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

A Tale from Yogyakarta #1: The Sultanate Water Castle

I always love to visit Yogyakarta, both for pleasure or works. Not only because of the cheaper price for almost everything, but Yogyakarta always has its story or memories for their visitors. Usually, Jakartans always love to have a short escape to Yogyakarta, just to avoid a busy and ‘crowd life’ in there. I think some of Jakartans agreed of what I said. We are just in love with the weather, the street, the food, the atmosphere, the souvenir places, the cheap batik, the historical site and many more.

Yes, I love visiting the historical site in every cities or country I’ve visited. Taman Sari in Yogyakarta is one of the examples. I have visited the water castle once with my fiance during our trip to Yogyakarta. Been several times visiting Yogyakarta, I just went there once and it was last time with him. Taman Sari becomes an Instagrammable place that you should visit while you are in Yogyakarta.

Once upon a time— the Sultanate of Yogyakarta built the water castle as the royal garden of the Sultanate. It was built in the midst of 18th century and was very famous and commonly used as a bathing place. Built during the reign of Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (1755 – 1792), the first sultan of Yogyakarta and was completed by the time of Sultan Hamengkubuwono II. There are few version of this water castle histories, according to Kitab Mamana in Yogyakarta Kraton, the project leader for the construction of Taman Sari was Tumenggung Mangundipura. He had travelled twice to Batavia to learn all about European architecture, no wonder the architecture of this water castle has marks of European style. It was also built three years after the Giyanti Agreement—the agreement between Prince Mangkubumi, the Dutch East India company and Sunan Pakubuwono III which divided the eastern half of the Sultanate of Mataram in Java was given to Pakubuwono III with Surakarta as its capital, while the western half was given to Prince Mangkubumi with its capital in Yogyakarta—as a resting place of the First Sultan.

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Umbul Pasiraman or also known by Umbul Binangun, the main area of Sultanate’s Bathhouse

Maybe some of you have already visited Taman Sari while you were in Yogyakarta. As you all know, currently, the water castle has turned into one of must-visit touristic place in Yogyakarta. In some part of the castle is well-preserved by the local government and communities who live around the castle. A long time ago, it consisted of 59 buildings complex and some of them were fell out after an earthquake happened in 1867, which destroyed several buildings and drained the water features. And the only building which has restored is only the bathing complex.

Umbul Pasiraman or commonly referred to Umbul Binangunis—a sultan’s bathhouse for princesses and concubines are punctuated by high walls on each side. Umbul Pasiraman has 3 pools named Umbul Muncar, Blumbang Kuras and Umbul Binangun which is decorated with the fountain and can be accessed through two gates to enter the West and East part. In the North, there is a building used for the places of the sisters and daughters of the sultan, while in the South there is a tower used by the Sultan to clean the concubines and his daughter who was bathing below.

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Another part of the bathhouse

When you walk out from the main area of the site, you will see the underwater tunnel that used connected to the lake, but since the water had been drained it is now used for the community settlement. To get to the place, you have to pass the Tajug, the hallway which connects Taman Sari with the palace and also Pulo Kenongo. This wide underground passage is to secure the Keraton from a dangerous situation. There are many secret rooms in this area. When you exit from the Tajug, you will see the former Pulo Kenongo which was once overgrown with kenanga flowers.

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Tajug, the hallway
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Me in Sumur Gumuling, an Istagrammable spot in Taman Sari area
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Me posing in the hall connects to the place where the Sultan looking out the ladies’ shower in the water castle

We also went to Sumur Gumuling, the underground mosque as the place of worship for the royal family. To get to the centre of this mosque, we had to pass through the long and dark alleys. Arriving in the middle of the mosque in the form of a square-shaped place with 5 steps around.

I recommend you to visit Taman Sari during the morning because usually, they will close early in the afternoon around 3-4 pm. The location it’s easy to access by becak or motorcycle or private car. It’s close to Keraton and Alun-alun Utara.

 

Address: Komplek Wisata Taman Sari, Taman, Patehan, Kraton, Patehan, Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55133

#4th Review: Grand Aston Hotel, Yogyakarta

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I love this Illy cappuccino like…… A LOT! Also the cookies :9

Welcome to Yogyakarta!

I would like to share my experience while I stayed in Grand Aston Hotel in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. On last December, I have visited Yogyakarta with my colleagues in the office for our organisation’s activity. We had a chance to stayed in Grand Aston Hotel in there. I think the hotel just built couple years ago because everything seems quite new. The hotel is super clean and well-designed. It is located in very strategic areas; 30-minute drive from Malioboro Street, where you can find a looooooot of souvenirs, cheap batik, accessories, street food and much more.

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Messy twin share bedroom for me and my colleague
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Please, ignore the box on the right! 😀

As you can see in the pictures above, this is how exactly the twin share room look like. Quite spacious + there is also a double sofa seat near the window. The room facilities at this hotel also quite complete, there was; telephone, TV flat screen with cable channels, Iron, Ironing facilities, hairdryer, slippers, minibar, refrigerator, alarm clock, and the WiFi also worked very well!

During my stays in this hotel, me and my colleagues was a little bit upset because of the breakfast, the lunch and the dinner menu almost similar like every day. And we have complained about the home-made chilli which was very good but they just served us only 1-2 times during 6 days of our stayed in there, hahaha. But overall the food taste was good! I was upset because they did not serve a cup of cappuccino for free during the breakfast, so we should order and it is not included in the breakfast menu. Because I really like their Illy cappuccino like A LOT! It reminds me of my Rome trip because every morning I always drank the Illy cappuccino to boost my mood, hahaha. Oh, I also was upset, because their traditional drink which called kunyit asam jamu or turmeric acid drink was verrrrrrryyyyyyy sweet! Yes, it made me feel upset.

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Here is me relaxed in the swing sofa haha

Oh, the hotel also located nearby the Ambarukmo Mall, Galeria Mall, Tugu Monument, Tugu Train Station, Malioboro Mall, Pasar Beringharjo, and Lippo Plaza Yogyakarta. Since the Grand Aston Hotel Yogyakarta is one of 5-stars hotel, so no wonder the room price it costs around IDR 1.200.000 – 1.500.000 or EUR 85-107 per night. It is quite expensive for Yogyakarta which very famous with cheap price, but it’s normal price for hotel rates in Jakarta.

I was not really exploring all of their facilities, but what I know, they also have rooftop bar on the 9th floor, swimming pool and fitness centre.

What I love the most during my stayed in this hotel, they have a lot of jajanan pasar which very rare to find in Jakarta city, which located in front of the hotel. Like this one! My favorite jajanan pasar all the time… kue putu! Hahaha. This one is extremely very rare in the place where I am living now, but a long time before when I was child, it was easily found even in front of my old house every in the afternoon.

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I miss you kue putu!

Okay, sorry I got easily distracted by kue putu.

So, for you who wants to go to Yogyakarta either with your friends, colleagues, family or with your significant other, I can recommend you to stay in Grand Aston Hotel Yogyakarta. Because the staff was also very friendly, smiley, and helpful 🙂