Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Naka Nakaya

Shame on me :( It's been quite a while since my last post. I was completely drowned in my work and personal life, too busy to write, too ignorant to make time. Apologies... But that doesn't mean I stopped eating. Well, I think I recently lost a little bit of weight due to those excuses I gave above but nevertheless my taste buds are still very much in tune.

Recently I went to Naka Nakaya and within the same week, I came back twice! Naka Nakaya is still under the same management with Sumiya and thus their standard is pretty much above there. The food served are more casual, with more variety of yakitori, a good selection of ramen & soba (which Sumiya doesn't offer) present in a more casual manner. The place is apparently popular among Japanese themselves and thus I assume the taste agrees with the origins.

I gotta love the front entrance. It has that hidden alley / entrance without a real door. Dark wooden fixings combined with dark cold panel slab gave a rather warm ambiance. It isn't as 'dark and dim' as Sumiya, but certainly a little more life and opened space.

Menu : Tan Tan Ramen
Price : Rp 55,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> I love this upon the first sip. The broth has a strong resemblance to our local traditional food 'Soto Ayam' and thus it felt strangely familiar on the tongue. I was kind of confused, I don't know whether the cook over fusion the dish to adjust to the Indonesian people but however, the Japanese ordered this dish the most. This is one of the popular ramen dish in the restaurant. The noodles itself is on point, they didn't overcooked it nor raw tasting. Portion was good, the fillings inside were simple though; slices of chicken and beansprouts. But the star of the dish will have to be the broth! It's like a super good soto ayam that has additional magic ingredients inside. Definitely much stronger in the spice department. A superbly yummy bowl of goodness.

Menu : Chicken Negima
Price : Rp 26,000 ++
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> It's what I do all the time when I come for Japanese dining. I always order a few sticks of yakitori. It's pretty much like our local satay (but without the peanut sauce), you can have a choice of parts of the chicken; whether it's the meat, skin, gizzard, liver or even intestines -__-. Well, I don't eat organs so I always stick to the boring part; meat itself. 

I had 5 sticks of Chicken Negima for Rp 26,000 and I thought it was a super good deal because even 'Old Chang Kee' is selling at a higher price for one stick hahahaha. But price aside, I quite enjoyed it. It wasn't over the top good but chicken was cooked well, and the leek gave it a crunchy side to the bite. The teriyaki sauce smeared all over combined everything and sealed it together.

Menu : Gyoza
Price : Rp 38,000 ++
Score : 7.75 / 10

>> Dumplings! I lovee dumplings, who don't? It is easy to eat with no hassle; just pop them into your mouth. But what makes a good dumpling? Are you thinking the obvious answer...well what about besides the taste of the fillings inside? My thoughts would be 'the ratio of the skin to the filling'. I hateee those thick doughy tasteless plain skin with teeny meeny amount of fillings. And I don't like an 'ugly' dumpling, too much fillings that burst out of the skin. I had a lot of bad ones and of course a handful of good ones but Naka Nakaya would fall under the 'good ones' Hurrrayy !! The skin is neither too thick nor it's too thin, just the perfect thickness and the amount of fillings compliments it. A good sear on the bottom makes it a little bit crunchy but not dry and a vinegar sauce on the side makes it all better.
Menu : Chicken Namban
Price : Rp 53,000 ++
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> Sadly, I am not a fan of this dish. The portion is enough for 2 to 3 adults to share and I only took a small piece from the plate. The fried chicken itself is tasty, crisp and not overcooked. The mayonnaise with onion sauce is also tasty. But when they poured the entire sauce onto the fried chicken, I didn't quite agree with it. It turns the chicken a little bit soggy and there was too much mayonnaise all over. Basically, you can't control on how much mayo cream that you wanna have. If you guys are gonna order this dish, I recommend you all to get the kitchen to separate the chicken from the sauce. I bet it will be much better.
Menu : Fried Garlic Clove
Price : Rp 35,000 ++
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> Wondering what is this? The title of the menu explains it all. It is literally fried garlic clove. Even though I love garlic, I was a little hesitated to order this in the first place. The waitress assured me that it's pleasant without the over strong bitter taste. I did have it and I quite like it. It's healthy because it's garlic clove but at the same time it's fried. Hahahaha so it's a little bit of cheating. It wasn't bitter and wasn't pungent at all. And surprisingly, it didn't leave a nasty breath. A good simple, healthy and slightly oily appetizer (does it make sense?) hahahaha.

Menu : Black Sesame Mousse
Price : Complimentary
Score : 7.8 / 10

>> I like this thing!! Besides the obvious 'free of charge' reason, it's delish ! It is more lighter than your usual chocolate mousse. It is super airy and light. The black sesame as the main ingredient gave it a more authentic Japanese dessert kind of feeling. The airy mousse is not sweet but the little dollop of sweet cream on the top was perfect ! I liked this so much that I asked for a second serving. Beware : this free beauty comes in small portion.
Naka Nakaya
Senayan Trade Centre, Ground Floor.
Phone : +6221 - 57931751

Monday, 18 August 2014

Tapas Movida - Cilandak Town Square

I did a review on Tapas Movida way back in 3rd June 2013, which opened my taste buds to what local Spanish cuisine really taste like. Since then, I've drop by quite a few times to their headquarter in Cipete and a second branch had just opened in Cilandak Town Square. I guess hitting the malls can definitely reach out to the people better. Anyways, I was there with a bunch of other foodies and had so much fun. Food was without a doubt; terrific! And what made it even better was the vibe between us all !

The decor of the restaurant wasn't 100% done, they still have a bunch of other things to fix here and there. A couple more weeks and I'm sure it'll turn out great. Tapas wasn't going for any specific theme, they are presenting themselves as 'casual spanish good food', no specific Spanish decor or theme. A little bit difficult to guess what type of food served from the outside, however the bull logo design can be a easy giveaway. Even though they're just newly opened, but their kitchen was running full gear, they have everything listed on the menu and here I go with the food comments ... ^^

Menu : Pincho de Bonito
Price : Rp 15,000 ++ / each
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> Not a big fan of olives but this is definitely one of my favourites! Freshly made bread on the bottom, with a layer of candied tomatoes (which was yummm!) and a generous amount of tuna fish on top. There is this sweetness from the candied tomatoes that was just brilliant. It is still a savory dish even with the contribution of the tomatoes. It's one of those food that gives you an outburst of flavors in your mouth. I couldn't explain myself any better. One bite and you'll understand me.
Menu : Patatas Chorizo
Price : Rp 65,000 ++
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> I adore simple dish. This is going back to basic, potatoes with spanish sausage! Both ingredients shine and grilled (or fried) to perfection. I was expecting crazily salty taste from the bite, and well the kitchen definitely know how to hold themselves with sodium. Chorizo itself has a high salt level and with the herb seasoned potatoes it was comfort food for me. I loooove to just have this over and over and over for breakfast every single day for this week. Slightly on a pricey side for potatoes and sausage but hey, it's imported from Spain, got to give more sometimes. Adore !!!
Menu : Mejillones 
Price : Rp 45,000 ++
Score : 9.0 / 10

>> Oh my! Mussels in white wine cream sauce. I had like 20 of these I think? I made sure the bowl was place very closely to me. First dish that I would definitely order again during my next trip here would be this. The mussels were not the gigantic ones, but more of the normal sized. But that actually work better for me. The seafood were definitely scrubbed clean, there wasn't any sand of dirt complains and the white wine cream sauce was balanced so well. More over, Rp 45, 000 ???? So worth the price that I think it is actually under priced. I wouldn't mind paying at Rp 80,000.

Menu : Albondigas
Price : Rp 45,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> Give me some boiled spaghetti drenched with Albondigas and a good movie on my favourite couch , I would die a happy woman (hyperbolic!) hahaha. Albondigas is basically just beef meatballs with spicy tomato sauce. It is different from your day to day boring tomato base pasta. It is not Italian, this is Spanish and aren't you curious what Spanish Tomato sauce taste like? You should and beware that you'll get hooked for life. Cause I am ... 
Menu : Mini Hamburgers
Price : Rp 15,000 / each
Score : 7. 0 / 10

>> Beautiful cute edible little babies. These are so easy to eat, and perfect for appetizers. Meat patties were made of good quality beef and just the freshness of each of the elements really shines through. I believe there is cheese inside and however, not you ordinary cheddar cheese. Really yummy and really adorable !

Menu : Gambas Ajillo
Price : Rp 60,000 ++
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> Garlic Prawns with white wine butter sauce  and boiled pasta will definitely go very well! I know I keep on mixing Spanish food with the Italians, but I don't think white rice will go well? What can go better than pasta, right? Anyways, off the pasta topic. The garlic was cooked perfectly but the sauce is definitely the star of the dish. There is a subtle garlic rhythm, harmoniously balanced with butter sauce. Oh'll be grinning from ear to ear.

Menu : Paella de Mixta
Price : Rp 85,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> I had this in the Cipete branch and now the one in Citos is just as good ^_^. This has a generous amount chicken, seafood, tomatoes and parpika inside. The portion is huge and definitely enough for 3 people. The menu recommends for 2 pax but 3 should fit just right. The saffron infused spanish rice was so delicious, it's soaked with all the goodness of the spices and flavours. Simply DELISH ! If you'd like just with seafood (Rp 175,000), just ask for it !
Did you know that Tapas Movida was voted the best Spanish Restaurant in Jakarta by "Now Jakarta" 2013. And make sure to vote them again this year, go online to Now Jakarta website and click away !! I did vote personally and really hope they'll get the trophy again this year. Mind blowing, addictive food !

Tapas Movida
Cilandak Town Square Ground Floor # 043 - 045
Jl. TB Simatupang Kav 17. Jakarta Selatan
Phone : 021 - 29042818