Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Clea Tea Bar & Lounge at Kemang

It was Christmas afternoon when my two high school friends and I spent our afternoon dining out and sipping tea in the Kemang area, there were not many people coming in - only a few groups coming in and out although more people were coming as it got later in the evening. Clea Tea Bar & Lounge received a lot of buzz a year ago for its concept of serving food alongside with pretty flower display within the boutique that is placed within a glassroom inside the restaurant itself. The place itself were decorated by mainly wooden furniture and with flowers placed on each table. There were definitely flower in many places, but not enough in amount as what I expected earlier.

The flower boutique is contained within a glasshouse that is visible from most seats of Clea. It is certainly a pretty sight and good conversation starter. With the minimalist decoration your focus will definitely go to the sight of flowers either within the room or on the corner of the restaurant and even extending to its restroom. Even without looking for food, Clea is a good place to look for inspiration on home decor and some flowers as display or as a gift. Earlier in the day there were person in charge of the room, but as it gotten darker there were less and less staff on the spot.

Escargot (IDR 40.000)
I came in pretty on time yet my friends has things to attend to earlier in the day. As I was pretty hungry after a workout I decided to munch on the snails (escargot per se) that is stewed with a surprisingly spicy tomato sauce that is somewhat like a marinara and topped with a dust of parmesan and two slices of garlic bread. The garlic bread come out pretty crisp on its crust and that the butter were not overpoweringly salty. This is a good appetizer and it came in fairly quick and it was also served hot.

Blue Sky (IDR 36.500)
Blue curaçao syrup blended with vanilla ice cream. Sweet. Too sweet for my taste. This were put under the 'Tea Frappe' section on the beverage menu but I'm not sure whether there were actually tea in the mix.

Crepes Ala Mode (IDR 32.000)
Two crêpes served with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and strawberry sauce. I didn't make sure of the filling of the crêpe but supposing this is an a la mode, the filling were supposedly fruits.

Rosemary Roast Chicken (IDR 68.000)
This is my personal order and it consist of chicken leg drenched in mushroom gravy, mixed vegetables and french fries. The chicken were cooked pretty well and I really like the savouriness of the sauce, the rosemary itself is pretty visible on the plate and was true to its name as the dish is very fragrant. I like the overall flavor of this dish and it was a safe bet to order this particular dish. Anyway, I chose french fries as the side of choice but you can opt for mashed potatoes instead.

Poffertjes (IDR 28.000)
This is my friend's order and I didn't taste dishes other than my own. The dish was all in all a humble buttery poffertjes dusted with castor sugar, however what really boggle us was the fact that this dish took the longest to come out. Like really, it got out when I had finished my sides and my friend had to patiently wait for a simple plate of this sweet delicacy.

Clea Tea Bar & Lounge is definitely a good place to have a conversation and to hang out as the place albeit not large felt very homey and cozy. The big glass and display of flowers kept the place looking fresh and bright. My friends spent about three hour here, including the time we spent taking pictures in their flower boutique. Too bad there were no one standby inside the flower display room as we had no clue whether the flower were up for sale or anything which is one of the problem we found here as at times we found that there were no available server either at the bar or the whole room itself and that they are lacking speed. Other than that, the place itself is what will keep people coming in again and again. I would love to try some of their teas (as I was the only one who didn't order an actual cup of tea in a tea bar) and to come whenever I feel like looking some pretty flowers, and hopefully by then the servers' dynamics would improve. Also with available WiFi and AC plugs on every table I think people will be easily set here for hours as it's just that comfortable especially with a good company :-)

Clea Tea Bar & Lounge
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 95
South Jakarta
+6221 7190232

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Umabo at Wijaya

The first time I tried out Umabo was two years ago and it was recorded on my old blog, which you can also read here. The little restaurant gives me a really good impression and I've visited it for a few times during the time I still have my French class at Institut Français Indonesia. This time, my brother were pretty persistent into visiting Umabo again and so we drive off here. Greeted by the kind staff, we got seated into the innermost of the restaurant that were closest to the kitchen. There were only a couple of parties seating in during the lunch hour, so we got ourselves comfortable easily in the small restaurant that has a 40-pax capacity. On that particular day, the given menu was displayed on a sheet of paper instead of their usual iPad since the display were off -- which my brother said to be unfortunate as he thinks the menu display on the iPad gave Umabo a certain 'edge' as he remembered his experience two years ago. Small detail aside, we proceed on munching of some of Umabo's umami goodness!

Fresh Milk (IDR 8.000)

Pink Limenade (IDR 18.000) 

Disco Fries (IDR 29.000)
French fries topped with sliced jalapeños, shredded short ribs, gravy, scallion, cheese and chili flakes all mixed up into one interesting side dish. The fries comes with a good value as there were plenty of meat to go around and you can tell that every aspect of the dish is prepared well. The potato were cooked really well and served hot on the table, eating it doesn't feel greasy. But I don't think there were sufficient sauces as I find that the dish is lacking in gravy, but nonetheless the play of texture and flavor were still there.

Chicken Wings - 1 Kilogram (IDR 115.000)
Everytime you order chicken wings at Umabo you have the option to choose whether you want your wings to be fried naked or with jacket (battered) and there were four flavor options for its coating sauce: Coca-Cola, Hawaiian, Creamy Buffalo and Sriracha. As we picked out the 1-kilo serving we can pick two flavor for our jacketed chicken wings, which are the creamy buffalo and the sriracha chicken. The creamy buffalo ones are the one coated with the orangey sauce while the sriracha has a deeper red color.

I freaking love the creamy buffalo chicken wings. Served piping hot, the crunchy wings come with a spicy-sour-creamy sauce that really suits my liking. The usual sour buffalo wings were further elevated with a touch of dairy that balances the sourness really well. The last time I went here the sauce weren't served 'creamy' and I think this is a good innovation by Umabo. I love this. I just... love this. I wished we ordered the whole dish filled with the creamy buffalo wings.

The sriracha wings were also good indeed, but it is inferior in comparison to the creamy buffalo wings. The sriracha chili sauce were pretty thick coating and its spiciness can get a little bit overwhelming. As you eat more the flavor gets a little muted from the spiciness, hence why I far prefer the buffalo wings. I have yet to try the Coca-Cola sauce, which I will try soon via Go-Jek as I just found out Umabo is available for delivery through Go-Jek and Klik-Eat (although they cannot deliver it to my area from Klik-Eat). Even without the sauce, the wings were juicy and worth every penny! This very tray consists of 1-kilograms of a mixture of 6 thick drummettes and 6 flat-tips (basically six whole wings).

Laostian Umami-Bowl (IDR 48.000)
Minced beef, lemongrass, chili sauce, pickled onion and one freaking beautiful egg that I can tell is farm-fed gives an interesting flavor to this Southeast Asian-inspired dish. I really appreciate that Umabo introduces a flavor which is uncommonly heard of and used in Indonesia. The juicy beef mixes well with the chili sauce and the runny egg yolk (the egg is cooked to your preference, and boy their egg never disappoint) and it comes in a good portion especially for the price. What would improve the dish is if the rice were even seasoned prior to serving, but that we can counter-argue that with the fact that the white rice goes well to even out the flavor of the protein. Regardless, this is one delicious and interesting don and I would like to thank our kind server for recommending the Laostian :-)

Flame Burger (IDR 58.000)
140-grams beef patty, chili pepper relish, sriracha mayo, cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce and a slice of pickle. Uma-Burger came in a pretty simple presentation: a pretty good burger and that's it. This flame burger were really flaming hot, I had one bite and the spiciness instantly kicks in. This was a good burger but that's it as I don't think the bun is anything special, but I appreciate their try to present unique combination of topping to the burger and that the sauce were really cared for as it was really tasty and say... umami.

You might wonder how many person does it take to finish this all and the answer is: two. Yup, my brother and I quickly devoured all the meal we had. We were even considering to try out some desserts but we were running out of time because my brother had an afternoon class by the time. There would definitely be a next time, for sure. I've made a mental checklist and there were lots to fill in! Maybe next time on a weekend so he can try out the breakfast menu that is specially prepared every Saturday and Sunday. Now I am reminded of their eggs benedict...

Jl. Wijaya 1 No. 22
South Jakarta
+6221 7222063

Monday, December 21, 2015

Jakarta Biennale 2015 'Maju Kena, Mundur Kena: Bertindak Sekarang'

Jakarta Biennale 2015
"Neither Forward nor Back: Act in the Present"
14 November 2015 - 17 January 2016
Gudang Sarinah
Jl. Pancoran Timur II No. 4
South Jakarta