Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cooking Oppa from Blok M

It was a long ride from the office going back home so I decided to order some Korean food for post-iftar dinner. I looked through Go-Food recommendation list and decided to try out Cooking Oppa because the location is relatively near to my house so I don't have to wait too long for the delivery to arrive. I tried this particular restaurant because I've seen one of its branches in Depok while I was passing by from campus and that the price was pretty affordable for casual Korean snacks. The meal comes in a pretty small portion and the flavor was not exactly authentic -- they claimed to offer Korean fusion dishes, hence the menu.

Topoki Original (IDR 27.000)
I ordered the original tteokpokki which consists of tteok (Korean rice cake), sausages, and hashbrown that is drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce and topped with sesame seeds. The texture of the tteok is a bit too soft for my taste and the sauce was pretty good but I expect more of its spicy sauce in this dish. The hashbrown and the sausage do not add much to the flavor, I would even prefer to have the tteokpokki just as without the added topping.

Topochiz (IDR 33.000)
The Topochiz is pretty similar to the original one as it uses the same base sauce, but this, in particular, has the extra drizzle of cheese sauce which goes well alongside with the original sauce and the rest of the rice cake, hashbrown and slices of odeng (fish cakes). I liked this dish better than the original because there's more sauce all around and the saltiness and sweetness of the two sauces were blended pretty well. The odeng also gives it a variety of texture and flavor which I think is better than the chicken sausage was.

Hano Chikin (IDR 25.000)
Hano Chikin -- basically the a tongue twist on Honey Chicken, is boneless chicken fried with a coating of batter and were later mixed with honey sauce and sesame seeds. The chicken menu is served with thin cut fries which I think were pretty nice and the french fries itself maintained its crunchy texture pretty well. The chicken itself were sweet and sticky, but the problem that it does not have a crispiness in its bite because the batter were pretty thin.

Gochu Chikin (IDR 25.000)
This is a spicy chicken dish served in similar manner to the Hano Chikin but with a different spicy sauce that is similar to the one used on the tteokpokki dish. This delivers much more flavor than its sweet equivalent, hence the one I prefer out of the two.

Mandu (IDR 12.000)
One portion of mandu consists of three pieces of the chicken-filled dumpling that is fried until golden brown. This tasted similar to fried wonton as the mandu skin crisped up during cooking. The flavor were good and there's a balance between the skin and the fillings. It is part of the 'twigim' or fried menu variant amongst other snacks.

For the price it offer, I think it is a good place to have a taste of Korean foos but in no means it is a mirror of the snacks you'll find in the streets of Seoul as it has been adapted to the local taste. I'm not interested in visiting the actual restaurant (that is said to be decorated and filled with K-Pop themed knick-knacks) but I might consider ordering some more tteokpokki here. A good alternative, especially around Blok M where Korean food is still a scarce.

Cooking Oppa
Plaza Blok M
6th Floor
Jl. Bulungan No. 76
Blok M
South Jakarta

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ikkudo Ichi at Pantai Indah Kapuk

I visit Ikkudo Ichi after finishing up my administrative court moot with my friends. In actuality, I'm not really a big ramen person because texture-wise I prefer other types of Japanese noodles such as soba or udon and most times ramen were cooked in pork broth, which is something I avoid so I'd rather stay away from it. But as Ikkudo Ichi is one of the biggest ramen chain in Jakarta and knowing that they offer chicken-based broth, I finally gave it a try.

Ikkudo's Tori Kara (IDR 53.800)
Ikkudo's Tori Kara is one of the signature menus this of the restaurant, basing the ramen with chicken broth and serving it with special secret red sauce. All ramen were served with chicken or pork slice, spring onions, sliced mushrooms and a soft-boiled egg. I really liked the ramen because the ramen were not too thick yet flavorful enough and the chicken broth doesn't smell were too strong. The red sauce was surprisingly very spicy! I added more than a spoonful and sort of regretted the decision because it really was spicy with a bit of tanginess which may be good in moderation but not too much. The dish as a whole is really good and the portion was very generous and I really appreciate that. As for the noodle itself, I requested normal curly noodle because as I tried to order the hard (firm) noodle, the staff suggested that the curly noodle were chewy enough with the normal firmness option. I'm not sure about the flavor strength and richness of my particular dish (you can modify the noodle firmness, flavor strength and richness from oil for every ramen dish you order) because I don't remember getting asked.

Yaki Tori Gyoza (IDR 28.000)
This dish consists of 6-pieces of chicken gyoza and we were asked whether to have the gyoza grilled or fried and we opt to have it grilled. The gyoza was cooked well with its bottom grilled until crunchy and the chicken filling was pretty juicy, with strong ginger and scallions flavor. The gyoza is served with chili soy sauce which compliments the dumpling really well.

Tori Karaage (IDR 32.000)
The deep fried chicken is served steaming hot to our table alongside with mayonnaise and similar chili soy sauce to the ones given as the gyoza condiment. The chicken karaage were crunchy and a tad peppery.

Chicken Karaage Curry (IDR 48.500)
Steamed rice topped with vegetable curry and topped with chicken karaage that is the same as above.

Rei Cha (IDR 9.800)
Don't let the glass fool you, this is purely a cold Japanese ocha in a glass, I swear.

I don't remember what exactly was ordered, but here are some other ramen dishes my friends had throughout the night. Nonetheless, here are some of its visuals:

I really liked what I had in Ikkudo Ichi. I would like to try out different ration on the broth, noodle and other variety of the ramen such as the tsukemen. I might consider trying Ikkudo Ichi in other branches that are somewhat closer to home but the particular restaurant in Pantai Indah Kapuk was pretty nice and there's a good amount of crowd coming in and out during our dinner service - but the upper floor seats were pretty much deserted, maybe because we visited here on a weekday night. Service and everything was pretty nice and they openly take our reservation last minute which I appreciate. Cheers to many other ramen I will now be more open to try out!

P.S. I just realize how functional those black spoons are! Might consider getting one for my own home.

Ikkudo Ichi
Rukan Crown Golf
Blok D No. 2-3
Pantai Indah Kapuk
North Jakarta
+6221 29424984

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pancious at Kelapa Gading + A Bit of #JFFF2016

Pancious is one of the easiest go-to restaurants when you either want pancakes, waffle or pasta that you can commonly find in malls in Jakarta. I had this particular dishes for dinner after attending a show on  the 13th Jakarta Food and Fashion Festival at Harris Hotel Kelapa Gading which is located next to Mall Kelapa Gading 5. As it is one of the closest restaurants to the hotel and the one I’m most familiar with, so I decided to just go have lunch at Pancious. This one, in particular, is pretty unique because the place is pretty big, taking up two spaces that are located one across the other. I thought the layout will be a bit frenzy, but everything is pretty smooth. Quickly after we got seated on the corner sofa seat on the right section of the restaurant (seen from the entrance), we began ordering.

Earl Grey Milk Tea

This milk tea is suitable for 2-3 people. The tea is served cold in a big jug alongside with glasses filled with ice cubes which were made out of frozen milk tea so that the flavor will not be diluted. The drink itself was nice, it was milky yet not too creamy and the tea flavor still remains intact with hints of bitterness here and there. The tea is also still fragrant and this goes well with our meal. And the fact why we only order one drink besides that this is shareable, I think this one is the best-valued drink out of the beverage menu.

Black Prawn Pasta

This is my personal order. I always loved squid ink pasta because I think the mixture of squid ink into the pasta dough gives it a strong hint of savoriness and another layer of flavor to the pasta. This aglio olio is pretty simple and straightforward. You can taste the garlic, pepper and olive oil in the dish. There was also additional sweetness and texture from the added shrimp to the dish. The one thing that they can improve is that the shrimp should’ve been cooked a little longer because mine was pretty under. Nonetheless, the pasta is nice — although the squid ink version is limited to only spaghetti.

Chicken & Mushroom (IDR 52.000)

It would be unfair to talk about Pancious and not try out their pancakes so we tried the Chicken & Mushroom pancake out of their savory pancake options. We also order additional layer of pancake for an additional IDR 12.000 Their pancakes were fluffy and buttery, and it is nice as it is served hot to the table with its chicken and mushroom topping that is covered with melted cheese. I really liked the flavor of this dish and there were plenty of topping to go around. Served with salad, this pancake were really good.

Seafood Marinara (IDR 81.000)

This pasta is my least favorite simply because I don’t like seafood to be mixed with tomato and this dish is pretty much that combination covering a whole plate of spaghetti. As for this menu, you can choose between fettuccine, spaghetti or penne to go along your preferred pasta menu. This is served al dente per order and you can have it cooked to the direction or have it al dente — which is usually cooked 1 minute less than the instruction. 

Pancious is a great place to go anytime of the day — whether it's breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. They serve a variety of sweet and savory signature pancakes-slash-waffle and other types of courses with the menu. The service itself were pretty great, the staffs were attentive despite the crowdedness of the place (it was a full house!) but the last pasta did took a long time to be served but it is still within an understandable time. Everything was served properly and I’m pretty happy with the food we got that day.

Mall Kelapa Gading 5
Jl. Kelapa Gading Boulevard
Kelapa Gading
North Jakarta
+6221 45853758


A glimpse from the runway, presented by Meirietha ‘Inflorescence’ collection as part of the ESMOD collective show. These are unfortunately the shots I took from my camera as I enjoyed most of the show directly, forgetting about taking pictures. But the collection presented were all beautiful and I applaud all the beautiful ladies behind all those designs. May Indonesian fashion designers and the whole fashion scene grow evermore!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Kkuldak at Thamrin

Korean fried chicken is one of my favorite food and with the growing trend of Korean food in Jakarta there are more and more variety of the fried chicken itself. Every Korean restaurant has their own version of fried chicken and every recipe has its own charm. One of the places that I usually go get my own KFC is at Kkuldak especially the one in Grand Indonesia that is closest to my house. The first time I tried Kkuldak out was two years ago and I’ve grown to love every honey chicken ball menu they offer (fun fact from my friend Lomi, ‘kkul’ translates into honey and dak is  Korean for ‘chicken’) that is served with tteokbokki — Korean rice cakes — and tater tots. Currently they have three flavor available: Korean Hot Chicken, Korean Curry Sauce and their Original. They used to have other flavor that has been discontinued to my dismay.

The way Kkuldak serve their signature dish is by cooking their starch-coated chicken in hot oil and it has the tteokbokki and tater tots ready. The fried chicken is then cooked again in a wok with your preferred sauce that serves as a glaze to the chicken and the carbs to then be served with honey mustard and cheese powder. The dish is sticky and sweet and the chicken remains crunchy if you eat it quickly with the provided bamboo sticks after being served. This serves well as a snack or even main dishes as there are three sizes available for their signature honey ball: small, medium, large. I never opt for the small one because it’s just too small for me hehe. You can also have the elements of this dish individually. There is also another menu including french fries and even bento dish — which both I had yet to try.

Korean Hot Sauce Honey Chicken Ball - Large (IDR 70.000)
Their spicy honey chicken dish was really spicy. You can taste the gochujang in this dish and even its color gives a strong indicator of how spicy this dish is. I cried numerous times while eating this but the flavor was great, this is my favorite sauce from Kkuldak besides their now discontinued Peanut Sauce.

Tteokbokki (IDR 20.000)
I ordered this tteokbokki in the original sauce because I love cooking with tteok in general. The thing about the tteokbokki served here at Kkuldak is that it is pretty thin and it can be a bit chewy from being cooked alongside with the sauce over a hot pan and it can also feel a bit ‘doughy’… I cannot explain it but that is the general flavor of their tteok. Nonetheless, I still liked ordering this rice cake on their own. The tater tots, however, is nothing different than the ones you’ll commonly find in the supermarket. It may sometimes be tricky to find your tots on the bed of chicken or vice versa.

Korean Curry Honey Chicken Ball - Large (IDR 70.000)
The Curry sauce is one of the newest flavor available at Kkuldak. The curry tasted identical to Japanese curry and it was very fragrant. You can smell the curry even from the other side of their kitchen. The one note about this sauce is that it is not as sticky as the other dishes were as the honey were overshadowed by the curry and this one is also pretty spicy -- just a warning ;)

By the end, you know how much I love Kkuldak. Ask everyone I know, they seem to know that I am a big fan of Kkuldak and had been asking for it all over again every week. I will always order Kkuldak to go because their space is super limited that queueing at Kkuldak Thamrin may be a hassle as you’re squished between people ordering and people taking their order and that the seats were limited, but that has never stopped me from ordering.

Grand Indonesia
Floor 3A, West Mall
Central Jakarta
+6221 23580635

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Winter Wonderland - South Korea (Part 3)

My winter program include an activity which requires the participating students to stay for two days and one night in a ski resort, so on a Friday morning the students gathered by the campus lot and all of us hop on a bus for an hour and a half away from Seoul to Welli Hilli Park in Gangwon-do, a recreational ski resort with multiple ski facilities. It is also said that the particular place is set as one of the venues for 2018 Winter Olympics. The place is located nearby numerous mountainous hills and slopes and is available for various kind of winter sports for all ages. All of us gotten pretty excited as we arrived at our hotel and readily got our ski gears after series of icebreaking activities (Ha! How punny -- ice breaking, you get it?). With hundreds of student preparing their gears and everything, we all finally started our ski lesson at night. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera at the time so the pictures here were taken on the next day.

Despite all the fun, skiing is so tiring. I was in a group with three other Indonesian and three out of four Indonesians in our group sucked big time; our reason is that we're tropical kids who had never try out any kind of winter sports and you can really see how we were so unfamiliar with this sport. I fell on my knees multiple times, my ski clothing was soaking wet, my feet were hurting from the cramping ski boots and my heart beat fast everytime it is my turn to practice because there should be a great control of speed and balance. Climbing is a hassle and sliding down is a scary thing. I've never been good in sports that requires balance so I spent half of the night sitting on top of the snow cheering for everyone else practicing on my team. It was a great experience but in all honesty, it is not for me but learning it is such an experience.

I woke up the next day and there's another ski course session -- a more advanced one which many had skipped because of its level of sufficiency you were required to have and many of us were too tired, too wimpy, too sleepy or even too hungover. Those who didn't join the session spend the morning until the afternoon exploring the recreational center under the hotel: I practiced baseball with automatic machines,  had multiple rounds of bowling courses, bought soo many bags of grilled squid cooked directly inside a convenience store, had multiple plates of vegetarian dishes in order to avoid pork and primarily enjoyed the scenery of the ski resort on top of the gondola which were continued by taking hundreds of pictures on top of a snowy hill while others were enjoying skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, etc.

I am truly grateful for the time I spent at this resort. With the same people but different surroundings and environment, there were so many good experiences that we're having here. The weather was also amazing, even though the place is snowy there were not much breezing wind so it's not as cold as the places we visited around Seoul before we had gotten here. The rest of the experience were just so rewarding. I learned a lot from this and the chances I get o become closer with my friends from a various nation is the memories I really appreciate. 

Oh my, writing this makes me more and more eager to meet up with the rest of the Indonesian gang next week!

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

Okonomi Dining En at Melawai

I’ve been curious about trying out monjayaki and had finally tried one out at Okonomi En Dining after a recommendation from my friend who also said that this place has the best okonomiyaki in Jakarta. Unfortunately, they only have limited variety of okonomiyaki for their day service and that only the large serving was available — so I’d reserve to eating two dishes here with my brother as this place is close to his tutoring place. Okonomi En Dining is located on the second floor of Kamome building and the restaurant itself does not have any sign on the road nor any clear sign within the building except for a logo on the curtain you’ll see upon going inside the restaurant. It is located across a Japanese bookstore.

We were the only one there at the time as it is nearing their lunch service closing hour (they’re closed at 3.00p.m. and continued on by dinner service at 6.00p.m. onwards) but the service were still on point. We then began ordering after being seated on the corner of the restaurant second level. We then get the menu and received a piece of cold towel each wrapped inside a plastic. We then continued on with our lunch.

Omelette Rice with Soup and Salad (IDR 68.000)
This omurice — omelette rice, came out pretty with a generous glaze of ketchup. The omelette which covers the fried rice underneath were cooked well, it is soft and fluffy, it basically melts in our mouth. The fried rice itself were pretty decent but the flavor pretty one-note and basically it was cooked with ketchup, chicken, soy sauce and garlic among other ingredients in the rice. The meal consists of the plate of omurice itself alongside with Japanese salad and miso soup. As the meal got onto the table the staff confirmed whether or not we consume pork, which we reply that we do not. She then replaced the pork-based miso soup with a chicken-based one. The sides were delicious; the miso was very flavorful and the salad with Japanese dressing tasted fresh as it is served cold at the right temperature. This menu is part of the lunch menu promotion which begun from 11:00 to 15:00 p.m.

Mix Monja - Large (IDR 82.000)
The server told us that we can only order the large size for weekday lunch service, so my brother and I decided to just order the Mix Monja for the two of us so we can taste a variety of topping, including squid, shrimp, and chicken among others. The topping was cooked on a pan with a wet batter consisting of flour, dashi, bonito, cabbage, corn, and scallions. The pan and the burner are delivered to out table with a ready to eat monjayaki. You can have the monjayaki cooked directly on your table from scratch but I guess coming in late on a slow service had limited us from that experience.The monjayaki itself is delicious and it left a good first impression on me, but I realize I would’ve like okonomiyaki more. 

As for our drinks, we ordered cold ocha which we got for free. This honestly confuses me because the drink doesn’t look or taste like green tea and it looked more like an Iced Tea which costs IDR 25.000 but I was charged none for it. So I’m just assuming that we got our tea order rightfully (and it is also available for refills too).

As per writing this post and having a closer inspection to the pictures I’ve taken, I’d only realize that my table is completed with a ringer to call out the staff — but this was unnecessary during our visit as all of them were attentive to our order and calls. Everything else was nice but the limitation during our visit makes it hard to try out various things. Will try out other dishes next, especially their very own renowned okonomiyaki, as true to their name!

Okonomi Dining En
Kamome Building
Jl. Melawai No. 6
2nd Floor
South Jakarta
+6221 72791608