Tag Archives: 2017

Strung Words: Hungover Heart

“Don’t worry, you will find someone else soon.”

Oh yes,

a someone else

will definitely come along.


how can I focus on a someone else

if every time I see you

the memories rush back

the feelings converge

the voices: “don’t crack”

the hopes re-emerge

– A whole different kind of hangover


>> Previous Post On This Category: One-Word Crusher

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Food & Dining Review: Kokoro Mazesoba Gandaria City

>> At A Glance

* Restaurant name: Kokoro Mazesoba

* Cuisine: Japanese

* Address: Gandaria City Mall (Upper Ground Floor), Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, RT 10/RW 6, Kebayoran Lama Utara, Jakarta Selatan 12240

* Opening times: Everyday 10.00 – 22.00

* Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter


>> Ratings

* Overall flavour: 5

Hands down, this place serves the best maze soba I’ve ever tasted in my life. Of course, I only had room to taste one of the soba variations they have on offer, but that alone has compelled me to write a review, so I guess that’s saying something. Kokoro’s flavour profile is truly delightful and will certainly leave you craving for more down the line. This in addition to fresh drinks makes Kokoro Mazesoba an ideal place for day/night-outs with both friends and family.

* Price for portion: 4

It’s a tad bit expensive, but can still pass as reasonable considering the typical pricing in mall restaurants. With no soba/don/zosui bowls over 100k IDR, I personally find that the main dishes are more sensibly priced than the drinks and side dishes (e.g. one small chicken katsu pao alone can set you back 23k IDR). That being said, the prices are not too extortionate to the point that the restaurant loses its competitive edge. Check out the full menu here

* Service: 4.5

Interior of the restaurant.

As the Gandaria City branch is relatively new (Kokoro has another branch in Grand Indonesia), the servers were very proactive in encouraging people to try the restaurant. They were knowledgeable about the menu and able to satisfyingly help customers figure out the best dishes to try depending on their interests. Furthermore, they were relatively alert in refilling ocha and offering additional rice. The only aspect that could be improved is possibly friendliness; a few more smiles here and there can go a long way in amplifying the comfortable atmosphere for customers.

* Venue / ambiance: 5

The place is well-decorated; it’s evident that the furnitures and their placements have been carefully thought out. Moreover, I love the elegant yet cozy Japanese street store feel created by the wooden textures.

* X factor: The perfect combination of tangy vinegar and well-made soba is likely to encourage return visits!

* Overall experience: 4.5

>> Dish By Dish Review

* Shio Mazesoba Chicken for 69k IDR: 5

Such an exciting, mild, and yummy dish! If spaghetti carbonara was to be done with a Japanese twist, then this would be it. The portion is generous and filling; there are adequate toppings and all the ingredients taste super fresh. The grilled chicken slices are tender, moist, and well seasoned, just outright delicious. You can add vinegar and chilli flakes to your liking, and I would certainly recommend adding vinegar because its tang complements the soba really well. The chilli flakes are great for adding a bit of spice, too.

Interestingly, all guests are welcome to free additional rice after they finish their soba to make the most out of the remaining sauce. This is the first time I’ve encountered this at a Japanese restaurant in Jakarta and it certainly creates a novelty effect, but I think many people (including me) would be to full to follow up the soba with rice. Overall, I believe Kokoro has successfully lived up to their slogan, “Not ramen, not udon, it’s a new taste!”.

* Yuzu Punch for 35k IDR: 4

A refreshing way to end a heavy noodle meal. This cold citrus punch topped with passion fruit is a great drink as well as light dessert; its fruitiness is a good change from the soba sauce. However, I’m sure customers would appreciate less ice and more punch, so that the ice doesn’t dilute the fresh flavour of the punch too much as it melts.

>> Other Opinions

* Various reviews on Zomato (in Indonesian and English)

* Various reviews on TripAdvisor (in Indonesian and English, on the Grand Indonesia branch)

* An article by the news outlet detikFood (in Indonesian)

>> Previous Post On This Category: King Mango Thai Neo Soho

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Kokoro Mazesoba? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

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Six Returning US TV Shows To Look Forward To This Fall

>> Comedy

The Big Bang Theory Season 11

Arguably one of the most enjoyable yet controversial American sitcom for the past ten years, The Big Bang Theory is set to premiere its eleventh season on September 25th 2017. The series ended its tenth season on major cliffhangers with Sheldon’s proposal to Amy and the confiscation of the gang’s gyroscope by the Air Force. In addition to the resolution of these situations, I’m hoping to witness further character development, especially in the cases of Howard and Bernadette with Baby Halley as well as Raj with the lack of his family’s money. Excitingly, a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory called Young Sheldon will also be premiering this fall on November 2nd 2017, following a special preview on the day of season 11’s premiere.

The Middle Season 9

After eight years, the loveable family comedy The Middle will be releasing its ninth and final season this coming October 3rd. The eighth season concluded heartwarmingly with The Hecks coming together to send off Axl on his three-month trip to Europe with Kenny. Picking up from this point, I’m looking forward to seeing how the writers will tie up loose ends in an effort to build up to a realistic yet touching farewell. Am I ready to let go of one of TV’s most relatable families? Certainly not! But the season ahead will hopefully provide some closure to fond viewers. Check out the season nine trailer here.

The Mindy Project Season 6

Yet another amazing comedy show coming to an end; The Mindy Project is scheduled to air its sixth and final season starting on September 12th 2017. From falling in love with the enemy (again) to contemplating marriage (again), season five had me questioning whether there will ever be a season as meaningful and bold as season four. Don’t get me wrong, the fifth season is still filled with episodes featuring an entertaining take on prevalent social issues, but it feels like the writers are stuck in a rut plot-wise. Additionally, although Mindy is the title character, I think it’d be more entertaining and useful for character/plot progression to have some episodes focusing on the other main characters.

>> Sci-Fi

The Flash Season 4

Following a mind-boggling third season, this DC-based series is set to air the first episode of its fourth season on October 10th 2017. A lot of questions are left lingering by the season three finale, including how Caitlin will control her Killer Frost urges, whether another Harrison Wells will be pulled from yet another Earth, and of course, what happens now that Barry/The Flash is occupying the speed force prison. The persisting challenge for The Flash writers is to satisfyingly resolve these questions without ignoring or overcomplicating the physics bound to be involved. Furthermore, fans at The Flash‘s panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International have also made it clear that they’re keen on seeing more crossovers within the Arrowverse, and with a show as logic-testing as The Flash, who’s to say that anything is impossible. Check out the season four trailer here.

>> Drama

How To Get Away With Murder (HTGAWMSeason 4

As the characters fall deeper into their web of lies in season three, there’s no telling just to what extent they will continue to claim innocence in season four. Scheduled to premiere on September 28th 2017, the fourth season of HTGAWM has more options than ever for plot progression. With Denver’s burner phone, Annalise’s confrontation of Sylvia Mahoney, and Dominic’s phone call to Laurel’s father, it will be interesting to see how the mystery of Wes’ murder pans out, and subsequently, how each character comes to term with his death. The well-integrated prolepses and analepsis, along with the humanely flawed dynamics of the characters, are what attracted me to the show in the first place, and I hope the creators continue to find a way to put a fresh twist to these elements as they go into the new season.

Riverdale Season 2

Through its first season, Riverdale is already giving the long-standing teen drama/mystery series Pretty Little Liars a run for its money. Equal parts intense, sexy, and mysterious, high expectations are in place for the second season of this Archie-based show, which is set to debut this coming October 11th. Questions marks hang over the fate of most characters in the series: how will Archie deal with his father’s death? What’s left for Penelope and Cheryl? Will Jughead’s enrolment at Southside High take a toll on Bughead? Those are just a few questions out of many more. Moreover, the show’s creators have said that they plan on making a few minor characters in season one such as Reggie and Alice more involved in season two, and that they will be introducing new characters such as Hiram Lodge (Veronica’s dad) into the story. How will these changes affect the relationships between existing main characters? There’s only one way to find out. Check out the season two trailers here and here.

>> Previous Post On This Category: TV Show Episode Review: Shadowhunters S02E14

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Krispy Kreme UK’s Giant Slot Machine

Just under two months ago on June 21st 2017, I got the chance to play with a giant slot machine courtesy of Kripsy Kreme UK! The slot machine was stationed at London Victoria, supposedly the second busiest station in the UK, and was only there for one day. This was done to promote the collaboration between Krispy Kreme and US confectionary giant Hershey’s, through which they’re launching the Cookies ‘N’ Creme Collection.

From Hershey’s mugs to actual doughnuts in the new collection, players were eagerly lining up to try winning the range of prizes up for grabs. I personally tried my luck on the machine once, and lo and behold, won a Cookies ‘N’ Creme filled doughnut – yay!

The doughnut is my first sneak peek into the collection, and it was definitely a pleasant experience. Krispy Kreme’s classic dough is topped with white-chocolate-flavoured coating, crumbs of Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme chocolate, and three diagonal lines of milk chocolate. When you bite into the doughnut, a soft, velvety cookies and cream filling comes oozing out, making each bite nothing short of delicious. The best thing about it is that neither Hershey’s chocolate signature taste nor Krispy Kreme’s sugar-glazed doughnut taste is overpowering; they both complement each other to create a dynamic, satisfying flavour.

In short, my visit to Krispy Kreme UK’s giant slot machine at London Victoria was definitely well worth it. Let’s do this again, pretty please?

>> Previous Post On This Category: Taste of London June ’17

Photographs: Manmadesthics #2

>> About Manmadesthics

Manmadesthics is a photography collection aiming to capture aesthetically pleasing patterns that are created by humans – manmade + aesthetics = manmadesthics. This is my second blogpost about this collection; you can find the first post here.

Taken at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Indonesia  with an iPhone 5. Black and white filter applied. Click to enlarge.

Taken at Fairmont Singapore, Singapore with an iPhone 7. Colour corrected. Click to enlarge.

Taken during Tori Kelly‘s concert at O2 Academy Brixton, London with an iPhone 5. Colour corrected. Click to enlarge.

>> Previous Post On This Category: Nature Speaks #1

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Food & Dining Review: King Mango Thai Neo Soho

>> At A Glance

* Restaurant name: King Mango Thai

* Cuisine: Thai

* Address: Neo Soho Mall, Lower Ground (LG) Floor, Jl. Letjen S. Parman (Podomoro City), Tanjung Duren, Jakarta 11470

* Opening times: Everyday 10.00 – 22.00

* Phone: +622156985555

* Social media: Facebook, Instagram

This up-and-coming juice bar currently only offers one thing on their menu: their viral mango juice. As such, I won’t be doing a dish-by-dish review section as per usual, and will instead just do a general ratings review section.

>> Ratings

* Flavour: 2.5

Right off the bat: I expected more. A lot more. For the tons of social media hype, an hour-long (sometimes even more) line, and 50k IDR, I expected a drink that would transform the mango dessert world. Instead, all customers are really getting is a mango juice topped with whipped cream, shaved ice, and mango pieces that’s overall way too sweet for its own good. It might not be as bad if the juice is entirely made from mangoes, but the additional mango extract and liquid sugar just pushed it over the edge for me. The artificial substances hinder the fresh, characteristic texture I wanted to taste from pure mango juice, and unless some significant changes are made or new drinks are introduced, I’m not planning on going for seconds anytime soon – I didn’t even finish the one I bought for this review. The whipped cream, shaved ice, and mango pieces, whilst absolutely delicious toppings, are not nearly enough to make this drink worthwhile.

* Price for portion: 4

Whilst 50k IDR for a mango drink is arguably more on the expensive end, it can still pass as reasonable considering the claim that it uses genuine Thai mangoes. Additionally, the size of each serving is rather huge and can fill you up quite significantly.

* Service: 1.5

Maybe it’s the super long line or maybe it’s because I came during the later half of the day, but the cashier and server were not at all friendly and accommodating. There were no smile, no greetings, and no explanation of the juice bar’s concept (or even the fact that they only have one drink on offer). It was definitely a subpar experience in terms of service, and the only reason I didn’t give it a one is because service was quite quick once you put your order in.

* Venue / ambiance: 3.5

The Thai ornaments on the walls are intricately beautiful, creating an authentic Thai feel to the place. Moreover, the combination of wood and yellow lighting throughout the shop complements the Thai ornaments’ colour scheme rather well. Unfortunately, the cloud ceiling looks out of place, and I’m sure customers would appreciate more seats.

* X factor: Does a super long line count as an x factor?

* Overall experience: 2.5

>> Other Opinions

* Various reviews on Zomato, pergikulinerQraved, and Foody.id (in Indonesian and English)

* On food/lifestyle blogs called Eat and Treats and My Fun Food Diary (in English)

* On a food blog called Dosen Kuliner (in Indonesian)

>> Previous Post On This Category: Pippo Senayan City

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next!

Are you affiliated with King Mango Thai? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

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