Wednesday 28 November 2012

Meetings, Merchandise and Macet

We are back from our trip to Jakarta. We had an amazing time there and managed to get done everything planned. 

Our priority was to meet with our interior designers. The meeting went well and we are very happy to welcome them on-board.  Now decisions will be easier to make, counting on the support of someone who can safely sew together all our wild ideas. 

We also took advantage of this trip to visit Food & Hospitality Indonesia. This is a yearly event where everyone involved in the industry gathers to showcase their products and services. We were very interested in attending as Cuca will only use Indonesian ingredients so we welcome any opportunity to learn more about our options. Since some of the companies were selling their products at the expo itself, we bought some kitchen tools that we had not been able to find in Bali. 

During our time in Jakarta we did as much as possible but it is difficult to plan lots of things for a day as transport in Jakarta is basically this:

Yes, the famous Jakarta “macet” (traffic jam). We had heard lots about it but this time we could finally experience it for ourselves… In Jakarta your life is planned around the traffic jams which often continue through the day. Travelling even short distances can take hours and some parts of the city are in a constant state of jam. The situation seems seriously critical. A 2007 study by the Yayasan Pelangi Indonesia, an environmental NGO, predicted that if nothing is done to improve things, traffic will grind to a complete halt by 2014. Can you believe it??? To ease the situation, the government has implemented schemes such as the “three in one”, which requires vehicles to have at least three passengers on busy roads at peak hours. However, Indonesians have seized the latent business opportunity and a new profession has emerged: “the jockeys”. These are hitchhikers who are taken at the beginning of the main roads, dropped at the end and paid to ride with single drivers who otherwise would not be allowed to use these roads. 

Despite this chaos, Jakarta is a very exciting city with a vibrant restaurant scene. We were especially impressed with the design of quite a few restaurants and we look forward to the next opportunity to go back, this time with a good book to combat the jam.

Tuesday 27 November 2012


Before telling you about our recent trip to Jakarta, I leave you with some interesting facts about this city for those who do not know much about it:

  • Jakarta found its origin in the small early 16th century harbor town of Sunda Kelapa. 
  • The Dutch East Indies Company, which captured the town and destroyed it in 1619, changed its name into Batavia and made it the center for the expansion of their power in the East Indies. 
  • Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Batavia fell into the hands of the invading Japanese forces that changed the name of the city into 'Jakarta'.
  • It is located on the Indonesian island of Java.

  • It is the capital and the largest city of Indonesia.
  • The number of people residing in greater Jakarta is estimated at 23 million, making it the fourth largest urban area in the world.
  • Jakarta is nicknamed Big Durian, because the city is seen as the Indonesian equivalent of New York City (the Big Apple).
  • There are about 13 rivers flowing through Jakarta.
  • The northern part of Jakarta is a plain land. Some areas here are actually below sea level and therefore subject to frequent flooding. Meanwhile, the southern parts of the city are hilly, and consequently designated for reservoirs. 
  • With a tropical climate, Jakarta's average daily temperature is 27 degrees Celsius during a day, sometimes exceeding 35 degrees Celsius in the hot season. 
  • It has two seasons: the wet season from October to April (with the heaviest rains falling from December to January), and the dry season from May to September. 
  • Most residents in Jakarta are Muslims, i.e. 85.50%. Other religious followers are Protestants (5.20%), Roman Catholics (4.77%), Buddhists (3.56%) and Hindus (0.97%). 
  • Jakarta is a city of contrasts: the traditional and the modern, the rich and the poor, the sacral and the worldly, often stand side by side in this bustling metropolis.
Colonial Jakarta and Current Jakarta

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Table "matters"

Our mission this time was to go through endless options and carefully choose the glassware where we will be serving our beverage and the weapons you will be given to attack our food. 

The idea for the glassware is for it to be above all functional, but also to “dress” every drink, especially each of our cocktails. We left the house armed with our beverage menu and we started to look for the glasses that would best match the character and look of each cocktail. We put our favorite options on a table and once done we got their prices and took the selected glasses with us as samples to be tested at home with their respective cocktails. We went to a few shops to do the same and thus be able to compare brands and prices. It is funny because as soon as we favored one of the makes, the shop manager told us that that supplier was not reliable at all as it took ages to get the stock, if ever. We are facing similar scenarios every other day so we are doing our best to cope with this uncertainty by rolling with it and like MacGyver overcome problems with creative solutions… 

Then it was time to look for cutlery. We prefer a very simple, clean design. Something understated that feels great in your hand, easily grabs our food and goes well with the minimalistic design of Cuca. We have pre-selected a few options and we would love to know your opinion. Will let you know soon how to help us to choose!