Kahvehane: Kopi Lay

Early morning in Bandung has always been cool and nice, but we bid our time until the sun shone up a bit and off we go to the place at around 8 AM. I’ve been dying to have a good kopitiam style breakfast in Bandung and from what it seem, Kopi Lay seem to resemble Kopitiam Oey in some way. It was just a hunch and a correct one of course! Exactly what to expect from an aficionado in gastronomy like me right?

Here’s the story. When we arrived, the place was quite huge. Resided in a renovated old colonial Dutch house, Kopi Lay coexists together with Sagoo Kitchen. The difference between those two was perhaps Kopi Lay specializes only as kopitiam style dining like Ya Kun Kaya Toastwich or Kopitiam Oey from what I said before, while Sagoo Kitchen provides the mixtures of Indonesian and Chinese culinary heritage dishes.

I shall review Sagoo Kitchen later since it opens at 10 AM so I haven’t had the chance to try it out. Judging from the pricelist though, it’s not that friendly since it was cheaper back then in Kopitiam Oey and for God sake, this place is in Bandung!! So you can actually make it cheaper. Just because you’re nearby the famous Cafe Bali of Bandung and Suis Butcher so you can continue this insolence! Well.. well.. I haven’t reviewed it yet but these prejudices (from an aficionado) have already marred their reputations. So beware, if you can’t make me satisfy in other parts, I’ll be sure to make you suffer.

Okay, the menu in Kopi Lay wasn’t that particularly extensive. They only provide coffee, tea, toasts, and buns. That’s it! It’s actually okay if you can understand what a kopitiam is and the price tag they put on the dishes, so if you got any objection about it since you got used of having big dish of rice for your breakfast, hey.. that’s your loss. Whatever..

Kopi C

The price ranging from IDR 10,000 to IDR 15,000. I chose the Toast Smoked Beef Telor (IDR 14,900) plus Kopi C (IDR 14,900). Kopi C was actually coffee with evaporated milk and it was quite good. As for the toast, the bread was good, it was thick but mild, however seemed to me that the eggs were made with MSG. That’s a mistake because naturally eggs can become the taste enhancer and adding the MSG will only ruin it plus the fact that they also provide chili sauce. That’s a bit shame.

Toast Smoked Beef Telor

By the way, my mom picked only Teh Tarik Lay (IDR 13,900) since she had her breakfast earlier. The making process seemed right but they failed miserably in creating the right composition and taste. My mom didn’t like it and I had to agree. It was a bit bland with too much ice in it. Well, the bright side was that my coffee was just fine and they got good internet connection there. The place was also quite nicely designed. I shall explore this more and put an end should any insolence occurs.

Teh Tarik Lay

Location : LL R.E Martadinata /Riau St. (After Suis Butcher and just before Cafe Bali), Bandung

Other locations are also available now (updates TBA)

Restaurant Review: Café Bali

It’s been like a decade since I last took a holiday in Bali. That time, among the towns they’d stay at, Kuta and Legian were those among people would speak of. I don’t know since when but lately Bali has added another town to attract people. They say that this town was designed for middle ups. So, you can find this town a little bit further to the north and it’s called Seminyak.

It was for the dinner time when we arrived at the vicinity. You can judge that Seminyak is somehow more classy by looking at the shops there. They seem to sell more expensive items. Not only apparel but other luxury items. So, my friends who had visited Bali months before recommended to park around the spot that offers many eateries around Laksamana Oberoi St. We parked the car and walked around the street looking for the most inviting restaurant. Personally, I’d love to try each one of them.

But on this case, we need to adjust to everyone’s wallet and among them all, Cafe Bali seemed to be the wisest choice back then. The exterior seemed neat, the menu was extensive, and most of all, the price was OK. Please don’t judge that a place might be nice because filled with foreigners because practically you see foreigners everywhere in Bali. So we took our seats and I did a bit walk around the cafe to see more.

The place was indeed nice, plays interesting music that attracts applauses from visitors which I found amusing, but has no air conditioners at all. Ceiling fans are everywhere but it’s a bit humid nonetheless. The heat actually can be negated because the atmosphere was warm and friendly, the waiters/waitresses were also very helpful and kind, and that make everything seemed perfect at that moment. If I happen to be the owner of Cafe Bali, I need to keep up the quality because Cafe Bali happened to be located around other fierce competitors. Well, Cafe Bali was able to make me content that time. That’s a good start.

Let’s go to our favorite section, shall we? The food! Cafe Bali provides a wide range of world food, notably the Western, Eastern, and Indonesian plus suitable for any occasions starting from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a kind of cafe or restaurant that provides all.

The cons about such place is that there’s no specialty. Even though I still bother to ask about it to the waitress and she confidently answered that Cafe Bali excels at its Carpaccio. Now that I think of it, it’s a bit rare that a cafe provide such menu. There’s actually several carpaccio divided into the types and the weight. You can have like beef, tuna, or salmon in 150 grams or more.It’s with the beef that I had been quite familiar before but hadn’t had the chance to taste the real deal of it, so I decided to pick Beef Carpaccio 150 grams (IDR 40,000++).

Beef Carpaccio

Previously I was quite tempted to pick Tex-Mex Chicken (IDR 39,000++), but my friend had picked it first. My dear partner chose Cheese Ravioli (IDR 45,000++) based on my recommendation. I know very much about her appetite and she likes pasta a lot plus I gotta know about the taste too. The rest of my friends picked Hakao (IDR 28,000++) which was a bit expensive than the usual dimsum you may find but I tell you about it later, then somebody else picked Lasagna (IDR 45,000++), while the rest selected Tenderloin Steak (IDR 55,000++) and Mahi Mahi Fish (IDR 69,000++) for their dinner.

In an occasion like this where I eat altogether with many of my friends can be very beneficial because I can taste so many foods in only a single visit. My dish was surprisingly delicious. You just can’t imagine for the first time and other than sushi or salmon gravalax would see a dish like carpaccio where 150 grams of raw beef sliced thinly and decorated with cheese and salad with dipping sauce. Some people might not get too familiar with the taste but I liked it a lot. The salad may be so-so but the cheese and the meat worked in pairs beautifully. I need to try the specialty though carpaccio is usually served for appetizer. I say what the heck about that and just enjoy it and I did enjoy it very much. ^^

The other dishes turned out to be a satisfaction for me. The taste and the portion were great. I tried each one of them and that made me wish to return there again someday. The price was also very considerate as I said earlier and with these dishes, it was actually a surprise for me. Plus the fact that in Bali, restaurants or cafes don’t cheat the taxation. They added up the government tax and the service tax to the totals, unlike those shameless places anywhere that multiply it first by one tax, total it, then multiply it again with the other tax and the VAT can be quite high in the end. Even though, my friend said that USA is even worse. Apart from that you gonna need to give extra 15% tips or you might get sued because of not complying it. Jeez…

Ah about Cafe Bali again, it’s an incredibly worth remembering experience. The food, the music, the atmosphere, the service, the price, and everything else adds up to make it perfect. I wish to return again someday soon…. *daydreaming*

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

1. PRICE (6.5/10)

That’s what I love about Bali. No cheats on the taxation and here in Cafe Bali, everything is price tagged at a considerate price. It was only IDR 575,000 for 7 people dinner. Quite okay!

2. INTERIOR (7.5/10)

A very nice place! The atmosphere, the design, and the music make it very comfortable. No AC though, but that figures why they open all the windows and make it looks like an open air cafe.

3. SERVICE (7/10)

Very helpful and resourceful. What more can you ask?

4. TASTE (7/10)

Wonderful! As I have stated earlier. I wanna go there again!

5. OVERALL (7/10)

Keep up the good work!

Additional Information:

Location : Jl. Laksamana Oberoi, Seminyak, Bali.

QuikSkoop™: Cizz

Who wouldn’t possibly love cheesecakes? It’s so tasty and thick that you’ll be satisfied with only a small piece of it. You got plenty of choices and you’ll want it all because they’re so colorful and inviting. You can get it all here at Cizz Cake! Has been famous for several years now though with only a little outlet in Bandung, Cizz also has expanded the business to Jakarta and you can have your cheesecakes now delivered to your hands.

When I said earlier about the choices, I really mean it. You can have like the standard cheesecake or the variants like Blueberry Cheesecake, Tiramisu Cheesecake, Chocolate Cheesecake, Blackcurrant Cheesecake, Baked Brownie Cheesecake, Blackforest Cheesecake, Mixed Fruit Cheesecake, Caramel Cheesecake, and many more. Many more! Can you believe that? They also provide bigger cakes for your special events.

Mixed Fruits Cheescake
Blackcurrant Cheesecake
Blueberry Cheesecake

I suppose most of them were price tagged at IDR 15,000 to IDR 20,000 per single cheese cake and it feels thick, you can really feel the cheese, and it blends really well so it might be enough for one cake at a time. With the superb taste at a low price, Cizz can be very competitive and very beneficial for consumers like us. I’d say, you need to try it. No, wait, you HAVE to try it!! Because I love it!

Visit http://www.cizzcake.com for graphic information about the cakes and the location. Enjoy!

Location : Jl. Laswi No. 1A (Just before Bumbu Desa Sundanese Restaurant), Bandung

Also featured in: Mahanagari

Restaurant Review: Chili’s

If it wasn’t because of Michael’s favorite place in the American TV serial The Office, I wouldn’t have any idea about this place existence other than the huge billboard right on the top of the old Sarinah Building shopping mall in Jakarta. There were numerous scenes taken place here in the serial so I figured that this place must be quite popular back there in USA. When we arrived there though, the place seemed to be quite old but it was neat and quite freezing so you’d best wear something warm. I don’t know why they don’t seem to make an attempt to expand it like other American brands you can find easily here.

My last visit took place some time ago, so I’m scraping through the remnants of my old memory. I’m planning to visit the place again soon in the near future because this very experience was very worth remembering! And I shall tell you why. In the menu, we can now finally recognize what theme this restaurant brings. Perhaps at some point you’d think that this place only serve steaks but that’s not all, Chili’s combines the Western cuisine notably American with Mexican. The most obvious place where the two cultures met can be seen around the states of Texas, New Mexico, and California. This fusion genre is famously called Tex-Mex cuisine that of course stands for Texan-Mexican. You can refresh your geography lessons back then to find out where they blend. LOL

Among all the unusual Tex-Mex dishes you may find there, I finally made up my mind to combine several perks in one dishes. Yes! It’s the Combo Fajitas (IDR 115,900). It’s expensive I know, but here you can try beef and chicken at one time. Seemed to be very tempting if you see the picture. On the other hand, my dear partner picked the more conservative dish which was called Margarita Chicken (IDR 63,900). The drinks were the same routine. You can spend less here to pick better food. That’s actually my policy. For example in Japanese restaurants, most of them currently serve ocha for free. I’d say let’s not waste such opportunity by buying more expensive drinks. Better to put your money in good use by trying the more exotic delicacies they may offer or something that normally you wouldn’t even bother to pick which of course undoubtedly because of the price, right? In Chili’s of course, I recommend you to enact the policy without thinking because this is no place where you would spend your time like everyday unlike Michael in The Office. Ah! Talking about economics and the buying power…

Combo Fajitas
Combo Fajitas

At last the dishes arrived. We had been famished and the very sight of the dishes were very heartwarming yet triggered the lust to dig in as quick as we can! My pick was indeed a beautiful one. Perhaps many of us here still not familiar with this dish. There were three separate vessels. The chicken and the beef were served upon a hot plate and dressed in onions and capsicum. Very inviting! The second vessel was closed and for my surprise (forgive my virginity in Tex-Mex cuisine), it was filled with huge layers of tortilla. Okay, then the last vessel was filled with the dressings. There are 4 elements here, the sour cream, shredded lettuces, the legendary guacamole, and pico de gallo. Questions? Hesitate to ask. Because I found them out by myself and I can assure you that this dish was heavenly! It’s like you’re making a sandwich. You fill the tortilla with the meat and dress it up in any style you want! That simple. It may be awkward to taste unfamiliar dressings with ingredients I mentioned earlier but you won’t argue with me if you have tried it! Extraordinary indeed!

Margarita Chicken

My partner’s dish nonetheless, was also a brilliant one. It may seem like an ordinary Western dish with a little bit of Mexican touch. The grilled chicken topped with lemon and shredded tomatoes, onions, and friends. Below the chicken you can find nachos-like thin sticks. Accompanied by sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes snowed with cream-like cheese or something which I forgot. The most brilliant part was actually not the chicken, but it’s the potato! I tell you what, I HAVE NEVER TASTE MASHED POTATOES SO TASTY BEFORE IN MY LIFE ASIDE THE ONE HERE IN CHILI’S!!!!! I gotta scream! It was superb and I can’t say more in this. It’s like you’re given wings to fly. Seriously foodies, you gotta try it!

The dish proved to be too much to handle for my partner, so I must warn you that you gotta be really hungry if you’re coming here because it’s gonna be an adventure you’d surely won’t forget. I figure that people abroad notably in USA must be thinking that this place was only an ordinary Tex-Mex restaurant, but for a first timer like me, I can’t even forget how wonderful it was to be there even it took place almost a year ago. My dear foodies, let’s try it again then! ^^

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

1. PRICE (3/10)

A total of IDR 270,039 for two. It’s too expensive though I know some ingredients might be imported, but still…

2. INTERIOR (5/10)

Way too outdated..

3. SERVICE (4/10)

There was no greeter and we have to call someone out for help. That’s no good.

4. TASTE (8/10)

Superb mashed potato! The rests were great too.

5. OVERALL (5/10)

I don’t know why Chili’s just not expanding themselves knowing that they’ve been here since the 80s. Perhaps you guys put it too expensive for Indonesians pocket.

Additional Information:

Location : Sarinah Building 2nd Fl. Jakarta, Indonesia

TGA Milestone: A New Header!

Ah at last I can install a cool new header that fits my blog well.  I can be pretty lame at designing things like these and my expectations by appointing somebody more qualified than me appears to be fruitful.

I really wanna thank Mamagala for her sincere effort to design this new header. Much love! ^^