All posts tagged: indonesian food blogger

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 …

Hong Tang: Sweet Poetry for the Palate

In Mandarin, hong means red, and tang sugar. Hong tang, red sugar, then is definitely an appropriate name for this sweets joint, although their less literal translation is sweet poetry. Recommended to me by a friend, Hong Tang turned out to be a pleasant experience. If you’re into Asian traditional desserts like mochi, ice kacang, and soup-based desserts, give Hong Tang a try. This could be a place to take your parents and grandparents too (let’s hope they don’t have diabetes), so they can tell you how these modern desserts compare to the true traditional ones they know. Price wise, you are looking at spending in the range of 25-45K per bowl of dessert. I shared my bowl because these sweets could get you pretty high! All the items shown below are recommended, just depends on what you feel like enjoying. And if you’re like me, looking for an alternative to Bubble Tea (there are maybe about a hundred joints in Pantai Indah Kapuk), be brave, opt for something different and hop to Hong Tang! Black Sesame Soup (#101) Hot/Cold​ –Recommended …

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. …

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 …

Loobie: Comic Crustacean Craze

The craze for seafood is all over Jakarta. Fortunately for those in the North, seafood restaurants are plenty, while for the rest in the South, not so much. But worry no more, for Loobie has opened its doors to all crustacean lovers. When I think of seafood, I think saucy, messy, and satisfying. It’s definitely not food I’d want to consume everyday, although my cravings kick in once in a while. I will now take a moment of silence to be grateful for the fact that I am free of seafood allergies of any kind (I really shouldn’t jinx it, cross my fingers). Unlike other food allergies, shellfish allergy, the most common food allergy in adults, tends to develop in adulthood and not in early childhood. My dad is allergic to shellfish, but can’t resist them. His fix: pop 1 or 2 Claritin, then enjoy. All the depressing talk about allergies aside, what I find unique about Loobie is the concept of serving seafood simply and quickly, although the latter didn’t prove itself. Tucked in …

Publico: 1920s Parisian Nostalgia

Ever saw Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris? Ever been in Gil’s shoes–reminiscing and feeling nostalgic about a past you never lived? Or perhaps musing on how you were born in the wrong era and should’ve been born in another? Stepping into Publico, it didn’t feel like Jakarta at all. You’d feel more like you were in a classy 1920s Parisian saloon surrounded by impossibly dashing men and women stylishly smoking Gran Habanos and triumphantly savoring Macallans. Yes, I am one of those people who feel like I should’ve been born in a different era. Architecturally, I absolutely love the layout of the 3-storey bistro, how much sunlight fills the place, the mezzanine overlooking the bar and, I think few of you would disagree, the bar area. You can really tell they put a lof of care into the the overall design by the details that were carefully conceptualized and well thought of. The waiters and host were hospitable, even though the service time was long, even on a quiet Saturday afternoon. I’m usually skeptical about fancy eateries and would recommend to have …

Mandarin Peony: Charmed by Cheongsam

Jakarta is trending with young entrepreneurs and creative business ideas. Last Sunday, I sat down with two lovely fashion entrepreneurs who partnered in September 2012 and have since successfully glamorized girls all over Jakarta with their tasteful cheongsam. Apart from their common adoration for famed hunk Joseph Gordon-Levitt and obsession with beautiful fabrics and washes, these two fashionistas disagree on pretty much everything else. And that’s a good thing. The way they tell me, Angela is the girly one (there’s always one of those among us) while Cal has sports a more edgy style. While Angela tends to go more for lighter, softer, and pastel colors, Cal has her eyes on bold and dramatic patterns. Even coming up with a brand name that both Cal and Angela could agree on wasn’t a walk in the park. But both knew they wanted to include elements of “oriental” and “peony” in it because peony—the flowers of riches and honor and the official national flower of China—symbolizes romance and prosperity and is regarded as an omen of good …

Mojo: Get yours here!

Mojo, or also commonly called gris-gris, literally meaning “charm” of “fetish,” is a voodoo amulet used in African American folk culture to ward off evil, bring good luck, and protect the wearer. But for our purposes, Mojo is a recently launched gastronomic establishment in Senopati, Jakarta. Perhaps the brand has something to do with the makers’ hope to “mojo” us with their culinary conjuring.  ​The overall feel of the restaurant is rustic–lots of wood, plain brown and black, vintage, and quite simple. Uniquely, the spirits were hung on rows of metal rods just above the bar–a sight to see and a definite space saver but I’m not sure how convenient and safe it is. A bartender has to be extra careful in hooking them on which hopefully, on busy nights, won’t take too much of their time or cause any accidents.  ​The menu was a fusion of burritos, spaghettis, fried rice, steaks, and burgers, and was in the range of 45K-125K. We wanted the classic burrito but they were out so we opted for the …

Happy Chinese New Year 2013!

Another Chinese New Year celebration means a series of unreasonable gluttony, episodes of delirium, and a caboodle of dough. I’d say this festivity is the equivalent of Thanksgiving in the US–a time to give a little thanks, and a whole lot of turkey- and pie-nibbling, and at the end of it all: bite blackout (aka food coma). Although their seasons and customs differ, both holiday feasts cause us to loosen our belts, defenseless. One element unique to Chinese New Year present and most sought after (along with the pork dishes): hong bao–the infamous red envelopes containing “lucky money.” It fascinates me that in Chinese culture, so much of what Chinese people associate to be “good” always involves wealth, in luck and/or money. It’s hard to miss the color red, which signifies luck, in traditional Chinese New Year decor, symbol, and wear. So much of what the Chinese culture strives for, one way or another, entails and implicates wealth. To say that money equals happiness wouldn’t be an overstatement. Yes, I don’t completely disagree. But I’d say …