Vibrant Peranakan Culture and Cuisine at Meradelima Restaurant

Meradelima Restaurant is a reflection of how two different cultures used to and still coexist side by side in perfect harmony.
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Meradelima Restaurant.

Commonly referred to as Peranakans, they are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago (which includes Indonesia and Singapore) between the 15th and 17th centuries. Peranakans are a unique heritage to Southeast Asia, an intertwining of the Malay and Chinese culture.
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A Peranakan wedding couple (taken from Wikipedia).

Meradelima beautifully embodies the vivacious and spirited Peranakan culture both in its design and cuisine. Housed in a two-storey building featuring Jengki architecture, patrons are welcomed into the restaurant by a red-carpeted wooden deck and servers dressed in red oriental cheongsams.
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One of the private dining rooms in Meradelima.

On entering the restaurant, I felt as if I was transported back to a bygone era. The interior was decorated with vibrantly coloured Peranakan-style porcelain collections, vintage replica becak chairs, and exquisite kebayas encased in large glass frames.
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Pretty porcelain on tables.

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Our first visit – dining against the backdrop of intricately embroidered kebayas with floral motifs.

According to the owner who was born and raised as a Peranakan, each kebaya is uniquely designed and the display stands as a tribute to the lives of Peranakan women of the past.

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An assortment of Peranakan-style porcelain ware.

A set of stairs leads from the first floor of the restaurant to the upper floor. The decor of the second floor is equally enchanting. A pair of gigantic doors made of teak wood is fixed to the wall and inscribed on it are four Chinese characters (which I could hardly make out with my sad command of Mandarin).

Since my dad is a full Baba (which makes me  half a Nyonya I guess), I thought that he might like dining at Meradelima. And I was right. My parents loved the setting of the entire place.
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Our second visit – seated at the exact same spot.

Food wise, their menu has a mix of Indonesian, Malay and Chinese food — thanks to the influence of the Peranakan era.

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What we ordered.

Meradelima makes a lovely place for a family get-together or a private party. It is also a good place to take your tourist guests to. If you want to dine in privacy, there are various private dining rooms on both floors as well as an enclosed al fresco dining area.


Meradelima
Jl. Adityawarman No. 47, Senopati

Jakarta

Closing the Year with Dad and Mom in Jakarta

I’m finallllllly back to writing. And oh GOODBYE 2016, HELLO 2017!!!

Time seems to pass even faster than normal around year end with all the ongoing festivities. Agent D and I were back in Singapore the week before Christmas (I’ll leave that to another post). And then we had my parents over for Christmas and New Year.

Jakarta gets very quiet during Christmas and New Year because many Indonesians travel out of the country during that period. This is reflected in the road conditions — our car can actually travel at >50km/h for long stretches and we can get to destinations in one-third the time. Ahh-mazing, ain’t it? 🙂

Thanks to dad and mom, we had a less lonely and more colourful Christmas and New Year in Jakarta. Here are some bits and pieces of their 11-day stay with us:

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Lunch stop at KOI Kemang, after hunting for household treasures in Kemang.

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Exploring the alleys of Ancol Art Market, Pasar Seni.

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Christmas lunch with Wes, Steph and baby Sophie at Keraton at The Plaza.

Over the past two weeks, we’ve been bingeing A LOT on all things rich and fatty. I feel like my face has widened an inch horizontally *horrors*.

Food aside, we’ve been shopping quite a bit too. I brought my parents to ITC Mangga Dua, the Indonesian equivalent of Bangkok’s Platinum Fashion Mall. We were there the entire day but still could not finish walking all six levels of the wholesale fashion hub.

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Honing my bargain hunting skills (the shopkeepers don’t look impressed at all heh).

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STAR WARS exhibits at Pacific Place Mall.

Mom’s birthday falls between Christmas and New Year and we got to celebrate it together. Dinner was at Kembang Goela, a lovely restaurant with colonial interior serving traditional Indonesian food. My parents loved the place.

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Blessed Birthday Mom!

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” — Cardinal Mermillod

Wishing you many more years of good health, love, joy, and peace as you walk this life with God!

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Thanks for everything and for always having my back (literally!).

This was our first New Year in Jakarta (last year we spent it in Singapore) and the fireworks were pretty spectacular. Five minutes before midnight of 1 Jan 2017, fireworks started going off all over Jakarta from people’s houses/backyards/gardens. It was a really beautiful sight from my balcony.

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Sparks of light all across Jakarta. Pardon the really bad picture – the blurish white/orange specks are actually fireworks.

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New Year’s lunch at Meradelima Restaurant.

We spent a fair bit of time at home too, watching DVDs and playing with Freckles the kitty. It was dad and mom’s first time meeting Freckles and they became fast friends.

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Freckles sitting up to watch a movie with us.

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Such a baby!

I just sent dad and mom off at the airport this morning and am already missing their presence at home. Looking forward to seeing them again in February!

P.S. I will write about some of the places we visited in greater detail in separate posts. Till then, xoxo.

2-in-1 Goodness: Eat Quality Japanese Food & Buy Fresh Seafood in Jakarta

Eat Quality Japanese Food at Sushi Masa (3rd floor)

I was first introduced to Sushi Masa by my food connoisseur friend, Sasha. Sushi Masa is unlike other Japanese restaurants located in malls/buildings; it is located inside the Muara Baru Port beside the sea (hence the fresh sushi!), at the northernmost point of North Jakarta. The location is pretty ulu. No one can rival my driver’s savvy sense of direction and his memory for even the smallest of roads around Jakarta…and we got lost inside the port.

Upon entering the port, you’ll see loads of huge warehouses on your left and right. Towards the end of the road, you can find Sushi Masa housed in a grey building. There’s no signboard whatsoever so keep your eyes peeled for the grey building!

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Helpful directions to get to Sushi Masa/ Norwegian Seafood Store.

The long journey there was well-compensated by the good quality Japanese food and seafood buys from Norwegian Seafood Store (2 floors below Sushi Masa). Rated 4.9/5 on Zomato, dining at Sushi Masa is truly an experience to behold.

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Entrance of grey building (Sushi Masa is on the third floor).

My parents were visiting Jakarta over the Labour Day long weekend and I decided to bring them to Sushi Masa. This time round, my driver located the place much more easily. 🙂

The restaurant interior is rather spacious and comes with a sushi bar where customers can watch the chef slicing sashimi. The seats beside the glass window overlook the sea (mental note to self: have to call in advance to reserve those seats next time).

Sushi Masa’s ala carte menu has an extensive list of Japanese and fusion dishes — all kinds of sashimi, sushi, makimono, live oysters and seashells, salads, udon/soba and rice sets, deep-fried/cooked/grilled dishes, and even pizzas and pastas.

My parents and I ordered a number of dishes for sharing:

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California Maki (IDR 45K)

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Spicy Salmon Maki (IDR 45K)

Being a California Maki fan (I often have California Maki for lunch when I’m too lazy to cook for myself), I must say their California Maki is one of the best I’ve tasted in Jakarta! The Spicy Salmon Maki was good too, with its rice bathed in crispy crumbs.

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Salmon Aburi Sushi (IDR 12K each)

The Salmon Aburi Sushi was cooked perfectly and addictively satisfying. I was so tempted to order another 3  pieces! :/

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Tamago Yaki (IDR 10K each)

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Kabuto Wagyu (IDR 150K)

Another perfectly cooked dish, the Kabuto Wagyu was very tender and sweet. It literally melts in your mouth.

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Black Cod Sakamushi Set with rice, miso soup, and salad (IDR 140K)

Ever tried searching for cod fish in Jakarta but to no avail?? Black cod (not the imitation Indonesian Gindara) is the answer. This tasted exactly like the cod fish back home – very fresh, slick with a delicate texture.

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Nagaimo Salad (IDR 35K)

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Garlic Rice (IDR 40K)

My mom enjoyed the garlic rice, saying it was crispy and well-fried.

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Happy diners – Mom and I.

Overall, my parents were very pleased with the quality Japanese food at Sushi Massa. Everything was so fresh and delectable!! Will definitely be heading there again soon.

PS: If you’re headed to Sushi Masa on a weekend, remember to make a reservation!

Sushi Masa
Jalan Tuna Raya No. 5
(3rd floor of grey building)
Muara Baru, North Jakarta

Buy Fresh Seafood at Norwegian Seafood Store (1st floor)

Sharing the same building as Sushi Masa is the Norwegian Seafood Store, a specialty seafood and frozen goods supermarket. Another HIDDEN GEM in Jakarta.
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Warm interior of Norwegian Seafood Store.

The store sells a large variety of imported and local fish including black cod (from Alaska and Canada), salmon, unagi, grouper, red snapper, sea bass, and so on. Some of the fish are marinated, but most are not.
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Quite a big selection of fresh frozen fish.

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The store also sells frozen meat, ice-cream, sauces, and other frozen food.

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BIG crabs from Russia, anyone?

Because cod can hardly be found in Jakarta supermarkets, I bought IDR 500K worth of cod the first time I came with Christian and Sasha. This time round, I spent IDR 833K on fish and Hokkaido ice-cream (super nice!). Apparently, if you order more than IDR 500K worth of products, it can be delivered to your home. AWESOME right. 🙂 🙂 🙂
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My spoils.

Oh, and you don’t have to worry about how your seafood will survive the journey back home. The staff will help you put everything into a large Styrofoam box and pack dry ice inside.

Now you know where to get fresh frozen seafood in Jakarta! Selamat shopping!!

Norwegian Seafood Store
Jalan Tuna Raya No. 5
(1st floor of grey building)
Muara Baru, North Jakarta

Email for online order and delivery: fishshop@coldwarehouse.co.id