5 of the Best Places To Eat In Jakarta

5 of the Best Places To Eat In Jakarta

As the capital and largest city in Indonesia, Jakarta is one of the most important cities in South East Asia, easy to reach and is also at the heart of culture and cuisine in the country.

Naturally, Jakarta has an amazing range and selection of restaurants ranging from the small stalls serving local cuisine through to high end restaurants serving some of the best Indonesian and international cuisine to be enjoyed in the region.

One important thing to note when visiting a restaurant in Jakarta is that many will offer visitors a bowl of water with lime before the meal, and this is not a drink, but as food is consumed with the hands is provided to allow diners to wash their hands.

Kembang Goela, Jakarta

Kembang Goela

One of the best traditional Indonesian restaurants that can be experienced in Jakarta is Kembang Goela, and is an attractive restaurant that has been decorated in a distinctly colonial style.

While the main dining room is large and spacious, the small rooms off the main dining rooms are cozy and welcoming and are particularly good for couples on a romantic evening.

Among the highlights on the menu are dishes such as the excellent beef rendang, which is slow cooked in a sauce including coconut milk, while the Dendeng Balado is a great dish of beef strips that are served with chillies.

Address: Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.Kav. 47-48, RT.5/RW.4, Karet Semanggi, Kecamatan Setiabudi, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12920, Indonesia

Opening Hours : 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM everyday

Kedai Tiga Nyonya, Jakarta

Kedai Tiga Nyonya

This restaurant is a Peranakan Indonesian style place which serves some of the traditional dishes of the Peranakan culture which not only uses traditional Indonesian influences but also includes a Chinese influence too.

The restaurant itself is in a small two-story building with a nice dining area upstairs, and enjoys a relaxed atmosphere that is popular among locals as well as visitors to the city.

The food itself clearly shows the Chinese influences that are seen in this type of cuisine, with dishes such as the excellent grilled mackerel, which is one of the house specialties, and the spicy Asam Asam Iga, which is a great beef soup.

Address : Jl. Supeno No.6A, Talang Semut, Kec. Bukit Kecil, Kota Palembang, Sumatera Selatan 30121, Indonesia

Opening Hours : 9am – 10pm everyday

Koi Mahakam, Where to eat in Jakarta, Indonesia

Koi Mahakam

This is a true crossover restaurant where an Asian and Indonesian inspired menu stands side by side with a great selection of the best European dishes, all making the most of the great local produce on offer.

The style of the dining room is quite rustic, and the colorful chalk boards with their wine lists and changing specials menu also help to give the restaurant a relaxed atmosphere.

The food itself is very good, with the duck confit being among the best of the European dishes on the menu, served with a lovely dish of bacon, green beans and potatoes as a side. The tenderloin steak is another excellent dish, and shows the flair of a chef who was trained in Belgium.

Address: Jl. Mahakam No.2, RT.1/RW.7, Kramat Pela, Kec. Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12130, Indonesia

Opening Hours : 11am to 9pm everyday

Face Jakarta, Where to eat in Jakarta, Indonesia

Face Jakarta

This restaurant is associated with the Face Bar, which is a part of a chain of popular bars that can be found across Asia, and is often considered a good place to go for dinner before heading out on the town in Jakarta.

The cuisine itself here aims to bring together some of the best of Asian dishes, and is particularly good at Thai dishes such as mango sticky rice and Gai Hor Bay Toey, which is a deep fried chicken that is then cooked in leaves, and served with sweet dipping sauce.

As you would expect for a restaurant that shares a building with a popular bar, the range of drinks and cocktails available here is particularly good.

Address: Jl. Tulodong Bawah No.D-1, RT.5/RW.1, Senayan, Kec. Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12190, Indonesia

Opening Hours: 

Thursday to Saturday – 12–2:30pm, 6–11pm
Sunday to Wednesday – 12–2:30pm, 6–10:30pm

Rosso, Shangrila Jakarta

Rosso

Italian cuisine may not be the first thought for visitors to the thriving city of Jakarta, but located within the Shangri-La Hotel, this Italian restaurant is one of the best available outside Italy itself, and one of the best in Jakarta.

The stunning surroundings at Rosso are beautifully designed and give the restaurant a superb atmosphere, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable for what is truly a top end dining experience.

Some of the highlights on the menu include the wonderful porcini mushroom cappuccino soup, which is served as a starter in its own coffee cup, while the veal tenderloin cooked in three ways is an excellent dish.

Address: Shangri-La Jakarta, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.Kav. 1, RT.10/RW.9, Karet Tengsin, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta 10220, Indonesia

Opening Hours : 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, and 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM

A Guide to the Markets of Camden Town
A Guide to the Markets of Camden Town

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Thailand for Foodies – Dishes you HAVE to Try when in Thailand

Thailand for Foodies – Dishes you HAVE to Try when in Thailand

thai chillies

Thailand for Foodies – Dishes you HAVE to Try when in Thailand

 

Thai dishes are often portrayed as spicy and meaty with no room for any other kind of cuisine. It isn’t as predictable as you may think, spices might be involved but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a predictable taste as their aromatic and wonderfully tasting herbs are something of a must try. So here are some dishes you have to try when on holiday in Thailand – enjoy!

Panang Curry.

This dish is apparently a must for anyone on holiday in Thailand.

It is made with either Beef of Chicken and has flavors and aromas that reference the distant lands of India and Malaysia. This dish includes fresh herbs and a wide range of spices which are sure to keep you enjoying the taste and smell of your meal. It is a common dish and is served in most tourist resorts but is a must for traditional Thai cuisine.

It is quick for chefs to prepare so there should be no trouble getting the meal served quickly for you to enjoy!

Tom Yum Baked Chicken

Thailand is famous for spicy cuisine and this is apparently one of its ‘musts’ for visitors to experience the tongue tingling spices available.

Basically its Thai baked chicken which consists of herb and spice paste which the chicken is bathed in and then baked. It is very popular amongst tourists so no doubt it should be easily found in any tourist establishment. Its popularity is probably due to its renowned spicy and zesty taste due to the use of red chilies and lime juice.

This dish clearly should be on anyone’s list of traditional  to try.

Shrimp Green Curry.

This meal is obviously a sea food based meal which offers a wonderful mixture of tastes for the most well travelled cuisine expert.

Made with coconut milk, green curry paste, aubergine and fish sauce this meal also has the slight but unmistakable taste of Thai herbs and spices to make this dish a must try. In popular tourist places the green curry will probably be cooked with chicken or pork but if you can try to locate it, the shrimp based green curry is well worth finding.

Reportedly this Thai curry is best when found in local villages rather than in a tourist resort.

Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry

This dish is locally known as “Pad Pak Ruam Mit” and is very easily found everywhere in Thailand with it being not only a local favourite but a popular tourist meal too.

It does exactly what it says on the tin, made with mixed vegetables such as Chinese broccoli leaves, garlic, oyster sauce and Chinese cabbage it is a very wonderful tasty dish. There is a choice of what to have this dish served with if you choose to have it as a side dish; you may find that it is commonly served with either steamed rice or some curries.

Either way, this dish should be tasted whether you have it as a solitary meal or with a spicy curry.

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The Top Beach Destinations In Thailand

The Top Beach Destinations In Thailand

thailand beaches

The Top Beach Holiday Destinations In Thailand

 

Thailand is a country that is quickly developing an excellent as a tourist destination, and the range of amazingly beautiful beaches, bays and coves in the country is likely to see this reputation continue to grow.  The small nation of Thailand is one that is distinctly split between the mountainous north and the low lying coastal areas and islands of the south of the country, with the best of the beach resorts in the south of the country.  Although it enjoys a warm climate throughout the year, it is worth noting that Thailand has a significant monsoon season which is worth checking before booking your holiday.

 Patong

The town of Patong is one of several beach holiday resorts that can be found on the island of Phuket, and although it was devastated during the tsunami in 2004, it has been entirely rebuilt.  The sandy beaches of Patong are perfect for relaxing, and for those more adventurous types there are plenty of exploring opportunities around the island.  Among the most attractive features for those considering a trip to the town is the vibrant nightlife, and like much of the country the prices for nightclub entry and drinks are particularly reasonable.

Krabi

The town of Krabi is another excellent destination for those looking for easy access to top notch beaches, and beaches such as Phra Nang are among the most beautiful in the country. The azure waters and the golden sand on these beaches are often surrounded by idyllic unspoiled woods and they are also a great base for activities such as kayaking and snorkeling.  The town has grown significantly over recent years, with many more chain stores being found in the area, and accessibility to the region has improved with the opening of KrabiAirport.

Koh Samui

The island of Koh Samui is the second largest of the islands to be found of the coasts of Thailand, and this has long been one of the most popular destinations for those heading to the country for beach holidays.  The peaceful sands and clean waters are an idyllic setting for a beach holiday, while the exciting and vibrant nightlife in the resorts is almost as good as that to be found in the capital Bangkok.  Lying further south than much of the country, Koh Samui also benefits from a drier climate, with the monsoon season being much shorter between January and September.

The coral reefs that lie off the coast of Koh Samui have also helped to make this idyllic island popular among divers and snorkelers, and provides a change of pace after a few days relaxing on the beach.

Koh Phi Phi

The island of Koh Phi Phi is a destination that has grown in popularity over recent years, and the island tends to be quieter and more idyllic than some of the more popular tourist destinations in the country.  As with many other islands in this area, the excellent beaches and clear waters are ideal for those looking to enjoy activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling, and its waters can boast some of the best marine life in the region.  The island was largely untouched until the film ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio brought the island to international attention in the 1990s, and it is still much more traditionally Thai than some of the tourist islands.

Koh Lanta

The island of Koh Lanta is another of the Thai isles that can claim to be sparsely developed in terms of the tourist industry, and many visitors will find it much closer to the Thailand that people would have found decades ago.  The beaches here are again amongst the best in the country, and the sensational waters are excellent for swimming and other water activities.  The majority of tourist accommodation on Koh Lanta is still in bamboo huts, which will really give people a taste of the traditional Thai lifestyle.

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5 Must-Try Local Snacks in Ipoh, Malaysia

5 Must-Try Local Snacks in Ipoh, Malaysia

5 Must-Try Local Snacks in Ipoh, Malaysia

 

Ipoh offers more than grand colonial architecture or old Asia charm. It is one of the best spots in Malaysia for a gastronomic safari and my favorite next to Penang and Melaka.

Ipoh is the capital of Perak State, about 205 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The rich mineral deposits from the limestone cliffs surrounding the Kinta Valley and its fresh and clean water are believed to be the essential ingredients that make their food unique.

As the locals say, “Eat while in Ipoh”.

Ipoh Malaysia Local Food Curry Noodles

Curry Noodles

If there is one thing that would lure me back to Ipoh, it will only be its heavenly curry noodles served at the family-run Restoran Xin Quan Fang. This local favorite has been serving its one and only dish for over 20 years and has perfected the special chili gravy which is concocted from a secret blend of curry powder and spices.

The curry noodles are best eaten with a side dish of braised roast pork, chicken and prawns sprinkled generously with Ipoh beansprouts. If you love savory and spicy dishes, this famous delicacy will leave you wanting for more. Just make sure to visit early in the morning because it’s often sold out by noon.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food-Bean Sprout Chicken Noodles

Bean Sprout Chicken Noodles (Ayam Taugeh)

I never thought that such a simple chicken noodle soup could be this good and popular. But then this is Ipoh, proud home of the best Kway Teow (silky-smooth flat rice noodles) in Malaysia as well as the plump, juicy and crunchy Ipoh bean sprouts which are nourished by its rich soil and fresh water.

We tried our first bean sprout chicken at Restoran Onn Kee at Jalan Yau Tet in New Town. A steaming kway teow noodle soup came with a plate of soft, fragrant boiled chicken;  a plate of bean sprouts and an extra bowl of meatballs. It was my first orgasmic food experience since we arrived in Malaysia.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food Ipoh White Coffee

Ipoh White Coffee

A visit to Ipoh would not be complete without trying out its famous White Coffee (Bak Kopi in Cantonese). Unlike black coffee, the beans are roasted without the addition of sugar. It is brewed in a sock sieve using hot boiling water. Condensed and evaporated milk are then added which makes it a bit sweeter than your normal latte.

Ipoh White Coffee is also served in the famous Old Town White Coffee food chain found in major cities in Malaysia and some parts of the world. But if you happen to be on this side of town head to Sun Yuan Long or Nam Heong (the original shop of the food chain) for a truly authentic coffee experience.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food Biscuits and Pastries

Biscuits and Pastries

Whether you choose to munch on them while ambling your way around Ipoh’s colonial structures or bring them home as take-away goodies, Ipoh has a wide selection of tasty pastries and biscuits. My favorite is kaya puff, a type of pastry filled with sweet creamy coconut and egg jam. Sin Eng Heong is popular for its kaya puff and has a good range of biscuits, Ching Han Guan for the meat floss biscuits and Yee Hup and Seng Kee for the heong peng.

Ipoh-Malaysia-Local-Food Satay

Satay

While satay is widely available in the country, trying out Ipoh’s cheap and delicious satay made our street food safari here even more memorable. After walking around the city for the whole afternoon, we made our way to the Children’s Playground at Jalan Raja Musa Azis.

I laid out my sarong in the grassy part of the park, bought a dozen sticks of chicken and pork satay and a plate of popiah (Malaysia’s fresh spring rolls) from the food stalls nearby. Charles got his cold beer fix from 7eleven and another plate of fried kway teow. We ate and drank the night away on our last night in Ipoh.

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4 COOL BACKPACKER ACTIVITIES IN LAOS

4 COOL BACKPACKER ACTIVITIES IN LAOS

Kayaking-and-rafting-Cool-Backpacker-activities-in-Laos

4 Cool Backpacker Activities in Laos

Laos is considered as a laid back or a sleepy country but not in terms of travel and destination, for a backpacker traveler, Laos is the place to be, there is always a nearby café to relax and unwind besides having cheap and affordable accommodation options for you. There are many activities and places to visit during your entire vacation, from natural landmarks, religious centers, historic museums and galleries, rivers, lakes and waterfalls you will always get something that pleases you as a backpacker. Here are some coolest backpacker activities that you can carry out in Laos.

Xieng Khouang, Mineral Springs

Get to the hot springs at Muang Kham which is government owned and operated, you will to see a pool of hot natural bubbling water which you can get to by walking on a path thats parallel to Hot Spring Resort, however the pool reains strictly off limits to tourists and the genral public but you can still get good glimpses. You can grab a backpacker’s package if you want to stay at the resort. The mineral springs are surrounded by wooden bamboo rigs which have been built at a point where you can take a bath. You can also get to the smaller spring, Baw Noi where you can also take a bath as the water are cool due to the confluence of the stream and those of the hot springs.

Dong Natad Trek

Get to the protected Dong Natad and trek into the natural forest that’s close to Savannakhet town. The trek is located 15 km from the town center and 11 km past Mekong Bridge, you can also consider to get across to the salt mines. At Dong Natad Trek you will also enjoy to see red ants, gigantic spiders, some wild animals as well as birds. You can also get to the salt mines where you will get to learn about slat processing. You can further head to sacred lake that showcases the beauty of Ing Hang Stupa after long day of trekking. Dong Natad is a good place for backpackers and you can spend up to two days trekking.

Cool-Backpacker-activities-in-Laos

Mountain Biking

If the rafting and trekking activities get you bored, you can try out mountain biking in Laos. The best place to experience this is on the countryside’s of Luang Prabang. You will get to old towns, rural villages, past rivers up to the stunning mountains. Adventurous riders can also try out some off road routes that cross four rivers and get past remote villages of the rural side of Luang Prabang, you will definitely love the experience.

Laos is a nice place to visit and has a lot of activities for backpackers, you will definitely love the vacation, you might also consider some other great backpacker favorite destination and try out some of the activities that are carried out in those regions.

Kayaking and Rafting

Get to Luang Prabang which will spoil you with its kayaking and rafting activities. You will also have some adventure trekking in these great places. You will also get to see local tribes and learn of their amazing river culture, while rafting, you will also love sightseeing the mountains and taking dramatic intermediate rapids. Yu can also consider trying out some paddling adventures on a two day kayaking trip which involves cliff jumping into the Nam Xeuang River. For those who prefer a gentle river ride, Luang Prabang cares for you too; you can enjoy full day kayaking activities on the slower Nam Khan River. (kayaking image by Abruzzo Rafting).

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Why Visit Vietnam?

Why Visit Vietnam?

boating backwaters in vietnam

Why Visit Vietnam?

 

There are so many countries I want to visit. Some of the top destinations on my list are Egypt, Thailand, Brazil and The Maldives. It wasn’t until I came across a travel review on Vietnam that I decided it was also a country I would have to visit at some point.

When I organize my holidays, I usually price flights to a number of destinations and choose the cheapest. At first I was surprised at how expensive it is to fly to Vietnam. After all, it is a long trip from the US to Vietnam. However, after looking long and hard I managed to find better airfares off-peak. I hadn’t planned to travel in March, but I am quite flexible with travel dates and am lucky I can do so. Plus, I figured it would be cheap when I got there.

I travelled with American Airlines from JFK airport in New York to Noibai Airport in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The flight was delayed for about 2 hours, but other than that there were no other issues. I have elite flight status with AA so at least I got to hang out in the airport lounge while I waited. After you arrive in Hanoi, you can take a bus from the airport to Hanoi city centre and the journey takes about 30 minutes.

Before travelling I had heard that Vietnam is very scenic and cheap. I can confirm both of these rumors. Perhaps tourism isn’t as developed as in other Asian countries…but if you love an adventure, and our open minded and easy going, you are sure to love Vietnam. I spent three weeks in the country and tried to travel a bit. I enjoyed staying in Hanoi for a few days and paid under $20 per night for three star accommodation. Some of the tourist attractions I loved in this city were the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre, the History Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can a mummified version of Ho Chi Minh himself. I also had the chance to escape the city and see the natural beauty of Vietnam at the Tam Dao Hill Station. Visiting Vietnam was a once in a lifetime experience and every time I leave a county in Asia I want to return.

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