Category Archives: Surabaya

Getting in deeper with Carl’s Jr great burgers

You know, I’m proud to admit that it’s my first time visiting Carl’s Jr like ever, which was quite recently after several years of them operating in Jakarta, but apparently, not my first burger.

Well, to be honest, having a delivery and to review something about the restaurant would not be fully fair – unless for Chinese food since in a way, they are a kind of food that we can always reheat and enjoy until the next day with a small margin of decreasing quality, provided that the food came from good restaurants as well.

But in a case about burgers or other kinds of fast food, it deteriorates fast and it’s not fair to actually judge the quality right away. That’s why a visit to Carl’s Jr at their recently opened branch in Plaza Semanggi (replacing the old spot used to owned by BK), was an eye opening experience for me. You could even say, it’s a revelation!

If Carl’s Jr is the man that I could meet right now, I’d shake his hand and I would say to him that he’s a bravado, a no nonsense cowboy from the Wild Wild West.

How could he not? In the wake of so many factors that lead to the shrinking of size of burgers like KFC’s Colonel Burger or BK’s, the fight to keep the burgers sold at the lowest price is probably caused by the people’s never ending appetite on chicken and rice in any fast food joints. Apparently Carl’s Jr still stands tall and proud with their premium choices, despite of this reality.

When I say premium, it may not be as affordable as you can find somewhere else but the burgers are clearly packed with flavors and awesomeness. With that came also the size – BIG!

They still do have economic sets actually but it would be a waste not to spend and have fun sometimes with their signature burgers.

Without further ado, with the addition of eating with peace of mind due to their halal-certification, I would like to present the bold Western Beef Bac Cheeseburger.

Carl's Jr 5Please take my note here. Have the double patties for this one! Not only that their BBQ sauce beats BK big time in terms of taste and that aromatic acidity that everybody loves from the sauce, they have cheese in it, the bacons as well as onion rings. Honestly, I’m still wondering until this moment whether Indonesians love their onion rings or not but for me, onion rings are everything!

Now that leads me to another temptation that I successfully overcame – the Mile High Burger!

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I’ve never seen onion rings stacked up so high above the juicy patty and cheese! Not only that it’s fulfilling but they gave the crunchiness that you won’t find in any other burger. I have to be honest though, I’m still infatuated with their BBQ sauce, so this brand new burger comes as second. But looking at the picture, it’s a sure must-try burger right?

So finally, it’s time for a tie between the last, but not least, two burgers that utilizes portobello mushrooms and charbroiling technique respectively.

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The charbroiled chicken was just great. It retained its juiciness while also presenting itself perfectly grilled and just beautiful. The charbroiler was a special device that requires special skills in grilling as well. That’s what makes the chicken burger so special.

Carl's Jr 4

Meanwhile, the portobello mushroom burger has everything in balance in terms of nutrition coming from the harmony between the proteins and vegetables, but it also gave way for indulgence with the patty, the sauce and the mushrooms. It’s a good, safe choice for everyone, but for me, again, I’d rather have that double patties with BBQ sauce!

With that kind experience, it helped me a lot to see burger business nowadays. Objectively speaking, it’s good for customers so that they can choose what they actually want based on what they have in the pockets. Burger business has become so influential in big cities nowadays and we can always choose to do budget or splurge at the same time.

With Carl’s Jr meddling in as a really good alternative in-between, we can actually experience what’s it like to have a good burger that came with good price, but not reaching as far as splurging. It doesn’t feel cheap at all of course, but you can enjoy the size as well as the quality that they have devised for the customers. On top of that, the free flow drink is also the advantage clincher for for this burger joint.

That’s why you can rest easy. Have that free flow drink and great fries with your burger, hang out a bit longer there because Carl’s Jr apparently has good coffee from Caffe Vergnano and sockets that comes with wi-fi, because Jakartans (and Indonesians) are too fond of spending time more browsing but also chatting over good food!



For addresses and other details, please check:

Cover Feature: Good For Eats Pop Up Tour (The Foodie Magazine, Nov 2014)

Wrapping up their pop-up tour to four cities in two countries, Good For Eats took us on the big bang that ended their campaign in the historical city of Yogyakarta.

An early wakeup call was all that it took to get us on a plane trip to Yogyakarta for the much anticipated dinner that Good For Eats (G48) had organized for us there. It’s both exciting and a feel good trip for me whenever it’s related to Yogyakarta, the city famed for its lengthy heritage list as well as its rustic culinary excellence. By the way, in case any of you foodies need to know better about who the guys are behind G48, we actually have introduced them in our September issue.

Good For Eats 1

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The chefs behind Good For Eats are Fernando Sindu (Nando) and Ivan Wibowo, who in our past issue, told us on how they began the G48 venture and up until now, the time when these creative young minds are busying themselves with a throng of projects from running their own restaurant, private dinners, pop-ups, and as professional culinary consultants for up-and-coming restaurants in and out of Jakarta.

Yogyakarta signified the end of their pop up tour that had been started since September. Singapore was chosen as their first stop at Toby’s Estate and then continued with Bandung at CUPS Coffee Shop, Surabaya at Historica, and finally with us at Canting in Yogyakarta. Each venue sponsored the pop-up tour for up to three days and with a special menu that only lasts during their stay there.

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On why they ultimately chose Yogyakarta as one of their destinations was happily explained by Chef Nando, “In one aspect, it’s all is in line with the launching of Canting, our latest restaurant project as culinary consultants. However, we also feel confident with the maturing market in Yogyakarta to accept something new here”. Thus we also became the witness of what Canting has to offer in their menu and you can tell immediately, or me perhaps as a fan of G48, that it is comprised of the style that these duo usually show to people, but of course twisted with something new and colorful.

Summarizing their whole tour, Chef Ivan Wibowo remarked the whole experience as exhausting but full of fun, “The most interesting part is that we also came to a conclusion that each city has their clear distinction when it comes to taste and interest”. Ivan further noted that Bandung proved to be a solid market as they’re fond of anything related with rice bowl and truth be told, G48’s flagship restaurant Umabo in Jalan Wijaya is also well-known because of this particular dish. “But the craziest part came from the Surabaya crowd and we were overwhelmed with the never ending wave of customers. The queue line was unexpectedly long as well”, said Ivan.

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There’s plenty of expectation on their final pop-up here in Yogyakarta and that didn’t come exclusively for us. In this lovely restaurant Canting, the duo had prepared plenty of selections with an intelligent chemistry between casual Western fare and influences from Mexican cuisine. It was nearing a full house when we arrived for dinner and most of them were seemingly enticed with the pop-up menu from G48.

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Famed for their proficiency with meat, we witnessed how strong these fellas in that particular department. The highlight of that night simply goes for the tender wagyu hanger steak with kimchi fried rice, my Southern-style fried chicken with jalapeño cheddar biscuit and whipped potatoes. Additionally, the exclusive local wagyu steak with choices ranging from rib eye, sirloin, and hanger which can be accompanied by rice pilaf, sauteed vegetables, béarnaise sauce, and roasted garlic were simply choices that anyone cannot afford to miss while having G48 around as the mano behind the kitchen.

Other than these, we highly enjoyed their version of truffle French fries, huevos rancheros, and somehow we drooled over their eggs Benedict on puff pastries that our neighboring patrons chose. Of course, to highlight the night furthermore, Chef Ivan specially made us the “Toastalicious” or the French toast grilled in four corners but deliberately kept moist and soft in the middle. The toast is then combined with maple syrup, vanilla ice cream, and smoked beef. His choco-banana pie and panna cotta in bandrek sauce further showed us that his real intention from the beginning was all about pushing the boundaries where we would find explosion from the flavors and the complex texture structures. It was a big bang indeed!

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As of this moment, G48 will now focus on their other projects including the up-and-coming eatery in a mall on downtown Jakarta and expanding Umabo as well. There’s never a better momentum than now for these boys and they sure know how to deal with it. But for sure, we will see more of Good For Eats in our culinary scene and be sure to book your seat for any of their offer for excitements!


Facebook: goodforeats
Twitter and Instagram: @goodforeats


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE November 2014 edition

Photography: Dennie Ramon

Halal-Certified Restaurants: Central Java & East Java – Indonesia (per August 2014)

List of MUI halal-certified restaurants in provinces Central Java and East Java as per August 2014, sourced from DetikFood and Halal Corner:

    La Tulang (Ayam Goreng Tanpa Tulang)
    Jl. Boko Mojayan, Klaten Tengah, Klaten
    RM Bebek dan Ayam Goreng Pak Ndut
    Jl. Slamet Riyadi 159, Kartosuro, Sukoharjo
    RM Lestari
    Jl. Revolusi No. 6, Karang Anyar, Kebumen
    RM Pak Ndut Langgeng Mulyo
    Jl. Diponegoro No. 273, Mijen, Ungaran
    RM Aldila Karya Utama
    – Jl. Raya Tulis KM 11, Batang
    – Jl. Soekarno-Hatta 20, Kendal
    – Jl. Islamic Centre No.4, Bugangin, Kendal
    – Jl. Teuku Umar 37, Semarang
    PT Dinamika Karya Persada (Kaliandra Eco Resort and Farm)
    Dusun Gamoh, Desa Dayurejo, Kec. Prigen, Pasuruan
    Depot Barokah 162
    Jl. Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo No. 162, Randuagung, Kebomas, Gresik
    Warung Sehat Kang Bedjo
    Taman Anggun Sejahtera 3 Blok A3 No. 21, Popoh, Wonoayu, Sidoarjo
    PT Mitra Yatim Mandiri (Aqiqoh Mandiri & Catering)
    – Jl. Jambangan No. 135-137, Surabaya
    – Jl. Kebon Sari 25 F, Surabaya
    – Jl. Mondoroko 43, Singosari, Malang
    – Jl. Kyai Abang RT/RW 02/06, Sidomulyo, Kec. Semen, Kediri
    – Dusun Dawuhan RT/RT 21/06, Desa Tegalgondo, Karangploso, Malang



Foodies Lists: Loving Hut (The Foodie Magazine, Jan 2014)

Loving Hut’s message to the whole world is all about peace, love and harmony, and most of all, to promote the healthy vegetarian way of life. Ching Hai, a spiritual master and entrepreneur who founded the restaurant chain has successfully brought Loving Hut around the world with hundreds of outlets and some of them of course, in Indonesia.

With its feminine brand design, yellow colored interiors and pictures of international celebrities who have adopted a vegan lifestyle decorating the restaurants, it’s not hard to find Loving Hut. Especially nowadays, the growth of Loving Hut in Indonesia has been very promising as it has opened numerous outlets in Jakarta and other cities.

Although all of the items are made with wholesome plant-based ingredients, there is no reason for the non-vegan to not stop by and enjoy the dishes. Each outlet of Loving Hut has a distinctive menu that incorporates many cuisines and leaves plenty of room to explore based on the original recipes as well. Notables on the menu are Chinese, Indonesian, Western, and a little bit of Vietnamese, together with healthy drinks and juices.

Loving Hut - Kung Pao

Interestingly enough, their soybean-based kung pao exactly tastes like the real thing and well-paired with vegetable dishes like stir-fried broccoli. Of course, other options like noodles, Indonesian rice dishes, and even pizza or steak are also there for you to pick. With the spirit to save the environment and to bring the sustainable diet for the earth, this might be the place to start the world’s food revolution.


Halal-friendly (please check for the certification)
Suitable for vegetarians

Various locations in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.2553.9369

Loving Hut Indonesia
Twitter: @LovingHutID

Opening hours: Everyday, mall opening hours


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE January 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Quikskoop™: Loving Hut

Yippeekiyay! Another healthy restaurant! I’m on fire with this genre lately right? Well, partly because it was an assignment for a certain magazine. Second, just recently a fellow foodie friend of mine went ‘astray’ to become a vegan. I figure, why don’t you start looking for these hidden organic jewels and start a trend by reviewing them? Regardless of these excuses, on any circumstances aside from my religious restrictions, let’s do the foodie adventure, shall we?

For several years, I have been passing through this vegan restaurant both in Plaza Semanggi and Kampung Melayu vicinity in East Jakarta. Honestly I looked at it condescendingly and even underestimated it. Probably it’s because they put pictures of old and new celebrities all over the restaurant, making it look silly and shabby. Not to mention with the dominating yellow color that covers all angle. Just ridiculous.

Loving Hut - Broccoli Lada Hitam

However, I have to apologize sincerely to Loving Hut for underestimating it and the moment of truth came when I was assigned with this piece about healthy food. Of course, the only one that came into my mind was this Loving Hut. It’s pretty much nearby where I live and it survives for several years now. It has potentials after all perhaps!

Indeed it was. I was quite satisfied with what they have in the menu as it covers many genres from local, Chinese, and even Italian. They have strange names in it to avoid people thinking that they serve meat but of course not because they substitute it with processed soy beans.

Loving Hut - Green DelightA friend of mine has a good point about vegan restaurants that offer dishes using processed soy beans to make it appear like meat. If vegans want to eat meat that much, why not do it for real instead of eating these processed soy beans? Well, I don’t have the authority to say anything about it but if you guys happen to be vegans, feel free to share your thoughts about it.

By the way, I had a healthy vegetable juice which was refreshing alongside a kung pao dish and broccoli with black pepper sauce and mushrooms. My wife had a maki set because she loves sushi and its friends so much. Well, it was decent and very affordable. You can have a date while spending around let’s say IDR 50,000 – IDR 60,000 if you want to be frugal and boy, these soy beans do taste like meat!

Loving Hut - Tasty Kung Pao

That experience alone made me think that being a vegan or any other derivatives of it can be fun in the end. You don’t have to worry eating sautéed dishes, grills, or even soy beans with meat flavors after all, right? Well, feel free to disagree my dear vegan friends, but if it’s allowed and still healthy, I guess why not?

Roger and out!




Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address & RSVP:
Jakarta, Tangerang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Kediri, Denpasar, Medan, & Pematang Siantar
Details at

Opening hours:
Everyday, mall opening hours

Twitter: @LovingHutID
Facebook: Loving-Hut-Indonesia

Spend: IDR 30,000 – IDR 50,000 / person