Last night, we decided to go out since if not, we gonna have to endure the heat attack. Bandung has been severely hot in daylight, but luckily the night couldn’t have been friendlier.
After encountering congestion around Ciwalk and PVJ which we successfully dodged, so where else beside Istana Plaza as a good alternative besides experiencing traffic suicides? Since many restaurants closed for Lebaran, I figured that a mall would perhaps offer us better choices.
We went straight upstairs to the food court, just to find a new eatery specialized in Teppanyaki. They do, however serve Bento and Noodles in case the Teppan bar’s full, otherwise you need to wait for the seat.
The price was quite cheap, my mom picked Ginza I (Australian beef and mixed veggies) for only around IDR 25,000, while I picked Ginza II (Australian beef, chicken, and mixed veggies) for around IDR 35,000. I do however don’t recommend you to buy the juice for your drink since it’s not fresh, it’s only refrigerated Berri juices.
So we were led to the teppan bar alongside with plates full of veggies. The teppan chef directly cook the foodstuffs. He finishes the veggies first and then whatever comes next, beef, chicken, prawn, or salmon in accord with what you order. They tasted good indeed, very ‘pepperish’ and indulged you with the desire to add more rice. Plus that was probably my first time having a decent teppanyaki. A very hearty dish with a spectacle to enjoy, the teppan chef acting like bartender with the utensils while cooking. In the end, it was a very satisfying dinner. ^^
Istana Plaza Shopping Mall, 3rd Floor, CR2. Jl. Pasirkaliki 121 – 123, Bandung – Indonesia
This has become a lucid, transparent target for me to raise myself into a new level of connoisseur dementia. It’s a good thing, unlike any other dementias. Well.. There might be pros and cons about this dementia stuff because some will still got hurt in the process (notably the wallet). I, who obviously suffer this dementia, enjoy each and every moment of it anytime it strikes! Everyone would probably bailing out when it comes to this level because the stakes getting higher and higher. A word of advice for all the wannabes, always ensure that you’re up for this or else you can quit at your loss.
Okay, so what’s with the opener? It’s quite strange actually. Well, it’s because that I opened the Pandora’s Box, the door to the very road that will drag me on and on towards the appointed doom, the very thing that was long time ago before I was even born embedded in my mind and my tummy (haha..), are now finally and ultimately revealed, unraveled, unveiled, brought to light! It’s a revelation for me! It’s the fate that I should cling into for the rest of my life (much to the expense of my health and my pocket)! It’s the next level of how (I warrant) a gourmet I should become. It’s…. It’s……..
The Invasion of Hotels!!!!!
Wait… that doesn’t sound cool… Any other name?
The…. uh…. ummm….
I got none right now… Yeah whatever!
Anyway here’s the big deal, I ran into several promotion posters every time I visit Intercontinental Hotel, Jakarta. Starting from 2009, Chef Antonio Massagli will reign over Intercon’s only Italian bistro, Scusa! For the whole year! Yaay! Some people told me that before this guy came, the food was not that good. If it’s true from what I read in a certain magazine, the kitchen was ruled by Chef Luigi Girardin. You should know me that I shall not trust others’ judgments even for movies. It’s essential for me, the afflicted patient of connoiseur dementia, to judge whether it’s good or not, only through my tongues!
So one day, one of my colleagues, one of those people from the neighboring department who were the lifeline of my workplace, the profit makers, the highly paid, and of course, those who like to spend for fancy foods, asked me out for a lunch at Scusa alongside the rest of the gang. Many of my colleagues here reckon the not-so-surprising fact anymore in my office, that I’m the guy for foods, the sole survivor in the office rather than in the jungle, and the one who always carries foods from nowhere and people would ask, ‘Where did you get it?’ and I would say, ‘From the sky!’.
Yup! That’s me!
By the time I got there, my friends already had their dishes ordered. They took the same dish to my surprise. It’s actually one of the most common main dish everywhere, but what’s the essence of having this discounted fiesta with RBS card plus the ingenious Italian cuisine?! For me, it’s for having more expensive dish and this will cut the price half more than usual and that’s what I call a rare chance! Even so, I didn’t even take the 50% opportunity. There’s a lot of interesting menu of course but I took the package menu (Mezzo) instead which notably excluded in this discount system. That’s what I call the connoisseur dementia if you can now understand what the hell I was saying at the beginning of the show.
So, to start to whole party, we were all given the Walnut Bread with Fetta Cheese fillings as the opener. The round-shaped bread was stuffed into this small cup but somehow the bread still has a quite considerable size for an appetizer.You might gonna guess that the taste would probably the same like any other bread added with cheese, but it’s completely different! It’s tender with empty core in the middle but you can go straight downstairs, I might add, for the fetta cheese. It’s a match made in heaven. The looks may not be much, but you gotta dig in and find it out by yourself. Well, at any rate, don’t stray too far coz it’s only an appetizer. You’ll never know until you meet the main dishes right?
The main dishes for my colleagues were the Salmon Steak served with asparagus, veggies like scallions, and mashed potato. Seemed to be drenched with herbs and olive oil sauce. Very decent taste! The salmon was humongous, definitely not smelly, plus the you’ll be overwhelmed by the tenderness of the mashed potato with the slices of asparagus there. Anyway, two of my colleagues actually shared this other type of salmon dish, it was the Salmon Fillet with the sauces you can pick. The composition was actually quite the same, but you gonna need to pick one from the many sauces.
Since they had ordered their dishes before they even got there, my dish came a bit later. Though they spoiled upon their desserts like Mango Gelato, which was great also! Plus one of them had Tiramisu Cake, and probably some fruity coolers if I’m not mistaken, I just tucked in to my appetizers. The Italian name over my dish sure made it cool enough before even eating it and that would be the Insalata di Frutti di Mare. The Fruits of the Ocean in a salad form. Frutti di Mare is a common term in Italian for seafood. The big shrimps that went with mussels and oysters plus the green veggies with the red and green of the bell peppers, not to mention the watery cherry tomato soaked in olive oil and most likely the Italian dressing made it perfect. Of course I tucked in greedily. Hahaha..
Not long after that, the star of the show came, Homemade Spinach with Ricotta Ravioli with tomato, butter, and sagesauce! Though the name was quite spectacular, but I didn’t approve with the taste. It’s more like gyoza with rarely placed spinach. The sauce was extraordinary however, but I was quite disappointed with the composition of the main dish. Sorry Monsignor Massagli, but this one’s a bit… lame. The good thing was, I can add more olive oil. I’m always a fan of OO, like Rachael Ray says.
Well, my colleagues were all disappeared at this point since it’s already past the lunch break hour, but I managed to texted my boss telling him that I’m gonna be late. Now that the formalities done, I can now have my dessert at ease. It’s a Sabayon Parfait with orange sauce. It’s a quite weird parfait for me. The vision about parfait for me was like in Japanese manga where you can see the characters having this tower full of ice creams alongside plenty of melted chocolates, bananas, cherries, and any of those ice cream condiments. Truly, this Sabayon parfait was like an ice cream, but it didn’t feel like one. It’s a defrosted ice cream, feels gelatinous, which is okay because gelato works nicely in ice cream but it has this somewhat bitter taste like you can find in oranges. Also the orange taste didn’t fit well in the ice cream though the sauce was okay actually.
As the real finisher, I was offered the coffee! I can actually pick anything that I like, be it Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, or anything. I picked the Cappuccino instead, the much safer one. Normally I’d pick Latte but since I had one earlier, well.. actually just a few days before, might as well pick another one. Turned out that the cappuccino thing was the right choice, it was quite nice in fact. I had this quite wonderful lunch, probably if I got accompanied by more friends to discuss and share the taste of the food, that would be lovelier. But the thing was, the reason why I had picked the package menu because I wanted to know the whole thing about the food starting from the appetizers up until the desserts. For me, it was quite okay because I can still see some flaws here and there, but then again, you might not see it if you order ala carte menu since the Salmon Steak was great! You see, in my case, it’s actually the main dish and the dessert. They can actually make it more ‘proportional’, not just a bland ravioli with the God only knows whether the chef put the spinach or not in it. Plus the parfait would’ve been better actually. They just need to work on the bitterness there. As for the insalata, terrific! I’d suggest that you might want to try the Sunday Brunch for everything you wish to know about Italian food. Perhaps that would be the best time to test the whole real thing and in this case, it’s the time when Chef Antonio Massagli show his might and magic in his dishes.
The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):
1. PRICE (5/10)
What can you expect from an Italian bistro with an imported chef. It’s expensive! But then again it has to be this way though in some dishes, it’s just not worth it.
2. INTERIOR (7/10)
Mysterious. I like the dark scene. It gives the elegant atmosphere, especially with all the jazzy stuff. Perfect for personal events, perhaps a bit scandal will do here. ^^
3. SERVICE (8/10)
Responsive, helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. What more can you ask here? Well, you still gotta pay the service taxes. *_*
4. TASTE (7/10)
You gotta prove it in Sunday Brunch, Chef Antonio. I’ll come again. That’s the proving time for that.
5. OVERALL (6.75/10)
Location : Hotel InterContinental-MidPlaza Jakarta
At long last, a post about something from my hometown!
Well, it appears that, since I have taken a long absence from adventuring around my neighbourhood, my sister took the liberty to scout out a bit and share another fresh info about a new place. It’s been awhile since my eagle eyes have been put into a good use and on my behalf my sis has become a good ranger for this sort of thing.
The neighborhood around this place was quite nice. Full of trees and despite the closeness to the central attention of factory outlets around Jalan Riau, this place was still as calm as before although might be a bit packed around the corner where Jonas Photo resides. Toko Coklat held a ground at the intersection between Jalan Progo and Jalan Cimanuk and the other road that leads to Jalan Riau again. So that actually offers a vantage point to attract passersby which ultimately can’t help by noticing it and one of them would’ve been my sister I assumed.
Okay, so in one sunny afternoon after taking my family some time off and a good lunch, it was decided that we should have a some sort of ‘coffee break’ in a chocolate bar. I see why not and once we arrived, seemed for me, the place was quite nice. Modern architecture, with plenty of windows and open air to keep it fresh and full of light. But alas, actually there were many spaces for comfortable seats inside, the owner prefer to furnish the cafe only by cheap furnitures. The kind you would mostly encounter in food courts of trade centers or mediocre malls. Quite a shame actually.
For a small choco bar, Toko Coklat actually offers a wide selections of small chocolates price-tagged at IDR 3,500 each. Indulge yourself with the rich Jamaica Liquor, Coffee, Mocha, or Vanilla Cream and many others. The counter dressed beautifully also with animal-shaped chocolates which can be wrapped as a gift, also you can find cakes like Rolls, Mousse, Tiramisu and friends. You can also pick salty light snacks like Croquettes or Macaroni and even heavier ones like Spaghetti. Well after all, since I had my lunch before, I only picked myself a cup of Hot Chocolate and some chocolates. Though there were also coffee with all its varieties, but that time I chose the very substance related with the theme of the place and even the name of the place, Toko Coklat!
Since I lost the bill and I haven’t renewed my visit there, I concluded that everything that was there definitely not expensive. For instance, you can have a cup of coffee or chocolate only at a price range between IDR 10,000 to 15,000. As I mentioned before, the chocolate costs only IDR 3,500 and believe me, consume at most 2 and you’d probably had enough for the day.
I can guarantee the taste, the intensity of the sweetness was quite considerable but not at an exaggerating level whilst filled with creams of many sorts notably like mocha, caramel, or vanilla but that didn’t make the chocolate even too sweet and inedible, on the other hand it made the taste complete, whole, or anything you can name. Well, then again, I haven’t had the chance to taste all of it but I do recommend the place.
Apart from the fact that it’s not a place to hang out for a good deal amount of time (thanks to the not-so-cozy furnitures), you can visit here some times, pick some animal-shaped chocolates or box filled with small chocolates for your loved ones in substitute for pricy things, make it special this time and you can enjoy seeing their happy faces. Might as well come to this place, yet again I mention it, Toko Coklat.
The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):
1. PRICE (8/10)
A very wallet friendly place for a sinful indulgence!
2. INTERIOR (6/10)
The place wrapped in lights and adopted minimalist sytle interior. Though it can be furnished further to make it even better. Toko Coklat still has plenty of rooms to improve and it really should.
3. SERVICE (5/10)
4. TASTE (6/10)
For good chocolates, you can pick this place. Though I might not yet recommend the rest. You should try it by yourself first, unless you wait for my updates. ^^
So many times I’ve been to this place yet that so many times I forgot to collect the necessary data and begin to write about it. Might as well do it now, though I can come over to this place like everyday (I work nearby the establishment). Well, Japanese restaurant has always been my favorite theme. They might be similar to one another but for Sakana, you can see it right away from your first glance. But first thing first, allow me to explain a bit about my observation for Japanese restaurants in Jakarta. Well, certainly you can always pick the people-already-know type like Sushi Tei, Takigawa, or even Hoka Hoka Bento. Haha.. Sushi Tei Bandung and the one in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta used to have this sous chef from Japan though, but still they got in for the popular class. So from my point of view and driven by my desire to hunt for the ingenious taste, then the places that I should aim would be those from office buildings which notably many Japanese companies resided or at the very least the mall nearby such premises. True, that there are some places like these in malls, but it’s my job, my very job to seek hidden places like these and put an end to this hunger! Haha…
Okay, by the time you got downstairs, you can see other places of interest. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in front of you, Aro Aroy for Thai cuisine, a Japanese goods mini market called Pi-Ma, and other than Sakana would be the fellow competitor named Taichan. If you’re going deeper inside and even cross yourself to InterContinental Hotel, you’re gonna find many things! Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant, The Grill (Korean and Western grill), Bakoel Manna (Manadoan cuisine), and Kantin 99 for local foods with local price tags, and at the hotel you’re going to cross against Kado and Honzen (Japanese restaurants), Bacchus (Wine & Dine), plus also mention Java and the expensive Italian restaurant, Scusa.
Alright alright. This time I’m really coming back for Sakana. You see, you can be a bit intimidated when you encounter the outlook of the place. It’s dark and you’ll be forced to lead into a gloomy alley which turns out to be an old Japanese kind of night street festivities with many foodstalls on it but only two actually in Sakana. Those that serve takoyaki and oden. Well, from this point of course, you will be led by a waitress to your seat. By the time you got into the main hallway, you would never guess the place could be that huge! A maze made out of the private rooms. There rooms of course can be mobilized to create a new map for the maze because they got wheels down there! Each room offers different size but some rooms are interconnected with each other. Might as well give it up to any waitresses who lead the way, but be sure to tell them if you want a personal room. Nothing kinky here though. Haha.. Some rooms which don’t have wheels (strange isn’t it), they do have the sliding doors but were made out of loosely lined up bamboos. Anyway, the maze will end up in a big VIP room, the kitchen, and also the sushi bar with the kushiyaki barbeque. But of course, once again, I warrant that the favorite place would be the private rooms, be it with your friends or significant other.
On several occasions, I got myself to taste the legendary takoyaki here. I bought it for the appetizer, I ate it for dessert (well, for some of my friends, they don’t mind to buy it coz this place is the only indoor smoking haven in the premise!), and I brought it back home too. The thing is, I love it! So far, only the original ones though, haven’t had the chance to try the rest. But it’s actually funny because, aside the original, they poured the takoyaki with demiglace sauce, they had this Jawa Takoyaki which actually use spicy sauce and beef flakes/floss, then they also got Curry Takoyaki, Akashi Takoyaki (with soup), Dezatako Godzilla and Dezatako Harajuku (in which they also use macha ice cream for it). Seriously, these are wicked combination, but still, many people refuse to believe how good it actually is if they, eventually, ask questions like ‘What’s inside a takoyaki? What is tako anyway?’ and so on. And by the time they actually comprehend what a tako is, they had this long face, frowned, remembering those tentacles and the heads and blablabla. Long story short, they wanna be kept out of this cute tasty creature! Well, FYI, tako is an octopus forgodsake! Not that Mexican food. What a crispy joke that would be. Mind the heads and the tentacles, just bring it on and eat!
A portion of original takoyaki (IDR 35,000) consists of 6 big balls baked on a special stove, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and plenty of aonori. Aonori, literally in Japanese would be ao – blue and nori – seaweed, but it’s actually more like another type of edible seaweed frequently used as a topping for many Japanese dishes. The main ingredient of it all, the tako itself comes actually from the baby octopus, it’s like the one you see orbiting around the sushi restaurant on its conveyor belt, so there’s no need to worry about it. Instead think about the baby kailan, baby corns, or even the cherry tomato in salads. How cute they are right! Now, all you gotta do is associate it with the tako and there you go. Delicious!
Aside from the takoyaki, you can always guess what a complete Japanese restaurant would offer. A wide range of various dishes from oden, donburi (lunch/dinner box), yakitori (skewers), teishoku (lunch set), sushi, sashimi, menrui (noodles dishes), plus the authentic Japanese liquors of course. The price range for this place is very friendly comparing the competitors in Jakarta. But the service tax certainly one of the highest. Well, for lunch, I recommend the teishoku of course, but after comparing it with several restaurants, the grilled fish here was just great! I have tried the shishamo (smelt), shake (salmon), and sanma (mackerel) so far. For cheaper lunch set, you can try the crispy chicken cutlets of course. All of it comes with miso shiru, rice, salads, and pickles. Plus if you wanna go green or vegan, you should also try the Yasai Itame Set, it’s just great! They simply stirred veggies and shiitake mushroom then put on top of a hotplate, of course added with the same companions like all teishoku do. Too bad that (like Sushi Ippachi), they don’t provide teishoku at night.
So this place turns out to be an izakaya of some sort. A place for drink and snacks. Though mostly dominated by beers, sake, and shochu but experiencing the feeling of a night Japanese town leisure districts with lanterns, private rooms resembling the foodstalls with seatings, and of course the tatami mats and low tables would certainly be very grasping, right? Day or night would bear no difference once you get inside this place. You can go for private here or partying a la Japanese people after work! Still you gonna hear plenty of Japanese talks, hearty laughs, but at the same time, privacy guaranteed!
The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):
– Calculation Method (Reeks of Taxes!)
GT = After Service Tax Principle Price x Restaurant Tax
– Service Tax = 10% (Huh!)
– Grand Total = TBA
2. INTERIOR (8/10)
A very unique Japanese restaurant as far as I’m concerned. It may be intimidating, but privacy would be the keyword once you get inside this place.
3. SERVICE (6/10)
With 10% service charge, the waitresses can actually put more smile. They do helpful and swift, but should be friendlier. Perhaps it’s already a habit for them to serve Japanese people this way.
4. TASTE (7/10)
The best takoyaki ever! As for the other, you can almost guess. Pretty much the same but certainly is good.
5. OVERALL (6.5/10)
This is the threshold for my average insatiable satisfaction level. I’m still looking for better places with more balanced score, but Sakana certainly tries to be one of them that could keep up with my standards.
Location : MidPlaza Building I Basement Floor, Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta
Harvey Nichols is one of the most long-lasting and prominent chain of fashion retailers from UK. Opened its first store in South East Asia here in Jakarta at the soon-to-be or already pride of Jakarta, Grand Indonesia Shopping Town. Resided in the newly opened East Mall and conquers over several stories, Harvey Nichols offers us a new style of a fashion retailer should be, though competing bitterly with its next door rival, Seibu.
Surely this blog came out with something and if that’s not about food or traveling things, then what else? It was exactly at the 3rd floor (guess so), side by side with Social House, that’s where you can find the Harvey Nichols Food Market. It wasn’t a huge place that offers everything, but mostly were imported goods. But the cool thing is that after 7 PM you can buy takeaway foods with a 50% discount. You can name many things started salads, juices, and pastries. Probably the best bargain were the salads and the pastries only. The juice well, you can pick various fruits or veggie starting from orange, melon, tomato, carrot, etc but well it’s true that it gonna cost you about IDR 8,000 or at most 10,000 if I’m not mistaken, save that you don’t like any sugar added it would be cool, but I found my melon juice was so bland! I was dead thirsty that time and was hoping to quench it with a more nutritious liquid substance and found out that it was a mistake. Probably better if it was orange juice nonetheless.
As for the pastries, I haven’t had the chance to try it, but the variety was the extra kick. The salads? Wow! It’s big, good selections, plus many dressing options for only IDR 12,500 (already reduced price). Greek Salad, Caesar Salad, Mix Green Salad, Nicoise Salad and you name it. Salad dressings from Italian Dressing, Mayo, Thousand Islands, Vinaigrette and you name it too. A big box of salad surely will help your so-called diet (mind the freshness). So anytime you’re around the East Mall after 7 PM strolling a bit between Fab’s Cafe at Gramedia, the Gramedia itself, or Social House (buy your wine but bring your ‘tapas‘ from the Harvey Nichols bargain. Haha..), pay a visit to this place and buy something for your family back home.