Quick update : My family is moving to a new house!!!
This is major to us, since we are moving from the first house that my parents bought during their marriage. We wanted to stay, but the house seems to get bigger and bigger as the family become smaller and smaller… so we made a brave decision – move out to a smaller house!
Though the discussion to move has been around since 2 years ago, we never really market the house seriously. We did not put ads – only casually mentions it to several friends and relatives. But then early this year we were approached by a serious buyer, had some negotiations… and then sealed the deal.
Then came the house-searching part. Boy it was sooo hard to find the “it” house! Location, price, neighborhood, design… all those things to consider really got me (almost) insane! hahaha. Being the first born, mum sort of handed over the nitty gritty stuff to me. But, finally we found “the one” and will move there early next month. Will tell stories on the new house later after we have settled in 🙂
It is sad to leave the house that I grew up in. At the moment I’m still covered with excitement of the new place.. but I know that deep down I’m going to miss my old house so much, considering that’s the only house I know when growing up. I still can’t imagine how I would feel on moving out day…. wish me luck!!
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.
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!
Conclusion: Paul’s croissant tastes SO MUCH BETTER when left overnight – it deserves 5 stars, no doubt about it.
This is the sixth post of “The US Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.
The trip to San Francisco happened rather unplanned during my US Trip. I wanted to visit but it was not in my main itinerary as I was aware that it’s a 6hour-ish drive from Los Angeles and I had a tight schedule around LA and Orange County.
However, I suddenly got an invitation to visit a relative of mine who found out that I was in California from my mum. At first I wanted to visit on the weekend but because of her schedule, I had to make the trip the next day. I remember it was a Wednesday afternoon after I finished talking with my relative on the phone and confirming my visit – I immediately searched for ways of public transportation from LA to SF… and I was a bit surprised to find Megabus! Back in the UK, I loooooved Megabus. They’re my savior because they have offers as cheap as £1 to travel to London’s neighboring cities. Anyway, thanks to Megabus I found cheap LA to SF tickets. The coach left LA (Union Station) at Thursday midnight and arrive in SF (Caltrain Station – 4th and King St) at around 7 in the morning.
The journey was really convenient for me (except the fact that me and R did not get seats next to each other – the coach was full), I could sleep almost all the way and woke up just when we were about to arrive.
Since we arrived at 7 in the morning and my appointment with my relative was not until 3 in the afternoon, we had some time to kill and decided to wander around town. We did not have specific itinerary, all I thought was to visit some of the obvious tourist spots if possible.
Then I used google maps to find out where we were, and how far we were from Pier 39, Chinatown, or Union Square. We were surprised to found out that Chinatown was only 20 mins walk away and then another 20 mins-ish walk would take us to Pier 39!
So we walked. Our first destination was Chinatown because we wanted to have dim sum breakfast. I actually don’t remember the name of that dim sum restaurant that we went to, but there are a lot of dim sum restaurants in the area – you can always choose one (tip: use Yelp if you want to check out the reviews.. really helpful!). It was an enjoyable walk despite the gloomy weather – compared to sunny LA, weather in SF can be discouraging! but I love SF’s city centre. There’s something about the vibe that the city has, not to mention the architecture was just very easy on the eyes.
After breakfast, we walked again to Pier 39, another 20 mins walk. Because the sun’s up by then, it wasn’t as cold and gloomy as when we first walked to Chinatown – thus made it even more enjoyable! There are a lot of small shops and stalls in the area, it’s indeed a pretty sightseeing spot (You can see the Golden Gate Bridge from a far!). Plus, I also got to see some seals! Verrrryy cute. Pier 39 is next to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we had a quick lunch at the famous Bistro Boudin. It was, indeed, quite a splurge, but totally worth it.
From Fisherman’s Wharf, we went back to the city centre because we wanted to see Union Square. But we did not walk back… This time we took the famous Cable Car! Woohooo! It cost us $6 for a single ride ticket and you can easily purchase the ticket in one of the stations (tip: my ticket can be used as 10% off voucher in Ghirardelli chocolate stores – another must visit in town!).
Union Square is almost like the heart of San Francisco to me. I love to see how people was able to sit outdoors and enjoy their time. For shopping lovers, this is the place for you. Macy’s, Uniqlo, and other high street brands are in this area 😀
Then it’s time to meet my relative. We met her at Ghirardelli Square. It’s another tourist spot – apparently the building is quite historic. But despite the historical facts, they have one of the best chocolates I’ve ever tasted. For sure! There’s a park in the area too.. again, I love city parks as it’s almost a luxury in Jakarta.
We also met R’s friend and then the four of us went for another round of sightseeing – this time R’s friend drove us around. Our first stop was Lombard Street. There’s really nothing there – it’s just a residential area…. BUT with stellar view. Perfect for pictures!
Of course, we HAD to see the Golden Gate Bridge. If you were to take public transportation, this link should help. There were some spots to take pictures with the bridge in the background, and you can do some sightseeing too. We didn’t spend too much time here, simply just click and go!
Last but not least, we went for a quick sightseeing trip to Treasure Island. Though it was too cold to stay for a long time, I was sooo happy to be able to see such breathtaking view of SF’s city lights from a far. Too bad both my iPhone AND camera ran out of battery by then.. So I didn’t get to take any pictures! (boohoo). But feel free to browse some images curated by the lovely google here. After Treasure Island, we went back to our bus station to catch the midnight bus back to LA.
So that’s how we spent 16 hours in San Francisco. I guess we pretty much covered anything… well, most of tourist spots for sure. I fell in love with San Francisco instantly even after such short visit.. and of course, would love to come back again and spend more time.
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! 😀
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:
So.. for you pizza lovers in town, be sure to check them out and let me know what you think. 🙂
This is the fifth post of “The US Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.
Orange County is where I spent most of my days during this US trip. I stayed in Motel 6 Newport Beach – which I would gladly recommend due to its exceptional service, despite being “only” a motel. I chose to stay in Orange County because of this TV Series! Hahaha not.. It’s because the motel rate is cheaper and I like to stay near the beach.
Anyway, in this post I’ll highlight some of the places I visited in Orange County. I was lucky that even though it’s September when I visited, I still got to enjoy sunshine and spend some time under the sun.
Huntington Beach is known for its surfing culture. They say you can surf all year long – that’s why it’s also famous as Surf City USA. Of all the beaches I visited, this is my favorite beach, it has white sands for as far as you can see, and also rows of palm trees.
Not a surfer? don’t worry, there are a lot of other things that you can do in Huntington Beach. I really enjoyed sun bathing ( didn’t jump to the water because the water was too cold! hahaha ), strolling down the main street where there’s a lot of cafes and small shops, and last but not least.. I really enjoyed kayak!
It was my very first experience and although it was rather hard to do at first, but when I got used to it, I really enjoyed it. You can check out Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals if you want to try kayaking as well 🙂
Laguna Hills is famous because of this TV Series – but there’s more to it. I personally love the terrain, you can see the beach and the hills in one sight. It’s also nice to drive around and see the nice houses in the neighborhood, then have a stroll on the high street full of cute small shops (The high street is smaller than the one in Huntington Beach).
While in the area, I also went for a bit of hike in Top of The World Park. There are a couple of routes that you can choose, depending on how long you want to hike. I chose the easy one – which can be finished in around 45 minutes time. Even from my easy route, I could see amazing city view from the top. I guess that’s why they name it Top of The World 🙂
Last but not least, don’t forget to also stop by the beach. Compared to Huntington Beach, this one has less palm trees and (I think) is not as big. Still nice to visit though!
So.. that’s about it for Orange County. I loveee the area simply because it has a selection of wonderful beaches and a very laid back vibe – typical southern Californian style. Do visit when you’re around Los Angeles – it’s only an hour drive away 🙂
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!