Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Do An

I don't get to eat a lot of Vietnamese cuisine in Jakarta. You can get lots of Thai food but not so much on the Vietnamese. Actually I think both of them (Thai and Vietnamese food) has a lot of resemblance in taste wise; sour and spicy! The variety is different for sure but the general taste is some how very much alike. Anyways, I was at Mall Kelapa Gading and decided on a light dinner as I had a heavy heavy lunch -__-lll. In general I like the food, the sour punch is right there on your tongue and just to make things better; the pricing are rather easy on the wallet and well portioned !!

Menu : Bo La Lop
Price : RP 25,000 ++
Score : 6.75 / 10

>> This is a dish of grilled beef wrapped in  wild betel leaf. I'm not really sure what kind of leaf is that but definitely edible haha! I like the grilled beef inside, tender and has that 'smoky' flavor to it. The peanuts sprinkle on top adds an additional texture to the dish and the sauce on the side was much needed to lift this dish! Very sour and has a punch on the tongue.
Menu : Bo Du Du
Price : RP 28,500 ++
Score : 7.75 / 10

>> My favorite dish on the menu !! Price is not only cheap, the portion is enough for 2 person and most importantly has every element of a 'Vietnamese' dish. Spicy, sour and crunchy texture of the crackers, onion and peanuts are all there to compliment the tender beef salad drenched in the spicy vinegar sauce! Yummmm to the max and still minimal on the waist ! Droooolllsssss....

Do An
Mall Kelapa Gading 3

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Le Jardin - Moovina

Jakarta and it's unstoppable growing number of hangout places! Le Jardin is the new addition tenant at Plaza Indonesia and in fact under the same management with "Ocha & Bella"; the restaurant that is situated at the Morrissey Hotel (JL. KH. Wahid Hasyim No 70, Menteng). In general 'Le Jardin' which literally means 'The Garden' has the same feel with their principal 'Ocha & Bella', dark warm lightings, indoor plants and flower pots, spacious layouts and rather similar 'food genre'. They serve Italian, western and continental food, the ever popular pasta & pizza, sandwiches, steak and other grilled meat. Well, I must be honest that I'm impressed with the place's ambiance but not so much with their quality of food. Before I was there to first hand try the food, a couple of my friends told me about their 'negative' reviews and thus below are my very own thoughts without being pre brain washed.

Menu : Diable
Price : RP 70,000 ++
Score : 5.5 / 10

>> This thin crusted pizza consist of fresh tomato, mozzarella, Italian spicy salami on a bed of tomato sauced dough. I like the texture of the thin crusted pizza and the slightly burnt edges that gave a slight smoke taste on the taste buds. The spicy salami were good but too little scattered around. However all of that were forgivable except for the fact that their mozzarella smelled strong and thus overpowered the entire dish. I couldn't get pass the cheese strong smell of it's dairy property and thus didn't settle too well with my  preference.

Menu : Jambon Cru Et Fromage De Chevre
Price : RP 75,000 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> This difficult to pronounce titled menu is actually a simple dish. A sandwich with rocket salad, warm goat cheese, parma ham, sun dried tomato with deep fried potato matchsticks on the side. I love the 'matchstick fries'!! Extremely crispy, well seasoned, not too oily nor soggy and definitely a good alternative to the normal french fries or mash potato that other restaurants usually provide. The sandwich itself was mediocre. The portion was alright, the ingredients inside wasn't plenty and could benefit with an extra slab of mayonnaise or other sauce to make it more moist. I wasn't a big fan of the bread either, might be better if it was toasted.

Bottom line, I'll come back for the place itself, have coffee or enjoy their wide range of alcoholic beverages but not so much on meals. Do try it and see it for yourself.

Le Jardin ; Moovina
Plaza Indonesia, 4th Floor.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Thai Alley

Saturday night and I head down to one of the mall that I 'less visit' in Jakarta; Pacific Place Mall. I like the size of the mall, a huge selection of shopping stores (real expensive ones), a range of restaurants yet to be tried. But hate the parking space, it's just such a squeeze and don't really like the cinema there, not a big fan of 'rocking chair' while glued to the movie screen. Nevertheless, I'm here because of the food and nothing else but that.  I chose 'Thai Alley' and FW went along with me. I had an early dinner, around 5.30 pm and when we were first there, the place was pretty much empty but half way through our meal, the crowd starts to fill in the place.

Menu : Yam Som O, Gai
Price : RP 35,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> This appetizer dish is basically a fresh citrus salad, pomelo salad with minced chicken to be exact. The portion is good, enough for 2 person and in addition, I like the texture of the ingredients taking action on this plate. You have the soft popping texture of the pomelo fruits, crunchy peanuts and the juicy meaty minced chicken. The only issue I had was the seasoning, a little bit more of fish sauce and chili would bump the score higher than a 6.5 !
Menu : Somboon Pong Kari, Poo Nim
Price : RP 69,000 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> This is a Thai stir fried yellow curry, egg, onion with soft shell crab. (There is a choice of seafood to go along; squid, shrimp, crab and soft shell crab). We went for the soft shell crab! The sauce is fairly mild and it needed a good punch of additional spice and herbs. I rather like the texture of the soft shell crab, well cooked and still maintained the crispiness of the batter, not too soggy and has a good bite into it. If only the chef can twitch a little bit of the seasonings of the yellow curry, I'll definitely come back for this again!
Menu : Khao Ohb Nam Liab
Price : RP 49,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> This dish is basically a fried rice with Chinese black olives and chicken served with fresh chili, lime, shallots and chashew nuts. Nothing went wrong; the portion is right and the seasoning was spot on! What stood out for me was truly the black olives by itself. I was able to smell and taste the olives in the rice, nothing too overpowering but rather a pleasant fragrance instead of the normal 'Thai Fried Rice' that I usually have; definitely a good alternative to try!
Menu : Tom Yam Goong
Price : RP 42,000 ++
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> I never give an easy 'eight' points for any dish but this dish was a genuine surprise! The powerful punch of flavors was a party on my taste buds! The lemon grass was fragrant, the chili was spicy, the sourness was taste-able and the soup's portion was rather generous (even though the ingredients inside was little, at least the soup was enough for 2 person to share). I looooove this and next time I'm here, this will be a must order dish for me (finger crossed nothing will change from the Chef).

Thai Alley
Pacific Place Mall, 5th Floor. Jakarta
Phone : +6221 - 579 73 600

Monday, 5 November 2012

Kira Ramen

Everyone wants a piece of the action at Pantai Indah Kapuk and now introducing 'Kira Ramen' as the new addition to the Japanese Ramen eatery at PIK. I often come to sit at PIK, have dinner, drink coffee, hang out, chit chat and play cards with my friends. But yesterday as I gave the stretch of cafes a good observation, I'm bewildered on the amount of 'Bubble Tea' (six place) and 'Japanese Ramen' (five place) joint. Restaurant is a cut throat business, you excel and survive (which means ka-ching!! high margin profit return) or you loose out to your competitor, within a year or so another person is going to take over your place. Therefore, I'm not sure about the fact whether 'competitors within a location' came in those owners' mind. Nevertheless, I'm here to comment on the food and not to judge ... hehehehehehe ...

Menu : Tonkatsu Shoyu Ramen
Price : RP 45,000 ++
Score : 5.0 / 10

>> The photo on the left was after I stirred my chopsticks into the bowl of soup, then I realized I had forgotten to snap a picture of it. So, as presentation wise, it's definitely better. Bottom line, the soup is lacking in taste. Definitely not enough seasoning and there is no depth in taste of the broth. It simply taste like luke warm slightly salty pork soup. After one sip, I said to FW 'this needs help'. I poured in cut red chilies, spoons of garlic, spring onion, sesame seeds, chili powder, chili oil and a good dash of shoyu. After all those aid, it eventually became better. But a good dish is simply having nothing needed to add into. In addition to the downside, I think the ramen is slightly overcooked for me. Maybe two minutes too long. They didn't offer any choice on how the customers would like their noodles to be cooked, nor on the 'heaviness' of the broth (which some of it's competitors do). But on the up side, their chasu has a much thicker cut, thus a better texture to bite into even after a good 10 minutes in the warm soup. And that pork chasu might have just saved the menu from a fail to the edge of 'just pass'.

Menu : Tori Teriyaki
Price : RP 25,000 ++
Score : 4.0 / 10

>> I'm sorry, I didn't fancy this too much either. This dish is a simple dish executed wrongly. The batter is too sweet for my palate. It feels like a fried battered pop corn chicken heavily dipped in sugar honey glaze and then served. The chicken were at a correct bite size and the batter were crispy, but the glaze on top has to be changed. I'm not a chef nor a good cook but my tongue says 'It definitely needs less sugar'.

Kira Ramen
Pantai Indah Kapuk, Crown Golf Ruko Blok D/30
(The same stretch with Ikkudo Ramen)

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Belly Clan

It's my good friend BABY SHOWER!! And with that, we all agreed to have it at one of the newest addition eatery in J-Town. The place is called 'The Belly Clan' and I simply love the name. It has a good rhyme, easy to remember, associated to good fatty food (which I love) and somehow the 'clan' makes it an exclusive feel if you get to eat there. Nevertheless, 'The Belly Clan' was made by a group of young ex Melbourne students (wooohoooo...they're my friends!!) who went out on faith and passion in joining the vicious restaurant industry here in Central Jakarta. Look guys, I knew I mentioned they're my friends but I'm still gonna stay true to my tongue and blog it in my honest opinion. Therefore, don't worry, I'm not gonna be biased as I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me when you read and then try on the dishes.

Menu : Ox Tongue with Garlic Rice
Price : RP 65,000 ++
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> To be honest, I was surprised by the portion, it was rather too small even for a female stomach. But as you dig into it, you'll enjoy the dish so much that it's all forgiven. This sweeps me back to Melbourne days where I used to gorge down bowls and bowls of 'Gyu Tan Don'. The ox tongue here were sliced thinly and cooked to perfection, with additional garlic butter rice on the bottom made this dish from a seven pointer to an eight! This is not only fragrant but keeps wanting you order a second bowl of the exact menu !!
Menu : Spaghetti Thai Pesto with Prawns
Price : Rp 75,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> The portion was again an issue for me here. As for taste, I would say this dish was rather alright for me. The pasta were cooked al - dente, the prawns were perfect, the fried battered quail eggs were good too. What it was lacking was in the seasoning of the pesto sauce itself. I would love this better if the basil were more fragrant and has a touch more kick of salt would do more justice than hurt the palate. I definitely think this has a lot of potential. Worth a try though!
Menu : Bread & Butterscotch Pudding
Price : RP 35,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> Dessert time !!! It was a recommendation and it was not a disappointment. The texture was spot on for me. The thing for bread and butter pudding is that if the bread were too soggy and mush, it'll be like eating baby food which is disgusting. If the bread wasn't soft enough, then it's not right either. The Belly Clan nail this dessert !!! Not only the balance of sugar was achieved, the custard content within the bread were consistent, wasn't to soggy or dry. The pecan and caramel sauce were a perfect compliment and the additional scoop of vanilla ice cream just highlight the dish even more. You must try this !!!!

The Belly Clan
Intiland Tower Lobby,
Jl. Jend Sudirman Kav 32 Jakarta Pusat 10220
Phone : 021 - 5790 6000

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


'Sumiya' literally means 'Charcoal House' and that is in line with what they are; a barbeque grill Japanese restaurant. The concept of the place is being an old fashioned Japanese restaurant and was in fact designed by the famous Japanese architect from Kyoto, Mr. Hedeaki Takashima. Upon reaching the place, you'll sense an 'izakaya' vibe, dark colored ambiance with the combination of solid wood and red velvet cushions and sittings. I was here pretty late at night around 10 pm on a Friday night and there were still a good buzz of people, mainly Japanese ex-pats office workers. To be honest, I've never lay much attention to the building next to Plaza Senayan, the "STC" or "Senayan Trade Center" and was actually surprised to find such hidden gem in that 'not so popular mall'. But then again, it might be me that didn't know too much of good places to eat. * blushing with shame *
Menu : Gyu Tan
Price : RP 49,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> Very good !!! I have never been serve 'Gyu Tan' in such chunky manner and I love it !! I definitely think all restaurant serving this menu should do it this way. Not only that I can taste the true flavour of the meat but the onion condiments at the side truly compliments the meat. In addition to that, I like the zesty lime squirt all around, helps to balance the heavy meat taste! A winner !!
Menu : Gyu Momo Roast
Price : RP 78,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

 Another meat dish that I ordered. This is a simple dish, roasted sliced beef with some sort of 'teriyaki sauce' drizzled to finish. Very mouth watering dish, full of flavour just coming from the sauce factor. A great menu to have and share between 2 people, with a simple bowl of steam white rice. Do order this when you're here.

Menu : Kara Kara Nabe
Price : RP 78,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> This is the closest super good tasting soup to the one I had over at 'Gyu Kaku'. This is definitely not 'Korean nor Kimchi Soup' but I can do taste the resemblance. Very good balance of spices and herbs, packed full of ingredients too. Multiple meatballs, tofu with a generous amount of vegetables, sums up to a fulfilling bowl of soup. A dish that be shared among 2 to 3 people. Again, you need to order this when you're here. Won't regret it !!

Sumiya Japanese Restaurant
STC , Senayan IT Mall Ground Floor 128
Jl. Asia Afrika Pintu IX, Senayan
Phone : 021 - 5793 1826

Friday, 28 September 2012

Warung Wardani - Denpasar, Bali

Warung Wardani is another eatery in Bali that is famous for their 'Nasi Ayam' or in English 'Chicken Rice'. Basically it shares the same idea with 'Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku' (See post 26/09/12). It is basically a selection of vegetables with chicken cooked in several different way, topped with a chicken satay served on top of steam white rice. The idea is simple but the taste is definitely complex and something you can never belittle.

Menu : Nasi Ayam Campur
Price : Rp 35,000
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> If you look closely to the picture above on the right, you can actually figure out each of the food items on the plate. The side dishes consists of :

1. Keripik Kentang
2. Sayur Nangka
3. Dendeng Sapi
4. Buncis
5. Ayam Suwir
6. Sate Ayam
7. Sate Lilit
8. Acar & Sambal

The items above combined together makes a good fulfilling complete dish. I like the chicken satay and sate lilit best. The other vegetables side dishes were 'okay', nothing stood out to me.

Overall, I would say 'Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku' is definitely much better. I'm sure judging from my score you all can figure out. As a matter of fact, one of the main point that Warung Wardani disappointed me was their poorly executed chili. But bottom line, not a 'to die for' but a fairly good dish.

Warung Wardani
Jl. Yudistira 2 - Denpasar, Bali
Phone : +62 (0361) - 224398

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel - Nusa Dua, Bali (Lebaran 2012)

Another round of pork feasting in Bali !! There were so many other stalls selling pork rice dishes, besides the obvious famous ones (eg; Candra, Bu Oka) I couldn't made up my mind on which others to choose. My local driver took me here to Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel which was situated in Nusa Dua and I must say, it has potential. 

On an overall basis, I would say Candra has better food but this wasn't half bad either. There were quite a crowd on lunch time and even though they weren't as busy as Candra, but I noticed that there were Jakarta & Surabaya people there, thus fairly known by pork lovers.

Menu : Nasi Campur
Price : Rp 30,000
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> The vegetable side dishes were alright, nothing majorly 'wow-ing' or terrible about it. It was a good compliment on the side. The pork satay over at Candra is better, it has more smoked / burnt barbequed grilled smell in it and the meat was also smaller. However, the stir fried pork meat infused with local Bali herbs (Babi Suwir) were good. It has a subtle herbs smell which does not overpower the meat and most importantly taste good!

So...bottom line I'd still say Candra is the winner but this Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel can be a welcoming alternative.

Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel
Jl. Srikandi No. 9 Nusa Dua, Bali
Phone : +62 (0361) - 771633

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku - Ubud, Bali (Lebaran 2012)

Upon landing in Bali, this is the first restaurant I went. It was just slightly past lunch time and FW was getting cranky by the minute. He was certain that he wanted Nasi Ayam Kedewatan for lunch and the fact it's situated in Ubud, close by our hotel, I had no issue about it. 

To be honest, I didn't quite understand what is the big deal about this place until I had my first plate....and I'm hooked for life! One of the most spiciest plate of Nasi Ayam I had ever tasted, and you don't get to hear me say 'kepedesan' very often (very rarely actually). I have a high threshold for chili but this made me have tears in my eyes! Bloody good chili! And I even bought a kilo of the chili and took it back to the hotel and home to Jakarta. It's awesome !! A definite must try for chili lovers out there :)
Menu : Nasi Ayam Kedewatan
Price : RP 15,000
Score : 9.5 / 10

>> After nearly one month passed since I actually sat down and ate this plate of rice, I am now still able to drool just by looking at the picture and imagining the taste dancing on my taste buds. This is probably the best food I had ever eaten in Bali. Yes, bali is famous for the pork and their duck but damn! This is the Kings and Queens of all rice dishes I had ever tasted. I may sound 'hyperbolic' but these are my honest words.

I really think the secret weapon lies in their chili. My goodness! Eat a spoonful of it and I guarantee you'll blow your brains out. I loooooove chili and I couldn't remember when was the last time I was running for icy cold water wanting to ease off the heat from my mouth. This plate of chili really brought me there. It was extremely HOT !!!! And it actually made me have tears and made my lips rather swollen. The rice itself is cheap (Rp 15,000 or around only USD 1.80) and also generous with their meat, veges and other fillings. If I ended up broke while in Bali, I'll probably spend my money here and still manage to get a decent meal !!! This is not only worth your money but also worth your time for traveling all the way to Ubud.

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
Jl. Raya Kedewatan 2 No. 18, Ubud Bali
Phone : +62 (0361) - 974795