Friday, 26 July 2013

Shammah - JS Luwansa Hotel & Convention

Left To Right : Pastry Chef, Chef, Executive Assistant Manager
14th June 2013 was the grand opening day for this four star hotel situated in the heart of CBD area in Jakarta; Jl. Rasuna Said, Kuningan. Within that short amount of time, JS Luwansa debut entry into the competition arena between hotels in Jakarta is something to be watched out by her peer. I was thinking to myself, what would make a hotel to be a great hotel? That I wonder and came to a conclusion that service and experience will simply be it. Grand hotels can many times overlook their occupants, be it because of the size scale or the fact that they weren't too worthy of their attention. But I would say that the amount of warmth, attention and hospitality shown by the JS Luwansa team was impressive. And I can sense their sincerity and passion into turning this hotel as not only one of the best but also serves to last !

But anyways, this review will be on their food catered in the 'Shammah' Restaurant. You wouldn't miss out on this place because it is exactly on the front porch of the lobby. The decor was a straight forward modern and sleek design. I like the fact that Shammah has a limited amount of ability to contain people; because then the attention poured to every customer would be at their maximum. I would say around 50 people would label Shammah as a 'full house'. Their capacity to contain people might be considered as 'petite' but the flavors that is produced was simply beautiful ! Six of us was treated for a dinner course of Mediterranean feast. Hey, I'm not fasting during this Holy month of Ramadhan but I could definitely feel the blessings upon me ^_^ haha !

Menu : Duo Ahi Tuna
Price : To Be Advise (Not in the Menu)
Score : 7.75 / 10

>> Ahi tuna done in 2 ways; poke and seared. Freshness checked, seasonings checked, portion as appetizer checked, taste a BIG checked, would I want a second portion ... yes please! I love raw fish because of a lot of factor, not only it is loaded with good oils, it super healthy doesn't make you go side ways hahaha. But above all, the freshness of the meat when seasoned the right is just heavenly. I love how this has a strong flavor of local herbs. I could definitely smell curry powder but still didn't overpower the tuna itself.
Menu : Soup of the day
( Country Pea Soup with Crispy Pancetta )
Price : Rp 60,000 ++
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> I have to be honest, when I saw 'pea soup' on the menu list, I wasn't too excited about it. But on the first glance of the beautiful bright green color made it tempting to me. Green has that 'healthy' connotation in my mind and that is always a good thing I suppose. Upon the first sip, I love it ! I never knew something so 'boring' such as 'pea' when handled under the right hand can be turn into something so tasty !! I love the calmness of the taste, you can still sense the peas but it didn't smack you on the face. Do you get it? In simpler way, it was subtle and harmoniously collides with the cream and seasoning when it settles on your tongue.
Menu : Surf and Turf
Price : To Be Advised (Not in the Menu)
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> This is not your normal surf and turf you get in your usual continental restaurant. This is definitely a few notches higher than that! The lobster was delish! I was glad that they didn't hold back on the ingredient and appreciate it by a mile. Lobster was beautifully grilled and beef fillet was all juicy, tender and cooked to a perfect medium. By the way, saw that mountain of yellow behind the beef? That is the super yummy potatoes !! Imagine hash brown but instead of grilling and frying, it's cooked with broth and a little cream. Greatness !
Menu : Paella Mixta
Price : Rp 120,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> How I love the Spanish rice; paella ! This is my favourite main course dish that was served! Imagine the rice was seared, braised, simmered slowly in a shrimp saffron broth! Just imagining it and writing about it is making me drool. One of the best paella I ate was at Tapas Movida (Date of review : 3rd June 2013) and I must say this is a serious contender.

The way they both serve the paella is a huge difference, Tapas Movida do it a huge pan for around 5 servings while Shammah is more of a single portion. Additionally, the shrimp and tender slices of beef were nothing short of tasty !! A recommendation from me.
Menu : Braised Rosemary Lamb Shank
Price : Rp 128,000 ++
Score : 7.75 / 10

>> I must say Shammah undercharged this dish. I would pay around Rp 150,000++ for a several factors. First, the portion is more than enough for one. There is a bed of steaming garlic mash potatoes which I must say delicious!! Secondly, the lamb shank was beautifully cooked. The meat flakes off from the bone easily and the rosemary sauce was the perfect condiment! Third, I love how the taste of the sauce manage to hold the whole dish together. It was delish with the garlic mash potatoes, it was also great with the steam vegetables.

Well, pricing is a relative issue but I reckon this must be one of the more popular dishes in Shammah both because of the very reasonable pricing and also most importantly taste.
Menu : Mashawi Bahria
Price : To Be Advised
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> A platter of goodness. Grilled lobster, prawns and snapper accompanied with mixed grilled vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, paprika served with Rice Saydieh on the side. Lobster was as expected; grilled to perfection. The prawns and snapper was nothing short of it too.

But what I want to highlight was this Saydieh Rice. It was my first time having it and I must say it's a cross between long grain and risotto. It has the shape of a small size risotto but not as mushy. It's a more intact form like our day to day long grain white rice. Shammah cooked it with saffron and I love it. It's not like everyday that I get to eat 'fancy' rice. Hahaha !
Menu : Mahsawi Mushakala
Price : To Be Advise
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> This resembles a lot like the one on top; Mahsawi Bahria. You can judge from the similar name I bet. Well anyways, the difference between these two is the everything except the Rice Saydieh. Mahsawi Mushakala is more of meat on the side while Mahsawi Bahria is seafood! We have grilled tenderloin, lamb chop and chicken served together with mixed grilled vegetables; tomatoes, paprika, eggplant and the
'fancy' rice on the side.

If you are allergic to seafood then this is would the one to order for. Nothing short of goodness !

Menu : Green Tea Crepe Cake
Price : Rp 40,000 ++
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> This is your mille crepe done in a slightly different way. Instead of plain, Shammah offers with green tea or better known as 'matcha' powder. And in addition, besides using vanilla pod mixed in vanilla or butter cream, Shammah infused Grans Marnier, mascaporne and cream as the fillings in between. The dollop or mango citrus on the bottom was a big surprise. That sting you get from eating a sour sweet mango cuts through the heaviness of the cream filling. It taste good inside and out.

Shammah Restaurant - JS Luwansa Hotel & Convention
(Besides Plaza Festival Epicentrum)
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav C 22, Kuningan Jakarta 12940
Phone : 021 - 29543030

Monday, 22 July 2013


I was invited to a food blogger gathering by Michelindo; they had just opened up a new restaurant called the 'Sombrero'. If you guys have yet to know, Michelindo is the company behind the success of Bonchon Fried Chicken. It's a huge diversification from something that is so familiar to the Indonesian menu of 'fried chicken' to 'mexican'. Bravo on the cross over!

Even though I've never been to Mexico but I think I had my fair chance of eating Mexican food. Jakarta isn't too densely swarmed with Mexican cuisine and on top of my mind is 'Hacienda' which might be my favorite Mexican place in Jakarta !! I'ts not an apple to apple comparison between 'Hacienda & Sombrero'. Hacienda has more of an authentic taste, higher price tag and more of a fine dining feel, while Sambrero is casual and the taste of the food was very much fusion-ed to adjust to our local Indonesian palate.

To be fully honest, there wasn't too much dishes that we got to try and hence couldn't share too much dishes in the menu by regardless, here it is ... my honest opinion ... cheers and do the salsa dance !!

Menu : Spicy Sombrero Fried Rice
Price : Rp 15,000 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> A tiny tiny portion of  a hot spicy rice. It's basically long grain rice with a lot of hot sauce. Thankfully I've got a crazy threshold for spicy food and hence was rather happy with the taste. But I assure you that this is something that all people can enjoy. There is a choice of other sides dishes such as; classic mexican fried rice (Rp 15,000++) available on the menu. The title 'classic' somehow assures me that it's on the mild side.
Menu : Mex - Ixxa
Price : Rp 55,000 ++
Score :5.5 / 10

>> There's a few things going on this plate; their Mexican Pizza which was an open faced tortilla with sombrero sauce, cheese and a choice of beef, chicken or vegetables, served with nachos chips, salsa & guacamole on the side. I must say that this is really fusion-ed to the local palate. The sambrero sauce was leaning heavily on the BBQ taste and the toppings on top was mediocre to alright. Wasn't a big fan of the guacamole but their salsa taste great. By the way, this menu came with the rice on top (Spicy Sombrero Fried Rice) free of charge.

Menu : Mexican Tapas Style (Sampler choice of 3)
Price : Rp 45,000 ++
Score : 5.0 / 10
>> Left : Chi Mi Changa : crispy tortilla shell stuffed with beans and a choice of chicken beef or cheese. Ummm...I didn't quite like it. Bland and there is mushy feeling when biting into the fillings inside. Middle : Fuerro Burrito : Soft tortilla shell with cheese, veges and a choice of beef or chicken. Hmmm...a similar case to the Chi Mi Changa, wasn't too pleasant. Right : Dip'n Wings : a tasty cripsy chicken and was definitely a huge relieve that they brought a piece of Bonchon to this sampler plate hahahaha.

Menu : Black Tie Churros
Price : RP 23,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> Dessert at last !! Churros was cripsy and hot, which was crucial to any churros (relieved!). There's 2 dipping sauces; chocolate and white chocolate. The white chocolate was overwhelmingly sweet, one dip and the sugar smacks you on the face. The chocolate on was much much balanced.

Overall, I personally feel it has potential but need a big boost in the recipes. I think a comment or a valuation card is crucial during these kind of food blogger gathering and I hope they'll provide one next time. At the end of the day, the taste buds don't lie and what it all comes down to, is not about the location, decor nor the image. It's nothing but the food itself. hard feelings hahahaha but I rather voice a honest opinion rather than a biased one. * I hope I didn't scare restaurant owners away and still get invited to future food gatherings after this hahahaha *

Grand Indonesia, West Mall 3A Floor 
(Exactly across Yoshinoya)
Phone : To be advised

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Potato Head Garage

So much buzz about this place was generated before the beginning of Ramadan season, and I finally brought myself there last Sunday for a  late lunch. I've seen the pictures posted by my friends all over Facebook and Instagram. It looked pretty in the pictures and the real life was a photo copy of those pictures ^_^. 

The decor was very modern, sleek with a touch of opulence. Dominated with a lot of white color and beautiful chandeliers hanging from the sky high attic ceiling. The place resembles an old badminton court or a warehouse and thus spaciously opened without pillars blocking your view. I must say it's a good venue for events and parties. Firstly because of the location, then the layout and lastly you'll end up with pretty pretty pictures ^_^ And oh I forgot to mention, this eatery has a definite connection with the 'Potato Head' in Pacific Place Shopping Mall; across the street.

Menu : Wholemeal & White Bread with Butter
Price : Rp 0.- (complementary, free)
Score : 2.0 / 10

>> Sad, sad, sad.. The bread are free but they need to remember that this is the first dish that customers consume. The bread are not only tough, it's cold and completely tasteless. What's so difficult with warming the bread, simply just place them in an oven for 2 minutes, and the butter is not good at all. I really think that this complementary bread is desperate for garlic butter or even a simple supermarket bought salted butter will be very much welcomed.
Menu : Wood Fire Grilled Beef Salad
Price : Appetizer ; Set Menu
(Rp 350,000 ++ : Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert)
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> Very very refreshing and the perfect way to open up your taste buds after that bad complementary bread on top. The salad were crisp and fresh, while the beef was cooked well. The seasonings were right in all sorts of way. The amount of salt, sugar and the tangy taste from the chili and lemon were balanced harmoniously !
Menu : Wagyu Strip Loin 200gr
Price : Main Course ; Set Menu
(Rp 350,000 ++ : Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert)
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> Beautifully cooked. Asked for a medium and that's what you'll get. The steak is place on top of a hot stone, thus helps in maintaining the temperature of the meat at all time. Comes the choice of sauce and butter that is served separately are quite a selection. I would recommend the 'Bearnaise Sauce' with 'Cafe De Paris Butter' it is subtle thus you'll still taste the sweetness of the beef itself. Assorted seasonal vegetables with a dollop of mashed potato are served separately.
Menu : Valhorna Flour-less Chocolate Cake
Price : Dessert ; Set Menu
(Rp 350,000 ++ : Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert)
Score : 8. 0 / 10

>> YUMM ! (In capital letters). Carb-less chocolate cake!! LOVE the idea of a flour-less cake, thus gave that 'less guilty & more pleasure' feeling. A good real dense chocolate cake and the Valhorna cocoa powder really made the difference. The coffee ice cream on the side is lovely too. Not too overly sweet when have together with the cake. Saw the passion fruit smear in the picture beside? That is super super sour which balance off the sugar level, it cuts through the sweetness of the cake and the ice cream. Overall a dessert that I'll order again and again !!
Menu : Blue Swimmer Crab Cake
Price : To Be Advised
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> Perfectly crumbed crab cake! When I tore apart the crab cake, I can really see the amount of crab meat was generous. A well balanced mixture of starch and crab, shallow fried and served with home made green curry sauce at the bottom. At first, I thought the green curry was going to overthrow the crab cake with it's pungent smell and dense herb taste but in fact, it was complementing the dish! They manage to keep it subtle and yet you can still taste the essence of the curry. A lovely dish!
Menu : Wood Fired Organic Baby Chicken
Price : Rp 130,000 ++
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> The sauce they used were delicious!! Mustard and curry oil is the bomb! Tangy and yet slightly sourish too. But I have to compliment the baby chicken the most! Beautifully cooked with crispy skin part, yet still juicy and served in the right temperature. Just like the above steak served on a hot stone, this baby chicken was served on top of a grill stone. Thus the temperature is being maintained along during our course. But if I may give a little advise, is to provide a side dish to this menu. The baby chicken is indeed a baby. Small in portion and I will be still hungry if I were to only order this. A baked potato or a generous amount of greens and mash potato will definitely be welcome.
Overall, it's a promising venue and has the potential to last. I'd still come back and try out their other dishes. But a bigger portioning of the main course will definitely be helpful. Cheers!

Potato Head Garage
SCBD Lot 14 (Ex Bengkel Kafe)
Jl. Jend Sudirman Kav 52 - 55 Lot 14 
Jakarta Selatan 12190
Phone : 021 - 57973330
Website :

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Mykonos Greek Restaurant - Bali

I've been to Bali countless of times and passed by Seminyak area countless of times also. And saw this eatery called 'Mykonos' many many times before but didn't thought of having a meal there. Ummm...maybe the thought of having Greek food in Bali was slightly off to me? I'll hunt for Balinese food while there and not Western. But nevertheless, I've heard reviews about this place and a friend wanted to try and hence why not? 

The eatery situated at in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Seminyak. Certainly a prime area and you wouldn't miss it. Ask any shopkeeper and they'll recognize this iconic restaurant. The decor had a theme of 'Mediterranean' thing going on. Lots of blue and white all over the place. Oddly said, it turn out to be quite okay. Nothing posh or fancy but certainly made quite a name for themselves. Three of us ordered lunch to share among us and here are my reviews !

Menu : Pita Garlic Bread
Price : Rp 20,000 ++
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> Fluffy dough checked. Steaming hot temperature checked. Wonderful garlic taste checked. Perfect combination for soaking in the sauces double checked !! I like bread to begin with and this is glorious for all sorts of dipping sauces. But by itself is good enough for nibbling.

I love how the garlic is infused in but still managed to be subtle, didn't overpower the taste of the sauces when dipped in. The temperature of the bread when served was perfect too. Still hot and fluffy and like those oven burn marks distributed evenly.

Menu : Sahanaki Garites
Price : Rp 45,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> This is the combination to order when you have a dipping bread like the one above this. This dish is a basically melted feta cheese, prawns, olives and tomatoes all cooked into one. It's too salty to be eaten on its own. Bread or a plain rice is crucial to balance off the taste.

The portion was alright and enough to be shared among 4 adults. The prawns were cooked well and the olives and tomatoes were fresh too. Overall a good dip without nothing to complain about :p :p

Menu : Risotto Poseidon
Price : Rp 75,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> I loveee risotto!! And maybe one of the most well done cooked risotto I had ever taste in Indonesia. Crunchy risotto is a BIG no no and mush risotto is a BIG no no too. This beauty over here is perfectly cooked! The risotto is cooked with spinach and served with prawns and calamari tomato sauce.

The seafood was nailed, cooked very well. The meat were succulent and fresh. The additional touch of the spinach with the creamy risotto was brilliant. Spinach serves not only as your greens in your diet but also serves an additional taste to the rice. Instead of a plain buttery creamy risotto, you get a slight hint of herbs from the spinach. Overall, my favorite complete meal of the day ^_^
Menu : Souvlaki Pita Bread
Price : Rp 55,000 ++
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> There is a choice of beef, chicken or pork to this souvlaki and for an additional Rp 25,000 you have a lamb meat instead. My friends opt for pork and yes I enjoyed it ! The greens were plenty, all fresh and crispy. The pork meat was generous and succulent.  I like the idea of not using mayonnaise and instead, they used yogurt. Not only the yogurt was home made, it's adjusted well to the Asian palate too. Not overpowering the pork meat.

But if I'm allowed to give a constructive input, it will be to toast the pita bread slightly much longer. It was too cold when served and toasting the pita bread will give a crispy texture which will bring up the score higher than a seven. But still, a recommendable dish !

Mykonos Greek Restaurant
Jl. Laksamana 52, Oberoi - Seminyak, Bali.
Phone : +62361 - 733253

Friday, 5 July 2013

Asli Soto Medan 1930


This 'Soto Medan' is a well known eatery amongst the Medan community in Jakarta, especially in Muara Karang, Pluit & Pantai Indah Kapuk area. The original branch was opened way back in 1930 in Medan (obviously hehe) and the address was painted on the front facade. Well, stereotyped as ''thrifty'', the painted writing instead of a pretty neon box further emphasize on that hahaha ...oopps! Nevertheless, they stood tall for 83 years and counting on. They stand through the world war and the proclamation of our Independence day and all that history milestones, which equates to ' legendary delicious food'. How good? Read the following post below...

Menu : Soto Medan Daging Ayam
Price : Rp 20,000 ( If you order 'Soto Special, it'll cost Rp 25,000 )
Score : 7.5 / 10 

>> Well, a good solid tasty broth. You can see from the dark color and pretty much figure out the mixture of herbs, spices and the hours spent laboring in making the broth to get beautiful color. Look, the broth wasn't too salty and for those fanatic about salty food, you'll definitely feel bland on your taste buds but then again, they prepared this without MSG and with additional splash of 'kecap manis', a good pour of their home made green chili, a handful of extra 'daun bawang, bawang goreng' and many squeezes of 'jeruk nipis'; given on the table side, you will be slurping the broth away with a smile. But there is still an issue. I said bravo to the broth but the chicken meat was tough as hell, taste like rubber tire. It was too tough to chew on. Well the meat given was generous but was a let down to the broth.

Will I come back? Hmm...I might but will try the beef instead...

Soto Medan 1930
Jl. Muara Karang Raya No 17 (Exactly across Superindo supermarket)
Phone : 021 - 6679963

Monday, 1 July 2013

Ah Mei

Another chain of Kopitiam in Jakarta's shopping malls. Ah Mei is one of the additions into the group. The first of the many branch they opened was at Mall Puri Indah and around a year after that, a branch pops up at Emporium Mall Pluit.

I think every Kopitiam style eatery has their own specialities, some has more variety of menus, some serves a better 'teh tarik', some provides bigger portion and some with better pricing. Nevertheless, I'm here to post a review on this particular 'Kopitiam'.

Menu : Fried Popiah 
Price : To be advise
Score : 5.5 / 10

>> Skin was really crispy and the amount of fillings inside were real generous. It has all the component of a basic popiah; vermicelli, 'bengkoang', carrots, mushrooms and of course seasonings. It was piping fried hot when it arrive on the table which means it's freshly fried but the taste was mediocre. It was just a so - so, I'm not saying it's junk but I had much better ones. The problem might be in the condiments. The chili provided wasn't a good marriage with the popiah.
Menu : Cheese Prata
Price : To be advise
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> If the popiah above wasn't satisfying at all, this cheese prata saved the day. This cheese prata might be the only reason that I come back to Ah Mei from time to time. I always have this. It's a basic roti prata, but instead of egg and onion, there's a good handful of grated cheese in between the layers of the prata. I love the savoury of the curry lightly spread across the salty prata. Yummmm !! Well, I must say the curry itself was alright, acceptable but the cheese prata itself was the bomb. I had the egg and onion prata before and was alright, but definitely loose out to this one.
Menu : Char Kuey Teow
Price : To be advise
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> Another so - so dish, just an ordinary plate of Kuey Teow tossed around. The taste was not too bad and thus explain for a six pointer. But nothing special, nothing kicks and pops on my taste buds. Just a decent plate of carbohydrate. I'd still come back to Ah Mei, but just because of the Cheese Prata and nothing else. I personally believe 'Lau's Kopitiam' hands down serves the best Kuey Teow amongst all Kopitiam Style restaurant joints. 

Ah Mei
Emporium Mall Pluit, 4th Floor.