Flavor Updates: Opera Cake (Hunny Bear Cakery, Jakarta)

My old colleagues and I used to buy cakes and gifts for any departing colleagues in our department. We sometimes pick between Dapur Coklat, Harvest, Cheese Cake Factory, or any good cake shoppe in Jakarta. This time, it was me who’s leaving them. So I wasn’t picked anymore in the selection process but trusting my colleagues in food can be the best decision in my life. Well, that’s a bit too much but they do pick the extravagant things only. Credit for you, guys!

Anyway, today’s pick for Spitter & Chewer™ would be the Opera Cake from Hunnybear Cakery. A few days earlier, I had another opera cakes from Hotel Intercontinental. Both cakes were good but the one from Hunnybear seemed to be more delicate in taste. It was better to be sure but they still can maintain the level of sweetness into something balance and it’s not a kind of cake that would make you suffer from getting full too early. You know that there are plenty of cakes that get too heavy because of the sugar level or the cheese level was too much. Like donuts for example but let’s leave the discussion about donuts later in FCK™.

The price was quite expensive, probably because it’s an Opera Cake. Made with a certain level of difficulties. Even so it was quite fulfilling and enough for everybody at the cost of IDR 220,000 for 20×20 size. Fair enough.

Opera Cake

For other cakes from Hunnybear, I recommend the Avocado Chocolate Cake. It’s not gonna be reviewed here for now, but it’s way better than the Opera Cake. To wrap it up, Hunnybear deserves the credit for creating good cakes, not the best, but it’s still one of the best in Jakarta. As for my colleagues, I give you my many thanks for everything. Thy all shalt be in my heart always! ^^


Taste : 6.5/10

Price : 6.5/10

Result : OK for me.


Lobby Graha Iskandarsyah
Blok-M, Jakarta Selatan






Phone Number: +62-21-7566624

Contact 24 hours prior to delivery time.
Free charge for Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi) Area.


Weekdays: 09.00 – 21.00

Weekend: 09.00 – 13.00


QuikSkoop™: Aro Aroy

Aro Aroy can be a good savior if you get tired of injuring your wallet or you’re not in a mood for hawkers food around Midplaza Building and Intercontinental Hotel.

The cause for your wallet injuries would either because spending too much on Japanese restaurants around there such as Taichan and Sakana which notably would cost you more than IDR 60,000 in average or spending too much unneccessary expenses on Coffee Bean or Baskin & Robbins.

Also you might get tired of hawkers food around, since I vouch that almost none of the hawkers can provide a consistently decent taste. Not to mention the cleanliness which some people may find it disturbing. Nevertheless, the clean version of Indonesian hawkers can be found beneath Intercontinental Hotel just nearby called Kantin 99. Well.. the thing is, you can get bored sometimes right?

So plenty of reasons why people might pick Aro Aroy for an alternate lunch. Not only because of wallet problem, but Aro Aroy surely offers different genre among the dominating Indonesian and Japanese cuisine in the premise. Although Aro Aroy doesn’t emphasize the fullness of Thai cuisine only in the menu, but also tries to embrace everybody’s daily appetite such as several options for Fried Rice or some Chinese cuisine dishes.

Pla Pad Pong Galee

So other than the dominating usual dishes like Fried Rice, I decided to pick a ‘native’ dish (I couldn’t be too sure though they named it in Thai) which was named Pla Pad Pong Galee (IDR 37,000) and already added with rice and clear soup. So, this dish is actually a good combination between seafood with a hint of curry, not really dominating like Padangnese, Indian, or even Japanese curry rice. A bit hot and sharp since they use also sauteed it all together with capsicums and red chilis.

I always believe that an egg in its full nature (not separating the yolk and the white) will always enhance the taste of the food. Take a simple example of the hawkers that sell fried rice. They’ll always ask you about what to do with the eggs. To mix it all up or to fry it or to make it an omelette. Personally, I’d say, ‘Hey, mix it up!’, since my previous experiences told me that by not doing that, the taste of your fried rice would be not as good as it supposed to be. It’s even better if you add an omelette over the mixed fried rice but hey, you gotta watch your cholesterol, dude.

In Pla Pad Pong Galee case, the egg was added as a mixture when the stirring process happened. Definitely adds the flavor into a savory and spicy grade. The seafood consists of cut fish, squid, and small shrimps. The rice portion was suffice as well. Reminds me of seafood with Padangnese sauce if you happen to visit seafood hawkers in Indonesia. As for the clear soup, however, was not really worth it. No matter how savory it might taste, you’d only find a small amount of vegetables and only several small blocks of chicken.

Though dining in Midplaza I Building might be quite expensive, eating in Aro Aroy can be a perfect alternative for that. No matter how unworthy the soup is, the rest of the dishes prove to be far better than just your adequate Thai dishes you can find anywhere in your usual place.


Midplaza I Building, B1 Floor. Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta

QuikSkoop™: Bakoel Manna [CLOSED]

I’ve never been a fan of Manadonese food since it’s too hot for me. My stomach will gone haywire at the end of the day. I have to admit that I’m lacking at this but people can learn right? And the moment has arrived at last for me to really test the consistency of their serving and taste. In this case, the ‘lucky’ establishment would be Bakoel Manna. Residing in a small space under Midplaza Building, Bakoel Manna can contain at most around 25-30 people at best which is around lunch.

Make no mistake, fans of Manadonese food in the building are indeed plentiful, notably women of course who fancy hot, spicy dishes more than men do. Dunno why but I heard even a certain celebrity always buy her lunch here. Ever heard of Dian Sastro? I, myself, haven’t encountered her and I don’t care actually but well, it’s already written anyway. Harharhar..

For the past few months, Indonesia seems to be in a brim of chaos. The fear of sky-rocketing price for foodstuffs is brewing. Why’s that? It’s because one of the most important ingredients in Indonesian culinary is undergoing a crop problem. The shortage due to failed crops made the price of chili soaring up to IDR 50,000/kg!! This prove to be fatal for businesses but they just can’t increase the price that easily. So in this case for Manadonese restaurants, presumably, they will reduce the spiciness of their dishes down to the level of my stomach acceptance which is good of course!

The dishes in Bakoel Manna are made in package, such as Paket A, B, C, and so on. Each package consists of different main dish and additional side dish of your choice. For example, I always pick Paket A (IDR 20,000) which consists of Cakalang Pampis (spicy skipjack tuna) and Tumis Bunga Pepaya (sautéed papaya flowers) which you can substitute with Bayam Crispy (spinach fried until crispy like crackers), capcay, sautéed veggies, and several other choices. There’s also other genuine Manadonese main dishes you can pick such as Ayam Rica, Ayam Woku, Ayam Tuturuga, Ikan Tude, Ikan Woku, Ikan Kuah Asam, and many other unfamiliar names that I need to research first.

Cakalang Pampis and Tumis Bunga Pepaya

About the consistency test I told you earlier, well.. you see, the biggest hindering factor would be the high degree of spiciness in Manadonese cuisine. I can safely say that some of my friends who really really like very hot dishes said that Bakoel Manna’s is not the hottest one. As for me, that’s a very discriminating joke since I’m gonna need extra iced water just to cool down my red tongue and sweat!

But then again, since the chili crisis, at last I can study a bit what’s inside the dishes since the spiciness doesn’t cover up the taste anymore. Well.. the combination between the tuna and the papaya flower really does the magic. They manage to keep up the standard though the degree of the spiciness my vary from day to day. The skipjack tuna was plentiful and has the savory taste which will be better though if added with the Manadonese style sambal like Sambal Dabu Dabu (diced tomato with a little bit chili, tastes sour) or with Sambal Rica Rica. As for the papaya flower (better vocab anyone?), it helps to reduce the pain from the hotness of the skipjack tuna but then again, I chose it because it’s genuinely from Manado or I can always pick the crispy spinaches.

I’m still a bit illiterate in Manadonese cuisine, more tests are indeed needed. A friend of mine used to say that Bakoel Manna only boasts the spiciness but not the taste. Here, I prove her that they are consistent and the taste was good anyway. Plenty of Manadonese restaurants in Jakarta though mostly I warrant that they’re not halal. As for Bakoel Manna, you’re good to go. Come and try. See whether you might encounter Dian Sastro or a gastronomy aficionado in training to become the master of spicy foods there. Haha.. Not a chance!


Midplaza I Building, B1 Floor. Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta

QuikSkoop™: Radesa

On my way home back from the office since a few years ago, my colleague used to recommend me to visit this certain hawkers in Setia Budi vicinity, Jakarta.

The location? Just look around for a row of hawkers in front of The Peak Apartment and the neverending story of St. Regis Apartment and the ‘cobbles’ road in front of it. There, you shall find this hawker that goes with the name Radesa. It’s pretty clear and it’s impossible to miss it unless you’re bad at directions or they’re closed for a day in a week. I forget what day but it’s somewhere between Sunday, Monday, or Thursday.

Sate Kambing/Lamb Satay

The hawker owner is an Indonesian obaasan type assisted by her son or son-in-law delivering the best of lambs every night. They have three main dishes there. The lamb satay, the lamb soup, and the lamb gulai (curry). Unsurprisingly, hawkers like them seldom experiment or experience new way of cooking or even for new dishes.

Indonesian common hawkers mostly serve foods like fried rice, seafood, Chinese, ketoprak/kupat tahu (rice cakes and tofu with bean paste), Indonesian home dishes (nasi rames or nasi uduk alongside vegetables, meats, eggs, or other local delicacies), martabak (sweet or savory Indonesian style pancake), pempek (Palembangnese style fried fish with zesty vinegar sauce), soto, chicken porridge, beef/lamb/chicken/Padangnese satay, and many many many others.

So, Radesa here can be said to be one of its kind around Setia Budi vicinity. To combine everything about lamb and that means to include gulai, satay, and soup is quite rare. You can find, for example, those who specialize at lamb’s leg soup that consists many parts of it starting from the meat, skin, up to the nose or even the eyes. I know it’s exotic or you can say even, gross, but it’s very delicious and you should try it however I haven’t found the the best place for it though.

Back to Radesa again, I’ll break it down into details about the dishes. The most familiar one, the Lamb Satay (IDR 19,000), is a charcoal grilled lamb satay and will be served with Indonesian sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) alongside with the condiments such as the raw shallots, the cabbages, the bird-eye chili, and fried shallots. I didn’t really like it since the meat was not tender, it’s not that tasty and you’ll find it a bit bland since you gonna eat it only with rice but Indonesians like it that way though. Sometimes I order a bowl full of the soup broth just to make it easy to digest and add an extra flavor in it.

So at the same time I can also taste a glimpse of Lamb Soup which like any other connoisseur, I can and have the ability to see the big picture even from a sip. The soup was rich and spicy, thanks to the pepper though it felt boring though with only that. Normally, you’d get potatoes or carrots inside alongside with the lamb meat, most likely around the rib area though so you’ll still need to face the bones. Watch out since it may be sharp at some edges.

Gulai Kambing/Lamb Curry

But the best part there would be the Lamb Gulai (IDR 17,000). Though the taste might not be too sharp for my senses and not that tasty comparing with my aunt’s home dishes. Gulai in Indonesia is more soupy instead of thick like in Japan or India but still rich in taste. The good thing here that they use tender meat so you’ll find it aside from easy digest, a good taste (not too good for me but decent enough), and nicely accompanied with a plate of warm, fluffy rice.

So, whenever you’re around Setia Budi vicinity, pondering of how to face the heavy traffic outside at Sudirman Street for awhile, just stop by and the obaasan will help you ease the pain. Not exactly making it go for good though….


Jalan Setia Budi, Jakarta. See the hawkers lining up in front of St. Regis Apartment construction site.

FCK™: Yoshinoya

Left: Veggie Original Beef Bowl, Right: Yakiniku Beef Bowl, both alongside with Miso Shiru, Japanese Clear Soup, and deep fried seafood Side Dish.

The 111-year-old Japanese beef bowl fast food chain from Japan, Yoshinoya, revives itself again in Indonesia and already made the plan for the second outlet in Jakarta. After its withdrawal when the Southeast Asia crisis strikes, Yoshinoya is indeed making a spectacular return. I have been visiting the outlet in Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall for several times last week and people still queuing for the beef bowl day and night, weekday and weekend!

The queue probably not as intimidating as those in Japan (when the ‘Beef Revival’ event or when they’re changing the beef into pork for good before the revival), but surely you gotta queue for at least 15 minutes before you can order you beef bowl.

You may wonder what’s so special about Yoshinoya. Well, here goes:

  1. Judging from their original Japanese motto. ‘Umai, Yasui, Hayai’ (Tasty, Cheap, Fast). You’ll see the price tag for regular size of original beef or yakiniku beef  bowl is around IDR 25,000. It’s already added with miso shiru or Japanese clear soup. Your choice.
  2. For that price, Yoshinoya’s beef purely came from USA Beef 100% solid, using premium Japanese short-grain rice, and 111-year-old secret recipe.
  3. Aside from the beef bowl, you can also try the combo set that consists of chicken teriyaki, vegetables, and original beef. Also the crispy chickens like KFC and free flow ocha.

Those made the beef bowl fantastically delicious thanks to the secret recipe and the premium ingredients. Especially for the yakiniku beef bowl since Indonesian tongue may be more familiar with the savory taste. As for the original beef, it’s actually good as well but perhaps not sharp enough for our senses. At any rate you should try the vegetables. It’s gonna remind you of Chinese capcay dish.

As for the Grand Indonesia outlet, I think that the place is not adequate or cozy enough for you to enjoy the dish more. The dishes are definitely without doubt tasty but some things from the restaurant itself that made it harder to digest.

First of all, it’s a very open restaurant and that makes it crowded with passersby and with the fountain show of Grand Indonesia especially also when there’s live music on the plaza there.

Next would be the seat order. I was impressed with how Pepper Lunch works on the efficiency of order, seating, and serving. The waiter would give you your table number first based on how many persons having the dine-in and then you can order, afterwards all you gotta do is to wait on your table. But not in Yoshinoya, first of all you gotta queue which is okay since it’s understandable, but after we order our dishes we need to wait on the counter first and bring our food by ourselves.

The most trivial from all is to find your table. Nobody to guide you and you gotta pace back and forth to find it because the dining area is separated into two by the cashier counters. Luckily, in one occasion or when the rush hour time, the native Japanese supervisor will be the one who’s doing the pace back and forth which I think is a waste of energy since they can actually make it more efficient by learning. At least they have assigned a waiter to write up what the queuing customers want in a small piece of paper so that when it’s their turn to come to the counter, they only have to hand it over. No more asking about this and that, no more thinking, just hand it over and wait for the dishes.

So we can actually wrap it up. Great food, cheap, but not that quick, and inefficient system of order, seatings, and don’t expect a warm or easy atmosphere. It’s a goddamn flea market there and this is like any other fast food chain around the world. Don’t expect too much about getting comfy or anything. You gotta do everything on your own. Lucky the food was great, the taste was very original, and definitely cheap for hearty Japanese dishes. Thanks for coming back, Yoshinoya. It was great, really!



Halal-friendly (not yet certified)
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Various locations in Jakarta
Opening Hours: Mall opening hours
Delivery: +62.21.500.566
Website: http://www.yoshinoya.com/
Facebook: Yoshinoya Indonesia
Twitter: @yoshinoyaID
Spend: Around IDR 75,000 – IDR 100,000 for two

The exciting gastronomic escapades of a foodie journo!

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