Tag Archives: Seafood

QuikSkoop™: Mr Asui

As one of the highly recommended restaurant in Pangkal Pinang, Mr Asui proudly presents itself as a mighty warrior in Chinese cuisine. Though emphasizing greatly on fish dishes which undoubtedly quite interesting, clearly what caught my attention was not exactly the food. It’s a matter of endurance.

A bright red signboard in front of an alley says out loud that Mr Asui is the place for best culinary experience in Pangkal Pinang intrigued me. This kind of feat is usually achieved by restaurants who have been visited by our culinary idol. Yes, who else besides Mr Bondan Winarno. Apart from that feat, you can easily tell yourself that by this high-profile signboard then I bet everything’s gonna be okay.

But that was just a facade. As we entered the alley, what we found first before entering the restaurant on our right side was the dishwashing station. So we get to see dirty dishes, leftovers, and other foul stuffs there. I can’t recall whether I saw trash bins as well, luckily. Either way, it was a filthy welcome and a brilliant positioning of the dishwashing section. Even the word ‘dirtilicious’ would be too good for this place.

The horror continues with the appearance of their massive dining room. Though we arrived just way past the dinner time but the cleanliness level was even worse than Bantar Gebang. Leftovers, dirty dishes (again), wet tables and messy floor with ants are everywhere to be found. The only one who cared about it was this old man who worked slow, cleaning up the mess like he had all the time in the world while enjoying a cigarette in the process!

Well anyway, if you can bear with it and endure everything that you see and feel, then off you go with the food like I did.

Tenggiri Bakar

The grilled mackerel tail is indeed the signature dish here. You won’t find it arguably anywhere but in Bangka. It takes a while to serve but when it arrives, the humongous size of it, fit for 3-4 people, that came with a friendly price of around IDR 75,000 should trick your tummy into contention for at least many hours to come. Grilled plainly without any seasonings, the fish is then supposed to be consumed with warm rice and good sambal terasi using a good squeeze of local jeruk kunci and bird-eye chilis according to your preference.

Thanks to the good grilling technique, Mr Asui manages to grill the fish suitably, maintaining the moisture inside while the outer skin left burnt. If this huge fish not enough for you then you can pick the salty (to my liking) butter fried squids and stir-fried kangkung using tauco (fermented soy sauce). A decent combination there.

Kangkung Ca Tauco
Cumi Goreng Mentega

Feel free to also derail from the mackerel since Mr Asui presents other fishes and crabs. Snapper, stingray, garoupa, kerisi, and even chicken could be an alternative. The method of cooking? Boiled, grilled, steamed, fried, and even made into soup using the native recipe of lempah kuning and lempah nanas. Needless to worry, the lempah section would be explained better in the next story.

So again, if you’re up with the messiness, decent dishes are waiting as the prize there. But honestly, I found my next stop at Belitung island that provides even more delicious seafood, clean place, and smiles from the locals. Stay tune!

———-

MR ASUI

Halal-ness to be confirmed

Some menu suitable for vegetarians

Wi-fi unavailable

Address & Phone Number: Jl. Kp. Bintang Dalam no. 93/12, Pangkal Pinang – Bangka // (0717) 423 772

Opening Hours: 10 am – 1o pm.

BB Pin: N/A

Email: N/A

Website: N/A

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: N/A

Atmosphere: Your quite modern Chinese cuisine restaurant – provincial style, feels like entering a food war battlefield.

Ambiance: I imagine it would be loud during dining hours.

Service: Helpful with low cleanliness awareness.

Pricing: IDR 150,000 – IDR 200,000 for two

FCK™: Fish & Co. (Hang Out Jakarta, April 2012)

Fish & Co. tentu bukan nama yang asing lagi di Jakarta dan Surabaya. Bisa jadi karena kehadirannya, semua orang kini sudah mengenal baik istilah ‘fish and chips’. Setelah pemunculannya selama sekian tahun, HOJ kini mencari tahu bagaimanakah konsistensi dari franchise brand asal Singapura ini.

Pertemuan pertama saya dengan Fish and Co. terjadi beberapa tahun silam di salah satu outlet-nya di Pacific Place. Tentunya menu waktu itu belum seberagam seperti sekarang ini tapi tetap yang harus dipesan adalah hidangan fish and chips yang paling tradisional. Rasanya saat itu tentu begitu memesona dan apalagi di kala lapar pasti porsi sebesar itu dapat dihabiskan hingga licin tandas.  Tapi bagaimanakah dengan Fish and Co. yang sekarang?

Ternyata teori pribadi saya bahwa lidah adalah ‘pengkhianat terbesar’ dalam seumur hidup seorang manusia memang benar adanya but rest assured, tentu bukan karena bahwa Fish and Co. mengalami kemerosotan rasa apalagi kualitas. Justru ini terjadi lidah manusia umunya seiring berjalannya waktu kian ‘terasah’ dan untuk pecinta makanan, sudah sangat alami untuk menuntut sebuah rasa yang lebih menantang atau bahkan kompleks.

New York Fish & Chips

Kali ini yang dipesan tentunya sama tapi fish and chips di Fish and Co. sudah terdiri dari beberapa varian yang disesuaikan dengan karakteristik berdasarkan negara. Perbedaannya lebih terdapat pada isian ikan tersebut yang menggunakan jenis keju yang berbeda, tapi tentu default-nya berada pada pilihan New York Fish & Chips yang menggunakan isi keju parmesan pada ikannya yang dibalut tepung renyah serta disiram dengan saus lemon butter. To make it even more colorful, pendampingnya kali ini kita bisa memilih antara french fries, mashed potato, atau paella.

Tapi untuk sekaligus menjajal ‘semua’ yang dimiliki oleh Fish and Co., pilihan yang paling bijak tentunya adalah seafood platter dimana terdapat tambahan ikan, grilled squids with ‘black’ spices dan udang dalam satu hidangan sekaligus. Selain itu serunya juga adalah berkesempatan mencicipi paella yang digabungkan juga dengan kentang goreng.

So it’s the verdict time then. Secara keseluruhan semua menu yang tersedia kini semakin beragam dan menarik, selain juga Fish and Co. senang bermain-main pada eksperimen bumbu dan rempah dari berbagai negara. Meskipun secara pelayanan masih menunjukkan pengetahuan baik tetapi mereka tidak ingat untuk memberitahukan sejak awal apa-apa saja menu yang saat itu tidak tersedia.

Seafood Platter for 1

Sebagai contoh ikan halibut tidak tersedia dengan alasan pasokannya sedang mengalami kesulitan. Meskipun bila diperhatikan sebetulnya para pengunjung rata-rata bermain aman dengan memesan fish and chips yang paling standar ketimbang memesan kepiting atau ikan salmon yang harganya terlalu menjulang. Tentu ini bukan menjadi alasan untuk tidak menginformasikan tentang availability produk pada hari tersebut.

Secara rasa sendiri sebetulnya tidak terlalu banyak kejutan dan bersaing ketat dengan pemain lainnya seperti Manhattan Fish Market namun tentu yang didapatkan juga rasanya tidak mengecewakan. Sehingga tidak heran Fish and Co. mampu bertahan sekian lama karena selalu saja ada pengunjung yang ingin big treat or something nostalgic, like me for instance. Dengan budaya menikmati fish and chips dalam takaran ukuran, variasi, dan kualitas seperti yang ditawarkan Fish and Co. ternyata masih cukup langka di Jakarta, bukan tidak mungkin usaha ini akan bertahan sangat lama dan selalu menjadi favorit untuk semua orang.

—–

FISH & CO.

Halal-friendly (not yet certified)
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Address: Various locations in Jakarta and Surabaya
Opening Hours: Mall opening hours
Delivery: N/A
Website: http://fish-n-co.gadingfood.com/
Facebook: FishnCoINDO
Twitter: @FishnCoINDO
Spend: Around IDR 200,000 – IDR 250,000 for two

—–

-Featured in HANG OUT JAKARTA April 2012 edition-

Pictures courtesy of Fish & Co. Indonesia

Restaurant Review: C’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant (Time Out Jakarta, November 2010)

C’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant is one of the Grand Hyatt Jakarta’s proudest restaurants. Located on the 4th floor, C’s specializes in grilled food and boasts an intimidating collection of about 3,000 wines.

The restaurant sports a modern design that leaves no corner  empty, while an impressive soft lighting scheme creates a warm intimate atmosphere. What sets the place apart from its hotel rivals is the open-style kitchen, which can be seen from the dining area, and has counter seating for those who want an uninterrupted view onto what  goes on in the kitchen.

The conversational ambiance and easy listening sound track helped us forget about all of the chaos outside on Jakarta’s congested streets. The excellent manners and professionalism of the staff seemed to be the biggest benefit of having the restaurant situated in a hotel.

We ventured to order the Dim Sum Platter and the Seafood and Steak Platter, and while we waited, we were  invited to try the fresh Australian Oysters. However, the dim sum arrived before the oysters.

The dim sum consists of hakau, scallop shaomai, and original shaomai — thin pancakes filled with beef, and spring rolls. The hakau  which has always been a favourite item was tasty but credit is also due to the other items. While C’s specializes in grilled food, it could  make a name for itself on its dim sum and pasta dishes alone.

Then came the oysters! This was a majestic display of Australian raw  oysters, very fresh, served on a lofty platter teeming with ice and lemons. The oysters were divine and refreshing, even those we didn’t add  lemon to. They tasted as all oysters should — as if they were caught moments before in the sea.

The Seafood and Steak Platter happened to be a very inviting main dish. Served on a long platter filled with frutti di mare and carne, it was a delight. There was the lovely Norwegian  salmon grilled to perfection, and thankfully without any trace of a fishy smell. With mild pink flesh on the inside and a slightly crispy outside,  the dish brought the best out of what salmon can offer. The platter also included two spicy beef sausages, and a very suitable companion  of beef steak and lamb chops, both medium-well done. The steak and the lamb chops were excellent. In the surf corner were huge prawns  and a lobster. The lobster was indeed very fresh as evidenced by that tell-tale hint of sweetness within its mild meat.

Overall, it was a very  satisfying dinner. However, we would probably have walked out of the restaurant feeling we had eaten an over-priced meal if we hadn’t  selected the surf and turf option, which was understandably expensive.

Grand Hyatt Jakarta, Jl. MH  Thamrin, Kav. 28-30

RSVP: 021 – 3901234

Opening Hours: 12 pm- 3 pm and 6 pm to 11 pm

Rating: 4/5

Featured in Time Out Jakarta November 2010 edition (pictures modified and added)-

Restaurant Review: Manhattan Fish Market

Getting ready to complete our wedding gifts, my girlfriend and I arrived late at Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall, Jakarta and decided to break our fast first originally at Yoshinoya. Seeing that the place’s overcrowded not only because that every seats filled but also the long queue, we quickly generated other choices for Iftar. Since Iftar will begin within 5 minutes therefore the place shouldn’t be too far from Yoshinoya. I was clinging with the hope that we should pick KFC but it’s not a choice relished by her. Well.. I was hoping more something more energizing though. We didn’t even think about the fast and cheap choice of Hoka Hoka Bento which of course the more inferior choice other than Yoshinoya and will be most likely another full house.

So as we walked down the corridor arguing about which place should we visit, we passed through Manhattan Fish Market (MFM). A choice which I had been curious about lately and offers hearty dishes similar to its closest adversary, Fish & Co.. The thought of having a dish similar to Fish & Co. aroused our appetites and instantly we decided to try this relatively new venue.

Platter dishes are actually what make this place interesting. As for Ramadhan, they even offer the platter menu for four people. Already with soup and free flow drinks with rough expense per individual around IDR 75,000++. That’s a hearty meal, intriguing and tempting Iftar for everybody!

Since there’s only two of us and there’s also option for platter dishes for two, so we decided right away without further deliberation since it’s already Iftar time. Lucky that she brought me a small bread, already chewed a bit though but I’m thankful nonetheless. ^^

Manhattan Platter for Two

We chose the Manhattan Platter for Two (IDR 189,000++) which comprised of fried calamari, fried Dory (or Cod) fish, fried oysters, and flame grilled prawn with mozzarella, all served on a huge bed of French fries and garlic bed, added with fresh tomatoes and lemons. There’s also another similar option that goes with the name Grilled Gala Platter for Two (IDR 189,000++) with mussels replacing the oysters.

The restaurant’s a bit packed in Iftar times like that with a large group occupied most of the tables and several other couples around but it’s still within control. It’s a tough time for kitchen staffs and waiters alike. Needless to say, the kitchen staffs must persevere and strive for consistency in the dishes they served. However, waiters must also ensure good hospitality and delivering the best for customers. This includes greeting, seating the customers, serving the menus, informing any promotions, giving recommendations, fulfilling any customers needs, serving the food, clearing the table after customers finished with their dishes, up to handling the bills and getting ready for next customers.

That may sound a bit too much but with the service charge of 5.5% I suppose they should’ve managed better with the service. First of all, we were not told about the discount promotions from certain credit cards although they had put the promotions in front of the restaurant. In this case, it’s their obligation to re-inform again to the customers. Also I heard from neighbouring table that they actually ordered the platter minus the garlic rice but instead they still put the rice there and separated the French fries in a basket saying that, ‘OK, here’s the fries in the basket’ without apologizing for the mistake. Either it’s an honest mistake, or just being inarticulate or even impolite, they should aware that they may encounter sharp and demanding customer all the time. Lucky for them that the customer there weren’t that demanding.

Anyway, our dishes arrived not long after that. Good thing that it’s fast though I was a bit in doubt about the quality considering that they may have fried all the stuffs beforehand or even re-fried it but there’s nothing to worry, it’s all fresh! Though I must remark that the best part of the dish would be the calamari and especially the garlic rice. The fish are OK but less delightful than its Singaporean counterpart. I was hoping for more tartar sauce but I just simply forgot to ask. At least they got pepper and tabasco.

The flame grilled prawns were highly regarded by my girlfriend but I didn’t really approve it since I prefer easier way to eat prawns and they’re not that exceptional. The fries were okay plus thanks to the lemons and the tomatoes who contributed immensely to add freshness in-between the heavy seafood.

The most controversial part would be the oysters. I was thinking that they’ll serve exactly the same as the mussels. Baked with the shells but here they drew the oysters out, then battered and fried. The taste was a bit strange since I was just having this divinely delightful fresh oysters back at C’s Seafood and Steak Restaurant at Grand Hyatt, Jakarta. In this case, oysters battered and fried seemed way too far from my imagination and this exploration didn’t really please me because it’s no longer fresh and divine but it’s getting heavy and unmerciful. My girlfriend who was just learning how to really enjoy raw seafood was utterly crushed by this unfriendly oysters. I even have to add chili sauce and mayonnaise to make it more edible. It’s just harsh so you’d best pick mussels instead.

Needless to say, Fish & Co. can feel pretty safe since MFM needs to reengineer again their cons here. With the many combos of platters, MFM could get to the edge of the competition. MFM is recommendable but with demerits such as the service and the overall taste which is still under standard. Hearty as it may seem, but it didn’t break into my heart’s contention.

MANHATTAN FISH MARKET (INDONESIA)

Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall, Level 3A, Unit FD-06-06A

JI. M.H Thamrin No. 1, Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia

RSVP : 021 – 2358 1055

Also available in: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia.

Website: http://manhattanfishmarket.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/mfmindonesia

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mfmindonesia

Halal Meter: TBA.

Ambience & Interior: Conversational up to the point of boredom. The ambience doesn’t suit for long stay although you gonna need more time finishing the dishes.

Service: Inarticulate, not harmonious with fellow waiters and definitely with the customers, but sometimes helpful though charged too expensive at 5.5% from bill.

Pricing: Starters from IDR 19,000 to IDR 62,000, Pasta from IDR 72,000 to IDR 109,000, Platters & Combos from IDR 119,000 to IDR 399,000, and the usual Entrees ranging around IDR 60,000s.

Recommended Dishes: Grilled Gala Platter for Two, Platter for Four with soup and free flow drinks (Ramadhan time only), and try the Cod fish instead the usual Dory fish.

Reservation: Recommended because the place getting popular these days.

Operating Hours: Mall operating hours.

Payment Methods: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards.

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. ^^

LOCATION:

Jl. Four Seasons Hotel Muaya Beach, Jimbaran – Bali

WEBSITE:

http://www.menega.com/cafe