This Month’s Music – Shy Girls

I’m currently obsessed with Shy Girls – a Portland based band. Their first EP, “Timeshare” was actually out on 2013 but I just discovered them very recently. I’m no expert in classifying music genres, but from what I’ve read, they are classified as RnB-Soul-Smooth Jazz. Some are referring them to Sade, Prince, and The Weeknd… and I actually agree with the latter, plus I also think that their sounds kind of remind me of good old 90s slowjams tunes. Anyway, I think their music is perfect for lazy Sunday days, the ones you like to spend just chilling in your room. I’m actually listening to their Soundcloud as I write this so I guess it’s a nice companion for writing as well.

Here’s my favorite track of “Timeshare” EP – you can purchase them on iTunes.

And.. I also found out that they’re doing a rendition of Brandy’s Sittin Up in My Room, which I think is quite sexy 😉

The US Trip: Food Fiesta!

This is the eighth post of ” The Us Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.

In this post, I will simply list down the best restaurants and food joints I visited during my trip to the West Coast! Enjoy 🙂

KogiKing BBQ

I visited KogiKing right after I landed in LA. In fact, it was my first meal after more than 10 hours flight. I’m already a big fan of meat and Korean BBQ, plus I was so hungry and tired from the long journey, so I was so excited when I found out that this restaurant offers all you can eat buffet! I actually forget how much did it cost per person, but I’m sure it’s below $20. I think it’s somewhere between $15-18, which I think is a very good deal considering it would normally cost me around $15 when I eat Korean BBQ in Jakarta (not all you can eat). If you’re into meat, this is a must visit as they serve high-quality meat. If you still have some room in your tummy for side dish, do try their kimchi “lunch box” which I supposed resembles old school Korean lunch box (not Korean so I’m not sure.. hahaha). Although not my very favorite dish, the lunch box is indeed a unique dish because it’s not common in Jakarta’s Korean restaurants that I’ve been.

kogiking LA
Kogi King!

Fred 62

Still in downtown LA, Fred 62 is a typical American Diner that you’d normally see in the movies. It opens 24 hours every day… in other words, they never close! I visited Fred 62 twice during my stay in LA. The first was for breakfast where me and my friends ordered two of their breakfast menu to be shared (For me, their portion is quite big so it’s safe to share). It was delicioussss!

Big breakfast!
Big breakfast!

Then I came back again a couple days after for a late night snack after going to Local Natives’ concert. This time I had their famous bossa nova waffle. Now I’m talking about serious waffle business here. Their waffle was sooo good, fluffy and crispy at the same time.

Fred 62 waffle
Bossa Nova Waffle

Oh, one other thing! Not only they have excellent food.. Fred 62 is also the location set for Hollywood movie and TV series. You might find it familiar if you have seen the 2009 movie Spread and have been following Dexter the TV series (season 6).

In – N – Out Burger

If the East Coast has the famous Shake Shack burger.. California has In – N – Out! Many foodie articles have mentioned that this joint is one of the must visits when you’re in California. I had Animal Style burger PLUS a vanilla Milkshake. Classic American style burger, a total yummmm! 🙂

In N Out!
In N Out!

Umami Burger

Another burger joint, this one serves more fancy and unique menu. One of the must try is their truffle burger – with truffle cheese and truffle glaze. However, since I visited their Santa Monica branch, I tried the branch’s specialty instead – Oxtail Burger. It’s basically a beef burger with shredded oxtail and truffle cheese topping, which was soooo gooood. If I told you that In – N – Out is a total yum, this one too! They can’t actually be compared, both has different taste. But let me put it this way, try In – N – Out for a classic American burger, but don’t forget Umami for a feast of toppings.

Umami Burger
Umami Burger

Pampas Grill

Now this is another meat joint. Located inside LA’s farmers market, they serve Brazillian BBQ  by the pound. I can’t say much about this place except they offer one of the best meats I’ve tasted. Sooo juicy, with affordable price 😀

Pampas Grill
Meat Frenzy at Pampas Grill – Farmers Market

NBC Seafood Restaurant

Though it is originally a chinese – seafood restaurant, I visited only for their dimsum. Dimsum is only served there from 8AM – 3PM. Since they are quite famous in LA’s chinese food scene, be prepared to queue when you’re going there. The queue will be worth it though, they serve an extensive selection of yummy dimsum..

Dimsum Galore at NBC

Now, the next restaurants will not have any pictures simply because I forgot to take some. Hahaha. But keep reading, There are more yummy restaurants still to be reviewed 🙂

Gyutan Tsukasa 

Located inside Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa – Orange County, they serve the BEST beef tongue plate that I’ve ever tasted. It is juicy, tender, and very flavorful. Beef tongue is getting more and more popular in Jakarta’s Japanese food scene and I can tell you that no one tops Gyutan Tsukasa so far.

Phil’s BBQ

This restaurant is originally located in San Diego. I did not get the chance to visit San Diego though, but I managed to visit their San Marcos branch. Serving American classic BBQ, their ribs is to die for!!! It is voted top 10 restaurants in San Diego, so be prepared to queue. Don’t worry, the queue will be worth it!

The Kickin’ Crab

Serving Cajun style seafood.. this is truly the place to have seafood fiesta. Their specialty is the seasonings, and I had the Kickin Style – Extra Mild (Hahaha.. I can’t eat spicy food). Basically you pick your seafood of choice, pick one of the available seasonings and your spice level. They have Lemon Pepper, Cajun, Louisiana, Garlic Butter, and last but not least.. Kickin Style, which is a mix of  all the mentioned seasonings. You can also choose some extras, and I would recommend you to choose corn on the cob and garlic noodles for a different experience of eating seafood.

Native Foods

If you have been reading this post and my blog.. you’d know that I’m no Vegetarian nor Vegan. However, my boyfriend successfully persuaded me to visit this restaurant – a Vegan restaurant. At first I felt hesitant, because I’ve never tasted Vegan food before, nor am I used to the lifestyle. But I finally visited just out of curiosity… and I have to say that the food was delicious! It might not be my favorite food… but it’s nice to visit for a different experience 🙂 P.S – don’t worry if you’re a first timer like me, their staffs are very friendly and would gladly recommend you some options that will suit first timers like us!

So, that’s it! I hope I can give you some ideas to visit if you happen to be around Los Angeles… 🙂

Music Lately

Last month I bought myself a new iPod nano, 16 gb (YAY!). The last time I had an iPod was back in 2009 before my good ol’ iPod classic (80 gb) decided to die on me. Ever since I only listened to music from my phone and online radio… while saving up to buy a new iPod.

I wanted to buy iPod classic due to its capacity but when I think of it again… the size makes it not easy to bring anywhere. I think I’m gonna buy one when I have my own place, and will just put it in an iPod dock and let it play good music all day long 🙂

Anyway, I decided to buy iPod nano instead (enough capacity, perfect size – easy to bring anywhere), and now that I’ve bought it.. I’ve been spending a lot of my free time browsing and listening to music.. and then choosing the songs that I’m going to put into this iPod.

And now.. Here are some songs and albums that I’m currently listening to :

Ed Sheeran – One (From the album “X”)
Ed Sheeran is back! this is indeed a sad but beautiful song..

Sam Smith – Lay Me Down (From the album “In the Lonely Hour”)
Many have said that he’s male Adele as he’s also British. I kinda agree.. his songs are somewhat similar to Adele’s but.. I still can’t help to fall for his voice. Very enjoyable song, and album!

Gabrielle Aplin – Home (from the album “English Rain”)
Another British singer I currently love..

Okay.. now it’s time for more upbeat songs :

RAC – Cheap Sunglasses  feat Matthew Koma (from the album “Strangers”)
They are coming to Jakarta! wooot! Sunday, August 24. Cant wait!

MO – Don’t Wanna Dance (from the album “No Mythologies To Follow”)
With its catchy beat, this song has been my current mood booster!

What do you think of these songs? Do check them out and hope you’ll love it as much as I am! 🙂

Selamat datang di Jakarta, Uber!

Pernah dengar tentang Uber? kemungkinan besar kamu yang tinggalnya di Amerika atau Inggris pernah ya. Saya sendiri tadinya cuma sering baca artikel atau review tentang Uber di blog – blog, sampai akhirnya minggu lalu saya baca bahwa Uber kini sudah ada di Jakarta!

Apa sih Uber? kalau yang saya baca di website nya, dan juga di artikelartikel yang mengulasnya, Uber itu semacam sistem rideshare atau kalau di terjemahkan, berbagi kendaraan. Sama siapa? Kalau di Amerika yang saya baca, siapa saja bisa jadi pengemudi Uber selama memenuhi syarat yang ditentukan. Untuk menggunakan jasa Uber, gampang sekali – semuanya dilakukan lewat aplikasi smartphone dan sistem pembayaran pun dilakukan lewat kartu kredit. Praktis ya? Beberapa teman saya yang tinggal di LA dan SF pernah cerita betapa serunya ketika mereka request Uber dan tiba – tiba kedatangan supir Uber yang sangat ganteng, atau naik mobil Mercedes Benz! hahahaha.

Jadi, ketika tau Uber sudah ada di Jakarta, saya langsung download aplikasi nya dan daftar. Saat daftar, karena masih dalam masa promo, saya diberikan voucher sebesar 100 ribu rupiah yang bisa digunakan kapan saja. Hari Kamis yang lalu, pulang kantor, saya berencana untuk memakai jasa Uber dari kantor saya di Sudirman menuju Plaza Senayan. Sayangnya saya lupa screenshot tampilan app nya ketika saya request Uber, tapi semuanya benar – benar gampang dilakukan. Intinya, si aplikasi akan melacak lokasi kamu ketika kamu membuka aplikasi nya, lalu ketika kamu memutuskan untuk request Uber, dia akan mengidentifikasi lokasi mobil Uber terdekat, memberi tahu kamu nama supir, foto, jenis mobil dan plat nya, lalu  memberitahukan estimasi waktu kedatangan mobil Uber kamu. Kamu juga bisa menghitung estimasi biaya menuju tempat tujuan yang dihitung dari gabungan base fare, jarak dan waktu tempuh.

Oke kembali lagi ke pengalaman saya dengan Uber ya. Awalnya ketika saya request Uber dari kantor, dibilang bahwa mobil saya akan datang dalam waktu 9 menit. Akan tetapi tidak sampai 5 menit dari waktu saya melakukan request, saya ditelpon oleh supir Ubernya yang bilang bahwa Ia terjebak macet, jadi estimasi kedatangan bisa lebih dari 30 menit dan dengan fair nya menawarkan untuk pembatalan jika saya keberatan menunggu selama itu. Lalu saya batalkan, dan saya pergi ke Plaza Senayan naik ojek. Pada saat saya sedang di Plaza Senayan, ternyata saya harus pindah lagi ke Gandaria City setelahnya, kemudian saya berpikir untuk mencoba request Uber lagi. Setelah dapat supir, ada tulisan “Driver Confirmed and En Route”, yang juga dilengkapi dengan estimasi kedatangan yang di-update secara real time seiring dengan bergeraknya mobil menuju lokasi penjemputan. Kali ini estimasi kedatangan totalnya 15 menit. Supir nya pun menelpon saya tak lama setelah ada tulisan “Driver Confirmed and En Route”, dan bilang bahwa Ia akan tiba kurang lebih 25 menit, lalu setelah saya setuju untuk menunggu, kita janjian bertemu di lobby utama Plaza Senayan. Fair Enough. Lalu saya menunggu.  Selama menunggu, saya bisa memantau secara langsung posisi mobil Uber nya.

Kurang lebih 25 menit kemudian, mobil saya datang. Mobilnya bagus, masih tampak baru – Hyundai Sonata berwarna hitam. Pak Supirnya menyapa saya dengan ramah dan menyetir dengan profesional walaupun sedang macet. Di dalam mobil tersedia air putih botol yang bisa diminum, bebas biaya tambahan! Menurut saya itu adalah little extra  yang menarik. Total biaya perjalanan saya dari Plaza Senayan ke Gandaria City sekitar 30 ribu rupiah, yang saya rasa walau sedikit lebih mahal dari taksi biasa, tapi masih masuk akal. Itupun karena saat ini Uber masih dalam masa promo, jadi saya bisa menggunakan kredit voucher yang saya punya, jadi tidak usah bayar, hahaha. Satu hal yang saya masih kurang paham – kalau di Amerika, siapa saja yang lolos syarat kan katanya bisa daftar jadi supir Uber. Tapi kalau di Jakarta, apa bisa begitu juga? Supir saya kemarin sih seperti supir profesional – menyetirnya enak, sopan dan baik. Saya nggak  kebayang deh kalau nanti orang biasa bisa jadi supir Uber juga… kira – kira bagaimana ya sistemnya?

Anyway, saya puas sekali menggunakan Uber. Saat ini mobilnya baru ada 20 di sekitaran Jakarta pusat – tetapi siap mengantarkan kemana saja. Benar – benar seperti punya supir pribadi ya 🙂

P.S kalau mau coba Uber dan dapat 1 kali free ride, silakan pakai kode saya ya “christinaj21” 😉

The Croissant Quest! [1]

I love Croissant!
I think my love for this yummy buttery pastry first started when I lived in Bournemouth. There was this small French bakery near the town centre which I often visit – and even though I had eaten croissant before, the croissant there was the most delicious that I’ve ever had!

Now, as I am back living in Jakarta, I often feel the crave for good croissant. It’s not a hard thing to find a bakery/cafe which sells one, because croissant is such a common menu in bakeries/cafes. BUT… not everyone can make a good one. Especially in here in Jakarta.

So, I’m doing a croissant quest! I’ll review as many as possible in my quest of finding the best croissant in town.

Let’s start with PAUL Patisserie. This bakery is located in Pacific Place, Jakarta Selatan. This one is a renowned bakery from Europe, and I am already familiar with their hot chocolate which I often bought when in London. Here, the croissant is priced at IDR 18k. It looks ordinary, altough seems perfectly baked. But, it tastes good – crunchy and crispy outside yet moist inside. It’s quite buttery too, and I like it for that. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Paul’s Croissant – dine in

However…. I actually bought two of them , 1 left intentionally to be eaten the next day for breakfast. What happened was really surprising though. The croissant became SUPER EXTREMELY MOIST AND BUTTERY  – I have to use capslock so that you can get a sense of how good it was. Really, I died and went to croissant heaven. Try it for yourself, buy the croissant, leave it overnight in your cupboard and eat it without reheating it the next morning. SUPER DELISH. I give it 5  out of 5 stars!

Paul’s Croissant – the morning after!

Conclusion: Paul’s croissant tastes SO MUCH BETTER when left overnight – it deserves 5 stars, no doubt about it.

See you on the next Croissant Quests!

Pizza Barboni

I’ve heard about Pizza Barboni for awhile, mostly from my friends’ path and instagram feeds. They say this pizza joint is the real deal – especially because they serve wood fire pizza which is quite rare to be found in Jakarta. But it was not until yesterday that I finally paid my visit.. which surely made me think “why didn’t I do this earlier?!”

Pizza Barboni is located in Jalan Kemang 1, Jakarta Selatan (it’s that one way street that you have to take when you’re heading to La Codefin from McDonalds area.. ring a bell?), in the same shopping arcade with Little Baghdad. The restaurant is not too big, there are only 2 tables in the patio area and 4 tables inside. But, they do delivery (probably only in Kemang area though.. but do give it a try)!

Their menu is straight up simple, Italian – Style Pizza. They also have some nibbles which I did not get to try (yet), because my focus yesterday was to try their selection of pizza. They have quite an extensive range for you to choose, from mushroom pizza to beef or even pork pizza.

Being a meat pizza fan, I ordered Americana pizza – Thin crust pizza with Beef Bacon, Pepperoni and Mozzarella toppings (IDR 75K). I give it 5 stars! The crust is perfect, the blend of cheese and the toppings are heavenly. Since I ate it while it’s still hot, I got to feel the sensation of cheese melting in my mouth.. Mamma mia! 😀

Americana Pizza
Americana Pizza

Aside from their yummy pizzas, I have to give credit for their concept and branding. They take branding seriously and I love the interior – clean, simple and cozy. The kind of place you’d want to go for a casual date.. or hang out with friends. Here’s a sneak peek:

Inside the Restaurant
Inside the Restaurant

So.. for you pizza lovers in town, be sure to check them out and let me know what you think. 🙂

Pizza Barboni

Jalan Kemang 1, no.72
Phone: (021) 7181101
Facebook: Pizza Barboni
Twitter: @PizzaBarboni
Opening hours: Tue – Sun11:00 – 00:00

#thismonthsmusic – March

Earlier this month I went to Java Jazz Festival , mainly to see India Arie and Allen Stone.  But, a local artist’s performance really got my attention. It was Teza Sumendra’s.

I haven’t heard much of Teza before, except the fact that he used to be in Indonesian Idol. But let me tell you this – his voice is just amazingly beautiful and I’m not exaggerating. Plus – he does cover songs of Rnb/Soul singers which are my favorite music genre. Yay! Well I can’t say much about his singing technique since I’m no singing expert, but just have a listen to his covers on Youtube and Soundcloud so you can agree with me! 😉

Anyway.. for March’s #thismonthsmusic, here are his top 5 cover songs. Enjoy!

Pretty Wings by Maxwell

I Need by TGT

Strip by Chris Brown

Rocket by Beyonce

Girls Love Beyonce by Drake

And here’s a snapshot of his performance of Java Jazz , where he sang one of my favorite song – Musiq’s Just Friends 🙂