Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Halal Bro's at Southbox, Prapanca

Southbox is a new food venue around Prapanca area. I've been pretty curious about this and I finally visit this place during lunch time. Like all 'it' food venues today, most shops doesn't open the afternoon until late night. Bummer. Thankfully some of the vendors still open but there were only one or two of those, so I finally decide just to try out some food from The Halal Bro's. I have high expectation for the adaptation of halal rice in Jakarta ever since I tried its original in New York City. The one I had back in New York were SUUUUPER GOOD. I still crave for it every now and then, so I'm pretty happy that businesses were trying to recreate the flavor of The Halal Guys' gyro over rice platter consisting of either chicken, gyro and/or falafel on top of a bed of rice. So there I went to try The Halal Bro's take on this.

Chicken and Lamb Over Rice (IDR 58.000)
The Halal Bro's does not promise a copy of the original menu from The Halal Guys. This particular bowl consists of seasoned rice with spices topped with diced chicken, cuts of mutton, a few slices of roti canai and then topped with the white sauce and red sauce that were of a resemblance to The Halal Guys' original menu but the gyro were replaced with canai instead. The dish was served hot, and we were also given a packet of each barbecue sauce and flaming sauce. The flavor reminisces a döner, yet a tangy one -- maybe it is also due to the fact that this dish is also served with cherry tomatoes as well as shredded cabbage and carrots.

The flaming sauce really gives a kick of spiciness to the dish. The mix of all sauces makes this dish a bit more sour and cuts all its richness. The chicken although were dry it is pretty good while the mutton was harder to bite into. The slices of canai got a bit cold when we eat it so I cannot say much -- it doesn't add or change anything from this dish really. This version by The Halal Bro's is a good mix of Middle Eastern flavors, but the flavor is not similar to The Halal Guys. The portion were good for one yet I cannot really determine whether the pricing is a good deal.


Nutella Wrap (IDR 18.000)
This is not exactly a 'wrap' but this dish is soooo good! The dessert consist of a sheet of roti canai right off the pan that has been topped with a good amount of Nutella spread, then is folded into two, cut into bite-sized pieces and topped with vanilla ice cream. For the price you get a good dessert portion that tastes so sweet and very refreshing, especially considering we had it in the midst of a sunny Jakarta afternoon. Would go back just for this dessert, really.

It would be unfair to keep on comparing this to its original but that's the consequence they had to take in taking a twist on such a brand. I would say they serve good food for what they are and the limited menu doesn't stop them from delivering good food. But if you're really eager to have some legit Halal Guys' food into your mouth just be patient as they are opening up an international branch in Jakarta soon. As for The Halal Bro's just give it a try to get a taste to the growing trend of their main dish and tell me what you think! Available during day, very convenient for those of you who want to decide Southbox earlier in the day.

P.S. Yes, I will try that one other establishment in Senayan.

The Halal Bro's
Jl. Prapanca Raya No. 18
South Jakarta

Monday, January 11, 2016

Rumah Makan Ibu Layla at Tebet

Every November 30th or some time around the date, my family would come to RM Ibu Layla because it's my brother's favorite restaurant, like, ever, and he always decided to celebrate it here for a good amount of nasi kebuli kambing or kebuli mutton rice and their delicious sambal goreng ati. The place itself is not too big, only a few small tables here and there and upon a half-wall separator there were two spaces for 'lesehan' seats where you'll sit upon a carpeted floor. It was a simply decorated area, with fans as the only air circulating machine. RM Ibu Layla is located in between a mosque and a mechanic. 

1 Nampan Besar Nasi Kebuli Kambing
This big plate of muttorn rice seasoned with cumin, lemongrass, curry, ginger and the likes of it. The rice is then topped with fried shallots and were topped with pieces of young mutton specifically as Ibu Layla only uses young mutton, six months top, for their kebuli rice. This portion can be suitable for 8-10 people or as I used to say... to whichever amount you'd like. The huge plate is also served with emping crackers, sambal goreng ati and a bowl of achar which you can ask for more. My most favorite thing is their sambal as it enhances the flavor of the rice.

Nasi Kebuli Kambing
This is the personal serving for the mutton kebuli rice. While I can say that the big plate can be consumed by fewer people as recommended, the personal portion of the mutton rice were fulfilling by its own.

Gulai Kambing
This gulai kambing is a rich soup consisting of mutton, emping, shallots, and not much more. This is not as rich as I expect it to be and I wished the soup could've been reduced more and that there were more coconut milk. The mutton served upon the soup and the rice were not stinky at ll as it uses young muttons and cleaned precisely that there were not so much remaining mutton fat on the plate and that the juicy meat can be easily taken off the bone.

Dadar Gule Kambing
The dadar gule kambing tastes like an eggy pancake, it was delicious but it might be bland by its own. The gulai that comes as an accompanying sauce adds another flavor and it is the same soup used on the gulai kambing.

I get why my brother really love this place and I'll consider it as one of the go-to place for nasi kebuli in Jakarta. I might add a little salt or richness here and there but it's still delicious for its authentic Middle Eastern flavors. The ones who manages this restaurant is a family that manages its own production and service so you'll get a great quality of food nonetheless. Shall I wait for another year to get another plate of their kebulis.

Rumah Makan Ibu Layla
Jl. KH. Abdullah Syafei No. 70
South Jakarta
+6221 8314615

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ruang Seduh at Kemang

Ruang Seduh is located by the room over the courthouse behind ak.'sa.ra. It is located within the same room as Ganara Art Space that is located right across the coffee shop. Ruang Seduh is also a neighbor of an independent film screening establishment, Kinosaurus -- which due to the limited seats within this spot, were used by several some of the consumers as a place to enjoy their coffee. The decor of the place is pretty simple, dominated by all-white furniture and tools. There were not even a door as it directly connects to the hallway.

Choco-Chip Cookie with Sea Salt (IDR 18.000)
It is hard to miss out bakery products from coffee houses as they are the tempting companion of a glass of hot beverage. Out of the options of the readily baked goodness I picked out the chocolate-choco-chip cookie from the display; there was another option of basic chocolate chip cookies which commonly uses vanilla essence. This was rather a delicious piece of chewy cookie! Finished it off pretty quickly and had to hold me back for getting another piece.

Kenya - Asali AA (IDR 40.000)
The Kenya-Asali AA is the coffee bean of choice made by my brother out of the four that are placed on display, provided by the Smoking Barrels Craft Coffee. This variant were said to be the second-lightest option they had here during our visit. The coffee ranges from Rp25.000 to Rp60.000 for a cup of coffee using the Walküre Bayreuth brewery machine. There was another method of brewing that does not use their selection of coffee beans right from the display but it was more flexible as you can choose either an espresso, Americano, latte and such. We had this coffee black. Ruang Seduh has sugar available, but they discourage its usage.

Djamu Ijem (IDR 35.000)
Judas Kitchen's selection of cold-pressed juices and infused water are available at Ruang Seduh's fridge that you can get by your own. It is one of the things about Ruang Seduh that they specialize in hot coffee, except for a variant of pre-packaged Cold Brew from A Bunch of Caffeine Dealers and that variety from Judas Kitchen. I chose the Djamu Ijem mix that consists of ginger, carrots, pineapple, orange, and turmeric. The blend really reminds me of the characteristics of a kunyit asem  (turmeric blend) jamu. It's definitely... something, but still enjoyable anyways.

Ruang Seduh is actually a good alternative place to get a cup of coffee which also uniquely allows you to brew your own coffee upon the guidance from the barista although I personally did not make my own coffee as we trusted the barista on our cup since there were plenty of people on the line and we had to be mindful hehe. Try it out for yourself and enjoy the experience you'll get in here as you stroll around multiple trinkets you'll find all over the area.

Ruang Seduh
Jl. Kemang Raya 8B
South Jakarta

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rumah Baba at Cipete

I passed Rumah Baba many times in the past but I only this time did I got the time to try it out. Famous for serving authentic Betawi food, I was pretty excited to give this one a try since there were limited places where you can find a proper Betawi restaurant amidst its cultural presence in Jakarta. The place is very homey and humble, the settings are very comfortable. They have free Wi-Fi available and multiple electric plugs so you can even hang around this spot for a long time. The restaurant itself is not very big, it has limited parking space yet it doesn't feel cramped once you get inside. The menu were pretty good as its beverages, meal and dessert options have Betawi signature and influence in them.

Es Biang Kerok (IDR 15.000)
This fizzy drink is the specialty of Rumah Baba and the beverage is added with strawberries, mint and lime. It is sweet and fizzy, and I liked the overall flavor as its balance of sweetness and sourness goes really well together.

Es Bir Pletok (IDR 15.000)
The 'Betawinese beer' is actually a non-alcoholic beverage that is made out of infusion of ginger, sugar, galingale, cinnamon and other spices into one. I regret having this favorite drink 'cold' as the bitterness overwhelm the sweetness and I  struggled to finish off this drink; so I think it will be wiser to order the hot serving of bir pletok instead.

Soto Betawi Campur (IDR 50.000)
Soto Betawi is characterized for the use of coconut milk and broth that is added with protein such as chicken or beef as well as other blends of spices. You'll often find diced tomato and green onion within the soup and topped with emping crackers. I really like the Soto Betawi offered here, it's thick but not overwhelmingly rich and fatty. As I opt for the 'campur' soup, other than the beef meat there were also parts of the beef innard in this dish, including intestine, lung, and heart. The mix of beef parts gives a variety of texture and it's not smelly, which is a good thing. This dish comes with complementary steamed rice.

Nasi Uduk Komplit Ayam (IDR 40.000)
The complete rice meal consists of nasi uduk which was rice steamed with coconut milk, fried chicken, peanut sauce, braised tofu and egg (semur tahu dan telur) garnished with shallots, slices of cucumber and tomato as well as crackers. This is a pretty filling whole meal but the flavor is nothing extravagant, but it is a good one and true to the flavors to other kinds of Betawi's nasi uduk.

Kerak Telor (IDR 25.000)
I was pretty excited to see kerak telor available on the menu as it is rare to find this kind of thing on an actual restaurant as it usually available on street vendors. This egg dish is served thinner than the ones you'll find on the street and that the rice is crunchy. The mixture of egg and sticky rice is added with chicken floss, and fried shallots and uses chicken egg (on the street you can also opt to use duck eggs, but in this case they uses exclusively chicken egg). It was a good dish for what it is!

There are some other things I would like to try in the restaurant that is decorated with many vintage ornaments from classic Indonesian movie posters to a collection of old-time cigarette packs, however from what I had here it leaves out good notes about Betawi food. I would love to try out their snacks and squid-ink dishes but maybe next time. I hope similar restaurant to this will keep on adding so that the traditional food would be greater known and to become more accessible to a greater market.

Rumah Baba
Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7A
Cipete Selatan
South Jakarta
+6221 7699205

Friday, January 1, 2016

Seirock-Ya at Radio Dalam

Happy New Year 2016! As we all are entering a new chapter in our life, this post is one of a food review that is a refreshment to the past experience in trying a halal ramen joint in Jakarta. In the past I've visited Seirock-Ya at AEON Mall (you can read it here) and unfortunately the place were running out of stock quite literally, there was no heavy chicken stock available on that day and only clear soups were available that day as it was quite new. This time, I'm giving Seirock-Ya another shot at their first Indonesian branch within the road of Radio Dalam. I am not disappointed as the quality we had gotten here far excel the one I got on the first try. The chicken broth I was looking for were definitely there and it hits me hard.

Toripaitan Ramen Miso dengan Telur (IDR 62.000)
This particular ramen is served with miso broth and it really delivers the umami goodness of the soup. The hot ramen is served on the table topped with the default topping which includes quail egg, laver, chicken chasiu, menma (bamboo shoots), and choy sum. This order specifically adds another egg as its topping. I've never been overwhelmed by the flavor of chicken before and this definitely surprises me as how frothy the soup is with a heavy blend of white miso and chicken broth in which you can taste the fattiness that most people were looking for in eating pork-based ramen soup.

Toripaitan Ramen Ekstrim (IDR 56.000)
This ramen with the similar topping as the miso ramen is served with added fried shallots and a lemon wedge. The touch of lemon gives this dish an extra acidity and a different layer of flavor which at first surprises my taste bud -- in a good way! I really like this dish, however, I would opt for the miso ramen in other times since I really like the bold chicken flavor that is more apparent in the miso dish despite the 'Ekstrim' ramen uses a similar soup base, as the acidity can get a little bit overwhelming. You can also add some condiment like chili flakes, chili sauce, and pepper available on the table.

Shio Dare Ebi Chahan Special - Half (IDR 26.000)
A half portion gives you a good amount of fried rice mixed with shrimp, chicken and green onion here and there. The flavor is actually very subtle but goes well when added to a side of your choice or even when mixed with the ramen broth. 

Seirock-Ya Special Gyoza (IDR 28.000)
You can choose whether you want the gyoza dumpling to be baked or fried to order. We had it baked and it was one of the most delicious serving of gyoza that I ever had! The thin dumpling is cooked until it is super crispy while its inside is filled with juicy minced chicken and vegetable that is prepared on order. This gyoza may not look the prettiest but I love the flavor and moreover their texture. The gyoza also comes with chili oil, shoyu and another type of oil that also goes well with the ramen and other dishes. I would love to come again even just for their gyoza.

Oyako-Don - Half (IDR 22.000)
This oyako-don is approximately the same size of the chahan but served on a different kind of plate. The steaming rice is topped with chicken cutlet cooked with eggs and onion alongside with its sweet and savory sauce. This looked simple but I really like the flavor. I would love to try a whole portion of their other rice dishes next time as the value of the dish is really worth the amount and quality we're getting.

Fresh Jeruk Soda (IDR 29.000)
This is a unique beverage you'll only find at Seirock-Ya! This drink consists of a glass of soda and a whole orange which its innards has been pressed. You can either directly drink the orange right from its own fruit as its 'glass' or mix it with the soda water which accumulates to an orange soda that tastes sweet and refreshing even without any added sugar.

Green Tea (IDR 9.000)
Free refill

As its original establishment in Japan use this very recipe, we can refer back to Seirock-Ya as one authentic ramen joint. I'm really happy that I give Seirock-Ya another shot and was overall impressed with the place. The service were also fast, but the clean up take some time as our leftover dishes were not picked up until the very end. But overall it was a good dining as the server were fast and cheerful; you can feel the warmth of the restaurant right as you went in as you were greeted by the servers. I had now tried their clear ramen and miso ramen -- and I shall taste the other ramen broth base they offer: the shio ramen and the shoyu ramen. Definitely next time!

Jl. Radio Dalam Raya No. 9
Pondok Indah
South Jakarta
+6221 29126281