Sydney’s Exploration: A Small Alley, A Night Market, and Plenty of Sushi Kiosks

Sorry for the long absence. For the first time in forever, managing this blog and consistently creating content for The Perks of Being 20 become quite challenging. But here I am, trying my best to fight through!

Right now I’d like to write about this little alley, called Spice Alley, located in Kensington Street, Sydney. This particular alley is a home for 6 hawker-style eateries, decorated with artistically painted walls and glowing lanterns. You can find Singaporean dishes at Alex Lee Kitchen, Thai cuisines at Bang Luck Thai Street Food, Malaysian spices at Old Jim Kee, Cantonese street food at Hong Kong Diner, Japanese foods at Kyo-to and Vietnamese fares at Viet. Vogue magazine even recommend this place as one of the top 5 best date night places in Sydney.

Although I’ve been to Sydney three times, it was only until last year that I knew this place exist! It’s located very near to one of my favorite ice cream spot in Sydney, Anita Gelato. Thanks to my cousins, Omar and Berra, who took me here after our short exploration at the Wedding Cake Rock.

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Although I was extremely starving when I got there, I was a bit stuck deciding on what to eat. If you know me well, I’m the kind of person who could order a lot of foods for one meal. So having too many (food) options was never easy for me. After strolling around a few times, I decided to order from the Hong Kong diner, simply because I’ve been to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and I’ve eaten plenty of Japanese and Vietnamese foods in Indo.

I ordered the Beef Brisket Noodle and BBQ Pork Bun. As you can see from the photo below, they serve the beef brisket very generously! The broth was very comforting especially in the middle of Sydney’s winter breeze. Sadly, I was so gassy I could not finish them all, I even had to take home the buns. I’d definitely go back here during my next visit to Sydney, which I don’t know when.

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While I’m at it, I think it’d be harmless if I share to you another culinary spot that I really love to visit whenever I’m in Sydney. It’s the night market at Chinatown, which only happens every Friday night. If you are really hungry, you should pay a visit at this uber nice Chinese restaurant, Superbowl. But if you’re like me, who can’t resist buying a lot of different variety of foods at the same time, then you should enjoy the food stalls.

My first go to stall is the Emperor’s Puff. This one is to-die-for! I’ve never seen this stall without a long queue. It’s best to enjoy them during winter, because the puffs are always freshly baked. You’d love the warm vanilla filling inside the puff! The price is also very cheap as you can see in the photo below.

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My second must-have at the Chinatown Night Market is the pork bak kwa (barbecued pork jerky). I forgot how much it costs, but everything in this area is pretty much cheap so you wouldn’t mind spending a little bit more here to indulge your tastebuds and tummy.

After having those two, I just let my feet take me around the area, and let my eyes picked random stall that looks appetizing to me. Some of my highlights were the large potato stick, they are super crispy and savoury; and seafood takoyaki. By the time I finished my bowl of takoyaki I was already bloated, and most of the stalls were already closing down.

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Now, if you are an avid fan of sushi like me, you would love Sydney because in almost every mall or public place it’s easy to find a sushi kiosk. My favorites are Sushi Hub and Hero Sushi. I spent my last day in Sydney literally having Sushi all day, twice at the Westfield Paramatta, and one big closure at the Sydney airport while waiting for my flight. I’m definitely one happy kid when it comes to enjoying sushi in Sydney!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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LAST SATURDAY IN 2017: ONTHREE

Have you ever stopped doing something for only about a few weeks, but then when you wanted to start doing it again, it just felt like you’re starting from zero. That is me with this whole blogging thing.

The past three weeks had been one of the busiest days of my life, with my company having a merger, and I got my capacity stretched from every direction. And I was completely lost in the midst of it all. This blog was neglected. I even forgot when was the last time I visited my own blog. Not until today.

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Some of my favorite people: @saskiatingkir, @runmoreno, @jepherjepho, @didiantonius and @silvia_via

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We’ve been friends for more than 7 years, can you believe it?

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Is there anything in your life that has been shifting lately due to your changing season? What is it? And how do you deal with all the changes? Do you completely neglect some stuff? Or do you like try to balance it all, keeping the old stuff while making room for the new ones? Sorry for too much asking, I just couldn’t help the journalist side of me. Besides, I haven’t been writing for so long I literally couldn’t stop typing.

So welcome back to this blog. Hope you gained new wisdom, new lesson in living the twentysomething season. In the meantime, here are some photos of my last coffee time in 2017 at the newly opened coffee shop: ONTHREE (Senopati Suites, 3rd Floor).

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It’s a nice spacey place with big window pane, cozy sofas, and white-dominated interior, PLUS, it has quite a huge alfresco area with bean bags, and synthetic grass floors for smoking area. Somehow you would feel like you’re not in the midst of Jakarta’s high-polluted area. I forgot what I ordered, but it was tasted good. The coffee was nice, and they also have meals to fill up your hungry tummy. I would definitely come back to this place!

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Pajama Shirt by: Kloud Studio, Pants & White Tee: Topman

Write to you later,

 

HG. (@gersonhenry)

When in Bali part 1: Doncaster Eatery – A Mixture of Health and Guilty Pleasure Brunch

Have you ever done an impulsive action for once in your life? I have. And most of the time, my impulsivity includes a spontaneous vacation. Last year, I went to Bandung for two days just to escape Jakarta’s hustle bustle. Earlier this year, I took a solo trip to Ijen Crater and Surabaya. And just last month, I decided to spend a day in Bali. Just because.. I feel like doing it. Well, and partly because I knew that my favorite cousins, Omar and Berra will also in Bali. So I purchased the flight ticket on Monday, and departed on Saturday.

If you know how to ride a scooter or motorbike, then it’d be best to rent one. It’s cheap (about 3 – 5 USD per day), and they could deliver the scooter to the airport. However, if you’re traveling in a group and brings some luggages then you need to rent a car. What I do normally though, is to order Uber from the airport to the hotel. And then, I rent a scooter once I’m finished settling in my hotel room.

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Anyways, I took the first flight to Bali (5am from Jakarta) and arrived in Bali at 8am-ish. The first thing on my itinerary was to have a big brunch at this new openly placed, Doncaster Eatery. Kudos to one of my good friends, Yossico, for actually making her dream come true. It must not be easy opening up a restaurant in Bali while you’re still working full time in Jakarta.

I was starving like a Godzilla and wanted to get proper foods as fast as possible. Sadly, I got lost. I mis-read the Google maps, and ended up wasting about 30 minutes for nothing. Long story short, I finally arrived at Doncaster Eatery, located at Jl. Kayu Aya No.17, Seminyak, North Kuta, just inside a flea market.

Honestly, deciding what to eat when you’re like ultra hungry was a total struggle. It’s like that one last question that you can’t answer during a math exam. Especially, when everything written on the menu sound delicious. After a few minutes of being super indecisive, I picked the Chopped Kale Salad (I’m not sure why I picked that especially when I’m not a big fan of Kale) as a starter and to balance the healthy salad I picked the Crunchy Skin Pork Belly as the main dish.

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The Chopped Kale Salad was tasty! This coming from someone who is not really into the green stuff, yet got tricked into considering to have more of them. It was served with roasted sesame dressing, chicken breast, shredded corn, bean sprout, and (this one is my favorite) extremely crunchy tempe crackers. A bowl of health that only costs you about 5 USD!

The Crunchy Skin Pork Belly was everything that I expected it to be. Juicy pork belly layered with crunchy skin was definitely heaven! This one costs about 7 USD. I wished I had more time to try their other enticing menu like Grilled Octopus, Mushroom Toast, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Peanut Butter Cheeseburger!

If you’re happen to be in Bali right now, this one is worth your time and money. More post about my impulsive trip to Bali will be up soon! As far now, thank you for all of you who have been reading this website for the last two years. Wish you have more exploration and discovery in 2018!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

 

Weekend Is Best For: Trying Out New Hang Out Places!

Well, the title is not entirely true, but it’s not entirely false either. I don’t know what about you, but for me weekend is always best for:

  1. Binge-watching while munching on my favorite snacks.
  2. Staying all day in my comfy room accompanied with books and a box of pizza.
  3. Hanging out with my favorite people while at the same time trying out new places.

I’m now a bit reluctant to go out on weekend, particularly on Saturday since the traffic is normally CRAZIER compared to weekdays. So, number 1 & 2 are definitely for Saturday, while number 3 is always a routine on Sunday. My friends and I (always) started out with having zero clue about where we are going to hangout, and (always) ended up on a random newly-opened coffee shop or restaurant in Jakarta.

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This post will feature some of the new places that I got to try in the past month. I was originally planning to make a single post out of every coffee shop or restaurant that I visited, but on second thought I think it would be better to just compile them in one post.

Let’s start with the first one, which is my favorite Go-Food (food online delivery service in Jakarta) meals: HONU Poke & Matcha Bar. I know this is not new anymore, but I legit love this place and the menu! So here it is.

Located in Kemang, Honu serves a very yummy poke bowl consists of fresh and healthy ingredients like tuna, salmon, tofu, edamame, etc. I normally ordered the Super Bowl (Salmon, Avocado Crispy Kale, Edamame, Wakamame Carrots and Cucumber), or the Two & Two (Tuna, Salmon, Lettuce, Carrots, Tempura Crunch) with extra Salmon (yes, that’s how much I love salmon). Normally it would cost me about 75k – 100k per visit. The place is quite small, but still feel quite spacey and comfy with a smoking area on the back. I just really love the pastel colors they used as part of the interior with all those kinfolk-ish green plants.

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Look at that colors!

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Second one is DomaDona Coffee. I was there one Sunday to interview Greys Polii. The only reason we picked this place was because it was quite new, and we wanted to check out the hype. Surprisingly, unlike many other new coffee shops in town, which mostly are crowded in the first few weeks of their opening, DomaDona was a bit.. empty.

First thing that really turned me off was that they used a yellow-ish lamp instead of having big window panes for natural light to penetrate easily into their tiny space. It was a bit challenging to take photos with such lighting. Second of all, everything that we ordered taste rather plain. The highlight though, if you are looking for a nice place to sit and talk for hours, this is quite a good place.

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Third one is the new branch of 1/15 Coffee located in Menteng. Their first outlet in Gandaria was definitely a nice place for hanging out with your friends or having a meeting. However, I always felt like it’s a bit too far from where I live. Voila, they seemed to hear my wish. The Menteng outlet is definitely nearer for me! Unlike the Gandaria one which offers very spacey room with high ceilings, the Menteng one feels more packed. Located next to Kaum Jakarta, 1/15 Menteng still serve you with the best of their coffee game and also foods, although honestly the foods and desserts in Gandaria taste way better.

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Glasses: Karamata, Black Nehru Shirt: Zara, Tee: H&M; Pants: H&M; Shoes: Vans; Accessories: Tha Collection; Watch: Aark Collective

Last but not least is Paradigma Coffee. I think is the most worth-visiting new coffee shop in town, simply because it offers.. *drumroll* a wide outdoorsy area with bean bags and green grass (synthetic though). Other than the coffee shop, this whole location also offers a co-working space, public library, local artisans shop, and also bakery. So it’s like a one stop place for any urban people to have fun, whether with friends or family. Having an outdoor public room in this overpopulated city is indeed a luxury, so to have one coffee shop which offers you a comfy place to sit outside is really a blessing.

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Shades: Karamata, Patterned Shirt: The Collin Store, Jeans: Topman, Socks: Uniqlo, Shoes: Vans; Watch: Hypergrand

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Sunday Squad

Besides these fours, I have also stumbled upon the new Starbucks Reserve at Pakubuwono, Pizza Place at Como Park Kemang, and also Crumble Crew (you must try the Iscaketory!) at SCBD area. If you happen to have any new coffee shop, desserts place, or restaurants opening feel free to let me know so I can drop by and give it a try!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Say Hi To KLTR Coffee Roasters!

Finally the owner of Koultoura, which has been one of my favorite coffee shop, decided to bring their coffee madness to the center of Jakarta! With a nicely revamped concept, they introduced a different name, KLTR Coffee Roasters, which was opened for public in August 9th. While Koultoura has always been a nice casual brunch & coffee spots for family and friends, KLTR embodies a more serious, classy and exclusive ambience that is suitable for the business people working around the area.

Located at Apartment Pavilion Retail Arcade, Jl KH Mas Mansyur Kav 24, Jakarta, KLTR Coffee Roasters is ready to welcome you with their fine selection of great foods and coffee! I got to try most of their menu during the soft-opening and the highlights for me are: the Beef Yakimeshi (with poached egg and truffle essence), Pork Ragout, Pork Ham (with scrambled egg croissant), and the French Toast (maple pork bacon with whisky ice cream)!

If you’re looking for a nice spot for lunch meeting, or you happen to work around Sudirman area, visiting KLTR Coffee Roasters this week should be a priority!

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Pan Seared Barramundi

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Crab Cake

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Beef Yakimeshi

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Pork Ragout

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Pork Ham

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Salmon Iberico

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Two Stack Pancakes

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French Toast

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Strawberry Yoghurt

 

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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Congrats, Joe!

The Flat White Culture

Hello everyone! This is going to be my very first post on this blog and let’s talk about coffee, specifically the flat whites! What can I say about Aussie’s flat white, except that it is the most amazing 6.5 ounce cup of coffee.

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Posin’ in front of Single O

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Bonnie Coffee Shop

I just recently came back from Aussie, I went to Melbourne and Sydney. Naturally when I’m in Aussie, all that I drink was their coffee. I myself love pour over coffee, whether it’s a batch brew or freshly made over V60. But then, when in Aussie, flat white is a must have. Why is that? Because it’s the best! Here’s the thing, you should know that in order to brew a good cup of coffee, there are many factors to consider.

From the altitude of where the beans were planted, the moment the beans were picked out in the farm, to the drying process, roasting and whose the roaster, then to the grinder which is actually more important than the espresso machine, then of course to the hand of the barista who pull the shots from the espresso machine, and also how the barista froth the milk.

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Patricia Coffee

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Kingswood Coffee Shop

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Reuben Hills Coffee Shop

Now, in between these important process, other factors that can produce a nice velvety cup of coffee are both water and milk.

Water and milk in Aussie are just different than the ones we have here in Indonesia, well actually the beans as well, but we can always buy the better beans. You see water and milk are something we can’t just bring back here. They delicately filtered their tap water into their machine. I heard they even do cupping for water, isn’t that extreme? LOL. Their milk contain different protein level, fat percentage, and consistency than ours here, so it gives out a different kind of sweetness in your cup of coffee. Because of all this, their flat white has unique taste. I know for sure that you can’t find it anywhere else in the world except in Aussie. Even the flat whites in Melbourne and Sydney tasted differently.

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Market Lane Coffee

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Duke’s Roaster

Let me describe the taste; first when you sip that velvety thick brown coffee it will surprise you with a nice aroma of either yummy bread or floral scent. As you swirl it in your mouth the taste will start to dance in your taste palette. Either it’s very sweet like biscuits or it’s very fruity and juicy. Then as it finishes, the after taste is clean and satisfying. Imagine that!

Not all coffee shop there serve this kind of flat whites, but here’s a few of good places where you can try for a good cup of flat white. When in Melbourne, go to: Bonnie Coffee, Duke Roasters, Proud Mary, Patricia, and Market Lane. When in Sydney you can try Single O, Reuben Hills, Paramount, Campos, and Kingswood.

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Melbourne Finest Art

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The quiet side of Sydney

I’m guessing ever people’s experience on their cup of coffee is different. For me coffee is life, I can hardly function without it and I so happen to own a coffee shop with my husband. We try our best everyday to serve the best out of what we have and we invite people to experience coffee through our coffee shop. We try to educate each customer that come into our place by giving them selections to what they want to experience that day.

So… I hope you can experience good coffee and have an awesome day!

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Meet the backside of my husband, Alfred. LOL.

Talk to you later,

SC. (@callistasarah)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sumibi Restaurant: A Delightful Japanese Luncheon Experience.

Have I told you that 2017 has been one of the best year so far simply because it has plenty of public holidays? Yeap. After exploring Dieng and Belitung during the last two public holidays in April and May, I decided to spend this one (in June) to have a quality time with my two best friends.

Now, to complete this particular day off, my friends and I decided to have our all-time comfort foods (read: sushi and other Japanese cuisines) for lunch. Normally, Sushi Tei or Genki Sushi would be enough for us. But, since it was a holiday, we decided to try something new. And so we picked Sumibi Restaurant!

Located at the Ground Floor of One Park Residence, Gandaria, this Japanese restaurant offers wide range of authentic Japanese foods and other fusion dishes as well. Many people who have visited Sumibi testified that they always visit this restaurant when they miss visiting Japan. The foods taste pretty similar to the ones you can find in Japan, probably because the owner and executive chef (Yusuke Tsuchiya) is a Japanese.

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I had a hard time deciding what to order. Every single page of the menu looks so seducing. After flipping the menu pages back and forth we ordered Yaki Tomorokoshi Ama Sho-Yu Parmezan Cheese (grilled sweet corn, soy sauce, parmezan cheese) and Takoyaki Croquette for appetizer. While for the main course we ordered Crispy Salmon Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, California Roll and Chicken Nanban. Out of those, the highlight was the grilled sweet corn, takoyaki, and crispy salmon roll, and chicken nanban!

Honestly, we would order and try more food. But, since there were only the three of us, it would not be wise to order more foods as it would be wasted. Once we finished them all, we even had no more room for desserts. Sigh. I would definitely come back to try the other dishes.

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Isn’t this little guy adorable?

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I didn’t get to roam around the restaurant to capture its ambience, mostly because I was so bloated to move. Besides, I prefer to play with one of my favorite nephews, Joel and took some good photos with him. If you’re a real Japanese foods aficionado, this weekend you must put Sumibi in your go-to list! Who knows we might bump into each other, right?

Write to you later!

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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Glasses: Karamata.ID; Striped Shirt & Shorts: H&M; Tee: Uniqlo; Shoes: BNV; Watch: Hypergrand