Your Nav Bar Here

Rabu, 07 September 2011


hi foodies, sorry i've been away for far too long. new posts are on its way, promise!
i'm always open for suggestions, and thank you for your comments and critiques, appreciate all of them :--)

Jumat, 15 Juli 2011

[BANDUNG!] Kaki Lima: Bebek Borromeus

Fried duck screams simplicity. But if you look deeper, there's a complexity to it. At least to me. Fried duck looks like fried chicken, but it's so much more. All I want in a fried chicken is nicely cooked meat. But with duck, my desired doneness includes moist, soft flesh, crispy skin, succulent, juicy fat, and crunchy bones. I expect more, because when done wrong, the meat will be very gamey, the fat all liquified and the dish will just be another passing poultry dish. In this unassuming joint, I definitely get what I want, and more.

That's it. Just white rice, the duck, some lalapan, and the plate of sambel tomat. It looks just like every other fried duck. I ate with my boyfriend Bram, who is obsessed with this place and planned to make me as obsessed, and he told me the first thing to do, especially for a first timer like me, is try the sambal. Just dip your fingers in and lick em. Boy, it was good. There's an oily, fried feel to it, adding to the savoury and spiciness of the sambal. It's not searing hot, just comfortably so. It didn't make me scramble for a glass of water, neither did it make my eyes water or anything like that. It has a level of heat that's, as I said, comfortable. Just right to put a punch in every mouthful, but not too much. 
I teared open the flesh of my duck, and can see, and feel, the beautiful fat beneath the crispy skin. Took some meat, skin, and fat, dip it completely in the sambel, scooping with me the chunks of tomatoes, put it on the rice and had a mouthful. I was speechless. Bram looked at me knowingly, fully aware that I was basking in the glory of his favorite Bandung street food. The fat and skin was so amazing, and that sambal, I just can't get enough. We were quiet as we plow through our meal, absorbing the thousands of calories we're consuming. Afterwards, we would sit in the car, glowing in the afterglow of a great meal, and couldn't stop raving about how good it was. 
Yes, it was THAT good.

This awesome place is located beside RS Borromeus, the sign says Syailendra. Serves other dishes, but the duck wins. Everytime.

[BANDUNG!] Kaki Lima: Mi Kocok Kikil, Jl Riau

In every city, there is bound to be a place spoken about like an urban legend. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire, yet not every person who has talked about it has eaten there. They seem to be discouraged by its hole-in-the-wall location, insiders-only crowd. 
Maybe I went overboard. But still. For me, this place is one of those legends. My cousins used to talk about this place, how a bowl was never enough, how no matter how many mi kocok stalls dot this city's streets, this one would still be the best. If I wasn't with my family, I wouldn't have the guts to go and order a bowl. There's something menacing about ordering food in a completely foreign place, where everybody seem to know how things work, except you.
My parents placed the order, and came before me a bowl of steaming, murky broth, accompanied with some noodles, sprouts, bakso, and kikil. I seasoned it to my liking, which is (as always) a generous helping of salt, vinegar, and chili. Absolutely no kecap manis. I mixed everything together, and tried the broth first.

Man. It was heavenly. For me, the beauty of dishes like this is its unpretentiousness, something I value highly. It's just food, honestly prepared. Steaming hot and spicy, the broth fatty. Every spoonful should contain some noodles, kikil, and sprouts. I used to hate beansprouts. But now, it's like the life of the party in my bowls of food. In pho, mi kikil, and several other dishes, sprouts provide that freshness, that crunch, that unmistakable fragrance of beautiful vegetables. You'll find your spoonful miraculous. That hot broth, the soft noodles, the chewy and awesome kikil, and that crunchy sprouts. In another spoonful, be sure to include pieces of succulent bakso. In between spoonfuls, grab a kerupuk kampung and sip on good ol' teh botol. You'll be full, happy, and find yourself longing for seconds.

This piece of heaven is located just by the Summit factory outlet. Unlikely, huh?

Kamis, 07 Juli 2011

THE BEST BUNDLES OF CALORIES EVER: Martabak Keju Spesial San Fransisco, Jl Burangrang, Bandung

Martabak dan Bandung goes hand-in-hand. Udara yang sejuk dan martabak yang panas, gooey, super manis memang pasangan yang oke. Nah, pertanyaannya, dimana gue bisa mendapatkan martabak yang merupakan epitome dari semua martabak lainnya? Pencarian gue berakhir di Jl Burangrang, yang juga merupakan rumah dari bubur ayam favorit gue. Say hello to my treasure, Martabak San Fransisco.

Tempatnya sangat modest, tapi lo pasti akan melihat orang2 bergerombol menunggu martabak mereka selesai diberi sentuhan magic terakhir dari para pakar martabak teroke di dunia. Martabaknya macem-macem banget, ada asin dan manis tentunya, tapi sekaran kita fokus ke manisnya. Ada keju, coklat, wijen, kismis, jagung (?), dan masih banyak lagi. Ada ukuran biasa, medium, mini, dan tipker (tipis kering, in martabak talk). Tapi, superstarnya adalah KEJU SPESIAL. Harganya juga superstar cyin, 51ribu. Tapi worth every penny in every bite. "Tik, kenapa sih lo tergila-gila banget sama martabak ini? Martabak keju kan sama aja dimana-mana?" Salah! Martabak keju tidak diciptakan sama. Kalo ada kasta-kasta martabak, martabak sanfran ini udah brahmananya brahmana.

Keliatan nggak juicynya base martabak ini? Dan setelah gue perhatikan, untuk membuat seporsi martabak keju spesial, membutuhkan sebalok keju kraft dan buanyak susu kental manis. Terus saat udah dilipet, diluarnya dilumuri dengan a very generous amount of butter wysman, alias dewa-nya mentega. Bayangkan berapa ribu kalori. Lebih bayangkan lagi kenikmatan luar biasanya.

Yup, kayaknya kejunya aja satu senti. Ditambah dengan juicynya kulit martabak + susu kental manis + butter wysman, SURGA. Gue nggak tau harus menjelaskan gimana lagi. Yang jelas martabak ini enak sampe 3 hari. Di hari ketiga pun tetep nikmat walau udah keras. Tentu saja, best served hot. 

I'm really bad at ending passages, so I'll just say don't forget to stop by next time you're in Bandung. DO NOT FORGET. Or you'll face a big lump of regret in your heart everytime you read this post.

Selasa, 05 Juli 2011

[BANDUNG!] Kaki Lima: Bubur Pelana, Jl. Burangrang

Bandung is a city known for it's nice, cool temperature. What better food is there to eat in such climate than a bowl of deeelicious bubur ayam? I spent the weekend in Bandung and I ate at all my favorite kaki limas, and I will write all about them! First up, is the best bubur in Bandung (that I know of), Bubur Pelana.

Jl. Burangrang is a street bustling with nocturnal culinary adventurers. By day, it has some restaurants open, including the famous Bakwan Enggal, that always has a line of people outside (it is that good). By night, the street lit up with a lot of kaki limas and a hawker center that houses my favorite martabak, Martabak San Fransisco (it needs its own post completely dedicated to its glory). One of the kaki limas is the quite crowded Bubur Pelana. This place is also open in the mornings for a hearty breakfast. They only sell bubur ayams, with various toppings. They have the bubur ayam biasa (just chicken), spesial (ati ampela), and istimewa (everything plus chicken skin). You can have your bubur half portion, because the regular is huuuge. So I ordered a half order of bubur istimewa.

The toppings in bubur istimewa are ati, ampela, hard boiled eggs, kulit ayam, and ayam. As usual, I seasoned my bubur with a generous helping of kecap asin and sambel. It was sooooo gooood. The bubur was thick and savory, all the toppings delicious. It was filling and warm, a perfect dinner that chilly Bandung night. One thing I regret is that I forgot to order my eggs setengah matang. Not that hard boiled eggs are bad, but runny eggs are just perfect for bubur ayam.

Anyway, everybody who loves bubur must try this. Rp 13.000 for a bowl of warm, gooey heaven, worth every penny.

Review: Spageddies, Senayan City

Italian food isn't hard to find anywhere in the city. Well, who doesn't like pasta? Every restaurant has their take on pasta, usually putting out sure-fire hits such as the carbonara and the bolognese. Most people don't really care about their pasta, as long as it's drenched in lots of sauce and cheese. Right? People have the tendency to order what they know, to make sure their money isn't wasted on some weird concoction that isn't guaranteed to be good. This behavior almost always results in the reluctance of trying weird food, including pasta. Squid ink-infused pasta has become more common nowadays, but my friends still look at me weird when I talk about it. Especially when they know that the pasta's black. Pesto is very common, but some people are still deterred by its green color and oily feel. So what do they do? They order the same oversized pasta with a gallon of white cream sauce. If you come to a pasta establishment like Spageddies and order your 'usual', you, my friend, are missing out.

I'm not saying Spageddies has the best and the widest variety of pasta, no. They do have good pasta. Judging from the restaurant's decorations, I was expecting westernized Italian food, greasy and creamy. I was losing hope that I would find some fresh, interesting pasta here. Their location in Senayan City doesn't help, it was adding to my judgment that this is a sell-out pasta place that doesn't have a life of its own.

I was wrong. Opening the menu, I was greeted with items that sound really good, and they don't only serve the commercial Italian dishes. Turns out, they have quite the interesting roster of pasta. I was with my mom, and we ordered a Baked Escargot (still in the search of the best Escargots in town), Squid Ink Seafood Ravioli, Manicotti and Cannelloni combo, and a tiramisu for dessert. I succeeded in persuading my mom to order a different pasta, which was the combo, because my mom was one of those people, her choices confined by her love of creamy fettuccines.

Yum yum escargots! As usual, the escargots are served with two slices of toasted, presumably Italian, bread. The bread was awesome. Crunchy yet soft, fresh from the oven. The smell of this dish is dominated by the smell of garlic. It was indeed garlicky, savory, and delicious. The tenderness of the escargots were accompanied by the slight crunch of garlic and also the toast. Very good, a great appetizer choice.

What I like about Spageddies is their unpretentious approach to food. My ravioli came looking bare, just the seafood-filled pasta and some fresh looking tomato sauce. No fancy attempts here, just food, basking in the glory of their bareness. The tomato sauce has zest, with a nice balance of acidity and heat. The pasta was nice and thick, and moist. I love its texture, al dente and dense. The filling was a bit lacking though, it didn't fill up the insides of the ravioli like I expected it to. But it tasted nice, I could definitely taste the prawns and crab.

My mom's Cannelloni and Manicotti combo looked delicious! It smelled great too. One of 'em is filled with cheese, the other chicken. I love the fact that they have two sauces, a fresh, spicy tomato sauce and a cream sauce. The contrasting flavors give balance, so the cheesiness of the fillings didn't come across as overwhelming. And it really was good. I'm not a fan of creamy pastas, but this dish is delicious, and very filling.

After all that pasta, I somehow managed to free up some space in my stomach for a slab of their tiramisu. It looked nice and unfussy, so I had high hopes. It was decent. The mascarpone was nice and sweet, but a little too thick and creamy. I like my tiramisu light, so I couldn't finish the whole dish. But it was decent, a pretty standard tiramisu.

Bottom line is, as you may have noticed, I love pasta. And I love them simple. Spageddies is a nice place to go have lunch in, with very filling dishes. Out of 10..... I'm giving it a 7,8.

Senin, 04 Juli 2011

A Massive Review of The Cafe, Hotel Mulia

Well, I think it'll be massive, because it's a huge buffet with lots and lots of food. Located in one of the most prestigious hotels in Jakarta, eating at The Cafe is an absolute treat. My family had dinner there to celebrate my getting into med school (yay!!). I loooove this place, because they have amazing food and even better desserts. I threw my diet out of the window to just have a feast.
Walking in, I was pretty stunned by the beauty of the interior. It has changed since the last time I was there, which was quite a long time ago. The dining room was divided into three big sections. The left section has a seafood stand and dessert. The middle is the private room. The right section has the rest of the food. We sat in the right. In buffets, I always get terribly excited. Look at all those food! The smell and color was fantastic. I saw Japanese, Indian, and Asian food, even some attempts at modern gastronomy. I wanted 'em all, but to preserve the deliciousness of everything, I decided to not eat too much. I chose to eat sushi and sashimi, some Indian food, the tom yam, and as much dessert as I can stuff into my tummy.

By now I'm sure everybody has noticed that I have an oversized appetite, and it always shows. Look at that full plate. But I'm pretty proud of my plating job haha the plate consisted of some kani salad, tuna and salmon sashimi, a couple of rolls, a tuna nigiri, a tuna handroll, and a shot glass of three kinds of tobiko. The shot glass was very interesting! I was so excited when I saw it because I absolutely love tobiko. I tried to get all three kinds into my spoon and into my mouth, and it was explosive. The saltyness and spiciness from the wasabi tobiko was awesome. I couldn't finish the glass though because it was a lot, but it was awesome. The sashimi was nice and fresh, the rolls were delicious even though I can't quite figure out what's inside. I love love hand rolls so that was great too. The kani salad was amazing! The mayo wasn't too heavy or creamy, it was just right.

That wasn't a good picture, I know. I took a little bit of everything. I am crazy about Indian food. Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my family, so I rarely get the chance to indulge in the beauty that is Indian food. I took some roti canai, lamb shish kebab, a vegetable samosa, a couple of curries and a piece of chicken. Ahhhh it was beautiful. The flavors popped, complementing the silky and buttery roti. The shish kebab was delicious, spicy and herby. The curries were smooth. It was so good.

Surprise! Cheese naan! The waiter just came up to us, bringing a plate of freshly baked cheese naan, asking if we would like to try some. Of course!!!!!!! This was my second encounter with the cheese naan. The first one was in Go! Curry, where it was filled with grated cheddar cheese. It was good but very very cheesy. The Cafe's version was filled with luxurious mozarella cheese, which also happens to be one of my favorite cheeses. The naan was exquisite!!!!!!! It was soft soft soft, and the cheese filling was very subtle, making it awesome.

Time for  plethora of desserts!!!! The desserts at The Cafe were very sophisticated, and their portions were tiny so they were perfect for tasting.

1. creme caramel pudding! The caramel taste was very strong, but thankfully it was balanced with the fresh fruits. Good but wasn't my favorite.

2. Apple crumble!!!! It was amazing. It was small so I don't get too much of it, which was good. The apple filling was smooth, thick, and sweet, an the crust was soft. Cute and delicious.

3. The very pretty dessert is a chocolate mousse. I love the presentation, so sophisticated. A layer of white chocolate, lots of milk chocolate, and a thin layer of dark chocolate makes this dish perfectly balanced and delicious. The mousse was so smooth with beautiful consistency. It wasn't too much of anything, just right. Favorite chocolate dessert ever!

4. Behold the simplicity of the best tiramisu in town. Well, the best according to me. The taste of coffee and the cocoa powder complements the sweet mascarpone in such a way, that when you put a spoonful in your mouth, it turns into a piece of heaven. Ah, so good.

5. Last but not least, my favorite strawberry mousse!! The flavor of this dessert is very close to my heart, it's the flavor of my childhood. I remember going to all sorts of wedding receptions, and there was one favorite cake of mine, a piece of thin sponge with strawberry mousse and jelly on top. I always look for that particular cake when I go to parties, even now. This shot glass of strawberry mousse was just what I've always been looking for. The silky smoothness of it, the subtlety of its flavors, the small lumps of strawberries from the jam in the bottom. Amazing.

So, I think it's clear why I love this restaurant, right? I think it's even more special because of the occasion and because we rarely dine here. And I'd like too keep it that way, to keep The Cafe as a special place in my heart.

Masakan Indonesia: Bale Raos, Jl. Suryo

Bapak gue jawa asli. Makanya kalo kita mau makan kemana-mana, pasti doi pengennya makan makanan tradisional. Jadi, makanlah kita di sebuah resto baru di Jl. Suryo (deket Blok S), yang bernama Bale Raos. Tulisannya sih mengesankan bahwa mereka menyajikan makanan para raja jawa. Pas banget sama bapak gue yang emang raden mas. Dan karena kali ini restonya resto Indonesia banget, jadi gue akan mencoba menulis post ini dengan 100% bahasa Indonesia hahaha
Kita pesen banyak: Salad Ayam Panggang, Sup Timlo, Paru Ragi, Lontong Kikil, Bistik Lidah, Gecok Ganem, dan Lombok Kethok. Namanya aja udah pada jawa banget. Di menunya, di bawah hampir setiap item ada deskripsi yang menyebutkan ini makanan favorit raja jawa yang mana. Sangat menarik, ternyata beneran makanannya keluarga kerajaan. Dan karena hal ini juga ada makanan yang rada kebarat-baratan, ternyata para sultan juga suka makanan yang rada barat.

Salad Ayam Panggangnya........unik. Bukan daun selada yang jadi dasar sayurnya, tapi kol! Ada sih seladanya, tapi yang dominan kol. Lucu aja. Ayamnya enak, tapi dikit banget. Dressingnya juara, kayak lemon vinagrette gitu, seger banget. Salad yang berbeda tapi oke sih lumayaan haha

Sup Timlonya manis. Bukan manis yang bagus. Gue ga suka banget dengan makanan asin yang jadi manis, misalnya bubur ayam yang dikasih kecap manis. Dan timlo ini berasa banget dikasih kecap yang banyak dan nggak diimbangi dengan asin atau pedes. Cuma manis hambar. Ugh.

Paru Ragi! Yummm paru yang enak. Sebenernya cuma paru sapi yang kayaknya diungkep terus ditaburi parutan kelapa yang diapain nggak tau gue yang jelas jadi gurih dan enak. Parunya empuk dan lembut, rasanya nyeresep, dan dipadu dengan kelapa yang lumayan garing, jadi teksturnya pas. Paling enak tentunya dimakan pake sambel dan nasi putih panas!

Pesenan gue, lontong kikil. Disajikannya dengan jeruk nipis dan sambel, jadi langsung aja gue campur semuanya. Dan wiiih kuahnya dahsyat, asem seger pedes gurih semuanya pas! Apalagi dimakan pake kerupuk. Dan lontong adalah salah satu karbohidrat favorit gue, jadi super enak. Walau mungkin lebih asyik kalo pake ketupat kali ya. Kikilnya enak juga, tapi dagingnya keras banget. Kecewa. Jadi gue nggak makan dagingnya dan makan kikilnya aja dan kuahnya habis tanpa sisa.

Bistik lidah ini ditemani oleh kentang tumbuk yang dibumbui dengan mentega dan sayuran. Bistiknya sendiri enak, lidahnya lembut, empuk, dan gurih. Yang jadi masalah adalah hidangan pendamping nya. Kentangnya rasanya kayak mentega pake kentang, bukan kentang pake mentega. Mentega itu enak, tapi kalo berlebihan bikin enek banget. Sayur yang dipotong-potong kecil itu dikasih semacam saos yang tampaknya sangat patut dipertanyakan. Rasanya sih biasa aja, tapi penampilannya lumayan membuat nafsu makan gue sedikit turun hahaha

Gecok ganem sebenernya kayak sayur lodeh tapi lebih putih dan isinya daging cincang. Gue ragu banget nyobainnya, tapi rasa dari makanan ini sangat tak terduga. Ternyata kuahnya sangat enak dan bola-bola daging cincangnya luar biasa. Juicy dan gurih, cocok banget, somehow, dengan kuahnya. Bener jangan menilai dari penampilannya.

Lombok Kethok, yang kalo kata bapak gue artinya cabenya keliatan. Isinya adalah daging dan berbagai cabe. Rasanya? Fantastis. Dagingnya empuk, dan bener-bener indah. Rasa manis kecap dan pedesnya cabe gede yang nggak terlalu mencolok bikin perpaduannya pas banget. Pake nasi pulen yang panas, wuidih! Enak banget.

Jadi, dari petualangan gue yang Indonesiana siang itu, gue menarik kesimpulan bahwa masakan Indonesia adalah masakan yang indah dan unik. Tentu, nggak semua perpaduan rasa dan variasi dari kuliner lokal kita pas di hati dan lidah gue, tapi gue cinta makanan Indonesia. Dan makanan Jawa tentu saja bukan pengecualian. Nikmatnya Lombok Kethok dan element of surprise yang dimiliki oleh Gecok Ganem membuat makan siang gue jadi berkesan. Ada yang nggak enak nggak papa, karena kalo lo nggak berani mencoba, lo nggak akan nemuin yang enak. Ya kan? ;--)

Cupcake & Co.'s Red Velvet Cupcake at Holycow!

So, my favorite steak place, Holycow!, now has a new dessert option and it's super awesome. They now have RED VELVET CUPCAKES!!!!! Cupcakes themselves are awesome, but red velvets are without a doubt the best. The best ones are still the ones from Sprinkles, a delicious cupcake cafe in Dallas. Red velvets are very trendy nowadays in Jakarta, and I was eager to try Cupcakes and Co.'s version. Especially because they are free! When you mention @holycowsteak in your tweet and show it to the waiter, you'll get a free dessert of your choice, a tiramisu or a cupcake, while stocks last. I had a wagyu ribeye, as usual, and now I have a proper picture to show everybody how awesome looking my favorite steak is!!

Can you see all the juicy fat? It's WONDERFUL.

But this post isn't about the steak, it's about the cupcakes!

It's pretty, isn't it? The piece of red fondant has Buddy, Holycow's mascot, pressed on it. The icing is, of course, cream cheese. I bit into it, and it really was velvety. Soft and luxurious. It was sweet but not too sweet, and the cream cheese was a perfect match. It was an awesome cupcake! The only downside was this cupcake was tiny. Well, it was free. I checked out their blog and boy, their cupcakes look super awesome. Go check 'em out!

Minggu, 26 Juni 2011

Review: Marmalade Pantry, Plaza Indonesia

Last night, I was dying to go to Kitchenette. You know, that awesome comfort food resto in Plaza Indonesia. But as usual, the place was full and the waiting list was pretty long. I didn't want to wait, so I decided to just go to the next restaurant, Marmalade Pantry. Walk a bit from Kitchenette, and it's there. It's a really pretty place, the decor and ambience was superb. We sat down, and the first disappointment came, which was the menu. The menu was printed on white paper, clipped to a wooden board and that's it. Maybe they tried to go minimalist and all that, but it just came across as lazy. I hope this is because their real menus haven't finished printing yet. We ordered the Escargot Bourguignon for starters. I ordered Pan Fried Snapper with Chickpeas Salad, my sister ordered the Mushroom Risotto, my dad ordered Iga Cabe Ijo (which is part of their taste of Indonesia specials) and mom ordered the Pan Fried Chicken. For dessert, we decided to try the Chocolate Mille Feuille.

I ordered this drink, the Strawberry Yin-Yang. I like fancy non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails, and this is pretty good. It's mint tea with lots of fresh strawberry in it. But after a while, it started to taste like strawberry-flavored kiddie toothpaste. Really.

Their escargot looked beautiful. Presentation-wise, I think they aced it. There were three spoonfuls of escargot with cream sauce, and the other three were seasoned with pesto. They were awesome. The escargots itself are so tender, even better than Y&Y's. My sister admitted they were better than Potato Head's. The creamy ones are heavenly, their pesto ones are great too. The garlic-pesto bread that came with it was delightful, crunchy and soft. But the salad was ugh, soggy and over-dressed. There is nothing I hate more than over-dressed salads. Their greens were fresh and looked crunchy, but the dressing was so overwhelming. I think it was vinaigrette, its acidity wasn't pleasant at all. Definitely order the escargots, just ignore the salad.

That's my Pan Fried Snapper. I ordered it because I love fish and it didn't look fatty. 5 minutes after we placed our orders, the waiter came back and told me that I probably should change my orders because "in my opinion, the chickpeas are horrible." He looked at me like I don't know what chickpeas are and I am clueless about my food. I just stared him down and said, "Oh, but what if I love chickpeas?" And he was like "Oh, okay." WTF was that. That was the first time any waiter has ever said anything like that, and I think it's highly unprofessional, not to mention very annoying. I love chickpeas! Especially in salads, they're just awesome. When the dish came, the first thing I tasted was of course, the chickpeas. They were good, and had good texture. But again, overwhelming dressing. That dressing did not go well with the chickpeas and snap peas. It was the same dressing as the one used on the escargots' salad. They should've just dressed the peas with olive oil and some peppers. The fish was cooked nicely. It was encrusted with bread and almond crumbs. The crumbs were quite delicious. But the fish was bland at best. Really. No flavors at all. If it didn't have the crumbs, I probably wouldn't eat it. 

The mushroom risotto was deeelicious. Not as good as Sopra's risotto, but it was great. Nice texture and flavor! Not much to say about this though.

Dad's Iga Cabe Ijo was good, but not spicy AT ALL. The flavors are there, but where is the punch? Definitely weak. The mix of iga, sambel goreng ati, and tempe kering was good, though. The rengginangs were awesome! I loveee rengginangs and they were definitely the highlight of this dish. Other than that: meh.

The pan fried chicken was served with a potato and cauliflowers lasagna, and it was great. The lasagna was exquisite! Soft, cheesy, warm, just great. The chicken was very nice, lacking in flavors and juices but the sauce helped. The lasagna was the part that brought the whole dish together, making it a delicious entree. Best eaten with chili sauce and lots of salt and pepper. Oh and I love the grilled cherry tomatoes! Added a nice touch and it was plump and juicy.

Man, look at that. The chocolate mille feuille was absolutely delightful. The pastry was crunchy and crisp, the chocolate cream inside was ah-mazing. Love the fact they added strawberries, really freshen it up. It wasn't too sweet or creamy, just enough to tantalize your happy nerves. I was indeed happy after eating it. But as usual, dessert is best when shared, so you don't leave with too much guilt.

Highlight of the night was definitely the escargots and the mille feuille. Other than that, overpriced. The average price for their entrees are 80rb. Not worth it, and not recommended. Service was mediocre. I should've waited in line for Kitchenette.

Kamis, 23 Juni 2011


I've always been intrigued by this restaurant. I mean who isn't, when introduced to the fact that they are one of the best restaurants in the world according to the freaking New York Times? I was dying to try them, especially after Bram told me that they have great food. So one night, I decided to go to the one nearest to my house, Pacific Place (where else? haha). My favorites are their Xiao Long Baos, gyozas, and mango pudding.

I knew they're famous for their Xiao Long Baos. What is a Xiao Long Bao? It's a kind of dumpling, with some broth inside it. I've seen them before. I've seen Tony Bourdain enjoy them. I've seen people in China slurping the broth happily. I didn't dare try them in China because I knew it was laden with pork and/or lard. So I was excited to try DTF's version.

(pic not mine)
I ordered the chicken and crab XLB. I read the directions on how to eat them properly. So, we are supposed to put one in our spoon, pierce it so the broth flows out, slurp it,  put a mix of vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger in the spoon, and eat the whole thing. OH MY GOD. Holy deliciousness, Batman! The broth was warm, silky and buttery. The skin was soft. The filling was heavenly, and the taste of the condiments complements everything nicely. It was SO AWESOME. Yes, I wrote that in caps on purpose because it was just so good.

Next, their gyozas. I can't find a proper picture :( I basically love gyozas, and always order them wherever. I figure if they have good dumplings, they must have good gyozas. And their gyozas are simply the best I've ever had. The char on the bottom is so crispy and gives a nice crack when you bite into them, and their filling is great. Their dipping sauce was awesome, very strong. I could eat 20 gyozas easy, because they have such an amazing blend of textures and flavors.

Save the best for the last! MANGO PUDDING.
(pic not mine, found it off google)
When they're not raving about XLBs, people are raving about how delicious DTF's mango puddings are. When I was there, everybody ordered one. Not wanting to miss out, of course I followed suit. It has whipped cream on top (extra points for this, I'm a slave for whipped cream) and a small shot glass of vanilla sauce. I poured the sauce on the pudding, and tucked in. I couldn't speak. I closed my eyes and relish the flavors. The softness of the pudding, the beauty of the sauce, how amazingly their flavors blend together....... It was almost a high. I was high of pudding, imagine that. I always say, "If in heaven there's a pudding, it will definitely be Din Tai Fung's mango pudding." I can't say anything more, everybody that loves mangoes MUST try this.

In conclusion, Din Tai Fung is awesome. Price-wise, they're pretty expensive, but everything is worth every penny. The other things I love are their tom yum noodles, fried rice with fried chicken, soft shell crab with mango sauce (Te Sate's is better tho), and szechuan beef noodles. You'll never go wrong when you come eat here. Because truly, if there's gonna be chinese food in heaven, Din Tai Fung will be providing it.

Selasa, 21 Juni 2011


I'm pretty obsessed with frozen yogurt. My ultimate goal is to try every single stall of frozen yogurt in town. One day, I tried Miki-Yo. They're just like other fro-yo places out there, their yogurt doesn't stand out by any means. But it turns out  they serve syrup with their yogurt!! I've tried their strawberry, blueberry, and chocolate syrups, but the blueberry is the clear CHAMP OF ALL SYRUPS IN THE WORLD. It's silky, light, sweet, fresh, and it complements the yogurt amazingly.

I love their presentation too when you eat in. It's cozy too, so this is my favorite fro-yo place in Jakarta.

Our Beloved Cheap Sushi: Sushi-Ya!!!!!

Sushi for Jakarta's teens has become somewhat of a necessity. It's an integrated part of our culture. And it isn't always cheap. Cheap raw fish is very questionable, thus deterring many people from trying cheap sushi establishments. But worry not, Sushi-Ya to the rescue!!
Siapa sih yang nggak tau Sushi-Ya, terutama di kalangan anak 8. Dengan punya uang 5 ribu aja bisa makan sushi, walau cuma Kappa Roll isi timun. Tapi sebagai anak SMA yang ga punya duit, kita seneng2 aja. Menu mereka beragam, dari sushi biasa, fusion sushi, udon, sampai rice bowls. Hari ini, gue dan temen gue Fathia memesan Salmon Skin Roll, Crazy Roll, dan sebuah special: Captain Wasabi Roll. Seperti biasa, gue memesan tambahan condiment spicy mayo.

Salmon Skin Roll!!! First thing first, salmon skin is glorious. Crunchy, savoury, beautiful. Paired with rice, nori, and mayo, heaven. It's so simple nut so heavenly. Bite into it and you'll taste the delicious fattiness of mayo and feel the sweet sweet crunch of the skin. So awesome.

This is the special, Captain Wasabi. Isinya some kind of dried bbq beef, di atasnya pake alpukat, tobiko, dan wasabi cream cheese. First of all, it was good. Second of all, I cannot taste the wasabi at all!!!! Namanya aja Captain Wasabi. Kenapa banget nggak ada rasa wasabinya? Katanya wasabi cream cheese, kenapa rasanya sama aja kayak mayonnaise? Rasanya enak, I know it all comes down to that, tapi sebagai penyuka wasabi dan mengharapkan tajamnya rasa wasabi di roll ini, gue kecewa.

This is the Crazy Roll. It's supposed to be really spicy and stuff. It has tuna and cucumber in it, if I remember correctly. It's spicy, yes, but the tuna is a total let down. It's pretty stringy and gamey, not silky soft and fresh like I expected. But it's pretty awesome when dunked in spicy mayo haha

So the verdict is they have good and cheap sushi. not overly awesome, but great. For the price, definitely  great!!! They also have good curry, great rice bowls and udon. Must find time to try their main courses because I haven't had the chance to try any. Oh they have awesome salad dressings too! I love this place, just like almost everyone around the age of 17.

Senin, 20 Juni 2011


I've mentioned Sopra in my y&y pizza post, saying it deserves its own post. And yes it does. I had an early dinner at Sopra with my sister today, because I was craaaaaaving for pizza and Sopra's pizzas are fresh and not junkfoody. It's located right above The Coffee Bean, on the 1st floor. Enter through the Hermes entrance, go left, and take the escalator.
I ordered the Stagioni pizza for both of us, a Minestrone for me, and my sister ordered a spaghetti carbonara.

While waiting for our food, all customers are given a bread basket with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, butter, chili, parmesan, and chili sauce. Also because of Tony Bourdain, I've been dreaming of warm, freshly baked bread that is crunchy outside and soft and buttery inside. And boy, this is it. They have awesome bread. They have this bread with black olives in it which is also awesome. It's just a basket of happy carbs. And in case you haven't noticed, carbs are my favorite food.

The minestrone doesn't look appetizing, does it? But God was it good. It's one of the very few soups that I don't put additional salt in, because it already tastes lovely. It's chock full of vegetables, it's hearty, flavourful, warm, and just great. I love soups, and now I have one more favorite bowl to add to my list. Even my sister that hates veggies loved the soup.

Look at that absolutely beautiful pizza. It's the Stagioni, whose toppings are slices of turkey, mushrooms, and artichokes. I love the fact that it has artichokes, haven't seen them much around here. I usually order the Bismarck, which has chicken, mushroom, and a sunny-side up egg in the center. My verdict is Bismarck is still the champion of all pizza, even though Stagioni is really good. The Stag is fresh, has a very strong tomato flavor, and punchy. The Bismarck is creamier, but spicier. I love both of them. What I love about Sopra's pizza is it's super crunchy and served straight out of the oven. It tastes authentic and rustic. Love em!!!

Other than their divine pizzas, Sopra has absolutely DELIGHTFUL pasta. My sister ordered a carbonara, which I don't usually like because I can't stand creamy pastas. A carbonara is a type of pasta you can find almost in every restaurant that serves pasta, but nobody does it with the sophistication of Sopra. Look at their presentation!! They don't drown their pasta in a bowl of runny white sauce. They put just enough to cover the spaghetti but to not make you nauseous. I love their sauce. I can tell they made it with quality ingredients. And the pasta. OH THE PASTA. The best pasta I've ever had, ever. The texture, the density, the al dente -ness of it, it's just magical. I can eat a huge bowl of just their spaghetti without any sauce or seasoning and I'll be a happy girl. Everybody that loves pasta must try theirs.

Sopra is one amazing Italian establishment. People say they have outstanding wine, too, but I don't drink wine. They have one weakness, however. Their tiramisu is very disappointing. I had it a while back and I can't bring myself to finish it. Granted, I had high expectations, because I once had this heavenly slab of tiramisu at a rustic, family-run Italian restaurant back in Dallas, and it was sooooooo good, I feel like it was a home-made tiramisu made by some lovely grandma in some Italian countryside. But Sopra's........the proportions are just wrong. Too much coffee soaking their ladyfingers, too little mascarpone, waaay too much cocoa powder. It's an insult to tiramisu, I think, especially taking in consideration that Sopra is an expensive Italian restaurant. So, just come for the pasta and pizza. And the soups. The salads are good too. They're quite pricey, but worth every penny. Pastas are around 60-70, the ones with prawns and salmon are above 100, the regular sized pizzas are around 80, and appetizers are around 50.

Right now, Sopra holds the title as the best Italian place in Jakarta, that I know of. 

Lunch: Pho 24, TIS Square

I love Anthony Bourdain. No, not because of his looks, because he is an ooold man. It's because of his awesome culinary adventures around the world, which I read about religiously in his books and watch all the time on TV. And in his book A Cook's Tour, which I'm reading right now, he went to Vietnam and kept on raving about the amazing bowls of pho he had. Reading about it made me craaaaaave pho. So today before BTA I stopped by Pho 24 in TIS Square to have lunch.

I had high expectations. I wanted fresh, spicy, authentic bowl of noodles with tender slices of beef, with all the vibrant colours of coriander leaves, chili, and lime. Just like what Tony had on the streets of Vietnam. I ordered 2 pieces of fresh spring rolls and the pho with all sorts of meat, except the meatballs (so not the pho all), the small size.

So, the spring rolls! They're the unfried type, and they are everything I expected them to be. One word: fresh. They're so frrrresh. It's basically filled with vermicelli, thin slices of veggies ( I think it's leeks, spring onions, and maybe mint leaves) and small pieces of prawn. The dipping sauce is awesome!!!!!! And necessary. The spring rolls are bland at best. But with the dipping sauce, they become crunchy and tasty snacks. But if you don't like vegetables, stay away.

Look at that beautiful bowl of pho. Fresh and vibrant. I seasoned it with a generous helping of salt pepper fish sauce and chili. When I dug in, I was let down. It wasn't as punchy as I expected. But it was gooood. The coriander, God I love coriander. It was fresh, light, clean, crunchy, and the slices of meat were awesome. It could've been more flavorful, though. Out of 10, I give it.......a 7.5. It's not worthy enough for an 8.

Verdict: I wish I could just fly to Ho Chi Minh, grab a bowl of pho, and go home. Pho 24 is just not what I expected. But oh well, satisfied my craving.

The weird thing about phos is somehow, I always get dizzy after having em. And today was no different. I was dizzy for at least an hour after lunch. I don't think I'll be having any more pho anytime soon.

Sabtu, 18 Juni 2011

Today's dinner: PENANG BISTRO

I've been hearing a lot of rave reviews about Penang Bistro, so I dragged my folks there to have dinner tonight. Mom was just there last week with her colleagues so she knows what are good. Pas masuk, gue lumayan terkesima dengan ambience nya yang enak banget. Tempatnya cozy, dan kebetulan malam ini lagi ada live music akustikan, cuma petikan gitar dan suara merdu seorang vokalis cewek. Gue pun memesan Roti Canai dengan Chicken Curry, Tom Yum Soup, Imperial Steamed Fish, Jumbo Prawn Baked with Cheese, Mango Chicken, dan Ebi String Beans. 

Roti canainya: wow. Gue suka kari, makanan yg berbau2 india dan teman2nya, dan ini enak banget!! Well, bisa sih karinya lebih pedes lagi. Roti canai nya itu yg juara banget, luarnya crispy, dalemnya lembuut banget, main teksturnya dapet. Karinya kentalnya juga pas. Perfect appetizer, kalo rotinya ga seberminyak ini dan kalo karinya lebih pedes.

Tom Yam: definitely one of the best tom yams, but not THE best, because Ming still holds that title. Porsi kecilnya sangat pas, seger banget, asem, pedes, walau sedikit kurang asin menurut gue. Isinya jamur, tomat, potongan ikan dan udang. Yang gue suka adalah ikan dan udangnya itu dipotong kecil-kecil, jadi nggak repot makannya. Potongan tomat bikin jadi lebih segar. It's an awesome little bowl of soup.

Whoever said that you don't mix seafood with cheese will find themselves proven wrong by this dish. It's THE baked prawn with cheese. The cheese is so good, it's too good to be true. The prawn is tender, sweet, and plentiful. Dude, it's prawns. And cheese. Melted together in the ovens of heaven.

But the true champion tonight is......MANGO CHICKEN!! If you've read  the Te Sate post, you know that I love anything with sambel mangga muda. This one is the best. Better than Te Sate. It's light, fresh, tangy, crispy, spicy, everything you can ask for in an entree.

String Beans with Ebi, nothing special. Pretty good, nothing worth writing about tho.

The steamed fish was beautiful. It really was. Fresh coriander and other herbs were piled atop the fresh fresh steamed fish, with the thin and salty sauce glistening around it in a shallow pool. The meat was tender and perfectly cooked, the skin was soft and wonderful. It was truly a beautiful dish and it tasted marvelous. 

So, the verdict is I LOVE THIS PLACE. Definitely order the baked prawn, tom yam, and the mango chicken. The fish too. Might as well order everything you can stuff into your stomach.