Jakarta ’ s Little Tokyo

Melawai district in South Jakarta has been relatively famous for being the Little Tokyo, packed with lots of Japanese after working hours and especially on weekends. It is beside the Blok M Square complex and Blok M Bus Terminal — stretching mainly from Melawai VI to Melawai IX — you’ll notice the area from japanese lanterns hanging between alleys and buildings. 

During the time of our visit (Saturdays), we barely found Indonesian diners around, only a one or two tables at best. The rest were all Japanese patrons — that means the authenticity of all the restaurants we cover here is guaranteed by their people themselves.

Here are my recommendations (or brief guide on what to order):

1. Kushigin, Melawai IX has recently shut down and replaced with I-can’t-remember-the-name. The new place looks nice but the menu is somehow less interesting. 

2. Kira Kira Ginza, Melawai IX (go for delicious takoyaki, omurice, okonomiyaki special) Dim lighting, can be full of smoke and discotheque-atmosphere when packed, drinks are not free. Don’t be tempted with their kushiyaki since Kashiwa’s way better (below no.7)

3. Sushi Kawana, Melawai IX. Nice tatami room to impress a date / client. Pricey but sashimis are in good quality. Salmon often out of stock. Go for atmosphere and cosy place, for food quality I prefer go to Kaihomaru.

4. Kaihomaru, Melawai VI. Incredibly good sushi, sashimi and agedashi tofu. Expect IDR 40k and up for 2 pcs of sushi. Fresh oysters are superstar.

5. Marufuku, Melawai VI. Izakaya style, extensive menu that I need to explore more. We had some fried items and chawan mushi and it was good. Don’t go for the sushi, explore other items.

6. Echigoya, Melawai VIII. The best highlight would be their ramen tonkotsu shoyu. Thick chasu slice, rich delicious broth. Exceptional gyoza!! Halal friendly (chicken options)

7. Kashiwa, above Echigoya. Extensive choices of quality kushiyaki and oden. IDR 28k for 2 kushiyakis, same price for 3 oden items. Well-lit, nice tatami to hang out with friends. Beers available. Free smoking area.

8. The legendary Boci Boci which famous for its gyoza and nabe are currently shut down until February 2014 (might be delayed) In the meantime you might want to try Naka Nakaya / Sumiya both in STC Senayan. They are in one management, share (some) same menus, and staffs are rotated as well.


Taste The Font by Primprim

Samalona Island, South Sulawesi

Lovely blue sky, white sandy beach, and torquoise clear water. And it’s just 30-minutes away from the city of Makassar!

No filters used for the pics, btw ;)

——- travel info ——

  • Boat from Makassar  Rp 300-350k round trip - up to 10 pax on board
  • Snorkel & mask Rp 10.000
  • Bale-bale (to put your bags and things, or even to sleep on) Rp 50.000
  • Better bring your own lunch and drink since food sold is limited to pisang epe, coconut and local fishes. Kinda pricey.
  • Best time to visit: May-August
  • Staying: simple room with bathroom, with or w/o aircon start from 150-300k per night, although nothing’s really good to stay for around the island

Depart early morning so you have plenty of time. Wait until the beautiful sunset if you have a day to spend.


The Pipiltin (sg. pilli) were the noble social class in the Mexica Empire.

In Jakarta, Pipiltin equals locally sourced chocolate, creative chocolate-based plated desserts, and a good time.

This is the first bean-to-bar chocolate boutique in Jakarta, with cacao beans from Aceh and Bali (which also famous for its coffees)

twitter @PipiltinCocoa

mine is @danieldeka, if you care.


Masterclass on Youtube. Free of charge.

You’re welcome :)

follow my twitter @danieldeka


What you see isn’t always what you get.

One may looked like beef, but it’s actually not. It’s a fruit, to my surprise.

One may looked like a rock, but it’s edible.

One may looked like charcoal, but you won’t believe me if it’s sweet and soft.

A candle? What dessert can be delivered in form of a candle? hint: we found it easily from a street vendor. Sweet, caramel-y, addictive. Here, they make it into “another level”. Cool.

Go figure which one of pictured above that resemble Mie Kangkung and Pempek Kapal Selam.

Indonesian food, ultra-modern style. Hats off for the creativity. Respect Andrian Ishak.


The brainchild of creative chef Andrian Ishak (tweeting @chefbodin). Re-creating Indonesian traditional dish into modern-laboratory style a.k.a molecular gastronomy.

Thanking all the good people we had dinner with that evening:

Tria of Femina, Ruby of Wanderbites!, Ayu from ACMI, Ray Janson, Yuda Bustara, Putri Miranti, Chindy from Pantry Magic, Lidia from JS, Aletta and two guys whose names I forgot :D

We shall return for season 3, looking forward to the new restaurant building -soon- not far from Gunawarman neighborhood ;)

Sete, the Venice of Languedoc

It was my very first experience of what people called “Mediterranean life”. 30 minutes drive from the city of Montpellier, it is a port and a seaside resort on the Mediterranean with its own very strong cultural identity and cuisine.

It feels like Kota Tua Jakarta, but only waaay prettier and colder (yea of course!) It has canal in the middle of the city and a market or what they call “Halles Centrales”.

These are some pictures from the city and inside the market, including one of the best lunch in my life: a shellfish platter -including those Mediterranean oysters- with Languedoc wine, no more than 52 Euro for 4 of us. I call it a good life.

Glodok, The Capital’s Chinatown

This place is sentimental to me and my parents. Been here since 5 years old, where my dad bought me my first Nintendo.

The first time I had my coffee. The place I fell in love with Soto Betawi, Lapcheong and Baso Goreng. 

My dad was very famous, tukang jam, tukang beras, tukang parkir, tukang daging, tukang ketoprak, DVD and calculator man. Even the whole Toko Kawi address him by his name.

Nowadays, my heart for the place grow even fonder.

Photo courtesy of Natalia @natnutnat