Yo Panino Has The Best Sandwich In Town

An accidental discovery happened a few minutes ago when I stumbled what could arguably be the best sandwich in town from a small stall Yo Panino.

Located inside Amped Trampoline Park, the trip was made worth it by Yo Panino’s succulent sandwiches and great Italian coffee. The Big Daddy Patty Melt was so juicy it melts in the mouth.

For how can you explain receiving this …


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And the price is highly reasonable compared to the quality of the food, especially since I spend just about the same for lesser quality in other places.


The big surprise came with the coffee made directly from a Gaggia machine.


It was a good weekend surprise especially for the kids who loved the Amped Trampoline Park.


Looking forward to visiting this place again and will search for the Yo Panino in Plaza Indonesia. 

Cafè Barbera: Italian Coffee in Java Island

By N Mark Castro

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Over 140 years of coffee-making tradition enters the Indonesian market to establish traditional Italian coffee shop serving premium authentic Italian roasted coffee beans. Still sourced from seven varieties of the world’s finest coffee beans, slow roasted separately by master coffee roasters, and artfully blended to its original recipe, Cafè Barbera, the oldest coffee company in Europe, opens its doors in Jakarta to offer true old world charm, an appreciation for the special moments in life, a fresher, tastier, healthier menu, and romantic, aromatic, authentic Italian coffee.

Cafè Barbera’s entry in the tight coffee-market in the country is a true testament to the vaunted consumer size of Indonesia and, more importantly, the adventurous coffee aficionados of the country that is always ready to try something new.

And why not?

In a country where high level meetings and million dollar contracts are conducted not in boardrooms but in cafés, surely there’s more space for a new venue. And the unique wood-inspired theme of Cafè Barbera brings that old world magic.

cafebarbera Continue reading

Sate Haji Kelik: A Neighborhood Cafe

By N Mark Castro

What I find so refreshing in Indonesia is the presence of restaurants and cafes that offer traditional Indonesian hawker food using either native interior design or even modern and cozy set up. It’s like seeing a Philippine canteen offering bola-bola in one of those Greenbelt cafes.

And that’s exactly how Sate Haji Kelik’s 24-hour branch in the recently-refurbished Pasar Festival.

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What I love about the ambiance is that it’s practically al fresco with no air-conditioning but the sturdy ceiling fans provide enough breeze together with air ventilation. It was one of the first things I noticed even when they were still setting up the place and figured that it would be a hit among hip-hop kids that seem to take up residence in Plaza Festival, especially during at nights.

Which gives lazy Saturday afternoons free for oldies like me. Continue reading

Girl, Interrupted: Marsha Siagian

By N Mark Castro

Marsha Siagan: Accountant and Fashion Designer.

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One look at her and you’d confuse her for a carefree college student that was both charming and smart in your eyes and singlehandedly responsible for other boys’ getting itchy pants.

Once you take a closer look and get to know what she does, you’ll be blown away how much she’s done in so short a time.

Pretty and sweet, yes, but this 26 year old is no cutie-pie. She is pure guts and steel: finishing her Accounting degree at the prestigious University of Melbourne, returning back to Indonesia to work in PT Astra International as Strategic Planner, then giving it up to pursue her passion by moving to the UK to get a degree on Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear at the University of the Arts London | London College of Fashion.

All by the time she turned 26.

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Kedai Nasi Campur Kenaga: Pork in Jakarta

By N Mark Castro

Often, one wonders from strange stories in Arabian Peninsula and Islamic countries if pork is available.

Well, let me disabuse you of that notion.

In the world’s largest population of Moslems, which is Indonesia, there is an abundance of pork and liquor without sacrificing both their Asian  and religious values. Just drive by any Chinese-oriented district and you’ll find various culinary expressions of pork, aside from mainstream restaurants in Jakarta where pork is equally available.

But for non-tourists that know where the hidden treasures are, there’s Kedai Nasi Campur Kenanga in Gran Wijaya, where my old political consulting office was. Continue reading

Awan Lounge, 127 Cafe, and Waha Kitchen: Kosenda’s 3-in-1 Secrets

By N Mark Castro

North, South, East, West, and Central Jakarta combines a sprawling of 662 km2 (256 sq mi) of land area and 6,977 km2 (2,694 sq mi) of sea area. In and around those places are fantastic destinations both for tourists and residents alike, and Jakarta’s love affair with food includes hidden gems that welcome the world’s cuisine, with a touch of Javanese flair.

Mention the word Tanah Abang and people will give you a puzzled look of a tough neighborhood: buyers, traders, pickpockets, thieves, beggars … name it and they have it. It was infamous for its traffic with people on the streets selling small trinkets and textile; after all, Tanah Abang is considered as the textile capital of the city.

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Until this man came along and was accidentally elevated to the governorship of the city and wasted no time in changing it all.

ahok4Spot the difference:

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Continue reading