Familiarity – God’s Providence

God has always been good in bringing my friends to me, wherever I may be in the world. Perhaps He knows my greatest dislike – being alone. I know many thrive on their alone time, to just recharge and do their own things. Not for me though.

When I was doing my Masters in Oxford, I had friends visiting me every month – all unplanned. I’m not even sure how that happened but somehow, various people came up because they stopped by on their travels, came to U.K. for work/studies, flew up for a wedding over the weekend, came to visit me, travel with me, etc. I didn’t have much time to feel homesick because I was always looking forward to the next one coming up! (Thanks for dropping by Jialing, Serene, Estelle, Min, Chow, Arthur and friends, Ezra, Steph, Frank, Benj, and can’t remember who else!). I remember creating a Facebook album detailing their visits titled “Familiarity in a faraway land”. Those were GOOD TIMES I look back upon fondly.

Now in Jakarta, I can see how God provides again. Jialing comes down almost every month to see her Indonesian banking clients. Adeline comes once every 2-3 months for work and conferences. Pam and Ben stop by whenever their SQ flight does an overnight turn. Juli comes up to visit family. Joellyn comes up to visit family and for a wedding. And not forgetting Ivana, my old secondary school friend who moved back to Jakarta from Canada the same time I arrived in Jakarta.

Of course, God has also brought new friendships into my life here in Jakarta, and I’m ever so thankful for them. ❤

So anyway, Jia swung by Jakarta this week for work and we managed to catch up over dinner and cake.

IMG_8535[1]

Good conversations and good food – I couldn’t be any happier.

Looking forward to seeing you again in July, Jia! ❤ ❤ ❤

On another note, Freckles is coming home with us tomorrow!!!!! *excited*

And I just found out that her birthday is one day before Agent D’s. That makes it all the more special for us.

Restaurant Series: AMKC Atelier at Plaza Indonesia

So AMKC Atelier has been around for a few months now. Unlike other new restaurants whose hype die down after a while, AMKC Atelier seems to be getting more crowded each time I pass it in Plaza Indonesia.

It is the brainchild of Adhika Maxi and Karen Carlotta (hence AMKC in short), the husband and wife chef team behind the successful UNION. (side note: UNION serves one of the best red velvet cakes everrrr.) AMKC Atelier serves French inspired cuisine and Indonesian inspired artisan pastries.

The restaurant has a very unpretentious yet classy interior with its whitewashed walls and polished white tables.

IMG_8348[1]

Very crowded during lunch hour.

I’ve been to AMKC Atelier once before with Agent D and his friends. During that visit, I found their food (I had a truffle angel hair pasta with sea urchin and pork crackling + T-bone steak for sharing)  to be okayish good only. However, the desserts were BELLY GOOD. Certainly one of the best I’ve tasted around Jakarta.

Joellyn was swinging by Jakarta this week and we decided to catch up at AMKC Atelier near her hotel. Its been a while since we last had a nice long chat and I was very happy to see her! Back in 2011, we were both freshers in Oxford (Joe as an undergrad and me as a Masters student) and despite the 5-year age gap between us (dang she’s so young!) – we somehow managed to click very well haha. ❤

IMG_8355[1]

With Joellyn at AMKC.

I was having my usual creamy craving (did i tell you I never ever eat tomato-based pasta?!) and ordered a ‘Spaghetti Carbonara with Pork Belly and Crunchy Crackling’ (IDR 145K). Joe went for the ‘Atlantic Black Cod with Pomme Puree and Soy Orange Beurre Noisette’ (IDR 270K). I must say the food pricing at AMKC Atelier is on the steeper end for Jakarta standards.

IMG_8347[1]

Spaghetti Carbonara with Pork Belly and Crunchy Crackling.

IMG_8351[1]

Atlantic Black Cod with Pomme Puree and Soy Orange Beurre Noisette.

As you can see from the above pictures, their portions are pretty small. Perfect for diet-conscious people like me heh. My carbonara was a little too dry and there was nothing spectacular about it. The pork belly was good though, its fats melted in my mouth. Ooh.

Strangely, Joellyn liked the sides on her dish more so than the cod itself. She found the food not bad overall (I think).

IMG_8357[1]

Mains aside, the REAL HIGHLIGHT of AMKC Atelier for me is their DESSERTS. While they have classics like ‘Red Velvet Cake’, ‘Pavlova’, and ‘Sticky Date Toffee’, their cake selection is mainly inspired by authentic Indonesian desserts.

Some of their uniquely created cakes include ‘Pisang Ijo Cake’, ‘Teh Botol Cake’, ‘Lapis Cokelat/Cheese Cake’, ‘Jagung Manis Cake’, ‘Es Teler Cake’, ‘Martabak Cake’, ‘Nastar (pineapple jam) Cheesecake’, and the list goes on. All literally in cake form but having the exact tastes of pisang ijo, teh botol, martabak, etc.

Special mention goes to the ‘Pisang Ijo Cake’ (IDR 55K) – a light fluffy sponge cake layered with butter cream and slices of banana. It carries the taste of the sweet red syrup similar to Makassar’s ‘Pisang Ijo’ ice dessert.

Their ‘Martabak Cake’ (IDR 55K) – tastes and smells like…the real martabak complete with chocolate, cheese and peanuts. It was a cake like no other, sweet and salty coming together.

And of course, not forgetting their much raved about ‘Es Teler Cake’ (IDR 55K) – fluffy pandan chiffon cake rich in jackfruit flavor, which totally resembles a bowl of es teler. So yum.

So far, I’ve tried the ‘Es Teler Cake’ and ‘Martabak Cake’ on my first visit (sadly didn’t take pictures). Both didn’t disappoint at all! 🙂

This time round with Joellyn, we went for the  ‘Choco Banana Rum’ (IDR 50K) – my favouritest cake combination (I’m a true blue chocolate & banana fan!). The cake was super moist, very chocolatey, and  rich in bananas and rum. I felt that it tasted like the good ol’ lana cake from Singapore – only much better.

IMG_8356[1]

In Choco-Banana-Rum heaven.

You have to try it!!! X

AMKC Atelier
Plaza Indonesia Level 1 
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 28-30
Jakarta Pusat 10350

Sightings in Jakarta and Food Thoughts

I always felt that time flew by especially fast when I was teaching back in my home country.

Oh dear it is week 6! The children’s exams are next weeeeek?!! NOOooooooooo.

Like whaaaat it is the 9th week of term already and next week is the holidays?!

I never expected to feel this way in Jakarta though. And I’m surprised I actually do. (Before coming to Jakarta, I had this vague image of myself sitting in a rocking chair and twiddling my thumb all day long whilst waiting for Agent D to come back home.)

I guess keeping myself busy and filling my schedule with routines (Monday bible study, Tuesday volunteering at Kampung Kids, Thursday cell group, weekly brunch meetups, etc) really helps. 🙂 So anyway…it has been 4 weeks since I started volunteering at Kampung Kids again with Dianne. We’re getting to know the kids better and I always look forward to seeing the little ones every Tuesday!

Just this Tuesday, we saw a really cute mobile kerupuk/ keropok store on a motorbike outside the kampung’s entrance. The kerupuk/ keropok packets were stacked really high and we were amused by the sight of it! Just as I took out my phone to snap a picture, my driver (who is usually very serious and seldom smiles) ran in front of the bike and struck a pose, pretending to be the kerupuk/ keropok man. I told him his clothes were too nice for a “penjual” (seller) and we laughed. It was nice seeing the lighter side of him beneath his tough and stout exterior.

IMG_7061

The past 2 nights, I have’t been cooking dinner (which is REALLY RARE and yes, VERY AWESOME). As I mentioned in my earlier post, we usually eat in for weekday nights. Agent D had dinner appointments and I went along with him (I jump at every chance to take a break from my kitchen hehe).

On Tuesday, we had dinner at Cassis Kitchen – a restaurant I’ve always wanted to try. Prices were pretty steep for Jakarta standards (my roasted black cod was  IDR 255K!) but the ambience was lovely and the service was really good! Throughout our time there, we kept getting free items that were on the house to try. As we were with Agent D’s friends, I resisted whipping out my camera to take pictures of the place and food. :/

IMG_7062

The only picture that I got – huge candy floss that was on the house. *tooth decay*

Today, Agent D’s friends suggested to have dinner at AMKC Atelier – coincidentally another place I’ve been wanting to try ever since my banana friend, Sasha (B1) told me about it. AMKC is the brainchild of Adhika Maxi and Karen Carlotta, the husband and wife team behind UNION. The food was okayish good but the desserts were SO GOOOOOOD.

We shared the Choco Banana Rum and the Martabak cake – both were fantastic. The choco banana rum tasted like the good ol’ lana cake; the chocolate was very moist and rich (I like!!) and the banana-rum combination perfected it. Strangely, the martabak cake tasted like…the real martabak complete with chocolate, cheese and peanuts. It was a cake like no other, sweet and salty coming together.

SADLY, I didn’t manage to take photos again. I’ll def be dropping by AMKC Atelier to have another go with their cakes. I’m not done with them yettttt.

Good night, world. xx