eat. go. do // jogja



(It took me awhile to actually write this eat-go-do list of Jogja. Five years ago, it would be very easy for me to name all the hidden seaside and point a destination to go on the next impulsive road trip. Now that Jogja become a routine, a place where I work, and life is not a series of aimless stroll anymore; the spark I once had with this city is somehow fading away. It is sad, and I know that one day I need to give it a second chance. I am still enjoying my occasional walk down the neighborhood around Lir or Hong but not so much on the adventure around the faraway corner of this city. Maybe it is an effect of growing up but the road and the tourism area seem to be a little bit too crowded. Some secret hideaways get their 15 minutes fame in a blink of an eye and suddenly turned into another money-maker tourism area with bad planning, over publicity, and impediment. I start to be a homebody and enjoy staycation better. Every now and then I love to keep it low and prefer to go to the old underrated places, spend more time reading or hosting a soiree in my home, and keep some secret places as a well-kept secret. Posted below is my eat-go-do list of the not-so-secret places in Jogja. Consider this a local guide of the city and my personal reminder of where to take my visiting friends, mostly to eat. Pardon the lack of information of places to go or things to do..and have fun 'tasting' the city!)

fine dining: 1/ gajah wong (always a good idea in terms of ambiance and food) 2/ plataran (it's not exactly *in* Jogja-- but when you want to feel like going on a resort holiday and chill with a glass of fresh juice and fine dessert for hours while gazing to the romantic Borobudur on the horizon, this is the place) 3/ beaukenhof (one of the secret place I always eager to share) 4/ mediterranean (it's my personal goal to taste each and every non-pizza/pasta menu that they offer-- so far, it's the best fine dining with a very very laid back ambiance. this is also a great place to go for quattro formaggi pizza and beer with friends..)

a piece of 'jakarta' in jogja: 1/ epic (a little bit overpriced but good coffee) 2/ canting (a place to see and to be seen.. it can be very crowded, but just before sunset-- it's a very nice place to hangout) 3/ lokal (where the hip young tourist and also the students go-- good value) 4/ ruang seduh (originally from jakarta with ikea vibe and so-so coffee--- but very photogenic!)

my personal favorite: 1/ kedai kolondjono (loving the bistro vibe, the best organic food, and very good price!) 2/ kopi ketjil (it's humble, simple, and you can get same quality of coffee with half the price of epic's) 3/ via-via (exceptionally touristy but anything you order is always right- plus, they have artisan bakery with 50% discount every night) 

where the local goes: 1/ kkf (where the artscene go, that is.. good food and perfect when you want to meet anyone from the scene) 2/ sabar menanti (scrumptious lineup of javanese food by the highway.. this is where to go for a big satisfying lunch for less than $3) 3/ warung ijo (humble and delicious homecooking) 4/ ikan bakar bu bambang (every once in awhile, I crave for simple bbq fish with fresh vegetable and a perfect sambal-- this is the place for just that!) 5/ lotek colombo (right in front of bu bambang's bbq fish stall is this famous lotek--always crowded with locals but worth to try) 6/ nasi kuning babarsari or nasi kuning ternate (for those early riser who prefer big breakfast.. but when you're too late, kindai's version of nasi kuning is just as good) 7/ ayam tiga berku (sweet tender chicken cooked perfectly with coconut-- be sure to visit before lunchtime to get the complete menu available) 8/ tahu blora bu puji 9/ tahu telupat magelang 10/ studio kopi (grab a $0.5 morning coffee and delicacies before 11am here)

culinary adventure: 1/ sego nggeneng (the real mangut lele asap served in its authentic exotic kitchen) 2/ mangut lele bu is (the mangut lele is ok, but they serve one of a kind stir fry chilli and caramelized cassava-- my favorite!) 3/ sambel welut (for those who loves spicy or tasteful food that leaves a clean palate) 4/ jimbaran (it's the 'gajah wong' to all bbq fish in town: a little bit pricey but always perfect) 5/ mang engking (for a holiday vibe with family or friend-- the honey prawn is just superb!) 6/ kepiting cak gundul (splurge a little on the best crab in town) 7/ sapi bali (the best ribs!) 8/ sate klathak (the one in the middle of the traditional market-- not only the satay, even the tea is brewed differently and taste real good!) 9/ bebek bacem prambanan (a classic, exceptionally tender fried duck) 10/ bebek goreng chichi (underrated but good) 11/ tio ciu (family favorite) 12/ brongkos warung ijo (for the meat lovers out there) 13/ sate podomoro and sate ayam pak kromo (another heating debate is still going on to decide which one is better between these two.. I myself am a podomoro team) 14/ es murni 86 (oh so good and old fashioned) 13/ pasar pathuk (ranged between local traditional delicacies to the yummiest noodle, famous grilled chicken, and many more)

for the sweet tooth: 1/ loka-loka (delicious cakes and waffles-- but their salmon quiche is exceptionally good too!) 2/ bake a boo (the best cupcake in town!-- now only available at Kunena) 3/ aroma kasongan (the best carrot cake in town) 4/ serafin (not loving the place but they do have the best cake) 5/ pasta gio (still the best chocolate cake) 6/ cono gelato (the best gelato amidst the gelato invasion in town) 7/ havermelkoek (for a girls' dayout and delicious set of dark cherry pie with ice cream) 

Jogja is full of beautiful tourism destination: 1/ be it the hidden or not-so hidden beach around Gunung Kidul area 2/ the beautiful place with a view like nglanggeran, candi boko, or candi abang 3/ the photogenic pine forest in mangunan 4/ the 15-min fame instagram-trendy places like kalibiru or blue lagoon (be sure to come early before all the instagram #livefolk #liveauthentic people arrived) 5/ go to kaliurang (see recommendation here) 6/ since I'm afraid of cave, I never try that cave tubing things. but if you're not afraid of going down the unknown darkness of a cave, it might be fun! 7/ just join the arranged trip by the holiday specialist: www.liburanjogja.com who is far more well-versed than me in this field (and happen to be my brother in-law..lol!)

1/ gallery hopping (grab an art map and feel the dynamic pulse of contemporary art in jogja) 2/ studio visit (during major art events, some initiatives or artists will open their door for a studio visit-- it can be exceptionally inspiring to take a peep into the place where all the creative ideas begin) 3/ join the organic and healthy life scene (go to Milas, bumi langit institute, or check the schedule for the organic market in kamisan or lettuce or other places around the city) 4/ shop for local designer made stuff or antiques in many treasury spots around the city 5/ come and visit me at Lir!


read my other list here:


looking ahead // 2015 // always, surprise yourself!

//quote to remember//
"To learn the path it is important to be sharp yet inconspicuous. When you are sharp, you are not confused by people; when you are inconspicuous, you don’t contend with people. Not being confused by people, you are empty and spiritual; not contending with people, you are serene and subtle" | liao an | 

1/ eat healthier and walk more | 2/ travel, read, write, and learn more | 3/ be better-literate in many aspects in life | 4/ surround myself with kind and positive people | 5/ actually find the perfect place we've been looking for | 6/ start working on my backyard | 7/ I will reward myself a well-deserved break after every hardwork | 8/ keep doing what I do; but do it better | 9/ to always surprise myself every now and then!

(last year, I promised myself to hold back and learn more. I did learn more but I did not hold back for any second. The year just flew by and it was both inspiring and refreshing. At the end of the year, my head was so full-- I feel like I need to stop and process everything. And yet, this new year already start with full speed and even more packed schedule. Apparently, just the way I like it to be. So, instead of wasting my time trying aimlessly to lose weight like every year, this year, I want to just be healthier. Learn more. Start to care less about things that doesn't matter and just keep on moving. Know exactly when to push myself to the limit and when to indulge myself a little well-deserved break. For more concrete plan; this year I should actually find that new space we've been looking for since last year and start working on my backyard. More and more, it's nice to always remember to keep on surprising oneself!)


looking back // 2014 // lir

“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.”

1/ New Project Presentation: Ferial Afif | 2/ Renovation: Art Space B (Lir now has two gallery spaces) | 3/ Lir 3rd Anniversary | 4/ Lir Official Merchandise | 5/ Mural Project by Moki: Lir Animal Space | 6/ Creative Writing Class with Gunawan Maryanto | 7/ Exhibition Laboratory #1 and #2 | 8/ Watercolor drawing workshop with Alfin and Yonaz | 9/ Modular origami workshop with the Mogus | 10/ The Breakfast Club | 11/ Supper Snapshot | 12/ Tell Me a Tale! | 13/ Camouflage: Under Constellation | 14/ Hello Waywolf! | 15/ New Project Presentation: Recollecting Memories of Tukang Foto Keliling | 16/ Folk Afternoon: "in the park", "be neighborly", "with Puti Chitara" | 17/ Walk the Folk #1 | 18/ Idea Club x Post

(now.. now.. never have I felt this guilty for being too inattentive to my baby Lir. Dito and I are still learning to dance in this rhythm of life; stepping awkwardly between his, mine, and what now is ours- Lir. The upcoming half-year is full of exciting plans for Lir, but then again, three of us need to dance our heart out together with the girls as one big family.)