Bakmi babi in Jakarta

bakmi pork indonesia

Bakmi literally means meat noodles and despite the Muslim majority capital of Indonesia, there are shops which caters for people who wants a dose of porcine goodness. One of these is located in Mangga Besar – a quirky name which means “big mango” (a tropical variant of the Big Apple ;)).

Bakmi Ahau claims to have been around since 1962 – that’s a good 50 years (!!!) of operation. It’s still situated in a dingy stall right by the roadside but that’s part of the appeal. If the claims are true (or if the date is based on the Muslim calendar, which produces its peculiar brand of irony) it means that they must serve a really good bowl of bakmi babi (pork noodles)…

bakmi ahau 1962

…and I can attest to that!

It has been around for a couple of years at least, a friend of mine brought me here to eat a very late supper when I was in Jakarta. The place was packed even though it was way past midnight.

bakmi jakarta

The bakso (that’s meatballs) accompanying the bakmi here is made with pork and it’s deep fried before being served, producing a crunchiness that goes very well with the juicy pork meatballs. They don’t skimp on the meat – there’s just a thin coating of batter on top. I reckon it’s the deep fried bakso that makes this stall stand out.

bakmi mangga besar

The noodles are also tossed with lard and there’s bit of char siew (barbecued pork) and deep fried pork skin to go with it. It’s also not fully “dry” – almost a quarter of the dish is filled with the seasoning gravy (or bumbu) which is a mixture of lard, soy sauce, and other things the workers are reluctant to divulge.

pork bakmi

However, it is 100% goodness! I have had a lot of pork noodle dishes and this is one of the times where it stood out in my mind. The bakmi in Mangga Besar is just one stall in a long chain but you can find it from the distinctive t-shirts that they wear.

bakmi jakarta me

A large bowl of pork bakmi with extra bakso with a glass of iced jeruk (local Mandarin orange juice) from the stall beside just cost under 20,000 rupiah (about RM 6) – a nice break if you want something other than chicken in Jakarta. A mean and delicious dish of authentic roadside bakmi at a price that’s hard to beat.

A spoiled brat

lost

That’s what I would call myself in hindsight.

It may sound like exaggeration but it’s really not. I told them when I was in high school in New Zealand that I could support myself financially (through criminal enterprises), that I’m legally an adult there (almost 16) and I was free to do whatever I wanted.

I even said I wanted out of the family.

It took a major crisis that made me reevaluate how my relationship with my parents go and what a shitty son I am.

I’m glad that that’s all in the past and I’m really enjoying a great relationship with my parents now.

Blood runs thicker than water, after all.

My first Baskin-Robbins ice cream giveaway! (and more to come)

ice-cream-truck

Greetings and meet my ice cream truck!

voters

I’m kidding, I just chanced upon that while heading to my first appearance. I was at MidValley last Saturday on the 3rd of November to giveaway more than 100+ ice cream scoops in cones and cups. It was supposed to be my first appearance and I’ll learn more from this for my second appearance, which is this weekend! :)

baskinrobbins elections

I started setting up at around 2:30 pm and I had unfortunately only brought 1 notebook along for voting. This created a huge bottleneck there as people who wanted to vote got tired of waiting. I shall have to do something about this for the next one.

smartphone

I’ll bring another notebook to the next session so there will be more “voting stations”, so to speak. It is an election after all. ;)

vote me

I have allocated all of my budget to giving away free ice cream and ice cream cakes. I decided to “get on the ground” (yup, lots of political terms here going on here) and get the attention of passerby’s by telling them about it. Haha. I wanted all of the budget to go towards ice cream for everyone! :D

br flavor elections

Actually, that was A LOT of fun. Now I know how those credit card sales promoters feel like. I have been rejected before I even opened my mouth but on the other hand there were plenty who heard my pitch and request for votes and actually wanted to vote for me after I’ve explained what I was doing.

voting station

It was very heartwarming to see Sue Ann and Jamie helping with getting people and manning the voting station (which is a grand term for my notebook), even Samantha from Baskin-Robbins pitched in to help – many thanks for all that! :)

first
The first person!

I’ve been looking at the opinion polls on the Baskin-Robbins Malaysia Facebook page and it’s good to see a lot of people participating in that too. This is actually going to be taken into consideration so your input would be awesome!

opinion poll

I voted for Exotic – sea salt ice cream or hot & spicy. It would be great to see more unique flavors in Baskin-Robbins here.

I’ll love to eat a steak flavored ice cream! How about that? An ice cream flavor that tastes like a meal! Heh! It would certainly be intriguing.

…or even better, see something like a limited time promotional flavor for Christmas – turkey with cranberry sauce! Won’t that be something? I bet people would want to try it just out of curiosity. I certainly would! :)

There are also other opinion polls ranging from what CSR activities you want Baskin-Robbins Malaysia to do to what kind of promotion you think gives you the best value for your buck. Join in if you want your voices heard!

last family
The last family I gave ice cream to at 5:03 pm!

vote for me

I’ll be having another appearance at Baskin-Robbins Sunway Pyramid this Sunday 11th November where I will not only give out ice cream cones and scoops for free but also ice cream cake vouchers at random!

mini heart

The ice cream cakes are sold at RM 55 each and you can redeem it right there and then if you want.

campaign-promise

In addition to the 500 free Junior ice cream scoops I’m giving away, those 30 ice cream cakes will bring the total to RM 4,400 worth of Baskin-Robbins ice cream products (that’s not including the service charge). I told you all my campaign fund is going to spreading happiness. :)

sixthseal campaign

…and that’s surprisingly what I felt good about the most – the people who waited in line to vote after listening to what I’m doing and the people who came for ice cream. It felt good giving away ice cream especially when someone told me how grateful she was coz she’ll never be able to spend her money on this. I was touched by that.

cookies n cream

Anyway, if you want some of the ice cream cake action, I’ve got several to give out at random at my next appearance:

Venue: Baskin-Robbins, Sunway Pyramid
Date: 11th November (Sunday)
Time: 3-5 pm

jamie hb sam sue

Thanks again to my impromptu team for helping out with everything that day – Jamie, Sue Ann and Samantha!

vote

You can vote for me at votenow.com.my (I’m Cookies ‘n Cream)or come on Sunday for some free ice cream on me. I’ll also be giving away ice cream scoops and cakes on the SixthSeal Facebook page.

free br ice cream

Getting in touch with my consistency since 2012. ;)

Of accents and English

english

I read something about regional accents being eroded by TV (in this case, the particularly heavy one in Maine) and it got me thinking about the subject of that and how true it is.

I’ve seen people go overseas for barely 6 months and come back armed with heavily accented Aussie/American English, complete with the appropriate slang. Some of them are obviously affected (a nicer term for faked or forced) but it could be argued that they just spent more time hanging with the locals.

Well, I have a pretty good command of the language but my verbal enunciation is sadly lagging way behind the clear grasp I have of the written form.

…and I come from a small town that speaks minimal English and only started using it on a daily basis when I went to New Zealand when I was 15.

I was doing Form Six English and I still can’t figure out if it’s reverse racism that the teacher keeps pointing out to the entire classroom that I’m the best in the class despite it being my second language. I didn’t do ESL (English as a Second Language) like the majority of non-Kiwis there, I went to the regular class.

…and I don’t think Chinese is my first language. I can certainly speak it fluently but can’t write a single cohesive sentence. That is an overstatement, I can’t even make sense of anything except a handful of basic characters. I never bothered learning, it was too hard and my mom didn’t insist when I was a kid unlike the other subjects coz it wasn’t in UPSR (our primary school graduation aptitude test).

I also did my four years of college and university in Melbourne and spent most of the time hanging around Aussies for simple reasons – the lifestyle I was living at that time with (real) raves/doofs and substances is a niche that not many Asians participate in.

Which leaves childhood, since that is the time when language retention is at its highest. I didn’t watch a lot of TV as a kid, it was frowned upon and strictly regulated by my parents. However, I enjoyed reading at a very young age, graduating to age-inappropriate material and adult novels before I even hit puberty.

(which was encouraged by my mom at least)

I still love reading for pleasure – in fact, I’ve somehow conditioned myself to be constipated unless there’s reading material nearly (back home there’s always the latest TIME magazine or National Geographic in the toilet). Hell, I still need to read the news or an ebook when I’m taking a shit nowadays.

Anyway, back to the accent, I’ve never quite figured it out (except for the affected cases) – do people who watch more TV when they’re under 12 years old speak better English?

What is your personal experience?

A selection of Hors d’oeuvre

chocolate cubes

This is one of the most awesome chocolates I’ve ever had – it’s made of over 80% cocoa, very dark and bittersweet, with a dusting to finish it.

chocolate cocoa

I think a whole bunch of us in Singapore had way too much of these. I know I certainly did, totally ruined my appetite for dinner.

hors d oeuvre

This is pretty good too – it’s a layered chocolate cake and almost impossible to dissect but let me attempt to describe it – it contains layer after layer of moist and fluffy pastry covered with chocolate. I was impressed, it was so light it felt like I was eating mostly air.

lobster shots

Lobster shooters. I liked this one too – awesomely concocted pieces of lobsters with the accompanying sauces and garnishes in one ready-to-drink (eat?) shot.

liquor chocolates

This were the chocolates that had liquor in it – it’s infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream. I preferred the original high cocoa content chocolate cubes instead but a lot of others liked these. :)

Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus Steakhouse

stuart anderson black angus steak

This is a higher end quick service restaurant that I had dinner at last week in Singapore. Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus Steakhouse has several outlets there – it’s a franchise that started in Seattle.

Black Angus Steakhouse serves All American fare like steaks (obviously), burgers and root beer. The prices are pretty reasonable too, if you don’t convert – the root beer float goes for SGD 7.50.

stuart anderson black angus singapore

It’s primarily known for steak though – the menu describes it lovingly as air flown USDA tender, flavorful Black Angus steak aged to perfection. There are several cuts available in different sizes.

I settled for a center-cut New York Steak – medium rare. It’s SGD 43.90 for 10 oz. I love the sauce options – the waiter recommended Red Wine sauce, which I went with.

black angus steakhouse new york steak

You can also choose the trimmings – I went for the standard side of fresh steamed vegetables and switched my baked potato to garlic mashed potato, which was an excellent choice. My only beef (no pun intended) is that they got my order wrong, it came out medium well instead of medium rare but in a group of about a dozen near closing time, I guess mix-ups are inevitable.

stuart anderson steak soup

You also get to choose an entree from the menu to go with your steak dinner and I went with Stuart’s Steak Soup which was recommended and I wasn’t disappointed – it turned out to be the best dish I had. Heh. The steak soup has generous chunks of beef inside as well as a hodgepodge of beans, veggies and even barley. Nice, thick soup for the soul.

gigantic burger pound black angus

They also have a monster of a burger, with patties made of Black Angus beef weighing a whole pound! That’s like eating 4 quarter pounders and this has strips of bacon on top to boot. Decadent stuff. Just look at the size of it. It’s about SGD 24 or so, and it would certainly take a very hungry man to finish it.

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