Tuesday 27 December 2016

Domvs by Gabriel Fratini

I heard from J about how great Gabriel Fratini used to be.
Gabriel also said that he's the FIRST to introduce Tiramisu to Singapore. Hmmm...
We brought our customer there for lunch since he's staying there.
It was only towards the last course of our meal that we found out that it's THE Gabriel Fratini who took over... Ha ha... Never TOO late!

Let's begin...

My Antipasto - Scallop with Chantilly Cheese, Beef Cheek with 'I've forgotten what' topping and Prawn with some puree.
LOVE the scallop with Chantilly cheese.
Beef Cheek was good enough. I would have liked it to be slightly more tender.

My Primo
Ravioli - Didn't really like this one.
I would gladly take a 2nd serving of our Appetizer in place of this.

My Secondo - Fish
I like the sauce, the fish was fresh, I like the little pcs of veggie at the side.
It's nicely decorated.
When I saw Brussel Sprouts, I wanted to run away but surprisingly, it was tolerable.

My Dolce - Tiramisu with Chocolate Mousse
Tiramisu was indeed pleasant. Light and nice.
Chocolate Mousse also wasn't overpowering which is good as I wouldn't get sick of having more than a bite.

Overall, J who complained throughout the meal and made his displeasure known for the lack of a menu was full of praise at the end of the meal. I would say Gabriel Fratini himself did the trick!

If you'd asked me, I like this idea of lack of menu and simply let the chef decide.
In Japan, it's called Omakase. In Italy? I'm not sure...
What I'm sure is that J might probably skip going to Mezza9 for special occasions and pop in here instead. This man has expensive taste. Ha ha...

Dreamy C

Wednesday 7 December 2016

3D2N I Love Jakarta Trip

Whoo hoo...!!! Jakarta baby... I'm coming for ya!
This time round with J and I won't be spending my b'day in Singapore!
Double win!

Turned out I didn't venture to places I would like to as it was pouring on the 2nd day.
An experience in itself and I wouldn't trade it for anything even though I ended up with a slight cold.
Something positive out of it is the surroundings, people and food in Café Batavia.
I had really delicious Sop Buntut there.
Being a Car Free Sunday, the atmosphere is also great!
Spirits of Jakartans weren't dampened at all by the rain!
While all of us were seeking shelter, a small group of local young adults played and sang some music on their guitars. This is what I call - enjoyment while caught in the rain.
A lady fell from her bicycle when it was raining and a few men went to help her. Great attitude!
I applaud them! I'm not sure if Singaporeans would do the same...
Yes, such 'hope' I have for my local people. Years of residence here has gotten me a bit sceptical.

Want to look at photos? Check them out on my Instagram account!

Till next time... it has been fun in Jakarta and I'm definitely going to make lots more trips there!!!

Dreamy C

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Holiday Update 2 for Year 2016!

Previously, I mentioned that I'm going to visit Jakarta during the Christmas period.
Alas! This is not to be since I'm going to travel with J and he's not one to celebrate Christmas away from his kiddos. So, I've to compromise. Well, it IS a holiday after all...

We will be flying with Air Asia and the hotel will be the same i.e. Mercure Sabang.
This time round however, I'm going to book a room which overlooks the city, hopefully Monas.
I'll put a request in.

If I were travelling solo, I would skip the breakfasts in the hotel but since J's tagging along this time, I'll have to include breakfasts in the hotel. He's not one who would look around the surrounding for food. He's also very particular with food.
I don't blame him... He's travelled to many places and hence, might have turned more sceptical whereas I'm not a well travelled person so I'm open to adventures and disappointments. That's when the magic takes place isn't it? Solo travel - I love and would seize all opportunities to do it!

Well, stay tuned! It's going to be a busy, busy December for me.
A sweet ending to Year 2016!

Dreamy C

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Holiday Update

Remember me saying I don't know when my 3rd trip to BKK will be?
Well fellas, 3rd trip is due to happen next month!
Air tickets? Booked!
Hotel? Booked!
Boy am I excited. Even more so since me gonna bring my Ma Ma along!
We are going to have so much fun I'm sure of it!!!
5D4N, BKK, my Ma Ma and I are coming for ya!

Stay tuned...!!!

Dreamy C

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Bangkok 17th June 2016 to 20th June 2016

Ahhh... it's been months since I return.
This was my 2nd time in BKK. My 1st was years ago.

1st trip, I didn't do any massages, had good dinners at different hotels and managed to do a Floating Market trip which I enjoyed tremendously. We didn't do much shopping at all. I also visited a wet market (sheltered) near Chatuchak.
2nd trip, I ate more, travelled to places where the locals ate, visited a day wet market (not sheltered and it was quite an experience. got excited seeing monks along the way), shop a whole lot more and had lots of enjoyable massages.

I'm definitely going to make a 3rd trip to BKK, to do stuff which I didn't get to do on my 1st and 2nd trip. I want to watch Thai Kick Boxing and I want to watch it LIVE. I also want to do a dinner at one of the Sky Bars. Lastly, I want to go to Asiatique. I also want to try Greyhound Café and lots of other eateries. I also want to check out the Husky Café or Cat Café.
Hmmm... 2nd trip of 4D3N is just too short. TOO too short...

I'm not sure when this 3rd trip will take place as I'm having the itch to climb mountains.
Come next year, I'm going to try Mount Kembang and Mount Sumbing. This will probably take place end June next year. If J agrees, we will go to Ubud this December or next year January. If we ever do go to Ubud, I would like to climb Mount Agung or Mount Batur. I heard that the latter is much easier.

Let me share on some photos I took whilst in BKK.

These were taken at Jim Thompson's House:

These were taken from their morning market: 

2 of my favourite characters just outside of 1 of the many shopping malls we visited:

 The food we ate:

 The clothes I bought:

Love the copper crockeries...

Dreamy C

Monday 31 October 2016

Day 3 in Jakarta, 23rd October 2016

3rd day... My flight was really late at 5 plus.
I was feeling really lazy and didn't like the idea of venturing out.
Hence, I went to the Gym and breakfast in the hotel.
Then, I lazed around in my room and checked out close to 11a.m.
I got bored of sticking around in my room...

Took the cab to Gambir Railway Station.
Had lunch there...
Mie Ayam with Bakso
Didn't enjoy it but heck! My last meal!

After lunch, I had so much time to kill, I went for foot reflexology which cost only 100K rupiah for 1 hour. It was raining when I left the hotel so I thought spending some time at Gambir might turn the rain to a drizzle when I'm ready to leave. I was so wrong... It didn't turn into a drizzle. Neither was it a heavy downpour. I then went to buy a Red Bean Taiyaki so I can get a plastic bag to cover my head with. It was yummy... Hot and oh-so-comforting on a rainy day. If only I was in a villa in Puncak while this took place... Anyway, I went to Damri ticket booth which is within a short walking distance when I exit the Railway entrance. Bought my ticket to Soekarno Hatta Airport.
It wasn't crowded so I managed to have an empty seat beside me which I promptly made use of by putting my bag there. Journey took an hour.

Checked in and guess what I do with all the spare time on hand? Eat lah!
This was Tom Yum Soup. Pathetic.

Ended up reading a book - Room.

To summarize, I couldn't cover all that I planned to. I didn't go to Glodok, Kota Tua and Taman Mini.
I plan to make another trip to Jakarta come Christmas this year and visit the places I missed this trip.
I am so looking forward...
Overall, I LOVE Jakarta!
The food are spicy which I like.
The people are so friendly despite the language barrier. I find that body language gets me by easily.
I really enjoyed my stay...
After the 2nd trip, I'm going to Indonesia again come June next year. I made a promise to visit S in her hometown during Hari Raya and climb a few small mountains.
Can't wait... I'm sure I'm going to love it just as much!
Why oh why wouldn't the government allow foreigners to buy land there?!?!?! Bummer...

Till next time...

Dreamy C

Day 2 in Jakarta, 22nd October 2016

Day 2. I was up bright and early! 6 plus local time...
I went for my breakfast at the hotel. The spread was basic. Not much variety but will do for me...

After breakfast, I went to Monas.
Saw the first statue.

There was some event going on, Anniversary for some schools.
I had a hard time walking around searching for the ticket booth.
Asking the locals gave me some issues. Language barrier becomes more obvious but they are really friendly people. Hence, it didn't really bother me.

Another statue.
It might look like it's going to rain but I assure you it ain't the case at all.
It was really bright and sunny.
Jakarta is hotter than back home.
Soon enough, I have beads of sweat dripping down the sides of my face.
I like Jakarta all the same.

I must say that the night view of it is much more magnificent.
Next time round, I'll make sure to stay in a room which has a clear view of the entire structure!

I finally managed to locate the ticket booth.
It was in B1.
Before reaching the ticket booth, there are security guards checking your bags.
As I didn't bring any bag, I cleared that very quickly.
Ticket cost me 30K rupiah but amount on my ticket states 20K rupiah.
Corruption? I don't know really...
This picture is what I saw after having purchased my ticket and walking for a bit.
I have no idea what it depicts.

I reached a place which is the base of Monas where it tells the history of Indonesia, back to the time before Japanese Occupation. It was good knowledge.
Here, photo shows a bunch of school kids. All wanting to buy cold drinks from a vending machine.

Finally reached the top of Monas.
That's Istiqal Mosque there.
It was really windy.
There were grills on the 3rd floor and none on the 2nd.
Obviously, in terms of view, 3rd floor is so much better than the 2nd.

That's Gambir Railway Station.

Another part which I saw when I exit

Another statue

I had wanted to proceed to Istiqal Mosque but my tummy began to rumble.
Time for lunch!
Ice Tea which is really good for the hot weather.

Sate again. Why?
I was walking around searching for food.
I went in to a shop only to find out that they only sell Ice Cream. That explains the crowd.
I then went to another shop and settled for this.
A guy was right outside the shop, cooking sate with charcoal so I thought why not?
Even though Sate is the last thing I want to eat since I've eaten it last night.
However, to comfort myself, last night was Sate Padang and this was Sate.
The sauce is different and I must say I very much preferred this.

Not satisfied and I thought of going to Glodok to get my food later during the day.
I ended up NOT going to Glodok as I found this under the railway track!
It's just a bunch of push cart stalls selling Ketoprak, Mie Ayam etc.
This is Ketoprak. I really enjoyed this one. Yummy...
There's lots of beansprouts, some bee hoon like noodles, lots of crackers, tofu etc. It's just a bit of a few things. I ordered it spicy and it was delicious! If I remember it right, this only cost 15K rupiah!

Istiqal Mosque
Long story here but in the end, I didn't get to walk around the entire building.
Did not have a good experience.

On another note, saw a really beautiful kitty in the mosque.
Could not stop stroking him/her.

Gereja Katedral Jakarta

My lucky day - a wedding being held.
There were real birds in this church.
A wedding going on with birds chirping, what a lovely sight.

Walked back to Istiqal Mosque to catch a bus back to the hotel.
I could have walked but it was really hot and the weather tire me.
Saw some cotton candy along the way. Did not buy it for fear of the sweetness of it.

This is how a Transjakarta bus stop looked like.
The system there looked like the system of the MRT back home.
This happen to be the stop named Bank Indonesia which is near the hotel I stayed in.

Later at night, after a Body Scrub (which was really good btw...), I went to Sarinah Thamrin where I got some peanuts for J. There were lots of street food there and I was really excited!
This here, my friend is Pecel Lele. It's fried catfish with some cucumbers, cabbage and tofu.
The chilli which comes along with it? Oh my... Best!
The catfish was really crispy and the meat really soft. If I can, I'll order another portion but I really need to keep my tummy space for other food.

Walked back to the hotel and on the way, I saw BBQ Banana.
No luck as it was closed. Bummer!
Settled for Bakso. The bakso in Jakarta is different from the one in Padang.
I very much preferred the one in Padang. The big ball you see there has mince meat in the middle.
Didn't fancy the big ball. The small ones are more enjoyable in my opinion.
Soup was salty. Didn't quite enjoy this one. At least I've tried.

That about sums up my 2nd day in Jakarta and I dreaded to leave the next day...

Dreamy C