I bought these hourglasses for my brother as late birthday present. He was looking for customized hourglass, as it is the symbol of his corporate philoshopy. 20141203_203737 20141203_203802

Manado Escape Trip with Riri – Day 6

The fruit jams served at the resort breakfast restaurant are homemade. Moreover, the resort plants its own fruits, vegetables and herbs, including papaya. No wonder there’s always papaya served for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the resort, and the papayas are always sweet. 20141027_075944 20141030_080925

I was a bit reluctant to leave this resort and go back to Jakarta. We could hardly see blue sky and green trees in Jakarta. I really love the view where there’s one red-leaf tree in a row of green trees. 20141030_081349 20141030_081253Before heading to the airport, we stopped by for lunch. Our guide took us to Soto Rusuk Ba Ko’ Petrus to try its famous pork rib soup.

Riri ordered Rusuk Babi Bakar (BBQ Pork Ribs). 20141030_134804

Franky ordered Soto Rusuk Ba Special (Special Pork Ribs Soup). 20141030_134809

Thatha ordered Soto Ba Ubi Bete (Pork Soup with Taro/Yam) 20141030_134908

The white cubes are the ubi bete (taro / yam). 20141030_135358

Our guide ordered Nugget Ba (Deep Fried Pork) 20141030_135108

At the airport, I bought Manado / Minahasa batik cloth for my mum. I like how they describe the meaning of each element that make up a pattern. 20141030_152118I also brought back a really interesting stuff from Manado to Jakarta: daun woka (woke leaf), which looks like a huge fan. 20141031_080459Some snack souvenirs for my coworkers: Dodol Kenari (Chestnut cake), Lapis Regal and Lapis Wafer. The Dodol Kenari is also wrapped in woka leaf. 20141031_115430I bought Manado coffee powder since I couldn’t find the beans. I think Manado coffee tastes smoother, not as bitter as Pontianak coffee. It is funny that the coffee is labeled as “Export Quality, from ancient Chinese recipe”. 20141103_103647

The Lapis Regal and Lapis Wafer are quite interesting, as the biscuit and wafer are layered with nastar (pineapple tart) crust. 20141029_161401 20141029_161239

Sadly, I didn’t get change to try Saraba, a traditional beverage from Mando that is made of ginger. There’s a row of stalls along the street selling Saraba, which is always full of people at night sitting on plastic chairs. This scene is similar to Jalan Gajah Mada in Pontianak. 20141027_203020

Manado Escape Trip with Riri – Day 5

The schedule for day 5 was to travel around the city of Manado and visited some tourist attractions. Thatha requested to try Nasi Jaha, so our guide took us to Rumah Kopi Billy, a traditional coffee shop that serves coffee and some snacks. 20141029_075616 20141029_075633

The traditional coffee shops in Manado look similar to those in Pontianak, and maybe this particular coffee shop, Rumah Kopi Billy, has the same reputation as Warung Kopi Asiang in Pontianak. 

Nasi Jaha (Ginger Rice) 20141029_075657

Lalampa – similar to lemper 20141029_080341

Half-boiled egg and black coffee 20141029_080725

The grandma as the cashier; she was very quick and accurate.


Franky wanted to try Bubur Manado, so our guide took us to the second breakfast place: Dego Dego Manado Cafe, which looks much fancier. 20141029_08222520141029_082336

I tried the chestnut layered cake since the colour was very vibrant. The cake was quite nice, not too sweet. It’s not so easy to find pastries with chestnut in Jakarta. 20141029_083028 20141029_083118

Since almost every customer orders Bubur Manado, the waitress came with a cart loaded with many bowls of Bubur Manado. 20141029_084113

To add protein to the Bubur Manado, we ordered Nike Goreng (Nike Fritters) and Cakalang Goreng (Deep Fried Skipjack Tuna).  Both “Nike” and “Cakalang” are types of fish. Nike Goreng contains ubi bete (taro / yam). 20141029_084335 20141029_084501After breakfast, we went to Bukit Kasih in Kawangkoan, which is the symbol of unity of five different religions in Indonesia. Just like the Great Wall of China, there are stairways along the mountain of Bukit Kasih. However, the weather was heavily cloudy and started to rain, so we didn’t finish the trail that required approximately 1.5 hours. Sadly, this place is kind of abandoned, the area looked dry and dirty, which could be why not many tourists are willing to go there. 20141029_113248 20141029_113309There’s a legendary coffee shop with its famous bakpao in Kawangkoan, near Bukit Kasih: Rumah Kopi Gembira. The menu is quite simple just like other traditional coffee shops, such as drinks (coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks), biapong (steamed buns), roti bakar (toasts), pia (pie) and eggs. 20141029_12072420141029_12080920141029_12083520141029_121015

We ordered the two kinds of biapong (steamed buns): Biapong Ba (Pork Steamed Bun) and Biapong Temo (Black Sweetened Beans Steamed Bun). Biapong is Manado word for “bakpao“. 20141029_121155

The steamed buns with pink dots are the Biapong Ba, whereas the bigger bun is the Biapong Temo.


At first I ordered hot tea, but the tea was tasteless, so I ordered another cup of black coffee.

The steaming process and the interior of the coffee shop are very traditional, which might invoke nostalgic feeling to all customers.
20141029_123501There’s a famous coffee shop in Kelapa Gading Jakarta called Kedai Kopi Kwang Koan, which has a very similar concept to this one. I guess the owner of the one in Jakarta is originated from Kawangkoan, Manado, where Rumah Kopi Gembira is.

After visiting Kawangkoan, we went to see the traditional house of Minahasa called Rumah Panggung Woloan. It is very interesting since the structure of the house is made of knock-down woods, which means you just need to purchase a land and stick this structure onto it. The house comes in many different sizes, and you may customise the number of bedrooms according to your needs. I couldn’t take good pictures since it was raining heavily. 20141029_142848

There’s a second largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world located in Citraland Manado. The world’s largest statue of Jesus Christ is in Brazil. 20141029_152045 20141029_152220We went to the hippest shopping mall in Manado: Manado Town Square (Mantos). Judging from the tenants, interior and traffic of the mall, I think Manado is far more developed than Pontianak. 20141029_165823 20141029_170415The chain coffee shops, such as Excelso, Dante and Black Canyon had already entered Manado, whereas in Pontianak, you can only find Excelso. The Excelso in Mantos was one of the prettiest one I’ve ever seen. 20141029_170109

Manado Escape Trip with Riri – Day 3

Thatha finally went snorkelling on day 3. The dive sites visited on that day were: Fukui, Lekuan 2 and I forgot the other one. 20141026_174712 20141027_104140 20141027_104154 20141027_104344 20141027_104347 20141027_104402 20141027_105912 20141027_105930 20141027_105946 20141027_105948 20141027_110012 20141027_110052 20141027_110058 20141027_110103

Enjoy the priceless beauty of sunset in Manado through these pictures.  20141027_171352 20141027_171445 20141027_171521 20141027_171544 20141027_171605 20141027_171718 20141027_171926 20141027_17211820141027_17164620141027_171739

Bored of eating dinner at the resort, we decided to head out to downtown to find some local restaurants. Our guide took us to Mega Mas, an open-air area behind Megamall Manado with many food stalls, ranging from seafood, meatballs, and non-halal food. 20141027_183542 20141027_183606There were just too many food stalls to pick from, and we randomly chose Minahasa Star.

We ordered (from left to right): Babi Tore (Crispy Pork), Cakalang Fufu Rica (Smoked Spicy Skipjack Tuna) , and Kangkung Bunga Pepaya (Stir-fry Water Spinach and Papaya Leaves). 20141027_191805

 Ragey (Pork Satay) – Riri’s favourite dish of the night 

Bobara Bakar (Bobara Grilled Fish)20141027_192302After dinner, the guide took us to look to Kartini Bakery, which is famous for its local pastry Klappertart – a traditional cake of Manado, influenced by the Dutch, made of coconut as the main ingredient. 20141027_195741

In Manado, I witnessed a really fancy mikrolet (public transportation), which is decorated with LED light and loud speakers, and also facilitated with LED TV screen. The seatings are all facing front, unlike in Jakarta or other cities facing sideways. 20141027_183913

Manado Escape Trip with Riri – Day 2

Riri & Franky went diving in the morning. The lunch is included in the diving package. There were several options for lunch menu: nasi kuning, nasi/kwetiau/bihun goreng, sandwich, etc. The most special menu is nasi kuning  (yellow rice). The Manado version of nasi kuning is different from what we normally see in Jakarta, even the packaging is very different, as the nasi kuning Manado is usually wrapped in woka leaf. The nasi kuning Manado consists of the yellow rice, shredded beef, abon cakalang, and boiled egg. 20141026_13114920141026_131329

Thatha didn’t snorkel on day 2, so Thatha walked around the resort, capturing beautiful panoramas. There was a wedding photo shoot at the chapel by the beach, and there was a mountain on the background.20141026_142409 20141026_14234320141026_142155

At 6 pm, Riri and Thatha tried to take picture at the chapel during sunset, but it was too late. The sun in this area usually sets around 5:30. 20141026_173415 20141026_173457
 20141026_17382020141026_174240 20141026_174003 20141026_174047

Manado Escape Trip with Riri – Day 1

Riri and Thatha took a 5:30 am flight from Jakarta to Manado last Saturday. We arrived in Manado at around 9:30 local time since the flight takes about 3 hours and Manado is one hour ahead of Jakarta.

This was my second time coming to Manado, but I had no memory of this city. Judging from the art deco glass and the tenants at the airport of Manado, the city of Manado should be more promising than Pontianak.

20141025_101011Outside the airport, Thatha saw an interesting phrase Si Tou Timou Tumou Tou and immediately guessed that the meaning must be “welcome”. Apparently, the phrase is the motto of Manado city, which means “Manusia hidup untuk menghidupkan manusia lain” (“Men live to help others live”). What a beautiful phrase that identifies Manado people.

We stayed in Manado Tateli Beach Resort. According to some locals, this resort was used to be Hotel Sedona, and it is going change into Grand Mercure Resort. 20141025_11492720141025_115138

The confusion of the name can be seen from the bath
room amenities. 20141025_115416After checked in, we had lunch at the hotel restaurant. I like the placemat that looks like a traditional satay fan without the stick. 20141025_120332Homemade bread before the meal 20141025_122134After waiting for an hour, our orders finally arrived. The appetizer, Pisang Goroho (Minahasa Fries), came out at the same time as the main course. This is a very unique fried banana that can only be found in Sulawesi. Javanese usually eat fried banana with cheese, condensed milk, chocolate butter, or fruit jams; Pontianak people usually dip fried banana into srikaya (coconut jam). In Manado, the fried banana is accompanied with spicy chilli sauce. The banana used is not the normal soft and sweet banana, it is more like plantain, a bit hard and bland. The chilli sauce in this restaurant is so addicting. I really love this dish. 20141025_125333

For main course, Thatha had Chicken and Beef Satay, Riri had Ayam Woku Bakar, and Franky had Spinach Tagliatelle Carbonara. The peanut sauce for the satay was a bit disappointing, not enough peanut flavours and the texture was too smooth, looked like an instant sauce. 20141025_125308

Franky’s dish didn’t turn out as expected. The homemade pasta was seasoned as Aglio Olio instead of Carbonara, and there was no meat at all, only spicy taste.

Happy Birthday, Jeje!

PhotoGrid_1412935445268Today is my coworker’s daughter’s birthday. Maria Jessica Wijaya (Jeje) is turning 3 years old. At first, I wanted to buy Hello Kitty pyjamas, but I couldn’t find it in all baby shops in Mall Kelapa Gading. I ended up buying a Hello Kitty towel and a Hello Kitty song book. There are 20 songs inside the mini music player that you can shuffle, just like an iPod. 20141010_081203 20141010_081306 20141010_081316 20141010_082443

Nha Trang – Authentic Vietnamese Restaurant

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Hanoi Tomato and Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu). Bun Rieu is a northern regional dish, not commonly served in other Vietnamese restaurant, consists of crab, dried shrimp, tomato and garlic soup as its core, added with minced pork, light mashed crabmeat silvers of scrambled egg, bean sprout, fresh shrimp balls and thin vermicelli rice noodles.  20140917_192108

Vermicelli Cake with Lemongrass Crusted Tofu (Banh Hoi Chay) is also not a common menu in any Vietnamese restaurant. Rice vermicelli cake (banh hoi) is a southern central Vietnam specialty, consists of a mass of fine strands of rice noodle, cut into squares, that are first steamed and then topped with flash-fried spring onion and deep fried garlic flakes, and are wrapped in lettuce leaf, mint and herb leaves and finally dipped in homemade fish sauce (nuoc nam). 20140917_192717 20140917_19284720140917_193013