Thursday, December 29, 2016

Semi-homemade Simple Frills, A Bakmi Mewah Story

Imagine being newlyweds, nestled into a new house with boxes all around you. While it’s exciting to start a new life with someone special, but unboxing your belongings aren’t as fun. You couldn’t find things you want to use and you didn’t know where you put the clothes you want to wear. Needless to say, when it comes to food, eating out and take away have always been the options.

That’s Fiona’s life for the past three weeks. 



How about cooking instant food, or what we love to call, semi-homemade? So, the other day, Fiona gave it a try. “The key ingredient is meat, because I love meat. The others are things are easily available at Supermarket shelves. Plus a bit of leftover veggies in the fridge.” To this, Ruth is frowning, “Don’t tell me, you’ve been living off salads as emergency food.” Well, marriage life supposed to be romantic and fairy-tale like, especially when you finally have your own kitchen after years of using your mom’s. But apparently it’s not as stress-free.

So here it goes, creating a simple meal, without sacrificing luxury.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

It's Christmas Summer at Outback Steakhouse

It's the end of the year and we have a lot of celebrations in line. In a few days we'll be celebrating Christmas with the whole family, sharing table and warm conversation. Well, special occasion calls for special meal. This is when Outback comes in handy. Among the dynamic eateries in Indonesia, Outback is one of those who had stayed faithfully, serving large portion of our favorite meat and ribs dishes. 




It's not the first visit to Outback, and definitely not going to be the last. We even knew Outback before we knew each other.
R: My first visit was probably back when it was first opened in Pondok Indah. My dad is big on steak and Western food, so we'll go there as family.
F: I forgot when was my first visit. It was a long time ago at the Ratu Plaza branch. But I eat at Outback often, especially after visiting the gym.

Well, we might not remember the details of our first Outback visit, but we do remember our favorite meals, and are more than happy to share them with you. It's Christmas after all!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sausage, Cheese Crust and Year-End Appetizing Pizza

One of the reasons you turn down a year-end meal invitation is because you’re bored. It’s the same stuffs all over again, served on the same plate at the same time. But PHD always comes with new innovation and before you know it, there’s another reason to return and order another round. So, what’s new this time?

PHD is back with BBQ Frankfurter Pizza and Duo Cheesy Crust.



We know uncut sausages are not exactly what you expect on a pizza. Well, it was a surprise at first, but it’s written on PHD menu. BBQ Frankfurter Pizza is all about sausages, and you can even request sausages crust if you’re craving for more on one pan. The sausages taste different from the one served as individual servings at PHD. This one is better, tastier and there’s equal amount for everyone. Otherwise, we can imagine competition over who gets the better slice.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Christmas is Here at Gran Mahakam Hotel

Christmas comes early this year as we start seeing decorations being put up and delicious dishes being placed on the menu. And when Christmas is your favorite holiday of the year, an invitation to Gran Mahakam Intimate Christmas Luncheon is something that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Happy Holidays from Fiona.




Held at Gran Mahakam Hotel private room, I was welcomed by the decoration of Christmas ball tree as its centerpieces. There’s a photogenic corner, with overall theme of white, silver and gold. It’s a White Christmas feeling. Elegant decorations using white paper flowers and Christmas balls as well as charming chandelier of silver and gold Christmas balls tree.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Middle Eastern Delight at Al Nafoura Le Meridien Jakarta

Al Nafoura, a beautiful dining place with Middle Eastern ambiance at Le Meridien Jakarta is interesting. The Mediterranean gate and interior joined the dim lighting and warm welcome. 

Hello, this is Fiona. I'm joining my friend Yenny (yennymakanmulu.com) and Arditya Chandra Putra (Marketing Communication Manager) of Le Meridien at Al Nafoura. 




Terracotta brown flooring and stone walls contrast the cushions and rugs. Then my attention turn to the table. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in general doesn't differ much from those we're familiar with growing up. The secret, Chef Ahmad Jamil said, is using right balance of natural spices and ingredients. While spices like Saffron and Zaatar are still imported from Middle Eastern countries, other ingredients including eggplant, chickpeas and parsley are of local produce.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Two Makes Tasty, Sababay Meets TeSaTe

Was a little confused when a wine-tasting invitation arrived from TeSaTe, but who can say no to wine? Fiona decided to give it a try and arrived at TeSaTe Sam Ratulangi, Menteng. There's always the first time for everything.

So here's Fiona's first encounter with wine and TeSaTe Menteng. 





I have always love TeSaTe and its sister company, Sate Khas Senayan, because they're best known for its fine Indonesian dishes. But they always go beyond food when it comes to authenticity, like this particular branch of TeSaTe which features familiar ambiance in all three floors. The first floor is the lobby, dominated by the large windows and bright natural lights, plus an outdoor seating area. Right next to the open kitchen there's a large wine cellar. The third floor is a function room, complete with necessary equipments like projector. Then there are Gamelan and other Indonesian music near the stairs. Down the steps is private rooms, separated by partitions. Our area has open garden and waterfall which makes the underground floor isn't so packed. It's cool and simple, a perfect combination of contemporary and traditional corner. 

 



So, what's the story with the local wine? The name Sababay is taken from Saba Bay in Gianyar region, Bali. It's 100% Indonesian wine harvested by local Balinese farmers. Andy Fatima, Regional Sales Manager of Sababay explained the process, which is using the stainless steel equipments instead of wooden barrel. Sababay's 6 wine selections have been introduced in 2012 and are the winners of different awards like WSA Wine Challenge Singapore, China Wine & Spirits Awards , Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition and Korea Wine Challenge. As a wine enthusiast, this local bottles really spark my interest.

It matches the vision of TeSaTe, holding the wine pairing to introduce local dishes to international customers as well as opening a way for Indonesian food to go international. I think it's a great idea because Indonesian food tend to be this inherited recipe with complicated spices which aren't exactly popular flavors when it comes to world's general preference. Sababay helps the idea that Indonesian dishes are famous for their rich and complicated taste, so what's better than Indonesian wine to pair with them? 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hurricane's Burger Bar Redefining Classic

A successful Australian eatery, Hurricane's Grill, opened its second establishment called Hurricane's Burger Bar in Noble House, Lingkar Mega Kuningan. Passing through the area, Fiona decided to stop by and get a bite of the Bondi Beach patty.

This is Fiona’s super burger adventure.

Yes, adventure. Because at this burger bar there’s something for everyone and tasting each combination is a unique experience of its own. But the first impression is all about casual dining, where you can sit comfortably with friends on large tables. Smoking section is available on the bar. The lively ambiance makes this a perfect spot to hang out with your colleague after office hours. 


Pick your favorite


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tranquility and Seminyak Dream at Clio Apartment

Fiona found Clio Apartment during her quest to find a pre-wedding spot. A recommendation from the photographer, this place is minimalist and raw but with a homey feel to it. Based only on the browsing result, 2 nights are booked. 

This is Fiona's vacation in Bali.  



Staying away from the regular hotels in busy Bali, I was glad to find this place to stay in a discreet alley in Seminyak based on a recommendation. I hop on the internet and started investigating just to find I like this place more and more with each picture. Then comes the first challenge: deciding which room to stay in? The place has 15 rooms which varies from sky lofts, regular lofts, studios and deluxe rooms. The place isn't so hard to find because it's close to Bali Deli, but the alley is rather narrow for cars to drive in. It’s roughly 25-minute drive from the airport and guests can call I for shuttle services if needed.

My first live encounter with Clio Apartment (I’ve browsed too many pictures of this cozy-looking place that I felt like I’ve known the place already) is the large doors. Right next to the large doors are simple reception desk and 2 seats. But there's a rack full of movies which attracts my eyes right away. I made a promise that I would watch them if I have time. Then I walked to my room and passed by a large well-managed garden in the center. A perfect spot for daydreaming or BBQ. I think other than the lofts and sky lofts, the rest of the rooms are on the garden floor. Follow the stepping stones to the end and walked upstairs and you'll find Loft 1. That's where I'm staying for two nights.  







 It's like Cinderella entering the prince's castle for the first time. When I opened the door to glance what’s inside the 90m2 loft, I was welcomed by a ginormous living room with large windows on the right and a big comfortable-looking sofa. The cute wooden-cut table and LCD 42" screen on the left. There's a large dining table in the middle with Haman Kardon speaker on top. Perfect for music. The kitchen is well-equipped with microwave, sink, cutlery and other dining essential tools. Well, I forgot that this place is an apartment, so of course they have everything. After passing through the sliding doors, I found bedroom and bathroom with a partition separating the two areas.  Bathroom is equipped with a large mirror, rectangular bathtub and shower. Bedroom has a comfortable bed, with makeup station and dvd player making it even dreamy. The whole loft comes up to 90m2. This is even better than what’s pictured on the web. It’s simple, spotless, and spacious. The interior definitely suits my style. So I can safely say this is the hippest apartment in Seminyak. 

The partition between bedroom and bathroom


There’s no swimming pool in this boutique enclave, which is actually a good thing because it would be against the idea of quiet and relaxing holiday stay. Clio is big on tranquility and being hassle-free, which is proven on the nights I was staying. It wasn’t as cold as I expected to be, probably because the AC isn’t too strong for room that size. But the bathroom is nice and the water doesn’t spray out beyond the partition. Taking a relaxing bath is highly recommended. This place is Zen.

But what’s a stay without going through what to eat? Breakfast is about filling in the menu and choose the delivery time and voila it arrives right when you want it. I don’t have to wake up early to fight a nice spot at the restaurant and happy to have my morning meal in private. This is heaven for those prefer staying in. 



Just out of curiosity, I ventured around the area. Apparently, the road leads to several restaurants I would love to try while in the area, Bo & Ban and the famous Eatwell. Minimarket is also close by. If you feel like going a little further away, just ask the receptionist for a taxi. 

But I don't feel the need to leave my tranquility.

Clio Studio + Loft Apartments | Seminyak 
Jl. Raya Seminyak Gg. Mangga No. 7 
Seminyak Kuta, Bali – 80361 
Tel : +62881 755 0075 
Email : [email protected]
Web : www.cliobali.com

Friday, September 23, 2016

Tea Heaven in Starbucks Teavana

We’re both an avid fan of coffee that we often skipped the other half of the pair. The same goes whenever we landed on our local Starbucks®. It’s always about Americano and Double Ice Shaken Espresso. Until the recent Teavana™ craze hit in. 


As a guest, Tea Specialist Ratna Somantri often encounter the apologizing host that he/she could only serve tea. She thought the apology isn’t necessary. Indonesia is one of the largest tea producing countries and has been exporting the commodity since 1800 to Europe. That’s why Starbucks® decided to give tea a go. “We try to bring interesting experience for our customers in Indonesia, who always look for new experience,” explained Sari Siswami, head of Marketing Starbucks Indonesia. 

So, here’s where Teavana ™ enters the spotlight. Starbucks Teavana Handcrafted Beverages and Starbucks Teavana Full Leaf Tea Sachet were launched in all 250 stores in Indonesia. Available in hot or cold mix, the name derived from “Tea Heaven” and arrived in pyramid bags of loose tea. The pyramid shape is crucial because it allows loose tea to expand while brewed. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Spice by Chris Salans: An Ubud Taste for Share

Ubud has never disappointed you. From art to food and the combination of two, there’s always something to discover in this part of Bali. On her recent visit, Fiona stopped by to taste another masterpiece of Chris Salans, the man behind Mozaic. A place called Spice.

Hi, this is Fiona!




Chris Salans is known for his signature cuisine which infuses local Balinese flavors with French cooking techniques. I had been eyeing on this restaurant since my last visit to Ubud, but it was full. This time I arrived with my fiance and he apparently is the perfect man to share the moment and the flavors. 

Located in the center of Ubud, this bright spot, unfortunately isn’t available for reservation, so we arrived early to choose the table we wanted to. My choice was the one by the massive glass window that allowed us to see the life of Ubud. It’s a warm-welcoming place with laidback atmosphere and delicious dishes. The chef, American-born Chris Salans is also the owner of Mozaic, which offer equally unique gastronomy experience through its ever-changing menu. But this is Spice, and we’ve yet to discover the taste.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Homemade Pasta Countdown at AW Kitchen by Akira Watanabe

Pasta party brought Fiona back to AW Kitchen by Akira Watanabe. She was there for her fiance's birthday dinner. But today is all about pasta. Please follow Fiona and her pasta-venture and be prepared to droll over the delicious dishes.

Hi, this is Fiona.



  

Let's begin with two different kinds of cold pasta served as appetizer: Tiger Prawn Capellini with Gazpacho Sauce (red) and Japanese Mushroom Capellini with Japanese Radish Sauce (green). I have an internal conflict about which one I like better. But in the end, the sourness of gazpacho sauce, played with sweet and tender shrimp and fresh summer veggies win the battle.


  


Then just like magic, plates of homemade pasta appear on the table. Fortunately it's for sharing so I can try them all. I guess this is when insanity started to surrender to taste buds.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Introducing A&W National Day Promotion

We recalled flipping through calendar, couldn't wait for the next month to come so we can redeem that free ice cream. A&W has always been a dear memory to our childhood, serving the one-of-a-kind Root Beer, curly fries invention and the golden aroma fried chicken. That's why, when invitation called, Ruth jumped out the bed early on Saturday morning and join the BFF Rooty Picnic Barrels launching party at A&W Cipete


It's their first time doing a promotion in August, so it was a blast of fun. Aside from the sit-down, show-and-tell launch, that morning started with brunch an array of waffle, fried chicken,fries and nuggets. And ended in a traditional independence day game, which I accidentally won. The game is pick your best friend and do the dancing while keeping the balloon between our foreheads. The best friends concept is drawn from the barrels, which contains a lunch (or dinner) for two. 

My brunch for the day. Waffle and chicken are great idea.
It was displayed up front, so I was curious what’s inside the barrels. The limited edition BFF Rooty Barrel consists of a pair of Golden Aroma Chicken, rice, potato fritters (perkedel) and regular Root Beer (starts from Rp. 69,5k). The A&W Rooty Picnic Barrel comes in different packages to choose from. If you’re like me, thinking about skipping rice, try combination 1 of 2 Golden Aroma Chicken, 1 Beef Burger, 4 Chicken Chunks, 1 rice (for your BFF) and 2 regular Root Beer (starts from Rp.79k). Guys would probably eat more than one piece of chicken, so combination 2 is perfect for the buddies and bros searching for a filling meal: 4 Golden Aroma Chicken, 4 Chicken Chunks, 2 rice and 2 regular Root Beer (starts from Rp.98k).

 

The three limited edition picnic barrels are decorated with sporty theme, showing Rooty bear playing soccer, cycling and badminton.

But what’s A&W without its coupons? The good news arrives as we don’t have to wait for the months to change to use the coupons because now they’re available online. I think in the near future, they should start creating an app. I wouldn’t mind having Rooty Bear popping up on my screen with coupons haha. All you have to do is sign up at awrestaurants.co.id/kupondiskon and download the ones you want to use. Once you’re at the counter, show it to the cashier and enjoy the discount, explain Irvan Maulana, Head of Digital A&W Restaurant. He also assured that one coupon can be shared with your friends, so no need to worry about running out of promotion.


Sounds good, smells good and off we go. cos this National Day Promotion is only available through 31 August 2016.