Soto Special: Soto Banjar “Nyaman” Bu Hj. Amir

Quite similar with the case of Soto Ambengan Pak Sadi on Jalan Antasari, Soto Banjar “Nyaman” has also undergone several relocations until finally it settles on this inconspicuous spot for a restaurant.

This seemingly half-done restaurant that appears like a garage actually holds an important culinary legacy of South Kalimantan in Jakarta. Luckily, Soto Banjar “Nyaman” has prepared an air-conditioned room for the customers who wish to seek their complete offering of Banjarese cuisine.

Soto Banjar "Nyaman" Bu Hj. Amir 1

The soto Banjar here has two versions – milky or clear. While both of these are equally authentic; we decided to try one of each. The looks may be familiar with other sotos but there is a significant difference in taste because of the certain spices that are used. Soto Banjar differs itself than the rest of the competition with the use of cardamom, cinnamon, and clove.

In terms of taste, the clear soup version has stronger character than the one using milk. The latter almost feels like another kind of soto Betawi. Even so, the topping is again very much different. Soto Banjar uses vermicelli, shredded chicken, and potato fritter instead.

To ensure a complete experience, it is advisable as well to pair the soto with other Banjarese delicacies such as the famous sate Banjar or masak habang. One last thing, be sure to choose the rice cake as the carbo companion of the soto if you feel like having it the Banjarese way.

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SOTO BANJAR “NYAMAN” BU HJ. AMIR
Halal-friendly
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Pangeran Antasari no. 50, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours: Daily, 7.30am – 9pm

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Oct 2015 edition

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EAT: Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Jakarta (JAX, Feb 2016)

After many decades of serving steak fanatics in New Orleans, Ruth’s Chris Steak House finally arrives in J-Town.

The city of New Orleans of where Ruth’s Chris Steak House was born possesses a distinctively rich cultural and ethnic heritage that has evolved over centuries between two civilizations – European and Creole. In turn, this relationship creates a magical chemistry that influences over what Ruth’s Chris Steak House has to offer until this very day.

Ruth's Chris Steak House (official) (7)
Petite Fillet Steak

The original Chris’ Steak House actually came to as far as 1927 and retained the status as New Orleans’ only fine-dining restaurant for many years. Until in 1965, a struggling single mother – Ruth Fertel acquired the business despite many who opposed the idea. It was due to many unsuccessful attempts to reignite the old business again to prominence.

Under her care, the steak house became more successful than ever and franchised in many countries, reaching more than 80 restaurants as of today. Despite of her passing in 2002, the legacy is being continued carefully and still in the spirit of what “The Empress of Steak” once taught.

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Cheesecake served with fresh Berries
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Sizzlin’ Jumbo Scallops

Now, with many years of refined experience as a steak house and to challenge the increasingly diverse culinary scene in Jakarta, the newly introduced branch is now ready to engage in upscale side of steak house competition further more in Southeast Asia after Singapore.

Ruth's Chris Steak House (official) (3) Ruth's Chris Steak House (official) (4)

Ruth’s Chris Steak House uses custom-aged US Prime beef, and employs the use of 260C heated plate to ensure the steak stays sizzling hot upon serving.

It’s a no fuss and no frills experience when it comes to enjoying it. Specific sauce will be provided upon request, but if not, it’s just love affair between salt, pepper and the butter sauce. Pure and simple.

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Barbecue Prawns with Creole Butter
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The steak is also complemented by traditional delicacies of US’ southern hospitality with a solid lineup such as the shrimp remoulade, barbecued shrimp, crab cakes, lobster bisque, the Crabtini, and the classic Ruth’s chop salad that consists of 15 ingredients.

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RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Somerset Grand Citra, GF
Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.5221.178

Website

Opening hours:
Daily, 12pm – 3pm (lunch), 5.30pm – 11pm (dinner)

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/ruths-chris-steakhouse/

Photography by Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Soto Special: Soto Padang H. St. Mangkuto

It’s totally easy to find soto Padang anywhere in Jakarta these days, but ever since the day when I visited the real deal back in West Sumatra; a question then arises.

“Will I ever find another soto Padang as good as the one at Soto Garuda here in Jakarta?”

The day came when it’s time to try Soto Padang Sutan Mangkuto as a lot of considerations and voices were pointing me to this direction. Located in the heart of Jalan Pintu Air and nearby to Pasar Baru, this restaurant would be a great place to respite after a long walk of shopping or in our case, the second round after our soto Madura nearby.

The serving portion of soto Padang here is true to its authentic nature and similar with soto Kudus – in small bowls, which might require you to have seconds if you are that hungry and feels like spending more.

Soto Padang H. St. Mangkuto 1

Soto Padang has two interesting elements that are not seen in other soto dishes. One is the use of crispy fried beef lungs or alternatively the meat, and rice crackers colored in red sometimes smashed altogether inside or served separately. To accompany the lungs, traditionally there would only be a potato fritter and a bunch of vermicelli.

To answer the early question, I should say yes even only after a few scoops of the soto. It might be expensive but the satisfaction beats the price already. Although ultimately I still favor Garuda’s than Sutan Mangkuto’s, the soup quality here has that depth of flavor that you always yearn from a good soto. Secondly, the fried lungs are in abundance which makes the whole soto an exquisite treat.

Next time, it’s time to pair it with this restaurant’s nasi goreng rendang.

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SOTO PADANG H. ST. MANGKUTO
Halal-friendly
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Pintu Air no. 26, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours: Daily, 8.30am – 9pm

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Oct 2015 edition

Soto Special: Wong Kudus

In Jakarta, Soto Kudus would be the most ubiquitous of all when compared with other soto vendors from all over Indonesia. There’s a strong presence of Javanese migrants from generation to generation here who have made the recipe well-known and preserved.

Most of all, its practical presentation makes it a best seller for anyone who seeks for quick comfort food.

Served mixed with rice, soto Kudus comprises of ayam kampung, bean sprouts, and vermicelli only. Its yellowish yet transparent appearance of the soup may remind us a bit about soto Lamongan but when served in small bowl, one could easily make a distinction right away.

Wong Kudus 1

Wong Kudus is a well-known soto Kudus and garang asam chain restaurant found in several parts of Jakarta. Its version of soto Kudus did not require me to put additional seasoning to it once came. While the soup itself is already rich and the chicken delicious, the perfectly thinly sliced fried garlic contributed a lot to the whole flavor.

Here I was reminded again at why people would use garlic at everything from before a dish cooked and even when it is already served. For this one, even this smallest idea like this became a noteworthy experience. The effort itself to fry the garlic prudently and not letting it burn is already commendable.

Even without the garlic, this is a proper place to enjoy soto Kudus and perhaps next time, you might want to pair it also with the garang asam. The refreshing taste from the soto and the boldness of garang asam would light up your spirit all the way!

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WONG KUDUS
Halal-friendly
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Fatmawati no. 21, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours: Daily, 24 hours

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Oct 2015 edition

Menu Highlights: The Sandwich Battle at Caribou Coffee – Jakarta

It is as of this point that Jakarta has done a lot with the growth of third wave shops. Now a handful of these fancy coffee shops are to be found almost everywhere from the far northern part of Jakarta and down to the hipster parts on the south.

In light to this, somehow the view of traditional second wave coffee shops are becoming scarce. Starbucks is still the dominating force in Indonesia, but at times I do miss the Gloria Jean’s which is no longer here or Coffee World and some other notables.

Caribou Coffee 2

Caribou Coffee came in as a remedy and my first ever visit there gave me a really good experience with how they are willing to give quality with the lineups they have to offer. While I would usually talk about the coffee, actually what I want to share now is about the food – particularly the sandwiches!

Should you must know what I think about the coffee, well, it is actually quite decent. They sure are really proud of how they can blend it well and up to three or five types of beans and the result was also quite to my liking. As of now, two Indonesian coffee are already in used and the rest are what Caribou has best for the blends from medium to dark roasts.

Caribou Coffee 1

Well, I can feel the balanced and standardized taste in a way that the flavors were getting through my mouth like a silk and comforting. Me as an aficionado of distinctive coffee flavors of today was somehow still struggling upon finding these characters. Even so, I completely enjoyed their other beverages such as the tea, the signature mocha drinks, and even the fruit smoothies.

The other pastries and desserts such as the scones, the bagels with four spreads, the crunchy chocolate cake, and also the pistacchio cake were all became my favorite in an instant.

Caribou Coffee 7

The scones which were of two versions – plain and with blueberries, each shares a different story but with a fulfilling sweet taste that made me want to add more cream or even ice cream to it.

Meanwhile the bagels were probably one of the champions and on par with the sandwiches. With fine spreads such as the traditional cream cheese, salmon, pepper, and pesto (which is the best among all), the bagels are clearly a force to be reckoned with.

So, here’s a bit about the sandwich then!

STEAK SANDWICH

Caribou Coffee 3

I cannot recall how many times I muttered, “Mmmm… mmmmm…. mmm…” and that is because how I am so in love with the sandwich. I even daresay that I favor this over Quiznos’.

One certainly cannot skip over a chemistry between a good multi grain toast, steak cuts, cheese sauce, and mushrooms with onions.

CHICKEN PESTO

Caribou Coffee 4

With the strong pesto flavor coming in from the spread, the tradition is also continued with this one. The grilled chicken was plenty and it went well with the pesto, but I do still have other favorites aside from this.

PRETZEL SMOKED BEEF & BRIE

Caribou Coffee 5

The smoked beef is always a safe choice for sandwich. Not only that it is comforting and familiar but apparently, the use of brie cheese which notably has a strong savory flavor actually elevates the whole experience.

LAMB KOFTA

Caribou Coffee 6

The lamb kofta is the underdog of all the sandwich selections here. Even so, everything about it is actually satisfying and I know how much I love the juiciness coming from shish kebab and kofta which is often made to meatballs. This one becomes my second best after the steak sandwich

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So, which one would you prefer when it comes to the sandwich? And how about the coffee? Do share your experience here!

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CARIBOU COFFEE – JAKARTA
Halal-certification under process
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Senopati no. 52, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.2751.5162

Opening hours:
Daily, 6am – 12am (Mon-Thu), 6am – 2am (Fri-Sun)

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