Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Monday, July 15, 2013

Coffee Time..!

Coffee and cake are the perfect couple. 
Cute biscuits from lovely old friends
& a cup of Godiva hazelnut coffee

I started to drink coffee when I was in high school.  I remember that I liked to drink it in the evening to keep me awake while studying for exams. 

Years before that, when I was in elementary school, I sipped my mom’s coffee from the fridge without her knowing it.  She liked to put a glass of cold bitter coffee in the fridge.  My dad, he liked kopi susu – hot coffee mixed with condensed milk or coffee with creamer or “2 in 1”. 

I was wondering why many adults like drinking coffee, isn’t it bitter?  What’s the good thing about it?  So when I grew up I started to drink coffee as to follow the trend!  Seriously!  

Top left: Coffee Academy, Top center: Marina Aberdeen Club, Top right: Cova
Below left: tea & rainbow cake from dear friend, below center: McDonald,
below right: Indonesian Kopi Luwak, Lamington cake & favorite CD!
One of the first “coffee moments” that I recall was when Starbucks first opened its branch in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.  After having completed presentation skills training, I and some friends went there to release all of the stresses.  It was sweet… 
Top left: cheese cake @ Betty's, top right: cakes @ Simply Life,
Below left: tiramisue @ Grappa's, below right: cheese cake @ Gerard Dubois boulangerie

Another sweet memory about coffee... My former boss in an American bank in Jakarta used to buy me coffee too.  I remember clearly that one morning, after we had completed an important video conference with the regional office, we spoiled ourselves by going to Plaza Indonesia from Grand Hyatt. We walked to Starbucks and had fresh coffee and croissants!  It was a cool way to release the tension-:)  #rememberingthegoodolddays

Blueberry cheese cake & cappuccino @ Pret-a-manger

Coffee time with family and friends – wherever – is something.  It must be appreciated.  What counts the most is the company, second is the coffee and third is the companion i.e. cakes!

Cappuccino @ Zambra

Coffee & tea with milk, fish soup noodle @ Tsui Wah

Cheese cream bagel & cappuccino @ Tree café
Mocha cappuccino & a cake @ Café Corridor

Cappuccino & red velvet cake @ Zoel

Four Season's cafe

High tea set @ Habitu
Mango millefeuille @ Sevva
Here are some memories of the coffee and cakes I had along the past year in Hong Kong.  PS: there will be some more in the future!

Cappuccino & cupcake @ Habitu

Cappuccino & cakes @ a café in Harbor City

Top left: home made Banoffi cake, Top right: Banoffi cake @ Jaspas
Below left: Banoffi/Toffee pie @ Simply Life, below right: Banoffi pie @ Portobello

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Just Food

I think food is one of the universal languages. That unites people. Even if we speak different language with the rest of the people in our surrounding, when it comes to food, just point the food we want on the menu and the waiter will bring it to us, it couldn’t be wrong… 

There are so many types of food in Hong Kong. I have not been able to go to as many restaurants as I wanted to, as there are just too many! But I guess the variety of food below represents a little bit of the part of the world.
Dim sum
Dim Sum

Halal food and dim sum can be found at the canteen of Wan Chai Mosque. It is actually the canteen of the Islamic Center mosque located in Wan Chai, two stations away from Central, Hong Kong.

Steamed spring roll
Radish cake

Complete address: 5th Floor, Masjid Ammar and Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, 40 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai.

Egg plant

Bean curd skin?
Tips: in order to have the complete variety of dim sum, it’s better to arrive around 11.30 am. Then the canteen is closed at 3pm. It’ll open again around 6pm for dinner.

Another dim sum place! This pic speaks for itself. It’s world’s 101 best places to eat and it’s with Anthony Bourdain in the pic.
“Dim Dim Sum” is situated at 7 Tin Lok Lane, Causeway Bay, and it is actually within walking distance from Wan Chai mosque. 

Chicken feet? Radish cake? They are yummy…

Tips: it's a busy restaurant, I would go there after the busy lunch hours. If you can't read the Cantonese menu, just ask for the English menu!

Thai Food

Still around Wan Chai, “Spice House” in Amoy Street (near MTR Exit A3) offers good home cooking Thai food with a very reasonable price.

Yellow vegetarian curry

Steamed fish with Thai herbs sauce

It is a small restaurant and always busy at lunch hours. What is good, they have "lunch set" such as rice with minced chicken and Thai ice tea of around 50 HK$ (if I'm not mistaken).

Phad thai
Vietnamese Food

Jokingly I said: nobody speaks Vietnamese in this Vietnamese restaurant! A friend replied: of course, cause you’re in Hong Kong!
Yummy Vietnamese food at Nha Trang, Soho, Central
There are a few restaurant branches and the one I visited in the one in Soho Central: It is a busy restaurant which open at 12 noon. Don't expect they open at 11.55 even though there is already queue outside and staff is ready inside. No reservation for lunch (weekend) is accepted, I am not sure for any other day.

Ca phe sua da, ice Vietnamese milk coffee
Once in awhile, I still miss the old days in Ho Chi Minh City.  Then I go to Vietnamese restaurant which I think it is a good idea...
Nha Trang” - everyone pronounces it as “Na Trang”, and every time I have to correct them: “Nya Chang
Yes, I forgot all of my Vietnamese, but I still remember names of my favorite food and drink especially banh xeo and ca phe sua da!

Banh xeo, it's just like crepe with veggie and meat

The French Crepes

Yippeee… La Creperie exists in Hong Kong!

Of course the branch at Ho Chi Minh City is more spacious.  Space is a luxury thing in Hong Kong.  Anyway, here's the address of one of the branches: 1/F, Kui Chi Mansion, 100-102 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.  PS.: reservation is accepted.
Savory Crepes at La Creperie
My story on La Creperie - Ho Chi Minh City:

Yummy Crepes Brunch & Apple Cidre

What is the best drink to accompany the crepes? Apple cider!

What is perfect to end the Sunday brunch?  La Hong Kong – Vietnam” was probably the sweetest dessert to cure my 'homesick' of Ho Chi Minh City.

La Hong Kong Vietnam

That’s the silly food story by an Indonesian who was in Vietnam and now is in Hong Kong...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Finding Indonesian Food

There is no complaint about finding Indonesian food or cooking ingredients in Hong Kong. Take the MTR to Causeway Bay, and within a few steps away we can find warung/restaurant/shop/store selling Indonesian food.

One thing that is not available here is Jengkol (Dogfruit or Jering – it has a very strong smell!) which is not my favorite at all, so I don’t bother about it. 

A year ago, when I used to live in Ho Chi Minh City,  the best way to get Indonesian cooking ingredient was to bring them from Indonesia or titip sama teman – asking friends’ favor to bring them in. Otherwise, there was only one Indonesian restaurant. It was closed within a year operation, and a new one has just recently opened.
Indonesian cooking ingredients is sometimes available in the Asian stores in Hong Kong; Thai stores in Wan Chai or Thai city in Kowloon. I noticed a few shops there sell herbs/seasonings for Thai/Indonesian/Philippine dishes or ready-to-eat meals such as Thai desserts, banana fritter, sweets, etc.

Bakso – Meatball

It’s everyone’s favorite! The best time to enjoy this dish is brunch, lunch, snack or even dinner. 
Bakso @ Warung Malang, Dragon Rise, Pennington St, Causeway Bay

Bakso @ Indo Proper, Kwong On Bldg, Yee Woo St, Causeway Bay
Bakso or baso is very easy to be found anywhere in Indonesian; in small warung by the street or in big restaurant. The main ingredient is meat; mostly beef, chicken or fish.
Bakso @ Bu Jocko - Bakso Arema, Fuk Hing Lane, Causeway Bay
The side dishes are noodle, tofu, veggie, bawang goreng (slices fried onion), celery, sambal (chili), kecap manis (soy sauce) and perhaps vinegar.  
Mie Ayam Bakso (Chicken Noodle & Bakso)
@ Sedap Gurih, Sugar Street, Causeway Bay
Mie Ayam (Chicken Noodle) @ Padang Restaurant, JP Plaza, Causeway Bay
I forgot to order the Bakso

Yummy bakso can be found in some places in Causeway Bay.

Bakso Ayam (chicken meatball) - home cooking
My first bakso ayam (chicken meatball) – home cooking – ala kadarnya!

Pempek – Fishcake

Pempek or mpek-mpek or empek-empek is originally from Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. It is made of Ikan Tenggiri (Tenggiri fish) with tapioca and served with yellow noodle and dark sauce of vinegar. If you like spicy food, add sambal (chili)! If not, the dark vinegar sauce is more than enough, as it tastes sour already. Preferably, Pempek is consumed for lunch or late afternoon, not so much for breakfast or dinner. 
Pempek @ Warung Malang, Causeway Bay
Warung Malang has Pempek on their menu, I’m not sure if it’s available every day though.

Lontong Cap Gomeh – rice cake

This is one of my favorite dishes is a well-known dish from Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia.

Lontong is a dish made of compressed rice cake in the form of a cylinder wrapped inside a banana leaf. It is served with chicken curry, vegetable curry, spicy beef/chicken liver in, pickles, boiled egg with spicy sauce, sambal (chili), and kerupuk (crackers).
Lontong Cap Gomeh @ Padang Restaurant, Causeway Bay

Even though this food is normally served during Cap Gomeh celebration, however, it is often available on the restaurant menu anytime anywhere including in Causeway Bay.
Lontong Cap Gomeh @ Warung Sedap Gurih, Causeway Bay

Selamat makan! Bon appetit!