Jakarta: Seribu Rasa

30 May 2014

After attending Mass at a nearby church, we decided to hike over to Seribu Rasa for lunch. It was a bit of a walk to get there and coupled with the midday heat, it felt like forever. But the meal we had was well worth the effort.

Lamb Honey Sauce (IDR 97,000)
Fried baby lamb ribs sautéed in special spices and honey sauce

This was good! Meat was very tender and the sauce had just the right amount of sweetness.

Garlic Poiling (IDR 55,000)
Chinese spinach sautéed with garlic

One of the very few vegetable dishes (that isn't deep fried) I actually wanted to snack on. That tasty.

Es Campur Seribu Rasa (IDR 43,000)
Mix of avocado, jackfruit, pineapple, coconut and red pearl topped with shaved ice and swirl of house special mango syrup

I found this to be refreshingly light and the perfect way to end the meal.

We were there on a Sunday and the local lunch crowd was out in full force so reservations are definitely recommended.

The Mayflower, Jakarta - Marriott Executive Apartments

25 May 2014

My husband had a business trip to Jakarta so it was the office that arranged for the hotel. The room was comfortable in the sense that there's a lot of space for just two people, but given a choice, I would book elsewhere. Here's why:

1. Breakfast is very basic and not great. I've had much better meals at smaller hotels that are not even part of an international chain.

2. We had dinner at the café one night and when we needed our bill, no one was around. I tried calling out to the staff inside the kitchen three times, but they could not hear me. Good thing the front desk agent a few meters away saw me and gave our bill, otherwise we could have left without paying.

This happened again when I returned the next day to place an order. The staff were nowhere to be found when I entered the café and had to call out "Hello, anybody home?" a few times before someone attended to me.

3. The soap dish had old soap leftover by previous guests and the toilet needed cleaning.

4. Kitchen drawers need repair. Not in picture: the gap cover below the oven fell off every time I opened the oven door.

5. Thick dust that can easily be reached by a vacuum nozzle and a water dispenser with what I assumed were coffee stains. Take note this is after I wiped some off. It then makes you wonder how long the water has been sitting there.

6. The refrigerator shelves needed a bit of wiping, but that was minor compared to the state of the oven:

7. There were no mosquitoes, but something always seemed to be biting me whenever I was in the room.

8. I called Guest Services on two separate occasions to ask how much local phone charges cost and was told by two different people that it's less than IDR 5000 per minute to a landline. I made a seven (7) second phone call to my husband's office and was charged IDR 11,217. Take note that the phone just rang five (5) times and I didn't even get to talk to anyone.

9. There is not much nearby in terms of food or malls except for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlet on the ground floor along with a Japanese restaurant, but both are closed at 8 PM and on weekends.

In addition, the traffic makes you not want to get out because even at 10:30 AM or 3 PM, you can easily rack up a rather huge cab bill. I think only on Sundays and public holidays can you get relief from the traffic jams.

There is a pharmacy (Guardian), but that too is closed during weekends. The only silver lining is the small convenience store that is open everyday until 9 PM.

So was there anything about the hotel that I did like? Yes. First is that they had more TV channel options than other hotels I've been to (which I believe is typical of serviced apartments). And second, the staff were friendly - when they're around.


- Grab one of the hotel's business cards at the lobby and keep it in your wallet. Some taxi drivers do not believe that there is a Marriott at the Indofood Tower and will refuse to leave until they've made sure you understand that.

- If coming from Plaza Senayan or Pacific Place Mall, best to ask the taxi driver to drop you off at Wisma Nugra Santana which is the building across the street from the Indofood Tower and take the overhead foot bridge back to the hotel. Otherwise, you'll have to go all the way to the rotunda near Grand Indonesia to make a U-turn. The highway unfortunately does not have breaks in-between and the traffic is so terrible that what is supposed to be a 5 minute trip, ends up taking close to an hour.

About This Blog

20 May 2014

This is going to sound like I've been living in a cave, but I recently joined Bloglovin (which in turn lead me to Expats Blog) and belatedly discovered so many interesting sites!

Many of the ones I'm currently following have situations similar to mine in that they live in a foreign country. I am aware this is not earth-shattering news, but I've found comfort in reading their posts and wish that I had known about them when we first moved to Singapore.

To be quite honest, I haven't really paid much attention to this blog. It functions as a repository for our monthly activities and that's about it. But thanks to my new reading lists, I now have a lot more ideas on what I can do with Motley Blend.

Well, better late than never, right?

Ho Chi Minh: Au Parc

15 May 2014

Another place with great atmosphere, conveniently located near the Reunification Palace and has free wifi.

Cured Ham Baguette
With Melted Swiss Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes and Rocket
VND 140,000

This was Abbie's meal - simple but good. The ham itself was really flavorful and made me wish I had ordered this instead.

Chicken Kebabs
In Garlic, Lemon and Parsley Marinade. Served with Skinny Fries, Salad and Tzatsiki
VND 160,000

Our server recommended this dish, but the only thing I could think of while eating it was how Café Mediterranean's version was so much better. They also did not have any garlic sauce which was too bad since it would have made things more palatable.

Ho Chi Minh: Lunch Lady

10 May 2014

"A broth that the gods were suckled on..."

That was how celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain described the soup made by the Lunch Lady when he featured it on his show No Reservations. He had heard that it was "amazing" and when he tried the broth for himself, he had this to say:

"...like all truly great soups, it soon becomes center of the universe. You pass through an event horizon of pleasure, moments picked off in mouthfuls, everything else ceases to exist."

Soup of the Day (VND 40,000)

As far as I could tell, there are no options at this food stall, as they only serve one dish. You pay, then wait for the soup to be delivered to your table. So, how was it? It was good soup - light and full of flavor, but it's not something I would move to Vietnam for. Then again, I've never been fond of noodle soup.

Tip: Sit at a table underneath the canopy. We sat outside it and when the wind blew, a lot of debris fell down right into our bowls. Good thing I had already finished eating.

Ho Chi Minh: Temple Club

05 May 2014

Many guidebooks have described the restaurant as the "most atmospheric" and recommended that people visit for the ambience alone. We agree - this place is great for date night! As to the food, I liked it well enough though Abigail was not impressed. She prefers the food over at Nhà Hàng Ngon.

Temple Smoothie (VND 100,000)

I forgot what the ingredients were in this drink, but I do remember how SOUR it was! I still shudder at the thought - I had to ask for sugar syrup at least thrice.

Temple Club Noodle Soup (VND 130,000)

Mì Quảng in Vietnamese, it's made with shrimps, rice crackers and peanuts. You're supposed to top it off with the herbs and sprouts that's served separately, but I prefer it without. All in all, it's not bad, but we'll probably order something else next time.

Temple Club Platter (VND 150,000)

I liked the rolls, though I was thinking that they had been made with too many vegetables. (Clearly, being a vegetarian is not in my future.)

Prawn in Tamarind Sauce (VND 220,000)

Another one of those "tasty but not spectacular" dishes. Maybe better eaten with rice?

Worth a visit? Yes and the prices aren't as upscale as the décor.