A Moment to Remember: Fourteenth of July Bastille Day in Jakarta

My heart is saddened by the news of the Nice terror attack on France’s Bastille Day (aka French National Day on 14th of July). The aftermath of the attack is heartbreaking – at least 84 people were killed, including children and teenagers and a total of 303 people were taken to hospital.

What was supposed to be a joyous celebration ended up in tears and pain. The attack hits close to home because on that very same day (14th July 2016), Agent D and I were celebrating the French National Day with the people of France in Jakarta.

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French Ambassador to Jakarta and Indonesian Ministers.

During the reception,  I had a chance to chat with some French people about life in Jakarta, what they were doing here in Jakarta, etc. One of the guys I met was a pastry chef who had just opened a pâtisserie in Jakarta. He very kindly invited Agent D and I to drop by his bakery someday.

As I think about the terror attack on France and its impact on the people, my French friends’ faces flash in my mind and I can almost picture the pain their eyes. My deepest condolences goes out to the nation of France who is mourning right now. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead. You are in our prayers.

I don’t want to remember 14th of July as a day of sorrow (as intended by the terrorists). I choose to remember 14th of July as a celebration of the unity of the French people. I read online that a common greeting for the day is “Vive le 14 juillet” — “LONG LIVE the 14th of July”!!!

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At the French National Day reception in Jakarta – ice sculpture of the Bastille.

The French are really generous hosts. On top of the mains and live stations at the French National Day reception in Jakarta, the cheese selection was one of the widest I’d ever seen. There was free flow of red/white wine and champagne too.

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Glorious spread of cheese paired with bread and grapes.

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Its been a while since I had good cheese (since UK days).

And of course, not forgetting French pastries to end the night.

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There’s always space for sweets.

Happy fourteenth of July, France. I’m confident that you and your people will emerge from this incident even stronger than before, even more united as one.

Thank you for having us at your Jakarta National Day celebrations! xx

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Against the lovely Eiffel Tower.

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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