Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Toodz House at Cipete

Every time I pass by Cipete Raya I always notice that Toodz House parking space will be full with a number of cars and motorcycle parked along the pavement of what used to be a small café-slash-house to become... a bigger café. Toodz House mainly offers coffee as its product, but the rest of the menu were the things that made it famous. I remember people raving about their Carbonara Rice ever since my high school years -- a friend of mine vouched that they've been a loyal customer ever since the place is newly open with just a couple of seats and taking only a little segment out of the owner's house and that he can spend literally a whole day in there and still remains loyal until today. 

Now, Toodz House is almost always full that a reservation is actually recommended (also, GO-JEK are really welcomed! Aside from Cipete being a super GO-JEK-friendly neighborhood, Toodz House actually emphasize people order through GoFood with a sign, a couple month back). Albeit I often come to Toodz House simply for their delicious and affordable meal, their coffee is no joke. The owner of Toodz House was also the one who establishes Tuku, a little coffee shop located around the vicinity. Too bad I'm just not a fan of coffee so I cannot say much on that.

Mushroom Dabu-Dabu Rice - with Sirloin (IDR 40.500)
This dish chosen my brother to consist of garlic rice topped with mushroom and beef sirloin stir-fry in dabu-dabu sauce which dominantly flavored by tomato and pepper. The balance of sweetness and acidity were nice and the mushroom was cooked well that it wasn't watery. The portion is pretty generous for the price and our choice of beef topping. You can also opt for a breaded chicken instead of the sirloin.

Parmesan Rice - Biasa with Chicken Katsu (IDR 36.500)
This is the very signature dish of Toodz House. Back in the day, there's only one variety of this menu -- plain white rice drizzled in creamy carbonara sauce and topped with fried chicken cutlet. Today, this menu is offered with a customizable topping such as breaded dory, spiced grilled chicken, mushroom and basil as well as black pepper beef with egg. Different topping would also alternate the price of this dish, but really what makes this dish is the carbonara sauce. Although it's not an actual traditional carbonara, the cream, the egg, the cheese and everything goes really well in the dish.

Fried Chicken Tartar and Parmesan Rice (IDR 43.000)
This is my current favorite. I'd usually go here after campus and order this very plate of fried chicken fillet, garlic-parmesan rice, tartar sauce and broccoli parmesan because of the big portion and variety in the dish and I just love their fried parmesan-battered broccoli. Everything is very well seasoned and the flavor were not too rich although all of this is basically fried food, mayo, cheese and butter haha. The tartar sauce is sweeter than the ones I've tasted before, but I'd usually cut the sweetness by adding drops out of the lemon garnish.

Banana Juice + Milk (IDR 34.000)
A blend of banana and milk. I wish the banana were riper as I expected this drink to be sweeter. It would also be great if they add a blend of spice into the drink because this is just a very simple drink.

Chocolate Macchiato (IDR 35.000)

Aside from the food and beverages, what stood out from Toodz House is their impeccable service. Each and every one of their servers was quick, attentive and friendly. The only con is that they have limited seatings and it is unlikely to get your table fast since most of the customer here stay for a good time, lounging on the sofa, enjoying speedy WiFi and spending all day near the electric plugs -- no wonder that everyone was all ready to feel at home. Come early if you would try some of their coffee and dishes as they're open as early as 8.00 am every day.

Toodz House
Cipete Raya No. 79
South Jakarta
+6221 75904015

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cultural Walkthrough - South Korea (Part 2)

It was January 27th, 2016 when I continued my days in South Korea by going on field trips arranged by the campus. After my Basic Korean lesson, my group took off to the National Museum of Korea where we were introduced to many of Korean history and its influences. We were given two hours to look around the museum and we were provided with museum guides who gave us elaborate information on Korean art and history. It was a great insight to the beautiful ancient artefacts and the museum itself is nicely decorated with pretty simple architecture yet at the same time with a lot of section you can explore within. I wish I had more time to explore the museum and its gift shop but unfortunately the time was limited.

We continued the trip to Unni-dong, nearby Insa-dong which is also in the Jongno-gu area where it is filled with many traditional houses — one of them is a a guest house named Moon Guest House, a cultural center where we tourists (almost all but two, who were Korean nationals) can get the opportunity to try out wearing beautiful Korean hanbok which translates to Korean clothing, but it was now commonly referred as traditional clothes usually deriving from the Joseon period. We learned many types of hanboks, the one I was wearing is a hwarot, a type of dress that is used for brides during their marriage. Others were dressed like the kings, queens, and even traditional farmers. Tbh everyone looked so cute, none of us want to take the clothes off anytime soon — especially because there was never enough time to take pictures.

As we were done taking pictures and many of the girls exclaiming they’ve known the guest house from numerous K-drama, we continued the day walking around Insa-dong which were nearby. After  staying in Korea for nine days I finally began shopping for souveniers! To be honest I didn’t buy many things there as I was pretty damn clueless at the time (looking back, I regret not buying some more) and most of my money go to food hehe. I will put some other pictures taken from my visit to Insa-dong when I decide to take a day and go explore Seoul by myself in another post.

Following the night by the minute the group went back from the tour using a provided bus, the groups spread out to enjoy the night in different places. I and several other Indonesian students decided to visit the Noryangjin Fish Market to have fresh seafood from the market farm-to-table (is this term applicable for marine products?). We ordered some fresh fishes on the wet market and had it delivered upstairs to a restaurant where we can eat the product directly or have it cooked within the restaurant.

I learned a lot about Korean traditional culture that day. I was very impressed in the way South Koreans preserve their culture and their pride to their customs. Some of it were foreign to me but the practice itself is fascinating. South Korean effort to marketize their culture really pays off and the reality is that the nation deliver what they promised — what you see on many Korean dramas, variety shows, and the documentary is what you get. It familiarizes you, welcomes you. I hope someday Indonesia can follow that footstep as what had South Korean been doing is a great success, coming for me.

Read my other posts on the South Korean trip, here:

Sunday, April 3, 2016

SRSLY Coffee at Cipete

First thing first, yes, I know the name of this coffee shop is so funny! It made it pretty catchy and even got the attention of my parents as we pass this by: "What does es-er-es-ly means?" and they were baffled to learn that SRSLY were pronounced 'seriously' and wondered what's the deal with youngins and all the slangs they have. Anyways, I got pretty curious about this coffee shop as I pass this almost every other day. Right about last Wednesday my WiFi went down, so I decided to check out SRSLY Coffee by myself. I got in, ordered a drink and a snack to along with it. I then took a sit on the corner of the wide window, facing the street of Cipete Raya and its large parking space.

Flat White (IDR 35.000)
I ordered coffee! What a surprise. I was studying for my midterm term and thought: maybe a cup of coffee will work for a good caffeine dosage. I picked out flat white cofee because I was pretty interested in it after Kevin Kwan's characters talking about it on an Australian cliff. The milky coffee is served pretty quickly to my table and due to my low tolerance to coffee, I added plenty of granulated and brown sugar into the coffee. As for the flat white, I liked the velvety texture of the milk foam -- but I wished there were more. For the coffee itself, it has a nice acidity to it and I'm not going to be nitpicky about it because I'm not an enthusiast myself (I still cannot grasp the concept of third wave coffee movement). 

In case you wonder, the answer is no, the coffee did not have any effect on me. I ended up sleeping right after I got back home, two hour later. It's sad knowing that coffee does not keep me caffeinated in any way -- good thing that I don't really fancy it.

Calamari (IDR 35.000)
Fried squid topped with slices of chili pepper and served with mayonnaise on the side. The calamari were crispy on the the outside and the inside is cooked really well. The taste however needs more seasoning as well as spices; the garnishes doesn't add any flavor to the dish.

Iced Matcha Latte (IDR 39.000)
This green tea latte is pretty simple -- the usual blend of matcha powder and milk. SRSLY Coffee's matcha latte is not overly sweet and you can still flavor the milkiness (they used Greenfields branded milk) and the bitterness of the matcha. The portion is smaller than what I have expected though and it would be better if they sift the matcha to get rid of the brittles in the cup.

I really enjoy the whole space, with white-dominated walls, wooden furniture and random splashes of color on the floor. I regret not taking pictures of the decor because there were many people coming in and out of the restaurant. When the clock strikes 4 o'clock in the afternoon the place got pretty full and loud that I decided to go back home. I will definitely put this place on my to-go list whenever I need to hangout nearby my house, even simply for the ambience.

Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7C
South Jakarta
+6221 7695162

Mamma Rosy at Kemang

I was frustrated at the time because I cannot find anything open for breakfast service on Kemang Raya at about 10.30 a.m. Places in which I wanted to visit are open on 12.00 o'clock but brunch cafés did not appeal to me at the time. So we continue to drive and looked over Mamma Rosy which already has many car parking on its pavement. Sure that at least this one is open, my brother and I finally have out lunch in Mamma Rosy. We were greeted by the server and were lead to the indoor seats that overlook the garden. It feels very homey and warm, I liked it instantly as it mirrors Mamma Rosy being a family-run establishment.

Thinking back, like, why is it so hard to find an open restaurant? I wanted something hearty, filling and delicious for my Sunday mornings as I stroll around Taman Kemang

Complimentary Bread
Free. Happy. Plenty. Fresh. Warm. Nuff said.

Spaghetti with Ragu' (IDR 99.000)
This is picked out of one of the dry Italian pasta section in which you can pick your own type of pasta and its accompanying sauce. The ragu' pasta was topped with parmesan as all pasta will be served with parmesan cheese (except for the seafood ones). This was cooked normal, but you can opt for an al dente pasta. My brother ordered this because he always loves spaghetti a la Bolognaise, which is what this dish is most similar too. The ragu' were so bright,  you can taste the acidity of the tomatoes all around this dish. I personally would love a richer pasta, but this one is nonetheless a good dish. 

Ravioli Con Aioli (IDR 49.000)
This is one of the appetizer menu, one of the Italian finger food they have here. This menu consists of a mixture of beef and spinach that is filled within a ravioli and then fried until golden brown. The server said that there were supposed to be six pieces of raviolis on the plate but we had another extra hehe. The crispy ravioli is also served with a tartar sauce and chopped parsley. What I think is missing from this dish is a hint of acidity, I would love the tartar sauce to be a bit more tangy. The ravioli itself is delicious, there were plenty of filling to go around. This dish also answer one of my random question: what would pasta taste like when it is fried? Still freaking delicious.

Gnocchi with Funghi Sauce (IDR 99.000)
I picked out the gnocchi as it was freshly made pasta made by Mamma Rosy herself! I had a peek to their kitchen where I see the dishes during the time were made by the eponymous owner of the restaurant. And the flavor really deliver, no wonder people had been raving about the dishes here and why the restaurant is often fully booked. The gnocchi was really soft, had a balance of potato and flour that were not too starchy, and the sauce really coats the pasta really well. Oneee thing is that they have a non-pork version of a carbonara. But heck, even the mushroom served here is super delicious.

Jokowi Smile (IDR 35.000)
I know that you'll cringe as you read the name of this beverage, it's pretty odd and I don't know why it is titled 'Jokowi Smile' for what this dish actually is: a mixture of orange juice and milk. I was told that before my visit, it was previously named 'Governor's Smile'. The reason why I ordered this is simply for its name, as the mixture of fruit and milk in a drink does not appeal to me; I like my juices and smoothies with full-on fruit concentrates. 

(P.S.: can't we also have Ahok Smile somewhere on the menu?)

Jamu Milkshake (IDR 39.000)Deemed to be an energy booster, this milkshake consists of red ginger, white ginger, spices, a slice of lemon and mint that blended with ice cream. This milkshake really gives off a taste of jamu, but sweeter and milky. This will really warm up your insides despite this drink being served cold.

Dining here is very satisfying as the food really delivers on being an authentic Italian family restaurant. We left the restaurant feeling full. I wish I had another visit here to try more  Italian food that was offered here as the variety of the menu is very interesting, especially its antipasti. I would also note that coming here at day would be best as the lighting will come through and that you will enjoy more of the garden area if you were seated outdoors. 

Mamma Rosy
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 58
South Jakarta
+6221 71791592