Friday, October 30, 2015

Jing Paradise - Bandung

Jing Paradise is a fine dining restaurant just next door to Mercure Hotel Setiabudi. We had our dinner there on our first night in Bandung due to convenience. And beside I thought a break from some traditional Indonesian cuisine would be nice.

Just like what it said. Fine dining. So I expected a slightly higher price but still I was surprise to see the price of soup per person. It's equivalent to about US$3 ! But the good thing is because it was counted per person then each person could order different type of soup. In our group, six of us ordered the asparagus egg drop soup and the rest ordered cream of corn soup.

We shared stir fry green bean szechuan style, cucumber with mei cai, chinese style cold plate with roast chicken and jelly fish. The dishes were on the smaller side but it's night time so I think it was sort of suitable and not too filling for everyone.

All in all the dishes were good and tasted natural with very little or no use of MSG. It's not a very good value of your money but it's quite satisfying at the same time.

Jing Paradise
Mercure Bandung Setiabudi Hotel
Jl. Dr. Setiabudi No. 269-275, Kec. Sukasari, Jawa Barat 40141 
Phone  62 22 2012610

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Breakfast at Mercure Setiabudi Hotel - Bandung

A few shots from the breakfast room of Mercure Setiabudi Hotel Bandung.

Raja Sunda - Bandung, Indonesia

Located just off the Pasteur exit of Cipularang highway, this Raja Sunda restaurant was a perfect choice to stop by for visitors from Jakarta when entering Bandung. Parking isn't an issue because the restaurant has parking area in front and on the side of the restaurant. When we got there it wasn't really lunch time yet so parking was a breeze.

My parents have been here numerous times so my dad suggested to stop by there for our lunch. There were eight of us so I decided to get one of those lunch package for 4 and ordered additional dishes. The package include deep fried gourami fish, barbecue chicken, kangkung hotplate, deep fried squid, peanut fritters and veggie filled fried tofu. We added chicken satay and stir fry salted fish and bean sprout.

The chili paste (sambal) was good condiment to go with whatever dishes presented. The sambal was a balance combination of chili, onion, shrimp paste etc.

If you do stop by make sure to try the kangkung hotplate, barbecue chicken, deep fried gourami fish and chicken satay.

Raja Sunda
Jl. Terusan Pasteur No. 63, Jawa Barat
(022) 6037688

Mercure Setiabudi Hotel - Bandung

After browsing through hundreds of reviews on Agoda. I decided to choose this hotel. This trip my dad was hosting a few guests from Singapore and also my other relatives from Hong Kong. So I decided to splurge a bit.

We got deluxe rooms and each room was nicely decorated with huge painting on the wall on the back of the beds. There was a purple color lounge chair with pillow and a desk and chair. A French door opened out to a balcony with view of mountain and swimming pool below. The bathroom had standing shower and magnifying mirror which I found useful when applying make up. ha..ha..

Bandung Trip 2015 : Jakarta - Bandung

Because of my cousin's wedding, we got some relatives coming from Singapore. My dad planned a road trip to Bandung for them. A good chance to introduce Indonesia tourism. ha..ha..

We left early on Monday morning from the Pluit area of North Jakarta. We had to pick up our relatives who stayed at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in the financial district area of Jakarta. There is a strict 3 person in a car rule imposed from 7-10 on weekdays for cars entering that area. We tried to beat that rule by getting to the hotel earlier.

Traffic was getting heavy and I was stressed out that we couldn't make it there on time. It's been a while for me to drive in that area. But we managed to get there and collected them on time. Next thing : hit the road baby !

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Indonesia Tourist Visa Exemption

I was looking up information for our annual Asia trip and came across some information on Indonesia Tourist Visa Exemption. Apparently effective June 10, 2015, US Citizens and foreign nationals of 45 countries and territories are eligible for Tourist Visa Exemption. Read the full information here.

I looked up some travel forums to verify this information and to see whether there are any tips given to smoother the process. The information I found was mixed. Some were successful going through immigration and using this new exemption. Others were not due to lack of proofs as tourists. What do you need to proof yourselves as tourists ?

One person on the TripAdvisor forum came through Soekarno Hatta airport and was rejected by Immigration Authorities when he tried to leave through Bandung airport. He was told that when using the tourist visa exemption he needed to come through and leave through the same airport. Though that piece of information was not mentioned anywhere on the link above.

At the same time I was confused as to why US was still listed as country whose nationals are eligible to apply for Visa On Arrival. But an email to the Indonesia Embassy made it a bit clearer. The Tourist Visa Exemption is meant for tourists only. If you're visiting Indonesia for other purpose other than being a tourist then you need to pay for the Visa On Arrival.

With these information on hand I was still a bit stressed out over our arrival in Soekarno Hatta on October 17 afternoon. We were one of the few that got out of the plane. There was no line on the visa payment line and there were only a few people on the immigration line for foreign nationals. Hubby got in front of me and he got through without getting sent back to pay for the Visa On Arrival. And then my turn. The officer asked what was the purpose of the visit and how many days will I stay. I answered those questions and got my stamp. Phew.

Another change that I noted also but I didn't know when it started taking effect was the elimination of arrival card. The only form we needed to complete was the custom form (one for each family).

Friday, October 2, 2015

Paris Baguette - Santa Clara

Fruit shaved ice

We tried these dessert here at the peak of summer. During one of those heat wave days in Silicon Valley. But even that enjoying these shaved ice in the ac room made me chilled after a few spoonfuls.
Well being shaved ice

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Soong Soong - San Jose

braised pork belly with preserved veggies
Found out this restaurant when I was searching on Yelp about any Hakka restaurant. And surprisingly as it turned out that they actually serve the braised pork with preserved vegetables (mei cai gou rou). This dish is very work extensive so even though I tried to make it before I would rather just enjoy it.

So we suggested that place to our friends and they agreed to meet us there for dinner. We were there on a Sunday evening around 7 pm. The place was pretty busy. People came and went with their take out orders. It’s a good sign.