Tag Archives: mise en place

Richeese Factory, More Than Just Fried Chicken (mise en place, Vol 20 – 2017)

Indonesia is no stranger when it comes to American-style fried chicken. The dish is widely considered as the cornerstone of Western cuisine influences for the masses in the country. It dates back to 1979, sparked by the pioneer Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Followed suit by McDonald’s in 1991, the country has seen the ups and downs of Western-style fast food industry from both foreign and local brands. Fried chicken however, has solely been very successful in gaining immense influence over Indonesian palate over the years that it has driven most of the brands to actually adapt and develop their own formula of the dish.

Even on this day, decades apart since its first inception; crispy fried chicken can commonly be found on street carts in residential neighborhoods – both privately owned or franchised. Some brands aim for presence at shopping malls, while others are also confident in presenting themselves as standalone restaurants.

Fried chicken is known not just for its delicious, crispy skin and flavorful meat which was previously marinated with spices; Indonesia also has seen creative innovations applied on the original recipe. The local rising star Richeese Factory has its own uniqueness regarding this.

But quite curiously, Richeese Factory was not a fast food chain to begin with. It was originally, and still, a business unit owned by Nabati Group known for its cheese-based snacks, crackers and wafers branded also as “Richeese”. Back in 2011, the group opened its first outlet in Bandung and Richeese Factory is among the few who are confident enough with opening both at shopping malls and as standalone restaurants.

Aside from Jakarta and its neighboring satellite cities, Richeese Factory has expanded as well to Semarang, Solo, Malang, Surabaya, and heading east to Bali. It’s also pioneering its presence to smaller cities like Garut, Cirebon, and Tegal. Yogyakarta would be the next city to anticipate a new opening towards the end of 2017.

From the menu, Richeese Factory cleverly took the advantage of Indonesian people curiosity and palate that fancies the spicier side of food in general. With addition to the use of cheese sauce which differentiates Richeese Factory than the rest of the competition, it also provides several degrees of spiciness that customers can choose for their fried chicken treats.

With 60 outlets in its possession now, Richeese Factory employs a highly standardized operating procedure that will ensure consistency from production and down to the frontline and QC. Periodically, reviews are conducted and socialized to every single crewmember, with the addition of strict audit from the HQ.

The headquarters also devises a system that ensures the logistics efficiency, especially to suit the company’s expansionist strategy. Richeese Factory, as we know it, will open their first outlets outside of Java in Makassar and Balikpapan later this year.


RICHEESE FACTORY | www.richeesefactory.com


Images by: Richeese Factory

This is the unedited version of the article

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Dapur Solo, More Than Just Tradition (mise en place, Vol 19 – 2017)

It is now only a year to go now until Dapur Solo, a Jakarta-based Javanese cuisine restaurant chain, commemorates its thirtieth year of existence. Like legends of prominent start-up businesses, Dapur Solo actually also started from a home garage, selling only rujak (Indonesian-style salad with spicy dressing) and fruit juices at that time.

The proprietress Mrs Swandani Kumarga began promoting her rujak to people in her neighborhood spreading pamphlets on a bicycle. Gradually, she began introducing traditional Central Javanese cuisine – particularly dishes coming from the city of Solo and Yogyakarta. She’s paying a tribute to her ancestral hometown’s recipes and from there, her business rose to prominence around the area of Sunter in Northern Jakarta.

Many years later, the same passion and perseverance remain. Hardworking and dynamic as always, Mrs Swan keeps herself in touch with many key aspects of the business. “Passion is key in F&B industy as we will not go far without it. You definitely have to know your customers better, recognize the best ingredients, and once you are bigger – quality control is number one”, shares the lady.

Mrs Swan now runs 15 outlets of Dapur Solo on a different scale – including five full-fledged restaurants and her more recent innovations such as the delivery outposts and an homage to traditional Indonesian desserts and snacks shop, branded as Iki Koue and Sowan.

Despite the business started from as far as 1988, Dapur Solo underwent major expansions which only took place just a decade ago. There was a drive behind all these changes and apparently, the reason was undoubtedly poetic.

“It all started with a dream”, says Mrs Swan. It’s a tag line also seen in one corner of her every restaurant. Her visionary goal is to promote Indonesian cuisine on international level and by that, there’s a perpetual need to expand. Even up until now, there’s only a handful of well-standardized Indonesian restaurant chain and mostly are only in Jakarta, with Dapur Solo as one of them. Competition is rather fierce, especially coming from the more experienced Western cuisine chain restaurants and people’s preference with that.

Mrs Swan was quick to open her second outlet on the wealthy Southern Jakarta neighborhood in 2007 and that was only a year after the re-branding campaign. As an avid marketer and quick learner, Mrs Swan knows really well on how to utilize young talents to create the whole new fresh look of her business, playing around with other initiatives such as the successful delivery system known as DS Lunch Box, and more recently – harnessing the power of social media.

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Even so, Dapur Solo is still pretty much conservative when it comes to bigger expansion plans. “We are expanding only by using our own capital. The thought of franchising the business was intriguing, but we do not want to compromise quality”, she says. She is lamenting the fact that many franchisees nowadays are more profit-minded rather than seriously involving themselves in the business.

Now as her Dapur Solo grows, the role of central kitchen and training center become more important than ever. Learning from all the trials and errors, Mrs Swan has created a unique logistics process – starting with devising right recipes since Indonesian cuisine is difficult to standardize, the division of roles between central kitchen and the outlets, the delivery scheduling, and other minute details.

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Additionally, Dapur Solo also boasts its value proposition to differentiate what it has to offer against the competition. Two things generally perceived immediately by people in general are that Indonesian food is supposedly cheap and that it can be found easily on the streets rather than at the restaurants. Mrs Swan quickly refute the arguments with several facts of her own.

“Certainly you can always choose cheaper options; but what we have to offer here is hygiene, the quality of water, authentic recipes, air-conditioned restaurants, and service. I have also appointed native greeters as my representative to give that Javanese hospitality, in addition to the Javanese feel that came from the restaurant’s design and the food itself”, she tells us.

Despite her conservative move all this time, Mrs Swan is still faithful with her dream to expand beyond borders, “If the time comes, probably we will need to come up with a smart collaboration plan with investors to open our outlet outside of Jakarta and even abroad”. She prefers to create an open managerial system as a way to keep balance between her family and the shareholders.

Moreover, the government is now more open than ever to promote Indonesian cuisine internationally. With their support, it would be easier for Dapur Solo with its immense experience to tackle issues abroad such as permits, export-import, location, as well as promotion.

Now with her daughter ready to take the rein anytime, it would be interesting to see what happens next. Because even at her age of 56 now, Dapur Solo still continue to surprise everyone here and one day – the most discerned diners abroad.


DAPUR SOLO | www.dapursolo.com


Images by: Dapur Solo

Berrywell: Jakarta’s Freshly Made Healthy Lifestyle (mise en place, Vol 18 – 2017)

While Bali may have been the first and foremost in Indonesia when it comes to wellness and healthy living, Jakarta is quickly following the same path. Despite its whole different stature compared to Bali and also known as one of the busiest capital cities in the world, the latter is actually linking itself comfortably with the healthy, post-industrial lifestyle.

Known for its smoothie bowls and cold pressed juices, Berrywell has opened up three outlets and each has its own specific demography to serve. Opening up strategically while staying relevant with the market are the keys for survival, explains Kareyca Moeloek as one of Berrywell’s owners.

Its first outlet was opened inside Fairgrounds of SCBD – an important business district in the heart of Jakarta. Of what used to be a place for nightlife for decades, Fairgrounds has transformed itself as one of the pioneering lifestyle hubs in Jakarta. Here, Berrywell is competing to cater a crowd who would specifically look for healthy treats after exercise or for the fast-paced businessmen who would seek fulfilling yet healthy lunch.

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Meanwhile at Plaza Senayan, Berrywell is serving the unpredictable mall-goers who may not always have specific target in mind when it comes to where to eat, but the shopping mall is a representation of Jakarta’s wealthier class on the south, which in the end works right with what the store has to offer.

Lastly, its latest outlet at the newly opened lifestyle hub Shophaus on the wealthy neighborhood of Menteng is probably the most suitable of all. The neighborhood itself can be easily reached by people coming from the northern part of the city. “But it’s not without its problems”, says Kareyca.

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Equipments, especially hand blenders and cold press juicers, are prone to breakdowns admits Kareyca. Quality yield as well as after-sales service and availability for spare parts are important factors taken into consideration before choosing the equipments. As for the logistics; Berrywell utilizes the speedy, reliable, and affordable online motorcycle taxi service to tackle not just the traffic but in case of immediate request for restock from the outlets. Lastly, proper education and confidence to instill upon younger, inexperienced employers are also paramount, especially since Berrywell is very open for part-timers.

There’s a specific standard of design for every Berrywell’s outlet and the one at Shophaus is the smallest. “We are operating with two freezers here and we had to work around the space to make it comfortable not just for us to work but for our customers as well,” explains Kareyca while showing the concealed parts of where they store the ingredients.

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As for the menu, Berrywell utilises local ingredients whenever possible especially for the fruits. The use of coconut water in some of their smoothie bowls menu and cold press juices portrays the characters of Berrywell strongly. Native to Indonesia, coconut is considered as super food and it works nicely with Berrywell’s formula of fruits, vegetables, and imported berries and grains.

Social media technology plays an important part to further introduce Berrywell’s existence to the world. However Kareyca admits that it is currently done casually but in the end, it’s growing really well thanks to the strategic positioning that Berrywell had done since day one at Fairgrounds and following next with the last two outlets.


BERRYWELL
www.berrywell.co.id


Original link: http://miseenplaceasia.com/berrywell-jakartas-freshly-made-healthy-lifestyle/

Images by: Berrywell

Namaaz Dining: Precisely Molecular (mise en place, Vol 17 – 2017)

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Namaaz Dining has always been the talk of the town for the past few years. Not only that it is a full-fledge restaurant specializing in molecular gastronomy, but it is also championing Indonesian cuisine as the star of the show.

Digging a bit deeper about the inspirations behind this restaurant, one can conclude that Namaaz Dining is clearly an embodiment of different disciplines inter twined into a beautiful synergy.

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There’s a sense of artistry derived from the background of Andrian Ishak, the chef proprietor who happens to have talents in music and painting. There’s a nationalistic fervor with the all-Indonesian lineup on each of the restaurant’s creations. Last but not least, the chef’s modernist preference with molecular gastronomy gives the ultimate touch for the whole restaurant’s theme.

Perhaps there’s only one so far in Indonesia a restaurant so faithful with Indonesian cuisine translated into these funky yet adventurous techniques. Admirably, Chef Andrian so far has successfully created different themes every season, numbering around one hundred recipes in total for the past four years of the restaurant’s existence.

molecular3On daily basis, the kitchen is bustling with activities and the staffs are all employing different gadgets and techniques rarely seen anywhere else. To date, Namaaz Dining opens only for dinner and by reservation only. A typical dinner here is a seventeen to nineteen-course meal and presented theatrically to create the amazement of the patrons.

For instance, the “Childhood”theme came purely from the pre-digital time, around two decades before the last millennium. It was the time when Chef Andrian experienced different flavors, habit, and customs in his childhood days. It is as simple as savoring the sweetness of geranium which was commonly bred in many households back then or how exciting it was to compete his pet snail in a race against his friends after school.

molecular4One of the highlights of that particular season was the tea bag and a donut, diluted with hot water to produce the flavor of Surabaya’s iconic dish of beef rawon soup or the gel-like Betawi beverage called bir pletok inside a test tube and covered with a geranium. The most mindblowing was perhaps ‘a sheet of paper with a pencil’. Once rolled together and eaten it tastes like sayur lodeh, Indonesia’s iconic cooked coconut soup with vegetables.

There’s no telling what will come next from Chef Andrian’s brilliant interpretations of Indonesian cuisine. So, if one considers himself as a true gourmet, then a visit here is clearly a must.


NAMAAZ
www.namaazdining.com


Original link: http://miseenplaceasia.com/precisely-molecular/

El Asador: Traditionally Challenging (mise en place, Vol 17 – 2017)

bs_article4_1Grilling as we know it in Indonesia is mostly influenced by American culture and that it goes way back to the age of cowboys. What we may not really know is that the southern part of the continent apparently has a story of its own when it comes to steak. Coming to as far as Jakarta, El Asador shows us what’s so special about it.

El Asador is located in Jakarta’s Kemang neighborhood and for the past few years has been the best place to start appreciating the grilling culture as taught by the Patagonian cowboys of South America. The name of the restaurant itself refers to ‘the barbecuer’ or the heroes behind the wonderful steaks grilled on a parrilla.

The indoor parrilla grill, as used in El Asador and traditional Argentinian/Uruguayan steakhouses is a world of difference than the usual griddle that we often see. The Southern American counterpart uses metal nets laid flat and a space is provided below for the grilling fuel but not for direct fire, instead it utilizes indirect heat from embers of hardwood.

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Traditionally, the outdoor grill is made from a cross-shaped metal used to hold the whole animal together and it can be tilted manually further or closer against the open fire and to adapt against the wind. Usually this role is entrusted to asadors and the most experienced among them usually have the ability to hunt, slaughter the animal, and down with the cooking.

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The parrilla grill itself provides a challenging environment because of the immense heat. Hence the term of ‘mansquite’ among the asadors or the mixture of scents coming from sweat, meat, and smoke as a result of all-day grilling. It is the fruits of labor of these hardworking gentlemen.

El Asador uses specific beef aged between six to eight weeks and only seasoned with salt and pepper with no marinating process at all. The favorite cut here is definitely the ribs but the flat iron steak, chorizo, lamb sausage, and the traditionally known cuts such as vacio (flank steak), pamplona (chicken rolled with lamb fat), and lingua (beef tongue) are also must-tr y. These cuts are served altogether on a tray and it is a sight to see for meat lovers!

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With a huge crowd coming every day to El Asador to savor the steak and the togetherness, there’s no denying that the grilling heritage from the Patagonian gauchos will remain alive until far into the future.


EL ASADOR
www.elasador.co.id


Photography by Dennie Ramon

Original link: http://miseenplaceasia.com/traditionally-challenging/