Friday, 31 August 2012

Ikkudo Ichi - Revisit

I ate the food reviewed below back in late August but hasn't find the mood to write about the revisit post, maybe too close to my first Ikkudo Ichi post (3 August '12). Anyways, after my first trip there and after a handful of comments recommending me to try their meat slices which I really appreciate, I came back and tried those recommendations. Bottom line, I'm not disappointed :)

Menu : Fried Chicken Katsu Curry
Price : RP 46,500 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> Good plate of curry, definitely suited to the Indonesian tongue and taste. However, I might be having too much expectation for the fried chicken (Tori Karage) and fall slightly short of 'damn bloody tasty'. The chicken batter is good, crunchy and all that, maybe it's just me, my expectation and my head :p hehehehe. As for the curry, it is exactly the same with the 'Pork Chasu Curry' which I already commented on the first Ikkudo Ichi review post on 03/08/12. A decent curry rice and  remember to sprinkle those cut chilis to 'spark' those taste buds of yours.

Menu : Buta Chasu Aburi
Price : RP 48,000 ++
Score : 7.25 / 10

>> This pork slices are the exact cut of meat found in the buta signature ramen, but upon eating this. I learn that it is due to the hot ramen soup that makes the chasu flimsy and lack of bite. However, these pork chasu here are grilled and thus has a better texture in the mouth. It is firmer and gives a better bite too. 

As for the thickness of the chasu, I think it should be improved. Still too thin for my liking. I didn't pay too much attention on the condiments they spread on top but certainly a matching combination. I know a lot of you guys love the fatty part of pork meat, but I'm not that into it so much. I like it but prefer mine to be less fatty and more meat instead. 
Menu : Premium Pork Cheek
Price : RP 58,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> I was slightly reluctant to give this a try initially, the imagination of 'pork cheek' scares me. However, I'm glad I gave this a go and the verdict; very yummy! The price is slightly pricey, remembering the venue. But who cares if it is justified by the taste. I like this way better than the Chasu. Surprisingly, the meat is more firm than the Chasu, not sure I imagine the cheek to be all fatty and oily. Certainly not the case here!! Do order this the next time you guys are here!

In addition to the three dishes mentioned above, I had a dish called 'Gyu Chasu Aburi' (RP 48,000++). It is similar to the 'Buta Chasu Aburi' but beef instead of pork. I was too busy focusing on the speed my chopsticks and mouth hahahaha that I forget to snap a picture of it. I like the beef better than the pork, it has a better bite, more firm and less fatty part. If I must give it a score, it's a 8.75 / 10. The next time I'm at Ikkudo Ichi, I will have a plate of 'Gyu Chasu Aburi', a plate of 'Premium Pork Cheek' and a bowl of steam rice with lots of chilies. That is all ^_^ v !!!

Ramen Ikkudo Ichi
Rukan Crown Golf Blok D No 2 - 3 Pantai Indah Kapuk
Phone : 021 - 966 28677

Monday, 27 August 2012

May Star - Revisit

My last post on May Star was in 2010 and so here a revisit post !! A few weeks back, before Lebaran Holidays; FW and I were cruising Emporium Mall on a Wednesday and he was urging for some Chinese cuisine. The decision came down to either 'May Star' or 'Dian Xiao Er' and because we had Dian Xiao Er a couple of weeks back we end up going for May Star. I wasn't feeling hungry and my flu is still going on thus wasn't very much in the mood of eating for dinner.
Menu : Sup Asam Pedas Szechuan
Price : RP 34,000 ++
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> They provide all the basic taste of what a Szechuan Soup should taste. The sour level is exactly where I would like it to be. I don't need additional black vinegar for this bowl. The heat is lacking a little bit (but hey it's me a chili fanatic talking hehehe) but the seasoning is correct at all department. The only additional thing they should do is to at least imitate Duck King's Szechuan Soup. They have a piece of prawn wonton inside.
Menu : Sosis Taiwan Special
Price : RP 54,000 ++ (for 4 sticks)
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> If you notice exactly next to the current May Star at Emporium Mall Pluit, there is a new 'to - go' May Star counter. They sell this exact sausage for RP 12,000 / piece (including tax). Price wise it's cheaper there. It taste slightly like 'lap chiong', those chinese pork sausages. A good snack but don't count on it to fill your tummy and as for taste wise, it was alright; rather mediocre. If you are curious, buy it at the 'to - go' counter instead.
Menu : Babi Cincang Tim
Price : RP 68,000 ++
Score : 5.0 / 10

>> I'm disappointed at this dish here. It lacks of salt! Tim babi is suppose to be salty and has that strong punch of Chinese soy sauce flavor. The color looks right but eventually not so much on the flavor. The positive part is that the portion is reasonable for 2 - 3 people. 'SKY' restaurant at Muara Karang serves a better same dish than this one here. Skip this dish the next time you're here. I wouldn't say it taste bad, but rather disappointing.

May Star
Emporium Pluit Mall, 4th Fl Unit 26 - 29
Jl. Pluit Selatan Raya Bl S 6, Jakarta 

Phone: 021 - 66676280

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Cafe Aria

This post might be the last one before I go off for my Lebaran holiday which I'm super excited to have!! I'm desperate to get out of Jakarta -__-"....

Anyways, I had a quick catch up with my cousin and his friends on a Thursday night and made up our spot at Cafe Aria. If you guys are puzzled where is this, it's at 'Ratu Plaza', the old Tony Roma's building is now changed to Cafe Aria. There were a good buzz on that night, maybe due to 'buka bersama' and the interior of the place was very very different to the Tony Roma's. Cafe Aria's decor is simple, clean, leaning to modern minimalistic feel.

The restaurant is separated into a few sections. The smoking, the non smoking, private rooms (no doors, separated by partitions and full body length blinds, and a section where local designers' clothing are up for sale. The space is big enough to contain all that. One factor that is not to standard was their service, very slow and difficult just to get their attention. The waitresses seemed to be 'hiding' somewhere and after managing to get their attention, it takes a long time for them to cater our needs. Very frustrating if you are chasing for time.

Menu : Crispy Chicken Rucola Salad
Price : RP 46,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> I like this! If you like 'Rucola' leaf then you'll like this, if you don't then do not order. Rucola leaf has this distinct taste, spicy, peppery and yet fresh with a hint of citrus when chewed. The crispy chicken was ordinary but when combined with the rucola leaf, it give a good texture and bite. Love the citrus dressing, more of a vinaigrette than a cream base dressing. The portion was okay for a starter salad, rather pricey but bearing in mind that you need to import Rucola as I'm pretty sure they don't grow in Indonesia, I can agree with their price tag.
Menu : Duck Aglio Olio Pasta
Price : RP 58,000 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> The pasta was too dry for my liking. Aglio Olio supposed to be shining and slightly oily covered and dressed with olive oil but this one need a good additional 3 seconds of olive oil. The chopped duck was generous, it's crispy and tasted alright in the seasoning department. However, I couldn't taste the Aglio Olio characteristic taste that it should have. Definitely not enough garlic, olive oil and chili.
Menu : Salmon Belachan on Spinach Bed
Price : RP 145,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> Portion is a big issue here. For RP 145,000 this dish is overpriced. The salmon and the belachan sauce itself tasted good but not so much on the spinach bed. Too buttery and soggy for my liking. They should have provided baked potato with bacon and cheese, and fresh salad on the side. I'm pretty sure that won't cost too much for the owners. Personally, this won't fill my stomach, unless I finished the Duck Aglio Olio Pasta before this.

Cafe Aria
Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav 1, Gedung Bank Panin Pusat
Phone : 021 - 5793 1501 / 02

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Mad For Garlic

Where did you guys ate on last Saturday? I was touring Grand Indonesia with FW and couldn't make up our mind what to have for dinner and then a sudden outburst of 'lets have garlic aja lahhh' with a positive response coming from me landed us both here! It's been quite a while since my last visit here, might be around 10 to 12 months ago I supposed. 

A typical family restaurant I must say, with tables of kids running around and their babysitters trying to feed them while the mom and dad sit at the side eating their food. One aspect of the interior that gave an impression was actually the 'raw garlic chandelier'. Very cheesy but unique at the same time. The drop lamp is basically a  hanging round light with raw garlic cloves decorated all around. If vampires are really afraid of garlic then this eatery must definitely be clean 'vampire swept clean'.
Menu : Garlic Snowing Pizza
Price : RP 115,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> Mad for Garlic special sweet pizza topped with shrimps and pineapple slices. 

Base on first glance, it seems to be unattractive, very one tone color no excitements coming from the usual pizza color. But I've never tasted a pizza like this one over here. It has a sweet cream sauce at the bottom, relatively mild to medium garlic smell, thin crust base (just how i like it), crunchy fried garlic generously thrown on top. Pretty unique and recommended to be try!!!
Menu : Garlicpeno Pasta
Price : RP 60,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> This is a pasta that is full of garlic and mexican pepper. It has 3 chilies written on the side of the menu, but I could barely taste the heat. I expect it to be similar with Aglio Olio but surprisingly very different, in a positive way. The pasta was well cooked and I love the bits and pieces of herbs, mexican pepper and chopped garlic at the bottom of the plate floating together with the olive oil. The crunchy fried garlic on top not only serves as a garnish but also an additional texture to the dish. A good alternative for those who like Non - Creamy pasta!

Mad For Garlic
Grand Indonesia West Mall Ground Floor 20A
Phone : 021 - 2358 1076

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Champs Patisserie

Menu : Champs' Strawberry Thousand Layer Cake
Price : RP 26,000
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> I was a little bit reluctant to buy this cake but end up buying just because I had this itch for having something to bring home for my mom. Anyways, they provided me with testers and bought 4 slices; strawberry, cheese, chocolate & oreo. I only got the chance to eat this one slice as my mom finishes the rest of the flavors.

A very pleasant surprise upon the first spoon. The stacked crepes wasn't as tall as 'First Love Patisserie's" but taste wise was pretty damn good. Maybe I was desperately irking for something sweet but I was aware of the aspect in the cake. 

- Sweetness level : checked
- Strawberry Taste : checked
- Thin Crepes : checked
- Smooth Butter Cream : checked
- Leaving Me Wanting For More : checked too !

Champs Patisserie
Emporium Pluit Mall 4th Floor (Booth Stand exactly across KFC)

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Menu : Beef Felone
Price : RP 26,000++
Score : 5.0 / 10

>> I was waiting for my manicurist at Plaza Senayan as I arrived 40 minutes early for my appointment. So I head for Starbucks and I placed an order and had my afternoon coffee plus snack there. Neither both of my all time favourite Bolognaise Sandwich or Chicken Rustica were on the display and thus I had a gamble on this beef sandwich instead.

The beef fillings with the complete cheese and mayo were all there but it was just too ordinary for me. It was decent but wouldn't choose this over my old favourites. Definitely missing on taste and seasonings. The bread was the same with the rest of the sandwich on display but probably the meat was dry and tasted bland. The packet chili sauce didn't do any much justice in addition to the taste.

Plaza Senayan

Friday, 10 August 2012

Lau's Kopitiam

I had countless 'Lau's Kopitiam' visits since they opened their very first branch in Benton Junction, Lippo Karawaci. A friend on mine is the owner and I must say Lau's Kopitiam was among the first few who get into this 'kopitiam' business before the craze starts mushrooming everywhere in Jakarta. One of the biggest difference they offer is their 'toast'. Most of the other Kopitiams offer their toast as this thin and crunchy while Lau's toast is thick (picture below) and this depends on individual's preference, some like their pizza thick crusted, some thin crusted. Which do you like ?

At this moment, Lau's had just opened their 16th branch (congratulations!!) at Mangga Besar and I must give my friend a 2 thumbs and 2 toes up. Within 4 years upon opening their 1st branch at Benton, he has his 16th now. In Pluit area, there's two. One in Emporium Pluit Mal (4th floor, next to food court)l and the second is at Jl. Pluit Utara Raya (Next to United Oil Car Wash) and my review today is base on my trip there in Jl. Pluit Utara Raya.

Menu : Nasi Goreng Cakalang
Price : RP 25,217 ++
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> I had my first plate of 'nasi goreng cakalang' at Benton Junction and gave my experience there a 7.5 / 10. The portion here is smaller but taste wise, pretty good and similar to the one in Benton! It has that spicy chili kick, cakalang fishy smell (smells fishy in a good way), sweetened black soya tasting rice. Overall a good comfort food during moody days. The rice portion is actually reasonable but what I meant was that Benton's serving size is bigger. Therefore for those ladies watching their carb intake, warning zone here! hehehehe

Menu : Kaya Toast (Medium)
Price : RP 19,130 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> As I had mentioned above, Lau's serves their toast thick and in here they offer a choice of white and brown bread (additional Rp 2,000). I personally like thin crusted bread as I have this delusional mind thinking 'smaller bread, less calorie intake' but bearing in mind that this choice of thick bread will full your stomach better! If you're hungry and doesn't mind which kind of bread, go for Lau's. The only advice is that, go for slightly less salted butter spread on top. The one I had was too salty for my taste. I like their 'Srikaya' jam though, very home made feel and you can actually buy those in jars from the restaurant. Besides kaya flavour, there are a variety such as; chocolate and cheese.

This branch in Jl. Pluit Utara Raya opens till 12 midnight on weekdays and when I arrived there at 10 pm for a supper, there were several tables occupied which means pretty good business bearing in mind the late timing. Nevertheless, a satisfactory visit and since it's super close to my house, I'm definitely having their 'Kwetiau Goreng or Kwetiau Lada Hitam' for my next supper trip there.

Lau's Kopitiam
Jl. Pluit Utara Raya No. 70 (Next to United Oil Car Wash)
Phone : 021 - 666 00 613

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Menu : Praline Chocolate Cake
Price : RP 50,000 ++
Score : 8.0 / 10
>> My first encounter with a super tasting praline chocolate cake was during my college days back in Melbourne. I have this love / hate relationship with "Laurent", not a human but a bakery in Little Collin Street in the heart of Melbourne City. I gained 10 kilos during my 1st year there (I swear I'm not being exaggerating, literally 10 freakin kilos) and I'd like to share 30% of the cause to 'Laurent'. Anyways enough of the stories, let's get down to this cake instead.

I must say Laurent's is much better but Union's isn't lousy at all. I gave an 8 pointer and it's not difficult to justify why. I got that strong chocolate punch from the very first spoon inside my mouth. I loooove the gooey, sweet, sticky and the crunchy bit at the bottom of the cake which adds up to my conclusion to the 'best praline chocolate cake eaten so far in Jakarta'. Have it with a glass of unsweetened latte to balance the sugar but for a sugarcoated teeth like mine, this was just nice! A good chocolate cake is personal to me, it's like knowing no matter how bad your day had been, there's always comfort here.

The thing about Union is that they seemed to rush you out of your seat, they have a time limit as in how long you're allowed to take the seat. They usually gives you 1.5 to 2 hours max and that is a slight bother to me. So next time you got a seat at Union, skip all of Union's super duper over rated 'Red Velvet Cake' (nothing compare to this) and opt for this classic praline choc cake instead.

Classics lives through time while trends might be temporary.

Plaza Senaya Ground Floor 
(Entrance from Sogo Department Store)

Monday, 6 August 2012


I had Kuppa exactly at 6pm in Plaza Indonesia. The parking was crazily super insanely crazy and I was expecting all restaurants in the mall to be full due to the Muslims breaking their fasting 'schedule', but amazingly Kuppa was half empty. I'm not sure where did all those people who parked their cars went but definitely not Kuppa.

Menu : Pineapple Fried Rice
Price : Rp 59,500++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> Service was fast!! 6 minutes upon ordering, boom!! Pineapple fried rice is in front of me. It comes in a half sliced pineapple fruit presentation and I sincerely hope they're not going to re use the fruit for the next customer --___--. I would say it taste a little bit odd. I'm sure what was the cause, whether it's the super sweet raisins, or the nearly raw (very very crunchy) capsicum and carrots. The rice itself was pretty okay but the "accessories" just didn't settle quite right in my mouth. Just an okay dish, you might not ever try this dish and not missed a thing. Have Kuppa's tom yum fried rice instead of this one, much much better in all ways !!

Menu : Tom Yum Oxtail Soup
Price : RP 67,500 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> Tom Yum Lovers out there!!! Hoollaaa!!! You gotta try this!! Piping hot, so watch out for the tongue cause you're going to finsih every single spoon you can get from this bowl. The oxtail itself was okay, not brilliant but just okay. The soup was otherwise!! It was damn good, seasonings and herbs were all in harmony. Perfect balance of chili, lemongrass, coriander and lime. What I call a good tom yum soup is the fact you can taste the 'kick' upon sipping the first spoon. Have it with a simple bowl of plain white rice and you'll be guaranteed to a revisit. If you're willing to share, this dish is enough for two person to enjoy.
Plaza Indonesia 3rd Floor
(Next to The Soup or Taichan)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

White Hunter & Han Gang

2 weekends ago FW and I had our Sunday lunch at Emporium Pluit Mall and I was responsible for choosing this restaurant (not going to be a good review). White Hunter, Han Gang and Incognito is situated very close to the main lobby, just right next to Fish & Co and Starbucks Coffee. In here, you are presented with 3 menus from all 3 restaurants and you can cross choose, mix and match your preferences. White Hunter serves Western food, Han Gang represents the Korean dishes and Incognito holds the Italian flag.

I remembered my previous trips to Han Gang at their branch in Grand Indonesia wasn't bad but this time in Emporium Pluit was not the same. I'm not sure whether it's under the same or a different management (I think it's different) but food was disappointing in many ways.
Menu : Side Dish
Price : Free
Score : 2.0 / 10

>> The minute the side dishes is placed on your table you'll probably start to pick up your chopsticks and hit the nearest kimchi. This Han Gang only serves me 4 selection (other Korean restaurants usually they offer you more than 10) and the taste is wrong. The Kimchi and egg roll were bland, the green vege is soggy and as for the shellfish, I didn't bother to try --___-- "
Menu : Sundubu Kimchi
Price : RP 48,000 ++
Score : 4.0 / 10

>> Temperature of the soup was right, size for price that I can accept, amount of fillings inside were reasonable, but they failed at seasoning. This lacks the sour of the kimchi, the kick from the chili and even failed at the basic skill of salt seasoning. A big wake up call for the owners! Customers are running away by the minute.
Menu : Dolsot Djingeo
Price : RP 48,000 ++
Score : 3.0 / 10

>> This is basically a seafood bibimbap. They uses freshly cooked steam rice which was already a wrong move, As a result, soggy!!! It's like eating baby food and to make things worst, the super hot stone continues cooking the rice. Seasoning needs help too :'(

Both FW and I wasn't interested in having any more food but due to the "bargain"; a 20% off with BNI Credit Card, a minimum charge of RP 200,000 on food only, before tax that we need to add more dishes. The two main course above only accumulate 50% of the bill and thus here are the additional dishes we added to our bad lunch.
Menu : Wild Maki Salmon
Price : RP 58,000 ++
Score : 3.0 / 10

>> O MY LORD ! The price is more expensive than the sundubu kimchi soup and yet it's worse. The salmon fillings were extremely dried out, it's like it had been sitting in the freezer for 3 months and defrosted again and again until it reaches my table. A bad dish, please do not order!
Menu : Spring Enoki
Price : RP 29,000 ++
Score : 3.5 / 10

>> The only one thing that I can positively say about this dish is the fact it's big for an appetizer. 70% of it is because of the tempura / flour batter. The taste is lousy and just not ever going to order this again.

Menu : Chocolate Melt
Price : RP 35,000 ++
Score : 5.5 / 10

>> I put this picture slightly bigger than the rest of the picture is for a reason! This scores a 5.5 pointer, the only dish that passes my tongue. I'm not going to say this is good but definitely acceptable compared to the rest of the dishes we ordered. The chocolate did melt and oozes out of the sponge cake. Pricing and size was reasonable and most importantly it taste right, not superbly good but wasn't yucky at all !!

White Hunter, Han Gang, Incognito
Emporium Pluit Mall, Ground Floor

Friday, 3 August 2012

Ikkudo Ichi

Finally! I had my share of the new ramen in PIK; Ikkudo Ichi. Some of you guys might already have tried this before I did. I hear quite a good buzz about this new eatery and before I start to blab, I'd just like to mention one point that I like about Ikkudo that we are allowed to cuztomized our ramen to our tongue and liking. Three choice for each categories; noodle firmness, flavour strength, richness (the amount of oil filtered from the soup). My favourite combination is three B's (normal for all three categories). I think it has the best balance for all taste.
Buta Signature (RP 39,800++) Score : 8.5 / 10
Ikkudo's Buta Kara (RP 39,800++) Score 8.5 / 10

Seasoned with cut chili, chili paste & garlic (Score : 9.0 / 10)
Buta Signature Soup - Before Seasoned

If you noticed the two picture at the top, there is a price difference of Rp 4,800 and that lies in the what they claim to be their ' special red sauce '. After tasting both bowl, I have to be honest that I cannot differentiate anything and that both taste equally GOOD ! Note : Order Buta Signature (it's cheaper hahaha).

I have agree with the crowd, that they serve good ramen. Better than Sengoku, even better than Santouka, rather similar to Ikkousha's but I have to revisit Ikkousha to confirm who won the battle at the end of the day. I  like their full set of condiments on the table. The unlimited cloves of garlic, fresh cut red chilis, and also grounded chili paste that when I mixed and poured in abundant into my bowl of ramen (bottom right), I knew I will be coming back to revisit this place!!

The only factor that Ikkudo need to work on is their 'slice pork' or better known as 'Chasu'. Their cut is overly thin and has no bite into it. I had a difficult time finding the meager slice of pork somewhere in my soup. Give the customers a decent cut of good pork and that will certainly win the heart of pork lovers. In addition to the ramen, I noticed their specially designed plastic spoon, love it! It has a certain angle cut at the neck of the spoon thus helping it to be attached to the rim of the bowl.

Menu : Mini Chasu Don
Price : RP 10,800 ++
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> You cannot order this on its own. You can if you have already ordered a bowl of ramen and add this as an additional combo. Good pricing for the rather medium sized bowl. If you're not feeling too hungry, have this instead. Well seasoned minced pork chasu on top of steam white rice. Have it with spring onions, cut chilis and chili paste together and your mood will definitely be lightened up :)


Menu : Pork Chasu Curry
Price : RP 49,500 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> I don't like their Chasu, tasteless, soggy and too thinly cut. They serve 5 slices on top the steam rice but quantity cannot compensate for quality. Their curry sauce was rather fine but brings back the memory that I had with regards to that famous instant curry paste that can be bought from up scale supermarket. The taste was exactly like this! So bottom line, this didn't taste bad in any way but just simply too ordinary. I like the mini chasu don (top) better than this and it cost only one third of the price. So...go figure!

Menu : Yaki Buta Gyoza Ebi Iri
Price : RP 35,000 ++ (Same for grill and fried)
Score : 9.0 / 10

>> My favourite Gyoza in town and I mean it. I prayed that Ikkudo will never change the kitchen staff that are behind this dish. I love every bit of this and here are why :

1. The skin is thin, not chewy at all. 
2. Filling is generous
3. Love the crunchy bit inside (not sure what, but I don't care)
4. Pork is good, pork and prawn combination is even better
5. Love the spicy condiments that goes well together with all noodle, rice and gyoza!!
6. A big possibility that their gyoza are better than their ramen...hmmmm

Overall, a must try for those ramen lovers! Stay the same and just fix those chasu meat (a constructive advice to the owners) Cheers!

Ramen Ikkudo Ichi
Rukan Crown Golf Blok D No 2 - 3 Pantai Indah Kapuk
Phone : 021 - 966 28677