Honeymoon Series #6 : Nge-Hitz di ‘Cafe In Hit Coffee Shop’, Labuan Bajo

Finally, here is another recommended place for you to hang out in Labuan Bajo, Flores!

Jadi, hari terakhir di Labuan Bajo, setelah 3 hari 2 malam living on board, kita (khususnya saya) pengennya cuma mau leha-leha aja deh! Jadilah, akhirnya ngopi adalah our top priority untuk berleha-leha di Labuan Bajo. Selain karena, sepengen itu minum kopi asli Flores, sejujurnya di otak saya waktu itu bawaannya pengen nulis dan nulis melulu. Karena banyaaak yang mau dibagi setelah liburan ke Yogyakarta dan Labuan Bajo bersama (ehem!) suami tercinta.

“I just really need an iced cappuccino and maybe bit writing on my laptop!” that was exactly my answer, when he asked what do you want to do today.

Emang ya, dasar orang INFJ, emang cuma paling bisa curhat lewat tulisan-tulisan. Siapa yang setuju?

Acung!!!

Untungnya suami juga sama-sama INFJ, walaupun dia sebenarnya lebih ke tipe more into adventures sih, jadi ya dia setuju aja kalau hari itu kita akan ngopi-ngopi di kafe tok!

Setelah Googling coffee shop atau tempat nongkrong apa yang cozy dan kopinya enak, juga lokasinya tidak terlalu jauh dari hotel. Akhirnya, jatuhlah pada pilihan ngopi di Cafe In Hit Coffee Shop. Tempatnya emang enak banget, cocok sih buat yang emang mau ngopi sekaligus hangout atau hanya sembari ‘kerja’ di depan laptop. Dekorasinya lebih menggunakan semen concrete dan industrial, which is emang kekinian dan sesuai namanya, hitz banget! (gimana gaes bahasanya udah anak Selatan banget belum?! Hahaha)

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Barista-nya ramah-ramah & bersedia sharing cerita soal kopi

Oh iya, kalau kalian beruntung, kalian juga bisa nemuin buku bacaan favorit kalian di kafe ini. Lihat aja koleksi buku disini, lumayan banyak kan? Mereka sengaja menyediakan buku-buku untuk bacaan para pengunjungnya, yang sengaja dikumpulkan dari hasil sumbangan para turis yang datang di kafe maupun yang memang gak sengaja ketinggalan di kafe.

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Koleksi buku-bukunya yang juga membuat dekorasinya menjadi lebih artsy. Mereka juga jual kopi asli Flores dan sekitarnya loh, baik yang sudah berbentuk powder maupun masih biji kopi
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Suami yang setia banget nungguin nulis sambil baca buku kesukaannya yang dia temukan di display. Laaavv ❤
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Area toilet tepat di atas tangga. The quotes pun ❤

Untuk soal minuman, variasi menu yang ditawarkan juga lumayan banyak, mulai dari black coffee hingga beragam pilihan minuman frappe. Selain minuman, mereka juga menjual light meal seperti; sandwich, banana cake, muesli, salad, dan sebagainya. Waktu itu saya dan suami sempat mencoba Ice Cappucinno, Ice Coffee Machiato, dan Ice Green Tea Frappe!

Ice cappucinno nya aja udah bedaaaa banget rasanya sama cappucinno yang biasa kita minum di Starbucks ataupun di coffee shop lain di Jakarta. Rasa kopinya…. DUH! Sampe gak bisa berkata-kata lagi deh.. pas ditanya, ternyata kopi yang dipakai kopi Flores dan Manggarai.

Untuk harga sih, relatif sama ya dengan harga kopi-kopi di Jakarta, sekitar 30.000-an keatas, tapi soal kualitas kopi? Gak diragukan lagi deh. No perez ya, ini honest review…

Kalau soal suasana, asik dan lagu-lagunya juga top 40s punya. Untuk area kafe terbagi 2, ada yang indoor area juga outdoor, sayangnya gak terlalu banyak kursi yang disediakan di dalam, karena lokasi baristanya aja udah lumayan memakan tempat. Walaupun tidak terlalu besar, sebenarnya lumayan banget untuk nongkrong sama teman, keluarga atau pasangan yang emang cuma mau sekadar ngopi sambil chit-chat!

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All you need is love and a good cup of coffee, indeed.
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Notes dan testimony yang dituliskan oleh pengunjung
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We are in a paradise, wifi is just a bonus

Jadilah, kita lumayan lama banget stay disana, bahkan sampai hampir sunset! Suami saya asik tenggelam dengan buku yang dia temukan di kafe tersebut, saya juga udah asik sendiri dengan laptop. Dari awalnya kita duduk-duduk di dalam, karena ber-AC dan lumayan untuk ngadem dari panasnya matahari di Labuan Bajo, sampai akhirnya sore-sore kita pindah keluar sekalian cari angin dan ganti suasana.

Oh ya, lokasinya pun berada tepat di sebelah Le Pirate Hotel dan Restaurant yang sudah sempat saya review juga.

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Baca juga: Honeymoon Series #2: Le Pirate Restaurant, Labuan Bajo, Flores – Indonesia (Review)

Address: Jl. Soekarno Hatta, Labuan Bajo, Flores 86554 

Opening Hours: 6.30 AM – 10.00 PM

Estimated price: 20.000 – 70.000 IDR

Honeymoon Series #5 : Why you should choose your honeymoon destination in Labuan Bajo, Flores? (Day 3 – FIN)

Yaaay, finally the last day!

So, early in the morning, we sail our boat to Taka Makassar! Once we parked the boat, I was surprised when I saw another beautiful crystal water, white and pinkish beach sands, a lot of fishes and corals.

Look at this beauty…

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The real Vitamin Sea ❤
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Welcome to the island of sands

The name has no connection with Makassar region in Sulawesi, but Taka Makassar means the island of the sand. It has clear turquoise water and swallows water, which makes big boats aren’t able to get near to the island, that is why they usually ride a smaller boat either from Manta point or Komodo island.

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Who doesn’t love to be here?

Me and my husband had to swim from our boat to the small island, it is very small even smaller than basketball field. It was very good to swim in there because of the wave quite stable, compare to the pink beach yesterday. We were with Italian tourists when we were there and they found giant sea-turtle nearby Taka Makassar.

On this island, I met and got to know with another tour guide which originally coming from Flores. She was very nice and very informative! We shared a lot of things about Labuan Bajo and Flores, include what was happened that time in Labuan Bajo. She told me, she and her friends joined with a demonstration in the centre to fight the construction of big and luxury hotels on Rinca and Padar islands. She looked very stressful because she doesn’t want people ‘destroy’ the real beauty of Labuan Bajo and other islands. But people who have the power, only thinking about their business, how to build a luxurious hotel so they’ll gain more profit without thinking about the impact of it.

“Imagine, if Komodo dragons will lost their ‘comfort’ and origin habitat?” she said.

I nodded but suddenly my mind was full with her voice.

I just cannot imagine what if it really happens.

Deep sighs

Well anyway, after spent a few hours in Taka Makassar, we went back to the boat and went to Manta point which located quite close from Taka Makassar. We had to find a spot in a deep blue sea water to see Manta, and guessed… we found it! I was not brave enough to go to underwater anymore to see the Manta closer, but my husband who always curious to hunt all Mantas we found.

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Look at this big Manta ❤
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He tried to see the Manta closer

Finally, after we saw around 4-5 mantas, we went directly to our very last destination, before back to Labuan Bajo harbour, the Angel Island (Pulau Bidadari). This is a private island which located 20 minutes by boat from Labuan Bajo. It surrounded with beautiful white beach sand and one of a good place to do snorkelling and diving.

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Our Garuda boat, view from Angel Island, Labuan Bajo
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Angel Island, Labuan Bajo – Flores

Surprisingly, when I sat on the beach sands, I saw very clear there was a baby shark swim in the seashore. And after, my husband was curious, so he hunts the baby shark on the other side of the seashore and finally, he found it!

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Baby shark dudu~duu

It was not that big. And our tour guide told us, they also have many sharks on this beach, that is why no wonder if we found few baby sharks in there.

Finally… we went back to Labuan Bajo’s harbour and picked up by the driver, then they dropped us at the hotel.

Well, that could sum-up our honeymoon stories. It might not a romantic one like in a movie, but we really enjoy every moment that we spent together. Even our skin got burnt, 3-days with the smell of salty hair and all over our body, but we enjoyed a lot the beauty of Labuan Bajo and other islands has offered to us! For those who want to have a romantic, fancy and luxury honeymoon, maybe Bali and Lombok will be a better choice. But, for those who want a real life-adventure, full of challenges, build a ‘teamwork’, and lay down in the rooftop under the million stars… We definitely recommend Labuan Bajo is the best choice!

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There’s no sunset as beautiful as in Komodo island ❤

Additional information:

We booked our trips with PERAMA Tours and we chose “Explore Komodo National Park 3D2N” for a private boat, so last time only me, my husband, the tour guide and the boat crew on board. The price for each person IDR 4.000.000 (USD$ 280), so last time we paid for IDR 8.336.000 (USD$ 642, include the administration fee). It was not cheap for me, because actually there is a lot of tour and travel agency who offered a less expensive tour than the price we’ve got, (maybe) also with better facilities. But, we feel good with our tour guide, which we called Mas Goi! He is very nice, smiley, good French (even better than me), helpful and has the talent to take pictures, of course! Hahaha

The Garuda boat was very clean, the boat crew was very nice and helpful, our tour guide was very kind and very informative, oh yes, I almost forgot, the food was delicioussss and rich with Indonesian-taste! ❤

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Bon appétit

Honeymoon Series #4 : Why you should choose your honeymoon destination in Labuan Bajo, Flores? (Day 2)

Born in a big city like Jakarta, has shaped me into who I am today. Living well, went to a decent school and university, got a decent job with… ya, I could say, enough salary. I even don’t have to cross to another island by the boat or to hike another hill only for a living. I am not trying to underestimate people who are doing that way, I even really appreciate what they do.

At least, that’s what I thought last time when I was on Padar island, one of the big islands in Labuan Bajo, Flores. I really appreciate people who are starting to make money in there, that is why no wonder if the price in Labuan Bajo and surrounding island, not much different compared to Jakarta. In some things, the price even higher. As we know, it might not easy for them to get some of the food products in their area, because lack of accessibility and availability to get all of the food products.

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The first night we stayed in the small boat, with limited electricity, no AC or fan, no wifi, even worse no phone signal, makes me realize two things. First, how hard my life was if I have to do it for 7 days without those things. And the last, the positive sides, me and my husband tried to live with those limitations with our own way, we talked and laughed more, we shared stories.

He was the one who always gave me his spirit to support and cheers me up. For example, last time when we hike in long and high stairs in Padar island, he kept patiently support me. He always told me that I can do it to the summit, even I am the one who wasn’t feeling that way. For those who already went to Padar island, I am sure you know how it feels. The hills have a lot of stairs till the peak, some even only have stones step. Our tour guide even told us, a few years ago they even did not have the stairs, so people had to hike with little bit steep and slippery land.

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The struggle was real right?

As you can see, the island is mostly savanna-covered, surreal landscape fringed by bright green-capped mountains. It’s all surrounded by three turquoise bays and each one of the bay’s beaches has different coloured sands; one is more pearly white (the right one), the other is charcoal black and the third is a baby pink one. Which makes it a very rare combination, yet makes it a very unique island.

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Our journey is still long, but can we always hold on to each other hands, no matter what will happen in front of us?

The second day actually was my favourite day! Simply because I finally could see the Pink beach. The pink beach was already in our bucket list, even before we got married. And I can’t believe, after 2 years made the bucket list together, we finally made it there! I was speechless and happy at the same time, I feel like I don’t want to leave the beach. After snorkelling for 15 minutes, then I just sat on the beach, felt the pink sands and the sea water on my skin. That was very PINKISH! The wave was a bit strong at that time, which made me and my husband were carried by the waves a few times.

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Happiest kid on earth ❤
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Pink beach, salty hair, tanned skin
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Every August is my parents’ birthday months, so here we wrote birthday wishes for them ❤

Well, finally I had to face the reality that we had limited times to stay in the pink beach, so we went back to our boat and continued our journey to the Komodo island.

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The road which connects the Komodo harbour to the Komodo National Park entrance gate
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The Komodo National Park entrance gate

For me Rinca island looked wilder than in Komodo island itself, they also have a seashore, I don’t really know if its allowed and safe to swim in the seashore, but I saw there are few foreigners who swim in there in late afternoon. We can also easily found reindeer, monkey, wild boar, and beautiful birds on this island.

Actually, our tour guide already mentioned that we can’t expect to see Komodo dragons a lot in here, because many of foreigners complained that quite rare they could see Komodo dragons in this island.

Because last time it was already a bit late in the afternoon, like around 3 or 4 pm, we decided to take the short trek one. After 5 minutes walk, we found at least 3-4 Komodo dragons which were in the middle of the forest. Foreign tourists were gathered with their groups and exchange to take pictures with the Komodo.

So we did too!

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With a huge Komodo dragon

The sun slowly sets, after accompanying my husband to buy some Komodo souvenirs, then we back to the boat to enjoy our last night in our Garuda boat. We were so lucky that we had a brand new boat with 2 nice crew boat and a very good captain! When we parked our boat on the other side of Komodo island in which a place where the house of villagers lived in, all of sudden came two little kiddos who paddled their ‘boat’ which was only made of thick styrofoam, came close to our boat.

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Look at how they paddled their ‘boat’!

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Yes, they came to our boat to sell their souvenirs. They brought small Komodo dragons, pin and magnetic refrigerator. I was very amazed yet feel pity with them at the same time. After school, they have had to help their parents making money for their lives. With very limited English that they have, they tried to persuade my husband to buy their souvenirs.

When I looked at them, I suddenly had mixed feelings. I still feel so lucky, blessed, grateful with my life but at the same time, amazed by them. They really inspired me to live my life even we have to face many difficulties, obstacles and challenges. I really wish they will always be healthy, growing as smart kids and enjoy their childhood while they can.

Can I get some ‘amin’…?

(to be continued)

 

Honeymoon Series #3 : Why you should choose your honeymoon destination in Labuan Bajo, Flores? (Day 1)

Yaaay… finally, my motivation to write about our honeymoon experiences in Labuan Bajo has come! Actually, we went to Labuan Bajo on last August 2018, exactly the same day as the Opening Ceremony of Asian Games 2018. Well, just a week after our wedding day.

So we took a flight from Yogyakarta to Labuan Bajo by NAM Airlines, I still remember clearly it was very early in the morning like around 6 or 6.30 am and then we had transit in Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali for about 1-2 hours. The flight ticket price was around 2 million Rupiah each person. It was a little bit expensive because we bought the ticket probably like 2 weeks prior to departure.

Finally, after 45 minutes flight from Yogyakarta to Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali, then transit for an hour and continued our flight to Labuan Bajo for 45-60 minutes where I was one of few Indonesian among the seas of foreigners in the plane, we finally arrived in one of our dream islands to visit!

We were very excited as we arrived at the airport, moreover my husband! Because to visit Komodo Island is one of his biggest dreams since he was a kid, we really don’t know if its coincidence or fate, but seeing him looked so amazed only by the Komodo big sticker at the airport, I felt beyond happy too.

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My bubz’ happy face ❤

Once we arrived and got our baggage at the airport, we went directly outside to find transportation to the hotel we booked. You will easily find a lot of taxi drivers who will be waiting for either you want to go to your hotel, harbour, central and other spots in Labuan Bajo. The price will depend on your destination, but the driver will ask where do you want to go and the address. If you want to go to the hotel or cafe or harbour, it is located in the centre so the price will be around 50.000 Rupiah/one way.

We booked a hotel room in Soekarno-Hatta street, which still located in the central part of Labuan Bajo, named Beta Bajo Hotel. First, we booked for a night, because the next day in the morning we lived on board, which was my first experience. The first day in Labuan Bajo, we spent half-day at the hotel and in the afternoon we explore the centre and to see the sunset, had early dinner in Le Pirate cafe and after had our ‘dessert’ in one of Le Creperie in town! Yummmz

Read: Honeymoon Series #2: Le Pirate Restaurant, Labuan Bajo, Flores – Indonesia (Review)

The day after, at 09.00 in the morning our tourist guide picked up us at the hotel then we went directly to the harbour by car.

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Our ‘Garuda’ boat

So this is our private boat, that we booked through Perama tours. We had cabin bedroom with bunkbed. They also have one bathroom, other bunkbed room, deck bedroom, very small kitchen area and a dining place.

We were very happy and very enthusiast to explore some islands in Flores. At the first time, I felt a bit worried because I ever got nausea in a boat a long time ago when I went to the Thousand Islands. But surprisingly I did not really feel that way, but just because it was very windy and I still feel sleepy, so I decided to sleep in our bedroom.

Oh ya, we saw few dolphins swim on our way to Kanawa island before!

When we arrived at our first destination, Kanawa Island, I feel like “OMG, I never saw the sea which very clear, clean and full of beautiful corals and fishes!”. We spent a few hours on this island, that time was a bit crowd already, but more with foreigner tourists than Indonesian people. The waves were not that much, so it was easy to swim around the island. Last time, we found a lot of colourful starfishes, that’s why we have to be more careful to not step on those starfishes.

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Corals and crystal clear water

So far, Kanawa island is one of our favourite spots to do snorkelling in Indonesia!

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Kanawa island pier

After we prepared, they brought us to explore Loh Buaya or well-known as Rinca Island. It is the largest Komodo dragon habitat in Indonesia. Last time, it was a little bit confusing when I bought the ticket in the ticket office because they have 8 ticket papers, which for me such a waste and not effective at all. Here are the price lists we paid:

  • Entrance ticket at the Komodo National Park (weekend): IDR 7.500
  • Entrance ticket to Rinca island (foreigner on weekend): IDR 225.000
  • Entrance ticket to Rinca island (Indonesian on weekend): IDR 50.000 + IDR 20.000 = IDR 70.000
  • Ranger fee ticket in Rinca island: IDR 80.000
  • Activity ticket for trekking on Rinca island: IDR 5.000 x 2 person = IDR 10.000
  • Activity ticket for observation the wildlife: IDR 10.000 x 2 person = IDR 20.000

See? In total, we paid for IDR 412.500 for 2 person or equal to EUR 23. If you go there on the weekdays, the price could be cheaper than written above. The ticket price applies to both islands, Rinca and Komodo (in case you go to this two-island on the same day). You definitely can choose whether you want to try the short, the medium or the long track one which will take around 2 hours or more.

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Loh Buaya pier
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The entrance of Loh Buaya, Rinca island in the Komodo National Park. P.S: Don’t ever buy a coconut in there, the price was 2-3 times higher than the normal price. We deeply regretted, haha
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Hope my face explain everything, lolz

In this island, beside Komodo dragons, you also will see a beautiful scenery with big hills, dry grasses, trees, wild reindeer, monkeys and birds. This island located 3 hours by boat from Labuan Bajo. It is better to go there in the morning or afternoon around (3 – 4 pm) to avoid the strong sunny day. From our guide and the ranger information, Rinca island has a lot of Komodo dragons than in the real Komodo island itself. We found around 9 – 12 Komodo dragons in Rinca island. Last time, because it was already in the afternoon around 3 pm, so we chose the medium trek. I was almost lost my breath when we hike the hill because it was very high and steep at the same time. But we glad that we made it to the top of the hills!

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Preggo female komodo
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This wild reindeer waiting to be eaten by Komodo dragons
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Standing among high hills at Rinca island

After finished our trek in Rinca island, then we went directly to the boat to continue our final destination in Kalong island, where we stopped before evening to see flies kalong or bats above the sunset skies. We feel amazed by all the kalongs which flew above us but it was a wonderful experience to see such beautiful landscape during the sunset with all those flying bats!

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Peaceful yet beautiful sunset in Kalong island
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Hope this blurred picture will give you all the vision how we feel amazed by those flying bats

Do you want to know where we went on the second days?

The story will be uploaded next week, so stay tuned and ‘follow’ my blog to get the notification!

Honeymoon Series #1: First Impression being a Vegan in Loving Hut, Yogyakarta (Review)

Well, I was in Yogyakarta last month during the familymoon with my husband and his French family. We basically visited some touristic places when we were there, some good cafe and restaurants, as well as did some adventure at Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta. That was 2nd times visit for me and my husband, the first one was just last year. And just last month we have seen quite a lot of changes in Yogyakarta, such as the big pedestrian walk that they built in Malioboro area as well as other new cafe and restaurant. Who does not love to walk in Malioboro? Many street foods, shopping places, souvenir shops, street art performance, etc.

This year, since we visited with his family, we tried to visit a vegan restaurant because they are a true-vegan! Well, I am not a vegetarian nor a vegan, but in this post, I will try to recommend you one of the best vegan restaurant in Yogyakarta (at least from my experience). This vegan restaurant was recommended by my mother-in-law.

The restaurant called, Loving Hut. It is a vegan restaurant, which absolutely not using any animal products. As a human who is basically eat everything (you can call me an omnivore, lol), that was my first time to eat in such kind of restaurant. We went to the Loving Hut Express, the place quite small not like any other restaurant in Yogyakarta, but the location was well located just in the central part of Yogyakarta.

A little bit about the history of this vegan restaurant, since the first restaurant has been established and founded in Taiwan in 2008, the restaurant has been successfully dominating the vegan restaurants in some of the European and Asian countries. Currently, the restaurant has the franchise which spread to 23 countries with more than 155 outlets, including in Indonesia. They also have its franchise in the United States, Canada, Panama, Germany, France, Spain, England, Czech, Austria, Australia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

I was thinking to be a vegetarian or vegan is the scariest and impossible thing to do. Because I just can’t imagine my life without egg, chicken, seafood, cheese, milk, and any animal product (BRB, CRYYY). But since my husband and his family is a vegetarian or even a vegan, so I gave a try to this resto.

WHICH WAS SOOOOOO DELICIEUX….

I have some preference for vegetables and fruits that I usually eat and only some of the vegetables that I can eat it raw, which the rest should be well cooked. And in here, we can choose both the raw or cooked. They even have a cabinet glass which there are so many foods that you can choose for yourself, which for me more like Nasi Campur or Nasi Rames, but still contain vegan products.

I was very curious about the Burger that they have in this restaurant so I ordered it. OMG, when I took the first bite, I feel like I was in a Burger King!

No, it wasn’t exaggerated feeling!

Because the size was quite big and surprisingly the “HAM” was almost exactly the same as in there. Look at this… Sooooo YUMMMMZ!

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Sorry I did not take a proper picture for this, coz its YUMMM

I can be a vegan every day if all the food I eat would be like this.

I was not tried a lot of food in here, but my mother-in-law also loved the salad and juice they have it there, it was all fresh and delicious, as she said! My husband loves the vegan kwetiau and the Seven Seas delight, which contain seitan kind of meat, vegetables and rice.

Here, you can definitely choose and order some kind of food like vegan meatballs, vegan satay, vegan kwetiau and basically almost everything, you name it, they sell the best vegan food with Indonesian taste.

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Image from Google

It was not more like a restaurant but more like a small cafe or warung, since the place is not really big so you have to come earlier or just after dining time or you will have to wait to get the table. The price also very affordable for a good quality and healthy food!

So, for those of you who will come to visit Yogyakarta, you should try to eat in Loving Hut Express!

Location
Loving Hut Express
Jl. Moses Gatotkaca No A18
Gejayan Mrican Yogyakarta
Telp. 0274-562959