Tag Archives: Steak

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)-

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QuikSkoop™: Gandy Steak House

Gandy Steak House is probably one of those Jakarta’s old school steakhouses which you can find at many locations in the city. It’s not their brilliant era anymore but my father regards them highly. That made me curious. With many new high-profile competitors, but not necessarily luxurious, it’s hard to make it out alive in Jakarta these days. One must have a certain degree of reputation and respect. It’s easier perhaps for a single restaurant with a long standing tradition where customer got nowhere else to go but that place. That alone keeps the establishment easier to be managed and remembered.

On the other hand, Gandy Steak House owns many branches and some of them are actually in good locations such as around Menteng area and the one that I visited in Kelapa Gading just across Mall Kelapa Gading (MKG). So apparently after some research, they also have other branches as well aside those two.

First thing first, after an unsuccessful trip around MKG to find a place to eat, which apparently during this particular weekend (just after Lebaran) and dinner time, was a hugely bad idea. We even took almost more than half an hour for just finding a space to park our car! Even so, Kelapa Gading area is indeed a good place to find good eateries. I haven’t really explored the area myself since Kelapa Gading is like a city of its own but far from Jakarta proper.

I found out about it just by passing through it before turning right to MKG. Judging that it’s hard just to find yourself a seat in the food court of the mall while the rest of the restaurants didn’t seem inviting, I decided that we should just cross the busy street for a peace of mind. As we arrived on the restaurant, the place seemed old and definitely on its waning days but that’s the Gandy’s bakery on the first floor. We headed for the second floor for the steak house.

Upon ascending the stairs we heard of the solo keyboard voice and somebody singing an oldies song. My girlfriend all of the sudden asking me, ‘Is it the right thing to come here?’ Though I had been convincing her to come here, upon hearing that I guess most people of our ages would feel the same way. I assured her that nothing’s wrong and that we have to proceed, more of out of my curiosity actually. As we arrived, we noticed that the restaurant is vast but designed like 80s. Perhaps more like my post about Miranda though neater. They got the salad bar also as we passed through but none of the contents interest me.

We were seated way in the corner nearby the window that overlooking the street. The place was vast, old, and I feel old. Not to mention also the annoying live music culminated with the World Cup 2010 soundtrack which actually should be sung properly.

Since there weren’t too many customers that time, we were served right away but I can sense the boredom in the air. There’s no spirit and an incident happened where my girlfried who happened to put her shoelaces on the table, accidentally taken by the waitress who cleared up the table of the menu books. Later admitting that she thought that belongs to the previous patrons. Well, she could’ve asked first before doing that right? Jeez…

Ah let’s get to the food then. In the menu, numerous steak dishes available from local beef to Australian beef. I forgot whether they serve also Wagyu there, but anyway we ordered the Gandy Steak (IDR 62,000) and Gandy Black Pepper Steak (IDR 64,000), both using local tenderloin beef.

Well, as I was expected, old school steakhouses like Gandy does indeed serve the steak on the classic hotplate. The difference than other similar steakhouses is that Gandy separates fries and sauteed veggies on another plate. By the way, you can always pick the grill grade of your steak and what do you want with your potatoes.

Tenderloin Steak with Black Pepper Sauce

Unexpectedly, the size of the beef was considerable. I reckon it’s about 300 grammes. My tenderloin black pepper steak surely looks inviting. It’s already coated with the sauce, looking dark and alright. Some fried garlic are poured over it. I took some vegetables and potatoes to make it look more inviting. They also always put mushrooms on the side of the hotplate. The appearance of my girlfriend’s dish was also quite similar but they poured it with the so-called Gandy sauce which doesn’t feel like a BBQ sauce but it’s okay. Doesn’t impress me much.

As of the black pepper steak, it was awesome. You’ll feel that the level of the spiciness and the sharp taste that makes the steak really good were evenly balanced. It’s not necessarily the hot kind that will make you sweaty but sauce on the surface and the meat that’s already absorbed really blend well in your mouth. Feels like you wanna cherish each and every bite of it. Unlucky that the sauce was depleted before I can finish the meat. That’s a shame actually. I could use extra sauce readied just in case I wanna pour it again. Maybe they can supply it freely if I asked but I just don’t know. Perhaps next time I will ask for that.

So in all, it was a good visit but definitely they could improve more in other departments. I’d say that they may be too ambitious. Unlike new restaurants which has enough capital or ‘willpower’ to expand, Gandy has indeed lost that power a long time ago. I feel that they’re now more like surviving rather than enjoying themselves from many years of their reputation or even expanding. Forget about that. I do truly wish that Gandy will still exist in many many years to come where I can take my children someday to enjoy a classic, good ol’ steak. Which I deem different that the new generation steakhouses. It’s just a silly melancholic thing for me I guess where I used to visit a good steakhouse in Bandung which had burned down and another one which had undergone many changes where I can no longer taste the originality anymore. I do declare that Gandy’s different and by all means, needs to be preserved. By who if it’s not because our loyal patronages. ^^

LOCATION:

Jl. Boulevard Kelapa Gading Blok LA no. 1-3, Jakarta Utara

and many other locations! To be announced later.

Restaurant Review: Daisy’s Steak & Grill [CLOSED]

Indonesia has become a melting pot of budding ideas for new or the renewal of culinary concepts. New restaurants and cafes now can be found even in residential areas for Bandung and Jakarta with various genre. They featured modern, good-looking exterior interior plus equipped themselves with native chefs. Even local cuisine restaurants refurbished themselves to follow on with the trend and though resulting in increasing price for the food, they now seem to be more classy and ready to survive nowadays competition.

What they seem to forgot aside from the image is actually the nature of food itself. What matters here in Indonesia from what I know is actually not always the sense of the utter elegance of the establishments, the impeccable service, or even the price. It’s the taste that matters for most people. The concept of gastronomy is not always from one side only though but from every aspects that count. That’s my personal point of view, but most people probably not.

But if it’s really taste that matters, then Daisy’s Steak & Grill is utterly failing in that and falling into the abyss! I was actually sad to see this new establishment in Bandung, featuring a popular genre of Western and Steak, heavily invested itself with a good kitchen, modern utensils and kitchenwares, POS system, and of course, big capacity for customers but not in a shabby way like Abuba nor let’s say D’Cost.

It was a cloudy then rainy afternoon when I came there. From a short glance, this place was promising actually. Quite decently decorated, clean, probably quite nice at night, good kitchen like I told you, and a very helpful staff assisted us with adequate knowledge about the products. For a starter test, we headed straight to the main dish. I picked a medium-well local beef 200 gr Tenderloin Steak with BBQ sauce. A very original dish which makes it good as a preliminary examination for a steakhouse. My mom picked her all-time favorite everytime she comes to a steakhouse (Suis Butcher in this case), a Mix-Grill Steak dish, combination of a beef steak usually a sirloin steak around 100-125 gr, chicken steak, lamb chop, and a piece of sausage with mushroom sauce. This also proved to be a very good choice because you can taste almost everything a steakhouse has to offer.

Tenderloin Steak, Home Fries, with BBQ Sauce (Local)

Aside from the sauce which consists always of the Three Musketeers, BBQ; Mushroom; and Black Pepper, here in Daisy’s you also need to choose what do you want with your taters and they got a very extensive choice. Home Fries (the usual French fries), Wedges, Waffle Chips (hmmm…), Baked Potato (probably like Wendy’s), Mashed Potato, and Lyonnaise (stir fry diced potato with herbs and onions). I picked the Home Fries, again for the basic reason and luckily they cut their own potatoes so it’s not the supermarket type which I hate so much when they serve it in restaurants. My mom got the Lyonnaise because it seemed unique.

The Mix Grill Steak

The waiting time was around 15 minutes so for the mean time I decided to stroll around the place. A quite vast place but quite nicely decorated, seemed friendly, and sofas inside plus the quite sophisticated kitchen with POS. That’s a start I guess. Then came along the steaks! The appearance of it was tempting and neatly decorated but no hotplates though. It’s okay though. With high expectations we tucked in the food and seriously speaking, it’s very disappointing!

Hot Orange

First of all, the meat was cold. I didn’t understand why, but it must be something with the order of serving. Let’s say that they grilled the meat first but it took too much time waiting for the taters to be ready or the sauce perhaps or even the veggies. Luckily the sauce was warm enough to cover it up. Secondly, I didn’t feel the juiciness and the meat wasn’t even succulent. I even tried my mom’s chicken and lamb chop but they’re still the same. Bland and disappointing. Lucky for Daisy’s that the meats were tender, if they weren’t I’d be more than furious. Finally, it’s the sauce. I didn’t feel any passion in it. It’s thin and didn’t help at all except because the meat was cold and it helped to warm it up a bit but that’s not a good thing too right?

Again seriously speaking, wake up Daisy’s! You guys invested a lot in your good establishment but why can’t you serve good steak?! I wouldn’t dare to try the rest of your dishes just to humiliate you more. If it’s the amount of patrons you’re after then that’s a lame excuse because now Indonesians are more knowledgeable about food and I’m the usher of the standards and I gotta tell you that your steak is no good and you gotta fix it quick. No more excuses! Even my mom can differentiate a good dish or not and here, you’re dealing with an aficionado. So wake up okay!

I can’t blame people who wish to come though, because the place itself was nice indeed. But these days, gastronomy is not about the food itself, but it’s what surrounding it. Though it’s a shame that the very basic value of it, the tastiness of the food, was desecrated and in this case by Daisy’s. Learn more will ya? It’s not easy but it’s doable. Don’t just fret and be a local hero, but think globally today. You got competitors way better than you but they run more simple business. It’d be shameful if you couldn’t even serve a good fundamental dish like Tenderloin Steak. What about the rest? That’s why I really shouldn’t try unless you decided to provoke my rage and I’ll be like on my mocking spree mood. In short, fix the taste, hire new cook if must, and reconcile with me. Period.

DAISY’S STEAK AND GRILL

Jl. Ciliwung no. 23, Bandung

RSVP : 022 – 91509950

Email : daisys_bandung@yahoo.com

Dishes and Drinks: Sandwich, Burger/Hot Dog, Pasta, Steak, Butter Rice

Recommended Dishes: None currently. Really.

Reservation: Recommended for nights and weekend

Operating Hours: TBA (assume normal operation hours)

Methods of Payment: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards

THE JUDGMENT:

1. PRICE (6/10)

Price ranging from IDR 25,000 to IDR 50,000 for either appetizers and main dishes and that’s for local beef of course. Still too much for Bandung and they’d prefer Suis Butcher who has better experience and taste of course.

For two people the total would range around IDR 100,000 to IDR 120,000.

2. INTERIOR (5/10)

Okay for me though you have to sit on a backless wood bench. Luckily they got rooms with sofas inside though surprisingly with low tables, definitely not a good place to eat except for drinks and desserts. But in a steakhouse? I suppose not.

3. SERVICE (6/10)

Quite helpful, knowledgeable, and surprisingly took quite long for the dishes to come. It’s quicker when I was in Alibaba and they serve hot steak on a hotplate. Not a cold one like here.

4. TASTE (4/10)

Terrible is probably too much, but ain’t good at all would be the best phrase.

5. OVERALL (5.25/10)

Better close it down unless you give some senses to what you sell, Daisy. Though I wish you luck on your endeavor.

Restaurant Review: Alibaba Steak

NZ Tenderloin Steak with Mushroom Sauce

I was originally on my way for Research and Dinner (abbreviation : R&D) around the Sabang vicinity until I stumbled upon this fresh, quite nice looking, but somehow pitiful eatery (because nobody’s visiting) with many potentials. Just a few meters from there, Abuba Steak proudly but shabbily welcomed the patrons of their not-so-special-but-big-and-cheap steaks and had a full house I assumed.

I was actually dilemmatic between having steak or an all-you-can-eat at Paregu, but since I felt that Alibaba’s worth the try, I decided to dine there instead. I also felt that they may actually offer a good dinner! It was an honest thinking since they seem to be serious about the business no matter how few the patrons at that time.

So I entered the place with good feeling and found out that it’s a vast place, quite nicely decorated and air cons breeze to be found everywhere. A very stark contrast with Abuba, not to mention about the customers. Several friends of mine even said that most of the time, Alibaba is lacking in the amount of customer, used to open (now closed) a place once a upon a time in Kelapa Gading, and now from what I see, they’re persistently and somewhat recklessly open a frontal war with only Abuba just a few inches from them. Jeez.. They’re either a kamikaze of the steak world or they don’t have even a slightest idea about who they’re facing here!

Alibaba seems to be in desperate need to match the number of patronage with Abuba. You can see from the massive amount of chairs and sofas here, plus they got two-storey building. Take a look at the menu next. You’ll see the pricing of their dishes are quite at the same level with Abuba but they equipped themselves with more variety, they bought an expensive coffee machine for various coffee drinks, they got milk shakes and juices as well.

The most interesting part would be the dishes. Three types of beef (local, NZ, Australia), you can pick the degree of cooking for the steak (unlike Abuba), and the slight difference in price for local beef and NZ. With the margin of IDR 5,000 (roughly US$ 0.50), you’d better pick the NZ beef. I didn’t ask how fresh it is and knowing also that local beef has good quality these days, I bluntly picked the NZ beef. I dunno whether they were leading the customers to pick NZ, but I assume that they do run an honest business and of course it was a wise pick nonetheless since I suppose that the serving would be roughly between 150-200 grammes and with such a small margin, it’s best to pick the NZ.

Next thing I like about Alibaba is that they serve the steak on a hotplate. Feels like just the way it’s supposed to be, right? I don’t actually need a very big portion, but I need the steak served this way sometimes. Ah, almost forgot that I picked Sirloin NZ (IDR 50,000) and my girlfriend a Tenderloin NZ (IDR 55,000). The drinks? If you want something not too pricey but still good, I’d recommend the Iced Lemon Tea (IDR 7,000). It’s good, you can really feel the lemon. Well, you know, sometimes you just only feel only the mist but here, it was thicker. I do hope that they can sustain this. I might be tempted for the coffee next time since they got the huge machine. I hope the barista can manage it as well.

The meat by the way was good. It was juicy and accompanied with veggies and kitchen cut potatoes, which was a good thing since I hate supermarket french fries. As for the sauce, mine’s a bit disappointing. The black pepper sauce was not ‘pepperish’ at all and it was a bit bland to be honest. I thank the good meat by the way but eating sirloin seemed to be too much for my age (I haven’t reached 30 by the way), but when I tasted my girlfriend’s tenderloin meat with mushroom sauce, it was much much better. So you’d best pick the best of the best from this kind of place.

That time, besides us, the only patrons were another couple like us and a family of three kids after we finished our dinner. I had felt that from the beginning that this place needs to be ‘saved’ and they have proven their seriousness (with understandable flaws though) that they serve better steak (in this case Abuba). I did agree but they need to work on something more here. First of all, probably their name and design (it’s really similar with Abuba), so they better figure out something more original. Next would be the steak. It’s not perfect but it’s much better than their ‘counterpart’, so it’d be good to work on a cutting edge competitive advantage there since Alibaba seems to be targeting many customers to come (you can see that from the enormous amount of chairs you can find once inside).

Well, as much as I like about business plan, I feel that I might not be too adequate to put up more detailed opinions on it. Rest assured, Alibaba, you have a bright future but you haven’t secured it yet. I wish you the best then.

ALIBABA STEAK & IGA BAKAR

Jl. KH. Wahid Hasyim No. 112, Jakarta

RSVP : 021 – 3143501/3143469

TWEAKS

Dishes and Drinks: Beef Steak, T-Bone Steak, Grilled Ribs, Pasta, Coffee, Milk Shake, Smoothies

Recommended Dishes: NZ Tenderloin Steak (Mushroom Sauce)

Reservation: Not needed

Operating Hours: TBA (assume normal operation hours)

Methods of Payment: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards

THE JUDGMENT

1. PRICE (6/10)

Tenderloin and sirloin steak ranging from 45,000 to 80,000. A considerate price for Jakartans but not from visiting customers beside Jakarta.

For two people the total would range around IDR 115,000 to 150,000.

2. INTERIOR (6/10)

Too ambitious but not too shabby. Alibaba can always reshape again and become more attractive. Still, it’s relaxing with TVs and soft concert music DVD playing.

3. SERVICE (7/10)

Very helpful and the steak came fast (around 10 mins only, partly because we’re the only patrons).

4. TASTE (6/10)

Had much better steak but if you seek this market segment, Alibaba have done his homework for now.

5. OVERALL (6.25/10)

Has many potentials but don’t sleep to long, Alibaba.

Restaurant Review: Chili’s

If it wasn’t because of Michael’s favorite place in the American TV serial The Office, I wouldn’t have any idea about this place existence other than the huge billboard right on the top of the old Sarinah Building shopping mall in Jakarta. There were numerous scenes taken place here in the serial so I figured that this place must be quite popular back there in USA. When we arrived there though, the place seemed to be quite old but it was neat and quite freezing so you’d best wear something warm. I don’t know why they don’t seem to make an attempt to expand it like other American brands you can find easily here.

My last visit took place some time ago, so I’m scraping through the remnants of my old memory. I’m planning to visit the place again soon in the near future because this very experience was very worth remembering! And I shall tell you why. In the menu, we can now finally recognize what theme this restaurant brings. Perhaps at some point you’d think that this place only serve steaks but that’s not all, Chili’s combines the Western cuisine notably American with Mexican. The most obvious place where the two cultures met can be seen around the states of Texas, New Mexico, and California. This fusion genre is famously called Tex-Mex cuisine that of course stands for Texan-Mexican. You can refresh your geography lessons back then to find out where they blend. LOL

Among all the unusual Tex-Mex dishes you may find there, I finally made up my mind to combine several perks in one dishes. Yes! It’s the Combo Fajitas (IDR 115,900). It’s expensive I know, but here you can try beef and chicken at one time. Seemed to be very tempting if you see the picture. On the other hand, my dear partner picked the more conservative dish which was called Margarita Chicken (IDR 63,900). The drinks were the same routine. You can spend less here to pick better food. That’s actually my policy. For example in Japanese restaurants, most of them currently serve ocha for free. I’d say let’s not waste such opportunity by buying more expensive drinks. Better to put your money in good use by trying the more exotic delicacies they may offer or something that normally you wouldn’t even bother to pick which of course undoubtedly because of the price, right? In Chili’s of course, I recommend you to enact the policy without thinking because this is no place where you would spend your time like everyday unlike Michael in The Office. Ah! Talking about economics and the buying power…

Combo Fajitas
Combo Fajitas

At last the dishes arrived. We had been famished and the very sight of the dishes were very heartwarming yet triggered the lust to dig in as quick as we can! My pick was indeed a beautiful one. Perhaps many of us here still not familiar with this dish. There were three separate vessels. The chicken and the beef were served upon a hot plate and dressed in onions and capsicum. Very inviting! The second vessel was closed and for my surprise (forgive my virginity in Tex-Mex cuisine), it was filled with huge layers of tortilla. Okay, then the last vessel was filled with the dressings. There are 4 elements here, the sour cream, shredded lettuces, the legendary guacamole, and pico de gallo. Questions? Hesitate to ask. Because I found them out by myself and I can assure you that this dish was heavenly! It’s like you’re making a sandwich. You fill the tortilla with the meat and dress it up in any style you want! That simple. It may be awkward to taste unfamiliar dressings with ingredients I mentioned earlier but you won’t argue with me if you have tried it! Extraordinary indeed!

Margarita Chicken

My partner’s dish nonetheless, was also a brilliant one. It may seem like an ordinary Western dish with a little bit of Mexican touch. The grilled chicken topped with lemon and shredded tomatoes, onions, and friends. Below the chicken you can find nachos-like thin sticks. Accompanied by sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes snowed with cream-like cheese or something which I forgot. The most brilliant part was actually not the chicken, but it’s the potato! I tell you what, I HAVE NEVER TASTE MASHED POTATOES SO TASTY BEFORE IN MY LIFE ASIDE THE ONE HERE IN CHILI’S!!!!! I gotta scream! It was superb and I can’t say more in this. It’s like you’re given wings to fly. Seriously foodies, you gotta try it!

The dish proved to be too much to handle for my partner, so I must warn you that you gotta be really hungry if you’re coming here because it’s gonna be an adventure you’d surely won’t forget. I figure that people abroad notably in USA must be thinking that this place was only an ordinary Tex-Mex restaurant, but for a first timer like me, I can’t even forget how wonderful it was to be there even it took place almost a year ago. My dear foodies, let’s try it again then! ^^

The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):

1. PRICE (3/10)

A total of IDR 270,039 for two. It’s too expensive though I know some ingredients might be imported, but still…

2. INTERIOR (5/10)

Way too outdated..

3. SERVICE (4/10)

There was no greeter and we have to call someone out for help. That’s no good.

4. TASTE (8/10)

Superb mashed potato! The rests were great too.

5. OVERALL (5/10)

I don’t know why Chili’s just not expanding themselves knowing that they’ve been here since the 80s. Perhaps you guys put it too expensive for Indonesians pocket.

Additional Information:

Location : Sarinah Building 2nd Fl. Jakarta, Indonesia