Wednesday, August 29, 2012

High Tea

Today, in the afternoon, I have high tea with my friend Betty.  We went to Kerridale and found a place called Adonia Tea.  It looks like a small boutique shop with small tables and tiny chairs but nicely decorated like an English tea room.
The menu is quite good with value for money compared to the other tea house in town.  We ordered each a mini afternoon tea set which includes a pot of tea each and 7 mini savories / sweets each.  I ordered a Litchi flavoured white tea with peony flower.  My friend has a tropical fruit white tea with a coconut accent.
The tea is good but initially wrong serving method.  It is bad to have tea leaves left in the pot after the steeping time, no matter how much more water the server offered to top up time after time.  It is simply not good.  For fruit infusion, maybe it is great, but for green, black and white tea, it destroyed the fine taste.
The food is alright.  Value for money with $17 includes a pot of tea and the pastry.  The cucumber sandwich and ham and cheese sandwich is ordinary.  The scones are great, very tasty.  The other sweets on the two tiers are uneven.  There are red and black mini muffin cakes, so sweet and forgettable.  The mini brownie is great, the fruit tart is good.
The service is terrible.  The server is very unfriendly.  Her approach to us is snobbish.  I have high tea before and she asked after putting down the food, whether she needs to explain anything.  The way she said is so rude and I simply asked anything made with cheese which is ultimately irrelevant so that she can answer and walk away and leave us in peace.
I will not return to this place at all, there are better places around with better service and attention to detail and better understanding of the art of tea. 
The picture is my own tea service not taken from Adonia's.  My friend was taking many pictures there but I wasn't in the mood because of the service and their treatment of tea.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nam Hai Kuan Im Pu Sa

This is the Goddess of Mercy from the Southern Sea.  Nam Hai Kuan Im Pu Sa.  There is a temple near the beach of Pelabuhan Ratu of West Java. 

Ghost Festival

Soon is ghost festival, the 14th day of the 7th month of the year is the opening of the gate of hell when hungry ghost came out and have to be appeased.
Here, I will post interesting candies that inspired or made for the festival.
First off is Rakugan for Obon in Japan.  Usually this is made into the shapes of lotus.  When I go to the chinese temple to worship Buddha, I brought along this candy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Batik Teratai Raksasa

I just finished this illustration of an Indonesian batik featuring the pattern of Victoria amazonica.  This giant waterlily lives in the pool inside Kebun Raya Bogor.  I used the more lively colours of yellow, aqua, light green and brown.  The style is close to Cirebon of West Java.
The headdress is a head cloth worn as part of muslim clothing.  The jasmine flowers are weaved into decorative head piece.  The batik shows the back view same as the front view on Kai Bolorong's batik.  I will work on this design eventually and get it produced one day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

kai bolorong

I painted this image of a Javanese spirit living in the mountain.  Nyai Blorong or Kai Bolorong is female or male spirit living in the still water inside the mountain cave deep in the rain forest of Java. 
During the late 70s and early 80s, under the New Order's repressive rule, a bunch of fascinating movies came out of Indonesia specializing in horror and black magic.  While people cannot openly criticize the corrupt government, they internalize and blame everything on the demons and the devils.  The structure of each movie is a balance turned into chaos and then being restored in order.
Suzanna is the main actress specialized in the role of Nyai Ratu Kidul or Nyai Blorong.  A goddess that grants wishes at a dear price to pay.
Here I have mixed the traditional javanese style and indonesian horror to produce this mountain spirit image.  The batik is going to be a new one to design soon featuring the giant amazon waterlily which lives in still water.

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Wayang Costume

Here is me wearing Wayang Costume.  The batik features the symbol of royal Surakarta.  Usually Batik Solo is brown and indigo and cream.  But I will look very old in that kind of colour scheme.  So I changed it to vibrant colour like red and aqua with gold lines.