Tag Archives: JAX

EAT: Ikinari Steak (JAX, Feb 2016)

Discover what makes this Japanese steakhouse chain Ikinari different from the rest in the competition.

Ikinari Steak (by Dennie Ramon) (4)

Ikinari Steak is big in Tokyo. That may be an overstatement if compared with the how ubiquitous those donburi kings such as Yoshinoya, Matsuya, or Sukiya and other international fast food franchises. However, Ikinari Steak’s grasp has reached to as far as Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Kumamoto on the west and Sendai to the north, in addition to its many outlets in the capital.

The secret behind the success started with the adoption of tachigui concept. The fast tempo of Japanese daily routine altogether with high property and population density in big cities are the main reasons behind the emergence of ‘eating while standing’ eateries.

There are no seats available in the restaurant and only high dining tables equipped with all sorts of sauces and cutlery. While this might be frowned upon by those who are not accustomed to it, but this concept creates quick turnover of customers.

Thus we can immediately assume that the quick turnover helps to subside the pricing. If that’s the case, it’s precisely why Ikinari Steak bravely offers half the price of the competition for the steaks. For example, 300 grams of rib eye will cost you around JPY 1,800! With so many cuts of meat in its arsenal such as quality sirloin, tenderloin, secondary cuts, burger, and wagyu; Ikinari Steak seems unbeatable as of this moment.

 
 

It was a mixture of foodie senses and destiny that brought me for my first time encounter with Ikinari Steak in Hiroshima. The store was not that big but even at 11 p.m., people were still frequenting it and seen enjoying their supper with rice and soup. Yes, rice and soup! French fries or mashed potato is not appealing for this type of mass, but the meat culture has always been strong in Japan as we all know.

First thing first is to order your meat at the butcher’s counter. State your cut and refer him the weight for your steak. Commonly it is between 200, 300, and up to 500 grams. He will then slice the meat and weigh it in front of the customer. That way, we will also know the exact weight and price.

Ikinari Steak (by Dennie Ramon) (9)

Afterwards, state your preferred temperature for the steak and expect great things coming from the kitchen. Served on a hot plate upon a bed of onions and corn kernels, the steak was beautifully presented, perfectly grilled, and topped with butter.

Ikinari Steak (by Dennie Ramon) (12)

The sharp knife agrees with the meat wholeheartedly as it sliced through easily and that it melts right away with every inch of its fine flavor in my mouth. It was comforting, despite the fact that I had to stand up just to enjoy every slice of it. Soon, however, you will forget about such inconvenience. You will be occupied with all the goodness coming from the steak.

Ikinari Steak (by Dennie Ramon) (7)

Now, it is your turn to experience this with Ikinari when in Japan.

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IKINARI STEAK
Not halal-certified
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Addresses & opening hours: www.ikinaristeak.com/shopinfo

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/ikinari-steak/

Photography by Dennie Ramon

VIDEO: Chef Fernando Sindu’s Holiday Special Treats (via JAX)

Still about Chef Fernando Sindu and his holiday recipe that I shared with you last week, here is the video this time! 😉

Article: http://wp.me/przAI-380

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3G6bgFmUyc

EAT: Holiday Special Treats (JAX, Dec 2015)

Chef Nando shares his secret recipe for a successful Thanksgiving treat for everyone.

November and December are the favorite time of the year for many. Not only that there’s Thanksgiving with its famous treats, it’s also the season for trips and holidays. Perhaps even some of us have already planned to make this season the most exciting part of the year.

Fernando Sindu, the energetic chef with enormous creativity flair that we once interviewed back at Benedict, has decided to share the readers of JAX with his finest recipe for the holiday. For this occasion only, he has whipped us all with an easy recipe to follow but certainly, a very wholesome one.

The challenge would be the time consuming part during the cooking. However, for those who are aware with his renowned might and magic in the kitchens of Umabo and Benedict, it’s definitely a must-not-miss opportunity to challenge ourselves in the kitchen with this one.

This time, Chef Nando decides to substitute the turkey with chicken to make the whole cooking process simpler. As for the rest, he has prepared a good stuffing but with the use of apple as a twist and an ounce of sentimentality.

“I used to visit my friend’s home back in NY for the Thanksgiving dinner. What I remembered most is the scent of the herbs when I entered the house. There’s this smell of sage, thyme, and the lemony scent that made it all so good”, confesses the chef.

Aside from that, Chef Nando uses mashed sweet potato instead of the regular potato and pairing it with the good old cranberry sauce. Additionally, he’s also preparing the very quick and easy cream cheese potato salad for you to try.

He also shares us some tips and tricks to make the whole cooking process went well. “Firstly, the brining process of using salt and sugar is very important so that the chicken wouldn’t dry out when cooked. Secondly, we have to make sure that the skin should be crispy and the meat wholly cooked by putting some butter. Lastly, the stuffing should be made drenched by eggs or liquid. This time I will be using chicken stock and apple cider”, shares the chef.

There’s one last note also for us to be aware of and that came from the roasting process.

“The rule of thumb is to roast the chicken in high temperature first to get that crispy skin and next in low temperature to make sure that the meat is well-cooked”, says Chef Nando.

It has become apparent that this will be the Thanksgiving treat that everybody will be longing for in their homes.

Meanwhile, we welcome you to give it a try and we wish you a happy holiday!

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RECIPE:

Apple-sage stuffing roast chicken with sweet potatoes mash, country gravy, cranberry sauce, and cream cheese potatoes salad.

Yield: 4 people

Roast chicken 

chicken, large broiler, 900g-1100g                1ea
butter                                                                               40gr
thyme, sprigs                                                               1ea
salt and pepper                                                           as needed

Apple sage stuffing  

apples, medium diced                                               50gr
bread, medium diced                                                30gr
onions, medium diced                                              25gr
celery, medium diced                                               5gr
carrot, medium diced                                               5gr
garlic, chopped                                                            5gr
shallots, chopped                                                       5gr
apple cider                                                                     25ml
eggs                                                                                   1ea
salt and pepper                                                           as needed
thyme, parsley, sage                                                 5gr

Sweet potatoes mash

sweet potatoes                                                       50gr
pumpkin                                                                      50gr
butter                                                                           20gr
cream                                                                           10ml
milk                                                                               10ml
salt and pepper                                                       as needed

Turkey gravy

chicken stock                                                             200ml
bones/wing tips                                                        50gr
flour, all purpose                                                      20gr
butter                                                                             15gr
onions and carrot                                                    20gr
salt and pepper                                                         as needed

Cranberry sauce

frozen cranberry                                                    200gr
sugar                                                                              40gr
lemon juice                                                                10ml

Cream cheese potato salsa

baby potatoes, cooked, cut half                      200gr
cream cheese                                                             30gr
mayonnaise                                                                 20gr
red onions, bronoise                                              10gr
chopped herbs                                                           5gr
salt and pepper                                                          as needed

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/holiday-special-treats/

EAT: Miyamoto Musashi Ice Cream Shop (JAX, Dec 2015)

In the tranquil small town called Iwakuni lies a famous ice cream shop selling 140 flavors of ice cream.

My recent visit to the Chugoku region of the westernmost part of Honshu in Japan was more than just a journey of flavor. Who would have guessed that even an ice cream shop in a rural town adheres also the same principle?

icemed1

It took just an hour drive out of Hiroshima and heading west to the Yamaguchi Prefecture. You won’t miss the famous small town called Iwakuni, famous for its 400 years old Kintai Bridge. It is a bridge so historical that it withstands the test of time and natural disasters. This beautiful arch bridge is also surrounded by beautiful countryside scene and crystal clear waters underneath.

icemed3

So what is so special about Iwakuni aside from its arch bridge and the castle on the top of the hill? Well, you know what they say when it comes to food, it’s actually best to follow the example of what locals actually do. The cold weather last autumn apparently did not hinder people to enjoy ice cream while in Iwakuni.

When it comes to reaching this ice cream shop, there’s actually a price to pay to cross the bridge but it was clearly worth the experience. Once you reached the other side, take a walk for a bit and you will encounter the famous Miyamoto Musashi, known as Japan’s fearsome fencer in the past but here, it is known for as a shop that sells, as of today, 140 flavors of ice cream.

icemed2

Unwittingly, there’s also a competing ice cream shop nearby that goes with the name Sasaki Kojiro – named after Miyamoto Musashi’s toughest adversary and that the story of their duel was written down in history. Quite unfortunate for me that the former closed that day and Musashi seized that moment to invite us with his treats. It was said that when both shops open, they will throw banter at each other in an entertaining way to snatch each other’s customers. Well, that would be quite a spectacle actually.

Musashi 1

Speaking of the flavors, it was too overwhelming to be mentioned here, especially when added with the combinations. Just to mention some, you will find flavors such as bilberry, caramel macchiato, banana coffee, 5 types of chocolate, milk tea, cheesecake, and many many more.

My choice that day was not the usual vanilla flavor that I personally like to try from every ice cream shop that I encounter, but it was the Hokkaido vanilla. Known for its livestock quality, Hokkaido has the country’s best dairy products. For only JPY 200, I was enjoying my share of ice cream thoroughly and all wrapped nicely with a waffle cone.

While at there, be sure to enjoy the town and head up to the castle. It’s best to finish the ice cream though before returning, as they don’t allow food and drinks over the Kintai Bridge. Thanks to autumn, I can enjoy my ice cream thoroughly without worrying that it might melt too soon.

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MUSASHI
Not halal-certified
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
2-1-23 Yokoyama, Iwakuni – Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Opening hours: Daily, 9am – 6pm

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/miyamoto-musashi-ice-cream-shop/

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EAT: Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki (JAX, Dec 2015)

Visiting Hiroshima is not considered complete without experiencing the taste of its unique okonomiyaki first and foremost. Here is an account on where to find the best in the city.

Okonomiyaki or often associated as Japanese pancake is a big thing in Hiroshima. The two competing styles of okonomiyaki are between Osaka and this city in particular. The former boasts its reputation as the origin city of okonomiyaki but arguably, Hiroshima’s style actually attracts a lot of fans for its unique cooking method. To be fair, many areas in Japan also have their own signature style to this dish.

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The word “big” was not an understatement at all and that can be seen since the moment I arrived at the city’s main station during lunchtime. In a shopping mall nearby, a collection of eateries are lining up side-by-side and the queuing lines were pale in comparison with the okonomiyaki shops.

However, that’s not all, as I actually discovered that there are at least two buildings in the city dedicated solely as local food havens and other forms of entertainment. The most famous one, which is quite apparent with the name, is the Okonomi-mura. However, chance brought me instead to visit the Hiroshima Full Focus Building to sample the city’s best for dinner.

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Head up to the sixth floor and expect yourself lost in a maze full of okonomiyaki shops. Some shops persuaded me to visit theirs courteously, but my choice came down randomly to this shop that relies on the one man show skills from its only cook.

From preparing the drinks, taking orders, cooking the okonomiyaki, and down to the desserts; this man handled everything swiftly and without fail. Even as each customer has his or her preferences for the orders, he took the challenge with ease and cooked accordingly. One instance, I would like my okonomiyaki topped with seafood as it actually described the authenticity of Hiroshima-style. On the other hand, he took over the order for the torched cheese okonomiyaki. It’s a spectacle, indeed.

Okonomiyaki 1

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is all about stacking the ingredients. Unlike the Kansai-style that mixes every ingredient while cooking it, the Hiroshima-style firstly uses a lot of cabbage as the foundation before piling it with the dough and other ingredients such as noodles, tempura, sliced pork belly, bean sprouts and scallions.

Cooking okonomiyaki here feels like a standardized step-by-step process. Before finishing, the cook mixed the okonomiyaki with fried egg and then lastly, topping it with generous smearing of Otafuku’s Worcestershire sauce – a savory and sweet sauce which is also a fundamental part of the dish.

Finally, my seafood okonomiyaki came around and it was such a pleasure enjoying it. Despite how it looks, it’s a full course meal by itself. The generous amount of nutrition coming from carbs, vegetables and proteins on it makes okonomiyaki a fulfilling treat.

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HIROSHIMA-STYLE OKONOMIYAKI
Not halal-certified (serves pork and alcohol)
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Hiroshima Full Focus Building
10-1 Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku, Hiroshima – Japan

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/okonomiyaki/

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