Cafe Series: Lucky Cat Coffee & Kitchen in Kuningan

This is a long overdueee post on Lucky Cat Coffee & Kitchen (pardon me!). I wanted to write a post when I visited the cafe some two months back but inertia got the better of me zzz. Anyway, I visited Lucky Cat again for brunch yesterday. So here goes…

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Lucky Cat Coffee & Kitchen.

A pretty new establishment in Kuningan, Lucky Cat’s interior is gorgeous with its lush green plants, marble-top tables, and light wood furniture. #feelslikehome #homegoals

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Two storeys of cafe space.

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People watching from my seat.

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Coffee corner.

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Emergency coffee beans, anyone?

The entire place is lit up by natural sunlight which streams in from the translucent ceiling panels above – making all your pictures (and selfies) look really nice. 🙂

In the middle of the coffee joint is a towering REAL tree; a hole is made in the roof for the tree to grow out. How cool is that.

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Blending nature with food.

Lucky Cat is open to the public 7 days a week, 24 hours a day — it is a 24/7 coffee joint, a rarity in Jakarta. Now you know where to get your caffeine fix early in the morning/late at night or where to chill with friends past 10 p.m., bars aside.

Since it is primarily a coffee shop, I had to check out the coffee. You get to choose whether you want your coffee strong or light. I ordered a flat white (light blend) and it was not too bad.

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Freshly squeezed juice. Can’t go wrong with that.

Besides coffee, they also have light bites, main courses, and cakes. The selection is very small though. From my two visits to Lucky Cat, I think I’ve already tried half of the main courses on the menu.

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‘Nasi Lemak Malacca’ (IDR 65K) – still prefer the nasi lemak version back in Singapore.

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‘Spaghetti Carbonara’ (IDR 69K) – nice and creamy with bacon bits. A little jelak though.

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‘Chicken Wings’ (IDR 45K) – crispiness was about right.

Their ‘Pan Seared Salmon’ (IDR 79K) deserves special mention though. For most mains elsewhere, the portion of greens is usually small. However, this pan seared salmon came with a sizable portion of sauteed spinach which tasted really yummy with a hint of butter. The cherry tomatoes and baby potatoes on the side were seasoned and done up well too.

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‘Pan Seared Salmon’ (IDR 79K) – a good eat, worth the price.

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ENAK.

And of course, a chocolate cake (as always) to provide a sweet finish to the meal.

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‘Chocolate Cake’ (IDR 39K) – light, fluffy and chocolatey. Wish they had gone easier on the top layer fresh cream though.

Have fun taking instagrammable pictures with your food. x


Lucky Cat Coffee & Kitchen
Plaza Festival (South Parking)
Jl. Haji R. Rasuna Said Kav. C No. 22
Kuningan, South Jakarta.

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Good Pork + Beer in Jakarta: POKENBIR

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Pork belly at Pokenbir.

I’ve been sort of under the weather for the early part of this week because my dear husband passed me his potent flu virus (of all things to share with your wife tsk). So I’ve just been sleeping/snoozing/lazing in bed the past few days A LOT. But I’m much better now and even managed to drag myself to pilates class on Friday *big pat on back*.

After working out for an hour, I was craving something sinful, oily and fatty – PORK BELLY to be exact. And Pokenbir‘s (pork and beer) the place to go for anything pork-related!

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of Lippo Kuningan office building, just next to Setiabudi One. It was my second time there for lunch and the place was as crowded as the previous time. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long.

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Full house at Pokenbir during lunch hour.

Pokenbir has a very unassuming interior and reminds me somewhat of a dimly-lit basement bar. But don’t let outer appearances fool you; their food is pretty awesome!

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2pm – half of the lunch crowd gone.

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3pm – completely empty.

They specialize in pork and their dishes have a mix of Indonesian, Asian and Western influences. And the best thing – you can order loads of beer to go with your pork. What a splendid combination!! #PorkBeerHeaven

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Pokenbir’s menu (page 1 of 2).

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Pokenbir’s menu (page 2 of 2).

One must-order dish is their ‘The Pork Belly’ (IDR 95K for small). It comes with a potato side dish of your choice. We chose fries which turned out crisp and nice.

But the real BOMB was the pork belly — they were everything TENDER, JUICY, and CRISPY. Not to mention they came in chunky huge pieces. (Though I must say the skin was too crunchy for my liking, I felt as if my teeth were going to crack anytime!)

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Pokenbir’s pork belly served with chili sauce, sweet soy sauce, and mustard.

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HOW TO RESIST. Nom nom nom.

Pokenbir’s ‘Nasi Campur ala Bali’ (IDR 75K) was pretty good too. It came with various types of pork cooked differently in a single plating. Although it varied slightly from the original version we had in Bali, it was still very flavourful. (Be warned that the chili is SUPER DUPER SPICY!!)

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Pokenbir’s Nasi Campur Bali.

If you happen to be craving noodles instead of rice, you can check out their ‘Pork Noodle with Gravy’ (IDR 50K). They were quite generous with the pork slices in the noodles and the dish felt slightly ‘healthier’ with the vegetables and all.

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Pork noodle with gravy.

If you’re a pork lover (like me), you gotta check this place out! x.

Pokenbir
Lippo Kuningan Building, G Floor
H. R. Rasuna Said, Kuningan

Spanish Tapas Gem in Jakarta: ¿Por Qué No?

It has been about a year since ¿Por Qué No? (I shall just use ‘Por Que No’ for the purpose of easy typing) opened her doors to the public. Translated from Spanish into English, the name Por Que No literally means “why not?”. So WHY NOT check this place out!

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Por Que No on a quiet weekday afternoon.

The restaurant has a very quirky yet fun decor; right from the moment you step out of the lift, a giant signboard made from hundreds (perhaps thousands?!) of colour pencils greets you cheerily. Such a warm welcome! 🙂

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Huge signboard made up of colour pencils.

Located on the topmost floor of De Ritz Building, Por Que No is separated into two areas — an indoor dining room and an outdoor lounge.

The indoor part of the restaurant looks like a greenhouse, with its full-length glass panels all round. Its interior is bathed in vibrant colours – jazzy wooden chairs, pastel plushy cushions, and flashy wall decorations.

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Lovely ambiance.

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Gazillions of colour pencils glued together to form the feature wall.

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Full length glass panels.

Por Que No is family friendly too with a kids’ corner – there are Lego blocks, books, art materials, and toys to keep your little ones occupied. Children can play at the kids’ corner whilst adults can have good conversations without interruptions (ideally).

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Cute lil’ kids’ corner.

The al fresco area is kind of like a rooftop bar, and I can picture it to be really pretty at night. Not to mention it overlooks a beautiful night view of the city. *romantic*

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Outdoor lounge with rooftop bar.

Por Que No’s main goal is to consistently maintain the authenticity of Spanish tapas (i.e. its unique yet homey taste). The chef and her team take their craft seriously and ensure that all food served on the table sticks to its authentic taste as much as possible.

Because Por Que No is a tapas restaurant, its menu consists mainly of tapas (DUH) – small Spanish savory dishes. These little treasures of Spain were originally made to accompany drinks and to encourage conversation, because people are not so focused on eating an entire meal set before them. How ingenious!

Here are some of the tapas I ordered (not many because I was pretty full at that point):

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Berenjenas Fritas (IDR 40K).

Berenjenas Fritas = fried eggplant chips with honey truffle. Really liked this one. The sweet and savoury coming together – SO GOOD!

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Huevos Rotos (IDR 45K)

Huevos Rotos = broken runny egg topped with sliced potatoes and chorizo. A dish that seems so simple and basic yet tastes amazingly delish. Can’t go wrong with potatoes and eggs, I guess.

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Croquetas de Champiñones (IDR 40K).

Croquetas de Champiñones =  mushroom croquettes. This one was so-so only, in fact it tasted bland to me. Wouldn’t order it again.

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Biquini (IDR 70).

Biquini = serrano ham, cheese and truffle sandwich. Although there was nothing extraordinary about this dish, it was like comfort food to me. Reminded me of the ham and cheese sandwiches Milma used to pack for my recess back in primary school. The truffle oil was a nice addition.

Oh, and check out their cool toilet sign made up of LEGO blocks.

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LEGO toilet sign.

Since I’ve only tried four plates of tapas at Por Que No, I’ll def be back again to try the other dishes. And I happen to have a random paella craving now. :/

Por Que No
De Ritz Building, 5th floor
Jalan HOS. Cokroaminoto No. 91
Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10350

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.

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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.

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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).

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

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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!

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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.

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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

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*
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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).
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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.

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Kitchen behind the bar counter.

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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!!

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Signature pork ramen (IDR 55K).

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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!

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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.

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Pardon our dirty lift mirror :/

Back to cooking again tomorrow. *cooking woes*

Good night. 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.

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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.

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Loving the Singapore label all over.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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.
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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!!!

Cute Cafe in Kuningan: Harlow Brasserie

Last Friday, I finally got to check out Harlow Cafe – an exciting new Brasserie concept located in Kuningan (lovin’ the fact that it’s just 10 minutes away from me!). The concept behind Harlow is to bring to diners a melting pot of cultural flavors and diversity that New York City offers in a fun yet casual setting.

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Homely  Scandinavian architecture of Harlow Brasserie.

Located on the mezzanine floor of H Tower in Kuningan, Harlow’s interior is Scandinavian-styled (which I absolutely adore). The brasserie is nestled within a beautiful view of pine trees and its full length glass windows allow daylight to stream in, brightening up the entire place.

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Open and well lit design. Spot the pine trees outside? 🙂

The main dining area can seat up to 150 people which is ideal for functions of all sorts ranging from business meetings, casual gatherings, bridal showers, birthday parties, product launches, etc.

When I was there with Ivana on Friday, we happened to be the only ones having lunch at that time. It could be because June is the fasting month of Ramadan. Anyhow, it was pretty shiok. It was as if we had booked the entire restaurant and the waiters were serving us only. Perfect for a great chit-chat in a serene setting.

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A variety of seating at the bar, hangout lounge and tables.

Interestingly, Harlow serves daily continental breakfast (buffet-style) to residents of Citadines serviced apartment nearby. As such, they open super early for breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., continuing with lunch until 5 p.m., and serving dinner till 10 p.m. For those who need an early breakfast fix after morning gym, before going to work, etc – Harlow is the place to go!

I took a picture of their lunch menu for your reference. 🙂 They are currently having a weekday lunch special: IDR 100K nett for selected mains + drink. Very value for $$$!

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Harlow prides itself in using healthy farm ingredients (not sure how true though). In addition to its core menu, Harlow offers by-monthly special menus highlighting the various ethnic neighborhood cuisines of New York City, such as China Town, Little Tokyo, Astoria and many more.

Ivana and I went for their lunch special (can’t say no to a good bargain!).

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Against the pretty background.

Complimentary bread was served first, followed by the mains. I liked the fact that they took effort to heat up the bread. Love butter melting on warm soft bread!

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Complimentary bread and free drink (ice lemon/peach tea).

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Aglio olio with prawns.

The pasta was cooked al dente and had a good bite to it. It was a little on the dry side though, and portions were smaller than usual. But not complaining since it was a lunch special.

After lunch, we still had a bit of space in our tummies and so ordered a honey cheesecake to share.

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Honey cheesecake.

The cheesecake was nice and creamy but I couldn’t taste any honey. :/

All in all, Harlow Brasserie in Kuningan is a nice place to have a lazy casual lunch at. Due to its spacious layout, one can talk loudly enough with having anyone eavesdrop on his/her conversations! The prices are mid range for Jakarta standards. 🙂

Harlow Brasserie
The H Tower, Mezzanine Floor
Jl. H. R. Rasuna Said Kav. 20
Jakarta 12940


After lunch, Ivana came over to play with Freckles. Ivana was amused at how small Freckles was, only slightly larger than the size of her palm. But to me, she’s growing wayyy too fast. (I secretly wish she would stay mini forever!)

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Little Freckles on Aunty Ivana’s lap.

As usual, Freckles was prancing around with great bursts of energy (a result of long periods of napping). We managed to quieten her down for a few wefies. It was so hard to get her to look at the camera though!

After expending all her energy, she fell asleep almost immediately. #suchacutie

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Struggling to keep awake.

Thank you for helping us take photos, Aunty Ivana! ❤ ❤ ❤

Come and play with Freckles again soon pleassssse.