Tag Archives: JAX

PLAY: Island Hopping to Shikoku (JAX, Feb 2016)

What happens during the island hopping between Hiroshima and Ehime is more than just passing the great bridges and scenic surroundings.

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One of the biggest highlights during my latest trip to Japan was the journey from the mainland to the island of Shikoku. It was a rarity for Indonesians to visit Hiroshima and Miyajima alone, and now to cross through a series of small islands and suspension bridges along the way made the whole trip even more memorable.

The roads leading to Shikoku from Honshu came in three different parts. The first one is from Kobe via the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. The second one would be Great Seto Bridge which links to Okayama prefecture, and then lastly the direction that I took from Onomichi to Imabari of Ehime prefecture.

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The latter, known as the Nishiseto Expressway or popularly known as Shimanami Kaido, is probably the most unique in Japan. Not only that the highway links six islands between Hiroshima and Ehime, there are series of bridges which are considered as the longest in the world when combined. Furthermore, these bridges can also be crossed also by bicycles and on foot.

That is why Onomichi is the town where cyclists from around the world gather to prove their mettle by crossing these wonders upon the highway that spans around 70 kilometers to Imabari. Professionals usually continue with the return trip on the following day.


After crossing the islands of Mukoujima and Innoshima, we stopped by at Setoda on the island of Ikuchijima. While the town appears sleepy yet pleasant, it is known as a major producer of octopus and having the all-about-octopus lunch set at Mansaku was another highlight of the trip.

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Nearby the restaurant and still on the same street of Setoda-cho, this town is also known for its impressive Kosan-ji Temple. Built on the hillside; the temple complex houses several buildings, a bell tower, a 15 meter high Kannon statue, thousands of cultural items, and ultimately the Miraishin no Oka – a monument comprises of 5,000 square meters of Italian marbles and granites sculpted by Kazuto Kuetani.

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Not far from the temple, we paid homage to one of Japanese finest painters – the late Ikuo Hirayama and his art museum. The museum has three exhibit halls, a theater, and also a tea shop. It houses Mr Hirayama’s finest nihonga paintings from his travels around the globe.

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Paintings depicting cultures from civilizations of Europe to Southeast Asia are presented here and up to one of his latest masterpieces depicting the bridge to Imabari is also housed in the museum. Here one can also witness how Mr Hirayama started it all with his impressive paintings from as early as elementary school age, a passion that he continued until he passed away in 2009.


Leaving Setoda and heading further south, we passed through the islands of Omishima and Hakata until we reached Oshima island. It is the final island before the entering Imabari and ending our trip that day.

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We arrived just in time to Kirousan Panorama Park on the highest peak of the island that oversees one of the finest horizons I have ever seen in my entire life.

To the north are the islands that we have passed by during our trip and bordered by the narrow sea on the west and the eastern side. The best view came from the southwest where you can witness the brilliant sunset showering the magnificent bridge and the city of Imabari from afar.

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From up above, the boats were passing by the Seto Inland Sea and under the bridge, heading to one of the ports around Imabari. Perhaps we’re also sharing the same astonishment with the whole golden view of sunset. Still at the panorama park, there’s also the exact spot where Ikuo Hirayama used to paint the whole scenery.

The setting sun finally disappeared but giving the hope that one day we might meet again one day here. It’s now time to pass the last bridge, the longest of all on the Nishiseto Expressway.

We’re here finally, Shikoku.








Original link: http://jax.co.id/island-hopping-to-shikoku/

EAT: The Hook (JAX, Mar 2016)

Anchors aweigh! We are now sailing for a wild seafood treat at The Hook!

The Hook (1)

The Hook, as the name suggested, has many things you always wanted from a seafood restaurant. Located conveniently across the famous Blok S square, the restaurant rests comfortably on an intersection between the busy Jalan Suryo and Cikatomas. It has the all needed sunny large windows surrounding the laid back atmosphere inside. It is as if you are retreating to seek solace, away from all the commotions on Jakarta’s streets.

Initially I thought that The Hook might be another version of Fish & Co. or Manhattan Fish Market. Apparently it is not. While there is a fish and chips on the menu, the restaurant actually employs an immense use of grouper fish in different presentations. The grouper or some might more familiar with the term garoupa fish, is exclusively provided from a farm at a remote island on the pristine waters of Arafura Sea – far to the eastern part of Indonesia.

The Hook (3)

Heading straight to the food, start with something fresh and light such as the grilled prawn schasclik smeared with beautiful BBQ sauce or perhaps the fish roll satay served with chili dipping sauce. They are both appetizing and will certainly refresh you for the next course.

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One among the signature dishes at The Hook is the steamed humpback grouper. Steamed fish retains much of the nutrition with the original taste and texture of the fish itself. It was made savory and delectable after a good marination process and receiving further treatments from the delicate soy sauce with herbs.

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While at it, treat yourself also with other fine creations from The Hook such as the grilled Emperor grouper, grouper steamboat with vegetables, the deep fried grouper ribs withrica-rica, and more from other fruits of the sea such as lobster Thermidor, stir-fried black pepper Papuan crab eaten with mantao, and even the grouper head with turmeric fish broth.

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With the garoupa playing the central role here, it does sound interesting and appealing. If you are keen, let us sail together for The Hook!

The Hook (5)


Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Jalan Cikatomas II no. 35, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.2970.4981

Opening hours:
Daily, 10am – 10pm (Sun-Thu), 10am – 12am (Fri-Sat)



Original link: http://jax.co.id/the-hook/

EAT: The Caffeine Dispensary (JAX, Mar 2016)

In light of the emerging third wave coffee shops in Jakarta over the past few years, finally Kelapa Gading welcomes the pioneers to the neighborhood. One of the envoys that I visited recently was The Caffeine Dispensary.

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Consider it as a bravura effort to introduce contemporary coffee trends to classic residential area like Kelapa Gading in this instance. People are still going to the golden triangle of Kebayoran Baru or any given coffee shops in other familiar areas around Jakarta for their hipster coffee intakes.

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Judging that Kelapa Gading is very open to food businesses after all this time, these pioneers deem that the time is right for the neighborhood to receive their modernist coffee treatments. Among one of which is an “apothecary” called The Caffeine Dispensary at Jalan Kelapa Kopyor.

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The street itself is among the serene areas behind a hustle bustle façade of Kelapa Gading boulevards. While the attention of people will usually go after the restaurants on the main streets, younger audience would visit this place in exchange for its redeeming values to suppress the hot weather outside with cold drinks and coffee – brewed by the machine and manually.

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Entering the shop, the elegant beasts La Marzocco Strada and AK43 Mahlkonig grinder quickly greet everyone. The oversized bar could only mean one thing and that is to convey better communication between baristas and the customers. The open bar policy is a popular practice among third wave coffee shops around the globe, so that the empowering interaction would help to improve everyone’s understanding with coffee.

That’s exactly why I also enjoyed my time there.

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Other than attending their coffee cupping session and paying myself with real attention about the coffee lessons as well as an intro about their broad scope of business to as far as Singapore and Bali, I treated myself also with their finely crafted croissant to accompany my coffee drinking experience.

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So finally, congratulations for Kelapa Gading with the appearance of The Caffeine Dispensary and also with other notable coffee shops that we could find here. Now it’s your turn to scour the neighborhood for that long awaited weekend café hopping!


Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Jalan Kelapa Kopyor Raya Blok 1 no. 16, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.4520.109

Opening hours:
Daily, 11am – 9pm



Original link: http://jax.co.id/the-caffeine-dispensary/

EAT: Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Jakarta (JAX, Feb 2016)

After many decades of serving steak fanatics in New Orleans, Ruth’s Chris Steak House finally arrives in J-Town.

The city of New Orleans of where Ruth’s Chris Steak House was born possesses a distinctively rich cultural and ethnic heritage that has evolved over centuries between two civilizations – European and Creole. In turn, this relationship creates a magical chemistry that influences over what Ruth’s Chris Steak House has to offer until this very day.

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Petite Fillet Steak

The original Chris’ Steak House actually came to as far as 1927 and retained the status as New Orleans’ only fine-dining restaurant for many years. Until in 1965, a struggling single mother – Ruth Fertel acquired the business despite many who opposed the idea. It was due to many unsuccessful attempts to reignite the old business again to prominence.

Under her care, the steak house became more successful than ever and franchised in many countries, reaching more than 80 restaurants as of today. Despite of her passing in 2002, the legacy is being continued carefully and still in the spirit of what “The Empress of Steak” once taught.

Cheesecake served with fresh Berries
Sizzlin’ Jumbo Scallops

Now, with many years of refined experience as a steak house and to challenge the increasingly diverse culinary scene in Jakarta, the newly introduced branch is now ready to engage in upscale side of steak house competition further more in Southeast Asia after Singapore.

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Ruth’s Chris Steak House uses custom-aged US Prime beef, and employs the use of 260C heated plate to ensure the steak stays sizzling hot upon serving.

It’s a no fuss and no frills experience when it comes to enjoying it. Specific sauce will be provided upon request, but if not, it’s just love affair between salt, pepper and the butter sauce. Pure and simple.

Barbecue Prawns with Creole Butter

The steak is also complemented by traditional delicacies of US’ southern hospitality with a solid lineup such as the shrimp remoulade, barbecued shrimp, crab cakes, lobster bisque, the Crabtini, and the classic Ruth’s chop salad that consists of 15 ingredients.


Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Somerset Grand Citra, GF
Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.5221.178


Opening hours:
Daily, 12pm – 3pm (lunch), 5.30pm – 11pm (dinner)



Original link: http://jax.co.id/ruths-chris-steakhouse/

Photography by Ruth’s Chris Steak House

EAT: ST. ALi – Jakarta (JAX, Feb 2016)

One of the kings of Melbourne coffee shops finally opens its doors in J-Town. If you haven’t been there, it’s high time to visit ST. ALi at once!

ST. ALi (by Rian) 3 ST. ALi (by Rian) 4Last year, ST. ALi sent forth its best envoys such as the world class barista Matt Perger and latte art champion Ben Morrow to introduce themselves with Indonesian crowd at Common Grounds of Citywalk Sudirman, Jakarta.

Now in partnership with the latter, ST. ALi officially enters Southeast Asia for the first time and Indonesia’s capital becomes the first of many destinations around the globe in the future.
It is not a secret anymore that Jakarta’s specialty coffee aficionados have been asking for more and more with the already high in diversity coffee scene of the metropolis – from the local coffee shops that present a wide variety of Indonesian coffee beans, Starbucks as the emperor of “second-wave” coffee, to the emergence of “third-wave” proponents and to as far as Bali and owned by both natives and foreigners.

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The arrival of ST. ALi as a full-fledged third-wave coffee movement in J-town will surely become a game changer and also a great motivation for local movements to further compete in the competition and to further improve Indonesian coffee beans.

During the opening days of ST. ALi, which resides at a special corner of Setiabudi Building, the coffee shop has already garnered full house crowds from day to day basis – especially during lunch time.
Not only that it was because the special appearances of Matt Perger and Ben Morrow; the arrival of the coffee masters from Common Grounds such as Yosua Tanu and Aston Utan gave out more colors to the already enriched ST. ALi’s legacy of good coffee.

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ST. ALi now utilizes its Orthodox Blend of Colombia and Brazil for the white coffee lineup and Colombia with Guatemala for the black coffee-based beverages. While it may seem that Colombian coffee farmers play an important role as ST. ALi’s biggest and finest beans supplier, Matt Perger whispered to me that Indonesia would play a bigger role as well in the future.

Another cool thing that ST. ALi introduces us aside from the Espresso Bar is the Filter Bar, a designated corner where pour-over coffees are brewed. Currently, ST. ALi prepares single origins from Colombia’s El Illanito, Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe, and Kenya’s Asali – each with different and colorful notes to take for discerned specialty coffee lovers.
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One last thing that ST. ALi seriously prepared for Indonesian crowd is its all-day breakfast menu and the best of the best from what’s hot in Melbourne. Under the supervision of the skillful Chef Mark Richardson, the hot kitchen showcases hearty burgers, steak sandwiches, classic Melbournian brunch menu and even the vegan dishes lineup.

It’s interesting to see where ST. ALi will lead Jakarta’s coffee scene into, as many eyes are on it now. So, for those of you coffee hipsters who have been there, pray tell us, will ST. ALi become your new favorite in town or not?


Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Setiabudi Two, GF
Jalan HR Rasuna Said, Jakarta – Indonesia


Opening hours:
Daily, 7am – 6pm



Original link: http://jax.co.id/st-ali-jakarta/

Photography by Rian Farisa & official images from ST. ALi