Friday, March 31, 2017

The Boring Departure Lounge @ Bandung Husein Sastranegara International Airport [Indonesia]

Noted as Indonesia's third largest airport with a city population of about 2.5 million people and just 150 kilometers from the capital, i think i am not that far off for assuming that the departure lounge of the international airport in Bandung would not bore me.

Turning from a corner once i cleared immigration and got my hand carry luggage scanned by the airport security, i regretted my decision immediately; the decision to get in earlier to check out what's in store for us to spend our time and leftover rupiah.

I was standing at the far end of the departure lounge where the boarding gate was; yes, i can see everything at one glance and the place was only that 'big'.

For those who can sleep easily (i can't as i need a bed), there's a row of rattan chaise lounges for you to get into dreamland until the PA system screamed for your name.

Kids can take refuge in the playground set. Oh wait, i don't remember seeing any kids and in it and looking closely at the above photo; it wasn't even set up properly! 

One of two commercial entities in the area; a snack bar for coffee, snacks or even boxes of kueh lapis for last minute purchase to spend that last rupiah! Another one would be a bookstore. No souvenir stall, no fashion store; so how did i last that more than an hour wait until boarding time?

Looking out of the large windows like an emo old man with nothing to do. Of course not, i had my iPhone with me and i am so glad i opted for Starhub DataTravel @ S$20 for 3 Gigabytes! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Kartika Sari (Dago Branch) - More Food Souvenirs to Bring Home; Just Like Bengawan Solo @ Bandung [Indonesia]

Further to my posting on Amanda's steamed brownies, another brand heavily patronised and well loved by visitors to Bandung would be Kartika Sari.

I visited the branch at the Dago district and was totally blown away by the impressive variety of snacks, biscuits, pastry and kuehs; it's like stepping into a humongous Bengawan Solo store! You can even get a hamper if you wish to lug it back to Singapore! 

See, see, see; aren't you getting wide-eyed, as i was, with the pictures so far?! That's not even a complete set as i didn't manage to take all the sections.

Since we had already purchased plenty of steamed brownies from Amanda, we honestly didn't have the strength and empty hands to buy and carry Kartikasari's signature lapis cakes! p.s. Bandung's kueh lapis (layered cake) was supposedly even better than Batam / Bintan's version; i didn't know until i returned from my trip! Must really knock myself on the head. 

The much lighter dried snacks like butter toast, almond cookies etc would be a much easier load for us! As with Amanda, there wasn't any free sampling and i was in a fix on what to buy since there were so many things to choose from... 

474,500 rupiah worth of snacks for family and friends! 

I also got this pack of banana rolls that looked absolutely delicious! Befitting a person born under the Chinese zodiac of monkey, i adore bananas and this love can be seen in the way i seek to improvise the banana cake recipe

Pity they didn't taste as good as they appeared to be; the mashed bananas in the middle had a bitter aftertaste and were not sweet. I had to force myself to finish all six pieces as none of my family members was interested to share. Fat die me! :(


Kartikasari Dago
Jl. Ir. H. Djuanda (Dago) 
No. 85 Bandung, Indonesia


Additional Information
There was a restaurant in the same building that's opened by Kartika Sari; i didn't check out the menu as i didn't have time but i think you might be able to sample some of their store products, for a fee of course. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WTF (What's That Food) - Real Beef Shabu Burger @ Yishun Pasar Malam [Singapore] #WTFoodSG

Living within 5 minutes' walk from the train station has its perks and one of them is that temporary pasar malams (night markets) outside the Yishun station would take place once every few months! 

While most people would go for the many ramly burger stalls, i hesitated one evening as i am honestly famished and there's no way my tummy can accept any waiting in a queue. That's when i chanced upon the above stall.

WTF (literally) - i actually remember this particular stall as it was one of a few hundred at the Chinatown Festive Street Bazaar this year that had an unforgettable name! 

Back then, i wanted to try but with so many guaranteed-good food options at Chinatown (teriyaki chicken don, yong tau foo, soy sauce chicken, seafood dumplings etc etc); i had to give it a miss despite the irresistible waft of freshly grilled shabu meat! 

Anyway, i am adamant to try it this time, especially when there's no queue! Why no queue? I can think of three causes; firstly, the price which, at S$5 for the beef, was slightly higher than a ramly burger; secondly, the novelty of shabu burger and lastly (thanks to a conversation i had with fellow colleagues today), some people do feel that a burger must come with a patty.

I am shallow when it comes to burgers then as anything you can put in between a burger bun can be considered a burger; even if it is just a slice of tomato, a smattering of lettuce and a splash of chilli mayonnaise. 

Of course i wouldn't pay S$5 for the aforementioned burger with meagre ingredients but for the above, with a generous amount of thinly sliced 100% rib-eye, my only wish then was to grab the top bun, place it on top and gobble up the entire thing!

Patience, patience; if not you would miss out on more important ingredients like the caramelised onions that's bound to up the palatability! I should seriously make it a point to find the recipe for this amazing stuff.

According to an informative panel in front of the stall, i gathered that the burger included crunchy lettuce, sauce maison, beef shabu shabu, caramelised onions and cheese sauce. It's like a flow chart that gave me an accurate prediction that my burger was about to be ready! 

Simply wrapped with a WTF sticker to hold the wrapper in place, this was taken at the comfort of my home where i can take hundred of pictures without drawing any attention. 

Burger was already flattened at this time but fear not, it's still the taste that matters and it was as delicious as it smelt with the juicy meat juice oozing from the well seasoned shabu beef. I am swallowing my saliva now as i recalled the flavour that swam together with the sweetness of caramelised onions and cheese sauce! 

Nothing's perfect though; i would prefer more caramelised onions and the burger bun can be grilled longer with a bigger slab of butter. If only there's also an option to add on a fried egg....; darn, i am getting greedy! 

Nevertheless, i cleaned up everything; save for the wrapper. 


At the Pasar Malam outside Yishun MRT Station which would end on Wednesday, 29 March 2017. Miss it? No worries; check out WTF Facebook page below for their latest location!

Facebook Page

Real Beef Shabu Burger - S$5.00 for one
Real Beef Shabu Burger - S$9.00 for two

Monday, March 27, 2017

Amanda - The Healthier Steamed Brownies from Bandung [Indonesia]

The only Amanda i know is a person but in Bandung, it's a famous brand with products that foreigners like myself would buy back for friends and family in Singapore. 

We purposely took a cab to one of the branches at Dago that's about 2.6 kilometers from Best Western Premier La Grande hotel and in case you are wondering what products Amanda are famed for; look for the clue in the above photo.

Brownies and to think that i would travel all the way to Bandung to purchase brownies when i am not even a big fan! Well, the steamed version from the city is a popular "souvenir" to bring back and the fact that i am there means i might as well get some.

Its popularity can be attest by two observations; one, there wasn't any sampling in the store and second, the brownies were readily packed and displayed for customers to grab and pay! 

I am afraid i didn't manage to take pictures of the "real" thing but my verdict of the 'original' and 'pandan' is that i prefer the baked version which had a more satisfying texture and contained many walnuts. The steamed ones were healthier, softer and lighter yet didn't quite appeal to me. 

There were other products for sale; however, as there wasn't any sampling and i didn't know how good it might be, i hauled back like 10 boxes and one box was like 750 grams! 

There's another advantage for Amanda's steamed brownies; pricing! The cheapest 'original' brownies cost only 36,000 Indonesia rupiah a box while the most expensive 'cream cheese' brownies could even be cheaper than a slice of cake here in Singapore! 



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Soon Lee Heng Satay in ST 31 Coffee House @ Ang Mo Kio Block 347 [Singapore]

This particular coffee shop very near to AMK Hub is famous for the fish head steamboat and i wouldn't have thought of ordering anything else from another stall in usual circumstances.  

Our visit was nothing unusual but my elder sister and brother in law decided to order satay from this little stall anyway. According to them, many tables had a plate of satay when they last patronised the fish head steamboat and it's a fact that my family love satay! 

10 sticks of pork, 10 sticks of chicken sitting on a bed of fresh cucumber and onions! Do note that it's self service here; hence, please prepare to have someone standing by to order AND collect the satay. Just another note - uncle manning the stall was said to be fierce yet with a kind tenderness towards children. 

At S$0.70 a stick, they might appear pricier than normal but look closer; the pieces of meat and fats also seem bigger to justify for the higher per-stick price. Nevertheless, satay pricing had indeed spiked over the past ten years; i remember it was only about 40 to 50 cents a stick then. 

Coming back, the satay from the fierce uncle was fantastic and testament to his overall control over fire and movement of the satay sticks. Despite emitting a strong aroma of addictive charcoal grill, the pieces of meat and fats weren't badly charred and in actual fact, remained juicy! 


Block 347, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3,
#01-2142, ST 31 Coffee House,
Singapore 560347


As above.

Chicken Satay - S$0.70 a stick
Pork Satay - S$0.70 a stick
(Minimum 10 Sticks)