Flavor Updates: Mixed Fruit Cheese Cake (Cheese Cake Factory, Jakarta)

Cheese Cake Factory (CCF) is a prominent cake shoppe and cafe in Jakarta. Opens already for almost a few years and available in several spots in Big Durian.

Specialized of course, in cheese cakes with many variants such as Blueberry Cheese Cake, Double Baked German Cheese Cake, or Mixed Fruit Cheese Cake; chocolate cakes like Chocolate Tart or Chocolate Truffle; then our local pride, Indonesian layer cakes, such as Lapis Legit Prune and Lapis Surabaya; ice cream cakes and not to forget the usual short cakes and the hampers.

As for the cafe and as you can see from the website, they serve many dishes especially Italian. They seem to serve home made ice cream too which quite tempting from what I see in the pictures. Well.. Still haven’t had this chance or interest to visit and enjoy a meal there actually. Since you see, mostly cake shoppes like CCF only attract people for takeaways or cake deliveries instead of dine-in. Perhaps this is a habitual issue. People in West or Japan seem to enjoy more of dining in for even only a shortcake and a cup of coffee. Climate thingy? That’s also a factor perhaps. In colder climate, people seem to fond of ‘warming’ themselves inside, whilst us here, prefer to just eat in a normal restaurant or bathe under the sun shine. Ah.. I’m getting absurd here. LOL

Mixed Fruit Cheese Cake 1

This cake that we had was meant for farewell party of one of my colleagues in the office. We decide to always order a big cake for such occasion. The girls picked this Mixed Fruit Cheese Cake for us. It’s the 20 cm x 20 cm size that cost IDR 185,000. It turns out that the size was not imposing enough for ‘barbarians’ like us though in the end there’s still several slices remained.

About how it looks? It looks nice with plenty of strawberries, kiwis, and oranges with a twist of granulated sugar. On the side, heavy creams decorated the cake and with a touch of butane torch to make the golden color (correct me if I’m wrong), twisting around and made it look like a frame of still life painting of fruits. Quite beautiful but seems too small for us, the hungry barbarians.

Mixed Fruit Cheese Cake 2

Unfortunately, once you dig in, it’s not that impressive. The cheese cake was too light comparing the one I had from Cizz. Even though small in size but it’s very fulfilling, cheap, and lots of variety. I don’t think that even CCF can match the taste of it. More successful perhaps, but to do a head-to-head for the cheese cake tasting? I’d definitely won’t give the credit for CCF. Nevertheless, I had two slices back then and it was not that bad actually but I can see indeed that my workmates were not that satisfied because previously we had good cakes for farewells and unfortunate for CCF, perhaps we won’t pick you again next time. Keep trying though.

PRODUCT EVALUATIONS:

Taste : 5/10

Price : 6/10

Result : CHEW IT IF YOU WANT TO..  😐

ADDRESSES:

  1. Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya No. 23, Tebet – Jakarta Selatan 12810
    Tel : (021) 835 4735 Fax : (021) 837 02169
  2. Jl Barito Raya No. 2, Barito – Jakarta Selatan 12130
    Tel : (021) 7392102 Fax : (021) 72795856
  3. Jl Tomang Raya No. 41, Tomang – Jakarta Barat
    Tel : (021) 56972777 Fax : (021) 56980669
  4. Jl Cikini Raya No. 16, Cikini- Jakarta Pusat
    Tel : (021) 3924141 Fax : (021) 3926785

WEBSITE:

http://www.chzcakefactory.com/

Advertisements

Restaurant Review: Daisy’s Steak & Grill [CLOSED]

Indonesia has become a melting pot of budding ideas for new or the renewal of culinary concepts. New restaurants and cafes now can be found even in residential areas for Bandung and Jakarta with various genre. They featured modern, good-looking exterior interior plus equipped themselves with native chefs. Even local cuisine restaurants refurbished themselves to follow on with the trend and though resulting in increasing price for the food, they now seem to be more classy and ready to survive nowadays competition.

What they seem to forgot aside from the image is actually the nature of food itself. What matters here in Indonesia from what I know is actually not always the sense of the utter elegance of the establishments, the impeccable service, or even the price. It’s the taste that matters for most people. The concept of gastronomy is not always from one side only though but from every aspects that count. That’s my personal point of view, but most people probably not.

But if it’s really taste that matters, then Daisy’s Steak & Grill is utterly failing in that and falling into the abyss! I was actually sad to see this new establishment in Bandung, featuring a popular genre of Western and Steak, heavily invested itself with a good kitchen, modern utensils and kitchenwares, POS system, and of course, big capacity for customers but not in a shabby way like Abuba nor let’s say D’Cost.

It was a cloudy then rainy afternoon when I came there. From a short glance, this place was promising actually. Quite decently decorated, clean, probably quite nice at night, good kitchen like I told you, and a very helpful staff assisted us with adequate knowledge about the products. For a starter test, we headed straight to the main dish. I picked a medium-well local beef 200 gr Tenderloin Steak with BBQ sauce. A very original dish which makes it good as a preliminary examination for a steakhouse. My mom picked her all-time favorite everytime she comes to a steakhouse (Suis Butcher in this case), a Mix-Grill Steak dish, combination of a beef steak usually a sirloin steak around 100-125 gr, chicken steak, lamb chop, and a piece of sausage with mushroom sauce. This also proved to be a very good choice because you can taste almost everything a steakhouse has to offer.

Tenderloin Steak, Home Fries, with BBQ Sauce (Local)

Aside from the sauce which consists always of the Three Musketeers, BBQ; Mushroom; and Black Pepper, here in Daisy’s you also need to choose what do you want with your taters and they got a very extensive choice. Home Fries (the usual French fries), Wedges, Waffle Chips (hmmm…), Baked Potato (probably like Wendy’s), Mashed Potato, and Lyonnaise (stir fry diced potato with herbs and onions). I picked the Home Fries, again for the basic reason and luckily they cut their own potatoes so it’s not the supermarket type which I hate so much when they serve it in restaurants. My mom got the Lyonnaise because it seemed unique.

The Mix Grill Steak

The waiting time was around 15 minutes so for the mean time I decided to stroll around the place. A quite vast place but quite nicely decorated, seemed friendly, and sofas inside plus the quite sophisticated kitchen with POS. That’s a start I guess. Then came along the steaks! The appearance of it was tempting and neatly decorated but no hotplates though. It’s okay though. With high expectations we tucked in the food and seriously speaking, it’s very disappointing!

Hot Orange

First of all, the meat was cold. I didn’t understand why, but it must be something with the order of serving. Let’s say that they grilled the meat first but it took too much time waiting for the taters to be ready or the sauce perhaps or even the veggies. Luckily the sauce was warm enough to cover it up. Secondly, I didn’t feel the juiciness and the meat wasn’t even succulent. I even tried my mom’s chicken and lamb chop but they’re still the same. Bland and disappointing. Lucky for Daisy’s that the meats were tender, if they weren’t I’d be more than furious. Finally, it’s the sauce. I didn’t feel any passion in it. It’s thin and didn’t help at all except because the meat was cold and it helped to warm it up a bit but that’s not a good thing too right?

Again seriously speaking, wake up Daisy’s! You guys invested a lot in your good establishment but why can’t you serve good steak?! I wouldn’t dare to try the rest of your dishes just to humiliate you more. If it’s the amount of patrons you’re after then that’s a lame excuse because now Indonesians are more knowledgeable about food and I’m the usher of the standards and I gotta tell you that your steak is no good and you gotta fix it quick. No more excuses! Even my mom can differentiate a good dish or not and here, you’re dealing with an aficionado. So wake up okay!

I can’t blame people who wish to come though, because the place itself was nice indeed. But these days, gastronomy is not about the food itself, but it’s what surrounding it. Though it’s a shame that the very basic value of it, the tastiness of the food, was desecrated and in this case by Daisy’s. Learn more will ya? It’s not easy but it’s doable. Don’t just fret and be a local hero, but think globally today. You got competitors way better than you but they run more simple business. It’d be shameful if you couldn’t even serve a good fundamental dish like Tenderloin Steak. What about the rest? That’s why I really shouldn’t try unless you decided to provoke my rage and I’ll be like on my mocking spree mood. In short, fix the taste, hire new cook if must, and reconcile with me. Period.

DAISY’S STEAK AND GRILL

Jl. Ciliwung no. 23, Bandung

RSVP : 022 – 91509950

Email : daisys_bandung@yahoo.com

Dishes and Drinks: Sandwich, Burger/Hot Dog, Pasta, Steak, Butter Rice

Recommended Dishes: None currently. Really.

Reservation: Recommended for nights and weekend

Operating Hours: TBA (assume normal operation hours)

Methods of Payment: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards

THE JUDGMENT:

1. PRICE (6/10)

Price ranging from IDR 25,000 to IDR 50,000 for either appetizers and main dishes and that’s for local beef of course. Still too much for Bandung and they’d prefer Suis Butcher who has better experience and taste of course.

For two people the total would range around IDR 100,000 to IDR 120,000.

2. INTERIOR (5/10)

Okay for me though you have to sit on a backless wood bench. Luckily they got rooms with sofas inside though surprisingly with low tables, definitely not a good place to eat except for drinks and desserts. But in a steakhouse? I suppose not.

3. SERVICE (6/10)

Quite helpful, knowledgeable, and surprisingly took quite long for the dishes to come. It’s quicker when I was in Alibaba and they serve hot steak on a hotplate. Not a cold one like here.

4. TASTE (4/10)

Terrible is probably too much, but ain’t good at all would be the best phrase.

5. OVERALL (5.25/10)

Better close it down unless you give some senses to what you sell, Daisy. Though I wish you luck on your endeavor.

Restaurant Review: Alibaba Steak

NZ Tenderloin Steak with Mushroom Sauce

I was originally on my way for Research and Dinner (abbreviation : R&D) around the Sabang vicinity until I stumbled upon this fresh, quite nice looking, but somehow pitiful eatery (because nobody’s visiting) with many potentials. Just a few meters from there, Abuba Steak proudly but shabbily welcomed the patrons of their not-so-special-but-big-and-cheap steaks and had a full house I assumed.

I was actually dilemmatic between having steak or an all-you-can-eat at Paregu, but since I felt that Alibaba’s worth the try, I decided to dine there instead. I also felt that they may actually offer a good dinner! It was an honest thinking since they seem to be serious about the business no matter how few the patrons at that time.

So I entered the place with good feeling and found out that it’s a vast place, quite nicely decorated and air cons breeze to be found everywhere. A very stark contrast with Abuba, not to mention about the customers. Several friends of mine even said that most of the time, Alibaba is lacking in the amount of customer, used to open (now closed) a place once a upon a time in Kelapa Gading, and now from what I see, they’re persistently and somewhat recklessly open a frontal war with only Abuba just a few inches from them. Jeez.. They’re either a kamikaze of the steak world or they don’t have even a slightest idea about who they’re facing here!

Alibaba seems to be in desperate need to match the number of patronage with Abuba. You can see from the massive amount of chairs and sofas here, plus they got two-storey building. Take a look at the menu next. You’ll see the pricing of their dishes are quite at the same level with Abuba but they equipped themselves with more variety, they bought an expensive coffee machine for various coffee drinks, they got milk shakes and juices as well.

The most interesting part would be the dishes. Three types of beef (local, NZ, Australia), you can pick the degree of cooking for the steak (unlike Abuba), and the slight difference in price for local beef and NZ. With the margin of IDR 5,000 (roughly US$ 0.50), you’d better pick the NZ beef. I didn’t ask how fresh it is and knowing also that local beef has good quality these days, I bluntly picked the NZ beef. I dunno whether they were leading the customers to pick NZ, but I assume that they do run an honest business and of course it was a wise pick nonetheless since I suppose that the serving would be roughly between 150-200 grammes and with such a small margin, it’s best to pick the NZ.

Next thing I like about Alibaba is that they serve the steak on a hotplate. Feels like just the way it’s supposed to be, right? I don’t actually need a very big portion, but I need the steak served this way sometimes. Ah, almost forgot that I picked Sirloin NZ (IDR 50,000) and my girlfriend a Tenderloin NZ (IDR 55,000). The drinks? If you want something not too pricey but still good, I’d recommend the Iced Lemon Tea (IDR 7,000). It’s good, you can really feel the lemon. Well, you know, sometimes you just only feel only the mist but here, it was thicker. I do hope that they can sustain this. I might be tempted for the coffee next time since they got the huge machine. I hope the barista can manage it as well.

The meat by the way was good. It was juicy and accompanied with veggies and kitchen cut potatoes, which was a good thing since I hate supermarket french fries. As for the sauce, mine’s a bit disappointing. The black pepper sauce was not ‘pepperish’ at all and it was a bit bland to be honest. I thank the good meat by the way but eating sirloin seemed to be too much for my age (I haven’t reached 30 by the way), but when I tasted my girlfriend’s tenderloin meat with mushroom sauce, it was much much better. So you’d best pick the best of the best from this kind of place.

That time, besides us, the only patrons were another couple like us and a family of three kids after we finished our dinner. I had felt that from the beginning that this place needs to be ‘saved’ and they have proven their seriousness (with understandable flaws though) that they serve better steak (in this case Abuba). I did agree but they need to work on something more here. First of all, probably their name and design (it’s really similar with Abuba), so they better figure out something more original. Next would be the steak. It’s not perfect but it’s much better than their ‘counterpart’, so it’d be good to work on a cutting edge competitive advantage there since Alibaba seems to be targeting many customers to come (you can see that from the enormous amount of chairs you can find once inside).

Well, as much as I like about business plan, I feel that I might not be too adequate to put up more detailed opinions on it. Rest assured, Alibaba, you have a bright future but you haven’t secured it yet. I wish you the best then.

ALIBABA STEAK & IGA BAKAR

Jl. KH. Wahid Hasyim No. 112, Jakarta

RSVP : 021 – 3143501/3143469

TWEAKS

Dishes and Drinks: Beef Steak, T-Bone Steak, Grilled Ribs, Pasta, Coffee, Milk Shake, Smoothies

Recommended Dishes: NZ Tenderloin Steak (Mushroom Sauce)

Reservation: Not needed

Operating Hours: TBA (assume normal operation hours)

Methods of Payment: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards

THE JUDGMENT

1. PRICE (6/10)

Tenderloin and sirloin steak ranging from 45,000 to 80,000. A considerate price for Jakartans but not from visiting customers beside Jakarta.

For two people the total would range around IDR 115,000 to 150,000.

2. INTERIOR (6/10)

Too ambitious but not too shabby. Alibaba can always reshape again and become more attractive. Still, it’s relaxing with TVs and soft concert music DVD playing.

3. SERVICE (7/10)

Very helpful and the steak came fast (around 10 mins only, partly because we’re the only patrons).

4. TASTE (6/10)

Had much better steak but if you seek this market segment, Alibaba have done his homework for now.

5. OVERALL (6.25/10)

Has many potentials but don’t sleep to long, Alibaba.

Flavor Updates: Snow Monsters (Seroeni, Plaza Senayan Jakarta)

I know, I have gone too far in researching food, testing it, tasting it, evaluate it, judge it, and promote my harsh judgments for people to see. This idea came up after I visited Seroeni in Plaza Senayan. We actually had our dinner already and was looking for desserts.

Snow Monster’s Crunchy Giant

We stumbled upon Seroeni accidentally when we’re actually heading for D’Crepes. The bright welcome from the neon lights had been the very reason why I was interested and of course not to mention the words they promote in front of the joint such as Lavazza, TWG, and Snow Monsters. Sounds cool eh? But from what I saw, it stroke me as a restaurant rather than a place to hang out and sip your coffee.

But upon seeing the counter that resembles those in Sour Sally, Red Mango, or J.Co fro-yo, I immediately suggested us to sit there and see what’s Snow Monsters really like. It’s gotta be the counter for Snow Monsters right? Good assumption which was correct by the way. At any rate, we gonna try the coffee or the tea anyway.

Seroeni originally serve Chinese Peranakan cuisine. The price range seemed affordable. I’ll definitely review about them later here. No worries. Since we had eaten, we browsed through the beverage and desserts menu. The menu is very extensive and colorful especially the Snow Monsters part. Turned out that we can customize it like your routine fro-yo. You can pick the size and the amount of toppings you want or you can pick from the already customized snow.

Snow Monsters, by the way, is a shaved ice desserts with assorted flavors and toppings served upon a cone waffel. Back to the flavors, instead of customizing yourself, you can always pick something out of their creations. Classified into several themes like ‘Milk Snow’, ‘Coffee Snow’, or ‘Strawberry Snow’, you can pick something depends on your mood. If you’re coming with the kids, you should definitely try the Milk Snow which has many variants and toppings like cereals that your kids love. For me personally, as a coffee lover, I picked the Coffee Snow.

Currently consists of only 2 variants, Puccinoluci made out of shaved ice with KK Coffee Puff, KK Coffee Roll, and Chocolate Sauce. I’m not sure yet what KK is, so I’ll ask them later when I try something else there. The other one was the one I pick, Crunchy Giant which consists of KK Caramel, KK Coffee Roll, Peanut Honey, and Choco Sauce.

It was a good pick, the size was more than big enough for two of us, the shaved ice doesn’t feel watery because the sauce and the toppings penetrated it all, and it was a feast that cost only IDR 33,000!  With many selections, all is suitable for children up to the elders. Definitely suitable for couples. So for teens and adults, go there with your partners, and have a good time with Snow Monsters.

A good call for coming there. We really enjoyed the shaved ice. So next time, I will definitely try food. So it’s not finished yet, Seroeni. The real test is about to come. ^^v

PRODUCT EVALUATIONS:

Taste : 7/10

Price : 7/10

Result : CHEW IT, CHEWER! ^0^/

ADDRESSES:

  1. Plaza Senayan Floor 3F Unit 338 B
    Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8 Gelora Bung Karno – Senayan
    Jakarta 10270, Indonesia
  2. Jl Sisingamangaraja 19c
    Semarang, Indonesia

WEBSITE:

http://www.s2indonesia.com/Seroeni/

QuikSkoop™: Phở 2000

The first two days of my visit to Vietnam was marked by my personal ambition to have as many phở as I can. On the first day which probably going to be my next post, was Phở 24. Second day, we went to this ‘legendary’ place called Phở 2000.

The crews with the ex-president, if you can see him there. ^^

Why’s that? Bill Clinton used to visit this chain restaurant. So Phở 2000 now boasts itself even as far as Indonesia about this. I decided to give it a try to see how far they really go for this honor. We found an outlet just beside Ben Thanh Market just across the street. You’ll see it easily even from the park. Just look for ‘PHO FOR THE PRESIDENT’. They really took some pride in that.

Anyway, once inside, the place was surprisingly modest. Almost like many noodleshop you see in Hong Kong movies but it’s clean and feels like the best environment to eat noodles. Haha.. The menu was quite different with Phở 24 by the way. Instead of serving broken rice, they serve many other rice dishes as well plus the spring rolls. I wouldn’t bother for now anyway since it’s the phở that actually matters.

The good thing here is that you gonna find 2 size for the phở. Of course I wanted the big portion which only costs around VND 45,000 and around VND 35,000 for the small one. So the price range are between those two for other variants. We picked both Phở Beef and Phở Seafood. Again I forgot the exact name.

Beef Phở

When they came, it was a surprise. The size of the bowl was quite amazing! You gonna need to see it by yourself but it’s much wider than my own chubby face. Haha.. I, who happened to have the beef noodle, experienced a bit disappointment since I thought that it’s gonna be better than the one I had in Phở 24. The broth was unexpectedly not too succulent and the exterior seemed like a bowl of ramen with only beef cuts. Though we did receive the extra bean sprouts and culantro but we didn’t get the onions and the chilis. It’s okay actually, but the bean sprouts were a must and luckily they provided it for us.

On the other hand, the seafood noodle was much much better and I gotta recommend this. The broth was not clear, it’s more like tom yum and was quite strong in taste. Not to mention that they added scallions, tomatoes, and the routine seafood creatures. Add bean sprouts on it and squeezed lime for stronger combination and next, it’s heavenly.

Seafood Phở

So many people say that Phở 2000 serves the best phở and I have to agree with that. Perhaps not for the beef noodle but the seafood one and also perhaps because Phở 24 is more like a chain restaurant which as much as you would agree that KFC has the best fried chicken but still people will rule out chain restaurants in talks about what they will have for lunch or dinner in a not so casual occasion. Well, Phở 2000 is a very casual place but since they’re a family run business which they say not focusing themselves to open branches in franchise manner *correct me if I’m wrong*, but it feels to me as a family place to stop by for a hearty dish of big bowl of, again, seafood phở. ^^

LOCATION:

Several places in Saigon, but the one I visited was just beside Ben Thanh Market. You’ll find it easy from the square or the park. They also open in Senayan City Mall, Jakarta, Indonesia. Yippie! ^^/

The exciting gastronomic escapades of a foodie journo!

%d bloggers like this: