Restaurant Review: Moe’s Place

Penampilan sebuah ruko baru di pertigaan bilangan Kemang Selatan dan Benda tampak terlihat segar serta menarik. Beberapa pertokoan serta café dan restoran dibuka hanya dalam waktu sekejap saja. Salah satunya adalah Moe’s Place yang menempati sudut terbesar dan tampil sebagai sebuah steakhouse.

Waktu makan telah lewat pada siang hari itu tetapi jelas terlihat bahwa Moe’s Place tengah sepi pengunjung. Selain satu pasangan yang tengah bergantian mengasuh buah hati mereka sembari menikmati hidangannya, hanya saya yang kebetulan berada di sana. Moe’s Place terlihat cukup nyaman dengan space yang cukup luas memanjang, memiliki dua lantai, serta balkon yang menampung cukup banyak pengunjung yang ingin menikmati suasana outdoor Kemang.

Photo by: gogirlmagz.com

Pelayanan juga cukup sigap dan informatif tentang menu-menu yang perlu dijelaskan, apalagi saat itu terdapat beberapa pengunjung bule dan tampak kesiapan dalam menangani mereka dalam bahasa asing. Beruntung di setiap hidangan terdapat deskripsi cukup jelas tetapi yang menjadi masalah adalah harga yang terbilang mahal dibandingkan para pesaing lokal lainnya di berbagai belahan lain di Jakarta.

Dari yang dikira merupakan sebuah steakhouse ternyata Moe’s Place lebih memilih untuk berkonsentrasi hanya di bagian ribs saja. Yang menjadi fokus tentunya adalah rib steak, rib eye dan khusus untuk baby back ribs tersedia dari daging babi. Rib steak yang saya pilih ternyata terdiri dari dua daging panjang yang masih terdapat tiga tulang berbentuk oval di antaranya. Sudah merupakan hobi bagi saya untuk menikmati hingga tetes terakhir di sekitar tulangnya apalagi bila daging yang tersaji terasa empuk ataupun setidaknya juicy.

Photo by: gogirlmagz.com

Sayang namun bagi ribs yang saya coba waktu itu. Moe’s Place harus diakui memiliki saus BBQ yang sangat nikmat, rasa asam gurihnya menggoda saya untuk meminta porsi saus tambahan. Namun sialnya daging US prime ribs yang ditawarkan masih banyak terdapat sisi alotnya. Meskipun terhibur dengan sausnya tetapi sungguh sayang dengan harga yang saat itu dibanderol IDR 180,000 setiap porsinya seperti tidak memenuhi ekspektasi. Pendampingnya saja adalah seonggok jagung dan kentang yang untungnya sudah diberi bumbu dengan baik.

Sebagai pelipur lara untungnya fettuccine dengan saus marinara dan jamur mampu membantu dan setidaknya mengenyangkan. Kekecewaan dari daging tadi bisa terbayar dengan satu porsi pasta yang sangat creamy dan sinful ini. Untung saja karena sedikit saja lebih banyak porsinya, malahan rasa eneg yang datang merajai.

Pada kondisi jalanan di Kemang akhir pekan yang ramai dan tampak bertujuan memadati berbagai tempat makan atau café di sekitar sana ternyata Moe’s Place hanya akan dipadati ketika malam tiba. Itupun tidak full house. Kontras dengan para pesaingnya yang penuh di setiap saat, mungkin karena pertimbangan harga dan keseluruhan yang tidak seimbanglah yang membuatnya masih sepi meskipun baru saja lewat jam makan. So if they want to be consider a populist, banyak pekerjaan rumah yang harus mereka kerjakan selain dengan hanya bermodalkan tempat yang cukup nyaman dan bercahaya ini.

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MOE’S PLACE

Rating: **

Halal-friendly (imported beef and some of the dishes contain pork)

Unsuitable for vegans

Address: Jl. Benda Raya 1B, Jakarta

Opening Hours: 11 am – 11 pm (weekdays), 11 am – 12 am (weekend)

RSVP: 021 – 713 55555

BB Pin: N/A

Email: office@moes-ribs.com

Website: http://moes-ribs.com

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: N/A

Atmosphere: The sun shines through the windows yet still maintains the certain degree of coziness inside. Even though well camouflaged, the wallpaper should be replaced with real bricks.

Ambiance: Jazzy and laid back even though in dining hours.

Service: Swift and helpful. Some staffs are also accustomed with foreigners, who frequently visit or reside around Kemang.

Pricing: Around IDR 300,000 – IDR 500,000 for two

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Pictures by http://gogirlmagz.com

QuikSkoop™: Kantin Nad

Bangka-Belitung may be not your usual destination even in Indonesia. What everybody knows is just Bali, Bali, or Bali. No offense but many other islands and beaches in Indonesia surely could use more credits. Apart from the beautiful landscapes, one surely shouldn’t miss their proud diet of seafood. Here comes!

After scouring all over Pangkal Pinang and Sungailiat for kopitiam delicacies, coffee, and anything else, finally it’s time to settle the deal with Bangka. Our helpful but not-so-knowledgeable guide brought us to a canteen, a particular one where people from all over of Pangkal Pinang sought for, the one with extensive local authentic dishes served. Though this may be a bit exaggerating but it’s indeed a quite busy canteen when we arrived. People of many backgrounds came, like us tourists for instance and mostly government workers.

It’s pretty much a self-service there or at least notify one of the waitresses who also busied themselves with cooking. You have to see the menu first before thinking about anything else. What I’m saying is that Bangka and Belitung are famed for their seafood dishes and cooking these also attracts flies in particular. It happened during my visit to Mr Asui in my previous post and honestly, the cleanliness always come at the last place of priorities for any restaurants here I suppose. While they’re pretty slow at clearing tables or cleaning up things in the dining areas, I still found the place actually quite decent as a canteen and they do have a neat kitchen.

So the menu consists of genuine dishes such as ikan lempah kuning, ikan lempah kuning nanas (known as sop gangan in Belitung), lalap rusep (fermented anchovy sambal) instead of lalap sambal that usually found in Java, and so-called vegetables soup using bamboo shoots, taro, corns, and uncommon things found in Java cooked mostly with coconut milk or using the proud Bangkan sambal terasi (fermented shrimps). If you’re in doubt of experimenting, familiar dishes also available such as

One thing that I like about Kantin Nad is that they serve everything hot, unlike canteens with their ready-to-serve food. So it took a while but when they arrived, it was all fresh, smokey hot and certainly inviting. The highlight of the day was definitely the ikan lempah kuning nanas. It’s basically a snapper or mackerel soup with a very Indonesian ingredients such as turmeric, galangal, lemon grass, chili and tamarind to create a distinctive spicy and sour flavor then added with shaved pineapples for a more fresh, tangy approach. Try to combine it with warm rice and imagine how heavenly that would be!

While the other dish may be too difficult even for me. Though I consider myself an aficionado for any kind of food but sayur darat keladi may be too much. It’s a vegetable dish consists of pucuk idat (unknown yet in English), taro, and cooked with a hefty amount of terasi making the dish possessed a very distinctive smell and flavor. Perhaps the one at Kantin Nad was a bit too exaggerating in the quantity of the terasi. While the composition is actually adjustable but it was a bit too late. Anyway, it’s worth the try.

Sayur Darat Keladi

Now that my little adventure in Bangka is now relatively over, thanks to Otak-Otak Amui who happened to close its restaurant due to unknown reason for weeks according to my guide. It’s time for an island hopping to Belitung the next day and that means another post next time. Ah, one more thing, I might visit Kantin Nad some other time even if that means I have to push my wife a bit out of her comfort zone for something like this. She’ll be okay though. 😀

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KANTIN NAD

Halal-friendly

Some menu suitable for vegetarians

Wi-fi unavailable

Address & Phone Number: Jl. Kp. Bintang Dalam no. 93/12, Pangkal Pinang – Bangka // (0717) 423 772

Opening Hours: 10 am – 1o pm.

BB Pin: N/A

Email: N/A

Website: N/A

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: N/A

Atmosphere: Your quite modern Chinese cuisine restaurant – provincial style, feels like entering a food war battlefield.

Ambiance: I imagine it would be loud during dining hours.

Service: Helpful with low cleanliness awareness.

Pricing: IDR 150,000 – IDR 200,000 for two

New Management Turns the Page at Bibliotheque (Jakarta Globe – May 31, 2012)

Though initially conceived as a fine-dining venue, Bibliotheque may have suffered an identity crisis over the years as it vacillated between club, restaurant and bar, never quite settling on one. But a face-lift under the new management of the Mademoiselle Lily group aims to bring Bibliotheque back into the limelight.

Bibliotheque, located in Sampoerna Strategic Square on Jalan Sudirman in South Jakarta, has maintained its classic look, dominated by towering bookshelves crammed with books creating a look and feel that some people have compared to the fictional Hogwarts library of Harry Potter fame.

“Where else can you find an establishment as beautiful as this in Jakarta?” said new CEO Eric Guilbert, gesturing around the space proudly.

Guilbert has achieved much in his 22-year food and beverage career, which has spanned the globe.

While Bibliotheque has retained some of its most notable features, Guilbert took time to carefully redesign the layout of the venue and refurnish the restaurant.

An avowed perfectionist, the changes are both precise and practical. The height of the bar stools has been altered to ensure that people feel comfortable while resting their hands on the bar, and the wooden railings on the second floor have been lowered.

“I want [people] to feel like they’re a part of the crowd down here,” Guilbert said of the changes to the upper level. “They won’t find it hard to see what’s happening downstairs and people will notice them as well.”

Another vital change has taken place in the kitchen. Guilbert has formed a new team, working behind the scenes to increase serving capacity and to present new and exciting delicacies to its patrons.

He didn’t hesitate when it came to selecting an executive chef to lead the team. To elevate the restaurant’s French culinary offerings, he appointed former colleague Zulkarnaini Dahlan, an Indonesian chef who started his career at Riva restaurant in Jakarta, where Guilbert also worked years ago.

Nicknamed Chef Jules, the 33-year-old grew to excel in French cuisine while at Riva, and has worked at high-profile restaurants in Singapore, including L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, an Asian outlet of celebrated chef Joel Robuchon.

Together, Guilbert and Chef Jules have created an intriguing menu that incorporates French, Italian and some Asian influences.

I had an opportunity to experience what the new-look Bibliotheque has to offer. The smoked salmon, in particular, rose to the occasion. The salmon is cured, marinated for 48 hours, smoked using Bibliotheque’s own machine and then personally sliced by Chef Jules. He tops it with capers, red onions and cream cheese, and then sprinkles chives to make this already pretty dish stand out even more.

One certainly must respect the time and effort it takes to prepare such a dish, but even without knowing the whole process, the appreciation comes naturally after tasting it.

Another dish worthy of mention is the escargot. Chef Jules uses the traditional method of buttering these French specialities, but then adds some of his own style. First of all, he puts two escargots inside each shell (giving you a generous serving of 24 escargots in one order) and then fills the shell with a parsley butter that you sip from the shell while savoring each snail. Bread that is tucked under each shell becomes drenched with the drippings and completes the experience.

Aside from serving up these lovely French treats, Bibliotheque invites customers to try a fine cigar. The place’s humidors show they mean business on this front and Guilbert, who happens to be a cigar aficionado himself, stores some of his own favorite Cuban cigars here.

With these detailed changes being introduced, Bibliotheque is hoping to start a new chapter and flourish once more.

– Featured in JAKARTA GLOBE on May 31, 2012 edition –

Pictures pending