QuikSkoop™: Gandy Steak House

Gandy Steak House is probably one of those Jakarta’s old school steakhouses which you can find at many locations in the city. It’s not their brilliant era anymore but my father regards them highly. That made me curious. With many new high-profile competitors, but not necessarily luxurious, it’s hard to make it out alive in Jakarta these days. One must have a certain degree of reputation and respect. It’s easier perhaps for a single restaurant with a long standing tradition where customer got nowhere else to go but that place. That alone keeps the establishment easier to be managed and remembered.

On the other hand, Gandy Steak House owns many branches and some of them are actually in good locations such as around Menteng area and the one that I visited in Kelapa Gading just across Mall Kelapa Gading (MKG). So apparently after some research, they also have other branches as well aside those two.

First thing first, after an unsuccessful trip around MKG to find a place to eat, which apparently during this particular weekend (just after Lebaran) and dinner time, was a hugely bad idea. We even took almost more than half an hour for just finding a space to park our car! Even so, Kelapa Gading area is indeed a good place to find good eateries. I haven’t really explored the area myself since Kelapa Gading is like a city of its own but far from Jakarta proper.

I found out about it just by passing through it before turning right to MKG. Judging that it’s hard just to find yourself a seat in the food court of the mall while the rest of the restaurants didn’t seem inviting, I decided that we should just cross the busy street for a peace of mind. As we arrived on the restaurant, the place seemed old and definitely on its waning days but that’s the Gandy’s bakery on the first floor. We headed for the second floor for the steak house.

Upon ascending the stairs we heard of the solo keyboard voice and somebody singing an oldies song. My girlfriend all of the sudden asking me, ‘Is it the right thing to come here?’ Though I had been convincing her to come here, upon hearing that I guess most people of our ages would feel the same way. I assured her that nothing’s wrong and that we have to proceed, more of out of my curiosity actually. As we arrived, we noticed that the restaurant is vast but designed like 80s. Perhaps more like my post about Miranda though neater. They got the salad bar also as we passed through but none of the contents interest me.

We were seated way in the corner nearby the window that overlooking the street. The place was vast, old, and I feel old. Not to mention also the annoying live music culminated with the World Cup 2010 soundtrack which actually should be sung properly.

Since there weren’t too many customers that time, we were served right away but I can sense the boredom in the air. There’s no spirit and an incident happened where my girlfried who happened to put her shoelaces on the table, accidentally taken by the waitress who cleared up the table of the menu books. Later admitting that she thought that belongs to the previous patrons. Well, she could’ve asked first before doing that right? Jeez…

Ah let’s get to the food then. In the menu, numerous steak dishes available from local beef to Australian beef. I forgot whether they serve also Wagyu there, but anyway we ordered the Gandy Steak (IDR 62,000) and Gandy Black Pepper Steak (IDR 64,000), both using local tenderloin beef.

Well, as I was expected, old school steakhouses like Gandy does indeed serve the steak on the classic hotplate. The difference than other similar steakhouses is that Gandy separates fries and sauteed veggies on another plate. By the way, you can always pick the grill grade of your steak and what do you want with your potatoes.

Tenderloin Steak with Black Pepper Sauce

Unexpectedly, the size of the beef was considerable. I reckon it’s about 300 grammes. My tenderloin black pepper steak surely looks inviting. It’s already coated with the sauce, looking dark and alright. Some fried garlic are poured over it. I took some vegetables and potatoes to make it look more inviting. They also always put mushrooms on the side of the hotplate. The appearance of my girlfriend’s dish was also quite similar but they poured it with the so-called Gandy sauce which doesn’t feel like a BBQ sauce but it’s okay. Doesn’t impress me much.

As of the black pepper steak, it was awesome. You’ll feel that the level of the spiciness and the sharp taste that makes the steak really good were evenly balanced. It’s not necessarily the hot kind that will make you sweaty but sauce on the surface and the meat that’s already absorbed really blend well in your mouth. Feels like you wanna cherish each and every bite of it. Unlucky that the sauce was depleted before I can finish the meat. That’s a shame actually. I could use extra sauce readied just in case I wanna pour it again. Maybe they can supply it freely if I asked but I just don’t know. Perhaps next time I will ask for that.

So in all, it was a good visit but definitely they could improve more in other departments. I’d say that they may be too ambitious. Unlike new restaurants which has enough capital or ‘willpower’ to expand, Gandy has indeed lost that power a long time ago. I feel that they’re now more like surviving rather than enjoying themselves from many years of their reputation or even expanding. Forget about that. I do truly wish that Gandy will still exist in many many years to come where I can take my children someday to enjoy a classic, good ol’ steak. Which I deem different that the new generation steakhouses. It’s just a silly melancholic thing for me I guess where I used to visit a good steakhouse in Bandung which had burned down and another one which had undergone many changes where I can no longer taste the originality anymore. I do declare that Gandy’s different and by all means, needs to be preserved. By who if it’s not because our loyal patronages. ^^

LOCATION:

Jl. Boulevard Kelapa Gading Blok LA no. 1-3, Jakarta Utara

and many other locations! To be announced later.

Flavor Updates: Black Forest Cake (Sari Delicatessen, Sari Pan Pacific Hotel, Jakarta)

Black Forest Cake

Just before Lebaran, we had this opportunity for ravishing this certain delight from Sari Delicatessen of Sari Pan Pacific Hotel Jakarta. A black forest cake! There were 7 of us and even if we divided it equally I still got three big slices! So the size was considerable but how would the taste become?

First of all, the chocolate was quite generous but not necessarily strong. Sari Delicatessen proved its magnanimity with the amount of whipped cream you can see on its cake. It was good however but not in the strongest sense. I mean, it can either be very sweet or a bit strong in the rum department. But Sari Delicatessen’s creation was balancely in-between. The rum was not that strong but they cover it with generous shaved chocolates. Not to mention the base taste obtained from the layers of chocolate and additional sweetness from the cherries.

In the end, it was a pleasant encounter. Heavy as it may seem but surprisingly gave me a light touch in which you might want to add more slices. Don’t count on cheesecakes for that opportunity. It’s way too thick but not this Black Forest Cake.

PRODUCT EVALUATIONS:

Taste : 7/10

Price : TBA/10

Result : Just fine.

ADDRESS:

Sari Pan Pacific Hotel

Jl. M.H. Thamrin 6, Jakarta – Indonesia

WEBSITE:

http://www.panpacific.com/en/Jakarta/Dining/SariDelicatessen.html

Phone Number: +62-21-2993 2755

SIGNATURE DISHES:

Freshly baked breads, 70 kinds of homemade sausages and meats, chocolates, and cookies & pastries.

DELIVERY AVAILABILITY: TBA

OPENING HOURS:

Daily 07.00 AM – 09.00 PM.

Enjoy 50% off after 7 PM!

Restaurant Review: The Strudels Factory [CLOSED]

It’s there but it’s hidden. Feels like treasure hunting. That’s what you might think once you encounter this place, The Strudels Factory. Under the shadows of increasingly popular demands of Western delicacies (aside of Italian or steak) of pancakes and waffles, The Strudels Factory might be the only place right now that pioneers strudels as its signature dish. Ready to hit the market? Let me test it first.

I dropped by around brunch time and the we’re the only patrons that time. They seemed to be still preparing themselves which you can judge by nonexistent ambiance of music and the staffs chattering loudly from around the kitchen. My mother particularly disliked such commotion. It’s only natural that should a guest arrives, everything must already be prepared or swiftly adjusted or simply just close the door until you’re ready. So that was a reckless thing I suppose.

Lucky, the waiter was quite swift in serving us. We were handed out the menu and plenty of choices there. Aside from the strudels, this place also offers pancakes and waffles, to make the competition more edgy at their side I suppose. Nevertheless the dishes fits well with the strudels theme. Also burgers and pastas are available. In short, they also got appetizers all the way to dessert mostly in Western genre. Some Indonesian dishes are also available but in a somehow heftier price.

Blueberry Cheese Strudel slice

Of course, coming here would be a waste should we not try the strudels. It’s the place’s name by the way. They offer two types of strudels actually, sweet or savory. I suggested my mom to pick the sweet and she chose Blueberry Cheese Strudel slice (IDR 17,000). I picked Egg Benedict Strudel (IDR 29,000). Other than those, the sweet strudels you can pick are the classic Apple Strudel slice, Blueberry Strudel slice, and Rhum Raisin strudel slice. Not much choice though for the sweet section. It’s not as versatile as we can see from pancake/waffle parlors.

Even so, in the savory department, more choices can be seen though not many but more expensive. Variations of savory Moushee Strudels (mushroom and cheese), Tuna Strudels, Beef & Egg Strudels, Turkheese (smoked turkey and cheese), and Strudel Con Salmon are available at your disposal. At any rate, you can wonder from soup and salad, sandwich or burger, wide choices of pasta dishes, steak, and most of all, the pancake and waffle section which I found all quite rich in selection but not necessarily similar with Pancious or Nanny’s Pavillon.

I took a small tour around and found out a more proper dining section on the backyard. The ones in front are more suitable for lounging and coffee time with all the sofas which are quite comfortable. I found it a nuisance that they actually just paste cements as the floor and painted it white. It’s ugly and even if it’s expensive, they should have installed wooden panels instead, making the place warmer and more elegant. The lightings are adequate for lounging with a certain curtains to keep every table within its zone of privacy.

Egg Benedict Strudel

But when the strudels came, we suddenly forget of everything else. The blueberry strudel was proportionately made and covers every sections. The strudel was fulfilling, filled in the center with the sticky blueberry and cheese, and sauces of blueberry and milk all over the plate. Just dip it a bit for enhanced taste.

Not long after that my Egg Benedict Strudel came and certainly it took some time to prepare it. The poached egg somehow requires skill and the best thing about the dish was the mozzarella cheese sauce with shredded smoked beef. To make it even more fulfilling, they added French fries fried with herbs.

The mozzarella and the smoked beef sure worked well in duo. Feels like you’re eating a sandwich. Savory, tasty, and intense. However to my dismay, once the mozzarella cheese diminished, the strudel ran out of its magical influence. I felt content nevertheless and definitely will come back again later.

Mango Special Iced Tea

By the way, my mom picked Mango Special Iced Tea (IDR 20,000) for the drink. I just picked the common hot tea but luckily they serve Twining’s for that. This special tea was supposedly good since the waiter himself recommended it. It’s actually a mango infused iced tea serve with floating mango sorbet. That’s new indeed, but the sorbet didn’t really have the passion in it. The sourness was indeed lacking and turns out that it didn’t fuse well with the tea. So whatever the waiter recommends, best to think about it first and don’t let it cost you punitive damage of IDR 20,000!

To sum it all up, The Strudels Factory is indeed the insurrection of today’s pancake and waffle regime, but with its current driving force I can safely assume that the prospect is between bright and not. With its authenticity, The Strudels Factory should do some breakthrough, at least finding itself a more decent open place where they can compete openly with other diners.

For the taste, it’s guaranteed well that The Strudels Factory can keep up with the current youths tastebuds and that’s me definitely. I like the place and the food even with its cons and minuses. Bandung as I said in my previous previous post about Daisy’s Steak is indeed a place of budding ideas and a melting pot of international food reengineered locally and creatively. Therefore I shall vote for the continuous existence of The Strudels Factory. May you prosper and well, but don’t stop to improve yourself!

THE STRUDELS FACTORY

Jalan Progo no. 13A, Bandung – Indonesia

RSVP: 022 – 424 1075

Website: http://www.thestrudels.com

Halal Meter: TBA

Ambience & Interior: Should be around conversational with finally, after opening up decently, filled with jazz soundtracks which in line definitely with the interiors, warm and lavish but killed instantly with the whitewashed cement floors.

Service: Not impressive but nonetheless useful. Lacking in smile and inept at recommending. Think first before you pick something out of the menu or test them with details of the dishes first.

Pricing: Starters from IDR 15,000 to IDR 29,000, Sandwiches/Burgers from IDR 32,000 to IDR 37,000, Pasta from IDR 25,000, Pancakes/Waffels from IDR 15,000 to IDR 29,000, Strudels from IDR 15,000 to IDR 38,000, and Desserts from 16,000 to IDR 23,000 .

Recommended Dishes: Egg Benedict Strudel, Blueberry Cheese Strudel slice

Reservation: Recommended for weekend night.

Operating Hours: TBA.

Payment Methods: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards.

QuikSkoop™: Java [CLOSED]

Celebrating my department first anniversary, we booked seats two weeks prior for a dinner at Java Restaurant, Intercontinental Hotel Jakarta. For this Ramadhan, Java promotes 50% discount for all using ANZ credit card. A chance indeed!

Arriving early, we were given good positioned seats and the privilege to take the foods before the everybody else arrive. Iftar at Java with this promotion proved to be good business since you gotta book way earlier. My colleague checked the availability earlier that morning and to found out that it’s fully booked already. Best to do it at least a week prior. Though in normal times, I suppose you can just waltz in and sit.

Raw stuffs appetizers

Plenty of seemingly good openers from Indonesian delicacies to international style appetizers. I love picking the raw stuffs like sushi, shrimps, sashimi, and variety of mussels. Salad bar was also available also with other unique Indonesian food like Cirebonese tahu gejrot (small fried soybean curds mixed with black sauce made from mixtures of bird-eye chilis, shallots, garlic, and soy sauce) and satay made of lambs, beef, and chicken.

The opener was delightfully nice except for the certain bamboo mussels and bul bul mussels which were a bit strange and cannot be digested easily. The freshness level was still under C’s Seafood and Steak Restaurant in Grand Hyatt Jakarta of course but slightly better than Rosso at Shangri La Jakarta.

A bit of shame goes to the main dishes. While the big and intimidating steamed garoupa fish was delectably great but the rest was just disappointing. The dory, cheese sausages, chicken cordon bleu, and beef tongue were definitely ruled out from five star hotel standard. While the beef kalio (sauteed beef with certain Padangnese style cooking taste a bit spicy with a hint of curry and certain sweetness in it), beef meatballs, and of course, again the garoupa fish were the stars of the warm Iftar that night.

Additional Indonesian stalls such as the batagor and soto mie dishes were also available. The batagor or baso tahu was similar like dim sum actually. It comprises of steamed siomay, soybean curds filled with fish, and many others. Add the ground nut sauce with Indonesian sweet soybean ketchup for better taste. While the sotomie was actually noodles, meat, and vegetables with curry soup.

The dessert was also not highly commended. I didn’t taste the Indonesian desserts but the other cakes like classic tiramisu and vanilla pannacotta were not convincing at all. Try to compare it with Rosso’s divine pannacotta and you’ll see the difference.

The problem within massive buffet prepared for breakfast to dinner at five stars hotels like this sometimes only boasts the hygienic level (which we don’t know actually) and/or the service and especially the unique foods. The service is also sometimes not that good. The unique foods sometimes also turn out to be a disaster while the standard foods are most of the times less tasty than those in hawkers or even your home dishes.

I can sometimes understand the hardships they experienced inside the kitchen but it is also important to respect the patrons expectations, especially expectations for a five star hotel dishes. They’re paying a fortune and it’s your duty to comply to their expectations. But not failing miserably like this, Java. Sorry to say, it’s not good enough for me.

LOCATION:

Intercontinental Hotel Jakarta Midplaza, 3rd Floor. Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta