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Daily Kawaii Review : Hands Cafe Chuorinkan

Hello! Back with me!

Writing again in the train after finishing the whole day doing enzyme structure refinement training, I guess I can do this, posting one blogpost every week J

 

Differs from the last topic which tends to deal with my inner struggle, this post is really light. Yes, I will only talk about a cute café near my place, Hands Café Chuo Rinkan.

Access : 2nd floor Etomo Shopping Mall, just outside Chuorinkan Station in the terminus of Tokyu Denentoshi Line

Price : 1500-2500 yen for one meal with drink, moderate for café type in Tokyo

Reservation : cannot be made

Website : https://www.handscafe.jp/chuorinkan/

 

What’s special about this cafe?

 

In normal day this café is just another western-style type of café, but once every one or two months this café has a collaboration with some cartoon character or set a certain theme to make a thematic café. I went to this café twice already during a collaboration with capybara-san character and Korilakkuma (a minor character in Rilakkuma series). Let me tell you about the story in detail!

 

Capybara Café

Period : April 2017

This visit was random and I did not even know that capybara exist in this world. So, if you guys also don’t know what capybara is, capybara is a kind of rodent (larger type compared to rabbit) ^^

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During this time, the whole café was decorated with capybara plushy, you will get one or two dolls in each table. Really, at first I thought it was a cat (blame the shape of the mouth, lol). And the shape of some of the plushy resembles rat in my opinion, but it’s cute, anyway.

Food was also decorated with capybara theme, but it is also possible in that time to order the normal café menu. I ordered beef stew with omu-rice (omelette rice, rice covered with thin slice of fried egg) which tasted really good. I really like the mash and hash-brown potato served on side.

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Korilakkuma Meets Chairoikoguma Cafe

Period : June 2017

So who are these bears? They are rilakkuma’s friends, lol. And why do they have the similar name as Rilakkuma?

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Ko (小) in Japanese means small and indeed korilakkuma (the white bear with pink outifit is small and cute). While chairo (茶色) in Japanese means brown, indeed the other bear is dark brown and I think probably still smaller than Rilakkuma. So that’s the origin of their name, I guess. Don’t ask me about more detail, I know nothing about rilakkuma’s story line.

Differs from the previous visit, this visit was planned with my best friend and I was able to do more makeup and styling to match the atmosphere of the café.

Compared to capybara café, I think that this theme is more popular, since I think every Japanese knows who rilakkuma is.

That time me and my best friend decided to order one main course and one dessert.

 

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Main course (right side)  : チャイロイコグマのがお〜!てりやきチキンバーガープレート(Chairoikoguma’s face shaped teriyaki chicken burger plate)

Dessert (left side) : なかよしストロベリーマウンテンパンケーキ (strawberry mountain pancake)

 

It was very nicely decorated and cute. Unfortunately, the main course did not taste as nice as the capybara’s menu.The chicken burger tastes a bit bland, and it really has a small piece of chicken >.<

It’s just full of vegetables only (maybe it’s designed for those petite Japanese girls, not for a meat-lover like me)

Ah, and I think for this theme they have more varieties of cute drink as well. We had fun doing our routines as well (dress up, eating small portion in a cute café, acting like a cute Japanese girls) but ended up eating again afterwards, as always.

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So, that’s it for now. I hope you guys enjoy reading this post ^^

And if you visit Japan don’t forget to visit thematic café like this, since it is so cute! (although it may not have the best food taste). I will keep you updated more about daily kawaii things and restaurant near where I live! See you!

 

 

xoxo, with love

 

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

 

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Tea Time Review : HARBS Coffee & Cake

Hello everyone!

It’s saturday and it’s time to enjoy weekend! So today because i got a bit too tired, i only go to Futakotamagawa alone. I really do love me-time and usually i just ended up in a cake shop, like today. At first I really wanted to go to TWG but i got too lazy to go to Jiyugaoka and suddenly I came across a TWG-looking shop with really mouth-watering large cakes in their display at the second floor of Dogwood Plaza just outside Futakotamagawa Station.

I would probably came across a new fancy cake shop or restaurant every week (it’s my stress coping mechanism) so I guess better than enjoying it alone, from now on i will write a review about each cake shop or restaurant that i’ve visited!

 

HARBS COFFEE AND CAKE

Location : 2F Dogwood Plaza, Futakotamagawa, just outside Futakotamagawa Station Denentoshi Line

Seatings : limited, around 15 tables

Price : 1500-2000 Yen for a set of cake and drink

HARBS Coffee & Cake

HARBS Coffee & Cake

From the outside, the cafe looked nice and also there were many people queueing to eat there. It was Saturday afternoon and the place itself was also small, i had to wait around 20 minutes to be seated.

KARBS Cake Menu

HARBS Cake Menu

 

So the price of each slice of cake is approximately 700 Yen-ish it all looked so yummy! From rare cheese cake, fresh fruit cake, chocolate cake, and so on. For the drinks (assorted kind of teas, herb teas, milk teas, coffees) where you will get one pot of drink is also around 700 Yen-ish. And please note that they don’t allow you to order only cake you have to also purchase one drink. So a set of cake and drink here for one person will cost approximately 1500 Yen-ish.

I also took some photos of the restaurant interior while waiting, as i have told you, it’s a bit like TWG.

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Today, I tried Black and White Chocolate Cake and Hot Royal Milk Tea.

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Royal Milk Tea? Really decent and the milk itself taste a bit sweet so i could omit adding granulated sugar to the tea. What else to say? The pot is really cute!

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Black and White Chocolate Cake? What can i say! It’s really heavenly!

The size of cake is really big, it took me about 30 minutes to finish (please note that I’m such a sweet food lover). The cake is really fluffy, soft and creamy PLUS there are loads of carved white chocolate and dark chocolate on top of it. Really really delicious!

What else? The freshness! Yes the cake tasted really fresh and when i looked up at their website, they mentioned that they commit to make fresh cake each day, from 1981. So that’s the secret of this 33 years old cake shop! 🙂

 

So I rate this cafe as 5 stars!! You should try to visit it, it’s a bit expensive but it’s really delicious~ and i can’t wait for the spring to come, since they’re going to sell their Sakura Cake *drooling

 

Have a good weekend, everyone.

 

Loads of Love

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

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My Sydney Culinary Review!

Hello all, seems like I’m really in the mood to write! Since i’ve finished all articles about USA, now we’re moving to Sydney, Australia and first i’m going to talk about Sydney’s Culinary Spot that i’ve been to, I haven’t visited so many places but i still think my experiences are worth to share!

 

PYRMONT AREA

Flying Fish Chips

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Location : The Star Building

Access : Take a Light Rail from Central Station and stop at The Star Station (tickets for Light Rail can be bought onboard)

Seatings : plenty of seatings, in a food-court style joined with other restaurant’s seatings

Sydney is famous for its fish and chip and one of the most famous place is Flying Fish Chips! You can enjoy the seafood on your own way. You can indulge with their signature fish and chips and choose the kind of fish that you want, the way of cooking it (Panko crumbed, Grilled, or beer battered), the sides (try the sweet potato chips, it’s definitely better than the regular potato chips) and also sauces and salt that you want to put on it.

They have other selections of seafood such as calamari, prawns, grilled fish fillet burger, sushi, and fresh sashimi. I also recommend the pop-corn battered prawn, It’s really delicious and unique! Take a look on the menu and some of the dishes that I ordered.

Menu :)

Menu 🙂

Nigiri and Sushi!

Nigiri and Sushi!

 

King Prawn!

King Prawn!

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Pan-seared Salmon and Popcorn-battered Prawn

Assorted

Fish & Chips, Calamari and Sweet Potato Fries

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a closer look to the popcorn battered prawn

you can see more information here

 

Gelato Messina

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Location : The Star Building

Access : Take a Light Rail from Central Station and stop at The Star Station (tickets for Light Rail can be bought onboard)

Seatings : limited seatings

Still located in the same building, Gelato Messina is one of the most delicious gelato place in Sydney. They have many flavours ranging from classic flavour (vanilla, chocolate fondant, pistachio, hazelnut, etc.), fruity flavours (passion fruit, coconut and pandan, raspberry, and many more), and other flavours like Red Velvet, Apple Pie, etc. You can have either one, two or three scoops of this delicious gelato with reasonable price. Besides serving plain gelato, they also have gelato shakes, and other special menu (like combining the gelato and cake, special condiments, etc.), but sometimes it is unavailable.

My Vanilla-Red Velvet Cup!

My Vanilla-Red Velvet Cup!

Other Flavours

Other Flavours

Fruity Flavours

Fruity Flavours

Various Classic Flavours

Various Classic Flavours

Special Menu!

Special Menu!

you can see more information here

 

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie

Location : The Star Building

Access : same like Flying Fish & Chips

This is the second recommended dessert place if you eat at The Star, so you can have either gelato or cake 😀 This cake shop is owned by Australian well-known pastry chef, Adriano Zumbo (he’s one of the guest judge in Masterchef Australia). It serves a really good macarons called zumbarons and other cake selection as well. The shape and style of the cake reminds me a bit of Collete & Lola, i’m really in love with the shape of mylo cans cake, it’s just really cute! :3

cute mylo can cake!

cute mylo can cake!

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ZUMBARONS!!!

ZUMBARONS!!!

you can see more information here

 

CBD (Central Business District)

Pie Face

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Pie Face!

Location : near Hyde Park

Access : Using Bus and stop anywhere near Hyde Park

Seatings : plenty of seatings available, you can eat it on the go or in Hyde Park

 

It’s all about Pie! you can eat both savoury and sweet pie here. The characteristic of this pie shop is they sell pie with funny little face on top of the pie 🙂 The savoury pie looks small but actually it’s very fulfilling, I tried Steak and Mushroom pie which was really delicious!

Savoury Pies

Savoury Pies

on the go!

on the go!

you can see more information here

 

Wagamama

Location : The Galeries CBD Sydney Level 1

Access : You can get there by any bus that stops near George St.

Seatings : 103 seatings available

Wagamama is a fusion-Japanese restaurant located in The Galeries CBD and it serves from ramen, udon, teppan to donburi. I really like the super spicy ramen like chili chicken and chili beef ramen!

super spicy chicken chili ramen!

super spicy chicken chili ramen!

you can get more information here

 

Sushi Hotaru

Location : 500 George Street, CBD Sydney

Access : You can get there by any bus that stops near George St. or Hyde Park

Seatings : plenty available

In sushi hotaru you can have the experience of Kaiten Sushi made by real Japanese in Sydney! The sushi is really delicious and they have great sides as well like some donburi, agedashi tofu, karaage, and many more. You can also have japanese drinks and desserts like Kalpis and various kind of ice cream and mochi 🙂

 

N2 Extreme Gelato

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N2 gelato!

Location : 43/1 Dixon St‎

Access : You can get there by any bus that stops near Dixon St.

Seatings : limited seatings

So, as a scientist i use N2 or liquid nitrogen to freeze bacteria cell instantly, but apparently they’re using liquid nitrogen to make an ice cream. The technique is called nucleation-dominated ice crystallisation, in which they make numerous microscopic ice crystals that forms a very smooth ice-cream texture. For a scientist like me this place is uber cool! They use standard laboratory equipment like flask, measuring glass, and erlenmeyer flask. The employees wear white laboratory coat and protective eye wear. The taste of the ice cream is also quite nice! 🙂

Milk Stored in Sakaguchi Flask!

Milk Stored in Sakaguchi Flask!

Nitrogen Alert

Nitrogen Alert

ice-cream in the making :)

ice-cream in the making 🙂

hello~

hello~

you can see more information here

 

THE ROCKS

The Tea Cosy

welcome to the Tea Cosy!

welcome to the Tea Cosy!

Location : 33 George Street The Rocks 

Access : Take any bus to Circular Quay and you can just walk towards The Rocks

Seatings : plenty available, but it gets really crowded in the morning thus reservation is important

Craving for tea and scones? The Tea Cosy is the place! They served numerous selections of tea and scones. While eating there, you can enjoy the quaint tea room, take photos of its super cute decoration, take photos of its fine china cup, cake tier, and buy some tea cosy as well! If you don’t know, tea cosy is a cover for teapot that keeps the tea inside the teapot warm~

Devonshire Tea (Scone Baskets) is recommended, when you only want to drink tea and eat scones with double cream and jam. If you want to feel a more complete experience you can try the High Tea set which also includes ribbon sandwiches, cakes, and biscuits. If you have a children (or you’re going there alone, the normal scone size is honestly really big), ordering Kid’s Devonshire Tea is also recommended and instead of tea they will give you babychino (hot chocolate with cream)

Tea Cosy Menu!

Tea Cosy Menu!

:)

🙂

super cute decoration!

super cute decoration!

Scones Flavour!

Scones Flavour!

babychino <3

babychino ❤

3 tiers high tea set!

3 tiers high tea set!

Devonshire Tea Set!

Devonshire Tea Set!

you can see more information here

 

So that’s all about my culinary experience in Sydney!! I hope you can enjoy it and visit some restaurants that i’ve mentioned if you visit Sydney!~

 

With love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

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Minneapolis!

Hello all! How are you? お元気ですか。

I’ve been long promised to write all of my experiences in America, so I will start with this post, describing about my elder sister’s city, Minneapolis. Anyway, right now i’m already on my way to another trip to Sydney, Australia. So i’d better finish posts about America sooner 😀

 

So, Minneapolis, where my sister live, is a city located in Minnesota (and it’s also claimed to be the largest). With population of 400.000 this city seems so far away from a busy and bustling city life. This city is incredibly peaceful and quiet, not so many people are wandering around the street nor cars. And also incredibly cold, in winter they sometimes get a deep-freeze and the temperature can reach -40 degree celcius (could you imagine that?!) Also the snow might be piling up until one meters. Frozen~

So let me tell you about some places that i’ve visited in this city :

 

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

MCAD!

MCAD!

This is the college where my sister took her master degree. It is a quite posh art college (thanks to Fulbright) and it was really nice. The main building is located adjacent to dormitories and also art museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art (so you practically live inside the campus!) But, for students finishing their thesis, they have a studio off-campus.

the whole family in front of MCAD!

the whole family in front of MCAD!

It has a huge lawn and i suppose they use it for picnic in a warm summer day. However, in the (quite) chilly weather of May the Minnesotan already walk around the lawn with only shorts and tank tops (look how they’ve adapted with chilly weather). On the graduation day, everyone take photos on the huge lawn.

everyone taking happy photos on the lawn :D

everyone taking happy photos on the lawn 😀

Around the campus there is street fully packed with nice restaurant and bars. I really love the Vietnamese restaurant! ❤

i've fallen into this lovely noodle soup :9

i’ve fallen into this lovely noodle soup :9

 

The Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Arts!

Minneapolis Institute of Arts!

This is the museum located next to the campus, it has a huge collections from modern visual arts to world ancient art. From textile, paintings, sculpture, they have it all! It’s free of charge except for special exhibition held occasionally.It’s also adjacent to the Children’s theater. Take a look of some of its dazzling collections!

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for more information you can go here

The Westin Minneapolis

We stayed at The Westin Minneapolis, located in the downtown Minneapolis. The hotel has been awarded Four Diamond Award from 2009 to 2014. The building is unique because it used to be a farmer and mechanic saving banks, they still have the safe (now it’s used as a wine lounge, super cool).

Farmers and Mechanic Saving Bank remains :D

Farmers and Mechanic Saving Bank remains 😀

Westin Minneapolis :D

Westin Minneapolis 😀

Lobby Area

Lobby Area

4 diamonds award for 6 consecutive years!

4 diamonds award for 6 consecutive years!

Safe-Wine Lounge Area

Safe-Wine Lounge Area

 

Minneapolis Downtown & Nicollet Mall

It only took about 5-10 minutes walking from our hotel to Minneapolis Downtown and its famous shopping street, Nicollet Mall. This mall is actually a street portion of Nicollet Avenue containing shopping centers and packed with many notable stores (Target headquarters is also located in this street) and public facilities such as orchestra hall.

One of the distinctive features of this street is their skyway, interconnecting buildings (because in winter it will be too cold to walk outside) and sometimes in winter they have parade in this street.

However, we went there in the evening (around 7 PM) and the stores were closed at 7 PM (it was funny, there was still daylight but all of the stores were closing and it was so quiet). But we had managed to take some pictures, thou.

Mommy and Daddy :)

Mommy and Daddy 🙂

Look at the skyway!

Look at the skyway!

 

Welcome to Nicollet Street!

Welcome to Nicollet Street!

 

Hell’s Kitchen and Angel Food Bakery

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Not far from the Nicollet Mall there are several incredible places to eat! Hell’s Kitchen and also Angel Food Bakery, it is located at the same building, both at 80 South 9th Street.

So hell’s kitchen concept is to bring breakfast menu to every meal time of the day! So they served so many breakfast menu inside their menu and even they sell their legendary peanut butter. Their decoration is a bit hellish, red and black paints, a loads of scary paintings related to demons and evils, however the atmosphere is just like, Hard Rock Cafe i think 😀

HK interior!

HK interior!

our hobby, hunting for a good food all around the world :D

our hobby, hunting for a good food all around the world 😀

My commentary about the food? Just like it’s slogan, it is really a damn good food! We ordered Pecan Caramel Rolls, Steak and Egg, Hell’s Kitchen Juicy Lucifer (my favorite), and Lemon Ricotta Hotcake for our dinner 😀 you can see my review here :

Lemon Ricotta Hotcake

Lemon Ricotta Hotcake

Pecan Caramel Rolls

Pecan Caramel Rolls

Steak & Egg

Steak & Egg

Hell's Kitchen Juicy Lucifer

Hell’s Kitchen Juicy Lucifer

The restaurant open from 6.30 AM and closed at 11 PM. If you’re coming in breakfast or dinner time, you have to watch out for the long queue. Many people really want to eat breakfast here! Please refer here for more information.

Located just upstairs is Angel Food Bakery. The Angel food bakery is really really cute, all the decorations are just like what i want when i have a cupcake store later on. The pastry was good but not the cupcake (still i think it’s too greasy, the icing is too artificial, blah blah~) Please take a look here for their website.

Just Cute!!

Just Cute!!

Lovely..

Lovely..

Cupcupmeal VS Angel Food Bakery

Cupcupmeal Founder VS Angel Food Bakery

Unfortunately the cupcake did not taste as good as i expected..

Unfortunately the cupcake did not taste as good as i expected..

 

Foshay Tower & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

I did not visit those two places but my auntie did with her college friend. Foshay tower used to be a legendary skyscraper in Minneapolis as one of the first building to surpass the height of Minneapolis City Hall. Now this building is a luxury collection hotel, W Minneapolis, when they also have the famous and posh steak house, Manny’s Steak House. You can visit the museum and go to the observation deck to watch beautiful scenery of Minneapolis.

Foshay Tower Observatory Deck.

Foshay Tower Observatory Deck.

Foshay Tower, a Washington Memorial.

Foshay Tower, a Washington Memorial.

While Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features sculpture works from famous artist and it’s most famous for its legendary huge cherry and spoonbridge monument.

Oldenburg Monument :)

Oldenburg Monument 🙂

 

Mall of America

I save the last thing for this huge shopping mall, gigantically huge and famous shopping mall, Mall of America. This mall is located near the airport so we can take light rail (blue line) from the city center.

Inside the mall there is huge selections of branded store ( i got crazy because of the gigantic F21 store, as always) and even Nickelodeon Land! I recommend to eat in Ruby Tuesday if you visit Mall of America.

Mall of America with my whole family and my auntie's friends.

Mall of America with my whole family and my auntie’s friends.

for further information you can go here.

 

So, pardon me for this extra long pages! I spent almost 2 hours to finish this post inside Starbucks while waiting for my flight to Sydney!

See you soon for other American-related post or even winter in Sydney!

 

Tons of love

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

 

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Sugar, Cream, and Everything Sweet

Hello, all! Ready for something sugary? Creamy and nice?

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Yes, I have opened my online cake shop, @cupcupmeal again! Since now I had practically nothing truly serious to do, so why not doing my passion?

 

We still open pre-order and we also supply cupcake regularly to @JavaPreanger, Java Preanger Coffee House, Jalan Cisangkuy no 68. It’s a relatively new café and it has excellent coffee and also excellent Tahu Seuhah as well 😀 But all I can say is that, the coffee matches really well with a cupcake! ❤

We’re providing only a small stock of cupcake, being renewed every 3 or 4 days to ensure the freshness.

 

 

For pre-order? We still have our signature menu 😀

We have assorted cupcakes, with a quite lengthy flavor list and all iced with our own homemade buttercream, 100% real buttercream. We have basic flavors like vanilla, vanilla chocolate chip, chocolate, chocolate choco chip, dark mocha, and coffee. In a need for something more fruity and fresh? We have our raspberry, strawberry, lemon, orange, and blueberry cupcake! 😀

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We also have Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake, Red Velvet Cupcake and Matcha cupcake, all with different pricing. If you’re curious about the price and more picture you can just go here.

matcha

Red velvet

peanutbutterjelly

 

In addition to that all, we also have round cake, a petite one, ranging from vanilla strawberry buttercream,  vanilla chocolate glazed, matcha, and red velvet 😀 We also have Rainbow Cake 😀 For the prices of cake you can also go here.

sample 3

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Anyway, in this post I would like to share our new recipe for this month! It’s not only cupcake, but it’s also expanding to another kind of cold sweet dessert!

 

Rose Cupcake with Rose Buttercream

(ローズカップケーキーとローズバッタクリーム)

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April is the beginning of Spring and it starts flowering everywhere, so we decided to make several cupcakes in tribute some beautiful flowers. First up is our Rose Cupcake with Rose Buttercream. This petite pink cupcake will surely made your day with its subtle rose flavor and beautifully made rosette on top of each cupcake.

Price IDR 18.000 per pcs.

 

Brownie Cupcake with Coffee Frosting 

(ブラウニーカップケーキとコーヒーフロスト)

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Our family’s recipe of brownie has long been famous among our friends and relatives. This time we decided to bring this delicious recipe into cupcake and top it off with our signature espresso frosting. This cupcake is gooey, and has a really strong chocolate flavor, it just really matches with the coffee Frosting and a cup of hot coffee 😀

Price IDR 20.000 per pcs, min order 4

 

Coffee Jelly with Sweet Milk Sauce

(コーヒーゼリーと甘いミルクソースー)

coffeejelly

We brought this recipe from Japan, yes it’s a popular gelatin dessert in Japan. This brownish-translucent looking jelly is really beautiful with an immense taste of black coffee. It matches perfectly with its sweet milk sauces! Our coffee Jelly use signature Malabar Coffee from Java Preanger Coffee House!

Price IDR 20.000 per cup.

 

Panna Cotta with Passion Fruit Sauce

(パンナコッタとパッションフルーツソースー)

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Originated in Italy and popular all over the world! Cream, sugar, and milk, all mixed together brings up a genuinely lovely dessert! Our recipe combines original panna cotta with a splash of passion fruit sauce so you can taste milky, creamy,  and bitter-sweet at the same time!

Price IDR 20.000 per cup

 Cupcupmeal, sugar, cream and everything sweet ❤

 

With Love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema