Tuesday, May 31, 2016

PizzaExpress at Kemang

I spent my off-campus day having lunch at Pizza Express since I got a remaining voucher from PT. Mitra Adiperkasa and we chose to visit the branch at Kemang Village since it is the closest to home and my brother was going to the gym at the same mall right after. I had visited the same Pizza Express about two weeks ago and had one of the smallest portions of risotto then, so I was not expecting much — I’m only there simply because it’s basically free (ha!). But with this visit I ended up being satisfied with the dishes I had there; just not the risotto, because really quantity matter as much if not more than quality in my case.

Pennette Pollo Pesto (IDR 81.000)
This baked penne pasta is one of the newest menus from Pizza Express and this is one of the recommended dishes given by our server (after I politely denied her recommendation of a …. dish with tomato-based sauce and seafood topping). This pasta dish consists of penne topped with plenty of chicken, mushroom, red onion all on a hot plate that lets the cheese topping melts off as it comes to the table. The pasta was thoroughly coated with a pesto-like sauce but creamier, still with a familiar smell of basil and olive oil and the burning plate gives out the different flavor as it cooks off the sauce nicely and affects the texture of the cheese and onion that were served raw and then cooked on the plate. I wish there were more bits of salt in this dish as the amount of grated cheese on its top does not add much savoriness to the dish.

Spaghetti Tartufo (IDR 79.000)
This was my mother’s pick as the picture of the dish shown on the menu were interesting. There were not so many topping in this one but the simplicity goes well to cover the whole plate of spaghetti but you can taste the cream paste and the mixture of Truffle oil alongside with the garlic in it — later topped with grated Grana Padano cheese and rocket salad. If I can change one thing about this dish, I would love to pair it with a fettucini or other flatter pasta as the dish were pretty creamy and straightforward that it needs more bite of textures into it.

Calabrese (IDR 118.000)
I love this pizza! The pizza is topped with a tomato base, melted mozzarella and then topped with beef and rocket salad/arugula/rucola — whatever you name it — and it comes out square. The menu description stated that the pizza consists of ‘spicy calabrese sausage, hot soft n’duja sausage, green chilies, jalapeno peppers, red&yellow peppers, bocconcini(Fresh baby mozzarella), watercress, pesto, oregano, grana padano – on a square base’. The pizza came out crispy and the thinness of the pizza crust was pretty balanced with the amount of the topping provided. I liked the overall flavor of the pizza, but my brother said the arugula were a hassle as its add unnecessary bitterness within the dish. I personally think this is one of the best dishes I had here.

Affumicatto (IDR 102.000)
While this Romana pizza is served in its conventional round pizza on a round plate off of the pizza pan. This dish has the same base with tomato sauce and mozzarella spread all over the pizza but this one is topped with smoked chicken, jalapeno, peppers and mushroom which all goes along really well and it has a nice touch of spiciness in it. I also liked this pizza but I think the topping is too heavy for this thin pizza as eating the slice was a bit hard as the topping easily fell off from the bread. I liked this dish more with plenty splash of tabasco sauce.

A photo posted by Selena Imania (@selenaimania) on

I think it would only be fair if I talk about the risotto here. This dish was taken by my phone and was part of my lunch a couple weeks back. The Risotto Fresco, which is a salmon risotto, were a fresh zesty and creamy dish. It is served alongside with a lemon wedge, but I think it made the dish too sour with its amount of acidity — although it is basically of my fault that I put too much lemon squeeze to the plate that made it too sour for my taste. There was good ratio of rice and the topping; the only problem is that it is too small for me. Like, it’s so small that I was so surprised. It is served on a shallow plate, just enough to fill the plate and that’s it. I was expecting more for the price with that one.

As I left the restaurant, I was impressed as how the Italian dishes here were served with hints of freshness on it. The dishes were fragrant and the ingredients were fresh and none of the dishes were too heavy or too rich, it is just right. I would also recommend visiting Pizza Express at day because of the big windows and spacious outdoor space that bridges it with other restaurants in the vicinity. I’d only hope they reflect back on the portioning as everything else was nice, including the friendly wait staffs that helped us refill bottomless jugs of lemonade hehe.

Lippo Mall Kemang
Upper Ground Floor
Jl. Pangeran Antarari 36
South Jakarta
+6221 29528429

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Momi & Toy's Crêperie at Kemang

I want to firstly apologize that lately I’ve only been posting the foods I had at Kemang; even more that I had it in one same mall, Lippo Mall Kemang, over and over again. I should’ve provided more variety to the blog, I know, but currently I’ve been going home late for my moot court practices and I only have a few hours in a week to go around and Lippo Mall Kemang is one mall that is closest to home… and so, there you go! Hehe. I promise to have dishes from other places soon, but I cannot miss out talking about Momi & Toy's here.

I remember that Momi & Toy's open at Lippo Mall Kemang when I was a senior in high school and my friend freaked out at how good the crepe was and how creamy it is, similar to the flavor of Japanese crepes and that its decoration was also very pretty. But a coupe years later, this is the first time I ordered Momi &Toys for myself. I got seated by their sofa away from the big window facing the courtyard of the mall, waiting to watch a pretty random action movie that I fell asleep watching. Alongside my brothers and my parents, we decided to try out a few crepe and drinks to fill out the thirty-minute remaining time before the theatre studio is open.

Black & White (IDR 59.900)
This trio serves three variant of crepe filling that is rolled up and topped up with whipped cream and drizzle of its own respective filling alongside with one scoop of ice cream. The topping and the filling were (from left to right): Toblerone, Skippy, and Nutella. The crepes were very smooth and there’s a hint of sweetness in the crepe skin itself. There’s a good amount of filling in each one and it is pretty much the spread/slash/chocolate bar in itself on the plate; dusted with cocoa butter. My favorite were the Nutella, aside from its amazing flavor by its own, I think the heaviness were cut well with the crepe and the cream and the texture came out the best. Everything else is also delicious, you cannot go wrong with this trio. There were also texture from the almond crumble.

Momi & Toy's Original Fruit Tea - Iced
The iced tea infused with slices of lemon and lychee were said to be enough for three persons, but it was also plenty to go around the table and is a very good value for such pot of tea. I wished it was a bit sweeter so that the tea can enhance the flavor of the fruit.

Matcha Chocolate Cheese (IDR 19.900)
The green tea crepe batter is topped with grated cheese and chocolate — garnished with the same topping on top of the fold. This was actually underwhelming since I cannot taste any hint of green tea. This had potential but it, unfortunately, does not deliver.

Banana Chocolate Smoothie
The smoothie is a blend of chocolate syrup and slices of banana which is blended until creamy. The smoothie wasn't too sweet but the flavor of both the banana and chocolate were balanced.

Blueberry Yoghurt Smoothie
This one is amazing! One of the best smoothie I had in a while. The blueberry yoghurt smoothe were thick, tangy, sweet and super rich. I loved this so much as it delivers in both quantity and quality.

I really liked the creamier crepe they offer and they were pretty generous with their filling, all suitable to the soft crepe they offer here. The service was pretty decent as I got out here in time for the movies.  Their ice cream was also nice and the price is also pretty decent and you can easily have the crepes to go and have it cooked to go. Overall it is a good place to enjoy sweet dessert crepes and several variant of savory crepes and this branch was also one of the more spacious ones so coming in groups wouldn't be any hassle here.

Momi & Toy's Creperie
Lippo Mall Kemang
3rd Floor
Jl. Pangeran Antarari 36
South Jakarta
+6221 29528385

Friday, May 27, 2016

Kopi Kitchen at Kemang

Kopi Kitchen is located strategically nearby the bridge between Avenue of the Stars and mall building of Lippo Mall Kemang. I went to this restaurant pretty frequently and they have always been consistent with the size, flavor and its pricing were just right. Kopi Kitchen has two types of seating available: outdoor seats with wooden furniture and indoor seats also with wooden furniture and limited sofa benches. The door between the indoor seats to the outdoor seats looking out to the rails along the Lippo Mall Kemang Avenue of the Stars were always open so even you can still feel the breeze from the indoor conditioning reaching several outside seats. 

Buttermilk Chicken (IDR 68.000) 
The fried buttermilk chicken and its mashed potato and gravy sides has been one of the reason why I keep on coming back to Kopi Kitchen. The buttermilk chicken is aromatic and is cooked perfectly with crunchy batter on the outside and juicy chicken inside. The mashed potatoes were also creamy and the gravy on top adds a nice savoriness from the stock reduction well. I really like this menu for its overall flavor that goes deep to the bone. The cut of the chicken is always the red meat of a quarter of a chicken, which always consist of chicken thigh and leg (I don’t know whether other cut is available to order). If this were mass produced, I would probably choose this buttermilk fried chicken over and over. This simple dish is filling and it has a homey Southern-fried chicken taste all over. 

Buffalo Wings (IDR 55.000)
 I am a sucker for chicken wings, especially when it comes to buffalo wings. Kopi Kitchen does its justice as the fried wings were served piping hot right out of the fryer with plenty of buffalo sauce coating the crisped skin, glazing the chicken with a hot glaze of the tangy sauce. I really liked this appetizer menu. The only thing missing is the blue cheese dipping sauce but this can do well without so. 

Quarter Pound Burger (IDR 72.000) 
I didn’t try this burger but I did try out the french fries. It came out really crispy as it is cut thinner than the usual french fry you’d find on the market. 

Nasi Bebek Garing (IDR 78.000) 
This is one of the newest menu from Kopi Kitchen; a different variation to their Spaghetti with Sambal Matah and duck menu. This dish consists of garlic butter rice with fried duck served on top and sambal matah on the side with cucumber as a garnish-slash-palate cleanser. I really like the chicken as its skin were crispy (but not to a point that it become crunchy) and the duck fat were renderred really nicely. The sambal matah is well balanced, but I wished for more acidity as I tasted most of the garlic and not other spices within the blend. As I’m having this I grew more curious about the pasta version of this dish. 

Spaghetti Bolognaise (IDR 68.000) 
The spaghetti bolognaise here is pretty simple, it consists of spaghetti with minced beef cooked with tomato sauce and garlic among others and were served with a pile of shaved cheddar on top. The tomato sauce was pretty bright in flavor with good overall acidity and sweetness. 

Ice Milo Godzilla (IDR 42.000)
It’s simply a Milo drink but the vanilla ice cream on top makes all the difference. Super sweet, super rich and chocolatey. The malt drink really was a delicious treat to have here. 

Iced Tea (IDR 23.000) 

Yakult Green Tea (IDR 32.000) 
The yakult drink is both sweet and sour and very... yakulty. From the color you can see there were plenty of yakult drink mixed within the drink. The green tea adds the hint of bitterness on the back of your mouth and this drink is generally not too sweet. 

Honey Milk Tea (IDR 30.000) 
The milk tea was super sweet but for the same reason, I liked it. I can taste the honey flavor, similar to the hint of honey flavor you can find in little milk packages. The tea was also still fragrant but there’s more milk than tea with this drink. 

I haven’t had any bad dish here and I always left pretty full and happy. The food and the beverages were all well thought of and is suitable for all ages. Kopi Kitchen also serves delicious cakes on the display although it is a bit on the expensive side. Try out their Rich Chocolate Cake, my personal favorite with cherries inside! Service is also impeccable, I don’t have any complaint, really. Oh, except the one time I decided to have a waffle for take outs…. that did take a long time, hehe. Price does not include 10% VAT and 5,5% Service 

Kopi Kitchen 
Lippo Mall Kemang
Jl. Pangeran Antasari 36
Upper Ground OD-07
South Jakarta
+6221 295283

Sunday, May 22, 2016

MonViet at Kemang

I was looking for food that is fresh and tangy one afternoon and decided to visit MonViet by myself and just enjoy some of their dishes. I was looking forward to trying out few more things but only end up ordering fried chicken as an appetizer. There were people constantly coming in and out of the restaurant that is decorated with painting of Vietnamese landmark but the flow were very nice. I sat calmly on the cushioned seats and carried on with my lunch.

Bun Buo Hue (IDR 76.000)
This bún bò or beef noodle soup is the signature beef soup from MonViet. It is a pho which consists of thin noodles in beef broth that is topped with bean sprouts, coriander, lemongrass and of course the beef slices. The broth itself tastes delicious and it runs clear. Adding a bit of chili sauce and lime also enhances the flavor of the dish. This, unfortunately, does not come hot onto the table so I didn't get the best experience out of this meal. Otherwise, this pho was as fresh as a soup can be.

Kalamansi Iced Milk (IDR 28.000)
Of course, I had to Google what Kalamansi is, but the waitress described it to it as one of the common types of lime in Vietnam. I decided to give this drink a try because of that reason and it tasted like sweet condensed milk added with lime. You'll get hints of lime as you're drinking milk and its basically the whole concept of this dish.

Canh Ga Nuoc Mam (IDR 42.000)
This dish Cánh Gà Nước Mắm translates as fish sauce chicken wings in Vietnamese. The execution of this dish was pretty simple, it is basically two chicken wings cut up into wingettes and drummettes marinated with fish sauce and tonnes of garlic alongside with palm sugar that is later fried until golden brown. The sauce came out pretty sticky and it has a very strong yet sweet garlic flavor in the dish. I didn't expect this dish to be as sweet as it was but I end up liking the flavor and overall texture of this dish. This dish is garnished with a little salad on the side.

I wish I had tried more dishes from MonViet but the ones I had left good markfor me. I actually enjoyed more of their non-mains dishes as they were unique and came in great varieties -- I particularly liked to order the platter of Vietnamese rolls. Service were pretty standard, my beef noodle soup came a bit too long compared to the other dish but other than that everything went out fine. I also think the price were a bit too much on certain dishes, but if you value flavor you'll get the quality you're paying for.

Lippo Mall Kemang
Upper Ground Floor,
Avenue of the Stars
Jl. Pangeran Antasari No. 36
South Jakarta
+6221 29528439

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Shaburi Shabu-Shabu at Senayan

A year ago I made a post about Shaburi (click here) but it was pretty half-a$$ed so I decided to make another post redeem myself! The last time I went here I got the basic Beef Shabu-Shabu as my choice of meat priced at IDR 138.000++ but in this particular post, my table ordered the Special Beef Shabu-Shabu (IDR 188.000++). The price applies to each person on a table and everyone on the same table has to order the same choice of meat onto the table. With that price, you will get an unlimited plate of your choice of beef slices, access to the buffet that includes bottomless soft drinks, gyudon, side dishes, vegetables, sauces, etc. The only thing that differentiates the price were only the quality of beef you've chosen for your table. So there you go, the first thing you got to do is to pick out your choice of beef as you got seated. The trays of beef will then be delivered to your table.

As you've picked out your cut of beef as you get seated is to pick out your choice of sauce. There are several choices of soup which you can cook your beef and sides in. These are the available options: Original Konbu Soup, Hot Miso Soup, Chicken Collagen Paitan, Sukiyaki, and Soy Milk Miso Soup. I have tried all of the flavors but my favorite end up being the classic Original Konbu Soup and the Chicken Collagen Paitan. Pictured on above are the Soy Milk Miso Soup and the Hot Miso Soup sukiyaki broth. As each consumer will get one personal Hotpot boiler, you can pick different flavors for everyone on the table to try out. If you would like to get another pot, you can do so with added surcharge.

As you get your soup boiling, pick out your favorite side dishes ranging from various vegetables, mushroom, noodles, rice, karaage, beef yakiniku, tamaki, shrimps, fish and so on and so forth. I would always get their karaage and their selection of mushrooms: champignon, shiitake and then carry on eating. I would consider the tip given by The Fung Bros on their Hot Pot 101 video that the order for a hot pot is to begin with inserting the: 1) vegetable, 2) beef, 3) seafood; all based on how strong the flavor will affect the flavor of the broth. Not all of the available dishes on the buffet table are raw, some of them are easily ready to eat but you can still cook it to customize its doneness and texture.

Also, get your own tare or dipping sauce. There are several option of sauces that you can get but I always mix things up and the flavor was not always... successful. The options are the basic savory ponzu tare sauce, creamy sesame gomadare tare, and the sweet Genghis Khan sauce. My favorite were the ponzu sauce because I think the rest really does not suit my taste bud -- one was too sweet and the other is too sour. At the end of the day, I would just get another bowl for plain ponzu sauce and at other time, the hotpot broth was sufficient to flavor the whole meal.

The sides vary by the day, some sides can be found in some branches and not in other. They have a constant circulation for the sides so there were plenty to go around. Aside from the side dishes, I actually enjoy taking the beef yakiniku with a bowl (gyu don) of steamed rice which I know it may sound weird since it contradicts the purpose of eating out at Shaburi to enjoy a fresh cut of beef cooked in your own pot but even though the focus of Shaburi should've been the beef shabu-shabu, the buffet table is what interest me.

Aside from the mains, there was also an ice cream machine with flavors ranging from chocolate, vanilla or matcha (while stock lasts). There was also a bottomless option of soft drinks, tea, juice and mineral water. I found that the Senayan branch has more beverage option compared to the other Shaburi(s) around town. The place also has a good layout so going around back and forth would not be a hassle. 

There's also an a la carte menu available if you would like to choose a very plate of your chosen beef. An idea if you want to choose a better cut of beef is to order the cheaper beef and order an a la carte wagyu, as a la carte beef can only be ordered with the main menu. The thing you can order aside from your chosen packages is the a la carte wagyu, beer, and fresh eggs. As for the service, mainly the service was ready to take your order and to serve your serving of beef of choice upon your request. This is all pretty much self-service but the server was helpful in case you'd need anything. Pro tip: go for the beef and fresh sides; but don't hesitate to try out the variety of possible combination with other dishes. In regards to the time limit 70-90 minutes can get you a whole lot of round. In my case, the time may also be dismissed completely if there were no queue present -- specifically at near closing hour.

Shaburi Shabu-Shabu
Senayan City
4th Floor
Jl. Asia Afrika
South Jakarta
+6221 72781410

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mandaga' Canteen at Wijaya

I've always been curious about Mandaga's ever since its opening in Grand Wijaya Center. It is located nearby my family's usual barbershop, Royal Barbershop, and Indomaret within Grand Wijaya Center. You can clearly see it within the row of offices and shops right across the road from K-Mart. As I enter the restaurant, I immediately liked it. I got seated on the first floor of the restaurant, nearby the stairs to the second floor and right by the big windows. The spot is decorated with wooden furniture, sofas, and vintage lamps and plates that were dominated with the color yellow.

Gulai Kambing (IDR 40.000)
This mutton curry is served with rice cakes or lontong and then garnished with crackers and served as is in the bowl. There were a generous amount of mutton slices that goes in a good ratio to the lontong. I did not particularly tried out this dish but by the look of it, it would be best if the curry can get a bit thicker so that it's flavor enriches the whole dish. My brothers liked this dish and stated the same thing, that the broth could've been more flavorful with added seasoning and coconut milk in it.

Soto Padang (IDR 31.000)
Quoting the Mandaga' Canteen menu, Soto Padang is "... A west Sumatran clear soup filled with vermicelli, potato cakes, and crispy beef" and that it is served with rice and crackers. The soto Padang served here were pretty good and there were enough topping to go around. The so-called 'crispy beef' or beef jerky that were sliced thinly were aplenty. Personally, soto Padang is not my favorite food from my hometown but this one is passable. The sambal and lime wedge on the side will also give you an extra freshness to the soup which was pretty light and not too heavy as other soto Padang I previously had.

Nasi Goreng Ikan Teri Cabe Hijau (IDR 31.000)
This dish came out blazing hot and it's portion were good for one. This particular fried rice is not exactly what you will find in a traditional Padangnese restaurant, but the touch of the West Sumatran cuisine can be tasted through the green chili paste that is added to the fried rice. The fried rice is cooked alongside with peas, carrots, and corn and it tasted more similar to Chinese fried rice despite the additional green chili paste slash sambal. The dish is served with emping and a sunny-side up that was unfortunately not runny. This dish was also not spicy.

Mie Goreng (IDR 32.000)
This is a classic Padangnese fried noodles served with fried sunny side up, crispy beef and red crackers (my family always call it "krupuk merah"). I didn't personally try out this menu but this was pretty much what a Padangnese fried noodle is, full of spices but without the use of sweet soy sauce and dark sauce that is identical of the Javanese fried noodles. We also had the Mie Kuah Mandaga' which is basically noodle served with coconut milk broth and topping similar to what is seen on the fried noodles above. I liked the Mie Kuah Mandaga' noodle soup best as it is richer and its soup were delicious and filling -- it was also one of the most recommended menu here.

Sate Padang (IDR 36.000)
The Padangnese beef skewered and drizzled with the spicy savory sauce were a hit on the table. The sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste but I liked the fact that they give out cuts lean beef and beef tongue within the plate to give out a variety. This dish is also served with rice cakes or lontong for added carbs to the plate. The fried shallot gives out crunchy bits and the green onion was served as a garnish instead of being cooked alongside with the sauce.

Ayam Goreng Saus Telur Asin (IDR 35.000)
I think this is the best menu all-around that I tasted on that one day. The chicken is fried with light batter until it is crispy and golden brown, then were drizzled with a heavy amount of buttery salted egg sauce. It was served freaking hot and despite being drizzled with sauce, the chicken skin remained crispy. The balance of saltiness and a hint of sweetness goes out really well. I wish I had eaten this menu whole but I only get a little taste as it was my brother's extra order. This dish is also served with sambal and rice.

Teh Tarik 'Tarik Mang' (IDR 15.000)
Teh Tarik Mang is a local milk tea brand that is now growing in Jakarta. I'm happy that they serve this particular brand of milk tea. Unfortunately, they only offer three out of the variety of flavors offered by Teh Tarik Mang. I like how milky it is, that besides the Green Tea and Original Thai Tea flavor, the rest of available flavor just taste like milk in a flavor of your choice... which I liked! After my visit here I would often get a cup of Teh Tarik Mang from my campus' canteen.

I really liked all the food I tasted that day and the ambiance of the place were just so comfortable. There's WiFi available around the restaurant. It was so simple but it really uplifts me with several notes of old-school vibes and the feeling as if you're at home. The service itself were on-par, but nothing special as many of the staffs were hanging around the counter and cashier at most times. The mains however always come right off the stove and were served hot, if they can do it with better timing it will be even better. There were also other foods aside from Padangnese, but you can still taste the subtle influences. I really appreciate it and for that, I will definitely come again. I wonder... when will be the next time my brother will get a haircut?

Mandaga' Canteen
Grand Wijaya Center
Jl. Wijaya 2, Blok C No. 40
South Jakarta