IKEA Food for FREE!

Posted August 16th, 2012 in Food, Jakarta, Perth WA | No Comments »

I’m quite surprised to know that not many people are aware of IKEA’s current promotion – “I could eat an armchair” where the amount you spend at IKEA restaurant will be taken off your store purchase. (term & condition)  This offer ends this Friday, so if you are interested then rush to IKEA!!

I actually didn’t have anything particularly that I wanted to buy, but since sister-in-law is here from Jakarta we took her to IKEA for lunch yesterday.  We ate around $33 worth food, and got $33 worth IKEA items for free!

It’s not only IKEA, but many shops in Perth are starting Sunday trading from next week.  Perth is changing.  I remember when I came here in 2003….  I had a huge culture shock when I found out shops are closed on Sunday.  For me, weekends are the time people go shopping!

Hmmm…. by the way, I’ve already started shopping from Japanese online shops….  I’m gonna ask my dad to bring them to Bali then I can take them home here in Perth.  (thank you, dad)  I wasn’t gonna buy many things, but it’s so hard….  There are so many things that I want to buy from Japan!!  On my last homecoming trip to Japan, we had total of 50kg allowance for check-in luggage, but we had to leave half of what we bought there because our luggage were already over 50kg.  So, imagine how many things we bought during our stay there….  It’s crazy.

It’s kinda shame that there is no Daiso in Bali.  Well, but we are not going to Bali for shopping.  We are going there to RELAX and EAT 🙂  I can’t wait!

Thank You Everyone!

Posted August 15th, 2012 in Food, Jakarta | No Comments »

First, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who messaged me through this blog and email.  I feel much better and strong knowing that I’m not alone and there are people who read my blog from many countries.  It’s kinda amazing feeling.


I’m gonna write about an amazing food I had last night.  This is banana-cheese-pastry thingy (I don’t know the proper name!) that my sister-in-law brought from Indonesia.  It’s so yummmmmyyyy.  It’s from Bandung city (in Indonesia), she said.  It’s got a whole banana and cheese inside, kind of melty, and doughy throughout with crispy pastry on outside.  I don’t know how to explain the taste, but it’s somewhere between sweet and savoury.  Very interesting.

There are many food in the world that I haven’t met.  I do want to go to many countries and try these things out someday.

Oh, I’m actually going to Bali in November this year.  Believe it or not, it will be my first trip to Bali!  Even though I have an Indonesian husband, I’ve never been outside Denpasar airport.  Actually, my husband has also never been to Bali before!  Haha.  So it will be our first Bali experience.

Going to Bali is kind of the thing that I can look up to.  It had been a rough idea of me and my dad who is in Japan, but  now we are booking air tickets and accommodation in Bali.  My husband, Hiro, and I are meeting my dad in Bali who will fly from Japan by himself.  It will be great holiday for all of us.

What I want to do in Bali – I’m not pretty sure about it yet, as I have no idea what Bali is like, but I think we’ll get massage and eat lots of local food.  Near the beach, probably.  I can’t wait to take my dad to eat Indonesian food.  I’m sure he will love it!





Homemade Martabak

Posted March 26th, 2012 in Food, Jakarta | No Comments »

Martabak is a stuffed pancake or pan -fried bread which I first tried in Jakarta, Indonesia, few years ago.  They make and sell martabak in small stalls on the street, and the sweet smell is hyper irresistible.

My husband wanted to make it as it’s pretty expensive to buy here (compared to the price in Indonesia), and we found “martabak mixture” ($3.00) at Yee Seng Oriental Shop in Myaree, so we gave it a try.

D likes “keju” = grated cheese and condensed milk filling where I also love “coklat” (chocolate and crushed peanuts).  We made both 🙂

Martabak is very very sweet and buttery.  They use this “special butter ” (?) to boost the richness and butteriness.  (got from Yee Seng at $2.00)

Martabak has two kinds – one is thick (like the one in the photo above www.kaskus.us) and another is thin.  It’s like the pizza base where some people prefer thin crispy base and other like it thick.  It seems the thick ones are more common in Indonesia, but D prefers thin one and that’s what he made.

Sprinkle the toppings…

and close it.

I never thought of the combination of cheese and condensed milk until I went to Jakarta.  The sweetness and saltiness match and it creates interesting flavour.

This made me think of dorayaki.  I think I will make dorayaki next time 🙂

Getting Away to JK

Posted August 23rd, 2011 in Jakarta, Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

It’s almost the end of August!  These days I can’t tell what date it is everyday :p
About 1 month to go before our trip to Jakarta. Hmmm, to think about it, it will be about 1.5 years since my last holiday outside Australia. I haven’t left Perth since I found out I was pregnant, and I didn’t want to go back to Japan while Hiro was small because I was worried that he might get sick and also about radiation in Japan.
1.5 yeas is not really a long time, but I really feel like I need to go somewhere for a change. I’m glad that I decided to fly to Jakarta this time.

I’m the type of person who sometimes wait and wait what I want to do…. until it explodes. For example, I don’t normally shop for cloths or bags, but one day it explodes and I buy many things. So, I don’t buy any cloths, bags, or shoes in Perth – just wait until I go back to Japan. In Japan, I shop like I’d never shopped before… Everyday is shopping day. I’m afraid this Jakarta trip will be the same. I hope I don’t buy too many crap over there.

One thing I’m looking for is getting massage.  Another is FOOD.  I love Indonesian food….  Probably not everyday, but I definitely enjoy eating it once in a while.  I also love the convenience of things and variety of food they have over there, as well as the price.  I miss the chewy shaomai with peanut sauce!

It’s been since my weeding in 2009 to go to Jakarta.  It’s about time to miss those delicious food.

Since we will be there for only 1 week, I think we will be just eating and getting massage most of the time.  I hope Hiro will be ok there.  Although it’s D’s hometown, I’m still not 100% comfortable being there.  Bit scary about people and also hygiene.

I will plan what to buy and to do in Jakarta which I can’t do or buy in Japan – and, I want to buy some souvenir to my family too 🙂  They’ve never been to Indonesia.

Japanese Style Pasta in Jakarta

Posted November 13th, 2009 in Eat out in Jakarta, Jakarta | 2 Comments »

Again, back to my Jakarta trip..  it was my third visit to Jakarta, and I’ve discovered another side of this city.  On my last couple of visits, I’ve seen poor people on the street, dirty toilets, huge traffic jam etc, and I never thought I’d be able to live here.  However, during this trip a friend of my husband took us to a complex of shopping buildings in Jakarta CBD and I had a totally new experience there!  My husband said this place is too fancy (because of many brand shops and expensive stores) but it reminded me of Japan!  

There are three or four of shopping building next to each other, and each building got many shops and restaurants inside, including some Japanese shops such as MUJI.  

The thing which excited me the most was Japanese food there.  When the friend asked us what we wanted to eat, I told him “no Japanese please” because I thought the Japanese food there wouldn’t be so nice.  But, as I explore each floor I found so many nice Japanese restaurants.  In the end, we decided to go to this wafu (Japanese style) pasta restaurant for dinner.

We eat many unique flavor pasta in Japan, and this restaurant had those.  I was happy to have dinner here because pasta is one of my favorite food and I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat this type of food back in Perth.  

Chicken Teriyaki, Squid Ink, Chicken Katsu with Egg Sauce etc…  if I was very hungry I’d wanted to try either sukiyaki pasta or seafood curry soup pasta, but I decided to have scallop & mushroom soup pasta.  Eel & Unagi (Una-Tama) sounded interesting too.  There are also pizzas, teishoku menu as well as entrees such as edamame (branched and salted green bean in pods) and hiya-yakko (chilled tofu).  Friend had squid, prawn and cod roe pasta, and my husband had creamy crab carbonara.  It was delicious.

After dinner we walked around few buildings (apparently this area is safe enough to walk around few metres) for window shopping.  Then, we stopped at a Japanese cafe to have some sweets.  Actually it wasn’t a cafe, it was an Izakaya.  This Izakaya serves Okinawa food, such as mimigaa (dried pig ear), andangii (deep-fried Okinawa sweet), etc.  … shame, we just had dinner! (><)  I didn’t notice there’re a few Japanese business men near our table, and I was talking loudly “hey it’s Okinawa food!”.  I think they heard me, thinking “… a Japanese tourist??”  

We had this honey toast as dessert.  It was really nice, crusty outside, sweet vanilla ice cream and blueberry sauce …  I will try making it at home sometime soon 🙂

Sigh, I wish I could go there everyday to eat these Japanese food like those Japanese business men I saw at the Izakaya..

Dr Fish

Posted November 10th, 2009 in Jakarta, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

While in Jakarta I had a chance to experience fish spa therapy.  Fish spa is a therapy by dipping your feet into a pool of “Dr Fish” and let these little healing creatures clean your feet and nibble away your dead skin, leaving your skin glow in health.  This fish spa treatments are growing in parts of Asia such as Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.  Most of there spas employ Dr Fish species which originate from Turkey, called Garra Rufa.

Garra Rufa is a special fish with natural healing properties.  It started in Kangal, Turkey: where people discovered the fish’s ability to cure skin diseases.  Garra Rufa is a fresh water fish, and their usual habitat is in hot springs, where these fishes can withstand temperatures ranging from 0 degree Celcius up to 43 degree Celcius.  They are also known as Dr Fish, feeds only on dead and problematic areas of the skin.

 The benefits of this are natural exfoliation of dead skin, smoother and healthy blowing skin, promote blood circulation, lightning of minor scars, etc etc.

I did this just for the curiosity, but as I proceeded to the fish pool I was having a second thought.  I really didn’t want to dip my feet into those vigorously moving little fish…  Looked gross. :p  But, we have already paid for 30 mins, so no choice!  I sat down on the bench and dipped my feet slowly into the water.  !!!

Those little creatures were really really tickling for the first few minutes, and I was screaming..  but as I tried to calm down myself and ignore the fact that there are thousands of fish nibbling on my skin, I felt ok.  I dipped my feet in a pool of small fish first, and then moved to the pool of larger size fish.  Lager fish has bigger suction but less aggressive compared with the little ones.

After the therapy, my feet were very smooth, soft and moist!  I couldn’t help but touch my feet in the car on the way home 🙂  It was an interesting experience..

Wedding Party in Jakarta

Posted November 8th, 2009 in Jakarta | No Comments »


  We had our final wedding event here in  Jakarta, and I must tell you it was all  fun!!   Not the party itself, but I experienced many funny things on this day… :p

  Around 12 pm a hair&make-up stylist came to  the house.  I was the first one to get hair and  make-up done…  I don’t speak Indonesian, so  mother and sister-in-low and my husband are  all in my room to help me out in case I want     to say something to him (stylist).  

  Right after I sat down on a chair, suddenly he  started to rub ice cubes on  my face! … it was a shock, but I knew he was going to do some weird thing  to me!  Then I saw him cutting skin-colored tape into small pieces… I knew  it was for my eye lids.  I asked everyone in the room to tell him “don’t tape my eye lids so that my eyes look like Chinese!”   I had to watch every move he does.. otherwise I had no idea how my face  is going to turn out! (>0<)  I told everyone that I don’t really want to wear fake eyelashes, but he did it anyway…  Now, my face became something that I’d never be able to walk in Japan with.  Thick, shinny, big eyes and lips.  Oh my gosh, it sure is a once-in-a-life-time experience.

After my hair and make-up was done I had to wear a wedding dress, and video and camera clues started to interview us asking “how we met” “any words for parents” etc.  We didn’t know about this interview thing and didn’t prepare anything, so I wonder how the video is going to turn out..

By the way wedding dress was really really tight!!!  Yes I have put on weight! 🙁  I couldn’t breeze, but I had to wear it until 7pm – the party starts.  It was hot and humid, and the dress was heavy, tight, I was sweating…  it was really uncomfortable.  My husband and I got in a wedding car around 4:30pm to go to a Chinese restaurant -where the party will be held.  We had quick dinner with just family first there.  The food was wonderful, but I couldn’t eat much because of this stupid dress!!  

Soon a wedding planner arrived and told us what we had to do.  Walk slowly to the alter, cut fake wedding cake, feed cake to parents, pour champagne into a tower of glass etc etc…  I was like ‘ok ok’  I just wanted the things done quickly so that I could get out from this super tight dress.  Then, when we were practicing to cut a fake wedding cake, I noticed the cake knife was samurai sword..!!  Isn’t is supposed to be an elegant looking silver cake knife or something??  The knife we were holding was long and rusty samurai sword!  It was ridiculous..  Then I found a tarantula in a champagne glass.  Oh my gosh…  everyone started to panic , and it was all fun ! 🙂

The party finished around 10pm, and then I was finally free.

Jakarta Trip

Posted November 6th, 2009 in Eat out in Jakarta, Jakarta | 2 Comments »

This time, again, our trip to Jakarta ended up to be a shopping-trip …  There are many shopping malls in Jakarta, and we did shopping everyday except for the day of our wedding party.  The weather was good throughout our stay, so it was good.  

On the day we arrived Jakarta, we went to parents’ house to rest first, then headed to a mall called “Artha Gading”.  Now I regret going there because Artha Gading Mall has Daiso (Japanese 100 yen shop) inside and we shopped there A LOT…  Besides we just came back from Japan few weeks ago and have already bought a suitcase-full of 100 yen goods from Japan.  In Jakarta, the goods in Daiso are RP 22000 (about AUD$3.00)!  We promised to each other not to go there anymore during this trip :p

After one hour of shopping at Daiso, we took a cab to parents’ apartment room to take a shower.  The apartment is actually just few hundred meters away from Artha Gading, but we wouldn’t be able to walk there.. it’s Jakarta.  

There is another huge shopping mall called “MOI (Mall of Indonesia)” right in front of the apartment.  This mall is pretty new, it was still under construction last time we were in Jakarta.  MOI is an entertainment mall for family, so it’s got many kids attractions, rides, and game centres inside as well as individual shops , cafes and restaurants.  

After refreshing in the apartment, we went to Es Teller 77 in MOI to grab a bite.  We had shoumai Ikan (shoumai with fish) (you can see the photo of shoumai at Es Teller in here , 5th from the top in “Food” section on the right side) – shoumai here is very different from the one I know.  Very chewy, and eaten with peanut chili sauce and ketchup manis (sweet thick dark color sauce).  After a while, everyone gathered up to this mall and had dinner together at a Chinese restaurant.  

I really love food in Jakarta!  Very cheap, so many kinds, and delicious!!  I ate lots of Indonesian type of food during this trip, but I never get enough!

Hair Salon in Japan and Jakarta

Posted October 29th, 2009 in Jakarta | 2 Comments »

My hair is now getting messy again and need to get trimmed …  It’s shame that I didn’t have time to go to a hair salon while I was in Japan.  I think I need to color my hair soon too..  My hair is originally dark dark black, and not straight.  My mum used to cut my hair when I was little, and I always looked like I was wearing a black helmet :p  I don’t like my hair because it’s little wavy, and go messy if I don’t take care of it using treatment and hair wax.

I’m flying off to Jakarta sometime soon and I’m thinking if I should go to a hair salon there… but I doubt if they can do the job as I expect.  I mean, I can’t speak Indonesian and they normally don’t speak English, so it’s gonna be hard to communicate and tell them how I want my hair to be done.  

If I end up going to a salon, I will be with mother-in-law.  If she goes to a salon, she offer me to get “cream bath”.  … I think I wrote about it long time ago on this blog, but when I heard about this “cream bath” thing I thought it was something like a “special treatment”.  Then I found out that hair salons in Jakarta and Japan are pretty different.  :p  I was surprised when they used cold water for shampooing too!  It was a kind of culture shock…  

I think some foreign people will experience culture shock too when they visit Japan’s salon.  I mean, there are some weird hair salons across Japan.  One of them is “maid salon”, where all the staff wear costume of maid and serve you.  It is a kind of cos-pure (short term for costume-play in Japanese)  Some of the salons have a few different kinds of costumes, and their services don’t only limit on hair-cut but also nail care, heard spa, ear cleaning…  Of course they are targeting on male customers ( ? ) though customers are not allowed to take photos inside and touch the staffs.

Well, I heard that hair salons in Perth don’t normally do shampoo and hair-blow as a service (or include in their prices).  If so, do customers go home with hair all over their clothes?  Or with wet hair?   It’s just surprising to me that Japanese salon usually does shampooing and blow-dry as a part of the procedure.

Except for the surprise of cold water, hair salon in Jakarta was fun to me.  Once they spread “cream” on my head, 2~3 staff come over to me and start to massage my arms and shoulders.  Ummm writing about this makes me want to get the massage!  Yes I think I will go to a hair salon in Jakarta.  Not for a hair cut, but a massage perhaps :p


Posted January 28th, 2009 in Jakarta, Japan | No Comments »

I’ve already mentioned on my last post that I had a huge culture shock in Jakarta, and I want to talk about “toilet” here.

All public toilets in Jakarta were so dirty and unhygienic 🙁  Even in a modern-looking huge shopping centre, I didn’t want to use the toilet there.  Cleaning staffs were wiping the toilet sheets with dirty cloth over and over: it seemed that they were just spreading the bacteria.  And there was no toilet paper in any public toilets.  I was told that people just use water to clean instead of toilet paper.  The toilet floor was flooded with water, and I was wearing sandals!!  It was a nightmare :*(

I just had to compare it with Japanese toilets.  In Japan, you can almost eat food in the toilets.  I mean, public toilets in Japan are so clean! 

Lots of public toilets in Japan have automatic functions, such as…

-lid opens automatically when somebody enter the toilet … hygienic

-“disposable toilet sheet covers” and “toilet sheet cleaner” are provided in each toilet room … hygienic

-the toilet sheet is warmed for your bottom … so that your bottom doesn’t get surprised

-washlet function (water jet, dryer, massage, and you can control the strength of water, temperature and the position etc ) … relaxing!

-auto flash … hygienic

Water, soap and dryer are all automatic too. (sensor)

By the way, bathroom in my house (Japan) is also automatic.  You can control and keep the temperature of the water, refill the hot water with one button, auto cleaning…  And there is inter-phone function so you can talk to the person in the bathroom while you are preparing meal in the kitchen.  You can heat up the entire bathroom (built-up heater) too, and it was a great thing for bath time in the cold winter.

Jakarta Trip 2008 -Food-

Posted January 27th, 2009 in Eat out in Jakarta, Jakarta | No Comments »

Now I finally have time to look back my trip to Jakarta and write about it on Umeboss 🙂  I was staying in Jakarta for 6 days before flying to Japan (for my Japan trip posts, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. or see photos.)

That was my second visit to Jakarta.  The first time was one year ago (2007): I stayed there in Christmas and New Year’s day.  I have to admit that I experienced a huge culture shock in the country :p  Indonesia (Jakarta) was quite different from what I was imagining in my head.  There were actually lots of shopping malls, lots of restaurants (many cuisines: Japanese, Korean, American, Chinese, Indonesian etc) and more!  And everything was inexpensive.

Most of the famous franchises (like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Burger King, Starbucks, etc etc….) were there.  I could even find Beard Papa\’s ! (cream puff franchise started from Osaka Japan)  You could get almost anything in Jakarta.  That was a surprise!

Since I was in Indonesia, I wanted to try original Indonesian food.  Nasi Lemak? Gado Gado? (are they Indonesian?)  Unfortunately, however, I was taken to Chinese restaurants most of the time.  I’m actually sick of Chinese:(  I eat it in Perth all the time!  I wanted to try something exotic.  So I asked them (in laws) to go to an Indonesian restaurant.  Then, they took me to this place called “Java Kitchen”.

It’s a franchise restaurant and this place serves Java food.  Nutty peanuts sauce Satay, Tahu Kacang, Sop Buntut (oxtail soup), mixed plates with a few dishes…  I had a mixed plate of coconut rice, Ayam Goreng (deep-fried chicken), Kacang (peanuts), Sambal (chili), boiled egg etc.  The sambal was really really spicy!!  I love spicy food and usually eat sambal at home in Perth too, but chili sauce in Indonesia was much spicier.  Do they use different type of chili or something? Anyway, even though I couldn’t finish those sambal, I enjoyed whole dish 🙂  Hot climate, hot food.  I love the combination!

Talking about chili sauce, I want to mention about KFC in Indonesia again.  (my previous post for KFC is here)  Yes we went to KFC again to enjoy those chicken with steamed rice.  There were 2 huge bottles of chili sauce at the counter so that customers can pour on their plates as much as they want.  According to my observations, the avarage amount of chili sauce people got on their plate was 1/2cup (125ml):1 piece of chicken + chips + steamed rice. :p


There was a place where I really wanted to go back to on this trip.  This cafe sells special coffee, called Kopi Luwak : coffee berries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Indonesian Civet.  This process takes place on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago.  It sounds little gross to drink something came from animal’s droppings, but this coffee is actually very expensive product. (few hundreds buck per pound (450g)!)

When I went to this cafe last time I didn’t try “pure” Kopi Luwak, so I went there again to try one this time.  One cup of Kopi Luwak was about AUS$7.00, I think.  It had nutty rich flavor.  Whilst drinking I was thinking “who came up with this idea??” :p  So curious…

You can browse more photos of my trip in Jakarta here