Quikskoop™: Commune Bistro & Grill

After relocating some time ago from its original location on Jalan Suryo, Commune tags the bistro and grill concept to reintroduce itself and to become a familiar place for either hipster foodies, party goers, as well as rice bowl lovers; like me for instance.

Commune Bistro & Grill 6

Owned by four energetic young people, who one of them happens to be Marcel Chandrawinata, Commune Bistro & Grill boasts an intimate mood and at the same time as a good place to hang out among friends.

Neatly decorated with open kitchen concept, the only downside of the restaurant was that it is open for smoking in many of its corners. For any of you who desires personal moment either with your significant other or close friends, the VIP room is a comfortable choice to have your dinner.

Commune Bistro & Grill 1

Equipped also with modern dart machines, it appears that Commune is practically a place for community at the end of the day. Party goers would fill up their tummies with casual offerings that many of us would look for in any given cafes, but here, it’s all about creativity.

No less than 10 types of rice bowls are presented here. Starting with the famous menyadon or the beef tongue rice bowl, other choices comprise of miso honey salmon, beef fajitasbibimbap, braised short ribs, and even nasi goreng or all vegetarian toppings.

Commune Bistro & Grill 3

Presented in a way that will entice your mouth to water, the rice bowls here are in general, have a formidable taste but last time, the red rice could me cooked more tender. Unless you opted for white rice or pilaf rice, then everything should be in order.

My order of menyadon was a good choice. Even though all the juices were drowned on the bottom of the bowl, then what to do exactly is to mix it all up together. However with my previous rendezvous with Umabo’s rice bowl, this is something that you won’t have to do.

Commune Bistro & Grill 2

In all, it was a good treat. The service was also attentive and we have no complains about that. The openers in form of Vietnamese spring roll and chili cheese fries were also very satisfying and the Virgin Sangria as my drink choice was an exciting one as well.

Commune has made a good decision to move here and it seems that everybody is loving every minute of staying here. It’s all about consistency and improvement in every step of it towards the future. Good luck, Commune!

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COMMUNE BISTRO & GRILL
Halal-friendly (with some of the menu contain pork & alcohol)
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Address:
Lot 8, Jalan Jend. Sudirman, SCBD, Jakarta – Indonesia

T: +62.21.9277.3302

Opening hours:
Daily, 11am – 11pm (weekday), 11am – 12am (weekend)

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Photography by Commune Bistro & Grill

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Dish That I Crave: Anything from RM Sungai Kalu!

Tak terasa hampir setahun berlalu sejak terakhir saya bertandang ke penghujung selatan Sumatra Barat ini. Tentu setiap kota maupun kabupaten di negeri ini memiliki berbagai restoran kebanggaannya, namun bagi Solok Selatan salah satunya adalah RM Sungai Kalu.

RM Sungai Kalu II 1

Tidak jauh sebelum mencapai perkampungan yang dikenal dengan “seribu” rumah gadangnya, RM Sungai Kalu berdiri sejak masa dimana jalan raya ini masih terbuat dari tanah. Di Jalan Raya Muara Labuh – Padang ini, RM Sungai Kalu menjadi opsi terbaik untuk rehat sejenak dan bersantap sebelum melanjutkan perjalanan menuju atau dari propinsi Jambi.

Meskipun terletak di sebuah desa kecil, RM Sungai Kalu begitu cepatnya dipenuhi pengunjung di kala jam-jam makan. Saya pribadi yang sudah berkunjung dua kali ke daerah ini sangat menyarankan untuk berhenti dan mengisi perut di restoran ini sebelum melanjutkan perjalanan. Terbukti pada saat sekembalinya kami dari Padang Aro, perjalanan panjang hingga lima jam harus kami lalui untuk mencapai kota Padang. Sayangnya saat itu saya belum berkesempatan mencapai Jambi.

Tapi marilah kita bercerita sedikit tentang makanannya. Persis seperti tahun sebelumnya, saya selalu menyempatkan bersantap aneka hidangan yang berhiaskan lado mudo di sini. Kekhasan RM Sungai Kalu adalah belut goreng serta ayam goreng cabe hijau yang juga dilengkapi dengan kentang goreng. Tentu jangan ketinggalan pula mencoba berbagai pilihan lainnya di sini.

RM Sungai Kalu II 2 RM Sungai Kalu II 3

Panas terik pegunungan di siang hari akan terobati dengan menikmati sepiring penuh nasi dengan belut goreng renyah ini. Sambal hijaunya segar tiada tara dan begitu pula bila ditemani dengan segelas es jeruk. Rasa penat dari perjalanan jauh seakan terobati dengan begitu cepat.

Namun sayang di saat bernostalgia seperti sekarang ini, RM Sungai Kalu begitu jauh dan sulit untuk ditempuh. Semoga di lain masa kita akan berjumpa lagi.

Bila beruntung, kita akan bertemu lagi di Tour de Singkarak 2015!

PS:
Bila cabang yang satu ini terlewatkan, jangan khawatir. RM Sungai Kalu II terletak sedikit lagi ke selatan setelah desa rumah gadang. You won’t miss it.

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Check out my first post about RM Sungai Kalu:
https://gastronomy-aficionado.com/2013/06/15/rm-sungai-kalu/

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RM SUNGAI KALU
Halal-friendly
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Raya Muara Labuh – Padang,
Kec. Koto Parik Gadang, Solok Selatan Regency,
West Sumatra – Indonesia

T: +62.821.7184.0311 / +62.812.6102.7117

Quikskoop™: Rasa Restaurant

Despite the heavy competition between five star hotels’ all day dining restaurants in Jakarta, Rasa confidently presents itself as a restaurant with modest offering but with the richness of rasa in every bite of its food.

Rasa (3)To start with, fresh slices of sashimi and neatly made sushi was presented to my liking. On the neighboring stations, you can create your own noodle and bakso with any ingredients, condiments and soup that you like as well as having a fresh salad with decent sidekicks beforehand.

Other than that, the main dish station offers culinary selections from Indonesians, Indian, and Western cuisines which I found very satisfying. During dinner, you should give a try to the freshly grilled meat and sausages prepped outside by the pool. However be sure to check this first as this may only available for specific promotion.

Rasa (2)Apart from these, Rasa also presents its carving station for lunch and dinner as well as several kinds of cheese for the clincher. If you don’t fancy cheese as the dessert, then head for ice cream or cakes. But that’s all.

Rasa (1)

Even so, the quality and the freshness are the main factors that keep Rasa as one of my best buffet selections in Jakarta. On the downside though, I was hoping that at least there are two or three other interesting stations for us to try and to tell people that Rasa offers more than just the usual stuff in any given all day dining restaurant – unless if you decide to have Rasa/Scusa famous Sunday brunch!

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RASA RESTAURANT
Halal-friendly
Suitable for vegetarians

Address:
InterContinental Jakarta Midplaza,
Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta – Indonesia

T: +62.21.2511.777

Opening hours:
Daily, all day dining

Website

Taking It To The Streets: Pisang Goreng ‘Asli’ Banyumas (The Foodie Magazine, Feb 2015)

Teatime for Indonesians doesn’t require fancy scones and jams. We only need our gorengan. For that, we take a look at a fritter hawker in East Jakarta.

What used to be a marshy area east of The Big Durian, Cipinang is now a new center of attraction as a hub between the city center and the uncharted food trails of East Jakarta to as far as Bekasi. Nowadays, people have started springing up food businesses like crazy here.

Pisang Goreng Asli Banyumas 1

Among them, a couple peacefully runs a gorengan business since 1988 and has inspired others on this now-busy street of Cipinang Jaya. You may have to scrutinize all the street vendors one by one in search for what your tummy wants that day, but a stop at Pisang Goreng “Asli” Banyumas is a must-do while there.

In a gorengan stall anywhere, it is uncommon to stay around and eat as most people would just take away their orders and leave. So perchance, if you are curious like me with what happens on every street food kitchen, spend just a little time to observe while you are on a queue. Even simple comfort food like gorengan can be very demanding!

On the frontline, a veiled lady was busy serving, answering any inquiries, and keeping up with specific orders from the customers patiently. At the same time, her partner was preparing the dough by putting it individually into a pasta roller. When it gets thin, she then individually wraps it over a banana before frying the pisang molen. It’s a delicacy used to be available only in pastry shops but now, you can find it almost everywhere.

The key people were stationed behind two huge frying pans filled with extremely hot oil. The owner, Ibu Sumarni, checks and rechecks whether her bakwans have reached golden perfection and are ready to move on with the following batch. Meanwhile on another pan, her husband stained his bare hands with the batter. Thus he ensured that all the bakwans had been properly coated and then he fried it one by one, risking his hands with oil splashes.

Pisang Goreng Asli Banyumas 2

Typically, a gorengan stall would have several types of fritters. At Pisang Goreng “Asli” Banyumas, you might want to venture a bit aside from their really good bakwan (vegetable fritters) and pisang molen. The traditionalists would choose the straightforward and lightly battered fried banana or the plain fried tofu, but there are those who like the sweetness of taro rather than banana. Sometimes for me, it’s the thin and crisp tempeh goreng that I choose.

For several times I have been there, their bakwan tastes like American fried chicken for some reason. Call me whimsical, but that taste becomes so notoriously familiar and I can relate it right away. As much as I enjoyed it all for myself, among those who became their loyal patrons, the fritters of Ibu Sumarni are not exclusive purchased only for afternoon snacks but also to be shared with others in celebrations or gatherings.

“We are about to invite our neighbors for our son’s khitanan party and we are ordering for takeaway tomorrow”, said a customer answering my inquisitive nature.

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PISANG GORENG “ASLI” BANYUMAS
Halal-friendly
Suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Cipinang Jaya (across BNI), Jakarta – Indonesia

T: +62.81.6185.2322

Opening hours:
Daily, 11am – 9pm

Spend: IDR 5,000 – IDR 10,000 / person

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE February 2015 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photography by Dennie Ramon