Lunar New Year 2563
Didn't want to lost the moment where many Chinese were happily welcoming the new year with colorful ornaments, delicious delicacies, and also the smoky temples, I decided to visit the famous Jakarta China Town again!
If last year I visited this place by myself, this time I brought along my daughter who was very excited about the year of dragon when she was born 12 years ago, at the year of Golden Dragon. ha...ha...
This is a good time for her, not only to enjoy the festival, but also to learn about the beauty of the difference and the pluralism. It doesn't sound too heavy, does it?
On Saturday morning, two days before the big day, we visited this place. Only took about 30 minutes by riding the city train "Commuter Line" from the nearest train station from our home, we arrived in Jakarta Kota Station. We walked about 10 minutes to get in the famous Petak Sembilan area, in Glodok neighbourhood.
The vivid color of the ornaments, the aroma of Chinese food, red lanterns hang everywhere, busy people around us; it gave us different experience than our daily life.
We walked through the Petak Sembilan main alley, and visited the first temple; the popular Vihara Dharma Bhakti. Since I had visited this temple last year, this time we only stop by for a while, walked around the temple, took some pictures, and also I had to answer lots of questions from my curious daughter :)
I knew, she learned something here. It's good for her to know and to respect the belief of others.
We were at the temple yard when suddenly we heard the noise of drum from the alley. We rushed following the sound that we recognized as 'Barongsai', the dragon dance background energetic 'music'. At least there were three 'barongsai' performances we saw during our trip to Glodok.
It was two days before Chinese New Year, but it seemed the festival had already started.
Enough enjoying the performance, we continued our journey to another Chinese Temple, Toasebio, also known as Vihara Dharma Jaya. Comparing from the size of the temple, it is smaller than the previous temple. From what I saw, I know that every temple has their own uniqueness.
The temple was so quiet at that time. We both enjoyed our private time exploring the temple. We walked to every corner of the temple, enjoyed the lanterns that hung on the ceiling, looked at the details, smelled the smoky incense, ...all were beautiful!
The Chinese Temple always amazes me.
We left the temple after took many pictures, not using the main alley... we tried to go through other small alleys. I had never been to that alley before, but I felt so lucky for our decision.
We entered an alley that full of home bakery and food stalls! The aroma of the home baking blowed everywhere... ohh! So tempting!
On one side we saw how the sellers lively prepared the Wonton; rolled the wrappers, put the filling, and fried or steam it. On the other side. we watched a seller finished his fresh Kue Pia from the grill. Very interesting to see Kue Mangkok, fresh from the steamer and the color was red, not pink, not light green or light brown like usually. It was RED!
Interesting to see special delicacies gathered in one small alley. All were looked delicious. ahhh...
For sure, I'll be back... Next time I'll bring along my son.
After tasting food here and there, we decided to end our exciting journey. We brought home the special Nian Gao a.k.a Kue Keranjang, some delicious Kue Pia with durian and mung bean filling (I can say this is the best in the city!) and also... some new props! Yay... I bought some enamel bowls and a small tray from Glodok.
We left the colorful festival, went back home with happy face and full tummy.
China Town has never dissapointed me!
Bringing home the Nian Gao, I knew exactly what to do with it.
I remember that last year, a friend of mine; Eliza, posted a recipe on her beautiful blog about a new way to prepare this sticky cake. Before, the only way I know how to prepare this cake by frying it. Now I like how Eliza prepares this cake by steaming it and coat with shredded coconut.
So, by following Eliza instruction written on her blog, for this cake, I just cut it in square, steamed it (don't forget to grease the steamer with oil before putting the cake), and at the same time I steamed shredded coconut with pinch of salt. After the cake was soft enough and the shredded coconut was cooked well, then I mixed them together... and tarraaa...
Delicious Steamed Nian Gao with Shredded Coconut is ready!It is soft and chewy, sweet and tasty, so yummy!
Have a wonderful weekend, Friends.