At Home with Cayenne and Elements Concept Home Decor

As y’all know, Kemang is a treasure trove of unique art galleries, fashion label boutiques, and of course home decor stores.

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Ready to explore Kemang on foot! Colourful tiles outside Cayenne.

I had previously written about Galeri PotCahayalampu, and Confetti Gift Shop, all of which can be found in Kemang. Today, I’m going to share my new Kemang faves — Elements Concept and Cayenne.

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Elements Concept, Kemang.

ELEMENTS CONCEPT started out humbly with just a handful of selected locally-made furniture on display. Fast-forward two years later, it now carries a broad range of items such as teak wood, minimalist rattan and leather furniture alongside modern home accessories.

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Beautiful minimalist rattan and wood.

Elements stands for natural handcrafted home decor with a plain yet elegant style from quality materials. The two-storey kemang outlet has high ceilings, white walls, and full length glass windows, allowing loads of daylight to stream in.

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Elements dining set.

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Cozy vibes.

The blends of different textures and wood furnishings give off a cozy and warm feel. If not for the shop assistant, I’d totally chill on the hammock with my book. 🙂

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Glass candle holder with gold rim. I WANT.

Founder and owner Bastiaan Spil, who is of Dutch descent, followed in his parents’ footsteps by entering the furniture line. His family has furniture manufacturing facilities both in Cirebon and Jepara; everything is made from their own factories.

Through Elements Concept, Bastiaan wishes to open up new possibilities with traditional raw materials. His furniture and home decor can be summed up in a few words — quirky, fun, handcrafted, non-conventional, simple and elegant.

Am lovin’ how the local artisans from Elements inject playfulness and unexpected features into everyday objects!

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Spot the kawaii motorbike helmets encased in rattan?

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Absolutely adored this wooden mini refrigerator (legit Toshiba fridge inside).

To date, Bastiaan has worked on various interior projects for lifestyle ventures all over Indonesia, including the renowned Potato Head establishment in Bali.

I was so tempted to buy >>> of home decor pieces. But after exercising some self-restraint, I settled on 2 items. Here’s what I got:

  • Plant Wall for the living room, made of solid teak wood (IDR 1,375,000).
  • Hanoi Display Table, with removable tray top. Great for serving food/drinks to guests; currently my snack corner (IDR 875,000).

Dear Elements, please keep up the good work in introducing new perspectives to conventional home products. I’ll come visit soon again!


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Cayenne, Kemang.

An independent local furniture and homeware store, CAYENNE is best known for her colourful geometric cushions as well as pretty slip-covers in Indonesian ikat.

Apart from these, Cayenne also has one of a kind furniture pieces, beautiful timber desks, tableware, bed linen, and an extensive range of baskets for storage solutions.

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One of my fave items – TILED solid wood tables.

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And tiled stools. How cute!!

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Vintage sofa with matchy cushions.

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Cayenne dining sets and tableware.

Cayenne is owned by interior designer Dewi Haliman, a great supporter of local goods. Some of the brands sold in Cayenne include Ruma Manis’ ceramic plates, General Object’s woven baskets and wooden cake stands, and Haliman’s own creations ranging from jewellery boxes to chairs, bed frames, and more.

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Wooden kitchenware, rattan…you have it all.

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Woven baskets of all shapes and sizes.

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Intricate glassware.

What I love about Cayenne is that all her merchandise is designed, manufactured and handcrafted in Indonesia. The products are reasonably priced and come with fine craftsmanship – a rare find in today’s mass production world. Plus the store has a really intimate home setting. 🙂

If you get hungry midway through shopping – fret not. Stop by Breakfast at Cayenne for a hearty all-day brunch anytime. The cafe is positioned right beside Cayenne furniture store (they share the same porch).

My souvenir from Cayenne:

  • Glass box with brass trim to store my statement necklaces/makeup (can’t remember the price).

Few places reflect home like Cayenne. I’m sure you’ll find something there that best suits your needs. Till the next time! x


Elements Concept
Jl. Benda Raya No. 8C
Kemang, Jakarta Selatan

Cayenne
Jalan Kemang Selatan 8 No. C2 
Kemang, Jakarta Selatan

Under 15 Minutes Lifesaver Meal: Pork Shogayaki over Rice

This dish is a lifesaver.

Sometimes I go out for an extended tea session and get caught in bad Jakarta traffic on the way back. I finally reach home at 6.30 p.m.++ and dinner needs to be ready soon. What do I do?!! Pork Shogayaki over rice IS THE ANSWER.

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Pork Shogayaki over rice.

It is so simple and easy to make yet so yummmmmy! Perfect if you need to put something on the table in less than 15 minutes. 

Pork Shogayaki (豚の生姜焼き; buta no shogayaki) is a Japanese dish, where shoga = ginger, and yaki = grill or fry. The term “shogayaki” generally refers to pork in Japan, although beef can also be used. It is often served hot over rice (i.e. a donburi).

Consisting mainly of pork, some onions, and fluffy white rice, this one dish meal has got your proteins, vegetables (if you consider onion a vegetable?!), and carbs covered. Definitely a fast and economical way to feed hungry young men like Agent D (I refilled his rice bowl thrice the last time I prepared it).

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This one dish meal has got your proteins, vegetables and carbs covered (using pork belly shabu shabu meat in picture).

For this recipe, it is best to use thinly sliced meat. Alternatively, you can buy shabu shabu meat. Depending on how fatty you like your meat, you can either use pork belly (highest fat content), pork shoulder (medium marbling), or pork loin (least fatty). My personal preference is pork belly! 🙂

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 8 oz thinly sliced pork (pork belly, pork shoulder, or pork loin)
  • 1” ginger grated
  • ½ medium yellow onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions

  1. First, peel off the ginger skin and grate the ginger. Next, slice the onions to about ¼” thick.
  2. Heat a pan on medium heat, add a bit of cooking oil. Toss in the onions and ginger. Stir fry for a bit.
  3. Add in the thinly sliced pork and make sure it browns on both sides.
  4. Add in the soy sauce, mirin, rice wine, and sugar. Stir fry until sauce is incorporated.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium heat for another 3-5 minutes depending on how ‘cooked’ you want your onions to be. Some people like their onions crunchy whereas I like them to melt in my mouth.
  6. Remove the cover and turn up to high heat to reduce the liquid by 50% (thicken the sauce).
  7. Pour the pork shogayaki over a bowl of rice and it is READY. 🙂
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Enjoy! xxx

Recipe credit: http://www.itsmydish.com/pork-shogayaki/

INACRAFT 2017: Gifts, Housewares, Batik, and Much More

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INACRAFT 2017.

TODAY was the first day of the 19th Jakarta International Handicraft Trade Fair (INACRAFT 2017) held at Jakarta Convention Center. The event spans five days and will run from 26 – 30 April 2017.

Officially the biggest and most complete exhibition (in Indonesia) of gifts, housewares, handicraft, batik, accessories etc, it is an event not to be missed. I was in Singapore last year during INACRAFT 2016 and was really sad. So glad to make it for this year’s. 🙂

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Ticker counter at 11am.

True to my expectations, it was pretty crowded on the first day (and probably will be for the other days). I went at 11 a.m. and the crowd was already building up. It was worse by the time I left at 3 p.m. (yes four hours later!) – my driver took half an hour to make one tiny turn to pick me up at the lobby.

When I first entered the exhibition hall, I was overwhelmed. There were more than 1500 exhibitors and I didn’t know where to start. Oh by the way…after you are done shopping at Hall A, do continue walking on to Hall B – there are even more stalls there. If not for my appointment at 4 p.m., I’d definitely have stayed longer than four hours heh.

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Layout for Exhibition Hall A. There is a separate plan for Hall B.

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Upon entering Hall A.

I had in mind a few things to look out for at INACRAFT 2017 — batik, accessories, wood home decor, and storage boxes. And I’m happy to say I fulfilled my INACRAFT wish list.

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Batik cloth and clothing.

There are so many stalls selling batik from all over Indonesia…from silk to cotton to tulis to cap – you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice.

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Trendy batik flats (love the topmost right pair).

The housewares/home decor section was equally huge. There were stalls selling aromatherapy items, unique vases, wall art, teak furniture, wood carvings, artificial flowers, carpets, bath fittings, tableware, baskets, embroidered bed and cushion covers, just to name a few.

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All things wicker.

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Cutest handsewn stuffed animals.

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Of beautiful food covers and bottle-lamps.

My advice would be to go early; the place was teeming with people around noon and it got a little harder to move around and browse stall items.

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Crowd situation at noon.

There were a lot of stalls selling miscellaneous items like handmade gifts, stationery supplies, educational games, puzzles, gemstones, board games, pet clothing, and so on.

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Indonesian food that looks realllly real. This got me hungry.

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Onesies for your beloved kids pets.

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Handmade statement necklaces.

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Storage boxes for almost everything and anything.

There was an entire section of stalls run by various provinces around Indonesia; they sell many traditional items unique to their province. I find it amazing how so many people flew down from around Indonesia (with all their special items) just for INACRAFT Jakarta. 🙂

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Ivana hails from Lampung and I insisted she take a picture. 😉

Here’s what I bought at INACRAFT 2017 (much to Agent D’s dismay):

  • Batik necklace and batik brooches, all handmade.
  • Wood serving plate and a wooden vase which I fell in love with at first sight. Can’t wait to pair it with a few stalks of baby’s breath.
  • Batik fabric to make a dress and possibly a matchy-matchy outfit with Agent D.
  • Storage/jewelry box for my accessories (isn’t it just so pretty!). Lovin’ the embroidered silk drawers.
  • And since I’ve been spending the husband’s $$$, I thought I’d better get him something too – a batik casual tee.

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    The only thing I got for Agent D.


INACRAFT 2017

The 19th Jakarta International Handicraft Trade Fair

26 – 30 April 2017
Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta

Explore Indonesia #10: Day Trip to Kampoeng Djamoe Organic

Kampoeng Djamoe Organik (KaDO) by Martha Tilaar Group is an oasis in the industrial area of ​​Cikarang, about 45-50 km east of central Jakarta. It functions as an environmental education + conservation centre and makes a great destination for a day trip out of Jakarta. 

We left Jakarta on a Thursday morning at 0730 and reached KaDO at 0930 (with smooth traffic, the journey should take less than an hour).

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Welcome to Kampoeng Djamoe Organic!

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the friendly people of KaDO and served a welcome drink (a refreshing herbal concoction meant to warm the throat). As our group was pretty big, we were split up into two smaller groups with separate guides.

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Scenic green grounds.

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Excited tourists.

Our guide brought us on a tour around the Herbal Garden and introduced some of the plants that grow there. KaDO consists of 10 hectares of green land that is home to 650 species of plants, all of which are grown organically. The entire place is very well-organized; the plants have tags with information on their names and uses.

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KaDO’s plants are grown organically, without any fertilizers.

The plants at KaDO are grown for 3 main purposes — medicine, aromatherapy, and cosmetics. Did you know that…pineapple is good for the hair; lavender is good for the skin; teak leaves help prevent obesity?!!

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Such pretty orchids!

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Orchid (left) and plant (right) labelled with its name and uses.

Our guide jokingly told us to breathe in as much of the oxygen-rich air as we could (I personally took loads of deep breaths during my time there). According to him, the air we usually breathe in Jakarta is mixed with pollution and of much poorer quality than that of Kampoeng Djamoe’s.

After the Garden tour, we visited the Martha Tilaar Training Center where young girls from rural villages (some sold by their own parents sadly) are taught skills to make a living.

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Martha Tilaar Training Center.

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Young girls undergoing training. In this picture, they are mixing the herbs required for body treatment/spa.

They are offered free boarding and meals with a small allowance and learn treatment techniques for the body, face, hair, hand and foot.

Upon graduating, they get sent out to the Martha Tilaar Salon Day Spas around Indonesia. (I had previously wrote about my Peach Delima Body Treatment here: Of Spas in Jakarta: Martha Tilaar.)

I went on this day trip with the ASEAN Women Circle (AWC) and we got to plant our very own tree on KaDO’s grounds. Please grow well, little one. Perhaps I’ll come visit you some years later.

Following which, we proceeded to Kedai Sehat Alami for a snack break.

There was a short presentation on the benefits of herbal plants followed by interesting live demonstrations such as making healthy juices/herbal drinks, getting chlorophyll direct from leaves, etc. 

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We got to taste some of the herbal drink concoctions from their homegrown plants. Good stuff!

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Beneficial herbs for good health.

A buffet style organic lunch was included in the day tour package. The food was prepared fresh, using herbs from KaDO’s garden.

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Happy participants.

One highlight of this trip was meeting the woman behind all this, Martha Tilaar herself. She shared about her infertility journey of 16 years, where reputable doctors/professors around the world told her she would never be able to have children of her own. But her mom, a herbalist, decided to use herbs to treat her and she eventually conceived at 41 years of age (three years later). 

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Ibu Martha Tilaar. She’s nearing 80 but doesn’t look it at all?!

Speaking of herbs as an alternative medicine, KaDO has their very own resident doctor within the compound (with a Bachelor of Medicine from University of Indonesia and Masters degree in Herbs). The KaDO clinic takes a holistic approach to diagnosis and prescribes herbs instead of western medicine. The doctor is trained in techniques like acupuncture and acupressure as well. Instead of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), you might want to consider this. 🙂 

After lunch, there were more live demonstrations on makeup application and body care. Everyone danced to traditional music before departing KaDO, which was a really nice finish to our visit.

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Body SPA demo.

Each of us went home with a generous door gift from KaDO. I was given one packet of red ginger tea and one packet of Java tea + Martha Tilaar beauty products including a bottle of moisturizer + a REAL plant in a pot. It’s my very first plant in Jakarta and I hope it doesn’t die on me! :/

To sum up, Kampoeng Djamoe Organik Garden is a place that focuses on organic cultivation and conservation; it also functions as a center for environment education and training. It is their hope that they will be able to raise awareness on the importance of protecting our environment, conserving indigenous plants, while implementing green technology.

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Thanks for inviting me along, Shar!!

KaDO is a lovely green respite from Jakarta and would make an ideal weekend trip for families with children (especially if you want to educate them on the environment).

It is open Monday to Saturday from 0800 – 1630 (entrance fee of IDR 20k). They also have day tour packages ranging from IDR 95k – IDR 150k per person, inclusive of lunch. (Their website was last updated on 29 Apr 2014 so prices may have gone up.)

Drop by their website for more information: http://www.kampoengdjamoemarthatilaar.com/


Kampoeng Djamoe Organik (KaDO)
Jalan Ciujung, Kawasan EJIP Pintu II
Cikarang Selatan
Jawa Barat 17530

Cafe Series: HAUSE Rooftop in Kuningan

Hause Rooftop Kitchen & Bar is an oasis in the city, away from the bustling Jakarta traffic. Located on the topmost floor of MD Place Tower 2 (in Setiabudi), this cozy rooftop hideout makes a good place to relax and unwind.

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Hause Rooftop Kitchen & Bar.

Bearing semblance to that of a private glass house complete with a backyard, Hause Rooftop has both indoor and outdoor seating. The indoor space oozes homey vibes and takes a collected approach, with souvenirs and artworks from the owner’s travels.

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Cozy electic interior.

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Brunch at Hause Rooftop on Good Friday. #TGIF

The outdoor space is my favouritest part of the cafe. It is a really nice place to chill and feel the breeze in your hair coupled with a lovely sky view.

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Outdoor garden area.

Filled with the owner’s personal collection of hanging air plants, herbs and flower plants, it feels like you’re dining in a private garden of a friend’s.

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Lush green enclave.

Some fun facts about Hause Rooftop:

#1. Hause Rooftop handcrafts food & drinks using herbs picked from their very own backyard.

#2. The restaurant is pet-friendly so you can laze under the sun with your fur friends.

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Perfect for you and your fur kids.

#3. Hause Rooftop opens early and closes late. They open at 9 a.m. everyday so you can get your morning coffee fix. On Sunday – Thursday, they close at 12 a.m.; on Friday – Saturday, they close at 2.00 a.m.. A great place to hangout and have late night drinks with friends!

#4. There is live music on certain nights. So check before going down!

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Hausemade food.

Hause Rooftop is as much a restaurant as it is a bar. Their Hausemade menu and drinks are all freshly made with love. The food menu offers both Western and Indonesian choices along with vegetarian/organic options. For example, they have organic burgers by Burgreens.

Agent D got himself the ‘Curry Katsu Burger’ (IDR 115k) while I ordered a ‘Hausemade pasta – Linguine Carbonara with Salmon’ (IDR 100k).

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Curry Katsu Burger (IDR 115k).

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Consists of fried chicken breast, curry mayo, purple cabbage, hausemade bun served with fries & mixed garden salad.

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Linguine Carbonara with Salmon (IDR 100k).

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Consists of linguine carbonara, salmon, diced red onion in light cream sauce and egg yolk served with orange zest.

Classic cocktails aside, they have a pretty good list of Hause-invented cocktails which are inspired from their garden and hand-crafted to perfection.

For instance, the fresh and light Backyard (white rum, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, clove syrup with lemongrass and scented basil), the milky Hause Sweet Hause (vanilla flavoured vodka, Frangelico, Baileys, fresh milk, and caramel syrup biscotti), the light and fresh Flower Lady (Hause Gin, Bols elderflower, fresh lemon, lavender bitter and rosa aroma), etc.

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Hause bar.

Non-alcoholic options are extensive too with freshly squeezed juices, chilled juices, artisan coffee, specialty tea,  hand-crafted Vitamines (something like mocktails), Kombucha Sangria, etc.

Agent D went for the ‘Kombucha Sangria’ (IDR 75k) which is rather pricey for Jakarta standards, in my opinion. According to Hause, their kombucha is made exclusively from fresh local fruits & vegetable juice that cleanses, heals, energizes and detoxifies one’s body. Sounds too good to be true eh?

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Kombucha Sangria (IDR 75k).

I love all things chai and ordered the ‘Chai Latte’ (IDR 45k), a cinnamon flavored milk tea served with palm sugar.

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Chai Latte (IDR 45k).

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Chai latte made my morning!

Adding to the list of cafes in Kunignan. ENJOY!


Hause Rooftop
MD Place Tower 2 – 6th Floor
Jl. Setiabudi Selatan no. 7
Jakarta Selatan

Super Easy Doubly Yummy: Fudgey Nutella Brownies

I’ve always had a thing for Nutella (hazelnuts and cocoa combined). During my childhood days where calories and waistlines didn’t matter much, I would eat it straight out of the jar and finish the entire thing in one setting. *horrors*

Last week, I attempted to bake Nutella brownies for the first time. And…they turned out really well!! In this recipe, no chocolate or cocoa powder is added to the brownie batter; all of the chocolate flavor comes from Nutella. YUM.

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Each brownie has this incredibly delish chocolate hazelnut flavor.

Plus it is really easy to make with everything prepared in just one bowl. Practically fuss free and zero mess! Sharing the recipe here with you. ❤

Fudgey Nutella Brownies Recipe 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (72g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar (use 70g of sugar if you don’t want it too sweet)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (370g) Nutella, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the brownies out of the pan. (If using a 9 inch pan, the bake time will be a few minutes less.) Set aside.

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Line baking pan with parchment paper.

2. With a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

3. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl where necessary.

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Add 70g of sugar.

4. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.

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Add eggs and vanilla extract.

5. Beat in 1 cup of Nutella and salt. Mix until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl where necessary.

6. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour, mixing just until combined. Do not over-mix.

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Almost done! 🙂

7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Drop teaspoonfuls of the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella on top. Using a knife, swirl the Nutella into the batter.

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Swirl nutella into batter (pardon my messy swirling heh).

8. Bake the Nutella brownies for 32-36 minutes. Keep checking on them and test with a toothpick to determine whether it’s ready. If the toothpick comes out with only a couple of moist crumbs, the brownies are done! Mine took about 33 minutes.

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Love the smell of something baking in the oven.

9. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan.

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Homemade nutella brownies fresh out of the oven!

10. Once cool, lift the paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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TA-DAAAAA. Nutella brownies a success!

The brownies were crumbly chewy on the outside, fudgey moist inside. Really nice. And the best thing yet – it is not difficult to make! x

Original recipe credit: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/04/04/nutella-brownies/

Flavour-packed Indonesian Cuisine on a Rooftop: Kila Kila by Akasya

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Yummy Indonesian fare at Kila Kila by Akasya.

Two months back, I shared a list of my favourite Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta. Out of the recommended 5, one of them was KilaKila by Akasya. This is a super delayed post on Kila Kila…but better late than never right. 😉

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Lunch at Kila Kila.

Kila Kila means “sounds of joy” in Sanskrit; through her Indonesian food, she hopes to create a joyful experience for all visitors. Located in the heart of SCBD near Pacific Place, this rooftop restaurant offers a beautiful view of the city, especially after the sun goes down.

It is managed by Akasya Catering, a well-known catering company amongst the who’s who of Jakarta. They have provided food for numerous VIP events including the wedding of ex-President Susilo B. Yudhoyono’s son. Kila Kila is a step up from their first food joint – Akasya Express in Kemang –  which is more casual and warung-ish.

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Charming atmosphere.

The interior of Kila Kila is unpretentiously vibrant. As soon as the lift door opens, dozens of rotating yellow and white pinwheels greet you cheerfully. Traditional rattan lamps, cages and wind chimes of various sizes hang down from a mirrored ceiling, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

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Happy rotating pinwheels.

The entire place is divided into two sections —  smoking and non-smoking (in a semi-open space). The restaurant’s large windows provide good natural lighting during lunch and a beautiful city night scene during dinner, making it an ideal setting for family get-togethers or a romantic date night.

Kila Kila serves good quality Indonesian food that is tastefully done. Common favourites are their Sate Wagyu (grilled wagyu on skewer), Udang Telor Asin (juicy prawns in salted egg yolk sauce), Tumis Bunga Pepaya (one of the best I’ve tasted), Singgang Lidah (Sumatra style grilled ox tongue), amongst many others.

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Table flat lay.

Here are some pictures of our food on the table:

If you’re looking to savour authentic Indonesian cuisine in a chic restaurant (coupled with a view), Kila Kila might just be the place for you! 🙂

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Dad and mom very pleased with their food


Kila Kila by Akasya
Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav 52-53
SCBD, Gedung Lot 4 – 7th Floor

Friday Treasure Finds: Qlapa Flea Market Jakarta

Moving on from our previous Friday Treasure Find: Confetti Gift Shop,  I’d like to introduce you to Qlapa flea market currently running at Lippo Mall Kemang (from 31 March – 2 April 2017).

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My Friyay treasure finds from Qlapa market.

As you already know, I’m a huge fan of flea markets – especially those selling local handmade products and uniquely Indonesian crafts. The vendors at Qlapa are selling exactly the above. *excitezzz*

I couldn’t wait till the weekend and headed down to Lippo Mall on Friday. The stalls are mainly selling home decor, woodcraft, custom made shoes and bags, pretty batik clothing, leather goods, accessories, AND MORE.

Some pictures from the ground:

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Entrance to Qlapa flea.

Given that the flea was held in a mall, Qlapa market is rather small in size. It would have been nice if it was larger scale with more stalls. Then again, the shopping aftermath would have left me even more broke $$$ heh.

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Lovely water colour paintings.

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Well wishes cards and notebooks by ARTIAN.

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Shoppers drawn to accessories by XUSHA NARA DESIGN; Batik by KREATIV CORNERE.

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Unique woodcraft by a local designer. Couldn’t resist the animals!

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Custom made batik flats, sneakers, platforms, and sandals by D.A.T.

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Photography art on canvass and tote bags.

My buys from Qlapa flea:

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Tiny things to brighten up our home.

I’ve been looking for a good ol’ hand-stitched leather wallet for some time, something I can rough out with whilst travelling. And boyyy was I glad to find a matching pair for Agent D and myself!

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Hand stitched bifold for Agent D and a long wallet for myself. Both are made from cattle skin.

The entire wallet is hand sewn, from the exterior to the interior. Don’t you just love the smell of leather?! I do. 🙂

If you have nothing on this weekend, be sure to drop by Qlapa flea market! I’m sure you’ll be able to find a cute handmade gift for someone special or a souvenir for yourself. ❤ ❤ ❤

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Please hold another one soon, Qlapa market!

If you cant make it to the flea, you can always browse Qlapa’s online shop: https://qlapa.com/


Qlapa Flea Market
Lippo Mall Kemang
Ground Level

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. 🙂

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