Monday, 20 September 2010

Jakarta, INDONESIA - eating and shopping

Jakarta is a vibrant city, very much like Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. While we see some poverty on the street, a trip to here, the Grand Indonesia really show how wealthy some of locals here are.  Grand Indonesia is the latest mall and you'll find all the top brands here. Much like our Pavillion, KL or Paragon in Bangkok.  We popped over to have a look and ate here:




Upper class and chic dining, the price does'nt come cheap, but the environment was nice and relaxing.




A whole range of Western food which I am sure was yummy, but why try Western when you are in Indonesia. I went for the famous Oxtail soup and it was absolutely delicious, cooked for hours with tons of herbs..just heavenly.



Eaten with rice and accompanied with thick black sauce and pounded chillies :)



Husband went for some fish and vege curry...I think. I don't even remember what I ate a week ago, so this was more than a month ago :P




After a few hours.....we went to Ratu Sari, another very popular eatery with restaurants here. Before, we could even order drinks...so many plates of food were laid on the table. You pay for what you eat, or you can ask them to take away what you do not want. Indonesian and Malaysian food are very similar, sharing the same spices and cooking style in many dishes.





This was not the posh and upscale Grand Indonesia mall but somewhere else, a local shopping heaven for fake branded goods. LV, Gucci...everything you name it. Bags and clothes of all brands and design, sitting side by side on the floor. I think the real owners would have had a heart attack if they saw this.  So, every person on the street carries a fake LV...they are so cheap, they cost USD10 a bag....but of course, the quality is horrible...but then, some won't care.



On the road, going to Jakartan on a weekend meant...heavy, heavy traffic everywhere.  Probably worst than Bangkok!  There was lots of people selling food stuff on the road everything was on a standstill.







Street food anyone?



Bye for now :O)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday


This is for you T! I can't believe that I've stopped playing SSS for such a long time and remember when we played for the very first time...way back, only a hand few players. See, T...how your little project has grown! 

I shot these with SSS in mind when I was in Jakarta. All shots taken from Jakarta Museum, Indonesia. This one very Balinese inspired.





Inside the musuem.




I have yet to see one of these performances either in Indonesia or Malaysia! A live wayang kulit or puppet shadow show!



Pop over to http://www.heyharriet.blogspot.com/ to see some of the coolest shadow around the world!

Happy Sunday everyone :)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Swiss Garden, Kuantan



There's a saying..the only thing that is constant is change.  I had a Sony Cybershot for years, took thousands of pictures and when the laptop nearly crashed, all I cared for was the pictures to be saved. Then at a trip to Kapas Island, water was in contact and it died. So, I bought a DSLR which I love as it captures night and fast moving pictures well.  However, anyone who owns a DSLR will tell you it's bulky and heavy too. No whipping from my pocket  to take pictures....so here I am playing with the new point and shoot camera.  By the way, I've short hair all my life and then I kept it really long for the past 3 years.  So, it's time for a change....both the camera and the hair...





So...Emi and I decided to cut both our hair shorter..here's clowning in front of an optical shop :)




No, I didn't turn the picture upside down...took it randomly overhead.  I do note that some bloggers are fine with posting their pictures...some, I'll probably never see....one day perhaps.



With a long public and school holidays, we took a short break at the East Coast.  The weather was hot and humid as usual but we were happy we had some showers to cool down the heat.


We have always stayed at Hyatt, Kuantan and haven't stayed in Swiss Garden for a long time. So, we hopped over to see if it's better than Hyatt. Well, it was not...but for a 4 star, it was just okay.



Here's the room. We got upgraded to sea view, so that was a bonus.


View of the pool from the room. As expected, it was crowded due to holidays.




Testing the zoom power and it was good :)




I didn't go into the spa but I had a good feeling it would be great being there.


Outside the Samsara spa.




East Coast beaches aren't the best unless you are take a speedboat to one of the islands.  However, it was good and relaxing to be here...but since I am no big fan of the sea, a stroll around was good enough.





With many restaurants closed, we opted to eat here. Translated it means Ana's grilled fish with --petai-- stinky beans! That was a first for us. The fish was nothing so fantastic but with a huge crowd...the service was horrendous!



Here's the grilled fish with the stinky beans...just bits of it you could hardly see. BTW, stinky beans do not emit any smell. It is an acquired taste though, you either love it or not. Crunchy with a very mild bitterness and you'll experience the 'stinky' aftermath when you go to the toilet. A definite must try for those who haven't eaten it.



It's another public holiday here, we are celebrating our first time ever 1Malaysia Day.  I do hope the Government can be clearer in outlining the meaning of 1Malaysia, otherwise, people are just happy it's another holiday not really understanding the true meaning of it. For Malaysians, do you?



Bye for now, I've got so many blogs to visit :)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

BLOG BREAK :)




Me - on blog break.  Will be back soon and missing you all :O)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Breaking Fast at Sepang

It's Ramadhan time here where Muslims worldwide fast from early morning till late evening.  For everyone else, it's also a time to feast when breaking fast. Endless food promotion in every town and city with afternoon bazaar set up. It's an annual affair here with the office staff and for years, we have been having our meals in another hotel.  When this resort opened up not long ago, I thought a change would be good.

It's super expensive, ranging from USD200 per person for a full night stay with food included, this is not a resort for just anyone.  Totally not affordable and obviously targeting for the foreign market.  One of the offices I am based in about 90 km from my home and since I was there, we booked for breaking fast together at the Golden Palm Tree resort in Sepang.  Driving from the office to this godforsaken place, meandering through small town and villages in the rain, I was talking to the staff that the food better be good and worth the trip.  Considering the buffet was one of the most expensive we have ever eaten and it was too exclusive that we were not allowed to even drive into the lobby.  However, a buggy took us from parking area to lobby and here are some shots taken.  Since we didn't stay there, we were not allowed to roam around freely.


Pictures from the web, to give you an overall view of the resort.

Closer look at the chalets...pictures all from their official website, http://www.sepanggoldcoast.com/.




 These are from me...not the best as it was raining then.

View from the lobby, looking out to the sea ---- murky water btw.





Their inhouse buggy taken guests from lobby to chalet..and you do have to be a registered guest staying there. So, no roaming around on your own.


As expected, the lobby was huge, airy and spacious.



Then, I looked up and was very impressed with what I saw overhead...the largest lighting cum cane structure ever! ..and it was really pretty.





Of course what's breaking fast without food pictures. Our satay and I am not saying its the best in this place but Malaysian satay definitely beats Thai or Indonesian anytime.




A must to eat during this Raya festival. Glutinuous rice wrapped in banana leaf steamed inside bamboo and beef rendang.



Another favourite, sambal prawns...these were huge and cooked in spices. It was hot but good too.




Overall, the food was worth the trip and better than the other 5 star hotel we used to eat. 

Now I've got to visit everyone. Happy week ahead.