Hey, Patricia

I always have the same answer for everyone, another autoplay on repeat: “I think they are things that you just have to face. A consequence for your action. They all come in a package. They’re small if you know where you’re going and why you’re doing what you do”.

Advertisements

The low hum from a vibrating machinery nearby emitted a low F tone. Another two steps forward and there came a C tone from another resonance. I couldn’t resist a smile on my face. ‘Huh, who knows that a construction site can create such a beautiful harmony’, I thought to myself, continuing my pace as I was already late to a morning appointment.

Strolling around the city again after being away for almost ten months, a pang of nostalgia hit me. This used to be home. Or, at least, I was very determined to call it home once upon a time. A lot of people asked me if I missed this city. My answer sounded like a records on repeat in my head, ‘Didn’t occur to me until now that I am here’. Just like a lot asked me if I was sure about my big move when I just arrived in Indonesia, and why the move after such a long nine years in Australia. The commentaries never stray too far away from this: “It’s very different here, you know, you won’t be able to stand the traffic. And the people. And the bureaucracy”.

I always have the same answer for everyone, another autoplay on repeat: “I think they are things that you just have to face. A consequence for your action. They all come in a package. But, they’re small if you know where you’re going and why you’re doing what you do”.

Processed with VSCO with se3 preset
Patricia

Noticing the road got busier as the morning went by, I made my last crossing up Little Bourke Street and finally found the tiny gem hidden behind tall skyscrapers next to a public parking space. I was not late for my appointment at all, after all.

Patricia Coffee Brewers is what the mini coffee oasis is called. When I got there, a long queue already formed outside of the cafe. ‘Looks promising‘, I thought. I have to say that I’m a shame to the Melbourne coffee snobs society (if there was any!); nine long years in Melbourne and never, not even once, have I been to this coffee shop. Tucked behind office spaces and positioned on hidden laneways – just what Melbourne darlings do best – Patricia Coffee Brewer is a spot that coffee lovers should not miss. Adopting the Italian-style coffee shop experience, where drinkers would have their coffee standing up at a counter or bar, the shop is swarmed with office goers hanging out to catch up on the latest news (I love their news stand concept!) and/or taking a little time down before their day started.

Despite their busyness, their customer service level was not even close to being jeopardized. All the baristas were very attentive and friendly. If anything, I got not only one, but two free cups of their single origins (OK, I may be biased, but hey, I got two free tastings!). Those, plus a strong cappuccino that I ordered myself, cue a very chirpy, caffeinated (dehydrated) woman walking around your town.

Processed with VSCO with se3 preset
The smart news stand
Processed with VSCO with se3 preset
Speedy & friendly baristas
Processed with VSCO with se3 preset
Aussie sunshine
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Colombia

I would’ve stayed all day in the shop if I didn’t have another item listed on my schedule. Unwillingly I dragged myself out of the establishment to the cool breeze of a Melbourne summer day, of course not without a warm farewell from the baristas.

Did I miss this city? Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes.

MARIGOLDS

Imagine having a yoga session on the open air terrace pictured above with fresh mountain air. Deep sigh. Namaste.

Back in bali for the third time in six months. I’m starting to like this island, and thinking that maaaaybe in the near future I’ll relocate to this peaceful place. I might be biased, though. All these times I’ve been going there, it’s always been for leisure. This time around, however, I purposefully went for work, with leisure slipped in between meetings. Or should I say during the majority of the trip. OK fine it was a workcation. Why would you do it any other way when the supposed workplace is calling you with the delicious smell of babi guling or bebek bengil and sounds of the sea breezes? The holiday mood is too hard to resist.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I got lucky this time around. A friend and I got to spend a few nights at one of the boutique hotels in Ubud called Bisma Eight. We’ve been eyeing for this area because: for me, I love greeneries and Ubud has it everywhere, as far as your eyes could see; for him, he wanted to try something new since all these times he’s always stayed by the beach whenever he visited Bali. It was a mutual agreement. The narrow street leading to the establishment didn’t look too convincing, to be honest. I was expecting something closer to a quiet, long and winding road, with views of the surrounding rice paddies. Rather, our rented car had to drive through a local housing area, complete with a school, a laundromat, and a massage parlour. So much for a secluded retreat-like accommodation, I thought.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

For a tiny fraction of a second, I doubted my decision to stay there. But, all doubts and negative thoughts were washed away once we arrived at the establishment. The moment we got to the reception, we were greeted with a polite welcome from the hotel staff and delicious thirst-quenching mocktails. It was herby and fresh; just what we needed on a scorching hot afternoon. Once done with the check in, we were guided to our hotel room, a canopy suite. It was not too shabby at all*. I love the mood and choices of details that they put around the hotel. The colour palette spelled calmness, relaxation, and simplicity.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

The hotel offers a lot of services including in-room massage, free yoga classes, cooking classes and many more. Imagine having a yoga session on the open air terrace pictured above with fresh mountain air. Deep sigh. Namaste.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’m not going to elaborate too much further. The pictures (hopefully) will tell all about the ambiance of this hotel. I’d highly recommend you to stay here if you’re looking for tranquility. Plus, as counterintuitive as it may sound, the town centre is only a stone’s throw away, so you can easily go for a stroll when your inner Carrie Bradshaw is calling. One winning point for them: the infinity pool with the jungle and surrounding mountains as the view. I wish I didn’t have to go back home!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with s2 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with s2 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Bisma Eight

Jalan Bisma no. 68, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali

 

P.S. Some interesting things happened during my trip. That would be a story for another time ;)

*P.P.S. Not too shabby is obviously an understatement.

FOREVER INDEPENDENT

I mean, really, do we have brioche rolls on the streets in Vietnam?

Says the writing on the wall. And the menu.

File_000 (10).jpeg

Back the second time in two weeks at this place with my lovers* for an early Christmas get-together.

Melbourne has been crazed with a million restaurants that serve Asian/modern Asian/Asian fusion/Asian inspired (what else can I add here?) dish. The yellow fever is literally washing up this town (muahaha!). I can’t remember exactly when this Asian food fandom started, but I’m pretty sure that the seed got planted first when Chin-Chin opened its doors to Melbourne’s food scene. First, came the food bloggers. Then, the reviews by local papers & publications. Followed by the foodies (wannabes**). And the rest is history. Many have sprung up, offering local delicacies from any Asian countries you could think of. Some places truly deserve the thumbs up when it comes to food quality and authenticity, although some others are just following the hype without any evidence of credibility (I mean, really, do we have brioche rolls on the streets in Vietnam?). So when I heard that there was a new establishment in Melbourne that offers a street food-y concept, I was a bit skeptical, until a friend (with an Asian background) said that the food is pretty legit.

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

And pretty legit they were. Named Hawker Hall, the name literally says it all. Taking the concept of those food halls/kopitiams that we often see in Singapore/Malaysia, the guys behind Hawker Hall made the perfect decision to serve exactly what the original hawker halls would have. Hainanese chicken rice, beef rendang, goat curry, char kway teow, steamed dumplings, you name it. Although they do add more sophisticated delicacies like salmon otak-otak, pop corn chicken and pippies with brown rice, at least they hit the right spots at both the locals’ & nonnatives’ palates. My friends and I were quite impressed by their extensive menu.

And they’re winning in the interior design department too.

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a9 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

I have to include this one of my friend’s, too. Just ‘cos. I mean, how awesome is that merman tattoo?!

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

Until next time, folks!

 

*Sorry to those who cringe at the sound of this word. I just couldn’t resist! lol

**I mean, really, does anyone even know what the word ‘foodie’ means?