Thursday, October 29, 2015

IPPUDO Grand Menu Launch

November reminds me of Thanksgiving and the Grand Menu at IPPUDO, which is available starting November 2, is something to be thankful of.

IPPUDO, the well-known ramen restaurant from Japan, opened its door to Indonesian customers through its Pacific Place store a year ago. Since then, it hasn't stopped feeding its customers with surprises. The Grand menu is basically a compilation of the on-demand dishes from the previous menu. Remember the chef's special which stopped by 
IPPUDO's menu a while ago? Those were the qualification rounds.

This is Ruth, reporting the IPPUDO Grand Menu revelation.

So what's in the menu? We attended the sneak peek of what's on the list and here's what made it to the list of popular menu.

Teriyaki Chicken Salad
Teriyaki Chicken Salad (59k). Sweet and spicy for the health conscious, this green appetizer mix wasabi and teriyaki, two of the well-known Japanese delicacies. The dish is great for a fresh start while still leaving spaces for the ramen.

Tsukune Balls
Tsukune Balls (48k). IPPUDO Regional Operations Consultant, Takashi Mikami, described the dish as chicken potato balls, hard on the outside but soft on the inside. Infusing a hint of Japanese culture with the soft chicken bone inside each balls. It comes with pasteurized raw egg on the side, to be used as a sauce or a dip. Some might prefer without the egg, so give the original sweet taste a chance and find out which one do you like best. We can't decide but ended up dipping the balls into the raw egg.

Chicken Teba Gyoza
Teba Gyoza (48k) gives chicken wings an upgrade. "I observed Indonesians love chicken wings very much," Mikami said. "For this dish, we removed the bones and filled the wings with our special stuffing." This special stuffing include Indonesians' favorite chili, cabe rawit. Appeared in small cuts for extra spice. "For Japanese, Spicy is spicy but for Indonesians spicy means very spicy," explains Mikami. Teba Gyoza is popular in Malaysia as well.

Rainbow Ebi Tempura Roll
Rainbow Ebi Tempura Roll (70k) is sushi with bright colored tobiko toppings: black, red and green. The green one is created with wasabi. Crunchy shrimp tempura is wrapped with colorful fish roe.

Sake Mentai Rice
Sake Mentai Rice (49k) is described as rice topped with grilled minced salmon and cod fish roe, we would prefer to call this dish "a perfect main course" instead of appetizers simply because its taste and size is right for women who don't want to eat to much but still want to be full. It's delicious beyond belief, and despite the sticky rice and mayonnaise mix they're using, this dish isn't overwhelming.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt (48k). If you prefer sour than sweet, just because the ramen makes you full, this dessert is perfect. Fresh homemade strawberry yogurt served in transparent glass arrived at the end of our meal. Somehow there are still space for it. 

Matcha Creme Brûlée
Matcha Creme Brûlée (48k). What's Japanese dessert without matcha, right? This one is quite a surprise. Rich creamy custard topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel and green tea. The green tea balances the sweet creme brûlée so we're sure you can finish this one too, especially if you're a green tea fan.

Following their chicken ramen launch earlier this year, the dishes served that night were all halal, adding more choices to the non-pork selection. Answering Indonesian customers' demand, the restaurant takes halal food concept seriously, separating the chopsticks and bowl used for halal food with the ones used for the pork ramens. Several chopsticks exchange happened when the ramen are served and those with pork ramen received a new pair. 

Takashi Mikami showing off the takeaway pack for ramen
Another good news for the night is the revelation of the take away menu. After months of putting together a way to pack their ramen and other dishes without compromising the taste and quality, finally IPPUDO is ready to serve takeout. Not seeing your favorite dish on the take away menu yet, don't worry, according to Amanda Sihombing, IPPUDO Indonesia Marketing Manager, they're still working on more dishes because each dish is unique and require specific package for take out.

So, let's be patient and wait for the Grand Menu.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Weekend at K-Food Fair 2015

Food brings people together. A series of events and food tasting as well as booths introducing Korean culture filled the main atrium. So we weren't surprised to see how packed the K-Food Fair Indonesia 2015 at Kota Kasablanka the past weekend.

The event was collaboration between Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation (aT). The weekend event is a follow up to the seminar which was held on Friday at Hotel Mulia. It's time to eat and have fun!

On the opening ceremony, we’re invited to see the making of 42-metre Kimbab. Kimbab is a korean dish made of rice and seaweed as the main ingredients. Everything else is personalized. “Kimbab was chosen because we want everyone to know that Korean food can have many variations, which can be adjusted to region and seasons,” said Jae Su Kim, the president at Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation.

We lunched at Kyochon with the popular mix wings (99k) which come in original, honey and red series. Original is crunchy and crispy, coated with soy garlic glazed. Red series is hot and order only if you're brave enough to try Korea's hottest chili peppers. Honey series introduces the sweet 24-hour marinated chicken. Or you can try its Toppoki (Rp50k), Korean popular rice cakes cooked with spicy and sour paste. Mandarin Chicken Salad (49k) is served on the side. If you’re still hungry, order the Galbi Chicken Steak with Kimchi Fried Rice (69k). The sweet, sour and spicy combination will get you to crave for more.

Mandarin Chicken Salad
Mix Wings at Kyochon 
Galbi Chicken Steak with Kimchi Fried Rice
Spicy Toppoki at Kyochon
Returning to the main atrium, there are an array of events and booths (with more food to try for FREE) waiting for us. All you have to do is walk around the area, line up and decide which one you like the best. One part of the exhibition that’s interesting (other than the Hanbok photo session) is the Korean Halal Food wall located across the traditional game area. There were different Korean snacks and food which some we’re familiar with, displayed on the Halal wall under the explanation about the Halal Food certification system in Korea. 

The Halal K-Food Wall Display
Booths giving out Free K-Food samples
The popular restaurants are participating too
Even with the big lunch served, we’re still curious about the K-Food available on display. Food tasting brought us to the cheese instant Toppoki (called Yoppoki) while we spent the early afternoon watching the dance cover and martial art show. The original Toppoki, like the one served at Kyochon, tends to be spicy. Although maybe for us, Indonesians, the spicy is still quite mild. Toppoki is a popular street food/snack in Korea and these days they come with different flavors and even fusion style like Carbonara, cream or cheese sauce.

Unfortunately, looking at the line at Hanbok photo area, we decided to skip that and tried the origami instead. We could have stayed all afternoon. But, we went home with full stomach, happy feelings and more knowledge about Korean Food. Nothing can beat that weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Roger Mooking and Flavors From Around The World

Roger Mooking served delicious dishes combined with easygoing personality on a special dinner with Asian Food Channel at Bluegrass Bar & Grill last month. The Man Fire Food host cooked his special creations to special guests from Indovision and bloggers.

We didn’t know what to expect when the invitation reached us a while back. Being a fan of Asian Food Channel, we’re definitely curious about this one chef. Our little research pointed out that Roger Mooking is a Canadian chef as well as recording artists and book author. He’s the host of Man Fire Food and co-creator of Everyday Exotic, both are food TV shows aired in North America.

The list of dishes, expected to be served in the next hours got us excited. It’s a personalized 5-course meal with vegetarian option. Then we get glimpses of the chef as he made final preparation for the night’s event. He was vibrant, lively and seemed to be excited about everything. Then he finally stepped out into the spotlight.


He admits he enjoyed encountering new ingredients. “Duck egg, for example, is something familiar in Asia, but in the U.S., we have to look around for it.” But cooking often placed people together in one plate. He pointed out the pillow bread (we assumed he’s talking about kue bantal) that is also a common dish on a different side of the world under another name. “I love how everyone in different parts of the world are doing the same thing.”

So here are what’s on our menu that night:

First Course: Steamed Duck Egg with King Oyster Mushroom, Sesame Oil and Razor Herbs
Hold the crackers, spoon the soup (which is actually the steamed duck eggs) over the mushroom and crackers before you let them all inside your mouth. The first bite, with all the flavors coming together on your taste buds are incredible. But overall, we would love to have more bread to finish the duck eggs. The eggs are too simple and lack of textures when they are eaten alone. The first course really set the base of what we expect from Roger’s around the world experiments.

Steamed Duck Egg with King Oyster Mushroom, Sesame Oil and Razor Herbs
Second Course: Green Coconut Curry, White Fish and Moo’s Chutney
Soup is a surprise because it comes as fish curry. Served by pouring off the kettle, this “soup” has strong spicy flavor that amazingly doesn’t kill the fish and noodle flavor. Easily washed down with water, its Asian taste makes the second course a real complementary for the first one.

Green Coconut Curry, White Fish and Moo’s Chutney
Third Course: 5 Spiced Floats Salad of Micro Greens, Pickled Carrots, Ginger and Braised Lambs
When the menu said salad, we expected a bowl full of greens with colorful garnishes on top. Instead, a sandwich sitting comfortably on a bed of greens is served on our table. So this is where the pillow bread is used. Stuffed with greens, carrots, lambs and a hint of ginger, everybite is heavenly. “These are things I never cooked before,” he admitted. Somehow he has succeeded in infusing an Asian flavor on every dish.

5 Spiced Floats Salad of Micro Greens,
Pickled Carrots, Ginger and Braised Lambs
Fourth Course (Main): Beef Tenderloin with Blackbean Shrimp and Broccoli Dust
It’s just natural that we expect a lot from this Man Fire Food host. Grilling and meat are supposed to be his specialty. And this one is specially prepared too because he showcased the process in front of us. “Surf and turf Chinese Style,” he described the dish as he combined the meat and seafood in one plate. Chinese fermented black beans are used along with sweet soy sauce. Another surprise because even in Indonesia, we didn’t encounter much of sweet soy sauce being used in Western style steak. 

Broccoli dust is a compelling concept. Peel the skin off, dust and break up the larger pieces with hands into crumbs and dice the stems. “You’ll notice that when you cook vegetables, there’s a change from pale green to bright green. That’s when you get the maximum color, maximum flavor and maximum vitamins,” he shared. This seemingly simple main course is apparently rich in flavor. But Roger insisted that “simple is always the best.” If simple is like this, then we couldn’t agree more.

Fifth Course: Mango Lassi Ice Cream, Honey Rosewater, Pistachio and Indian Puffed Rice
Whoa Lassi! Yes, we both love lassi. So when the soft-textured dessert arrived covered half in pistachio and half in puffed rice (which is familiar to us as Jipang the puffed rice cakes), we were overjoyed. A sweet and sour ending to the feast. We’re glad Roger decided to go with something light to close the dinner with.

Mango Lassi Ice Cream, Honey Rosewater, Pistachio and Indian Puffed Rice
Roger takes everything into perfection. From the first to the last course, we saw him pushing every details and hands on to fix things. Watching him preparing each dish in the kitchen is indeed another pleasure. He was throwing instructions to the Bluegrass team, making sure that everything from plating to garnishing goes on smoothly. Roger seems to always go with texture and color with his dishes, adding his cheerful personality as he stopped by each table to greet the guests and gather feedback.

We can safely say that it was a 5-course dinner well done.