All posts tagged: good eats

Soto Padang H St Mangkuto

Soto Padang H St Mangkuto first opened in Jl. Pintu Air, Pasar Baru in 1966. Hands down one of my favorite soto in Jakarta. If you’ve never had soto padang before, it isn’t the typical clear chicken broth soup we’d think of when we think of soto (soto ayam, that is).  Soto padangsoup is beefy, cloudy, and most relevantly, yummy! The small chunks of meat you’ll find in the soup aren’t all meat–they’re a mix of meat and lung. Then there are other condiments including bihun, scallions, and other veggies. The best part of the whole ensemble is the slight crunch of the lung and meat even when already drenched in the soup. But of course, make sure to minimize the small talk and dig right into the soup just when it’s served. To accompany the soup and rice, have some salted egg and crispy fried skin, and absolutely remember to top your soup with a generous spoonful (or more) of the sambal (hot sauce). Only then are you ready to fully revel in this delicacy! If you’re looking for a quick, satisfying, and …

Bakmi Ayam Sido Laris

Hands down one of my favorite bakmi ayam in Jakarta! The thin and curly noodles are cooked very al dente, chewy, and when topped with the minced pork, and a few generous spoonfuls of hot sauce, become pure happiness. As if that doesn’t make me happy enough, the bakso goreng, swekiau, siomay, and occasionally, a second bowl of noodles, just complete the party! Sido Laris is open only in the evening until late night–perfect for dinner and/or supper. I know everyone has a favorite noodle place somewhere, and this is definitely on my top 5 most favorite in town. Writing about it doesn’t do the food justice. Do yourself a favor and get to it! Otak-otak (Fishcake) Bakso Goreng (Fried Shrimp Meatballs) Swekiau Kuah (Dumpling Soup) Bakmi Babi (Pork Noodles) | 16K​ ​Choice of meat toppings: chicken/pork/mixed BAKMI AYAM SIDO LARIS Jl. Sunter Agung, Kompleks STS (Next to Holland Bakery) Jakarta Utara T. (021) 98498405 HOURS Mon – Sun: 6 PM – 11 PM

Rumah Makan Ujung Pandang

If you love seafood and have never been to Makassar, you are missing out. I’ve been there only once myself, but the 2-day jaunt was enough to capture my unwavering heart for good eats (not to mention cheap eats)! All I remember of this trip was the volume and frequency of our repasts. Within 40 hours we managed to (voluntarily) chug down around 9 meals. The seafood was blissful, so fresh, so tasty (you can really taste the sweetness in the fish and crab meat), and oh so cheap! Seafood aside, other highlights included nasi goreng tomat, pisang ijo, pisang bakar, and I kid you not–pretty much everything else! With no intention of deceiving you good people, this post won’t feature my Makassar chronicle, but instead, a seafood restaurant recommended to me (and now to you), one that won’t cost you a flight to Makassar.  All the dishes featured below are recommended, but the high point of my dining experience at Rumah Makan Ujung Pandang was the unexpectedly tasty udang goreng telur asin (skin-on). It is by far the best …

In-N-Out Burger Saga in Jakarta

By now you must’ve heard about the IN-N-OUT Burger hype in Jakarta today. Not surprisingly, this news invited many oohs and aahs, and also skepticism. I felt both. While I didn’t mind having a nostalgic bite of this burger, I questioned its taste and quality. I knew that if I wanted to get it, I’d have to be there hours earlier, but I chose longer sleeptime. ​We got there at around 11, which was the scheduled and announced start of the service time. It was crowded, but not as crowded as expected, and the reason being the big sign posted at the steps of Emax in Kemang that said “Sorry, Burgers Sold Out.” I found out later on, after speaking with one of the IN-N-OUT guys that the burgers have been sold out since 8 am. People have been lining up since 6:30 am. The spirit! What I heard, though, that those eager early birds were chauffeurs and maids dispatched by their nons, nyonyas, and tuans to be the first to obtain a wristband which gets you a burger. …

Mutiara 5: An Old-Time Goodness

There’s so much I can say about this eatery, but I won’t because this vicarious reading will neither do you any good nor the food justice. To relate to my glee, you just have to be there and eat. My taste palate and tummy have been spoiled for as long as I can remember. My dad used to take us to this establishment since my brother and I were little. The waiters who have been working there since have seen us grow up and remember us even until today. Opened in 1982, Mutiara 5 has been tirelessly serving Chinese food and seafood since. The dining and kitchen areas used to be one and without air conditioning. But through the years and today, the eating area is enclosed with air conditioning and separated from the kitchen area by glass doors. But really, who cares what the setting is like. What matters is the stuff escaping down our throats and into our bellies! For as long as I can remember, the taste and goodness haven’t changed in …

Bittersweet: More Sweet Than Bitter

I love cake. Did you know that cake can be a loyal, loving friend? Cake is my good friend. You know how some women end up growing old with no one but 30 cats in their home? I’d be one of those, except I’d be having, instead of cats around, cake. My fetish for cake has been around since I was little, but more and more, it’s becoming unruly. They say you don’t eat the goods you bake yourself, but when I bake, I am absolutely guilty of that. And serendipitously, when I’m baking, I always end up having a lot of leftovers. I do give out most to people, but the rest (usually the ugly) I keep for myself (sometimes stashed in my bedroom). Don’t judge. Since I got back form the US, there are few restaurants/cake shops in Jakarta that serve cakes that I really enjoy. Bittersweet is one of them, yay! At this point, perhaps like me, you are probably sick of reading about red velvet cake. I wasn’t sure why or …

E&O: Eastern and Oriental

E & O came recommended by a friend. And having readers request me to try and review this restaurant, I decided to see what the hype is all about. E & O stands for Eastern and Oriental, a mix of Vietnamese, Thai, and Burmese diner birthed from the collaboration between Australian chef Will Meyrick of award-winning Sarong and Mamasan restaurants and the creators of Loewy and Union. First, getting a spot wasn’t easy, as expected with new eateries in Jakarta, although when we got there at 7:30 on a Saturday night, the place was hardly filled. This is also somewhat expected with new restaurants in Jakarta who claim they are fully booked yet still have plenty of empty seats and tables to accommodate guests. The overall decor and ambience is, not surprisingly, a mix of Loewy and Union, which used to be unique a few years back but is becoming more and more mundane as many restaurants try to create the same feel. We got a table for 6 right by the window, which unfortunately was …

Caliente: Saucily Mexican!

In Spanish, caliente means a range of descriptives including hot, warm, heated, spirited, urgent, and so on. The combination of these words signify another mix of descriptives like high temperature, spicy, piquant, alive, with love, affectionate, ardent, animated, energetic, and so on. On my recent post on Taco Local, I lamented the dearth of decent Mexican eats in Jakarta, especially having lived in Austin, Texas for a while…until I found Taco Local. But here’s another Mexican eatery to divert your taste buds! Caliente distinctly reminds me of the famed and loved Chipotle Mexican chain restaurant evidenced by their casual setting, basic ingredients, condiments, as well as music (they had on The Killers when I was there–a good thing). Very affordably priced at the range of 35-50K per burrito, you can expect to spend in the range of 50-75K per person per meal. Their menu consists simply of taco salad, nachos, fries, create-your-own burritos and naked burritos (less provocatively called the cali bowl). When I chatted with Andy and Kevin, partners and owners of Caliente, they expressed their appetite …

Aoki: Japanese Food For Thought

Blessed with a countless number of Japanese restaurants to choose from in the city means privilege. But it also means we have to be extra selective, depending on what we are craving and seeking. Aoki is most famous for their shabu-shabu cooked in a paper bowl. The last time I was here, I also had their dry sukiyaki, which I loved!  At Aoki, the top foods I’d recommend are, variably and not in any particular order, the shabu-shabu, dry sukiyaki, crab hand roll wrapped in soy wrap, and Japanese spaghetti. Off the top of my head that’s what I recall but do ask the servers for specific recommendations–you’ll find more selections not yet mentioned here. I wanted something simple and familiar so I opted for the Chicken Teriyaki. I was expecting a wetter dish, so it was just okay, although the meal as a whole was decent and well put together. My favorite Chicken Teriyaki is by far still the one at Keyaki. One commendable thing about Aoki is that the food is consistently well-made and feels clean. Although …

Warung Haloniko

The marriage between Greek and Javanese cuisine is unexpected and unique. And that’s just what you’ll find at Warung Haloniko. Hidden away in the back of a rather unexplored little complex of shops, this warung is a pleasantly decorated restaurant that feels like a girlfriend’s living room, with a touch of brights and prints.  As hinted, the simple menu is a mix of souvlakis and moussakas with ayam panggang (baked chicken) and ikan goreng (fried fish). As expected and true to its “warung” designation, the cooking tastes like home cooking, similar to what you’d find at your school or work localkantin (cafetaria), or at home. Portion wise, it’s, as expected, tiny. But overall, for the intimate interior and snug ambience, the food is affordably priced; one would spend in the range of 80-120K. If you’re in the area, here’s an eatery you could taste, either for a light meal or just coffee and sweets! Purple Monkey Banana / Blueberry / Cranberry Juice Greek Coffee aka Turkish coffee, roasted and finely ground coffee beans  boiled in a pot with sugar, served in a cup in which the …