Tag Archives: Bar

Restaurant Review: El Asador

Although the options are pretty limited, it’s kinda hard to pick another selection of Hispanic cuisine in Jakarta after my visit to Tapas Movida. I had a prolonged discussion with my editor whether we should pick another pure Spanish with tapas features like in Plan B for example, a fine dining at Casa Espana, or to simply choose the Hispanic descendants such as Mexican or South American.

Originally, Hacienda had been the original choice of my editor. However after further considerations and the fact that it’s not easy to take good pictures from Hacienda at night with limited gears and an imminent deadline, therefore I decided to take the initiative by choosing El Asador, the well-reputed South American grill on the vicinity of Kemang.

This decision was also made through several other considerations such as because Plan B would be at the same page with Tapas Movida, while Casa Espana is more for splurge, and basically I don’t have time to research about the rest. Thanks to a cool writer friend of mine, Sebastian Subakti of JJK and Epicure, I had the confident to try El Asador. Anyway, my editor recommended me about it as well.

Those are the dynamics of being a food writer, ladies and gentlemen. It’s not easy to adapt with certain unfavorable conditions such as this for example or because the restaurant simply doesn’t want you to take pictures in other cases. You’d really have to rely on your memory, experience, or references from trusted sources like this case for instance. Not just that, you have to ready your stomach to ‘collect the data’ and then to fight the traffic just to get to the nearest coffee shop or home to beat the deadlines while also biting your nails preparing to face editing consequences from your remote boss. Lucky for me, this is the best job in the world so far and I am more than happy to face the challenges!

El Asador - Facade

Back to El Asador, we arrived during lunch time and there was only a patron aside from us. Mild Latin music was in the air and we seated ourselves at the edge of the non-smoking lounge, which by the way, El Asador has a smoking area made like a terrace with seats overseeing the street and completely separated from the inner chamber.

Since we entered the restaurant through the terrace door, nobody took notice of us until I decided to approach the cashier and afterwards, the service became very supreme. Even the owner, Mr Eugenio, dropped by and say hi to ask how’s the service so far. While it’s cheap to train the employees about how to serve the customers with the best attitude, according to a good friend of mine who often came by and drop some comments in my blog, it’s actually an admirable thing done by Mr Eugenio to emphasize this matter. As a result, it felt like I had my own butler for a while because somebody was stationed all the time nearby us and being very helpful indeed!

Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t mentioned before in the website or anywhere else that El Asador only serves the grills for dinner or Sunday brunch. I was very curious about the result of the grills made with asado technique – a South American style to grill meat – upon a uniquely designed parrilla or the adjustable metal frame which enables the asador (master griller) to position the meat in flexible angles to achieve the balance.

Lengua a la Vinagreta Con Ensalada Rusa
Lengua a la Vinagreta Con Ensalada Rusa

So instead, what I had that time for the opener was the lengua a la con vinagreta con enslada Rusa or a portion for sharing of boiled sliced beef tongue – which was so tender and much to my liking – marinated with herbs, olive oil, vinegar, and egg. The Russian salad, heavily equipped with mayo, was served as the accompaniment. It was interesting and although the taste may be a bit strange for many, it’s a good try anyway.

After a while, I realized that I had ordered two mains which also consist of eggs in it. I don’t know whether Argentinian cuisine (or Uruguayan – since Mr Eugenio came from that country) uses a lot eggs in their dishes or it was merely a coincidence. Anyway, both dishes tasted decent although I don’t really see the real difference with the usual Western dishes we often have.

Chivito Al Pan
Chivito Al Pan

The first one was chivito al pan or basically a sandwich filled with meat, ham, bacon, fried egg, mozzarella cheese, and mayo served alongside French fries. The meat, however, was a beef tenderloin grilled the churrasco style and was very flavorful and tender. By the way, Mr Eugenio said that chivito is a common dish in Uruguay. Safe to say, we can consider it a national dish although heavily influenced from other countries as well.

Burrito Carne
Burrito Carne

The second dish came from Mexican influence although Mr Eugenio said that he applied his own style there. It’s actually a burrito filled with minced meat, capsicumsonions, spices, scrambled eggs, melted mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and the special sauce from El Asador. It was inviting and came in huge portion. I felt content with what El Asador has to offer and thankfully, I did my best to prepare my stomach during the visit because every dish here came in huge portion!

A comeback is definitely a must for me and El Asador better fire up the grills because I’d be a really demanding customer if it’s about the meat!

To be continued to part 2 some time in the future after I tried the grills!

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EL ASADOR
Halal-friendly (no pork dishes served but alcohol served)
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Kemang Point Building, Ground Floor, Jalan Kemang Raya no. 3, Jakarta – Indonesia
T: +62.21.718.2206

Opening hours:
Tue – Sun,
11 am – 12 am (weekday)
11 am – 2 am (weekend)
9.30 am – 12 am (Sunday, asado grills available from morning)

Website 

Spend: IDR 100,000 – IDR 250,000 / person

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Quikskoop™: Chinook Café & Resto

Bandung has always been a good city to hang out with friends and have a good food or drinks while you’re at it. During my last project, I was referred to a pub nearby my house and explore a bit about it. The name’s Chinook and the pub is apparently famous for promoting local indie bands. Not only that, it sometimes cater the crowd who wants to see famous singers!

Sop Buntut Bakar
Sop Buntut Bakar

I can tell right away that Chinook has undergone a bit of facelift quite recently and it becomes more confident with the new look because it does attract visitors. Overall it’s not a kind of place I regularly visit but I was made infatuated with one of the dishes they have there.

I sampled Chinook’s main dishes such as the overly sweet spaghetti bolognese and the decent but chewy grilled oxtails, but the best one among them was actually a plate full of spicy fried tofu!

Tahu Pedas
Tahu Pedas

It’s a great snack for everybody, perfect to accompany your hanging out time, and possesses intriguing characters – very crispy, already hot thanks to the spiced batter and added with a supremely fiery sambal using so many bird-eye chilis! I sweat my nose a bit writing about this while imagining again this highly inviting dish! The manager even said to me that a certain patron sometimes came by whenever he visits Bandung and order the tofu for takeaway.

So, the other cool thing about Chinook is that they provide a place to gig for many aspiring local bands and even for already known artists. I hear also that sometimes they provide it for free and cater community gatherings as well, such as big motorcycle clubs or even heavy metal fans.

Chinook - Drinks

Well, although I fancy coffee shops more, but I’d do the takeaway once in a while for the spicy tofu or a bit of these refreshing drinks. Cool!

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CHINOOK

Halal-friendly (no problem with the food, just the drinks)

Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address: Jalan LLRE Martadinata no. 191, Bandung – Indonesia

Opening hours: Everyday, TBA

Spend: IDR 20,000 – IDR 50,000 / person

Twitter: @chinookcafe

QuikSkoop™: The Rock Bar

This bar sounds so mythical the first time I heard of its exploits. It’s a bit tricky to find this bar at first because it’s located high on the hills of the shores of a further south of Jimbaran and yet there was only one road leading here. Ah I forgot to spare the story for my next posts in my travel blog : http://daytripswashbuckler.wordpress.com. Visit it from time to time for my travel experience and this one, about Bali, will come soon. Long story short, we took the path just right from the great swimming pool of Ayana Resort, a very prominent and luxurious romantic Bali resort. You should consider coming here even though just for a few hours trip. Next, you’ll see the elevator to the downside of the cliff just beside the chapel. The elevator which I forgot the specific term of it but let’s just call it that way, can only bring up to three persons at one time plus one attendant that operates the machinery.

As you can see on the picture above, we need to queue first just to get down there. You can see The Rock Bar which was built upon a magnificent concept. Open air with a view straight to the sea and with the best view of sunset. You may read later about sunsets in Bali on my visits to Kuta beach and Dreamland in Pecatu.

On the picture down there you can see the vast, beautiful horizon that indulges the visitors of Ayana Resort and in this case, The Rock Bar. Too bad I didn’t get the sunset picture but at least you notice why people keeps on coming there no matter how far the place is.

Since it’s only a bar, they only serve drinks and since I’m not into alcohol, luckily, they have juices and mocktails. I’ll tell you later about the menu but the price range starts from IDR 50,000. It’s pretty expensive for juices or mocktails but that’s what you get from a place as extravagant like this. Mostly, the patrons come from Japan since they really promote a lot about this resort, notably in one of Jakarta office buildings that contains many Japanese companies. There were also, of course, visitors from the West.

The drinks were okay and we’re also provided with snacks. As for the service, they’re very polite and helpful. Not to mention that the waitresses also wear sexy dresses, one thing that makes certain people comfortable. Don’t ask me about it though. LOL.

The ambience also was great. Aside from the sounds of the waves and people chattering, they also play lounge or nu-jazz music which also very in-line with the concept like this. Though that time, a singer played live with only a guitar, happens to be a foreigner too, plays a frustrating ballad songs which reminds me instantly of funerals. Not a good choice indeed. We need a classy music but keep it as subtle as you can because we’re there to have a relaxing evening, Rock Bar.

Surely, this is a place that you must visit. A romantic honeymoon would also be recommended as you can travel around the vast area of the hotel and you’ll be amazed of what they have to offer and surely, making your spouse content though at the cost of your wallet. Haha.. Anyway, I’ll tell you later in my other blog about it, but meanwhile, enjoy the sea, the sunset, and the drinks there!

LOCATION:

Ayana Resorts and Spa. Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali 80364