Welcoming the 2015

Yes….today is the last day in the year of 2014! I feel that I want to write just a short post before I really move on to 2015.

2014 was a busy year for our family. My husband regularly travels for his work, mostly to Bali. Devani and Maxi have full schedule during school days; studying as well as practising their hobby. Devani has 4-times ballet practices per week while Maxi plays football and/or futsal at least twice per week. I am busy balancing my professional life in the office and personal life as a mother of two busy teens (in addition to being a wife of a fully-scheduled husband)!

Well…this year I didn’t do as much travelling as I wish but I am grateful that I still have the opportunity to do so.

Semarang, January 2014 - travelling as a big family
Semarang, January 2014 – travelling as a big family
Singapore, April 2014 - travelling as a couple
Singapore, April 2014 – travelling as a couple
Bali, July 2014 - travelling as a big family
Bali, July 2014 – travelling as a big family
Singapore, December 2014 - travelling as a family
Singapore, December 2014 – travelling as a family

As a newcomer in blogging world, I think I have managed myself to write posts regularly in 2014. I have expanded my blog topics to include my experience visiting places in my hometown, Jakarta as well as my stories as a mother. In fact, my most viewed post is on my experience eating ice-cream at Ron’s Laboratory , Grand Indonesia, Jakarta

(https://dreamtravelmom.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/makan-ice-cream-di-rons-laboratory/)

In 2015, I will try my best to improve my blogging activities. In order to do so, I am open to any suggestions and invitations to join a wider blogging communities.

Happy New Year 2015, Everyone!

 

Jollibee: Ayam Goreng Tepung dari Filipina

Setiap kali kami berlibur, suami dan saya selalu mengarahkan kedua anak kami, Devani dan Maxi untuk mencoba makanan yang berbeda dari yang biasa mereka makan sehari-hari. Jika makan makanan cepat saji, sedapat mungkin kami mencoba resto yang tidak ada di kota kami, Jakarta. Salah satu resto cepat saji yang kami kunjungi ketika berlibur ke Singapore minggu lalu adalah “Jollibee”.

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“Jollibee” adalah ‘chain restaurant’ yang sangat terkenal dari Filipina. Lebih dari sepuluh tahun yang lalu, “Jollibee” pernah masuk ke Indonesia namun sayangnya, tak bertahan lama. Saya dan suami sempat menjadi pelanggan “Jollibee” saat itu karena ayam goreng tepungnya berbeda dari KFC, McDonalds atau AW. Maskot “Jollibee” adalah lebah yang tersenyum lebar dengan kemasan yang didominasi warna merah. Saat ini, rangkaian resto “Jollibee” sudah tersebar di sembilan negara dengan jumlah outlet lebih dari delapan ratus.

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Dengan banyaknya warga Filipina yang tinggal dan bekerja di Singapore, tak heran jika “Jollibee” akhirnya masuk ke Singapore di tahun 2013. Lokasi yang dipilih untuk restonya sangat populer di kalangan warga Filipina di Singapore, yaitu di “Lucky Plaza”, Orchard Road. Ada dua outlet “Jollibee” di Lucky Plaza, yaitu di Lantai 6 (berupa restaurant) dan di Basement (di dalam area foodcourt).

Kami mengunjungi resto “Jollibee” yang berada di Lantai 6 Lucky Plaza. Jika menggunakan lift, resto “Jollibee” tepat berada di depan lift. Kami tiba sekitar pukul 10 pagi dan “Jollibee” sebenarnya masih menawarkan menu makan pagi tetapi mereka cukup fleksibel dan memperbolehkan pengunjung untuk memesan menu lainnya. Tentu pesanan kami adalah ayam goreng tepung “Jollibee” yang dikenal dengan sebutan “Chickenjoy”. Suami dan Maxi memesan paket yang terdiri dari dua potong ayam dan nasi, sementara Devani dan saya memesan satu potong ayam dan nasi. Beginilah penampakan pesanan kami…

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Saos ‘gravy’-nya di dalam wadah plastik putih. Perhatikan kulit ayam yang sedikit disayat terbuka.
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Box besar isi 2 potong ayam + nasi: SGD 6.60. Box kecil isi 1 potong ayam + nasi: SGD 4. Menu paket termasuk minuman.

Jika di kebanyakan resto cepat saji lainnya kita makan ayam goreng tepung dengan saos tomat atau saos sambal, di “Jollibee” mereka memberikan saos “gravy” sebagai ‘cocolan’ ayam gorengnya. Suami dan Maxi sama sekali tidak menyentuh ‘gravy’ mereka, sehingga Devani dan saya mendapatkan ‘gravy’ ekstra dari mereka. Saos tomat dan saos sambal juga disediakan jika Anda memerlukannya.

Kulit ayam goreng tepung “Jollibee” selalu disayat sehingga sedikit terbuka. Tampaknya teknik penyajian ini membuat kulit ayam semakin garing dan bumbunya meresap ke dalam bagian daging ayam. Selain menu andalan ayam goreng tepung, Anda juga bisa memesan burger, burger steak, noodles, spaghetti.

Harga makanan-minuman di “Jollibee” kurang lebih setara dengan harga-harga di resto siap saji atau foodcourt lainnya di Singapore. Resto “Jollibee” telah mendapatkan sertifikasi halal dari pemerintah Singapura.

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Kebanyakan pengunjung “Jollibee” tentu saja adalah warga Filipina, semua pelayan di sana tampaknya orang Filipina sehingga mereka bisa akrab bercakap-cakap dengan pengunjung dalam bahasa mereka.  “Lucky Plaza” ini tampaknya adalah pusat ‘gaul’ warga Filipina. Di sana banyak toko yang menjual barang keperluan sehari-hari dari merk lokal Filipina, juga tersedia makanan khas Filipina, jasa pengiriman barang dengan tujuan utama Filipina, penukaran mata uang dan segala jenis jasa terkait lainnya yang ditujukan utamanya untuk para expat Filipina di Singapore.

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Jika Anda ingin mencoba resto cepat saji yang berbeda dari yang ada di Jakarta, mampirlah ke “Jollibee” ini. Resto buka dari pukul 9 pagi sampai 9 malam. Menu sarapan tersedia sampai pukul 11 pagi.

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Menu Sarapan Jollibee

 

 

 

Discover the Wonders of Gardens by the Bay

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Gardens by the Bay – view from inside the Cloud Forest

If you think that visiting gardens is only suitable for the senior citizens and young children, you are wrong. Our teens, Devani and Maxi enjoyed their visit to Gardens by The Bay in Marina area, Singapore.

We went to the Gardens by MRT Downtown Line, alight at Bayfront MRT Station. We took Exit B and followed the sign to the Gardens. Along the way, we passed Malay Garden, Chinese Garden and Indian Garden before we arrived at the Ticketing Centre.

I regret that I didn’t buy the tickets in advance via online or travel agent in Jakarta. My husband had to queue for the tickets quite long because we visited the gardens on the peak season. The cost of a standard ticket for adult is SGD 28 per person. This ticket can be used to visit the two main domes which are the “Cloud Forest” and “Flower Dome”.

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Long Queue at the Ticketing Office
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A Standard Adult Ticket for Cloud Forest & Flower Dome: SGD 28

The Gardens were in full Christmas decorations when we visited. Red and white were the main colours of the decoration. They put fake snow in some areas to make the display more dramatic.

The Cloud Forest

We started with the Cloud Forest as recommended by Maxi. The first impression was so grand! We were welcomed by “The Falls” which is a 35-metre (man-made) waterfall. We could really feel the fresh air in the this area that made us wanting to stay for a while…to take photos and deep breaths. The temperature of the whole dome is kept to be cool to maintain the freshness of the plants.

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Enjoy the fresh air!

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The 35-metre man-made waterfall

The collection of plants in the Cloud Forest dome is very beautiful. You should allocate plenty of time to really enjoy the beauty of the collection. Here are some of our favourites:

And of course, we can see the famous pitcher plant:

You better follow the suggested steps to enjoy the “Cloud Forest” so you do not miss any interesting features of the garden.

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My most memorable experience from the “Cloud Forest” is to pass the “Cloud Walk”. However, if you have fear of heights,  you better skip the “Cloud Walk’.

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Cloud Walk – viewed from above
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Cloud Walk – viewed from the ground level

 

Lunch at “Satay by the Bay”

It was lunchtime when we finished exploring the “Cloud Forest”. There are many dining options around the Gardens, from the local delights to the Western food. We chose to have our lunch at “Satay by the Bay’ which is an open foodcourt with the view to the waterfront. Satay is not the only type of food which is offered there. My husband and I ate the satay but Devani had a Turkish cheese bread from one of the stall.

The Flower Dome

After lunch, we returned to the domes area to visit the “Flower Dome”. The main Christmas display was set inside the “Flower Dome”. A lot of visitors took their time to take photos near the display.

Devani and I love the succulent garden the most. I tried several times to keep succulent plants alive at home but they did not survive long.  Therefore I was amazed with the beauty of the succulent plants collection at the “Flower Dome”. I don’t know the individual name of each type of the succulent plants but they all look amazing!

The Souvenir Shop

A day in the Gardens is not complete without visiting the souvenir shop. You can find the “mainstream” souvenirs such as t-shirts, caps, key chain, fridge magnet and mugs as well as the unique ones like the “Wabi Kusu” and “Bio Dome”.

What We Missed from the Gardens

We missed to see the “Supertrees” at night. The lights and the sound show were scheduled at 7.45 pm and 8.45 pm but we returned to our hotel in the afternoon because we were tired.

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The Supertrees and OCBC Skyway

For more information about the Gardens, please visit http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg

 

Merry Christmas 2014

This is just a quick post to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.

My family went to Singapore for 5 days: 19th to 24th of December 2014 and here is the sneak peek from our holiday photos. All about Christmas in the tropics Singapore 2014:

Other posts will come soon…will try my best to write during this holiday season!

May the joy, peace and love of Christmas remain with you throughout the year!