Restaurant Review: Alibaba Steak

NZ Tenderloin Steak with Mushroom Sauce

I was originally on my way for Research and Dinner (abbreviation : R&D) around the Sabang vicinity until I stumbled upon this fresh, quite nice looking, but somehow pitiful eatery (because nobody’s visiting) with many potentials. Just a few meters from there, Abuba Steak proudly but shabbily welcomed the patrons of their not-so-special-but-big-and-cheap steaks and had a full house I assumed.

I was actually dilemmatic between having steak or an all-you-can-eat at Paregu, but since I felt that Alibaba’s worth the try, I decided to dine there instead. I also felt that they may actually offer a good dinner! It was an honest thinking since they seem to be serious about the business no matter how few the patrons at that time.

So I entered the place with good feeling and found out that it’s a vast place, quite nicely decorated and air cons breeze to be found everywhere. A very stark contrast with Abuba, not to mention about the customers. Several friends of mine even said that most of the time, Alibaba is lacking in the amount of customer, used to open (now closed) a place once a upon a time in Kelapa Gading, and now from what I see, they’re persistently and somewhat recklessly open a frontal war with only Abuba just a few inches from them. Jeez.. They’re either a kamikaze of the steak world or they don’t have even a slightest idea about who they’re facing here!

Alibaba seems to be in desperate need to match the number of patronage with Abuba. You can see from the massive amount of chairs and sofas here, plus they got two-storey building. Take a look at the menu next. You’ll see the pricing of their dishes are quite at the same level with Abuba but they equipped themselves with more variety, they bought an expensive coffee machine for various coffee drinks, they got milk shakes and juices as well.

The most interesting part would be the dishes. Three types of beef (local, NZ, Australia), you can pick the degree of cooking for the steak (unlike Abuba), and the slight difference in price for local beef and NZ. With the margin of IDR 5,000 (roughly US$ 0.50), you’d better pick the NZ beef. I didn’t ask how fresh it is and knowing also that local beef has good quality these days, I bluntly picked the NZ beef. I dunno whether they were leading the customers to pick NZ, but I assume that they do run an honest business and of course it was a wise pick nonetheless since I suppose that the serving would be roughly between 150-200 grammes and with such a small margin, it’s best to pick the NZ.

Next thing I like about Alibaba is that they serve the steak on a hotplate. Feels like just the way it’s supposed to be, right? I don’t actually need a very big portion, but I need the steak served this way sometimes. Ah, almost forgot that I picked Sirloin NZ (IDR 50,000) and my girlfriend a Tenderloin NZ (IDR 55,000). The drinks? If you want something not too pricey but still good, I’d recommend the Iced Lemon Tea (IDR 7,000). It’s good, you can really feel the lemon. Well, you know, sometimes you just only feel only the mist but here, it was thicker. I do hope that they can sustain this. I might be tempted for the coffee next time since they got the huge machine. I hope the barista can manage it as well.

The meat by the way was good. It was juicy and accompanied with veggies and kitchen cut potatoes, which was a good thing since I hate supermarket french fries. As for the sauce, mine’s a bit disappointing. The black pepper sauce was not ‘pepperish’ at all and it was a bit bland to be honest. I thank the good meat by the way but eating sirloin seemed to be too much for my age (I haven’t reached 30 by the way), but when I tasted my girlfriend’s tenderloin meat with mushroom sauce, it was much much better. So you’d best pick the best of the best from this kind of place.

That time, besides us, the only patrons were another couple like us and a family of three kids after we finished our dinner. I had felt that from the beginning that this place needs to be ‘saved’ and they have proven their seriousness (with understandable flaws though) that they serve better steak (in this case Abuba). I did agree but they need to work on something more here. First of all, probably their name and design (it’s really similar with Abuba), so they better figure out something more original. Next would be the steak. It’s not perfect but it’s much better than their ‘counterpart’, so it’d be good to work on a cutting edge competitive advantage there since Alibaba seems to be targeting many customers to come (you can see that from the enormous amount of chairs you can find once inside).

Well, as much as I like about business plan, I feel that I might not be too adequate to put up more detailed opinions on it. Rest assured, Alibaba, you have a bright future but you haven’t secured it yet. I wish you the best then.

ALIBABA STEAK & IGA BAKAR

Jl. KH. Wahid Hasyim No. 112, Jakarta

RSVP : 021 – 3143501/3143469

TWEAKS

Dishes and Drinks: Beef Steak, T-Bone Steak, Grilled Ribs, Pasta, Coffee, Milk Shake, Smoothies

Recommended Dishes: NZ Tenderloin Steak (Mushroom Sauce)

Reservation: Not needed

Operating Hours: TBA (assume normal operation hours)

Methods of Payment: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards

THE JUDGMENT

1. PRICE (6/10)

Tenderloin and sirloin steak ranging from 45,000 to 80,000. A considerate price for Jakartans but not from visiting customers beside Jakarta.

For two people the total would range around IDR 115,000 to 150,000.

2. INTERIOR (6/10)

Too ambitious but not too shabby. Alibaba can always reshape again and become more attractive. Still, it’s relaxing with TVs and soft concert music DVD playing.

3. SERVICE (7/10)

Very helpful and the steak came fast (around 10 mins only, partly because we’re the only patrons).

4. TASTE (6/10)

Had much better steak but if you seek this market segment, Alibaba have done his homework for now.

5. OVERALL (6.25/10)

Has many potentials but don’t sleep to long, Alibaba.

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Flavor Updates: Snow Monsters (Seroeni, Plaza Senayan Jakarta)

I know, I have gone too far in researching food, testing it, tasting it, evaluate it, judge it, and promote my harsh judgments for people to see. This idea came up after I visited Seroeni in Plaza Senayan. We actually had our dinner already and was looking for desserts.

Snow Monster’s Crunchy Giant

We stumbled upon Seroeni accidentally when we’re actually heading for D’Crepes. The bright welcome from the neon lights had been the very reason why I was interested and of course not to mention the words they promote in front of the joint such as Lavazza, TWG, and Snow Monsters. Sounds cool eh? But from what I saw, it stroke me as a restaurant rather than a place to hang out and sip your coffee.

But upon seeing the counter that resembles those in Sour Sally, Red Mango, or J.Co fro-yo, I immediately suggested us to sit there and see what’s Snow Monsters really like. It’s gotta be the counter for Snow Monsters right? Good assumption which was correct by the way. At any rate, we gonna try the coffee or the tea anyway.

Seroeni originally serve Chinese Peranakan cuisine. The price range seemed affordable. I’ll definitely review about them later here. No worries. Since we had eaten, we browsed through the beverage and desserts menu. The menu is very extensive and colorful especially the Snow Monsters part. Turned out that we can customize it like your routine fro-yo. You can pick the size and the amount of toppings you want or you can pick from the already customized snow.

Snow Monsters, by the way, is a shaved ice desserts with assorted flavors and toppings served upon a cone waffel. Back to the flavors, instead of customizing yourself, you can always pick something out of their creations. Classified into several themes like ‘Milk Snow’, ‘Coffee Snow’, or ‘Strawberry Snow’, you can pick something depends on your mood. If you’re coming with the kids, you should definitely try the Milk Snow which has many variants and toppings like cereals that your kids love. For me personally, as a coffee lover, I picked the Coffee Snow.

Currently consists of only 2 variants, Puccinoluci made out of shaved ice with KK Coffee Puff, KK Coffee Roll, and Chocolate Sauce. I’m not sure yet what KK is, so I’ll ask them later when I try something else there. The other one was the one I pick, Crunchy Giant which consists of KK Caramel, KK Coffee Roll, Peanut Honey, and Choco Sauce.

It was a good pick, the size was more than big enough for two of us, the shaved ice doesn’t feel watery because the sauce and the toppings penetrated it all, and it was a feast that cost only IDR 33,000!  With many selections, all is suitable for children up to the elders. Definitely suitable for couples. So for teens and adults, go there with your partners, and have a good time with Snow Monsters.

A good call for coming there. We really enjoyed the shaved ice. So next time, I will definitely try food. So it’s not finished yet, Seroeni. The real test is about to come. ^^v

PRODUCT EVALUATIONS:

Taste : 7/10

Price : 7/10

Result : CHEW IT, CHEWER! ^0^/

ADDRESSES:

  1. Plaza Senayan Floor 3F Unit 338 B
    Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8 Gelora Bung Karno – Senayan
    Jakarta 10270, Indonesia
  2. Jl Sisingamangaraja 19c
    Semarang, Indonesia

WEBSITE:

http://www.s2indonesia.com/Seroeni/