies Kopi.20140830_16351820140830_164834 20140830_16484220140830_163533 20140830_16485820140830_16364420140830_163552

DapuRaya

DapuRaya is a food court inside Pasaraya Blok M. It is huge. At a glance, it is similar to Eat & Eat, but after you look closer, the two food courts have their own characteristics.  20140830_145334

I really love the interior. The ceilings and pillars look very artistic. Each section has its own interior theme, such as colourful windows on the ceiling, umbrellas on the ceiling, bird nests on the ceiling, batik lanterns, batik fabrics as wall decoration and red brick walls (Riri’s favourite interior material). 20140830_14534220140830_14552920140830_15061820140830_14575520140830_15324120140830_150337

This food court offers various Indonesian cuisine from Sabang to Merauke. The vendors in booths mainly sell main course, and the vendors using carts mostly sell snacks and desserts. There are total of more than 50 vendors. Wow! 20140830_14563420140830_145426

This dessert cart is quite interesting, as all the serving bowls look like real  coconut shells.  20140830_145542 20140830_145554

You need to purchase vouchers before doing any transaction inside this food court, and you may refund if there is extra vouchers. Eat&Eat use the card system with deposit, and you may top up when the balance is inadequate. 20140830_150531For appetizer, I ordered Tahu Gejrot. The method of making Tahu Gejrot is still very traditional, just like in its birth place – Cirebon. Unfortunately, the tofu is not served on clay plate.

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For main course, I ordered from Soto Kwali Damar Hadi. There are two options of meat: beef or chicken. I picked chicken soup.

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The batik fabric makes the preparation trays look elegant. 20140830_151105

Riri had a hard time deciding what to eat since there were too many options. Thatha recommended Nasi Goreng Kebuli although she had never tried before. The rice is fried with “minyak samin” (Indians call it Ghee), topped with lamb and raisins.  20140830_151438

Riri tempted to order Kolak Durian (durian and sticky rice in a thick coconut milk gravy) since he is a big fan of this king of fruit.

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I like how the whole dessert bowl was fresh, didn’t taste artificial and the sweetness level was just right. The coconut milk wasn’t greasy, and the durian wasn’t smelly at all. I like the sticky rice. 20140830_15192920140830_152352