Tha: Miss Happiestgirlintheworld

brief recap of what is happening in my life, food journal and other thoughts

R&B Sunday Date to Serpong & Alsut

This morning, Riri & Thatha attended blessing ceremony of unknown couple at St. Laurensius Church, Alam Sutera, to check out the choir group Fleur de Lis. The church looked very grandiose from outside, and indeed very stunning inside. I really love the architecture that looks like cafes in small alleys of France.


Ruko Pasar 8, Alam Sutera

We circled around Ruko Pasar 8, and spotted Bakmi Jambi Ahiung. We ordered the most basic menu: Bakmi Jambi + Kuah Sop. The noodle texture is like spaghetti instead of regular Chinese-style noodles. IMG_8764


Bagoja stands for “Bakso Goreng Gajah“. The giant bakso goreng costs Rp 11.000/piece. IMG_8766

Bakmi Siantar 168

We ordered Bakmi Keriting Spesial, with suikiau, pangsit, bakso daging and egg. The noodle tastes very similar to Ernie in Kelapa Gading. The portion was quite big, enough for two people. The toppings were quite generous. I like how the vegetables are cooked nicely. IMG_8777


We stopped by at this small coffee shop after eating two bowls of noodles. The coffee shop was occupied by a group of family friends when we entered. I ordered East Java single origin black coffee using French Press. The female barista was a bit confused when I asked where exactly the bean came from, as she answered: West Java?

I have to admit that this coffee shop is very cost efficient, as there was only one employee who acted as barista, server and cashier. There are no heavy meal sold here, which means customers come merely for the coffee and other drinks. IMG_8770 IMG_8781

It inspired me to have a coffee corner at our new house. Riri and Thatha discussed the layout of new house. IMG_8779

Asagao Coffee House, Summarecon Serpong 

I was curious what “Asagao” means, and I found out that it means morning glory, bell, or funnel-shaped. Why do they name the coffee house as Asagao? I didn’t find out the answer on my first visit.

The interior and graphic design clearly show Japanese influence. I really like the exposed concrete, wooden furniture, illustration wall art, and blackboard menu. IMG_8796IMG_8794 IMG_8797

We ordered the two signature menus: Kori Kohi – milk poured into a glass of coffee ice cubes and Kuniko – layers of honey, espresso shot and milk. IMG_8801IMG_8803IMG_8804

Kori Kohi (left) vs. Kuniko (right). I prefer Kori Kohi since the Kuniko was a bit too sweet. But the coffee wasn’t strong enough in both drinks. IMG_8805


The simplest, yet the sweetest Valentine’s Day

Riri & Thatha spent Valentine’s Day in Riri’s house. Baking and Cooking is the theme of the day. The menu for baking is Chai & Matcha Choux a la Chantilly, and the menu for cooking is Japanese Hambagu with Raspberry Wine Sauce and Miso Soup.

Choux a la Chantilly (Craquelin) 

First of all, Riri made two cookie doughs, the brown one is chai and the green one is matchaIMG_2491Then, Riri and Thatha made the choux pastry. IMG_2490

Place the cookie doughs on top of choux to create “cranklin” crust at the top. IMG_2492Put in the oven. IMG_2494Tadaaa…!!! They are puffing up. Look how chubby these babies are. IMG_2495

Take them out of the oven. IMG_2500IMG_2499The two flavours of Choux a la Chantilly: Matcha (round) and Chai (oval). IMG_2512

The special heart shaped cream puff with mixed of matcha and chai. IMG_2507

Japanese Hambagu

The cooking begins. We tried to make heart shaped hamburg with a mix of beef and pork, but turned out differently. Riri magically created a perfect sauce for the hamburg. Balance of sweet and sour. IMG_2503The miso soup created extra sensation. The seasoning was just right.
Add MediaIMG_2506Thank you Chef Riri for the fantastic lovely hearty dinner. I love you more and more.

Cute Valentine’s Gift


Five different designs in a box IMG_2526

Out of the five illustrations, I like this one the most. It looks a bit like Riri and Thatha. This could be a cute wedding souvenir, just need to personalise the illustration. (*wink)IMG_2527

Birthday Cake for Riri’s Mum

Today I placed an order of Cottony Cheesecake birthday cake from Mary’s Pastry Lab. I chose this cake since Riri’s dad said he really liked the Tokyo Banana and wished that he had bought more from Japan. Riri said that his mum likes orchid, so I requested for orchid decoration on the cake. I practiced making a birthday card just like the illustration below, but I’m not sure if I can make as pretty as the example. Slide1

Here is the final presentation of the cake. I’m quite satisfied with the look, and I hope that Riri’s parents liked the cake. IMG_1137

Riri’s dad took picture of a slice of the birthday cake with a glass of Cafe 21 2in1 Instant Coffeemix. My aunt introduced me and my mum to this Singaporean instant coffee, so I bought it for Riri’s dad since he likes coffee too. IMG_20150125_174254

Bakeries in Singapore

Flor Patisserie

I didn’t have chance to visit the original shop of Flor Patisserie on Duxton Hill, but I was so happy to see the booth in Takashimaya, Orchard, which is only 5 minutes walk from where I live. 20141227_163808

Although the Takashimaya shop doesn’t have complete collections of cakes, but it’s good enough for me since it has the Blue Donut and Ice Cheese Tarts. 20141227_16381520141228_21124220141228_211300The Blue Donut (side view) 20141229_074231The Blue Donut (top view)

The Blue Donut after the first cut20141229_074326

Butterfly pea flower petals are the natural blue colourings for the beautiful blue coloured mousse 20141229_075052

The white part in the middle is made of yoghurt, which adds right amount of sourness to the whole cake, resulting in a very nice overall taste. There is also sprinkle of pistachio at the top. 20141229_075159

The layer below the blue mousse is vanilla cream, very mild, so nice! 20141229_075418

The very bottom of the cake is sponge cake, it is so moist that it almost melts in my mouth. Sorry the picture looks very messy. But believe me, the cake tastes superb. I will definitely come back for this. 20141229_080059

Let’s move on to the second dessert: Ice Cheese Tart Green Tea & Yuzu20141229_074821I wasn’t familiar with the term Ice Cheese Tart; apparently, it almost resembles cheesecake. The composition of Ice Cheese Tart are almond powder, butter, cream cheese, egg, flour, fresh cream, milk and sugar. The matcha (Japanese green tea) flavour was very intense, but I couldn’t taste any yuzu. Maybe it would be perfect if the yuzu concentration is increased by a little.   20141229_080331

There is a very buttery cookie at the bottom of the tart. 20141229_080810


On our last day in Singapore, my dad’s acquaintance brought two big bags of bread from Barcook Bakery. There was only one type of bread: Cheese & Raisin Bread. I bet this bread type is so special that she carried it all the way for us to try and bring back to Jakarta. Sadly, the bread shapes were a little bit defected after we arrived in Jakarta.20150103_065001 I fell in love at the first bite, although I do not like raisins. The bread was so soft that it almost felt like not chewing anything. Plus, the cream cheese captured my heart. I will visit Singapore again next month, luckily soon enough. I want to try the other types of bread from Barcook Bakery.

Whoa! They 47 variations of bread are very creative, which are hard to find in Jakarta, such asChoz BananaMash Potato Nachos, Polo Bun, Char Siew Fine Polo, Otah Otah, Yam Delight, Barley Custard and Chempedak. There are so many curry breads: Curry Floss, Curry Mash Potato, Curry Croissant, Curry Guy. Riri, please come with Thatha to try them all! Ulala, they have Coffee Bun! I wonder if it is better than some famous bakeries who offer coffee buns. Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 9.34.05 PM

DONQ Boulangerie 

The first time I saw DONQ Boulangerie was in Shanghai, and this bakery has a branch in Singapore, inside Takashimaya. Apparently, DONQ is a popular bakery chain in Japan that has been established for 108 years, whereby it has 180 outlets.

I tried the bestseller item: Cheese Cookie. I don’t understand why it is called cookie instead of bread, whereas the description says it is a soft type of bread w/ cream cheese filling. 20141226_210224 copy

The cream cheese filling tastes so mild that I almost tastes nothing. It is a good companion to drink coffee in the morning. 20141227_082421There are two kinds of anpan: Tsubu Anpan and Koshi Anpan. However, my mum tried them both and didn’t find any differences. Both fillings are sweetened red bean paste (anko). The only tiny difference is the sesame toppings, the Tsubu Anpan uses white sesame, whereas Koshi Anpan uses black sesame. 

Prasmanan @ The Tha Waterpark

We held our first catering event at Caffe The Tha, Kota Harapan Indah, Bekasi, to celebrate syukuran for Ibu Novi. 20141210_111322

Yang Chow Fried Rice 20141210_120514

Ayam Rica Rica 20141210_120526

Udang Goreng Mayonnaise & Sapi Lada Hitam (Black Pepper Beef) 20141210_120542

Spring Roll & Kailan Saus Tiram

Ice Lemon Tea 20141210_101010

Custard Pudding 20141210_10062320141210_11194820141210_121923

Soft Opening Java Japa Bogor


Matcha Soft-baked Cookies

Chef Riri made matcha soft baked cookies for Thatha and her mum. The matcha cookie is more successful than the previous black sesame cookie, in terms of shape, texture and taste. 20141109_052649

Manado Escape Trip

Day 1 

Riri and Thatha took a 5:30 am flight from Jakarta to Manado last Saturday. We arrived in Manado at around 9:30 local time since the flight takes about 3 hours and Manado is one hour ahead of Jakarta.

This was my second time coming to Manado, but I had no memory of this city. Judging from the art deco glass and the tenants at the airport of Manado, the city of Manado should be more promising than Pontianak.

20141025_101011Outside the airport, Thatha saw an interesting phrase Si Tou Timou Tumou Tou and immediately guessed that the meaning must be “welcome”. Apparently, the phrase is the motto of Manado city, which means “Manusia hidup untuk menghidupkan manusia lain” (“Men live to help others live”). What a beautiful phrase that identifies Manado people.

We stayed in Manado Tateli Beach Resort. According to some locals, this resort was used to be Hotel Sedona, and it is going change into Grand Mercure Resort. 20141025_11492720141025_115138

The confusion of the name can be seen from the bath
room amenities. 20141025_115416After checked in, we had lunch at the hotel restaurant. I like the placemat that looks like a traditional satay fan without the stick. 20141025_120332Homemade bread before the meal 20141025_122134After waiting for an hour, our orders finally arrived. The appetizer, Pisang Goroho (Minahasa Fries), came out at the same time as the main course. This is a very unique fried banana that can only be found in Sulawesi. Javanese usually eat fried banana with cheese, condensed milk, chocolate butter, or fruit jams; Pontianak people usually dip fried banana into srikaya (coconut jam). In Manado, the fried banana is accompanied with spicy chilli sauce. The banana used is not the normal soft and sweet banana, it is more like plantain, a bit hard and bland. The chilli sauce in this restaurant is so addicting. I really love this dish. 20141025_125333

For main course, Thatha had Chicken and Beef Satay, Riri had Ayam Woku Bakar, and Franky had Spinach Tagliatelle Carbonara. The peanut sauce for the satay was a bit disappointing, not enough peanut flavours and the texture was too smooth, looked like an instant sauce. 20141025_125308

Franky’s dish didn’t turn out as expected. The homemade pasta was seasoned as Aglio Olio instead of Carbonara, and there was no meat at all, only spicy taste.

Day 2

Riri & Franky went diving in the morning. The lunch is included in the diving package. There were several options for lunch menu: nasi kuning, nasi/kwetiau/bihun goreng, sandwich, etc. The most special menu is nasi kuning  (yellow rice). The Manado version of nasi kuning is different from what we normally see in Jakarta, even the packaging is very different, as the nasi kuning Manado is usually wrapped in woka leaf. The nasi kuning Manado consists of the yellow rice, shredded beef,abon cakalang, and boiled egg. 20141026_13114920141026_131329

Thatha didn’t snorkel on day 2, so Thatha walked around the resort, capturing beautiful panoramas. There was a wedding photo shoot at the chapel by the beach, and there was a mountain on the background.20141026_14240920141026_14234320141026_142155

At 6 pm, Riri and Thatha tried to take picture at the chapel during sunset, but it was too late. The sun in this area usually sets around 5:30. 20141026_17341520141026_173457

Day 4

Last day of diving for Riri and Franky. Second day of snorkelling for Thatha. 20141028_09202520141028_09212920141028_09215320141028_123907


Lunch on the boat 20141028_13340520141028_131528

Riri looked tired after 4 consecutive
days of diving, 3 dives on each day. Here is a more detailed information of dive sites in Manado. 20141028_084233

Watching weird wedding at the resort 20141028_18000620141028_18025520141028_18033720141028_18043720141028_18050720141028_211019

Manado Escape Trip with Riri – Day 3

Thatha finally went snorkelling on day 3. The dive sites visited on that day were: Fukui, Lekuan 2and I forgot the other one. 20141026_17471220141027_10414020141027_10415420141027_10434420141027_10434720141027_10440220141027_10591220141027_10593020141027_10594620141027_10594820141027_11001220141027_11005220141027_11005820141027_110103

Enjoy the priceless beauty of sunset in Manado through these pictures. 20141027_17135220141027_17144520141027_17152120141027_17154420141027_17160520141027_17171820141027_17192620141027_17211820141027_17164620141027_171739

Bored of eating dinner at the resort, we decided to head out to downtown to find some local restaurants. Our guide took us to Mega Mas, an open-air area behind Megamall Manado with many food stalls, ranging from seafood, meatballs, and non-halal food. 20141027_18354220141027_183606There were just too many food stalls to pick from, and we randomly chose Minahasa Star.

We ordered (from left to right): Babi Tore (Crispy Pork), Cakalang Fufu Rica (Smoked Spicy Skipjack Tuna) , and Kangkung Bunga Pepaya (Stir-fry Water Spinach and Papaya Leaves). 20141027_191805

 Ragey (Pork Satay) – Riri’s favourite dish of the night 

Bobara Bakar (Bobara Grilled Fish)20141027_192302After dinner, the guide took us to look to Kartini Bakery, which is famous for its local pastry Klappertart – a traditional cake of Manado, influenced by the Dutch, made of coconut as the main ingredient. 20141027_195741

In Manado, I witnessed a really fancy mikrolet (public transportation), which is decorated with LED light and loud speakers, and also facilitated with LED TV screen. The seatings are all facing front, unlike in Jakarta or other cities facing sideways. 20141027_183913

Day 6

The fruit jams served at the resort breakfast restaurant are homemade. Moreover, the resort plants its own fruits, vegetables and herbs, including papaya. No wonder there’s always papaya served for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the resort, and the papayas are always sweet.20141027_07594420141030_080925

I was a bit reluctant to leave this resort and go back to Jakarta. We could hardly see blue sky and green trees in Jakarta. I really love the view where there’s one red-leaf tree in a row of green trees. 20141030_08134920141030_081253Before heading to the airport, we stopped by for lunch. Our guide took us to Soto Rusuk Ba Ko’ Petrus to try its famous pork rib soup.

Riri ordered Rusuk Babi Bakar (BBQ Pork Ribs). 20141030_134804

Franky ordered Soto Rusuk Ba Special (Special Pork Ribs Soup). 20141030_134809

Thatha ordered Soto Ba Ubi Bete (Pork Soup with Taro/Yam) 20141030_134908

The white cubes are the ubi bete (taro / yam). 20141030_135358

Our guide ordered Nugget Ba (Deep Fried Pork) 20141030_135108

At the airport, I bought Manado / Minahasa batik cloth for my mum. I like how they describe the meaning of each element that make up a pattern. 20141030_152118I also brought back a really interesting stuff from Manado to Jakarta: daun woka (woke leaf), which looks like a huge fan. 20141031_080459Some snack souvenirs for my coworkers: Dodol Kenari (Chestnut cake), Lapis Regal and Lapis Wafer. The Dodol Kenari is also wrapped in woka leaf. 20141031_115430I bought Manado coffee powder since I couldn’t find the beans. I think Manado coffee tastes smoother, not as bitter as Pontianak coffee. It is funny that the coffee is labeled as “Export Quality, from ancient Chinese recipe”. 20141103_103647

The Lapis Regal and Lapis Wafer are quite interesting, as the biscuit and wafer are layered with nastar (pineapple tart) crust. 20141029_16140120141029_161239

Sadly, I didn’t get change to try Saraba, a traditional beverage from Mando that is made of ginger. There’s a row of stalls along the street selling Saraba, which is always full of people at night sitting on plastic chairs. This scene is similar to Jalan Gajah Mada in Pontianak. 20141027_203020

Manado Escape Trip with Riri – Day 5

The schedule for day 5 was to travel around the city of Manado and visited some tourist attractions. Thatha requested to try Nasi Jaha, so our guide took us to Rumah Kopi Billy, a traditional coffee shop that serves coffee and some snacks. 20141029_07561620141029_075633

The traditional coffee shops in Manado look similar to those in Pontianak, and maybe this particular coffee shop, Rumah Kopi Billy, has the same reputation as Warung Kopi Asiang in Pontianak. 

Nasi Jaha (Ginger Rice) 20141029_075657

Lalampa – similar to lemper 20141029_080341

Half-boiled egg and black coffee 20141029_080725

The grandma as the cashier; she was very quick and accurate.


Franky wanted to try Bubur Manado, so our guide took us to the second breakfast place: Dego Dego Manado Cafe, which looks much fancier. 20141029_08222520141029_082336

I tried the chestnut layered cake since the colour was very vibrant. The cake was quite nice, not too sweet. It’s not so easy to find pastries with chestnut in Jakarta. 20141029_08302820141029_083118

Since almost every customer orders Bubur Manado, the waitress came with a cart loaded with many bowls of Bubur Manado. 20141029_084113

To add protein to the Bubur Manado, we ordered Nike Goreng (Nike Fritters) and Cakalang Goreng (Deep Fried Skipjack Tuna).  Both “Nike” and “Cakalang” are types of fish. Nike Goreng contains ubi bete (taro / yam). 20141029_08433520141029_084501After breakfast, we went to Bukit Kasih in Kawangkoan, which is the symbol of unity of five different religions in Indonesia. Just like the Great Wall of China, there are stairways along the mountain of Bukit Kasih. However, the weather was heavily cloudy and started to rain, so we didn’t finish the trail that required approximately 1.5 hours. Sadly, this place is kind of abandoned, the area looked dry and dirty, which could be why not many tourists are willing to go there. 20141029_11324820141029_113309There’s a legendary coffee shop with its famous bakpao in Kawangkoan, near Bukit Kasih: Rumah Kopi Gembira. The menu is quite simple just like other traditional coffee shops, such as drinks (coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks), biapong (steamed buns), roti bakar (toasts), pia (pie) and eggs. 20141029_12072420141029_12080920141029_12083520141029_121015

We ordered the two kinds of biapong (steamed buns): Biapong Ba (Pork Steamed Bun) andBiapong Temo (Black Sweetened Beans Steamed Bun). Biapong is Manado word for “bakpao“. 20141029_121155

The steamed buns with pink dots are the Biapong Ba, whereas the bigger bun is the Biapong Temo.


At first I ordered hot tea, but the tea was tasteless, so I ordered another cup of black coffee.

The steaming process and the interior of the coffee shop are very traditional, which might invoke nostalgic feeling to all customers.
20141029_123501There’s a famous coffee shop in Kelapa Gading Jakarta called Kedai Kopi Kwang Koan, which has a very similar concept to this one. I guess the owner of the one in Jakarta is originated from Kawangkoan, Manado, where Rumah Kopi Gembira is.

After visiting Kawangkoan, we went to see the traditional house of Minahasa called Rumah Panggung Woloan. It is very interesting since the structure of the house is made of knock-down woods, which means you just need to purchase a land and stick this structure onto it. The house comes in many different sizes, and you may customise the number of bedrooms according to your needs. I couldn’t take good pictures since it was raining heavily.20141029_142848

There’s a second largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world located in Citraland Manado. The world’s largest statue of Jesus Christ is in Brazil. 20141029_15204520141029_152220We went to the hippest shopping mall in Manado: Manado Town Square (Mantos). Judging from the tenants, interior and traffic of the mall, I think Manado is far more developed than Pontianak. 20141029_16582320141029_170415The chain coffee shops, such as Excelso, Dante and Black Canyon had already entered Manado, whereas in Pontianak, you can only find Excelso. The Excelso in Mantos was one of the prettiest one I’ve ever seen. 20141029_170109

Chef Riri Weekend Cooking Show

1. Indomie Carbonara. Chef Riri added a new sensation to a boring instant noodle by adding an egg into the soup broth, so that it is creamier just like spaghetti carbonara. For finish touch, Chef Riri topped the noodle dish with crispy garlic chips and super spicy Thai chilli flakes. I bet you cannot find this dish anywhere else. Maybe Chef Riri should open a food stall called Warung Indomie Mr. Riri to compete with the existing Warung Indomie Abang Adek.


2. Japanese Katsu Curry. Curry is one of Chef Riri’s favourite dishes. For the curry, Chef Riri used these three secret ingredients: S&B Premium Dinner Curry from Japan,  Citrus Togarashi 柚子七味 from Japan and Curry Salt 咖喱盐花 from Taiwan. 

Cooking the curry. 20141011_152133

Making the layered katsu. Chef Riri succeeded in making layered katsu for the first trial, maybe after a while Chef Riri can compete with Kimukatsu20141011_15325520141011_15395620141011_185544Tadaaaa… Here is the masterpiece.


  3. Speedy Teriyaki. No marinade. Chef Riri poured these several key ingredients into the frying pan: sautéed onion, mirin, rice wine, Kikkoman soy sauce, black pepper, sugar, and citrus togarashi. 20141012_120828

4. Breakfast Casserole. There were only two elements in this dish: potato (2) and egg (4). First, Chef Riri shredded the potato and stir fry it with seasoning. Lay the potato on the baking dish, pour beaten eggs on top. Bake it for about 15 minutes. 20141012_082249

Chef Riri added love potion in all of his cooking, which caused Thatha’s appetite to increase by multiple times. I have to admit that Chef Riri is talented since he didn’t look at recipe while cooking, everything is in his head. People say that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. Thatha is lucky enough to have Chef Riri  who got to Thatha’s heart from her stomach.

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