My Journey Through Life..

~Some people believe we only live once, so have fun while doing it.~


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Chinese New Year Euphoria : Lantern Festival

Few weeks ago was Chinese New Year, so congratulations to everyone celebrating it. Gong xi, gong xi.. ūüėÄ

In Yogyakarta, the euphoria was also strong in Chinese New Year, especially for the Lantern Festival or usually called Cap Go Meh. This festival or day marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations after 15 days straight since the day. I don’t know how the calendar system works, but I only know that far, so if I’m mistaken, please don’t hesitate to correct me. For Lantern Festival, Yogyakarta’s ‘local Chinatown’ which is located in Ketandan¬†always celebrates it by making the area open for public and have a lot to offer.

That was, honestly, my first time in visiting local Lantern Festival since years before I was kinda lazy due to the stories that the place would be jammed and packed. (It was, indeed). But, this year’s different. I made my decision to visit this local Chinatown to enjoy the ambience.

16710348_10211431489133370_1878581444_oSorry, blurry, can’t really steady my hand to take a photo while walking.
BTW, this is the main stage for the festival

Upon entering, which was indeed pretty packed, I found it so amazing to be there and felt the unique atmosphere I’ve never experienced before. Even though I’ve been there (in Ketandan) before, but I felt like in totally different area due to the food and snack stalls, tons of lanterns, and the main attractions themselves.

img_20170205_191919I’m aiming to get a clear shot of the¬†liongs head, but yeah, that’s pretty hard since the performers are moving pretty fast

The festival actually took place on an alley in Ketandan. My parking area is right at the middle of that alley since I came from the backstreet route. Actually my friends were guiding me through the route :D. So we decided to take left that lead us to the Malioboro which is closed for vehicles during the festival (night only). At that time, the¬†liong (I hope I didn’t mispronounce) were on stage.

16709627_10211431489333375_1473385237_o

You can find bunch of choices of snacks or meal here including pork. Though I have many stuffs available, I can only pick some due to some (wallet) internal problem. So I picked a¬†bakchang¬†which is steamed sticky rice with meat filling. The vendor I came to, have 2 kinds of bakchang, with chicken and pork. Definitely I chose pork. My friend’s friend said that usually backhang was prepared with pork+telur asin (salty egg, usually duck egg) but I think that day wasn’t my lucky day since I found none.

The taste was savoury overall. I don’t think that the sticky rice was marinated with some kind of spices since it’s quite bland. The brownish color might be from the wrapper (leaves, I forget what leaves :|). The sticky rice was seriously sticky, though. I’ve eaten¬†bakchang once couple years ago and the taste was totally different. The pork I had inside the snack I bought during that festival was block of pork. It wasn’t sliced but more like chopped like dices. It’s mostly savory with subtle taste of saltiness as well. Probably it wasn’t marinated but just purely stir fried. ¬†The ratio is a bit imbalance as well since the protein was pretty minimalist in amount.

16668055_10211431489453378_846961150_o

After having some snack, of course I moved on to a meal. My friend’s friend which I stated earlier was opening a vendor right in front of his house. I also had my meal at his food stall and I got steamed rice. Actually it’s pretty good, I may admit. I’m not a fan in pouring soup over rice, so I kept it separated. Soup is beautiful and clear, taste slightly salty but mostly garlic-y. This¬†steamed rice wasn’t covered in pork, but chicken instead. The rice is steamed for quite some time hence making it brown in color.

I’m not a food expert but my guess is, the rice was marinated with savory broth like mixture of garlic, green onion, shoyu, probably a little bit of soy sauce, along with the chicken and mushroom as the toppings. After it’s fully steamed,¬†the¬†steamed rice was topped again with sliced scallion and crispy shallots for extra crunch. The marinating broth didn’t totally reach the center of the rice but it was pretty deep, so I think the steaming process worked really well.

Aside from the food, I also enjoyed a few of the atractions like¬†liong and this Chinese puppet show. I didn’t understand a single thing since the puppet master was telling story in Chinese, haha. Any food hunters would be really happy to walk around this alley and pleasing themselves with varieties of meals, snacks, and beverages.

16667854_10211431489373376_1947581219_o

(sorry, blurry picture again.. :p, I wonder what’s wrong)

In the end, being here on the Chinese festival for the first time truly amazed me since I experienced something new. The euphoria and atmosphere were pretty mesmerizing especially with some Chinese songs being played all over the place :thumbsup:
Gotta end my story here, it’s been a long post, and I’m looking for more new experience like this. So, if you have any ideas or comments, fill me in at the comment section, leave like if you enjoy reading my stories, and stay tuned for my next trips.

 

CHEERS AND HAVE A GREAT DAY!!



I also do some artworks (in self-practice as well, actually), if you’d like to visit, you are very welcomed to my Artstation and Patreon profile.

Patreon

Artstation

and also selling some original merchandise at Redbubble
*Sorry, get to promote everything, but, yeah, my effort on living my dream may be starting from the very bottom*

Thank you. :D*


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From Sidewalk to Hawker Center : “Warung Santai” Seafood

My love for seafood will never die, I think. Being on the top of my preferred protein along with pork, I can’t refuse when it comes to great seafood to taste. However, seafood in Yogyakarta (or probably in some cities in Java as well) is quite pricey (to get good quality seafood), therefore, I can’t eat that often. Besides, people say that it’s not really healthy, packed with cholesterol and such, but meh… it’s tasty :D.

Back in 2014, there is this tent-based seafood hawker in Yogyakarta by the name of “Warung Santai” Seafood. The food there weren’t that expensive, still in the budgets of college students and youngsters. It was located right in front of Circle K near McDonalds Jl. Sudirman Yogyakarta. Back in that day, with that relatively low price, the food was great, in a great ratio between the protein and rice. Being that way, the hawker was always packed during dinner time, mostly by teenagers. I ate there once and I had to wait in line for about 10 – 15 minutes to get some seats and wasn’t almost no space between each people.

Now, in 2017, few days ago, I tried to reach that same seafood hawker. People said the location changed but turned out it’s only behind the Circle K since there’s a new hawker center there now. The fact that¬†Warung Santai is now moved to¬†Araya¬†food court/hawker center, must have some impacts to the seafood hawker. And it’s exactly what happened. Upon the time I reached¬†Warung Santai and saw the menu, the price was escalated up to 60%. No doubt, it’s been 3 years apart, anyway. But that fact was quite disappointing. More over, they sold beverage no more, therefore, you either bought some on the other hawkers or bring your own. That’s… quite a drawback.

kerang-rebus

Boiled Clams

udang-goreng

Fried Shrimps

kerang-goreng

Fried Clams

OK, that’s one thing, another thing was, they kept the same taste compared to what I had in 2014. That’s a good thing. The taste was simple and slightly salty for everything. I ordered¬†boiled clams, and my other 2 friends had¬†fried clams¬†and¬†fried shrimps. My¬†boiled clams¬†tasted good, since it’s not overly process, you still have the freshness of them. The spices was only salt, I think, since I didn’t taste anything else but salt, even to the slightest state. They’re not that juicy, but more into dry state instead.
The¬†fried clams tasted almost the same compared to¬†boiled clams. The fried ones were less salty and gave very subtle texture of crispiness. I thought the clams were stir fried and not deep fried. I didn’t have a single clue what kind of clams they’re using for the dish, but it’s very common to have that one if you visit seafood stall in Indonesia.
The¬†fried shrimps, were crispy and crunchy since it’s (I think) deep fried but with no batter. Slight saltiness could be tasted, probably the shrimps are marinated with salted water or quite some time. However, the shrimps skin weren’t peeled for the dish (and it’s pretty common here), so if you can’t or don’t want to eat that hard skin, make sure to peel them off. Also the head were still attached, so make sure to fit your preferred style. For me, I could and would munch them all off, hahaha.
You’ll be provided with some kind of dipping sauce. The first time I paid the hawker a visit, they gave me peanut-X thing dipping sauce and that was AWESOME! BUT, last time I visited the hawker, they gave me quite strange mixture. They used the peanut sauce, but with tomato and pineapple (my friends and I guessed). That tasted strange, though. More like random :D. But, they have 1 more dipping sauce and that was incredible. Mainly it was from garlic,¬†terasi, and a little bit of palm sugar since it tasted slightly sweet. Too bad I didn’t capture the dipping sauce. ūüė¶
Overall, I’m satisfied with the taste but some drawbacks make me doubt whether I’ll come back frequently or not. Probably every once in a while, I’ll pay a visit, especially for the crab. Gonna taste the craaaaaaab~.

Reviewing seafood dish is quite my thing since I love what I eat, but if I did it often, my wallet will be empty in no time :D. Even it’s still pretty pricey,¬†this¬†Warung Santai is still considered more low-cost compared to some other seafood specialist restaurant. Anyway, give like if you enjoy reading my stories, pour some comments if ¬†you have any ideas, opinions, or recommendations, and stay tuned for my next stories.

 

CHEERS AND HAVE A GREAT DAY!!



I also do some artworks (in self-practice as well, actually), if you’d like to visit, you are very welcomed to my Artstation and Patreon profile.

Patreon

Artstation

and also selling some original merchandise at Redbubble
*Sorry, get to promote everything, but, yeah, my effort on living my dream may be starting from the very bottom*

Thank you. :D*


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Across-Island Dishes : Lokon

*WARNING : PORK DETECTED*

Several years ago, my friend took me to a home-made-food restaurant serves some dishes originally from outside of the island where I live. Manado, to be exact. It’s in North Sulawesi, which is the island north of Java. The restaurant is in Jogja but serves dishes from Manado. The owners came from Manado, I think, since this pair of husband-and-wife have a very fluent Sulawesi accent.

The name is¬†Lokon, like the name of a volcano in North Sulawesi, probably named that way to bring the ethnic feel of North Sulawesi itself. The banner of this restaurant is quite worn out so I didn’t recognize it well at first. My friend also asked me to go to ‘oma ne’ (it’s Javanese, translated to Bahasa Indonesia as ‘oma-nya’, or to English to ‘the oma’ since, probably, it’s a calling for aunt / auntie in Manado). So, that’s it, up until now, I never say¬†Lokon as its original restaurant name, but¬†Oma-ne instead.

Here, the menu is not too many. They only serve about 5 or 6 kinds. Two of them is the babi kecap (soy-sauced pork), and kinawok. Those are two dishes that my (other) friend and I ordered last time we went there. The place is quite simple as well, not too fancy but not too shabby as well. The beverage is also standard, like mineral water, ice tea, and orange.

This is what I had last time, soy-sauced pork

babi-kecap

Soy-sauced Pork

(I know, the English name sounds awkward, but I’ll stick to it)

Some¬†soy-sauced pork dishes I’ve ever eaten use watery soy-sauced soup, but here, it’s more like a sauce than soup. It’s quite oily (but delicious), thick, with dark brown in color, indicating there’s quite a portion of soy-sauced dipped in there. Even so, the taste is not overly sweet and not spicy at all. Somehow it’s very well-balanced with a dimmed garlic-y flavor. The pork itself is tender, not very soft but not that chewy. Just right.

Usually, or probably, mostly the dishes from Manado are spicy, or even blazing spicy for average hot-food eater. My friend from Manado said that he sometimes even can’t handle the hotness of the dish due to overdose chillies portion.¬†Kinawok¬†is one of them. This one is what my friend ordered and I’m allowed to try a piece of¬†kinawok pork.

kinawok-b2

Kinawok

Now, this food is a total contradiction to what I’ve had. Color is bright orangish yellow, soup isn’t really thick (more like oil and mashed spices, mixed). The taste is quite salty, not overly salty, though. The spices really take their part well in giving amazing taste. However, for me, it’s too hot (again, I have almost 0 tolerance to spiciness). ¬†The pork’s tenderness level is the same like what I had.¬†If I can handle spiciness well, I would love this dish more than I do now.

Actually, I’ve tried some more dishes here but I don’t have any pictures of them so I think, I will talk about it as the 2nd part of¬†Lokon. I ordered¬†soy-sauced pork¬†because the dish I usually order is sold out so I had to choose an alternative choice.

Stay tuned for my next foodie trips, give comments if you have any ideas for me or my blog posts, give like if you like it and see you soon.

CHEERS!!



I also do some artworks (in self-practice as well, actually), if you’d like to visit, you are very welcomed to my Artstation and Patreon profile.

Patreon

Artstation

and also selling some original merchandise at Redbubble
*Sorry, get to promote everything, but, yeah, my effort on living my dream may be starting from the very bottom*

Thank you. :D*


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Local Malaysian Cuisine : Kedai Malaysia (2)

Just last night, I came back to this Malaysian restaurant I wrote about in my last blog entry. I’m loving all thing about spice so I can wholeheartedly come to any place serving spicy (not hot, but spicy) food at almost anytime.

Last night was a cold one, rain poured and something that can warm my body could be one heck of a great choice. My friends and I were discussing a place to have dinner and back to Kedai Malaysia we went.

*Intermezzo : This is gonna be a shorter post compared to the previous one about¬†Kedai Malaysia since I’ve been talking about a lot of things there and here I’m just going to talk about the food I got last night.*

So.. Last night I tried another menu, but it’s still a¬†Nasi goreng (literally, translated to English to ‘fried rice’, a stir fried dish made of rice basis with various kinds of ingredients and toppings, depend on personal preferences) like I ordered last time, just different style. Last post, I talked about¬†chicken¬†buttered fried rice, but this time, I ordered¬†curry fried rice. It’s a fried rice dish, seasoned with curry spices and stir fried with various toppings like sweet corn sprinkle, fish cake, vegetables, and chicken.

nasi-goreng-kare

Curry Fried Rice

That¬†curry fried rice¬†is a little bit too hot for me, even I think it’s mild for average person. However, the spiciness give a great sensation during cold time like last night. Even it’s too hot for me, I love the spices. The taste really resemble curry from what I’ve had in Singapore. I don’t know, maybe the chef used the same curry spices. It wasn’t salty nor sweet, so it’s really well-balanced. That side dish on my top left of my plate is called ‘kerupuk’ or crispy crackers. Compared to my previous¬†chicken butter fried rice, this¬†curry fried rice, is more brown in color due to its curry ingredients.

*note : that portion is a little bit over for an average eater like me, so if you are a massive eater, you might like the size*

Spices will never get old for me, even though I don’t like spicy (hot) food, and that’s very unfortunate of me. Born and living in Indonesia where most of the delicious food are seasoned with spicy ingredients. Well.. well.. ūüėź

OK, this time let’s call it a day. I know it’s much shorter than some of my previous posts, but I think that’s more than enough for now. Stay tuned for my next foodie trips!

CHEERS!!





I also do some artworks (in self-practice as well, actually), if you’d like to visit, you are very welcomed to my Artstation and Patreon profile.

Patreon

Artstation

and also selling some original merchandise at Redbubble
*Sorry, get to promote everything, but, yeah, my effort on living my dream may be starting from the very bottom*

Thank you. :D*


Leave a comment

Local Malaysian Cuisine : Kedai Malaysia

Hello, I’m back with another culinary experience after a long time hiatus in culinary review due to financial problem (a.k.a money shortage).

Long story short, my friends took me to a Malaysian style restaurant one night. Actually, I’ve been here before, once, but it was before I started to blog. This place is a simply-styled restaurant. It is quite spacious actually, but the arrangement is a little bit different. Right after you come in, there will be only 2 or 3 sets of table and chairs. As you move to the rear area, going down some steps, you’ll soon find much bigger area with some tables (but no chairs! you will sit on the floor). The place is located in Jl. Selokan Mataram (actually, I don’t know the exact address, but the restaurant is known as Kedai Malaysia)

People say that the owner (as well as the head chef, probably) has been living in Malaysia for some time, so the food he cook is deeply influenced with the authentic Malaysian style and taste. That’s awesome! Having authentic taste of a far place just right in your city is always a great choice to consider as food lovers.

We only ordered 2 kinds of food. I ordered Chicken Butter Fried Rice and my friends ordered Chicken Curry. I will start to talk about the curry first. Here’s the snap picture of it :

kari-ayam

Chicken Curry

Actually, for anyone who loves spicy (hot) food, this isn’t that spicy, but just full of spices. For me, since I have nearly zero tolerance against spicy food, this is pretty spicy for me, but I love it. Since it’s my friend’s dish, I only took a sip of the curry. It’s thick and literally full of spices. As soon as it entered my mouth, I felt a little bit of stings in my tongue but a lot stronger in my throat! The spices didn’t attack the tongue, but the throat instead. I dare to say, if I’m into spicy food, I’ll surely love the Chicken Curry. About the chicken, the meat is chopped into pieces and my friend said it’s quite tender.

Now, for mine, the Chicken Butter Fried Rice :nasgor-mentega-ayam

 Butter Chicken Fried Rice

Now, this is a magnificent recipe and execution. The fried rice is cooked without soy sauce (like how normally fried rice(s) are cooked with Indonesian style). However, the chef coated the fried rice with butter, so the taste was amazing. Buttery, but not overly oily. So, the overall taste is savory and a little bit salty. The chicken meat is right in the between of tender and chewy. It’s not exactly ‘dissolved’ in your mouth, but not very ‘rubbery’ as well. You will find chopped meatball and fish cake as well. The side dish (upper right corner of my plate) is called ‘kerupuk’. It’s a cracker that is commonly eaten with any dishes in Indonesia (maybe some other countries’ dishes as well). The platting was supposed to be neat and tidy. The rice is shaped like a giant dome (oh right, the portion is quite big for average eater like me) and you can get it with Rp 14k. It’s messy because I forgot to take a picture before I started to munch. ūüėÄ

So, it’s cool to be back talking about food again. I hope I can do it a lot often in the future. Stay tuned for the next stories of my life, give ‘like’ if you enjoy it, give comments if you have any opinion or suggestion for me.

CHEERS!!



I also do some artworks (in self-practice as well, actually), if you’d like to visit, here’s the link to my Artstation and Patreon profile.

Patreon

Artstation

and also selling some original merchandise at Redbubble
*Sorry, get to promote everything, but, yeah, my effort on living my dream may be starting from the very bottom*

Thank you. :D*