On The Table Café

Friday, October 30, 2015

On The Table
118 Pasir Panjang Rd, 118541

Contact: 9780 8094
Website: http://onthetable.com.sg/
Nearest MRT: Pasir Panjang

Welcome to the cafe where Night Owl Cinematics film their videos!
#NOCfanatic

I love starting off my mornings with a good cup of English Breakfast Tea ($5.50)
- hot water is refillable upon request

Iced Mocha for the chocolate + coffee lovers ($5.50)

And here comes the hearty breakfast!

The Big One ($18)
"Pork sausage, honey glazed bacon, ham, swiss mushrooms, mixed salad,
brioche toast, your choice of sunny side or scrambled eggs"



Ratings: 4/5

My two cents:
I love love looooooveee this cafe!!! My fetish for it has nothing to do with the fact that NOC films their videos there... *ahem!*

I went on an early Saturday morning, H drove both us there. For all drivers who are terrible at parallel parking, it is my honour to share with you that there are vertical parking lots available nearby. The parking space is less than a minute's walk away from the cafe, and do note that it is open air.

The drinks on the cafe menu had nothing special worth an extra mention, and I must admit that for such ordinary drinks the price tag which came with it seemed a little too over the top.

The food, in contrast, is definitely worth raving over! I love my hearty breakfast, but this one was not just hearty. It was that, and delicious, and price-reasonable!!! Like c'mon man, such a huge plate with so many things on it for just 18 bucks!

Do not underestimate the portion of food on this plate! I made the mistake of ordering a whole plate to myself, and that constituted to my regret in not having been able to try more of the dishes which seem delectable by appearance!

I would recommend for duos to share a plate of The Big One and to order another side or brunch entrée to share. You would then get to try other items on the menu and avoid becoming too full like how I was!

Trips Under $500: Guide to 3D2N in Bandung, Indonesia

Monday, October 19, 2015


Two months ago, I was desperate for a short (and CHEAP) weekend vacation as I needed refuge from the hustling Singapore life. I did some quick research and found my destination: Bandung, Indonesia.

If you type "Bandung" into Google, other than the rose-pink coloured drink that appears, you will also see the phrase: "the Paris of Indonesia". Bandung earned that title due to the past dwelling of Dutch colonials in the city and the presence of luxurious hotels, restaurants, cafes and European boutiques within the area.

In this guide, you will get a quick glance of my 3D2N experience in the Paris of Indonesia!


Bandung Airport — Husein Sastranegara International Airport

Be prepared to walk on an air strip, and get yelled at to make way quickly for an oncoming plane!

Bandung has a small international airport with an air strip that can probably contain only about 3-5 planes at each time. There is no DFS there so you can forget about the liquor/cosmetics/perfume shopping.

However at the departure area (can't call it a hall because it is too small), there is a stall selling some local snacks, a small ralph lauren polo store to spend your remaining rupiahs, and a quaint cafe to get a quick food fix before your plane arrives.

Upon your arrival at Bandung, if you do have checked-in luggage, be mindful to collect your baggage right after you are done at the immigration counters. There is NO conveyor belt as the airport is too small to contain one. Thus all luggages from the aircraft carrier is placed beside a wall, with a few airport staff standing guard.

When you next arrive at the airport to take the plane that takes you AWAY from Bandung, prepare your boarding pass in advance. You have to show it to the security guard who will be standing in front of the only entrance into the airport. He checks the boarding pass so as a way of controlling the crowd entering the premises, and preventing the entry of any pick-pockets/thieves

Beside the guard is a huge-ass X-ray machine and lots of security tapes, so you can't miss him.

If you are ever in doubt and feeling lost in the messy airport, you can try using this line "Di mana check-in?". It means "where to check-in?".

Airlines flying direct from Singapore to Bandung includes AirAsia and SilkAir.

At my time of booking, the pricing of the plane tix was as such:
  • SilkAir: SGD 230/pax
  • AirAsia: SGD 130/pax (excluding meals-on-board, luggage and seat selection)

The pricing as stated above included the base fare, taxes and airport fees, fuel surcharge and service fee. Credit card charges were excluded in both stated prices.

I took AirAsia and my flight back to Singapore was delayed by over an hour. No one informed us of the flight's delay. We were left waiting in anxiety, and our eyes were going green with envy as we saw all the SilkAir flights take off on time.

Tip: To ease your nerves while waiting for your fucking late plane to arrive, grab a pack of fries from the cafe at the departure hall! The price is a tad absurd as compared to what you've been paying for food within the city, but it does work wonders in calming one's nerves!


Accommodation

Amaroossa Hotel Bandung
Jl. Aceh No. 71A, Jawa Barat 40115, Indonesia

Contact: +62 22 4222221
Website: http://www.amaroossahotel.com/bandung/


For my 2 nights in Bandung, I chose to reside in Amaroossa, one of the top notch hotels in Bandung. The hotel has been rated 4-stars by TripAdvisor for the past few years!!!

If you book via Amaroosa's website, it is about $110/night (sans any promotion). If you book via Expedia or any other managing websites, it can cost from $80-100/night. Do check Amaroossa's website at the point of visit, just in case they might have any fantastic hotel deals going on at that moment!

I booked my hotel stay from AirAsiaGo.com (linked to Expedia) and it costed me $80/night. It included free wifi within the room, daily breakfast buffet and a one-way concierge ride. For the concierge ride, you will be driven by a uniformed driver in a luxurious 4-wheel drive MPV.

If you decide to make use of Amaroossa's airport transportation again, it would cost about $11/trip.

I paid the $11 and took up the concierge ride for my trip back to the airport for the sake of convenience and safety; it is too much of a hassle to bargain with the local taxi drivers on the price and to have to worry for my safety.

Deluxe Room at Amaroossa Hotel Bandung

Bathroom with rain shower

Complimentary toilet amenities (such as shower caps, toothbrush, toothpaste and etc) are provided for. There are two bath towels available as well, but no floor mat nor hand towel.

If you want more bath towels, any floor mats or hand towels, you gotta call the housekeeping for it. These extra linens will be brought to you at no extra charges.

Do remember to tip the hotel staff who brings it to you as the city relies heavily on tips and if you want excellent and efficient service from the staff for the next few days of your stay. As for the amount of tip to be given, a simple IDR 10,000-20,000 would do.

Breakfast Buffet

I LOVE BREAKFAST BUFFETS!!!! Especially those with an egg counter, and Amarossa has one!

The breakfast buffet at Amaroossa has a decent selection of food available. There are more Asian than Western options available, however they do serve pancakes upon request.

A traditional Javanese drink

Mornings at Bandung are pretty chilly, so do pack suitable clothings for a trip there! I had my hoodie on but I could still feel the chill in the air despite being indoors. Thank god for this awesome traditional drink because it helped to warm me up instantaneously!

It had essence of ginger, gula java, and some other Indonesian stuff in it (just look at all the glass bottles in the picture... a little bit of everything there went into my tiny glass of drink).


Entertainment

When at Bandung, there are two main activities that a tourist can do:
  1. Shop till you drop at their factory outlet malls
  2. Go for scenic tours

I chose the latter of the two.

The highlight of most scenic trips in Bandung should be a trip to either of Bandung's two most iconic volcanic mountains — Kawah Putih or Tangkuban Perahu. My itinerary, on the other hand, strayed away from both volcanoes. It was a choice made due to unforeseen circumstances.

The weekend that I went, 14-16 August 2015, it was Indonesia's Independence Day and every Indonesian was out celebrating! As a result, the traffic on the roads was terrible. It was congested everywhere.
(Tip: Stay away from Indonesia during their National Day!)

My hired driver for the day recommended to skip both volcanoes today as we would be burning precious time on the road just waiting to get up to the mountains. He gave us a couple of suggestions on where else that we could go, and so here are the places where we went instead:

Floating Market Lembang

"Not your ordinary floating market"

Floating Market Lembang
Jl. Grand Hotel No. 33 E, Lembang, Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Contact: +62 22 2787766
Opening hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm
"Keju" means "Cheese", "Ayam" means "Chicken", "Susu" means "Milk"

BEST. SATAY. EVER.

Cooking these sticks of satay couldn't be more traditional. They were essentially smoked and barbequed till they were thoroughly cooked.

Each satay was infused with that irresistible smoky taste and combined together with the sweetness of the meat... It was pure heaven. MUST-TRY AT THE FLOATING MARKET!

$3 for 10 sticks of satay.

There are various types of meat to choose from: Chicken, Mutton, Rabbit (yes you read it right, rabbit!)

Pay $0.50 for a pack of geese-feed and knock yourself out scattering at this bunch of honking geese!

Baby bunnies!!!!!!! *heart-eyes emoji*

Pay an entrance fee of $2/pax and you'll get 2 sticks of carrot to feed the roaming bunnies

If you are super psyched on going for the whole feeding-the-bunnies experience, be prepared to chase the bunnies around the huge pen. Or, you can pick the bunnies who are lazing around the pen, waiting for excited visitors (like me) who are more than eager to stuff in the carrots in their faces.

Here is a tip: The bunnies prefer to nom on the green stalk of the carrot than the actual orange flesh of the carrot itself, so you'll get more luck that way when finding a bunny that is keen on munching your carrot.

Her fur was so soft... I literally melted while stroking her back!


Strawberry Farm

Happy Farm
Raya Lembang 175D, West Java 40153, Indonesia

Contact: +62 899-9020-506
Website: http://happyfarm.co.id/

I finally fulfilled one of the items on my bucket list: Strawberry picking!!!

At Happy Farm, it costs $2/pax to enter the strawberry picking fields and the ticket includes a cup of cold freshly pressed strawberry juice. The strawberries that you picked will be weighed and costs $7/kg.

I threw on a farmer's hat and got to work like a legit farmer, choosing all of the biggest and reddest strawberries within sight!


I picked enough strawberries to fill the bottom of my basket and so for the dozen of self-picked strawberries, it cost about $1.50. The taste was a mixture of sweet and sourness which I love!!!! Furthermore, extra love due to the effort of handpicking these babies myself!

Note: Thoroughly WASH these strawberries before consumption. They contain a layer of pesticides on them that is not to be taken lightly.


Dusun Bambu

Dusun Bambu
Jl. Kolonel Masturi KM 11
Situ Lembang, Cisarua, Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40551, Indonesia

Contact: +62 22 82782020
Website: http://dusunbambu.com/

In Dusun Bambu, there are various types of activities to be done and different dining venues to experience.

To name a few of the available activities: knife-throwing, archery, shooting, canoeing, a petting farm, strawberry-picking (yes you can have your strawberry-picking experience here!), and a bamboo playground which would appeal to any child under the age of 12.

As for the dining experience, there are two main dining venues that is sure to capture any Instagrammer's attention!

1. Dine in these nest-like huts

These round-shaped nest huts set on a tree are actually rooms for guests to dine in!!

These rooms were created by Lutung Kasarung, a restaurant within Dusun Bambu, and it aims to provide their guests with an extraordinary dining experience that will leave them talking for ages. Only guests who purchase food from the restaurant are able to dine in the nests.

The types of cuisine served by the restaurant ranges from international to the traditional Sundanese food. This restaurant is opened from Friday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. The restaurant accepts on-the-spot reservation, and it also takes guests on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Be warned though that to enjoy this unique experience, you might wanna put aside some extra rupiah.


2. Dine on a lake

Saung Purbasari Restaurant presents diners with the wonderful experience of enjoying one's Sundanese meal while sitting in a bamboo gazebo hut before an astonishing lake.

Each gazebo sits about 4-12 people and has a different theme to each hut. It is opened only from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 10pm. Reservation is mandatory due to its popularity and limited number of huts available.

Without saying, do put aside extra rupiahs for this breathtaking dining experience.


Dining

Dakken Cafe


Dakken Cafe
Jl. Banda No. 30, Citarum, Bandung Wetan, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Contact: +62 22 4209506

This was my first meal in Bandung, and my first glance at their food prices.

My first reaction? "WOW. Just give me one of every item on the menu please."

The appetisers ranged from $1.50 to $3.50. The mains were priced from $2.50 to $5, depending on which kind of cuisine that you would be going for.

Pisang goreng keju: Banana fritters topped with grated cheese (SGD 1.70)

Mushroom soup (SGD 2)

Special nasi goreng: Indonesian style fried rice, fried chicken wing, keropok (SGD 2.50)

Nasi goreng kepiting: Fried rice with crabmeat, bean sprouts, garlic and chilli (SGS 3.50)


Burgerocks

Burgerocks
Jl. Ir. H. Juanda, No. 91, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Contact: +62 22 92587999
Instagram: https://instagram.com/burgerocks/

Opened by local Indonesians who gave their own twist to the ordinary cheeseburger; I've never had quite a burger like this before!

While I was hesitant about giving the burgers a try, for fear of a terrible stomache and multiple runs to the loo throughout the night, H was on the other hand extremely excited and eager to take a bite out of these burgers.

I caved in and we both bought a burger each, along with a side of fries to share.

Let me briefly summarise my opinion on the burgers:

Screw my previous concerns about the burgers!!! BEST decision ever made in Bandung!
Also, Indonesia has the best garlic chilli sauce that I have ever had! Double the spiciness which goes soooooooo good with fries!


This burger joint is da bombz!

Double Cheez burger: Normal burger bun, beef patty, vegetables, topped off with rocky sauce and double slices of cheese! (SGD 3.30)

Almighty burger: Charcoal burger bun, double beef patty, vegetables, smoked beef, egg, cheese slice, topped with rocky sauce (SGD 4)
(***Highly recommended!!!)

Kampung Daun

Kampung Daun
Jalan Sersan Bajuri KM. 4,7, Villa Triniti, Desa Lembang
Lembang, Jawa Barat 40154, Indonesia

Contact: +62 22 2784573
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11am to 12am

Rated #7 on TripAdvisor's list of "Best Bandung Restaurants"

I sat before a waterfall, in an attap hut and had to whack a *kentongan loudly/like-a-mad-person if I wanted to hail for any wait staff.

Whacking a kentongan for realistic reasons is an experience that everyone has got to try once in their life. This is definitely one of the coolest restaurants that I have EVER been to!

*Ketongan: A wooden slit drum — refer to the image above, the wooden object hanging down on the left side of the hut

It was there that I discovered my love for freshly squeezed strawberry juice

It was über relaxing as I ate to the crashing sound of water against granite rocks. H and I just sat in our hut, listening to the sound of the water, the chirping sound of crickets and the rustling of leaves in the distance.

Ayam Penyet: Spicy chicken with basil served with steamed rice (SGD 3.50)

Note: This Ayam Penyet is damn fucking spicy. Not suitable for the faint-hearted!

Nasi Kukus Kampung Daun: Traditional coconut flavoured rice with salted fish, bitter fruit, served with fried versions of chicken, tofu, fermented soy bean and lalab sambal (SGD 5.75)

Sate Ayam: Marinated chicken satay served with steamed rice and peanut sauce (SGD 4)

Note: Prices of drinks ranged from SGD 0.50 (hot tea) to SGD 3.50 (freshly squeezed juice)


Other things that you might wanna know

Sim Card/3G

2GB 3G for SGD 8 only. Whaatttt?!

You can get it from:
Telekomsel
Building name: Gedung Graha Pos Indonesia

Address: Jl. Banda No. 30, Citarum, Bandung Wetan, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

The 3G-service lasts for 30 days. I wouldn't recommend using it to watch an extensive amount of videos or to download an incredulous number of apps.

It is however definitely sufficient for you to browse Google Maps, TripAdvisor, FourSquare, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Snapchat. To all smartphone addicts, you're welcome.


Kek Lapis (Cake Lapis)

Holland Bakery

I have tasted the cakes from renown bakeries such as Kartikasari and Holland Bakery.

Both franchises have various outlets throughout Bandung.

My honest opinion? I prefer the lapis cakes from Holland Bakery as it has more texture and is less oily. Nonetheless Kartikasari (also known as "the rich man's cake") isn't too bad either and is worthy of its reputation as the go-to souvenir for travellers to Bandung.

Due to time constraint, I bought the lapis cakes from Kartikasari to bring back for my family. A log of original flavoured lapis cake cost about SGD 15, whereas the prune flavoured ones cost SGD 16.

*****************************************************

Total damages per pax: $466
  • Flight: $130 (inclusive of 20kg check-in baggage, fuel surcharge, taxes and fees)
  • Accommodation: $80 for two nights
  • Driver for one day: $40 (this price has been divided between 2 pax and is not inclusive of entrance fees to the attraction sites and tip)
  • Food/Drinks/Entertainment: $170
  • Souvenir: $46 (3 logs of lapis cakes)