~Journey with a Mission~ part 2: Jakarta & Bandung

One thing that separates you from your success is your fear.

– inspired by a TED talk by Chris Hadfield: “What I learned from going blind in space”

This TED talk presented by Chris Hadfield was my first TED video I have ever watched. I found the link to this inspiring talk on Twitter when I was randomly scrolling down my Discover tab and someone apparently promoted this video as his/her favorite finding of the day. Listening to this, I got awed by his wonderful talk. Not because he is a person  with no fear. It is because he was indeed feeling scared and hopeless but in the end he could get over his fear and accomplished one of the most amazing experience in (his) life.

For you who get interested in his talk, please check the link below:


In life we often face uncomfortable situations which require fast decision-making, intensive work loads, and usually consumes a lot of your happy hours time. During this event people tend to procrastinate which most of the time will lead to failure, or at least resulting in imperfect result of whatever they are doing (or suppose to do).

And this is the situation that I am in right now..

While it might not THE UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATION as in most people describe a real uncomfortable situation, my trip in Indonesia has been filled with the fear of overeating and gaining weight. The foods itself are already irresistible, then it is combined with the peer pressure and the festivity of Indonesia, which only make it worse (or better for my gluttony sin). This situation makes me worried that it will affect the enjoyable feeling of savoring my foods during my holiday time.

Got sick from my nonsense complain yet? If so, then here comes the good news: we will continue with the food diary. Happy!

Day 3: The Ied Festival. While in dutch it is known as Suikerfeest which literally means sugar festival, the way my family celebrate it in Indonesia is not always centered around sweet treats. The common dishes prepared for this day are including a lot varieties of curry, rice cakes, and meat dishes. The sugary treats like cookies and cakes are usually served as snacks during the family bonding time.

My mother started her cooking ritual since a week before the Ied festival. The first dish she prepared was Rendang, because it can be stored in the freezer for quite a long time. Rendang is probably the most famous Indonesian meat dish since it was listed as the world’s most delicious food by CNN Travel polling in 2011. The cooking process requires 3-4 hours of slow simmering the beef in a spicy coconut milk. The spice composition in the coconut milk and the level of fire that we use for cooking are very crucial in perfecting this dish. When the fire is too big the meat will turn out tough and the spices will not be absorbed into the meat completely. As a housewife/cook wannabe, this is the dish that I aim to master in 3 years.

A day before the festival, she cooked 5 different types of curry: goat, shrimp, bamboo, chicken, and egg.

If you wonder how our Ied table looks like, this is it:


I can still taste the richness of the spiced coconut broth in every single curry. It was really good until you realized that you probably have gained 3 kg only from one festival. 

The celebration does not end in the end of the lunch time. As a big family we had to visit almost every older member of the family. Every house served more or less similar food set with variations of cookies, meatball soup, and cold virgin fruit cocktails. Every house owner tried their best to force feed spoil their guests. It might sound dangerous for your body weight and cholesterol level,  but it can also work as a good distraction while they try to ask you about your relationship status and why you are still in university.

Day 4 and 5: Trip to Bandung.

For general information about this cozy city, try to start with Wikipedia, then pack your back and fly/drive. Experiencing Bandung from the first hand is always the best way to know the real face of this city.

The typical taste from Bandung’s traditional foods are savory yet fresh and light. It is definitely a prefect choice for cleaning our taste bud and resting our gastrointestinal tract from all the heavy stuff that we had the day before.

Samples of the dishes are shown on the pictures below: fried carper, sweet soy sauce with chilies, water spinach stir fry with garlic sauce, karedok, and the famous sayur asem (sour soup). Sour soup might sound strange for non Indonesia ears, but even though the name is not very appealing, this soup has a sweet/sour and refreshing taste from the tamarind. The soup also consists of a lot of vegetables such as baby corn, water squash, and melinjo.

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Our complete Bandung lunch. Look at the cute sleeping crunchy fish!2014-07-29-15-21-52_deco A guy preparing grilled fish cakes. Normally we call this snack otak otak, literally means brains. However there is no brain involve in these small green packages.  


The sour soup (sayur asem) and soto Bandung (meat soup with soy and daikon radish).

 Day 6: Back to Jakarta, it was time to head to the shopping mall. On the day 6 we decided to have some Chinese foods at a certain restaurant that is well-known for its Peking Duck.

Our lunch set was relatively light, but then the good will was failed due to the big servings. I think we made quite a healthy choices for the lunch set: stir fried vegetables, tofu, grilled duck, chicken and egg porridge, plus a seafood-tofu hot pot with sweet and spicy sauce.


Our lunch set.

2014-07-31-20-14-02_deco 2014-07-31-20-14-54_deco

Salt-chili fried tofu (a popular Singaporean dish) and the grilled duck as the restaurant specialty. I tried not to eat the skin, but I failed (haha! sorry not sorry)


My lunch portion. It was small, wasn’t it? It was! But this picture only part of the beginning of the lunch. I had the same amount of foods about 2 times more at the end of the meal.

So I think this is the end of this entry. I feel full only from typing and sorting all the pictures I’ve taken during this trip. My hope is that I will get over my fear of being overweight so I can successfully piggying up and eat more delicious foods in the rest of my journey.

Tomorrow my family and I will continue to travel to Yogyakarta. Because different city means different delicacies, keep checking Katenuil’s Journey with a Mission series for more exciting Indonesian foods. See you later!




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