Good Vet in Jakarta for Canines and Felines: My Vets

A few days back, I brought Freckles for her first vaccination at My Vets clinic. This was her second visit to the vet within a month; her first visit was the day we got her, where she was dewormed.

She was too small at that time and wasn’t fit to be vaccinated. Since then, Freckles has gained close to 500g – weighing in at 1.2kg now. She’s growing too fast for my liking. I want my little cantik to stay tiny longer. 😦 😦 😦

From the moment I put her into her pet taxi, Freckles the smartie pants seemed to know what was coming. She CRIED and SHIVERED and WHINED non-stop in the car on the way to the vet. Think about being stuck with a whiny kitten in bad Jakarta macet traffic – not very fun at all. :/


A very displeased Freckles. Aww look at that face!

The vets at My Vets clinic speak good English which was helpful for me (can’t count on my substandard Bahasa Indonesian). Dr. Osye, the first vet Freckles saw was not around, so we ended up seeing another vet. Both were equally reassuring and I felt comfortable with them.

I asked the vet to help me trim Freckles’ nails and she happily obliged without charging me extra. Freckles was not happy at having her nails trimmed and screamed at the top of her lungs (I’ve never heard her scream so loud before). Such a small feisty kitty!


Barring all her teeth: cut my nails if you dare!

She wriggled with all her might and the vet had no choice but to call in another person to help pin Freckles down for her vaccination.

1 vet + 2 big men holding down a tiny 11-weeks-old kitten was quite a funny sight.



Her next vaccination will be in one month’s time. Crossing my fingers she’ll be better adjusted then.

In case you were wondering, the total bill came up to IDR 225K (inclusive of consultation, cutting of nails, and vaccination). Very reasonable indeed! 🙂

My Vets
Jalan Kemang Selatan 8 No. 7A
Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta
Phone no:  +62 21 7668241

PS: My Vets at Kemang has two separate clinics side by side each other – one for canines and one for felines.

I’m currently back in Singapore and have been busy running around trying to settle the renovation for the new apartment, catching up with friends, running errands, etc.

IT IS SO GOOD TO BE BACK! (though I’m missing Agent D a tiny weeny bit)

Will update on my days in sunny (actually rainy these days) Singapore soon! ❤

Cheap Hair Wash and Blow-Dry in Jakarta + First Birthday in Jakarta

Having lived in Jakarta for almost a year now, I’ve come to understand a little bit more about the Indonesian culture and way of life. One of the things I’ve observed — there is a greater emphasis on outward appearance here as compared to my home country. Most Indonesians enjoy dolling/dressing up. And boy do they look good – nothing wrong with that.

For instance, back home, I’d be happy to buy groceries nearby in my oversized high school PE T-shirt, FBT shorts, and flip-flops (whilst crossing my fingers I don’t run into anyone). I tried it once here at the supermarket below my apartment and ended up getting weird frowns/stares. Okay I get the point.


IBU-fied with my blow-dried hair.

Prior to a wedding dinner/party/reception/date night in Jakarta, it is common to drop by a hair salon to get your hair washed and blow-dried. You can even bring your favourite Hollywood star’s picture and show it to the stylist. Whether you’re going for a curly big look or straight flat look, rest assured he/she will get it done. (I’ve heard that some Indonesian tai-tais never ever wash their own hair, i.e. they visit the salon several times a week.)

So anyway, I decided to treat myself to a hair wash cum blow-dry last Thursday (disclaimer: I don’t do this often) since I had a reception to attend with Agent D and it was my birthday on Friday.

If you’re looking for a value for money hair wash and blow-dry in Jakarta, do check out Johnny Andrean. They have many outlets across Jakarta. I paid IDR 56K excluding tips for my recent hair wash and blow-dry at Johnny Andrean (Mall Ambassador) while most other salons in big malls charge between IDR 100K – IDR 150K.

In the left picture above, I paid IDR 140K to get my hair washed and blow-dried at one of the salons in Plaza Indonesia. In the picture on the right, I paid IDR 56K for the same service. Any difference?!

Well, one thing’s for sure — the more expensive hair salons use better quality shampoo and conditioning. Their seats are more comfortable too. When choosing which salon to visit for a blow-dry, bear in mind that the results also differ depending on the expertise of the stylist. 🙂

Very sadly, Freckles the kitty didn’t quite take a liking to my new va-va voom hair. She was curious at first, wondering why Momma’s hair suddenly became bigger.


Hmm what are those…???

And then she started attacking my hair, pulling at it with her extended claws and biting down hard on it. Silly Freckles must have thought IT WAS A BALL OF YARN hanging off me. :/ :/ :/


Spot those claws of hers?!! Time to cut nails!

I was horrified/petrified/startled/aghast and tried to yank her away from my hair but to no avail. She’s growing stronger by the day as compared to 1 month back.

To Freckles the kitty, the yarn was loosening and it was so much fun!


This is not fun!!!! Get off me!!

Sigh. And so I went to the reception with a lopsided hair-do, straight hair on the left and curls on the right. Thankfully it wasn’t too noticeable, or at least I hope it wasn’t.

My First Birthday in Jakarta was…

A really low-key one this time (not complaining). Spent the day with some Singaporean ladies over a lovely Japanese lunch at Akira Back + fun board games. I deliberately didn’t tell them it was my birthday so it was like any other normal day. 🙂


Chirashi don at Akira Back was SO GOOD. #fresh

Agent D and I were supposed to go out for a simple dinner that night (we had actually celebrated our anniversary and my birthday together earlier in the week). But then I received an impromptu message from Christian in the afternoon, asking if we were free for dinner that night. Well, WHY NOT of course. 🙂

And so I celebrated my birthday in the company of Agent D and both Christian and Sasha, one of the first few friends I knew before coming to Jakarta.


Blowing out my cakes from UNION.

Thanks for making time to meet up with us, guys! ❤

And now I’ve officially entered my last year as a twenty-something. *aging woes*

Cutest Cafe in Menteng: Maple and Oak

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK in MENTENG! It has been about one month since Maple and Oak opened its doors to the public. Located in De Ritz Building, Menteng, I finally got down to checking it out last week because it is located just across the road from where I am intending to start my pilates lessons at.


Newly-opened Maple and Oak.

Maple and Oak is an all-day brunch place (can never have enough of brunch!) serving brunch-like food (DUH). The whole cafe interior  from the colour mix to the decor is SUPER PRETTY, HOMEY, yet MODERN – I fell in love with it at first sight.

Maple and Oak has given me some design inspirations for the new home. I recently bought some artificial plant frames online, which kinda look like the ones they’ve hung up all over the cafe.

Picture on the left shows Maple and Oak’s triangular plant frames, while the picture on the right shows the square plant frames I bought. What do you think? 🙂

To compensate for its small cafe space, Maple and Oak has a lovely al-fresco area fronting the cafe along the main road. The al-fresco area resembles that of a balcony of a shophouse, with its lush green plants hanging down. Very nice to chill.


Perfect spot to sip a cuppa coffee and people-watch.

From what I’ve read, Maple and Oak is helmed by celebrity Chef Odie Djamil. Apart from brunch food, the place also serves salads, desserts, coffee, tea, cold pressed juices, mocktails and beer. The coffee bar opens as early as 7a.m. for early-risers, but the kitchen only starts cracking at 9 a.m..

Both my cafe-hopping buddy Ivana and I ordered the same thing – Salmon Eggs Benedict (IDR 83k) and a cold pressed juice (IDR 40K).


Coldpressed ‘Red’ and ‘Yellow’ (IDR 40K each).


Salmon Eggs Benedict (IDR 83K).

Their Salmon Eggs Benedict was pretty good stuff – eggs were on point (very runny), cured red salmon was fresh and chewy, sourdough toast was buttery and nice, salad had fresh baby spinach leaves (LOVE BABY SPINACH) amongst others, and most importantly their plating was SO PRETTY. We couldn’t bear to tuck in!


Happy satisfied diners. 🙂

For sweets, Ivana and I shared a Mascarpone Lychee Berry (IDR 48K) comprising light mascarpone mousse, sliced lychee and strawberries, mixed berry coulis, maple milk bread croutons, homemade granola, and edible flowers. It was supposed to have meringue buttons but I think they ran out of them.


Mascarpone Lychee Berry (IDR 48K).

The flavours came together nicely and I liked the fact that it wasn’t too sweet. The sourness of the fruits balanced the sweetness of the mascarpone well. Don’t you think it looks super gorgeous?! It provided a lovely ending to our brunch.

If you’re in Menteng, be sure to check out Maple and Oak. It definitely won’t disappoint! Bring a book along and have fun. ❤

Maple & Oak
De Ritz Building 1st floor
Jl. HOS. Cokroaminoto no 91
Menteng, Central Jakarta

My One Year ‘MRS’ Mark.

Can’t believe a whole year has flown by since Agent D and I said our “I dos” in the presence of God and all our loved ones.

The past year has been a surprisingly smooth journey for us (some have said that the first few years are the toughest?!). Perhaps it’s because we are living away from home in a foreign land and have only each other to lean on.

Throwback pictures to our wedding last year, 18 July 2015.

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Looking back at the pictures, I’m thankful for so many things — family, friends, Agent D and above all, God. God has been faithfully joining the dots in my life to create one beautiful story.

So how did we celebrate our 1st year anniversary in Jakarta??

Agent D has been particularly busy these few weeks (well actually he has always been busy) so we decided to keep things simple. We had dinner at Asuka Japanese Dining @ JW Marriott Hotel, not far from where we live.


Anniversary date night at Asuka Japanese Dining.

I must say their salmon sashimi is one of the best I’ve tasted in Jakarta. It is apparently air-flown fresh from Japan. Prices were on the steeper end (ouch) but oh well a wedding anniversary is a once-in-a-year-kind-of-thing right. JUST SPEND.


My highlight of the night (IDR 250K).

This post isn’t intended to be on Asuka so I won’t go into all the foodie details. That said, both Agent D and I had a lovely dinner accompanied with impeccable service.

Some food photos to make you hungry hee hee.

I heard Asuka’s lunch sets are pretty good and affordable. You may want to check those out! For the dinner menu, our bill  for two came out to about Rp 1.5 juta (just for your info). 🙂

Agent D has this habit of checking his phone every 5 seconds (ok maybe I’m exaggerating) during dinner, which annoys me when I’m excitedly recounting to him my highlights of the day. For our anniversary night, he made special effort not to touch his phone – which I really appreciated. Instead, I was the one guiltily taking out my phone to snap all the food pictures. :/ :/ :/


Slurping up this cup of goodness – a mixture of lychee, mango, orange, and yoghurt.

Sadly, the restaurant didn’t have desserts on the menu. What’s an anniversary without some cake right! (The anniversary’s just an excuse actually…I was having cake cravings heh.) So anyway, we bought a slice of blueberry cheese cake from Marriott’s bakery to indulge my sweet tooth. ❤

Timely enough, I finally got down to getting our cross-stitch wedding portrait framed. It was a handmade gift from my helper (back in Singapore) to us for our wedding. Her half-blind sister in Philippines did up the background, while she sewed in the words and date.

Just look at the number of x-stitches involved…#effort indeed. How apt that it was ready for collection on our anniversary day itself, one year on.


Cross-stitch wedding gift, 18 July 2015.

I can’t wait to hang it up in the new home! 🙂

Before signing off, I’d like to share this poem © By M.S.Lowndes:

God has said
That we should not
Live our lives alone
But to have someone
Close by our side
Together to make a home

He gave to me
Someone like you
So I could share my life
Together we stand,
Whatever may come,
With God’s love inside.

Thank you, Agent D, for not having me live my life alone. Thanks for sharing life and making a home together with me. With God’s love inside, here’s to many many more years ahead. x


You’re my favourite sunflower!

A Moment to Remember: Fourteenth of July Bastille Day in Jakarta

My heart is saddened by the news of the Nice terror attack on France’s Bastille Day (aka French National Day on 14th of July). The aftermath of the attack is heartbreaking – at least 84 people were killed, including children and teenagers and a total of 303 people were taken to hospital.

What was supposed to be a joyous celebration ended up in tears and pain. The attack hits close to home because on that very same day (14th July 2016), Agent D and I were celebrating the French National Day with the people of France in Jakarta.


French Ambassador to Jakarta and Indonesian Ministers.

During the reception,  I had a chance to chat with some French people about life in Jakarta, what they were doing here in Jakarta, etc. One of the guys I met was a pastry chef who had just opened a pâtisserie in Jakarta. He very kindly invited Agent D and I to drop by his bakery someday.

As I think about the terror attack on France and its impact on the people, my French friends’ faces flash in my mind and I can almost picture the pain their eyes. My deepest condolences goes out to the nation of France who is mourning right now. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead. You are in our prayers.

I don’t want to remember 14th of July as a day of sorrow (as intended by the terrorists). I choose to remember 14th of July as a celebration of the unity of the French people. I read online that a common greeting for the day is “Vive le 14 juillet” — “LONG LIVE the 14th of July”!!!


At the French National Day reception in Jakarta – ice sculpture of the Bastille.

The French are really generous hosts. On top of the mains and live stations at the French National Day reception in Jakarta, the cheese selection was one of the widest I’d ever seen. There was free flow of red/white wine and champagne too.


Glorious spread of cheese paired with bread and grapes.


Its been a while since I had good cheese (since UK days).

And of course, not forgetting French pastries to end the night.


There’s always space for sweets.

Happy fourteenth of July, France. I’m confident that you and your people will emerge from this incident even stronger than before, even more united as one.

Thank you for having us at your Jakarta National Day celebrations! xx


Against the lovely Eiffel Tower.

Authentic Ramen in Jakarta: Ikkudo Ichi

My food cravings often change with the weather. On cold rainy/cloudy days, I weirdly crave RAMEN. So far (on grey overcast days in Jakarta), I’ve tried ramen from Marutama, Bariuma, Menya Sakura, Ippudo, Hokkaido Santouka and some of the lesser known stores. Just last Sunday, I had a taste of Ikkudo Ichi’s ramen for the first time. BOY WAS IT GOOOOOD. I actually think it is the best of the lot. *personal opinion*

Ikkudo Ichi in Grand Indonesia.

Ikkudo Ichi has a number of outlets across Jakarta. Agent D and I visited its central branch in Grand Indonesia. We had to queue for a table but thankfully not for long due to the quick turnover (guessing the tiny tables and chairs aren’t too comfortable for long chats).

A very crowded Ikkudo Ichi.

Ikkudo Ichi is apparently from Fukuoka in Japan – a city renowned for tonkotsu ramen sold at street stalls.

The restaurant interior is very homey; the light brown wooden walls, tables and stools bring to mind a neighbourhood shop with homemade grandma soups.


Kitchen behind the bar counter.


Pretty paper lanterns and artificial Sakura trees covering the ceiling bring about a Japanese feel.

At Ikkudo Ichi, customers can customize their ramen bowls in four ways — firmness level of noodles, strength of flavour, richness of broth (the amount of oil filtered from the soup), and type of noodles.

Being the unadventurous people that we were, both of us opted for normal noodles, normal flavour, normal richness with small noodles. But the taste turned out to be BEYOND NORMAL!!


Signature pork ramen (IDR 55K).


Sliced pork belly ramen (IDR 55K).

The pork broth was…just right. There wasn’t a strong overbearing pork flavour as with Menya Sakura’s and the soup had the right intensity. The soft boiled egg was perfectly cooked and the pork slices melted like butter in my mouth. YUM.

PLUS I felt that the soup was less oily than most other ramens and lesser (if not no) MSG was used. Truly authentic!


Ikkudo Ichi – Japanese ramen specialist.

If you’re in Grand Indonesia and craving some ramen, Ikkudo Ichi is the way to go! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Next on my to-try ramen list would be Hakata Ikkousha – reserved for yet another cloudy day.

Ikkudo Ichi
Grand Indonesia West Mall
Lower Ground #27,
Jalan MH. Thamrin No. 1, Jakarta

Yesterday, I was a happy girl because I accompanied Agent D for a reception at Raffles Hotel = DON’T HAVE TO COOK. Whoop whooop. As I mentioned before, cooking has never been my passion (and will never be) but I do it anyway for health’s sake.

The past (lebaran) week has been an especially tiring one because my part-time help went back to her kampung. Am so thankful and glad that both she and my driver are finally back with us.


Pardon our dirty lift mirror :/

Back to cooking again tomorrow. *cooking woes*

Good night. x

Our 3-Week Mark With Freckles

So it has been 3 weeks since we adopted the little girl, Freckles the kitty. She’s now 8+ weeks old and is longer, taller, heavier, and ROUNDER (*horror of horrors* she actually looks preggers at certain angles).


Freckles @ 8+ weeks.

Conversation I had with Agent D a few days ago…

Agent D: Are you sureeee you’re not overfeeding Freckles?

Me: Of course not!

Agent D: How often do you feed her?

Me: Whenever she meows. (Just like how a baby cries when hungry right?!!)

Dang. So I guess I’ve been overfeeding the little one. No wonder she’s PERPETUALLY TIRED AND ALWAYS SLEEPING. Because her body is digesting all the food that momma is giving her.


Photo credit: Healthline.

Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Story of her kitty life.


Freckles using her paws to block out the sunlight when sleeping.

Then again, she’s an ADORABLY CUTE ANGEL when asleep (and a naughty little devil when awake – scratching our furniture and curtains, biting the wires, pulling the toilet roll down until the entire roll is sprawled on the floor, prancing out of nowhere and tripping us, etc – you get the drift). We can never leave Freckles unsupervised for anything more than erm 10 seconds. Crossing my fingers it’s a kitten-thang and she’ll outgrow this bullish behaviour soon. :/


Just look at her devouring Mister Chilli Crab for brunch.


And now guarding it with all her life.

I must say her little antics have brought much joy to Agent D and myself though.

Being an optimist, I choose to see the sweet angel in her (which is why I take so many photos of her ASLEEEEEP). Peace reigns in the household when she’s sleeping really.

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Good night, world. Sweet Freckles dreams. X

Singapore Char Kway Teow in Jakarta: Singapore Restaurant

One of the things I miss most about being away from home is the HAWKER FOOD – hokkien mee, char kway teow, orh luak, bak chor mee, char siew + roast pork rice, the list goes on and on. And so nothing excites me more than when I manage to find a good replica of Singapore hawker food here in Jakarta (!!!).

A few months back, my driver took one of the small roads to Grand Indonesia shopping town. On the way there, I happened to catch sight of a big signboard with the words “Singapore Restaurant”. There were quite a number of cars parked outside the restaurant (= food should be good right?!). I immediately texted Agent D to tell him about it and made a mental note to check out the place sometime soon.


Singapore Restaurant in Menteng.

Sometime soon came in the form of last Sunday (not very ‘soon’ heh). The restaurant interior reminded me of a typical zhi char restaurant in Singapore with round tables scattered all around. It also seemed to be a family type of place – most tables were made up of grandmas, grandpas, dads, mums, children, and helpers. Agent D and I were one of only two couples dining there at that time.


Loving the Singapore label all over.


Menu page containing Singapore specials (some are not exactly Singapore dishes though).

As char kway teow was their signature dish, Agent D and I got for ourselves one plate each. We also ordered a kailan with garlic in the hopes that it would even out the sinfulness (fats and oil) of our char kway teow. 🙂


Char kway teow (kwetiau goreng).

I didn’t have high expectations for the char kway teow but it turned out to be pretty authentic. LOVED the generous portions of si hum (cockles) thrown inside. If only there were lup cheong and pork lard too, life would be complete. 🙂 🙂 🙂

In case you don’t know what char kway teow is…the dish is considered a national favourite of Singapore. It is made from flat rice noodles of approximately 1 cm in width, stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce, chili, prawns, deshelled cockles, bean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. The dish is commonly stir-fried with egg, slices of chinese sausage (lup cheong) and fishcake. Char kway teow is traditionally stir-fried in pork fat, with crisp croutons of pork lard (!!). One word – SHIOK.


Kailan with garlic overdose.

I didn’t quite take to the kailan for the mere fact that there was simply too much fried garlic served on top of it. The taste of garlic was overpowering. I think only Popeye would have appreciated it.

Thankfully, the Chinese tea we ordered helped to flush down the fats and oil (or so we think, since the vegetables were of little help).

I would definitely return to Singapore Restaurant in Menteng to satisfy my char kway teow cravings again! ❤

Singapore Restaurant
Jl. Purworejo No. 28
Menteng, Jakarta


Char kway teow aside, SELAMAT IDUL FITRI to all my Indonesian and Muslim friends!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Ray is visiting Jakarta this week and I was very happy to catch up with him and Christine today. I got to know Ray from Bahasa Indonesian language class during Atma Jaya days. The last I saw him was in January this year, when he returned to Taiwan for good.
We used to practise our Bahasa Indonesian together but we’ve both gotten really rusty since classes ended. Dang. HARUS BERLATIH. So today we conversed mainly in English and lousy Mandarin on my end.

Good seeing you today Ray! Please come again to Jakarta soon!!!

Volunteering in Jakarta Update: Kampung Kids

Can’t believe close to 9 months have gone by since I started volunteering at Kampung kids! I documented my initial thoughts on volunteering in Jakarta here: Volunteering in Jakarta: Kampung Kids | thediplowifey.

Looking back, I’ve learnt so much from the kids. They don’t have much yet are one of the most carefree around. While I teach them how to read and write in English, they’ve taught me so much more beyond the four walls of the classroom. 🙂


Playing with paints in the classroom.

Of late, apart from teaching the children letters of the English alphabet and key vocabulary words + working on their penmanship, we have started doing art with them (thanks to Dianne who volunteers with me and is a real art genius!).

One art lesson we exposed them to watercolours. Dianne came out with the idea of painting the underside of their hands and putting together all their hand prints to produce a piece of artwork – a signboard for their classroom.


Cute lil’ palm!

Having never touched paints before (despite them being 5-7 years of age), the children were very precarious about having their palms painted. When we asked for a volunteer, hardly anyone raised their hands.

We started with the daring ones, and slowly the more timid ones also came up to have their palms painted.


Children with their drawing blocks and signature hand prints (for them to take home).

Here’s a picture of the beautiful art piece, a product of joint effort by all the kids. It’s now hung up in the front of their classroom. 🙂 🙂 🙂


Lovely piece of artwork comprising the children’s hand prints.

Another art lesson, we pre-cut eye masks for the children and had them design their very own masks. (Many of the kids were into superheroes like Batman and Spiderman who wore masks.)

Here are some pictures of the kids in action:


Luky designing his Batman mask (he’s wearing Batman on his shirt!)


Hard at work.

One thing I’ve noticed about the kampung children is their willingness to share the little they have (be it crayons, pencils, erasers, etc). Even if they had only 2 pencils in their pencil case, they would happily loan the other to their friend without a pencil. These sweet gestures often brought a smile to my heart.

Here’s one of all our mini superheroes (in their own rights) posing for a picture. Aren’t they just so adorable? ❤ ❤ ❤


Kampung kids superheroes.

My volunteering at Kampung kids (and my ladies bible study group) is on a hold for the next few weeks because of the mid-year school holidays. Crossing my fingers the children won’t forget all the letters and words we’ve taught them thus far!

Because next week is the Lebaran period in Jakarta, practically everyone I know (friends, Agent D’s colleagues, my driver, my helper, etc etc) is out of Jakarta. I heard it is going to be super duper quiet next week with GOOD TRAFFIC WITHOUT JAMS. Whoooop can’t wait!

[Wikipedia: Lebaran is the popular name for Eid al-Fitr in Indonesia and is one of the major national holidays in the country. Lebaran holiday officially lasts for two days in the Indonesian calendar, but the government usually declares a few days before and after the Lebaran as a bank holiday. Hence many Indonesians take this time to travel out of the country or return to their hometowns.)


Selamat Lebaran with this Ramadan-themed Starbucks cup!!

Am so looking forward to the slow(er) week ahead.