Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Naniura

Have you ever tried naniura? In Batak language (Batak is just one of the many ethnics living in Indonesia), naniura means the uncooked fish.  But since it uses asam jungga (a kind of tamarind?) in the process, the fish does not taste or smell too fishy. Ever since I heard about this dish, the sushi fan in me was curious about the dish.

When I was passing Kalimalang on the way home, I saw a new sushi restaurant with the word Naniura on the billboard, so I stopped and asked if they really have the dish on the menu. Why, yes, they do. Otherwise it would betray the namesake, I suppose, hehehe.

So without further ado, let me present you: Naniura!


Verdict: It is very sour. But the fish meat is tender and juicy. Once in your life, you should explore your homeland's unique cuisine. And if you're Indonesian, naniura should be in that food list:)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kafe Betawi

Now that I thought it over, I seldom review Indonesian restaurants. Some of the Indonesian restaurants that made it to this blog were Kopi Tiam Oey and Marco's Bofet. Other restaurants? Well, they may be owned by Indonesians, but the menus consist of Western/Non-Indonesian cuisines. Hmm. Since this blog name contains the word Indonesia, I figure I should do at least squeeze some photos of Indonesian cuisines every once in a while. Hahaha, lame excuse, I know.

And this idea struck as a coincidence because my colleague Wda just threw a farewell dinner at Kafe Betawi a few days ago. There were seven people coming to the dinner, and we forced each to order different dishes (so we could try other people's dish, hehehe). Here are photos of the dishes we ate there.

 Gado-gado

Soto Betawi

Soto Ayam

Mie tek-tek

Lontong Cap Gomeh

Kari Ayam

Garang Asem

Thank you for the lovely dinner and the good times we had in this office, Wda. Good luck on your future endeavour:)

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Brought My Red Camera To Rosso

A few weeks ago I got an assignment to write a piece on Rosso, Hotel Shangri-La's Italian restaurant. It's a fine dining restaurant, so the service is great and the food is wonderful. I also had a chance to talk with the chef, a charming lady named Oriana Tirabassi. She used to work for fashion designers (just to name one: Gucci) before she donned the apron. So all her dishes are not only delicious, but also well-presented. 

When she saw my red camera, she smiled and said,"What a beautiful camera. You bring a red camera to Rosso. How proper is that." Hahaha. It's a good ice breaker, my camera that is. I snapped some photos with the camera. Here are the results:
Rosso Punch

Marinated salmon

Mushroom porcini cappuccino

Two plates of trilogy (three dishes in one tray). The restaurant has the big portion, but I begged to the chef to give me small portions of several dishes. "No diet for today. You must finish them all," the chef said. And I did (with the help of the hotel's PR person:P)

Profiteroles

Strawberry affogato

Cappuccino

Friday, February 24, 2012

And Then There Were Movies...

Cars pass through the iconic 46-year-old Semanggi cloverleaf interchange in Central Jakarta, which connects Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Gatot Subroto and the inner-city toll road and serves as the main connector of the capital’s main business district. Photo source: here

Hello, there! If I may seem like neglecting this blog, it's because of my work. After the diving fix last weekend, I went to Sentul for one night two days to attend a hotel's grand opening. Wednesday saw me cruising in kemang to review a French restaurant and a bakery shop. I interviewed an Indonesian chef who won second place in cooking competition in Italy on Thursday. 

And that leaves me nothing to do this Friday.

No, just kidding, I still have a lot on my plate right now. In fact, I'm typing this while glancing over to make sure my boss does not catch me blogging, instead of writing the articles. *wears the serious work facial expression*

Anyway, do you have any plans for the weekend? This weekend will see several movie screenings. There are Sonny Boy at Erasmus Huis, Lezioni di Cioccolato at Istituto Italiano and also South to South Film Festival that will last until Feb. 26.

I may be trying my hand at baking (again!). Wish me (or the people who will sample the cake) luck:).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Divers In Labile Mode

Just a glimpse of Sepa Island. I love the blue:)

Last weekend, I went to Sepa Island with my friend Peeyutz and other diver friends. We were taking the advance certification, along with a guy taking his open water certification and our instructor. We did five dives, including the deep dive (more than 18 meters), night dive (exciting!) and wreck dive. 

I didn't take many photos, so I'd just jot down some excerpts of our conversations before, during and after the trip to give you insights on how weird divers can be when they have too much time on the ground (nitrogen narcosis, perhaps?). To protect the innocent, I'll use anonymous naming code:).

#1. Color-Coordinated Dive Gear
Diver A: I think you need to buy a wetsuit, because we're going to do the deep dive. It's going to be colder when we reach below 18 meter, I suppose.
Diver B: Oh look, there's one pink-striped wetsuit. But it won't match my mask, which is aquamarine-colored.
Diver A: Oh, come on. There'll be only fishes to watch you being not color-coordinated.
Diver B: What if I meet a gorgeous merman?
Diver A: -_-
2. Bad Navigation, Part 1
Diver A: OMG, I'm so nervous about the whole navigation things.
Diver B: Don't worry, I'll be your buddy
Diver A: And that makes me even more nervous.
Diver B: Hmm, really. -_-

#3. Bad Navigation, Part 2
Diver A: I don't have good navigation skills when I'm on the land. What about underwater? *starting to freak out*
Diver B: Don't worry, we can always ask the fishes.
Diver A: -_-

#4. Say What?
Day 1
Diver A: May I borrow your pen?
Diver B: Sorry, can you repeat that? I have hearing problem in my right ear, so I can't catch your words.
Diver A: Pen. *using sign language*
Diver B: Oh yeah. Here.
Diver A: Do you feel pain in your ear? If so, you should have it checked.
Diver B: Nah, I'll be ok. I just had water in my ear.
Day 2
Diver B: Hey, how's the dive going?
Diver C: What did you say? I can't hear you well
Diver A: Hmm. We should form a club titled Deaf Diver
Diver B&C: -_-

#5. Always Dive With A Diver Who Owns Underwater Camera (Narcissism At Its Best)
Instructor: Here are photos of you I took on our previous dive
Diver A: Wow, it's me over there.
Diver B: And it's me on the other photo. We looked good.
Diver A: So where are you going on your next trip, Sir? Will you take the camera? May we join you?
Instructor: -_-

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Killer Shoes Surprised The Queen :)

Hayrunnisa Gul (left, in gray), wife of Turkish president Abdullah Gul, walks the red carpet in the killer heels as the queen observes in awe :). Photos source: here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Knows Not Boundary

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (photographer: Mitsuhiko Kawaguchi for My Shot National Geographic )

Hello sweeties, how was your day? While I don't celebrate Valentine's Day, I feel that I've received so much blessings today. So today's post is a gratitude post:).

First, I finally submitted a scholarship application for a Master on environment-related study program. It's the first time for me to submit a hard copy application. Usually I looked up the internet and did everything online. I completed the application in just two days, including the reference letters (thank you, my lovely referees). I'm not really sure if my application can make it to the short list, but at least I had made the first step:). This year is for scholarship application. Gambatte kudasai! *wears the sunrise headband*

I hired an ojek driver to deliver the application in an effort to escape Jakarta's traffic. During the ride, he told me that his wife was undergoing a c-sectio in Budi Kemulyaan hospital. It's their first child and they don't have the money to pay the operation.

Later in the day, I gave Rp 50,000 note to kenek (bus driver assistant) to pay the Rp 2,000 bus fare. He refused it because he had no change. I fished out my coin purse, but the total money did not reach the fare. During the critical moment, a sweet voice from the next seat said,"It's ok, I'll pay for her fare." Thank you, the Samaritan Jakartan:).

Also, I attended an event of a hotel that gives 2.5 percent of its proceeds in business meeting packages to underprivileged students. During the event, the students gave wonderful angklung performance. They played two songs: Naik-naik ke Puncak Gunung and Burung Kakaktua. They were very cute, they really made my day:).

P.S. My other memorable Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Corridor XI TransJakarta


Fellow commuters, have you tried TransJakarta's Corridor XI (Pulogebang-Kp. Melayu)? Corridor XI is so far the corridor completed in such short time (perhaps less than 6 months, CMIIW). To build the corridor, the Jakarta administration cut down trees along the green belt on Jl. I Gusti Ngurah Rai.

We don't have Autumn/Fall season here, but once a year there are months when the trees shed the leaves it looks like Fall. As I cruise my daily commute to office, I always love the view along the street. Now such view does not exist anymore thanks to TransJakarta.

But looking on the bright side of things, now I have new means of transportation to reach office. As a Bekasi resident working in West Jakarta, I spend two hours from home to office. So it takes me four hours just for commuting. Having a new public transportation at hand, I quickly seized the chance to try the new corridor.

A few days ago, I tried the new corridor. The verdict? For me, using Corridor XI was less comfortable because there was no straight bus feeder to the TJ bus stop, I had to take two angkot rides to reach Perumnas Klender bus stop. Then I had to transfer two times: (1) from Corridor XI to Corridor VII (Kp. Melayu – Kp. Rambutan), hop off on Cawang BNN bus stop and transfer to (2) Corridor X (Pinang Ranti – Pluit). I'd rather take the Kalimalang route, hop off in Cawang and take the Corridor X. But again, trying on a new route to office is an adventure in its own. At least, for me:).

Here are the pictures I take during the ride on Corridor XI.

I climbed the stairs to Perumnas Klender bus stop, but when I turned back I saw this silver X sign on the tree, which was exactly in the center of the planks. This picture is the result of my OCD+symmetry-obsessed mind:P

Rusun (low cost housing) in Klender

Hey, that's my bus! Wait for me!

TransJakarta network map. The Jakarta administration will build 15 corridors, so let's hope we can use the other corridors ASAP. 

It is a narrow bus stop, indeed. Perhaps it's on a diet. Hmm.

The sign says do not stand. So perhaps we should sit on the floor.  Hahaha.

It's an articulated bus, which is two buses united by accordion-shaped joint

Oh my God, there's a trash bin in a TransJakarta bus! I must be seeing a unicorn, because it's such a rare sight:P

PS. Dear Bekasi administration, when will you follow the neighboring city and build the TransBekasi busway lane? We, Bekasi residents working in Jakarta, desperately need it. Sincerely, grumpy bus passenger.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Snippets With New Boss

Starting January, I move to another division in TJaP, have Fith and Fan as my new colleagues, and a new boss, a British man with blond hair and blue eyes. He has lived in Indonesia for quite some time and masters good command of Bahasa Indonesia, but talking to him still brings to mind that he's not an Indonesian, and there is a possibility of culture shock. Below are just some conversations I've had with him.

#1. Different People Has Different Tastebud
Situation: My colleague Fith had a coughing fit. The blue-eyed boss offered a medicinal syrup for her. Let's call him by Blue-Eyed Editor (BEE).
BEE: Would you like to try this syrup? It really works, you know. But the taste is very, very, very bitter. Brrr.
Fith: Ummm, okay. I'll give it a try.
BEE: Here you are. You should prepare something sweet to drink afterwards. It's really bitter, just to remind you.
Fith: Ok, thanks.
After Fith took a spoonful of that syrup, I asked her if it was really bitter. Her reply? Not at all.

#2. How To Eat Tropical Fruit
Situation: We were discussing about fruit of the month. This month is all about the hairy fruit of rambutan.
BEE: When I came to Indonesia for the first time, I ate papaya with the skin.
Me: Really? Why would you do that? What happened afterwards?
BEE: I didn't know I was supposed to peel it. I had stomachache then.
Me: It's a good thing that it was papaya. What if it was durian?
BEE: -_-

#3. The Same Elaine
Situation: We were in a meeting with the HRD boss, discussing about the substitute for the current copy editor (who would soon embark on a meditative journey to India).
HRD Boss: I think Elaine will be the perfect substitute.
BEE: Oh yes! She has asked previously if she can work from home. Her husband is an Indonesian, so she'll be able to work in a long work contract period.
HRD Boss: Her husband is an Indonesian? Are we talking about the same Elaine?
Me, Fith and Fan: -_- 

#4. Just Buy Me A Car, Will You?
Situation: During a weekend, BE was editing my article. We had conversations through text messages and phonecalls.
Me: If you need me to come to the office, just let me know.
BEE: Nah, I'll be okay.
Me: Okay. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask me.
BEE: A new car?
Me: -_-