Friday, 23 August 2013

Marugame Udon

Marugame Udon, a new entry hitting the Japanese food cuisine dance floor and this actually resembles 'Yoshinoya' in some way. 'Yoshinoya' gives you beef bowl done in a fast food manner. While Marugame Udon serves you Udon done in a fast food manner.

You start the queue with a choice from the menu (8 udon dishes and 4 rice dishes), then choose your additional hot food and then move on to the fried food station. The hot food consist of kakedashi soup, beef sukiyaki, tori ball, mentaiko and tamago while the fried food ranges from inari sushi, fried prawn and vegetables tempura, to beef potato croquette.

I would say the concept is pretty original, even though as mentioned above that it resembles the franchised Yoshinoya food retail chain from Japan. Marugame has an open kitchen which makes the entire floor plan bigger. You'll be able to see all the action happening behind the scene. From the udon making, tempura frying to the selection of extra side dishes that are available for your preference. The main course consist of udon and rice dishes, fried food ranges from prawn tempura to sweet potato fritter, while the hot food includes tori balls, beef sukiyaki, etc. The pricing are reasonable. I would say Rp 150,000 (include tax) for 2 person should be enough. Well, unless you've been fasting for 2 days and this is the first meal you ate after that hahaha!

Menu : Mentai Kamatama Udon
Price : Rp 50,000 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> The udon itself is well done but I think I choose the wrong udon dish. I knew myself isn't a big fan of raw egg but the topping consist of very very very soft boiled egg. The minute you gently mix and stir the bowl, you'll break the egg yolk and it'll oozes all over. Mentaiko and the egg is what all of this dish is about. Very pretty color I must say but I'll opt for the 'beef curry udon, niku udon or the tori baitang udon' next time. But if you like raw egg, then by all means I think you'll enjoy this menu!
Menu : Beef Sukiyaki
Price : Rp 30,000 ++
Score : 7.25 / 10

>> I will hands down say it is better than what Yoshinoya has to provide. First, the portion is much much bigger than what you'll get for Rp 30,000 compare to Yoshinoya. Second, because it is an open kitchen, you'll be able to ask for extra onions!! Which I loveee, a big sauteed sweet onion eater here ^_^. The beef is well cooked, wasn't chewy nor overcooked at all. The sauce was well balanced, with the sweet and salty soy sauce kicking into action upon landing on your palate. Overall, something that I'll re order again and again from time to time.
Menu : Tori Ball
Price : Rp 11,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> Texture of the chicken tori balls were little bit on the soft side. Definitely not mushy nor stone hard but the right word to describe would be 'easy to chew, friendly for the elderly too'. Hahahaha...well regardless how I may seem to describe, the texture was well to my liking. What I like more was the soup. It has a strong salty taste but still pleasant on the tongue and definitely not overpowering the whole dish. Remember the 'tori baitang udon' dish that I mention above, that menu has this beautiful babies as the topping! So, that choice of the udon is definitely on my 're visit' meal list.

Menu : Inari Sushi (top) & Beef Potato Croquette (below)
Price : Inari Sushi RP 6,400 ++ & Beef Croquette Rp 10,900 ++
Score : Inari Sushi 6.0 / 10 & Beef Croquette 7.0 / 10

>> What can go wrong with fried food? Well, almost nothing. Let's talk about their inari sushi first. I'd say it's mediocre. Nothing special, nothing fancy, nothing out of the box. Just a simple tofu skin wrap over sushi rice. Done well for the reasonable price tag.

>> Beef croquette; crispy outer layer checked, generous fillings checked, tasty tempura sauce checked, too much potato instead of beef checked too. Well, many good points about this piece but except the proportion combination of the croquette is not right. Too much potato and can't taste the beef at all. But overall, I'll come and order this.

Overall a good solid addition into the so called 'Japanese fast food' in Jakarta. And I'm sure to be seeing this in more and more big malls in and around Jakarta. Itada kimas !!

Marugame Udon
Gandaria City Mall, Upper Ground Floor  #16 - 17
Mall Taman Anggrek, 3rd Floor

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Spanky's Ribs

A friend recommended this 'Ribs' restaurant, saying it's better than all those Outback, Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Cafe and even Tony Roma's ribs !! And of course being a food enthusiast myself, I wanted to taste it for myself. Spanky's Ribs is situated in the Kemang area, Jakarta Selatan. Not too difficult to locate, it's around 200 meters after Mc'Donald. Hence, just keep on staring onto your right after you drove past Mc'Donald. It's in fact the new tenant of 'Nu China' if you're familiar with the area. Nevertheless, the restaurant was rather quite, only a few tables were occupied (bearing in mind it was 8pm on a Saturday night), but then again, it was raining so I guess couldn't judge too much from the crowd. Ambiance was alright, it was decent although it gave a feeling of a 'diner' instead of a steak or ribs' house. I'm not going to judge too much on the decor but instead 'yap' away on the food ......

Menu : Pile 'O' Onion Rings
Price : Rp 49,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> What can ever go wrong with fried onion rings? Almost nothing right. But to make it spectacularly good...hmmm that's another story. The one served here was alright, a 6.5 over 10 from me. The onions were crispy all good and the additional home made 'sambal mayonnaise' was a great combination. The way it was served was similar to the one in Tony Roma's too. Piled on top another with all the wonderful bits of burnt parts distributed over. Well, a good starter but didn't blew me away.
Menu : Baby Back Pork Ribs
Price : Rp 315,000 ++ (Full Slab)
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> I sort of get it why my friend highly recommended this place. The pork ribs itself was a perfection! Very very succulent, the meat just slides off the bone. It didn't need too much effort in biting off the meat from the rib bone. On top of that, they managed to keep all the juices intact inside the baby back ribs. 

Whether it is better than Tony Romas? Hmm..I would say on the same caliber! But what was special about it was more on the sauces. We're given 2 choices of sauces that is served aside; Tangy Mango Chili, Spicy Alabama & Indonesian BBQ. The best one was the Tangy Mango Chili and that simple sauce might help hit the home run for this menu!
Menu : Chicken Wings
Price : Rp 45,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> For this menu, there is a choice of 'spicy buffalo' or 'honey bbq' and served with blue cheese on the side. We opted for the 'spicy buffalo' and another tasty dish. A 6.5 over 10 for me is like saying 'Well done, but a lot of other people can do just as good. Room of improvement!' hahahaha. The chicken wings were cooked well, crispy and moist on the inside. The spicy sauce were glazed evenly and the blue cheese were a good combination. Who thought of blue cheese with fried chicken right !!?? But again as I said, needed that extra kick somewhere.
Menu : Pulled Pork Quesadilla
Price : Rp 65,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> Hmmm yumm! I love quesadilla and I mean who don't?? Warm, thin, crispy pita bread with pulled smoked pork in between. Have a good dollop of salsa and guacamole on top and pop it into your mouth. Hmmm...yumm!! The pita bread was well done and the guacamole was heavenly. It was obviously freshly made in the kitchen and couldn't stop asking for more. The salsa was alright, fresh but rather mediocre. And they could definitely improved more with the amount of fillings inside. The delicious taste of the guacamole overthrow the taste of the meat. But overall it is still a good dish for my taste.

Menu : Key Lime Pie
Price : Rp 42,000 ++
Score : 9.0 / 10

>> I was full as hell but was sooooo glad that I decided on the dessert. This is the best key lime pie I had ever taste in Indonesia. The sourness of the lime and the combination of the cream cheese with the perfect amount of sugar was heavenly! Well, I must say if you're not a fan of sour food then don't go for this one, have a chocolate cake instead but if you like it then, you'll love this! I finished every bit of the slice and licked my fork glistening clean. That was how good it was. Delish dessert !! Bravo !

Spanky's Ribs
Jl. Kemang Raya No 24 A, Jakarta Selatan 12730
Phone : 021 - 7182876