2nd March Trip to Singapore

This March, I flew back to Singapore on two consecutive weekends with only 4 days in Jakarta in between. Bad planning on my end. :/ As usual, there is always so much to do but so little time to spare in Singapore.

My first trip back was mainly to celebrate the love of Pam+Hon Inn as well as welcome new beginnings — Adeline’s hens party and Cheryl’s baby shower. (You can read more about it here: Back Home)

For keepsake — some photo memories of my second visit home:

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Got super excited seeing Singapore in the near distance!!

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Home at my favourite airport.

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First meal upon landing – steamed chicken dipped in ginger sauce and wrapped in lettuce. PURE YUM.

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The entire stretch of Orchard Rd has pretty much changed except #1 TANGS.

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and #2 Takashimaya (please stay this way forever!).

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Old school ice-cream cart against modern Ion.

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Catch up with friends I’ve not seen in ages #1 Hazel. Its been a year (??!) since we last met.

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and #2 Shumin. I think its been 1.5 years. 😦

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Lunch with Agent D at Candlenut – the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant. 

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Mama Lee (93 y.o.) working on her daily colouring. Although she no longer recognizes me, I am thankful that she’s healthy, eats well, and ever so cheerful. 

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Steamboat on a cold rainy night with great company.

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L Dearest – circa 2004.

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Last meal in SG with mom before heading to the airport.

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”Karl Lagerfeld

And I find myself back in Jakarta again battling the intense traffic. 🙂

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From Straight Hair to Curls: Nobu Hair Salon at Citywalk

In my last post, I recommended Anna Wijaya Salon for hair spa. Today, I’m going to share my hair perming experience at Nobu Salon in Citywalk mall.

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After the perm – Ivana and I with our new curls.

I’ve had straight hair all my life and have longggg wanted to go for a perm but never had the guts to do so. My hair is awfully thick – if not maintained well, I’ll totally blend in with a troop of lions. And so I always had this fear that perming my hair would make me more lion-ey.

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Farewell, straight hair!

But…I finally got down to doing it last Wednesday. I guess it was now or never.

Many of my friends cut their hair at Nobu Salon and have nothing but praise for the hairstylists there. By the way, all their hairstylists hail from Japan. The local workers only assist/support them and help out with the hair washes.

My visit to Nobu Hair Salon started off with a hair consultation. My hairstylist, Manabu, advised me to thin and layer my hair before perming so I won’t end up with a beehive (think candy floss/Pomeranian dog). He also said I had to straighten the top bit of my hair. I told him I wanted natural-looking curls and he said digital perm would suit me best. I went along with his suggestions. 🙂

The Digital Perm Process

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Embarking on a digital perm.

A digital perm is a perm that uses hot rods; the temperature is regulated by a machine with a digital display (hence the name digital). My hair was first soaked in perm solution. Following which, sections of my hair were rolled into curlers and plugged into the heat generating machine. The time required for a digital perm is usually shorter than that of a regular perm.

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Hair all rolled up in curlers and plugged into the machine.

In between all the waiting, you may want to get a manicure/pedicure done. Nobu Salon provides normal and gel nail services at pretty reasonable prices. 🙂

After some time, my hair was given a neutralizing liquid. Once the liquid was spread evenly throughout my air, Manabu opened the rollers one by one. BOOOOOOM. My hair had turned from straight to currrrly!

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About to open the rollers for Ivana’s hair.

After the final rinse, Manabu taught me how to blow dry my hair daily. The routine involves a lot of inward twirling, bouncing and hand work. I am so glad my hair didn’t turn out (too) big. It looks kinda natural, you think?

Here are some before and after pictures:

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AFTER: Curly hair and Freckles.

Nobu Salon issued me a membership card for free; I was entitled to a 10% discount for my current bill and future bills. The cost of my haircut was IDR 500k, the straightening was IDR 250k, and the digital perm was IDR 1,800,000. After the 10% discount, the total bill came up to IDR 2,295,000.

Here’s the bill for your reference:

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My total bill for cutting, straightening, and a digital perm.

One Week Later…

My curls had almost disappeared after 5 washes *sobs*. I’m not sure if it’s because I had previously straightened my hair and it was therefore resistant to perming?! Ivana’s hair, in comparison, was still very curly.

I made a trip down to Nobu again for Manabu to check my hair. He said he’d thin my hair even further (seeeee I wasn’t exaggerating about my THICK hair) and re-do the perm for me. So I sat in the salon chair for another three hours and went through the entire digital perm process again. And TA-DA…now my hair looks like this:

Thank you, Manabu, for re-doing the perm for me ever so kindly and readily. I hope it stays with me this time round! *fingers crossed*


Nobu Hair & More Citywalk
Citywalk Sudirman 2nd Floor #23
Jl.KH.Mas Mansyur 121
Jakarta

Back Home: Of Wedding Festivities, Bridal and Baby Showers

Of Weddings

Many of my good friends are getting/have gotten married in the first half of this year. Last month (Feb) was Greg’s wedding in Miri. This coming April will be Adeline’s union with Shaun. In June, Petrina and Serene are getting married two weeks apart. And just last week (March), I flew back for Pam’s wedding.

Pam and I go a long wayyy back to primary school days. We went on to the same secondary school and junior college and have been in close contact ever since.

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18 years of friendship and counting.

Many fond memories flood my mind as I think back on our growing up years —  going to school and coming home together (we were neighbours), hanging out after school at each other’s homes/nearby malls, wearing cool baggy jeans with belts hanging out (gross!), experimenting with make-up for the first time, exploring IRC chats with weirdass nicknames, playing snake on our Nokia phones while waiting for the train, riding on our skate scooters/bicycles around the estate, playing futile badminton in an open-air space, the list goes on.

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From primary school…to secondary school…to JC…to now. What a long way we’ve come.

I still find it hard to believe that 18 years on, we are now at the stage of getting married and having kids. Where did all that time go?!!

It was a real joy to witness a good ol’ friend walk down the aisle with the love of her life and I couldn’t help but get all sentimental. Here are some photo memories captured on the day itself:

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Bridesmaids duties – THE GATECRASH.

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Three ‘fun’ tasks for the groom and his boys.

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Hon Inn and his bros in full force.

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United by our polka dots. 🙂

The groom and his friends were super sporting and everyone had a good laugh. After the eventful gatecrash, we proceeded to Bishan Park for photo taking.

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Pam in her beautiful gown.

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Bishan Park – one of my favourite parks in Singapore.

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Sharing a moment together.

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3/10 of L Dearest.

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Whoooop.

At the hotel, we had some time to freshen up and help with the decor. Everyone was tired from waking up at 5+am in the morning but adrenaline kept us going.

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Decor for the main table.

Hon Inn and Pam handcrafted a paper flower wall for their guests to take photos against. Each and every wallflower was painstakingly cut, folded, and threaded into its intricate shape. Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?!

During the Holy Matrimony, Hon Inn couldn’t hold back his tears as Pam walked down the aisle and when he was saying his vows. I’ve never seen this softer side of him and it was really sweet.

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Mr. and Mrs. Hon Inn. Congrats you two!!

At the dinner banquet later in the evening:

With all of us in different parts of the world, a wedding somehow helps to bring everyone together. I was really happy to be a part of Pam’s big day + catch up with friends that I’ve not seen in a long while.

Once again, congrats Pam and Hon Inn!!! Wishing you nothing but the best and lots of love and joy in this marriage! ❤ ❤ ❤


Of Bridal and Baby Showers

As I mentioned earlier, Adeline’s wedding is going to be held in April, just one month from now. Coincidentally, Cheryl will also be popping around that time.

As such, we decided to hold a 2-in-1 celebration for the two of them: Adeline’s bridal shower CUM Cheryl’s baby shower.

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So much to look forward to in April for GSF+1.

Both Adeline and Cheryl were not expecting it…Adeline was informed that it was going to be Cheryl’s baby shower whilst Cheryl was told that we were hosting a hens party for Adeline. BOOOOOM SURPRISSSSSE! ❤

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With our Mrs-to-be, last one of GSF to get hitched.

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Congrats my dear! Really looking forward to flying back for your big day.

Adeline and Cheryl were both my cell leaders back in Singapore and have a special place in my heart. I’m really excited for them as they move into a new phase of their lives — as a new wife and a Mom.

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With our Momma-to-be, can’t wait to meet your lil’ one!

Over good food, we talked about their hopes for the future and discussed girly topics. Everyone had a good belly-laugh, an awesome remedy for the soul.

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Till our big reunion in April again. 🙂

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” — Khalil Gibran

Friends forever. xxx

Artisanal Baked Goods: BEAU HQ by Talita Setyadi

It’s been about 5 months since BEAU HQ opened her doors in Senopati. Helmed by Indonesian pastry chef Talita Setyadi, BEAU focuses on producing artisan bread and pastries of high quality — using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

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BEAU HQ by Talita Setyadi.

BEAU HQ is Talita Setyadi’s third outlet; she opened her first outlet in Plaza Indonesia, followed by the second one in Central Department Store, Grand Indonesia.

There are two separate seating areas, indoor and outdoor. The outdoor area gives the feel of a lush garden at the back of a friend’s home. It is for those who want to bask in the sun and people watch from their seats.

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Indoor area – super packed on a weekday afternoon.

The indoor area has a Scandinavian minimalist design with white walls, large windows, black frames, wooden furniture and loads of greenery. I love it that the large windows allow lots of natural light to stream in, brightening up the entire place.

A large white communal table sits in the center of the cafe. It is perfect for large group meetups and encourages conversations between strangers.

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Communal table (foreground) and live kitchen (background).

The live kitchen and production space is separated from the cafe by a large glass window. Patrons can peer in and watch pastries being molded into various shapes. I found it pretty therapeutic haha.

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Hot from the oven – croissants, bagels and pastries on a rack.

Apart from the usual bread and pastries, BEAU HQ has an all-day brunch menu. Watch out for their famous Smorrebrod — a Danish style open-faced sandwich, which comes in a variety of toppings and spreads. I’ve heard it not only looks good but tastes delish too.

What we ordered that day…

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Table flatlay.

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Eggs Florentine (IDR 75k).

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Green Pearl Barley Risotto with Pesto (IDR 89k).

Sadly, the eclair was a lil’ disappointing though. I felt that the choux dough was a tad dry and hard. Wished it was softer!

BEAU by Talita Setyadi is definitely one of the better artisan bakerys in town and I’ll be back again for more.

“Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.”
Melissa Hill, Something From Tiffany’s


Beau HQ

Jalan Cikajang No. 29 
Senopati, Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan 12190

Explore Jakarta: Streets of Pasar Glodok

Part of the old Batavia city, Glodok refers to the Chinatown area of Jakarta. It is the biggest Chinatown within Indonesia, and one of the largest in the world. The name Glodok comes from the Sundanese word “Golodog”, meaning entrance to a house, as Sunda Kalapa (Jakarta) is the gateway to the ancient Sundanese Kingdom.

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One of the big lanes within Pasar Glodok.

To start your walking tour around Pasar Glodok, get your driver/taxi to drop you off at the A&W fast food landmark. Your driver can park the car opposite or at the Chandra Building.

Strolling though the streets of Pasar Glodok, there is so much to soak in. It almost feels like a time travel thirty years back through muddy streets and narrow alleys. Revel in the rich history and cultural heritage encased within the city — its historical buildings, ancient temples and traditional Chinese architecture.

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Narrow alley selling culinary delights like skinned frog legs and slimy water eels.

As you go along, observe the people’s way of life, touch and feel what they’re selling, make small conversations, and of course shop and eat to your heart’s content. 🙂

Here are some photo souvenirs of my little excursion to Glodok. I hope you can catch a tiny glimpse of the sights, sounds, and smells I experienced that day.

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Store selling snacks, sweets, nuts, dried goods and everything else.

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An art and craft store selling ribbons, cloth, buttons and everything else.

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Uncle selling chickens saw me taking a picture of his storefront and came out to pose.

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Big prawns. Small prawns. Anyone?

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Fresh vegetables for sale.

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Man selling peanuts + surfing Facebook.

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A peek into the living quarters of Pasar Glodok residents.

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Gallery of colourful fishes.

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More skinned frog legs and crabs.

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Pig trotters, pork belly, intestines, ears and the likes. Spot the cute lil’ snout? (I bought back one ear to try and it was yummy!)

As you can see, Pasar Glodok is full of historical treasures and culinary delights. Food stalls sell everything from the expected to the bizarre.

I certainly hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! ❤


A few things worth noting:

  1. Visit Glodok as early as you can. The good/fresh food sells out fast and traffic gets a lot worse later in the day.
  2. Try not to carry too much cash around and put your money in different places.
  3. As prices are not fixed, don’t forget to bargain and haggle.
  4. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear.
  5. Pile on loads of sunblock beforehand as the open alleys don’t have much shade.