Tag Archives: Thai

Halal Eat Out: Mufiz Eating House – Singapore

Ah finally, my first time visiting Singapore with my wife and also in full liberty each and every day! Back then, it used to be about work and media trips. It used to be about play by the book and based on schedules.

This time? It’s time to enjoy the finest from Southeast Asia cuisines and some nostalgia.

Staying at Jalan Besar was quite beneficial for us since it is quite strategic – I mean, it’s nearby to Mustafa Center and Chye Seng Huat Hardware’s good coffee. However, it is also near to some good examples from Indian cuisines.

Mufiz Eating House was an eatery I found on accident (and from a recommendation in the internet afterwards), and it’s conveniently located on the intersection of Jalan Besar and Kitchener Road. You won’t miss it because it’s so obvious from anywhere you see it.

One thing that matters most in this trip is to search for halal food as well. That’s why we were having this big breakfast on one fine morning before heading for Chye Seng Huat Hardware.

It’s easy to head here by using bus since a stop is nearby and in stark contrast with Indonesia, even though Mufiz is all about open air eatery, it feels clean when in Singapore. The menu is a large collection of Indian food, nasi goreng, and some from Thai cuisine. Without further ado, we each ordered our own nasi biryani and me with a chicken curry while my wife with the mutton curry.

For the companion, we chose each a teh tarik and iced lychee. One thing that’s actually funny was when my wife, a bit hesitant on which to order, decided initially on a vegetarian nasi biryani. The young man who waited us said something like, “Come on. Nasi biryani is not suppose to be eaten with vegetables. Order something like chicken or lamb at least”. Of course, he’s doing it in a friendly way and I have no objection if it became a mutton curry.

Anyway, the food was okay. It was a big breakfast that me and my wife enjoyed although I found that the food back at Taj near Masjid Jamae Chulia was better, a bit more affordable, and it was air-conditioned.

As some of the Singaporeans said, the food at Mufiz may be quite expensive but it was hearty. However, next time I should try somewhere else as well. I intend to try every halal eatery in Singapore – since it is easier to find than in Indonesia, ironically.

So perhaps in few months from now? See you SG!


Some of the menu are suitable for vegetarians

227 Jalan Besar (at Kitchener Road), Singapore

Opening hours: Daily, 24 hours



Friday Skylight BBQ Dinner (The Media Hotel & Towers, Jakarta)

Ahhh, barbecue dinner! It’s the prized jewel reserved only in special occasions and some can be found in several hotel restaurants in Jakarta for an all-day dining price.

The Media Hotel & Towers quite recently brought their BBQ dinner to light for the public and now you can enjoy it on cool Friday nights just outside its famed Thai restaurant, Sukhothai.

The Media - BBQ Night 1 The Media - BBQ Night 4

Plenty of selections that I picked for my dinner, starting of course, from the beef and the fish. My wife definitely opted for the mussels since all of us are surely the fans of night seafood hawkers. Additionally there are other menu as well from the Thai station, salad, desserts, and all wrapped under the serenading tunes from the live music.

The Media - BBQ Night 2

The sixth floor of the hotel has a wide terrace and is put into good use for this particular occasion. It is quite enjoyable and during the night, the streets around here are also less crowded than those in the middle of the town. Additionally you can still see the skyscrapers for a good change of view. It was a good night and I had a decent smokey stuffs that I’d like to experience again sometime in the future here.

The Media - BBQ Night 5

So if you are interested, be sure to drop by only on Friday nights and for IDR 250,000 nett you can enjoy everything and literally everything from the BBQ dinner night.

Enjoy your weekend, lads!



Jalan Gunung Sahari Raya no. 3, Jakarta – Indonesia

Information: +62.21.626.3001



Foodies Lists: Mango Tree Bistrobar (The Foodie Magazine, Mar 2014)

The recently opened Mango Tree Bistrobar in Plaza Senayan revealed a compact venue with an atmosphere that’s suitable for any occasion – be it for casual lunch, an intimate drinks with friends. The exciting combination between delectable Thai cuisine and intriguingly concocted libations is a must try.

The Foodie Magazine - Mango Tree Bistrobar 6

For many, venturing into the posh Plaza Senayan mall would be reserved for specialty shopping or the cinema, but recently, the top floors of the mall has been playing host to a wide array of restaurants catering to various palates. It’s newest resident, Mango Tree Bistrobar surprisingly feels open and presents great options at a very affordable price range.

The interiors are dark yet welcoming, the left side is lined with round cubicles that offer a private feel, while the right side has banquet seating. The white brick walls are punctuated by bright artwork, which give the dining room a kick of energy. Deeper inside, an open kitchen is positioned face-to-face with the bar and in-between, a huge screen that may probably be used for lively nobar (nonton bareng, literally means ‘watch together’) events on football matches or perhaps, muay thai.

The Foodie Magazine - Mango Tree Bistrobar 1
Spicy papaya salad with salted egg and soft shell crab with mango salad
Deep fried sea bass with tamarind sauce
Deep fried sea bass with tamarind sauce

While you may not feel the traditional Thai atmosphere, common at most Thai restaurants, upon browsing the menu, expect to confuse yourself with a full range of tempting Thai cuisine. During our visit, everyone enjoyed the rejuvenating spicy papaya salad with salted egg and soft shell crab with mango salad, which we had for our starters. Then we continue with the elegantly complex deep fried sea bass with tamarind sauce. For us, this is definitely the wow dish that everyone must not miss while here. And to end, we had everybody’s favorite – the durian panna cotta.

The Foodie Magazine - Mango Tree Bistrobar 3

From the long bar, Mango Tree Bistrobar has brought internationally acclaimed mixologist Joseph Boroski to create a set of Thai-inspired cocktails to compliment the food. Joseph’s concoctions are well known throughout many properties around the world and his know how with Thai culture made his creations an essential addition to
Mango Tree Bistrobar cocktails.

Joseph Boroski
Joseph Boroski

Among some of his best for MangoTree Bistrobar are the Muay Thai Kick that mixes bourbon, lemon grass, gula Melaka and pandan that appears beautiful and fragrant, or can also opt for the Silk Spun Sister made from vodka, Thai basil, mulberry and candy floss. The Mango Tree global signature cocktails with the Thai influence are also of great options while you’re here. The Mango Tree Bellini consists of vodka, schnapps, fresh mango, orange juice, and red wine; while Thai Caipirinha is made from vodka, pineapple juice, lychee juice, coriander, and ginger ale.

A lethal combination just like we told you earlier, right? There’s no need to wait any longer for a visit here then.


Halal-friendly (food to confirm, the restaurant serves alcohol)
Suitable for vegetarians

Plaza Senayan, Jalan Asia Afrika no. 8, Jakarta – Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.572.5217

Website: http://mangotreebistro.co.id
Mango Tree Bistro Indo

Opening hours: 
Everyday, mall opening hours


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict

Quikskoop™: Chandara – Fine Thai Cuisine (Farrago Indonesia & Plaza Indonesia – Nov 1, 2013)



Nama Chandara sudah cukup lama terngiang dalam benak saya sebagai salah satu restoran Thai yang terbilang upscale dan memiliki kualitas premium. Terang saja demikian karena Chandara tampil dengan elegan menempati satu sudut di Plaza Indonesia yang cukup ramai dikunjungi karena pilihan-pilihan restorannya yang fancy dan menarik.

Faktor elegan tersebut bahkan terus terbawa hingga ke dalam dimana saya menikmati suasananya yang temaram dan interior-nya yang mewah. Apa yang ditampilkan di buku menu Chandara sudah lebih dari cukup untuk membuat saya penasaran dengan hidangannya yang beragam – yang konon dimasak oleh seorang chef wanita berpengalaman.

Thai Iced Green Tea
Thai Iced Green Tea

Langsung saja saya memulai dari segelas Thai iced tea tradisional yang kali ini menggunakan teh hijau dibandingkan seperti varian biasanya yang menghasilkan warna oranye yang khas. Jujur saya sudah terkesan bahkan dari minuman ini saja. Rasa teh hijau yang diformulasikan dengan gaya Thai ini begitu menyegarkan dan milky. Begitu cocok di hari yang panas seperti waktu itu.

Goong Hom Sabai
Goong Hom Sabai
Yam Pet Yang
Yam Pet Yang

Menu pembuka saya bagi menjadi beberapa elemen. Yang pertama adalah goong hom sabai atau lumpia isi udang yang selalu tepat di segala suasana. Kedua, yam pet yang atau satu piring panjang berisi salad bebek dengan rasa pedas yang menantang. Khusus untuk salad bebek ini ternyata tampil sangat mengesankan serta begitu menambah semangat makan saya!

Mad Ke Yao Pad Pla Kem
Mad Ke Yao Pad Pla Kem

Selain itu saya juga memesan mad ke yao pad pla kem yang merupakan terong yang dipotong pendek tebal dan ditumis dengan bawang putih, kacang kedelai, ikan asin, potongan ayam, serta saus tiram. Menu yang satu ini ternyata menjadi hidangan pembuka favorit yang akan saya pesan kembali di lain kesempatan!

Neua Yang
Neua Yang
Khao Soi
Khao Soi

Untuk main course, saya mengikuti saran dari pihak restoran untuk memesan dua menu andalannya yaitu neua yang atau sirloin beef panggang asal Australia yang dibumbui bumbu-bumbu khas Thai namun berkarakter manis serta didampingi sejenis saus pedas sebagai penyeimbangnya. Lalu kedua, saya begitu menikmati khao soi atau mie kuah santan dan ayam asal Chiang Mai di Thailand utara yang begitu cocok dipadukan dengan berbagai potongan bawang merah, bawang putih, serta sambal khas Thai. Sungguh kedua masakan ini merupakan rekomendasi yang cerdas dari Chandara!

Khao Niew Mamuang
Khao Niew Mamuang

Menutup makan siang yang nikmat itu, saya mencicipi sebuah dessert yang terasa familiar namun tetap begitu nikmat. Adalah ketan manis yang disiram dengan santan lalu dipadukan dengan potongan buah mangga segar nan manis. Semuanya menggoreskan sentuhan indah pada petualangan saya di Chandara yang kelak akan saya kunjungi lagi di kemudian hari.

Chandara (PI) - Facade




Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Plaza Indonesia, Level 1 Unit E 18, E 19 T, Jakarta – Indonesia
Plaza Senayan, Level P4 Unit CP 414, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours:
Everyday, mall opening hours

Plaza Indonesia: +62.21.2992.3774
Plaza Senayan: +62.21.572.5342

Website: http://www.jittlada.com/chandara
Twitter: @Chandara_Thai

Spend: IDR 100,000 – IDR 150,000 / person

The Art of Royal Thai (Dreams, Heritage Edition 2013)

Centuries of colorful culinary heritage with bold characteristics and richness like nowhere else has made Thai cuisine one of the most sought after delicacies. The Royal Thai Cuisine proudly becomes a part of it and plays an important role as the envoy of refined cuisines the world over. 

Differentiated into four regional cuisines, Thai cuisine with all its originalities absorbs influences from neighbors such as Indochina countries as we know today, Malayan peninsula, Yunnan of China, and even European powers during colonial era. Even so, the pivotal role in the whole identity creation of Thai cuisine came mostly from the Central region where capitals located and royalties resided since the dawn of the Siamese kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya up until what is now the modern Thailand.

Within the immense influence of the Central region’s cuisine, one must not neglect that some part of it had been painted by the existence of Royal Thai Cuisine or dishes served in palaces and aristocratic households with specific standards in recipes, compositions, and aesthetics. Tracing back during Ayutthaya era that signified the emergence of Royal Thai Cuisine until this very moment, each sovereign had their own pick of what they preferred to eat, which may be similar with Thai dishes that we know, but the royals have a unique custom of dining solitarily unlike other kingdoms where usually the families dine together. In addition, there’s no standardized version on what particular dishes that had to be served for Royal Thai Cuisine.

Aside from being served in set from appetizer, soup, main dish, and dessert, Royal Thai Cuisine uses high quality ingredients and is presented beautifully by using the finest vessels available and fruit carvings. In terms of taste, there are no extremes such as too spicy or too sour as everything kept in balance and followed the original recipes.

Another rule of thumb is that everything on the plate must be edible. In the case of fish for example, it had to be deboned first and then reconstructed again as a whole fish, or if it was a fruit, then it should be deseeded first and served as bite size pieces appropriately. Everything is prepared painstakingly detailed and involves a large number of staff in the royal kitchen as all these refinements are exactly what set Royal Thai Cuisine apart from others.

Although basically each dish in Royal Thai Cuisine can be found commonly, but there is actually one that came off from an authentic idea during the reign of King Rama II two centuries ago and eaten particularly during the hot summer months.

Kao Chae (Courtesy of Eugene Goes to Thailand)
Kao Chae (Courtesy of Eugene Goes to Thailand)

Kao chae is a bowl of rice soaked in candle smoke-scented water and decorated with jasmine petals. The idea might sound simple but the preparation is actually meticulous such as to cleanse the rice from starch by adding cold water many times after the rice cooked and left to achieve room temperature first, then there’s the use of rain water for the soup, and how to manually infuse the water with scented candle’s smoke.

From there, the preparation of side dishes is no less complex though most of them are fried dishes. First, there are young green peppers stuffed with pork, herbs, and spices then laced with egg after fried. Next, deep-fried kapi (shrimp paste) balls which beforehand were seasoned with shallots, garlic, palm sugar, and Thai-native wild gingers. Then there is also a selection of beef, pork, or fish torn into threads then flavored with fish oil and palm sugar before being deep-fried. Aside from those, there are also less common side dishes for kao chae such as boiled salted egg or deep-fried Thai shallots stuffed with dried fish.

Nowadays, Royal Thai Cuisine is available also in restaurants but if commoners wish to see how it all prepared publicly, then Songkran (Thai New Year) festival would be the right time. During this festival, talented chefs from all over Thailand gather and cook the best of their abilities for the king. The event takes place on April 13 for three days only every year and the many variations in Royal Thai Cuisine during Songkran festival may be something that you do not want to miss.


Published in Dreams, Heritage Edition 2013

Photos courtesy of Blue Elephant & Eugene Goes to Thailand