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

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Soup Spoon Food Tasting

Do you agree with Beethoven?
The custom of eating healthier food has been growing more vastly from time to time. But healthy is often related to either blandness or unpleasant flavor.. I, myself, has been trying so hard to keep the balance between those two.. Healthy but not yummy.. Yummy but unhealthy.. *Sigh* I feel like ripping myself into two so that I can have both healthy and yummy..

The thing is.. Now, we don't have to fight so hard to decide between what is yummy and what is healthy.
The thing is.. The fact that healthy eating habit keeps on growing and it varies our choices..
The thing is.. Consumers are getting smarter.. So new trending restaurants have to keep up with them..

Soup Spoon is that type of restaurant. The type of restaurant which think of your health and giving pleasure to your taste buds at the same time.. Random trivia here, do you know that eating soup is currently trending in Singapore. There have been numerous soup restaurants of various brands scattered all around Singapore.. The Soup Spoon is one of them..

With three branches open in Jakarta (Grand Indonesia, Citywalk Sudirman, and Senayan City), The Soup Spoon is expanding their Soup Culture in our country. They serve you various type of Soup from the kind where you seek for comfort while you're sick (that's my habit) to the kind where traditional is the deal.. With their third store open in Senayan City Mall, they sure are likely to announce to the consumers that they are more than only a Soup restaurant.. They also serve other meals such as pasta, rice meals, salads, sandwiches, wraps, nibbles, en papillote and even some sweet treats.. Of course, healthy is still the main highlight, even the breads are made by them from scratch, not forgetting the fresh ingredients as well..

The store's interior.. Gives you that homey cozy type of ambiance.. 
Semi open kitchen..
I love how they show the cakes and breads to the customers..
Zoom in..
Choices choices choices.. Very flexible..

drinks, anyone?
Freshly made Soup with no artificial flavorings, ready for you to be taken away and reheated at any time of the  day. I tried their Boston Clam Chowder.. It's really practical. You just reheat it in a pan or a microwave and VOILA.. Warm comforting meal with rich creamy fillings.. YUMMY

The theme of the night is a cocktail party.. They serve light bite sizes of some of their menu.. So without further ado, let's just begin..
Disclaimer : all the food and drink portions are specifically served only for the purpose of this event

The menu of the restaurant and the menu for tonight
Blackcurrant Breeze with Mango(32k) and Refreshing Berries infused Tea with Lychee(33k)
Smoked Salmon Bruschetta (33k). I personally like this a lot.. It's one of the appetizers that I will order again. The baguette is made freshly from scratch, topped with homemade tomato concasse smoked salmon then BAM, the star of the show, melted mozarella cheese.. 
Spicy Wedges with... wait for it.. (scroll down)
Homemade spicy mayonnaise and paprika (26k). Yes, the restaurant is everything about healthy and I think this wedges is the least healthy choice in the menu. BUT WHO CARES? That's just how much I love the wedges and their mayo (PURE HEAVEN..) With a hint of mild spiciness and their crunchy fries, it's just a bliss 
Hot Prawn Bitsque (not in the menu). Well, it's not my favorite.. I don't like the smell of the prawn, I think it's too strong..
Chicken Tikka (42k). Tandoor-spiced chicken pieces (without any colouring) with a piece of mango and homemade mint sauce.. For the sake of the event, I think they pre-made everything. So when the chicken was served to us, it's quite cold.  The chicken lost its crunchiness.. 
Hamburg Steak (57k). Grilled beef patty served with homemade NO MSG Japanese curry sauce over Japanese rice. You can tell the sauce was very different with the instant Japanese curry sauce. It's definitely way milder. The chef said they used apple as their base with various curry spices. It's not my personal favorite, but if you are a fan of healthy food, you should give this a try.. 
Japanese Udon with Poached Egg Salad (49k). It's basically udon mixed with their sesame dressing, topped with poached quail eggs. Slimy udon.. Not your ordinary salad indeed. For starter, it's udon.. If you're looking for something quite heavy, this is the right choice of salad for you.. 
Mussel Shooters (33k). I love this shooters so much! Considering that I still have my conscience, this is the only shots I can gobbled up less than 5 seconds without any doubt. The chilled tangy tomato soup with a hint of lemon and tabasco sauce gives you that edge of freshness.. The NZ mussels were perfectly cooked, it just perfected the whole thing.. 
Starting from the left side : Refreshing Mango Sago 28k (it's basically mango puree with sago pearls.. it's more of a sweet treat)  ,"Ispahan" Rosa Raspberry 32k (Sour jelly topped with blended raspberries and lychees and macarons) , Salted Caramel Chocolate 30k (My favorite! Salty buttery caramel topped with bittersweet chocolate mousse)
I love the idea of the Soup Spoon restaurant. Not only they serve yummy healthy ready to be taken away soup, but they also serve yummy healthy dishes to be eaten in the restaurant. They have variety choices of food with western to oriental touches.. From beef goulash to Tokyo chicken stew.. Got what I mean?

Facebook :   https://www.facebook.com/thesoupspoonid
Twitter      :  TheSoupSpoonID
                   SENAYAN CITY MALL - LG #08A

Friday, 26 October 2012

little rendezvous at Sabang 16

Last week, this guy in the picture, who happens to be a coffee lover, asked me to have a little rendezvous with him at Sabang 16.. When I googled about the place, it turns out that Sabang 16 is located at Sabang Road number 16B, which is also easy to be spotted cause it's located next to Kopitiam Oey, which happens to be owned by Mr. Bondan Winarno, our national famous foodie, and it's almost at the very corner of the Sabang Road itself, just a few metres away from The Baked Goods..

Why Sabang 16?

Well, it serves good coffee with a reasonable price...
They serve nothing heavy except for Indomie, our national instant noodle, or some fries and chicken wings
People always boast about their famous Kaya Toast
I just happened to be in the mood to be an explorer, going somewhere out from my neighborhood area

So it's 7 p.m and when we arrived there were no empty seats. Yes, the place is small enough that when someone is talking, I think all the people inside might have a good chance in hearing it, especially when you are sitting next to their table. The red wall inside, which is very contrast to the white paint from outside, accentuates the darkness of the night. It's pretty easy to be attracted to this small cafe when you are just walking by as the clear window glass allows you to glare at the whole interior inside. Decorated with photo frames and paintings hanging on the wall, the small space blooms coziness. I did not expect to get any intimacy in here considering the small space, but somehow the atmosphere given from Sabang 16 was intimate enough (if you know how to control the volume of your voice and everybody seemed to be in control of theirs)

Can you tell where I am? See how little space they got, yet people keep coming and going from endless time to time..
Desperate for coffee, yes, we both were desperate.. And we happened not to notice that it was 7 p.m. I wasn't even hungry, but we ordered two meals and two cups of coffee.

Simple one page menu
Aceh Gayo coffee (18k). Quite acidic.. Feel free to ask the waiter about the coffee choices..
Papua Nabire ala Vietnamese coffee style (18k). Papua Nabire is the mildest coffee they have
Stir all that condensed milk
The famous kaya toast (16k). The bread is quite thick compared to the usual kopitiam kaya toast. 
Yes, look at that glistening slimy sweet shiny beautiful kaya.. MY PRECIOUSSSSSS 

French Toast (14k). Not bad, not bad at all for a little cafe like this. The bread is dipped in egg milk batter before processed and served with honey and a touch of cinnamon 
I even get to spend some time enjoying oldies American poetry.. This happens to be a real candid photo..
Well, this one, I was just being plain narcissistic
In a weird way, I love the fact that this place is small. The idea is simple. A small down to earth space serving good coffee and good Kaya toasts with never ending customers pouring in at day and night and night and day.. If you need to kill time, give this place a visit. Be adventurous with the coffee choices. Order a sweet treat to accompany your cup of caffeine.. You might find this place as comfy as how I found it.

Jl.KH.Agus Salim (Sabang) no.16b Jakarta Pusat
twitter : @Sabang16
Open daily at 7am-11pm

Thursday, 18 October 2012


Even though it's just recently established in this year, Downtown Bistro has successfully placed itself comfortably as one of my favorite spots to hangout. The classy jazzy design is intended to bring you nostalgic settings of America back in the 1950's. Well, I have always been a fan to everything vintage, no wonder I fell in love with it in an instant..

It was a Saturday. Thanks to Big Bang and David Guetta concerts, the place was not that packed as it would be on a usual Saturday night. I was with my 3 crazy high school friends and I was in the effort to catch up on the latest news with them. Oh how can I be more grateful that this place has naturally risen up their projection of having an intimate atmosphere. It was so cozy that we stayed there the whole night until we decided that it's quite late and we should go home. Not once, we thought of changing to some other place(which is what we usually do)

Starting with the menu and the place 

Vintage projection
This is the indoor part of the restaurant. I personally think it's semi outdoor. See the right side of the picture, the glass doors were all opened so basically, we can still feel the outside night breeze 
The handsome gentlemen of the night
This is the outdoor area. Surprisingly, NO MOSQUITOES were biting me that night.. It was a miracle
Moving on to the drinks and the dishes

Thai Green Tea (22k)
Iced Peach Tea (22k) 
My second drink of that night : Signature Chocolate (29k). YUMMY. They didn't put the sugar directly in your drink so you, yourself can manage the level of sweetness. The chocolaty coco was pungent in the most perfect way my taste buds can taste.. 
For starter :
Buffalo Chicken Wing (49k for 6pcs). The BBQ sauce was a bit spicy and it was not as sweet as the usual BBQ sauce would be. SUPER LOVE. They also gave a bowl of cream cheese sauce which I used for dipping the veggies
Glazed Salmon (89k). Two of us ordered this dish. It was simply yummy. The fish was glazed with soy balsamic and that explained why it looked quite dark (not burnt). Served with mashed potato and veggies with orange sauce. The level of fishiness was not that bad. I still think it's pretty yummy
Indian Buttered Chicken (57k). Served with rice pilaf and grilled veggies. I have always loved Indian food and the more "smelly" it gets, the more I will fall in love with it. The buttered chicken was perfectly seasoned and spiced, cooked with coriander and tomato. The rice itself was freshly cooked and it's definitely different from our daily Indonesian rice
Roast Beef Brisket (82k). OH.. MY..THIS.. BEEF.. IS.. THE.. LOVE.. OF.. MY.. LIFE.. Okay, maybe I'm just being hyperbolic but YES, it was so delicious! The brisket was perfectly infused with the sweet savory sauce. Every piece of the beef that I put inside my mouth was like a firework. It has the perfect amount of fats and none of it were left uneaten by me *blush*

1. I fell in love with the Downtown Bistro (the whole element of that place, starting from the place, the food, the service). It's a two thumbs up, especially for a new place where mishaps usually occur all the time.

2. The prices are reasonable and logical.

3. I would definitely go back there again because I would try out other courses. They have breakfast and lunch menu as well.. And I am such a huge breakfast junkie..

4. It's intimate enough for my standard, looking at the condition of the place that time was not too packed when I visited it.


Address : The Landmark Central Ground Floor
                 Jl. Jendral Sudirman no 1, Jakarta
Phone : 021-52960064

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Beijing Trip : Part 2 - Fried Scorpions.. Nyum..

Am currently munching on classic original Pringles. Yes, they're freshly opened by Moi, the ruthless muncher when it comes to chips.. or popcorn.. or anything else that tempt me along the way.. Anyway, the fact that I am utterly enjoying myself right now is going to be a little bit ironic compared to what I am about to write. I promised you this post will involve something 'not-so-good-looking' fiesta. I do also sincerely hope that this post won't scare or disgust you in any way.. That's why I am eating my Pringles just to prove you that it's not that horrible.. If you can't take it, maybe just scroll the page down a bit faster than your usual pace.. Deal? Okay.. Here we go..

Another famous shopping street that is not only swarmed with tourists, but the locals themselves as well. This street has been used since the Ming Dynasty. If we translated it, WangFuJing literally means Prince's Mansion Well, and yes, the well itself is still there. In the present day, the street itself is a host to many local famous Beijing brands, from tea houses to a photo studio that have lasted for generations.

The pedestrianized shopping street has special alleys that sell street food. From simple Tang Hu Lu (caramelized fruits on a stick) to Chuanr (Chinese kebabs).

Tang Hu Lu.. The strawberries are my favorite
Lamb Chuanr.. They sprinkle it with chili powder if you want it spicy..
Yes, they're yummy.. I have always loved Chuanr.. 
I am not even sure what this is..
Yumminess everywhereeeee
CHOU TOU FU a.k.a Smelly Tofu..
I am still not a fan. My brother claimed that the smelly tofu in the Northern China is very different with the one in the South. He said the one he had in Guang Zhou was super yummy..
 Then, after the normal food, you will definitely spot a rather crowded food stall. People are just flocking there and they seemed to be oh so fascinated and curious at the same time..

It's none other than the.. EXOTIC INSECT STALL... alive and kickin, ready to be cooked and served..
All the scorpions stick above are somehow still alive. They are still trying to break free, kicking their feet here and there..

Cocoons and crickets.. These one were dead though..
Very much alive and kickin.. Except the seahorse.. 
Starfishes are the most expensive treat compared to other insects or sea creatures.. I once watch Andrew Zimmern ate a starfish and he said it's like eating crab shells SO I decided not to go for it..
The choices.. Okay the big scorpions on the left scared me, I ate earthworms in my previous China trip before, seahorses are too damn cute to be eaten, starfish will taste like crab shells. Maybe the small scorpions will do..
So yes, this is my just freshly fried Scorpions.. Kiss em goodbye
Eaten in less than 3 minutes, less than 3 pictures. All the other tourists there were like staring at me, disgusted, as if I was this one crazy chick. One even recorded me eating it and then shrug off his own shoulders. The verdict :  It's crunchy. Tasted like a random earthy snack. The body is where the earthy smell came from. The rest was not a big deal. The earthworms are worse.. Now I have one thing to cross off of my list :)
Next Destination.. or maybe the next thing we had..

Had this in some random food court. Yes, you can choose whatever you want, they'll boil it for you with some mala sauce consisting Sichuan peppercorns. Careful not to bite the peppercorns, either way you'll feel your tongue go numb. On the side is MaJiang sauce, made of grounded sesame seed, WHICH I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH.. They're just savory, not as sweet as Indonesian's peanut sauce.  
Still not full, so we decided to grab a subway to go for sharing
There used to be one Subway stall in Plaza Senayan, Jakarta. I really wish it's still open..
My 6-inch Parmesan Oregano Subway Club.. Oh in case you're wandering, I ate this in a McDonald where my brother ate fried chicken wings.. In my defense, I only grabbed one.. 

I just loveeeeee Chinese fresh peaches. They're very different from the American or the canned ones. The peach smells AMAZING, the fruit meat is lusciously tender and juicy. Super LOVE
This curry chained restaurant lets you personalize your meal individually. You can choose how many grams of rice you want and what additional ingredients you would like to have..

My big sis was craving for Coco Curry for ever since she went back to Indonesia, so this was a must have for her.
Stir fried ginger-flavored pork curry (33yuan). It looked minimalist, well, because I ordered the smallest portion of rice with no additional ingredients. It looked rather empty. The stir fried pork somehow really has an infused ginger smell. It's like combining something so Chinese with a Japanese curry twist..
Pork Curry Cutlet (35Yuan). Additional ingredients : Tofu and ochra..
Another Pork Cutlet Curry with additional cheese. Oh the cheese made it so yummy. When my brother scooped it up, it turned into this half melted gooey ready to be eaten cheese..  
Coco Curry House
Sanyuanqiao 三元桥
B1, Duhui Tiandi Shang Chang, 1-3 Xinyuanli Nanlu, Chaoyang District
Website : www.ichibanya.com.cn

 WAGAS CAFE (again..)

This branch is definitely more spacious. Many foreigners indeed. Everybody's talking in English, it almost felt like I was at Singapore. Same concept in each branch. I still think it's very cozy. If they have Wagas in Indonesia, I'd definitely hang out there A LOT
Carrot Cake

Coconut Macaroon, not macaron
Again the cappuccino and iced coffee.. We need our dose of caffeine.. 
My brother striking a pose.. 
Okay, this is nothing related to food. This is the CCTV Building. Talking about crazy architecture, this is MADNESS COME TO LIFE.. Will you feel secure if your office is located in the very tip of that pillar-less, foundation-less part of the building..
If we have Breadtalk all over Indonesia, then the Chinese have 85°C Bakery. Not sure why it's called 85 degrees..

Everywhere I see this bakery, it's always this crowded. People keep squirming in for fresh baked breads and cakes
THIS IS THE REAL DEAL! I have been craving for more of these cute tiny soft cheesecakes. One box is worth 11 yuan.  It's like this little heavenly drop of perfect cheesecakes in your mouth.. SUPER LOVE
From puddings to milk teas..
The choices of bread are surprisingly very many compared to our local chained bakeries. They all somehow looked so tempting.. Well, I am a sucker for pastries.. 
Here is the view from outside. Look at the choices of the breads. And this is only the breads. 
Bro, sis, and her friend.. We bought the breads for tomorrow's early journey.. 
Okay.. This ends my Beijing Trip : Part 2 post.. I gotta hurry cause I am about to go out with my Mum.. Next post : more restaurants.. more northern Chinese feast.. more tourist spots.. and bears in the Great Wall.. *huh? come again?*

WELL, until next time.. Caooo