All posts tagged: japanese food

Ippudo Indonesia First Blogger Gathering

Ramen, lamian, pasta, bakmi, noodles…call it what you may. The Italians have it, as do the Chinese, Indonesians, Americans (question mark, question mark), and of course the Japanese! And even though I love them all, and dare I say equally, the Japanese ramen holds a special place in my heart (and in my gut). It’s one of those viands that’s almost impossible to get sick of. A comfort antidote to a flu as well as the perfect company for those late-night television-binging sessions, I cannot not can say, to ramen, I will never say never. Today’s ramen chow down was brought to us by international chain Ippudo, whose stores you’ll find all over Japan and in 10 countries all over the world and major cities including New York, Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, Sydney, Bangkok, London, and now Jakarta! Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge the craze, fad, and frenzy over ramen in Jakarta over the last few years? Ippudo has been around since 1985, and so we believe they know a thing or two about serving ramen. And we …

Shirokuma: Beware of the Great White Bear, He’s High. On Sugar.

Shirokuma (shiro meaning white and kuma bear in Japanese) is quickly becoming a popular favorite on the block. A Japanese-inspired dessert cafe, Shirokuma delights customers of all ages with its savory dogs (relax, we mean hot dogs) and sweet medleys of ice cream, mochi, cake, and more. Since its opening about a week ago, this delightful little nook has attracted an eager, whopping flock (I heard they even had to turn down some customers due to the crowd). Thankfully, they did not turn us down. And yes, were we in for a treat! Being graceful eaters, we of course started with the savories–the Terimayo Dog, Tonkatsu Dog, Kuro Japadog, and Okonomi Dog. Although a savory food, the hot dogs had a touch of sweetness to them. The sausages (there’s pork) were surprisingly tasty (I say surprisingly because I rarely find hot dogs with good sausage in town). And they weren’t the skinny, scrawny kind; they were a good size and woud fill you up. And although I enjoyed the hot dogs, I would’ve preferred less sauce. From the savory, we moved …

Butao Ramen

What better way to do after a fatiguing day of sightseeing and shopping than to fill ourselves up with nutrition for the body and mind? Butao Ramen is a narrow, teeny, and tucked up ramen shop in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay area, recommended to me by a friend. When we got there, it was just right around dinner time, and I was worried we wouldn’t get a seat, seeing how few tables the joint fit. Luckily, we got one right away. Finding space to set our shopping bags proved challenging. And I almost knocked someone’s head with my elbow while trying to snap a photo at the table. Almost, thankfully. Otherwise I’d probably owe him an extra bowl. Anyone who’s met me at least once would tell you I’m crazy about noodles, and ramen is no exception. So when I got a ramen recommendation, I didn’t need to think twice. At Butao, ramen lovers can choose from 4 different soups: Butao King (the original signature tonkotsu pork broth), Black King (a strong black sauce made of garlic and squid ink), Red …

Shabu Nobu

Chain restaurant Sushi Nobu, along with Shabu Nobu has been around in Jakarta for quite some time now. Although I wasn’t impressed with Sushi Nobu at Dharmawangsa, the newly opened Shabu Nobu in Colony Kemang turned out to be a pleasant dining experience. I wanted something warm and soupy, and Shabu Nobu was the only place I could think of close by. Plus, I wanted to also check out Colony, the newly launched collective retail space in Kemang. The service at Shabu Nobu was prompt and the food, overall, felt clean, with the exception of the enoki tempura. Granted, it was a fried dish. The prices are wallet-friendly as well. For a set dish like the Chicken Teriyaki, plus a drink, you’d be spending just around 80K. I do recommend the shabu-shabu if you like milder, less complex flavors of shabu-shabu. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this bite spot. I know many people, especially food enthusiasts shy away from chain restaurants. But I think this one is worth a try. Enjoy! Australian …

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 …

Bistronomy: Bistro + Gastronomy

Bistronomy feels like an old cottage left behind by your wealthy grandmother with all her pink and purple embroideries and vintage mirrors and china pedantically organized and intact. The lighting is soft, the interior chic, and the overall ambience feels like home. The menu, predominantly French, was a fusion of pastas, sushi rolls, seafood, sandwiches, and steaks. The highlight of the menu was unarguably the braised pork belly, although two of them we ordered came out tasting differently in sauce and texture; one was perfectly tender with little sauce while the other was tough and drenched in a lot of sauce. The price is on the higher range; expect to spend in the range of 150-300K per person. Overall, I’d recommend this eatery for when you want to take someone out on a special dinner and splurge a little bit more than usual. For quite a fancy place, Bistronomy serves eats that are better than the usual fancy eateries around town (I’d place them next to Publico on my likelihood to revisit a restaurant). I absolutely appreciate that …

Taco Local: Let’s Taco ‘Bout It!

Jakartans know what I’m talking about when I say it’s hard to get a good Mexican bite in the city. So few options to choose from, and none of them comes close to what I know to be Mexican. I’m no taco doctor and have never been to Mexico. I suppose the Mexican food I know is de facto American Mexican food. But I’m going to be stubborn and ignorant (until I travel to Mexico) anyway and declare that I haven’t been met with a decent Mexican bite in Jakarta…until Taco Local. Tucked away among a row of shops and houses in a busy South Jakarta street, this hole-in-the wall totally reminds me of a hipster town where tacos run wild and bike shops run even wilder. Attached to a bike store, this tiny Bite Spot just screams Austin, Texas to me. The decor is a melange of woody, chalky, and a little bit of dirty. But it’s a fun place to be in–laidback, a no-need-to-impress-anyone-with-your-stiletto-or-bowtie kind of place, a place where the servers and …

Seroeni: For Peranakan Cuisine Lovers

If you’re an avid mall stroller in Jakarta, you’d know the feeling of not knowing where to eat anymore because, well, you roam around the same malls, pass by the same shops, and probably also feel like you’ve had all or at least most of the bites at the malls. I, too, am a victim of the mall phenomenon in Jakarta, but more so in the past than now. These days, I tend to avoid malls, unless for a meeting, a particular shopping need, or to catch a film. If you can somewhat relate to what I’ve said so far, here’s a spot to consider when indecision strikes you at the mall. Our other option was the food court, and I was in the mood of trying something new (like always and always), so we decided on this decent sized restaurant tucked away in a corner. Peranakan cuisine is one of my favorites, one of those I could have for any meal and not get sick of. This Bite Spot had surprisingly good bites and …

Fork Piesta à la Malen

We all know of the famous Babi Guling Ibu Oka–no doubt it satisfies our pork cravings and leaves us wanting more. But on this short weekend trip to Bali, I decided to opt for a different choice, as recommended by a cab driver. Our hotel was around Seminyak area as well, and we thought about walking to the warung but decided against it because of the heat. It was about a 5-minute cab ride from Jl. Raya Seminyak–very accessible.​​ The restaurant itself was a humble setting, but there was nothing humble about their pork goodness scrumptiousness. We had the Nasi Babi Guling Komplit (shown above) complete with rice, 2 kinds of crispy fried pork skins, blood sausage, satay, sliced pork meat, some veggies, and to top it all off–their fried 3-layered pork skin. It brought us so much happiness that we decided to order another whole serving of it to share. Biting into each piece was an unforgettable experience. The crunch of the skin, topped with the mild spices, was a perfect energy booster for …

Yamagoya Ramen

I’m a big fan of ramen. It’s one of those foods I could eat everyday and not get sick of. Not surprisingly, the best ramen I’ve had was in none other than Japan–the motherland of ramen and other things mouthwatering. Having recently spotted photos of and heard about this new ramen place in Sudirman, I got curious. The restaurant was small, just the way I always imagine ramen places to be. The atmosphere was welcoming, staff friendly, dining area clean, and dishes served promptly. Everything about this place was fine–except the ramen itself. It wasn’t the best ramen I’ve tasted. In fact, the miso ramen I ordered was bland, but more flavorful after I added a ton of fried garlic (the more the better, right?), sauce, and dried chili. As for the gyoza, they weren’t amazing either. Because of its location, I imagine Yamagoya would be packed during lunch hour. So it was fortunate that I came for a late dinner. It’s not that I don’t recommend this ramen, but I don’t particularly recommend it either. …