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Archive for the ‘Destination’ Category

Having a chance to visit Perth (again) this winter time has really delighted me. Been here, studied here and lived here for sometimes makes me feel emotionally bound to this city. Of course one way or another many have said that Perth is relatively quiet as compared to eastern coast cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, but I personally think that what makes Perth differs and unique from others, laidback, not rushing, beautiful weather this time.

I stayed in my host-parents’ house where I used to live when I was here years ago. A beautiful cozy house with italian flare I would say (since my hostparents are Italian) plus that it is convenient to either catch a bus or a train.

/DAY1

my sister and I were craving to have lunch at this Japanese canteen called ‘tanpopo tea-house’ that is located near our former school called St. Mark’s somewhere in Mt. Lawley; so we decided to take bus from the city to go there. Surprisingly St. Mark’s is not there anymore, either they have closed down or relocated somewhere else. Our school building has been transformed to a city-loft style of apartments block. In addition ‘tanpopo’ too has relocated itself from the corner of the small supermarket to now its own shop across the street. Still the best menu we rave is the Teriyaki Chicken Katsu.

The rest of the day we strolled the city and not forgotten to visit Jaws sushi shop in front of GPO where we used to have our post-school-mid-day hunger fixed plus Miss Maud too (you will not find miss maud anywhere else except in this city!). Everything on display is soooo good!!

/DAY2

The next day we decided to go for Cicerellos even before we plan to go to Perth this time, so Fremantle is the answer. Same old school style of fish and chips but we love it. Luckily that we did not order one for each, instead we ordered one and we shared and even  that successfully made everybody full. Huge portion that is. After that big brunch we strolled upon cappucino strip – that is a street where all the coffee shops are located and yes, they all offer cappucino! If you are not into coffee then the famous gelare shop is just around the corner (Yes, we do have ones in Indo but trust me it tastes somehow different!). We spent the rest of the day in the city, try to navigate our way since the city itself has been progressively renovated and relocated, in a good way of course; bought some snacks australian made in woolworths and plus not forgetting our favourite Baker’s Delight!! If you ask me what is good there, I always love it’s banana cake.

/DAY3

When we were students here, we did not really spend our time to go to the countryside or visit other suburbs that are famous for local produced items, so this time we decided to embark on half-day tour for farm and winery visit. The tour starts at 9 in the morning and lasts for 4 hours.

Our first stop was Margaret River Chocolate factory, massive chocolate display and extensive chocolate variants to choose from. I do not really like the chocolate but the home-made ice cream was something to-die-for! Next stop was Caversham wildlife park where you could see and experience the Australian outback. I have been to similar place before when I was in excursion for my English course but I could not remember where it was. So that was Caversham park, full of koalas, kangaroos, snakes, lizards, dingos and so on.

After that we went to one of the well-known wineries in the region located in Swan Valley called Lancaster. I am not into alcoholic drinks either, but its own produced dessert wines have blown me away! Good review on this one that I finally bought one for my host mum.

Last stop is the nougat factory which I think it runs by an Italian family too. You can ask for free sample before you decide which to buy, ranging from hard nougat, soft nougat, plus more than 10 flavours to choose from. This stop would make up the whole half-day tour and we were happy!

One thing that has never changed, dinner is always a fiesta or a celebration. My host mum would normally cook more than 2 dishes plus salad and dessert, so the dinner menu would be something like:

/Appetiser

Traditional style cannelloni with ricotta and spinach filling

/Main Course

Beer battered baked fish with mixed garden salad and olive, balsamic dressings

/Sweet Ending

Home-made banana custard, raspberry crumble sponge cake and ice cream

/After dinner

Selection of cookies and lemon cake

 

Last but not least, enjoy some shoots here. Perth anyone?

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Melbourne offers a different vibe as compared to Sydney. This city will mesmerize you with its magical charm and never-ending beauty. Well, a little like London I would say but it is in Australia.

LET’S FLY

Full service airlines may be your choice to fly direct to Melbourne. Regional carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and Malaysia Airlines do offer daily flights to the capital of Victoria. If you are traveling from Sydney, then you can either choose to fly with Qantas, Tiger Airways, Jetstar or newly rebranded Virgin Australia. The connections are countless starting from the wee hours to almost midnight, kind of like a shuttle service between the two capitals, that is almost one flight in every 40 minutes. Alternatively, if you are on budget then AirAsiaX offers a one-stop service (through KL) from Jakarta to Melbourne (that is if you don’t mind arriving at 11.30pm!)

LET’S GO TO THE CITY

Melbourne has two airports, one is called Tullamarine and the other is Avalon. Make sure that your flight is landed at Tullamarine as it has a better transportation option as compared to the other one. My pick to the city was SKYBUS, the fastest and the most convenient transfer to town. One way adult ticket costs you at AUD17, however for return ticket costs you AUD28. This shuttle bus runs everyday including Sunday and public holiday. Here is the deal, it takes you to the bus port where you would be delivered to your respective hotel by a minibus (and that is inclusive in your ticket).

LET’S STAY

Melbourne’s CBD would be in a square of  Collin’s Street, Bourke Street and somewhere there. It is very easy to navigate. For your convenience you can book yourself in any hotels within this proximity and you are right in the heart of CBD. I was staying at Grand Hyatt Melbourne (recently refurbished and renovated!) at 123 Collins Street and everything is within walking distance. Westin Melbourne is another choice that is located nearer to the iconic Flinder’s Station. Other than those, the city itself offers a numerous accommodation choices depending on your budget and your preferred location.

LET’S EAT

My first destination in Melbourne is to have lunch at NOBU in Crown Tower. Its signature dish by Nobu Matsushita ‘black cod in miso’ would make you beg for more. Have your lunch here when they offer lunch set and you would have a little bit of everything in that lunch box. Trust me it should satisfy your hunger (Bento box with black cod costs AUD45). Along the way from Collins Street to Crown Tower there are lots of cafes, restaurants, for sure something for everyone.

LET’S SHOP

International brands and local brands are everywhere, get lost yourself in the city (and practically you won’t be lost anyway!).

LET’S IMAGINE

and start to book your ticket now!

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The charm and beauty of this city will make you beg for more or even linger for a little longer. Sydney it is! Located in the Eastern coast of this kangaroo continent, Sydney has becoming much more like melting pot simply because you would find everybody from everywhere here.

LET’S FLY

Numerous connections are offered between JAKARTA and SYDNEY. One can opt to direct service by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, despite its weird timing (arriving in Sydney by mid-morning) maybe would give you a good chance to just in time for check-in. If you want to splurge a bit more then why not fly with Singapore Airlines or Qantas. Please note that Qantas uses its budget carrier for JAKARTA-SINGAPORE service before continuing its journey to Sydney (oh yes, with Qantas of course!). Other than that, the good news is SCOOT will play its luck to the continent with merely SGD168 from SINGAPORE to SYDNEY one way; or even you can choose AirAsia if you do not mind transiting in KLIA before flying to Sydney.

LET’S GO TO THE CITY

Upon arrival in Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport, you can take the AirportLink which will take you all the way to town in about 20 mins. 1 adult ticket would cost AUD15 one way. Hop off in Town Hall or Central and you are right in the middle of the city. Find your way is easy with the city’s public transport.

LET’S STAY

If you plan to stay a bit longer in the capital, try to search for serviced apartments such as Meriton, Medina or even Fraser Residence. Normally the unit would be equipped with all basic necessities, including washing machine, dish washer, cooking utensils plus laundry drier. Advance booking translates to cheaper rate for the whole stay (starts from AUD145 nett for studio apartment in Meriton). Other than that, various hotels with various gradings are also available throughout the CBD and beyond, but again transport makes things easy to go and hop.

LET’S EAT

Sydney offers all kind of cuisines, ranging from Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Modern Australia and so on. Sushi has made its trend here, seems being well accepted by the locals. Believe it or not, frozen yoghurt has also sets its footprint in the capital with long queue over hours. The tips is to order one or two dishes first, see if they are enough for everybody, yes, I am talking about HUGE portion here. Don’t forget to try the local pie chain and the cupcakes too.

LET’S WINE

Book yourself for a winery tour, lunch and wine tasting are inclusive. Learn how to do a proper wine testing from the experts, see how the good wine is produced and last but not least drink responsibly! Some wines are only being sold in Australia and not meant for exported to other countries.

LET’S IMAGINE

and start to book your ticket now!!

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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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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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12.11.2011 set the new benchmark for the fitness industry particularly in Cirebon. If you do not know where this city is located, then find it out from our dear google.

Owned by a personnel that has been working in the industry for years, this BILGYM marks the beginning of the healthy lifestyle and spreads out the good living standard and wellness in town. Spread across three complete floors with open space concept, BILGYM offers daily group exercise classes fully licensed by LesMills International as well as TRX sessions and free weight too for the gym freaks.

If you happen to read this blog from Cirebon or somewhere nearby, then why not drop off in this gym. The password is ‘Mickey Mouse’ and one should be able to bring you there!

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