Monday, April 20, 2015

Typology's Font and Food

Passing through the Wijaya area, we always noticed the glass building that looks like so much fun from the outside. It sparks our curiosity. So when the place, Typology, sent us an invitation to stop by, we didn't want to miss the chance.

Turned out Typology is a working space/eatery in one roof. When we arrived, we saw mothers with their children in one corner and people with laptop on the other end. The interior is fun and homey, with word plays on the wall as well as alphabets peeking out from the decorations. Its books and large shelves, plus the large table by the glass window remind Ruth of her college library.

Typology opened in June 2014 and soon become popular spot on weekdays as well as weekends. A little different from other cafe-like spots, this place doesn’t put coffee as its main attraction. Instead, full-course meals and sweet blended drinks are what they suggested on the menu. Well, lunchtime is here and we have that two hour time-limit from the office, so let’s get started on the food.

Look! The food has font as their names!

The first dish arrived on our table is Marlett Creamy Macaroni (Rp38k). In the typeface world, Marlett is the foundation of the maximize/minimize icon, you can see on the top right side of your windows. In Typology world, Marlett is a baked macaroni dish served with smoked beef, sausages, mushroom, creamy sauces and melted cheese. It's the kind that you can't stop eating once you gave it a try. 

Then the second dish arrived. Hobo Oxtan Rice (Rp68k), an ox-tongue cooked in Teriyaki sauce and served with steamed rice. This dish is as unique as its font name, which is best known for its singularity of having no straight lines and descender. Deliciously soft ox-tongue with teriyaki sauce that isn't too dominant comes in the right portion for lunch. This dish is a must-try.

For dessert (they called it Sweet Course), Medio Fried Oreo (Rp32k) is selected. Fried Oreo served with powdered chocolate powder. It's a surprise in every bite, although we wished there's an optional ice cream to add on. We also spotted Bario Fried Beng Beng (Rp32k) on the list and determined to give that a try next time around. Or maybe it's Helvetica "O" Pannacotta (Rp28k) just because this blog uses Helvetica font.

Both of us aren't sweet tooth, so we're more than happy to find the drinks (although they're blended) don't get overload with sugary aftertaste. Perfect for kids too! Choco Cocoa Smoothie (Rp38k) comes with Oreo on top and soon becomes Fiona's favorite. Peach Berry Smoothies (Rp38k) looks sweet and perfect for those who prefer fruity ending.

Parking is relatively easy during lunch hour, plus they have extra space in the basement if needed. Typology is also open for gatherings, small meetings (they have separated meeting room) and presentation (they have projectors and screen on the main area). It has word games too, so coming here with your children is a possibility.

While the concept of working space is quickly becoming the trend these days, we have to say that Typology does have a concept and they are sticking to it. Selecting the dishes is like choosing what typefaces should be used for a document. All done in a homey environment (especially comfortable when it rains). Whether you prefer Serif or Sans Serif, Arial or Times New Roman, once you've been here, you’re gonna spread the word.

Where is this?
Jl Wijaya I No. 5C, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan
(021) 29126149

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fine Dine Tale of C’s Steak and Seafood

First coming in, there was a crowd and it was packed. But after passing the main dining area, the feel turns dim and romantic. Perfect for special occasion. Before entering the VIP room, we’re welcomed with champagne. It was a perfect start.

Hi, this is Fiona, by the way. I’m here at C’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant with fellow food bloggers. We’re sitting at a glass room with one fountain wall. Wine is served: I picked red wine, which is my preference. If Ruth was here, she’s going to pick the other color. Then I turned to the set menu.

Smoked Trout Roe, Uni, Lemon, Violets
Chef Knechr said the opening speech, a sign that this culinary adventure is about to begin. Soon come the first dish: Smoked Trout Roe, Uni, Lemon, Violets (yes, the flowers), all served in a sardine tin (yes, it is the can) on a ceramic tile. Well, I love Uni. Soft crab paired with buttery Uni and smoked roe that breaks inside your mouth. The Violet is unique. I wish I could find this dish inside a sardine tin so I don’t have to worry about dinner anymore. The chef said that this is a “rebellion” from the wooden style which has been overwhelmingly popular the past years. The dish is called “Crab”, another unique point. Playing on the contrast of an standard sardine can with the posh ingredients inside.

Don’t let the name fool you. “Sweetbread” is really Mac & Cheese, of course with White Asparagus and Morel Ravigote. The Mac and Cheese bears the perfect amount of spices and sauce, as well as the breadcrumbs. The guessing game begin with trying to figure out what’s inside the crumbs and the answer is all over from scallop, chicken to cheese. But the chef gave a suprise answer: beef pancreas (really!). The chef said, he taught his subordinates to be able to use everything from a cow and serve it well. Like this one, it doesn’t smell fishy at all. But I should probably let you taste it first before telling you what it is.

When the wine started to take over the conversation, the much-awaited dish arrived on the table. I’m a meat eater so you can guess what makes my heart flutter: 45-day, dry, aged Galician Striploin. The meat is only available in Galicia, Spain. It was cooked sophisticatedly to 50 Celcius. So even if it’s well-done, the texture and the color are still red. (Ruth probably complained cos she always avoided red-colored meat on steak). It’s soft and tasty, perfectly paired with red wine. Served with Confit Potato (this is so damn good), Roasted Carrot and Housemade Steak Sauce. What I love the most about this dish, is that the combination serves as balance to one another.

Waiting for the fourth dishes because the first three has successfully surprised me. Then arrived a plate called “Epoisse”, a mixture of Red Wine Apple Butter with Granola and Norlander. Epoisse is the world’s fourth smelliest cheese. But combining it with Norlander (thin biscuits), Granola and butter brings out a unique taste of sour, sweet, salty, and savory.

Then it’s picture time. Right before the C’s Housemade “Smores”, the finale of the night. A mix of creamy chocolate, grilled marshmallow and peanuts. Sweet but it was a great way to end the delicious night. Something to remember and definitely would love to be here again. Great service, excellent taste and suitable for my pallate. It’s a real luxury to be here with your special someone.

Special thanks goes to Chef Knechr and Chef Matt Demery for the inspiring and creative dishes. Also for Gina Desmeralda and Burhan Abe for the invitation. As well as for C’s Steak and Seafood crew with their endless hospitality.

Where is this?
Grand Hyatt Hotel
M. H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta Pusat
(021) 29921383

Thursday, April 16, 2015

For The Love of Steak: Tokyo Skipjack

This restaurant believes that everyone loves steak. Looking at the food they served, it seems like they may be right. Change your mind about how steak should always be fancy.

So, one Monday, when Fiona is sick and off work, Ruth went with MJ to an after hour dinner. Entering Tokyo Skipjack, which is located near the small runabout in Blok M area right across the street from Bulungan Sportcenter, you will expect this restaurant to be different. While the outdoor is nice, it’s packed with smokers. So we decided to step in where the tables are sharing places with a Japanese Supermarket. The AC was having a problem that night, but it didn't bother us. I ordered iced Ocha and problems are solved.

The interior of the place is quite unique, sporting popular American comics like Batman, but in Japanese edition on one side of the wall. One corner of the restaurant is a shelf full of comic books.

Our order: NZ Sirloin 200gr (well done - just because I rarely eat uncooked meat) with Japanese Chimichuri sauce (Rp85k) and Grilled Chicken with White BBQ (60k). Each main course comes with two side dishes, which make the price worth it. Choose wisely among mashed potato, corn, Japanese Green Salad and French Fries.

The steak is tasty, the sauce makes it special. Had no idea of what to choose among the list of sauces, the waiter recommended Japanese Chimichuri. Chimichuri is an Argentinean steak sauce made of chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and white vinegar. Some modification of this sauce added cilantro or bay leaf to the mix. The search on Japanese version of this Argentinean sauce showed Shiso (Perilla) included in the recipe. Whatever it is, the sauce tasted great and refreshing.

 NZ Sirloin 200gr with Japanese Chimichuri
Grilled chicken is good too. A great pair with its white BBQ sauce. Both of us ordered mashed potato and for me, it was he best decision ever because it came in generous portion. MJ ordered Japanese Green Salad (another good thing, even for me who doesn't eat leafy vegetables) and I ordered corn. They have affordable dessert - MJ ordered Tiramisu but I was too full to add some more on my plate. 

Grilled Chicken with White BBQ
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go indulge ourselves on perfect steak on a romantic setting. But, hey, there’s nothing wrong with alternative version!

Where is this?
Jl. Bulungan No.16, Bulungan, Blok M, Jakarta Selatan
(021) 99725000

Monday, April 13, 2015

Seafood Experience Bandar Djakarta Alam Sutera

A family fun, this seafood restaurant opened another one offshore with similar concept and delicious dishes.

It's the same game:
1. You arrived and stopped by the fish market
2. You picked your favorite seafood and weigh them by the station
3. You chose the sauce and how do you want it cook.
4. You get a number and wait for the dish to arrive on your table.

The choices are plenty. From the usual Gurame, squid, crab and shrimp to the large lobster and Batik Clams. If you're unsure which way to cook, you can ask the helper (they're usually full of ideas) or you can read the recommended cooking on the wooden plate on each cooler box/aquarium. And if you feel like having more variety, divide the dishes and select different sauces for each batch.

Don't stuck with the seafood. Bandar Djakarta also serves soup, black pepper beef and assorted vegetables. Rice and Lalapan are refilled.

I would suggest ordering something iced for drinks because if you're here during the day, it can be really hot. So, something like ice coconut or iced orange juice would help you out. Also, if you're here during the weekend, try to come early before the lunch crowd take over the space, especially if you're aiming to get a spot on the air-conditioned VIP Room.

Coming here with small children will open a new experience as they can look at different kind of fish and even help picking the ones to be weighed. Next to the station is a large aquarium with small shark on it. Kids can watch the feeding time which is in the mid-afternoon.

Honestly I was a little surprised looking at the bill because it was quite inexpensive when divided among the family members who come with me. It came down to Rp250k something for 5 adults and 1 kid. Not bad, right?

Where is this?
Jl. Alam Sutra Boulevard Kav. 6 No. 3, Tangerang, Banten 15325
(021) 53140388

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A New Catch Called Publik Markette

A new dining experience by Ismaya. Noticeable from far away due to its catchy interior, with a mix of vintage modern, rustic and pop up. Feels like cafe we'd found abroad.

After passing the reservation table, our attention turned to a collection of jars and assorted bottles filled with spices, sauces, even White Truffle Oil Urbani. Prices from Rp35k to Rp550k. Sitting down, I ordered a drink called Green Supreme which is a mix of fruit and veggies. 


The dining process here is unique but quite simple. You have to bring the table number and walk through the first section of the bar, from starter to dessert and eventually beverages. In every section, there's someone helping you to explain about the food. At the end of the bar, your order would be repeated.

First Section is Starter. There's Bread with Herb Lemon Basket (20k) but I skip this. Then I'm starting to see meat. I picked Crispy Pork Belly with honey mustard (155k) with coleslaw. Turned out it was the right choice because when I touched the skin with the knife, it was very tasty. It's not bitter at all with the fat melted inside the mouth. The fresh coleslaw is a perfect pair for the salty dish.

 Crispy Pork Belly with honey mustard

Fellow Foodbloggers, Jzzydee and Hanshar, ordered more food. I was glad because they ordered Balinese Butter Corn (20k) on the side and Miso Mushroom Soup from the starters’ side. Corn is too spicy for me, so I decided not to dip on the sauce. But if you're a spicy fan, this is one dish you should not miss.

Balinese Butter Corn & Sausage Crostone
Miso Mushroom Soup
Then comes the Mix bolognese pasta, Peppers & Sausage Crostone (65k). I actually love the pasta because it wasn't drowned in tomato, served with balanced spices and al dente pasta. Sausage crostone is a baguette with sausages and sauce on top. The bread is a little hard, but sausages and the sauce are great.

Rotisserie Chicken with Tapenade (115k) with Nasi Briyani (15k) looked ordinary, but the first taste proved it wrong. The chicken came in half portion, with soft meat and perfect spices. A different turn from the ordinary, especially when matched with Nasi Briyani which are very daring when it comes to spices.

On the meat side is Beef Short Ribs with Cajun Remoulade (155k) is delicious and tasty, the meat can easily be separated from its bones. Sauce is great and not overpowering the meat. Juicy Lucy beef burger is a simple burger with excellent patty. You'd know at first bite that this is a high-quality burger because the meat isn't dry and is more on the juicy side. But I wish they can have something special with the buns.

Crack Pie (front) & Spanish Chocolate Cake (back)
Spanish Chocolate Cake with sea salt and olive oil would satisfy choco lovers. Salt enhanced its sweet taste. Crack pie almost doesn't have any space in my tummy, but I decided to give it a try with a small spoon. But it's not the kind of cake you can easily stop after one bite. Made of brown sugar, less sweet on its outer layer, the flavor is very familiar.

It's good to know that Publik Markette isn't just another Ismaya restaurant. It gives you a new experience, with good food that worth the price and a great space for hanging out with friends.

Thank you for Mr. Ray Soeharto for inviting us and all amazing staff at Publik Markette. We had an amazing #lunchgetaway experience.

Where's This?
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, East Mall, Ground Fl.

(021) 23581281/82

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Noodle, Cakwe and Ice Kedondong at Pasar Baru

Let's call this "Fast and Furious". We made it to Pasar Baru and back in record time, even though that means we have to use taxi to cut short parking time. We were a little nervous while going there, not sure we can be back before our bosses started to look for their missing employees.

The noddle making process at Bakmi Aboen
The noddle making process at Bakmi Aboen
Pasar Baru (or Passer Baroe) has been a shopping destination, especially known for its shoes and textiles. Built in 1820, this place is the oldest shopping centers in Jakarta. But for some Jakartans like us, Pasar Baru also means food as our parents often took us through labyrinths to find a good eatery. So, as we navigate through the modern Pasar Baru, half of us was reminiscing our childhood memories... the other half was, well, hungry.

Bakmi A Boen is located in the end of an alleyway
Bakmi A Boen is located in the end of an alleyway
1. Bakmi Aboen
Jl. Pintu Air 5 No. 55G, Pasar Baru, Jakarta Pusat
Bakmi Aboen is our main destination. If you walk on the famous Gang Kelinci (it's really a small alleyway for pedestrian only), you'll end up finding a noodle kiosk with a historical look. We both been here with out families since way back in time so it wasn't that hard to find the shop.

We ordered right on the cashier.
Ruth: Pork Noodle (22k) and Beef Meatballs (10k)
Fiona: Pork Locupan (22k)
We're sharing: Pork Shumai (half portion - 2pcs, 13k), Pork Sui Kiaw (23k) and Fried meatballs (half portion - 2pcs, 11k).

Despite its owners missing from the noodle station and the cashier, Bakmi Aboen stays the same. Serving the exact taste as we remembered from our childhood. The gooey-textured noodle comes with savory pork meat and crunchy pork fat. it's a crunch in every bite. The slimy Locupan is perfect as it is but the mushroom and pork topping are irresistable.

Fried meatballls (a.k.a. Bakso Goreng) is made with plenty of meat and it barely land on our table. The first one to go right after photoshoot. Eat them plain or with the spicy & sour sauce. Pork shumai came in gigantic portion, a great thing we only order half. But nothing beats the Sui Kiaw, served with generous fillings and perfect skin. The extra crunch encouraged us to eat more. We're full, but we have other mission to go, so we need to get going.

2. Cakwe Ko Atek
This old man is special. He was making the Cakwe and Kue Bantal (let's call it pillow cake?) with all smiles. Wearing a T-shirt that said "Thailand", his small stall is decorated with his travelling picture. If you're going to Aboen, you definitely will see Ko Atek's stall and smell the freshly fried snack. He's been there since 1971 (Google said).

Fiona: I think it's the same old man.
Ruth: Are you sure? It's probably his son.
Fiona: He doesn't age. I think he's immortal.

Immortal or not, his Cakwe is unforgettable. He let us peeked into the process, how Cakwe started with small blob of flour to an arm-length when fried. We bought 4 Kue Bantal (that's what's left) and 6 Cakwe. All comes to Rp30k\ (the snack is Rp6k each).

We got an extra Cakwe from Ko Atek. He sent us off with smiles.

3. Fresh Drink
Turning right twice from the alleyway, returning to the main Pasar Baru road, you'll see the fresh drinks stall. A great thirst-quencher for the day. Different kind of cold drinks are placed in transparent plastic containers, each we have to explain if you're not familiar with Indonesian drinks:

Es Liang Teh Medan: Chinese Herbal Tea, some made it from chrysanthemum, others with sunflower, rosebuds and adding a touch of licorice. The Medan version is said to be made of chrysanthemum and palm/rock sugar/honey.
Es Kedondong: the English term for this fruit including Ambarella or Great Hog Plum
Es Cincau: Grass Jelly
Es Cendol: Wiki said it's "green starched jelly noodles with pandan flavouring, served with palm sugar and coconut milk."
Es Kacang Hijau: Mung bean
Es Kelapa: Young coconut. 

We ordered for the sour sweet Es Kedondong (Rp8k) which was a great choice to neutralize the taste. We were hoping to see Ice Soursop though.

This is Ice Kedodong -- green, sour but sweet and refreshing
4. Kulit Tahu Goreng
After giving up for not finding the fried tofu skin, one of the things Ruth aimed for when we departed, we spotted the seller right when we're about to go out for taxi. We bought the big pack, salted one (Rp25k).

Well, that's out journey. Believe it or not, we managed to finish the mission in 1,5 hours, returning right on time with happy tummy.

Mission Accomplished!