Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ramadhan at Arts Cafe Raffles Hotel

Ramadhan is here and we already feel the festivity. Can't decide what to have? Arts Café at Raffles Hotel Jakarta offers delicacy from all over the archipelago. It's Fiona's second visit to the place and this time was an invitation from my bestfriend, YennyW.

It wasn't only the ambiance, but how they décor the space (with Oscar Lawalata's design on the ornamentals) is really homey and elegance for a hotel buffet. I arrived to the week of Balinese food. Yes, they change the menu every week. In the first week of Ramadhan, the journey begins with dishes from Bali and Lombok, then moves north to Sulawesi and Kalimantan in the following week. After that, is the tantalizing tastes of Sumatra and finally we hit home at Java in the end. 

Bali offers dishes from all over the region, from the delicate texture of Daging Katernak, to the flavorful Bebek Betutu and Udang Panggang Jimbaran. But before that, a cucumber cooler arrives on the table, perfect for breakfasting. It was even more special because we got to dine with the mastermind behind the dishes, Chef William Wongso, who recreates the Indonesian flavors with Chef Daniel Patterson, Arts Café executive chef. The buffet itself was this elegantly presented dishes of baby lobster, kecicang salad, lawar, sate udang and Bali fish with spices. Served with 6 different sambal on the side. If you're a fan of Balinese food, then tasting this is a must. 

Food isn't just on the table, but at the show kitchen. It was quite open, so we can see how veggies, satay lilit, large prawn served with sambal matah, nasi campur are prepared right before they're served at the guests' table. I was drooling over Yenny's prawn after I finished mine. I pronounced it my favorite dish of the night because it's so tasty and didn't smell fishy. The flavors were real because they're using real spices. Dining with Chef William Wongso, exchanging spices stories with other foodies, as Gamelan music playing on the back is really a memorable experience. 

Bali is only the beginning, as the date rolls on, Sulawesi and Kalimantan (13-19 June) and Sumatra (20-26 June) will take turn and visit the Arts Café. Javanese food will be served from June 27th to the end of Ramadhan month. The buffet price is IDR 398,000++ with the first seating from 5.45 PM to 8.30 PM. The buffet price of IDR 298,000++ is available during the second seating from 8.30 PM to 10.30 PM

Where is This?
Raffles Jakarta, Ciputra World 1, Jl Prof. Dr. Satrio, Jakarta 12940 – Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 2988 0888

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Daily Serving of Veggies and Fruits with Cold Press

The recommended amount of fruits and veggies to be consumed everyday is five servings. At least. The blog readers probably know how Ruth doesn't get along with the two groups, skipping salads and leaving the greens for Fiona. But that doesn't mean she's not aware with the importance of fruits and veggies. So one day when Fiona offered to try Cold Press supplies, she took the challenge.

This is Ruth and her daily juices.

Veggie Rhapsody for healthy month
I'm turning 32 next week and I'm still stuck with the same problem I had when I graduated elementary school: getting enough fruits and veggies in my daily food consumption. Browsing the web, many recommend juices and not just ordinary homemade juice you make at home everyday, but the cold-pressed ones. While your traditional juicer machine creates heat which cuts down the amount of surviving nutrients made it into your glass, cold-pressed juices are different.

The bottles arrived one day and in interesting, vibrant colors. Believe it or not, I started with greens. I opened Veggie Rhapsody and took a sip. Apple, Pineapple and Spinach. Strong pineapple and a hint of spinach in my mouth. It was gone in few gulps. It tastes great! The other green-colored liquid is Tropical Green, the same apple-pineapple base with Kale instead of spinach.
Ingredients for Veggie Rhapsody

Once I'm done with the veggies, I turned to the fruit and share it with my 9-year-old son. Watermelon Orange Twist (the twist is honey in case you're curious) is super refreshing and can be easily finished in one sitting. My son loves Beet Hunter (surprise), a great boost of vitamin A with the beet, carrot and apple inside. Beet has been dubbed as superfood. So having it in a juice adds more than just bright colors. Carrots are also great for us, who sits in front of laptop most of the time. This one has a strong carrot aftertaste. But the best of the pack is Berry Hunter. Mixing Strawberry, Watermelon and Pineapple seems like a great idea. After the fifth bottle, I realized that there's always a dominant fruit/veggie taste in each bottle. The Berry Hunter, for example has this sour strawberry flavor, which is perfect for me. I'm not a big sweet fan.

The perfect bottle to end your day, or to drink in the late afternoon before driving home is Freshen Up. Orange, Apple and Pineapple provides you with a boost of Vitamin C, a much-needed nutrition to fight the stress from a hectic working day. Looking at the benefits of the fruits and veggies, it's just easy to drink down these bottles as daily maintenance.

What's so great about these juices are you have no worries. No Preservatives, No Additives, No Colorings, No Concentrate, No Added Water, No Added Sugar. Ordering it is no hassle and you just have to wait for the juices to come. It cuts out the shopping, juicing and all the trouble you have to go through just for a glass of juice every morning. All you have to do is open your fridge, pick a Cold Press bottle of 250ml and you're all set.

Now I don’t have to worry about celebrating my birthday anywhere I want because my fruits and veggies servings are covered.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Penfolds Bin 9 Launching Shangri-La Jakarta

We were asking ourselves, what’s our lucky number when a tempting red invitation arrived on our inbox, a ticket to savor the launching of Penfolds Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon at Satoo Garden, Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta. It’s Penfolds, and you just can’t turn it down. So, Fiona agreed to go and try her luck with the free flow.

It’s always hard to overwrite a wine taste. At the entrance, I was faced with the dilemma of the night, Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz on the right and the star of the party, Penfolds Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon, on my left. The two booths were separated with an array of Shangri-La delicacies, ready to be paired with each glass. I was welcomed with a lot of laughter. Casual, as the invitation said, but not leaving classy behind. It’s a wine party afterall! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Indonesian Fusion of Temoe Bistro

There’s a new hotel in town and it means there’s a new eatery to try. Temoe Bistro at GranDhika Hotel at South Jakarta area is a perfect spot for friends, co-workers and a dine-in with your loved ones.

Entering GranDhika Hotel, you’ll find Temone on the left side with a line of friendly servers. It seems a little dim at first, but when you stepped it, this place is homey. Our attention goes to the graphic rug under the table and the complementing decoration on the ceiling. There’s also a large, comfortable sofa that makes you stay for hours. There’s a semi-outdoor section here, wrapped in large glass windows which would be awesome during the day (too bad it’s dinner time when we’re there). The semi-outdoor space is for smoking and Acoustic jazz live band on weekdays.

Let’s talk about food.

Pan Seared Foie Gras
is seriously delicious. Crunchy toast brioche bread meets the melt-in-your-mouth seared duck liver with onion marmalade. It’s not easy to create this kind of foie gras because it’s 80% fat. This one is pan-seared and a must-try for foie gras fans because the onion marmalade adds on to the superb combination.

Pan Seared Foie Gras
Wagyu Soto
Wagyu Soto is still your traditional beef soup, but with a few upgrade like wagyu 5+ quality beef. Cooked medium (surprise!) and served separately from the broth so you can easily mix it accordingly. We prefer having it dipped in the soto broth. Chef Hariyadi wanted to create a new twist of Indonesian food, while keeping the rich herb soto broth. Let’s say he exceeded expectation. The dish is served with steamed jasmine rice, emping cracker, sambal and pickles.

The classic Quattro Formaggi Pizza is to die for. We can safely say that the chef is an expert in Italian dishes because the 4-cheese topping pizza is something we would like to order, take home and enjoy it in front of the TV with a bottle of soda and a bunch of good friends.

Quattro Formaggi Pizza
Dessert already? No way. But the Cherry Clafoutis Crumble did make a sweet ending to our first date at Temoe Bistro. The baked cherry cake crumble served with mascarpone cheese is a must-order for dessert lovers. It’s real cherry made as compote and combined with crunchy crumble. Then comes mascarphone cheese to complete the trio. This dessert makes you want to order another plate.

This Bistro is rather impressive, especially for a new place inside a new city hotel. They have a wide variety of quality menu and the place is super comfortable for those who just want to stop by after hours. It’s also a good stop for those who enjoy jazz and wine. Even for those creative worker who simply need a place to sit and well, be creative, this one place is recommended too. We got a glimpse of Salmon and Scallop in Gulai Sauce on the menu, another interesting concept for Indonesian fusion fans. Our advice, go through the whole menu and find the one that jump at you. The bistro is good at composing Indonesian fusion food, so don’t skip the chance to taste them.

Where is this?
Hotel GranDhika Iskandarsyah – Jakarta
Jl. Iskandarsyah Raya No. 65 Jakarta
021-2912 7788
Opening Hours:9:00 AM – midnight (Sunday-Thursday) and 09:00 AM – 01:00 AM (Friday and Saturday)