• Izakaya
    29/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Meticulous Sake & Dine Atelier

    Seated in adjacent to The Apurva Kempinski Bali’s main lobby area, Izakaya by OKU features all-wooded structures and earth-colored tones with subdued lighting to welcome guest into its lavish-yet-convenient venue. Commandeered by Indonesian Chef Deni Koswara; which has more than 15 years of Japanese cuisine experience under his belt, Izakaya by OKU serves arrays of creative menus inspired by meticulous traditional Japanese cooking method.

    For those who wish to try most of Izakaya by OKU’s best dishes in one-go, ‘Okukase’ is a must-try—an enticing five-to-seven-course Chef Degustation menu paired with sakes and signature cocktails. For a starter, an Amuse Bouche menu is served in form of gorgeously assorted edamame beans with an exquisite touch of truffle salt, wrapped in white radish ring. This enticing appetite booster then immediately followed by the opener course of Okukase journey; Karasumi Pasta with salmon egg. This ‘angel-hair’ pasta brilliantly combines European presentation with Japanese flavor. Then immediately followed by OKU Karaage; a portion of squid ink-coated crispy karaage (fried boneless chicken) filled with balsamic teriyaki emulsion. Crunchy on the outside and soft-savory on the inside, this rare delicacy is a definite must try.

    Then for the third meal, comes OKU Aburi Salmon, perfectly cooked with slow torch (aburi) method to create a distinctive contour and grainy color; with spicy mayo and black caviar to complement the whole scrumptious flavor. Try this one with the paired sake for a pleasant extra kick! You’ll finish this menu in no time, but the delightful taste will stay down on your palate (and memory) for quite a while! The fourth menu of Okukase could be considered as the ‘main course’; Truffle Gyudon, which as the name implies, consist of a scrumptious rice bowl, topped with tender and thick grilled beef wagyu and poached egg, completed with fragrant truffle oil. This one is a match made in heaven’s kitchen indeed. Last but not least, Okukase wrapped itself with a sweet, unique dessert called Ishi Zen; which consists black sesame tofu (looks like a pretty river rock!), almond, ginger crumble and calamansi sorbet for a vibrant cold, sweet, nutty and sour palate pleaser.

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  • Indigo
    29/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Japanese Wisdom, European Flair

    Established two years ago on a tranquil side of Berawa, Canggu, Indigo distinctive architecture design will catch the attention of anyone who stroll across the area; unpainted brick-layered wall often used as main ‘Pura’ temple materials perfectly mixed with wooden Japanese ‘shoji’ style doors to enact as sense of serenity as guest come and sit on its cozy two-story compound. The interior design of Indigo Canggu encapsulates Japanese and local Balinese elements in a minimalist-yet-elegant style venue, with Indigo blue-tinted furniture (hence the catchy name!) decorating the gorgeous dining space for a touch of exquisite French flair.

    Created by Kyoto-native Chef Shige, the menus of Indigo Canggu consist wide selections of Japanese fusion with European twist in both taste and presentation. For an opener, try Hokkaido Scallop, for one; thick sliced of fresh melt-in-your-mouth scallop with cauliflower, mix sprout, lemon peels and white balsamic for a pleasant sour aftertaste. The scallop is served in ‘Carpaccio’ style of slices for a nod to its European influence. Then a platter of Sushi is not to be missed; with topping you can choose from salmon, squid, prawn to unagi (eel), served with tasty sauce and pickled ginger.

    For a fine alternative, the selection of Indigo’s ‘maki’ roll is a must-try. If you love spicy-hot flavor, Chicken Teriyaki roll could be a fine choice; crunchy rice-wrapped chicken served along avocado, cucumber, basil and red chili slice. Or for a fine Ocean produce, try their Aburi Salmon, which combines torched (aburi) salmon, asparagus, pink pepper and yuzu zabalone for a zesty sour kicks. French cuisine enthusiast should not miss the Foie Grass Roll; which, as the name suggest, is a fine combination of rice, balsamic teriyaki sauce and thick chops of scrumptious ‘Foie Gras’ duck liver. This one is a definite must-try.

    Those who are looking for grilled goodness should try some of Indigo’s ‘Yakimono’ menu such as Black Cod Saikyo Yaki; a slab of perfectly-cooked black cod fillet served with miso sauce, daikon, salad and crunchy almond slices. The sweet, crispy skin meets tender meats makes for a perfect lunch or dining treat on your fun-filled Bali holiday. Close your dining session with a plate of ‘Fuji Yama’; sweet, fluffy and crunchy delight of yuzu tart, matcha crumble and meringue, topped with a ‘mountain’ of soft yuzu cream.

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  • Genji
    29/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Iron Table Cooking Art

    As an integral part of Ayodya Resort Bali, Genji Restaurant stands the test of time and still considered as one of the pioneer of Teppanyaki venue in the island. The eatery was built upon classic Japanese feudal-era house, complete with pond, wooden slide door and an authentic samurai armor right after the entrance.

    There are only a handful of tables at Genji Restaurant, but it’s totally understandable; as each table is specially made for ‘teppanyaki’ cooking. The wide iron table can immediately be heated upon request, as guest is treated with a spectacle by the restaurant experienced chef, who will turn fresh ingredients; meat, vegetables, sauce and whatnot, into a ready-to-eat delicacy. Try their titular ‘Teppanyaki Set’on ‘Japanese Treat’ menu for this enticing culinary journey.

    First, make yourself comfortable on the side of the table, as friendly ladies in traditional Japanese kimono serves you drink and refreshing salad. Immediately, a chef will greets you as platters of raw ingredients are brought to the table. He will then lit the iron table in flame with some special-made organic oil, before systematically chopping, flipping and cooking the ingredients on the heated table; vegetables such as mayashi (bean sprout), tamanegi (onion), nasu (eggplant) and kabocha (pumpkin) are mixed with various meat from tuna, swordfish, squid, beef sirloin to chicken breast until they are grilled to perfection. The course itself will come in two different rounds, with a choice of fried rice or noodle for a trusty side. During our visit, the chef showcases his amazing egg juggling skills, which was a sight to behold on its own. ‘Why doesn’t it break?’ you’ll find yourself asking over and over. It was nothing like you’ve ever seen before; especially in Bali.

    After the satisfying teppanyaki feast, wrap up your session with a portion of refreshing ice cream dessert. There are plenty of flavors you can choose, from classic vanilla and chocolate to Japanese signature’s ogura (red bean) and matcha (green tea)

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  • 08/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Artisanal Goodness

    Established with the main purpose of fulfilling the demand for top quality artisanal sourdough-based creations, Farine sets to become a new favorite destination for pastry lovers. Their quaint flagship store of industrialrustic interior design comprises of a chic outdoor and indoor dining space for those who opted to chill and enjoy their bread on the spot with a cup of coffee. The rest of the venue is dedicated for a spacious kitchen and display area, showcasing loaves after loaves of freshbaked sourdough treat, and also table adorned with delightful cakes just in front of main entrance.

    As the name suggest, Farine provides selections of multi-grain, hearty rye sourdough bread, but their creation extend even more to bagels, sandwiches, banana walnut cake to French doughnuts filled with homemade tropical jam. The sandwich selection is a must-try; with filling ranging from tuna to roasted chicken, combined with fresh cuts of vegetables and tasty sauce. Or for a more creamy goodness, order their Ham & Cheese Croissant, which delightfully. 

    combines salty, creamy and meaty taste with crunchy-buttery croissant in every bite. The authentic San Francisco-style sourdough treats of Farine has signature taste and texture; revealed through its natural dough-making process, which fermentation alone can take up to 20 hours before baking! It creates a caramelized dark crust and pleasantly flavorsome sourness for your palate.

    To ensure the quality of each product, Farine’s staffs start working before morning’s first light every day, baking and preparing the breads to be sold just for the day. If there’s any left on that day, they will send it to the orphanage for the children to enjoy the goodness of healthy artisanal bread. Nothing goes to waste; everything goes back to the community.

    The Farine store at Berawa is their only standalone establishment to date, but worry not, as the bakery’s goods can already be found on various popular dining and staying destinations around the island. Try to find one on your Bali holiday, or just visit their cozy store at Berawa and have some wonderful breadand-coffee dining time!

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  • 08/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Of Pretty Space & Pleasant Pastry

    If you have visited Bali lately, you might have heard about Parachute already, and all for the good reasons. Set amidst lush rice paddy fields on the beating heart of Canggu, the restaurant boasts a pleasant tropical ambience with laid-back feels, perfect to spend the quality dining moment with family or loved ones. The venue’s garden open-air area is precisely positioned under an authentic olive ‘parachute’ formerly used by US Army— hence the restaurant’s catchy name.

    As mentioned above, Parachute’s menu ranges from tantalizing all-day seasonal main course to delightful breads and pastries; complimented with tasty flavored butter and jam. Sweet tooth must try the restaurant’s exquisite cakes; such as the creamy Cheese Tart, which boasts a sweet creamy goodness, or the plainly-named-but-the-taste-isanything-but Chocolate Cake, a pleasant taste of quality gluten-free chocolate with a subtle salty hint that comes from seasoned coconut yogurt. For something a bit more unique, you might want to try Un Poco Loco; a dairy-free delight which combines toasted coconut and bittersweet chocolate.

    For those who’d prefer for plain bread-and-butter combination, you come to the right place, because Parachute also serves loaves of artisan sourdough, along with incredibly tasty homemade butter; not just the original salty and savory, the restaurant’s talented pastry chef and its dedicated patisserie division put their extra effort in creating some of the most intricate selection of flavored butter. Our personal favorite would be the saltedhoney one, which blends salty, creamy butter taste with natural honey sweetness. Enjoy this one as a trusty spread with your selection of plain sourdough bread for a splendid mood-booster; totally recommended. Or, explore around their other equally-impressive dips; from sweet and sour strawberry marmalade, pineapple jam to the unique smoked fish cream cheese

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  • Argentinian Dulce
    08/01/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Argentinian Dulce

    You’ve heard the name Sudestada! For the past 7 months since its inception, the place has become the talk of the town. Located nearby the heart of capital, Bundaran HI, the Argentinian cuisine received warm welcome among Jakartans. While others are (inevitably) talking about their Argentinian grilled menus, we’d prefer to discover more about the typical Argentinian desserts.

    From the concept and interior, you can safely tell that Sudestada is trying to bring Argentina to Jakarta. “As an Argentinian restaurant, you can find restaurant, bar, café and grill house, all in one place, it’s typical Argentinian. I know, in Indonesia it’s quite weird, because you have each place for those concepts,” said Victor Taborda, The Executive Chef of Sudestada Jakarta.

    Victor graduated from culinary school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but he spent his early years in Spain, working alongside Dani Garcia, a 3 Michelin starred chef. Victor also managed to become the Executive Chef at La Veranda Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Marbella Spain, when he was just 28. After that, he moved to Tapeo, Bali, Cloud Lounge & Dining, Jakarta, and finally, Sudestada in 2019.

    Argentinian dish is not too common among Jakartans, but Victor came up with the best way to describe it. “Sometimes, we do our joke about Argentinian restaurant: it’s an Italian restaurant with meat, lots of meat! Of course, we have Spanish influence as we were colonized by them, but I have to say more than 50% of the population of Argentinians are of Italian descent,” said Victor.

    The Dulce

    Italians are all about family, so does Argentinians, and it’s good to find out that the Pastry Chef of Sudestada is actually Victor’s wife, Claudia Urbaneja. Similar to Victor, Claudia also spent great deal of his career in Spain. She worked in 1 Michelin star restaurant in Malaga called Tragabuches.

    Claudia presented 4 of Argentinian desserts: Alfajore, Tarta de Limon, Flan de Caramelo, and Churros con Dulce de Leche. When it comes to Argetinian dessert, you can’t miss dulce de leche in many of their pastry products. “We have lots of influence for our desserts, especially from Italy, in items like tiramisu, lemon tart, but we also have our own sweet, like dulce de leche,” Victor added.

    I know, comparing dulce de leche to caramel might be considered as blasphemy for most Argentinians, like comparing asado to barbecue (even though they’re quite similar, never compare them in front of Argentinians, you hear me? Never!). Dulce de leche is made by heating up condensed milk slowly, resulted in Maillard reaction, lighter, smoother taste than caramel.

    Sudestada really wanted the guest to know their dulce de leche, you’ll even get small Alfajore (Argentinian cookies with dulce de leche as filling) when you order coffee. You can also spot it in Churros con Dulce de Leche. Compared to Spanish churro, Argentinian’s churro is crustier, and they put some filling inside. And for more authentic Argentinian experience, dip your churros in dulce de leche, even though they also serve chocolate sauce. You can opt for Flan de Caramelo for pudding-like dessert, or the refreshing Tarta de Limon for some extra kick of acidity.

    Of course, it doesn’t feel right to talk about Sudestada without mentioning about their grilled meat. When asked about the signature dish, Victor asked us back, “which signature dish? Based on me, or customers? For customers, it’s the Matambre, each table seems to order one. But me, I like Chuleton, the bone-in rib eye, it’s something I can eat everyday!” said Victor. Don’t expect the traditional steak sauces such as mushroom, BBQ, or blackpepper sauce here. Instead, you should try their chimichurri (parsley based sauce, Victor’s favorite) or criolla (Argentinian rendition of salsa, our favorite), you just can’t go wrong with any of these two

    Sudestada is definitely a sanctuary in the midst of the busy capital. And the best thing is, in addition to the relaxing atmosphere, you can satisfy the carnivore within, grab some coffee, cocktails, and dessert, all in one place!

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  • 09/12/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Distilled Local Wisdom

    As a proud part of Potato Head Family, Kaum encourage their guest to taste arrays of genuine flavors which accurately reflects upon Indonesia’s rich heritage. Situated on the second floor of Potato Head Bali main building (Kaum also available at Potato Head Hongkong!), the dining venue consist of a quaint yet elegant indoor space; open bar on one side and a long table in the middle of the room for communal gathering or collective feast.

    Fascinating foods aside, Kaum also serves their very own selections of signature cocktails, made from enticing mix of international liquors and local wisdom. During our visit, we were treated with three of their best selling and most creative cocktail creations, accompanied by some fine rendition of Indonesia’s folk dishes. Kaum follows Potato Head’s genuine, tropical and sustainable standard—tapping into unused potential and turning waste into resources. This philosophy applied to the food and beverages of the restaurant; which are made using sustainability and upcycling philosophy.

    If you like your drink spicy, then you have to try Pedas Margarita; a glass of tropical goodness with hint of spiciness made by combining Tequila, toasted pineapple, lime juice and chili sugar syrup. Sweet, sour, spicy and overall delightful, this is a perfect drink for your warm summer (holi)day. Next, they have Kecombrang Martini; an exquisite blend of ‘kecombrang’ flower, which usually used to make ‘bongkot’ sambal sauce, with Balinese arak, tamarillo, honey and citrus. The bold, fragrant taste of kecombrang is well-balanced with soothing sweet and sour mixes of arak, honey and zesty citrus. Last but not least, there’s Curcuma Plus; a drink which combines bar-made citrus vodka, pineapple juice, pineapple curcuma ratafia and pink citrus for another sweet-meets-sour goodness.

    All cocktails above can be perfectly enjoyed with some of Indonesian authentic traditional light-bites; such as Otak-Otak (grilled fishcake with soursweet spicy peanut sauce dip), Batagor (deep fried shrimp and fish wonton with peanut sauce), or the creamy ‘Gohu’ tuna fish goodness.

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  • Tropicola
    09/12/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Splashing Tropical Concoction

    Featuring a total of three bars that sprawl over multiple levels surrounding two pools, Tropicola emulates the feel of old-school prominent beach clubs all over the world; from Miami, Acapulco, Palm Springs to Playa Del Carmen; showcasing the best view of Batubelig’s ‘golden miles’ and its blue ocean beyond. Clean lines, bright colors, cascading plants and gallant amphitheaters are shaped towards the beach, including two deck-styles dining venue in which guest can relax and enjoy selections of tantalizing comfort food and signature cocktails.

    Created by the club’s award-winning beverage director Denny Deluca Del Paso, the cocktail of Tropicola conveys a fine balance between the art of entertainment, good-looking drink and splashing fresh mix of flavors—inspired by Del Paso’s breadth of travel and expertise. For a fruity relish, order their Copacabana. Comes in bright blood-red color, the drink perfectly represents the club’s tropical vibe with sweet and sour blends which comes from a combination of gin, blackberry, raspberry and basil.

    Beer lover should try No.7; a bold combination of berry vodka, strawberry, ginger and pilsner for a mild-sweet and yeast-y pleasant aftertaste. Then for a trusty palate cleanser, orders the Tulum Bliss; a tequila-based mix which consist grapefruit, lime and spicy hint that comes from chili mix.

    If you need some tasty bites to accompany the delightful cocktails, Tropicola have arrays of delectable snack menus to try; such as a bowl of Butternut Falafel with quinoa, rocker, beetroot and hummus for an exotic Mediterranean touch between your precious dining moments. For a taste of fresh seafood goodness, have a portion of their juicy Tuna Carpaccio, which serves with bigsized wood-fire homemade bread; soft and tasty to share with your loved one. Sweet-tooth and dessert lovers can have the club’s Pavlova; blends of delightful sweet and crunchy merengue, served with a mixture of sliced fresh fruit  and flavorful whipped cream.

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  • Ozone bar
    09/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Spice of Life

    If you’re in the bar scene around 2010, of course the name Mistere, located in The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan would be familiar to you. Since changing its name into Tempus and on hiatus for 2 years, now the venue became Ozone Bar & Karaoke, since September 5th 2019 to be exact. 

    “We’re the only The Ritz-Carlton hotel all over the world, also the only 5 star hotel in Indonesia that has karaoke room. Our capacity is also quite spacious, our rooms accommodate from 8-30 people. Meanwhile for the lounge, we offer casual ambience with live music that performs 90’s songs, and DJ that plays R&B or house music,” explained Rizky Irvansyah, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan’s Director of Food & Beverage.

    The karaoke room in Ozone uses the technology based on apps and Internet, so in order to access it, you can either use the tab available in the room, or use your own cellphone. “Our competitive edge is we’re always updated because we’re app based, we can automatically download whenever there’s new songs, so we have more than 20.000 songs, from Arabic, Indian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese songs,” he added.

    Ozone has signature cocktails called Spice of Life that uses authentic local ingredients. “Our cocktail is inspired by local products, of course we serve classic cocktails, but in the menu, we prioritize cocktails made of local ingredients,” explained Rizky.

    Spice of Life, the scenography of Ritz is using homemade cinnamon & clove syrup with single malt whisky as the base and some burnt cinnamon for extra hint of aroma. On the other side, Purple Haze is a twist from the famous cocktail, Gimlet, using homemade butterfly pea infused gin to create distinctive purple color with a hint of floral liqueur aroma.

    “Many people think The Ritz-Carlton means expensive, but we have a very competitive offering. I mean, as an outlet in 5 star hotels, Ozone’s prize is comparable to other freestanding outlets in Mega Kuningan. We prioritize experience through quality products and service,” stated RIzky. 

    Ozone Bar & Karaoke is a quite flexible venue. It can be used for birthday, corporate gathering, private diner, to the wedding’s after party with its casual concept. Therefore, if you want ambience that’s not too hectic, more privacy, 5 star quality product and service, Ozone Bar & Karaoke is definitely one of the strongest candidate for the region.

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  • Sake+
    09/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    For the Sake of Sake

    When we thought about sources for this cocktail issue, the name Sake+ was already in our mandatory visit list. In a few visit, in addition of impressed by Chef Kawamura Toshinobu’s cooking skill, we’re hard pressed to find similar Sake+’s sake cocktail in other places.

    Actually, Sake+ is closely related to Vin+. ”We started with Vin+ that focuses on wine, meanwhile we also have wide array of sake collection, why not make similar concept? Then we have Sake+. I would say, we have the widest range of sake products in Indonesia. We even supply to leading 5 star hotels and 80% of Japanese restaurants that serve sake,” said Gusti PBA, Sake+’s Bar Manager. At the time, they’re busy preparing the grand launching of new Sake+ outlet in Plaza Senayan Arcadia that will become one with the older Vin+ outlet.

    Of course, sake has its own world that requires specific knowledge. “Basically, you can tell the quality of sake from its polishing rate. You see it on the bottles, it will have numbers such as 70%, 50%, or 23%. The lower the number, the better the quality. For example, 50% polishing rate means that from a single grain of rice, they throw away 50% of the outer layer, and you’ll end up with the core,” explained Gusti.

    It results in various category names in sake, from Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo, to Honjozo. “For polishing rate under 50%, you can say it belongs to premium category. For example, sake with 8% polishing rate worth around Rp 10 million+ per bottle,” said Gusti while mentioning other favorite sake brands in Sake+ such as Dassai, Born, Tatenokawa, and Umenoyado. 

    Sake Cocktail

    It’s quite confusing indeed, that’s why this time, we’ll focus on the Sake+ sake cocktail line. “From the beginning, it was designed as sake cocktail, not cocktail sake. Which translates to, from the first sip to the after taste, people have to find dominant sake flavor, not the other liquors. This is our main challenge: finding the taste balance, also to find unique combinations from the commonly used ingredients in Japanese cooking, like yuzu or oba,” stated Gusti.

    In addition, sake cocktail was also desgined to complement Sake+s food that mainly consist of raw meat, raw fish, and some grilled items, served with the umami shoyu. No wonder, most of sake cocktails share the same traits: refreshing and acidic, it will cleanse your palate from the fishy taste that you normally get from raw fish.

    If this is your first time in Sake+, just order their best sellers: Kyuri+ and Gintoki. Kyuri+ (dry sake, casis syrup, strawberry, lime juice) is appointed as the place’s signature cocktail. What caught our eyes, was that instead of using traditional shot glass, they make their own using kyuri (Japanese cucumber)

    For us, sashimi and Kyuri+ is a classic combination! Imagine steak and Shiraz! Meanwhile, Gintoki (gin, sake, elderflower syrup, lemon juice) is slightly more aromatic with the acid from lemon juice and distinct elderflower aroma. We recommend you to pair it with heavier tasting dishes, like tempura.

    Sake+ also offers some favorite sake cocktails. From Fukiya (dry sake, strawberry fruit, lemon juice) that’s quite populer among women, thanks to its sweeter taste, and then Niwatoko (rum, sake, elderflower, yuzu) that has bright, acidic taste from yuzu, Japanese expatriates really enjoy sour drink, mind you.

    For fans of gentleman’s cocktails, like Old Fashioned or Manhattan, it would be wise to order Young Yakuza (choya, bourbon, cherry). Choya is actually umeshu drink, made of fruit similar to apricot and plum. Along with bourbon, vermouth, and a bit of orange bitters, perhaps Young Yakuza is the most “masculine” drinks of the bunch, and it will be perfectly paired with heavy sauce, such as curry

    With its refreshing taste, sake cocktail can be easily enjoyed by just anyone. You don’t even need to learn about sake to enjoy it, especially if you find the right food pairing. Of course, you can always ask the bartender for the pairing recommendations whenever you’re in doubt. Along with its unique taste, sake cocktail sparked our interest to dig deeper to the world of sake. A topic for next year’s issue, perhaps?

    Read More
  • Sake+
    09/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    For the Sake of Sake

    When we thought about sources for this cocktail issue, the name Sake+ was already in our mandatory visit list. In a few visit, in addition of impressed by Chef Kawamura Toshinobu’s cooking skill, we’re hard pressed to find similar Sake+’s sake cocktail in other places.

    Actually, Sake+ is closely related to Vin+. ”We started with Vin+ that focuses on wine, meanwhile we also have wide array of sake collection, why not make similar concept? Then we have Sake+. I would say, we have the widest range of sake products in Indonesia. We even supply to leading 5 star hotels and 80% of Japanese restaurants that serve sake,” said Gusti PBA, Sake+’s Bar Manager. At the time, they’re busy preparing the grand launching of new Sake+ outlet in Plaza Senayan Arcadia that will become one with the older Vin+ outlet.

    Of course, sake has its own world that requires specific knowledge. “Basically, you can tell the quality of sake from its polishing rate. You see it on the bottles, it will have numbers such as 70%, 50%, or 23%. The lower the number, the better the quality. For example, 50% polishing rate means that from a single grain of rice, they throw away 50% of the outer layer, and you’ll end up with the core,” explained Gusti.

    It results in various category names in sake, from Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo, to Honjozo. “For polishing rate under 50%, you can say it belongs to premium category. For example, sake with 8% polishing rate worth around Rp 10 million+ per bottle,” said Gusti while mentioning other favorite sake brands in Sake+ such as Dassai, Born, Tatenokawa, and Umenoyado. 

    Sake Cocktail

    It’s quite confusing indeed, that’s why this time, we’ll focus on the Sake+ sake cocktail line. “From the beginning, it was designed as sake cocktail, not cocktail sake. Which translates to, from the first sip to the after taste, people have to find dominant sake flavor, not the other liquors. This is our main challenge: finding the taste balance, also to find unique combinations from the commonly used ingredients in Japanese cooking, like yuzu or oba,” stated Gusti.

    In addition, sake cocktail was also desgined to complement Sake+s food that mainly consist of raw meat, raw fish, and some grilled items, served with the umami shoyu. No wonder, most of sake cocktails share the same traits: refreshing and acidic, it will cleanse your palate from the fishy taste that you normally get from raw fish.

    If this is your first time in Sake+, just order their best sellers: Kyuri+ and Gintoki. Kyuri+ (dry sake, casis syrup, strawberry, lime juice) is appointed as the place’s signature cocktail. What caught our eyes, was that instead of using traditional shot glass, they make their own using kyuri (Japanese cucumber)

    For us, sashimi and Kyuri+ is a classic combination! Imagine steak and Shiraz! Meanwhile, Gintoki (gin, sake, elderflower syrup, lemon juice) is slightly more aromatic with the acid from lemon juice and distinct elderflower aroma. We recommend you to pair it with heavier tasting dishes, like tempura.

    Sake+ also offers some favorite sake cocktails. From Fukiya (dry sake, strawberry fruit, lemon juice) that’s quite populer among women, thanks to its sweeter taste, and then Niwatoko (rum, sake, elderflower, yuzu) that has bright, acidic taste from yuzu, Japanese expatriates really enjoy sour drink, mind you.

    For fans of gentleman’s cocktails, like Old Fashioned or Manhattan, it would be wise to order Young Yakuza (choya, bourbon, cherry). Choya is actually umeshu drink, made of fruit similar to apricot and plum. Along with bourbon, vermouth, and a bit of orange bitters, perhaps Young Yakuza is the most “masculine” drinks of the bunch, and it will be perfectly paired with heavy sauce, such as curry

    With its refreshing taste, sake cocktail can be easily enjoyed by just anyone. You don’t even need to learn about sake to enjoy it, especially if you find the right food pairing. Of course, you can always ask the bartender for the pairing recommendations whenever you’re in doubt. Along with its unique taste, sake cocktail sparked our interest to dig deeper to the world of sake. A topic for next year’s issue, perhaps?

    Read More
  • Sake+
    09/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    For the Sake of Sake

    When we thought about sources for this cocktail issue, the name Sake+ was already in our mandatory visit list. In a few visit, in addition of impressed by Chef Kawamura Toshinobu’s cooking skill, we’re hard pressed to find similar Sake+’s sake cocktail in other places.

    Actually, Sake+ is closely related to Vin+. ”We started with Vin+ that focuses on wine, meanwhile we also have wide array of sake collection, why not make similar concept? Then we have Sake+. I would say, we have the widest range of sake products in Indonesia. We even supply to leading 5 star hotels and 80% of Japanese restaurants that serve sake,” said Gusti PBA, Sake+’s Bar Manager. At the time, they’re busy preparing the grand launching of new Sake+ outlet in Plaza Senayan Arcadia that will become one with the older Vin+ outlet.

    Of course, sake has its own world that requires specific knowledge. “Basically, you can tell the quality of sake from its polishing rate. You see it on the bottles, it will have numbers such as 70%, 50%, or 23%. The lower the number, the better the quality. For example, 50% polishing rate means that from a single grain of rice, they throw away 50% of the outer layer, and you’ll end up with the core,” explained Gusti.

    It results in various category names in sake, from Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo, to Honjozo. “For polishing rate under 50%, you can say it belongs to premium category. For example, sake with 8% polishing rate worth around Rp 10 million+ per bottle,” said Gusti while mentioning other favorite sake brands in Sake+ such as Dassai, Born, Tatenokawa, and Umenoyado. 

    Sake Cocktail

    It’s quite confusing indeed, that’s why this time, we’ll focus on the Sake+ sake cocktail line. “From the beginning, it was designed as sake cocktail, not cocktail sake. Which translates to, from the first sip to the after taste, people have to find dominant sake flavor, not the other liquors. This is our main challenge: finding the taste balance, also to find unique combinations from the commonly used ingredients in Japanese cooking, like yuzu or oba,” stated Gusti.

    In addition, sake cocktail was also desgined to complement Sake+s food that mainly consist of raw meat, raw fish, and some grilled items, served with the umami shoyu. No wonder, most of sake cocktails share the same traits: refreshing and acidic, it will cleanse your palate from the fishy taste that you normally get from raw fish.

    If this is your first time in Sake+, just order their best sellers: Kyuri+ and Gintoki. Kyuri+ (dry sake, casis syrup, strawberry, lime juice) is appointed as the place’s signature cocktail. What caught our eyes, was that instead of using traditional shot glass, they make their own using kyuri (Japanese cucumber)

    For us, sashimi and Kyuri+ is a classic combination! Imagine steak and Shiraz! Meanwhile, Gintoki (gin, sake, elderflower syrup, lemon juice) is slightly more aromatic with the acid from lemon juice and distinct elderflower aroma. We recommend you to pair it with heavier tasting dishes, like tempura.

    Sake+ also offers some favorite sake cocktails. From Fukiya (dry sake, strawberry fruit, lemon juice) that’s quite populer among women, thanks to its sweeter taste, and then Niwatoko (rum, sake, elderflower, yuzu) that has bright, acidic taste from yuzu, Japanese expatriates really enjoy sour drink, mind you.

    For fans of gentleman’s cocktails, like Old Fashioned or Manhattan, it would be wise to order Young Yakuza (choya, bourbon, cherry). Choya is actually umeshu drink, made of fruit similar to apricot and plum. Along with bourbon, vermouth, and a bit of orange bitters, perhaps Young Yakuza is the most “masculine” drinks of the bunch, and it will be perfectly paired with heavy sauce, such as curry

    With its refreshing taste, sake cocktail can be easily enjoyed by just anyone. You don’t even need to learn about sake to enjoy it, especially if you find the right food pairing. Of course, you can always ask the bartender for the pairing recommendations whenever you’re in doubt. Along with its unique taste, sake cocktail sparked our interest to dig deeper to the world of sake. A topic for next year’s issue, perhaps?

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  • Hakasan
    02/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Oriental’s Liquid Asset

    We understand, Hakkasan can be quite confusing for most people. I mean, the brand originated from London in 2001, it has Japanese sounding name, they serve Cantonese style fine dining cuisine, but when you enter the venue, the atmosphere is akin to a lounge. At least that was our first impression when Hakkasan Jakarta first open its door in February 2019. However, after some bites of their heavenly dim sums, we were convinced it’s one of the best Chinese fine dining restaurants in Jakarta, and now, we know they serve equally good cocktails as well.

    Does the concept works well? As a matter of fact, Hakkasan now has 12 restaurants around the world, from United States, Middle East, India, Asia, Europe, and both London restaurants hold a Michelin star. In Indonesia, Hakkasan also has some sister restaurants that you can’t miss in your Instagram timeline: Omnia Dayclub and Sake no Hana, both are located in Bali. While Hakkasan Jakarta’s modern interpretation of Cantonese cuisine is definitely mouthwatering, we’re going to focus on their seemingly complicated, exotic, yet exciting cocktails.

    To understand the concept behind Hakkasan’s cocktail, we met Niko Idham Kholid, Hakkasan Jakarta’s Assistant Bar Manager. “It was quite difficult in the beginning, as I don’t have any backgrounds in Chinese cuisines, but we keep on working together with the Chefs to create new pairings. We often use some ingredients commonly used in Chinese food in our cocktails, for example Sichuan pepper and Peking Duck fat,” said Niko. The Bar Manager with over 9 years experience added, “The main challenge is, we’re a Chinese restaurant in Jakarta, so we need to create our own cocktails using Chinese elements, along with our unique local ingredients.” We feature 2 of the best cocktails from 3 of Hakkasan’s most popular categories: Character (Hakkasan’s Signature), Only at Jakarta, and Hakkatini Nights.

    The Cocktail Lines

    Hakkatini and The Hakka are the signature cocktails that are available in all Hakkasan’s outlet all over the world. Hakkatini (orange zest infused Ketel One Vodka, Campari, Cointreau, brandy, apple, orange bitters) is a refreshing cocktail that are best enjoyed at the end of aperitif. “Basically, it’s a Martini that we mix with our homemade cloudy apple juice, and of course, we use local ingredients, the famous Malang green apple,” said Niko. The Hakka (Ketel One Vodka, sake, lychee, lime, coconut, passion fruit) has a rather creamy, tropical nature, thanks to ingredients such as homemade coconut milk and passion fruit.

    As the name implies, you can only find the Only at Jakarta cocktails in Indonesia’s capital. And for us, the cocktails: Corn & Pepper and Truffle Bo Luo are the most fun, experimental drinks here. Corn & Pepper (butter washed Bulleit bourbon, brem wine, Sichuan peppercorn shrub, aromatic bitters, wood smoke) is probably the most “masculine” cocktails of the selections. Inspired by Indonesian’s local food “jagung bakar” (roasted corn), you can find buttery notes from the butter washed bourbon and traditional Balinese rice wine “brem”, along with wood smoke. If you like dry wines, you’d enjoy it, and ordering one in front of your friends will definitely take your masculinity to the next level.

    Truffe Bo Luo (truffle oil washed 1800 silver tequila, clarified pineapple, pandan, salt) might be the most pleasantly surprising cocktails on the list. On paper, the savory, deliciously funky aroma of the infused truffle oil and acidic pineapple notes can be unfamiliar, however, after a sip, our doubt vanished. It’s our most favorite drink and if we were to return to Hakkasan, the refreshing Truffle Bo Luo would the first cocktail we’ll have to start the dinner.

    Hakkatini Nights cocktails (basically, Hakkasan’s version of ladies night) is only available every Wednesday from 7.30 pm. Two of the most popular cocktails in the category are Smoked Duck Sazerac and Nangka Martini. Smoked Duck Sazerac (duck fat washed Bulleit rye, smoked vermouth, green tea jasmine shrub, orange and floral bitters) is another example of brave exploration made by Hakkasan’s mixology and culinary team.

    Inspired by the famous Chinese Peking Duck, they took the duck fat, wash it with rye whisky, strain it so we’d end up with the flavor, without the jelly texture of the fat. And to take it one step further, they infused some smoked jasmine tea into it. Again, even though it doesn’t make any sense on paper, the concept works seamlessly.

    Last but not least, Nangka Martini (jackfruit sous-vide Tanqueray gin, pandan nectar, rose water, citrus) would be familiar to most Indonesians, thanks to the jackfruit that we commonly found in Es Teler, and pandan. “Jackfruit is not a common item in a bar, but we want to give you new, unique experience, unforgettable memory. We put the fresh jackfruit into the gin for a day, and then we combine it with fresh lime, sugar, and pandan syrup that has specific sweet smell that is unattainable from regular cane syrup,” explained Niko.

    Even though it might sound complicated, it takes relatively short time to prepare all of these cocktails. “The preparation is definitely more complicated, but in the bar, we can mix it within a minute. It’s the best thing about the current cocktail scene, we have more room for experimental cocktail!” said Niko.

    While Hakkasan is already identical to its Cantonese fine dining cuisine, giving a chance to any of of those 6 cocktail selections will never do you any harm. As a matter of fact, you may thank us later. This is a new journey for those who want to discover the combination of traditional cocktail with Chinese cuisine, and it opens a whole new possibility for another similar fusion of certain cuisine with cocktails.

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  • Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar
    25/10/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Mediterranean Style Seafood

    Of course, we’re no strangers to Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar. We’ve been impressed by their Spanish Salad (fresh lettuce, anchovies, tuna belly, olive, Romesco sauce) and regard it as one of the best salad we had in 2019. Naturally, when we decided to go with Seafood issue this month, we’ve secured some space for Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar, located in DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta into the our list.

    Located on the 3rd floor, the 640m 2-dining venue with indoor, outdoor, including 3 private dining rooms of the modern and casual restaurant offered lavish setting with colorful combination of interior. The fresh atmosphere supports the image of Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar as a place that always serves fresh ingredients with communal style so the visitors can taste many dishes for a complete dining experience.

    Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar is led by Chef Alvaro Bonache Utiel who just joined in October 2018. With over 8 years of culinary experience in Europe and Asia, including in a 1 Michelin starred restaurant, also one of 25 Best Restaurants in Barcelona, Heart Ibiza, a fine dining restaurant located in 5 star hotel in Andorra, as Head Chef of a Mediterranean Restaurant in Grand Kempinski Shanghai. Alvaro brought along his Mediterranean, Spanish, and Italian influence onto Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar

    Regarded as one of the best diet in the world, enjoying Mediterranean cuisine in Sea Grain Restaurant & Bar is not a guilty pleasure. For non-seafood menu, Tomahawk and Beef Tartar in Bone Marrow are the favorites among customers.

    However, seafood is the reason why you should come here. Some interesting seafood dishes are Crab Tacos, Crispy Octopus, Prawn Carpaccio, Salmon Air Waffle, Sardine Stuffed Bun, and Sea Bass Ceviche. It’s an experience like no other, you’d be hard pressed to find similar restaurants in Jakarta.

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  • 19/09/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Excellent Café-ine Den

    The spacious interior of T.One Coffee and Roastery immediately welcomes its customers with a comfy vibe; drinking bar right on front of the entrance and plush sofas mixed with chic steel chairs and wooden tables on the side. The café’s own roasting machine is conveniently placed on its own room behind the seating. The industrial-meets-rustic influence pleasantly intertwines; represented by the quite iconic black-and-yellow-striped pillars and brick wall. You can also opt to enjoy the ambience on its cozy front or second level outdoor areas.

    For the dining menu, there are several selections you can try at T.One Coffee and Roastery; one of the most enticing comes in form of Nasi Goreng Kecombrang; a peculiar (but tasty!) blends of Indonesian-style fried rice with ‘kecombrang’ or torch ginger, creating a strong aromatic and savory flavor in the palate. This plateful of satisfying menu is served along chicken nuggets, pickle and ‘kerupuk’ rice crackers. If you opted for a rather sweet treat, don’t miss the Bailey’s Cake, which, as the name implies, is a creamy, pleasant pastry creation made with a mild mix of titular Bailer’s liquor.

    Delectable dishes aside, T.One is obviously known for their excellent houseblend coffee creations; made from the mix of Bali’s Kintamani, Aceh Gayo and West Java beans. One of our recommendations is their Affogato; two scoops of vanilla ice cream, drowned with shot of hot espresso. The taste is incredibly good; a mixture of soft Arabica with chocolate hint and a bit of acid, combined with creamy sweet melted vanilla ice cream for a heavenly dessert. Try another one of their espresso-based beverage: Espresso Tonic, which blends the deliciously robust hot espresso with fizzling cold sweet-and-sour tonic for a sparky afternoon mood booster.

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  • 31/07/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Verdant Local Flavors

    Seated right on the magnificent valley at the inner side of Sthala Ubud Bali, Sungai Restaurant offers a quaint and memorable all-day dining experience to the guest. The spacious open-air venue serves arrays of delectable Indonesian menus, along with refreshing signature drinks and a scenic panorama of Ubud’s timeless natural beauty.

    For the menu, one should try Sungai’s Treasure of the Sea; which is a type of mini-rijsttafel consisting arrays of tantalizing seafood with authentic Indonesian taste, served along with a portion of plain white rice. Some of traditional-style goodness including Pepes Udang (shrimp), Sate Lilit (fish) to Cumi Bakar (squid) meticulously cooked and best savored together with the hot rice, relished with a dip of tasty Sambal spicy sauce; which also comes in three different alternatives: Bawang, Matah and Merah. They also have a ‘Land’ option which consist selections of beef, chicken, and lamb dishes. If you crave for a more ‘modern’ take of Indonesian treat, try their Pizza Pelalah, which combines the famous Italian tin-crusted dish with ‘Sisit Ayam’ (pulled chicken) as the topping instead of your usual beef or salami. This brilliant combination works perfectly well especially with the addition of melt-y mozza cheese.

    To wrap up your pleasant dinner, we highly recommend trying Dadar Gulung; Indonesian traditional snack which comes in form of soft pandan pancake roll, generously filled with brown-sugar sauce and grated coconut. This sweet and tender dessert is served along with vanilla ice cream for an additional creamy flavor, makes it a perfect snack for your tea-time or after-dine occasion. Last, but definitely not least, wash it all down with a glass of fine, fruity drink to compliment your meal with tropical delight; such as Wos Breeze or Basil Quencher

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  • 31/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Affair of Food & Fashion

    Located in the ground floor of Plaza Indonesia’s atrium, La Moda served wide array of food, from brick oven pizza, pastry products, cake, bread, to tapas and cocktail. In addition, La Moda that’s surrounded by many world-class high-end fashion boutiques, is also a prestigious social place to show your existence, especially in social media. However, in the midst of various international dishes, Indonesian cuisine is still the favorites among La Moda’s customers.

    Designed by Mark Ormsbly Interiors from Singapore, the place has a European piazza inspired-theme with sky ceiling and garden ambience. Do you know any other restaurants that can effortlessly combining food and fashion elements as good as La Moda? Come on, we’ll wait for your answer.

    La Moda was managed by Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel’s management since 2015. The fact should answer your curiosity on why Indonesian cuisines in La Moda is the star.

    You can’t go wrong when you order one of the selected menus that represent a region in Indonesia, but you’d better not miss Buntut Mercon, marinated oxtail cooked in chili and garlic flakes with soup accompaniment.

    And then, our favorite, Iga Bakar La Moda, grilled marinated rib with peanut sauce served with warm rice and soup. When you have a restaurant that uses the place’s name on the menu, we always assume that’s their best shot to represent the brand. Iga Bakar La Moda didn’t disappoint with its tender texture, super rich flavor, and fine dining style presentation. In the future, if we visit other places that serve iga bakar, we’ll use Iga Bakar La Moda as standard. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like it!

    Another menu that’s also a favorite here is Kambing Bakar, lamb leg grilled in coconut charcoal, soy sauce with chili served with warm rice. We know, as opposed to the more common chicken and beef, lamb is not for everyone, but a lamb fan shouldn’t miss this menu. With generous portion, we didn’t even need a knife just to cut this tender lamb, any regular spoon and fork will do.

    Of course, it’s impossible to discuss Indonesian food without mentioning its street food. La Moda serves some modern rendition of “jajan pasar” such as Kue Pancong and Baked Klepon. La Moda’s Kue Pancong is a street style kue pancong made with quality ingredients. If you never like a kue pancong before, perhaps it’s time to give the menu a second shot. Baked Klepon is a modern version of klepon with the melting Lava Cake style presentation, served with palm sugar ice cream. It’s a fresh new presentation and texture from the old klepon we always know and love.

    There are many more Indonesian dishes, or other international menus that are worth trying for. However, it’s actually quite satisfying when you know most of Plaza Indonesia’s visitors that are mostly A+ society, prefer Indonesian cuisines to La Moda’s international dishes. If you order any of the aforementioned menus, it’s actually not difficult to understand the reason why.

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  • 31/07/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Representing What’s Best from The East

    Eastern Opulence is situated on the corner of Jalan Cipaku, near to what some people would call as the trinity of Jakarta’s gourmet streets – Senopati, Gunawarman, and Wolter Monginsidi. The neighborhood is home for many foodie haunts, from street food to upscale restaurants. Among the latter, is Eastern Opulence with its wide offerings of Indonesian and Asian dishes.

    Flaunting its whitewashed exterior and the numerous windows, it becomes more glamorous once you’re heading deeper inside. Marbles, columns, a grand staircase, aristocratic dining tables and chairs, and the attendance of many waiters and waitresses are the welcoming theme of this restaurant. The restaurant can house to more than a hundred diners even on the first floor. Heading up, you will be witnessing the opulent private rooms, all color coded and each representing the name of a jewel.

    The grand menu is developed by the young and talented Chef Kevin Zhu. Trained since the tender age of 16, the chef honed his skills further at a prominent culinary school and by delving deeper into New Zealand’s gourmet food scene. There’s a level of sophistication and cleverly intertwined elements between modern techniques and Indonesian influences from his dishes here. That clearly came from his years of experience abroad and his love for Indonesian food.

    Heading straight to the main course section in the menu, one can see that the chef employs various modern cooking processes by using premium ingredients. For instance, the 12-hours, slowly cooked Australian beef tongue with green chili sambal. My personal favorite would be the sous-vide Australian lamb rack grilled to medium-well temperature and glazed with spicy kecap manis, Balinese sambal matah, and serundeng. Other than these two, savor also the flavors of charcoal-grilled oxtail or the wagyu cubes with black pepper sauce, and many more.

    From the poultry section, it is recommended to choose the delicate Bebek Betutu - duck’s leg braised in 20 types of herbs and spices and topped with sambal matah. The Lollipop Chicken Salt and the Salted Fish Crispy Kailan would also serve well as the accompaniments. The latter is a unique combination of crisply fried kailan leaves, the mild texture from cooked stems, and salted fish.

    With its extravagant look, it is no wonder that Eastern Opulence also becomes a perfect venue for events such as weddings or even fashion shows. On a personal level, it’s also a place for give a special treat for your loved ones or a perfectly amicable family dinners. After all, Indonesian food is best when eaten together and Eastern Opulence has many things to share with you for that.

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  • 31/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Representing Indonesia

    If you were to entertain expatriate guests who want to have a taste of Indonesian cuisine, where will you take them? It’s quite challenging question since we have so many restaurants that serve regional local food, such as Padang, Sunda, Betawi, but not too many serve authentic Indonesian food in general. The second issue, most of these places are not convenient. However, since 2007, Bunga Rampai has gathered the best of Indonesian dishes into a representative Indonesian fine dining restaurant.

    Bunga Rampai is a brand from Pakis Culinary, a culinary group that specializes in Indonesian cuisine with their extensive brands. With rich mixed cultural heritage of its owners, from Dutch, Chinese, to Indonesian (of course), Pakis Culinary tries to recreate the home-style dishes from their childhood.

    It all began from Waroeng Kita in 2000, located Plaza Senayan and served Indonesian street food. The use of the name “Waroeng Kita” is a visionary step from Pakis, as at the time, Indonesia was mad about everything western culture, including the name of the restaurant.

    Pakis’ journey proceeded to Dutch colonial’s inspired theme, Kembang Goela, along with Dutch’s dishes such as croquette, bitter ballen and poffertjes, and then Meradelima which displays Indo Chinese peranakan cuisine. Their latest project, Seia is a modern rendition of Indonesian cuisine.

    Bunga Rampai offers Indonesian cuisine from Sabang to Merauke with a luxurious, rustic fine dining setting, in a Dutch building that was built in early 1900s. The legend said that the building was used as a meeting point for independence fighters back in the 1930’s.

    As one of historical spot, Bunga Rampai wasn’t allowed to alter the façade of the building. However, it doesn’t stop them from innovating, they turned the backyard into 3 storey buildings. The total renovation was conducted in 2014 and it stopped the operational activities of the place for 9 months.

    As a result, every storey in Bunga Rampai has its own very Instagrammable interior theme! Bunga Rampai used to THE visited by older generations, over 40 years old, but nowadays, you can find any millennials to expatriates hanging out here. Bunga Rampai is also frequently used to host private events, such as bridal shower, baby shower, wedding receptions, to culinary festivals.

    Some of the favorite appetizers here are Kembang Pacar (deep fried prawn wrapped in spring roll sheet with chili mango sauce) and Selada Menteng (carrot, cucumber, apple, pineapple, cherry tomato, lettuce served with deep fried boiled egg and sweet sour peanut sauce).

    For the main course, Nasi Buketan (steamed aromatic pandanus served with diced omelette, beef skewer, galangal, and turmeric fried chicken, potato and shrimp light curry, corn fritter, sweet soya bean cake fritter, served with chili bilimbi fruit peanut sauce and shrimp crackers) is the talk of the town, along with Konro Bakar (grilled back rbs with sweet soya sauce served with nasnaran mandarin, caramelized shallot and chili sauce) and Gurame Pesmol (deep fried battered gourami in sweet sour turmeric candle nut sauce with cucumber, carrot, green bird eye chili and shallot). Kue Pancong (baked riceflour with chimera coconut and coconut milk, served with durian compote, and palm sugar sauce) is an updated version of the traditional kue pancong that you can see in streets’ food stalls.

    The menus in Bunga Rampai were designed as sharing menus, it’s no wonder if you’ll have very generous portion. They also offer Indonesian set menu options, traditional fine dining style based on special request that catters 30 people minimum. So if you have any VIP guests from abroad, now you know the best restaurant to represent Indonesia.

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  • 31/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Elevated Street Food

    At the moment, we have many 5 star hotels that give special attention to Indonesian cuisine, however, Grand Hyatt is willing to take the extra step through one of his outlet, Grand Café. If previously it was known as a place that served international cuisine, on May 2018 Grand Café was relaunched, after the full renovation process that took 4 months, with strong local influence.

    There are times when street food and 5 star hotel fool was an antonym. “It seems that we didn’t have too many 5 star hotels that are serious about local food. Many people love street foods, but they want to dine in a more convenient, clean place, finally they go to hotels,” said Susanto, Grand Café’s Chef de Cuisine.

    For research purpose, Grand Café’s culinary team never hesitate to visit the origin place of the street food to understand it’s true flavor. “We want authentic street food. I’ve had Sate Maranggi in Purwakarta, while it tasted really good, the beef was quite chewy. Here, we use Australian tenderloin to achieve the tenderness. We’re always into getting the same flavor, but using better quality ingredients,” explained Susanto.

    Authentic Taste

    Sop Buntut (Oxtail Soup) is definitely an icon in Grand Café. It’s a bold move, as we already had another 5 star hotel that’s already famous for the same menu. “Why we chose Sop Buntut? Just ask the customers, whose Sop Buntut is better? We’re very confident our Sop Buntut is the best. The statement came not from us, but from the guests. Whether it’s our regular or old customers, they keep coming back for Sop Buntut,” said Susanto.

    Furthermore, Susanto explained that Grand Café only uses the best ingredients, from the local spices, to the imported beef. “We use Australian oxtail because the local ones are too small,” he added.

    In a day, Grand Café can make up to 100 kg of oxtail as the menu is also available in its buffet. “During lunch time, if Grand Café is at full capacity, around 200 people, we use 80 kg of oxtail, not to mention the dinner and ala carte,” Susanto stated. To get that distinctive clear, umami soup, Grand Café employs the slow cooking method. “We spend 4 hours just to make Sop Buntut because we use low flame,” he added.

    Aside from Sop Buntut and Sate Maranggi, no one seems to dislike Mie Ayam (chicken noodle). Once again, Grand Café walks the extra miles to recreate one of the most common street foods. “We make our own noodle using lamian technique. We also cook the chicken for 1 hour with low heat. And then, we make our own meatball broth using beef bone and striploin trimming,” said Susanto. 

    For the Indonesia’s traditional salad Rujak, they use familiar ingredients such as sweet potato, peanut, tamarind, shrimp paste, brown sugar, cucumber, starfruit, pineapple, but Grand Café also use pomelo as a twist that you rarely see in the street. 

    On the trending Indonesian cuisine, Susanto has his own perspective. “Food trend tends to be cyclical and repeat itself. In the 80’s we knew Bubur HI. In 90’s. when our tourism was booming, we have many expatriates that highlight western foods. Usually, the cycle last around 5-10 years,” he explained.

    It’s difficult to discuss about taste in printed media. Don’t just believe the customers’ testimonials and Susanto’s claim. You need to see it for yourself to check the truth about the flavor. One thing for sure, enjoying the common street food that was made with 5 star hotels approach is definitely an inspiring experience.

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  • 23/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    New Wave Jamu

    The place offered brewing method options, from the most intense Rok Presso, French Press, to the mildest one, V60. They even have espresso machine Rancilio, Mahlkonig grinder, and Gene Coffee Roaster. Everything sounds common (and expensive, of course), but when you know they sell jamu, it’s a whole different story. 

    Acaraki was started when Jony Yuwono, the owner, felt that jamu is moving away from its root in this modern day, as medicine. Acaraki is actually a term used to call a person who prepares jamu, similar to barista in coffee industry. Since established in 2018, Acaraki introduced jamu as lifestyle drink, akin to coffee and tea, along with its derivative business models. Adopting the third wave coffee shop concept, Acaraki claim itself as Jamu New Wave. “I want people not just hanging out at coffee shop, but to kedai jamu as well,” said Jony.

    Jony was inspired to build Acaraki when he was hanging out in some coffee shops. “I often conducted small surveys while having cups of coffee. People know jamu is healthy, but most of them admitted they don’t drink it. 70% said jamu is bitter, 20% is not drinking because for them, the ingredients are unclear, the rest 10% is having difficulty in finding it. To me, the 70% majority is interesting, because if you say jamu is bitter, so does coffee, how come coffee is trending?”

    As opposed to coffee industry that has fixed standards and regulations (which you can always break, of course), for example making espresso, jamu doesn’t have any rules. Every factory, even individual “mbok jamu” can make their own version of kunyit asam without involving themselves in endless debate with a bunch of jamu fanatics (if there’s any?). Setting its own standard, that’s what exactly Acaraki is doing.

    Third Wave Coffee’s Approach

    As opposed to other kedai jamu which offers many variants of jamu, Acaraki’s exploration is focused on 2 of the most popular ones: beras kencur (rice & kaempferia galanga) and kunyit asam (turmeric & tamarind), but they’re available in various brewing methods. “Some might say we have too few jamu variants, but when you come to a coffee shop and see many menus such as americano, latte, affogato, or cappuccino, they’re basically just variants of one product, coffee. Meanwhile we have 2 products,” said Jony.

    Acaraki believes every region produces rice, kaempferia galangal, turmeric, and tamarind with certain notes, exactly like single origin coffee. “We’re not promising any health benefits, what we can guarantee is the integrity and honesty of ingredients from production process to the brewing method. What are the ingredients in jamu beras kencur? Rice and kaempferia galangal. Kunyit asam? Turmeric and tamarind. The method? Just boil it. For so long, jamu has been very open about its ingredients. But what are the ingredients of X (naming one of the most popular modern jamu)? How do they produce it? They’ll say, it’s secret,” stated Jony.

    Along 3 manual brewing methods, Acaraki doesn’t limit itself in its creative process. They also have other “modern” creation, such as Saranti (beras kencur, creamer, milk, and sugar), Dutch Jamu (cold drip method for 8 hours), Golden Sparkling (kunyit asam, sugar, soda) and Rigalize (beras kencur, sugar, soda).

    Ingredients from each region are dried using the fluid bed dryer method, and then, to add flavor, Acaraki also roasts them. When they have order, the roasted ingredients will be ground using coffee grinder, and then brewed using many methods. “We adopt coffee brewing methods, but it doesn’t mean without any further research. In the beginning, we try to brew using espresso machine, the extraction took very long time. We hope we can give inspiration to others, who knows we’ll have other kedai jamu that serves bajigur, bandrek, wedang uwuh, and many other regional drinks,” Jony explained.

    Saranti is our favorite. This Beras kencur brewed using espresso machine and then they add milk, creamer, and sugar doesn’t taste like jamu, at all. Thanks to the roasting process that gives it nutty aroma that reminds us of hazelnut. If you add bobba, the milennials won’t even recognize they’re actually drinkin a glass of jamu! Then when we tried kunyit asam V60, we swore we smell the aroma of mustard. Suddenly it reminded us of burgers that exploits lots of mustard.

    The New Wave Jamu is opening many possibilities in the future. The business can be built vertically by aiming certain target markets, from bubble tea format, the trending es kopi susu, and café format like the tea brand from Singapore. “We can also develop it horizontally, by introducing more jamu variants. There’s so many potentials, why not?” asked Jony.

    With third wave coffee approach, Acaraki uses the true and tried business model, along with its equipments, in the coffee industry for jamu products. Even though they only have one outlet, Acaraki is currently preparing to open its second outlet in Kemang, around mid July 2019.

    Lately, we’re kind of concerned about the growth of ice coffee milk trend that start to become saturated. Even though they exploit cute name for the brands and products, basically they’re selling the same product, also in similar price range. When these players are having the natural selection process, perhaps going for this New Wave Jamu direction is a rational choice, at least, they already had similar equipments. In addition to Indonesian’s burning nationalism spirit in culinary industry, we’re waiting for an era where kedai jamu can stand head to head to coffee shop.

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  • Suwe ora Jamu
    23/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Past and Future of Jamu

    In the past, jamu was part of people’s life. From the tradition of consulting about your own health to mbok jamu before she made you the jamu mix, or just to maintain health. Now, the jobs were pretty much replaced by modern medicine that’s more heavily marketed. However, Suwe Ora Jamu reminds us of our ancestor’s cultural heritage, along with the new and exciting modern format.

    Suwe Ora Jamu was established by Nova Dewi Setiabudi and Uwi Mathovani in 2013. “In 2011, I moved to Jakarta from Surabaya, and actually I was in graphic design business. At the time, I was having a hard time finding jamu. I wondered, why do Jakartans don’t drink jamu? There are many reasons, from those who see jamu as medicine, the taste is awful, afraid of its negative side effects,” Nova recalled.

    As someone who was born in Solo and attached to the jamu tradition, her longing for jamu took shape as Suwe Ora Jamu, the first modern jamu cafe in Jakarta. “In the beginning we called it Jamu Café and Coffee. We want to introduce jamu as healthy lifestyle drink, of course you need extra effort and time to change people’s mindset about jamu. It’s tough if we should solely claimed it as jamu coffee, because it was proven that many people started to get interested in jamu through our spice coffee,” explained Nova.

    Initially, Suwe Ora Jamu introduced 5 jamu variants: kunyit asam (turmeric tamarind), (rice kaempferia galangal), wedang jahe (ginger water), rosella, and reeds. “We deliberately served lighter tasting, sweet jamu so it can be enjoyed more easily, but along the way, we introduced its original taste that’s not too sweet. Sometimes we even make out mocktail jamu using many vegetables and fruits that don’t reduce the health benefits,” said Nova.

    Even though it’s closely associated with health benefits, Nova Dewi doesn’t see jamu as medicine. “To me drinking jamu is prevention, meanwhile you take medicine when you’re already sick. Therefore, in my family, jamu means jagalah dirimu (take care of yourself), even though the word came from ancient Java language that means jampi usodo (prayer for health),” said Nova. We don’t have any medical record on jamu’s health benefits, but for Nova, her family that rarely got sick is a living proof of jamu’s health benefits. 

    One of Suwe Ora Jamu’s main concerns is about the ingredients, and they try to serve the most natural ones as possible. They sourced the ingredients from Cihaur Village, Sukabumi that employs no pesticide.

    Now, Suwe Ora Jamu’s products have grown into many variants, from bottled traditional jamu, to the house blend tisane jamu with unique names. Let say Seduh Tentrem (fennel, cinnamon root, cardamom, kemangi, clove) that can rebalance organ’s function and as antioxidant, Seduh Anubhawa (lime leaf, white ginger, cardamom, kemangi, lemon peel, lemongrass) that can add stamina and spirit, to other variants such as Seduh Asmara, Seduh Sukma, Seduh Prana, Seduh Anigmaya, Seduh Tiyasa, and Seduh Jelita.

    For the first time visitors, Sapta Sari is the best choice. 7 jamu variants is served in shot glasses consist of beras kencur, kunyit asam, wedang jahe, sari jamu sehat, reeds, rosella & green tamarind. Suwe Ora Jamu also serves local favorites such as Bubur Kacang Hijau, Bubur Ketan Hitam, Tahu Sumedang Isi Sayuran, Singkong Goreng, Tempe Mendoan, Pisang Goreng, Mie Goreng Tek Tek, Nasi Nusantara, and many other traditional foods.

    With interior and ornament that reminds us of our childhood, Suwe Ora Jamu presents the nostalgia, also the future of the jamu sale’s format in modern era. If we always see coffee and tea and lifestyle drink, why don’t you give our ancestor’s legacy a shot here? With lighter taste and many modern renditions, we guess millennials won’t have a hard time adapting with the taste of jamu here.

    The good news is, even though Suwe Ora Jamu’s outlets were located Petogogan, Warung Jati, Alun-Alun Indonesia, and Salihara, their products are also available in modern retail markets such as Ranch Market, Gelael, some restaurants in Jabodetabek, Surabaya, and Bali, to the modern apps like Go Food. It seems that you need to visit Suwe Ora Jamu’s Instagram (@suweorajamu28) for further information, along with some jamu workshops for those who want to know jamu better.

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  • The Pancake Co
    15/07/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    The Pancake Co. by DORÉ, The Rise of Japanese-style Pancakes

    Good food is the reason to explore Plaza Senayan these days, especially the lower levels of it. Traditionally here, people are going upstairs for the renowned food court and the shopping mall’s signature restaurants. Downstairs, a gourmet supermarket has many other things aside from its goods and the foreigners visiting it. As a foodie, it’s a playground full of wonders to explore.
    The Pancake Co. by DORÉ resides within the area of the supermarket, at a lot once rented by several curated shops. The name DORÉ it self came from DORÉ by LeTAO, which has been known for the past four years for its successful cheesecake business in Jakarta. Last November, the management decided to venture into new terrain and The Pancake Co. by DORÉ opened just a couple of months back.

    You might think that it’s another pancake shop but quite surprisingly, it isn’t. Unlike the American-style pancake - flat, floury, and with flavors coming from the toppings only, this one is the total opposite. But before you can taste one to see the difference, a friendly word of advice, you need to build up your patience to wait for 20 minutes of cooking preparations.

    The dough needs to be shaped into thick circle over the grill pan and then cooked evenly. It is in contrast with the usual flat pancake we have been very familiar with. Currently, you can choose over four types of toppings to accompany the pancake here. Ask for the original that has vanilla ice cream, maple syrup, and nama cream. There are options also for chocolate lovers and those who want to enjoy fruits with it.

    Once served, it is recommended for you to enjoy the pancake immediately. Its fluffy consistency cannot be retained for long and will quickly shrink in just under 5 minutes. So, unlike the usual floury pancake, The Pancake Co. by DORÉ’s version has the souffle-like texture that’s both spongy and creamy. DORÉ’s specialization in anything cheese makes it possible to create a formula that has a lot of flavors offered inside. Add a bit of ice cream or maple syrup if you will, but personally, I like it just the way it is!

    Heading to other parts in the menu, The Pancake Co. by DORÉ offers all-day brunch dishes. Among those that are recommended are the Spiced Eggs Benedict with beef and chicken bacon or Emmental Cheese Toast using brioche and served with the house specialty corn soup, perfect also for dipping. The Chicken Quesadillas proved to be a decent sharing menu and served with homemade sour cream, guacamole, and mango salsa.

    As for the main course, the Classic Carbonara is a must-have, especially because it’s complemented with onsen egg and the luxuriously smoky, sliced Scarmorza cheese. Another must-have would be the garlic fried rice topped with steak, onsen egg, and a drizzle of truffle oil. And for the desserts, you can always opt to have sliced cheesecakes - courtesy of DORÉ by LeTAO.

    Described as a happy and lively place, The Pancake Co. by DORÉ would be a worthy visit if you are planning to have your daily dose of pancakes with your loved ones and enjoying European-style brunch dishes with Japanese touch. Come prepared for the waiting list and the 20-minute wait for its unique souffle pancake. But need not worry because not far in the future, The Pancake Co. by DORÉ will open another outlet. Can’t wait for that!

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  • mandarin oriental
    02/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Make French Great Again

    One of the most challenging things about running a French bistro resides in the mind of the customers. Although it was closely associated with fine dining, thanks to its reputation (and Michelin Guide, of course), French also has their own everyday food, like the one displayed by Lyon, located in 5 star hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Jakarta.

    “Lyon is not a fine dining restaurant, it’s a gastronomic bistro where we serve quality food in a casual ambience, at gentle price. Because of our location in a prestigious 5 star hotel, people often think it’s fine dining,” said Edi Tan, Lyon’s Chef de Cuisine.

    The name of the bistro came from French’s capital gastronomic, Lyon. In 1935, Curnonsky, one of the most celebrated writer in gastronomy, even regarded the city as “the world’s capital gastronomy”. Lyon is also linked to Chef Paul Bocuse, the pope of French cuisine who has his main restaurant “L’auberge du Pont de Collonges” in Lyon.

    “French cuisine is all about flavor and respect of ingredients. In this cuisine, the quality of fresh ingredients hold crucial part, our job as chef is to bring out the best flavors and elevate the original ingredients, without overdoing it neither. The natural flavor should still stand out. It’s like a symphony of an orchestra, every single ingredient that are presented in a plate holds important role, everything is carefully thought through,” explained the young chef.

    “From the source of protein, the side dish, the sauces, everything is thought through to create a harmonious dish. Sauce also plays important role in French cuisine, it takes a lot of time and effort to create a good sauce. Sauce is what link all of the ingredients in the plates became harmonious together,” Edi added.

    If Indonesians are famous for putting chili sauce in almost all of the dishes, French is known for their love of dairy products, be it butter, cream, or cheese. In fact, dairy products are the 2nd largest agrifood industry in France, right after meat. France is the 2nd biggest producer of dairy products in Europe, especially from Britanny and Normandie region. France is also ranked as 1st exporter of soft cheeses. There are many different varieties of French cheese and every different region has their own specialty. “Every family meal in France are normally ended with cheese, so we can imagine the quantity that is consumed,” said Edi

    It’s no wonder that French embraces the frequent use dairy products in their cuisine. “For instance, cream is used a lot in soup and sauces for balancing the flavor and bring out the right consistency. Butter in everything, they believe everything is always better with butter! Butter makes the dish more gourmet and flavorful,” he added.

    Edi Tan displayed the flavor balance concept throughout Lyon’s menu. For starters, he served Buffalo Mozzarella, a very simple, refreshing menu consisted of fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar. It’s as if the chef let the ingredients “speak” for themselves. And then we had Brie de Meaux, from Meaux region, a definitely cheese lover heaven. Served on crispy baguette, mixed greens and truffle vinagraitte, the menu is an absolutely recommended to understand why French love their cheese so much.

    Of course, you can’t go to a French bistro without mentioning the Classic Onion Soup, a heartwarming menu to remind you that French is not all about fine dining. For the dessert, we had the CITYBaked Lemon Tart. Actually, we thought it’s “just a regular” lemon tart, it was not too sweet, had the pronounced tangy, acidic, refreshing lemon. We took a bite, and the only moment we stopped, was when we realize the plate was already clean. Seriously addictive! Thanks to the Edi’s flavor balance concept. Some other must try main courses here are Pan Seared Foie Gras and Striploin with Café De Paris sauce for meat eaters, or Dover Sole Meuniere for fish lover.

    “We also propose weekly business lunch set menu for Rp 220.000. Our menu changes every week, here I play more with my creativity in the dish and I put more contemporary twist,” said Edi. “In Jakarta, the trend is unpredictable and keeps fluctuating. Jakarta people always want to try something new, one moment French cuisine is a trend, and it changes rapidly. That’s why we also keep evolving with our menu. We change our business lunch every week, our brunch menu every month, so people have choices. French cuisine is related to fine dining, like it’s an occasional meal, while it’s not, it’s very accessible for everyone, and you can enjoy it anytime,” he added.

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  • 02/07/2019 - Billianto bagus 0 Comments
    Garden of Gastronome

    As a restaurant brand, METIS is one of the most iconic names on the island which often associated with ‘luxury dining’ and it’s easy to see the reason why. Not only meticulous selections of French-Mediterranean induced menus, the venue also boasts elegant interior design which deliberately mixes contemporary French architecture with local influences.

    METIS solid architectural structure provides a warm ambience of semi-alfresco dining concept that overlooks a stunning view of tropical garden. The U-shape patio comprises 160 seats with outdoor areas that allow guests to enjoy a romantic under-the-stars dining setting, and can cater up to 100 guests for their private event; family gatherings, cocktail party to corporate meetings. 

    For those who seek exquisite taste of French-Mediterranean, METIS is a definite place to-go. The menus are made from high-standard ingredients by Bali’s prolific culinary maestro Nicolas ‘Doudou’ Tourneville and his talented kitchen team. For a starter, Trio Tartare is a great choice; three chic portion of fresh seafood goodness rich in topping to create a creamy, salty and sweet masterpiece to tease your appetite. For a sharing-plate type of delight, try Mediterranean Meze; a vibrant portion of tasty bites with exotic names; such as hummus, tzatziki, tabbouleh, falafel, halloumi cheese, baba ghanoush, and many more. The generous size means it can easily cater up to three people at once.

    If the appetizer selections are already impressive, the main menu of METIS is on another level altogether. We recommend trying the Short Ribs “Persillade”; a portion of tender, fall-off-the-bone, enormous Australian organic grass-fed beef with tantalizing blends of cannellini bean ragout; it is a satisfying treat for your grand dinner occasion. Or, you may order one of METIS latest menus; Le Lagouse “Frites” Lobster; whole lobster grilled to perfection with spicy-creamy sauce and crunchy French fries on side, best savored with a sprinkle of lemon. It’s the kind of exquisite food that will leave you wanting more and more. To wrap it all up, have a portion of Millefeule; crispy French-style pastry with sweet and sour blend of tasty goodness consisting layers of crushed organic strawberry and pistachio nuts. About 60% of METIS menu are made using dairy products, but they are more than willing to adjust with what the customers need.

    Pair your lovely dine with METIS special beverages; such as Spicy Mule—a strong ginger-based cocktail with a hint of spicy kick, served cold on the rocks, or The Fog; which features a refreshing tropical fruity flavors to cherish Bali’s beautiful summer ambience.

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  • Vin + seminyak
    02/07/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Seminyak’s Tropical Oasis

    Overtaking VIN+ dining venue, Botanica turns the interior into a verdant tropical garden; with green tone that comes from the blend of natural indigenous plants and decoration’s pallet. The Air-Conditioned open-courtyard dining space and foliage setting provides cozy atmosphere for people to dine or simply enjoy their quaint me-time with a glass of refreshing drinks.

    The menus of Botanica consist of modern Australian with an emphasis on ethically sourced, local Indonesian produce. To start your dine session, a portion of Burrata is a must; fresh Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The solid mozzarella outer shell blends perfectly with stracciatella cream filling; giving it an unusual soft, full-bodied creamy texture which pleasantly melts on your palate. Then for the main menu, Rib Eye is a recommended treat for a feast; 300gr juicy, rump beef rib eye medium-grilled to perfection, best enjoyed with creamy mushroom puree and fresh vegetables on side.

    After finishing your main menu, don’t leave without trying one of Botanica’s favorite dessert; Crème Brulee. Chef Brenton Banner certainly put all of his expertise to create a fresh representation of the sweet treat we all know and love. Instead of using the usual bowl of crème, topped with crunchy caramel, the Australian Executive Chef deconstructs the menu and gorgeously reassembles them in a plate for an elevated look and taste. The lemon sorbet provides great touch to wrap the whole flavor with icy sweet-meets-sour delight.

    During our visit, we take our chance to skip the wine and try Botanica’s signature beverage, the Zespri Cooler; an amazing blend sizzling concoction made of vodka, strawberry, lime and kiwi. Brilliantly refreshing!

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    02/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Your Friendly Neighborhood

    Since the booming in 2015-2016, Kelapa Gading’s coffee shop scene has been the talk of town by many coffee experts. With such vast growth of number, even, too vast, they worry that the number of customers in the region will be far left behind. However, we believe, there’s still space for newcomers, as long as they come up with strong concept, like the new Copper Club which just opened its door in July 2018.

    Copper Club was found by Calvin Widjaja, who got interesting challenge from his parents. “I had a plan to open a coffee shop for quite a while, then my parents challenged me do it. Of course, I gather some courage and make something different,” said Calvin.

    As opposed to most coffee shops in Kelapa Gading that tend to meet customers’ demand, Calvin tried to introduce lighter roast coffee. “Most people in Kelapa Gading prefer bold, stronger coffee, but we believe light roast coffee is the way to go to showcase the flavor of its origin. Actually such concept is quite common in South Jakarta, but in North, we only have a few. In addition, we also provide 4-5 coffee origins for manual brew, it can be from local roaster, or the one we brought from abroad,” said Calvin. Copper Club offers 2 manual brewing methods: V60 and Kalita Wave. “We love their clarity and flavor,” he added.

    Fruity, floral, acid, if you prefer such coffee, you’ll have a good time in Copper Club. At least that’s what we tasted when we had the Ethiopia Guji coffee, roasted by Modest Man. “ Our consideration in choosing roaster is based on our vision. We want to introduce single origin specialty coffee that showcase the flavor, so we’re looking for roasteries that shared similar vision from their products,” said Calvin.

    So far, Copper Club has been fond of bean from Modest Man, Nagadi, and they’ll have Common Grounds’ Flora Technica soon. By now, coffee lovers should be able  to expect what sort of coffee they’ll have here. “I got the information about roasteries mouth to mouth. We have a solid coffee shop community in Kelapa Gading, we often share information,” he explained.

    Homey Atmosphere

    One of our reasons why we came here (along with many other Copper Club visitors) is the people’s post on Instagram. As soon as we know that it was located far from the main road, we thought, it’s a nice place to hangout while discussing urgent matters, such as Game of Thrones’s ending, or MCU phase 4’s prediction, perhaps? The place’s first floor wasn’t altered too much from its original design to get that homey and rustic ambience, while the second floor that’s filled with white element, is designed more as coworking space.

    “We deliberately offer both concept so customers won’t get bored. The idea was to provide neighborhood coffee shop for the locals and Kelapa Gading residents. It’s tough to get similar vibe if we’re located in shophouse,” explained Calvin.

    Along with specialty coffee, Copper Club also offers some favorite drinks, such as Mashed Avo Coffee (signature avocado blend and coffee) and Copper Coffee (the trendy ice coffee milk with brown sugar). Meanwhile for the food, some of their recommendations are Club Lamb Burger, Club Aglio Olio, and our favorite, Quesadilla with fresh tomato salsa.

    In the midst of neck and neck competition in Kelapa Gading, Copper Club offers different concept. With their courage to go against the mainstream by offering fruity coffee and homey interior, if you think the coffee shop scene in Kelapa  Gading is already saturated, perhaps you need to rethink.

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  • Blue alley
    24/05/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    French Brasserie in Kelapa Gading

    Growing up in Kelapa Gading, I couldn’t believe I had a really, really hard time thinking when a friend asked me a recommendation of proper restaurant for candle light dinner in the area. After contemplating for almost 30 minutes, I gave up, “why don’t you look elsewhere? Let’s say, Senopati perhaps?” That was back in 2014, now Kelapa Gading has more new modern, ambience-based restaurants here, like the new Bleu Alley Brasserie.

    Whenever we talk about Kelapa Gading as food destination, you’d immediately think about bakmie, chinese food, seafood, ramen, or kopitiam. Thus, the idea of opening a French brasserie in Kelapa Gading might sound like a radical idea, even for the Bleu Alley’s Executive Chef, Hendry Ramaly Hutama.

    “I’ve been living here (Kelapa Gading) since 1996. I love Gading! I hate Gading! It seems like people here come to restaurant merely for the food, they don’t really care about the dining experience. I know we’re going against the stream, however, there’s always first time in everything,” said Hendry.

    At first, Hendry has been known as the founder of Maison Bleu Centre of Culinary Art that was established in 2015. In the beginning of 2019, they moved to a bigger place which will be the home of Maison Bleu, Bleu Alley Brasserie (and boulangerie, soon), and Elise (their future project, involving Indonesian progressive cooking).

    “We had an internship program for our students, but we had some issues. Most places are willing to hire internship students for 6 months minimum, without salary, meanwhile, we only require students to work for 240 hours, which can be translated into 1,5 – 2 months work period. Finally, we decided to open our own restaurant to help students with their internship program,” Hendry explained.

    Hendry realized that running a restaurant in a highly competitive area like Kelapa Gading is already a difficult task, let alone introducing the unfamiliar French brasserie concept. “I’ve seen many restaurants that are successful in other places closed down when they open their outlet here. Kelapa Gading market is really unpredictable, that’s why we put extra effort and passion in everything. Actually, our food cost suffers a little bit in order to gain more customers,” he added.

    If you think French food is all about fine dining, served in beautiful presentation, but small portion, we’re pretty sure you’re not alone. That’s how most Indonesians see French cuisine in general. On the other hand, Bleu Alley is more to a bistro (or brasserie in French) that serves French’s everyday food. “Why French? Because Maison Bleu’s curriculum is based on Le Cordon Bleu’s. We want students to have real life experience of serving food to actual customers to see their feedback,” said Hendry.

    Brasserie Menus

    “The thing about French food, is that almost all of the ingredients are homemade. We made our own baguette, brioche, croissant, soft roll, even our smoked salmon. Actually, French cooking is very simple, but it took quite a long time. Some dishes even require 3-4 days preparation,” said Hendry.

    Escargot is a definitely staple French brasserie menu. The oven-baked snail is served with butter, pesto, parsley, garlic, wine, and baguette. The idea of eating snail might intimidate you at first, but please, give it a try and thank us later, you’re welcome! And then we have Moules Normandie (baked mussels, aromatic herbs, lemon, white wine, and homemade sourdough) and Le Morue (pan-fried black cod fish served with  sweet potato puree, baby carrot, shitake mushroom and soy ginger broth).

    Bleu Alley also serves Tagliatelle (miso cream & mushrooms) and Boeuf Bourguignon, beef burgundy that requires 48 hours preparation time from the marinade process to sous vide, served with pommes puree, green peas, mushrooms, pearl onion, bacon. The menu is actually very comforting, especially when you enjoy it when it’s cold and raining outside. And of course, it’s not French it serves the classic Confit de Canard (duck confit).

    For the dessert, the recommended menus are Canele and Tarte Tatin. Canele requires 9 hours resting time as it needs natural yeast and it was served with olive oil gelato and coffee creme anglaise. Tarte Tatin is the classic warm apple and caramel tart, served also with the olive oil gelato.

    Hendry understands that for most Indonesians, European food tend to taste relatively more bland compared to Asian cuisine, especially the spicy Indonesian food. It’s a common practise increase the flavor intensity by adding MSG, however, Hendry’s pride as the owner of a culinary school won’t allow him to do so.

    “We’re serving honest food. Our secret is we put more glace de viande onto most dishes. To make regular liquid stock, normally it took around 6 hours, for sauce it could be 12 years. Glace de viande even took longer, until the texture becomes some sort of jelly, very thick. From 20 kg of bones, we end up with only 6 litres of glace de viande. It makes our food cost higher, somehow not everyone understands it,” he said. As a result, we had tastier dishes in almost all of the menus compared to the traditional French cuisine. With the addition of glace de viande and surprisingly affordable pricing, Bleu Alley is trying to make French cuisine available to wider range of audience.

    The dining experience in Bleu Alley slightly changes our perception on French cuisine. Even though people associate it with fine dining, that’s kind of intimidating for some people, the menus served in Bleu Alley Brasserie are surprisingly homey, comforting, and tasty. We understand, a French brasserie in Kelapa Gading might sound strange, but we believe Bleu Alley is one of the hidden gem of the area that deserves a try.

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  • 24/05/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Fusion Without Confusion

    You can’t deny the role of Pizza Hut in introducing pizza to the majority of Indonesian. However, along the years we have more Indonesians traveling abroad and exposed to different styles of pizza: such as Chicago deep dish, Neapolitan, Romana, to the New York Style, as a result, the demand of pizza variety grows larger.

    Dicky Kartono Tjhin, Pizzeria Cavalese’s co-owner, realized it and decided to start his own fusion pizzeria. “I studied culinary and took some sort of diploma in Switzerland. After returning to Jakarta and helped my parents’ trading business, I didn’t think I fit in. In 2014, I learned culinary once again, to a small city in North Italy, Cavalese, to study Italian cuisine, especially pizza,” he recalled.

    Pizzeria Cavalese first opened its door in December 2015 in Sunter, North Jakarta, a quite peculiar location for a restaurant that serves western food. “It was very competitive in South Jakarta. We always think authentic western foods are only available in South or Central, meanwhile in North, there was none, we saw the fact as opportunity,” said Dicky. In February 2019, Cavalese opened its second outlet in Mall Of Indonesia (MOI), Kelapa Gading.

    There 3 major contributors to pizza’s quality: dough, oven, and topping. Even though they claimed themselves as fusion, when it comes to pizza dough, Dicky is strictly traditional. “In Italy we have 2 styles of pizza: Romana pizza that’s thin all over, and Neapolitan pizza that has thicker side, like our pizzas. Even though I applied 100% knowledge I acquired from Italy, I need to make some adjustments because we have different flour specification here. I need more adaptation time to get similar result,” he explained.

    Speaking about oven, MOI’s Pizzeria Cavalese is the first and only (when this article is published) pizzeria that has Moretti Forni Neapolis, one of the most powerful electric oven in the world. With the claim of being able to reach 510o C within short time, we can only wonder about their bill, as they’re located in a commercial mall.

    Fusion Toppings

    The fusion concept is shown in their topping variants that has strong influence from Asia, Indonesia, to India. “The market here prefer more intense, umami flavor. If most Europeans love to keep their pizza simple, like Margherita, Indonesians prefer variants in their toppings. We offer wide range of toppings, from chicken betutu, chicken satay, to masala, as we have manya Indian customers who reside around Sunter and Kelapa Gading. They love our food as we’re very vegetarian friendly,” Dicky added.

    Piedmont is a Cavalese’s signature pizza with cream sauce, mix mushrooms, egg, and truffle oil that gives distinctive aroma. In addition of being the most popular menu, Piedmont has a unique presentation with egg yolk topping that’s very Instagrammable. If you order it without the egg, voila! A vegetarian pizza!

    Chicken Betutu is one of the best selling fusion pizza in Cavalese. We ‘re quite skeptical at first, is it possible to have the spicy Balinese flavor go along with pizza? As we all know, it’s very easy for a fusion concept to become confusion when they don’t know what they’re doing. Our worries vanished as we took some bites, we never imagine we can enjoy cassava leaves and chicken betutu as pizza topping.

    When those 3 pizzas were served, we noticed the dough that has crispy outside but soft inside, we also smelled a distinctive fermented aroma. Most people who are topping minded won’t notice it, but we knew this aroma can only produced through long fermentation process. “We apply the 48 hours, slow fermentation process. So, when we make the dough today, we can use it in the next 2 days. We only use very few yeast to avoid gassy stomach that you often get when you eat pizza,” Dicky explained.

    One of the pleasant surprise came from their pasta menu, Chicken Spaetzli, a North Italian special. The homemade pasta with a bit of caramelization resulted in soft, chewy, and a bit of crust, combined with mushroom sauce and baked chicken. It had familiar taste, yet very warm and comforting. For us, it’s a must try menu in Cavalese.

    izzeria Cavalese broke the urban myth that said that to get proper western food, you need to go to Central or South Jakarta. Even though they have fusion concept, Pizzeria Cavalese is not making a new confusion with their combination of European and Asian. They know what they’re doing, so you can rest assured, and enjoy the menus. Having traditional concept is definitely a safe bet, but once in a while, we need a restaurant that can take us on a journey to a new uncharted place, a restaurant that took the risk and eat it as pizza topping, well... literally.

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  • GIA
    24/05/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Beyond Tradition

    If you’re a foodie living in a Jakarta, the name Gia should be familiar. Since it was established in 2015, Gia has been known as one of the most successful modern Italian restaurant and lounge in capital. Located in Sampoerna Strategic Square with its Italian mid-century architecture, Gia has won “Best Restaurant Design of the Year” from Asia Pacific Design Awards 2015 followed by “Best Hospitality Interior of the Year” from Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards 2015, then “Best International Design of the Year” from Australian Interior Design Awards 2015, and “Best Restaurant” at Taste of Dubai 2019. Gia has also opened its new outlet in Dubai in 2018 and they’re currently preparing for their new osteria concept in Pacific Place that will soon be open for public.

    At the heart of Gia is the native-Tuscan Executive Chef, Tommaso Gonfiantini, who has travelled all around the world to spread his love of Italian food. “Italian is more about ingredients. If you come to Italy, try the classic caprese (salad), just some mozzarella, tomato, basil and drizzle of olive oil, little bit of pepper, that’s it! But we use the tomato that’s picked at the best moment for the harvest, we also use extra virgin olive oil, the best quality. It’s one of the most beautiful things to eat in Italy!” he said.

    ia basically offer the experience of all the cuisine that you can find in Italy. “It’s an Italian (cuisine), contemporary, based from the classic dishes but twisted with contemporary cooking technique, adapted to the local market, since 90% of our customers are Indonesian,” said Tommaso.

    Some modifications are made by Tommaso to suit the local taste, however, mostly it’s about the taste preference. ”First of all, we’re using more chilli. Compared to in Italy, it’s changing completely, but I don’t mind because I believe that one good chef has to be also flexible. As long as my customers enjoy what I’m serving, I’m glad,” he said.

    The Chef added, “you can’t be just straightforward to what you like, your cuisine’s philosophy. Of course, you need to have one idea that you want to go but you have to be also good in adapting to different situations. Here, people love to have more chili in their food. Don’t get me wrong, I love chili, but when you have too much chili, in the end you don’t really actually feel the ingredient. It kicks your mouth but you don’t really feel the difference between good fish and bad fish.”

    he Pizza & PastaTommaso revealed some secrets behind Gia’s pizza. “We’re using imported quality flour, The Italian 00 flour. We also let the proofing process of the dough for one day, without using big quantity of yeast. If someone had gassy stomach after eating pizza, it’s because the action of the yeast, they don’t rest the dough enough. When you rest the dough properly, you’ll have smooth consistency that will make the pizza crispy and thin,” he said.

    Gia is definitely not a pizzeria, so, instead of serving the common pizzas such as Margherita, Gia prefers to serve gourmet pizza. “We use ingredients such as chorizo, salami, homemade sausage, and some premium cheese like burrata, pecorino romano, parmigiano, and gorgonzola. We try to pick the best ingredients available on the market to give customers remarkable dining experience.”

    For the pasta, Gia also displays some of their homemade pasta using the same 00 flour, organic egg, and fresh ingredients. “We have different varieties, but they’re always fresh. I don’t like using frozen products,” Tommaso claimed.

    The highlight in Gia is definitely its signature San Daniele & Burrata Pizza that features San Daniele ham, mozzarella, burrata and basil. Then, we had Spaghetti Al Nero Alle Vongole (black squid ink aglio e olio, clams, tomatoes, chili and mollica), Cavatelli Ai Porcini, Timo e Piselli (homemade cavatelli, porcini mushrooms, pea hummus, stracciatella cheese, thyme),and Risotto Al Nero di Seppia, Salmone in Salsa Rosa (squid ink risotto, baked salmon, pink sauce and rice crackers). For the dessert, Gia recommended Cremoso Al Burro di Arachidi (peanut butter creamy pudding, soft dark chocolate, honeycomb, salty caramel sauce).

    Most Italians we know always brag about their grandmother’s cooking, and Tommaso is no exception. “For tiramisu, I’m using my grandma’s recipe. Nothing special about it, but tiramisu is already good as it is. It’s been deconstructed in so many ways because of the trend, but they don’t last long, the same goes for the trend of sous vide and spherification we had years ago.”

    Chef Tommaso also gave us a little suggestion on how to tell the quality of a restaurant. “Most of the times, the menu is the mirror of the place. Even before tasting the food, I can understand the quality through its menu. The way it’s printed, the words used, misspelled words, and hygiene. As soon as I see the menu, I can tell the personality of the chef, the manager. Menu is like your name card, you gave me your name card in a very respectful way. You also had clean name card, it means you put it in a nice box, you want to give good impression of yourself. Chef is the face of a restaurant, so when I’m presenting my menu, I present myself, I want people to have good impression of myself.”

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  • Pizza Place
    24/05/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    No–nonsense Pizza

    In the 1900s, Italian immigrants introduced Neapolitan pizza to Americans. Of course, when two different cultures collide, acculturation is something inevitable. The same thing when the Chinese brought lamian to Japan, the local people knew it as ramen, meanwhile Italian called it spaghetti. America, or New York, to be specific, finally has its own pizza style that can be seen as the evolution of Neapolitan pizza. The good news is, Pizza Place brought the concept to Indonesia, so you don’t have to pay the expensive flight to New York.

    To get our sources, we often ask for recommendations from people, from foodie, common people, to professional chefs. When we heard the name “Pizza Place” was mentioned over and over by many people, we have to make sure whether it’s an exaggerated talk of the town, or the real thing.

    Our first impression when we visit the place was, “it’s so New York!” The atmosphere and its busy interior reminded us of The Avengers’ (the first one, relax, it’s not an Endgame spoiler!) post-credit scene, when the superheroes were eating in a shawarma restaurant after “The Battle of New York”.

    Pizza Place was found by Zakaria, Angga, and Yogo on 2015. Started from an acrobatic pizza community that sells its pizza in bazaar events, in the middle of 2017 Pizza Place has its first permanent outlet in Como Park, East Kemang. As opposed to its Italian counterpart, New York pizza (basically any American foods) has much larger size, with diameter up to 52 cm. It’s no wonder they sell them per slice with grab and go concept, exactly like New York’s pizzerias.

    Of course, pizza spinning is one of the place’s main attractions. 10 pizza topping variants were available in the display, from the classic Cheese and Pepperoni Slice, to other variants such as Ricotta Pizza, Mushroom Cheese, Anchovies, Beef Bacon Olive, Basil Pesto, Hellboy, Sicilian Square and Special Today, all of them are halal.

    When you chose a pizza that you’d like, the pizzaiolos will reheat it in the oven. As a grab and go place, everything’s going fast here, from the visitor’s traffic to the production process. The whole production; from dough stretching, putting some sauce, toppings, and baking only took them less than 10 minutes.

    if you visit the place, just order their Ricotta Pizza, Hellboy (tomato sauce,jalapeno, salami), or, for a true American experience, the Pepperoni Slice (you just can’t be more American than this). We hear you’re asking, “Didn’t Passion usually starts with Margherita before eyeing other variants?”

    Our dear readers, most of the times we judge using the most basic variants, Margherita (they call it Cheese Slice here) as fit and proper test of a pizza in a restaurant. Because, basically, other pizza variants are just Cheese Slice with the addition of other toppings. As a pizzeria, if their Cheese Slice isn’t good enough, we’re pretty sure Pizza Place won’t survive 4 years of business, they even just opened a new outlet in Kelapa Gading on March 2019

    We don’t always agree with people who gave us restaurant recommendations. But when we have so many people mentioning the same name, we can’t just ignore it. Pizza Place is no nonsense pizzeria, aside from Hellboy, we guess the name of each variant is quite self explanatory of what you’ll have. If you don’t the New York style pizza here, perhaps pizza is not for you. Don’t worry, there are so many interesting food out there.

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  • Ambiente
    24/05/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Better than Your Grandma’s

    We know we’re a F&B magazine, but a little bit of history lesson won’t hurt, right? In fact, Ambiente Ristorante is the first Italian restaurant in Indonesia, established in 1989. Back then, the restaurant and the hotel was managed by Hyatt, but now, we know the place as Aryaduta Hotel, Jakarta.

    “Ambiente is very different than it was back then. It used to be more like formal, fine dining, but 1,5 years ago, we relaunched the concept with bigger, more casual, rustic place, they call it modern industrial Italian. The concept is also reflected in the menu. We’re more to casual, rustic menu with nice plating and big portion, so you can enjoy the food and leave full,” said Matteo Meacci, Ambiente’s Executive Chef.

    If you don’t grow up in Italian house, it’s hard to compare your grandma’s cooking to Matteo’s, obviously. But by saying “Better than your Grandma’s”, we know immediately that Ambiente is trying to stay true to authentic, home style Italian food, that’s arguably the best version of Italian food

    Italy is a small country, but it has long coastline. Therefore, generally people put Italian cuisine into 2 categories: north and south. “For example, the south, Sicilian cuisine is more focused on seafood, with fresh vegetables and olive oil, while the northern cuisine tend to be heavier, with more butter, and beef-based. I was born in Tuscany, that’s why we offer some authentic regional dishes such as Bistecca alla Florentina (T-bone steak) and Zuppa di Pesce (classic, Tuscan style seafood soup),” said Matteo.

    The Chef described Ambiente’s food concept as authentic Italian with modern presentation. “We use some modern cooking technique like sous vide, especially for the chicken. We try to make it not too traditional, or let say, boring like everybody else. We try to innovate a little bit, but at the end of the day, the best Italian food is the authentic one. For me, Italian food is the one you eat at home with your family, the one that your grandma or mother cook for you. When you start doing something too fancy, it’s not authentic anymore, you do something different, but can you call it Italian? I don’t know,” said Matteo.

    The Pizza & Pasta

    If you’ve ever came across a menu that has the same name as the place, that should be your first choice. Ambiente has its signature black dough Ambiente Pizza using charcoal powder. “It’s a Napolitana style but we make it more crispy. The real Napolitana pizza is not crispy at all, it’s bready, soft and I found that Asian market doesn’t really appreciate that kind of pizza. Traditionally. Napolitana pizza is baked at 400-430o C in just 60-90 second. Very fast, it doesn’t have the time to crisp. That’s why we cook it for 3 minutes with 360o C,” explained the Chef.

    The pizza also has mozzarella, zucchini, cherry tomato, and after it came out of the oven, they put smoked salmon, mascarpone cheese and truffle oil. “We don’t put any sauce on it, just like Quattro Formaggi Pizza, the mozzarella act like the sauce that melts together with other toppings,” he added.

    Another pizza that deserves a spotlight is their Parma Pizza which features tomato sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomato, and topped with the classic Parma ham, parmesan, rocket salad, and extra virgin olive oil. It’s just a classic Italian pizza that’s available throughout Italian region, from north to south.

    For the pasta, Ambiente use lot of seafood as seen in their signature menus, such as Tagliolini neri al Granchio and Spaghetti all’Aragosta. The first one is black ink homemade tagliolini tossed with blue swimmer crab, fresh tomatoes, basil & chili and the second one is Ambiente’s best selling dish, sautéed dry spaghetti with queen of the ocean pearl lobster, crab bisque, tomatoes and cream. Both menus are using seafood sourced from Lombok, one of Indonesia’s best seafood supplier. 

    However, our favorite one would definitely be their Fusilli al Pomodoro e Mozzarella. Despite of its simplicity, we don’t really know why we just can’t stop eating it, suddenly, the plate was clean, and Matteo seemed to agree with us. “It’s our most simple pasta, and the one I like the most, I like simple things. It’s just tomato sauce, basil, oregano, homemade fusilli, and some mozzarella that makes the pasta stringy, very creamy. If I have to pick one of those three pastas, this is it!” said Matteo.

    Matteo made it sounds too easy for us when he explained the cooking process. “However, simple doesn’t mean it’s always good,” he warned. “You have to understand the know how. The cooking technique is nothing fancy, but the process, the selection of ingredients, and the amount of care you put on the mise en place are the ones that make good product,” said Matteo.

    The heart of Italian food lies in its simplicity, home style cooking, and fresh ingredients. With its popularity across the globe, it’s kind of difficult to reinvent the classic. Instead, Ambiente is sticking with its root as Grandma’s cooking with some modern presentation to give you the experience of what it’s like to eat in Italian family, along with the more casual atmosphere. We don’t know your grandma, or Matteo’s personally. When the chef said that his food is better than your grandma (we know it’s a personal thing), and you see it as insult, why don’t you come over to Ambiente, talk it out nicely, and defend your arguments. Over some nice pizza and pasta, of course.

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  • Luigi Pizza
    24/05/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Slice of Goodness Vibe

    Two small entrances of Luigi Hot Pizza don’t fully reflect how big the venue actually is (which we’ve been told can contain up to 500 pax at once!). Once entered, you will immediately be greeted with pleasant atmosphere of people dining and hanging around, anticipating the fun-filled party as dawn passes and night began to rise. Luigi comprises of large open-air space, with cool neon-lit DJ booth on the backyard, separated by a bar. The white and black tone of the industrial zinc-meets-bamboo styled interior and dim yellow-meets-red lighting creates unique and intimate ambience that faithfully represents Canggu’s party vibes.

    As the name precisely implies, Luigi Hot Pizza serves yours truly ‘tin-crusted goodness’ along with selections of pasta and salads; including vegan and gluten free dishes to cater every needs. For the pizza, try their P2 (all of the pizza menus here are simply named with a ‘P’ letter and number); a capricciosa-style pizza served with ham, mushroom, artichokes and olives on top for a meaty, delish full-bodied flavors to enjoy with friends and family; or P6; which perfectly mixes salami, mozzarella, onion, chili and LTS (Luigi Tomato Sauce, the restaurant’s great original touch).

    If you prefer pasta, then you’re in for another treat. Try their authentic Aglio Olio (with extra cheese on side!), or the all-time favorites Spicy Prawn Fusilli; a delightful seafood pasta served with cherry tomatoes, parsley and fried breadcrumbs, creating a wonderful combination of sweet, sour and a hint of spicy in one satisfying dish.

    To compliment your meal, Luigi Hot Pizza obviously serves arrays of quality beverage; being a party venue and all. Try their unique Al Caffe; a form of espresso martini which is mildly sweet but rich in coffee taste; served with melt-y skewered marshmallow for an additional hit. But if you opted for a more healthy drink, try their M3; an Indonesian ‘jamu’ herbal concoction made of turmeric, ginger, black pepper and citrus served on-the-rock to refresh yourself before, after or in-between the impromptu dance floor session.

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  • 24/05/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    A Pleasant Mamma-Mia!

    Living up to their reputation as a great casual lunch and dinner destination, The Butchers Club Steakhouse serve an array of delicious dishes fit for any palate. If you crave something other than their tantalizing dry aged artisan burger and steaks, we recommend to try their selection of Italian menus. A fresh interpretation of classic Italian recipes, the cuisine fuses traditional techniques with the finest local and seasonal ingredients.

    For starters, you should try the Arancini; a fine blend of creamy, salty, cheese rice balls, perfectly fried into crunchy golden brown goodness, accompanied by fresh, peppery rucola leaves.

    While seafood lovers should order the Seafood Pasta; a simply-named but meticulously made portion of spaghetti with authentic Italian sauce and quality fresh-from-the-ocean ingredients.

    Another recommended treat for your pasta feast is Chicken Penne; a combination of tender penne pasta, a delicious sauce and generous chunks of boneless chicken meat with a hint of spiciness.

    To wrap up your dining satisfaction, try one of The Butchers Club Steakhouse’s delightful dessert; salted caramel tart, a salty-meets-sweet delicacy with bitter aftertaste to act as an ultimate palate pleaser, best enjoyed with the venue’s refreshing iced cappuccino.

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  • Joe & Dough
    24/05/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    All the Way from Singapore to Jakarta

    The competitive advantage in the pastry department was the forte that Joe & Dough achieved since the beginning. Unlike most café players, Joe & Dough insisted in baking their own breads to ensure consistent quality and constant innovation. That can be seen right away from its most basic product and yet widely known Butter Croissant. It takes a full three-days process and using only 100% French butter to create perfection and that’s what they are willing to go through.

    Since 2010, Joe & Dough started to supply handmade artisanal breads, home-styled cakes, and other patisseries to meet the ever-increasing demand for their outlets. True to its name, Joe & Dough is now well-known for their specialty coffee and artisanal baked goods handcrafted using time-honored recipes.

    It’s very exciting to see that Indonesians are more aware with brands and quality nowadays, especially with good food. This is an opportunity that Joe & Dough has been waiting for and that day came in late 2018 with the opening of their first outlet in Plaza Indonesia. The Puri Indah Mall outlet came next in quick succession.

    At their outlets, customers are immediately treated with an array of freshly baked goods displayed on the store front. Croissants of many types, Cruffins or the crispy-fluffy muffin in Apple Pie and PB&J flavors, Brionuts – the crossover between brioche and donut, or the classic Kouign Amann. That’s already a quick fix of breakfast with coffee for Jakartans who are in a hurry.

    Fancy having a slice of cake with tea? Joe & Dough’s Gula Melaka Pandan Cake would be an interesting choice, especially for Southeast Asians. It’s a fragrant and moist pandan-infused butter cake slathered with gula Melaka and topped with desiccated coconut. Another choice would be their traditional Carrot Cake, deliciously filled with shredded carrots, chopped walnuts, raisins and cinnamons, and smothered with cream cheese frosting. The latter is currently only available at the Puri Indah Mall outlet.

    Not just for takeaways or simply just having a cuppa there, Joe & Dough prepares heavier meals also to accompany business lunches, brunches and leisure times. Enjoy their Truffled Egg Cocotte, an indulging sous vide egg topped with cheese, garlic croutons with green salad. The premium choice of Short Ribs Mac & Triple Cheese would be equally indulging and even more. It consists of 24-hour slowly cooked premium beef short ribs on elbow pasta tossed in a blend of mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan.

    Have a seat at their conservatory section in Plaza Indonesia, enjoy your meals and you will be treated with a rare view. On the outdoor area, you will see an aesthetically painted mural 8 meters in height on a 1,000 square feet wall! Especially on a sunny day, it’s as if you’d rather spend more time here than anywhere else.

    What’s next after this for Joe & Dough? Expect to see the new outlet in Kota Kasablanka shopping mall, which is slated to open on May 2019!

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  • 03/05/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Smooth (Scoops) Of Luxury

    As a newest addition in Bali’s growing gelato scene, Velluto immediately stands amongst those premium brand with their refreshing ‘made-from-scratch’ approach. The name itself derived from Italian word of ‘velvet’, which not refers to the particular color, but rather its luxurious and smooth characteristic, which genuinely shown (and tasted) in their main frozen treat products.

    The gorgeous display of Velluto at Recolta Restaurant showcased 24 different flavors from a total of 60+ (and counting). This creates a chance for their guest to experiment with different combinations (two scoops per cup), which can make each and every portion feels personal. Velluto have some selections of classic flavors such as milk chocolate and pistachio, which blends with the modern one like the gorgeous blue-and-redtinted bubble gums.

    Speaking of ‘precise’, there are several ways to determine a good quality gelato; one of the most important is the texture. The gelatos of Velluto are full-bodied, creamy, and smooth with a hint of ‘chewiness’; which indicates that it’s mainly consists of natural components and no artificial preservative whatsoever. Every flavor is precisely representing the organic taste their main ingredient, which comes first in your palate. Rather than overshadowing like your average gelato, the sweetness only serves as a pleasant background of vibrant flavors; fruit, creams and whatnot. This is a result of the scientifically precise approach on the development of  each flavor, with the authenticity level which determined by Italian gelato expert.

    Happiness can come in all kinds of form; including sweet treat, and if Velluto can maintain their level of quality, Bali is in for a great gelato treat in near future. Speaking of expanding, the brand will soon establish its very first flagship café at the up-and-coming Trans Studio Mall Bali, so stay tuned for more to come!

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  • 03/05/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Proper Delight

    Gourmet Garage is proud to present a uniqueapproach through its Hospitality & Training Center for those professionals in the Culinary world. The extraordinarily spacious venue serves as a wonderful place to showcase and display the capability of their supplies of both food ingredients and essential tools / equipment required by the industry. Built with a rustic, industrial feels which suits its overall idea and tone, it is regularly utilized to host prestigious events such as seminar, workshop to cooking-demos conducted by the experts in each field. One of their finest supplies is a gelato-making  equipment along with its ingredients.

    On one of its corner, Gourmet Garage owns a state-of-the-art gelato display, showcasing several flavors of the frozen treat  goodness. Yes, among their prominent supplies, Lotus Enterprises has an exclusive partnership with prestigious European brand such as Carpigiani gelato machine and MEC3 artisanal gelato ingredients, and it genuinely shows (tastes) in their showcased gelato products. During our visit, we are treated with several combinations of delightful flavors, but one of personal favorites is the mint chocolate and salted caramel mix; which creates an enticing taste to the palate with refreshing minty-hint meets creamy sweet  chocolate, and pleasant caramel saltiness. All of the gelatos are directly produced from their spacious see-through kitchen just behind the main display, which houses state-of-the-art machinery, including the aforementioned Carpigiani masterpiece.

    In the blooming era of café, restaurant and culinary centers in Bali nowadays, Lotus Enterprise (through Gourmet Garage), literally shows that they can provide the best proper path for ‘F&B Hospitality’, especially for anyone who wants to set up their own establishment. Their door is always open for visitors who would come to taste the results of their magnificent supplies, or gain in-depth knowledge about certain culinary aspects in various seminars, workshops or training they regularly host.

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  • 22/04/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Italian Legacy

    Gelato fans would be familiar with the name Gaya Gelato. The brand was built by Italian company back in 2008 and now, you can see GayaGelato’s presence in Jakarta and Bali. In Jakarta, Gaya Gelato already has 4 outlets: in Pantai Indah Kapuk, Mal Kelapa Gading 3, Grand Indonesia, Pondok Indah Mall Street Gallery, meanwhile Bali has 10 outlets spread over tourist destinations such as Canggu,ubud, Petitenget, to Uluwatu.

    With its artisan gelato, Gaya is definitely one of the biggest gelaterias in Indonesia. “We have so many gelato players in Jakarta as the competition continuously growing. Every year, we have 5 new gelato brands,” said Fredy Lays, CEO PT. Gaya Gelato Indonesia. “When I tried Gaya Gelato for the first time, it gave me unique experience compared to any other gelato and ice cream brands, even when my teeth were sensitive because of the cold, I can still enjoy Gaya Gelato’s products,” he added.

    Gaya Gelato is inspired by nature and genuine flavor to make the gelato. They appreciate seasonal rhythm and value locally grown fruits to give the authentic taste of the land. Indonesia, with its nature diversity, from fruits, nuts, coffee, and chocolate is a perfect place for gelateria like Gaya Gelato to create flavors that mirror local culinary traditions.

    Of course, as an Italian brand, the use of Italian ingredients in Gaya Gelato is inevitable, such as hazelnut and pistachio. However, Gaya Gelato sticks to its initial approach, using the 100% natural ingredients, which means, you’ll never find any GMO products, processed, artificial flavor and color in all of Gaya Gelato’s products.

    Fredy admitted that running gelato business ain’t no walk in the park. “You need new ways to sell high quality gelato, because some of the high quality equipments, from gelato machine to display freezer, mostly came from Italy, however, not all Italian brands are created equal. It’s a tricky thing to learn. In addition, it required billions rupiah of investment to maintain very high quality product.”

    Until today, Gaya Gelato has 38 flavor variants available in each outlet. Gaya Gelato even experimented with unique, local ingredients such as Lemongrass, Soursop, to Chocolate Chilli which has been discontinued because it’s too unique for most customers in Jakarta. Of course, Gaya Gelato also offers some of the best sellers, such as Pistachio (imported directly from Italy), Ciocollato (Dark Chocolate), Cookies & Cream, Coffee, Coconut, and fruit sorbet variants such as Soursop, Lemon, Orange and Mango.

    Here are some tips from Fredy to tell the quality of a gelato. “The natural color is the main point for gelato and sorbet’s quality. Let’s take Banana for example, the color shouldn’t be bright yellow, it should be white instead, because you don’t consume the banana skin. Also the Mint flavor, the color shouldn’t be sky blue. Whenever you see product with such color, I can assure you that they use artificial color. Too many brands claim themselves as ‘artisan gelato’ but they use excessive preservative and artificial color” he explained.

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  • 22/04/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Hidden Gem

    Vilo Gelato started from a discussion of 3 highschool friends in 2017 which questioned why gelato has to be imported, expensive, and very sweet. The curiosity continued with some research to make their own gelato using recipe they got from Youtube, and a gelato machine Carpigiani Labo 8 12. Even though they often end up with failures, they kept learning about artisan gelato,especially about the equipment, ingredients, to the recipe formula.
    “We did trial & errors for 3 months. Making gelato or anything as long as you have the passion, actually isn’t too difficult, it’s just gelato requires you to think more. As opposed to the easier to produce ice cream, gelato is a bit challenging because to need balancing to get optimum texture,” said Jennike Veronika, one of Vilo Gelato owners. The brand’s philosophy (or using their own term, vilosophy) is producing gelato using 100% natural ingredients, with no preservatives, artificial coloring nor flavoring.

    Vilo’s outlet in Taman Ratu, West Jakarta is a cute little gelateria with atmosphere that’s similar to coffee shop’s. Each owner of Vilo has different backgrounds that allow them to do everything on their own, from graphic design, interior design, printing, to packaging.

    Over 60 Flavor Variants

    Everyone has his own favorite gelato flavors. Even though Vilo’s freezer only displays 24 flavors at a time, the gelateria has created more than 60 flavor variants since its inception until today, from the regular to the seasonal ones. For the fruit variants, Vilo has some of the seasonal taste, depending on the supply to keep their commitment of using 100% natural ingredient. “Some of our products with fruits, such as mango sorbet and durian are customers’ favorites, but if it’s not the fruit’s season, we won’t make it, even though we have high demand,” explained Jenni.

    5 of the most favorite flavors in Vilo are: Dutch Chocolate, Butter Coffee, Salted Caramel, Strawberry Cheese Cake, and Roasted Pistachio. They are safe options for almost everybody, but if you’re a fan the more intense dark chocolate, Signature Chocolate is a wiser choice. The reason? Valrhona! We don’t think you need further introduction, do you? The infusion of alcohol such as Bailey’s, Kahlua, and whisky to gelato is not too common in Indonesia, however these products have their own fanatic fans in Vilo.

    Along with offering the products in their own outlet, Vilo Gelato also supply its products to coffee shops. Vilo also sells the the takeaway products in special packaging for 5 of the best sellers in various size, from 150, 300 to 500 ml.

    To grab wider audience, Vilo Gelato just launched a new line of product called Frozen Dairy. “People always think gelato is expensive. We offer it in affordable price, starting from Rp 30.000, however to reach more the low to middle class that are much larger, we launched Frozen Dairy with only Rp 20.000. There are many differences between Vilo and Frozen Dairy, from the milk and the recipe. With smaller packaging, we aim for cafes for its practicality, I mean, you don’t need to do any scooping,” she explained.

    Even though Vilo was found in less than 2 years, the gelateria has got many offerings from prospective franchisees, but they don’t seem rush the expansion. “We prefer to have more partnership and supply to more places. We might have more outlets, but not too many, we’re more comfortable with the supplu concept,” Jenni added.

    Vilo Gelato is an inspiration for people who are thinking opening their own gelaterias. Even though the lack F&B background, with passion and knowledge (plus a bit of Youtube’s help), also commitment to use natural ingredient, Vilo managed to become a sought after brands for franchisees from all over Indonesia. And if you’re a fan of alcoholic gelato like us, now you know where to go.

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  • 08/04/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Straight-Up the Mainstream!

    As the ‘rebellious’ anti-mainstream younger brother to the widely popular Sisterfields, Sibling Espresso Bar was established to provide unique coffee and complimentary eating in smaller, yet edgier atmosphere. By shifting their focus back from creating fanciest latte art, Sibling aims to take coffee back to its root of quality brew and they put extra effort to ensure that happens.

    Although incomparable in term of size to its older kin, Sibling interior design is not one to be taken lightly. The solid monochromatic black meets wood tone is a breath of fresh air amidst the era where coffee shop compete to create a more ‘vibrant’ feel through combinations of eye-catching colors. Not only the décor, Sibling also serves their coffee in exquisite custom-made jet-black, jagged cups, which will add elegant touch to every Instagram-enthusiasts who wish to take a snap before downing their caffeine fix.

    The coffee blend itself are worth-noting; with strong, smooth yet rich full-bodied taste in each sip which comes from variety of quality oversea beans; from Colombia, Guatemala to Waghi Valley, full-washed and sun-dried to perfection. Compensating the coffee, there are arrays of delicious bites in form of sandwiches, simple burgers to tasty sweet dough.

    One of the most recommended food menus at Sibling is called The Reuben; a fine combo of beef pastrami, Russian dressing, pickles, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese between tasty sourdough bread, thoroughly grilled golden before served. This creates a delectable mix of salty, savory and creamy that makes it so hard to stop eating after the first bite. Have this one with a cup of bold and bitter coffee for a (pleasant) extra kick to your palate. Bacon & Egg Sanga is another perfect treat for meat lovers consisting smoked bacon, fried egg, HP sauce, bacon & foie gras pate and soft white bread; a finger-licking journey of yumminess from first bite to last

    For a more healthy option, Sibling also serves Pumpkin & Feta Press; a perfectly cut grilled block of Turkish bread which contains roasted pumpkin, caramelized onion, whipped feta, baby spinach,chimichurri and wholegrain aioli for a sweet and juicy mix of vegetarian goodness for your clean brunch occasion.

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  • 08/04/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Quintessential ‘Comeback’

    With selections of delectable menus and smart-stylish interior design, Kembali Bumbak is a favorable catch-up point for not only creative nomads, but travelers seeking for a pleasant dining experience as well. The venue décor is made with cozy ambience in mind; consisting of outdoor courtyard and fully AC-ed indoor area which elegantly boasts marble and wooden touch, adorned by huge glass windows to add some rustic-industrial feel.

    As mentioned above, Kembali Bumbak serves all-day casual dining menu which highly focused on flavor and quality ingredients, fresh from the kitchen to your table. For a memorable brunch occasion, try their mighty Brekky Burger + Coffee combo; which tantalizingly blends a complete day-starter goodness between delicious charcoal buns; from bacon, fried egg, hash brown, cheese aioli, doused with tasty homemade BBQ sauce. Add some pulled pork for extra munch! This menu is interestingly well-paired with a cup of coffee, preferably iced cappuccino, for a balanced, unique treat between your morning and midday routine.

    Clean eat lovers can embrace their ‘inner yogi’ side by ordering one of Kembali Bumbak’s most favorite healthy treat : Cauliflower Rice; a fine mix of grilled halloumi, beetroot hummus, pistachio dukkha, poached egg, horseradish cream and smoked salmon to complete the feast. It is a fine mix of fresh vegetables and delightful dressing (and optional meat); which slightly remind us to Indian curry, but minus the spicy aftertaste.

    The third must-try brunch selections at Kembali Bumbak is called Chunky Avo; which is basically an open-bread goodness topped with poached egg, sprinkles of pomegranate bits, and toasted peanut; A blend of energy booster with pleasant creamy-meets-crunchy combination. The pomegranate bits add a brilliant touch of fruity flavor to simultaneously cleanse the palate with organic sweet and sour taste.

    Whether alone or with friends, Kembali Bumbak is a great place for your main dining occasion, or simply to sit with a cup of quality coffee and enjoy the quintessential tropical atmosphere of Bali. Just as the name implied (‘Kembali’ means ‘Come Back’ in Bahasa Indonesia), the venue has created such fine atmosphere to draws you back with its quality food,
    coffee, space and service in return.

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  • 08/04/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Local Pride

    We remember the inception of first Tanamera Coffee outlet in Thamrin by the end of 2013. Within its limited venue, one of the third wave coffee shop pioneer offered warmer, more intimate atmosphere so the guests and baristas knew each other personally. It’s a coffee shop that connects people. It didn’t take long for Tanamera Coffee to be one of the hippest hangout place, for coffee lovers, or any regular customers.

    In the past 6 years, Tanamera has shown outstanding growth. Now, they already have 11 outlets in 5 cities, from its first outlet in Thamrin City, Serpong, Gandaria, Pacific Place, Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jimbaran (Bali), Phinisi Point (Makassar), Tugu (Jogjakarta), House of Sampoerna (Surabaya), Sopo Del Kuningan to their latest one that we visit in Kemang, Jakarta Selatan. It doesn’t include the 9 upcoming outlets in 2019, including in other countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

    Tanamera Coffee’s story began when Dini Aryanti Criddle was inspired by Australian coffee shops that use lots of Indonesian coffee. “We’re famous as producer of coffee as commodity, it wasn’t bad, but I want us to be known as specialty coffee producer. Therefore, we want to improve our quality to meet international standard, because we have everything we need, it’s just people haven’t known it yet,” she said.

    In the beginning, Tanamera sourced its bean through middle man, however, when Dini met John Lee, everything’s changed. Under John’s leadership, a Korean coffee exporter who understands Indonesian coffee’s characters, from green bean to the detailed roasting profile, currently act as Tanamera’s roaster, the coffee shop started to work together directly to the local farmers.

    In 2015, Tanamera managed to win the title International Roaster in Melbourne’s International Coffee Expo, against hundreds of roasters all over the world in blind taste competition. They defend the title in 2016, and since then, Tanamera Coffee has won 44 medals (gold, silver, bronze) in International Coffee Award.

    There are some compulsory menus to try here, we recommend you the Cold Brew Crew line that comes in 4 variants: Cold Brew, Cold White, Cold White Caramel and Cold White Coconut. Tangerine Coffee is a new, refreshing alternative to the coffee shop. However, if you’re seriously into coffee, you’d sit in the bar, asking the baristas for bean recommendation that will be brewed into a cup of espresso as starter.

    Even though they started with coffee, pastry and some snacks, now Tanamera Coffee has become some sort of full-fledged restaurant offering western main courses, along with some local favorites. Some favorite brunch-inspired menus here are Roast Beef Sandwich, French Toast, Eggs Benny with Smoked Salmon Croissant, and our favorite, the tempting Bacon Mac n Cheese. With its consistency of serving Indonesian coffee, it is no wonder to have Tanamera serve some local dishes such as Nasi Goreng Hitam, Nasi Bakar Cakalang Dori Rica, and other local favorites.

    With the spirit of becoming the host in our own land, especially when it comes to coffee, Tanamera Coffee is one of the first and best coffee shops that become a reference for other coffee shops. However, no matter how hard they try, we think it’s difficult to keep up with Tanamera’s coffee swift expansion pace.

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  • 29/03/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Ground Zero Revamped

    The inception of One Fifteenth Coffee on June 2012 was probably the most important event in Indonesia’s history of specialty coffee industry. Even though not the first (Anomali Coffee started in 2007), many people regard One Fifteenth as the

    ground zero for the third wave coffee trend. Lot of things happened here, from the arrival of the first La Marzocco Strada in Indonesia, and One Fifteenth Head Barista (Doddy Samsura) who won the Indonesia Barista Championship and became the first person to represent Indonesia to compete in World Barista Championships, and many more.

    In 2016, the coffee shop whose name was inspired by the ratio of coffee to water that was considered as the golden ratio (1:15) made big change in their food concept. “One Fifteenth started as passion project. Back then, we have many coffee shops that served quality coffee, but the food was nothing special, we had to fix that. We also saw our competitors were serving main courses like restaurants, we decided to do the same thing,” explained Aldwin Hendradi, one of One Fifteenth partners in Menteng outlet.

    One Fifteenth Coffee’s decision was based on logical consideration. “People drink coffee in the morning and late afternoon, meanwhile the afternoon and evening to be a bit slower. If we have main course menus, the place will be busy all day, that’s our initial idea. When we see that our place always busy, we knew it worked, so we began to focus on this new concept,” Aldwin added.

    Until today, One Fifteenth already has 5 outlets, in Gandaria, Menteng, Kemang, Musem Macan, and Parachute (Canggu, Bali). “For us, Jakarta is big enough market for us to have 10-15 outlets. This year, we’re looking for new locations in North Jakarta and South Jakarta, but for the long term, we want One Fifteenth to have, at least 2 outlets in every region in Jakarta,” he said.

    Coffee & Western Brunch

    When we referred it as ground zero, I don’t think we need to discuss much further about One Fifteenth’s coffee quality which was supplied by Morph Coffee (roaster). Fruity, full of flavor, sweet, was the signature notes from One Fifteenth’s house blend that consists of bean from Sumatera, Dolok Sanggul and Arum Manis.

    Please note that manual brew coffee lovers are recommended to visit One Fifteenth’s Gandaria or Kemang outlet. “In here (Menteng) we don’t serve manual brew because the place was smaller and it’s quite busy. Serving manual brew coffee takes quite a while, and we don’t want customers to wait too long. The only manual brew coffee we serve here is the batch brew,” explained Aldwin.

    We prefer to discuss about the food in One Fifteenth Coffee which revolves around western brunch menus with strong French influence. Our recommendation? You’ll never go wrong with Avocado Toast (avocado guacamole, soft boiled egg, whipped garlic sauce, sourdough). The portion is large enough to fill your tummy, but it also has very refreshing taste so you can still enjoy it even though you just finished other dish.

    If  you want something that’s very “brunch”, Breakfast Muffin (housemade pork patty, sunny side up, avocado mayo, English muffin) is pretty “safe” choice. On the other side, One Fifteenth also offers the more explorative Middle East menus such as Shakshuka (merguez sausage, goat cheese, baked eggs and flat bread).

    Of course, pasta is like a mandatory menu in a coffee shop, and One Fifteenth recommends Salmon Spaghetti (house made cured salmon, creamy dill sauce, grated parmesan cheese). For dessert, Ricota Waffle (crème fraiche and berries sauce) with the Italian cheese, Ricotta, is a middle ground for those who want to try new thing while still being in the comfort zone.

    One of the plot twist in One Fifteenth is the existence of traditional menus such as Tekwan, Mie Celor, and Pempek which were family secret recipes. Believe it or not, the menus has its own cult. You’ll see some customers who come just to  buy their pempek for takeaway, in frozen state.

    As opposed to its competitors, One Fifteenth deliberately bringing different interior concepts in each of its outlets. “Our idea was the design of the outlet is based on the space and the neighborhood. We even have some special menus that are only available in certain outlets, for example, Chicken Burger that’s only available in Museum Macan outlet, or the French Onion Soup in Gandaria outlet,” Aldwin added.

    As one of the first and the best third wave coffee shops, everything that One Fifteenth do will be the benchmark for other coffee shops. When coffee shop such as One Fifteenth wasn’t hesitating to serve local menus such as tekwan, mie celor and pempek, it’s safe for us to say that in the future, Indonesia will have its own unique coffee shop trend.

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  • 29/03/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Home of The Champions

    If coffee competition is Olympic, there’s a high chance that Common Grounds will come out as victor. It took lots of time, effort, and money to win a competition, and not all coffee shops are willing to walk the extra miles by investing on people like what Common Grounds do. 

    Common Grounds has produced many champions, started from Yoshua Tanu, Indonesia Barista Championship (IBC) 2014, 2016, 2017, Iwan Setiawan, Indonesia Latte Art Championship (ILAC) 2014, Yessylia Violin, Indonesia Cup Tasters Championship (ICTC) 2018, Hiro Lesmana, Indonesia Brewers Cup (IBRC) 2018. To sum it up, Common Grounds managed to have 4 IBRC champions, 5 ILAC champions, 1 IBRC champion, and 1 ICTC champion, not including the runner ups and second runner-ups.

    We’ve prepared the title of the article, even before we came to Common Grounds Citywalk for the coverage, but on February 24th 2019, Mikael Jasin, Coffee Quality and Marketing Manager of Common Grounds Group won the 2019’s Indonesia Barista Championship. Of course, competition is one thing, but for us customers, what does it mean to be a champion? “It shows our commitment to specialty coffee and products, the name House of Champions is the reflection of the thing,” answered Mikael.

    In addition, the beans used in competitions are usually available for Common Grounds customers. In here, they have 3 categories. “Tier 1 is the regular local coffee, it’s not because they weren’t good, it’s just we can directly source the bean from the farmer so we get very competitive price. Tier 2 is the regular imported coffee that you can find in other coffee shops. Tier 3 is our highest grade coffee, mostly used for competition, from winning an auction, or the bean that we distribute exclusively. For example, the Finca Deborah (boutique Panama Geisha bean) that we have used over the past 4 years. We distribute the bean exclusively in South East Asia, we also have good relationship with the farmers there,” said Mikael.

    “With  Rp 90.000 per cup of tier 3 coffee, I guess the price is still accessible to most people. We even have our online store that offers the special coffee bean in small packaging (50-100 gram) to cater customers’ demands,” he added.

    Many customers associate Common Grounds coffee as bright and fruity, but how does Mikael explain Common Grounds’ coffee characteristic in general? “When we roast the bean, we always try to find balance and well developed taste. Some roasters love to roast very light or dark, we’re trying the middle ground, for certain coffee bean, that’s like our holy grail. We often buy bean from Brazil, Burundi, Uganda, or Rwanda that have different characters, but it seems that our customers prefer the bright and fruity ones. We’re trying to educate customers on different things, but in the end, we need to listen to the customers, don’t we?” said Mikael.

    Australian Brunch

    Let’s admit it, the brunch and coffee concept that’s become lifestyle lately, didn’t originate from Indonesia. If there’s a place that’s often used as standard for both items, there’s a good chance that it’s Australia, Melbourne to be exact. No wonder, many leading coffee shops in Indonesia were found by Indonesians who went to college in the world’s coffee capital. Typical Australian brunch involves products such as egg, avocado, and smoked salmon.

    St. Ali and Sensory Lab also gave heavy Australian influence, both are Australian franchise brand managed by Common Grounds Group. Mikael explained a bit about the difference among these brands. “Common Grounds is very coffee heavy, of course we have brunch menu as complement. St. Ali targets the expatriated, it happens to be located near Australian Embassy. St. Ali has a very Australian food and atmosphere. Sensory Lab is actually St. Ali’s brand of coffee roaster, but here, Sensory Lab has simple concept, straight up coffee and food,” said Mikael.

    “Our passion is not limited to specialty coffee, but also for other specialty products. Let say, for smoked salmon, we’re taking it seriously, we use the best ones we can find as appreciation for specialty product,” said Mikael. Even though they’re operating until evening, Common Grounds refuses to offer dinner menus. “We’ll keep doing what we’re good at and let others to make dinner menus. We don’t want to be in an area that’s outside our expertise.”

    If you want very “Australian brunch” menus, you may choose Eggs Norwegian (poached eggs, smoked salmon, hollandaise on sourdough), Smashed Avocados (poached eggs, pesto, feta cheese on sourdough), or Maple Glazed Bacon (scrambled eggs, garlic butter baguette). Of course, Gourmet Beef Burger will always be a safe choice, but when you’re curious about what will happen when you mix Mexican food with rendang, then pick the more adventurous Huevos Rancheros con Rendang (baked eggs, tomato reduction, Mexican rice). For dessert, Common Grounds recommends Buttermilk Waffles(berry coulis, salted caramel, honeycomb , pretzel, homemade peanut butter ice cream).

    Until today, Common Grounds already had 7 outlets spread across Indonesia: 3 outlets in Jakarta (Citywalk, Neo Soho, Pondok Indah Mall 2), 2 outlets in Surabaya (Galaxy Mall dan Pakuwon Mall), and one outlet, each in Bandung and Palembang.

    Common Grounds success in coffee competitions shows their commitment in investing on people and quality coffee. Directly, the champions will channel the energy to the customers through standard of quality, not only for coffee, also for other products. So, if you think winning a competition has nothing to do with the quality of a coffee shop, come to one of 7 Common Grounds’ outlets and see it for yourself.

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  • 27/03/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Croissant Craving

    Becca’s Bakehouse is one of our favorite kinds of café. They specialize in one product, offers some variants, and build everything else around it. For a café, mastering croissant is huge. It’s one of the most versatile menu, you can put sweet topping or filling and serve it as dessert, make savory croissant sandwich, or just serve the plain croissant along with a cup of coffee.

    Becca’s Bakehouse has a humble beginning that we can all relate to. The couple James Omar Iskandar and Esther started making croissant in 2016 and selling it door to door to cafes around Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK). After some satisfied number of coffee shops, Becca’s Bakehouse then opened its own small, takeaway outlet in their house’s garage. In 2017, Becca’s Bakehouse finally became a proper café and always filled with customers, even in weekdays’ slow hours.

    And like any other croissant maker’s success stories, the owner of Becca’s Bakehouse has education background from abroad. James even worked in New York’s Eric Kayser and Laduree. “There are various croissant styles, the rather chewy ones like in America, but there’s also the soft and fluffy croissant like ours. But we always try to use the most authentic ingredients, not just high quality ingredients, but the best ones,” James explained.

    You can tell Becca’s Bakehouse commitment to the highest quality not just in their croissants. The last time we visited the place, a few months ago, we spotted La Marzocco Strada (espresso machine) that’s like a standard for a proper coffee shop in Jakarta. However, now we saw Slayer that’s doubled in price (please refer to Google for the price list, feel free to be surprised).

    Of course, using expensive machine is not guarantee for quality coffee. But after tasting their coffee for several times, we’re confident to say that the quality is as good as, if not better, than most coffee shops. We tried their Bali Kintamani bean with full washed processing, it has the distinct, bright, orange note, very refreshing! James started to get serious into coffee when the production and the sales in Becca’s Bakehouse was stable, but now, he even roast his own bean! It’s a remarkable thing, especially for a bakehouse which focuses on croissant products.

    James gave us a tip to pair coffee with croissant. “As croissant pairing, you need to have bold tasting coffee so it won’t be dominated by the croissant’s aroma. By bold, I mean it can be very bitter, or acid, but one thing for sure, it can’t be too milky,” he said.

    Like usual, we always recommend you to start with plain croissant to know what their taste profile really all about. In fact, it’s our personal favorite croissant in Jakarta, therefore, you can’t go wrong with any variants you order here. Howevern, the place has some best sellers, such as Truffle Cheese, Salted Eggyolk, Ovomaltin, Cinnamon Bun, and their croissant sandwich lines such as Mushroom Egg, Smoked Salmon and Chicken Pesto Cheese.

    Our expectation wasn’t too high, as they are croissant specialist, but when we tried their Chicken Cheese Pesto, we felt that they know exactly what they’re doing, especially with the tender, juicy chicken. As one of the most popular meat, it’s surprisingly easy to overcook chicken, it resulted in stringy and rubbery meat. But here, they understand the proper way of serving chicken, especially when you mix the very aromatic pesto sauce. It’s clearly our favorite croissant sandwich menu here!

    We can safely say that Becca’s Bakehouse has pretty high standard for their products, from croissant to coffee. And it seems that their customers agree with us, it’s kind of difficult to secure a seat, especially in weekend’s busy hours. James and Esther realize it, and they’re in the process of renovating the place to expand their seating capacity. Until the renovation is finished, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to queue a bit, especially in weekend. But we dare to say that, it’s all worth it!

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  • 23/03/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Japanese Twist

    Hario has been known as King of Glass, a producer of laboratory glassware since 1921. However, F&B world knew Hario as the inventor of V60, the most popular pourover tool that’s became the icon of third wave coffee inspired by the natural V shape with 60o angle, in other words Y=X2. Do you understand? Since we’re not a physics nor history handbook, let’s just leave those boring facts and discuss about their new exciting project, Hario Café with the concept of drink, eat, shop located in Pluit, North Jakarta.

    Indonesia had the honor as the first country to have Hario Café outside Japan on May 2018, after the first Hario Café was established in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on March 2018. Similar Hario concept has already been here in Indonesia through Hario Coffee Factory on 2016 in Aeon Mall, BSD. As opposed to Hario Coffee Factory, Hario Café offers full course menu from appetizer to dessert on larger place.

    Drink, Eat, Shop

    Of course, Hario Café offers espresso based coffee, but it’s raison d’etre is definitely to introduce the manual brew coffee with various brewing methods and 3 choices of bean that represent distinctive notes of specialty coffee. Wide bar area is encouraging you interact with the barista to learn how to use Hario’s manual brew tools, from V60, syphon, cold drip, cold brew, or French press.

    The limited bean selections are actually very helpful for customers who just started to appreciate coffee, or learning to be a homebrewer. In addition, since opened its door on May 2018, they didn’t change any of these bean selection. Hario Café offers bean from Bali with citrusy, lime, clean notes with sweet aftertaste, Aceh Gayo with green apple, berries, and chocolate notes, and Ethiopia with chamomile, white tea, berry, raspberry, and pink grapefruit notes.

    Similar to coffee, Hario also has wide range of tea selections served in manual brew methods such as tea dripper, tea pot, and cold brew tea. Those who don’t like coffee might enjoy their tea selection, from Green Tea, Soothing Chamomile, Lavish Mango, Rose Garden, Summer Bloom and Berry Heaven. Whichever tea you choose, we recommend you to start with the refreshing and enjoyable cold brew method.

    The food in Hario Café is more to all day dining concept, because, let’s be honest here, most Indonesians aren’t too picky about which food they have on certain time, right? I mean, we can eat rice all day! For main course, Soy Marinade Salmon (pomme puree, tapioca crackers, tamago and cream spinach) and Crispy Pork Belly Bowl (garlic butter rice/spaghetti, traditional Balinese sambal, soft boiled egg, curry leaves) are the customers’ favorites here.

    One of the must try item here is their delicate, milky, soft serve ice cream that comes with seasonal taste. For dessert, the recommendations are Maple French Toast: caramelized banana, crunch almond, butterscotch, strawberry, and seasonal soft serve ice cream, and Fried Banana Bread with Melaka syrup, chocolate sauce and soft serve ice cream.

    As opposed to other cafes that focus on coffee, Hario Café is dead serious with their food. Chef Jemmy Nugroho is responsible for the food menus here with his experience of working in St. Regis Hotel & Resort Bali and Vila d’Amelia in Italy. Chef Jemmy is bringing the contemporary food experience with some Japanese twist that’s shown in menus such as Beef Yakiniku Bao, Dashi Pasta, and Soy Marinade Salmon.

    Hario Café is a great destination for hangout to enjoy coffee, food, or learn and ask all about manual brewing method. Just start with the basic, such as hand grinder, V60, paper filter, and kettle to brew your own coffee at home. After that, don’t blame us if you started thinking about running your own coffee shop, or becoming a coffee roaster perhaps? It happens all the time.

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  • 18/03/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    French Style Pastry in Bandung

    “Who makes a trend?” that’s question of all the industry’s players. Big companies is probably an answer that makes most sense, but in local pastry scene, one of the most influential ones are the graduates from abroad pastry schools who returned to Indonesia to build their own business. Jakarta has Social House, La Maison, and in this issue, Charins, are few of the good examples that succeed in introducing the French style pastry. Meanwhile, Bandung has Ambrogio and Sucre Patissier.

    Sucre (French word for sugar) is a pastry shop built by Gitta Angelina, a Le Cordon Bleu, Sidney graduate with French style pastry concept. Gitta came from a family (mother and grandmother) who loves to make cakes, they don’t hesitate to give full support for Gitta to start her own pastry business.

    Sucre Patissier offers various French pastries such as gateaux, croissant, macaron, brownies, cookies and custom cakes (individual and wedding), however chiffon is Sucre’s signature product. Of course, you need to do some recipe modifications to suit the French pastry to local taste.

    Sucre Patisser’s products has their own target market. “For chiffons and old school sponge cakes, we aim for customers from 30-50 with less sweet and familiar taste for their palate, thus, they buy them for daily consumption or as gifts as they’re so affordable. Meanwhile, gateaux and croissants are designed for younger audience who appreciate unique, updated taste. So we can tell that we have different market segments,” explained Gitta.

    The growth of coffee shop scene also helps Sucre Patissier’s business. As we all know, the hangout lifestyle is already part of nowadays life. And when you hangout, croissant and cake are coffee’s best friends. “We realize the need, so we expand our business by working together with some leading coffee shops in Bandung. If you visit any Bandung coffee shops, there’s a good chance that you’ll find our products there,” said Gitta.

    With its strong French root, Sucre Patissier doesn’t ignore the current trend. “For example, Indomie was very viral and trending, so we created Indomie croissant that was happening, it’s very significant for us. However, we will never level down our quality just to get very cheap selling price. No worry, our price is very affordable if you compare it to competitors’ cake shops. So, why not buy the best tasting, affordable cake?” said Gitta.

    The  presence of new pastry shop like Sucre Patissier affects Bandung’s pastry scene significantly as previously it was dominated by gift shops. With Sucre’s success in Bandung, Gitta is planning to open a new outlet in Jakarta within 2 years with proper preparations and target market that’ss hungry for new changes.

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  • 01/03/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Sweet Disposition

    There’s always a different vibe whenever you visit Sanur, and Bali Bon Bon is no exception. Located on the main bypass road, this chic yet cozy establishment is what everyone needs to rest, relax and enjoy delightful sweet goodness after a day of bustling activity.

    Bali Bon Bon is a fruit of passion by Yenny Iskander, owner of a well-known bakery in Sanur and Lanny Lembong, an experienced manager in Bali’s tourism business. Together, they wondered why it is so hard to find excellent quality chocolate product in the country which has been remarked as one of the world's top cocoa producers.

    That dire concern then makes Yenny and Lanny decides to produce superior chocolate themselves with local-grown cocoa beans. That way, they can simultaneously stimulate the local economy in an eco-friendly way and sell a premium quality product for an attractive price. Their dream becomes closer to reality when they asked a friend of them, Jos den Otter; a Dutch famous chocolate confectioner, to become the adviser of production unit, and thus Bali Bon Bon was born.

    The chocolate products of Bali Bon Bon consists two different types; Bars and Praline. There are 35 variants of dark, milk and white, all carefully crafted with appealing look and enticing taste. The pralines are store exclusive, meaning that you have to come to their Sanur space to experience the quality flavors, and that would be so worthwhile. The sweet, bitter and milky combinations are perfectly blend with numerous variations of homemade fillings; from caramel, seasalt, Kahlua, macha, and so on, all comes with affordable prices as well! During your visit, you must try their hot chocolate; which made of steamed white milk and a chunk of dark  chocolate on ice cream stick dipped within. The hot temperature gradually melts the chocolate and smoothly blends with the milk to make it even tastier in each sip; a recommended mood-enhancer in-between (or after) an exhausting day. Bali Bon Bon also put extra efforts in their packaging and collaborates with
    Balinese local handicraft to create beautiful and unique tin boxes to store their chocolate.

    February is a month of love, and perhaps it’s time to treat your loved ones with something unique rather than generic. Bali Bon Bon is a great place to start showing affection through delicious chocolate in classy and special way.

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  • 01/03/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The All-Rounder

    In term of marketing, you can’t be “everything for everyone”, however, it doesn’t stop restaurant owners from trying. We witness numerous places failed, even almost in every line, but Ambrogio Patisserie is one of the rare breed which managed to nail the concept.

    Ambrogio Patisserie was built by Edwin Soeryajaya, a Le Cordon Bleu, Sydney graduate. When we visit the place, we tried the plain croissant and espresso, it’s our standard way of judging the seriousness of the owner. We’re quite surprised, Ambrogio’s espresso has the distinctive fruity notes that came from natural fermentation process, and it’s the kind of coffee that can even please specialty coffee fanatics. We rarely see this kind of quality in similar restaurants which tend to play safe in their coffee.

    “Ambrogio is not a specialty coffee shop, but we’re trying to serve proper coffee,” said Edwin opening our conversation. His involvement in coffee is no joke, he’s even preparing a new place to set up his own roaster, not too far from Ambrogio Patisserie.

    Moving on to the croissant, it has the crispy, flaky texture outside, but moist and soft inside with the distinctive European butter aroma. It seems that Le Cordon  Bleu Sydney is doing a great job in educating its graduates. It’s a proper croissant that’s very difficult to find in, let say, 3 years ago. We got the same sensation when tried another recommended Ambrogio’s pastry product, Kouign Amann.

    The story of Edwin’s involvement in pastry began with his hobby of tweaking automotives, whether it’s car or motorcycle, since elementary school. As a grown up, he turned his tweaking hobby into pastry. Fortunately, he’s also amember of Prima Rasa’s family that also managed other places in Bandung, such as Herb & Spice, Bellamie Boulangerie, and One Eighty Coffee.

    Even  though initially designed to offer bakery & pastry products, Ambrogio got many requests for main courses from customers. Thanks to Edwin’s personal experience and Prima Rasa’s management, Ambrogio managed to become a place that can satisfy everyone. Along with bakery & pastry that are Edwin’s specialties, coffee as his hobby, Ambrogio also serves quality main courses, from Indonesian, Asian, to western cuisines in spacious place.

    Of course, it wasn’t easy to reach this height. “The recipes I got from Le Cordon Bleu can’t be applied here. The locals here aren’t into complicated taste. When we offer new taste they never tried, they wouldn’t afford it. In the beginning, we held tasting session with many market segments, from college students,  family man, housewives, to the elders. We found out that they don’t want funky taste, the product might be unique, but it needs to have familiar taste,” explained Edwin.

    Ambrogio’s interior concept that features natural elements, such as concrete, wood, and steel, can also be seen in their choice of ingredients. “We’re using natural products, such as puree, and we don’t use any pastas. We don’t even use any air conditioning, thanks to Bandung’s naturally friendly climate,” he said.

    Some of the recommended main course menus here involve ribs, such as Grill Ribs (400  gr of US beef ribs in barbeque sauce), Mexican Style Grill Ribs Iga Bakar Cabe Hijau and Iga Garang Asam. In addition, Ambrogio also features customers’ favorites such as Ambro Mushroom Fillet (pan seared fillet sirloin served with sautee veg & creamy mushroom sauce) and Creamy Miso Salmon (served on top of croissant roll, sousvide egg, and mix salad).

    Ambrogio Patisserie is a nice option to have when you visit Bandung with families who has different taste preference. Once again, we rarely see a restaurant that’s succeed in becoming “everything for everyone”, however if such category exists,
    Ambrogio Patisserie would be a strong candidate.

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  • 26/02/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Legend Continues

    Cake lovers should already be familiar with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Jakarta’s legendary American Chocolate Cake. 80-90s era was one of the most interestin period for hospitality industry as every 5 star hotels were trying to make their own signature cakes. However, we’re curious on how The Mandarin Cake shop managed to keep the high standard for its signature cake, so the first generation of loyal customers, will proudly introduce it to their children, even grand children.

    Since its inception, American Chocolate Cake might be a totally new thing. Most Indonesians have never been exposed to such fudgy, intense chocolate taste, very American. Call us exaggerating, with those who have tasted it, of course you’ll understand why American Chocolate Cake’s presence is still significant, even though now we have so many new independent cake shops offering the variants of chocolate cakes.

    Through numerous changes of Pastry Chef, almost no customers complained about the change of quality for the product. It’s a proof of The Mandarin Cake Shop’s commitment to quality, and to the cake that has become part of the hotel’s identity.

    However, it doesn’t mean that the team doesn’t make any updates. Around 2 years ago, The Mandarin Cake Shop changed its presentation. Even though it uses the same recipe, almond nougat topping, walnut, and chocolate decoration, they changed it into more modern presentation, and of course, Instagrammable, because according to the management, people who buy cakes always take pictures and post them on social media.

    Single Origin Chocolate

    The Mandarin Cake Shop has shaped customer’s taste and expectation into more sophisticated palate, not too sweet with higher chocolate intensity. Then, some questions pop up in our mind, “if the recipe is written in stone, what’s left for the next generation of chef? Do they just keep up the tradition? What sort of innovations can they do?” The Mandarin Cake Shop’s approach put a big, stupid grin on our face. Similar to specialty coffee shop’s approach, they use local, single origin chocolate.

    2 cakes that become The Mandarin Cake Shop’s highlights are Black Forest and Caramel Chocolate Tart. Of course, Black Forest is a traditional recipe we all know and love, but what’s the point of fixing something that’s not broken, right? What The Mandarin Cake Shop did, was using 80% single origin from Aceh, and present it in modern way, with chocolate decoration as topping that reminds us of traditional Mexican hat, sombrero.

    On the other hand, Chocolate Caramel Tart is using 72% Balinese chocolate. Of course, The Mandarin Cake Shop understands that Indonesians love something new, but not too alien for their palate. They deliberately avoid exposing natural acidity of the single origin chocolate by combining it with other elements, such as salty caramel, flourless sponge, and earl grey crème.

    The Mandarin Cake Shop also offers variants of chocolate bar with toppings: 73% Pidie Aceh Jaya, Chili Lemongrass Lime, 65% Banyuwangi Lavender, 65% Flores Cashew Nut Cocoa Nibs and White Chocolate Rose Petal. These chocolate bars can be broken into pieces and you can choose how much you want them. If you come with a chocolate snob friend, you can hold a serious chocolate tasting session right away to appreciate these unique notes combinations.

    The Mandarin Cake Shop also serves many other seasonal fruit cakes. However, for us, the chocolate cake lines would be the first thing we opt for here. Having managed to keep up with the legacy of American Chocolate Cake, The Mandarin Cake Shop is trying to create the new ones by using single origin chocolate. The Mandarin Cake Shop is not merely a complementary cake shop in a 5 star hotel, it’s a whole independent entity that belongs to the artisan cake shop category.

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  • 20/01/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Tantalizing Twist of Indigenous Taste

    Situated on the inner part of Rennaisance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa, Double Ikat is a quaint all-day dining venue which serves arrays of authentic Indonesian cuisine with eloquent modern presentation.

    There has been a lot of five-star Indonesian restaurant in Bali--each providing their own take of the country’s indigenous culinary creation; one of the latest additions to this vibrant scene is Double Ikat. Guided by the amazing Executive Chef Christopher Smith and amazing local talent Chef Wayan Bagi, the restaurant graciously highlights fresh and innovative approach to each dish, bringing out their original taste in state-of-the-art forms and shape.

    The spacious venue of Double Ikat is can be described as ‘opulent’, but so unpretentiously casual and welcoming at the same time. The interior embrace elegant blackish tone with marble stone-based materials and legendary ‘Double Ikat’ hand woven textiles proudly displayed in-between each tables. Yes, the name itself actually taken from one of Bali’s most famous handicraft which has been globally renowned ever since the ancient colonial trading era. There is also a convenient private ‘Studio Kitchen’ for those who wish to have intimate dining experience exclusively with their family and loved ones.

    During my visit, I was offered to taste some of their best-selling menus. For the starter, a portion of Sambal Be Tongkol arrived at my table. The name might sounds common for Indonesian, but the presentation is anything but. This appetizing starter is made resembling the famous Japanese ‘tataki’; fresh slabs of Tongkol (yellow fin tuna) wrapped in shallot and lemongrass, with slices of cucumbers and fried tempeh underneath, sprinkled with the legendary ‘Sambal Matah’ on top. The taste is tantalizingly good and manages to retain the authenticity regardless of its appealing modern look.

    Then we immediately move to the main menu, and the restaurant certainly amused me with their take of Bebek Betutu; personally, one of the best ‘duck-based’ dishes I ever had, hands down. The meat is perfectly cooked; tender, juicy and fall right of the bones, complimented with succulent Balinese spices and best savored with a plate of steamed rice. Then I also try their Babi Guling, which is basically everything you can expect from the best suckling pig around the island; juicy, savory, tender white meat and crunchy brown skin; a tantalizing representation to honor one of Bali’s staple traditional cuisines. All the menus here come in sharing concept, so you can enjoy it together with your loved one.

    My (pleasant) surprise didn’t just stop on their delicious main meals; as for the dessert, I was offered a masterpiece called Valrhona La Cuvee Sakanti Bali; banana-chocolate combination of goodness made of 68% pisang goreng (banana fritter) bon bon, homemade seasalt toffee ice cream, palm sugar meringue almond streusel and premium Valrhona made from local-grown chocolate. The mix of crunchy, sweet, salty and creamy serves as a perfect wrapper for a fantastic feast that pays delightful tribute to the finest elements of Indonesian cuisine.

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  • 17/01/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Local Influence

    In the beginning of 3rd wave coffee shop, every coffee shop seemed to be fighting to be the most premium ones, from the product, interior, to price point. Most idealist coffee shop even refused to offer main course, they were content with only coffee and some pastry products. Lately, we have the opposite phenomenon. Coffee shops are fighting to offer main course with affordable price, some even hold their own barista classes, such as ICS that was just opened in October 2018. We agree with some coffee experts who said that Indonesia’s coffee industry has its own “wave”.

    ICS stands for 2 things, Indonesia Culture Shop and Indonesia Coffee School. Located side by side, both business units are made to complement each other. “Indonesia Culture Shop’s concept is more to Indonesian’s culture we will sell local merchandise and foods, such as honey and coffee bean,” said Jo Febrian Faranes, CEO of Indonesia Coffee School.

    Located in Baywalk Mall, ICS is deliberately targeting Green Bay apartment’s residents, also the employees who work around the mall that needs affordable daily food. In addition, during the day, ICS has its “warteg” concept where you can pick any food you want on the display. “Our food is pretty affordable, starting from Rp 20.000, and every side dish is only Rp 5.000,” Febrian added.

    ICS offers various local food at friendly price, such as Soto Ayam, Nasi Uduk, Pisang Goreng, Mie Jawa, etc. They are Indonesian’s comfort that need no further introduction. ICS also serves quality coffee, also with very affordable price. “We focus on quantity because we have the assets, we are the distributor of San Remo (espresso machine) and Probat (roasting machine). As a result, we can push down the price but still deliver the same high quality like in any other coffee shops,” he said.

    Indonesia Coffee School

    The second face of ICS is Indonesia Coffee School. In addition to being barista school, ICS also acts as showroom for Probat and San Remo. Probat and San Remo’s customers can have the chance to learn deeper to use the machine they’ve just purchased as part of the deal. The phenomenon of coffee shop turn barista school is the answer of the increasing number of demand. With its continuous growth, we have more people who want to learn all about coffee.

    With Probat’s fame, it’s easy for customers to buy the product without knowing the detailed features of the machine. Furthermore, Febrian even said that Probat can produce taste profile that can’t be achieved by any other roasting machines. “It’s a pity if you can’t optimize the machine that you have,” said Febrian.

    “Actually, operating Probat is very easy. We give more lessons on the preferred roasting people, becaue each area has its own characteristic. For example, people in North and West Jakarta prefer coffee with thicker body and bold flavor, meanwhile people in South prefer fruity, floral, acidic, coffee,” he added.

    With various choices of Indonesian menus and affordable coffee, ICS is definitely a coffee shop for wide range of audience. And if you’re interested to learn more on how to operate the roasting and espresso machine, ICS is one of the few quality coffee school in North Jakarta.

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  • 17/01/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Art of Croissant

    Before knowing anything about Fortaleza Boulangerie & Patisserie, we’ve heard good things about Aston Adiwijaya’s skill in making croissant. The Managing Director of Fortaleza who worked in one of the leading artisan bakery in Bandung is running his café/bakery in uncommon place, Tangerang City. Aston showed us lot of “improvise, adapt, overcome” approach in Fortaleza.

    If other trending cafes prefered to open in South Tangerang (Alam Sutera, BSD, or Summarecon Serpong) Fortaleza chose to stand out as one of the biggest café in Tangerang City, among fast food restaurants. Aston officially joined the management when the building progress reached 70%, and judging from the situatin, he made some adjustments.

    “Actually I wanted to make small bakery & pastry shop, meanwhile we can use the rest of the site as parking lot. But as they had it on progress, we decided to make it into casual dining restaurant,” said Aston.

    To suit the target market, the man who took short course in Lenotre, Paris, and then worked in Dubai for 6 years chose to serve locally inspired modern fusion food. “Let’s take our Indonesian Curry Dips that’s served with focaccia for example, actually it’s lontong sayur. The idea came from our architect who requested it as breakfast menu when we were brainstorming. To adapt with the rest of our breakfast menus such as Fort Breakfast and Mexican Chicken Dips, we decided to modify its presentation,” he said.

    Fortaleza’s other menus share similar approach, from Gado-Gado Roll, Spaghetti Laksa, Bulgogi Beef Ciabatta, to other international menus such as Chicken Masala and Pad Thai. “The idea is to serve traditional European and international menus, but we totally alter the taste to suit the local taste.”

    In addition, the adaptation is also implemented in their pricing strategy. If you’re used to hanging out in Jakarta’s cafes, perhaps Fortaleza’s price sounds like a joke, especially when you see the rather fancy place. “We’re quite affordable. We want volume, we want the local women to hangout here everyday, somehow. If you take a look around, they’re our regular customers who come here everyday,” Aston said.

    Croissant for Everyone

    We knew Aston as a croissant specialist, and that’s should be the reason why you visit the place. Like other menus, the croissant variants here are inspired by local food, like the green croissant that’s inspired from kue putu, or the Jasuke croissant, even though it sounds Japanese, actually the name stands for jagung (corn), susu (milk) and keju (cheese).

    We started to be skeptical when we saw the price of Plain Croissant, it’s only Rp 10.000 and other variants with syringe fillings are sold for Rp 19.000. “Is it possible to have proper croissant for Rp 10.000? Meanwhile, we’ve tried the ones priced Rp 20.000 above, and most of them are not satisfying,” we assumed. Our doubt vanished immediately, actually, Fortaleza’s croissant is one of the best ones we’ve ever tried. With flaky outside, moist inside, and distinctive acidic aroma from European butter, it’s a proper croissant that belongs in 5 star hotels.

    “What most people forgot is, to most Indonesians, croissant is not that different from bread, they see it as snacks, so why bother buying the expensive ones? It’s not an expensive main course like steak that they can appreciate. The more people sell expensive bakery products, actually we ruined our effort in introducing international products, it’s a product that’s unfamiliar to most people, give them a chance to afford it,” Aston explained.

    Of course, Aston’s journey to the conclusion came a long way. “When I worked in my previous place, I had an argument with the owner for 3 months. As an idealist proud chef I was back then, I didn’t want my croissants to be sold for Rp 10.000, especially there’s a belief that the ideal food cost is around 30-35%. However, as I run the business, I realized that with affordable price, our net margin was actually bigger.”

    As a Pastry Chef, Aston realized that you can’t be too idealist when you sell croissant in Indonesia. “Most Indonesians don’t consume the croissant rightaway. I’ve had a complaint from a customer who said that my croissant was chewy. Finally, I decided to replace the product even though she ate it halfway as long as she brought the bill. You know what? She bought it 2 weeks ago! She stored it in chiller, freezer, outside. And it happened not just to one customer, but many,” Aston recalled.

    To anticipate it, Aston is making croissant with bigger layers from the traditional ones. “My approach contradicts other chefs who think that croissants should have small, tight layers. Perhaps to them, my method is wrong,” said Aston. He admitted that he got the knowledge from special trainings for frozen product development held by some ingredient companies.

    He explained it further, “in Europe, croissants sold out in 10.00 am, but here, we serve it all day. With bigger layers, the number of dough laminated in butter is not that much, so butter is kept within the layers. You can tell from the color, my croissant is yellower. As a result, when you reheat it, the preserved butter will melt again and it will keep the inside moist,”

    Aston also uses sour dough starter to his croissant to help making bigger layer, also to give more elasticity and strength to the dough. “The sour dough’s role is similar to stabilizer or bread improver. With this method, the production process takes 3 days. It’s quite tricky actually, some try to imitate it, but when you do it wrong, the croissant won’t rise, it will be flat. It might be a complicated process, but I’ve been doing it since I worked in Lenotre, Paris,” he added.

    Fortaleza stopped refilling the croissants on 16.00, so if you want to visit the place, we recommend you to come in the morning so you can enjoy the full range of croissant lines. Similar to Italian restaurant’s Margherita Pizza and coffee shop’s espresso, we suggest you to try the Plain Croissant as a base before you move on to other fancy variants.

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  • 26/11/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Little Vietnam In Seminyak

    The French bistro-styled décor of the new Bo & Bun (next door) compound invites their guest to relax in an intimate and cozy ambience, keeping all the good-old elements such as rustic walls, mirrors and rural photographs. On the second floor, a speakeasy bar called District 1 will soon be open to cater those who wish to chill, relax and chat over a sip or two of refreshing cocktail concoctions.

    For a place that carries the prominent reputation as ‘Little Vietnam in Seminyak’, Bo & Bun didn’t shove up every Vietnamese dish available for their guest. Their menu only consists of 30-ish names, all of which has been carefully curated from the owner’s personal favorite, added with their own twist. This also means that they know exactly how the country’s comfort food should look and taste.

    To start off my culinary journey during my visit, I opted for an authentic take of Vietnam dish in form of Banh Mi. The harmony of flavor and texture is so impressive in this one. Bo & Bun somehow strikes the perfect balance between the crusty, light ‘banh’ bread and the filling; which consist slices of 18- hour cooked pork, liver pate, and various combinations of fresh herbs and vegetables. I have to strain myself from ordering more of this one, because it is that good, and it’s just getting better from here.

    If you put the time of cooking as the title of your food creation, you know something special is going on, and that’s what 12-hours Pho is all about. The broth to this Vietnamese noodle soup is stewed for 12-hours++, which creates a thick and tasty potage. Served hot, the most memorable part of this tantalizing menu was the sliced beef tenderloin and shank; tender in texture and rich in flavor. Drip some lime drops for additional organic freshness, and voila! A great treat to warm up your body and mind.

    For a more complete kind of Asian dish, I tried their Pork Chop + Jasmine Rice, which, as the name implies, is a combination of aromatic rice with sweet grilled pork-chops, pork omelet, sunny side up and vegetables. The pork chops are grilled to perfection, tender and meaty with a hint of sweet, best savored with the ‘nuoc cham’ dipping sauce.

    Accompanying me as I indulge in all of the delicious dishes above, I ordered Vietnamese Coffee; a glass of perfectly layered full-bodied drip coffee over creamy condensed milk which combines sour, bitter and sweet taste into a fine classic drink.

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  • 26/11/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Peranakan with a Tasty Twist

    The interior of Atlas Kitchen & Coffee is so simple yet cozy, stylish and inviting. Long royal blue sofas combined with wooden-based chairs and tables creating warm, intimate space for everyone to come and enjoy their meal in utmost comfort.

    Speaking of ‘meals’, Atlas has been widely known to serves quality ‘Peranakan’ delicacy; inspired by Malaysian and Singaporean staple cuisines with their own thoughtful twist, including the famous Zi Char ‘cook and fry’ type of dishes. For a starter, have yourself a plate of Roti Curry; generous portion of Malaysian-style canai bread accompanied by a bowl of warm chicken curry soup. Cutleries are not necessary for this one; just rip and dip the crunchy canai into the soup and you have a flavorful savory combination with a hint of spicy to engage your appetite. Don’t forget the boneless chicken chunks as well! For the main menu, Nyonya Prawn Noodle is one of the recommended dishes to order. Freshly handmade noodle combined with robust prawn broth and fresh whole prawns bring out one of Singaporean’s classic goodness straight to your table. If you bring friends along and look for a more to-share meal, look no further and ask for a plate of Three Musketeer; juicy pork and chicken meats perfectly cooked, grilled, cut and served along with fresh vegetables to cater your group-feast. The tasty sauce (and spicy ‘sambal’ sauce on side) binds these triple treat together into one succulent, satisfying palate pleaser for two or more.

    Atlas also provides arrays of refreshing drinks to go with all the goodness mentioned above. One of it, Eastern Opulence, is a soothing cocktail with sweet, salty and tangerine aftertaste which comes from preserved mandarin peels. If there’s any (fancy) concoction that could captures the exquisite taste of Asia, this one should definitely be included on the top list. For those who prefer a lighter, non-alcohol thirst quencher can go for Gula Aren Frappuccino; a perfect mix of sweet and creamy cold coffee ‘juice’ with liquid brown sugar; an absolute tropical treat for humid summer afternoon.

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  • 26/11/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    New Standard

    Chinese food lover in Jakarta must have been familiar with Shangri-La Hotel’s Shang Palace. However, the hotel decided to change its concept and name of the restaurant into Jia in January 2017. As opposed to the more classic, all red interior Shang Palace, Jia was designed to appeal more to the younger generation. Thanks to the Tokyo- based firm Bond taking over its design duties. Now, Jia features contemporary Chinese-inspired interior, an update rather than a departure from tradition.

    In Chinese, Jia (read: Chia) means “first”, number one. Much to the delight of diners, Jia serves as home to a line- up of delectable dim sums, Peking Duck, sumptuous roasted fare and well-loved celebrated Chinese dishes. The blend of classic Chinese cuisine and stylish presentation gives each dish a little twist, yet preserves its original recipe. Jia serves 70% Canton and 30% Szechuan cuisine.

    “In general, Canton cuisine is more to dim sum, BBQ selection such as roast THE CITY pork, char siu, Peking Duck, meanwhile Szechuan is all about spicy, dried chili, and of course, Szechuan pepper corn. They have different taste profile,” explained Christopher Chai, Jia’s Executive Chinese Chef.

    “As we know that Chinese cooking is all about balance: balance of flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques that go into an authentic Chinese meal. Unlike western cuisine, Chinese food involves a lot of meat marination, and the use of more ingredients: especially the spices and herbs,” added Chai.

    The Chef isn’t afraid to put some western and Japanese influences into its traditional Chinese cuisine to create a new exciting experience. “For example, our E-fu noodle is using western’s black truffle and truffle oil, simply because the regular seafood or mushroom E-fu noodle is too common. We also incorporate a some Japanese influence by serving our scallop with miso mayonnaise and tobiko as topping,” he said.

    Along with the food quality and the interior, perhaps the next best thing about Jia is its affordability, especially if you compare it to other Chinese restaurant in 5 star hotel. For such quality, the price point in Jia starts from Rp 29.000. It‘s plain to see why Jia has become an instant favorite among Chinese food connoisseurs.

    Highlight Menus

    If we can only have one menu to recommend, it’s definitely their Signature Peking Duck, available in whole or half option. However, please note that preorder is required as the menu needs around 45 minutes to prepare. In addition of the classic Peking-Style Roasted Duck that‘s served with pancake and special homemade sauce, you can also have second way of enjoying the menu. For the duck meat, Jia offers some options: Wok Fried with Ginger and Spring Onion, Stir Fried E-fu Noodle with Mushroom and Bean Sprout, Wrapped in Lettuce, and Wok-Fried with Black Pepper Sauce. Meanwhile, the duck bones are too good to be wasted, you can have it served with Preserved Vegetables and Bean Curd Soup, Deep-Fried Duck Bones with Salt and Pepper (we believe it’s the Indonesian’s favorite), and Duck Bone Congee.

    The second way is available thanks to the duck’s generous size. “Our weight standard for the Peking Duck is 2,8 kg, if you have something bigger than that, the meat will start to taste dry and less tender,” said Christopher.

    You don’t need us to give any recommendations for the dim sum because you can never go wrong with the classic dim sums such as Siew Mai, Har Gow, and Chicken Feet. However, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, their Xiao Long Bao is a wise choice. Baked Scallop Stuffed with Shrimp Paste and Homemade Bean Curd in Miso Mayo Sauce is the aforementioned menu to understand how well a traditional Chinese dishes go with some Japanese influence. For the dessert, their Chilled Durian Pancakes is unrivaled.

    Of course, running a Chinese restaurant has its own challenges. “Some of the ingredients are hard to find in Jakarta, so we need extra effort to import the ingredients and it takes times to have it. In addition, there are so many good Chinese restaurants in Indonesia, specifically in Jakarta, that’s the biggest challenge for us. However, we take it as a motivation to keep inventing, moving forward and gathering all of the information in the culinary world and creating new ideas for the menu,” said Christopher.

    Despite of all the challenges, Christopher is looking forward to prepare for Jia’s future. “We’ve been trying to make it as the number one Chinese Restaurant in Jakarta. In 2019, we will have some updated menus, special promotions, and the most important thing is that we will maintain the quality of the foods.”

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  • 16/11/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Modern Classic

    Mandarin Oriental might not be the biggest hotel group, however with 15 restaurants across its portfolio, they have already acquired 23 Michelin stars. In other words, they take food seriously! Whenever people discuss about high end Chinese restaurant, there’s a good chance you’ll hear the name Li Feng, Mandarin Oriental’s contemporary Chinese restaurant.

    Before turning into Li Feng, which literally means beauty in abundance, in 2015, the Chinese restaurant was known with its previous name Xin Hwa. Chinese restaurants are notorious for being traditional, and only appear to the older audience. However, you’ll have different impression when you step in to Li Feng. While trying to retain its distinctive classic Chinese touch, Li Feng also felt modern, ethereal, and contemporary.

    Hong Kong-based LRF Designers Limited is the one who responsible for such atmosphere. When you look closer, you’ll notice that the interior is inspired by the voyage history and spices trade between China and Batavia, the old Jakarta.
    While dining, guests will enjoy viewing “A Voyage to the South” artwork, a large-gilded glass piece by artist Helen Poon from Hong Kong that features an ancient etched and gilded map of Asia drawn up in 1602 by an Italian missionary named Matteo Ricci illustrating the ancient connection between China and Jakarta.

    The kitchen was led by Chang See Loy, Li Feng’s Singaporean Executive Chinese Chef. Chef Loy is working closely with Chef Fei from Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou to design the whole menu. Chef Fei is an award winning young chef from China, in fact, he has won numerous awards, including The Best Chef in China 2016. In June 2018, his signature restaurant Jiang, was awarded first Michelin Star in the inaugural Michelin Guide for Guangzhou 2018.

    Chef Loy defines Li Feng’s cuisine as traditional Cantonese menu with modern presentation. “Of course, there’s a little bit of Szechuan influence, I know Indonesians love spicy food,” he said. “Chinese food is all about the sauce, we have 3 signature sauces here: dim sum sauce, chili sauce, and XO sauce.”

    Heavenly Menus

    It’s quite easy to get lost in the staggering number of mouth-watering menu in Li Feng. However, it’s nice to know that Li Feng also features the photo of the food in the menu. Some fast food restaurants may disappoint when you find the foods presented are far from their photos. Not here in Li Feng, what you see in the menu is what you’ll have, almost spot on!

    If it’s your first time in Li Feng, Chef Loy gives some recommendations about which menus to order. “Try our Deep-Fried Swan Dumpling with Black Pepper Duck Meat and Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk,” he said. You’ve seen the Swan Dumpling in the Internet, in fact, that’s what you get when you type the word “Li Feng” in Google. At first, we thought the iconic menu is just about the look and smoky dry ice. However, a bite of the Swan convinces us the otherwise. This is how a signature menu supposed tobe done! Hands down the best fried dim sum in town!

    Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk is the gourmet version of the current famous Singaporean snack. Of course there’s no competition, it’s like comparing artisan pizza with frozen pizza that’s available in supermarket’s freezer. The crispiness of the fish skin and the  distinctive taste of salted egg yolk make it one of the best appetizers in Li Feng.

    It’s difficult to resist any seafood menus in Chinese restaurant, but we find it hard to look for bad things about Wok-Fried Angus Beef with Bell Pepper and Special Sauce as the main course. The tenderness of the beef is extraordinary; you can even use the spoon to cut it, effortlessly. If halal is not an issue, we highly recommend the Cantonese BBQ Platter. Faith in humanity, restored! Almond and Black Sesame Dumpling with Peanuts is a wonderful dessert to end the dining experience in Li Feng. Think of it as the fine dining version of Japanese mocchi.

    As food connoisseurs, we always believe dining experience is more than just about filling your tummy, or the taste. It’s about the impression you get from the place. You might think we exaggerate it, but we’ll say our impression anyway: if you know a suicidal person, take him to dine in Li Feng, at least, he’ll have another reason to live, it’s that good!

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  • 16/11/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    The Next Generation of Wonderful Thai Cuisine

    There’s a local quote saying, “Santai seperti di pantai”. It’s not rhyming in English, but still it can be literally translated as “relaxing on a beach”. For that purpose, Santhai’s design embodies the holiday mood. The theme is tropical, and both outlets apply the always-fashionable neon lamps. Even the staffs are clad in beach shirts. Certain food and drinks are served on floaties and bird cages.

    True to its name, Santhai was created in a way that’s playful, or “Instagrammable” – says the millennials. It’s unlike any other Thai restaurants that usually sport formal look. Surely you will immediately notice that most Thai restaurants have all that royal themes with statues, paintings, and the usual classical interior. Santhai is the complete opposite.

    However, the most important part of all from a restaurant is always the food and Santhai is not short of surprises there. It boasts nearly 200 types of dishes, with additional a few dozen coming in after the second opening of their outlet quite recently in Pantai Indah Kapuk.

    Credits should be given to the visionary owners and the native Thai chefs who have been collaborating closely to present this outlook. Aside from the eclectic designs, the owners also encourage the chefs to create interesting new dishes inspired from other cultures. Authenticity certainly has its values, but Santhai bravely mixes the two worlds to create both appetizing and intriguing lineup of the menu.

    Santhai do embrace the classic choices such as the pineapple fried rice or the pad thai. They also offer the boat noodles, albeit the size may be different than the traditional. Expect to see other authentic options such as the Thai mango salad, massaman curry, the red and green curries with prata, and even the tom yum. To end the whole experience, the sticky rice with mango awaits you. The durian desserts are also ripe for the taking.

    However, if you are feeling playful, then you should try something different. The popularity of salted egg dishes these past two years encourages the chefs of Santhai to develop their own Thai take which can be seen from salted egg spring beans, crispy salted egg yolk with chicken, also with prawns. The mantou buns proved to be a perfect choice as the starter, since it can be served with Peking duck or soft-shell crabs with Thai basil.

    As for our personal experience, we were very delightful when trying the always good fried rice, but this time served in a coconut shell and presented on a floatie. This eclectic presentation was immediately followed by the highly delectable salmon’s head curry. For the desserts, the durian spring rolls awaited us curiously in one corner.

    The highlight of the day goes for the salmon’s head curry. It’s not easy to cook a wonderful salmon dish, since I personally think that salmon is only best when served as gravlax or sashimi. Through this dish, Santhai made it clear that they can make salmon as the star of the show. It tasted very fresh, with enough serving for a few people, and the rich red curry’s flavor was out of this world. Simply majestic!

    There you have it, a complete package of a playful Thai restaurant with a rich lineup of menu and perfect for the whole family. We have a feeling that we’re going to see great things coming ahead from Santhai in the future.

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  • 16/11/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Evolution

    On our previous coffee issue, Toni Wahid, author of, once praised Koultoura’s approach in expanding its business. If a coffee shop brands are having success, most of the times they can’t wait to open new outlets using the copy paste approach for the whole concept to the new place. Koultoura did the opposite, they don’t rush things. They even adjust their concept (also the name) to their new place in Central Jakarta.

    One of the most noticeable things is the presence of coffee roaster in front of KLTR’s outlet. “Since Koultoura’s inception in 2013, we knew one day we will have our own roastery, we just don’t know exactly when. In 2017, when we had the opportunity and a new place, we’d go for it immediately,” said Joe Sentoso, one of KLTR’s owners.

    Koultoura VS KLTR

    Joe understands location determines the customers’ characteristics, therefore, he made some conceptual adjustments. From Koultoura’s bright, colorful concept with some cartoon characters, into KLTR which features the very masculine Brooklyn, New York 1920’s style. “To complement our coffee shop that operates from morning to afternoon, we also have a bar that serves cocktail, whisky and draft beer in the night. There are other market segments we’d like to cover here because the opportunity is great, we just need consistency and time to educate the market,” Joe added.

    “Koultoura already has strong image for family, neighborhood, and student segments. Our philosophy is to adapt with the surrounding. When we had a new place, we noticed that the people around here are young executives, expatriates that are surrounded by office buildings, we wanted something new,” he explained.

    So, why the name change, isn’t consistency crucial for a brand? “It’s fun, it’s always exciting for an establishment to have something new. People identify name with things or expectations, with different name, we want people to have different expectations. We removed the vowels in Koultoura and it left us with KLTR.”

    The next significant change is in the coffee and food. Since its inception, Koultoura was specifically designed to give consistent coffee flavor, every week, every month. “In KLTR, we offer various choices, it’s more adventurous. We switch the coffee bean every 2 weeks, and it’s always single origin as we have so many choices of bean from our roastery,” explained Joe. KLTR offered 2-3 bean choices for espresso-based coffee and 4-5 single origins for filter coffee, both of them are rotated periodically.

    If Koultoura offers comfort foods such as pasta and rice bowl, KLTR gives the more fusion and classic menus, such as Cheese Burger and Tiramisu.They claim their tiramisu is the best homemade tiramisu in Jakarta, and apart from whether you agree or not, we’re hard pressed to find better tiramisu anywhere else. KLTR also offers some healthy menus like the refreshing Shirataki Beef Salad (lettuce, carrot, zucchini, shirataki, sliced beef, sweet tangy sauce).

    Long Term Business

    In the beginning, we assume KLTR focused on serving imported beans because of their wide array of imported bean like from Tanzania to Ethiopia, but apparently, KLTR put special attention to source the local bean directly from the farmers.

    “Our imported bean act as complement to what we have. Another reason is that sourcing imported bean is relatively easier and more consistent with some help of coffee traders. For local bean, we prefer to source directly to farmers. We go to their farms, live there for 2-3 days, if we had an agreement, we’d propose a contract. Of course, it will be more difficult, but we want long-term relationship,” Joe explained.

    So far, KLTR managed to do long term business with some prominent coffee farms in Indonesia, from the farm in Takengon, Aceh to the farm in Simalungun, North Sumatera, to the Java Frinsa Estate in Weninggalih, West Java. “We understand that the business is a long-term project, even though our culture is all about short-term. We’d like to say that this business is not sprint, it’s marathon,” he added.

    In the future, Joe said that KLTR’s business expansion will focus on green bean sourcing directly to the farmer instead of opening new outlets. “If the past 2 years we have invested in 3 farms in West Indonesia, for this year and the next one, we will go to East Indonesia to regions such as Papua, Toraja, and Flores,’ he said.

    In the middle of the rising number of new coffee shops with unique concepts, Joe has a rather simple principle to retain his customers, “under promise, over deliver! We didn’t exaggerate things, such as Instagrammable place or delicious food.  We want to invite people with low expectations, and let us show you the whole package experience that exceeds their expectations. We’re sure people will return. We prefer to grow slowly while steadily educating the market instead of going crazy in the beginning but running out of steam in the next 3-6 months,” Joe said.

    KLTR shows that coffee shop is a flexible business that has to adapt to its surroundings. They won’t hesitate to change their concept and name to give different expectation to the customers. So, a coffee shop slash roastery in the morning and then
    whisky and cocktail bar at night, why not?

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  • 16/10/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Wine Library

    Almost all of French, Italian, and other hi-end restaurants have wine collection, but not many claim themselves as a true wine house like Vin+. Even though they have other alcoholic drinks such as whisky, beer, and sake, from its name, we can tell that wine is Vin+’s raison d’etre.

    In 2003, Vin+ was established in Kemang with wine retail concept, and then they set up the restaurant and café. In 2009, Vin+ opened its new outlet in Arcadia, Senayan specifically with dinein concept, or can we call it wine-in? Because they have many guests come just to enjoy the wine. Of course, Vin+ is not a nightclub with loud music that can distract you from appreciating their wines. Live Music and DJ are there give you music to support the atmosphere to enjoy the night.

    Vin+ offers wide array of wine selections, from entry-level wine to vintage wine. One of the reason is  because Vin+ is in the same company group with PT. Jaddi Internasional as the wine distributor. “Around 80% of the wines here are imported by us,” said Joko Budi Manaf, Vin+ Arcadia’s Sommelier.

    Wine Collections 

    With so many brands, choosing a wine can be a confusing experience for most people. Therefore, we recommend you to ask the sommelier about their wine collection that suit your taste preference. “Wine is personal taste, however, as sommelier, we have to be able to provide wine to the customers based on their taste preference. Usually, we ask few questions: do you want full-body, medium, or light? What sort of notes do they after? Fruity, chocolate, or oak barrel? Knowledge is important, because we also need to be able to explain the history of the wine,” he added.

    What happen the most is, customers don’t know what they want, so we’ll give you some tips. Before knowing various brands, you need to understand the most common grape varieties. For the masculine full-bodied red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the most common choices. These are the best grapes to pair with red meat. People said Cabernet Sauvignon and steak are soulmate, however, in many occasions, the dry and peppery Shiraz was a better pairing. You’d better try both to know what we really mean.

    The lighter body red wine is considered as “feminine”, some of the most common grape varieties in this category are Merlot and Pinot Noir. “Pinot Noir is a unique and sexy grape, usually the notes don’t stray far from red fruit such as cherry or strawberry. Many people are asking for it, but they don’t necessarily like it,” Joko explained. And then, for white wine, the choices usually end up with the lighter Sauvignon Blanc, or the bolder Chardonnay, both are often paired with chicken or seafood dishes.

    Old World VS New World

    The next thing you should pay attention for is the classic issue of Old World VS New World. Old World refers to wines from European countries such as France, Italy, or Spain. The Old World wines are bound by strict rules to keep the consistency, as opposed to the New World who’s more adventurous in taste and grape varieties combination. Simply said, all of the wines produced outside Europe are New World, such as Australia, Chile, New Zealand, America, and Argentine.

    Generally, Old World wines have lighter body, more complex character, and of course, higher price. However, Joko admitted that Old World is not always better than New World. “For Old World’s Pinot Noir, it’s more to mineral notes, meanwhile the New World’s counterpart has the sensation of tropical fruit, especially the one that’s produced in New Zealand. Personally, I prefer New World’s Pinor Noir.”

    In addition, when he was asked his favorite wine, Joko didn’t opt for the Old World wine. “I love American wines, especially from Napa Valley. They’re dominant in Cabernet Sauvignon that’s full–body, elegant, and very perfume-like. In the Rp 1 million range, you can have great quality Napa Valley wines.”

    The last one is about the price. Vin+ offers wide range of wines from the easy to drink entry level wines, medium, to the vintage ones. The price is ranging from Rp 500.000 for entry level wines, Rp 800.000 for medium level, to Rp 170.000.000 for vintage wine. “Our most expensive wine here is the 1995’s Romanee-Conti, it’s a Burgundy wine, of course it’s 100% Pinot Noir. Even though it wasn’t opened in the outlet, our customer bought it as a gift,” Joko said. We can only wonder who’s that lucky guy to have the wine.

    Another popular vintage wine here is the 1982 Chateau Petrus that’s worth Rp 120.000.000. “It’s one of customers’ favorites, not all winehouse has it in store,” he added. Some of the highlights here are 2010’s Colgin Napa Valley, 2000’s Pio Cesare Barolo Alba – Italia, 2012’s Tua Rita Redigaffi, 1994’s Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 2006’s Chateau Angelus, 1999’s Chateau Margaux Grand Vin, and 2008’s Le Pavillon Ermitage.

    Since 2009 until today, Vin+ is the answer for the growing obsession from the people on wine. You really need to resist the urge to have more wines as the dine-in venue here is also the display place for the wines, categorized based on the country. If you come to Vin+ in the mood of wine exploration, Joko recommended you to come in 5 people, it’s the ideal number to enjoy a bottle of wine.

    As opposed to previous years’ assumption, drinking wine is no longer an intimidating experience. In fact, it has become part of lifestyle and necessity for many people living in Jakarta, be it beginner or true connoisseur. With wide range of choices, Vin+ is the place to go if you want to learn and enjoy the wine to the next step.

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  • 16/10/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Geisha Cult

    Let’s admit it, the coffee shop scene has become somewhat predictable: from Scandinavian interior, “compulsory” premium equipments such as La Marzocco espresso machine and Mahlkonig grinder, to the “Es Kopi Susu” fever. However, once in a while, some smarter coffee shops refused to be pigeonholed by offering something specific for niche market. The coffee shop is not too big, and it’s located on the second floor of other restaurant. If there’s anything eye-catching about the place, it’s the Iron Man figures (and a very cool looking Venom) located all over the outlet’s corner.

    A Tale of Two Coffee Beans is known among coffee communities as the place specialized in serving geisha coffee. While the coffee shop has only opened since December 2017, the owner, Aang Sunadji is a familiar face in coffee people. In fact, he opened Origin, a coffee shop which only served manual brew coffee with various specialty bean, but one thing for certain, there’s always geisha in the rack. Two Coffee Beans took the baton from Origin but adding espresso-based coffee
    to the outlet and move to new location.

    The Geisha 

    Geisha is a variety of coffee, believed to be originated from Gesha village in Ethiopia. It doesn’t take a coffee expert to tell geisha’s unique aroma. We believe, even some elementary schoolboys can easily tell the difference between geisha and your regular coffee bean. However, we take one step further by asking one of Two Coffee Beans regulars, Jimmy Agus who’s popular with the nickname BGI (Bapak Geisha Indonesia or Father of Indonesian Geisha).

    “2-3 years ago, I had a cup of geisha coffee, it was Hacienda La Esmeralda. Honestly, at first, I was confused, why it was so aromatic, very floral, light, tealike? It doesn’t even taste like coffee, weird but tasty!” said Jimmy. In case you’re wondering how he got his unique nickname, here’s the story: “One day a friend took me to Origin. I was surprised to see so many Nordic coffee, I tried everything there, from Ethiopia, Kenya, and of course all of their geisha. Another friend jokingly called me Bapak Geisha  Indonesia, and people kept calling me with the name ever since,” he recalled.

    Jimmy is not a regular geisha lover, he has his own way of showing his affection toward geisha. “I make a list of all the coffee I’ve had, I even create a special Instagram account to keep track of the bean and the roaster, @geshapedia. However, I’m not strictly a geisha drinker, for milk-based coffee, I prefer non-geisha. After all, not all geisha are good. I happened to prefer geisha with notes such as jasmine, stone fruits, and especially peach. Some of my favorites geisha in Two Coffee Beans are Santa Maria Natural, Finca Deborah, Elida Estate Green Tip Bop 2018,” said Jimmy.

    “Even though I can manually brew the coffee at home, I prefer to drink it at Two Coffee Beans. I can enjoy coffee while sharing with friends, we can learn a lot from it. At the moment, approximately we have 100 geisha lovers in Two Coffee Beans,” said Jimmy.

    Fine Coffee Shop 

    Like most fine dining restaurants, geisha and Two Coffee Beans are not for everyone. Most geisha have very light body, thus resulting in tea-like experience. When it comes to geisha, it’s either love it or hate it. You can find many reasons for people to love it, but when people hate it, it’s probably because of its steep price. In Two Coffee Beans, regular V60 bean can be sold around Rp 30.000 - 50.000, but for geisha, the price starts from Rp 100.000/cup.

    Of course, the bean in Two Coffee Beans is mostly seasonal, but they are the main distributor of Budhas Kafferosteri, a Sweden—based coffee roaster found by an Indonesian named Budha Sutedja who lives there. Two Coffee Beans offers Budhas bean online for homebrewers, but you’d better be quick because it can be sold out within a day. Fortunately, Two Coffee Beans always spare some for the coffee shop.

    The unique characteristic of geisha seems like creating a new segment for coffee lover. You can even see many hardcore fans love geisha, but don’t really into other coffee bean. Perhaps they’ve tried many other beans, but they just can’t move on from geisha’s floral, fruity, complex aroma.

    To maintain its distinct attribute, Two Coffee Beans prefer to use coarse grind size, relatively short brewing time (2:30 max), and temperature range from 87o-92oC. The brewing method? We recommend you to start with either V60 and Kalita Wave, even though they also have espresso machine. Drinking geisha as milk-based coffee is like eating a wagyu ribeye well done, well you can do it, but what’s the point? It simply defeats the purpose. Two Coffee Beans is very serious when it comes to maintaining the freshness of the bean. They keep the bean per shot in a special tube to prevent oxidation, furthermore, the age of most bean served in Two Coffee Beans never exceed 1 month.

    Two Coffee Beans sometime holds interesting coffee events. On July and August 2018, they were having the top three champions of Indonesia Brewers Cup 2018: Hiro Lesmana (Common Grounds), Ryan Wibawa (Starbucks), and Harison Chandra (Ottoman’s) for Lombok earthquake charity event. Hiro Lesmana, the champion of Indonesia Brewers Cup 2018 used Lot 227 Panama Geisha which has the highest cupping score ever: 97, that worths over $ 5.000/kg, making it the world’s most expensive coffee. To sip a bit of the luxurious taste and to donate for Lombok, the cup made by Hiro was priced Rp 500.000/cup, and it was sold like hot cakes.

    If you believe geisha is the best coffee bean ever, perhaps you should put Two Coffee Beans in your agenda, just like some coffee lovers from all over Indonesia did. Even if you don’t like coffee, you should give yourself a chance to sip a cup. We warn you, there are many non-coffee lovers converted into geisha lover. It’s quite surprising how a small coffee shop that targets very niche market like this can create such word of mouth, thanks to, of course, social media. Just remember, Two Coffee Beans is a place to appreciate the subtlety and complexity of geisha. If you merely wants some caffeine fix, BSD has loads of more affordable coffee shops out there, but necessarily better, of course.

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  • 13/10/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Modern Style, Classy(c) Taste

    As leaders in the Indonesian Wine Industry, TWO Islands is the first Balinese local company to produce sparkling wine in the traditional method; a lengthy and laborious process made right here in the island, at its Sanur Winery. 

    With winemaker James Kalleske at the helm of the now twenty-four year old winery, TWO Islands can let their customers rest assured that the new Sparkling Chardonnay will make a dramatic impact on the local market. The TWO Islands Sparkling Chardonnay is made using grapes from premium cool-climate vineyards in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills and Limestone Coast. Bottle fermented using the traditional French technique and aged sur-lies for minimum 12 months, this brut sparkling Chardonnay displays a fine bead, intense floral aromatics of spring Freesias, generous stone fruits on the palate and a long finish defined by toasted nuts, marmalade and pastry aftertaste.

    This vintage product is a beautiful blend between complex classic style and fresh-fruity modern flavor; which should appeal equally to experienced Sparkling Chardonnay wine drinkers and also general wine consumers who like brut sparkling wines.

    “This new wine is outstanding in taste and quality” says the owner of Hatten Wines and TWO Islands brands, IB. Rai Budarsa, he adds “To maintain our position as the market leader in Bali and throughout Indonesia, we must keep a close eye on the wine industry. Demand for a quality Sparkling Chardonnay at an affordable price encouraged us to develop this wine and a void in the market here of a Sparkling Chardonnay was something we recognized as leaders in the wine industry. We make it our priority to ensure we outsource the finest grapes from South Australia and to ensure our wine is outstanding in every way.”

    TWO Islands is a collection of wines originating from the wine regions of South Australia, designed to offer distinct Australian wine characteristics. Between the Pacific coasts in Queensland to the Indian Ocean coast in South Australia, the Australian continent offers dry riverbeds, rainforest, mountain ranges, endless scrubland, red deserts and eventually the cooler wine-growing valleys of the south coast.  South-Eastern Australia is officially classified as a viticulture 'super zone' covering the entire south-eastern third of Australia. The region is the Australian wine industry’s Powerhouse State, producing most of the nation’s wine and boasting some of the oldest individual vines in the world.

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  • 13/09/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Evolution of Turning Point Coffee

    In our May’s issue about coffee, BSD, Tangerang was often mentioned as one of the fastest growing region for coffee shop business. However, when Angeline Lauwrence and Joseph Erwin started Turning Point Coffee in 2014, it was the pioneer of coffee shop in the region. “Our initial concept is neighborhood café that aim for local residents. We want to be a part of residents’ activities so we can create our own community, unlike coffee shops in malls that are visited occasionally,” said Angeline.

    From Melbourne to Tangerang

    The story of Turning Point Coffee began when Angeline and Joseph were living in Melbourne, Australia for 10 years. After graduated, Angeline worked in financial planning, while Joseph was in IT. In 2012, Angeline decided to make a turn in her career by becoming a full time barista and worked in some local coffee shops, the last one was Market Lane Coffee.

    “Actually, office life in Melbourne is very nice, (economically) very stable. But, we wanted to build our own business in Indonesia, the one that not only profitable for us, personally, but also to give positive impacts to broader audience,” she explained. After knowing about the promising coffee shop business opportunity in Indonesia, finally on 2014 the couple returned to their homeland to establish Turning Point Coffee in BSD, Tangerang.

    Of course, adopting the coffee habit from Melbourne to Tangerang does not happen overnight. “In Melbourne, coffee is necessity. A person may visit a coffee shop 2-3 times a day, and the local coffee shops can, at least, sell 200 cups of coffee per day, that’s the absolute minimum number. Meanwhile, in here, if you can reach 200 cups, it’s already wonderful. We’re talking about coffee here, not including any other drinks,” said Angeline.

    “In the beginning, our outlet is not too big, only consist of 1 floor, we didn’t even have wifi, nor main course. At the time, our resources are very limited, we didn’t have proper kitchen, we didn’t even know how to run one. As time goes by, we evolve. After moving to a new location in the beginning of 2018, we have bigger outlet and we can serve various main course,” she said.

    In the new outlet that’s located still in the same business complex, Turning Point Coffee has become more artistic (and of course, Instagrammable), thanks to their new partner, Antony Liu, owner of Studio Tonton which was actually run the architecture business. It’s no wonder to know that the 3rd floor of Turning Point Coffee is used as gallery for Antony’s crafts.

    Core Identity

    To be able to exist for 4 years in the middle of coffee shops’ fierce competition is not an easy task. Turning Point Coffee did it by maintaining its brand’s identity through their product selections. The place’s house blend is a mix of 60% Brazil Rainha bean and 40% Dolok Sanggul, Sumatera. “Personally, I love coffee with acidity, sweetness, and a bit of bitterness with medium body. Once, we switched the bean, but in the end, the customer always prefer to our initial house blend, that’s the one they love,” she explained.

    In Turning Point Coffee (and in every coffee shop, actually) to tell the taste preference of the place, it’s best to go with espresso. We ordered their double ristretto that has flavor profile that perfectly match Angeline’s description, plus a very pleasant sweet after taste. It doesn’t take genius to tell that they serve specialty coffee here. Or, if you’re a milk-based type person, have a Magic, basically, a flat white with double ristretto for more pronounced coffee flavor. Prawn Aglio Olio and Cinnamon Bread Puddingis some of the most favorite menus to accompany your coffee experience here. But, they don’t serve the typical Fried Rice nor Oxtail Soup here.

    There are numerous ideas form friends and families that the couple reject, solely to keep the identity and concept of Turning Point Coffee. “I don’t enjoy selling something I don’t really like, such as the regular Ice Lychee Tea, Green Tea Latte, Red Velvet Latte, or Taro Latte. Whenever possible, the products that we sell are the natural homemade products, such as Pandan Latte or Earl Grey Latte. Now that we have bigger place and wider range of food, we try not to loose our initial identity,” Angeline added.

    The New Roastery

    After moving to a new place, the next phase for Turning Point Coffee would be to open a new business in coffee roaster. Of course, the business expansion is not without proper calculation. They might only have 1 outlet, Angeline and Joseph are also involved in Titik Temu Coffee in Seminyak, Bali. The coffee shop is a business with many partners involved in it. Even though the couple is only responsible in running the beverage business in Titik Temu Coffee, we can safely say that they already have their second outlet.

    “I’ve talked to many people, and to sum it up, having your own roaster started to make sense when you already have 2-3 outlets. I question new guys in the coffee shop business who already wanting their own roaster for the sake of saving cost, because the investation is very costly, it’s like (the cost of) building a new coffee shop. It’s a small step toward our long journey in controlling the whole supply chain to the coffee farm,” she concluded.

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  • 13/09/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Fine Flavor and Fabulous View

    As integral part of Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Sungai Restaurant offers a completely memorable dining experience in the midst of Ubud’s tranquil serenity. From the open-air venue, you can gaze upon the scenic panorama of undulating trees swaying gently, accompanied by the trickling sound of the flowing river below. 

    Start your feast with a portion of Pomelo “Jeruk Bali” and Strawberry Salad. This fresh appetizer with indigenous influence is completed with soya bean cake, sweet potato chips and tamarind dressing, creating a distinctive tasty flavor you wouldn’t find on conventional salad anywhere. The sweet potato chip is actually a brilliant addition that wraps up the whole dish into one fine appetite booster. Then for the main menu, you should try their signature Satay Campur Sthala; assorted selection of Indonesian skewered grilled goodness consisting beef, pork, shrimp, chicken to minced seafood satay, served in a small griller with tender ‘lontong’ rice cake on side. Or, for a more ‘Ubud’ feel, you may opt for Bebek Sthala; a portion of crispy fried half local duck presented with unique ‘Gonda’ vegetables tossed in sambal, steamed rice and peanut crackers. To finish your session in complete satisfaction, Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake is a must-try; apple caramel, chocolate tuile and vanilla ice cream served hot to add some sweetness to your palate.

    A good meal has to be complimented with fine drinks. So, at Sungai you can also order some of their refreshment creations such as Mexican Berry; a unique tequila-based cocktail with mixed berries and a brief touch of lemonade or the cheekily named L.O.L, which stands for Lemon, Orange, Lychee, mixed with soda and (also) a hint of lemonade.

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  • 12/09/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    C’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant

    In my eighth year as its patron now, the sight and smell of C’s have become a familiar terrain. Upon entering, the open kitchen is where all the attractions are happening. You can smell the fragrant of steaks being seared. You can see huge fish tanks filled with wonders from the sea. You can hear the clashing of the wok and spatula from the Chinese food section. This parade of senses immediately urges me to sit and waiting in anticipation for what will come next on my table.


    The warmly lit restaurant evokes a certain degree of intimacy and comfort. While it is not a fine-dining restaurant, one would enjoy the hours passed here while devouring all the goodness from the menu. Building up the excitement to eat here, C’s is also inviting foreign chefs from time to time to share their expertise and create a limited time menu.

    The ambiance here is mildly conversational with easy listening music as the background. When you are planning to visit with family or scheduling a meeting with colleagues, then reserving the private rooms overlooking the Bundaran HI would be a major perk for your dining experience.

    C’s has become the backbone for the hotel, especially when Grand Café was undergoing a major renovation in much part of 2018. Of what used to be known as an ala carte restaurant for lunch and dinner, C’s was temporarily converted as an all-day
    dining that caters esteemed guests of Grand Hyatt Jakarta. When Grand Café was finally unveiled several months ago, C’s has returned to its former self again – serving its guests with their much-loved fresh seafood, steak, and Oriental dishes.

    The Executive Sous Chef, Mr Agung Budi went to a length explaining what’s in store at C’s for its patrons. There is a plethora of fresh, quality produce ripe for the taking – especially from the seafood side. Indonesia is now home to many local produce and seafood previously only imported from overseas. Additionally, C’s dedication for farm-to-table concept and sustainability brings good tidings for the environment as well as C’s most discerned diners.

    The chef explains that at least 90% of C’s seafood came from local waters. “We have prawns from Aceh, clams from Bali, and crabs from Papua”, he says. Vegetables are always freshly delivered from a farm in West Java. “Take this burrata salad we have here for example. The beetroots are now grown in Puncak and even the burrata are produced by local cheese artisan”, explains the chef.

    Every restaurant has its own signature dishes. At C’s, the must-have would be the colorful and delectable steak and seafood platters for sharing. Additionally, don’t skip its famous nasi goreng kambing and the wonderful Chinese cuisine lineup.

    From the steak section, a wide range of premium cuts available here are sourced mostly from US and Australia. The star of the show are the platters and the Tomahawk. The seafood platter consists of rock lobster, king prawns, clams, Timika crab, Alaskan king crab, and mussels. Meanwhile, the steak platter has Black Angus beef tenderloin, half baby chicken, lamb chops, and beef sausages. Right on the spotlight, the 1500 gr Tomahawk wagyu steak for sharing with your loved ones.

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  • 12/09/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Classic, Fine Dining Steak House

    We have to admit, our first impression when we heard the name of  the place was like, “why does it have such a weird name?” We’re sure we’re not alone in this matter. However, after knowing the story behind it, actually, Ruth’s Chris Steak House has one of the most rock’n roll story in F&B business, and we felt obliged to tell you.

    Behind the Name

    Ruth Fertel, founder of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, was a recently divorced woman with 2 children. She worked as a lab technician in New Orleans, until one of her son dreamed of going to college. With her current salary, his dream was impossible, until he saw an ad of Chris Steak House on sale for $ 18.000 in 1965. Her banker, lawyer, friends and family were against Ruth’s decision, but Ruth dare to mortgage her house for $ 22.000, even though she didn’t have any backgrounds in F&B business, simply because Chris Steak House was established in February 5th 1927, same with her birthday.

    Ruth taught herself to butcher the meat, also to use her knowledge in chemical to build her own patented 982oC broiler. On the first day, she managed to sell 35 pieces of steak worth $5/pcs. Soon, the place became the talk of the town, especially among local politicians and reporters. Within 6 months, Ruth managed to earn twice of her annual salary from her previous workplace, and finally, she was able to send her son to Harvard University.

    The name was changed when the restaurant was burnt down 11 years after opening. One of the condition when Ruth bought the place, was that she wasn’t allowed use the name “Chris Steak House” if she decided to move to other location. In merely 10 days, Ruth built her restaurant in other location and decided to put her name in front of the restaurant’s name, and today, we know it as “Ruth’s Chris Steak House”.

    Until today, Ruth’s Chris Steak House already has more than 150 outlets around the globe. The Indonesian’s outlet is located in Somerset Apartment, just across the Raffles Hotel, South Jakarta, and opened its door for public in February 13th 2016.

    Meat Selection

    Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a family style steak house, wrapped in fine dining’s service, environment, and food quality. Ruth’s Chris never compromises when it comes to quality. The USDA (The United States Department of Agriculture) has 3 category for their US beef: Prime, Choice, Select, and another 2 grades below them were Cutter and Canner. Ruth’s Chris Steak House always uses Prime which has more marbling and feature younger beef that resulted in finer texture and lighter
    red color.

    Ruth’s Chris Steak House also use their trademark, patented broiler, found by Ruth Fertel. The broiler’s internal temperature may reach 982oC, and it resulted in juicier flavor, more tender texture, also maintain the shape of the meat that can’t be attained by any other grilling methods.

    One thing to note, never touch the steak’s serving plate as its temperature may reach 260oC to get that sizzling sensation on plate. The hot plate has 2 main functions: to keep the steak warm longer, and also help you to cook the meat, especially helpful for those who dislike rare meat. With the featured hot plate, you are recommended to order your steak one level below your favorite doneness level.

    American Portion

    As an American restaurant, of course Ruth’s Chris Steak House is offering American portion food (read: tremendous). In addition, what sets the place apart from other steak houses is the family style sharing concept. In other places, you will have individual plate with side dish and sauce, but here, if you order steak, you’ll get big steak, salt, pepper, and melted butter, without any side dish or any other sauce. They believe, it’s the best way to enjoy premium beef cuts. Of course, Ruth’s Chris Steak House also offers regular side dish such as potato, vegetable, to dessert, all served in “American” portion, so you can share them with friends and families.

    As a restaurant that originated from New Orleans, it’s not possible to enjoy steak without seafood that became the trademark of the region. Some of the favorite seafood menus here are Sizzlin’ Jumbo Scallops, Sizzlin’ Blue Crab Cakes, Barbecued Shrimp, Ahi-Tuna Stack, and Fresh Lobster.

    You might be surprised when you see the price list on the menu, however, after seeing what you’ll have, everything started to make sense. If you are to visit the place, we recommend you to come with 4 people minimum (unless, for romantic dinner), because in the end, you’ll spend less money than what you usually spend in other equivalent steak house.

    Ruth’s Chris Steak House is not any ordinary restaurant. You can see it as part of history created by the struggle and strong will of a single mom, but you can also see it as a place to satisfy your carnivorous lust in fine dining setting. One of their most memorable quote for us is: it took a tough lady to make tender steak.

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  • 12/09/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - South American Style

    Dengan begitu banyak pilihan restoran baru, agak sulit untuk menentukan kualitas sebuah restoran. Namun mari kita sederhanakan saja, jika Anda tidak keberatan untuk kembali, berarti itu adalah restoran yang lumayan, namun jika itu adalah sebuah restoran yang bagus, Anda akan selalu ingin kembali lagi. Inilah sensasi yang kami rasakan ketika kami makan di El Asador beberapa bulan lalu, kali ini kami memutuskan untuk menggali lebih dalam mengenai resto grill bergaya South American ini.

    Eugenio Doldan, pria Uruguay dibelakang El Asador ini menghabiskan 9 tahun bekerja di restoran Argentina di Melbourne, Australia. Di sana, ia bertemu dengan seorang gadis Indonesia, Dhani Isti Tantyo, yang menjadi istrinya. Setelah menyelesaikan studinya, Isti kembali ke Indonesia dan Eugenio memutuskan untuk datang ke Jakarta untuk membuka bisnis mereka bersama. Pasangan ini membuka El Asador (artinya “barbecuer”) pada 2013, kemudian El Machote dan Black Sheep di 2017.

    “Awalnya agak sulit, karena kami kesulitan mencari produk (daging) dan supplier. Ketika Anda seorang pemain baru, orang tidak terlalu percaya pada Anda. Saya pernah memesan 5 jenis potongan daging sebanyak 50 kg dari sebuah supplier, dan mereka hanya datang dengan 20-30 kg. Namun, seperti bayi yang belajar jalan, kami mulai mengenal supplier lain dan sekarang kami memiliki kredibilitas yang baik. Mereka juga tahu jika mereka tidak mengirim produk yang saya inginkan, atau kualitasnya tidak sesuai standar kami, saya akan mengembalikannya,” kata Eugenio.

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  • 12/09/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    South American Style

    With so many choices of flavor from the new restaurants nowadays, it’s kind of difficult to use standards to tell whether a restaurant is good or bad. To make it simple for you, it’s a decent restaurant when you don’t mind to return there, however, if it’s a good one, you’re craving to come back for more. It’s the sensation we had when we dined in El Asador few months ago, and now we decided to learn more about the South American style grill restaurant.

    Meet Eugenio Doldan, an Uruguay man behind El Asador, who spent 9 years working in Argentinian restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. There, he met his Indonesian girlfriend, Dhani Isti Tantyo, who then became his wife. After she finished the study and returned to Indonesia, Eugenio decided to came to Jakarta to open a business together with her. The couple opened El Asador (literally means “the barbecuer”) in 2013, then El Machote and Black Sheep in 2017.

    “In the beginning it was tough because it was difficult to find the products (meat) and the suppliers. When you are new, people don’t trust you too much. I ordered 5 different cuts weighed 50 kg from a supplier, and they came up with only 20-30 kgs. But, like a baby learning to walk, we began to know more suppliers and now we have quite good credibility among them. They also know that if they don’t send me what I want, or the quality is not good, I’ll send them back,” said Eugenio.

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  • 10/08/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Perfect Coffee Shop?

    It was in the middle of 2015 when I heard the buzz about a trending coffee shop in Pluit that offered premium quality (and price, of course) coffee. However, as an employee with regular working hour, it’s a bit difficult to find the time to visit Ombe Kofie as it was closed on 6.00 pm. 

    When I finally had the chance to go there, I was quite surprised because of 2 things. The first one, was the price. Compared to most coffee shops at the time, Ombe’s coffee is quite pricey. Regular cappuccino was around Rp 45.000-50.000, filter V60 was Rp 65.000, and Panama Geisha was Rp 150.000 for a single cup. Then the second one, in only 30 m2 outlet, I saw almost all of the customers talking to each other. “It must be a private event for some sort of office,” I assumed. Later, I found out that it’s just another daily scenario at Ombe Kofie, like a hip version of kopi tiam. The one who’s responsible for the lively scene is definitely the Godfather of Ombe Kofie, Jason Leo, but most people simply call him “Om Jason”, one of the liveliest silver-haired man I’ve ever met.

    Long Research

    Actually, the idea of opening a coffee shop came from Om Jason’s wife, Tante Wiwid, an avid coffee lover. “Actually, I didn’t really like coffee because it kept me awake, I also don’t like bitterness. If I were to drink a Starbucks coffee, usually I put 6 packs of sugar,” said Om Jason.

    In 2011, when the couple took their son for college in San Jose, US, Om Jason and wife also visited San Fransisco and Los Angeles. “There’s so many coffee shops, especially in San Fransisco. My wife said that the coffee shop was also trending in Indonesia. When my father passed away in 2012, I began serious research on coffee shop,” he recalled.

    At the time, they went café hopping to almost all coffee shops in Jakarta, from Giyanti One Fifteenth, Crematology, Tanamera, and Anomali to learn everything about coffee. “We’re dead serious on the research. Finally on March 2014, I took 2 days barista course with Aji Darius in Hang Tuah. Since then, I made my own manual brew coffee, because I hadn’t got an espresso machine. Of course, my wife became my object of experiment,” he laughed.

    In July 2014, they started to get serious in finding location for their future coffee shop from Senopati to Ampera, before finally landed the decision on 12m2 spot beside Putri Pharmacy in Pluit, which actually just 1 km from Om Jason’s house. After expanding the building into 30m2, Ombe Kofie was officially operating in March 2015. It was slow for the first 2 weeks, but after that, Om Jason and his partner were restless because of the customers who are even willing to stand up because they didn’t get any seats. It happened everyday until the end of 2016.

    People of Ombe

    There are some contributing factors to Ombe’s success. “Perhaps it was word of mouth. When we were café hopping and said we’d be opening our own coffee shop using La Marzocco Strada, but the barista was already old (laugh), perhaps the coffee people started to talk about it. The second factor was the role of social media, especially Instagram,” Om Jason explained.

    However, the one thing that can’t be replicated by any other coffee shop is Om Jason’s ability to build relationship with various communities, from bike, runner, car, to motorcycle communities. “From the beginning, I wanted to make a relaxed coffee shop, intimate where we can talk, scream, and know the customers, because it’s our coffee culture. Strangers became friends, so we have more and more friends. We also quick to know customer, we won’t forget if you’ve been here 2-3 times, we’ll remember your name and your order. We even have a Whatsapp group called People of Ombe,” he said.

    Even though Ombe is closed down at night, the place is always filled with customers from morning to afternoon. “Basically, if there’s other coffee shop opens at 7, I’ll open at 6, I want to be the earliest. In Pluit, most of our customers are business owners or top level management who aren’t bound to regular working hours. You’ll see some customers came in the morning, and they’d return in the afternoon,” said Om Jason.

    Hi End Segment

    Since inception, Om Jason deliberately aim for the hi end market with less competitors. “The price of a cup of coffee is around Rp 30.000-35.000, meanwhile there are only 1-3 coffee shops which offer coffee above the price range. I prefer to fight in the premium class compared to fighting in the saturated market, there are more opportunities Of course, in middle or premium segment, you have to offer quality, but if I sell it in premium price, from the ingredients, I can provide better quality coffee bean, so if there’s a mistake, it won’t be as fatal,” he explained.

    It’s the reason why Ombe is widely known as imported bean provider, especially from Africa and South America, in fact, 80% of Ombe’s sales come from imported bean. “I don’t mean to brag, but in the beginning, Ombe is known for providing Panama Geisha Esmeralda (Rp 150.000/cup), which cost you Rp 4.000.000/kg of roasted bean. Perhaps in Indonesia, we sold most Panama Geisha, we managed to sell around 1 kg/month,” he said.

    Ombe required around a year to change the coffee habit from sugared coffee to black coffee, from flat white to piccolo or double shot espresso. “From 10 people, perhaps only 1 can naturally detect the notes in the coffee. If someone ask me, ‘Om, what are the notes of this Flores bean?’ Is it blueberry? Black currant? Mango? I don’t know, but I know good coffee after I dialed it, that’s the most important thing!” he stated.


    Until today, Ombe already has 6 outlets in Jakarta, from Djule Kofi in Melawai (already closed down), Maarkeeze in Grand Indonesia, Ombe Mal Kelapa Gading, Ombe Summarecon Bekasi, Ombe UOB Plaza (exclusive for UOB staffs) and the last one, Ombe Cikajang. We can safely say that Ombe is one of the most aggressive third wave coffee brand to expand, even though Om Jason admitted that he never have the the intention of finding new place. “It (expansion) happened after someone offer their places to us, if I have the feeling and offered a good deal, I’d take it!” he said.

    Om Jason has his own considerations in choosing a location. “We already know (the ideal composition) of fixed cost, COGS, rental, salary, etc, that’s all we need to know, if one of them is off, we’ll find out the reason, simple. Perhaps the offered location is slow, but I wouldn’t mind as long as the deal is good and I have ‘the feeling’, because Ombe already has its own market. From the beginning, we even have people from South Jakarta coming all the way here. If we got the deal that we can’t refuse, off we go! One of the good deal is in Ombe Kelapa Gading, where we have our own entrance from outside, it’s a great deal, isn’t it?” he laughed.

    If there are some people who think that coffee business is already saturated, Om Jason thinks the other way. According to him, the industry still has immense opportunities. “Did you know that the sales of sachet coffee is ridiculously big? Can those people afford to buy Rp 20.000-25.000 coffee? Definitely, but perhaps occasionally. One day they will have these kinds of coffee and they will know the taste, brewing method, and the proper way to consume coffee. It’s a bit hassle actually, but do you want to drink good or coffee, or any coffee will do? This (habit) should be improved, and actually many are willing to switch," he said.

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  • 10/08/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Exquisite Creation for Divine Celebrations

    Grew out of passion, dedication and extensive experience of Indonesian and European cuisine from the founders; husband-and-wife Helmut and Julia, Ixora Cake seems to be on the go-to list of many national celebrities, public figures and couples who want to make the best sweet treat for their wedding celebration. The brand has been known to create astonishing custom-cake by request, with bold approach in using various ingredients and creating a delicious taste that matches the look.

    In fact, one of the thing that makes Ixora Cake stands out amongst its competitors is their willingness to explore the ingredients; not just the filling, but on the cake itself. Instead of only two (plain chocolate or vanilla), they currently have extensive list of 18 cake flavors; including red velvet, raspberry, almond, carrot, caramel, lemon, vanilla and chocolate mud just to name a few. All of these are highly customizable with different variety of filling, so the client can create their original cake with a combination that never been used before. I get the chance to taste the flavors mentioned above during my visit to Ixora’s café, which is actually a part of Delicioso Bistro & Restaurant, and yes I was impressed with the full-bodied flavor, not too sweet but creamy and delicious.

    Not only the taste, Ixora Cake known for its exquisite shape as well. Every custom cake is wonderfully made to resemble the client’s imagination and request. This especially applies to the Birthday Cake. Ixora seems able to create many kinds of artistic and realistic forms available, from the famous Game of Throne’s ‘Iron Throne’ rendition to the most favorite ‘Beer Bintang Bucket’. They also excel
    in re-creating the surrealist marble pattern on the cake. Lead by the talented Chef Andre, Ixora’s pastry kitchen is divided into different division; mainly baking, filling, covering and decorating, each with its own sub-division. This is what makes them can finish such a fine-looking artisanal-grade cake in just 24 hour or less.

    Now, 17 years later from their modest start, Ixora is proud to be one of industry leader in Bali. They will continue creating expert pastries for wholesale and retail clientele alike, or anyone who needs a perfectly-shaped tasty cake for their once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

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  • 03/08/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    UNION Café

    Known for the endless innovations when it comes to various dining concepts, UNION Café in a way differentiates it self with the siblings. Emulating the success of UNION as the group’s flagship restaurant is already a challenge, but to leave its own mark of distinction to curious Jakartan diners would be an admirable feat.

    Within just few weeks of their opening since before Eid this year, the establishment has already become the talk of the town. The welcomingatmosphere, the circular shape of the café, and the alluring display of bakerywould entice even UNION’s most seasoned patron. Once inside, it’s all aboutcomfort and privacy - albeit pretty much the whole Senayan City can see thehustle and bustle of the café.

    The distinctive features came mostly from the menu and perhaps this is the first time in the history of UNION that we have Indonesian-inspired dishes more than ever. The inspirations for the menu was either creatively driven or derived from personal experiences of chef proprietor Adhika Maxi and his wife Karen Carlotta. The result is an exciting lineup worth every penny to indulge.

    From the starters, UNION Café boasts the collection of Indonesian snacks such as the prawn and chicken tahu isi with daun jeruk, singkong fries “soto flavor”, scallop bakwan jagung, and bakwan fishcakes. Alternatively, you can choose international flavors such as the lemongrass tuna tataki with tempeh crumbs or the calamari with San Marzano tomatoes and tartar sauce.

    Heading to the pasta section, the Indonesian flavors can be seen right away from the appearance of crispy teri aglio olio spaghetti and the crispy chicken penne with sambal matah. The latter shows UNION Café’s new commitment for bolder taste. It’s not just about the depth of flavors and the sophistication of the dish, but also the level of spiciness. This would be a new height that perhaps only a few internationally-themed restaurants in Jakarta would be brave enough to climb.

    Heading to the main course, one certainly must play along with UNION Café’s signatures. For example; the Indo Spiced Steak with cabe rawit confit, colorful vegetables, and rice would be a great substitute for your usual Steak Frites. Other than that, the café offers the appetizing nasi bebek garing on garlic rice and served with 2 kinds of sambal. Not stopping on those, we have all the goodness from slow cooked short ribs with tamarind sauce, nasi goreng kepiting, and seafood mie goreng.

    Heading straight to the desserts - a specialty that has contributed so much for UNION’s success, is also not short of surprises. Firstly, we have the es teler ice cream bolu roll, and pisang coklat with cinnamon sugar and burnt caramel ice cream. The rich display of cakes and pastry would be great for takeaways as well.

    With this, one would be curious enough to see with what UNION Café in particular, would conjure again in the future with its potentials. As they say, UNION made is well made, and certainly we’d be looking forward to more exciting things coming from the group and its other ventures.

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  • 05/07/2018 0 Comments
    An Enchanting Romance and Wedding Celebration in the heart of Island of Bali

    Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Ubud Bali, a member of Marriott International is one of the Bali’s most enchanting and romantic venues for weddings, events, ceremonies and honeymoons.

    romantic sanctuary amidst lush tropical gardens,  breathtaking views of the WOS river and Balinese temple, Sthala Ubud Bali offers a remarkable location for couples to celebrate their wedding and honeymoon or spend quality time together. The Hotel offers the ultimate privacy, serenity and tranquility blends of nature meeting luxury. We can offer a romantic chapel settings for your wedding with a dramatic WOS river view or lush manicured gardens at Abing Terrace, or an event with the river view and Balinese Temple on the river deck.

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  • Ideas Awesome is one of the coffee shop competing in one of the most talked about region in coffee communities, Kelapa Gading
    05/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Coffee Shop’s Battleground

    After Passion discussed about coffee in the last May 2018 issue, the name Kelapa Gading is often mentioned by our sources as the region with the highest growth of coffee shop in Jakarta, perhaps in Indonesia. On the 1.633 ha land, thereare more than 70 coffee shops operating with their own unique selling proposition, one of them is Ideas Awesome.

    The trend of thir wave coffee shop in Kelapa Gading began with 2 coffee shops: Six Ounces and Kopium in 2015. “Based on the latest info I had last month, the number has reached 70. Perhaps there are some that has closed down, but we also have the upcoming new ones also, so I assume we have more than 70 now,” said Paul Mordheweyk, the owner of Ideas Awesome. The coffee shop has been operating since 2017, “It was a bit crowded at that time, but there were still only around 40 coffee shops, ini 2017-2018, we have so many new coffee shops,” he added.

    Paul is not exactly a new face in coffee scene. Previously, he worked as Sales Manager in Tanamera, one of the third wave pioneers in Jakarta. In 2015, he built his own coffee shop in Rawa Belong, West Jakarta, under the name Coteca (Coffee Tea Cacao). His main consideration of opening a coffee shop in Kelapa Gading? “Simple, I want to have my own business, close to where I live,” said Paul who live near Kelapa Gading.

    Even though it was located not too far from the main street in Kelapa Gading, Paul has deliberately chosen the location in Rukan Graha Bulevard since long ago because it reminds him of Tanamera’s atmosphere in Thamrin City Office Park. “It’s a bit in the inside, it has office atmosphere but a bit far from the crowded street. Perhaps it’s the only place in Kelapa Gading with similar atmosphere with Tanamera, even though the traffic is not as busy, they got Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia and Thamrin Office over there,” he explained.

    One of the biggest challenges faced by most coffee shops in Kelapa Gading is the construction of LRT that has to be finished before 2018’s Asean Games. “Of course, it’s a challenge for us, we have to, some sort of holding our breath. There are other coffee shops in Kelapa Gading who had worse situation, they didn’t even manage to sell a single item for a day. If you say that our location is not ideal, let just count how many coffee shops were closing down even though they’re located at the main street? So, location is not a guarantee,” he added.

    However, as the construction will end soon, Ideas Awesome found a new optimism as it is located very closely to the LRT station. Ideas Awesome even doesn’t hesitate to prolong their contract for 3 years even though they haven’t finished the 2 years contract. “Now, I’m thinking of takeaway menus that can be paired with coffee for grab and go concept, because the LRT concept is suitable for those who are always rushing.”

    Trend Following.

    One of the reason why many people open coffee shops in Kelapa Gading (and in any other regions, of course) is because of the trend following. “We have many rich people in Kelapa Gading, perhaps they had their children return from the study abroad and they give capital to build a business. But actually, the demand on coffee is not as big as the rapid growth of the coffee shops,” he added.

    The coffee market in Kelapa Gading can be classified into categories, but according to Paul, they are “coffee lovers” not “freak”, because he deliberately designed his coffee shop to be not too serious about specialty. “I had an acquaintance who opened a coffee shop in Serpong that serves Geisha bean with manual brew, back then, he didn’t even have espresso machine. The customer can order more than 1 cup of coffee, sometimes they even bring their own bean to be brewed. That ’s what I regard as “freak”. In Kelapa Gading, perhaps we have those kinds of customers, but personally, I’ve yet to see one,” said Paul.

    The other trend following can be seen through the choice of espresso machine. Paul was once asked by his customer, who happen to own a coffee shop, on the reason why he didn’t use La Marzocco. “La Marzocco is actually good, but when I asked him back why should I using the machine, what makes it different from other brand? He couldn’t answer. Most people buy a brand because they’re just following their friends. Because when you need to make Iced Caramel Latter, I guess regular espresso machines should be sufficient. Perhaps they buy things because of pride,” he explained.

    Ideas Awesome’s Concept

    From the beginning, Ideas Awesome wasn’t designed for coffee fanatics, because of its location. “I never want to be too specialty because most people in Kelapa Gading prefer sweet taste. And then the coffee people are not that loyal, even though I have to admit, it was caused by us, owners of coffee shop who are opening coffee shops exceeding the actual demand,” he admitted.

    Paul was inspired by the soft ice cream concept when he was travelling to Omotesando Street (Shibuya, Japan). “There was this big coffee shop, also a roaster. However, the customers who got out always bring soft ice cream even though it
    was cold. It’s interesting to bring the concept with tropical climate like Indonesia. Our customers love it, perhaps because we a completely new flavor at the time, Earl Grey.”

    Aside from ice cream, Ideas Awesome also serves unique colorful menus such as Rainbow Pasta, Lego Lemonade (iced drink with colorful lego-shaped ice cube), and Crouching Dragon Hidden Mango. “We exploited grey interior so when you take
    photos of our products, they will pop out,” said Paul. Some of the recommended menus here are Bruschetta con Funghi, and favorite desserts such as Shouffle Pancake and Tiramisu. “ We try to serve something different, even though I have to admit that the concept is not entirely new,” he added.

    In the midst of huge number of coffee shops in Kelapa Gading, uniqueness is the main thing needed for a coffee shop to maintain its existence. With unique menus and Instagrammable place, Ideas Awesome is continuously offering new things for coffee lovers, in addition to their optimism as the construction of LRT in Kelapa Gading is near completion.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Sweet Creamy Goodness

    As one of Bali’s most prominent pastry brand, Ruth’s Dessert & Diner has re-emerged to the island’s culinary scene once again with new two-story establishment and good ol’ classic American recipe of creamy sweet treat.

    Still located on the main junction of Bypass Sanur road, Ruth’s Dessert & Diner carry along all of their expertise in creating good food-especially pastries and cake, to all of its customers, old and new alike. Their chic little café is a quaint and comfy spot for a full dine-in feast or quality afternoon tea-break.

    Even after years of providing utmost satisfaction for their guest, Ruth’s never ceases to innovate with the menus. All of their pastries are made with real dairy products; no trans-fat or chemical additional whatsoever, ensuring the healthiness and freshness of each dishes.  You should try their ample selections of homemade ice cream, created using 100-years old recipe from Coney Island. The latest addition to this particular menu is Es Krim Goreng Durian; which are basically a fried ice cream with aromatic durian flavor. This used to be one of Indonesia’s most favorite street foods in certain regions; which Ruth nailed perfectly with their own amazing recipe and method. Crispy, deep-fried outer ‘skin’ protecting the creamy (and surprisingly intact) cold sweet treats inside, combining the impossible into one delicious dessert.

    Then, during your visit, don’t forget to try their cupcakes as well. This is widely considered as Ruth’s staple menu which consist a perfect blends of sweet, creamy and tangible cream cheese or butter-based cupcake, baked to perfection with various delicate flavors; from red velvet, chocolate (writer’s personal favorite), carrot cake, and many more. Or for a more ‘American’ feels, try their crispy, crumbly Apple Pie, which serves with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

    If you want to have ice cream or cake, better have a good one. You don’t want to waste all those calories consuming sub-par sweet treat, and Ruth’s Dessert & Diner will guarantee satisfaction with what they have to offers; a delightful dessert worth feasting for.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    A Refined Pâtisserie at its Best

    Passion meets Yoan Tjahjadi and Ivan Setyawan, co-owners of the rising star pastry shop Namelaka at Shophaus Menteng. They share a story about their humble beginnings and how in just less than two years, they are ready to take the pastry world of Jakarta by storm.

    One decade is all that we need to assimilate ourselves within the global culinary culture. It was quiet on all fronts back when I started writing and observing about Jakarta’s food scenes back in 2009. And now, we can see it clearly that everyone is contributing a part to further embolden our local food culture - from a writer and up to restaurant owners, from starting out in a long chain of hospitality industry and up to become an accomplished chef. This also includes the appearance of food start-ups, influencers, and other aspirations.

    Everyone is always inspired with something and that’s the drive needed to gain the foothold in this so-called journey of life. That’s the case for both Yoan and Ivan as well.

    Pastry has always been a thing for Yoan, who started it all from zero. She did it first by learning about cookery in general from a short course in Jakarta, while also at the same time finishing her graphic design study. Meanwhile Ivan was already on his way studying about cookery and accounting. Long story short, they met at William Angliss Institute back in Melbourne - each in pursue of their aspirations within the food industry.

    Graduated, they both returned to Indonesia and promised themselves that they should leave a mark in this world somehow. Namelaka was then established in 2016, starting humbly as an online pastry business and joining food bazaars around Jakarta.

    “One time there was an offer from Shophaus to open up our first store here”, Yoan says. Both were excited about the opportunity, but they realized it was all about renewing their own commitments for the business. A decision that they must face sooner or later.

    Thus, December 2016 was historical for Namelaka as finally Yoan and Ivan agreed to commit themselves wholeheartedly into the business now. The production flow has been set to full motion now and all their resources were assigned to make that happen.

    But what’s the difference between Namelaka and the rest of the competition, I ask them. “Number one, we don’t follow what’s trending out there. Our products are simply based on the flavors that we personally like and we try to be creative with that”, she explains.

    Ivan quickly gives example, “Back when I was in college, I used to really love this hazelnut coffee from Starbucks and that inspired us to create the Coffee Caramel Hazelnut cake”. “Or in my instance”, says Yoan cheerfully, “the Honey Lemon Ginger Tart which was based on a flavored beverage I really like!”

    Their signature product now is the choux pastry with a wide variety of unique flavors such as the Thai milk tea, salted caramel, mango lassi, and many more. Other than that, Namelaka prides itself with their collection of cakes; namely the Intense Chocolate, Earl Berries, and the Noisette. Each boasts its luscious look and a curious blend of quality ingredients.

    Last Ramadan, they paid homage to the holy month with their unique creation of Nastart – a combination of the much loved nastar with homemade pineapple jam, compote, and almond crumble on a pie base. Additionally, they were busy producing the all-time favorite hampers for Eid.

    Business may run well for Namelaka so far, but they do not stay idle. I ask them what they are planning after this. “Rather than focusing on opening new shops, we want to focus on increasing our capacity. We are planning to relocate our central kitchen to a bigger place”, explain them both. They hope to increase their efficiency when responding for more online orders specifically.

    With their current pace and their commitment to quality from this tender age, it’s safe to assume that we will see more of Namelaka from time to time. It would be exciting to see what other creations they will come up with in the future and how the crowd would react to that. As for me, I have found a new sanctuary within the verdant Menteng area. And that is to sip a good old cup of coffee here and a slice of cake from this patisserie.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Force Behind 5 Star Hotels

    Sebagai mantan seorang Pastry Chef yang telah bekerja di banyak hotel bintang 5, Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK) akhirnya mendirikan sendiri Physalis, pabrik produsen produk pastry ke berbagai hotel bintang 5. Meski dimulai secara sederhana pada 2011 dengan 3 orang staf dan sebuah garasi dari rumah kontrakan, sekarang central kitchen Physalis’s berdiri di lahan seluas 800m2 dengan 80 karyawan tetap yang mampu memproduksi 50.000 pcs cake dan 40.000 pcs roti setiap hari. Tentu proses ini tidak terjadi dalam semalam, CRK menceritakan proses panjang dan pengorbanan yang tidak sedikit dalam membentuk Physalis’s hingga menjadi seperti sekarang ini.

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  • You might not know the name, but Physalis’s has been responsible in supplying pastry products, mostly for 5 star hotels.
    05/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Force Behind 5 Star Hotels

    As an ex-Pastry Chef who has worked in many 5 star hotels, Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK) built his own brand, Physalis’s, a pastry supplier which supply its products to 5 star hotels. Even though he started humbly in 2011, with only 3 staffs in a house’s garage, now Physalis’s central kithen is standing on 800m2 land with over 80 employees that’s capable of producing 50.000 pcs cake and 40.000 bread per day. Of course it doesn’t happen overnight, CRK tells us the story of the long journey and his big sacrifice in creating Physalis’s as it is now.

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  • Putting all efforts to re-embrace their original concept, Manisan Bali dig deeper to explore the flavor of Indonesian vast archipelago. Now with the new (and prominent) patron chef in their rank, the charming restaurant is ready to serve their best taste of the nation’s rich traditional goodness.
    26/06/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Deep Taste Explorer

    Putting all efforts to re-embrace their original concept, Manisan Bali dig deeper to explore the flavor of Indonesian vast archipelago. Now with the new (and prominent) patron chef in their rank, the charming restaurant is ready to serve their best taste of the nation’s rich traditional goodness.

    Manisan Bali have one noble mission: (re) introducing Indonesian traditional cuisine to the world, and they gathered the right resources to do so. Currently, they has appointed Chef Bloem as their Patron Chef. This talented and charismatic chef will oversee all menus and ensure that each one of them will carry traditional Indonesian roots, and, of course, are made with only the best quality ingredients. Conveniently (and perfectly) tucked on the side yard of Alaya Ubud, Manisan’s charm will greet you from the parking lot, until you walk down on a wooden deck in-between the glowing green paddy field to reach its main dining space.

    I feel honored to be accompanied by the man himself, Chef Bloem, during my visit, enjoying the eloquent taste of his creation one plate after another. The first one that really captured my palate is called Cumi. Literally translated to ‘squid’, it consists a plate of baby squid soaked black with squid ink. I thought it would be overdone, but I couldn’t be more wrong. There is no fishy taste nor smell whatsoever, and there was this fine balance between salty and creamy flavor that is so pleasantly good it made me longs for more. Then for meat lovers, you have to try the Babi Kecap. A run-off-the-mill Chinese-influenced menu which obviously made by someone with talent and knowledge. The succulent, juicy braised pork blended so well with sweet soy sauce. I highly recommended Manisan take of this Indonesian classic, especially for those who are looking for its quality version. Another highlight of the day came in form of Nasi Bira; a portion of rice with variety of condiments and dishes, served Balinese-Royal style. I was told that this meal was considered sacred and eaten only as a part of Saraswati ceremony, celebrating the knowledge that has been given to human by gods. It consist yellow rice with six tasty traditional dishes; from tuna, betutu, sate lilit, to kakul (freshwater snail).

    Since I was exploring quite various arrays of meticulous dishes, there was no way for me to order just a plain water or ice tea to accompany my journey. So I opted to order a glass of Nyuh Gading; a rejuvenating drink made of coco nectar, pineapple, grenadine and homemade coconut syrup which comes in pleasantly vibrant blends of yellow with red-tint color.

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  • 26/06/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Celebrating Archipelago’s Diversity

    Situated within the dreamy precinct of Alila Villa Uluwatu Resort, The Warung might bears a modest name (pretty much means ‘small hut’ in Indonesian), but it will treat each of its guest with a completely elevated dining experience, both literally and figuratively.

    The eclectic open-air dining venue is perfectly perched overlooking the magnificent Ocean, warmly welcoming their guest with immaculate visual spectacle that fully embrace the island’s ultimate tropical wonder. Long wooden-carved table is placed on the middle side of the restaurant, just fronting elegant open-kitchen, surrounded by smaller units of table-and-chair to ensure the convenience of each guests.

    Culinary speaking, The Warung explores the diverse selections of traditional cuisine from all across Indonesia’s archipelago. During my visit, I was offered a certain set of menus, but what comes first was a pleasant surprise that’s not even on the said list; Sambal Congklak. It basically an appetizer consists hefty selections of sambal (chili sauce), 12 to be precise, served along two variants of kerupuk (crackers). I was then told that this is one of The Warung’s signature dish for every guest to nibble before they enjoy the main courses. I enjoyed every sambal variant so much, dipping them with the kerupuk crackers as well as get another reminder of how much variety Indonesian food have, even only the sambal.

    Then off to the main menu, first, I was treated with Ayam Betutu; a Balinese traditional goodness which consist of steamed whole chicken in rich ‘betutu’ spice made of shallots, turmeric, ginger, galangal, peanuts, and many more. The turmeric particularly stands out as it made the signature yellow color of this dish. The Warung up their level by making the meat so tender it literally fall-off-the-bone. I was personally impressed with their take in this dish. Then I was served with a portion of Sate Lilit, which also memorable not only for its succulent taste, but also the presentation. The minced fish satay comes in a (smoking) little traditional clay griller pot, and lemongrass stick as its skewer. Fancy but still honoring its traditional roots to the fullest. Then comes next is nasi liwet; a dish originally hailing from Solo, Central Java. On this one, The Warung experimenting with modern take, particularly on the coconut milk sauce which are made with soft, feta cheese-like texture. The ‘nasi’ (or rice) is succulent and perfectly blends with juicy coconut milk-wrapped boneless chicken.

    To accompany your meal, you should try what they recommended to me; party ice tea, a glass of refreshing thirst quencher made by combining mint leaves, lime, honey, orange juice and topped with green
    tea, on the rocks, of course!

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  • Aside from its cultural heritage and stunning nature, the next best thing from Bali would be the food. Putu Made brings the best of Balinese food to Jakarta
    26/06/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Flavors Of Bali

    ou can see some Balinese restaurants in Jakarta, however, most of them are serving specializd menu with traditional concept. Putu Made, one of the latest Boga Group’s restaurants, presents the “Flavors of Bali” concept, that serves wide range of Balinese cuisine. With modern interior, Putu Made opened its first outlet in Senayan City on December 2017.

    To ensure the quality of the food, Putu Made is collaborating with Mandif M. Warokka, one of Indonesian’s best chefs who resides in Bali as its menu creator. It started with the friendship of Kusnadi Rahardja, The President Director of Boga Group, with Chef Mandif who’s always up to exposing local food to the world. After series of success from franchise brands such as Pepper Lunch and Bakerzin, now Boga Group created its own local food brand, that’s more to the hi-end side compared to other restaurants in Boga Group.

    The culinary quest in Putu Made is started with Rujak Putu Made dan Jeruk Bali (pomelo and prawn salad served with a combination of kuah pindang and palm sugar tamarind dressing). Then you can proceed to the next menu such as Sup Ikan Tenggiri (Spanish mackerel in Balinese “basa gede” spiced fish broth) and one of your safest best to accommodate everyone, Sate Platter (6 choices of satay: chicken satay lilit, fish satay lilit, ducksatay lilit, red spice chicken satay, lamb satay, and escargot satay). The good thing is, Putu Made has its own live grill room so you can see your food being grilled by the chefs, it’s a rare feature that can be found in restaurant in malls.

    Other menu that became favorite among families is Coconut Grilled Ayam Klungkung (smoky and spicy grilled chicken grilled over coconut husks with flavorful chilli shrimp paste marinade, served with lawar, kacang panjang, 2 small komoh soup, sambal klungkung and sambal bongkot). Putu Made understands Indonesian’s obsession with sambal, therefore, they also serve the Sambal Platter where you can pick 3 of 6 sambal choices: matah sambal, coconut sambal, bongkot sambal, green sambal, klungkung sambal, and red sambal.

    Of course you can’t call it Balinese food without Nasi Campur Bali. Many people are reluctant to eat nasi campur in Bali because they are concerned about the halal matter, however Putu Made served 3 variants of halal nasi campur: Nasi Campur Bebek, Nasi Campur Bali, and Nasi Campur Ayam.

    With the presence of Putu made, you don’t have to go to Bali just to enjoy the Balinese cuisine. Putu Made offers wide range of high quality Balinese food that’s hard to find anywhere else in Jakarta. If you know Chef Mandif personally, you would have known how strict he is when it comes to food quality, it’s no wonder we have growing numbers of hi-end restaurants that involve his name, especially in Bali.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Indigenous Is the Key

    Evoking the same spirit of Hotel Indigo Seminyak Beach to draws inspiration from its surrounding local neighborhood, Pottery Café is a perfect spot to sit, relax

    and enjoy the moment with a cup of quality coffee or tea.

    Secludedly tucked just underneath the hotel’s main lobby, Pottery Café is an eye-catching, cozy space to hang out with impressive wooden-based interior design that combines industrial touch and modern contemporary local elements. No, I am not talking about Balinese carvings, statue and your run-of-the-mill ‘island decorations’. Instead, here the elements are brilliantly unified in form of colors and unexpected shape; such as the Balinese black-and-white saput poleng checker patterns that becomes the bar table’s main palette. This made them looks deliberately elegant and instaworthy at the same time. Several sides of the venue’s wall are enhanced with displays of ready-to-buy alluring ceramics made by the island’s very own prominent Kevala Pottery; hence the café’s catchy name.

    Pottery serves finely curated collection of local specialty coffee, chocolate and tea which is 100% cultivated in Indonesia’s archipelago, along with wide arrays of freshly made pastries; charcuterie, artisan breads, pies and everything in-between. Pottery also offers their unique approach of coffee experience by providing their own roasting machine, especially designed in Japan and assembled in Java, producing their very own ‘Seminyak Blend’ creation. The coffees at Pottery Café are Arabica-based with intricate touch of details. Their cold brew Espresso is a must try; with combination of refreshing sour and bitter taste that really best served cold. They really embrace the indigenous natural products as the main ingredients in their creations, from coconut sugar to raw chocolate for pastries and cake.

    One of the menus to be highlighted at Pottery Café is their Afternoon Tea package; which consists nine types of delicious homemade pastries beautifully assorted inside bright-colored wooden ‘birdcage’, accompanied by a pot of tea (or coffee) of your choice. As mentioned above, the cakes and desserts are made using local ingredients, but with a five-star presentation that will easily makes it fit in international-class display. My personal favorite would be the vegetable quiche, which combines the tender, creamy salt and savory of chopped broccoli, cheese and crunchy crust. But there are others that catches my palate as well; such as coconut mango pudding, black charcoal chonx, chocolate macaron, classic scone with cream and jam on side (the cream is cheekily placed in a round ceramic box, resembling a pomade), Japanese-style coconut tear drop jelly, croissant chicken sandwich, to Indonesian staple sweet treat, es cendol.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Beans of Zeal and Knowledge

    Seated on the side of Bypass Sunset Road main junction, Black Eye Coffee & Roastery use their combination of passion and knowledge to create a delicious cup

    of Joe from curated Indonesian-grown beans.

    Nowadays, coffee experience has become somewhat a latest trend for café goers in Bali, and Black Eye Coffee Sunset Road is one of the most sought-out new spot to indulge ourselves with a de-stressing cup of coffee. The quaint café / dining venue is actually the second branch from the successful one up at Bedugul precinct, owned by SecretGarden Village eco-recreation center.

    Convenient is one word that pops out in my mind once I set foot inside the cafe. Spacious with lavish industrial touch here and there, the Fully A/C-ed main room (and its smoking area) can easily contains 50 pax simultaneously; with a coffee bar on one side and transparent see-through kitchen area on another.

    Black Eye Coffee & Roastery takes their specialty seriously. From my conversation with their baristas, I get the impression that they really understand and passionate about what they’re doing. I was told that the cafe own two main roasteries in Bedugul and Jakarta, and specifically put their effort in embracing the richness of Indonesian archipelago’s coffee bean. Currently, they use at least 9 types of beans all across the island nation; such as Gayo, Mandailing, Peaberry and Lampung’s robusta from Sumatra, Bajawa Flores, to Central Java’s underrated Ciwidey-grown beans.

    During my visit, I tried several types of coffees made by various methods; from classic cappuccino to nowadays favorite Vietnam Drip. The coffee in general is mild with bitter aftertaste; not too strong, but just enough to create a pleasant combination on my tongue. One of the menu on their coffee-based beverage list that really catches my attention is called ‘Lone Ranger’; a glass of cold drink which made by boldly combining fresh orange juice, espresso and honey dew syrup, creating an incredibly distinctive flavors of sweet, bitter and sour. A must try for coffee lovers!

    Delicious coffees aside, Black Eye Coffee & Roastery also serves wide arrays of Indonesian and pan-Asian meticulous menus. One of their recommendations is called The Luwus Signature Bebek Timbungan; a fine blend of traditional smoked duck cooked in bamboo and served along with white rice, stir-fried vegetables and three types of homemade sambal chili sauce as condiment. For those who prefer seafood or fish-based meal, Nasi Bakar Salmon can be a perfect choice as well. This unique menu is cooked with traditional method by putting all ingredients in banana leaves, creating a succulent mixture of coconut milk, grilled rice and savory shredded salmon; a real taste of Indonesian’s majestic ocean produce.

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  • 13/04/2018 0 Comments
    Served With Love

    There is nothing cheesy about ‘love’, if you rightfully implement it in the things you do for others, and Watercress captures the essence of the said word perfectly through their Byron Bay-inspired café; where everyone can feel the whole experience of enjoying good food, vibe and companion in utmost abundance.

    Situated on the side of small road leading to Batubelig and Canggu area, Watercress resembles an intimate, homey gathering space with comfy open-air setting. The dining space comprises of brick walls and wooden frames to give away the warm, down-to-earth yet classy atmosphere. The restaurant aims to honor the food itself as much as the one who would enjoy it. Every nourishment are carefully crafted so all of its natural nutrients not getting lost in the process, with sincerity and love that start from the kitchen all the way to each guest’s table.

    The menu of Watercress covers all kinds of Western and Asian healthy dishes, including for those who prefer non-dairy selections. For lunchtime dines session, I was recommended to try their roast beef bagel; a succulent portion of soft and tasty bagel bread sandwiching perfectly roasted beef slabs. The fine mixture of the pickled horseradish, quality meat and bread filled my taste bud with pleasant combination of flavors. The same could be said to B.L.A.S.T, a generous-sized burger which name act as acronym to its main ingredients; namely bacon, lettuce, avocado, sprout, tomato and tasty homemade mayo. This creative dish combines some elements you wouldn’t have thought fit together, but they really do in a meticulously delicious way!

    For those who opt for non-meat meal, fret not, as this is one of the area where Watercress particularly shine. I am pleased to try some selections of their organic goodness; such as Chia Seed Pudding, a blends of delightful sour-meets-sweet taste that comes from the mixture of chia seed jelly-like pudding, coconut cream, lemon sorbet, pomelo and burnt coconut, or Tropical Fruit of Paradise; basically a fine assorted fresh chops of tropical fruit sprinkled with crunchy toasted coconut. The Superfood Smoothie Bowl is also a great pick for a sunny summer noon, which consists of beautifully shaped mixed berries, banana, bee pollen, chia seeds and shaved coconut smeared with honey on top of frozen acai berry smoothies.

    The attention to small details and ‘handle with love’ mentality is what makes Watercress really stands out among its competitors. They offer a holistic good food experience not only by the flavor of the dishes itself, but the sincerity of their service as well.


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  • 13/04/2018 0 Comments
    Salubrious Sustenance

    Defining healthy food is not as easy as determining which junk food is tastier. Sometime, we tend to care less of what kind of nourishment we put inside our body. Luckily, back-to-nature conscious is currently in motion around the globe, and in Bali, there are some restaurant which already aware to the importance of organic sustenance; one of them is Living Well.

    At the surface, Living Well serves all-occasion Western and Asian classic favorites as their main menu, but on deeper level, they deliberately emphasis on the elements which created each dishes. The restaurant owner, Joanna, choose to grow all of basic ingredients herself, ensuring every meals free from any chemical preservatives whatsoever. She currently had several farms up in Bedugul area, and also a small garden in her backyard where she grew various vegetables, fruits and crops with advanced all-organic farming method. Vegetables, fruit, eggs, flour, poultry meat, to coffee bean, tea leaves and soda (!) are carefully curated and nurtured with natural, organic materials before they even ends up in the kitchen. 

    The restaurant’s dining venue also boldly represents this main concept. Pots of plants, vegetables and flowers greet each guest at the entrance; not just for mere decoration to give a luxuriant feels, but also to show a glimpse of their outstanding benefit for bod’s well-being. 

    As mentioned above, there are arrays of delicious healthy menu to choose at Living Well. Try their Vegetable Wrap, for one. Tender homemade whole wheat spinach tortilla skin filled with organic goodness from roasted vegetables; mix salad, mozzarella cheese and tahini sauce to enhance the flavour. Then also the Rainbow Chicken Noodles; which consists of homemade egg noodle which comes in three different colors; all made by natural substances (beetroot for red, pumpkin for yellow, spinach for green), with soup on-side, oriental Chinese style. The texture and flavor of each noodle blends perfectly with the chicken soup and complimented by the tender meatballs. If you prefer rice, their aromatic sweet and spicy Thai Beef Rice Bowl is a great pick; consisting of assorted vegetables, pan-fried black pepper wagyu beef and brown rice. Personally, I would prefer meat than plants, but Living Well’s Gado-Gado is one of the best I ever tasted. The tasty peanut sauce goes really well with mixture of fresh organic vegetables.

    At the end of the day, ‘We are what we eat’ is not a mere old saying; it should be the way of our life. Living Well aims to spread this knowledge so everyone could begin to indulge all the good things the earth has naturally provides. Plant the seed, sow the blessing!


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  • 13/04/2018 0 Comments
    Breaking Boundaries

    Established on 1999 as a gourmet shop, Café Dijon Bali now has expanded their business into a full-fledge healthy culinary destination to cater local, expats and culinary enthusiast in general. 

    If you have live in this island for this past 5 years, Dijon is one of the restaurants which name will repeatedly come out as a recommended to-go place for delicious healthy food. Tucked nicely on an interstate of grand Simpang Siur Square, the dining venue consists of cozy indoor and outdoor areas that you can deliberately choose according to your mood. Sitting just right across their famous gourmet shop during my visit, I am impressed of how much Dijon has progressed from a humble (albeit quality) culinary store to a 60-seat favorite hang-out spot everyone knew and loves right now.

    Dijon serves array of tantalizing dairy and non-dairy menus, but focused on gluten free ingredients and homemade-based cooking. They guarantee no additional flavor whatsoever added in their meals, let alone the artificial one. By deciding to go the ‘halal’ way just recently, they wish to break the boundaries and cater a broader-range of audience, especially Indonesian market and other Muslim country, so the religion’s devoted practitioners can conveniently enjoy their dine without any guilt-feeling whatsoever.

    For a starter, I was offered Quinoa Chick Pea Salad; a satisfying portion of organic, healthy goodness served with edamame humus, beetroot, baby spinach, to half-split boiled eggs. The salty and savory hummus spread made from Japanese edamame soybean blends perfectly with other ingredients leaves me wanting for more. Then, the Grilled Salmon Steak was up next. This is widely considered as one of Dijon’s staple menu. The fresh vegetables on side blends perfectly with precisely grilled salmon slab, especially the seaweed which gives away a nice touch to satisfyingly wrap the overall taste. But my personal favorite would be the homemade gomae sauce served as a condiment for this menu; it certainly fit with any kinds of food with its sweet, sour and creamy taste. The good news is that the restaurant also sells them separately, so you can go and grab a bottle to savor at home! 

    If you prefer to have something light and tasty, order their Baguette Wrap; which comes with rich filling of organic vegetable mixture, or the Coconut Pannacotta with passion fruit sauce as a trusty dessert, with combination of sour, sweet and tangible coconut flavor. 

    Maintaining your quality is one thing, but progressively expanding it is a different level of ‘inspiring’ achievement altogether, so kudos Café Dijon, for living up the name and reputation as one of Bali’s pioneer in healthy food and quality gourmet.


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  • 13/04/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Western Meets Asian

    William’s offers various exciting layer of flavor and texture in almost all of its dishes.

    Since its inception in September 2017, William’s has become the rising new rising restaurant in one of Jakarta’s most competitive region for food business, Senopati and SCBD. William’s is offering the fusion concept of Western meets Asian, along with the coffee, wine, and bar. Simply said, it’s the hottest hangout place in the block.

    The name William’s was inspired by a kid who has a constant curiosity for new food, appreciates a warm, hearty meal and always has room for dessert. It’s not too surprising that the name came from the owner’s son. The place also displays some interesting interior combination of teal American dinner with some touch of copper in many places.

    The kitchen is headed by Chef Alpin Reyner, an At-Sunrice, Singapore graduate who also became the Chef de Partie of Nomz Kitchen & Pastry, one of the hottest restaurant in Grand Indonesia, Jakarta. Alpin was originally hired as William’s consultant to design the food menu. When the owner offered him the position as Head Chef, the tattooed chef couldn’t refuse the kind offer.

    “We offer Asian-Western fusion concept that’s more about comfort food. Unlike the more refined fine food with smaller portion, we want to provide quick lunch menus for the executives working around SCBD. Our menus are simple, once you read them, you’ll understand what they’re all about,” said Alpin.

    The food menu is divided into 2 main sections: Western and Asian. But before the main course, you should definitely try their appetizer, Watermelon Salad (cured watermelon, vanilla mascarpone, balsamic caviar, cashew crumb, dill and lemon fluid). I mean, just look at the photo of the menu in their Instagram. We never expect you can present a slice of cured watermelon so beautifully like this. They also boast interesting cooking method in balsamic caviar and cashew crumb to play with the flavor balance and texture.

    The Western menu Grilled Chicken Roll (juicy chicken roll with pomme puree, watercress, mushrooms and egg yolk confit) is a good starting point to know what William’s is all about. It tasted good, yet healthy, what’s more to ask? The menu reminds me of how good the combination of chicken with mushroom really is.

    Salmon and Gulai (crispy skin pan-fried salmon served with gulai sauce and corn salsa over chili infused rice) is the highlight of the Asian ,enu. The portion is very generous with its big cut of salmon over lot of chili infused rice, please remember to save some room in your belly for more.

    If you want to impress your friend in social media, an Instagrammable menu is a must. William’s has what you’re looking for, the Dragon’s Nest (edible soil and charcoal dust served with chocolate egg-shell, cheesecake, chill frosted meringue, lemon gel and red dragon fruit coulis). Texture-wise, there’s so much going on this plate, from the trending edible soil, soft cheese cake, snapping chocolate dome, and the main attraction would the liquid nitrogen which was poured onto it. Get your Instastory ready, ladies and gentlemen!

    As mentioned before, along with the restaurant, William’s also has its own dedicated bar corner. Chlorophyll (fresh blended spinach shaked with apple and lemon juice, green apple and mango flavored) and French Flute (vodka, black raspberry liqueur, with lemon and pineapple juice) are our refreshing choices to end the meal.

    William’s got everything you want in a hangout place, whether it’s fusion dishes, Instagrammable dessert, coffee, wine, or cocktail. With its strategic location and interesting layer of flavor and texture in almost all of its dishes, William’s will definitely be trending place in foodie community soon.


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  • 13/04/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Best of Both World

    Terkadang makanan sehat tidak selalu soal bahan baku, namun melalui cara masaknya. Jika Anda seorang pecinta hidup sehat, makan di luar terkadang cukup membingungkan, terutama jika Anda sudah memiliki anak. Anda ingin makanan yang rasanya enak dan mudah diterima anak kecil, namun Anda juga ingin makanan yang menyehatkan. Sekarang, Anda tak perlu berkompromi karena Goobne telah hadir di Indonesia, tepatnya di Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta.

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  • 13/04/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Best of Both World

    Sometimes healthy food is not always about the ingredient, it’s how you cook it

    If you’re living a healthy lifestyle, dining out with family can be a bit confusing, especially when you have little children. You want something tasty and easy for children, like fried chicken, but you also want food that’s good for your health. Now, you don’t have to compromise any longer as Goobne has arrived in Indonesia, in Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta, to be specific.

    The name came from the Korean word “Goobda” which literally means to roast, and it explains what Goobne mainly do, selling healthy roasted chicken. The brand was established in South Korea, 2005 and is known for endorsing popular Korean artists such as Girl’s Generation, EXO, and Seo Hyun Jin as their ambassador. Until now, Goobne already has over 1.100 outlets in Korea only and managed to become the top 3 Korean chicken restaurant brands. Along with restaurants, Goobne also has its own sauce business, chicken farm, and chicken slaughter machine with the capacity of slaughtering 120.000 per day. In March 17th 2018, the brand was officially introduced to Indonesia through PT. Goobne Indonesia Utama as its master franchiser in the country.

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  • 13/04/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    [ID] - Burgreens Express - One Step Closer to Live Healthily

    Sebagai salah satu pionir yang memperkenalkan makanan dan gaya hidup sehat di Jakarta, Burgreens telah menjadi sebuah bisnis restoran yang semakin dekat dengan para pelanggannya. Untuk mencapainya, keputusan re-branding menjadi Burgreens Express merupakan langkah yang vital. Namun apa perbedaannya dengan Burgreens yang kita kenal? Mari kita cari tahu bersama.

    Berawal dari sebuah visi yang mulia, Burgreens ingin berbagi sebuah pendekatan yang begitu berwarna untuk hidup sehat serta kemudahan mencapainya bagi para pelanggannya. Sebagai sebuah bisnis restoran yang memiliki misi, Burgreens telah menyiapkan menu makanan dengan bahan dasar tumbuhan yang lengkap dan melakukan kolaborasi dengan para petani lokal dan wanita untuk memproduksi makanan sehat yang berkelanjutan serta tetap bertanggungjawab atas rantai suplainya.

    Dari segi makanan, chef sekaligus pemilik Max Mandias pernah berbicara dengan saya langsung beberapa tahun yang lalu. Ia ingin menyampaikan bahwa makanan sehat juga bisa terasa lezat. Maka melalui proses panjang, Burgreens kini memiliki sebuah menu yang solid dan terdiri dari makanan-makanan yang unik. Di antara yang menjadi favorit saya pribadi adalah “Greenogiri Platter” yang terdiri dari onigiri beras merah, tempe yang telah dibumbui, ditemani sate jamur kerang yang dimasak dengan saus teriyaki, serta salad dengan wafu dressing.

    Makanan unggulan lainnya di sini adalah “Mini Quatro” - empat burger mini dengan empat rasa yang berbeda. Atau mungkin Anda ingin mencoba kesukaan Chef Max yaitu “Tempeh Gomashio” yang merupakan patty tempe yang diselimuti pesto kacang mete dan bumbu gomashio. Tempe kemudian tersaji di atas salad organik dan jamur. “Vegan Hot Dog” juga adalah menu yang sangat menarik. Sosisnya terbuat dari chickpea, tahu, dan seitan (daging dari gandum) dan diselimuti roti gandum, saus BBQ, mayones vegetarian, mustard, serta acar dan bawang.

    Mengawali kehadirannya hanya di area perumahan selama beberapa tahun membuat Burgreens menyadari bahwa visi untuk memberikan kemudahan bagi para pelanggannya bisa jadi justru sulit untuk dicapai. Maka langkah yang dilakukan adalah dengan re-branding menjadi Burgreens Express dan mulai membuka outlet baru di shopping mall serta daerah komersial. Konsep baru ini dirancang untuk dapat memenuhi kebutuhan makanan sehat warga Jakarta yang menginginkan kemudahan serta kecepatan. Dari segi makanan sendiri Burgreens masih tetap menggunakan menu lamanya serta tetap berinovasi menciptakan hidangan-hidangan baru.

    Sejak Oktober 2016, outlet pertama Burgreens Express berdiri di Dharwangsa - sebuah keputusan strategis untuk mendekatkan diri dengan pasar Jakarta Selatan yang cocok dengan konsep ini. Lebih jauh lagi, Burgreens juga mengadakan berbagai kegiatan seperti clean-eating talkshow, demo masak, acara edukasi di sekolah-sekolah, serta tentunya katering.

    Burgreens juga berpartisipasi di acara-acara seperti Namaste Festival, YogFest di Taman Menteng, serta Paw Day di Taman Langsat yang diadakan oleh Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN). Selain itu, Burgreens mengadakan Pasar Semesta - sebuah festival yang merayakan hidup sehat dan produk lokal serta alami. Acara ini berlangsung selama dua hari di Burgreens Express Dharmawangsa dan dikunjungi lebih dari 800 orang.

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  • 13/04/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Burgreens Express - One Step Closer to Live Healthily

    As one among the pioneers who introduce healthy food and lifestyle in Jakarta, Burgreens has become a business that grows closer than ever with its patrons. One vital move to achieve that was its re-branding into Burgreens Express. So what’s the difference with the Burgreens we used to know? Let’s find out about it. 

    With a noble vision to begin with, Burgreens wants to share everyone its colorful approach of healthy living while also provides a degree of convenience and reachability for its customers. Burgreens is indeed a mission-driven restaurant business with an elaborated plant-based menu and collaborates with local farmers and women to produce healthy and sustainable food by also staying responsible with the supply chain.

    In terms of food, the chef proprietor Max Mandias himself spoke with me personally a few years back. He wanted all of us to know that healthy food can also be made delicious. It was a grinding process of trial and error which culminates into Burgreens now having a solid lineup of inventive dishes. Among my personal favorite - the “Greenogiri Platter”, comprises of brown rice onigiri filled with spiced tempeh and accompanied with oyster mushroom skewer cooked with fruit-based teriyaki sauce and on the side is salad with wafu dressing.

    Another signature dish from Burgreens is the “Mini Quarto” - four mini burgers with four different flavors. Or perhaps you might want to try Chef Max’s favorite - the “Tempeh Gomashio”. This one has the all the goodness of tempeh patties with cashew pesto and covered with homemade gomashio seasonings. It is served on a bed of organic mixed salad with mushrooms. The vegan hot dog is also an interesting choice. The sausage is made from chickpeas, tofu, and seitan (“wheat-meat”) and wrapped in whole wheat bun, homemade BBQ sauce, vegan mayo, mustard, and chopped pickles and onions.

    With their restaurants originally located deep in residential areas, Burgreens realized that the vision to provide reachability for everyone might be compromised. It was then decided that Burgreens should be re-branded and start opening up outlets at shopping malls and business areas. They believe that the new concept can cater more demanding, fast-paced Jakartans who are always in the search for something good and healthy. But in terms of menu, Burgreens stays faithful with the old lineup and continuously creating something new and exciting.

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  • 07/04/2018 0 Comments
    Enticing Taste of the Sea

    Combining creative flair and fresh ingredients straight from the ocean, Seasalt restaurant redefines seafood dining experience with classy touch of Japanese infusion.

    In the island of Bali, seafood is obviously a kind of easy-to-found delicacy; with lots of traditional restaurants offering their own take of ocean-induced menus, but nothing quite done it as refined and thoughtful as Seasalt. Situated on the lower level of Alila Seminyak, I easily discovered the seaside dining venue just past a set of stairs from their main lobby.

    Let’s first admire the quaint interior of Seasalt Seminyak. Lavishly built by wooden and stone materials, the fully air-conned indoor area is designed resembling a stylish beach residence to enact a ‘homey’ feeling while the outdoor area comprises of vibrant open kitchen, convenient chairs and elevated wooden decks where one can freely gaze onto the ocean and feel its gentle tropical ambience. I opted to enjoy my dine indoor during my visit, though; sat conveniently on a plush, elegant sofa with dim light setting that enhance the atmosphere makes me wonder if I can just stay there to relax long after the last plate has been taken off the table.

    The menus of Seasalt pay a great tribute to the ocean’s natural produces, but with a fine twist of Japanese infusion. ‘Salt’ of course serves as a main ingredients in their cooking, but also so much more. Starting with the dishes from their ‘Lounge’ menu, the Soft Shell Crab took me by surprise in a very good, delicious way; tender and crunchy deep-fried young crab glazed with salted egg yolk sauce leaves me craving for more on each rich-flavored bite. 

    For ‘Lunch’ and ‘Dinner’, I can absolutely recommend their Cured Gindara Beetroot, which brilliantly combines healthy beetroot vegetable with fresh gindara fish meat into one pleasantly buttery, fragrant-flavored dish to satiate the taste bud. I also got the honor to try their new Deep-Fried Octopus menu. The crispy baby octopus blends so perfectly with gomae dressing and dried spinach that I have to resist the urge to ask for another portion. Yes, it is that good, people; you should definitely try this one out. Seasalt also serve arrays of wildly popular Hawaiian ‘poke bowl’ selections. I tried the Seafood one; which composed by blends of ocean goodness from shrimp, mahi-mahi and okonomi dashi sauce on top of hot white rice.

    To accompany my satisfying feast, I ordered some of Seasalt’s latest cocktail concoctions; such as the dashingly titled Mr & Ms Alila; a clear mix of gin & tonic with soothing citrus-y flavor that comes from a slice of lime, it represents Alila brand in a classy form of beverage. Another one that I tried, Moscow Mule, is a refreshing blend of homemade spicy ginger beer, served on-the-rock in a vintage signature mug.


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  • 07/04/2018 0 Comments
    ​Beef When It Sizzles

    With over 450 stores in Korea, Magal BBQ is definitely one of the most popular BBQ chain restaurants in the Land of the Morning Calm. PASSION visits its new restaurant in Bali to learn more about the joy of galmaegi. 

    Since opening its door last November, Magal BBQ has impressed the island’s meat lovers with its Korean delights and signature combo set menu of pork and beef meats. Taking a seat in one of the comfortable booths, I can watch how serious everybody is about their meats. The other guests are intently watching their sizzling meat being grilled on the table. As a treat, we decided to order the Beef Combo – a three tiered beefy treat made of prime beef boneless short ribs, beef rib finger, marinated beef skirt meat, shrimp, sausage, mushroom and an extra sushi with boneless short rib. 

    Soon, our helpful server arrives in our table with a tray filled with banchan or condiments. The generous and free-flow small delights are one of my favourite things about eating in a Korean restaurant. One can see how serious the restaurant is based on the banchan alone. Here, we have a delightful tangy seaweed pickles miyeok muchim, perfectly sour and crisp kimchi, sweet macaroni salad, scallion salad, and the savoury thin pancake. Based on the banchan, I can tell that the food is going to be really good. 

    We have a delightful time grilling the beefs as we like it – and having a sip of soju in between bites. A circular moat on our griller is poured with beaten egg and soon, we are helping ourselves with a bite of the crusty omelette. The beefs are imported and thinly cut – a truly juicy and satisfying affair, especially when I dip it into the sauce and wrap it in a lettuce leaf. The skirt meat or galmaegi is tender and knowing that it has a high protein but lower content of fat, helps me in feeling less guilty about this midday treat. 

    Lead by a Korean chef, Magal BBQ intends to maintain its quality and authenticity. They went to a great length to procure certain spices and sauces from Korea, as well as making their own kimchi. The attention to details can be found in their latest dish, the Bossam. The pork belly was boiled in spices, thinly sliced and served with three different kimchi: the mild baek kimchi, the geotjeori red kimchi and the radish kimchi. Each has a varying degree of spiciness and goes perfectly well with the juicy pork belly. With a delightful attention to service, no wonder Magal has found its loyal following in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and soon open another branch in Medan.


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  • 07/04/2018 0 Comments
    A Carnivore’s Delight

    Since its opening in 2015, The Butchers Club Steakhouse has become a destination for discerning carnivores. PASSION revisits this excellent purveyor of dry aged meats and sinks our fangs into their decadent burgers. 

    Set in a laid-back industrial style, The Butchers Club Steakhouse way of doing meat is anything but relaxed. As I walk into the restaurant, the long open kitchen with red tiled counter is busy with the business of grilling. In the far corner of the room, a large sized temperature and humidity-controlled dry-ageing fridge facility is showcasing some sexy chops and rumps of 200-day grain-fed stockyards Black Angus from Australia. At the moment, those cuts are in the process of perfecting their fat profiles to acquire more tenderness and flavour for at least 21 days.

    The restaurant was intent to serve just burgers in the first two years of its operation. But after learning that the island’s carnivores voraciously demand good steaks, Gareth Moore, the proprietor and the jack-of-all-trades as he cheekily calls himself, decided to satiate their cravings. “We basically want to please our guests by giving them larger menu and more choices. However our priority lies with the beef,” explains Moore. With wood-fired dry-aged steaks such as rib eye, rump, striploin and rib chop, I am torn between going to have burger or steak for my lunch. 

    Sipping a glass of what possibly the coldest beer on the island, I eventually commit myself to the Wu Tang Style Burger. Slightly charred and medium rare, the burger arrives on the table in a beautifully stacked meat-to-bun ratio with the company of golden crispy fries. With sriracha sauce, homemade kimchi, cheddar cheese, crispy sweet potato tempura and a generous drizzle of kewpie mayonnaise, the unconventional stack may shock the burger purist – if such person exist. For what is a burger if not a decadent mixture of things in one drippingly tasty bite? Exotically, the flavour works well together in a crescendo of sweet, sour, and savoury. This tantalizing dish is a suitable tribute to Hong Kong and its rich mixture of Asian culture, where the establishment was firstly founded.

    Their Double Happiness Burger also deserves a shout out for, well, giving double happiness indeed. How can one not doubly be happy after a large bite of double patty, double cheese, and double bacon between two buttery grilled sandwiches? It is large enough for two – although if one is extremely hungry, one can take it down between sips of the Pink Diamond. The cranberry infused vodka lightens up the taste bud with its slightly sour rosella syrup, lime, apple juice and cherry brandy. “There is no secret to our burger. Just good quality beef and nothing else!” states Moore. We definitely agree. With such a good dry-aged beef, why would we want anything else?


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  • 28/03/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Korean Invasion

    Korean food invades Indonesia through pop culture, just like what the Japanese did in the 1990’s.

    You can’t overlook the role of K-Pop culture in introducing Korean food to Indonesians. In most Korean dramas, you’ll see many scenes of Korean actors and actresses have Korean dishes, it is no wonder the Korean fans started to have some interest on Korean food. Suddenly, you started to notice new Korean restaurants in some regions in Jakarta, especially in the leading malls. Of course, it’s a bit confusing to pick few names from the vast array of Korean restaurants, especially for those who are not familiar with Korean food. We present you, Chung Gi Wa as one of the best Korean BBQ restaurants in its league.

    Chung Gi Wa first opened its door to public in 1997 by Mrs. Lee In Jung in Jl. Dharmawangsa III. Of course, the hype of Korean food was not as big as it is now, therefore, Chung Gi Wa was having a hard time back then, until they found Chef Kris Kim, who has led the kitchen department until now. The restaurant opened its second outlet in 2009 to introduce Korean food to wider audience. However, in 2014-2017, Chung Gi Wa already have 10 outlets in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, and the last one, the 15th outlet, had just opened in August 2017, located in Makassar.

    In Korean, Chung Gi Wa literally means blue roof tile. In Korea, blue roof tile is the symbol of tradition and aristocracy, they use the name to make the customers feel like a nobility with special service from the waiters with Korean traditional interior and atmosphere.

    Learning from past experience since it opened for the first time, Chung Gi Wa is continuously evaluating itself to suit the the Korean food to the local taste. Chung Gi Wa is also put special attention to the quality of the meat and vegetable as the main ingredients in the restaurants to provide healthy and nutritious food within affordable price.

    The meat handling is the reason that put Chung Gi Wa away from the other Korean restaurants, one of them is by always begin with the aging process. Not many Korean BBQ restaurants are willing to go this far. In addition, Chung Gi Wa also grow its own vegetables in Ciawi, Bogor for better quality control. They also built the central kitchen to produce and keep the ingredients to maintain the taste and the quality consistency in each outlet.

    Korean food is always processed with high attention to nutrition and color combination. The Korean also often implements the fermentation system. The technique is used to produce various Korean dishes and spices. Korean restaurants also have their own signature, by presenting various kinds of side dishes to complement your meal.
    If you’re a BBQ fan, Korean restaurants will be more attractive for its wider range of meat and specification compared to Japanese BBQ. In addition, you will have more side dishes and sauce to enjoy the BBQ dining experience.

    As a starter, Chung Gi Wa Special (premium rib eye) is a wise choice to see the effect of the dry aging to the meat in Chung Gi Wa, meanwhile, to get richer taste and juicier texture, Bul Galbi (marinated short rib) is definitely our favorite. Not everyday you can have this rich, umami, yet very tender short rib.

    Chung Gi Wa also has other menus to introduce us the Korean food through menus such as Budae Jjigae (rich tasting spicy sausage & spam stew with kimchi, minced pork, vegetables, rice cake and ramen), Haemul Pajeon (Korean pancake with seafood and green onion), and Japchae Beef (glass noodle with sautéed vegetables, beef). These menu showed us that Korean taste is more than just kimchi

    Dining in Korean restaurant is a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else. If you’re used to eat in Padang restaurants, you’d think that you can pick the side dishes and pay them afterwards, but the good news is, in here, they’re all free. The side dishes that you’ll have will be adjusted to the menu that you’ve ordered. Furthermore, if you want more, you can always ask for refill.


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  • 28/03/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Beyond Expectation

    We know the title’s is very cliché, but we couldn’t better words to describe the experience of dining in Bornga

    Since its inception at Jalan Wolter Monginsidi, South Jakarta on August 8th 2011, Bornga (read: Born Ga) has believed that every guest must come home filled and satisfied. Bornga comes from Korean word which means home of the ancestors, If you see many expatriates in Korean restaurant, in here you’ll see the opposite, especially on weekend and holiday.

    The Korean franchise brand has conducted some necessary adaptations to suit the local taste bud. One of them is by reducing the use of garlic, as we all know, Koreans really love aroma of garlic. However, Bornga is still setting the high standard by paying attention to every detail. They have their own rule on the cooking duration, the weight of each ingredient to get consistent result. In addition, the main franchisor regularly visits each outlet to ensure every single one meet the standard.

    One of Bornga’s strong points is the presence of complete set of side dish, even you’ll get more than what you order. If you order BBQ menus, you’ll have more than 6 side dishes, including their famous seaweed soup. Some customers are even willing to pay for it because the soup is good for health, especially for the elders.

    Seeing the amount of the vegetable provided, you’ll stop wondering why Koreans are famous for their healthy lifestyle as they consume loads of vegetable. You can eat it your way, but most people prefer to wrap the BBQ meat using the vegetable and then dip it into the dipping sauce.

    Favorite Menus
    One of the must try in Bornga is their Woo Samgyeop. As one of the first menu created by Bornga, it stays the most favorite with the thinly sliced beef loin. You can have cuts with less fat to the waiter, but don’t recommend it as the fat in the beef loin gives it more umami to the overall taste.

    Bornga also offers Saeng Galbi, ribs with the classic savory and tender flavor served fresh, without freezing, Kkot Sal (bottom sirloin triangle) Daepae Useol: the tender and chewy beef tongue that is good for skin and stamina. One of our favorite is still the marinated ribs, which was executed very well by Bornga in their menu Yangneom Galbi, made of the ribs with the juiciest gravy.

    Aside from BBQ menus, Bornga also provides other Korean favorites such as Haemul Tteok-jjim, a combination of seafood such as fresh prawn, crab, mussel, squid, octopus, fish cake and vegetable such as bamboo sprout, mushroom, chinese cabbage, and cabbage mixed with spicy sauce and simmered-dish. If you don’t eat seafood, perhaps you’ll be interested in Chadol Doenjang-jjigae, soybean paste stew with beef brisket, enjoy it better with rice and vegetables all mixed together in a large bowl. Of course, they also have other staple Korean dishes such as Jap Chae, Haemul Pa Jeon, and Bornga Naengmyeon.


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  • 28/03/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    AB Steak - The Haven for Steak Aficionados

    Staying true to the roots while continuously expanding his visionary F&B empire across the globe, the Korean chef Akira Back opened AB Steak just last year and has since garnered rave reviews. As for what makes the steakhouse really special, let’s find out.

    Following the huge success of Akira Back Indonesia - the chef’s first restaurant in Jakarta, there’s no way for Chef Akira but to move forward from here. The untapped potentials and endless curiosity of Jakarta’s diners sparked the brave move and at the same time making Jakarta among the few cities in the world with more than one Akira Back’s restaurant. 

    Akira Back Indonesia itself has set the bar very high in the competition, thanks to its highly consistent quality as well as service. It is only natural that the crowd would expect the same from AB Steak and our visit there last time exceeded all the expectations.

    AB Steak by Chef Akira Back is a revolutionary restaurant that incorporates the American-style of steakhouse imbued with lush Korean flairs. The restaurant offers a new level of dining experience not just for gourmet food seekers but for true steak aficionados as well.

    As one can see from menu, already AB Steak has prepared a complete lineup of in-house dry aged beef from 30 days and up to 120 days. The dry aging method is very much preferred nowadays in many steakhouses all over the world. The process itself makes the flavor more concentrated and at times, giving away unique characteristics like for example the taste of aged cheese and the pleasant meaty texture. 

    The best part of the dining experience here is when the chef themselves visits your dining table personally and grill the meat in front of the guests. The cut of your choice was previously trimmed to minute details and then brushed with garlic oil to give that glossy good look. After that, it is simply rubbed only with salt and pepper, no marination needed. The steak then grilled to perfection, sliced, and ready to be enjoyed - optionally using six different salts with different flavors from truffles, yuja, yuzu, Sriracha, garlic, and the Himalayan salt.

    As for the steaks, diners are encouraged to traverse across different cuts of meat. Choices of the premium cuts are ranging from grass-fed wagyu of NY strip or skirt steak and up to the luxurious Ohmi short ribs or Chateau Uenae’s Hokkaido “Snow” California cut. The must-try came from the lineup of in-house dry aged meat selections such as the 45 days or 90 days old porterhouse, the excellent and juicy 21 days old “Picanha”, and the exquisite Spinalis Dorsi or the crème a la crème of the ribs.

    The more pronounced Korean part also appears from the starters and side dishes sections. Among our most memorable was the Chilean blue mussels with wagyu meatballs, and accompanied with crispy tteokbokki - all dressed in gochujang butter sauce. Other than that the Tuna Yukke was presented neatly with cucumber and scallion muchim and decorated with seaweed bugak and sesame sauce. The mind-blowing appetizer goes for the bone marrow, perfectly roasted and paired with beef tartare made from wagyu, served on toasted brioche.

    One of the best accompanying dishes for the steaks is the roasted Brussels sprout with garlic confit and the crispy rice puffs. Another interesting choice would be the bibimbap with foie gras, poached egg, mixed vegetables, short ribs, with the always delectable gochujang sauce.

    Chef Akira himself is no stranger in the world’s top class fine-dining scene. It all started with years of his upbringing as a professional chef, and even previously as an athlete, in the United States. Not only in Dallas, Las Vegas, and Toronto; Chef Akira Back has already now spread his business across to Asia - from Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Hanoi, Jakarta, to as far as New Delhi. DOSA in Seoul is among his highly successful restaurants which was opened just mere two years ago and was already awarded with one Michelin star in 2017.


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  • 24/03/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Contemporary Coffee Shop

    Belakangan ini, sulit rasanya menentukan batasan yang jelas antara coffee shop tradisional dan restoran. Untungnya, ini bukan berarti hal buruk. Di tengah British Invasion pada tahun 1960an, musisi blues Inggris dapat dibagi menjadi 2 kategori. Eric Clapton mengaku sebagai blues purist, sementara orang seperti Jeff Beck dan Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) lebih suka menembus batasan blues tradisional dan membuat sesuatu yang kontemporer, sesuatu yang progresif. Tampaknya sejarah kembali terulang, kali ini di industri kopi.

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  • 24/03/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Contemporary Coffee Shop

    It is getting more and more difficult to draw a clear line between traditional coffee shop and restaurant nowadays. Fortunately, it doesn’t mean a bad thing

    In the 1960’s British invasion, the English bluesmen were grouped into 2 categories. Eric Clapton was a self-proclaimed blues purist, while others such as Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin prefer to stretch the traditional blues into……something contemporary, something progressive. It appears that history repeats itself, this time in coffee industry.

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  • 26/02/2018 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Art of Chocolate Making

    PASSION berbincang dengan pendiri Pod Bali ,Toby Garritt, tentang pabrik cokelat barunya serta pendapatnya tentang industry cokelat di Indonesia.

    Banyak hal telah berubah sejak Pod Origin membuka pintunya sebagai pabrik cokelat dan cafe di Desa Carang Sari, sebelah barat Sangeh Monkey Forest, lima tahun silam. Kini, ia telah menjadi salah satu destinasi utama di area tersebut, menarik banyak pengunjung dari seluruh dunia yang tertarik untuk memelajari cara pembuatan cokelat. Hutan tropis hijau yang mengelilingi pabrik tetap lestari. Begitu juga dengan dedikasi Pod dengan melibatkan pengadaan yang melibatkan petani cacao Bali dari daerah Badung dan Negara.

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  • 26/02/2018 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    The Art of Chocolate Making

    PASSION talks with Toby Garritt, the founder of Pod Bali about his new chocolate factory and his insight regarding Indonesia’s chocolate industry.

    A lot has changed when Pod Origin opened its door as a chocolate factory and café in Carang Sari Village, north of Sangeh Monkey Forest, five years ago. For once, it is now becoming the number one destination in the area, attracting visitors from all around the world to learn about chocolate making. Happily, the lush tropical landscape that surrounds the factory remains. And so does Pod’s dedication in sustainable sourcing that involve Bali’s local cacao farmers from Badung and Negara.

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  • 26/02/2018 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    Often Imitated, Never Duplicated

    Find out why Bakerzin, one of the first dessert cafés in Indonesia, is still one of the best.

    In 2000, the concept of dessert café may not sound familiar to us. Most of the restaurants in Indonesia was mostly owned by family and have one outlet for one brand. Boga Group is one of the first players in the food service industry that introduced the dessert café concept through Bakerzin in 2002. After that, the success story was followed by brands we all know and love, such as Sushi Tei, Pepper Lunch, Paradise Dynasty, Paradise Inn, Shaburi, Kintan, Onokabe, Master Wok, and the latest one, Putu Made.

    Since the opening of the first Bakerzin, a franchise brand from Singapore, in Cilandak Town Square, the brand managed to maintain its position as one of the leader in the dessert café category. Of course, it’s not an easy task, Bakerzin do it by continuously challenging itself through new menus that come every 3 months.
    The most interesting one is their collaboration with Valrhona, The Tales of Valrhona Schokolade in the last season. It’s widely known that Valrhona is very selective in selecting partners for collaboration. The fact that Bakerzin is one of them speaks volume.

    When you want real taste of chocolate, the classic cake such as Chocolate Amer is an all time favorite. It has the gentle, soft and spongy texture with that melt-in-mouth sensation, but makes no mistake, it packs intense, punchy chocolate flavor with just the right amount of bitterness to please chocolate lovers.

    Since its inception in 2002, Bakerzin introduced us to Warm Chocolate Cake that is often imitated by other dessert cafes, but never quite replicated. With only one bite, you can tell Boga Group’s commitment of using the finest ingredients, in this case, the chocolate. It made us believe that the fanciest baking technique in the world can never replace quality ingredients.

    Make no mistake, Bakerzin also offers Chocolate Souffle, the kind of dessert that requires meticulous preparation in order for to make the soufflé rise. Again, the chocolate is the main star in these 3 dessert dishes. If you crave for chocolate, but you also want something fruity, Framboise Lactee is for you.

    If slice cake is not enough, Bakerzin also offers 2 of the most favorite chocolate drink: Hot Chocolate and Café Mocha. Both drink features Malongo cocoa powder with 50% cocoa content from France. Café Mocha is the perfect example of Jamie Oliver’s word, “coffee and chocolate are best friend”. It’s the mature kind of chocolate drink, there’s no turning back to your regular chocolate after a cup.

    What’s Next?
    As mentioned before, Bakerzin always offers something new every 3 months. However, after introducing The Tales of Valrhona Schokolade in November 2017, it’s quite difficult to imagine anything bigger. People know Bakerzin as dessert café that also serves western cuisine, however in February 2018, Bakerzin will also introduce local and Thai cuisines into the regular menu.

    2018 will also become a busy year for Boga Group. After having over 100 outlets in Indonesia through various brands, Boga will add a new Bakerzin outlet in South Jakarta, and a new brand of restaurant that will feature katsu dishes.

    For most F&B brands, the past few years have been quite tough, but they can’t stop Boga Group from having positive growth. Actually it’s not too surprising, if you know how to maintain your standard quality, just like what Boga do.


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  • 30/01/2018 0 Comments
    Sunday Afternoon

    Prego’s FunDay Family Brunch is offering tasty Italian cuisine and a whole lot of fun for the whole family. 

    Bright colorful balloons are floating from the chairs when I arrive at Prego on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Young families with their excited children are at ease in the spacious restaurant. A magician is hard at work and constantly being surrounded by children who make all sort of requests, from poodle balloons to a little show of magic.

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  • 30/01/2018 0 Comments
    [ID] - Sunday Afternoon

    Prego’s FunDay Family Brunch menawarkan sajian masakan Italia yang lezat sekaligus waktu yang menyenangkan untuk seluruh anggota keluarga.

    Balon-balon berwarna cerita mengambang dari tempatnya diikat di kursi saat saya tiba di Prego pada hari Minggu yang cerah. Keluarga-keluarga muda dengan anak-anak mereka yang kegirangan tengah bersantai di restauran yang luas. Seorang pesulap tengah bekerja keras dan senantiasa dikelilingi oleh anak-anak yang membuat berbagai macam permintaan kepadanya, dari balon berbentuk anjing pudel hingga pertunjukkan sulap.

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  • 30/01/2018 0 Comments
    Italian with a View

    Tasting the flavour of authentic Italian cuisine at Bene Italian Kitchen. 

    Pasta is the backbone of Italian cuisine. That sort of thinking prompted executive chef Rossano Renzelli to dedicate his time in making sure that only the freshest pasta is served at Bene. “We make 14 different kind of pasta,” says the Roman native who has worked his magic in the kitchen since Bene opened five years ago. Bucatini, rigatoni, fettuccine, spaghetti, linguini, and many more are produced every day in the industrious kitchen.

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  • 30/01/2018 0 Comments
    [ID] - Italian with a View

    Mencicipi cita rasa otentik Italia di Bene Italian Kitchen.

    Pasta adalah tulang punggung masakan Italia. Pemikiran itu yang mendorong executive chef Rossano Renzelli untuk mendedikasikan waktunya agar hanya pasta terbaiklah yang disajikan di Bene. “Kami membuat 14 jenis pasta yang berbeda,” ungkap pria Roma yang telah meracik makanan dengan sentuhan ajaibnya di Bene sejak restauran itu buka lima tahun yang lalu. Bucatini, rigatoni, fettuccine, spaghetti, linguini, dan masih banyak lagi kini diproduksi tiap hari di dapur yang maha sibuk.

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  • 30/01/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments

    Sebelas tahun dan terus berlanjut, restoran ini senantiasa berdiri kokoh sejak awal berdirinya. Inilah Rosso, wakil terhormat dari Jakarta untuk kuliner papan atas negeri Italia. 

    Kita hidup pada sebuah zaman dimana masakan modern diciptakan dari sebuah kreativitas, bahan-bahan berkualitas, serta presentasi rumit telah begitu memesona masyarakat. Bagian yang juga menarik adalah di zaman ini ternyata gerakan-gerakan yang mempromosikan kuliner tradisional juga semakin mendapatkan ruang berekspresi.

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  • 30/01/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments

    Eleven years and counting, still standing tall as ever. Meet Rosso, the envoy of high-end Italian dining from Jakarta. 

    We live in an era when contemporary cuisine based on creativity, quality ingredients, and delicate presentations has taken the society by storm. The interesting part is at the same time, the movement to promote local values from traditional cuisines are also gaining prominence.

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  • 08/01/2018 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    A Modern Classic

    PASSION heads to Kunyit Restaurant at The Anvaya Beach Resort to taste its Balinese classic signature dishes. 

    I can’t think of a better place to dine, relax, and people watching in Tuban than the elegantly furnished Kunyit Restaurant. Elevated from the street, the Balinese and Indonesian restaurant provides a nice al fresco experience despite being in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Kuta. The Bali Aga inspired contemporary decor is a delight to the eyes, while the seating arrangements provide enough intimate space for romantic or group dinner.

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  • 08/01/2018 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    [ID] - A Modern Classic

    PASSION berkunjung ke Kunyit Restaurant di The Anvaya Beach Resort untuk merasakan hidangan klasik khas Bali.

    Saya tidak dapat memikirkan tempat yang lebih sesuai untuk makan, bersantai, dan mengamati orang berjalan lewat di daerah Tuban selain di Kunyit Restaurant yang didesain dengan elegan. Terletak sedikit lebih tinggi dari jalan, restauran yang menyajikan masakan Bali dan Indonesia ini memberikan pengalaman al fresco yang menyenangkan meskipun berada tepat di tengah Kuta yang padat. Dekorasi kontemporer yang terinspirasi dari budaya Bali Aga sungguh indah dipandang, sementara pengaturan area duduknya memberikan privasi ruang yang bersahabat untuk acara makan romantis maupun berkelompok.

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  • 08/01/2018 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    [ID] - In a Class of Its Own

    PASSION mengunjungi BLANCO par Mandif di Ubud dan mencicipi usahanya dalam membawa makanan Indonesia ke perbatasan yang baru.

    Sejak buka pada tahun 2015 sebagai tujuan destinasi fine dining, BLANCO par Mandif baru saja selesai menambah kapasitas restaurannya. Berlalu sudah masa dimana BLANCO par Mandif adalah sebuah pengalaman intim yang hanya bisa memuat 10 orang di dapur terbukanya yang terkenal. Sebagai gantinya adalah restaurant yang lebih elegan serta dapat mengakomodasi 20 orang. Berlokasi di dalam Blanco Renaissance Museum, saya langsung merasa memasuki dunia yang berbeda saat tiba di area bar sekaligus pintu masuk yang gelap dan dramatis.

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  • 08/01/2018 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    In a Class of Its Own

    PASSION revisits BLANCO par Mandif in Ubud and discover its attempt in bringing Indonesian cuisine into a new frontier.

    Firmly establishing itself as a fine dining destination since opening its door in 2015, BLANCO par Mandif recently upgraded the restaurant. Gone were the days when BLANCO par Mandif was an intimate experience where only ten people could sit and dine at its famous open kitchen. In its place, an elegant and refined sibling for twenty is taking over. Located on the ground of Blanco Renaissance Museum , I immediately feel transported into another realm as soon as I enter the dark dramatic bar which is also the entrance.

    I am glad to report that impeccable service remains at the heart of the restaurant. Sitting at one of the restaurant’s best spot overlooking the Campuhan bridge, I am enjoying the serenity that engulfs me. Created by Indonesia’s leading gastronomic chef and restaurateur, Mandif Warokka, the restaurant is a tribute to Indonesian flavour and heritage. Warokka’s perfectionist approach and deep love gives birth to an intense reinterpretation of Indonesian flavours and creative innovation which despite being audaciously modern in presentation, remains rooted in traditional cooking technique.

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  • 08/01/2018 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    [ID] - Discovering Indonesia’s Hidden Gems

    Pengalaman dining di Nusa Gastronomy mirip dengan menonton film Christopher Nolan: Anda menikmatinya dan merasa lebih pandai meski tidak terlalu memahami apa yang sebenarnya terjadi. Akui sajalah, meski Anda dapat menikmati Inception (2010), Anda tidak mungkin bisa memahami keseluruhan konsep mengenai pencurian rahasia dari alam bawah sadar yang dibahas di film itu dalam sekali tonton. Kemudian setelah beberapa kali menonton ulang, banyak hal mulai menjadi masuk akal dan menjadi momen, “Aha!” Ini terjadi juga di banyak film Nolan yang lain seperti Interstellar (2014) dan Dunkirk (2017). 

    Jika Anda pernah menonton film-film tersebut, kira-kira seperti itulah perasaan kami setelah dining di Nusa Gastronomy. Ada begitu banyak nama-nama makanan Indonesia yang terdengar aneh seperti sambal tempoyak, kambing nilomang, jamur pelawan. Nusa menunjukkan bahwa kekayaan kuliner Indonesia tidak hanya sebatas rendang dan nasi goreng. Ada banyak makanan legendaris daerah yang belum pernah mendapat panggung, bahkan untuk skala nasional. Nusa mengangkat makanan-makanan tersebut beserta cerita dibaliknya. Di sini mereka menyebutnya sebagai “an edible story of Indonesia.”

    Setidaknya ada dua hal umum yang kerap kami temui ketika sebuah restoran mengusung konsep masakan Indonesia. Pertama adalah terlalu berpaku pada tradisi sehingga terasa sekaligus terlihat membosankan dan sulit diterima oleh palate internasional, sementara yang kedua adalah melangkah terlalu jauh ke depan dengan penggunaan teknik masak modern sehingga mengabaikan rasa asli masakan tersebut. Satu hal yang kami kagumi dari Nusa Gastronomy adalah kemampuan Chef Ragil Imam Wibowo, sang chef owner, untuk mengaplikasikan teknik masak dan presentasi kontemporer tanpa mengabaikan rasa asli dari masakan tradisional tersebut.

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  • 08/01/2018 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    Discovering Indonesia’s Hidden Gems

    Dining experience in Nusa Gastronomy is similar to watching Christopher Nolan’s movie: you enjoy the ride and feel smarter, even though you don’ really understand what’s going on.

    Admit it, although you enjoyed Inception (2010), you can’t really understand the concept of stealing secrets from people’s sub consciousness as discussed in the movie in screening. And then after watching it for the next time, things started to make sense and would give you the, “Aha!” moment It also happened in Nolan’s movies such as Interstellar (2014) and Dunkirk (2017).

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  • 24/11/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    Invitation to Provence

    Experiencing the rustic charm of French and Mediterranean cuisine at Kebun Bistro.

    The long and busy street of Hanoman is renowned for being the location of several impressive eateries. Kebun Bistro is one of them. Since opening its door five years ago, the casual restaurant continues to flourish and expand. The space gets wider, accommodating its growing and loyal customers’ needs. As we arrive at the bistro, the sun was just recently set and Ubud is getting slowly back to being the village it once was. Visiting Kebun Bistro requires an empty schedule because the ambience will seduces its visitors to sit back and linger. No visit here should ever be rushed. 

    There are the green potted plants and hanging vines, earth coloured walls and curvaceous iron lattice on the window. The feeling of being in an open-air veranda of somebody’s house in a small town of France is made even more real with the mismatched chairs made of wood and rattan as well as the square white marble table tops. 

    The menu is taking its inspiration from Provençal cuisine which relies heavily on the use of olive oil, fresh herbs, sun-kissed vegetables, and influenced by the light Mediterranean cuisine. I am glad to report that its wine cellar is stocked with fine wine collections from France, South America, Australia, and beyond. My starter arrives right after I finished my first glass of a fruity Shiraz. A bowlful of escargot submerged in a luxurious bath of butter, oil and the fragrant chopped parsley is a morsel of good life. The snails are plump and juicy while the accompanying baguette is crusty. In no time at all, what remains on the plate is just crumbs. 

    Sharing the grilled sesame tuna salad with my friend turns out to be a good idea since the portion is quite generous. The tuna is medium rare and goes very well with the citrus dressing, sun-kissed tomatoes, avocado, black olives, rucola, and asparagus. It makes a nice change after the flavourful escargot.

    As the quintessential French dish, the duck confit also meets my expectation. It is meltingly tender and can be easily pulled from the bone as a result of slowly being cooked in the oven for three hours. The accompanying green peppercorn sauce adds a depth and soft heat into the dish. 

    We close the meal with the mille-feuille. The sweet vanilla custard cream and layers of crispy pastry is served with a slightly sour strawberry coulis. All in all, it was a balanced and beautifully presented dessert. A romantic French chanson is playing in the background and we finally agree on another glass of Chilean Chardonnay before slowly making our way home. An evening well spent is one with good wine and good food. Fortunately, tonight we have both.


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  • 24/11/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    Reinventing Flavours

    PASSION revisits CasCades Restaurant and talks to the man behind the exciting culinary endeavour which constantly raising the bar.

    I am following Nic Vanderbeeken into the large green house at the garden of Viceroy Bali. For the last one year, the Belgian executive chef has been working intensively with a team of gardeners in growing various vegetables and herbs for the menu at CasCades Restaurant. Brussel sprouts, kolhrabi, fennel, watercress, tarragon, and cheerful edible flowers are growing exuberantly on white aquaponic pipes. Heirloom seeds from Indonesia and other countries are making their way to this particular green house where constant experimentations and trials are conducted to get the best possible produce.

    “The way I see it, when our garden improves so does our kitchen and ultimately, our menu,” claims Vanderbeeken who is reinventing a new degustation menu based on the locally grown produce and his flavour database of European upbringing. The last time I saw and tasted his creation, Vanderbeeken was intent on combining French cooking technique with Indonesian flavours. And he was remarkably apt at it, undoubtedly influenced by his vast experiences in several Michelin starred restaurants in France, Netherlands and Belgium. Never the one who shies away from challenges, he has pioneered and actively involved in Cascades’ legendary Four Hand Chef Collaboration where internationally acclaimed chefs are invited to cook and co-hosted exclusive dining events at the restaurant.

    Today, I signed up for the new six course degustation menu. While sipping my Cosmopolitan and enjoying the romantic view of the green valley, my first dish is served on the table. True to its name, the fit for royalty Royal Tartar is a magnificent study of flavours. The raw cubed wagyu beef is delicately plated in the form of a ring and on the top is the precariously perched garden made of thinly sliced celery, quail egg, pickled cucumber, fresh onion, crispy baby potato, and delightfully crunchy pumpkin ginger meringue. It pleasantly bursts in my mouth, a rounded aria of acidulous sweetness and a rich taste of black garlic mayonnaise in the raw beef. It is a truly solid start.

    A dramatically plated marinated seared octopus on a bed of fennel is next. Dotted with sweet potato sauce and lemon basil sauce, the dish is also visually enhanced with squid ink coral tuile and artfully placed fennel flower. The octopus is perfectly cooked and when I dip it into the mixture of sauces, a flood of new flavour is born. Vanderbeeken sneakily adds curry into the sauce and the result of this savoury and fragrant affair is nothing short of extraordinary.

    The Beef Cheek Rendang is a nod to Indonesian flavour and a clever take on the traditional French braised version. The chubby cheeks are delightful and mixing it in a spoonful of its accompanying pickled vegetable, aromatic Thai inspired tom kha soup emulsion, and Padang’s green chili sambal is the most exquisite treat I have given myself in a while. At this point, Vanderbeeken’s creation has completely blown me away. Then, he comes with the Quail Wellington. Aesthetically, it is the simplest from the others but a bite of perfectly rolled foie gras, morel mushroom and quail dipped in the truffle sauce later, I come to the conclusion that it is nothing but simple. This ravishing dish cemented my absolute faith in CasCades and its worldly refined direction.


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  • 24/11/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    [ID] - Reviving The Ancient Fermentation Method

    Kami paham, sulit sekali menemukan roti Eropa otentik di Jakarta, namun kabar baiknya, Eric Kayser hadir di Jakarta. Eric memiliki DNA roti sejak ia lahir di keluarga baker. Ia bergabung dengan The Compagnons du Devoir (perkumpulan seniman tradisional) sejak usia muda, dengan bertujuan untuk membantu mengabadikan metode tradisional dan menumbuhkan passionnya sendiri untuk membagi pengetahuan dan keahliannya. Setelah terlatih sebagai pendidik, Eric Kayser akhirnya memutuskan untuk membangun perusahaan sendiri sehingga ia memiliki tempat untuk mengkomunikasikan visi uniknya, Perusahaan ini kemudian hadir di banyak negara

    Sebuah momen kunci dalam karirnya tiba pada tahun 1994 lewat penemuan Fermentolevain, sebuah mesin revolusioner yang mampu menjaga cairan leavening di temperature yang tepat, sehingga memudahkan dalam aplikasi. Ini memungkinkan Eric untuk memenuhi ambisinya membuat roti dengan bagian tengah yang creamy, serat yang khas, memiliki aroma buah kering, dan shelf life yang luar biasa.

    Yang membedakan Eric Kayser dari yang lain adalah komitmennya untuk menggunakan agen leavening alami di produk roti dan pastrynya. Agen fermentasi ini terhubung langsung dengan sejarah roti. Ini adalah campuran air, terigu, dan gula (dalam kasus Eric Kayser, madu) yang kemudian didinginkan dan diberi waktu resting. Ini adalah agen fermentasi pertama yang digunakan dalam produksi roti, sehingga tidak mengejutkan jika agen ini hanya berisikan bahan alami.

    Namun teknik ini tidak digunakan lagi di abad ke-20 dan digantikan oleh ragi, yang aplikasinya lebih mudah dan mampu membuat roti mengembang lebih cepat dan besar. Namun, penggunaan ragi memiliki kekurangan, shelf lifenya lebih singkat dan rasanya tidak memiliki aroma khas roti yang dibuat dengan agen leavening.

    Ini adalah alasan mengapa Eric Kayser bersikukuh untuk menghidupkan kembali proses yang telah teruji waktu ini, dan ini alasan agen leavening tersebut digunakan di semua produk roti, croissant, brioche dan produk lainnya. Teknik fermentasi ini terutama berguna untuk meningkatan kesadaran akan hidup sehat dan mampu membuat produk yang lebih gampang dicerna oleh tubuh manusia, dan rasanya juga enak.

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  • 24/11/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    Reviving The Ancient Fermentation Method

    Eric Kayser was born into a family of bakers. He has bread in his DNA. He joined the Compagnons du Devoir (a traditional craftsmen’s guild) at a young age, helping to perpetuate traditional methods and cultivating his own passion for passing on his knowledge and skills. Having plied his trade as an educator, Eric Kayser decided set up his own company, giving him an outlet to communicate his unique vision. The company now boasts an extensive international presence.

    A key moment came in 1994 with the invention of the Fermentolevain, a revolutionary machine that keeps liquid leavening agent at just the right temperature, making it easier to work with. This enabled Eric Kayser to pursue his ambition of creating bread with a creamy center, distinctive grain, dried fruit flavors and an excellent shelf-life. 

    What sets Eric Kayser apart from the rest is his commitment to using natural leavening agent in his breads and pastries. This fermentation agent is inextricably linked with the history of bread. It is a mixture of water, flour and sugars (honey, in the case of Eric Kayser) which is then chilled and allowed to rest. It was the first such agent to be used in bread production, so it comes as no surprise that it contains only natural ingredients.

    Yet it fell largely out of favor in the 20th century and was replaced by yeast, which is easier to manage and produces fast-rising, high-volume bread. However, the use of yeast results in bread that has a shorter shelf-life and a less distinctive flavor than bread made with a leavening agent.

    This is the main reason why Eric Kayser set about reviving this time-honored process, and why a leavening agent is now used in all our breads, croissants, brioches and other products. This fermentation technique is particularly beneficial at a time of increasing health-consciousness, delivering products that the human body is better able to digest and tolerate, and they taste great, too.

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  • 24/11/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    [ID] - Staying True to the Roots

    Berbeda dengan restoran sejenis yang mengubah konsep menjadi fusion, Emilie tetap teguh pada masakan Perancis. Tentu saja, ini bukan jalan yang mudah, atau populer. “Sejujurnya, bisnis fine dining itu sangat sulit. Lihat saja; apakah ada restoran fine dining baru? Jika mudah dan sukses, tentu Anda akan melihat banyak pemain baru,” kata Wahjudi Rahardja, Chef Owner Emilie French Restaurant. Kata-katanya menjawab pertanyaan kami mengenai mengapa hanya ada sedikit resto yang masuk dalam genre ini. Di sisi lain, resto fine dining lain malah mengubah konsepnya menjadi casual atau fusion. Apa yang terjadi di scene fine dining ini?

    Sejak berdiri pada 2005, restoran milik keluarga ini telah berhasil mendapatkan banyak penghargaan; The Award of Excellence (2007) oleh majalah Wine Spectator (USA), kemudian diupgrade menjadi “Best of Award of Excellence” sejak 2013, masuk dalam jajaran salah satu restoran terbaik Asia Miele Guide 2009/2010, 2011/2012, dan penghargaan “Best French/Fine Dining Restaurant” dari banyak sekali majalah.

    Bertempat di Jalan Senopati yang tenar, cukup mudah untuk melewatkan kehadiran Emlie, selain dari signage dan light box kecil. “Saya lebih suka begini, tidak terlalu menonjol karena target market kami, kurang lebih bukan mass customer,” kata Wahjudi yang biasa dikenal dengan panggilan singkat, Yen. Meski dari luar tampak seperti rumah biasa di Jalan Senopati, bangunan sengaja dibangun ulang dan diperuntukkan untuk restoran oleh Jaya Ibrahim and Associates.

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  • 24/11/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    Staying True to the Roots

    Unlike many of its colleagues who went fusion, Emilie sticks to its French roots. And of course it’s not an easy path, nor a popular one.

    “Realistically speaking, fine dining business is very difficult. Take a look around; do we have any new fine dining restaurants? If it’s easy and successful, you’ll see many new ones coming up,” said Wahjudi Rahardja, Chef Owner of Emilie French Restaurant. His words clearly answered our question of why there’s so few restaurants belongs in this genre. On the other hand, we have some fine dining restaurants went casual or fusion. What actually happened in this fine dining scene?

    Since established in 2005, the family owned restaurant has won many awards; such as The Award of Excellence (2007) by Wine Spectator Magazine (USA), upgraded to “Best of Award of Excellence” since 2013, listed as one of Asia’s Finest Restaurants by the Miele Guide 2009/2010, 2011/2012, and numerous “Best French/Fine Dining Restaurant” from various magazines. 

    Located in the famous Jalan Senopati, it’s quite easy to miss Emilie’s presence, apart from the signage and small light box. “I prefer it this way, not too flashy because our target market, more or less, is not mass customers,” said Wahjudi who is also known as, simply, Yen. Even though it looks just like regular houses in Senopati, the building was actually designed by Jaya Ibrahim and Associates, specifically for restaurant purpose.

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  • 24/11/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    [ID] - Behind The Silverware

    Baik klasik atau kontemporer, Amuz merupakan tempat pilihan saat Anda menginginkan resto fine dining Perancis. Sudah lebih dari 6 tahun sejak kunjungan terakhir saya ke Amuz, salah satu resto fine dining terbaik di Jakarta. Amuz telah memenangkan berbagai penghargaan bergengsi, seperti Hospitality Platinum Award Indonesia di berbagai seri dan tahun dan Award of Excellence dari majalah Wine Spectator selama 5 tahun berturut-turut. Selain sedikit perubahan di interior, tempat, konsep dan atmosfir di Amuz tetap sama seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Perbedaan paling mencolok justru tampak di menu seasonal terbaru dan penampilan Gilles Marx (Chef Founder Amuz) yang memutuskan untuk menumbuhkan jenggot, Passion mungkin salah satu media pertama yang menampilkan foto terbaru Gilles.

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  • 24/11/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    Behind The Silverware

    It’s been over 6 years since my last visit to Amuz, one of the best French fine dining restaurants in Jakarta, if not the best. The facts that Amuz has won numerous prestigious awards, such as Hospitality Platinum Award Indonesia with variants of series and years and Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 5 years in a row, speak volume. Apart from some minor interior changes (and some new international awards), the place, the concept, and the atmosphere don’t show any differences from years ago. The most notable changes actually comes from the new seasonal menu and Gilles Marx’s (Amuz’s Chef Founder) appearance who decided to grew some beard, and Passion is probably the first media to feature Gilles’ new look.

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  • 24/11/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    The Proper Hot Chocolate

    You’ve heard this saying somewhere, “stop trying to make everybody happy, you aren’t chocolate.”

    Even though it’s hard to deny that fact, we found it weird to know that there are so few chocolate cafes even though Indonesia is widely known as the third cacao producer and exporter in the world. The truth is, chocolate café is not as popular as coffee shop. It’s even surprisingly rare to have chocolate café that serves proper hot chocolate.

    We can’t blame you if you assume hot chocolate is chocolate drink made of instant chocolate powder like you’ve had in many of the coffee shops. However, a true hot chocolate that is made out of melted chocolate with steamed fresh milk is surprisingly rare. Fortunately, it took no chocolate expert to tell the difference between the instant powder and the real stuff. From the texture, the intensity and the complexity of the flavor, you’d probably wondering why we don’t have more places serving this kind of goodness? Thank God, we found Kakolait in BSD, Tangerang, one of the fastest developing regions in Jabodetabek.

    Kakolait actually has 8 owners, and 6 of them went to college in Sydney, Australia. “We missed Sydney’s atmosphere and we haven’t found a good hot chocolate drink in Jakarta. Finally, we decided to open up a café with proper hot chocolate. We have wider target audience, kids to the elders are enjoying Kakolait,” said Pricillia Pranata, one of Kakolait’s owners.

    Classic Hot Chocolate is probably Kakolait’s most iconic drink, and as always, opt for the dark one instead of milk. It’s some sort of an unwritten rule for any chocolate lovers, in case you’re wondering. If you enjoy it, you might want to take a step further by ordering the Thick Hot Chocolate. It’s probably the most intense hot chocolate we’ve had with very heavy texture that you can’t find in any other places.

    When it’s hot outside, you can always pick Ice Chocolate. Although not as intense as the hot counterpart due to the ice cube, the menu still packs some serious intensity. Apart from any chocolate-based drinks, the place also serves other drinks such as milk shake, coffee, and tea. Kakolait also has some waffle menu to accompany their drinks.

    If you’ve tried the Classic Hot Chocolate, most probably you won’t see hot chocolate the same way as you were before. Kakolait has set the new standard of hot chocolate and we predict that sooner or later, more people will demand such quality hot chocolate in their favorite coffee shops. The good news is, we’ll see Kakolait’s new outlet coming up in Jakarta in near future.


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  • 19/10/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    The Art of Grilling

    Exploring the flavour of authentic Japanese Teppanyaki buffet at Edogin is a treat that one must not miss at The Mulia, Nusa Dua, Bali.

    Teppanyaki cooking has an interesting background history. It began in Japan in the 1900s with meals being prepared on a small grill within family households until a teppanyaki style restaurant named Misono opened its first branch on 1945. However, the skilled manoeuvres received lukewarm response from the locals and instead, found popularity with the GIs who were stationed in Japan. They took it excitedly back to the States and the ostentatious teppanyaki cooking style reminds popular until today despite being a far cry from its authentic Japanese beginning.

    When we arrive at Edogin, two chefs are quietly manning the two hot iron griddles in the middle of the room. On a counter around them, a smorgasbord of premium Wagyu beef cuts and seafood bounties are displayed neatly. In between the juicy pink shrimps and pudgy scallops, there are fine selection of cooked Japanese delights such as unagi kamameshi, miso soup, and baked Hokkaido oysters. While on the far corner of the room, a dedicated appetizer counter is topped with vegetables, beautiful sashimi cuts, and sushi. Next to it, there is a self-service soba station and crispy selection of kushiage or deep fried skewers and vegetable. At the dessert station, a Japanese chef is skilfully rolling teppanyaki ice cream for excited little children. 

    The fragrant aroma of seared beef and the teppanyaki knife actions always excites me. True to its authentic Japanese root and contrary to what everyone thinks of the fiery action packed teppanyaki experience, Edogin’s way of grilling is calm and assured. Here, the chefs work effectively and skilfully, dicing the meat without too much flair, nor drama. After filling my plate with the marbled tenderloin and ask the chef to cook them medium rare, I go back to my table and order a hot sake to keep me and my dining partner company. 

    The earthy colours of the interior and low lighting create intimacy. Despite the large number of diners on every Thursday to Saturday when the buffet is served, everything is done in a hushed and gentle manner. Elegantly attired waiters in gold kimono inspired uniform is offering me another options of freshly prepared dishes from the kitchen. “We have various skewers, tempura, ramen, udon, soba, and donburi,” explains the waiter. Then, two plates of grilled beef, mushroom, vegetable, scallop, and shrimps arrive at our table. Each and every piece is cooked to perfection. That is the thing I appreciate the most about Japanese cuisine. It is deceptively simple but the precise technique and the use of ingredients that it takes before a dish is served is nothing but perfection.

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  • 14/10/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    The Height of Nikkei Cuisine

    It is always exciting to see the acculturation process of two different cultures. It’s even more exciting if it’s served on a dish, at the highest restaurant in Indonesia.

    If you grow up in the 80’s to 90’s, you must be familiar with the word “Henshin” (literally mean “transform”). It’s the exact word screamed by Kamen Riders, from Takeshi Hongo (Kamen Rider Ichigo) to Kotaro Minami (Kamen Rider Black) and beyond, whenever they transform from the human form to the mighty Kamen Rider. The Westin Jakarta uses the catchy, edgy, and meaningful name to describe the transformation from their rather conservative lobby from ground floor to the more contemporary Henshin, located on floor 67-69.

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  • 09/10/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    A House Party

    We pay a visit to The Sayan House in Ubud and its sensual flavour of Japanese Latin fusion.

    The house is hidden from the main road. It is hidden for a good reason, for when we enter the restaurant through its large open-kitchen, we are welcomed by the lush green view of the famous Sayan Gorge. There is an intimate living and dining room near the kitchen but the restaurant’s open-air favourite dining spot on the lower ground is where we are heading for our group lunch. The house is a mixture of colonial and tropical aesthetic, resulting in a romantic ambience with an understated elegance. A well-designed pond with river stones runs through the garden, reminding me with the calmness provided by a Japanese garden. Coming here feels like visiting the house of your worldly, well-travelled and well-to-do neighbour, so to speak. 

    Making use of the superb view, the restaurant recently added The Sunset Bar on the far corner of the garden. It makes a nice spot to watch the sun goes down with a glass of martini such as the Machu Matilda. The freshness of the basil, tamarillo and lime goes refreshingly well with the vodka and ginger ale. Ubud sure needs more places for sunset viewing especially when it comes with a solid cocktail creation and a fine collection of Japanese whiskey such as this one. 

    The concept of marrying Japanese cuisine with South American flavour is not as contradictory as it seems. It’s been done for a long time especially in the Latin continent where there is a significant Japanese population. Chef Yuki Tagami have had his share of experiences in this sexy fusion and translated it well into the menu at The Sayan House. When our Sashimi Gunkan arrives on the table, the combination of salmon, guacamole, jalapeno and soy ginger dressing immediately creates uproar. The same ruckus happens again when Los de Wayan, a tempe tempura tacos with a tasty home-made sauce is served and eaten in no time. The flavour is simple and straight forward. Another bold fusion of a Latin –Nippon love affair like ceviche, tempura with chimichuri sauce or ensalada maya is also available to be tasted. 

    Lastly, we devour the aesthetically pleasing Bento Box. It is a vibrant assortment of chicken salad, salmon sushi roll, wasabi mashed potato, chicken croquette, tofu salad, and a tasty teriyaki chicken. It is quite fulfilling and comes with a choice of dessert. The Churros y Horchata closes our long lunch with its unique taste of Horchata ice cream. Inspired by the popular Central American rice based drink, the coldness of the ice cream complemented the hot and crispy texture of the churros nicely. 

    Intimate, private, and inviting are some of the words to describe this house by the gorge. However, ultimately the reason to come and pay it a visit is to enjoy the tasty and unique flavour that is not quite east or west but something entirely new and exciting.


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  • 05/10/2017 0 Comments
    [ID] - The World’s Seventh Brewer

    Ketika seseorang yang mendapat peringkat ke-7 dalam kejuaraan World Brewers Cup menawarkan Anda kopi, Anda tidak mungkin menolaknya! Espresso atau latte adalah pilihan menarik, tetapi secangkir kopi filter V60 adalah pilihan yang jelas bagi saya untuk mengetahui mengapa Harison Chandra, salah satu pemilik Ottoman’s Coffee Brewers, berhasil menjuarai IBRC (Indonesian Brewers Cup) 2017 dan berhasil menduduki peringkat 7 dunia di World Brewers Cup. 

    Faktanya, ini adalah pencapaian terbaik Indonesia setelah sebelumnya selalu kesulitan untuk menembus 10 besar dunia, baik untuk kategori barista, brewers, latte art, mau pun cup taster. Hal ini pula yang membawa kami pada Ottoman’s Coffee Brewers.

    “Mau kopi yang seperti apa?” tanya Harison. “Saya sedang ingin sesuatu yang bright dan tidak pahit,” jawab saya. Meski sempat ragu pada penggunaan temperatur yang sangat tinggi (98o C), ternyata kekhawatiran itu tidak terbukti. Kopi Ethiopia Kelloo dari Smoking Barrels (roaster) terasa begitu bright dengan aroma citrus, floral, dengan ending yang sweet. Saya bahkan tidak perlu berusaha terlalu keras untuk memahami aroma apa saja di secangkir kopi tersebut.

    Kebetulan, Harison memiliki selera yang mirip dengan saya soal kopi. “Saya suka kopi yang bright, bitterness is a big no no for me! Banyak orang bikin kopi hanya memperhatikan soal body dan sweetness, that’s what I call one-dimensional coffee. Untuk kopi filter, first rulenya adalah harus clear, very clear and clean sehingga kita dapat mendapatkan notesnya secara cepat dan mudah. Sama seperti ketika Anda minum jus jeruk, seketika Anda langsung tahu itu jeruk kan?” jelas Harison.

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  • 05/10/2017 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    The World’s Seventh Brewer

    When someone who is ranked 7th in the World Brewers Cup offered you a cup of coffee, you don’t say no!

    Espresso or latte are interesting options, but that afternoon, a cup of V60 filter coffee would be obvious for me to understand why Harison Chandra, one of Ottoman’s owners, won the IBRC (Indonesian Brewers Cup) 2017 and managed to get the 7th seat in World Brewers Cup. In fact, this is the best achievement for Indonesia after having difficulties in getting to the world’s top 10 for any coffee categories, from barista, brewers, latte art, or cup taster. This is what leads us to Ottoman’s Coffee Brewers.

    “What sort of bean would you like?” asked Harison. “I want something bright, with no bitterness,” I answered. At first, I was doubtful with the use of high temperature (98oC), after a sip, I realized my concern was pointless. The Ethiopia Kelloo bean from Smoking Barrels (roaster) tasted so bright with citrus, floral notes and sweet after taste. I didn’t even have to try too hard to figure what’s going on in the cup.

    Fortunately, Harison share the similar taste preference as I do. “I like bright coffee, bitterness is a big no no for me! Most people only concerned about body and sweetness, that’s what I call one-dimensional coffee. For filter coffee, the first rule is it has to be clear, very clear and clean so we can quickly and easily gets the notes. It’s like when you’re drinking orange juice, you know right away that it’s orange, don’t you?” explained Harison.

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  • 26/09/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Spice Orchestra

    Masih ingat pelajaran sejarah di sekolah? Negara pertama yang menjajah Indonesia adalah Portugis dengan misi mereka 3G (Gold, Glory, Gospel). Konon harga rempah-rempah di Barat sangat tinggi, itulah mengapa mereka datang ke Indonesia. Sekarang, alasan mengapa kita dijajah menjadi alasan mengapa kita sangat bangga menjadi orang Indonesia. Berbeda dengan masakan western, masakan Indonesia sangat kaya rasa, berkat orkestrasi bumbu di atas makanan tradisional yang diturunkan dari leluhur kita. Berlokasi di tempat modern di area Menteng, Kaum Jakarta merupakan lokasi utama dari konsep restoran Indonesia dari Potato Head Family dan mempersembahkan berbagai pengalaman lifestyle pilihan yang menampilkan warisan kuliner dan budaya Indonesia dalam konteks yang baru dan modern. Kaum Jakarta adalah lokasi yang ketiga, setelah Hong Kong dan Bali.

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  • 26/09/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    The Spice Orchestra

    It took only a night at Kaum to understand why The Portuguese traveled half the earth to Indonesia over 500 years ago.

    Remember our history lesson at school? The first country to colonialize Indonesia was Portuguese, along with their mission, 3G (Gold, Glory, Gospel). It is said that the spices’ price back then in the West were very expensive, and that’s exactly why they came to Indonesia. Now, the reason why we were colonialized became the reason why we’re very proud of being Indonesian. As opposed to western cuisine, Indonesian cuisine is very rich taste-wise, thanks to the orchestra of spices on the traditional dishes which were passed down from our ancestors. Housed in a modern space in Menteng, Kaum Jakarta is the flagship outlet of Potato Head Family’s Indonesian dining concept Kaum and presents curated lifestyle experiences that showcase Indonesia’s culinary and cultural heritage in a new, modern context. The Jakarta outlet is the third Kaum location, following Hong Kong and Bali.

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  • 22/09/2017 0 Comments
    A Weekend Tea Party

    Despite being partly hidden in Canggu, Yamuna Homemade Pastry is quietly garnering faithful followers since opening its door six months ago. Passion talks to the man behind the artisan dessert factory and finds out the driving force behind its success.

    Blink and you will miss it. The tiny pastry shop is located behind a carved door. You may think that you get into somebody’s yard when you step inside. Potted plants, trickling water fountain, leafy wide leaves, and cozy benches are scattered on the yard. Only when you venture further inside, will you find that there stands a small pastry shop with delightful sweet items on display. In the wall cabinet, neatly aligned tea selections and carefully curated tea pots are displayed.

    Yamuna has been a cult hit for the people in the know. When I Made Agus Pramana decided to quit his cruise ship career on 2013, he only knew one thing for certain. “Pastry is my passion. That’s all I want to do. I didn’t know what or how but I know it will involve having my own pastry shop,” says Pramana. And so he learned from the best. He went to study in France under Chef Serge Billet of La Villa des Chefs in Aix de Provence, the respected Le Cordon Bleu, and even following the legendary pastry course from Pierre Hermé. By the end of 2014, he has begun to receive delivery orders from friends and family.

    The response was very positive until he decided to open a pastry shop when the opportunity of a place comes up. With his other two assistants, he bakes, glazed, sugared, and garnishes their beautiful cakes daily. The minimalist look of their cakes belies the complexity underneath. Take the romantic appeal of Ispahan, for example. Inspired by Iran, the cake is made of white chocolate, raspberry and rose. It is glazed elegantly in a romantic heart shaped with an elegant rose petal on top.

    The Montaigne is another favourite. Inspired by the mountain, it is made of salted caramel, almond tart, chocolate mousse, and raspberry lava. The flavour of sweet and salty are complementing each other. Early Pillow will make tea lovers giddy with joy since it is inspired by the Earl Grey Tea. Their dedication in using only the best ingredients and careful artistry in each and every piece definitely paid off especially after watching the beeline in front of their door. Open only for weekends, Yamuna Homemade Pastry is certainly a special treat that you want to enjoy with your friend and special ones.

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  • 18/09/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    All That Jazz

    Dinner is over and yet, you still don’t want the night to end. Luckily, there is now a jazz club that opens until late. There is something dark and secretively sexy about Paris Cat Jazz Club. As soon as you climb up the staircase, you will find a beautifully dark space for intimate time for two and a well-lit stage with a dedicated acoustic that will make any jazz aficionado happy. 

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  • 16/09/2017 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments

    Sabrina Mustopo knew well that Indonesian cocoa has a lot of potential waiting to be further discovered. Her experience working with governments and international think tanks for agricultural matters brought her to a realization that improving the lives of the farmers will positively affect the cocoa industry and the nation’s economy. As we know it, our country is the third largest cocoa producer in the world but severely lacking when it comes to quality. 

    Together with her colleague Simon Wright, Kakoa was established in 2013 - which later rebranded as Krakakoa. The aim is to produce high quality Indonesian cocoa beans through sustainable farming methods and direct trade. Initially concentrated with plantations in Lampung; Krakakoa also partners with farmers from Bali, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi.

    Krakakoa starts by training the farmers on a two-month program before finally outfitting them with tools, guaranteeing a good buying price, and giving them the freedom to choose whomever they want to sell their cocoa beans to. This bring a sense of motivation and responsibility for the farmers to truly tend their crops, while at the same time improving their livelihood and the whole industry in general.

    Today, Krakakoa has a rich lineup of cacao-based products, from the single origins and flavored bars, to cacao nibs, drinking chocolates, and even cacao tea. The highlights from Krakakoa are the award-winning, signature single origin of 70% Sedayu Sumatra and 75% Saludengen Sulawesi bars. Additionally, the internationally recognized Academy of Chocolate from London also awarded their uniquely flavored chocolate bars such as the dark chocolate sea salt & pepper, the dark milk chocolate ginger, and the milk chocolate creamy coffee.

    Further pursuing their ideals to showcase quality chocolate from Indonesia for the world; Krakakoa has been partnering with F&B personas and establishments - in addition to displaying their lineups at gourmet retailers in Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Surabaya, Tangerang, and as far as Singapore.

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  • 07/09/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    A la Folie

    It is rare to find a restaurant who is dedicated in both their cooking and their pastry. Happily, we come to discover that the recently opened Folie Kitchen & Pâtisserie is doing both perfectly.

    One will unmistakably awed by the burst of tropical flowers on the wall at the entrance of Folie. After confirming to the charming host that we would like to sit outdoor, we walk to the long pastry counter where stacks of freshly baked flaky croissants, quiche, muffin, and cakes are lining up temptously. Remembering myself to spare some room for dessert, I ask my company to sit down in the nicely done blue booth. Behind us a photogenic soft pink wall is complementing the decor nicely while the breeze and soft bossanova is playing in the background.

    Folie is created by Stephane Simond, a French chef who is fascinated by Asian flavours. “My style of cooking is influenced by my upbringing and kitchen experiences. I believe to be a good chef, one must be creative and obsessed with food to the brink of madness. A la folie, as the French says. French cuisine is my root, it is rich and flavourful. But, I have worked, live, and love all of these tasty and spicy Asian dishes. Folie is the result of these two obsessions,”said Simond who used to cook for Michelin-starred restaurants, a globe-trotting Michelin team Formula 1, a resort in French West Indies, an award winning French restaurant in Jakarta, as well as leading the kitchen of Bali’s five-star resort. The chef himself is coming to our table and recommending us some dishes that we must try.

    I start with the Folie Caesar Salad. A decadent mixture of basil, anchovies, parmiggiano, yolk butter on croutons, and a satisfying crispy chicken skin. It is a solid start and definitely manage to raise our appetite. Nicoise Salad is also something that you should not miss for it is light and refreshing with its perfectly cooked tuna, vegetables, and lime dressing.

    Angel Hair Pasta Aglio e Olio are our mains since we have been hearing rave review about it. Being an aglio oglio fanatic that I am, I am curious to try Folie’s interpretation of the simple garlic and olive oil pasta. It turns out to be nothing like I expected. It is better. It is served in a mixture of garlic and pesto while being adorned by crispy pancetta and grilled king prawns. It is savoury and what I consider as an upscaling of the traditional aglio olio. We close our lunch with coffee and cakes, as we have promised ourselves.

    A spoonful of the sea salt crumble, dark chocolate, and walnut Brownie later, I think I can see why this new restaurant is gathering faithful followers by the day. “We want people to come back, for our pastry and our food, over and over again,” says Simond and that is exactly what will happen when you have tasted the food a la folie.


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  • 06/09/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Unmasking Pak Wawan

    The first official appearance of Kopi Pak Wawan was reported by TV station on a fund raising event for one of governor candidate in the last Jakarta’s election. Some people in the industry finally realized that the one behind Kopi Pak Wawan is actually someone familiar in coffee communities and competitions (as judge).

    The coffee roastery was started by Ronald Prasanto (an F&B consultant, coffee expert, also ex-owner of Ron’s Laboratory) and 4 other senior coffee people in the industry by the end of 2013, apparently you’ll have to find out yourself who they are.

    With its tagline “cheerful heart & addictive”, you have all the rights to assume that Kopi Pak Wawan is a joke, perhaps because it actually is.
    In the beginning, they were just fooling around and experimenting to get the so-called “ideal” roasting profile. Located in Ronald’s garage, who has been entrusted to run the operational, the group decided to buy a 1 kg roasting machine and green bean coffee from various origins. The problem arose when Ronald’s wife complained, “Why did you spent hundred millions just for research?”

    “Finally we decided to sell the roasted bean on Instagram with the name Kopi Pak Wawan. We only sold the bean we had in the shelf. When we run out of bean of an origin, that’s it, we offer bean from another origin (seasonal),” said Ronald. The other issue is the time availability. Ronald’s job as consultant required him to travel across Indonesia frequently and it caused the production process to be unpredictable.

    “Why we named it Pak Wawan? Because we’re just a bunch of curious people, wawan to know. We were not preparing the brand seriously, marketing-wise. On the other hand, we also want to test the market, if we use decently named brand, but we can produce quality products, will people be coming back?” Ronald wondered.

    About the anonymity, Ronald has a funny story. “My relative brought me to a coffee shop in Semarang. The owner of the place recognized me as coffee person, but he didn’t know I was behind Kopi Pak Wawan. He started to present Pak Wawan’s bean in front of me, ‘here we have roasted bean that we bought from Instagram, nobody knows the identity of the roaster, please taste the coffee.’ I just said to myself, ‘it’s like having coffee at my home’.”

    Getting Serious
    People started to like the product, and Kopi Pak Wawan have more coffee shops to supply to. Within a year, the people in the industry started to know who’s behind the wheel. Although, there are many who still have no clue, until now. They started to get serious when Wahyu Nazar Amir joined the group in 2016, with the official position as “Son of Pak Wawan”. Basically, Wahyu runs everything, from the sales, roasting, packing, etc, while Ronald monitors the cashflow, inventory, and audit.

    Kopi Pak Wawan started to apply professional workflow and monthly target. “We’re quite surprised to see Kopi Pak Wawan’s progress. We used to roast 40 kg of green bean coffee. When Wahyu stepped in, we reached 100 kg. Now, with sales activity, we roast 1 ton of green bean per month,” said Ronald. It’s no wonder that they upgraded the 1 kg roasting machine to 5 kg. If you’re having difficulties to imagine the number, we’ll help. A cup of coffee needs around 20 gram of coffee. A usual coffee shop (not too busy, nor slow) uses 40 kg of roasted bean, in other words, they sell 66 cups in a day. A trending coffee shop might uses up to 120 kg/month or 200 cups a day.

    Even though with the high demand, Kopi Pak Wawan doesn’t have any plans to open its own outlet in near future. “The current system is clear, we can close down if we don’t do the production, meanwhile for retail, we have to open at all cost. The fluctuation of coffee shop is crazy, because Indonesians are into anything trending. However, we are certain that the coffee trend will be around for much longer, because when you’re used to drink fresh coffee, it’s hard to go back to the sachet ones, unless you got no other option,” explained Ronald.

    Premature Trend
    Of course, the coffee trend brings positive effect as we have vast growing number of new coffee learners. On the orher hand, this premature trend also have its side effect: many baristas don’t have clear ideas of his own responsibilities. And this sometimes bugging Kopi Pak Wawan.
    “For barista, it’s easy to blame the roaster, perhaps to look good in front of owners. In fact, this morning Wahyu just returned from our customer’s coffee shop who said our coffee was bitter. After he did some setting of the espresso machine, the problem was easily solved. This doesn’t have to happen if they have barista or owner who’s capable of setting their own machine. Actually, setting the machine is not our responsibility. Imagine, if we supply to 60 coffee shops, and each one of them request their machine to be set. We can spend the whole month just to set machines,” said Ronald.

    Another more extreme example would be when someone complained about the coffee that smelt like spoiled milk in a hotel’s cafe. Again, the roaster was blamed. After investigation, it appeared that the barista never clean the espresso machine’s steam wand, thus some crust of spoiled milk was formed there and it gave the smelly aroma.

    Fortunately as someone who’s been there, Ronald can understand their situation. “When I was a barista, I felt the roaster was not consistent. Now I’m a roaster, I feel it’s the green bean supplier, which is unfortunately true. Perhaps the green bean supplier will blame the farmer, and who will the farmer blame? God? For giving unpredictable rainfall? Why don’t we learn to adjust, similar to what the chefs do to compensate the taste with the available ingredients? Unfortunately, the number of barista who can detect problems is surprisingly low in Indonesia,” stated Ronald.

    Pak Wawan’s Idealism

    Because it started as casual project, Ronald admitted that Kopi Pak Wawan’s idealism is quite firm, not too profit oriented. “In the beginning people saw us as supplier for extreme beans, such as 90+ Hachira Yirgacheffe which costed Rp 1.000.000/kg of green bean. We only sold it at Rp 130.000-140.000/100 gram. when you count weight loss (from green bean to roasted bean) in, we only got Rp 10.000 per pack. That’s why we managed to sell 10 kg of roasted bean in only 30 minutes in Instagram,” he remembered.

    When the demand is going up and the supply stays the same, why not raise the price? “Taking high margin (from exotic bean) is not our goal. We want Indonesians to experience expensive bean, to know whether they like it or not. I have someone complained to me, why our Panama Geisha’s body is very light, no bitterness, it only has sweetness and acidity. Well, that’s Panama Geisha’s characters. As you can see, expensive doesn’t mean good for everyone, especially when I found out that he preferred bold coffee,” he said.

    To further educate the market, Kopi Pak Wawan deliberately offers the same bean with different processing (such as Bajawa honey and Bajawa full washed) or bean from the same farm but different varietal (Andung Sari and Bor Bor, both came from Pengalengan, West Java). “If you’re serious on coffee, you have to find out the differences first hand. Somebody has to give these kind of information, it’s not all about sales. I remembered 7-8 years ago when V60 came to Indonesia, me and my friends have no idea of how to brew coffee with it, because the information was very limited,” said Ronald.

    Chances are, if you often hangout in coffee shops, you’d probably have seen the packaging of Kopi Pak Wawan hanging around the shelves. You might even have tasted the coffee as it has been available in numerous coffee shops, especially in Jakarta. As a mixture of joke, quality products, social media sensation, education and idealism, Kopi Pak Wawan brings the fun into the serious coffee world.


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  • 05/07/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Coffeesmith’s Challenges and Adaptations

    Entrepreneurship promises bigger gain, but bigger risk also follows. Here’s how Coffeesmith overcomes their obstacles.

    The first risk the owners of Coffeesmith faced, as faced by every new entrepreneur, is the instability of income. “We’re used to work as employee with fixed income, but now we have to get used to the fluctuation of income. Fortunately, we don’t need too many staffs because as the owners, we can cover everything, from design, becoming baristas, and doing the back office works,” said Cindy Herlin Marta, one of the owners of Coffeesmith.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    17/06/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    Dessert Revisited

    PASSION  shows up at the sweet laboratory in Bali and talks to Will Goldfarb and his talented team about Room4Dessert as well as finding out the secret of how to pair sweet dessert with killer cocktail.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    10/06/2017 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    A Good Year

    Indonesia’s own winery, Hatten Wines, recently won the much coveted The 2017 Asian Wine Review Winery of the Year award. Proving once and again that grapes flourish on a tropical island, PASSION talks to its innovative founder, Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa, and finds out how Hatten Wines has ripened overtime and thrive against all odds.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    08/06/2017 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    La Maison, The Mansion Of Macarons

    As a newcomer in Jakarta’s fierce pastry shop competition, La Maison quickly announced itself as a pastry shop with an interesting specialty - macarons!

    Established in 2011, the company actually started as an online shop. The drive to move forward came from the simple, pure love of baking of its owner Stella Lowis including the pursuit of building her own pastry shop one day.

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  • CoffeeSmith Passion Media
    06/06/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Living the Classic Urban Tale

    A group of friends who share the same love of teamed up to open a coffee shop. I wish the story were that simple.

    Admit it, we’ve had similar kind of dream at some point in our lives. I’m speaking to you, millenials. And if you plan to start your own coffee shop business, here’s a story you should hear. It’s from the people who’s been there and done that, or should I say, still there, still doing that. It’s a story of Muhammad Aga, Rendy Mahesa, and Cindy Herlin Marta and their place, Coffeesmith.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    13/04/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Invading Japan

    Irvan Helmi explains the reason Japan is a significant entry point to penetrate Asia for Pipiltin

    In this new chapter, Pipiltin aims big. They want Asian market, and they do it by penetrating Japan. Although they’ve been doing business in Singapore, Irvan Helmi (Pipiltin’s owner) thinks Japan is a significant entry point for Asia, because, as we know, Japan is very strict when it comes to quality, “If I were to approach new distributors in Asia, I can say that we’re readily available in Japan, there should be no problem if you’re concerned about quality. We’re very confident with our quality. After all, Indonesia is the third largest cacao producer in the world. Now it’s up to us on how we do the branding.”

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  • Venue Passion Media
    24/03/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Indonesia’s 4 Chocolate Origins

    As the third largest cacao producers in the world, Indonesia has many single origin chocolate to offer

    Even though Pipiltin still have their dessert café in Sarinah, they focus in the 32 variants of chocolate bars. Of course, it is interesting to discuss the variants with different kinds of nuts and short bread, but any company can do that. I prefer to talk about their 4 Indonesian single origins chocolate, it’s what separates Pipiltin from the competition. The 4 regions are: Pidie Jaya Aceh, Glenmore East Java, Tabanan Bali, and Tanazozo (read: Tanaroro) Flores.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    17/03/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Pipiltin’s Crossroad

    Irvan Helmi is facing crossroad in 2015 for his business

    it’s pretty natural to search for “Pipiltin” in Instagram when you want to search chocolate cafes. But this year, something uncommon happen, I found @pipiltinjapan with Pipiltin’s inverted color in the search result. I said to myself, “the chocolate bar is authentically Pipiltin’s, are they opening new business in Japan? Or is this a fake account?”. I don’t like assumption, so I called Irvan Helmi, the owner of Pipiltin Cocoa (and also Anomali Coffee, FYI). It appears that my first guess was spot on!

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  • Venue Passion Media
    03/03/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Raising The Patisserie Standard

    Social Affair proves that Indonesian market is ready for premium products

    It is no secret that the influence of French pastry products in Indonesia started in 5 star hotels through the hands of expatriate chefs. Later on, the outlets outside hotels started to adopt the authentic recipe, altered some of the ingredients by using the cheaper counterpart for the sake of affordability, thus, quality is sacrificed. Sometimes the modification stretched way too far to a point that the only thing they share in common with the original products is the look. Sounds familiar?

    Fortunately, not all outlets exhibit the same issue. Back in 2012, Cacaote reminded me of how good a chocolate cake can be; now Darryl Iswaratioso did the same through Social Affair’s croissant. Both Cacaote and Social Affair prove two things: Indonesian market is ready for premium products and they have set the standard pretty high.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    03/03/2017 0 Comments
    Let Them Eat Cake

    For the last twenty three years, Bali Bakery Patisserie and Cafe has spoiled the sweet-toothed islanders with their fantastic pastry and cakes. PASSION talks to

    the next generation of the founding family, and discover their enduring secret on staying sweet in a fierce industry.

    It wasn’t that long ago when Bali Bakery was the only place on the island where you could get tasty Danishes or Tiramisu for a birthday party on a daily basis. When the first Bali Bakery opened in 1994, the days when croissants or quiches could only be bought from Bali’s luxurious establishments was over. A new era of patisserie for the people has begun.

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  • 03/03/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    The Rise of Specialty Chocolate

    You’ve heard the term over and over as it has matured in the world of coffee, how about in chocolate?

    While specialty chocolate is still new, “couverture” is perhaps more popular term in chocolate. According to Irvan Helmi, owner of Pipiltin Cocoa, couverture and specialty chocolate are used in different context. While couverture refers to the amount of cocoa butter, specialty chocolate shares the same spirit and approach as specialty coffee. How they handle the raw materials, how they view consistency and refuse the use of synthetic additives are some of the approaches that belong to the world of specialty. “Not all couverture chocolate is specialty, because specialty chocolate requires the cacao bean to be fermented first hand. Non fermented bean doesn’t have any acidity. Fermented cacao bean is sold in higher price because the fermentation process takes longer time,” explained Irvan.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    02/03/2017 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Innovating Beyond the Boundaries of Indonesian Traditional Snacks

    Heading to the southern part of Jakarta in a busy, weekday morning was no small feat. The excitement to know more about Markoek, a decade old business that successfully promotes traditional Indonesian snacks, pumps up the spirit for even the most seasoned foodies.

    Any efforts nowadays through personal means to promote Indonesian food in its own country are very much appreciated – let alone if one could successfully introducing it also abroad. More and more people are showing their love to Indonesian food nowadays, but the pioneers may be only a handful and they are here to inspire us today. One of them is Markoek.

    Traditional Indonesian snacks have unlimited potential – especially if we could appreciate how influential they are within the fabric of our society. Its intricacies behind the making, how colorful they are, and its rich variety are the mediums that brought people together in social functions for as long as any Indonesians could remember.

    Even so, its place within the society nowadays is considered only for lower segments, since the mid-high markets are more interested with the likes of modern French and Japanese pastries nowadays. Not to mention of course, the onslaught of Korean influences for at least a few years now.

    Upon reaching our destination, we meet Mr. Mindiarto Djugorahardjo. Traditionally known as an experienced salesman, a business consultant, and also a trainer; Mr Djugorahardjo has been in the business for around three decades now. Surely if the motivation is righteous and the opportunity arises, one can tell that he would be undaunted with the task of expanding his business to food.

    That was the case regarding the inception of Markoek in 2006. It was a leap of faith in remembrance of what his mother had taught him about food and the spirit to promote Indonesian cuisine. As a foodie and a home cook, Mr Djugorahardjo jokingly suggest that, “Entering this business is a matter of changing the main ingredients of rice to flour”.But even so, Markoek turns into a very serious business.

    Fun fact, Markoek itself may sound like a real world but it’s actually a portmanteau between “markt” (the Dutch for market) and “koek” (cake). Markoek was then labeled as a boutique cake shop, instead of just the usual snack shop.

    The story of how it all started came from eleven years ago. Menteng - a verdant neighborhood in the heart of modern Jakarta, was about to witness the opening of a strategically located small shopping mall that goes with the name Menteng Huis.

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  • Venue Passion Media
    02/03/2017 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    The Artisanal Tea Blender

    Find your own cup of tea from 89 selections of premium tea blend in Lewis & Carroll.

    By the end of 2015, the modern tea house: Lewis & Carroll captivated the bloggers and early adopter communities in Jakarta with its rainbow colored tea cups and interior decoration. The posts of the place which was influenced by Japanese design’s clean look in Instagram were usually followed up by common question such as, “what a cute place, where is it?” However, we knew Lewis & Carroll was very serious about tea when we see the unique smelling station: small batch of various tea blends in test tubes to help customers find their own favorite cup of tea, and wide range of the tea blends. The clean, colorful Japanese interior design and adventurous smelling station are the reasons why Lewis & Carroll went viral back then.

    In total, Lewis & Carroll offers 89 tea blends which can be grouped into 12 categories: black tea, black blend, white, white blend, herbal, green, green blend, oolong, oolong blend, spice, fruit, and flower. Every tea variant can be enjoyed hot or iced. With their wide variants of artisanal tea blend, it’s a definite heaven for tea lovers out there. “Lewis & Carroll is on a mission to introduce Indonesian tea to the world, not as commodity, but as a brand. We use 80% of Indonesian tea in our modern tea house,” said Bambang Laresolo, Lewis & Carroll’s Master Tea Blender.

    “We offer different tea experience to customers. People might have their own personal taste preference, that’s why we give you many choices. If you’re still new to tea and feel confused, we have the smelling station. Most of the times, if you like the smell, you’ll love the taste of the tea,” said Bambang.

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