Friday, January 30, 2015

Ayam Presto Ny. Nita at Fatmawati

Ayam Presto Ny. Nita highlight their chicken dish that has been pressure cooked (usually translated into presto in Indonesia) in a way that made the chicken tender to the bone; hence making the bone edible. Ayam Presto Ny. Nita has many branches around Jakarta and this particular branch I visited is located within the Pertamina gas station in Fatmawati and only walks away from my house. Been curious for a long time, I decided to try out their menu on a weekend afternoon. Upon entering, I was actually impressed on how clean the place and shows its true attempt in modernizing Indonesian delicacy with their simple decorations and humble appearance. 

I got seated on the front table section, and behind the wooden fence that divide the restaurant into two section to separate the chair table and the table for lesehan where you can sit cross-legged. The lessen area was more packs in comparison to the ones with chairs. After getting our seats, we immediately order our food!

Paket Nasi: 1 Potong Ayam Bakar (IDR 25.000)
Rice, lalapan, and the roasted chicken. The chicken were truly tender to the bone as it were easily edible. The marinade also was through the parts of the chicken and made it juicy. The chicken has hint of sweetness yet still is savory due to the coating of the sweet soy sauce and blend of spices yet it is not really bold and apparent. Another note as I was eating this particular dish with sambal, I find the sambal a bit too sweet for my taste. Other than that, the rice was cooked to my liking, too!

Ayam Goreng ½ Ekor (IDR 40.000)
Fried half of a chicken after being cooked in a pressure cooker. The fried chicken option comes with kremes or fried batter that were crispy and crumbly, however the batter is lacking in flavour and does not add much to the dish instead for texture. It being crumbly also made it hard to pick up especially when eaten by hands. But flavor-wise, the chicken itself were delicious. Portion wise it is very generous unlike the one piece chicken that were unfortunately small.

Happy Fanta and Happy Sprite (IDR 13.000)
Initially I ordered Happy Cola but they were out of Coca-Cola stock. The 'Happy' embelishment means to add condensed milk with selected soda drinks. With the hefty price tag for minimum effort, I wasn't exactly happy with this drink.

Ati Ampela (IDR 20.000)
The whole portion consist of five pairs of chicken liver and gizzard, fried and simply seasoned by salt and pepper. These were actually the highlight of the whole meal since the foods were cooked very well that it's not too chewy.

It was a good meal overall with a good value. There could be some improvements to the flavor of the dish since many of Indonesian fried dishes relies solely on salt and pepper as its seasoning. The service itself were very good and the maintenance of the place were really kept well. Hope to visit anytime sooner for another meal, as well as its improvements, since this branch were close to home.

Ayam Presto Ny. Nita
Jl. RS Fatmawati No. 19/69
South Jakarta
+62 21 7515106

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Signatures Restaurant at Thamrin

It was a Friday afternoon where I, alongside with my parents decided to have lunch at Signatures Restaurant at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski. We made a reservation that were taken care nicely by the staffs. It was my first time ever visiting the hotel and I just figured out that it is the venue where my parents hold their wedding reception! I only knew they held a very simple ceremony at one of their house and I surprised myself for figuring the reception venue only until that day hehe. 

Back to the actual post about Signatures, upon entering the place we were greeted nicely and got seated nearby the food stalls, facing away the garden view of the hotel. The decoration of the place is very simple but allows easy mobility -- which is necessary when you're going back and forth for the food from the buffet that consist of Indonesian, Western, and other Asian food that are also available in the live kitchen too. The dining area and the buffet area are separated in two distinct area, so it would be best to get seated nearby the foods. The lunch rate during our visit is IDR 298.000++ excluding beverage.

The appetizer stall were located near the entrance and I allow myself for some sushi, sashimi, mussels and dim sum. The seafoods were indeed very fresh, but the sashimi were sliced very thinly that I'm missing out on its texture. The dim sum, on the other hand, were divine. I really liked it, even with comparison with siumay that Signature also offer.

The vegetables were fresh and colorful. 
The salad bar looks like a feast, although not my kind of feast.

Clockwise: chicken nugget, roasted lamb, roasted chicken with mushroom sauce, mozzarella chicken and pizza. My favorite were the truly generous chicken nugget and their saucy pizza. 

One of my remarks to the chefs is that during this particular service, the butchery on the roasted lamb and chicken took a long time that the chef seemed undertrained. For the reason of such difficulty I witnessed, I only got thin slices of the protein that seemed to be one of the main offering during the time :(

Freshly cooked noodle in tom yum goong sauce. Before having the soup poured into the bowl, we chose several toppings such as mushroom, meat balls, fish cake and fresh veggies.

These are my favorite and of course I'm having second! 

In the middle of the course one of the team from Signatures (their supervisior, I believe) came to our table to check up on our lunch. He recommends the pasta from Signature and he gladly ordered it for us. The fettucine bolognese were truly a delight, and coming from such warm regards from the team was a very sweet thing. We did not have anything to complain during such smooth service.

He also recommend the Sunday brunch menu and offered several promotions using BCA card. It is a very lavish deal, 20% off on weekdays (excluding beverage) and 50% off on weekends (including beverages) using BCA credit card. Talk about a deal!

I also tried Signatures' signature chicken porridge! It was unique in its way as I follow the original serving of the midnight snack menu (in the late 1970s) by sprinkling chicken floss, crueller and some recommended topping that were explained elaborately in a poster up top of the porridge stall.

The buffet option were filled with other Indonesian delicacy and also uniquely serves brown rice (which were a delight for my dad whom is trying to continually eating brown rice). According to my parents, the mutton curry is the highlight of the entire meal. And I agree as it is very powerful and bold in flavor.

Last but not least is their dessert! The desserts were mainly provided by Hotel Indonesia Kempinski bakery by the Sweet Boutique and their desserts is the best thing about my whole meal. Sadly I have the desserts only minutes before the end of the lunch service that ends in 3.00 p.m.

I had their rich black forrest cake, caramel custard, raspberry panacotta, lavender and pistachio macaron, pistachio truffle chocolate.  The caramel has been a bit left too long that it hardens, but for the same reason I love it more. The raspberry panacotta is a smooth, sweet and sour delight. Their macarons.... oh my God their macarons were just the best. Fragrant and rich, I could have taken another dozen if I'm not full enough already. Take into account that the pastry chef were French. Now THAT explains why these tiny bits of sweets are just the perfect end to the series of courses.

Also we had ice cream (above picture with the cakes; vanilla and strawberry) and sorbet. On the picture above is the guava and raspberry sorbet. I love it even more than I love the ice cream, the sorbet is sweet and tangy and true to its flavor. Great way to cool down in the midst of the afternoon.

It was such a satisfying experience trying out signature. What I love the most, besides from the food, is the preservation of the history that taken place in the particular hotel. Photographs of President Soekarno with worldly figures decorates one corner of the restaurant, and upon entrance a placard were placed in commemoration on the establishment of the hotel. Such things makes the hotel unique and I appreciate the effort of subtly delivering history in such way.

Come to try out Signatures Restaurant and savour their dishes, then when you are done, walk through the hall besides the Signatures Restaurant to find the Lobby Nirwana Lounge to then sit down by the bar or the sofas to unwind your day in the midst of hectic Jakarta or find and explore arrays of sweet pastries and dessert at the Sweet Boutique. I drooled right away as I passed the hall and realized that there might be another room for desserts after desserts.

Signatures Restaurant
Hotel Indonesia Kempinski
Lobby Level - Ganesha Wing
Jl. M.H. Thamrin 1,
Central Jakarta
+62 21 23583898

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Warung Sangrai at Pantai Indah Kapuk

Quail seems like a type of protein that has not yet been a common delicacy in Indonesia. Only weeks ago I found out that there is a restaurant in Jakarta which serves quail in Indonesian cooking technique and I was looking forward to trying it out as it would be my first time eating quail! I've eaten quail eggs before but it was concerning to consume since it was said to be high in cholesterol; but during a sheet of fun fact given by the Warung Sangrai social media team, the bird meat itself were low in bad cholesterol so I was pretty much relieved when I figured it out.

I came in the afternoon for lunch and the place is clean and decorated simply. The lesehan seating corner also seem to be a very cozy spot but I opted for the seat on the table. Upon reading the menu, the staff recommend us some of their favorite and suggested the French quail instead of the local quail due to the size and follow up her suggestion. Thank God I followed her suggestion since the bigger serving of a whole French quail is barely the even the size of a chicken breast. The whole quail seems to be in comparison to a quarter of a chicken or less, but flavor-wise and texture-wise it is surprisingly similar!

French Quail Gocap (IDR 29.000 + 2.000)
The sauce on the chicken is an additional Rp2000 on the quail and the 'Gocap' option stands for Goreng Kecap (fried soy-glazed quail) and is the second least spicy option they had there after the original. I wished I have more of the glaze, especially knowing that you add more for the sauce. But overall I really liked the dish and it goes well with rice! If only this could be spicier, or that the selection of sauce can be based on the glaze and then the spicyness? Just throwing some ideas out there.

French Quail with Cabe Ijo (IDR 29.000 + 2.000)
The green chili was very delicious in its savory and spicy goodness! It goes well with the fried quail and can easily be enjoyed as it is even without rice. Definitely the right kind of spicy for me, but my friend who actually ordered this said that it's spicyness is surprisingly very hot.

Tahu Cabe Garam (IDR 13.000)
Said to be everyone's favorite, the soft tofu coated with rice flour friend and sprinkled with chili pepper and salt were really delicious! Crispy, savoury, a bit spicy yet cut in bit-sized chucks, this truly deserves the honor to be the diner's favorite. Yet again, I would love to have more of the cabe garam for and bolder seasoning!

Nasi Putih (IDR 6.000)

Teh Jumbo Manis (IDR 8000)
The sweet iced tea really came in a jumbo portion and this comes from someone who drinks a lot during their meal. It took me a pretty long time to finish this and it was definitely the most worthy iced tea I've ordered anywhere. Super satisfied with this one.

It was overall a good experience of trying out quail for the first time. The service I got was splendid and there are plenty of promotion in the restaurant, but unfortunately I was too full to claim a free 'Es Sarang' for posting an Instagram picture of Warung Sangrai. Too full for freebies?!?! I even surprised myself and I blame the humongous serving of tea on that. Try for yourself for a good selection of quail and beautifully exeuted simple side dishes, the service and dish here would greet you for a great meal.

Warung Sangrai
Rukan Emerald Blok A No. 2
Pantai Indah Kapuk
North Jakarta
+62 21 98115733
+62 81 14131020

North Pole Café at Pantai Indah Kapuk

North Pole has been one of the current hippest restaurant in Pantai Indah Kapuk which mainly offers ice cream desserts. I ordered one particular thing from the menu named 'Smoky Pan' since it is the most reflective of what North Pole has to offer in terms of its ice cream flavors since the menu by itself serves six different flavors out of the sixteen options of ice cream the restaurant has to offer and it was a swift taste serving. I came in on a weekday afternoon and the place is already filled with lots of people; knowing so I decided to stay only a bit for the sake of trying. But even with the platter ordered, I only tasted one fourth of their said signature of gelato, ice cream, coffee and waffle.

Smoky Pan (IDR 68.000)
Our Smoky Pan order came in a plate with six dents for the selection of ice cream that is placed upon the top of a pan filled with water and a block of dry ice to help to maintain the temperature of the ice cream as well as to add aesthetic value to the dish. Alongside with six scoops of ice cream, a sprinkle of fruitty pebbles and ground cookies were served as sides. Unfortunately the six flavors of ice cream that were served has its flavor fixed and we cannot pick our own preferred flavor at the time. It makes distinguishing the flavor as a challenge since we cannot figure out to match the ice cream to the list of flavors they offer although we spotted banana, almond cherry, mango and thai iced tea. The other two remained as mystery!*

*All of it remained a mystery, really since I did not even confirm the flavors I'd gotten that day. Some said the menu consisted of lemon, forest berry, choco ferrero among others. Does everyone have the same flavor on their serving of Smokey Pan? No idea, either.

Although the ice cream were smooth and the sprinkle add some more colors and elements into the dish, the ice cream we had were lacking in the variety of texture.

The sprinkled almond cherry was my favourite!  

The decoration of North Pole was really fun with the touch of cool colors, snow-shaped ornaments, cute illustration of the menu and of course their logo is adorable! I was also really impressed with the quick service I got there. Also, try out their recommended Creamy Pot options that is the menu with twists on soft-serve ice cream topped with various sauces and toppings which my friend recommended. Many of the other menu such as the cereal ice cream cone and chick affogato seem to be a good deal too, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to. Hopefully better luck next time because I am pretty excited for a next visit!

North Pole Café
Ruko Crown Golf Blok A No.57
Pantai Indah Kapuk

North Jakarta
+62 21 29210357
+62 21 29442957