Tag Archives: Indonesian

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.

QuikSkoop™: Menega Café

What’s one of the best things you can do in Bali? Relate this to my blog, my specialty, then it’s gonna be to spend a great time watching the sunset eating the frutti di mare in Jimbaran, Bali! So we spend one afternoon going there, turning right after the main road to find the so-called seafood restaurants corner just behind the Four Seasons Hotel, Jimbaran. Park your car there and pick the place you wanna eat. My friends who had visited the place earlier recommended the Menega Cafe right away. So the next part was to select the food.

Fresh from the sea and from an unpolluted sea, that’s what seafood lovers expect of right? Anyway, as if anybody cares as long as it’s tasty! So among all lovely creatures offered, we (7 of us) chose 0.5 kgs of king prawns, 0.8 kgs of squids, 1.5 kgs of shellfishes, and 1.2 kgs of yellow crazy fish (darn.. I forgot the Indonesian word for it). Well, since it was still around 4 PM, we instructed them to serve the dishes around 5 PM.

We played around the beach, got our feet drenched a bit, took many photographs, and spent a good time since it’s our first time together in Bali. It was our first day and we gonna move from beaches to beaches but that was one quite memorable. Meanwhile it’s closing to 5 PM yet there’s no sign of sunset at all! It was still bright and we should’ve asked them to serve it around 6 PM.

Fried Squids
Grilled Shellfishes
Kangkung Plecing
Grilled King Prawns
Grilled Yellow Crazy Fish

Since we haven’t had our lunch, we tucked in greedily and said ‘Sunset? Whatever!’. Haha.. We had all of them grilled leaving only the squids fried. The dishes decorated beautifully and made us almost spilled the saliva to the ground. We’re also given several plates of kangkung plecing, a traditional Lombok dish (popularized by Balinese) made of kangkong or water spinach dipped in a special Indonesian sambal terasi or chilis mixed up with shrimp paste, served fresh.

The best part was the shellfish, grilled with greasy butter that made them appears very intriguing and it was heavenly! The fish was good also, they divided it into two horizontal parts and removed the bones completely. The grilled prawns were also delicious! But unfortunately, the fried calamaris were not that good, so it was up to me to finish it. LOL. Anyway, I recommend you to make it all grilled if you happen to visit the place.

You can see the busyness of every restaurant there after 5 PM. They brought out the tables, chairs, plates, and every other dining utensils. The customers came out around before the sunset up until night, so that’s indeed the best time to dine there and certainly not in the afternoon though they open like all day long.

Forgot the damage done to our wallet, it need to be mention everywhere actually. So, for 7 of us plus the drinks, the totals were IDR 339,500! That’s quite cheap though many places offer the same level or even more delicious seafood, but Menega certainly offers you better. The beach view, the sunset, the beautiful dishes, the smoke gets in your eyes (they grill and fill the air with smokes!) but not to forget, the romance in the air. ^^


Jl. Four Seasons Hotel Muaya Beach, Jimbaran – Bali



QuikSkoop™ : Bubur Ayam Jalan Blora

For the past few weeks, I traveled early on Saturday mornings to Bandung. Everybody knows that if they wanna go to Bandung, just go straight to this Blora Street, Jakarta. It’s where most of the travel shuttle providers reside. In one fine morning, since I had arrived earlier, I decided to have some breakfast first.

I stumbled upon two hawkers, Mie Ayam (Noodles topped with chickens and veggies) or a Bubur Ayam (Chicken congee) hawkers. Since the chicken congee hawker was cleaner and seemed nice, I decided to pick this one. One bowl only costs me IDR 6,000. To be honest, the taste was so-so. It’s like most porridges I found in Jakarta but a bit more decent and promising actually. The owner said that he’s still looking for the ultimate recipe for the best taste for the congee. Not bad for a 7-month-old business. He also added 2 types of crackers for the dish.

So what makes it special aside from the crackers? It is the horseradish! At first, I felt a bit strange when chewing this juicy crunchy thing, then I asked the owner and he said that he added horseradish into the porridge. Waw! A good innovation because it fits through right away with the congee. A rare combination I must say.

Still unfortunate though that he don’t provide eggs or other chicken parts for the porridge but I trust that his porridge will get better and better. He’s already had a good start and good future. I can assure that!

Location : Blora St., Jakarta (nearby Alfamart)

QuikSkoop™ : BMC (Bandoengsche Melk Centrale)

Who would not have known of BMC if you live in Bandung. It’s a very classical place, even elders recognize it better than us. Since of course, it’s owned by the government then we can always assume that they don’t really care about it anymore after one point. For example, after the renovation finished (after many decades of ignorance) or other jokes they made. Ah enough politics, let us instead enjoy the milk products BMC has to offer.

Established in 1928 and famous during the colonial days back then, BMC specialty was indeed in milk and yogurt. They also offer local cuisine, a bit of Western and snacks. It’s been awhile since I last visited the place and I had enjoyed the milk and the yogurt of course. But this time, I’d like to taste the kefir. What is kefir anyway? We already knew that yogurt is a fermented milk, and kefir is next cycle of it, meaning that it’s a fermented yogurt. Recommended mostly for diabetic people or people in health treatment but it’s still healthy anyway of course.

So then I picked Mocha Kefir and proven not to be that sour. Perhaps the plain one would be quite ‘devastating’ for weak stomach but of course you can pick the strawberry version of it too. Cost for only IDR 10,000. For friendlier picks, there’s always milk, yogurt, and ice cream with all their assortments and ‘accessory’. Have a try!

Location : Jl. Aceh (nearby Masjid Al-Ukhuwwah and Sawios), Bandung