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Trip Report Cooking in Yogyakarta!

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For pictures and the details - http://wp.me/p5Lw9a-vT

Taking a cooking class in Southeast Asia is getting popular while visitors could try out making their very own delicious tropical dishes, and most of these classes start off with a trip to a local market for the ingredients. We signed up for a cooking class @ Viavia Jogja.

Viavia Jogja is on the street Prawirotamani on the south side of Yogyakarta – a tourist district in the city filled with cafes, restaurant, backpacker guesthouses, and some souvenir shops. Passing through the alleys we were at a local food market “Pasare Resik Rejekine Apik” where we got all the ingredients that we need for the two main dishes of the day. Unlike the big cooking schools in Bali or Thailand, Viavia Jogja offers the guests an intimate cooking experience with only 2-4 ‘students’ in a class. The MasterChef, Diwan, said she preferred it this way as it would be easier for her to communicate with the students and get them focus on the cooking. Sometimes a big group would just chat among themselves and forgot all the cooking.

As a chef of the café herself, Diwan definitely is experienced with what she was doing in her rooftop kitchen in Viavia. After shopping the ingredients and back to the kitchen, Diwan made us iced tea and started to explain each ingredient. Then we were chopping, peeling, grinding, cooking and stirring with an iced tea in our hands, fancy.

Although the website said we were supposed to be cooking only two main dishes – we tasted so much more. As we were looking curious in the market, Diwan offered to buy us duck eggs, tempe, and salak (snakeskin fruit) as a healthy snack after our meals. We also cooked coconut rice, and fried a lot of krupuk. Turned out it was a feast. I had a great time!

Thank you for visiting my blog for the video and photos - http://wp.me/p5Lw9a-vT

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Afterthoughts:

1. Like Jakarta, Bali, and Surabaya… traffic in Yogyakarta was Horrendous (yes with a capital H). There was a traffic jam in every corner and every turn of the city for 18 hours every day. Especially the shopping street – Malioboro is a dead zone, once you got in, you might never get out (literally). Cars were lining up nose-to-tail as if it never ends, with motorcycles filling up every gap in between the vehicles. Crossing the road was like parting the red sea. One thing I learnt was to hold up both arms as I was crossing the road. The drivers were generally nice, just the traffic was really, really busy.
2. Most service people (I am talking about restaurants servers, tour guides, and hotel staff) are generally pleasant and polite, they may not speak very good English but they always try their best to serve you. The taxi drivers, however, were not very honest. Lacking an effective mass transportation system, most tourists relied on taxis, or private cars getting around the city. I personally experienced three drivers who gave me less change (or they just didn’t until you ask for change), asked for a higher price, and drove a longer route all in one day. Just confront them and let them know that ‘you know what they are doing’.I was told there was a ‘minimum’ charge of 25000 IDR for each taxi ride – It’s not much anyway but I doubt if it’s more like an ‘unspoken’ rule for tourist, I just didn’t like being ripped off.
3. Coffee doesn’t come with milk naturally. I need milk with my coffee, just ask for it.

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