Category Archives: People Behind Food

NAMELAKA, A Refined Pâtisserie at Its Best

Passion meets Yoan Tjahjadi and Ivan Setyawan, co-owners of the rising star pastry shop Namelaka at Shophaus Menteng. They share a story about their humble beginnings and how in just less than two years, they are ready to take the pastry world of Jakarta by storm.

One decade is all that we need to assimilate ourselves within the global culinary culture. It was quiet on all fronts back when I started writing and observing about Jakarta’s food scenes back in 2009. And now, we can see it clearly that everyone is contributing a part to further embolden our local food culture – from a writer and up to restaurant owners, from starting out in a long chain of hospitality industry and up to become an accomplished chef. This also includes the appearance of food start-ups, influencers, and other aspirations.

Everyone is always inspired with something and that’s the drive needed to gain the foothold in this so-called journey of life. That’s the case for both Yoan and Ivan as well.

Pastry has always been a thing for Yoan, who started it all from zero. She did it first by learning about cookery in general from a short course in Jakarta, while also at the same time finishing her graphic design study. Meanwhile Ivan was already on his way studying about cookery and accounting. Long story short, they met at William Angliss Institute back in Melbourne – each in pursue of their aspirations within the food industry.

Graduated, they both returned to Indonesia and promised themselves that they should leave a mark in this world somehow. Namelaka was then established in 2016, starting humbly as an online pastry business and joining food bazaars around Jakarta.

“One time there was an offer from Shophaus to open up our first store here”, Yoan says. Both were excited about the opportunity, but they realized it was all about renewing their own commitments for the business. A decision that they must face sooner or later.

Thus, December 2016 was historical for Namelaka as finally Yoan and Ivan agreed to commit themselves wholeheartedly into the business now. The production flow has been set to full motion now and all their resources were assigned to make that happen.

But what’s the difference between Namelaka and the rest of the competition, I ask them. “Number one, we don’t follow what’s trending out there. Our products are simply based on the flavors that we personally like and we try to be creative with that”, she explains.

Ivan quickly gives example, “Back when I was in college, I used to really love this hazelnut coffee from Starbucks and that inspired us to create the Coffee Caramel Hazelnut cake”. “Or in my instance”, says Yoan cheerfully, “the Honey Lemon Ginger Tart which was based on a flavored beverage I really like!”

Their signature product now is the choux pastry with a wide variety of unique flavors such as the Thai milk tea, salted caramel, mango lassi, and many more. Other than that, Namelaka prides itself with their collection of cakes; namely the Intense Chocolate, Earl Berries, and the Noisette. Each boasts its luscious look and a curious blend of quality ingredients.

Last Ramadan, they paid homage to the holy month with their unique creation of Nastart – a combination of the much loved nastar with homemade pineapple jam, compote, and almond crumble on a pie base. Additionally, they were busy producing the all-time favorite hampers for Eid.

Business may run well for Namelaka so far, but they do not stay idle. I ask them what they are planning after this. “Rather than focusing on opening new shops, we want to focus on increasing our capacity. We are planning to relocate our central kitchen to a bigger place”, explain them both. They hope to increase their efficiency when responding for more online orders specifically.

With their current pace and their commitment to quality from this tender age, it’s safe to assume that we will see more of Namelaka from time to time. It would be exciting to see what other creations they will come up with in the future and how the crowd would react to that. As for me, I have found a new sanctuary within the verdant Menteng area. And that is to sip a good old cup of coffee here and a slice of cake from this patisserie.

NAMELAKA
Menteng Shophaus, Lantai 1
Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No. 36, Jakarta


Featured on Passion Magazine

VIDEO: Supertaster – Is This Germany’s Best Mustard Sommelier? (via MODE – Foodie)

Quite recently, I found out that being a sommelier , is not always entirely related to wine or liquor.

In Germany the land where mustard is in abundance, where so many types are available, and the options to apply it are also bountiful; there live a man who became the sommelier of this fantastic creation.

Florian Heinrich tastes no less than 300 types of mustard that week, according to the video, and he is also differentiating 5 types for us to choose in terms of taste, heat level, and on where to apply it.

In this short, cleverly edited, and highly amusing video from FOODIE; take a look at the exciting yet geeky life of Florian Heinrich.

I would love to become his apprentice!

 

The Poetic Gourmet: Laksa Betawi Pak Ali

Sebagai residen tapal batas timur ibukota negeri ini, sudah sekian tahun mata ini memandangi pelbagai hidangan kaki lima yang lazim ditemui dimanapun.

Laksa Betawi Pak Ali 2

Tak disangka tak dinyana di suatu sore yang cerah, saya melewati satu gerobak yang didorong oleh bapak sepuh yang bersemangat menjajakan makanannya.

Mobilpun saya parkir dan dikejarlah sang bapak hingga masuk ke dalam gang. “Mari kita kembali ke arah mobil mas”, sahutnya melihat antusiasme saya. Tak sabar saya ingin mencicipi hidangannya!

Laksa Betawi Pak Ali 1

Ya, inilah Pak Ali dengan Laksa Betawi-nya yang, jujur bagi saya, sulit ditemui lagi dimanapun saya berpijak dalam keseharian saya. Dua puluh lima tahun beliau berdagang dan mungkin hanya dialah yang tersisa berjualan laksa.

Ketupat, bihun, oncom, kemangi, dan toge bercampur sudah dengan kuah laksa yang terdiri dari 20 jenis bumbu rahasia. Nikmat nian rasanya dan kenangan almarhumah nenek yang dahulu menjadi penggemar laksa PT Rasa seolah menyeruak kembali.

Haru biru dan kebahagiaan bercampur. Perut terisi penuh dan istripun berbahagia bersama nikmati satu mangkuk berdua. Terima kasih Pak Ali!

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LAKSA BETAWI PAK ALI
Halal-friendly
Suitable for vegetarian

Address:
Traveling around Cipinang Besar area, East Jakarta

T: +62.857.7117.3573

Opening hours: Daily, 12pm – 8pm

People Behind Food: Hayatinufus Tobing – Indonesian Cuisine Walking Dictionary

Hayatinufus Tobing

Hayatinufus Tobing or known more as Ibu Tobing started her career as a teacher. Later she decides to enter the journalism career by becoming the recipe tester for one of the most famous, long standing lifestyle magazine in Jakarta.

Thanks to her husband career as a health inspector, she used to follow her husband’s footsteps all over Indonesia and discovered a lot of stories and recipes from the natives.

Today, she’s enjoying her retirement days after thousands of recipes, dozens of cookbooks and an encyclopedia on herbs and spices that she had been working on for so many years. She is literally the walking encyclopedia of Indonesian cuisine.

Jakarta, Indonesia – #peoplebehindfood

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Follow the Instagram: @peoplebehindfood

People Behind Food: Alvaro Sanchez – Master Roaster of Toby’s Estate Singapore

Alvaro Sanchez

Meet Master Roaster Alvaro Sanchez of Toby’s Estate Singapore who happens to be one of the main muscles behind its success.

Some time ago he’s in Jakarta to support Canteen Jakarta initiative of partnership with Toby’s Estate Singapore and if you are a fan of coffee, get that chance to taste the famous Panama Geisha and Yirgacheffe Konga beans there!

By the way he went through the length to explain me about so many coffee production processes that I even just heard about. It’s all very geeky but well, that’s coffee and we adore it a lot.

Jakarta, Indonesia – #peoplebehindfood

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Follow the Instagram: @peoplebehindfood