What Chef Eats: Astrid Hadywibowo (The Foodie Magazine, Apr 2014)

Who would have guessed that disliking something in the beginning made you end up liking it and even made it into business? Such is the case of Astrid Hadywibowo, the owner of a well-known ice cream shop, with milk!

The Foodie Magazine - Astrid Hadywibowo

One can say that it’s a mixture of far-sighted vision, right momentum, and the courage to dive in, but those are the reasons why Astrid Hadywibowo is known for her business initiatives. As the owner of LIN, the first liquid nitrogen ice cream shop in Jakarta, she has all the right to be content, but instead she chooses to keep herself busy plotting for a grander business scheme.

Before meeting Astrid at her ice cream shop in Kemang, we spotted her earlier overseeing a new restaurant project located just beside LIN. Curious, we asked her about it. “After the liquid nitrogen ice cream, it’s time to unveil the noodle burgers!” It may not be new concept abroad and some restaurant might have already put it in their menu here, but for Jakarta, it will be the first time hearing a restaurant specializing fully with this and the trend of having it as a meal might be starting very soon for the citizens.

Looking back, it’s been a long journey for Astrid as she drew inspiration for her business concept since her college days abroad and she started it first as a home business. She enjoyed selling baked goods but it had always been her dream to have her own business and through her husband’s support, they started it with Papabubble candy shop in Grand Indonesia.

“I am always fascinated with anything artisan and hand-made candies quickly caught my attention”, said Astrid. She took the effort in learning how to make the candies and that’s also how she did it with the liquid nitrogen ice cream business as well.

Despite her ice cream business, Astrid originally didn’t like milk at all. “When I was a kid, I always closed my nose whenever I drank milk. Luckily, my mom made me es mambo instead so that I can still get the benefit from milk and from there, I grew up liking it”, she said.

Es mambo has always been a popular dessert in Indonesia, especially for elementary school kids. It’s basically a frozen dessert made from sweetened milk or fruit juice. After mixing all the ingredients, the liquid is then poured inside a slim plastic pouch and put into the freezer. Like enjoying popsicles, all you have to do next is to sip the entire flavor coming out from the ice.

“Although es mambo is considered more suitable for kids, it doesn’t make me stop enjoying it from time to time!”, said Astrid admitting it out loud. Truly, who would have imagined that disliking milk made her ended up having a successful ice cream shop?


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE April 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Quikskoop™: Dolce Moovina

This one is indeed an overdue post but it would be a shame to not share about it. The spirit is to share whenever possible regardless how unimpressive the experience was, as long as I got an ample reserve with the images taken there.

Well, Dolce Moovina was not necessarily categorized as a disappointment but I certainly was hoping for more. As a tenant, they occupy two floors in this probably one of the most expensive shopping malls in Jakarta and back then they have two cuisines concept, French and Italian.

Dolce Moovina 2

Certainly, judging from the name now, all that remains is the Italian but they do have a vast array of choices from the antipasti, insalata, cold cuts and cheese, pasta, pizza, and secondi dishes.

Again, since this is a long, overdue post, I’d like to share things that I could remember. The opener was a delightful bruschettas of three toppings – tomatoes and basil, roasted veggies and rosemary, mushroom and thyme.

Dolce Moovina 3

Heading next would be the mains and the selections are pretty enticing and well-made. I guess my real problem was that I got bored in the middle despite a really good, tasty start from the dishes. The pan-seared fish was moist and delectable but European way of presenting textures on a dish can only do so much back then. The lasagna was a pleasant experience as well but again, I got stuck in the middle. On another occasion, the grilled rib-eye was interesting but the inedible fats were making it hard to eat and what’s left was only a smaller part of edible flesh.

Dolce Moovina 4 Dolce Moovina 5

The ending was nice however, especially when it comes to melted chocolate. Personally this is a dessert that I deem always fit for any situation.

Overall, I was content with my dining experience and hoping that Moovina will do something innovative with its Italian cuisine to make refresh everything and entice the people to come in, thus bringing its heyday back again.


Halal-friendly (alcohol and pork are served here)
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Plaza Indonesia, 3rd & 4th floors, Jalan MH Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours:
Everyday, mall opening hours

RSVP: +62.21.2992.4567

Spend: IDR 150,000 – IDR 250,000 / person

Quikskoop™: RM Khas Sunda HM Nana

So many years ago, when Puncak Pass was the only way to reach Jakarta from Bandung, my dad usually took us to stop by at this restaurant for lunch during one of those family trips to Ancol. It was a moment of delight whenever I’m here because what more can you ask for lunch other than Sundanese stuff?

A few months ago, a landslide that obstructed the toll road between Jakarta and Bandung and that brought us to revisit again the old route that was once flourished many years ago. Upon reaching the town of Cianjur, where I usually dropped by to also buy some bika ambon or mochi, I decided to take my in-laws for a lunch at this restaurant.

RM Khas Sunda HM Nana 2

I cannot tell where the position is exactly originally, but I remembered that we had to park the car behind the restaurant and that there’s a small road just on the side of the restaurant to reach the lot. Well, that’s a good lead to start!

We eventually found it with ease and accompanied by the drizzle and the cool mountain air, I enthusiastically entered the place.

RM Khas Sunda HM Nana 4

The Sundanese dishes were already laid out on the table and plenty to choose from chicken, beef, fish, stinky beans, jengkol, lalapan, and many more. Ask them to fry the chicken fresh and have it with warm rice and a good sambal and you will do just fine. The restaurant already feels a bit old but cleanly kept and with occasional cool breeze coming in from outside, it felt as if I’m home already in Bandung.

RM Khas Sunda HM Nana 3

Although nowadays you will find another restaurant that may serve better food but you cannot beat the atmosphere here. Its traditional kitchen on the back was filled with people who smile at everyone that passes them by even though they’re busy working. The cool water ran through my hands when I was washing them clean before and after the lunch. Not long after that, still in the middle of this blissful solitude moment outside of the restaurant while enjoying the rain, I witnessed a bakso pushcart waiting for the customers to come and warm themselves up with a bowl of good noodles and meatballs.

Well, call me whimsical but when you can appreciate these small things, you’d want to linger longer there and enjoy the rain until you fell asleep.


Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Jalan Ir. H. Juanda no. 66, Panembong, Cianjur – West Java, Indonesia

Opening hours:
Everyday, TBA

T: +

Spend: IDR 25,000 – IDR 50,000 / person

Foodies Lists: Riva Grill Bar And Terrace (The Foodie Magazine, May 2014)

I might be missing the original Riva as one of the old guards of French cuisine in Jakarta, but I am also excited at the same time with the huge effort The Park Lane Hotel has done to rejuvenate the restaurant into something fresh and inviting.

Riva is after all a magical name that the hotel will not replace despite of the restaurant’s new concept. We all have to admit that the name bears a charm in it and it is actually, simply irreplaceable after all. So, after the (long) wait of several months, what used to be a retro-looking French restaurant has now become different, in a really good way.

Riva 1

Riva has turned itself into both a restaurant and a bar at the same time. The French restaurant is no longer there but the blast from the past is kept dearly as you can see from the menu, where you can find its legendary Côte de Boeuf, Duck Magret, and also the Grand Marnier Soufflé that has a taste so elegant that I can still until this moment.

There’s a clear separation between the restaurant, the bar, and also the outdoor lounge overlooking The Park Lane Hotel’s also recently revamped swimming pool. It’s a sentimental moment for me to see the restaurant side on the left upon entering Riva, because it still retains the open kitchen with several old paintings that Riva had back then. Aside from that, it has become a stylish restaurant with a contemporary touch with a jazzy theme and plenty of natural light, making it vigorous but also romantic.

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What makes the new Riva interesting also is the menu itself. A wide array of cuisines from around the world await everyone’s visit to be savored and being a fan of Executive Chef Deden Gumilar’s cooking skills, exploring Riva was a task that I carried on happily.

For the small bites, we started from a really appetizing crab meat salad with apple, artichoke, semi sundried tomato, and with pineapple dressing. While for the hot appetizer, then came the Moroccan lamb kofta with fresh tomato, garlic, and basil sauce.

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The mains selections are probably one of the most exciting parts. The prime cut steaks, which are actually the heritage of The Park Lane Hotel’s Stix steakhouse, came from different farmers and have a wide range of marbling grades for you to choose from. However if you’re in doubt, again I recommend you to try the good old Côte de Boeuf for your romantic date.

If at times you’d like to rather have something casual, Riva’s gourmet pizza is also a wonderful alternative especially because last time, we had a really delicious duck and hoisin sauce pizza – something that you won’t find anywhere else! It’s definitely something really suitable for you to try while hanging out at the new bar and enjoying their signature cocktails or the classic ones.

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The desserts are definitely not short in creativity. Among the French heritage Riva still retains such as the soufflé, crème brulee, and also the cheese, the restaurant now presents the colorful fruits gellee with two sorbets or the flourless chocolate cake from the sweet side.

While the concept was thoroughly thought of from start to finish, Riva bravely shows up having everything that a crowd needs from a fancy restaurant and also a lively bar under one roof. But for a five star hotel, you’d be surprised that Riva promotes its menu for an affordable price but with a guaranteed high-end quality.



The Park Lane Hotel, Jalan Casablanca Kav. 18, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.828.2000

Website: www.rivagrillnbar.com
Riva Grill Bar Terrace

Opening hours: 
Everyday, TBA


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE May 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Foodies Lists: Three Buns (The Foodie Magazine, May 2014)

For quite some time now, Jakartans have been eagerly awaiting for a cool burger joint to open in the city. Thanks to the Potato Head family, the wait is over, with the opening recently of Three Buns.

Three Buns opened with a bang and is a shot in the arm for the Jakarta culinary scene. It is a prime example of how a fresh eatery concept, or in this case – a burger joint, can get all the rage!

Three Buns 1

The first visual you see when you arrive at Three Buns is the old van at the façade, which doubles as the order counter. The space is actually designed as a warehouse filled with wooden block furniture and has a multi tier design. Green plants and focused lighting add to the mood and feel. Since it is not your typical burger place, the bustling open kitchen wherein the staff is busy preparing the burgers becomes a focal point. Their long bar towards the right of the space is where their creative nostalgic sodas and bottled cocktails are dispensed.

The heart and soul of the burger-making operation is Chef Adam Penney, who has been brought in from London specifically for Three Buns. A veteran of some of the UK’s finest restaurant kitchens, Adam was previously behind the enormous critical success of London’s ‘Patty & Bun’–a burger restaurant described by Time Out as having “a reputation for London’s finest burgers” and the “burger supremo.” His cooking marries his rigorous classical training with a deep passion for simple and honest food with hard hitting flavors.

Chef Adam Penney
Chef Adam Penney

The gourmet burgers and sides demonstrate Chef Adam’s talent, love of high quality meat and sauces and years of research to create the perfect burger. Using the finest Australian Brahman beef and a bespoke artisan bun, and cooked precisely to medium unless otherwise requested. The ‘Baby Huey’–a classic cheeseburger with slow cooked ketchup, smoky mustard and paprika mayo–and the ‘Burning Man’ garnished with roasted jalapeno peppers, cheese and a Japanese mayonnaise made with shaved bonito and seaweed kombu are the highlights. For sides, you can choose from their ‘Naughty Fries’–twice cooked, hand cut potatoes smothered in a gochujang (the Korean condiment rich with spicy, umami flavor) béarnaise and beef chilli–or the ‘Wing Its’–twice fried yoghurt milk breaded chicken wings in a spicy sauce. The individual dessert puddings of ‘Spiced Chocolate’ or ‘Lemon Posset’ are a perfect ending to a great meal.

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World-renowned mixologist Dre Masso creates cocktails which reflect the restaurant’s philosophy of simplicity, innovation and quality. House-made natural sodas, craft bottled cocktails as well as frozen coladas are perfectly paired with the burgers.

You may want to say that the crowds queuing outside before opening hours may be exaggerated, but I would want to believe that there is a reason why everyone is flocking to Three Buns. Give it a try and tell us what you think.



Jalan Senopati no. 90, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.2930.7780



Opening hours: 
Everyday, 11am – 12am


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE May 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Written with: Jed Doble

Photos by: Dennie Benedict