Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Fat Choi, Surabaya

Fat Choi is a noodle restaurant on Jl. Sulawesi (where IBC was previously located). I always passed by this restaurant on the way home from work, so one day I decided to give it a try. It's a nice place to dine in a cozy and comfortable setting. The place is very spacious, perfect for family or group dinner.

This neon sign represents me so well haha
The cutlery is 'hidden' under the table
The condiments
Chinese Tea - IDR10,000
The Chinese tea is refillable and it comes in an elegant mug.

Plain Noodle - IDR16,000
I got myself a bowl of plain noodle because I wanted to pair it with ala carte wonton. The noodles here are handmade, proven by its soft yet chewy texture. In some ways, it actually resembles instant noodle with thicker width. The downside is perhaps the lack of seasoning.

Wonton - IDR12,000
Talking about comfort food at its simplest. The wonton was stuffed with juicy meat (guessed it was shrimp?) and when I bit it, the meat provided a nice crunch. Once again, the soup was rather tasteless, but it didn't really matter to me.

Fat Choi Mien - IDR35,000
This is Fat Choi's specialty menu - noodle with minced pork, pork belly and pork lard bits. It's a very porky dish! The pork belly had a good balance of fats and meat which melted into my mouth. Recommended for pork lovers!

Overall, Fat Choi serves unpretentious noodle dish with good taste and reasonable price. I like how they keep their food simple but well-executed. Furthermore, it's located close to my house so there is no reason to not return here anytime soon haha.


Jl. Sulawesi 54
Surabaya, Indonesia
IG: fatchoinoodle
Opening hours: 9am - 10pm

Monday, February 26, 2018

COO Bistro & Boutique Hostel, Singapore

Hi peeps! This will be my very first accommodation review on my blog. The place I will be talking about is just so cool and I think it deserves a mention here. Ever since I had graduated (no longer a student pass holder in Singapore, sigh), I always stayed in hotels/hostels. When travelling solo, I would rather stay in hostels than hotels. Why? Because I'm broke. Haha actually it's because I don't want to spend so much on accommodation when I only spend less than 7 hours in it.

In Singapore, I have stayed in a hostel before and it was my first experience sharing room with strangers. The place wasn't very impressive to me - enough to refrain me from considering hostel as my accommodation again. But this time I would be going to Singapore in December, which was peak season and most hotel rooms were charged at least $80 (what I mean here is budget hotels). Thankfully, I stumbled upon this hostel called COO Bistro & Boutique Hostel while browsing Traveloka. I saw many good reviews about this hostel on TripAdvisor, so without further ado I immediately booked a bedspace for 4 nights. Now let me tell you more about what COO has in store.

Don't you agree that location is one of the most crucial things to consider before booking an accommodation? I had learned my lesson - the hostel I previously stayed at is located quite far from MRT station (I'm not saying it's ulu. 2-3 bus stops away from MRT doesn't qualify as 'nearby' to me) - so this time I wanted to choose hostel with 1 bus stop away from MRT at the farthest. COO is located on 259 Outram Road, quite a central location and it can be reached within 15 minutes walk or 1 stop bus ride from and to Outram Park MRT station. The bus stop to MRT is just across the hostel while the one you alight at from MRT is behind (refer to Google Maps for details). Most of the time, I was lazy to walk/take bus to MRT station (no la, I was actually just too tired to walk), so I relied heavily on Grab that could conveniently pick me up by the hostel's doorstep. A trip from COO to Orchard (I usually dropped by Somerset) would cost $8 for a 15-minute trip with Grab.

First Impression
I took a cab from Changi Airport straight to COO, and frankly speaking the driving direction to there was quite confusing to the cabbies (to make it worse, I'm not familiar with the area and furthermore, I'm a tourist you know *flips hair*). Lol I dunno how to describe it, you should drive there and see whether you can easily navigate your way there. COO itself looks catchy from outside and it has futuristic vibes. I thought I had made the right choice to stay here right from the start.

The Room
I booked a bed space in a 6-bed female ensuite dorm (it's called 'Me+5 Ensuite Female). There are options of 4, 6 and 8-bed, female only or mixed, with or without ensuite bathroom. If you are traveling with friends, it's better to book the whole ensuite dorm for yourselves.

The room is not spacious but the room in my previous hostel is narrower. You can put your luggage against the wall under the towel hanger (refer to above pic) or under the lower bunk bed. The window was kept closed so the room looked rather dim. I didn't know whether it was bright or dark outside haha.

Oh ya, there is no conventional room key here. Instead, we will be given a waterproof rubber wristband that functions as the room key. You can literally wear it everywhere, even when you are sleeping and showering. This way, you will not forget where you put your key. How cool and convenient is that!

I was assigned to one lower bunk bed close to the bathroom. The bed and pillows are super comfortable! They are firm yet fluffy, and the bed size is just perfect for a single person. The centralized aircon was kinda cold, but thankfully there was a thick blanket that kept me warm throughout the night. There is a reading light above the bed, and of course power point with small space to put your phone. I love how I could charge and use my phone while laying down on my bed (yes I rely heavily on my phone haha).

I felt relieved that COO had the option of ensuite room (room with attached toilet and shower) because tbh I disliked shared bathroom since it got dirty easily. Well, this is still a shared bathroom, but at least the number of people I share the bathroom with is lesser and I don't have to leave my room to use it. I was surprised that the bathroom smelled good when I came, the floor was dry and the water heater worked perfectly. It was really beyond my idea of shared bathroom. Shampoo, shower gel and hand soap are provided as well. There was hair dryer too, but I didn't use it as the sound would disturb others.

Every individual pod has a personal locker with ample space to store your belongings. It's safe to store your valuables here as this locker also functions as a safe deposit box with combination lock system. It also has small mirror and another power point (yoohoo!). Complimentary towel for guests will be stored here and to get your deposit back you need to return the towel upon check-out.

Bringing heavy luggage to your room is hassle-free as lift is provided. The lift is uber cool! It looks like normal door as it has handle outside. You just pull the door to enter the lift and push to get outta it. I felt like going inside a time machine while using it (sorry I'm just being hyperbolic). The lift interior looks so futuristic that I can't help but keep taking mirror selfies inside the lift haha.

Oh, have I mentioned that breakfast is included in the room price? Yay! The breakfast is served at COO Bistro from 7am to 9.30am. From 10am, the place will ‘transform’ to a bistro that is opened to public. I only ate breakfast here once as on the other days I woke up late after the breakfast time had ended. Everything is self-service here, you even have to put your dirty dishes in a special box.

Sorry for the blurry pic, I forgot to take pics of the food so I just screenshot from my Snapchat
The breakfast spread consists of sliced bread with choices of peanut butter or jam, pastries, waffles (which were cold and tough), cereals and beverages like orange juice, fresh milk, coffee and tea. It was decent, enough to energize myself before going out exploring the city.

The front staff was welcoming right from my arrival (oh dear, I forgot her name). She was very friendly and gladly assisted me when I had an issue with my locker. Another staff that assisted me with the check-out process was also hospitable and she let me store my luggage at lobby until I had to leave for airport at 4pm. The check-in and check-out process went very smoothly without taking too long.

Overall, I had a wonderful stay at COO. I had made the right choice to stay here for sure. Staying in a hostel is a contradiction to staying in a hotel, whereby in hostel I need to be more independent, be amicable to other guests and staffs, and take care of my personal belongings as I'm sharing the room. By the way, I have written so much until I didn't realize I have yet talking about the price haha. I paid IDR1,354,000 for 4 nights, which means the nightly rate is IDR338,500. At approximately S$32.70 per night in a 6-bed female dorm with ensuite bathroom, it definitely saved me so much $$, allowing myself to spend more on other things (okay I ended up spending more $$ on food than accommodation lol). I highly recommend COO to everybody (not only the budget-conscious or backpackers) - this is a perfect place for you to stay whether you are travelling solo or in group.


259 Outram Road
Singapore 169056
IG: www.instagram.com/staycoosg

Monday, February 19, 2018

KFC Chizza Has Arrived in Indonesia!

Chicken x pizza = CHIZZA? Who doesn't love that combination? Yes, KFC has stepped up their game by hybridizing the best of both worlds together! If you are on Instagram, you should notice that many Indonesian food bloggers are celebrating the arrival of Chizza in KFC Indonesia by posting a pic of Chizza on their pages. It looks damn sinful tbh. I wanted to follow the trend too, so I ordered one via Go Food to be sent to my office *insert 'shut up and take my money' meme here*.

So, what does Chizza offer? Just like a slice of pizza, KFC Hot & Spicy chicken fillet acts as the pizza base, then topped with tomato sauce, diced capsicum, onions and cheese. But then look at the size!
I was shocked because it was smaller than my palm. Like really. 
The pictures circulating around Instagram are deceiving. When I opened the box, I was literally taken aback by the tiny size. It was much smaller than my imagination. I was thinking that KFC Indonesia actually used normal bone-in chicken topped with Chizza toppings on their promotional pics, which explained the big-looking size.

Okay, let's dig in. All I could taste was rich tomato sauce with some onion bits. I wouldn't complain about the chicken coz KFC Hot & Spicy chicken as usual is bae, except that too much tomato sauce could make the chicken less crunchy. The sauce also tasted very artificial, just like packet tomato sauce smothered with cheese and toppings.

As a whole, Chizza is bursting with flavors. You will feel sweet, sour, spicy and crunchy tastes in one bite. But I want to point out that the Chizza here (or is it just mine?) doesn't have pineapple bits whereas the one in Malaysia and Singapore is laden with pineapple. Shoot, it spoiled my imagination of eating Hawaiian pizza with chicken crust!

Retailed at IDR16,000 a pop, I wouldn't say it's expensive, but frankly speaking the size didn't really do a justice. I probably won't order this again, even for afternoon snack. For such price, I could have a filling meal on the nearest warung. Don't bash me.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Good Taste, Surabaya

Hello salted egg chicken lovers in Surabaya, we have got a new place in town! Following the trend of all-things-salted-egg, Good Taste has opened at Galaxy Mall 2 food court. I wonder why they chose 'Good Taste' as the business name though, because FYI there is a salted egg place in Sim Lim Square Singapore called Taste Good. I had tried Taste Good before and it's one of my favorite places in Singapore to get my salted egg chix fix. Not sure if Good Taste is affiliated with Taste Good, but since it's salted egg chix, no harm trying right? 

Salted Egg Chicken Rice - IDR35,000
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I only saw salted egg chicken rice and cereal chicken rice in the menu. Both dishes go at IDR35,000. The portion was filling for the price. Speaking about personal preference, I prefer my sunny side up with a runnier yolk. But let's talk about the salted egg, the highlight of this dish. The sauce was delectable with nice consistency and creaminess, if only more curry leaves was present. The salted egg taste was tangible as well. If you could take spicy stuff, you should add some chopped chili on it.

Cereal Chicken Rice - IDR35,000
The best thing about this dish is the buttery cereal bits. Damn sinful! As the chicken wasn't drenched in sauce like the salted egg one, my sense of taste could feel the texture better. The chicken meat wasn't of amazing quality, but it was covered with generous amount of cereal (it's really a lot, even my brother was willing to share it with me haha). The chicken was crispy and good to pair with the sugary cereal.

Overall, Good Taste is such one great discovery, and I definitely have a reason to revisit it whenever I'm around. They serve yummy, unpretentious chicken dish (so far, I think Good Taste's salted egg chicken rice is the one I like best in town, at least the taste is the closest to Taste Good). If you are on a hunt of good salted egg chix in Surabaya, you definitely have to drop by.


Galaxy Mall 2, 3rd Floor
Jl. Dharmahusada Indah Timur 35-37
Surabaya, Indonesia 60115
IG: goodtaste.sby
Opening hours: 10am - 10pm

Monday, February 5, 2018

Tempati, Surabaya

F&B establishment with collaborative space concept has become a trend in town nowadays. In Surabaya, you can find this kind of business in places like Food Coma, Intro and Makmu. Recently, I had a chance to visit Tempati, a collaborative F&B space on Jl. Ngagel Jaya Utara. It hosts various tenants inside, namely Pupu Bowls, Kono Coffee, Silly Scoop and Delichoux. In addition to the food variety, Tempati also has many Instagrammable spots to take picture at. Despite being a 'food court', this place is rather quiet and exclusive.

Tempati is set up in a two-storey building. Feel free to sit wherever you desire, as if you are in a food court. You may come to the tenant directly or get the menu from the staff and order through them.

The smoking area has aircon so no worries of getting sweaty

My favorite spot is this crimson corner of Kono Coffee with its hipster neon light

Flat White - IDR30,000 (6oz)
The coffee here is provided by Kono Coffee. My flat white featured light and milky body with lingering bittersweet aftertaste. A decent perk-me-up.

Iced Black Charcoal Latte - IDR32,000
It was just normal fresh milk infused with (active?) dark bamboo charcoal. Those black dots on top look like Oreo to me (I wouldn't say they tried to cheat me by replacing charcoal with Oreo though). Tbh it tasted very plain with a little smoky note.

Cheese Fries - IDR25,000
The cheese fries features shoestring fries drenched in cheese sauce. The fries was soggy and the cheese sauce was underwhelming.

Pupu Bowl's tenant is like a cafe within a cafe
Free cucumber-infused water. Yikes, I hate infused water haha.

Guapo - IDR35,000
We only had a bowl of smoothie for each of us as we had our brekkie already. I chose this Guapo, which was peanut butter and banana-based (when it comes to PB, I have no self-control haha). I had tried Pupu Bowl's smoothie before (read the review here) and I sensed a significant improvement on their smoothie compared to my last visit (guess they have already mastered the art of smoothie bowl huh?). My bowl is loaded with protein-packed PB and piled up with banana slices, coconut flakes, granola and chia seeds, resulting in a guilty-free indulgence. This bowl will surely satisfy your PB craving at any time of the day.

Pupu's Choice - IDR45,000
Meanwhile, my brother had something more substantial, which was smoothie with acai berry base. The smoothie per se wasn't overly sweet or sour at all. The fruits with the granola made a wonderful combination together from the beginning to the end. It was pretty filling - enough to sustain us until mid afternoon.

Overall, Tempati is one of the best collaborative spaces in Surabaya for Instagram photos. It's the place to be if you want to hang out in a cool setting, or even if you only need a comfortable corner to do your work. Hopefully they could add more choices to the tenant list so to make it more diversified and interesting.


Jl. Ngagel Jaya Utara 105
Surabaya, Indonesia 62084
Opening hours: 10am - 10pm