EAT: Socieaty (JAX, Nov 2015)

A brand new upscale restaurant in Jakarta’s premium mall that serves different international fares.

Brimming with opulence and extravagance, one would assume Socieaty as a place for socialites conversing with each other over a cup of tea and the exquisite tarts made by the pastry specialist, Cheryl Koh.

Socieaty (1)

However, that is not all. Socieaty is a full fledge restaurant on its own, drawing the signature dishes from Lesamis’ best restaurants in Singapore – Bistro du Vin (French), La Taperia (Spanish), La Strada (Italian) and Tarte for the desserts.

Within a few days of its existence, Socieaty has reaped a lot of interest, especially with the discerning Jakarta’s gourmets who were looking for a new adventure. And the new establishment is now in the town to welcome foodies with a variety of international fares from breakfast menu and down to the desserts.

Spicy Chicken Quesadilla
Duck Confit

A good opener came from the Mexican-influenced spicy chicken quesadilla which consists of a group serving of marinated tender thigh chicken with sriracha and tomato sauces. Wrapped neatly with the tortilla, this hearty opener is also equipped with bell peppers, pineapple, onion, mozzarella, and parsley to give that tropical and European feel at the same time.

From La Strada, be sure to enjoy Socieaty’s piadina or the flatbread topped with smoked salmon, sour cream, and honey dill mustard. To add the appetizer’s excitement, Socieaty also introduces La Taperia’s black ink battered baby squid. The all tender but still juicy baby squids were best when dipped in the special aioli.

Lamb Shank

Heading to the primi and secondi, Socieaty offers classic pasta dishes and the highly recommended roast chicken, Norwegian salmon, sirloin and the ribeye. For this part, Bistro du Vin contributes its duck confit with sautéed mushroom and mashed potatoes with Pommery mustard. If you are looking for something else, then expect the best from the slow-cooked lamb shank with onion, cherry tomato confit and crushed potatoes.

Lastly to seal the deal, enjoy Socieaty’s mind-bending Floating Island – the light and elegant meringue drizzled with vanilla sauce and candied almond. Or, Socieaty’s tarts and carolines from Tarte that would definitely make a good way to please your heart after a hard day’s work.


Not halal-certified (serves pork and alcohol)
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Plaza Indonesia, Jalan MH Thamrin, Jakarta – Indonesia
T: +62.21.2992.3888

Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm



Original link:

Photos are courtesy of Socieaty


Halal Eat Out: Long John Silver’s – Singapore

Yup, right. Long John Silver’s. My first time with Singapore’s one of oldest fast food chains. My aim was to get a good pseudo-experience eating something that Fish & Co. or MFM has to offer, and it was actually quite pleasant. Here’s a bit about it.

Ubiquitous all over Singapore, Long John Silver’s has been known to Singaporeans since 1983. Faithfully offering fast food style fish and chips and other variations of it, well, apparently it is something which is currently non-existent in Indonesia.

Indonesians love their rice and fried chicken too much and it forces some burger-based fast food chains to adapt with this extreme fondness. Lucky that it seems more and more Indonesians fell in love with burgers every year.

However, when it comes to fish in fast food chain, well, not so much. My one and only love aside from Indonesia’s McD’s muffins is the Fillet O’Fish, used to be missing for several years and now reappearing to the surface. Hey! Perhaps it is high time for Long John Silver’s to arrive here.

So, one night, I was visiting the one at Bugis. Cramped and full of people, the cashier greeted me coldly. Tried my best to be helpful and smiling but to no avail. Well, couldn’t complain about this side of Singaporeans but most importantly, she did the job right.

My usual set of fish and chips were okay. It was a bit too oily (well, what do you expect Rian?) but I kinda enjoyed it. Meanwhile, my wife decided to try something else. The grilled dory with chili crab sauce and it was much, much better.

The dory came in big, all bathed beautifully with the chili sauce, and served with vegetables and rice. Tried to snatch several of scoops from her plate and she became protective. Haha.. But that’s my wife! A foodie like Joey Tribbiani.

Anyway, I was happy to clear her plate up since she became full quite fast. At any rate, it was always a pleasant thing to do with her with all these foodie adventures.

Next time, I might be trying the Fish & Co. in Singapore. first. It’s not yet halal-certified in Indonesia and I pretty much like to have it with some peace of mind. Or, Long John Silver’s, maybe you could come here instead.


Unsuitable for vegetarians

Check the website for addresses and menu

Opening hours: Daily, 7.30am or 8am (at selected outlets) – 10pm

Flavor Preview: Nasi Gemuk & Nasi Bakar (Nasi Gemuk Citra 2, Jakarta)

Selalu menarik bagi saya untuk mengikuti perkembangan berbagai usaha makanan yang ada di Instagram. Salah satu yang selalu membuat penasaran adalah nasi gemuk khas Jambi yang menjadi andalannya @nasigemukcitra2.

Nah, berikut adalah perjalanan kecil saya untuk menikmati rasanya.

Tidak lama bagi Ellen Su beserta keluarganya untuk memunculkan potensi dari usaha kecil-kecilannya yang dinamai Nasi Gemuk Citra 2 ini. Dengan khusus berjualan nasi uduk khas Jambi ini, Ellen beserta sang suami tidak ketinggalan juga mengangkat berbagai kebolehan kuliner Nusantara pada keseluruhan menunya.

Saat itu saya berkesempatan mencoba dua andalannya yaitu nasi gemuk dan nasi bakar.

Dengan sigap sang pengemudi motor dari layanan delivery yang kini tengah hot di Jakarta tiba untuk mengantarkan makan siang tepat pada pukul 12. Nah, tibalah saatnya untuk bersantap!

Salah satu poin plus yang pertama ingin saya berikan adalah packaging rapi serta menggunakan bahan bukan styrofoam seperti yang biasa kita lihat untuk take away atau delivery dari beberapa restoran di Jakarta.

Sebagai penggemar kedua jenis nasi gurih ini, saya berbagi santapan beserta sang istri tercinta untuk makan siang.

Nasi gemuk sendiri terdiri dari telur rebus, suwiran daging, teri kacang, dan terpisah sendiri yaitu emping serta kaldu untuk disiramkan. Salah satu kelebihan nasi gemuk khas Jambi ini adalah kaldunya selain dari nasinya yang sudah gurih. Sambalnya sendiri sangat pedas dan semuanya berpadu nikmat!

Tetapi untuk saya pribadi yang menjuarai saat itu adalah nasi bakarnya. Dengan aroma panggangan serta dedaunan yang begitu terasa, rupanya nasi bakar ini juga memiliki kedalaman rasa yang jarang ditemui di menu-menu nasi bakar lainnya. Ah, rasanya jadi ingin pulang ke Bandung dan menikmati nasi bakar di sebelah Gedung Sate. Tapi tentunya masih kalah dengan yang ini!

Salah satu jurus pamungkas yang dimiliki oleh Nasi Gemuk Citra 2 juga adalah abon ikan cakalang botolan yang cocok untuk pendamping nasi putih. Rasa cakalang yang berpadu asin gurih serta kepedasan yang lumayan ini cocok sekali dengan selera saya.

Ada kalanya ketika saya belum beranjak membuat makan pagi tetapi perut sudah memanggil-manggil, rupanya cakalang pedas ini (atau CADAS) begitu membantu untuk mengenyangkan lebih dulu.

Selain tiga andalannya ini, masih banyak lagi menu-menu khas Nusantara yang kini semakin ditekuni Nasi Gemuk Citra 2. Ingin tahu lebih jauh, mari kita pesan untuk makan siang hari ini!


Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

T: +62 818 162 435


Street Food: Gudeg Cihapit Pak Ramidin

As a city far from the gudeg civilization in Central Java, Bandung actually has a good trace of this delicacy in many corners of it. My favorite that has been around for some time is none other than the inconspicuous Gudeg Cihapit and its exquisite taste.

There are two parts of Jalan Cihapit; a street mostly known for its traditional market, shops, and street food. Divided by the uber famous Jalan Riau; seek for the less traveled, leafier side of Jalan Cihapit where you can find street tailors, vinyl shops, audio equipments and used goods.

If you can determine which side which, then all you need to do next is to head there early in the morning and look for the unassumingly small, modest pushcart located on the right side – not too far from the traffic light direction.

Encamped on the side of the street with only several seats available, Gudeg Cihapit was already overwhelmed with hungry customers upon my arrival. The cold Bandung morning has always been successful to whet the appetite for good breakfast, and Pak Ramidin’s gudeg is a formidable choice to appease that.

Huge saucepans were all fully filled with jack fruit stew, tofu, eggs, chicken, and krecek (cow/buffalo skin stew). Naturally, the formation of most gudeg is rice, tofu and egg, and also jack fruit stew and krecek. However, Pak Ramidin’s initiative to provide beef stew, tempe bacem, and potato fritters makes his gudeg more charming than ever.

There’s something exquisite, as I told you earlier, about Pak Ramidin’s gudeg. Yes, he cooked everything perfectly. Each came from a good quality ingredient and he generously gave out so many flavors for every element of the gudeg.

The sweet note may be the most dominant of all but thanks to Pak Ramidin’s beef stew, he also put some of the broth into it. Now there’s a complexity not just from the texture, but also from other notes found in the stew as well as the spiciness from the krecek and sambal. How intriguing!

Now celebrating his 25th year in the business; his gudeg recipe has now been perfected and I daresay that his version is among the best in Bandung.

So then perhaps he will follow the footsteps of a particular competitor who was once started from the street and now owns two restaurants? We shall see. But first, let us have that breakfast!


Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Jalan Cihapit (across Kambing Bakar Cairo), Bandung – Indonesia

Opening hours:
Daily, 6am – finish (around 10am)

Spend: IDR 15,000 – IDR 20,000 / person



Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Aug 2015 edition

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Another look at prophetic medicine (via

Prophetic Medicine

The biography (sirah) of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (pbuh) has been studied through the lens of various traditional and contemporary scientific fields. Some of these fields include political science, psychology, education, biology, nutrition and medicine. Among the diverse fields in which the Prophet (pbuh) directly contributed to, is that of traditional or Prophetic medicine (al-tibb al-Nabawi), which is recorded in the various sayings (ahadith) of the Prophet (pbuh) and collected by early Scholars such as Imam Bukhari. The Prophet (pbuh) prescribed remedies for the preservation and restoration of one’s health through herbal teachings, dietary practices and personal hygiene.

Prophetic medicine possesses two unique features. On one hand Prophetic medicine provides numerous remedies as prescribed by the Prophet (pbuh), and on the other hand, it serves as a system which coalesces one’s inner (spiritual) and outer (physical) well-being when treating an illness. Accordingly, the scope of Prophetic medicine is significantly broadened when considered beyond the remedies prescribed, and instead, appreciated in its entirety as a thorough system which provides a “holistic approach” to medicine, addressing the complete person physically, spiritually and socially in the management and prevention of an ailment.

Recently in the contemporary world of medicine, there has been a demand to focus on the on the person “holistically” rather than only treating the illness[1]. Such an approach has proven to result in a superior level of wellness.

The focus of this topic involves discussing Prophetic medicine in broad terms, and analyzing it from a viewpoint as a comprehensive system which implements a holistic approach, a concept which has had implications on the development of modern medicine

Defining Prophetic Medicine

Prophetic medicine includes actions or words of the Prophet (pbuh) which addresses one’s physical and spiritual health in the treatment of specific illnesses.  In his renowned book “The Prophetic Medicine”, Ibn Qayyim describes Prophetic medicine as having “a divine element to it” (Abd El-Qader, 2003, p 15), whereby the Prophet (pbuh) would provide remedies which concurrently address one’s physical and spiritual well being.

The core message of Prophetic medicine is the integration of spiritual with physical for the well-being of a person wholly. As Ibn Al Qayyim eloquently explains, “Whenever the soul and the heart become stronger [spiritually], they will cooperate to defeat the illness” (Abd El-Qader, 2003, p 17).

Although “Prophetic medicine” and “Islamic medicine” are terms which are used interchangeably in various texts, they are considerably different.  Ibn Qayyim states that “Prophetic medicine deals with the overall principles, while scientific [and Islamic] medicine fills in the details”.

Islamic Medicine should be understood as a category of scientific medical knowledge practiced by early Muslim physicians whereby such knowledge was developed through hypothesis, observation and experimentation and subsequently codified into an Islamic medical system.

Selected examples of Prophetic remedies

Details on the subject of Prophetic remedies are largely found in various texts, including one of the most authentic collections of ahadith, known as Sahih Bukkari, which was compiled by Muhammad Ibn Ismail Bukhari (born 194AH). A chapter titled “The Book of Medicine” (Kitaab al tibb) in Sahih Bukhari lists numerous remedies including the following (Deuraseh, 2006):

  • Black cumin seed (nigella sativa) – Black seed is said to help with digestion, and also contains antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and analgesic properties. In a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, “I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘There is healing in black cumin for all diseases except death’.”(Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 5688).
  • Honey – The healing qualities of honey is frequently described in the Qur’an (Al-Nahl, 16:69) and is also referred to as one of the provisions of Paradise (Qur’an, Muhammad, 47:15).  The Prophet (pbuh) repeatedly mentions honey as being the best forms of healing. In a hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, “The Prophet said, ‘healing is in three things: cupping, a gulp of honey or cauterisation (branding with fire), but I forbid my followers to use cauterisation’.” (Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 5680).
  • Dates – In a hadith narrated by Saud, “I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘If somebody takes seven dates in the morning, neither magic nor poison will hurt him that day’.” (Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 5678).
  • Cupping (Hijamah)- The Prophet (pbuh) highly recommended the use of cupping for the treatment of certain disorders, as narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah, when visiting Al-Muqanna who was ill, “I will not leave until he gets cupped, for I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘there is healing in cupping’.” (Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 5697).

Scope of Prophetic medicine

One should not interpret the Prophet’s medical teachings as a complete textbook of medicine for all times, since these teachings were not a comprehensive medical system. Whilst the Prophet (pbuh) possessed knowledge of remedies for certain ailments, he did not claim to be physician himself. Therefore, one should broaden the scope of Prophetic medicine by focusing on the approach adopted by the Prophet (pbuh) to treat an illness, and not only the prescription. An exclusive focus on the remedies prescribed will in actuality limit the scope of Prophetic medicine.

Prophetic remedies should be considered for illnesses which they specifically dealt with during the Prophet’s (pbuh) time. In fact, the Prophet (pbuh) promoted the idea of exploring and receiving medical treatment by conveying the principle that for every disease there is a cure (Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 5678). This serves as an incentive to explore remedies since traditional medicine does not stop at the teachings Prophet (pbuh), but rather, advances beyond by encouraging mankind to discover new treatments.

Further, on the importance of seeking medical treatment, Ibn Qayyim refers to a story whereby Prophet Abraham once asked, “Oh My Lord! Where does the disease come from?” He said, “From me”. Abraham said, “Where does the cure come from?” He said, “From me”. Abraham said, “What is the role of the doctor then?” He said, “A man in whose hands I send and cause the cure”.

Classification of Prophetic medicine

Prophetic Medicine has been described as advice by the Prophet (pbuh) to His followers with an objective to maintain health and well-being for their body and soul equally. The Prophet (pbuh) possessed a profound understanding of the connection between the human faculties, the body and soul, and the connection of those faculties with their Creator, Allah. Hence, the Prophet (pbuh) embraced a wide definition of medicine, namely being therapy for one’s body and soul, and not merely prescriptions which address one’s illness alone.

Al-Suyuti (born 849AH) divides Prophetic medicine into three classes:

  1. Preventative Prophetic medicine – The Prophet’s (pbuh) teachings on moderation in food, exercise, toilet hygiene, personal hygiene, marriage and sexual relations, etiquette of drinking, quarantine for contagious diseases, specific herbal remedies to maintain explicit aspects of one’s health (e.g. better hair) etc.. All these teachings act as preventative measures with an overall objective of preserving one’s wellbeing.
  1. Traditional Prophetic medicine- These include remedies which were prescribed by the Prophet (pbuh) with an objective to treat one’s illness such as honey, olive oil, the black seed, milk etc… as well as surgical treatments such as cupping and cauterization. Such remedies were prescribed for fever, bowel movements, headache, skin rashes, tonsillitis, heart disease, food poisoning, conjunctivitis, tumours, leprosy, fracture, dog bite etc…
  1. Spiritual Prophetic medicine– The teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) demonstrate that in conjunction with the treatment and recovery from an illness, the spiritual aspect of one’s well-being must also be considered, as confirmed in the following verse,

“We send down in the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe”. (Qur’an, Al Israa, 17:82).

Whether one cultivates their spirituality through prayer, supplication, recitation of the Qur’an or remembrance of Allah, one’s progression or regression of illness can essentially be affected by one’s inner state.

The holistic approach which the Prophet (pbuh) established is a system which has proved success for all times. Prior to the advent of Islam, spiritual aspects of curing an illness were left to religious figures such as Priests, and physical aspects of an illness where referred to physicians and surgeons.  However, the Prophet (pbuh) amalgamated two critical values in medicine; one’s physical and spiritual well-being, a notion proving to have implications on contemporary scientific medicine.

A holistic approach to medicine

It is essential to yet again highlight that whilst Prophetic medicine was used to treat limited illnesses, attention should be drawn to the overall .approach in which the Prophet (pbuh) adopted and not merely the remedy prescribed in its individual capacity.

It is this holistic approach to medicine which has served as a precedent for contemporary medicine. Prophetic medicine as a system, establishes the importance of combining one’s inner and outer elements when addressing an ailment, thus focusing on one’s overall health, rather than solely treating the illness. Ibn Qayyim mentions, “It is a fact that curing the ills of the body without curing the ills of the heart does not work or benefit anyone (Abd El-Qader, 2003, p33).

This holistic approach to medicine has gained significant recognition in contemporary medical fields.  In recent times, and particularly within the West, considerable research has been undertaken regarding the importance of adopting a holistic approach in medicine. For instance, several journal articles[2] dedicated to this topic have been published in The Western Journal of Medicine.

In an article published by Dr Richard Svihus in 1979, “holistic” is defined as “a state of integration of a person, as a body and a soul, with the spiritual self, making him or her whole” (Svihus, 1979, p 478). Referring to a statement made by Sir William Osler, a former Professor of Medicine at John Hopkins University, Svihus writes, “The greatest aid in the prevention of disease is to preserve the due proportion of mind and body, for there is no proportion or disproportion more productive of health and disease, and of virtue and vice, than that between soul and body” (p 479).

Svihus later criticises the standard approach adopted by the majority of physicians during modern times, in that “physicians separate the soul from the body” (p 480). He concludes the article by proposing that the medical world revisit the concept of adopting a holistic approach when treating a patient and makes a noteworthy statement, “Man does not exist apart from his Creator, and the spiritual side of man should be involved in the healing process” (p 480).

Despite the fact that the article overlooks any contribution made by the Prophet (pbuh) or the Islamic world towards the field of medicine, as many articles tend to do, one can nonetheless identify a common impetus between the approach adopted by the Prophet (pbuh), and that during modern times. This is namely one which involves embracing a holistic approach when dealing with the treatment of a patient, and acknowledging the importance of generating harmony between one’s physical and spiritual self during the healing process.

Evidently, contemporary physicians are acknowledging the benefits of implementing holistic medicine. Dr Michelle Wright (Wright, 2010), a medical practitioner in England writes, “A holistic approach is good practice and has been strongly advocated by the Royal College of General Practitioners for many years” ( She concludes by writing, “All healthcare practitioners should aspire to holistic medicine and try to practice it. Recognising the ‘whole’ person in the prevention and treatment of disease may hold the key to some diagnoses for doctors” (

On a larger scale, health organisations have deemed it essential to provide holistic healthcare and have made this effective by drafting specific clauses in their charters or strategic planning in order to ensure the implementation of the system[3]. 


Therefore it is evident that the Prophet (pbuh) has contributed to the field of traditional medicine, which is also referred to as Prophetic medicine. Specific remedies and prescriptions recommended by the Prophet (pbuh) have been recorded in authentic sources, providing procedures on how to preserve and restore one’s health.

Whilst Prophetic medicine offers limited remedies for specific illnesses, it nevertheless embraces a unique system in that it combines one’s spiritual and physical well-being, thereby promoting a holistic approach to medicine. Accordingly, the scope of Prophetic medicine is largely broadened when considered as a comprehensive system rather than purely perceived as a catalog for remedies.

Contemporary physicians and organisations in the medical field are gradually acknowledging and adopting this holistic approach since there is a demand for the need to focus on the complete person in order to attain a superior level of wellness.

Therefore, one may conclude by validly stating that this holistic approach in medicine, a system essentially established over fourteen hundred years ago by the Prophet (pbuh), has indisputably had implications on modern day medicine.

MV Editor’s Note: The views and suggestions in this article are provided by way of general information and advice and are not a replacement for visiting a healthcare provider or for professional advice.


Written by Ramia Abdo Sultan

Taken from