Tag Archives: Product Review

Flavor Updates: Chef Maya’s Cronuts (Otel Lobby, Jakarta)

Otel Lobby - Lounge

Cronut fever may not yet subsided in many places around the globe and certainly not in Jakarta. The trend may change in the future like what we see with red velvet cake, rainbow cake, and even cupcakes. So many cronuts offered around the town and can be easily found, but only at certain places we can truly guarantee the quality, both in terms of the ingredients and the taste.

Chef Maya Aldy, as you may all aware of from my posts, is one of my favorite chefs around J-Town. She is known for her initiatives to introduce locavore concept and all those genius monthly changing menu at Otel Lobby. By now, she’s preparing to start her new bakery business – according to my trusted sources. I have shown you all how Chef Maya proves she could really devise impeccable dishes and definitely the desserts or other pastry-related stuffs.

Chef Maya's cronuts!
Chef Maya’s cronuts!

Otel’s cronuts are of three flavors – chocolate crunch, coffee caramel, and lemon vanilla. Personally I love the chocolate crunch and enjoyed the fresh feeling that came from lemon vanilla. The coffee caramel appeared very appetizing as well and possessed a very decent taste. The pastry itself was thick and crunchy but also has that inner texture we love so much from donuts.

I’d love to have this as many times as possible since I have always been sharing it with my wife. Mind you, I want to finish these beauties all by myself as well! 😀

Two things to remember about cronuts from Otel Lobby. You have to order it at least a day before and do the takeaway on the designated day. Secondly, you have to eat it fast because it’ll get soggy and will lose all the goodness in it if you rather drive back home first just to enjoy it. So, better to dine-in at Otel Lobby then for that!

Price (subject to change): IDR 18,000 / piece

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OTEL LOBBY (CRONUTS)

Halal-friendly

By order only and for takeaways (limited per day)

Phone: +62.21.2994.1324

Website: http://otellobby.com

Facebook: Otel Lobby

Twitter: @otellobby

Flavor Preview: Brownies, Lasagna, & Macaroni (Memy Brownies Lasagna Schotel, Jakarta)

I love supporting budding home businesses who can really cook or bake their goods well. Recently I discovered another home business that actually started pretty recently but the aspiration of its owner came from years ago, thanks to her love of cooking and baking. It was a dream come true and she’s living it happily right now from what I see.

Memy - Brownie of grated cheese and choco sprinkles topping

Memy’s products are basically the well-known stuffs such as brownies, lasagna, and baked macaroni which we Indonesians are more familiar with the term macaroni schotel. The brownies are more the kukus-style with homey toppings ranging both between grated cheddar cheese or chocolate sprinkles which came in different sizes. Brownie cupcakes are also available as the alternative here.

Memy - Macaroni & Lasagna

Both the schotel and the lasagna are of basic content but very much to my liking. The lasagna is highly indulging as it compliments you with rich minced meat and melted cheese, while the schotel is probably a more tamed-version of its counterpart but also good! Both came also in different sizes for your needs.

Memy’s business currently caters limited amount of order since she would not dare to jeopardize the quality of her goods. Therefore, per day she limits the order not further from 4 pm or you need to queue for another day. So, best to order as fast as you can because for me, I don’t wanna to spend another day waiting for these lovely goods to come, especially the lasagna!

Price range (subject to changes):

  • Brownie
  1. 20 x 10 size of melted choco and choco sprinkles – IDR 45,000
  2. 20 x 10 size of butter cream and grated cheese – IDR 50,000
  3. 20 x 10 size of mixed toppings – IDR 55,000
  4. 7 x 12 size of melted choco and choco sprinkles – IDR 20,000
  5. 7 x 12 size of butter cream and grated cheese – IDR 23,000
  6. 7 x 12 size of mixed toppings – IDR 25,000
  7. Brownie cupcakes – IDR 5,500
  • Lasagna & Macaroni
  1. 7 x 7 size – IDR 13,000
  2. 7 x 12 size – IDR 25,000
  3. 20 x 19 size – IDR 150,000

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MEMY BROWNIES LASAGNA SCHOTEL

Halal friendly

Takeaway & Delivery

  • Minimum order for delivery: IDR 150,000
  • Delivery charge: IDR 25,000
  • Free of charge ONLY for following areas: Jatibening, Jatiwaringin, Cikunir

Phone :  +62.818.0848.3436 (Erika) / +62.812.815.4412 (Budhi)

Email: ikooke@gmail.com

Flavor Preview: Locally Empowered Ranginang & Keripik Bayam (Desanesia, Bandung)

Turut meramaikan ranah kuliner keripik dan kerupuk Nusantara yang begitu kaya ini, Desanesia tampil dengan kemasan yang apik dan menampilkan misi lokal yang begitu kental. Selain itu, Desanesia juga menawarkan satu jenis camilan yang selalu saya idolakan ketika saya berada di tengah-tengah keluarga di Bandung. Ranginang!

Tidak hanya dengan Ranginang, Desanesia juga turut menampilkan Keripik Bayam dalam lini produknya dan keduanya mendapat tambahan bumbu istimewa untuk menjadikannya beda dengan varian tradisional yang sering kita jumpai. Khusus Ranginang, satu-satunya yang berbeda seumur hidup saya yaitu ketika di masa SMA dahulu dimana teman sekolah selalu membawakan ranginang/rengginang asal Tegal yang diberikan saus manis di atasnya. Jujur sudah lupa apakah saus itu terbuat dari nanas atau gula merah, namun cukup terkenang bahwa ternyata ranginang bisa cocok dengan gaya berbeda!

Ranginang (Courtesy of Umi Fadilah)
Ranginang (Courtesy of Umi Fadilah)

Alih-alih menampilkan rasa ranginang tradisional yang polos, Desanesia justru berkreasi dengan rasa manis, asin, serta pedas yang menggunakan bahan dasar keju sebagai sausnya. Tentu favorit saya jatuh ke rasa keju asin, maklum rasa asin selalu menjadi kesukaan orang Sunda seperti saya pada umumnya. Tapi varian rasa keju pedas yang ternyata menantang ini justru bersaing ketat untuk menjadi ranginang terbaik dari Desanesia. Varian ketiganya yaitu dengan rasa keju manis yang bertekstur agak kental memang bukan menjadi favorit saya. Meskipun demikian, ternyata menarik melihat ranginang mini yang renyah ternyata bisa diaplikasikan dengan rasa seperti ini.

Keripik Bayam (Courtesy of Umi Fadilah)
Keripik Bayam (Courtesy of Umi Fadilah)

Untuk keripik bayamnya, Desanesia menyajikan dua jenis yaitu rasa orisinal dan pedas. Namun jangan khawatir karena rasa pedasnya bukan yang menjadikan Anda sakit perut. Herannya, keripik bayam Desanesia mengingatkan saya dengan masakan Manado dan ternyata cukup lezat bila dinikmati dengan nasi hangat serta lauk pauk kesukaan saya!

Terakhir, ternyata pemilihan nama ‘Desanesia’ ini terkait dengan pemberdayaan masyarakat pedesaan di Jawa Barat dalam memproduksi camilan-camilan ini. Desanesia berharap bahwa dengan memberdayakan masyarakat pedesaan secara riil tentu secara jangka panjang akan menjadi kontribusi tersendiri dalam kemakmuran mereka. Sebuah inisiatif yang berbeda selain memberdayakan tenaga lokal seperti pegawai sendiri yang lazim terjadi di berbagai pesaingnya.

Desanesia - Price List

Secara pribadi, saya cukup menikmati semua produk dari Desanesia dan ternyata kerenyahan dari semua ranginang serta keripik bayam itu cocok dengan kreasi bumbu-bumbunya. Mudah-mudahan dalam waktu dekat ini sepulangnya ke Bandung, saya bisa menyempatkan untuk memperkenalkan baik ranginang dan keripik bayam ini kepada keluarga saya. After all, we have always been fans of ranginang! Keep it up and don’t forget the MUI halal certification, Desanesia!

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DESANESIA

Halal friendly (self-claimed halal)

Available through resellers or by delivery (available for out of Bandung as well) –
Info: 
http://desanesia.com/distributor-reseller/

Website: http://desanesia.com
Email: desanesia.info@gmail.com
Twitter : @desanesia
Facebook: Desanesia

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Images courtesy of http://umifadilah.com and the price list from Desanesia

Flavor Preview: Java Bleu’s Family Meal Express – Ready-to-eat Soups and Sauces (PT. PKR Bali)

Java Bleu RTE - Soups and Sauces

I never doubted Chef Antoine Audran’s finesse in cooking, not even once. His extensive experience spanning for decades from his travels around the world culminated several years ago with his highly successful restaurant, Java Bleu. The restaurant still opens now on the colonial part of Jalan Cikini in Jakarta but the chef now moves to Bali and quite recently started a food factory specializes in ready-to-eat high quality soups and sauces.

Once the chef told me that all his products are of his very own recipe and required many months to fine-tune it. After I realized, each of the package consists of complex ingredients and I can see why Chef Audran put a lot of effort into it to make the flavor tastes authentic. Serving suggestion is provided on each pack and clear cooking direction. It’s all easy and sounds good!

So, here goes the list!

  • Bolognese with Chicken or Carbonara with Smoked Chicken (for kids)
Bolognese with Chicken
Bolognese with Chicken
Carbonara with Smoked Chicken
Carbonara with Smoked Chicken

I decided not to get creative or even follow the serving suggestions. Call me lazy but in my defense, plain and simple spaghetti would do the trick to taste the whole sauce. Both the bolognese and carbonara sauces use chicken as the protein source and possess lighter taste thus became more suitable for children.

  • Alfredo with Mushroom

Java Bleu RTE - AlfredoThis one’s here is definitely my favorite. Not only that it has depth with flavors and packed with champignon mushrooms, it also suits well with my ever-growling stomach who prefers creamy sauce over regular tomato sauce. I won’t advise you to add grated cheese because this sauce already contains cheddar, but if you want to, you might want to build something more appetizing such as macaroni au gratin for example by using this sauce. Delish!

  • Pumpkin Soup, French Onion Soup, and Mushroom Cream Soup
Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin Soup
French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup

I fell in love instantly with these soups. Not only that Chef Audran knows how to treat us for a hearty breakfast but the formula he created for these was just immaculate. The mushroom soup, for example, possess the grainy texture that you’d encounter in restaurants. Personally, I’d prefer rougher grainy texture but you won’t complain with this formula.

The pumpkin soup has the sweet, distinctive taste which was energizing and indulging at the same time while the French onion soup has a rich texture inside it, thanks to the big onion chunks and the smoked chicken. For the soup, I dare not choose my favorite because I simply like them all!

All these just made me miss the chef’s own cooking back at his restaurant long ago. Do let me know if you’re in town, chef!

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Cooking direction:

  1. Boil the water in a saucepan
  2. Place the soup/sauce pouch inside the boiled water for 5 minutes
  3. Carefully take it out
  4. Pour it over the bowl or the pasta or any of your own fantastic design suitable with these lovely soups and sauces!

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Price: Around IDR 35,000 per pouch.

Where: Supermarkets such as KemChicks, Hero, Grand Lucky, Casa Gourmet, Papaya, and Carrefour (kindly update me if you find it somewhere else).

Website: http://pkrbali.wix.com/pkrbali

Flavor Updates: Asian Wok Delights (C’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, Grand Hyatt Jakarta)

C's Steak & Seafood Restaurant - Interior

One does not simply say that C’s only specializes itself with great steak or fresh seafood. Once upon a time, I had myself a beautiful steamed coral trout with soy sauce and julienned Asian vegetables. Since then I reckon the hidden force C’s has to offer with its Oriental cuisines and this time, C’s boasts the same quality with its colorful array of the dishes served hot and fresh from the woks.

Some say that native chefs cook their native dishes best, but I beg you to differ for this case as Grand Hyatt Jakarta’s Executive Sous Chef Christer Foldnes who hailed from as far as Norway has been doing a fantastic job alongside his Indonesian kitchen team for the past few years. Not only that they serve outstanding raw and grilled seafood, but now they’re doing some wonders with Asian stuffs.

Pretty little appetizers!
Pretty little appetizers!

For only until September 29th, C’s has designed several dishes such as:
• Organic chili noodles with minced beef and spicy garlic-oyster sauce.
• Kway teow with seafood and black bean sauce
• Stir-fried asparagus with shredded beef and oyster sauce
• Stir-fried cauliflower with shrimps, ginger, and garlic
• Frog legs – Szechuan style
• Spicy tofu with Chinese cabbage, vegetables, and chilis
• Fried rice “C’s”, lamb, chilli, condiments

C's Steak & Seafood Restaurant - Asian Wok
Wok dishes all-in-one!

Among these beauties, I found that the best among all was the spicy tofu with Chinese cabbage. While usually I find most tofu-related dishes as boring, C’s has surprisingly put an immense effort to make it flavorful and daring. Those traits are also granted for the organic chili noodles with minced beef which was served like your usual ifumie dish but with bold colors and fresh ingredients.

Alternatively, two brave contenders for those two came from the frog legs, which was both sweet and a bit spicy while still they beat chicken as always. Last but the least, the super expensive C’s fried rice which came in with secret ingredients and imported lamb is probably one adventure that you should not miss. From what I sensed, the fried rice uses both Middle Eastern influence and our usual kampung-style fried rice condiments, colored with pickles and kerupuk. Delish!

Limited time promotion (only until September 29, 2013)

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C’s STEAK & SEAFOOD RESTAURANT (GRAND HYATT, JAKARTA)

Halal-friendly

Some menu suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan MH Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours:
Everyday
Lunch: 12 pm – 3 pm
Dinner: 6 pm – 11 pm

Twitter: @CsJakarta 

Spend: IDR 250,000 – IDR 300,000 / person