Confessions of a Foodie: Umi Fadilah (The Foodie Magazine, Mar 2014)

Meet lively Indonesian food blogger, Umi Fadilah. Umi’s job and foodie passion has brought her to the far corners of the world just for food, she shares with us some of her countless enviable dining experiences this month.

Umi Fadilah 1

Umi Fadilah lives a career many only dream of. She works for Microsoft and designs Windows-based applications for many prominent companies in Indonesia. Her job comes with many perks and these enliven the storytelling she shares in her blog, www.umifadilah.com.

“I started blogging when I was a student of IT back in Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB ) but I was pretty much like the rest when it came to blogging back then. It was all about my daily blabbering,” Umi shyly confessed.

However over the years, her blog has seen multiple platform changes until she started to discover herself and realized that her real calling and love had always been food, until she arrived at her present blog format.

“I was lucky to be given great opportunities to see the world but I think, what makes one’s journey worthwhile is actually the street food experience,” she explained. She’s proud of being a traveler who can avoid mainstream restaurants and opts to go for the hawkers wherever she goes.

“I particularly enjoyed visiting the hawkers in South Korea and I think they have a stronger traditional feel than when I was in Japan with its typical permanent stalls on the streets,” added Umi alongside her other interesting stories about her visit to the first ever Starbucks in Seattle, Pike Place Market, or even her last trip to Pontianak and Singkawang in West Kalimantan.

Umi Fadilah 2

When asked about the most memorable foodie experience, Umi instantly answered, “The World Street Food Congress last year in Singapore!” The event was a first of its kind, and was organized by Makansutra, it was ambitious and brought together world famous food experts like Anthony Bourdain and William Wongso as the speakers of the conference. It also indulged visitors with street foods from many countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, India, the USA and Mexico.

Last but not the least, Umi also shared her own personal indulgence when it comes to food. “The rest of the world may be a dessert lover but me, I’m a carb lover!” expressed Umi honestly and we laughed in an instant hearing that. There’s this soft spot inside of her fancying anything made from carbs and wok-fried stuff like nasi goreng, mie goreng, kwetiau goreng, and not to mention, any kind of stir-fried Italian pasta.

After all, for many food lovers, if it’s hearty then let’s just put it in our belly!

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Foodies Lists: The Cook Shop (The Foodie Magazine, Mar 2014)

When steakhouses become too mainstream, then it’s time for the hybrid meat shop. Meet The Cook Shop, a place where you can find fine beef cuts and a restaurant under the same roof!

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If you ever feel bored of buying local meat with the same cut over and over again, be it at your usual butcher at the wet market or the local supermarket, then it is time for you to try something new. Interestingly enough, within the past few years, Jakarta has seen the emergence of the fresh, hybrid concept of meat shop and restaurant at the same place. The Cook Shop is one of them.

As a member of the Japfa Group, a well-known manufacturer of dairy and poultry products, The Cook Shop products range from fresh milk, chicken nuggets, seafood, and even beef and unagi. The beef in particular, come from locally grown Australian cows, brought here when were around 18 months old.

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Two brands of beef available here are Santori and Tokusen – the latter came from wagyu breed. Some of the cuts are familiar to Indonesians such as the oxtails or silverside corned beef. The tenderloin
cuts come from the elite Tokusen line and divided into several marbling categories. Additionally, smoked beef and bacon are also available here alongside less popular cuts such as shin and knuckle.

Another thing that makes The Cook Shop worth the visit is its private restaurant, available at your disposal for minimum reservation of 10 people and three days in advance. The restaurant serves a menu according to what the guests wish and it is said that it’s always fully booked during Ramadhan. On regular basis, this part of The Cook Shop is often used as a venue for cooking classes or shoots involving famous local chefs like Chef Arnold Poernomo and the Australian Masterchef Junior contestants Isabella and Sofia Bliss.

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THE COOK SHOP
Halal-friendly (the slaughtering method to be confirmed, but dairy products are all halal-certified)
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Hang Lekir I no. 15, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.7396.530

Facebook: The Cook Shop

Opening hours: 
Everyday, TBA

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Halal Facts: Semarak Wisata Halal Di Negeri Sakura

Halal Japan Tokyo
Jepang yang dikenal sebagai negeri Sakura, dengan mayoritas penduduk yang memeluk agama Shinto dan Buddha, ternyata sangat agresif dalam mengembangkan potensi wisata halal yang disediakan bagi wisatawan Muslim. 
 
Paket wisata halal di Jepang yang disediakan antara lain mulai dari penginapan, menu makanan, hingga destinasi para wisatawan. Seperti diungkapkan Duta Besar Jepang untuk Indonesia Yoshinori Katori, pihaknya  ingin mempromosikan pariwisata khusus Muslim, sehingga mereka dapat menikmati tempat wisata di Jepang dengan nyaman. Yoshinori seperti dikutip Republika, mengatakan, salah satu pelayanan yang ditawarkan untuk wisatawan muslim adalah penginapan yang memberikan fasilitas yang dibutuhkan umat muslim dan menu makanan halal.
 
“Yang menjadi konsentrasi kami adalah menyediakan makanan halal. Sejauh ini kami masih melakukan studi tentang makanan halal di beberapa prerfektur,” ujar Yoshinori. Menurut Yoshinori, hampir seluruh daerah pariwisata di Jepang dapat dikunjungi wisatawan Muslim dan salah satu daerah yang melayani paket wisata muslim adalah Prefektur Yamanashi.
 
Yoshinori menambahkan, meskipun belum ada penerbangan langsung dari Jakarta menuju Yamanashi, namun daerah yang khas dengan Gunung Fuji tersebut dapat dicapai dengan kereta selama satu setengah jam dari Tokyo atau dua jam dengan mobil.
 
Sementara itu, Gubernur Prefektur Yamanashi Shomei Yokouchi mengundang masyarakat Muslim Indonesia untuk berkunjung ke Yamanashi untuk melakukan perjalanan wisata yang nyaman. “Kami ingin orang Muslim Indonesia berkunjung ke Yamanashi. Meskipun saat ini visa ke Jepang belum bebas, kami berharap lama kelamaan akan bebas visa, seiring dengan berkembangnya pariwisata di sana,” ujar Shomei.
 
Untuk mendukung program tersebut, pemerintah Jepang membangun berbagai sarana dan prasarana yang dibutuhkan serta menambah berbagai fasilitas yang dapat menunjang kebutuhan umat Muslim.  Terbaru, pemerintah Jepang berencana melengkapi sejumlah bandara dengan ruangan shalat. Rencana tersebut sekaligus sebagai persiapan Tokyo sebagai tuan rumah Olimpiade Musim Panas 2020. 
 
Kepada Nikkei Asian Review, seperti dilansir On Islam, Jumat (27/12), kepala proyek di Pusat Promosi ASEAN untuk Perdagangan, Investasi dan Wisata di Tokyo, Ken Fujita, mengatakan, upaya membuat bandara lebih ramah kepada Muslim sebetulnnya telah dilakukan. Misalnya, dengan menyediakan informasi seputar Islam. 
 
Sedangkan langkah lainnya adalah dengan menambah jumlah ruang shalat di bandara. Langkah ini pertama kali dilakukan di Bandara Narita di Prefektur Chiba. Pada Desember lalu telah dibangun ruang shalat di terminal satu dan dua. Ruangan yang disebut juga dengan ‘Silence Room‘ tersebut lantainya dilapisi karpet dan sebuah panel yang menunjukkan arah kiblat. 
 
Pada Januari 2014, ruangan shalat akan dilengkapi tempat wudhu. Musim panas mendatang, dua ruang shalat di bandara ini akan dibangun di tempat yang dilalui pengunjung setelah menyelesaikan prosedur embarkasi.  Bandara Kansai yang membangun ruang shalat pada 2006 mengumumkan rencana akan membangun dua ruang shalat Agustus tahun depan. Bandara Haneda akan membuka ruang shalat pada Maret 2014. 
 
Sedangkan Bandara Osaka akan bekerja sama dengan restoran untuk menyediakan makanan halal. Langkah tersebut dilakukan menyusul keputusan pemerintah Jepang untuk melonggarkan aturan visa bagi wisatawan dari Indonesia, Malaysia dan tiga negara Asia Tenggara lainnya pada Juli 2014. 
 
Promosi paket wisata halal ke Jepang memang sangat menarik, mengingat jumlah wisatawan Muslim yang datang ke negara tersebut cukup besar. Hingga kini, setiap bulan rata-rata sekitar 28 ribu hingga 30 ribu warga Indonesia dan Malaysia mengunjungi Jepang. Populasi umat Islam yang tinggal di Jepang diperkirakan mencapai 120 ribu jiwa. 
 
Lalu, daerah mana saja yang layak dikunjungi di Jepang? Beberapa waktu lalu, pembaca setia Jurnal Halal, Indah Septiasari berkesempatan melakukan perjalanan wisata ke Jepang. Berikut ulasan singkatnya untuk pembaca:
 
Sebelum berangkat ke Jepang, sempat terbersit pikiran,  bagaimana dengan makanan di sana? Bagaimana pula dengan sholatnya? Namun, setelah sampai di Negeri Sakura, kekhawatiran saya langsung terhapus.  Di Jepang kini bukan hanya makanannya yang dijamin halal, bahkan para staff Muslim yang profesional pun ikut dipekerjakan untuk mendukung wisata halal yang berlokasi di sini.
 
Untuk melaksanakan perjalanan wisata halal di Jepang memang tidak mudah. Kita harus bekerjasama dengan tour operator Jepang yang telah memperoleh sertifikasi dan mendapat pengawasan dari Japan Halal Association (JHA), sehingga mulai dari perencanaan, proses, hingga pelaksanaan tur dilakukan sesuai dengan syariah dan menjadi anggota dari Japan Halal Association. 
 
Beberapa biro perjalanan di Jepang memang mengusung misi untuk memajukan pariwisata halal dengan menawarkan standar pelayanan yang tinggi dan berkualitas bagi turis Muslim yang ingin berkunjung ke Jepang.
 
Meskipun telah menyediakan beberapa paket tur dalam kota yang menarik seperti keliling Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Nara, atau Atami. Para wisatawan juga bebas untuk menentukan rencana tur mereka sendiri. Wisata halal ini juga memberikan pelayanan makan di berbagai restoran halal di Jepang hingga mengatur waktu khusus bagi wisatawan Muslim untuk menunaikan ibadah sholat.
 
Tentunya pelayanan Paket Tour Wisata Halal Di Jepang  ini akan sangat menarik bagi para wisatawan muslim. Sebab selama ini yang menjadi kendala bagi kaum muslim saat berwisata atau berkunjung ke Jepang adalah dalam hal mengkonsumsi makanan dan juga menjalankan ibadah sholat. 
 
Perjalanan menuju Tokyo biasanya dimulai dengan mengunjugi Ueno Park – taman bunga sakura yang sangat terkenal, lalu menikmati indahnya bunga sakura yang sedang berkembang, kemudian mengunjungi Asakusa Kannon Temple (Kuil tertua di Jepang) , Nakamise Street (tempat belanja aneka souvenir) Imperial Palace (tempat tinggal Kaisar), Mengunjungi pusat perbelanjaan Ginza serta Shinjuku yang merupakan pusat belanja dan hiburan yang terkenal.
 
Beberapa lokasi wisata yang menarik dikunjungi antara lain Universal Studio dan menikmati fasilitas wahana yang tersedia. Kita juga bisa berbelanja di pusat perbelanjaan terkenal di Osaka yaitu Shinzaibashi Fun.
 
Jika ingin mencoba kereta api supercepat, kita bisa menuju kota Kyoto dengan Bullet Train (Kereta Cepat). seperti yang telah kita ketahui, Kyoto merupakan kota tua cagar budaya dunia yang berusia 1.100 tahun.  Di sini kita akan mengunjungi beberapa objek budaya yang sangat menarik seperti Kiyomizu Temple, Togenzaka, Sanenzaka dan Ninenzaka, dan Love Stone.
 
Mengenai tempat resto yang akan kita kunjungi serta tempat-tempat ibadah yang memungkinkan kita menjalankan sholat dengan nyaman, serahkan saja kepada pengelola biro perjalanan wisata. Mereka akan mengantarkan kita ke tempat-tempat yang kita inginkan.
Image is taken from: http://malaychan.sakura.ne.jp/

Iconic: Bogor Café (The Foodie Magazine, Feb 2014)

One dish that is loved and enjoyed by many Indonesians as well as foreigners is the sop buntut or oxtail soup. And for the past 40 years, there is no other restaurant which everyone would point to for the best sop buntut but the iconic Bogor Café at the Hotel Borobudur.

Hotel Borobudur holds a very special distinction in Jakarta. Not only that it is one of the oldest hotels in the city, built on vast acres of land within the heart of Jakarta, and in close proximity to the city’s most famous tourist landmarks and government institutions, it also has, for food lovers, a great set of restaurants from different genres and supervised by local chefs.

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Bogor Café was inaugurated in 1974 and is widely known to have the best sop buntut in town. The specific reason behind the success and popularity of the café’s sop buntut can be traced back to a brilliant move back in the 1970s. Back then, a certain hawker stall selling sop buntut could be found just outside of the hotel, this stall was very popular and according to rumors, then Indonesian vice president Adam Malik was one of its regulars. After a while, the hotel management decided to ask the vendor to introduce the oxtail soup in the hotel instead and since then the legendary dish has been casting a magical spell upon the hearts of so many.

At first, the hotel set up a trolley that served the oxtail soup just nearby the main buffet section, served directly for the customers by an attendant. The oxtail soup proved to be successful among the patrons and at that time, the daily consumption reached 75 kg. As time went by, the sop buntut gained more popularity and it is estimated to this day, Hotel Borobudur has sold around 2.5 million portions of sop buntut and firmly establishing claim to as iconic and legendary. Now Hotel Borobudur serves around 350-400 kilos of oxtail a day for the oxtail soup and the buffet comes with all-you-can eat oxtail soup.

The Foodie Magazine - Cafe Bogor 5

Since it started, the hotel has had to raise the quality of the oxtail and now only used top quality oxtails from Australia and New Zealand to make sure it has standard size, weight, and fat content. The quality of the meat has to be complemented also with the soup, which Bogor Café has consistently managed so far by using a strict recipe that incorporates Indonesian spices such as nutmeg, cloves, ginger and peppercorns. Aside from the original oxtail soup, Bogor Café also serves grilled oxtail and oxtail fried rice.

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As the hotel’s all day dining restaurant, Bogor Café also carries other cuisines, including the Japanese buffet, Indonesian dishes, and delightful desserts which include a wide selection of homemade ice cream that everyone would not want to miss. Because of the popularity and success of the Bogor Café sop buntut, from the time of Sukarno until the present, the hotel has decided to branch out to the malls, opening Bogor Café branches in Pacific Place and Pondok Indah malls. A singular fete which is unduplicated in Indonesia. Now patrons need not head over to Hotel Borobudur to enjoy their favorite sop buntut, they can just pop over to the malls.

Hotel Borobudur renovated Bogor Café in 2005 to increase it’s space and accommodate a larger capacity of guests. Now it is ready to welcome a larger crowd of adoring fans of its celebrated sop buntut. Every year, during the Hotel Borobudur’s anniversary, one of its gifts to its patrons is a discount equivalent to the age of the hotel for it’s famed sop buntut. That, my dear foodies, is an annual opportunity you don’t want to miss.

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Foodies Lists: Mango Tree Bistrobar (The Foodie Magazine, Mar 2014)

The recently opened Mango Tree Bistrobar in Plaza Senayan revealed a compact venue with an atmosphere that’s suitable for any occasion – be it for casual lunch, an intimate drinks with friends. The exciting combination between delectable Thai cuisine and intriguingly concocted libations is a must try.

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For many, venturing into the posh Plaza Senayan mall would be reserved for specialty shopping or the cinema, but recently, the top floors of the mall has been playing host to a wide array of restaurants catering to various palates. It’s newest resident, Mango Tree Bistrobar surprisingly feels open and presents great options at a very affordable price range.

The interiors are dark yet welcoming, the left side is lined with round cubicles that offer a private feel, while the right side has banquet seating. The white brick walls are punctuated by bright artwork, which give the dining room a kick of energy. Deeper inside, an open kitchen is positioned face-to-face with the bar and in-between, a huge screen that may probably be used for lively nobar (nonton bareng, literally means ‘watch together’) events on football matches or perhaps, muay thai.

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Spicy papaya salad with salted egg and soft shell crab with mango salad
Deep fried sea bass with tamarind sauce
Deep fried sea bass with tamarind sauce

While you may not feel the traditional Thai atmosphere, common at most Thai restaurants, upon browsing the menu, expect to confuse yourself with a full range of tempting Thai cuisine. During our visit, everyone enjoyed the rejuvenating spicy papaya salad with salted egg and soft shell crab with mango salad, which we had for our starters. Then we continue with the elegantly complex deep fried sea bass with tamarind sauce. For us, this is definitely the wow dish that everyone must not miss while here. And to end, we had everybody’s favorite – the durian panna cotta.

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From the long bar, Mango Tree Bistrobar has brought internationally acclaimed mixologist Joseph Boroski to create a set of Thai-inspired cocktails to compliment the food. Joseph’s concoctions are well known throughout many properties around the world and his know how with Thai culture made his creations an essential addition to
Mango Tree Bistrobar cocktails.

Joseph Boroski
Joseph Boroski

Among some of his best for MangoTree Bistrobar are the Muay Thai Kick that mixes bourbon, lemon grass, gula Melaka and pandan that appears beautiful and fragrant, or can also opt for the Silk Spun Sister made from vodka, Thai basil, mulberry and candy floss. The Mango Tree global signature cocktails with the Thai influence are also of great options while you’re here. The Mango Tree Bellini consists of vodka, schnapps, fresh mango, orange juice, and red wine; while Thai Caipirinha is made from vodka, pineapple juice, lychee juice, coriander, and ginger ale.

A lethal combination just like we told you earlier, right? There’s no need to wait any longer for a visit here then.

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MANGO TREE BISTROBAR
Halal-friendly (food to confirm, the restaurant serves alcohol)
Suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Plaza Senayan, Jalan Asia Afrika no. 8, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.572.5217

Website: http://mangotreebistro.co.id
Facebook: 
Mango Tree Bistro Indo

Opening hours: 
Everyday, mall opening hours

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict