Saturday, 4 April 2015

Raisin loaf

I tried making a loaf of bread with lots of wine infused raisins today. The loaf looked so promising and delicious before going into the oven.

Alas, i misread the recipe and all the glistening raisins got burnt! I was supposed to spread the dough into a flat sheet, scatter the raisins on top and roll up before fitting into the loaf pan.

After removing the burnt raisins, the bread looks awful but tastes good! Imagine how good it will taste if I had done it correctly.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Ge Garden in Yangzhou

Traveling to Yangzhou from Shanghai using the high speed train (average speed of 300km/hr) took me only an hour. After my meeting, I had a couple of hours to spare before the ride back, so my supplier brought me to Ge Garden.

Featuring elaborate rock formations and bamboo groves, the impressive garden was built for a wealthy salt merchant during the Qing Dynasty. Today, it is maintained by the state.

If you happen to be in Yangzhou, it's worth a visit. It would look better during spring and summer when the trees are green and flowering. There are guides to bring you around, providing insights into how the buildings are designed to bring luck and prosperity to the owner.

Elaborate rock formations carefully pieced together to form animals etc.

Many different kinds of bamboo can be found here.
Tourist street outside the garden.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Shopping in Bandung

 Ask anyone why they go to Bandung and they're likely to tell you they're here to shop. Indeed, there are so many factory outlets here, you can spend days going through racks and piles of clothes and shoes.

There are street vendors selling bags, phone case, durian ice cream and so forth. We went a little crazy over these colourful bags!
 After all the shopping, Irwan brought us to Hummingbird Cafe for lunch.
 I love the decor and food at this place and would definitely come back if I visit Bandung again.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Rose Garden (Kebun Mawar)

Much as we like seeing volcanoes and craters, we got a bit jaded after a while. When we spotted Kebun Mawar (Rose Garden) on the way to Kamojang Crater, we had to make a stop.

About 15 km from Garut city, Kebun Mawar is built around 5 hectares of largely flat land at an altitude of 1,150 m above sea levels. The cooler climate here is ideal for growing roses and other flowers. It is also a resort with bungalows and a gift shop.
Large lemons.

The biggest dill I've ever seen!

Roses bring out the damsel in us.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Kamojang Crater

Being in Garut which is so near volcanic mountains, naturally, there are many hotspots to discover. To me, the highlight of the trip was the hike up Mount Papandayan.

If you're into boiling mud pools and hissing steam columns, then you might find Kamojang Crater super awesome. I can't say I'm geeky enough to truly appreciate the natural wonders of the geyser, it's interesting enough to warrant a visit.
Kamojang crater is located on Mount Guntur and is listed as an active volcano of Indonesia because of its geothermal activities. There are 23 active geysers in the form of bubbling mud pools here. I stuck my finger in and found the heat tolerable.

Located near the crater is the Darajat Power Station, which is the 10th largest geothermal power stations in the world. The power station comprises of three plants serving the provinces of Java and Bali.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Staying and eating in Garut

Garut is an old Dutch hill station surrounded by mountains, volcanoes, and crystal clear lakes, so it  attracts the adventure-lovers. For those who're looking for a nice place to stay after a hard day of hiking, Kampung Sumber Alam might just fit the bill.

As we were assigned a bungalow near the entrance, we did not realise how impressive it is until we went looking for the breakfast venue which is tucked away in a corner of the sprawling estate.

The bungalows are built in traditional Sudanese architectural style, so they look rustic and natural. Located at the foot of Mt Guntur, some rooms even come with a private pool with natural sulphurous hot spring water from the volcano. The hotel also boasts of many other facilities which we didn't use during our stay.

We had a mediocre dinner at our hotel on the first night. The next day, Irwan brought us to Kampung Sampireun Resort & Spa for lunch.

This resort, with its wooden bungalows over water, looks uncanningly similar to Sumber Alam. We had to walk past lots of hungry fishes in the pond before we could reach the restaurant.

The restaurant is also tucked away amongst lush greenery. We were ushered to a wooden hut where the meal is served.

We ordered an array of Sudanese dishes. The fried banana dessert (below) was covered in a thick layer of grated cheese. Apparently the locally produced cheese is widely eaten by the people here which is not surprisingly as Garut is an old Dutch hill station.
That same night, Irwan brought us to the local night market (pasar malam). While it was a fascinating experience for us, we were careful to navigate our way through the crowded alleys without getting run over by speeding bikes.

 We found something familiar - peanut pancake! Here, they add a dollop of butter just before serving which makes it really rich and tasty!