Kopi Nalar: It’s Been A While.

Does anyone agree with me that no matter where we are right now in life, there’s this tiny curiosity that keeps on popping out (whether from within, or from our surroundings) and asks us about “What’s Next?” It seems like people are so expectant with the progress you make that by the time you stop or seem to show no progress in life, you’ll be considered a misfit.

Is it true that life is only about moving forward and transitioning from one “what’s next” to another? Is it true that people tend to applaud those people who jump into one opportunity to another simply because they look courageous, while at the same time they are actually careless and unprepared?

The over–glorified concept of having something “new”, being a “new” person, or anything that has the word “NEW” can actually be something dangerous for us if we are not wise enough to discern. Once we are attracted to whatever “new” that comes our way, we tend to move with the highest speed without maximum protection and preparation simply because we are a sucker for excitement.

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Speaking of new, meet one of the newest coffee in town.

What about hitting the brakes? What about moving just a little bit slower? What about saying no for a better “new” that we ultimately want instead of what we temporarily want?

Sorry for the long intro. I guess it’s just been a while since I poured out my (sometimes) too complex thoughts into one of my posts. Just like the fact that it’s been a while for both of us to spend one weekend only to go explore and try out new places in this city.

Just last weekend, we stumbled upon this new coffee shop in South Jakarta, along with some of friends. The name is Kopi Nalar (reasoning), and it was having a soft opening. The place was a 25 percent alfresco area, 25 percent smoking room with glass rooftops and large window panes, and 50 percent of a indoor seating with white walls and modern interior.

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Kopi Nalar, Jalan Prof Joko Sutono SH No. 7, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta

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One of their plus points: Plugs. Everywhere.

When we got there, the smoking room was empty (none of us smokes though haha), so we invaded it like its a lounge reserved exclusively just for us. The room was filled with two cozy couches and plenty of bean bags!

After ordering our choices of drinks and desserts, we settled in comfortably and spent about 3-4 hours there talking. It felt like crashing into one of your friends’ house during holidays where you got nothing to do for the whole day, accompanied by bowls of chips and boxes of pizza. It was priceless! As someone who has Quality Time for his love language, this kind of hangout day with friends is a total heart-filling moment.

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Almond and Honey

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DR got a bit too comfy.

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Pardon my too obvious tan line. Got it from my Belitung trip, which I will share soon!

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Some of my favorite Sunday crew.

What’s interesting about their coffee menu is that they have this so-called “healthy choice” of coffee. The “A Cup of Sense” menu is a mixture of coffee latte with healthy ingredients like granola, walnuts, almond, and honey. Surely I went for the new one and picked the almond and honey to complete my coffee o’clock.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

New Taste to Dine at Cassis Kitchen!

People think that the life of a blogger is only filled with attending events and going for a fun trip, but we can assure you, it’s not just about that. Well, it’s partly true, but it’s not the whole truth. Anyway, a few weeks ago, while I had a solo trip to East Java, which was filled with mostly clouds and mist, DR had the privilege of a tasteful luncheon experience at Cassis Kitchen. Last week, we kinda switched place. While he had a fun vacation to (also) East Java (we’ll share it to you about both version of the trip soon), I had the privilege to enjoy Cassis Kitchen’s  new 2-course menu, which was launched at the end of February.

I’m not gonna talk a lot about the foods or the menu, I’m just gonna let the photos speak to you and encourage you to quickly reserve a table at Cassis Kitchen to taste it yourself!

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Table situation.

So the 2-course menu is filled with several selection of starters and main courses menu. The first on the list was, Parsnip Soup, which is more like a bowl of comfort, showered with garlic croutons and chives as toppings.

The second one on the starter was one my favorite! The crab toast that serves as a perfect choice to open your meal. Imagine having an abundant portion of juicy crab meats as a spread for your toast. This is exactly why you should experience the unordinary brunch/luncheon/dinner at Cassis Kitchen as they are always on the road of creating new menu. And by the way, this is only the second menu. More photos of delicious meals will tease you as you scroll down through this post.

Now, for the last choice of the starter menu was the Churrasco Style Wagyu. This one is also a must have. Where else can you have a plate of rare wagyu beef, cooked with ponzu (citrun-based sauce) and chimicchurri sauce, topped with fried shallots as an appetizer?

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Parsnip Soup

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Crab Toast

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Churrasco Style Wagyu

While the starter consists of three different choices, the main course consists of 9 different delicacies served in a satisfying portion. First up, which is also one of the meals that I’m gonna recommend to you, is the Seafood Risotto, a plate of seafood (scallop, prawn, and squid) party with risotto as their host, cooked together with mascarpone and basil oil.

Second and third one is the Spaghetti Carbonara and Beef Bolognese. As you can see in the pictures, both are covered in a rich portion of grated parmesan cheese. The carbonara is topped with green peas and poached egg, while the bolognese is served with penne, spicy beef ragout and herbs. These two would definitely satisfy your craving of Italian foods!

Now if you’re more of a big bite kind of foodie, you should really try their huge portion of Fish and Chips (beer battered dory) served with french fries and tartare sauce, and also the CK Cheese Burger, which is a double beef patties, placed within sesame brioche buns, and also served with french fries. It’s finger-lickin’ good!

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Seafood Risotto

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Spaghetti Carbonara

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Beef Bolognese

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Fish and Chips

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CK Cheese Burger

The next three are all for you seafood freaks. The first one is Patagonian Tootfish, placed artistically on top of cauliflower puree and showered with exotic mango salsa that brings a an ultimate freshness to the flavor. Another “must try” in Cassis Kitchen’s new menu is the Steamed Monkfish, which was made of pancetta, braised short ribs, parsnip puree and port jus. This one does not only give you a great taste, but it also gives you an eye-pleasing plating. You surely want to snap it for your Instagram.

If you’re a Lobster lover, then the Roasted Lobster Tail is what you should order next. It’s cooked perfectly with truffle chicken cream baby cos and completed with sweet potato veloutte, which doesn’t only perfected the flavor but also the whole look of the plating as the yellow color pop ups beautifully in the midst of all the other colors.

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Patagonian Toothfish

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Steamed Monkfish

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Roasted Lobster Tail

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Last but  not least on the main course list is the Curry Chicken Kiev, the name says it all I suppose. However, when the food came out, I secretly wondered about the curry sauce. Where is it? I didn’t see any. Apparently you have to slice open the Curry Chicken Kiev to find the curry sauce!

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Chicken Curry Kiev

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Hello there curry sauce!

Now to complete the 2-course menu, you can order their newly launched fashion-inspired cocktails, which came in a very creative packaging. They have the Elyx Kits, (the pink cocktail) served inside an acrylic music box, the Mademoiselle which comes in a headless mini mannequin, Fashion Victim, that literally comes in a small leather bag! And, the Concoctioner, served in conditioner bottle. Be careful not to apply it on your hair.

Ladies, if you are looking for a good time chillin with your friends, these drinks are not only a great companion but also a good Instagram material indeed!

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Elyx Kits

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Fashion Victim, modeled by @yossicostephanie.

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Mademoiselle.

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Concoctioner

Now I totally got what DR put as title in our former post about Cassis Kitchen. Plus, I came home with a real food comma. Stop imagining how the food tastes like in Cassis Kitchen, and start the experience soon this week! It’s definitely worth your time and penny.

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Thank you for having us @CassisKitchen!

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

A Lunch Date at Da Maria

Okay, it wasn’t really a date.

It was more of a late lunch catch up. She’s a long time high school buddy who has been too busy to meet me. Such an attitude, right? She probably thinks she’s better than me. Meh.

But I got to give her some credits for picking the place. I’ve never heard of Da Maria until she told me about it. It turns out to be one of the most picturesque restaurants in Bali! I can simply summarise it  as the bougie version of Motel Mexicola. No kidding.

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Interior.

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Exterior.

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Lunch date.

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Still taking photos alone.

Take a visit to Petitenget and you will find hundreds of cafes and restaurants along the street. But trust me, you will find nothing like Da Maria. After roaming around the restaurant for more photo opp, I found that Da Maria has a taste of its own. What I liked most about the place was its interior and exterior designs. From the chairs to the walls, everything was consistently coloured in blue, white or yellow. I realized that interior design should be quite a big thing in Bali.

I spent a lot of time roaming around the restaurant, especially its outdoor area. With the sun setting, we quickly took as much photos as we can in Da Maria.

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Needless to say, that this restaurant should be a perfect place for a fine dining experience. At night, the colours turn melodramatic and the lights are dimmed to create such a romantic ambiance. During the daylight, the place is somehow more playful for friends and family.

Once the sun sets, my friend and I noticed a couple of lovers walking in the restaurant. We thought that it was the right time to go. So after a glass of iced coffee and orange juice, we left Da Maria for the lovers.

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Da Maria opens everyday from 12.00 to 02.00 in the morning. For a photo opp, come early. For a romantic date night, come late. Whatever you prefer, prepare Rp 200k for a dining experience for each person since the coffee itself was more expensive than Starbucks. However, one day, I will definitely comeback with someone special for a romantic dinner. I guess it’s safe to say that it will be quite an experience!

Keep exploring.

DR. (@demasryan)

 

 

A Postcard from Bali: Life Lessons from “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”

New year, new resolutions and new expectations. What kind of greatness do you seek to achieve this year?

To me, I was only looking for a peaceful state of mind. To be honest, I didn’t end 2016 exactly in a place that I want to be. In fact, I was quite far from my personal targets and goals. A little speed bumps and a few road blocks here and there got me super exhausted by the end of the year. I didn’t even start 2017 all excited. The first of January was just another day to me.

That was why I needed Bali so much. When I got a call to host an event in Bali, I quickly said yes in one term, which is for my client to extend my flight for almost 2 weeks. That way, I can have my most needed vacation in Bali.

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Girls just want to have fun.
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Beautiful sunset view from the Potato Head Beach Club.

In search of peace and tranquility, I bought a book at the airport by Robin Sharma titled “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”. I’m not much of a fiction fan, but I wasn’t in the mood for some self development book. I was just in a mood to get lost and find myself again. When it comes to finding your true self, nobody does it better than monks, right?

The book caught my attention since the very first chapter. It tells a story about a very successful corporate lawyer who sold everything in order to find himself again. To do that, he used his hard earned money to travel to India in search of wisdom from the wisest guru to learn about the art of living.

 I’m not going to spoil it for you. Read the rest of the book yourself.

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Diving in USS Shipwreck, Tulamben.

But here’s what I can tell you. I learn that the chase of money, fame and power is like the chase of the wind. It is futile. Even worse, it leads to destruction of morale and self identity.

The world relates success to something big. A big fat bank account, a big number of followers on Instagram or a big leadership and influence over a group of people. In this modern world, we tend to measure success, while it is actually more qualitative than quantitative.

 It is not much about number. It is more about quality.

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“The moment I stopped spending so much time chasing the big pleasure of life. I began to enjoy the little ones, like watching the stars dancing in moonlit sky or soaking in the sunbeams of a glorious summer morning.” – Robin S. Sharma

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“Never underestimate the power of simplicity.” – Robin S. Sharma

If qualitative success is what we want to achieve, then qualitative ways must be done to reach that kind of success. One of it that is explained in the book is about guarding your own thoughts.

A lot of people have learned and mastered the art of securing their investments and household, but few have actually mastered the art of guarding their own mind. That is why monks (from the books) punish themselves by meditating under the waterfall every time they let a tiny seed of worry enters their mind. They can’t let even the tiniest bit of worry grow inside and takes over their peace of mind.

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“Worry drains the mind of its power and, sooner or later, it injures the soul.” – Robin S. Sharma

I for one, am not a master of my own thoughts. My thoughts have took away my sleep and, sometimes, sanity. I guess I have to add that to my priority list on top of “making money”.

With all that written, I am determined to make this year all about self study. Instagram and the internet is the perfect tool to learn more about others. All the while, we tend to forgot that it is us that needs mending and fixing. While we focus so much on others and achieving what they have achieved, we forgot that the main character in our life is us. We are not just watchers and observers of life.

 That is why, studying ourselves is important. To know where we are and to know where we should be is one of the key to qualitative success.

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“I once read that people who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened.” – Robin S. Sharma

What a perspective to start the year! Thank you Bali. Thank you Robin S. Sharma. You can continue scrolling down and look at more of my stories from Bali.

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)

 

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Thousands of tiny fishes spotted.

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Colourful corals.

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The Lady Gaga of fish.

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My lunch date at Da Maria, @inesaryaniputri.

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Took a quick visit to Taman Ujung, Karangasem. I rode for 2 hours to get to this place.

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One of the best wedding photography sites in Bali.

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When you travel alone, but clever enough to utilize the self timer feature.

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Kali Unda was lit. I loved every minute I spent watching these kids play in the water.

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These four kids kept on jumping just to be in the photo.

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Simplicity.

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Dab for the camera!

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Definitely a rare candid moment.

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Bumped into @martinalvin and @crystiarden. This couple would kill their pre wedding photos.

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These tacos I tried at Panama are definitely not the best taco in Bali.
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Chilling by the pool.

So, Life Is Tough. Srsly? Think Again.

This is not one of our regular “coffee-shop-review” post, just in case the title is bugging you. Here’s a post that is inspired by the current train of thoughts I’ve been having these past few weeks.

As I sat down, waiting for my friends to come, in SRSLY Coffee, I can’t help but having a little discussion with my own thoughts about the particular statement I used in the title. “Life is tough,” we secretly uttered this sentence, almost automatically, when life doesn’t happen the way we expect it to be. There are times when I’m still guilty of subconsciously letting this thought popped up on the surface. Even when facing mere temporary problems as simple as being stuck in the traffic.

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Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7C, Cilandak

In a world that (not only offers, but also) praises instant and immediate results, it’s very easy for us to forget and undermine the value of process. We forget to learn the art of cultivating patience. The society is no longer able to see the importance of waiting. We see waiting as a loss, a damage or a waste of our “oh-so-valuable” time.

When we want something, we want it right away, we want it our way. If things don’t happen according to our timeline and expectation, we easily conclude that life happens. Reality bites. And then, we post it on our social media, expecting attention and empathy from others to help us feel good about ourselves again.

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I have a thing for white decoration.

If only we can stop for a while before we let our emotions take control of everything and lead us into a conclusion that life is tough, probably we’ll be able to see that life is not really that tough. Especially when you still have a fine working smartphone to read this post.

That was when I looked up and chuckled. Because, it seemed like the big signage before me was laughing at the conversation that happened in my mind. SRSLY? One fine coffee shop to sit and unwind. One person with one busy thought. One question, seriously?

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SRSLY?

People use speed as a benchmark of achievement. No wonder we love those singing contest reality show. No wonder some people love to have instant followers and likes. And so we are trapped in an endless competition of being the fastest.

The fastest to be in a relationship, even after one suffered a painful break up. The fastest to have a date, thanks to Tinder. The fastest to purchase the newest gadget. The fastest to watch the newest movie. The fastest to quit a job and hop on to a new job in the name of pursuing passion. The fastest to get married, even when we still carry unresolved issues from the past.

People love to be on the fast lane as it comes with an adrenaline rush. But we often forget, that moving in a high speed can cause us a serious damage. That is why the art of pausing, or even stopping and taking a break need to be mastered.

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Have you ever tried putting yourself in other people’s shoes?

When you are moving too fast, you have the potential to end up in a huge crash, right? What if those unanswered prayers, or unmet wants and needs are actually a form of divine protection that have been actually saving you, preventing you from a major crash? Try see it from a different angle. Have you tried to see “not getting what you want” as a blessing in disguise?

A blessing that prevent you from stepping into a mess.
A blessing that prevent you from marrying the wrong person.
A blessing that prevent you from taking the wrong career path.

A blessing that prevent you from another heart break.

One sad news that literally tore my heart apart and made me cry arrived during the drafting of this post. The pretty little warrior, Daphne (the baby girl that we visited during our last visit to Singapore), passed away (on Wednesday morning). His dad replied my text still being all-inspiring, believing that Daphne is now in a better condition, playing happily in heaven. Even when I visited them at the funeral, they both welcomed me still with the warm smiles I saw when we came visited them in the hospital.

Through Daphne’s life, and the uncommon great faith of her parents, I’m being reminded again about all this. From them, I learn the true meaning of giving my best in dealing with problems that come into my life. From them, I learn the true meaning of being strong. From them, I learn to have a bigger faith, the kind of faith that refuse to give up.

When you think that your life is tough, stop, pause, and ask this to yourself: “Is it really? Have I tried my best? How long have I been praying and fighting for miracles to come? Have I failed to see other options? Have I tried putting myself in other people’s shoes?”

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Busy. Busy. Busy. Hail to the fast lane society!

Before we get too fast in concluding that life is tough, why don’t we stop and start to look at the blessing that we have? Why don’t we start being grateful instead?

Let’s make this as part of our lifestyle. Lifestyle is not only about spending what you have on what would make you look cool. It can be a way of living that would add value and give good influence to those around you. That’s what lifestyle is. At least, that’s how we see it.

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Lifestyle is more than just purchasing a cup of coffee.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Postcard From Jakarta: Capturing The Unseen

Hello, 2017! As exciting as it is, it feels a bit surreal that we are finally entering the second year of managing The Perks of Being 20.

How was your New Year celebration? As for us, we spent quite a fun “old and new”  with some of our friends: singing our hearts out at a karaoke place, bbq, snacking like there’s no tomorrow, playing with fireworks, and staying up all night until the first sunrise in 2017 appeared.

I used to get so excited about the New Year. I used to get so psyched up about staying up until midnight just to experience the euphoria of entering a new year, which brings a lot of new hope, a sense of new changes, better changes. Until I grew up, and life started to throw stuff at me. Until reality started to bite.  I remember feeling unexcited anymore about the new year, because I knew that even though the time on my clock changed, even the day, month and year on my calendar changed, I was still stuck with the same problem and the same character.

That was me, during my quarter life crisis.

This year, however, my perspective has been renewed. I realized that if I want to see change to happen in some areas of my life, I’m the one who is responsible to make that change. Yes, there are a lot of messy homework to be done, but as adults, we have no other choice but to deal with it.

Anyways, enough with the serious stuff. How was your holiday? Did you get to travel overseas and visit a lot of new places? Or, was it like ours? We didn’t get to travel anywhere this year. However, that didn’t stop us from getting the best experience out of our holidays. We wanted to enjoy it while it last. So what did we do?

This could be an inspiration for you to do, when you want to travel, but you’re stuck in this city. Grab your camera, and start exploring. Open your eyes to the things around you that you might have been taking for granted. As for us, we decided to see Jakarta, the city that we were born into, and have witnessed some of our ups and downs, from behind our camera lens. We didn’t even plan to make a blog post out of it, as we only intended to go with our camera accompanying us. But then we realized, we have created a lot of postcard series in this blog as we traveled to some beautiful places. Why don’t we create one out of our very own hometown?

So here is Jakarta,

From the eyes of HG:

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Hello.. it’s me.

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(Not so) proudly present.. the latest worldwide topic originated from Indonesia.

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Lunch break.

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Old heritage.

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Street gallery.

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A series of antics.

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Pink is the new black.

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(Almost) everybody’s question to God.

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Let me show you how I do it.

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Finding direction.

 

From the eyes of DR:

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Young love.

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When the future seems bright.

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Probably got some paint in his eye.

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Take democracy out of the square.

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Cool hat!

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In action.

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Peek a boo!

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Travel essentials.

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Waiting is so boring.

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Hello there!

We hope you are as excited as we are about 2017! Anyways, before I end this post, let me share with you the first good news we received at the beginning of 2017. This website has reached 10k viewers just a few weeks before its first anniversary! Thank you for every single one of you who has been so loyal in checking out the new posts every week, and  even sharing it to your friends. Cheers!

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

The Heart-Eyes Emoji for Beau HQ Cikajang

Can I tell you a secret? Although I was born as a native Indonesian, I’ve been secretly wishing to have breads as our staple food. Most of my friends love to brag about the authenticity of their Indonesian blood simply because they love to eat rice above all else. A meal is not a meal without a plate of rice included, so they said.

As for me, if you know me well, you’ll know that I rarely finish my rice portion in almost every meal I have. But when it comes to bread, I won’t let even a single crumb falls. This is why I got so excited, and nervous at the same time, every time I enter a bread store because I often want to buy every thing.

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Do you know that feeling when you enter your favourite store where you planned to only buy one item, but then you got nervous during your way in, because you know you might spend more than you planned? That’s me, in almost every bread store: from Francis to Pan Ya, from Komugi to Beau.

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The moment I knew that Beau has finally open their own outlet, which is also gonna be their headquarter and biggest outlet so far, I couldn’t wait to pay a visit. And, we had the opportunity to give it a try during our interview with Uchita Pohan.

Are you familiar with the heart-eyes emoji? That was probably how I look when I saw the Beau HQ. Located in Cikajang, Senopati, Beau stands out elegantly with super convenient and eye-pleasing alfresco area. The building is painted in white and decorated with plenty of green plants, Scandinavian tables and big window panes. The ultimate place that offers every single spot for Instagram-worthy photos.

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If you’ve been reading our blog for quite a while now, you definitely could guess what drinks that we ordered. As always, an iced black coffee for DR, and a cup of flat white for me. I also ordered the Smorrebrod – Danish open-faced sandwich, served on dark rye bread or brioche (40k each, 100k for 3). I picked the Beef Pastrami, Pork Salami and Gravad Laks.

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Smorrebrod.

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Pork Salami (red onion, tomatoes, garden greens).

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Beef Pastrami (remoulade, cornichons, caramelized onion, poached egg, crispy shallots).

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Gravad Laks (smoked salmon, dill, yoghurt, beet, radish and microgreens).

Time passed by just like that when you get too comfortable enjoying a particular place. Or perhaps, the presence of a particular someone. Three hours and a half went by without us noticing. I, myself, got a bit too comfortable having the patisserie as my temporary working station. Their playlist and the gloomy sky came as an additional reasons of why I’d stay for another hour. Sadly, next appointment awaited us.

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I’m giving Beau a 9/10! It’s definitely the must visit place on weekend for you to unwind.

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)