Friday, July 6, 2018

Depot Hok Lay, Malang

Recently my fam and I went for a short trip to Malang, whereby we had our dinner at this restaurant called Depot Hok Lay. This place is legendary and you shouldn't miss it when you are in Malang. Depot Hok Lay itself has been around since 1946, and the building still retains the original colonial style up until now. To be honest I wouldn't have known this place if not from social medias. A lot of people raved about its Fosco drink, saying that you can't leave Malang without trying Fosco. Goodness, where have I been all this time?! I have been to Malang countless times yet I never had a single visit to Hok Lay! Oh, apparently almost all patrons that time were from Surabaya, judging from the numbers of L-plate cars in front of the depot.




Fosco - IDR13,000
Here it is, the most sought-after drink in Hok Lay. Fosco is Dutch-style iced chocolate drink, uniquely served in a coke bottle. What differentiates Fosco with normal iced chocolate is that there's a hint of saltiness in it. No idea where the saltiness comes from, perhaps they put in some salt? Beware, this drink is super addictive. You might unconsciously order another serving as you just can't get enough of its goodness.

Lunpia Semarang - IDR20,000
It's mandatory to order this Semarang-style lunpia (also known as lumpia or spring roll, whatever) at Hok Lay. The skin was thin and not too crispy, served warm in a pool of tauco sauce. The lunpia contained carrots and bamboo shoots inside. Eat it together with the celery sticks, if you don't mind having bad breath afterward lol.

Pangsit Cwiemie - IDR20,000
A bowl of pangsit cwiemie consists of noodle, chicken meat, lettuce and two fried dumplings. It only costs IDR20,000, cheap right? The seasoning was a bit bland for my Surabaya tongue though, but overall, it's a dish I would be returning for.

Lomie - IDR22,000
Lomie is a kind of egg noodle cooked in sweet, rather thick broth. Mom loved it so much. I didn't really enjoy the sweet broth though, so I only had a spoonful of it. The portion is big by the way, you can share it among 2-3 people.

Es Puding Manalagi - IDR14,000
To round-off the meal, I had a bowl of shaved ice with cute turtle-shaped pudding. Simple but yum!

Oh my Lord I'm craving for Fosco right now as I'm typing this post! Too bad my Fosco is far out of reach :(. Wonder if there is a place selling original Fosco powder or if somebody has the recipe though.

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Depot Hok Lay
Jl. KH Ahmad Dahlan 10
Malang, Indonesia 65118
+62341-364513
Opening hours: 9am - 1.30pm; 5pm - 8.30pm

Thursday, July 5, 2018

BlackBarn Coffee, Surabaya

Getting bored with the usual atmosphere in coffee shop? If so, you should try this cafe called BlackBarn, located on Jl. Untung Suropati, between TooTooMoo and ORE. The place is not big, but you can choose to sit in indoor or outdoor areaa. Actually, I have once come here before, but in my previous visit I came at night and I didn't manage to take pics. This time, I could take many pics since I came in the afternoon.

The outdoor space can get very hot in the daytime


There is a coin-operated virtual dart machine that you can play with too




The atmosphere inside is really unique, different from common coffee shops whose interiors are usually bright and monochrome. Here, it's dimly-lit and full of tribal-style decorations like dreamcatcher and antler wall mount.

Sarsaparilla - IDR25,000
Isn't it uncommon to see a drink like this in a coffee shop? The sarsaparilla is put inside beer bottle - you can drink it directly from the bottle or pour the drink into a glass of ice cube. For those who may not know, sarsaparilla is a kind of soft drink made from a mixture of sarsaparilla plant stem and soda. Some people call this is Javanese coke haha. It tasted cool and kinda sweet, like drinking coke with sweet and sour flavors.

Iced Lychee Tea - IDR27,000
This one tasted refreshing. The lychee flavor was noticeable and there were 2 fresh lychee fruits inside.

Caffe Mocca - IDR31,000
Since it's a coffee shop, coffee is a must-order for me! I ordered their hot mocha. Not the best one I had, but it was decent with faint chocolate flavor.

BlackBarn Friedrice - IDR38,000
Wanting to eat rice, my cousin ordered fried rice which was served with fried overeasy egg, beef kebab satay and crackers. It tasted really salty! My cousin told the staff about it and the staff offered her to replace with the new one. The new one tasted better. The soy sauce tasted dominant and there was generous chicken meat inside the fried rice. No comment for the satay, it tasted weird and salty.

Shakshuka - IDR38,000
I thought the shakshuka would be served on hotplate, until it was served on a normal plate. The egg was baked with tomato sauce and mushroom then served with grated cheese and garlic bread. It tasted yummy although not very filling. It reminded me of lasagna minus the eggy taste.

Spaghetti Meatball - IDR39,000
I initially underestimated the small portion, but it turned out pretty filling. The tomato sauce was a bit too sweet to me. The pasta was al dente. There were 3 pieces of beef meatball, all of which suffered from the same condition: too salty.

Overall, I enjoyed my time at BlackBarn listening to slow country music in the background (I felt like I was in Texas lol). The prices here are practically reasonable given the central location (good news, there are no tax and service charge here). The atmosphere is cool and they have quick wi-fi, plus the strains of slow country music that is very supportive. Oh ya, this also a good place to bring your friends too, because they offer beer by bottle and tower at night. God bless this barn!

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Jl. Untung Suropati 79
Surabaya, Indonesia 60264
+6231-5671066
Opening hours: 11am - 10.30pm (Mon - Thu) // 11am - 11.30pm (Fri - Sun)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Pupuk Bawang Cafe & Dining, Batu

Hello readers! How was your Hari Raya holiday? So I just spent my holiday in Batu, and I had a chance to visit one of the Instagrammable cafes in town called Pupuk Bawang.




Pupuk Bawang is a cafe with a view of mountain and field (not ricefield, but it's more like vegetable plantation lol). They have a long table with lounge chairs for patrons to enjoy the view and there is a lawn with colorful bean bags. It was scorching when I got there and the bean bags were not set up.

Honeydew Juice - IDR22,500
It tasted okay to me. FYI, I don't like honeydew haha.

Strawberry Juice - IDR22,500
It was sooo sour, would be better if condensed milk was added to sweeten it.

Hot Latte - IDR24,900
Upon the arriving of the latte to my table, I tried to figure out if it was latte or cappuccino - just look at the thickness of the foam lol. The coffee bean gave a strong bitter aftertaste, and I was guessing they used kopi tubruk.

Onion Ring - IDR14,900
The batter was not consistent - some pieces had thick coat and some others had thin one. It was not very crunchy but we all enjoyed it nonetheless.

Chili Beef Nachos - IDR29,900
The tortilla chips were rather soggy but it was still nice to eat with the chili con carne. The sauce had spicy hint in it, perhaps coming from jalapenos. But the sauce was really good!



If there was any room for improvement, it would be the clarity of information in Instagram. It was stated that they opened as per usual on Hari Raya (their opening hour is 10am), so I came there at 10am to avoid crowd, only to find out they were closed! The security staff told me that they would open at 12pm that day. I mean, what's the point of a business having social media account if they don't even bother to update any information. To me, 2 hours of waiting wasn't a big deal and I could go around the town first while waiting for the place to open. Overall, I still don't mind a second visit, perhaps to chill in the lawn during golden hours. Their light food is good to share and it's affordably priced. The service was friendly and attentive too.

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Jl. Panglima Sudirman 119
Batu, Indonesia 55313
+6241-5103488
Opening hours: 10am - 12am

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Koono Gelati Artigianale, Malang

Fancy having some international-standard gelato but with traditional Indonesian tastes? Then you definitely have to try Koono Gelato on Jl. Bromo Malang. Koono Gelato takes place in a colonial-style house - maybe that's why it's called 'Koono' (read: kuno), which translates to 'ancient / oldies' in English.




They have an open kitchen for customers to witness how the gelato is being produced from scratch. FYI, Koono Gelato only uses fresh and natural ingredients, no preservative and artificial colorings involved.

This is their menu board. Strictly gelato, mineral water and soft drinks are sold here.


As I have mentioned before, Koono's main selling point is gelato with traditional Indonesian flavors. Where else can you find tape singkong keju or rujak gobet gelato?

Taro, Strawberry Milk & Straciatella Gelato - IDR 25,000 (medium size)
These three flavors belong to regular category, while there is the premium one which costs IDR7,000 more expensive. There was only one premium flavor available that day, which was ricotta cheese. The medium size allows you to have 3 flavors in a cup, in which my parents chose taro, strawberry milk and straciatella. The gelato, however, melted very quickly. The taro and strawberry milk flavors tasted ordinary. Meanwhile, I love the straciatella flavor, which is milk-based ice cream embedded with crunchy chocolate shavings.


Rocky Road, Regal & Peanut Butter Gelato - IDR 25,000 (medium size)
I decided to stick with conventional flavors without having any intention of underestimating the local ones. I was hoping to find marshmallows in my rocky road gelato (there are supposedly marshmallows inside rocky road right?), but I couldn't find any, so I was a little disappointed. It was rich with chocolate nonetheless. The Regal flavor was yummy with that taste resembling real Regal biscuit. The star was the peanut butter flavor, which was creamy and had distinct nutty taste.


Koono Gelati Artigianale, Malang Apart from good-tasting gelato, Koono Gelato also offers a cozy and Instagrammable hangout space for both family and youngsters. Every corner is designed to adorn your Instagram feed, especially the purple flower decors on the outdoor walls. Well, all the best for Koono Gelato and I will definitely revisit this place the next time I'm back in Malang!

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Jl. Bromo 19
Malang, Indonesia 65119
+6281231199966
IG: koonogelato
Opening hours: 12pm - 9pm (Tue - Sun)
Closed on Mon

Friday, June 8, 2018

EatBoss, Surabaya

I might be late, but it was only my first time trying EatBoss. EatBoss is an eatery originated from Bandung that opened its first Surabaya outlet on Jl. Dharmahusada. It's well-known in Bandung and Jakarta for its affordability. The Dharmahusada outlet looks big from outside with ample parking space. Talking about the food, they have got everything covered from Indonesian fried rice to Western dishes like pasta and pizza. Choices are plenty here!

Lemon Big Tea - IDR14,000
Gotta recommend this drink as you can share it with your dining partner. It comes in a huge glass and for only IDR14,000 it's definitely super cheap!


Nasi Goreng Matah + Telur Ceplok - IDR21,000
The portion of this fried rice is no joke - it's huge and shareable. The sambal matah taste was distinct and it had fragrant wok smell that escalated our appetite.


Spaghetti Napolitan + Smoked Beef - IDR19,000
You can always add extras like smoked beef, sausage, egg and many more. The smoked beef that I added to my pasta was too thinly-sliced but then again it's only IDR6,000. The spaghetti napolitan itself was decent with tangy tomato sauce and al dente pasta.

Overall, EatBoss is perfect for family or group dining given it's cozy and chill atmosphere. It's also a safe choice if you want to have a filling meal without breaking your pocket.

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Jl. Dharmahusada 166
Surabaya, Indonesia 60285
+6231-5937428
IG: eatbosshusada
Opening hours: 9am - 11pm