Friday, March 25, 2016

Parc19 at Kemang

I always liked coming to Parc19 to enjoy their food. I like to come at the day as the restaurant has big windows which give great access to bright sunlight and a peek to its green outdoor area. This post sums up my latest visit there by myself, I was accompanying my mom and her friends for a while and decided to separate myself from the group and come to Parc19 alone to continue on several tasks from my college courses (#determined #committed #perseverance #thiswerenotreflectedonmygpa and also #loner). I enjoyed the variety of Parc19 dishes but I was looking forward eating their salted chili squid. I ordered it as I got seated down by their indoor sofa. The front of the house made sure I got everything in place and ensure I got the electricity plug working etc. etc. to get me comfortable.

Salted Chili Squid (IDR 95.000)
The salted chili squid is one of the proteins offered as part of the Asian menu. You can pick a side out of several options such as steamed rice, Hainanese rice or Hong Kong noodle. This particular side I picked were the Hainanese rice that is served alongside the salted chili squid on its top, as well as big pieces of stir-fried bok choy on the plate. I love the salted chili squid -- just enough spices with mainly chopped chili pepper and garlic blend coating the deep fried calamari. The portion may not look big in the picture (or in reality) but it fills me up pretty well. One remark that I have this time is that the Hainanese rice was a bit overcooked and the flavor of ginger wasn't strong enough. The added chili pepper given alongside with the dish helped a lot in this case.

I came at about 11.30 on a weekday. There's still not so many people inside the restaurant at the time but large groups came in from time to time. Service were all well and I like everything they have served up by far. Definitely a to-go place. The view is nice and the floor is well designed and spacious, Parc19 had always been a good experience.

Jl. Taman Kemang No. 19
South Jakarta
+6221 7199988

Soto Betawi Sambung Nikmat at Ciputat

Soto Betawi Sambung Nikmat offers a different type of soto Betawi, a type of soup dish native to Jakarta Betawi ethnicicty that is most commonly composed of a thick coconut soup with beef broth, chopped tomatoes, potatoes, green onion, shallots, alongside pieces of various part of beef. The soto offered at Sambung Nikmat is a little different, the color of the broth is bright reddish orange due to the added concentrate of tomatoes added in the dish -- giving it a sweeter and brighter flavor to the soup. The price of the Soto Betawi is IDR 70.000. Pretty hefty price for a traditional restaurant which you'll find along the street, but their plate of soup (you read that right, plate of soup) serves a big portion of beef and vegetables. The rice on the side ensure that you'll have a good dose of carbohydrates in case the potato bits is not enough for you. The soup is easily shareable for two.

The menu of this restaurant is pretty straightforward: soto betawi using beef cuts and/or its innards. I usually order beef alongside with slices of its lung to for the variety of texture and flavor within the soup. Everything is ready for plating, hence service is quick. The humble restaurant is open at 9 a.m. in the morning and usually will run out at noon, about on 13.00-ish. The place is not crazy crowded, but people kept coming in and out when I came moments after it is open. My dad said that the place will be packed during lunch hour so you better prepare to avoid the crowd. The last time I came here, the missus-owner were observing the service and warmly thanked us for coming after the service. It's a feel-good Indonesian restaurant. A good variety to Soto Betawi, and ain't Soto Betawi a one good dish!

Soto Betawi Sambung Nikmat
Jl. Ciputat Raya No. 2
Pondok Pinang
South Jakarta
+6221 7659053

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sumobooo at Kasablanka

The first time I tried out Sumoboo was in Pantai Indah Kapuk and I instantly liked their tang yuan desserts. Upon the variety of their dessert menu, Sumoboo's signature is within its desserts bowl and kakigori which dominated the menu board. This post sums up my second visit to Sumoboo, but this time, I tried the one in Kota Kasablanka. The restaurant is located on the lower ground level of the mall and we got seated in an open space that is placed next to a ramen restaurant. 

Sumoboo's Dessert -- Big Boba + Mochi + Ice Cream + Red Bean + Pudding + Bomb Ball + Taro (IDR 35.000)This freaking long menu is pretty much one of the most 'complete' menu you can get out of the Sumoboo variant of dessert bowl because it has everything in. The portion is plenty enough for one with a pretty decent price tag. The dish itself were sweet and creamy, especially when added with the cup of milk on the side. 

Mixed Pudding -- Grass Jelly + Sliced Almond + Big Boba (IDR 27.000)
Truth be told that I don't remember exactly which menu we ordered so I took a guess out of their menu that I found online. The mixed pudding dish is pretty much a variety of bubble bar toppings of your preference that is topped with an additional scoop of ice cream of a flavor of your choice (for IDR 10.000); this one is vanilla. The topping and the milky sauce is based off shaved ice on the bottom of the bowl. 

Boo!! Kakigori - Chocolate (IDR 30.000)
This tall glass is filled with a layer of vanilla pudding, mountanous shaved iced that is dusted with chocolate powder (my guess it is Milo malt powder). The pile of shaved ice is then topped with sliced strawberries, Milo cereal, drizzled condesed milk and also vanilla ice cream. This come in a pretty big portion and easily sharable for two or more person. I tried eating it by myself and got tired of waiting for the ice to melt so I left the last quarter of the shaved ice untouched. This is one of the signature piece from Sumoboo that is as popular as ever; every table seemed to order at least one of the Boo!! Kakigori with the flavor of their choosing.

Coming to Sumoboo after a long time I realize they offer great desserts with good value. Not only their desserts, their snacks and dishes were also pretty good! No wonder Sumoboo and its branches are still packed until today. Keep up, Sumoboo! Can't wait to visit again for the long run.

Kota Kasablanka
Lower Ground - L 16A
Jl. Casablanca No. 8
South Jakarta

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sulaiman Resto at Pecenongan

I've heard Sulaiman, a Chinese-Muslim restaurant which name is eponymous to its chef-owner Sulaiman who comes from Xinjiang, China to Indonesia about ten years ago and creates a name of his own through his dishes that serves authentic food of his hometown. I finally got a chance to try Sulaiman Resto with my family as my brother had been raving about it a couple of days back and I'm really happy that we tried this one restaurant out. The interior of the restaurant is pretty simple with wooden furniture and white walls decorated with framed calligraphies. You can also peek a little into their kitchen to find what they're cooking.

Sate Kambing (IDR 13.800 per skewer) 
This mutton satay is one of the most famous dish from Sulaiman! Generously seasoned chunks of mutton meat grilled on a stainless steel skewer until it becomes tender and definitely not smelly. The rub on the mutton is pretty spicy, but nothing you can't handle. The oil coming out on the plate just proves how well-seasoned this dish is. This is one of the must try here as this one dish is one of the menu that stood out as its Middle-Eastern influence is very clear.

Cumi-Cumi Panggang (IDR 35.000)
This grilled squid dish is the most underwhelming dish, portion wise as well as flavor wise. The squid is rubbed with a blend of dry spices and then topped with sesame oil. The flavor of the dish was so-so as I cannot really taste the spices on the scuid.

Da Pan Jimian (IDR 68.000)
This dish might look like a pile of stir fried vegetables but the numerous slices of onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, shallots, garlic, et cetera, et cetera, there was wide strings of hand-cut pulled noodles. The texture is similar to kwetiau, but a lot firmer. This dish is served with chicken as its main protein and its portion was sooo huge and affordable considering the price. This dish is will be great for a rainy day as its peppery sauce will instantly deliver heat to your body.

La Zi Ji (IDR 88.000)
La zi ji translates to "spicy chicken' and you can simply see it from the amount of dried szechuan chili pepper all over the plate. This dish is my favorite of the night, this is sooo delicious! The chicken were crunchy, super juicy, and the seasoning was so spot on. The chili pepper gives a bit of spiciness and savoriness that really complement the chicken. Don't let the chili intimidates you as this one is just one super good dish.

Nasi Goreng Telur (IDR 32.000)
This is one simple Chinese fried rice topped with fried sunny side up egg. This is one good filler, I even have this without white rice (I mean... steamed white rice is just basic, right?). I also have their Lamb Fried Rice (IDR 42.000) pretty much the same fried rice mix, added with chunks of lamb. This is one of the more familiar dish and overall a good one.

Suan Rong Xin La Hua (IDR 68.000)
Stir-fried broccoli with a good amount of garlic. It is great that Chef Sulaiman maintains the color of the broccoli; its texture also remains crunchy. Simply done but it's still tasty.

Ma Po Dou Fu (IDR 58.000)
I usually pronounce this as mapo tofu, this is one tofu stew cooked with a lot of spices and of course it is topped with so many chili flakes as that is Sulaiman's signature on many of its dish. Flavor-wise it is delicious and super garlicky which I like. As the other dish were, the mapo tofu is not /that/ spicy. I really like how the spiciness of the dishes here does not burn the tongue.

Tea (Complementary)
I've never been served with this type of tea. I cannot even comment on the flavor aside from this being very fragrant, but there's no apparent flavor coming out from the tea despite having it served with hot water.

Suan Rong Shang Hai Qing (IDR 38.000)
Super fresh bok choy cooked stir-fry. Again, a simple dish executed beautifully. The one thing I'm most impressed with is how the vegetable maintain its color as if the veggies had been blanched after cooking -- which is unlikely in Chinese cuisines.

Food comes relatively fast and the portion was huge for the price, making it worth every penny. For those of you who were not comfortable entering a Chinese restaurant for its questionable 'halal' produces, you can enjoy this without hesitation. The restaurant will still also gives you the experience of eating Chinese food which you can share alongside with your family and friends on the table. The one hassle I got here is that most of the menu are written in Chinese with Indonesian transliteration but in most cases it doesn't help. We have to ask the waitstaff a lot of question before ordering a meal which takes some time. Overall I love the food here and I'm considering visiting it as soon as possible!

Sulaiman Resto
Jl. Batu Ceper No. 73
Central Jakarta 
+6221 3511757

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tim Ho Wan at Pantai Indah Kapuk

Tim Ho Wan, famous for being one of the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants in the world had come to Jakarta about one year ago. First started out in Pantai Indah Kapuk, Tim Ho Wan has finally opened its second branch in Grand Indonesia. I haven't personally been to its restaurant in Thamrin, but this post will conclude my second visit to Tim Ho Wan Pantai Indah Kapuk. The reason I came back is because for the fact that Tim Ho Wan leaves a good note although I wasn't completely blown away the first time. But with quick service and a decent price with all its reputation, there's no fault in turning back here. My friends said that it's because the best thing about Tim Ho Wan is their pork menu while I don't eat pork, so that might be the thing I'm missing there hehe.

Anyhow, that doesn't mean their other menu isn't worth praising for!

Braised Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce (38.800)
This is the first thing checked out of our order sheet, I liked the chicken feet that is steamed until tender. The meat is so soft and it easily detach from the bone once bitten and the abalone sauce gives a sweetness to the savoriness of the rest of the sauce blend. The texture of the chicken feet is maintained well during cooking at a temperature that does not shrivel the chicken during the steaming process and was not fried beforehand.

Prawn Dumpling - Hakau (IDR 43.800)
My friend once told me that the best way to judge a dim sum restaurant is by tasting its hakau. The hakau served in Tim Ho Wan has a very thin dumpling skin that it becomes translucent as it cooks. The dumpling is folded really well that it shows in the shell-like end product. The minced prawn itself were sweet although might be plain as there were no apparent spices mixed in the dough or filling.

Yang Chow Fried Rice
This is one of the newer menus from Tim Ho Wan. The fried rice is served with plenty of toppings for a price which I remember being below IDR 50.000. A good filler to your meal.

Fried Wasabi Prawn Dumpling (IDR 43.800)
This dish is actually pretty simple but it is one of my favorite. This is a fried dumpling filled with a hefty amount of prawn and then fried as a whole. The dumpling  is then drizzled with a creamy, green wasabi sauce that gives the dish a good amount of 'hot' without being too spicy.

Chinese Tea (IDR 9.800)

Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin (IDR 33.800)
This dish consists of a minced beef patty that is shaped into a ball alongside with garlic and scallion amongst others, then wrapped in thin tofu skin. Flavor-wise it is really delicious but the texture itself is too soft for me and that there's no apparent meatiness coming from the meatball because of that.

Vermicelli Roll with Sweet Sesame Sauce (IDR 27.800)
Cheong fun drizzled with sesame sauce, hoisin and topped with sesame seeds. The cheong fun is served plain without any additional topping but the sweet sauce, which is too sweet for me so this might be one of the dishes that can be enjoyed by either vegetarian and vegan out there. Some other vegetarian alternative can be: pan-fried turnip cake (one of their signatures!), steamed egg cake -- depending on which type of vegetarian are you, or just simply order their poached seasonal vegetables.

Vermicelli Roll with Prawn (IDR 43.800)
Not pictured is the sauce that comes along with this dish, a thin mix of soy sauce which you can drizzle on top of the rice flour cake. There's a good amount of small shrimp inside the roll that is very sweet and its texture still bouncy. As for the layer of the cheong fun itself, it is cooked pretty well. It is not sticky and also not dry (which is often the case when the skin is cooked too long on one side).

That summed up my experience at Tim Ho Wan! Until now, I haven't tried any of their signature 'Big 4 Heavenly Kings', mostly because of my dietary restriction. But as for the rest of the meal, I enjoyed thoroughly. Try it out yourself, especially as now the place is not as crowded as it was during its opening week and there's no crazy amount of queuing to get into the green and white dominantly colored building. I always dine at their main floor, but you might check out their upper floor seatings (wheelchair accessible) by using their elevator. All and all, Tim Ho Wan is a good experience, but it still have to maintain their consistency to set their step in the Jakartan culinary industry.

Tim Ho Wan
Ruko Crown Golf
Blok D No. 8-10
Bukit Gold Mediterania
Jl. Marina Indah Raya
Pantai Indah Kapuk
North Jakarta