Monday, January 27, 2014

Nasrul's 16th Birthday in Jakarta

Admittedly Nasrul has been spoiled with too much showers of love beside an overly expressed attention. It was shown wholeheartedly in the way we celebrated his birthday all these years. For his 16th birthday bash, we, rather I have planned to reunite with Dilla's family as a remembrance to his best birthday party in Islamabad in 2009 with them at their place. Coincidentally, Nasrul's birthday falls on the same date with Dilla's and Rizal wedding anniversary. Hence, it is more meaningful for both of our families to celebrate 25th December together.

Rainbow cake for the 16th Birthday

Though he loves birthday party, Nasrul dislikes attention and affection. I have informed him earlier on that the itinerary will includes the party with the girls. He said okay but reminded me not to overdo it  as he wishes to have a simple and quiet birthday party, being 16th. We did not informed the girls (Zuri & Zara) about it but we bought the cake following clue from the girls mother. The cake makes a lot of different as never ever before we purchased a rainbow cake, even on a normal day.

Instead of giving him present, we bought bracelets from Accessorize for the girls
What was missing was the girls father. After Nasrul has blown the candles, the candle was light up again for Zara to blew but she was too shy to do it (maybe because she understand that it was not her birthday) but her brother was more than happily to do it on her behalf. Can you feel the loves on the table that night?

So much drama on the table which makes the cakes tasted even sweeter
Being 16th marked a great important milestone to us, the parent. Husband was always wondering when Nasrul would decide to really grow up as an adolescence rather being our apple boy. He finally chose to be 1 after entering his 15th years of age. To our surprised he chose to occupy a room alone after spending 15 years sharing our bed. He even hang out with his group of friends and they even have a sleep over at his and at their place. My boy is finally a teenager. 

Received a 16th birthday kisses from the father

I was hopeful that they (means, Dilla's children and our children) would remain the same friendship in many more years to come. The same wishes that I had for them and Schamil. Because you need to nourish a friendship, the one worth to be protected should you want to spend time with them in a good and bad times, forever.

Pool party the day before the night party was held

As the birthday was celebrated on 23rd December 2013, we had a nice family dinner on 25th December 2013 at BSC (Bangsar Shopping Complex). The dinner took place in his favorite restaurant, Chillis.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jakarta - MONAS

Indonesia proclaimed it's independence from the Dutch in 1945, 17th August. 17th August 1945 declaration date marked the start of the diplomatic and armed-resistance of the Indonesian National Revolution. If India and Malaysia received independence via non-resistance route from the British, the Indonesian has fought theirs against the forces of the Netherlands and pro-Dutch civilians, until the Dutch officially accepted Indonesia's independence in 1949. Only in 2005 Netherland had decided to accept de facto 17th August 1945 as official Indonesia's independence date. 

MONAS is a short form of 2 Indonesia's word from Monumen Nasional, or the National Monument of Indonesia which is located in the centre of Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta. The 132 metre Monas tower symbolising the fight for Indonesia's independence, built to commemorate the struggle for their independence. The then President Sukarno directed in 1950 for the construction of the monument which was only commenced in 1961  and opened to public in 1975. Both the monument and the museum are open daily from 8 am till 3 pm. Kindly take note that it closed on the last Monday of the month. Remarks: I better take some good photos and blog about Malaysia Merdeka Square 1 day.

The 4 of us visited MONAS on 17th December 2013 while waiting for Dilla's to finish her works and adjourned for dinner. We were there for nearly 1 hour, posing for photos, looking at other visitor's (the locals especially) and shop a little as a bazaar was operating near the monument that day. Unlike any other visitors who will made effort to at least appreciating the miniatures of events (dioramas) set place by the National History Museum or presence at the beautiful Independence Hall, we chose not to due to the limit of times.

What we saw that day outside the monument suffice to satisfy our needs for a short visit. Photos I took does tells a lot of stories behind the monument itself, most importantly about a very unique Indonesian people. For some unknown reason, people says that Malaysian and Indonesian has a love and hate relationship. I have no comments to offer as I saw the same thing happened between the Indians and the Pakistanis though they are blood brothers.  

Visitors are charged to take photo with the soldier or the "Pocong" ghost but I made an illegal shot from afar hence it's free. What was given by an illegal photograper (means, me) was merely a sweet smile and a polite hello. That will do for those who expecting money for their efforts in putting the costume.

I really enjoyed myself taking photos of my 2 children that day. They both were in a good mood, enjoying the crowds and a lovely evening walks. Monas is topped by a 14.5 tons bronze Fire of Independence, which in actual fact containing the lift engine. Visitors may have a chance to view the whole Jakarta city from the observation deck seated at 115m from ground level using a dedicated lift, beside of course an emergency staircase. 

I have included in my itinerary to visit (meaning be physically presence inside) Jakarta Cathedral and Istiqlal Mosque. The minaret of Istiglal mosque and the top towers of Jakarta Cathedral are seem from the above photo zoom from the Monas. It would be wonderful to have a closer shot to the house of God, rather from the extended zoom. 

The last few photos before heading back to the car park are shared below. We passed by rows of clothes bazaar at the car park areas but did not stopped by as children these days are not interested to buy souvenirs of the visited place. We stop buying since few years as it became wasted in the wardrobe though it's nice to have something printed from the place that we visited as a souvenirs.

I have not many photos of myself at the Monas but the 1 below was snapped by my husband enable me to at least record a nice day that I truly enjoyed during the trip.

Photo Courtesy by le hubs

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Factory Outlets in Bandung

Shopaholics pose in front of the Heritage Factory outlet

I was reading quite a number of recommendation from the web of where to stay and what would be the nearest place to enjoy shoppings in Bandung, months before our visit. Beside getting some good visitor's reviews from the Trip Advisor's web, a blogger "" has suggested 10 factory outlet that you may want to explore and tips while shopping down there. As soon as we we arrived at Jalan Dago, all my family members voted to shop as lunch can wait. So I had to wait while dreaming there's a nice couch for me to rest my head. They should be considerate to a weird person like me by providing a couch at a nice and a cosy corner, with coffee machine perhaps. The first stop was made at Polo Ralph Lauren factory outlet.
Bored selfie looking pose

The boys were overjoyed when their father said they can chose a Polo shirt each person as a treat from him. A night before my husband purchased a polo shirt in Trans Studio Bandung with little discount but that day was a 50% offers. He was pleased and he makes the boys pleased too. After they have done with the purchased they made me pleased too as I enjoyed another round of Sundanese food in Sambara, a fine dining restaurant seated close by from Jalan Dago.

Family pose using a fish eye application

After the meal, the driver took us back to Jalan Dago. My husband is a big fan of Roger Federer and if possible, he wanted to have what Roger wears while playing tennis, from Roger's shoe to Roger's tennis shirt. We had so much difficulties looking for Nike outlet in Trans Studio Bandung but couldn't find any Fedex's attire. I hope he shall find something in this outlet, if not, there will be another long search in Jakarta.

Large Nike's outlet in Jalan Dago

Having a large family group of 6 would be a little bit difficult as their interest and fashion style differs in many ways. At first, we let the head of the family chose where and what he wanted to buy, thereafter with his good mood, the rest of us can enjoy our shopping. We shall be granted and be entertained by him like a queen and prince of the day.

Nasrul's the apple boy in front of Apple Store next to Nike's outlet

Nasrul is way too different from the rest as he is not interested in his attire, he wears what he  has and what are available in his wardrobe. He doesn't care much of his appearance unlike Nazhif and Naim whom so much into Zara and Topman brand. But Nasrul is a gadget boy who loves anything related to computer and accessories. He loves Apple Store and he thought he can con persuade me to buy him an Iphone 5C or Iphone 4s. He has no luck that day as I was not in a mood of negotiating being made too wait too long in Jalan Dago.

So, he adjourned inside the Nike's outlet with the rest

This is what I did, selfie, selfie, selfie...
It was not that bad when we were in Jalan Riau the following day. The hotel is nearby and I easily excused my self and disappeared without anyone noticing. In addition, it's more varieties of outlets where it offers shopping for the whole family under 1 roof, especially in the Heritage. Plentiful of choice for children's, teenagers and adults both male and female.

Jalan Riau greens ambience made a pleasant walk
There's also a nice cafe inside Heritage and Naim kept buying a chocolate buns as it was too damn nice. As for me I preferred a local durian ice-cream and street food where it was the only time they allowed me to enjoy it during our 9 days vacation.

Yummylicious Durian ice-cream

Special bakso mee opposite of the Summit and sweet Teh Botol

Hope you find this entry helping in planning your shopping itinerary in Bandung.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Minang Food - Natrabu Jakarta, Indonesia

My best friend, Dilla's root is Minangkabau as she came from Negeri sembilan, 1 of the 13th states forming the harmonious Asiatic country of Malaysia. When hubby mentioned the most recommended restaurant ""Natrabu" to her, she immediately nodded her awareness about the place, located in Sabang, Central Jakarta. We had dinner a night there before our departure home after a 9 day vacation in Indonesia.
Attraction corner of the place - Minangkabau Dais
The restaurant is a well-known fact to Malaysian as our present Prime Minister, Datuk Najib and the previous PM, Tun Dr Mahathir and Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi  had their reception at this restaurant. The restaurant has a reputation that sticks with old Minangkabau traditions which originally comes from West Sumatra. You may view the Minangkabau decoration from the shared photos of this entry. 

So ready to eat! 

Syahirah recorded her visit with our PM's photo inside the frame behind
Natrabu opened this place serving Minang food in July 1967 where it originally accommodated only 20 guests with 5 tables. Over the years, they have grown at the same place (at No. 29A, Jalan H. Agus Salim, Sabang, Centre Jakarta) from 20 guests to 640 pax maximum. It receives numerous awards including letter of recommendation from the Malaysian Embassy.

The Minangkabau groom and waitress
Various of dishes were spread on the tables for us to chose that night. Everything look good and tasty. One must remember that was how Minang food and Nasi Padang are serves to the customer. If you touches the whole things on the table, it means you wishes to eat the whole lot, hence it all will charged to you. Be careful and dont fall into the trap. Just touch and eat what you really wanted to, then the charges is much fairer.  

Tasty food in a clean environment place

Closer view of the dishes, some of it

In overall perspective, what we enjoyed most during our vacation to Indonesia was the food. Similarly when we were in Korea, we love to eat out and love the taste of how the Korean meticulously prepared their food. I have shared the link to their restaurant, above. You may click the lick should you want to know more about the place and I hope you will enjoy the food as much as we did.

We posed before we ate

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sundanese Food, Sambara Restaurant in Bandung & Warung Sunda Ampera 2 in Jakarta


We had another marvelous Sundanese meals for lunch in 1 of those break when we were in Bandung. The vehichles driver that we rent that day took us to Sambara in Jalan Muaraajeuran, the restaurant that is on Trip Advisor's recommended list. They have another outlet in Trans Studio Bandung. Beside Bandung, they also opened a branch in Jakarta, Serang, Ciberon, Sumatera and Kalimantang.

Beside an excellent food, the place has been decorated in a pure ethnic Sunda. The restaurant assistance are all wearing their traditional Sunda attire, which properly suited the environment. At the entrance foyer, a miniature wood dancer puppet and musical instruments are on display. Not forgotten theTrip Advisor and Google signs showing their participation in both webs on the international level, due to responses from both local and foreign visitors.

The food buffet is strategically located near the kitchen, hence, no smell of cooking is presence anywhere at the large dining hall. Variety of main dishes ready to be selected for them to send to the kitchen for final cooking were in display. Sunda's main favorite dish is Garumi Fish (freshwater fish), hence, coming to Sundanese restaurant it's a must to try dish for everyone.

Below display items are the green and red chili sambal and fresh vegetables for customer's to pick them up as part of the meals. It's more or less Asian salads in hot chili paste.


I first saw the photo of another Sundanese famous restaurant from my best friend photo collection in the Facebook. When Dilla moved to Jakarta in April 2013, she started to share quite a number of food varieties photos in Jakarta, coming from all different variety culture of Indonesia, which are very rich,indeed. She promised to take me there if I ever visited her. True to her words, the first day I met her in Jakarta, we had dinner at the said restaurant, Warung Sunda Ampera 2. I'm sharing the google map link directing you to the place, located in Central Jakarta.

The varieties of food selections on the display table of Ampera looks more exotic than a fine dining  of Sambara Bandung. I was amaze to see the simple shop (warung) and the ambience. This is not an AC restaurant as it's a merely a middle class eating place but the taste are equally good with Sambara. I assured you will have no regret eating at this place.

The cooked meals ready to eat with fresh vegetables and red chili sambal
What most important to me was to record a special moment with my best friend, Dilla. How I treasure our friendship.
Love this moment!

We tried Teh Botol (sweet tea in a bottle) for the first time

Last photo before saying my farewell
Hope you enjoy the photo and would 1 day visit both places that I recommend in this entry. Adios...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hotel Amaroosa Bandung

My family members has voted that out of the 4 hotels that we stayed during our last vacation in Indonesia (Jakarta & Bandung), Hotel Amaroossa Bandung was their most favorite. Nevertheless, the best lodging ever was our last 2 nights in Jakarta accommodated by my best friend, Dilla at her place. Her company and her 3 gorgeous kids talks has left a special memoirs in our heart.

2 adjoining comfy rooms for 6 of us 
Naim was assigned to choose and book the hotel through "" and he received quite a number of complaints and scolding for his selection at Hotel 55 and Majesty Hotel. He was assuring all of us that Amaroosa would be our best adventures ever after Hotel Aryaduta in Jakarta. In addition, the hotel is located at Jalan Acheh, a very strategic area, i.e. within walking distance to the famous factory outlet, Heritage, Cascade, Rumah Mode and Secret. It is convenience to shop around as the factory outlet is closed at 10.00pm beside a plentiful of foods outlet within the neighborhood.  

Unique sofa at the GF lift lobby

Amaroossa Bandung is easily accessible from the Husein Sastranegara Airport and train station about 25 minutes or less in travel time. Due to it's strategic location, we are easily maneuver our way from Amaroossa boutique hotel to the shopping havens beside visiting the natural sights in Bandung area. We checked in at about 12 noon and were told that our room shall only be ready by 2pm, hence, we straightaway headed towards Factory outlets street after the above photo was snapped.

Special welcoming treat for me

Syahirah, Nasrul & I excused our self from the shopping spree and rested in the room. We were amazed with the sight and happily taking photos before the bed is ruin by the boys. The rooms decoration matching with the hotel serene ambiance of purplish decor. Even a welcoming cake came in purple color. 

She wishes to decorate her new room in the new house that way
If you open the Amaroossa Hotel link that I shared above, you may find this from their intro page "There is nothing to it when falling in love. It's so effortless, so natural. Staying in love, however, is a different matter. You have to go the extra mile or your chances of having a lasting relationship with your partner are small. Why not increase the odds with a romantic getaway in Bandung, the "Paris of Java"? Here you'll find The Amaroossa Hotel, where you can relish luscious meals and fall into each other's arms in enchanting accommodations. Such moments could be the start of the love that lasts a lifetime."

I, too wanted the same thing for my future bedroom

Someone was caught stealing my purple slice - the main focus was the balcony
I would definitely recommends this hotel to the love birds and/or the newly weds as their romantic getaway place. The international buffet breakfast were truly enjoyed by all of us. It's quite a crowd on 21st December 2013. We were told that Bandung is mostly busy during weekends as most of Jakarta residents Jakarta would choose to have a weekends getaway in a cold area of Bandung, away from Jakarta dusts and C02.

Scroll down the photos and you may agree with what I say. Thank you for agreeing :)

All of 4 children told their father to finish their bathroom exactly like this photo

Jungle theme swimming pool to cool yourself and feel the peace!