Tag Archives: CLOSED

Foodies Lists: Le Cafe Gourmand (The Foodie Magazine, Apr 2014) [CLOSED]

Hailing from Surabaya, Le Café Gourmand’s appearance in Jakarta quite recently brings good tidings for the explorer of finer things in coffee and desserts. This new addition to the city’s culinary scene should make living in an era where dessert lovers can now get their way when it comes to dining out.

Jalan Gunawarman is definitely a great place to start for Le Café Gourmand. The all-day hustle and bustle through this street means progress and for that, the café starts early in the morning to serve everyone a quick cup of jo and Eggs Benedict before heading next to Sudirman or Senayan.

Le Cafe Gourmand 1

Sometime later in the afternoon, people will come in after lunch and enjoy a couple of bites on Le Café Gourmand’s famed mille feuille and the chocolate tarts, among others like panna cotta, cheese cake, truffle cake, or even ice cream. Intriguing homemade ice cream flavors like crème brulee, peanut butter, salted caramel and white chocolate, the sorbets, or the oldie goodie rum raisin are among the best you can find here.

Le Cafe Gourmand 6 Le Cafe Gourmand 5 Le Cafe Gourmand 4

One time, I personally had the latter flavor combined with coffee on their sought after best seller Affogato Espresso and indeed it’s a must-try for anyone who visits the café for the first time. With that, it brings us automatically to the coffee subject and Le Café Gourmand is not short of options for this. From their majestic Kees van  der Westen’s espresso machine to manual brews like Siphon or V60, they simply have what it takes to take coffee to the next level and the rest is, of course, up to the skill and knowledge of the man behind the machine alongside the magical beans.

Le Cafe Gourmand 3

In terms with how it looks, we will all admit that this café has its own charm with neat décor, interesting painting on the walls and a warm, jazzy atmosphere that will make anyone prolong their stay and have their second pot of tea. But make no mistake because it gets full at times and you might want to reserve first.

Le Cafe Gourmand 2

So, if you are looking for a place to mingle with your friends over dessert and coffee, now you know where to go now.

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LE CAFE GOURMAND

Address:
Jalan Gunawarman no. 65, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.2930.5522

Facebook: Le Cafe Gourmand
Instagram: @instagourmand

Opening hours: 
Everyday, TBA

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE April 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Iconic: Miranda (The Foodie Magazine, Mar 2014) [CLOSED]

Quietly and calmly, Miranda has witnessed the decades pass by, offering the best bestik recipes to its patrons. It not only offers good steak, it’s also a haven for those who want a slice of nostalgia.

Timeless! That’s how one would describe Miranda, one of Jakarta’s oldie restaurants located in Jalan Besuki – Menteng. Although in many parts the restaurant has aged and appears shabby, it’s owners have decided to keep it this way, because they think preserving the interior and structure is good for their business.

The Foodie Magazine - Miranda 3

Every time I enter Miranda, I can’t help but feel transported to the Indonesian of the 1970s and 1980s. It is reminiscent of the movie scenes featuring my favorite franchise of Warkop DKI. It does feel nostalgic whenever I’m surrounded with this kind of atmosphere – a family restaurant with old furniture, long wooden tables for six made from rattan, alfresco dining space under an old tin roof and during dinner time, a solo keyboard player to entertain the patrons. It does feel a bit romantic somehow, experiencing a time gone by.

I recently met Madame Louise, a charming lady who runs the business and a well-mannered person whom everyone adores. She spared some time to sit with me and tell the story of how it all started, despite the fact that she’s needed badly behind the cashier counter to run the business.

“After our first restaurant in Semarang, my parents moved to Jakarta and opened this place in 1969”, said Madame Louise to start the story. “My mom had been well-known for her bestik recipe which she’s probably inherited from some Dutch connections”. Bestik is actually a version of steak popular in Europe before and brought and popularized by the Dutch. The real difference is that nothing is actually grilled, like for example in one version that Miranda adapts is the use of boiled beef tongue poured with savory Dutch-style thick brown sauce with onions and mushrooms, served with French fries, carrots, beans, and cauliflower.

Bestik
Bestik

“We also serve other bestik made from chicken, prawn, snapper, and the German style beef schnitzel”, Madame Louise added. It’s all very classic looking and frankly, will whet your appetite from how it looks. The consistency is highly admirable as from time to time since I never experience a difference in taste and presentation.

Sop Buntut
Sop Buntut

Miranda also serves Chinese and Indonesian dishes as well. It’s rare to taste something aside from the bestik whenever I’m here but I do have to admit that Miranda makes a formidable sop buntut (oxtail soup) and tahu telor (fried tofu with eggs and served with bean sprouts, cabbage and sweet soy sauce with bird-eye’s chilies) as well.

“Formerly, Miranda was known as Tan Goei – a combination of my mother and father’s names, but during the New Order regime, businesses had to change their names into something Indonesian. We went with the name Miranda until now, but we always put the real name beside it to make the customers aware”, Madame Louise said. “Business may be hard sometimes but I am grateful because we run an honest business and we’re proud of our journey until this point. I have no plans so far to alter anything I inherited from my parents”, said Madame Louise when asked about the future of Miranda.

The Foodie Magazine - Miranda 4

I can now comprehend why the owners of old food businesses want just retain the look and feel of their old restaurants or bakeries. It’s simply because they want to be remembered just the way they are and it’s indeed precious to hear people say, “How timeless the restaurant is!” or “It’s always a blast from the past coming here!”

Nothing indeed, could ever replace the memories from the past, especially when it comes to something romantic and involves great food from an old kitchen. That’s how I see it from Miranda and the decades long history it holds.

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MIRANDA (TAN GOEI)
Halal-friendly (self-claimed halal, but there may be use of mirin for the Chinese dishes)
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Besuki no. 1A, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.314.0829

Opening hours:
Mon-Sat, 9.30am – 11pm
Sun, 9.30pm – 3pm & 6pm – 11pm

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Quikskoop™: Tapas Movida (CLOSED)

Not until the past two or three years, the trend of enjoying tapas finally caught the Jakartan foodies. What makes it interesting is definitely because of its rich variety that combines meat, vegetables, seafood, bread, and sauces.

Although Tapas is originally consumed in-between heavy meals, or particularly in the evening – thanks to the late dinner time in Spain which starts at 9 pm, but all I see in myself during my visit to Tapas Movida was a sheer lust to choose everything from the menu and it’s already lunch time by the way!

So, no fuss and just thrills. I decided to order four types of tapas, two from the pinchos (small portioned and usually served ‘stabbed’ with tooth picks), one from montaditos (‘mounted’ upon toast), and one from raciones (a rather big portioned tapas). After these babies, I also ordered the paella only with vegetables and enjoyed the good old churros with chocolate sauce. Classic!

Brocheta de Gambas y Pina
Brocheta de Gambas y Pina

The pinchos consists of interesting combinations such as chorizo and quail egg, mini hamburger, chicken brochette and Moorish spices, and many more. What I had that day was the grilled prawns and pineapples made like satay and tasted sweet yet savory. The hint of sweetness from the sauce, the juicy prawns, thus combined with the freshness of the pineapples was just impeccable. Try to have both of these beauties at the same time!

Another one from pinchos was smoked salmon with cream cheese filling and served upon a toast. The taste of the cream cheese reminded me of tartar sauce and it teamed up well with the smoked salmon. I’d have that anytime of the day!

Ternera con Cebolla Caramelizada y Queso Azul & Tostada de Salmon Ahumado
Ternera con Cebolla Caramelizada y Queso Azul & Tostada de Salmon Ahumado

From the montaditos, me and my wife enjoyed the caramelized onions served upon a toast and the aged blue cheese, but the main star did not compete well with the rest of the cast. The tenderloin was served rather generously but it was a bit tough and uninspiring in the end.

Albondigas con Salsa de Tomato Picante
Albondigas con Salsa de Tomato Picante

Luckily, the albondigas (meatballs) from the raciones section gave the boost back. Four albondigas were bathed inside a spicy tomato sauce which became the perfect dipping sauce for the toast. Perfecto!

By the way, aside from the paella, Tapas Movida also serves its substitute or known as fideua – made from pasta instead of arborio riceThe proteins available are exactly the same – chicken & seafood, seafood only, or chicken & chorizo. My vegetarian paella appeared impressively colorful thanks to the asparagus and capsicums. It was also decently flavored and came in sharing portion. However at the end of the day, I am not a vegan after all. So, I’d be sure to try the rest of the combination next time, especially the one with chorizo – if it’s made not from pork like from El Asador.

Tapas Movida - Outdoor

Again, it’s better to visit places like this during night-time. Of course, it’s still quiet during lunch time and you can enjoy your meals easily, however the atmosphere was rather uninspiring and I did not feel neither at home nor at a good restaurant. Tapas Movida should consider giving a warm welcome through music since the hour it opens and more lights coming from the bar. It was all too gloomy around the stage there. On the bright side though, I admired its Gaudi-inspired outdoor seats although it was way too hot to sit there during lunch time. Perhaps next time!

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TAPAS MOVIDA

Halal-friendly (some menu contains pork and alcohol)

Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Cipete Raya no.  66, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours:
Everyday,
11 am – 10 pm (weekday), 11 am – 11 pm (weekend)

RSVP: +62.21.751.0851

Website: http://www.tapasmovida.co.id/

Facebook: Tapas Movida Jakarta

Twitter: @TapasMovida

Spend: IDR 75,000 – IDR 150,000 / person

Quikskoop™: Otel Lobby (2013) [CLOSED]

I always have that ‘rest assured’ feeling whenever I enter this particular ‘hotel lobby’, knowing that I’ll be under good care of Chef Maya Aldy and her kitchen charisma. I bet everyone feels the same about this restaurant!

Although Otel Lobby has been around for quite some time, I just recently learned that the restaurant has gone through a new touch on its decor. What I really love about it is the European feel like in the 1920s (if I’m not mistaken about the era) with its vintage briefcases and retro-looking furniture. Of course, not only the decor that has changed a bit, Otel Lobby has always been known to put the extra mile on its dishes. Chef Maya Aldy continuously creates something new to delight her beloved customers.

Even a short walk under the punishing sun on the business district of Epicentrum was enough to put me famished and the grilled lamb shank was a beautiful choice to seize the day alongside other refreshing beverages. With its appetizingly rustic appearance, the lamb boasts a depth with its flavor, drenched with sweet potato confit. Anyway, the diced sweet potatoes were also set as the sidekick for the lamb to give it a homey feeling about the dish but the cucumber salad was the one that gave the elegant touch.

Nachos & Cheese
Nachos & Cheese

Before that, a cutting board filled nachos was invited to join me and my wife conversation about our daily lives. Equipped well with melted cheese, diced avocado, tomato salsa, and crushed meatballs, the nachos was a powerful appetizer for any occasion. Even so, the tempo was a bit disrupted by the sudden appearance of the salmon pizza.

Of course our focus shifted to this extravagant traditional Italian dish topped with smoked salmon, cream cheese, rockets, and chives. Regretful, but we had to let the nachos gone stale from the sauce. It was all highly satisfying but of course it’s not right if I didn’t seal the day with a decent dessert and that choice fell for the Toblerone puff with creamy filling and chocolate sauce. Works the wonder for hot days during summertime!

Salmon Pizza
Salmon Pizza

So, those were my choices among several new inventions by Chef Maya. Other options such as “Pigs in the blanket” for example is actually a tender beef hot dog with warm pastry or from the pasta side, ‘Garden pasta’ filled with zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, light tomato sauce, and added with chicken or seafood of your choice sounds intriguing as well.

Well, the downside was also there even though Otel Lobby is a place hallowed with magic spells. The service could use a more smile and attention to details were lacking that day like when they served the pizza too quick or when they didn’t clear the table after we had finished with each dish. Way before, the dessert was also served too early even before the nachos came and of course, we made them return it back to the kitchen. Well, I was actually hoping for a fresh dessert after we really finished with the mains but with this, there’s nothing you could do right? It would be a shame to waste it and luckily, the Toblerone puff turned out very well anyway.

Toblerone Puff
Toblerone Puff

At the end of our lunch, a chance meeting with Chef Maya happened just before we left the restaurant and it’s always been a pleasure to meet the lady proprietress. So, there goes my last visit to the ‘chamber of might and magic’ as I said back in 2012. Looking forward for many visits to come and to enjoy the creations of the chef I trust my tummy with.

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OTEL LOBBY
Halal-friendly (liquors are served)
Some menu suitable for vegetarians

Address: The Annex Building of Bakrie Tower, Epicentrum Kuningan, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours: Everyday, 11 am – late

RSVP: +62.21.2994.1324

Website: http://otellobby.com

Facebook: Otel Lobby

Twitter: @otellobby

Spend: IDR 250,000 – IDR 400,000 for two

Kahvehane: Chez Moka [CLOSED]

Bandungers have to thank Noah’s Barn for bringing the renewed spirit in coffee exploration. Within a year after the arrival of Noah’s Barn, several artisan coffee shops emerged and Chez Moka being one of them. Of course, its initial appearance is colored with experiments on micro batches of foreign coffee beans as the main attraction but will it be able to stand the test of time with its small capacity?

Chez Moka - Interior

While other coffee shops boast their capacity and other advantages, Chez Moka survives well with its small size but with hearty atmosphere. Even so, I have to say this at the very beginning of this post. What disappointed me during my last visit was that Chez Moka let too many open air inside to ruin the smell of coffee. But not just that, smokers are also welcomed inside. Not only that it disturbed other non-smoking visitors but it may also jeopardize the coffee beans quality. Hopefully in the future, Chez Moka will consider to always close the door, put the ‘no smoking’ sign, and then try its best to obey the sign and obey and obey and obey.

On the bright side, it felt lively at Chez Moka – welcoming people, friends cheering each other, good selections of coffee, La Marzocco Linea, and a shot of Black Hole – a signature drink from here. I was immediately asked to try this particular drink – a shot of espresso with neat mixture of lemongrass-flavored syrup (if I reckon right) and simple syrup. The trick is that you have to drink half of the glass first to get the espresso punch with a touch of lemongrass and then continue to finish the drink and feel your palate cleansed by a refreshing shot of lemongrass and the sweetness from simple syrup. Neat!

Flat White
Flat White

My mood back then made me not to have the usual manual brew thingy, therefore I decided to see the work with the machine. I was intrigued with another signature ‘Lattegato’ drink, which I think is the latte version of affogato, but instead I chose the original version for my wife who recently fell in love with LIN’s vanilla ice cream made with liquid nitro and sunk within the goodness of espresso. Much to my disappointment, the ice cream wasn’t solid enough when presented and dominated the glass instead of sharing it evenly with the espresso. Lucky, my wife didn’t mind as Diamond’s vanilla ice cream, no matter how generic the taste is, never fails to deliver that smile even for me.

Lastly, the date ended in a sweet note came from a cup of the good old flat white. So, no matter how clouded the place was with cigarettes smoke, I found myself happy that there are more options for good coffee now in Bandung. However, as coffee business is a whole different, complex world aside from what the usual F&B world I see everyday, I still want to put my faith on Chez Moka. It does has its potentials although I think in coffee business, you really have to keep it up always with the challenge and to try to aim what any coffee shop could ever asked for – planting, roasting, and brewing at the same time. So, first thing first, throw the ashtrays out, close the door, and let’s brew that jo!

Chez Moka - Facade

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CHEZ MOKA

Halal-friendly

Some menu suitable for vegetarians (non-dairy products)

Address: Jalan Sawunggaling no. 2, Bandung – Indonesia

Opening hours: Everyday, TBA

RSVP: N/A

Spend: IDR 25,000 – IDR 30,000 / person