Sunday, July 19, 2015

IPPUDO’s Summer Chef Special

Introducing the new set of Ramen Buddies from IPPUDO: Salmon & Chips, Spider Roll and Chashu Minced Katsu. The dishes that are inspired by the sunny summer time. All arrived in time to cheer up your summer.

Hi, this is Ruth. Lunchgetaway is glad to be the first to taste the new menu from IPPUDO, a ramen restaurant which opened its door to Indonesian customers at Pacific Place last year. After introducing their Chicken Ramen a while ago, the famous chain returns with fascinating non-ramen (side)dishes.

“Although it’s called Ramen Buddies, many order them as a sharing plate,” explained Amanda Sihombing, Marketing Manager IPPUDO Indonesia. Well, looking at its amount, it’s indeed a sharing portion. The problem is, with a taste like that, I wouldn’t want to share.

Deep fried battered Salmon
sweet and sour potato wedges and tartar sauce
Salmon & Chips is the Japanese twist of the well-known classic fish and chips. Deep fried battered Salmon is served alongside sweet and sour potato wedges and tartar sauce. While the salmon is generous, the sweet and sour sauce splashed over the fried potato is a pleasant surprise. Spider Roll, the soft-sheel crab maki sushi rolled into rice and nori with cucumber, lettuce and spicy mayonnaise, is served on a bed of spiderweb made of sauce. Too pretty to eat.

Spider Roll
But the champion has to be the Chashu Minced Katsu. Interesting Japanese Croquette (otherwise called Korokke) is a deep-fried meatballs of beef and pork meat, mixed with potato and different spices. Dipped into special brown sauce. The meatballs are a perfect balance between crunchy and tenderness because they melted in your mouth once you have that first bite. They do taste great even when consumed without the sauce.

Chashu Minced Katsu comes in four
A closer look at Chashu Minced Katsu
The Ramen Buddies are changing every 3 months and the most popular one will have the chance to compete on the final round, for a prestigious spot on the regular menu during the annual grand menu changing. Make sure your favorite wins by ordering it every time you’re at IPPUDO.

IPPUDO, a restaurant founded in 1985 by Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara, serves mainly pork ramen around the world. Shiromaru (ultra-thin noodles in tonkatsu broth) is for those who loves the original Hakata-style ramen flavor while Akamaru (thin noodle in tonkatsu broth, miso paste and garlic oil) wins the heart of spicy fans. Another popular dish is Karakamen which comes with curly noodle, spicy miso and ground pork. The minced pork should be caught in the noodle as it’s pulled our and eaten with chopsticks. Playing on the safe side, I ordered Shiromaru and found tasty soup hiding soft noodle and pork loin inside. In IPPUDO, you can choose how you want your noodle to be cooked: from hard to soft. 

Akamaru Shinaji

Shiromaru Motoaji
The question remains: when will IPPUDO expand its shop? “IPPUDO is using fresh ingredients. It means we’re using local ingredients which can match up the international quality standard set by the chain. We’re looking for the right place to open our next restaurant but it’s likely still going to be in around Jakarta area,” explained Amanda. Well, since IPPUDO doesn’t do take outs (it’s their policy, which dismissed our secret plan to stock up the Chasu minced Katsu for afternoon snack once it’s available for the market on July 20, 2015), we’re definitely looking forward to more restaurants.

Where is this?
Pacific Place 5th Fl. #5.37
Jl. Jend. Sudirman kav 52-53 (SCBD), Jakarta 12190
Tel: 021-57973339

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rendang and Burger Bun at Pepin and Malloy

We’ve been hearing about the legendary Betawi Burger, the promotional menu they created for the Holy Ramadhan month. It’s almost the end and we’re hearing a good news about the burger being so popular it’s considered for the main menu. So, we’re heading to Pepin & Malloy Cilandak Town Square one bright Sunday to make sure that the fairy tale has a happy ending.

The bright and fun front door
What’s inside the Betawi Burger (65k)?
Fiona: Rendang meat, crispy Tempe, omelette and green chilli.
Ruth: Isn’t that too spicy for you?
Fiona: No, I think this is perfect. It’s like you’re eating Nasi Padang in a bun.

Betawi Burger vs Olympus Delight
The Betawi Burger is replacing another international flavored bun on the menu: Olympus Delight (60k). which has Feta Cheese spread on top of homemade ground beef.

Fiona: How’s the Olympus Delight?
Ruth: To be honest, I like it too. It’s refreshing with onions and fresh lettuce.
Fiona: I wish they put more Feta
Ruth: Yeah, the Feta was a little hard to find.

The burgers at Pepin & Malloy come in large size. When we say large it’s really huge. Both the ground beef and rendang patties are thick. The rest of the pile are generous too. We were actually full even without having the fries and milkshake on the side. 

Moving on to the hotdogs: Chili Cheese Dog(55k), Nachos Libre (50k) and Philly Cheese Dog (65k). If you put them together side by side, Nachos Libre with its Mexican style green guacamole, nachos and salsa toppings stood out the most. Fiona loves this because, well, it’s boring to have mayo all the time. So why don’t we go out of the box especially when they’re just right? Often confused which one to have at the cinema, she’s glad to have them together as one meal. Eating Nachos Libre can be a little messy because of the overloaded guacamole and nachos on top. 

Hotdog trio: Philly Cheese, Nachos Libre and Chili Cheese
The not-so-similar twin sisters are equally appetizing. While it’s hard to choose between the two, Ruth prefers Chili Cheese Dog just because she loves chili. Apparently putting them on top of a hot dog together with cheese sauce and chopped onion is a great idea. But if you’re a classic kind of girl (but doesn’t want to stick with classic dog), Philly Cheese Dog worth the try. It’s a tasty twist of everyone’s favorite Philly Cheese Steak after all.

A closer look at the Chili Cheese Dog and the beautiful tiles
Dining in at Pepin & Malloy is like visiting a festive circus tent with all the graffiti on the wall. The tiles are also contributing to the fun ambiance. Good food should be savored under cheerful atmosphere.

We asked Gladys, the Pepin & Malloy marketing girl about her favorite dish at the restaurant. Surprise surprise, she opted for Buffalo Wings (36k for 6 pieces or 49k for 9 pieces). Curious, we ordered one. We immediately agreed with her after the first bite. The wings are the kind you can’t stop eating, even when the bucket is empty.

BBQ Malloy (55k) - Homemade ground beef patty with BBQ sauce
But we have our hot dogs... and the colossal Betawi Burger to return to. Being indecisive is apparently fun at Pepin & Malloy where you can get the best of both worlds.

Where is this?
Cilandak Town Square

Jl. T.B. Simatupang Kav. 17, Jakarta Selatan 12430
(021) 75920222
Twitter: @pepinandmalloy

Sunday, July 12, 2015

BBQ Adventure with Holy Smokes Jakarta

“The hardest thing about BBQ is cooking it to perfection,” said Albert Wijaya, Chef and Owner of Holy Smokes,as he did a demo in front of media and bloggers at the Thursday Night sneak peek gathering. “People often mixed up grill and BBQ. Grilling is with high direct heat and fast. BBQ is a low temp slow cooking, while using indirect heat.”

Beef Brisket Wagyu ready to be served
BBQ makes us feel special, if we may say it out loud. It takes the time and the patience to serve the best flavor. So, we’re excited to tell you the story about Holy Smokes, a Texas slow-smoked BBQ House at Wolter Monginsidi no. 27, Kebayoran Baru. Fiona, known to be a carnivore, had been mentioning this for a while. So when the day come, we couldn’t be more excited.

“Our concept at Holy Smokes is self service. Customer comes to the cashier, order and pay. Then they will be given a pager. When food is ready, the pager will send a signal to the customer to pick up order,” Albert explained. Pager is a concept that should be familiar to those who had been doing their culinary journey abroad. The interior combines basic wooden cabin and the carefree western atmosphere. 

Drink Station next to the pick-up station and cashier

Comfy seating
After passing through the process, we were welcomed by the ribs: Smoky Beef Brisket, Southern Style Beef Ribs and Texas Short Ribs. Smoked for 14 hours for perfection, the Smoky Beef Brisket comes in soft and tasty slices. Brisket is the breast to ribs part in cow and known to be the tougher part of meat. Doesn’t seem that way when we tasted them. Southern Style Beef Ribs are back ribs, smoked for 4 hours, with juicy and a little chewy end result. Texas Short Ribs takes on 6-hour slow-smoked process and served in one larger bone with thick, juicy meat.

Clockwise from bottom left: Texas Short Ribs, Onion Straws,
Southern Style Beef Ribs and Smoky Beef Brisket
They also serve chicken here
Whatever part of meat you’re going with, order Holy Smokes’ signature Onion Straws. It’s crispy texture perfectly balanced the tenderness of the meat. Onion Straws come in sharing portion. Side dishes are also the ones to look for: baked beans (Ruth loves this one), mac & cheese, macaroni salad, green salad, coleslaw, homecut fries and corn. Price is ranging from Rp88k for two slices of brisket to Rp278k for 3-bone Southern Style Beef Ribs.

A closer look to the Smoky Beef Brisket

Something to start with: salad
“Dry rub is Holy Smokes signature. It consists of different spices,” Albert explained as he picked up the rub with one hand and rubbed the meat using another so it doesn’t get contaminated. “Don’t put too many because it would make the flavor too thick.” The meat at Holy Smokes is barbequed using woods from Rambutan and Starfruit tree. Fruit trees are often used in this process because they produce nicer and sweeter smells. The restaurant doesn’t stop there, it also serves housemade sauces: original and spicy.

Guess what's in the rub!
Pick your favorite: spicy or original
A carnivore paradise. A place where we would gladly put our disguise as the Rex (or Raptors if you’re more on the cute and slim side). Let’s welcome Holy Smokes with empty stomach.

Where is this?
Jl. Wolder Monginsidi no 27, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta 12180
Tel: (021) 7221795
Instagram: @HolySmokesID

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lamb and Lassi at Gyros Alley

The blue-and-white Santorini-like door picture of a restaurant called Gyros Alley, appeared on our inbox, triggering our curiosity. This could be the much-anticipated holiday invitation. Turned out it’s a breakfasting invitation with the fun, fearless travel bloggers of TravelNBlog, sharing experiences and being extreme when it comes to taking food pictures. 

Pretty and Picturesque Front Door
Located on the busy Panglima Polim IX, this restaurant’s front is one of a kind. With Asian restaurant packing its neighborhood, Gyros Alley definitely stood out with its blue door and the feeling of standing before the Aegean Sea. Well, it’s a travel blogger gathering, so we definitely have to go on a vacation beyond our own continent. Either that, or we just love the words: LAMB GYROS on the confirmation email. We're food bloggers to begin with.

Calamari Rings, Falafel and Spinakopita arrived first on our table as the appetizers. While you might grab Calamari Rings without hesitation, the other two dishes received some doubting stares. Falafel is deep-fried chickpea balls. At Gyros Alley, the Middle-Eastern food is mixed with green herbs and served with Tzadziki Sauce (42k). Spinakopita (42k), on the other hand, is triangle. This Greek savory deep-fried pastry has spinach and feta cheese as the main ingredients. Some versions of Spinakopita (or some said it’s Spanakopita) remind us of a fancier version of savory martabak.

Falafel and a peeking calamari rings
Spinakopita (Spanakopita) Triangle
Fiona found the Falafel a little too powerful on the herbs side. But the Spinakopita is truly addictive. Both are paired with Tzadziki Sauce and served on a bed of fresh salad. If you’re here with friends, be sure to order one plate for sharing.

Then it’s the main courses turn to awe the customers. Fiona ordered Lamb Gyros Souvlaki (62k) while Ruth picked Lamb Garlic Spaghetti (60k). Gyros Alley owner, Dina, explained the cooking process of the meat. Using young lamb meat (not the ground meat kind), so it's guaranteed to be soft and doesn’t smell that strong. Beware that the food, especially the gyros, comes in large portion. 

Gyros (a Kebab-like dish) is easy to bite, soft bread and meat. Overloaded with veggies, we wished to find more meat inside and guys would probably agree with this. The best thing about this dish is the kefir-based sauce, blending perfectly with the meat. If this is your first encounter with Greek food (or its Middle Eastern siblings), order Gyros here for your premiere culinary journey. The spaghetti has generous amount of lamb meat and mushroom that by the time you’re done with the pasta, you still can enjoy the lamb meat. Totally worth it for the price.
Mixed berry Lassi
Homemade kefir lassi (35k) comes in different flavors: mixed berry, strawberry, mango and plain vanilla. Not familiar with the drink? Well, Lassi is a yogurt-based drinks originated from India. Originally taste more on the savory side, the Lassi here is mixed with fresh fruits and other flavors to make it sweeter. Mango Lassi is now a popular drink around the world.

“But the Lassi here is made with kefir,” Dina said. Kefir is basically similar to yogurt, the same old milk-and-yeast beverage, but loaded with extra vitamins and probiotic bacteria. We would pick lassi over the regular tea because it’s perfect when paired with the strong lamb taste.

Downstairs seating
Yes, they have comfortable sofas too

Don’t get up and leave too fast. You’re on holiday anyway.

Where is this?
Jl Panglima Polim IX No.8, Jakarta, DKI Jakarta 12160
(021) 7269877

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Our Favorite Bazaar Beverages

Looking for something unique and refreshing? Here are some our favorites from the local bazaar.

TLC Choco Bar
Instagram: @TLCChocoBar

Choco drink with Rambut Nenek
A refreshing chocolate drink, a hint of mint and topped off with your childhood Granny’s Hair Cotton Candy. Before choosing that, we’re stunned by the choices offered by this booth: Choco Caramel Popcorn, Nutella, Bailey’s… and that’s not it. If you’ve visited their booth frequent enough (or stalking their Instagram), you’d see things like ├ęclairs and Snickers, sitting comfortably on top of this iced choco beverage. A great twist. Then we’re like, it must be sweet. Our first sip proved it wrong because the ice choco mint was just right. Friends on our table were surprised to find that the drink even has the crunchy think bread to complement the experience.

For those who aren’t familiar with Granny’s Hair Cotton Candy (some called it Grandma’s Hair, in Indonesia it’s called “RambutNenek” or Arbanat), well, this sweet snack is slightly different from the pure cotton candy you’d find on carnivals. This one is made of sugar and flour and is caramelized into soft hair-like shape. This traditional Indonesian snack is often found on street stalls or during festivals.

MORE Margarita
Instagram: @More_Margarita

Which Margarita is your favorite?
You’d be surprised to find this alcoholic beverage booth right on your favorite bazaar. While Margarita is something that’ s often accompany fun beach parties, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite drink on the rocks in a mall, at a bazaar while strolling around for some shopping. Margarita is a classic recipe that every bartender should know about. However, finding a decent one isn’t as easy because it’s always personal. So, if you’re a young and modern urban residence, drinking Margarita can be a part of your lifestyle. MORE Margarita only participates in bazaar with suitable crowds and themes, knowing that it serves alcohol.

MORE, on the name, stands for Margarita On the Rocks. The booth serves hand-shaken, fruity and premium margaritas like Black Widow or Summer Fling. Definitely value for money. While you wouldn’t be caught holding the classic Margarita glass, the MORE glass is as fancy. It’s a crazy idea turned brilliant concept in the end. And you just kept asking for MORE.

Instagram: @yourganic

Healthy drink for two
When life is about healthy stuffs, what’s in the bottles can provide you with more taste.100% Raw Almond Milk, as the label says. When we first get a hold of these, there was two flavors: Matcha and Sweet Date. Not a big fan of Matcha, Ruth prefers the Sweet Date anytime. Drinking this is honestly providing a different experience to your taste buds, especially when you’ve never tasted the healthy and organic side of beverages. But it’s an acquired taste, plus knowing it’s good for your body, loving it won’t take that long.

When you get them at bazaars, drink them right away when they’re stil cold. Otherwise, refrigerate immediately to prevent them from spoiling. Just like many other organic drinks out there, they don’t use preservatives, so if you’re stocking them up, make sure you note the expiration date carefully. Don’t waste a bottle of good stuffs.