Sunday, March 31, 2013

Popin' Cookin'

There is this DIY candy kit from Japan that is climbing the Stairway of Popularity. Its' name is Poppin' Cookin' and, boy, does it pleased the heart of this 18-year-old. Even the colorful and eye-catching box itself would make me go "EEEPPPP WHAT IS THAT I WANTS IT" without knowing what it actually is. 

I got this as a souvenir from my Dad. He brought back home three boxes of Poppin' Cookin' and I went full glee. Each boxes was very colorful and bright, and each had different pictures of the DIY candy. I decided to try one of the candy-making kit one afternoon and ended up spending hours on the dinning table twisting my fingers. 

Popin' Cookin': DIY Candy Kit

Some instructions on how to shape the candy and mix the color

To emphasize, the box of Popin' Cookin' is very bright and eye-catching. On the front side of the box, you will find neon-colored Japanese writings and adorable pictures of the shaped candy, and you will find quick instruction on how to shape the candy and mix the color of the candy. The person who designed this candy's packaging is a genius - because what would make people be interested in buying the product other than attractive colors and interesting pictures? 

The box was not, in the slightest bit, difficult to open. You just have to tear the specific part and voila! you will find yourself another packaging locked inside it. The inner packaging is another adorable one, puffy wrapper made from plastic with colorful pictures of the shaped candy. 

Dad, opening the Popin' Cookin' box

When you tear the plastic open, you will find a brittle plastic container, some play-doh-like object wrapped in plastic, colorful chocolate sprinkles, and a tiny rolling pin that looks like a pencil. I thought that I was going to actually make candy from scratch, but it turned out that I was only going to mold them into the desirable shapes I like. I concluded that what differs Popin' Cookin' from Play-Doh is that you can eat your masterpiece after you finished shaping it.
What you will find inside thebox

I decided to use a cutting board as a base to shape my candy on, otherwise the table would get dirty. Those clay-like candies were very sticky - it sticked to the board, to my finger, and even to the rolling pin. I had to glaze some margarine (Mom, you're a genius!) onto the shaping tools so that the candy would not stick every time it made contact with another object.

Popin' Cookin' really is a Do-It-Yourself candy-making kit as it displayed very few step-by-step instructions on how to shape the candy. They just glued the picture on the packaging and let us, the consumer, use our imagination to shape it. There were pictures of pancake-shaped candy, panda-shaped candy, mont-blank-cake-shaped candy, but not a single direction on how to mold it. To be patient and cautious is required in the process of shaping the candy, as well as being imaginative and highly logical. It was, like, being told "You have a brain. Use it!".

Le me, working hard to shape them candy dough

Roll 'em nice and slowly

I spent hours flattening those candies and shaping them, and I'm quite satisfied with the result. I managed to make myself a wide selection of desserts and dishes, such as Rolled-Cake, Crepe, Melon Pan, Pancake, Donuts, Mont Blank Cake, Sushi, and Spaghetti. 

I shared my masterpiece with my Mom, Dad, and some of my friends who came by my house that day. I had me the Mont-Blank-shaped candy to celebrate the success of trying out my very first Popin' Cookin'. The candy was a hard-candy-kind-of sweets, similar to Sugus - a hard candy produced by the Wrigley's company. It was hard, yet chewable, and it got slightly gooey the more you chew on them. It tasted sweet, a little bit too sweet for my taste, yet still delicious and very enjoyable. 

In my opinion, the best way to play Popin' Cookin' is when you do it with a bunch of people - friends, cousins, parents, grandparents, anybody! The more people join the activity, the more fun it gets. You can test your imagination and compete with your cousins in 'Who's Making the Most Awesome Candy' category, or simply make candies of your own then eat your friends' in the end. And don't forget to share it with other people. Just look at their expressions when they found out that the 'modeling-clay' that you played with is actually eatable.

Yo dawg, I heard you like food, so I decided to make food with food

Melon Pan



Mont Blank Cake

Strawberry Rolled-Cake



Strawberry Cream Crepe

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hello Kitty Bubble Gum

"This is the candy that I used to eat when I was a kid," said Dad handing me a box of Hello Kitty galore. This particular Hello Kitty themed snack is one of the souvenir that my Dad bought during his trip to Osaka - it had printed pictures of Hello Kitty everywhere, including the box and the candy wrapper! Each box is filled with 20-something wraps of bubble gum and each wraps has different picture of Hello Kitty on it. So, those who love Hello Kitty would definitely go ga-ga over it!

A pack of Hello Kitty Bubble Gum

Which one, which one. . .

I took a candy, slide it out from the adorable and colorful Hello Kitty wrapper, then undress it from the aluminum foil wrapped around it. Inside was a rectangular light-colored bubble gum candy. Judging from the color of the gum, the flavor had to be orange. 

I chew the candy and I was right, it had the flavor of an orange. The gum is very chewy and elastic, unlike any other bubble gum I have ever eaten. I chewed the candy for 10 to 15 minutes, probably longer, and didn't harden and was still elastic and gooey. What I love the most about the candy is that you can make a big balloon bubble with it! 

I have never eaten a bubble gum that stays gooey and stretchable after half an hour chewing it, even the flavor was still there. As expected from a Japanese product.

The sight of the bubble gum

Japanese Knick-Knacks

My Dad just got back from Osaka, for the third time this year, and he got me a sackful of knick-knacks! "I brought your treasure," Dad said when he arrived at our home. He unzipped his luggage and pulled out numerous colorful boxes, it lasted for several seconds. It's like watching Mary Poppins pulling out a lamp from her magic purse. 

Dad got me a pack of Hello Kitty Gum, a box of Strawberry Mouse, three packs of Asahi Biscuits, and three boxes of Popin' Cookin': DIY Candy Kit. All of them are very colorful, as expected from Japanese products. I can't wait to taste them all!

Hello Kitty Gum

Strawberry Mousse

Three different flavors of Asahi Biscuits

Blueberry Biscuit, Chocolate Biscuit, and Caramel & Fruits Biscuit

Three boxes of Popin' Cookin'

Me precious treasure!

P.S. Thank you Dad, for all of these lovely Japanese goods! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pulau Dewata: Centre Point

Whenever I go to Bali, I always visit this restaurant named Centre Point. It's a restaurant owned by my Mom's best buddy back in the old days, I call her Tante Tami. The restaurant is very cozy and is the perfect place for you to lounge around with your buddies after spending the whole day at the beach. The food here is diverse, starting from waffles to deep-fried calamari, from juice to traditional cold beverage named Es Campur. Plus, they have this special live music show every Wednesday where they play Kroncong music!

My favorite dish is still the Waffle with Ice Cream. The waffle is Mickey Mouse in shape and served with a scoop of ice cream, which come in three different flavors: Strawberry, Chocolate, and Vanilla. You can find a drizzle of honey glazing the surface of the waffle - and although the baked batter is not crispy and slightly burnt like how I like my waffles to be, it still tasted so good!

My all-time favorite: Mickey Mouse Waffle with Strawberry Ice Cream

One afternoon, my parents and I decided to have lunch at Tante Tami's restaurant. Dad had a plate of Stir-fried Veggie and some Deep-fried Calamari. I took a bite of each dishes and they tasted great! 

It was a hot day and I was not in the mood to eat something heavy, so I ordered myself a glass of Es Campur instead. Literary translated Es Campur means Mixed Ice. It is a popular traditional cold beverage in Indonesia that commonly consists of grass jelly, Nata de coco, avocado, jackfruit, and canned milk. The ingredients used to make Es Campur may varies, as there is no wrong way to make the cold beverage. You can even add some Rambutan and chocolate sprinkles in it and you can still refer it as Es Campur. 

Dad's Sayur Tumis, or Stir-fried Veggie

Deep-fried Calamari

A cup of cold and delightful Es Campur

One night, after spending the day traveling around Denpasar, the three of us made our way back to Centre Point. I ordered myself a plate of Batagor to munch on, then followed by requesting other dishes which name escaped me. Batagor, short for Bakso Tahu Goreng, is another example of a popular dish in Indonesia. It is actually a deep-fried dumpling, usually made out of fish and is similar to Shumai, topped with peanut sauce. The outer shell of Batagor is very crunchy and savory, while the fish-based inside part is gooey and elastic. 

The Batagor that they sell in Centre Point was crunchy and very delicious! I love how they top the deep-fried dumpling with some onion crackers, it doubled the crunchiness. I love the peanut sauce the most because it was flavorful and not sickeningly creamy. The only flaw came from the food is that the inner filling was a bit too sour for me. 

A plate of Batagor for snack

For some reason, I always have this urge to eat at Centre Point. I could order three different dishes in one night and still having the need to eat more! No wonder I gained a few kilos when I got back to Jakarta. 

Centre Point
Jl. Puputan Niti Mandala Raya
Renon, Denpasar
Bali 80235

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pulau Dewata: Sukun Bali Cottage

Welcome drinks were given when the three musketeers arrived at Sukun Bali Cottage in Sanur, the hotel which we stayed. Three cold glass of orange juice, with straws sticking out from each glasses, were placed by one of the staff on our coffee table. He left with a smile whilst saying, "Enjoy your drinks.". 

It was a hot day when we arrived at the hotel. A glass of sweet and cold orange juice worked just fine to chill a sore throat of mine. It seemed to me that the welcome drink was not freshly squeezed orange juice, instead it was fruit punch, but I didn't mind. I didn't mind at all. 

Welcome drinks from Sukun Bali Cottage

What I love about Sukun Bali Cottage is that the hotel provide breakfast for the hungry early bird. We get to choose between Tea or Coffee, American Breakfast or Pancake, and we can also request a fruit platter. The presentation was not that grand, different from the breakfast that we get at a fancy five-star hotel, but it was actually kind of good. 

The breakfast dishes were very simple, I myself can even make the exact same dish at home. It tasted nice and familiar as well - I could tell that they used Sari Roti for the toasts, judging from the physic of the loaf.  Instead of a sunny-side-up, they made a simple fried egg, accompanied with a couple stripe of bacon. It was a nice meal to start your day with. 

If you would like to have breakfast not from the hotel, you can just simply go out and look to the right, or left if you like left better, and you will find yourself a numerous selection of restaurant and cafe serving coffee and baked goods. And within a few steps heading South, you will find yourself a beach with endless option of cold beverages and munchies. The hotel is located in a very strategic area, it is only a step away for you to discover something new around the corner. 

Some hot tea to start your day

Fruits for breakfast, yum!

American Breakfast set, courtesy of Sukun Bali Cottage

Sukun Bali Cottage
Jalan Danau Poso
Sanur, Denpasar - Bali

Phone: (0361) 286 742

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pulau Dewata: Flapjaks

Flapjaks: House of Pancake and Home-made Gelato was one of the restaurant that my parents and I visited during our stay in Sanur. The dining place was only a few steps away from the hotel that we were staying at, Sukun Bali Cottage, in Sanur. I recall the fact that we got lost for a bit because we took a wrong turn, but the restaurant was actually not that difficult to find. 

On the entrance gate, you will see this big statue of a chef, with a funky-moustache and a big "FLAPJAKS" written behind him in red, holding a plate of Pancakes on his right hand and three scoops of ice cream on a cone on his left hand. The staff welcomed us and placed us on the outdoor seats. She handed some menu, food menu and drink menu, and lent us time to go through every pages. 

It was five in the evening at that time, which was patchy because it was passed Tea Time and it was too early for us to have an early dinner. But, bah-humbug, we ended up ordering ourselves some thirst-quenching drinks, Potato Wedges, Pork Ribs, and Pancakes. I had me a glass of fresh Watermelon Juice which was very refreshing and pleasing to both my taste buds and throat. 

My Watermelon Juice and Mom's Cantaloupe Juice

Dad's Coca Cola

It didn't take long before our orders were up and served on the table. We started our post-tea-time-early-dinner with a bowl Potato Wedges. Them crispy and crunchy wedges were served with a cup of Cream Cheese, that was rather light and very scrumptious. I love the flavor combination produced from dipping the Potato Wedges to the cream, it was savory and salty, sizzling hot and cold, and very tasty!

Potato Wedges, with Cream Cheese

Crispy and savory wedges for starters

This Cream Cheese was very delicious!

Our other dish that we share among the three of us was a plate of Pork Ribs. The ribs were available in different weights and sizes. Knowing that we wouldn't probably finish the whole ribs if we were to have it that time, we decided to order just half of it. Or was it a quarter ribs?

The ribs came in four cuts with side dishes, such as Mashed Potato with Gravy, Mixed Veggies on the side, and Barbeque Sauce. The meat was well-done and very tender, it was very easy to unattached them from the bones. And the sweet delicious barbeque sauce helped everything go down like a spoonful of sugar. Juicy coleslaw, baked beans and lettuce were available on the side of the plate to eat our ribs with, but I prefer to have my ribs solo. The Mashed Potato, on the other hand, was creamy and simply delectable.

Dad's Pork Ribs

Will you look at that nicely-glazed-with-barbeque-sauce well-done ribs

Served with Mashed Potato smothered in gravy, veggie on the side, and a cup of extra barbeque sauce

Tender and juicy ribs for the win!

My Dad's friend named Oom Wahyudi was the one who recommend Flapjaks to us. "The Pancake is simply great and delicious," he said, "you should definitely try it when you go to Bali!". Now that I got the chance to dine at Flapjaks, after I helped in finished the ribs and wedges, I ordered myself some pancake for dessert. And not just any pancake.. TIRAMISU PANCAKE! (Yes, be jealous, MUAHAHA!)

I had me a plate of Single Tiramisu Pancake with Ice Cream. I would order myself a double if it weren't for the stomach-filling Potato Wedges. 

The pancake came in dark brown color, very uncommon and unusual for me, then topped with coffee-flavored cream and Tiramisu ice cream. Fluffy and slightly heavy describe Flapjaks' pancake well, and since the pancake itself had only a little bit of flavor in it, the cream and the ice cream played a big part in making the fluffy dessert stands out. All three component worked out well with each other, alas making the pancake deserved a standing ovation!

Tiramisu Pancake for dessert


The perfect sweet dessert to end your day

Flapjaks is definitely one of the restaurants that you should visit when you go to Bali. The food here tasted great, with shockingly reasonable price. The staff were friendly and very helpful from time to time, and they smile all the time they were serving us. Great atmosphere, cozy butt-resting-thingamabobs, fun and relaxing music - it was simply enjoyable to dine at such place.

Jalan Cemara, No. 27
Next to Stadium Cafe
Sanur, Denpasar - Bali

Phone: (0361) 287 882

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chatime: Taro Milk Tea

Bubble tea is one of the most popular beverage to be consumed now a days. At least one booth is available at a mall, followed by uncountable other bubble tea booths. The product that they emphasize are the same: a glass of milk tea with tapioca balls. 

I ordered a regular glass of Taro Milk Tea, with this round object made with tapioca named Pearls, that costed Rp22.000,00. The beverage only costed Rp19.000,00, but the Pearls added an extra Rp3.000,00. The service was rather slow, I had to wait 15 minutes for my drink to be ready. The staff did not advertise the product thoroughly. He went on about taro, and pearls, and jelly, and powder, and shaker, and other stuff that confused me. For a person who had never tried no bubble tea before, I was confused. It took me a while to understand what the staff was talking about. 

I knew I ordered myself some Taro Milk Tea (Yam Milk Tea), but the drink was horrible. It tasted like horror movies! It was thick, powdery, and very heavy - not to mention it had this kind of sweetness that would make you have a sore throat. Within every gulp, I could savor this weird clumpy texture going down my throat, God knows what it is. It didn't taste like tea, nor milk tea, but tasted like a bucketful of creamy and think artificial-substance-vaganza! It was very hard for me to drink it all, I didn't even finish a third of the glass.

On the other hand, those tapioca balls were nice and chewy. The were slightly sweet, but mostly bland. I think it would be better if it were eaten with grass jelly drink instead of this fake milk tea. 

I had my first beverage from Chatime and I can conclude that I'm not a fan. I would rather go to the nearest grocery store and buy mineral water instead. 

Chatime's Taro Milk Tea

Metropolitan Mall 2
Jalan Jendral A. Yani
Bekasi Barat

The Golden Ring

Made my way back to Gudang Rottie after a long-month-crave of its' deliciously bitter sweet Hazelnut Latte. I ordered my cup of coffee hot and with Golden Ring. For those who don't know what Golden Ring is, it is the very simple form of latte art where you only need to put the foam at the center of the cup, leaving a small amount of Espresso on the sides of the cup untouched. Notice that thin line of dark brown circle on the edge of the cup, and the area-consuming white foam filling the center part? That is what you called a Golden Ring. By having my latte with Golden Ring, I could draw whatever I want on my latte with the help of Caramel sauce and thermometer. 

A few months ago, I stumble across an Instagram account that posted a simple, yet beautiful, latte art photo. It's owned by a she and her name is @Nicolenikoko. She posted a picture of a snow flake drawing on her cup of latte, which was very pretty and adorable. I had been wanting to draw that particular design on my latte, but I couldn't seem to find my way back to Gudang Rottie until a couple of days ago. 

I finally managed to draw a snow flake on my latte. My first attempt was okay, but I will draw it better when I'm back for another cup of Hazelnut Latte. Needless to say that the coffee was strong and bitter, thankfully not sour, and sweet from the Hazelnut syrup. 

Gudang Rottie
Rukan Villa Jatbening Tol
Kav. 4A, Bekasi 17412

PhoneL (021) 9737 2883

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 6 AM - 10 PM