Wonderful Indonesia Flavours Season Two Takes Me Back to Indonesia

I've had a chance to be an OFW back in 2006-2007 when I used to fly to and from Jakarta, Indonesia for some work assignments.  When I lo...

I've had a chance to be an OFW back in 2006-2007 when I used to fly to and from Jakarta, Indonesia for some work assignments.  When I look back on my life adventures, that phase was one of the most memorable highlights of my life.  Travelling to a different country, meeting and actually working with the locals, speaking a bit of Bahasa, exploring the city's sights and sounds, and immersing myself in a different culture, spelled freedom and happiness for me.  I miss living in Jakarta and travelling to other cities in Indonesia.  One of the things I miss the most is the Indonesian cuisine.

Let me share with you some throwback pictures:

Monas in Jakarta, Indonesia
Flying to Surabaya, Indonesia via Garuda Indonesia
Shopping pasalubong in Jakarta's Greenhills Shopping Center, Mangga Dua Square Mall
When I found out on cable that Asian Food Channel and Travel Channel production brought Wonderful Indonesia Flavours back for its second season, I got excited.  It was like taking me back to one of my happy places and making me devour the Indonesian cuisine once again, even if it's on TV only.  Local celebrity chef and host Rinrin Marinka and her Australian co-host, Chef Tobie Puttok, up the ante by bringing viewers to five new destinations in Indonesia.

With more than 13,000 islands forming the largest island country, Indonesia is more than just the balmy white beaches of Bali and Lombok, ancient temples of Borobudur or the raging volcanoes of East Java. It is also home to more than 300 ethnic groups, each with cultural identities and a massive culinary menu that spans the country.

Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, the key person of Wonderful Indonesia says, “A key ingredient in a country’s culture is rooted in its indigenous ingredients and dishes. Through the series, we hope to share the diverse and unique stories that stem from authentic recipes presented from each destination. More importantly, we want to extend a warm invitation to viewers to come visit and experience this food and discovery expedition for themselves.”

Hosts Chef Rinrin Marinka and Chef Tobie Puttock helm the five-part series, taking viewers on an epic discovery of the exotic sights and tastes that Indonesia has to offer. The program will feature the pair exploring the rugged paradise of Padang to the bustling metropolitan city of Jakarta. They will also cover Indonesia’s art and culture center in Yogyakarta and the stunning surfing beaches of Lombok. Engaging with local folk, Chef RinRin Marinka switches easily between Bahasa Indonesia and English, as she introduces the destination and cuisines off the beaten track with her on-screen travel mate and viewers.

‘‘It was an amazing first season uncovering different cuisines unique to their destination and I could not be more honored to share my country’s heritage to viewers in the region. This season means even more to me as one of the episodes will see Chef Tobie and myself journey through my hometown Jakarta, to uncover both modern and traditional dishes.” quipped Chef Rinrin.

Season 2 brings viewers to five new incredible destinations: Bali, Jakarta, Lombok, Yogyakarta and Padang. The latter, widely discovered in the season premiere, takes pride in being the place of export for one of the world’s most famous meals, Nasi Padang, amongst its many other offerings.

In the episode premiere, the dynamic duo shuttle from town to town in Padang, tasting the best Beef Rendang, slow-cooked to perfection, and indulging in local delicacies such as Gulai Ikan Karang (fish in yellow curry). They even play tour guides as they take viewers through a history lesson by visiting the “Lobang Jepang Bukittinggi” (loosely translated as ‘Japan Tunnel’), a tunnel built during World War II by the Japanese to store ammunition and house soldiers. It’s a stoic reminder of the country’s heritage and Dutch colonialism.

Take notes on the recipes that the hosts recreate and places of interests that they venture to as the program promises to tempt viewers after each episode and leave them with a taste of wanderlust.
Wonderful Indonesia Flavours 2 is presented by Wonderful Indonesia.

You could catch it every Wednesday, 7:40pm on the Travel Channel (SkyCable Ch 82 (SD)/Ch 201 (HD), Destiny Cable Ch 82, Cignal Ch 30 ) and Thursdays, 9:00pm on the Asian Food Channel (SkyCable Ch 22 (Analog)/Ch 248 (HD), Dream Satellite Ch 27, Cignal Ch 26, Destiny Cable Ch 71 (Analog)/Ch 22 (Digital)

Based on my experience, Indonesia's cuisine is more than just Nasi Goreng, with its diverse cultural diversities coming from different cities, ethnic groups, this show will let you discover and actually appreciate a little bit of what Indonesia is made up of, which might make you book a flight to that country in your next travel destination.

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