..It's a journey after all.. : Food and Travel Blog based in Jakarta: 2012

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Opus Cafe : Quick Review

It has been months I haven't set foot on Plaza Indonesia and yesterday I happened to be there, unplanned, stranded, and desperate to watch The Hobbits.. From all the hectic traffic in Jakarta, that mall is the most perfect destination as it has the right amount of distance(not too far yet not too close for me to get sick of it), the tolerable amount of traffic, and the right ambiance for a Saturday.  Anyway, I managed to watch the Hobbits, but got plenty of time waiting for the movie. Do I need to ask myself what to do in that spare time? Dinner... It's the most primal, perfect and necessary answer (for me). No, I am just not the type who go for window shopping to kill time.. I dine to kill time.. lol..

Anywayyyyyyy, I have always seen food photos from Opus Cafe, but never had the chance to try it. There were only the two of us and apparently this place was not that packed compared to other places. So we decided to give it a try.. The choices from the menu vary from breakfast menus, Italian dishes, to Indonesian dishes.. I love the different choices given by them.. Well, one thing I have in mind is some of the food photos from their website seem to be missing from the menu.. I am not sure what the reasons are..

This one is the smoking area. The non-smoking area is quite small and definitely less attractive compared to the smoking area. It happened that there were just a few people inside so I asked the waiter to be seated in this area
One page menu..
Christmas is coming up! So to pump up the sense of Christmas, my cappuccino(38k) was 'Santa-fied'. Aside from the cute foam, it's probably not the best cappuccino. It's quite bland, in a way I didn't know what is stronger than what, the milk, the coffee, or the water..
TWG Earl Grey (25k)
Create Your Own Pizza (65k). It's a thin crust pizza with Beef Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Smoked Salmon. We requested the Salmon to be separated from the pepperoni. See the upper part of the pizza..? Yep, that's the smoked salmon.. It's quite yummy.. And they have other choices of toppings from capers and anchovies to oriental BBQ and honey mustard chicken..
Minute Steak with Bernaise (98k). It was a bit overcooked for me. I ordered it in medium but it was just a bit well done for my taste. I love the strong flavor of black pepper but at the same time it was a bit too salty. I am sorry to say that the highlight of the dish was the fries.. The bernaise sauce was quite disappointing as well.. 
Benedictus with smoked beef bacon (50k). Perfect poached eggs! I love the garlic breads beneath it. It has the perfect texture to pair with the oozing runny egg yolk
My date for the night.. Apparently, my silent camera application has done me some justice in capturing candid picture of him. 
Maybe the reason why I haven't tried this place for such a long time is because I always have low expectations for the food. And I was right. I don't think it's a good place to satisfy your taste buds. The food is only a 'so-so' for my taste. I will give it a 6/10. The food gave my mind a piece of its ups and downs. It was not completely bad and maybe we ordered the wrong dishes, but I just think there are better places to have a good meal. However, I really APPRECIATE the good service given by the waiters in Opus Cafe. I didn't make a single complain, even though my company for the night has offered himself to complain for the overdone steak but I refused. I really love how patient, polite and helpful the waiter was while taking our orders. The place is cozy and I love the interior inside.

For what it's worth, I had a great time killing my spare time in Opus Cafe.

Opus Cafe
Jl. M. H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta 10350
Phone : 021-29923735
Web : www.opuscafes.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/OPUSCAFE
Twitter : @inspiringopus

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Antipodean Kemang : Healthy Brunch

This is a postponed post, in fact it is a too long postponed post! I went to Antipodean with my siblings, just the four of us before I went for my China trip. So.. it's before this year's Eid holidays. I was just browsing through my photo album and found the pictures. I gotta stop suffocating my photo album and keep burying these food photos! So I made the decision to revive them..

My siblings and I are brunch maniacs. We really love breakfast menus  but we are too lazy to wake up early.. Brunch is our ideal meal of the day. It is like a habit for us to randomly go for a brunch on Sundays, trying new places. I always think that these little habits that my siblings and I have are just precious.. Time flies so fast, who knows till when we can keep doing this habit? Before we know it, BAM, we have our own families and children, or maybe we're just too busy and tired for Sunday brunches.. Maybe I am over-dramatizing it, but just having the thought of it bumps me a bit. Okay enough with this out of topic wanderings..

Without further ado, let me present to you.. Antipodean : Coffee - Cafe - Culture.. A place where they serve Australian home cooked meals.. Both healthy and yummy... From the food presentation and the taste of it, I assume they don't use any frozen food and make almost everything by themselves. The food itself is not that fancy, but that's just not what I aim for when I'm having a meal. The home cooked meals that they serve are just simply COMFORTING.. and some are very healthy indeed.. Oh, and it turns out that the Antipodean Cafe in Kemang is their first outlet. They also have another branch in Cilandak Town Square (citos). Now they have Antipodean cafes in Australia and Malaysia as well. The thing that I love most about this place is that they serve breakfast meals all day long, well as long as they are still open. I hate it  when cafes or restaurants give you a curfew for their breakfast meals. It's like as if we have an official rule banning us to have breakfast at lunch or dinner time.

Yes, it's quite small..
The menu is written on this wall of blackboard. The place inside is not big so everybody can easily just look at this wall and choose their drinks and meals.. Practical and time saving 
Iced Chocolate
They use special coffee beans with a brand called Merdeka. It's quite good and it's a local brand. The smart ass version of me assume that the owners of the Merdeka coffee bean is the owner of Antipodean.. Go check out their website.. click here..

Sweet paprica chicken with chickpea salad (50k). I love the cold chickpea salad! It's very fresh. The chicken was cooked really well, not too dry.. Its presentation is very simple indeed, very home-cooked style
French toast with bacon and maple syrup (50k). I just can't combine these two. I know it's a common combination between the savory salty bacon and the sweet maple syrup in western breakfast set, BUT I JUST COULDN'T CAN'T WONT be accustom to it.. In spite of my prejudice, it's still yummy.. lol
All day breakfast (60k). Classic combo of grilled tomatoes, sausages, baked beans, toasts, and fluffy scrambled eggs.. My weak spot.. 
Big Breakfast (60k). Another weak spot. Toast, bacon, scrambled egg, sauteed mushrooms, home made hash brown.. YUMMIEHHHH
Scrambled egg salmon on toast (60k). They use generous amount of smoked salmon. If you are a fan of smoked salmon, order this!
Lil sis and big bro..  being narcissistic as always..
Well now I am just being a narcissistic pain in the *beep*
Antipodean Cafe
Kemang Hero Complex
Jalan Kemang Selatan 1
Phone : 7192364
Open from 8 a.m to 8 p.m

Monday, 3 December 2012

Die Stube : a German date

It was a bright shiny Sunday, a good day to spend time outside and have a good meal. My sister was in the mood to go to Kemang for a late lunch. She already told me the day before that we're going to Die Stube. I've been wanting to go there since a few years ago but never find anyone willing to go with me. I remember the first time I discovered Die Stube is because I was having dinner at Praline (just next to Die Stube), which is now closed and turned into Die Stube extension. I was so curious just to look at it from outside. For starters, it was night time and with all the lights and fairy tale-like exterior, I swear, somehow, that place looked enchanted to me. It was quiet and mysterious, I couldn't peep through the windows as they were closed. I opened the wooden Shrek-world-like door and found lots of German people holding their beer, just enjoying their time. It was loud inside. People were talking, getting drunk, eating.. It was a bar..

Now, since they have their extension, it's not just a German bar,  but it's also a German restaurant. What comes to your head when you hear 'German restaurant'? Well, only one word.. maybe two instantly pop in my head. They are.. Pork... Knuckle.. lol..

BAM! Two ladies, lots of PORK
Big sis requested her photo to be posted here.. lol
There were only the two of us so we didn't order much. Just a sharing plate of sausages and a pork chop. The only reason that's holding us back was because we were going to Publo afterwards and we were saving some room for dessert and light bites.. Oh, it turned out that you have to order the Pork Knuckle three hours prior before you dine in. Bummers, we couldn't taste it..

The pork chop (105k). Well, it was well seasoned but really overcooked! It was so hard, even just to cut it.. The sauce was separated in a small bowl and it was lovely. 
Cream Spinach. This was a side dish to the sharing plate of sausages. I love it. From all those porkiness, at least I still had something green on my plate (even though it was smoldered with cream) 
Bonanza Bockwurst Sausages with Sauerkraut (105k). I was not sure what's the meat for the sausages but it was so yummy that I simply did not care.. at all.. The sauerkraut was sour. It's basically cabbage, sort of like pickled cabbage.. 
I was sat on the extension side of the restaurant. It is definitely more family friendly compared to the bar. Either way, I still think it's cozy. Just pretend that it's snowing outside and you're having this great meal inside.. The whole place is decorated with Christmas ornaments as it is coming soon (uber excited for that)..

Still bummed that we didn't get to order the Pork Knucke. My sister and I came to an agreement that we will definitely go back to this place. The portion isn't as huge as other famous German restaurants (Paulaner perhaps), but I just found this place really welcoming. The staffs are great and really helpful in deciding what we want.. I am very interested in trying other menus in this place.. If you were in Kemang and craving for some pork, just drop by here.. Or simply just have a beer.. Get a drink or two to accompany your meal.. :)

This photo was taken from Google image.. Imagine this at night time.. Reminds me a lot to  Shrek!

Die Stube
Plaza Bisnis Kemang
Jl. Kemang Raya 2 Jakarta 12730
Telephone : +62-21 71793486
E-mail : diestube@cbn.net.id
Website: http://www.diestube.co.id

Friday, 30 November 2012

Beatrice Quarters : a Lil' French Escape

I really laughed a lot today. Oh boy, do I really need it! My crazy friends, who randomly somehow can be close to me even though we don't go to the same school or university, "kidnapped" me. Sometimes I still wonder about my friendship with these people, how the hell can I be inside their circle of friends? Well, I love them anyway and I have always enjoyed my times being "kidnapped" by them. ANYWAYYYYYY....

Dilmah Earl Grey Tea (35k)
Okay.. For starters, how cute is that teddy bear tea pot?

I just got back from Beatrice Quarters in Pantai Indah Kapuk. It was not my first visit and most definitely won't be my last. I actually have reviewed it in my blog before so this post will be considered as a re-visit review. Each time I go there, I just feel this place has the cutest theme among those numerous-ever-growing-new-restaurants in PIK. It has that niche for feminine adorable touches.. But, besides of the cute tableware, the restaurant also offers you with delicious fusion of French Italian dishes, from papillote to pasta, from risotto to rice pizzas (the rice is definitely nothing Italian). Oh, not forgetting their cute yummy beverages and desserts..

We were kind of barbaric as we were all very hungry. At first, it was quite hard for me to decide what to eat as the menu really give you a variety of choices. From poultry to wagyu, they seem to have it all. The staffs were very patient in handling our table. The only thing that I had to complain about is the length of time needed to serve our food. Fortunately, my friends and I made ourselves busy. We were chit chatting nonstop and maybe some part of us had forgotten that we were hungry at that moment.

Picture time...

One of the outdoor seats... Isn't it just adorable?
Please do mind Kendrick's EPIC face on the right side.. We sat ourselves on the very back of the cafe..
Silly us taking photos of our reflection from the golden teddy teapot..
Even the menu is uber cute
The Feast... 

From left to right : Illusion (Blueberry with milky blended-consistency for 28k), Iced lemon tea with Iced Lemonade
Fish and Chips (33k)
Herbes John Dory with butter rice and butter cream pesto sauce. It's very fresh indeed. Too bad the portion is quite tiny. The boys may ask for more.. (that's what my friend did, he ordered another)
Bacon Egg Carbonara Fettucini (35k)
Basil Bacon and Egg fettucini (35k). The basil is quite pungent and pesto-like. Since I am a fan of pesto, I like the taste of it.. But if you're not a pesto fan, then I won't recommend this one..
Carbonara Bacon and Egg spaghetti (35k). Yes, both the carbonara pasta are yummy! Should I say they are very creamy-aromatic..
Rissotto Rototo di Pollo (55k). It's rissotto with chicken roll. 
The sauce completed the meal. The chicken was perfect, not too dry. The rissotto was creamy enough.. 
While we were eating the main courses, it started pouring down heavy rain and instead of running to the car which was parked very far away from the place, we decided to stay put and order some desserts (although we were full).. 


Chocolate Banana Toast (55k). 10cm of bread with Vanilla ice cream, chocolate sundae, cream and slices of banana. What can possibly go wrong?
Classic Honey Toast (35k). Both the toasts are yummy. I love the outer texture of the bread, especially when it is soaked with the melted ice cream or chocolate sundae. Superrrrrr yummy... 
I was too busy having fun and laughing my ass off in this place that I had forgotten to take home the receipt. Maybe you guys realized that some of the prices are missing above. The receipt (after tax) showed that we spent Rp 516.000 for all of the food, desserts and drinks.. Oh, they are having this promo of getting a free Classic honey toast for every 500k purchase so we decided to take away our free toast as we just couldn't possibly fit anything more in.

P.S : My belly is in a serious bloated condition right now -___-"

Beatrice Quarters
Jl. Marina Ruko Crown blok B 26
Pantai Indah Kapuk
Phone : 081322157245
Website : http://www.beatricequarters.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beatrice-Quarters/166864063404917

Monday, 19 November 2012

BEIJING TRIP : Part 3 (Dolar Shop plus Korean to Russian Food)

Okay, first of all I wanna apologize for my absence. I have been lazying my ass off and at the same time keeping it busy with either my thesis or social activities (what I meant by social activities is being kidnapped by my friends or voluntarily allow them to kidnap me). Actually today was not an idle day for blogging, but the hell with it, I wanna write something. Oh... how much I miss writing.. Plus today was so gloomy. It kept pouring down rain and I just feel like sitting on my bed with my laptop on my lap (exactly what I am doing right now) and just pour these words right out..

Earlier today, when I was trying to procrastinate what I was supposed to be doing, I went through the photos in my phone and I was once again amazed at how many food pictures from various type of delicacies  that I got from my last trip. And yes, up until now I haven't quite finished posting about it yet. Those photos are almost buried down by the new ones. Also earlier today, I decided to put those photos in another file then continue my assignments and up to just about now, I finished editing half of it.

I'm GOING to TRY to be BRIEF! Bear with me if I started to wander around out of topic..

Ironically, in this post, two of the restaurants that I am about to review don't have anything related to Chinese delicacies.. Let's get it started..

One of the restaurants that I miss the most from Beijing...

DOLAR SHOP..! I am not sure why they call it dolar shop and NO, it's not a black market. It is one of the most famous hot pot chain restaurants in Beijing specializing in white broth huo guo (hot pot) with individual pots. Unlike any other hot pot restaurants that give you only one big sharing pot to cook with the whole people on the table. In Dolar Shop, it's all about what I want and how I like it..

Big sis and friend
Big bro and myself.. Behind us is either a real wine rack or shelf with wine bottle decorations.. lol
Individual small cute pots
This is the sauce station. They really give you a wide selection of sauce. From XO to simple peanut sauce. I chose the classic MA JIANG sauce which is the delicious peanut sauce with lots of cilantro, some sesame seeds and chili. SUPER YUMMY... 
Pretty presentation. This was before I put anything inside.. Natural sweetness from the corn and that red little thing. I don't know what the English or Indonesian word but my mum call it ki che and she uses it for cooking herbal chicken soup..
Beef and chicken meatballs.. They made their own meatballs, freshness is number one..
Fish slices.. Again, very fresh. Not fishy at all
I love love love mushrooms. All types of it
Bean curd sheet. It's quite hard but once cooked, it will go soft and ready to be eaten
Beef beef beef
Shrimp and fish meatballs
Lotus *crunch crunch*. Oh and this was how my pot ended up. Lots of garlic, sesame seeds and spring onions. I like it messy like this plus it's super fragrant!
If you scroll up again, you will see the interior of this restaurant is similar to a lounge-like place. It's kind of weird though, remembering that this is a hot pot chain, more like a family restaurant isn't it? But they serve great food and the decoration is pretty. It's definitely a NO PROBLEMO to me!

  • Add : Raffles City Shopping Mall, 1 Dongzhimennei Dajie, Dongcheng District
  • 东城区东直门南街1号来福士广场5F-03

Later that night, we were still feeling kind of hungry. So we decided to go outside for some hawker food. 


It's very different from our satay in Indonesia. First of all, this one is kind of fried in teppanyaki style instead of grilled with charcoals. Well, they also have the ones with charcoals but I was in the mood for something different. The other thing, instead of using hand-held fan, they use construction tools for cooking.. In the end, it'll be sprinkled with sunflower herby seasonings and powdered chili. PURE AWESOMENESS.. I fell in love with it instantly. We bought it for our supper snack for the rest of the vacation as the spot was near to our hotel.. 

They'll give you a basket and you just pick which one you do want. My favorites are the mushrooms, green pepper, cilantro wrapped in beancurd-like sheet (the ones in the basket), chicken with its soft bones attached, and the lamb sticks.. 
Starting from the left, mushroom, eggplant, cilantro stick, chicken, mantao (chinese steamed buns), celery stick, tofu stick
Each of the non meat stick is worth of only $1. While some of the meat stick is worth for $2 or $2,5. SO CHEAP
The teppan table is very hot indeed, even the uncle must use gloves. Later, he pressed down all of the sticks till perfectly cooked. Then he'll brush it lightly with that unknown brown sauce and sprinkled it with the chili powder and sunflower seed powder. It's savory and yummy. Addictive as hell! Oh and that other tool on the table is for scraping all the dirty burnt left overs from the previous cooking process.. Who knows construction tools could be so handy for cooking..

Alright.. Moving on.. The next morning, we headed to this mall and had our breakfast in the famous typical junk food chain.. 

the glorious.. K.. F... C.... 

Lol! Okay.. The reason why we wanna eat at KFC is simply because the advertisement for their spicy kung pao chicken burger was EVERYWHERE! In every subway station, inside the subway itself, TV ads, billboard ads, it really brainwashed the three of us.. Yes, we were suckers for food ads, how can you resist falling fried lean chicken breast (from nowhere) on top of a warm bun and sprinkled with kung pao chili flakes. It's just so not fair! We have nothing to protect ourselves from those ads and eventually fell for it.  

WORTH IT.. WORTH FALLING FOR THOSE ADS.. Crispy double fried chicken.. Yum.. The fried egg.. Yum.. The chili flakes.. YUM.. Talking about fusion burger, this is the real deal. So oriental yet so KFC at the same time..
This was what my sister bought for me. "Surprise me" I said and this was what she brought to me. Chicken popcorn, milk tea, and mashed potato for the light bites. The middle is chicken curry something something. I didn't remember it and to be honest, it's pretty ordinary. I'd rather have the burger. I was quite bummed when the Indonesian KFC discontinued the mashed potato and changed it to perkedel.. 
Big bro not in the mood for KFC so he went to Yoshinoya. The verdict : Indonesian Yoshinoya is way better! The thing is they added ham choi (that pile of small-cut veggies), maybe to make it more Chinese. We all tried it and agreed that Indonesian Yoshinoya has wayyyy better taste than this one..
Uhh another thing about Chinese KFC, they have yummy egg  tart for desserts. I have always loved it.. The outer skin is very crunchy then the gooey shiny part is soft and warm.. PERFECT.. The one in the middle is their special edition chicken tart.. It was quite okay.. 
Nextttttt spot.. Doesn't have to do with anything Chinese.. 

We went to White Nights, a Russian restaurant. I have no idea where to find a Russian restaurant in Indonesia, so when my big sis said that there is one in Beijing, I was super excited.. 

The funny thing about this restaurant, everything is written with three languages, English, Mandarin and Russian. I have no clue how to read Russian or Mandarin, so English comes in pretty handy.. When I entered the place and looked at the menu, I got three ideas about Russian food. It's all about cheese, meat and alcohol.. Maybe to keep the Russians warm during winter.. If Indonesian people have the same diet, we will burn ourselves due to the scorching hot sun.. or maybe die of obesity or cholesterol.. lol

In front of the restaurant with its woody exterior.. 
Food and drink menu
The wood interior matches with the exterior. We were at the basement of the restaurant. It's quite dim but not in a creppy way. I don't know if the owner is a Russian or a Chinese. The posters hanged on the wall were pretty random. In this room, for example, they have Marilyn Monroe poster, next to a beer poster, next to a random movie poster, and so on.. 
Capital Salad on the left (18 yuan) and Embassy Salad on the right (18 yuan). The capital salad is cheesy with mayo for the sauce. While the capital salad has a crunchy texture. I enjoyed both salads for starters. 
Beef stew (35 yuan). I ordered this and it was yummy! They use tomato puree for the stew so it's very fresh and a bit tomato sour-y. Just how I like it. The beef was super tender. It's the perfect meal for a cold wintery day.. 
Pan-fried beef chop (35 yuan). Okay, I know this looked kind of sad, but the taste was pretty awesome. This is one of the reasons why I said that Russian food is all about meat.. and cheese.. and booze.. Scroll down please!
Fried Pork Chop with Pineapple (42 yuan). Of course with melted cheese topping. Guilty pleasure indeed. Just imagine a thick cut of pork chop accompanied with that melted cheese, in they go, to your watery mouth.. 
This one was actually pretty much the same deal with the one above but has no pineapple. The difference was they call the melted cheese as onion cream sauce. Guess they omit the word cheese but all I can see on it was cheese!
  • Add :13A Beizhong Jie (off Dongzhimennei Dajie), Dongcheng District
  • 东城区东直门内大街北中街甲13号
  • Open Daily 11am-midnight
  • Phone : 8402 9595

RANDOM BREAKFAST PHOTOS.. Near our hotel, there was this small hawker restaurant that sells huge pile of rice set meals with very cheap price.. accompanied with poor grammatical and quite confusing menu..

This is the pork with green pepper and onions served on a huge hot plate... The green peppers there are somehow different with ours. The smell, the taste and the texture are just not the same... It's so easy to get addicted to it
This one was chicken with no hot pot.. But the portion was also HUGE

KOREAN FEAST! Go to Wudaokou area and find TANTANDALU Restaurant.. 

I love Korean BBQ, but sometimes I feel it's just too pricey and not satisfying in quantity. Well, in Beijing, the Korean BBQ is wayyyy cheaper. In this Tantandalu restaurant, the meat was very fragrant and flavorful. Some were savory and some were sweet. I guess they have soaked it with seasonings for quite a long time. So far, this is the best Korean BBQ I have ever tasted in my life. 

The place is quite huge and still there was a line for the waiting list
Burning hot!
While waiting, I snapped a photo of this meal set
And this one as well
And this one too..
Free stuffs.. lol
Beef tongue..
Marinated Galbi..
It was my BIG SIS BIRTHDAY! The perfect ending for the perfect meal. It's so weird and nice at the same time to celebrate a birthday somewhere very far away from home with only a few of your closed ones. 

Tan Tan Da Lu/坦坦大炉
4F Dongyuan Building, 35 Chengfu Lu (across the street from Lush…)
Open until 11 p.m.

Okay, I am ending this post now. I hope it's not too long for you. It's getting pretty late and all I wanna do is sleep now. So pardon me if I sounded a bit rushed. 

Next Beijing post is going to include a pizza place that serves pizza slices bigger than my face.. A high-end restaurant review and simply more bites here and there.. 

Until then.. bye for now. :)