Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ramadan's Dates O' Yummy Donut and Iced Cappuchino

JCO 1 copyrights Eki Akhwan

Text and pictures by Eki Qushay Akhwan

Donut has never actually been my favorite kind of food. I mean it's good and it's good to have it every once in a while, but I never really care much about it, much less crave for it. And here's the story about the donut.

A couple of days ago I needed to go for a little shopping. So on the way home from work, I stopped by Ciwalk (Cihampelas Walk), a mall (open arcade?) set in the middle of lush and beautiful gardens in Bandung's Cihampelas street. It's the fasting month of Ramadan, and like any other good Moslems, I was fasting. When I was done with the shopping, it was almost 6, the time for iftar (the breaking of the fast). Most restaurants and cafes seemed to be packed with queuers. J.CO was one of those that didn't seem to be crowded. So there I was, ordering coffee and doughnut for iftar. It's not my kind of idea for breaking the fast, but heck, I didn't want to wait in a long queue just for a light meal and drink.

JCO 3 copyrights Eki Akhwan

And here is what I had: Dates O'Yummy donut and a cup of iced dates cappuchino.The donut was okay, but the added dates ingredient was great. I liked it a lot, and I think I'd love to have it again sometime. (I don't know though if it's going to be offered outside Ramadan. Dates = Ramadan here.) ;)

JCO 2 copyrights Eki Akhwan

J.CO is an Indonesian bakery retailer specializing in donuts and coffee. Considering that it's been established only recently (2005), it's a quite a success story. Its fast-gained popularity, I think, has much to do with its fluffy and light donuts which, I think, is much preferred than the American predecessors which had much earlier presence here. The parlor's chick-looking, cozy design and pricing factor, especially for the coffee, may also contribute some to its success. You can see in the top photo the quiter Starbucks is just across the window. Starbucks coffee is still considered a bit too expensive for many Indonesians as their pricing is globally standardized (the price of a cup of coffee here is about the same price you'd pay in New York, Hong Kong or any other places in the world).

In less than 3 years since its establishment, J.CO has had more than 30 outlets in 9 major Indonesian cities, and 8 in Singapore and Malaysia. The Philippines is next in its global expansion plan.

According to its website, J.CO is owned by Johnny Andrean Group of companies. Johnny Andrean himself, if I remember it correctly, started his business ventures in beauty salons chains. I don't know what beauty salon has to do with donut and coffee, but success is success.

Now that I've written this free advertisement for J.CO, I hope next time I go there, I'd get free coffee and donuts. I hope. ;)

All photographs were taken with my 3.2 megapixel, point and shoot Canon Powershot A510 camera.


Virginia said...

I am interested in the fasting in your religion. I assumed fasting meant 24 hours a day. Do I understand that you fast until 6:00? If so what do you eat/drink during the day? That's what I love about CDP, we gain knowledge of not only other cultures, but religions as well.

Rambling Woods said...

Eki..I am not much into donuts, but that one looked very tasty. You might be interested to know that Starbucks is closing stores in the US, about 600 of them due to dropping sales. One of the coffee drinks is too expensive when you could get a gallon of gas for a little less...

Murphy_jay said...

Yummy.. the donut does look delicious. It's very clever of the proprieter to tie in with the festive season.

We have J.CO here as well and it is also quite popular. Not sure if they have this date variant though.

babooshka said...

I admit to liking the odd doughnut.
In the Uk those that observe Ramadan do a very strange thing afterwards. They head for Blackpool en mass to see the Blackpool lights. It's almost a ritual in itself now. Very interesting again, and agreed with Virginia we learn so much form each other on the dailies.

Ann said...

That looks so disgustingly sweet - but good. I like hot donuts covered in cinnamon sugar. Unfortuantely at the moment I'm not allowed to eat any kind of donut.

Dina said...

That looks a lot tastier than the standard American donut I know. Thanks for sharing it (I wish!) and the story of the place and of yourself.

yuanita said...

I think J.Co donuts are different from other donuts. It offers more variant tastes of donuts. And the tastes are definitely delicious. Unfortunately, the price is still too little expensive for an ordinary college student like me ^_^