Mountain of Food Explorace II (Resorts World Genting, Malaysia) – First Day of Challenges

MOUNTAIN OF FOOD EXPLORACE II – First Day (July 18, 2012)

All that we knew was that we’re gonna face more than a dozen challenges. We didn’t know that it’s gonna be all about running and sweating. Especially us from Indonesian, we’re pure food bloggers and we’re so decadent so that any sweat caused not by eating would be a sin. We’re punished for it but surprisingly, it was one of the happiest moments I’ve ever had and I’m thankful for it. Not because of the calorie burns but our togetherness as fellow food bloggers and our first time doing so abroad.

Anxiety ruled my morning as I had to accompany my wife for breakfast while searching for my partner in the process, inside the jungle of extreme busyness of First World Café where hundreds or more people had their breakfast rush. We went downstairs straight at 8 am while we also need to be at the World Club Lounge, God knows where, at 9 am as a team!

Clad in the Wrangler tops and jeans, I was definitely ready for the challenge but still can’t help with the anxiety. Lucky that both me and my wife found a small time in-between all the rush for a bite or two. Moreover, I also found that my teammate, Evelyn, happened to be on the table just behind mine alongside her Malaysian besties.

The World Club Lounge challenge

We headed to the uppermost floor of First World Hotel for the lounge and then told to enjoy our time there for breakfast! But we already had one downstairs while cannot help to feel that the lounge is a better place to enjoy the breakfast. Less crowded, cool, and we get to choose our dishes easily. Unfortunately the organizer hadn’t told us earlier that we could just actually have our breakfast here instead. As a result, we’re too full to savor anything at that moment.

As a substitute, we just enjoyed the remaining time before the next challenge by getting introduced to one another, had our coffee and cakes, and laughing together. Meanwhile the organizer distributed the Fuji Film digital cameras for our documentations while doing the explorace today and tomorrow.

Then came the time to finally open the second challenge and we’re required to devise an ‘energetic’ breakfast, present it to the stationmaster, get your dish approved, take a picture of it and then finish it all altogether with your partner. Evelyn and I decided to put more proteins in the dishes, leaving the carbs behind, and not to forget that we have to properly equip it with cutleries and a drink.

Successfully fulfilling the task, we head for next challenges such as to scour all over the peak to find a Travel For All store just nearby the Genting Skyway to decode a password for sponsored jackets, had our pictures in front of the skyway, the store, and finally it’s lunch time. We got one of the challenges wrong so we had to travel all the way back to First World Café while in reality, we only had to just visit the Coffee Terrace of Hotel Resort just nearby the Skyway.

The Hotel Resort challenge

Anyway it was okay and we had a nice lunch at a restaurant famed for its six live kitchens representing different dishes from local dishes, peranakan, Western, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian. I had some interesting bites involving ostrich meat and other rarely found dishes in Indonesia. Not much of a surprise for a restaurant reviewer for me but it’s always good to experience something new.

The restaurant also has an observation deck overlooking the surrounding hills, which was something new for me as back in Indonesia, Puncak has never been developed into something very elaborated like Genting for instance.

The Theme Park and Chin Swee Temple challenges

Finally it’s time for more challenges to come involving pictorial guessing and another fast travel to the neighboring Hotel Theme Park for more clues. This time finally, we got ourselves admitted for adventures down at the outdoor Theme Park! The challenges are mostly photographical. We’re supposed to enter rides, sometimes taking turns to take each other pictures. The rides were the Spinner, Carousel, Space Shot, Corkscrew, and many else. It was all fun but quite exhausting and we’re at a point where we cannot really enjoy the rides anymore. Until finally it’s time to head back to First World Hotel to head back for the next destination!

We’re waiting for the bus to take us down at Chin Swee Temple for the last challenge of the day and to have our vegetarian dinner there. The Chin Swee Temple was indeed exotic and beautiful as it overlooked magnificent landscape especially the view from the 9-storey pagoda. The statues and the plaza were also amazingly huge but it started to rain and we were already worn down because of exhaustion. Definitely, the dinner will seal the deal for that day.

It was a pleasant dinner, a very Chinese-styled vegetarian dinner with the Lazy Susan in the middle of our table to really save our energy of reaching the dishes we wanted. It’s already around 6 pm at that moment and we all head back to the hotel to call it a day. But suddenly the organizers distributed 4G Yes! modems to all of us for our blogging needs but unfortunately to be returned back again before midnight. I was actually a bit disappointed since they could have just lent it until the end of the event so that we can make use of the gadget better and help our blogging needs better. In case of any damages caused by us, then it’s our responsibility. As simple as that. But that’s what we call in Indonesian ‘pesan-pesan sponsor’ and then we had to make time later tonight to return both the cameras and the modems.

Finally, the first day came to an end and tomorrow we’ll head for the next hotel at Awana Resort far downhill for more challenges and a new hotel experience! It’s gonna be rough tomorrow but I guess I’m up for it!

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Pictures will be added soon!

Staycation: Sheraton Hotel & Towers – Bandung, Indonesia (Starwood Hotels & Resort) [2012]

Sheraton Bandung Hotel and Towers has become an influential part of the city for the past almost two decades. Located on the uphill side of city, the hotel offers a sanctuary for those who wish to enjoy solitude, family time, or gatherings, a bit secluded from the busyness of the city and definitely, the notably known cool and fresh air of Bandung.

People mostly heading for the uphill Dago Street for café, restaurants, and hotels with both mountain view or the ones overlooking the city lights. But before that, they will encounter first Sheraton Bandung Hotel and Towers, the only five-star hotel around the area and came all the way back when I was a kid.

I have been there twice previously with my former office for department gatherings. We took full advantages from the premium Tower rooms and also the more affordable Hotel rooms, not to forget also the facility for meetings and the huge garden for our outing activities. The Hotel and Tower terms are differentiated by class, price, and facility. For instance, the Tower rooms are bigger, well-equipped, and subject to privilege for delicacies at Tower Lounge, which is a big plus when staying at here.

The private garden

Now on this special occasion, I was given the opportunity to experience their latest modification which will soon becomes the new standard of their Tower rooms. Now, the original Tower rooms on the base floor have access to the mutual garden, while the one upstairs have views to another hilly side of Bandung from their balconies. In conjunction with that, Sheraton decided to refurbish the rooms with a fresh interior and most of all, a beautiful private garden surrounded by plants, flowers, an infinite fountain, lazy chairs, and suitable for romantic dinner only for those on the first floor.

The room’s layout is still similar with the usual Tower rooms but they transformed it into a cozier one with new furniture. Ethernet is still available for a price and with an adequate speed. A coffee machine is also available at your disposal alongside the legendary Sheraton’s blend coffee.

Two things that I found usually applied in modern five-star hotels. Firstly, the dock under the television for multi-purpose use from DVD, game console, mobile and iPod charging station, and components. Secondly, the important rain shower and a complete set of amenities not just the usual toothbrush or the sewing kit, but also the loofah and bath salts.

While it’s still very new and very comfortable, especially the king-size bed, Sheraton still needs to maintain the details of cleaning thin dusty corners of its rooms and I know some people that suffer breathing difficulties because of this. For me personally, it was a more-than-deserving room as I was pampered like a king and had my really personal time there, secluded from the rest of the world.

The tower power

Privileged with a full access to the Tower Lounge, I decided to spend some of my time there quite often. Located on the third floor of the Tower wing, the lounge may appear old-styled but surely you won’t be able to resist its charm and the cool air breeze. Somehow designed like a wooden cabin by the lake, the lounge also has the balcony where you can enjoy your tea or your meals. Tea time is available after lunch and they also provide bite-sized snacks and even unlimited liquors.

As for breakfast, if you happen to be the resident of the Tower then I would advise you to have it here. Though the dishes may not be that many if compared with Feast, Sheraton’s all-day dining restaurant, but nothing can beat the atmosphere as well as the comfort.

For those of you who are in need to work remotely, the use of Wi-Fi at the lounge or the internet station at the front lobby is complimentary while Sheraton charges it for room use. It is a wise choice to make use of the complimentary considering the close proximity to your room and if you pick the lounge, again I remind you that it is indeed a really nice place to surf the online world turf.

Food and other indulging affairs

Feast is the signature restaurant of Sheraton, also full of breeze and able to cater a large number of guests. The Tower guests can choose between the lounge or Feast for breakfast. Plenty of options from appetizers up until the desserts at Feast but personally, while the options may be bountiful but still do not signify the real standard of five-star hotels as in Jakarta (lacking in essentials such as fresh sushi or sashimi, carving table, more variety of cheese, other stations beside the main dishes, etc). Some corners were also still prone of flies and attendants were not acting swiftly to solve this. For lunch, much to my dismay, the options were reduced, perhaps owing to the nature of dwindling number of guests due to check-out time or their decision to have their lunch outside of the hotel.

As for dinner, so far Feast does not provide buffet dinner since again the nature of Bandung’s easy access on good, affordable food outside of the hotel can be very competitive. It’s different if compared with Jakarta or Bali hotels that offer complete buffet dinner experience and that having a dinner in a hotel has become a daily culture. Still, the dishes came in a la carte and again did not meet my standard in terms of consistency. For instance, the seared tuna on the first night was devised well and very scrumptious but the next day, the dish was overcooked. While something like this requires an eagle eye which only applied for a food lover or an expert but do not afraid to complain because so far the service had been very satisfying for me. I am confident with their willingness to accommodate your needs in any terms.

In all, I recommend to have your breakfast at the Tower lounge, make a good use of the shuttle van to venture for lunch outside, and have your dinner in your room. The delivery time may be a bit shabby but when it comes to result, I enjoyed my dinner in my room very much, especially if you’re having it in the new room with the private garden designated also for romantic dinner.

Other facilities are also available such as the spa & massage, tennis court, fitness center, and swimming pool. All of these are decent and well-maintained. If you want some challenge then the clay tennis court would be a good option. The massage is also a must, since the cabin located in a secluded side of the hotel and has a relaxing atmosphere. Not to forget that the masseur is also highly skilled and you will be in good hands.

Other interests nearby

As the hotel was designed to make your stay very comfortable without having to wander around the city, especially during weekends due to the traffic, but a shuttle van is always provided for a price to help you explore more about Bandung. While personally I would not recommend you to go out since staying here has been a very relaxing experience for me but one cannot help to resist the charms Bandung have with all its cafés and shopping destinations.

If you go uphill, then good coffee shops and city-view restaurants are available at your disposal. While heading downhill, you will only need a short time just to get yourself lock and loaded with apparels from fashion outlets on lower Dago Street. While you’re at it, Dago Street is also not short of option for its culinary scenes. It’s pretty much nearby to many Bandung attraction sites if you’re already there. For example, the Gedung Sate, the Geology Museum, Riau Street for more shopping, the Asia-Africa Conference  building, Braga Street, the station, the airport, or if you go by car, the toll gate heading to Java or Jakarta.

One thing you will always need to be aware of would be the traffic. The rest are definitely an easy ride as Bandung is a much smaller city compared with Jakarta.

So pamper yourself with the quieter side of Bandung at Sheraton and experiencing the new room is definitely a must. I will update the post again later as soon as Sheraton Hotel and Towers Bandung has completed all the refurbishments and ready to unveil the beautiful rooms for everyone. As for now, enjoy Bandung at its best here!

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SHERATON BANDUNG HOTEL AND TOWERS | Jalan Ir. H. Juanda no. 390 – Bandung, Indonesia | sheratonbandung.com | +62 22 2500 303

 

Mountain of Food Explorace II (Resorts World Genting, Malaysia) – Arrival Day

MOUNTAIN OF FOOD EXPLORACE II – Arrival Day (July 17, 2012)

If it’s Jakarta, then the journey from the airport would be anticlimactic. You know the drill, all the fuss on getting a proper transportation just to get yourself to the city most of the times won’t be easy and on the icing of the ‘lovely’ cake after you got one? The traffic!

But that’s not the case even in the bleak but lively KLIA – LCC Terminal. Lucky for us, we went to Genting for the special invitation from Resorts World Genting, so no worries about the plane fare and the lodgings! After you’re done with the airport, then you’ll witness the view you’ve only seen in Jakarta’s midnight traffic. Malaysia proper comprises of around 20 million citizens, while Jakarta and its satellite cities only already have that many. Surely you can imagine how crowded Jakarta is, how dynamic it is, how colorful it is and also how miserable it is.

In Malaysia, it felt as if we can fly! Though the distance between the airport and Genting is probably like Jakarta to Cikampek, give and take yet we went uphill, still we finished it in around almost three hours. The same as if I’m heading to Bandung from Jakarta. This happen probably because the drivers are all educated and none of them buy the license through the back alley.

Anyway, it’s my second time to Genting and it’s already a bit cold there on the peak. My wife and my three fellow bloggers were excited but also anxious about what lies ahead. I assumed that it’s gonna be sort of The Amazing Race show we see on the TV since the PR seemed so secretive about the nature of this Explorace.

The Mountain of Food Explorace II event was designated for food bloggers and enthusiasts alike. Some were chosen because of their nature as bloggers and some of them applied for this opportunity through the social media line. In short, there were 20 of us from three different countries ready to compete in a race to explore about what Genting has to offer culinary-wise and also the adventures.

After resting for a few hours in the busy-but-getting-better First World Hotel, the biggest hotel so far in the world with 6000ish rooms, and had our dinner at the ubiquitous Marrybrown down at the mall, which was not provided by the organizer unfortunately, we gather around at Hotel Resorts and got introduced to one another. The dress code for tomorrow’s battle was provided by Wrangler, both tops and jeans. Though my jeans a little too long, might as well just flip and seal it a bit then!

The twenty of us were divided into teams of two and I got myself teamed with Evelyn. She’s part of the Nuffnang blogger community alongside several other enthusiastic Malaysians alike. After the introductions, we were given the first challenge for tomorrow and that would be to gather around at World Club Lounge of First World Hotel at 9 am as a team. Not sure where and what we’re gonna be doing afterwards but for now, the organizer entertained us first with VIP tickets for the Freeze show, apparently a famous show of synchronized  ice skaters, a little bit of humors, and a lot of magic tricks all in a single show!

So off we went upstairs for the show and got seated. Unfortunately they didn’t allow us to take picture or even videotaping it but it was one helluva show for a change! Freeze is a feast for the eyes for their tremendous skill in ice skating, acrobats, and thrilling magic tricks. It’s also a combination of people from Eastern Europe and Chinese, all adept and with good looks too! Now that’s a rare combination.

Awed with their performances, finally it’s time to have a supper, a very affordable 2 ringgit only nasi lemak down again at the mall, getting us some rest and ready ourselves for tomorrow’s challenges. Still a mystery but I came high spirited, ready to enjoy the fun, and most of all, the food!

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Pictures will be added soon!

Iftar Guide 2012 – Indonesia (Aquila Style, July 2012)

Indonesia culinary scene has always been colourful. And it is more so today thanks to innovative restaurateurs who continue to offer exciting cuisines, local and foreign. From hawker fare to upmarket dining, new offerings are constantly being introduced and gastronomical adventures await those who are keen. The food culture is indeed blooming in Indonesia and Ramadhan offers a perfect culmination of it all – because not much else compares to rejoicing and enjoying food with loved ones for Iftar.

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ASIA

Jakarta – The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan, Jl Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav. E.1.1 No. 1

Tel: +62.21.2551.8882

Website: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Jakarta/Default.htm

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ritzcarlton

Twitter: @ritzcarlton ; @asiarestaurant

The whirling Tanoura dancers flown in straight from Egypt are your second Iftar highlight here, after the menu of various Middle Eastern dishes. Head chef Rudolph Blattler presents cold mezedhes (platter) of tabbouleh (bulgur, tomato, parsley, and mint salad), baba ghanoush (mashed eggplant with olive oil and seasonings) and okra salad. For hot mezedhes, there are kibbeh (croquette filled with bulgur, minced meat, and onions) and falafel (deep-fried chickpea balls). If this Tunisian-Syrian-Saudi Arabian gastronomic journey is not enough for you, take a detour with some baklava, a Turkish delight.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: IDR 288,000+++

Operating Hours: Daily 6 am – 10 pm

CINNAMON

Jakarta – Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, Jl MH Thamrin

Tel: +62.21.2551.8882

Website: http://www.mandarinoriental.com/jakarta

Facebook: http://facebook.com/MandarinOrientalJakarta

Twitter: @MO_JAKARTA

The only hotel in Jakarta that routinely invites Michelin-starred chefs is also home to Cinnamon, a stylish all-day restaurant. At your disposal are classic dishes such as Padangnese beef rendang, ayam pop sambal hijau (steamed then fried chicken with sambal), oxtail soup and – for those who crave something Western – grilled ribs. Before sitting down for the mains, you might savour the tajil (appetiser buffet) of local delights such as bubur sumsum (rice flour pudding), bubur ketan hitam (black glutinous rice pudding), kolak candil (stewed glutinous rice ball with palm sugar) and refreshments such as iced coconut soup or shaved ice dishes. For Eid, Cinnamon also offers cookies, hampers, and its famous American chocolate cake.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: IDR 179,000+++ (children aged 5-10), IDR 268,000+++ (adult)

Operating Hours: Daily 6 am – 11 pm

COLLAGE

Jakarta – Pullman Jakarta Central Park, PodomoroCity, Jl Let. Jend. S. Parman Kav. 28

Tel: +62.21.2920.0088

Website: http://pullmanjakartacentralpark.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/pullmanjakartacp/

Twitter: @Pullman_Jkt_CP

Surround yourself with artwork by Andy Warhol and local artists within Pullman’s industrial-style interior while you savour its tailormade Iftar business packages. They start from appetisers such as lumpiah basah (spring rolls filled with bamboo sprouts, eggs, and sweet sauce), tahu telur Surabaya (Surabaya-style fried eggs filled with bean curds) served with bean sprouts and sambal petis (shrimp-based sambal), and many more. The mains comprise spicy lamb stew, fried cuttlefish with sambal and mango salad, honey-glazed grilled chicken, fried duck and many more. The desserts are no less spectacular with Makassar-style es pisang ijo (‘green banana’ and shaved ice) with caramel and condensed milk, coconut pudding and an array of other colourful Indonesian sweets.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: Starting from IDR 200,000+++ (minimum of 20 person per meeting package)

Operating Hours: Daily 6 am – 10.30 pm

DE’PANS PANCAKE AND WAFFLE

Malang – Jalan Simpang Balapan no. 8 – Tel: +62.341.3254.58

Jakarta – Jalan KH Ahmad Dahlan no. 18A – Tel: +62.21.7397.665

Website: N/A

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dePansJkt

Twitter: @dePansJkt

It appears that the pancake craze has swept from Jakarta to as far as East Java in the past few years. de’Pans is one of the freshest newcomers to Jakarta with its affordable maple syrup swashbuckling affair. Start your Iftar not only with the free tajil but also with a dish of nine baby pancakes with icing sugar and a topping sauce of your choice. Choose sweet or savoury pancake or waffles,or, if you prefer, a rice box of various chicken dishes like teriyaki, black pepper, kung pao or lemon. A wide selection of coffee, from Italian to Indonesian, awaits you later.

Halal-friendly (certification in process)

Price Range: Starting from IDR 17,000+

Operating Hours:

Daily 10 am – 11 pm (Jakarta)

Mon-Fri 11 am – 10 pm, Sat 11 am – 11 pm, Sun 10 am – 11 pm (Malang)

HUMMINGBIRD EATERY & GUEST HOUSE

Bandung -Jalan Progo no. 14

Tel:  +62.22.4212.582

Website: http://hummingbird-eatery.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hummingbird-Eatery/

Twitter: @hummingbird_eat

The Jalan Progo street dining scene has never been the same again since Hummingbird came into existence in early 2011. It not only serves modern fare with affordable price, but also never seems to run out of ideas for devising new, exciting dishes. This year, Hummingbird has produced dishes with such mixed yet complementary components as sambal ebi (chili prawns) aglio olio served with asparagus and lime, pan-fried curry-marinated dory served with mixed vegetables in a spicy and sweet soy sauce, and teriyaki beef hamburger served with rice and blanched asparagus. Not forgetting its Indonesian roots is the homemade chicken rendang with nasi uduk (coconut rice), fritters and anchovy sambal; and crispy fried duck with nasi uduk, eggplant sambal and mango salad. If you have room for more, go for the kill and order the sticky date pudding topped with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: Starting from IDR 39,500++

Operating Hours: Sun-Fri 7 am – 11.00 pm, Sat 7 am – 12.00 pm

KAFE PINANG

Jakarta – Hotel Kristal, Jl Tarogong Raya, Cilandak Barat

Tel: +62.21.2551.8882

Website: http://www.hotelkristal.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hotelkristaljkt

Twitter: N/A

Kafe Pinang has both European and Asian fare ranging from minestrone soup, osso bucco (veal shank stew) and pumpkin gnocchi with bell peppers and basil pesto sauce to saffron-marinated grilled chicken, spicy Indian potato salad, Malay beef curry and stir-fried prawns with cashew nuts.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: IDR 175,000+++ (all buffet), IDR 60,000+++ (tajil only)

Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 6 am – 10 pm, Sat-Sun 6 am – 11 pm

SCORE!

Jakarta – Cilandak Town Square, Jl TB Simatupang Kav. 17

Tel: +62.21.7592.2027.9

Website: N/A

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: N/A

A sports bar might seem like an unlikely for Iftar, but in cosmopolitan Indonesia, the idea is not so strange. As one of the biggest venues in Cilandak Town Square mall, Score! can cater to your Iftar gatherings with family, friends, or colleagues. For minimum of 50 people, the Score! Iftar package includes Pan-Asian and local fare like deep-fried bean curd and spring rolls, black pepper beef, and spicy grilled chicken and beef rendang. Desserts include their famous kolak pisang (banana with coconut milk). Don’t have 50 people in your party? The a la carte menu is available for individuals and smaller groups.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: Starting from IDR 90,000+++

Operating Hours: Sun-Thu 11 pm – 1 am, Fri-Sat 11 pm – 3 am

SEASONS CAFE

Jakarta – Four Seasons Hotel, Jl HR Rasuna Said, Jakarta

Tel: +62.21.8795.4400

Website: http://fourseasons.com/jakarta

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Four-Seasons-Hotel-Jakarta/116681685077053

Twitter: @FSJakarta

Enticing Middle Eastern delights are the theme of the month here, presented from July 19th – August 18th by Chef Moustafa Talaat from Four Seasons Cairo at Nile Plaza. If you wish to just have tajil, the Lobby Lounge offers delightful Egyptian snacks alongside savoury and sweet Indonesian delicacies for IDR 128,000+++, inclusive of fresh mocktails and flavoured iced tea.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: IDR 238,000+++ (adult, including free flow non-alcoholic beverages), IDR 168,000++ (children of age 12 and under)

Operating Hours: Daily 6 am – 10 pm

SUNDA KELAPA

Jakarta – Jalan Pantai Indah, Ancol Jakarta Baycity

Tel: +62.21.640.6000/7000

Website: N/A

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MCCAncol

Twitter: @MercureAncol

Executive Chef Imam Sudarsono’s love for local food has now translated into a very appealing nasi bakar (grilled rice) recipe with plenty of combinations. Have your choice of grilled rice and honey-grilled chicken with beancurd satay, boiled egg, steamed fish and lalapan (fresh veggies with sambal relish). Don’t forget their fried duck combo or the delightful prawns.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: a la carte from IDR 80,000+++

Operating Hours: Daily 6 am – 10.30 pm

SUPER STEAK

Jakarta – Jalan Dempo I no. 76

Tel: +62.817.6396.255

Website: N/A

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Super-Steak/

Twitter: @SUPER_STEAK

Super Steak offers more than the usual trio of barbecue, mushroom or black pepper sauces. Sink your teeth into the velvety tenderloin, juicy sirloin, or scrumptious rib-eye served marinated or accompanied by unique homemade sauces such as butter and fried garlic, mixed dried herbs with lemon, red hot chili peppers or the daringly hot Cajun sauce. This alfresco restaurant in a pleasant, quiet neighbourhood is a great place to Iftar with friends or family.

Halal-friendly

Price Range: Starting from IDR 95,000+

Operating Hours: Daily 5 pm – 11 pm

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Pictures courtesy of respective owners

Featured on Aquila Style on July-Aug 2012 Edition

http://www.aquila-style.com/the-magazine/iftar-guide-2012

QuikSkoop™: Warung Italia

Italian ristorante is something you’d easily find all over Bali, be it owned by an Italian or just a warung that sells pizza. Though may already sound very familiar, but I’d like my share as well for telling the tales about my experience of savoring Warung Italia’s pasta and their specialties, the cold buffet!

A good friend of mine once told me about an eatery that serves affordable Italian food. The name’s Warung Italia and I had been intrigued since then. After months and months, finally I got my chance to visit Bali but didn’t even think about locating the place first! However weird this may sound of me to locate certain eateries and study the whereabouts of secret passages from the map but reading maps is proven useful to me, especially when you’re dodging the traffic in Jakarta.

Well, then I thought that perhaps by asking the locals I’d come across the place sooner or later when in Bali. Who knows! By sheer luck we stumbled upon Warung Italia on our way to the hotel from the airport and it’s just within walking distance! It was a great joy and an immediate visit would be inevitable.

Ravioli

We took a short walk from Fave Hotel for an Italian lunch there a day after we arrived. Legend has it that the real difference of Warung Italia aside from other Italian restaurants is their famous Italian dishes buffet. While my wife ordered the kitchen-made fresh ravioli which was nice and light to my surprise, the buffet seemed more appealing to me somehow.

The spinach was unintentionally became the theme of the day. Not only that my wife had the spinach ravioli but I also picked a very ‘spinach-y’ lunch that consisted of stir-fried potatoes, lasagna, cannelloni, and the sautéed spinach. It was a tough choice actually, somehow I regret that I didn’t venture more with selections like crespelle, calamari ripieni, melanzane parmigiana, zucchini parmigiana, pollo pizzapiola, and other alien stuffs rarely found plus the salad.

Potatoes, lasagna, cannelloni, spinaches

Everything was decently flavored and very affordable but the downside was that all of them served cold. The buffet was just left open without any source of heat just to at least keep them lukewarm. By luck, it’s better to savor them all up right after they finish serving it straight from the kitchen but God knows when.

Additionally that time we also enjoyed the coffee gelato and was again tasted very nice. You might also want to try their pizza which everybody say was so huge and yet so affordable. Gotta try that sometime soon!

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WARUNG ITALIA

Halal-friendly (pork dishes and liquors available)

Suitable for vegetarians

Wi-fi available

Address: Jalan Kunti no. 2, Seminyak – Bali

Opening Hours: DailyTBA

RSVP: 0361 – 737.437

BB Pin: N/A

Email: N/A

Website: N/A

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: TBA

Atmosphere: Indeed feels like a good warung but certainly quite cozy and breezy. A separate section with AC is also available.

Ambiance: Conversational. It’s not that packed even during lunch time.

Service: Not bad at practicalities but certainly not trained fully in courtesy, knowledge, and any 5 star thingy.

Pricing: Around IDR 100,000 for two.

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