Restaurant Review: Bibliothèque [CLOSED]

Arguably one of the hippest place in Jakarta now. Bibliothèque is a semi formal wine and dine place with the interior elegance, a mixture between the old school library bookshelves, wooden panels, old European streets lanterns, classic style furnitures but with the touch of modern feel and cozy lighting. Also, the grandfather’s clock and the grand piano make this place even more lavish. Not to mention that live DJ are also heating up the night with cool remixes of lounge and nu-jazz tunes after 9 or 10 PM.

My first visit was not premeditated. All of a sudden my friends asked me out to visit this new place for wine and dine. Even though this place resided in the premises of the lavish Sampoerna Strategic Square, I assumed that no matter how exclusive it might appear, it would be still the same like the previous places I had already visited like Social House, Cork & Screw, Pastis, or Poste. We stole our way in from the parking lot to the back entrance from inside the building when the security stopped me all of a sudden. I have always been an avid user of sandals no matter where I go. Well, as you can see, I love freedom bound activities, therefore I will always have to do everything dynamically and that can be sorted out only with casual attires. At any rate, they didn’t allow me to come in. Politely. Long story short, after several peaceful arguments, we then decided to drive me back just to fetch my shoes.

This time, we came in from their front entrance. Looking good! Lavish and filled with stylish people, no wonder why my friend had to book from a week before. Judging from the trends, Jakartans will flock into new hip places like this one though that doesn’t mean that the older places will be deserted. Best to book first, that’s rule number one.

So, we were seated upstairs, a bit far from the action but if you want a somewhat pristine atmosphere, you can pick the place. I recommend though to seat downstairs around just around the corner by the window. Unfortunate for us that everything downstairs was booked.

Baklava with Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, and Strawberry

Since we already had dinner, we decided to pick desserts and coffee. Well, from what I saw, in the food section they provide serious Middle Eastern cuisine and bit of Western. A good thing because most wine and dine concepts are serving Western only plus a little bit of Eastern, but certainly not Middle Eastern food like these. After I browsed through the dessert section, I immediately ordered the Baklava with Vanilla Ice Cream (IDR 39,000). As for the drinks, there’s not much action to be found in non-alcoholic section, but I picked the Hot Cappuccino (IDR 35,000). As for the rest and making the most of the pages in the menu, the alcohols!

Volcano Chocolate Espresso

Relentlessly but politely, the waiter suggested a bottle of wine for us but since we didn’t plan to drink alcohol and certainly not me, we declined the offer but my friend asked him about several brands of wine just to keep the ‘dignity’. Well, the truth is if you come into such places, you’re gonna be expected to blend into the culture of drinking wine or even spirits or at the very least, a beer. Seeing everything around you doing that, makes you somehow tempted to do so. But let me assure you that you really don’t have to get involved unless you wanted to.

Ah, I forgot about the delights we ordered before. Turned out that the Baklava was the star of the day. Accompanied with delicious cream, ice cream and a strawberry, the four small Baklava sticks were indeed very tasty! Classy, rich, and fully flavored, the Baklava has been the delicacy originated from Turkey centuries ago. It’s rare to find such recipes around here, therefore that’s the very reason why I picked that for my dessert. Everybody seemed to be happy after tasting my Baklava and of course myself. You’ll crave for more since they only serve you little for quite a price.

As for the coffee, it’s pretty much the same but they provide you with cube sugar, brown sugar, and simple syrup to be added to your coffee according to your taste. A comfortable night we had, but until they made the lamps less illuminated, the atmosphere upstairs became darker and less pleasant but you can ask for a candle to be lit in your table. On the contrary though, it’s still pleasant downstairs. Lucky that the DJ played some good music.

Well, let’s wrap it up. The place was indeed classy but somehow doesn’t have the balanced composition regarding the exterior if you comprehend what I argued earlier. The service was excellent too, the waiters have been helpful and most of all, they don’t allow casual or sandals. Well, that’s a problem for me but it’s pretty understandable judging from the place. The dessert was excellent but not with the coffee. I assume that the main dishes would be excellent as well. They don’t use foreign chefs, but since the dessert was tasty then it’s quite safe to assume that they keep such quality for the rest. This place also fit for a romantic dinner though it gets less romantic on Friday and Saturday (closed on Sunday) because of the crowd, but it’s indeed a good place to spend time with your friend.

The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):

1. PRICE (4/10)

Calculation Method

GT = (Principle Price + (Principle Price x Service Tax)) x Restaurant Tax

– Service Tax = 10%

The same trick Jakarta’s similar joints have in their sleeves.

2. INTERIOR (7/10)

No matter how lavish it may seem, it gets colder upstairs. Downstairs may be different. Indeed the music helps to ease that feeling but you gotta speak louder.

3. SERVICE (6/10)

Helpful and ready at all times around you though sometimes we want some privacy or just equipped us with a buzzer to call them.

4. TASTE (7/10)

Next time, I’ll be sure to check the main dishes. As for the desserts, they’re heavenly!

5. OVERALL (6/10)

Additional Information:

Location : Sampoerna Strategic Square (GF), Jakarta

Supermarket Sweep: 7 Eleven [CLOSED]

Hot Cappuccino Medium Size with free Syrups!

What’s with 7 Eleven? It’s only a mini mart! Yeah, I know that. But this one is special. Just opened recently in Jakarta. I heard we got one here back then, but this one’s probably the whole different story. Located on the intersection of Mahakam St., this place getting a bit packed with teens who would hang out around that place in weekends. One of the attendants also said to me that they’ll open one in Kemang next, so I guess that the next one would be in Sabang St. That’s a businessman acumen. Haha..

What’s so special then? Unlike those smaller 7 Eleven marts I saw in Singapore, KL, or Bangkok, this one got everything inside! Mostly they only got the Slurpee and Big Gulp right? Here, they of course got those too, but they also installed the brewed coffee machine and a machine for teh tarik, cappuccino, and latte for any size! Add your favorite syrups for free! I had 4 shots of caramel for my hot cappuccino for excellent taste.

They also got counters for ready food like the hotdogs, fresh pizza, fried rice, Japanese croquettes, and others! For the hotdogs, you can add anything you like inside plus add the cheese from the machine for free!!! Now that’s what I call heaven!

They also provide seats so that you can sip your coffee or have your hotdogs peacefully. Plus the instant photo box machine and the copier for your other needs. Though what I didn’t like was that they put so much lamps on the ceilings so it gets too bright and definitely energy unfriendly. Well, don’t expect to get pampered a lot in a mini mart like that, but at least they really provide many interesting things for us to see for the first time in Jakarta. Enjoy your visit there! ^^

Location : All over Jakarta!

Supermarket Sweep: Pi-Ma Mini Market [CLOSED]

Yaay! The bargain foods are back! The last one was months ago. Wait… Wasn’t such remark usually came from someone who read the blog and left a note? Haha.. Even the writer’s getting excited about this. Today’s edition is about food bargains from Pi-Ma Mini Market! First of all, everybody must’ve known about Papaya Supermarket right? Famous for the imported goods that mostly came from Japan and the loyal patrons are of course Japanese. Pi-Ma is like the mini version of Papaya and of course came from the same owner but with different management. Anyway, it’s located in the basement level of Midplaza I Building on Sudirman St., Jakarta.

Tuna Mayo Onigiri

But among the goodies they sell, only some that I’m taking a huge interest in. It’s the food bargains! Unfortunately, the bargains start after 8 PM for 50% discount. Since I work in the same building and when I’m overwhelmed with late works, 8 PM wouldn’t be so bad though actually I was hoping that they’d move the time earlier which is a bit impossible since they actually managed to sell most of their bargain foods everyday. I expect that Papaya also applies food bargains though I’ve never been there at night.

Ebi/Chicken Katsu Donburi

The bargain foods consist of Sandwich, Donburi, and Onigiri. There are plenty types of onigiri such as salmon, shaved bonito, my favorite tuna mayo, and others. As for the donburi, you can pick the chicken katsu, ebi katsu, tempura, and pork. The onigiri goes down until IDR 4,500 each and the donburi around IDR 15,000 after discount. They used to sell bento though, but it’s more expensive and people seem to prefer the smaller donburi. The taste was quite decent and they also provide microwave in case you wanna eat it right away. I recommend a fresh one though, but since Japanese foods are considered a bit of a luxury treat, then this one might come in handy for a substitute. ^^

Location : Midplaza Building I BF, Jakarta and KIIC, Karawang

QuikSkoop™: HDL Seafood

One thing about this place that’s either distracting, despising, hindering, yet disgusting. It’s very dirty!!!!!!!!! Plus they got flies everywhere!! Jeez.. Good thing I only took away the food back home. The very thought of eating there makes my stomach turns upside down! So why the hell am I still buying the food there? It’s because that the place has become extremely popular due to the amount of daily patrons there. Distasteful patrons I must say. They’d rather eat with flies for a cheap price rather than finding a more decent place!

Okay, so this place offer the usual seafood with plenty of options for the sauce and the way they cook it. I picked Udang Saos Padang (Prawns fried with chili Padangnese style sauce) for IDR 35,000. Then a very big Kakap Goreng Tepung (Panfried snapper) for IDR 70,000. I always balance my meal with veggies, so I chose Sapo Tahu Komplit (Beancurd Sapo with Seafood and Veggies) for IDR 35,000.

Udang Saos Padang
Sapo Tahu Komplit
Kakap Goreng Tepung

I gotta admit that they do serve large portions for cheap price, but the taste was thoroughly bland! Surprisingly though, the prawns managed to save the humiliation. The rest was totally disappointing! The fish might be big and the sapo might seem delicious with all the stuffs, but it’s deceiving! I don’t recommend such place. Unless you wanna fill in the guts, play yourself with flies, plus saving your pocket instead of your health, so be it! I risked mine for writing this, but that’s my job. LOL

Location : Cilaki St. (nearby Road Cafe), Bandung

QuikSkoop™ : Bubur Ayam Jalan Blora

For the past few weeks, I traveled early on Saturday mornings to Bandung. Everybody knows that if they wanna go to Bandung, just go straight to this Blora Street, Jakarta. It’s where most of the travel shuttle providers reside. In one fine morning, since I had arrived earlier, I decided to have some breakfast first.

I stumbled upon two hawkers, Mie Ayam (Noodles topped with chickens and veggies) or a Bubur Ayam (Chicken congee) hawkers. Since the chicken congee hawker was cleaner and seemed nice, I decided to pick this one. One bowl only costs me IDR 6,000. To be honest, the taste was so-so. It’s like most porridges I found in Jakarta but a bit more decent and promising actually. The owner said that he’s still looking for the ultimate recipe for the best taste for the congee. Not bad for a 7-month-old business. He also added 2 types of crackers for the dish.

So what makes it special aside from the crackers? It is the horseradish! At first, I felt a bit strange when chewing this juicy crunchy thing, then I asked the owner and he said that he added horseradish into the porridge. Waw! A good innovation because it fits through right away with the congee. A rare combination I must say.

Still unfortunate though that he don’t provide eggs or other chicken parts for the porridge but I trust that his porridge will get better and better. He’s already had a good start and good future. I can assure that!

Location : Blora St., Jakarta (nearby Alfamart)