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:: Zen Family Spa ::

Last weekend I had a chance to do my weekly reflexology after a long due. Having heard the rave about this establishment then I decided to give it a try. Tucked in the busy Kebayoran Baru district, one must do the reservation way in advance since this place is in the hype and rarely for those walk-ins to get an instant spot, well you would if you are lucky enough.

The Balinese details wrapped the whole outlet, stretches from the entrance, hallway, waiting lounge, up to the treatment rooms. I picked the most-wanted foot reflexology for 90 minutes by then.

 

Ambiance: Clean and surrounded by frangipani scent all over the place, it was very relaxing and would guide you to doze off in seconds. The balinese traditional gamelan filled up as a background music; complemented the whole atmosphere.

 

Service: Upon arrival and waiting for my therapist, I was offered a drink (a glass of water or a cup of tea); then I was guided to the second floor to have my feet soaked in the Luke-warm water, added bath-salt and slices of lemon. While I was soaking, my therapist did my shoulder and pressed at few points at my upper back to ease the tension.

Then I was brought up to the room that consists of three huge massage chairs, with personal TV and dimmed-light. I believe this was more like a private room so if you are with friends or family, then you can always be sitted next to each other.

Good thing was that the therapist would always ask whether the pressure was alright to my preference. After that then I was instantly doze off until my hands were being massaged. Once everything was done, then I was offered another cup of ginger tea which I only had a gulp since it was very hot to my liking.

I noticed that all of the therapists here do not have a name tag, instead they have numbers tagged. Many have booked their own favourite therapist by their second or third visit. All in all, the experience was not bad, eventhough I personally feel that other places have made their way closer to total relaxation; plus I would say that the pressure was not that consistent throughout 90 minutes, but then again perhaps it is just a matter of preference.

 

Pricing: 90minutes foot reflexology (which includes hands, shoulder and head massage) priced at IDR98K. They also offer Royal Massage, Balinese Body Massage (the one that hits the rave according to the review!), Face massage and many more.

 

Contact: Jalan Gunawarman 43, Kebayoran Baru; 021-726-2375

:: Rumah Baba ::

I would say this is the best-kept secret in the busy CBD life in the heart of Sudirman/Senopati district in Jakarta. It is rather confusing to find this place, but hey a GPS always comes handy, or in case you do not have one then just call and ask for direction!

Named ‘Rumah Baba’ or house of Baba, this homey-feel restaurant serves a rather authentic Betawi cuisine. I was wrong to expect something like ‘Baba’ or ‘peranakan cuisine’ during my visit, but the description in its twitter makes things clearer of what do they really serve for hungry tummy.

 

Ambiance: Rumah Betawi back to 70’s or 80’s, you would feel as if you are having your meal in someone-else’s dining table. The waitress and waitresses are all dressed in Betawi traditional costume, much more like you would see in Kafe Betawi too. The exterior is painted in bright lime green perhaps so that it is easy to find this spot, while the interior is simple without being too much.

 

Food: Menu-wise you would expect dishes like Nasi Uduk, Nasi Kuning, Ketupat Sayur, Soto Betawi, and many more but sadly Rujak Juhi has never made its presence during my first and my second visit.

Bir Pletok is the diva here, so make sure you have one of those on your visit. I personally like Es Teh Lemon Sereh and not forgotten to mention the list of the desserts which includes es selendang mayang, es podeng (a-must-try!!) and many others too. I think Rumah Baba’s es podeng would make everybody happy and deserves its top rating.

 

Service: friendly and attentive. My food was served in quite a quick pace.

 

Price: pocket friendly for the size of portion. You can always order few dishes and share the calories.

 

Contact: 021-5270173 (Do call them up if you are somewhere in Senopati area, entrance is just right before Office8, where you should find a small street heading to Rumah Baba)

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:: Mooncake Festival ::

It just happens that almost every year during mid-autumn festival or for me it is a mooncake festival, I would have a chance to fly to our neighbour and would dive myself into the world of mooncakes. I wonder why they do not bake the one fills with ‘tau-sah’ which commonly found here back in Jakarta, lotus paste filling is more popular there I guess.

My top rated (and I would recommend this to all my friends) is the snowskin mooncake by Shangri-La Singapore that creatively fills the mooncake with not-so-sweet custard and the daring birdnest as its highlight. You can either get it a single box or a box of 4. It comes in a rather small size as compared to the usual mooncakes but trust me it is satisfying to have one.

The outer layer of the mooncake is so called snowskin because of its softness and somehow it is scented too. You can actually scent a kind of sakura or some kind of petals there, whilst the custard filling is not utterly sweet and complements the skin very well. Digging into the base, you can taste the sparkling looking birdnest by its purest I believe, not too much just the right amount of it.

 

If you missed it this year, then you should wait until next year. Ok, I am a fans.

:: Another trip ::

Leg 1: CGK-SIN

I managed to fly on this reconfigured B777-300 by SQ. The aircraft fits in the regional product that is very comfortable for few hours of flying (just like what has been installed in its A330-300). The business class has also improved in terms of seat and space; instead of fitting in 2-3-2 capacity, SQ has decided to fit in 2-2-2 across which translates to more space and more privacy.

Before flying I had a chance to grab a quick lunch at SIA Business Class Lounge in Soekarno Hatta Airport. Note that this lounge has not been transformed to a SilverKris Lounge yet, but facility wise was sufficient. Selection of hot dishes and quick bites are available in the buffet area, plus PC station if one needs to do work and it offers wi-fi connection too.

Boarding was fast, efficient, and in-order. I think because this is a mid-day flight (leaving at 11.30AM) and the plane was only 80% full on that day. First and Business class passengers were first to board to the aircraft followed by the Krisflyer Gold and PPS members then the economy per section.

Service was good and consistent throughout the flight. Champagne, orange juice and water were offered once I settled in my seat. I personally rave about this seat since its made its debut few years ago and a good thing about SQ is you can actually see the seatmap and decide where to sit in the aircraft you are going to fly with and having flown with it for several years, it is rare for them to change the aircraft at a very last minute (my parents were flying with CX once and it changed the aircraft like 3 times before the scheduled departure time, with 3 different configurations!)

Leg 2: SIN-HKG

It always excites me whenever I fly with A380. SQ operates the jumbo interchangeably with its A330-300, B777-200 and B777-300ER for this route, so you can always check the time and pick the one that you like. The widest business class seat in the sky was the highlight. The aircraft that I flew with was reconfigured to all-business class upper deck and it was not that full in the mid and the last section. I did not have a chance to see how is the Suite downstairs, I wish I could next time.

For a 3hours and 25minutes of flying, the seat was more than just comfortable to indulge in. It is easy to operate and it was in 1-2-1 configuration, so if you are flying alone, you can pick window seat with direct aisle access at the same time. If you have a companion the middle section could be your pick and it also has a direct aisle access. Moreover, it is forward facing, no herringbone or reverse-herringbone which I do not find it fancy.

Service was good and the cabin crew addressed me by name throughout the flight since I was welcomed in the aircraft gate. I feel that SQ cabin service is going beyond ‘excellent’ to be very attentive without being too much and remain discreet. I spent my remaining hours to watch BRAVE and a little bit of Britney’s Femme Fatale concert. I must say it was an enjoyable ride indeed.

Leg 3: HKG-SIN

Another journey with A380 this round. What was more, the aircraft has wi-fi installed in it and for mere USD10 for 10MB access, one can enjoy using data service (Like me with my BBM) for the entire flight. It is provided by OnAir who also provides the same service for other mega-airlines too such as Emirates, Garuda (soon), All Nippon Airways, Qantas, TAP’s America, Etihad Airways, Hong Kong Airlines and so on.

You only need to connect your device just like when you connect to any hotspot wifi service, then just follow the few steps then you are connected. Wi-fi connectivity was very good, no disturbance whatsoever and I could remain connected for the entire flight.

My seat was 11K at the upper deck (another A380 with all business class-upper deck), when I did my internet check-in I was not sure if it has a window, so I double checked when I checked-in my luggage at HKIA, the agent said it should have window, but it was not! So I said to one of the cabin crew to get a seat with a window and she said it was not a full flight and only that pointy-end of the business class section that occupied, so I was free to move to 16K (with window of course!)

I must take note of the cabin crew on this flight that I think they do deserve to mention. After the meal service I was offered for a hot drinks, like gourmet coffee or TWG tea; since I was quite full then I declined politely and hey I still had a space for a little praline as it said in the menu so I asked for it. When she returned, she handed me a plate (not a piece or few, but a place consists of like 10 or 12 of assorted pralines) and she said I can have them all if I want to, which of course (again) I have to reject politely, no way that I could finish the whole plate of pralines. I thought it was a nice gesture of her.

Leg 4: SIN-CGK

Arriving in SIN then I made my way to the SilverKris Lounge in T2 and managed to get a quick shower and light snacks before I flew back to Jakarta. I still prefer the SKL in T3 though with a feel of airy and bright, the one in T2 is somehow not that bright and not that airy but never mind.

The leg was served by the older B777-200, meaning that the business class section was arranged in 2-3-2 instead of the new one 2-2-2. When I looked around the section, the middle seats were emptied, so yes it was a good one to have more space next to you. The seat was named Ultimo seat generation (if I am not mistaken) that SQ introduced long time ago before the SpaceBed took place, but for approx 90mins I do not really care.

Just a note to travellers: if you really have to land in CGK, try to avoid the peak hours like anytime after 6PM to 11PM, I think that is the premiere slot that the middle-eastern carrier also lands at that time, this translates to never-ending queue at the immigration check. Mid-day arrival is so much better with less queue in the immigration.

For those who fly out from CGK, morning up to 10AM is the peak, so try to avoid this hours, unless if you are flying with Garuda Executive Class which gives you a fast-track immigration clearance.

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:: It’s Perth ::

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 evenĀ  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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:: As seen on TV ::

Our menswear design has made its debut appearance in KompasTV last weekend, here are the captures.

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I came across this article from HERWORLD magazine Singapore June edition that I thought its good just to share with you all. The article titled The Ultimate Sex Diet, read on and you may find it very interesting.

FATS

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are the essentials fatty acids to produce sex hormones. If you do not have enough then it would just sweep away your libido or even increase your risk of infertility. So where do you get this good fat? A handful of sunflower seeds a day would be the best source of unsaturated fats.

ZINC

This translates to ‘sex mineral’ which blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Women read on: those women with higher level of testosterone reportedly have a greater sex drive. Indulge yourself in a quarter-cup serving of pumpkin seeds a day. Sadly the article does not share what is this thing doing for guys.

PROTEIN

The health bible says it over time, protein and protein. This would give you the energy and stamina to be on ‘Fire-zone’. According to the article, unfortunately, if you do not have enough supply of protein, then you may feel too lethargic for sex. Good source of protein you name it, salmon, oatmeal, tuna, beans and lean meat would do the trick.

VITAMIN E

This component has been known as the ‘sex vitamin’ since it is responsible for producing the sex hormones which will get you in the mood for love. Get yourself the sources in sunflower and pumpkin seeds and oils, others would be almonds, hazels and peanuts. Peanut butter toast for breakfast anyone?

VITAMIN C

Do you know that the pituitary (try to pronounce it) gland in your brain which controls the production of sex hormones thrives on Vitamin C? If orange is the God then kiwi is the goddess, plus steamed broccoli would do too. So what are you waiting for?

B VITAMINS

The function of this gank is to help the conversion of sugar into energy, so you would have a better immunity dealing with illness, stress of lack of sleep. The article says, if you do not get enough of these guys then you may experience depression, anxiety, physical tension and fatigue which everything would drain your sexual drive. Have your oatmeal or brow rice to boost your energy levels. (So next time if you pop by to Yoshinoya ask for brown rice for that 50Cents extra and let it do the wonders haha)

 

 

Rewritten from HERWORLD SINGAPORE JUNE 2012 edition