Category Archives: Kuala Lumpur

Appetti, That Friendly Foodie Guide You’ve Been Waiting For

Teringat masa dulu ketika kabar munculnya restoran atau kafe baru masih berasal dari bisik-bisik seorang teman atau bahkan temannya teman. Kalau beruntung, bisa saja saya menemukannya sendiri dan mencobanya atau ketika saya melewatinya dan mendapati bahwa gejolak untuk mengunjunginya tidaklah terhindarkan!

Kini masa-masa itu telah berlalu. Seiring kemajuan teknologi dunia maya; sepertinya para pemilik usaha restoran, kafe, hingga hotel berbintang lima tidak sulit untuk mengenalkan kehadiran mereka ke dunia luar. Namun demikian justru persaingan antar aplikasi atau website direktori kuliner serta segala tetek bengek fitur social media-nya seolah menjadikan semuanya jagat raya ini keruh.

Berbicara sebagai user, di satu sisi ada kemudahan serta kecepatan akses yang ingin dinikmati para pengguna. Namun di sisi lain kita terkadang enggan dibanjiri terlalu banyak fitur yang bikin ribet maupun update yang konstan terjadi. Keruhnya persaingan antar website/aplikasi inilah yang justru mendorong satu layanan ini untuk tampil berbeda dengan lainnya.

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Di sinilah saya terkesan dengan kehadiran Appetti, sebuah platform yang cocok untuk dimanfaatkan di PC maupun secara mobile serta ringan dan cepat. Uniknya Appetti tidak berniat untuk menciptakan aplikasi khusus demi memenuhi memuaskan kedua sisi yang end-user cita-citakan tadi.

Memasuki www.appetti.comuser langsung disodori sebuah search box yang membebaskan mereka untuk mengisi langsung nama restoran, lokasi, ataupun jenis makanannya secara spesifik. Namun bisa juga sekiranya kita membutuhkan overview jagat dunia kuliner secara utuh, maka cukup untuk mengganti nama kotanya. Sementara ini Appetti sudah membuka opsi untuk Singapura, Jakarta, Bali, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, serta Bangkok. Hmmm.. Destinasi-destinasi kuliner yang menarik bukan?

Okay, marilah kita memasuki Singapura sebagai contoh termudahnya. Mengapa demikian? Ada satu hal geeky yang saya senangi dari fitur selanjutnya yang disuguhkan Appetti.

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Contohlah satu masa saya pernah berkunjung ke Singapura khusus untuk mencicipi restoran sushi yang bersertifikasi halal – satu hal yang sungguh sulit ditemukan justru di Jakarta. Adalah menuju Hei Sushi yang berlokasi di Bedok. Memasuki page berikutnya yang lebih spesifik, kita bisa melihat overview dari outlet milik Hei Sushi yang satu ini.

Seperti yang bisa dilihat dari laman ini, ada kesenangan tersendiri dari saya ketika melihat informasi yang detil. Misalkan saja keberadaan deskripsi mengenai restoran tersebut hingga hal-hal lain seperti jam buka selama seminggu, tipe masakannya secara detil, ataupun stasiun MRT terdekat untuk mencapai tempat ini. Selain itu tentunya terdapat alamat jelas dengan koordinat GPS serta no telpon dan alamat website. Satu hal yang menjadi kekurangan di sini menurut saya adalah kehadiran menu, harga ataupun foto-foto makanan serta tempat yang lebil banyak lagi. Padahal Appetti pasti akan senantiasa update dengan status buka tutupnya ribuan restoran yang terdafta, sehingga tentu menambahkan tampilan menu makanan/minuman tidaklah sulit.

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Kembali menuju laman search results, kita akan dibawa menyaksikan sederetan restoran serta fitur untuk menyaring pilihan kita agar menjadi lebih rinci. Menariknya, navigasi pemilihan restoran tidak perlu selalu didasarkan pada daftar panjang namun juga bisa didasarkan pada peta. Cukup dengan klik fitur tombol berbentuk pinpoint di kanan atas maka kita dapat melihat secara keseluruhan lokasi restoran yang tersedia di sebuah kota dari berbagai penjurunya.

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Dengan melakukan zoom in pada peta, maka semua akan menjadi lebih spesifik. Fitur ini terasa bermanfaat sekali bagi saya yang memang pengguna aplikasi peta dan gemar membaca peta, sehingga saya bisa memilih harus menuju arah mana ketika tengah terdampar di satu sisi kota Jakarta yang tidak saya kenal ataupun merencanakan makan malam hari ini bersama istri.

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Fitur utama lainnya yang menarik dari Appetti adalah adanya simbol kupon Top Offer di restoran-restoran yang terdaftar. Memang tidak semua memiliki penawaran khusus namun Appetti akan ‘menyundul’ restoran-restoran yang memiliki kupon ini ke bagian paling depan. Langkah yang tepat menurut saya karena tidak hanya restoran-restoran ini mendapatkan promosi khusus namun juga merangsang para foodies untuk memanfaatkan privilege ini.

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Sebut saja Harlow Brasserie di Jakarta yang per saat saya review website ini tengah memiliki 3 Top Offers. Setiap penawaran ini cukup di-klik saja dan akan terlihat segala detilnya dan persyaratannya. Misalkan saja tawaran Lunch Specials seharga IDR 100,000 nett dengan minum yang cocok banget untuk mereka yang mencari makan siang enak di daerah Kuningan. Ataupun satu penawaran lainnya untuk sekadar kopi sore asyik.

Di tengah-tengah bergeloranya semangat para foodies untuk berburu tempat makan dan segala kelebihannya, Appetti dengan cukup cermat sekaligus casual datang dan menghadirkan segala kemudahan itu. Mari kita nantikan kelanjutan Appetti yang mudah-mudahan akan juga hadir dengan fitur menarik lainnya serta pilihan kota yang lebih banyak lagi. I’m so ready to dine out now!


APPETTI – www.appetti.com

QuikSkoop™: Nagasari Curry House – Malaysia

Nagasari Curry House is dear to many fellow Indian food lovers of Kuala Lumpur, including one of its top lifestyle referral magazine. Which is why I decided to task myself with this endeavor and find out why.

Yes, I will tell you the name. Time Out Kuala Lumpur. That’s the name of the publication that I mentioned earlier and Nagasari is so dear to them and that it received several awards from the magazine.

As an ex-Time Out Jakarta (in memoriam), I felt the urge instantly to come here (and it takes only a short walk from Bukit Bintang, apparently). In a leafy neighborhood where several traditional eateries found as well, Nagasari opens its door for 24 hours every day for those who seek full-fledged Indian food, nasi kandar, or iced pulled tea to beat the heat.

It was 3pm and nowhere near dinner obviously. That’s why I got the whole restaurant for myself. Service was very attentive and the menu got everything you need from local fares, Indian, and some of Thai cuisines. Inside, the self-service nasi kandar counter is at your disposal, but I decided to share tandoori chicken with my wife.

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The cooking process took some time and I wondered why. When the dish came, it was a grand treat even for both of us! Nagasari literally gave out well-cooked and chopped whole chicken alongside rice and three side dishes from the nasi kandar counter. Additionally, my wife ordered one serving of huge garlic naan and it was accompanied with three types of curry.

Well, that was a feast, but my plan since the beginning was to share it with my wife (who apparently that time was not really too hungry). Nevertheless I dug in and I found joy. The tandoori chicken was good, rice was nice, and each ingredient support one another. However, I have to agree that it was not entirely too rich, in a way that Indonesians would want to have for their taste buds.

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We could have actually finished the naan but we decided to take away the remainder of it for our night time snacks back at the hotel. In all, Nagasari was an interesting choice and there might be a next time whenever I am at Bukit Bintang and looking for good deal of lunch.

Upon my next visit in the future, I would really like to try the banana leaf Indian food. If you happen to have your favorite in the city, do let me know! 😉

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NAGASARI CURRY HOUSE
Halal-friendly
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

Opening hours: Daily, 24 hours

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Halal Eat Out: Nando’s – Malaysia

Yes, yes, I know I may be overdoing this but there’s no denying that I fell in love so deep with Nando’s. This time, it’s the one from Malaysia.

I was probably quite unlucky that when there used to be Nando’s in Jakarta, I missed it big time. However, I paid it dearly during my visits consecutively to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur last time.

Nando’s is ubiquitous in the capital city of Malaysia, but my main concern that time was to actually try the local stuff instead the usual franchised brands.

So the opportunity finally arrives as I was expecting my next flight back to Jakarta at klia2. After carefully choosing which one that would be best for our dinner, of course, Nando’s came up as an obvious choice of all.

It was busy that night but the service was excellent. We were also recommended with Nando’s set for two people which consists of whole chicken with two sides and two drinks. The price was of course, way cheaper than in Singapore and we decided to take the offer.

It was probably one of the best airport dinner I ever had in my entire life. Everything was up to the standard when compared with the one in Singapore, halal-certified, and the chicken with the sides of Mediterranean rice and grilled vegetables were out of this world.

We finished 3/4 of the chicken and decided to bring the rest back home. The waiter was kind enough to provide extra protection for the chicken and the next morning, it was still really good.

Well, I had not complaints at all in terms of everything. The taste was excellent, service was good, and it was really suitable with the pricing (unlike Singapore – sorry). It’s now up to my next trip heading back there sometime soon. Will let you know again if I try something else!

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NANDO’S – MALAYSIA
Halal-certified
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address (Malaysia only):
http://www.nandos.com.my/nandos_my/restaurants_lists

Website

Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm

QuikSkoop™: Thye Hong

If you happen to visit Food Republic in Singapore or the one at Pavilion Mall, Kuala Lumpur, bear in mind that you gotta visit this stall first before browsing the others. Thye Hong! Famous for the legendary Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles (SGD 4.50 for small portion) which I love dearly on my last visit to VivoCity. Coming back from a personal tour of Sentosa Island with the monorail, I happened to found another Food Republic just beside the shelter. Feels like they’re everywhere! That was around 2 PM and definitely the time for lunch!

I browse all around seeking the best food that suits my appetite and I found two! That’s the crowded Thye Hong and I was thinking a Mango Pudding from Ice Shop for the dessert (which I already told in my previous post). Thye Hong is supposedly one of the favorites in Food Republic. The one in Wisma Atria back then had its own queuing line and it’s packed with hungry mobs. Well, one of the reasons beside the good taste was probably because they have to fry the noodles first for everybody in one huge wok and then distribute it evenly for everyone. Though the one I had 2 years ago was quite good, big portion, and got these big prawns in it, I felt like trying something new for my lunch. They also got this and several other dishes, but the prawn noodle is the most famous one.

Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles

The circumstances somehow forced me to pick the prawn noodles instead. Why? It’s 2 PM and I gotta be at the airport around 4 PM for my flight back home, the long queue, and the fresh prawn noodles seemed so tempting that I didn’t want linger longer waiting for another dishes to be made because I was completely famished! They got the small, medium, and large portion for their dishes but of course I picked the small one which was actually quite big for one single person.

Turned out that my choice was indeed correct. The Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles was fresh, made out of good quality noodles, big prawns and squids, thick broth, and balanced spices that successfully made the taste so good. Even better than my previous dish! I even care to rape the prawns and add more life to it with the not-so-spicy special chili sauce. The taste was already good but you can always add more spirit into it. I was very satisfied with it, though I survey several blogs telling their experiences eating in Thye Hong, seems to me that there’s inconsistency in maintaining the taste and differs between the branches. I was thankful that my dish was great, but I really wish to return back here again. It’ll be the kway teow probably and I wanna share it with the one that I love a.k.a bigger portion! Food Republic, please open one in Indonesia and bring Thye Hong also! ^^

LOCATION:

Food Republic foodcourts in Singapore and Malaysia (also in China and Hong Kong which I have not yet visit by the way).

Singapore > 313@Somerset, Wisma Atria, Suntec, ION Orchard and VivoCity.

Malaysia > Pavilion Mall.