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Archive for January, 2012

Wishing all my readers:

HAPPY DRAGON YEAR!!

May the year ahead filled with joy, happiness, prosperity, never-ending blessings and prosperity!!

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Souly what? It is a Souly Butter Kitchen, tucked in a cozy corner in a very crowded Kemang. This area reminds me of Holland Village in Singapore or Bangsar in KL or Notting Hill in Kensington. Oh yes, those are where the hype rises the temperature. So why Kitchen? It looks and sets just like a kitchen in your home or maybe mine too. The place has 2 area which uniquely separate by a shop lot in between, so they come up with this name SoulyButter 1 and SoulyButter 2. Regardless one or two both establishments occupy one kitchen, and since its a kitchen then you can actually witness the meal preparation and so on.

Menu are written in a piece of paper on the kitchen desk. According to the source the menu changes in daily basis so you eat as what they cook on that day. Nothing much left when I came around 7pm, yes they are still open for business, but the muffins and cakes looked very tired. By the look, it felt that you are having dinner in someone’s else kitchen. The fridge next to the entrance is meant to store all the ingredients! Yes it is.

Since I was kind of feeling hungry and not too sure what to have, then I put my destiny on the red-velvet (who greets me when I came in) then potato gratin and sandwich. Everything was prepared in that kitchen, so you could actually see how they prepare the potato gratin, the sandwich and all.

It turned out that the portion of the gratin was comparable with airline’s in-flight meal portion and you have to wait for a while as they need to bake it in the oven. Taste wise was good, but more minced meat in the sauce would be nice. Next on my table was the sandwich, which looked more like a hot-dog without a sausage. Nothing meaty on this one, and I believe this could have been a vegetarian option with a generous tomato sauce on the top. The funny thing was that when I ordered the sandwich the waiter did not even ask about the filling, so I left it as a surprise. Organic vegetable that was!

Forget about the red-velvet that I had too high expectation on this one. Rather than the cream cheese, it was all over whipped cream and I meant all over. Well, maybe others like it, but it does not work for me. Texture was fine, taste was good, but just that outer layer that put me off. In a way, I prefer the banana muffin and the caramel eclairs. Those two made my day! The banana muffin (despite of its long hours on the tray) still tasted good and moist, the eclair caramelised perfectly inside out.

I would consider the pricing just to justify the items that I had. Sandwich was alright eventhough it was very small (but it’s organic and no chips!) Potato Gratin saved me, Banana muffin and eclair turned to be the king and the queen of the night. Bye bye red velvet full of whip (unless you are whipped-cream worshiper). All you can eat breakfast for IDR99K.

(Please note that the rest room is outside of the establishment – just in case)

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So what’s so good to be here? This establishment has been popularly known by locals (and foreigners of course). The eye-catching colonial alleys and exterior have successfully preserved the charm inside this bakery.

Do not be surprised that there is no ‘please wait to be seated’ rule applies here. So casually you can pick your favourite table then all you need to do is joining the queue to place your order. Ah Teng offers both ala carte and set menu throughout the day, ranging from breakfast, lunch and high tea. I am not too sure about dinner time.

I had a chance to try the scones set plus the sandwich during the high tea hour. You must fill up the sandwich order, tick whatever you want, type of bread, selection of vegetables, choices of filling, mayo or ketchup or bbq sauce or everything then pass the form to the lady behind the counter. You may have to wait for a while since the sandwich is prepared on the spot as you order. Oh yes, the good news is that the scones are ready too, but just need a good few minutes to be reheated. Mind you that the portion is quite generous so sharing is recommended.

In case sandwiches and scones are not in your list, then Ah Teng offers an array of danish, quiche, bread rolls and some other items too.

(Ah Teng’s Bakery is located within the Raffles Hotel complex, it is actually just in front of Raffles City facing the Fairmont)

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I did not have a chance to actually dine in and try the food offered, but this place reminds me of something like Social House or theGoodsDept back in Jakarta. If you could remember that KFC was used to be in front of each other with McD in Takashimaya basement 1, then this no longer the case. The McD was moved then there is new boy in the town called PiqueNique (Who invents the name by the way?)

A spread of cupcakes, cakes and others-es make themselves available to be picked and to  be seen. Short enough, then it was the time for a little guilty pleasure, my pick was a red velvet (That was shocking red!) and the baked cheesecake.

The red-velvet was alright, was not the best one but was not that bad either. The shocking red was really eye-catching and the outer layer was more like those little tobiko on top of sushi. Texture wise, it was very fine, delicate but a little dry. I guess it would taste better if it could have been a little moist inside out. Overall, you could skip this unless if you cannot tahan to be seduced by the red and let the cream cheese does its wonder.

Next item was the cheesecake. Bottom line: something like what bakerzin has baked. The main body of the cheesecake itself was good, texture wise and taste-wise. Not too sweet and not too cheesy too, a perfect companion for someone who likes everything in a good balance. The jewel was located at the very last layer of the cake, that golden brown thing made its kick in your mouth. You could taste a mixture of chocolate, cinnamon, spices, ginger maybe or a splash of refreshing coffee in it. All in one and could be your pick next time.

Piquenique does offer meals too and I think I should try it one day, an array of breakfast sets plus comfortable dishes are readily available to cure your hunger.

(Piquenique is located at Takashimaya Basement 1, just in front of KFC)

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If it’s Friday, then chances are there are a lot of people wearing batik, and that’s all right with Nanang Halim. You see, it’s his job to give lovers of the fabric new choices. With his sister at the designer’s table and himself as the marketing guru, Lim, as he is known, is working to revolutionize the business of batik.

He’s even started to dabble in his own designs, which focus on using traditional patterns in tandem with other fabrics. His updated look of highlighting a solid shirt with a sleeve or collar bearing traditional symbols and patterns has taken off, prompting him to plan a fashion show this year to promote his emerging line, which he hopes is a winner.

To be a batik fashion designer, you must love the fabric. Tell me about your relationship with the artful cloth?

As a kid, I often saw my grandparents and parents wear batik to special occasions, such as wedding parties. My grandmother would often tell me that we could only wear certain patterns of batik on specific occasions. For example, Sidomukti batik should be worn for weddings because it is intended as blessing for the wedded couple and their future happiness. Another batik, called Parang, should only be worn by soldiers.

This made me realize that batik is more than just hand-drawn traditional cloth that has a lot of colors and patterns. It has a lot of meaning that can be traced back to its patterns and symbols.

For the full article please press: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/myjakarta/my-jakarta-nanang-halim-batik-fashion-designer/490862

as in theJakartaGlobe, Friday 13th January 2012

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Make sure you have these places noted somewhere in your gadget.

Hong Kong – Go to K11 Art Mall tucked in TST MTR Station, then on the street level at rear entrance you would find Paul Lafayet – Pattisserie Francais. Here you would find things ranging from mango mousse (to-die-for) to localised tiramisu as well as apple crumble. Everything is good so beware if you are a window-shopper.

Hong Kong – If London is too far away for a soft-baked cookies English style, then why not hopping into Marks and Spencer flagship store located in Central MTR Station. You would find the freshly baked goodies here, everytime everyday. White chocolate soft-baked cookies is my top rated, followed by the traditional chocolate chip cookies. Go down to the the basement then you would know what I have been raving about.

Kuala Lumpur – Pavillion has it all. For a series of serious meal to cure the hunger, go up to the top floor where you could find Ben’s. I assume the owner named Ben. Casual, hassle-free, good place, good service and good food and will not burn your pocket. Whether you are a fans of a traditional style or western menu surely you will be well taken care of. In case you are blown away by the menu, easy, pick ‘Nasi Istimewa’. Enough said.

Taiwan – Everywhere in Taiwan, I mean Taipei and other cities, you could easily find Family Mart Chain. What I mean is nothing like daily necessities, but look at the food section and find a display of sweet potatoes. Generally its all good, ripen and ready to eat. The golden potato is naturally sweet and velvety smooth. In case you cannot find one, then hop to any night markets around the city and you should be able to find it. Caramelised tastes better. Happy hunting!

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:: The Beginning ::

Wishing everyone everywhere a very happy new year and a great beginning.

May the year ahead filled with joy, prosperity and never ending blessings.

A very merry xmas too for those who celebrate it.

Enjoy the festive seasons.

Drink and be merry!

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