..It's a journey after all.. : Food and Travel Blog based in Jakarta: March 2013

Friday, 29 March 2013

Otel Lobby : a revisit, a rendezvous, and a regale

Chic, elegant, and mysterious. A night-time revisit to Otel Lobby has brought enough satisfaction to complete my quick definition of a regale. Unlike my first visit, I was more amused that night as I was both having a great time and having a good meal. It was a very late birthday celebration. My friends and I were just up for it after a month of delay for Febriano and myself, while a year delay for Lid.

They said "it's better late than never" and as much as I was glad that we were having this little rendezvous, I realized that my friends seemed to be lost both literally and in between the meaning of that proverb. Fortunately, Otel Lobby has never been too packed, which what makes this place very intimate and private. Thumbs up for the waiters who managed to stay profusely patient (compared to myself) and instead of hassling me while waiting for the rest of the party, I was left quite alone with enough peace and serenity. In fact, I think I bothered them more with questions of the Hell Hour!

Every Monday - Thursday, from 5-9 p.m, they have a hell hour promotion where you can get 2 selected bar food and cocktails for the price of 1. So here goes the feeding frenzy..

As always, two menus from Otel Lobby
The non-smoking area and Febriano's very late gift on that chair.
I have always loved their mysterious, dark vibe. 
Peach Tea (25k) while waiting for my friends to arrive
BBQ Chicken wings (55k). Included in the selected menu for the Hell Hour promo. So we got two for the price of one. Very fragrant. I love the fact that the BBQ sauce wasn't too sweet and it also has a hint of little bit sourness. My perfect definition of a perfect BBQ sauce.
Bistro Burger (85k). Also included in the Hell Hour promo. It came with a bucket of fries. Look how thick that  patty is! They also said that the buns are homemade. I didn't get to try this one though..
Spaghetti Aglio Olio (55k), with parmagiano, bread crumbs to add some texture, and garlic chips. You can additional meat for the price of 85k. It was al dente. A simple yet satisfying dish for the aglio olio lovers.
Duck Confit (85k) with grilled peach and sweet onion marmalade. Not a fan of the sweet sauce.  The outer of the duck skin is crispy enough to fulfill my expectations for a good duck confit. Not the best, but it was good enough.
Crispy Duck Salad (55k) with romaine, watercress, and crispy duck. Well, they really mean it when they said crispy. I found the additional chili dressing balanced the whole dish. Another simple yet satisfying dish as I was not looking for something heavy that night. It was definitely light and it suited for what I was looking for.
Roasted Chicken (85k) with fried rice and salad on the side. Had a piece of the chicken. Well, aside from the fact that I love that it has crispy skin, I will still choose a Kenny Roger's roasted chicken. I am not saying that it's not delicious, but it was just not my favorite.
Red Velvet and Rainbow cake (40k) with vanilla bean ice cream. Included in the hell hour promo, so we get two plates of these little babies. To be frank, I don't like Otel Lobby's version of rainbow and red velvet cake. They were almost mundane and definitely failed to compete with other's rainbow and red velvet cake. For the record, I have never been a fan to rainbow or red velvet cakes, so my judgement is not bias by a certain preference whatsoever.
Toblerone Puff (40k). It is a choux puff cut into half with vanilla pastry cream and ice cream in the middle, smoldered with melted toblerone chocolate. Yummy. Perfect for a sweet tooth. I really wish I can eat it with my hands instead of using a spoon. This dessert is also included in the Hell Hour promo. Just what I needed..
Back with that proverb, I said "it's better late than never", aside from the fact that this is a late post as well, I am still grateful that we did our little late birthday celebration. I was again reminded that as I get older, I get to be more grateful. My only wish for this year's birthday, well, six wishes since I got six cakes and I am not even bragging (being sarcastic here, lol), is to keep being surrounded by these lovely people. To have them around me, to grow up together, to discover new adventures, to embark on new chapters, and to always remain silly.. Together..

Otel Lobby
The Annex Building of Bakrie Tower Southgate Entrance, 
JL. Epicentrum Tengah, 
Kuningan, Jakarta, 12940  12940
Phone : (021) 29941324

Website : http://www.otellobby.com/

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sweet Treats for a sweet tooth : Le Sucre Du Patisserie

Hush! Picture and imagine it with me. It's a black and white French setting with a presence of a lady, for the first time, realizing that, what's in front of her, makes her really happy. She found her passion. To find that enlightenment brought that sweetest smile on her face. In my case, it brought me the sweetest treats..

Entrer Le Sucre Du Patisserie, an online patisserie specializing in macarons, which offers you with high quality desserts. All of their products are made with no preservatives and some ingredients are imported to bring the best out of the flavors. The lady behind it made quite a keen turn from studying chemical engineering to studying at Le Cordon Blue, Los Angeles. She realized that she has fallen in love with the French sweet delicate and decided to pursue her passion and turn it into a career. A convenient blessing it is to have finally discover what you love and make a living out of it. I have to agree that sometimes, in life, we have to stop every once in a while, take that courageous distinctive turn, and find out where that turn will take you.. Who knows, it might take you to a better place. For me, that turn is to stop being so cynical about macarons, oh.. and hello kitties..

I am definitely not a Hello Kitty or a macaron lover, but to open a black box of Hello Kitty macarons can't erase the fact that I am still in bound to the normal girly reaction. Aside from being amazed at the first sight, I found them surprisingly neat and very pretty. Let alone the skills needed to make normal macarons, these are CHARACTERIZED macarons! I assumed it takes more than just needed skills to have revolutionized normal macarons to another whole level.

The kitties are coffee flavored while the ribbons are chocolate and the strawberries are red velvet. So much for thinking the strawberries will be flavored as strawberries..

Unfortunately, the Hello Kitty seasons are over. To order these cute babies, you have to make a pre-order and they have different characters along the way.. Right now, they are having a Rilakkuma pre-order.

Moving on! The classic good ol' traditional macarons!

There were 12 of these inside the box and if you pay good attention, there were only nine on the plates. Pardon the greedy moi. I just couldn't help myself not to take a bite while taking it out! ;p

Le Sucre offers you with a variation of yummy flavors. They have blueberry cheesecake, pistachio, red velvet, lemon, green tea, coffee, salted caramel, nutella, chocolate, rose and Reese's Peanut Butter! I haven't tried the cheese and durian flavors and very intrigued to the unique idea of tasting it.

Can't find Reese's Peanut Butter macaron anywhere else, can ya?

This is the rose flavored, which I found extremely lovely. Light and fragrant. One of my favorites!
I have to say several flavors have definitely became my favorites! Starting from rose, blueberry cheesecake, which tasted like heavenly blueberry gum, to the good Reese's peanut butter ones. However, I still can't manage to finish all in one seating. I only dare to take one bite out of each to make my verdict. As much as I enjoyed the tasting part, after several bites, I was back to the cynical me who thinks that macarons are just too sweet. Five of those and I started to feel my body rejecting the idea of how I might have turned into a macaron lover. Don't get me wrong, I am a sweet tooth myself but gah, blame that cynical me! I thought my courageous turn has brought me somewhere new when I realized it was the same old, same old path. I even thought that another reason macarons get to be so expensive is because you are not meant to have so many of it at once, aside from the ingredients and expertise to make it.

If you are as cynical as I, then don't worry because Le Sucre also offers you with cakes..

Red Velvet cupcake with little red velvet macaron on top!
Salted Caramel Cupcake. Look at that oozing melted caramel! 
Truth to be told, I only got to try the red velvet cupcake. When I went back home, the salted caramel has managed to gone M.I.A (read: eaten by either my brother or sister). Both cupcakes were okay. The red velvet has cream cheese icing which I found crucial! I know I said that I am cynical towards macarons but somehow I had more fun gobbling the macarons. Maybe that turn I took left me more open minded.

Just like the story of the lady  behind Le Sucre Du Patisserie, I hereby declare that yes, sometimes in life, we have to stop for a while, look around for that potential turn, with a kick of being a bit reckless, a bucket of bravery, and a ton of optimism, you might find yourself in a better state..

Visit their facebook for more info!
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/LeSucreDuPatisserie
Phone : 0812-8181-833
BB pin : 276BB354

1 box: 12 pc 120.000 IDR (mix up to 6 flavors)

Friday, 15 March 2013

Brunch at BLD (Breakfast Lunch Dinner)

Have I told you that brunch is my favorite meal of the day? It is that time of day when it is not too early to have something heavy and is not too late to have something light (both in food and thoughts). It is the ultra meal that somehow makes me feel good about myself for the rest of the day. A single cup of hot cappuccino, a single companion to converse with, and an 11 a.m to start the day. A single perfection combo of an all in one.

Considering the name of BLD (Breakfast Lunch Dinner), it seems to be the perfect place to get myself a beautiful brunch. Once I step in from the lobby entrance, I could see a long hallway with a wall of windows on one side which gives natural lighting to the whole place. The interior reflects a beautiful urban vintage setting. I was seated in one of the tables in the hallway since there was a party in the upper side of the restaurant. The old wooden floor really vibrates whenever someone walked by and at times I even have to hold my cup of cappuccino to make sure it didn't spill. In daylight, this part of the restaurant is far more beautiful in a simple kind of way compared to the upper side of the restaurant. I didn't mind one bit (well, except that it is the smoking area *cough cough*)

Since we were in a brunch mood, both of us ordered the breakfast menu. Me for the classic American Breakfast and a hot cappuccino, while he had the pork eggs Benedict and a freshly squeezed orange juice. It was a good start to start the day. A perfect cup of thick foamy cappuccino and a sweet sour orange juice. So far everything was just perfect..

Hot Cappuccino (23k)

Fresh Orange Juice (28k)
It took quite a while for us to wait for the food. Maybe it was due to the private party, but for a breakfast meal, yes, I considered it quite long to have our food on the table. Fortunately, my companion and I lost ourselves in our own world, engaging in myriad scopes of topics. We have a good laugh from silly things and put ourselves into deep thinking for a more serious matter of business. About 30 minutes later, my classic American breakfast finally showed up.

American Breakfast (48k)
I was disappointed when the waiter put the plate in front of me. It wasn't the breakfast set that I have expected. In the menu, they said 'two eggs (any style), a sausage, toast, bacon and a homemade hash brown'. Here are the verdicts : The sausage was way too dry, it was almost rubber-like and it was so hard to cut or even bite it straight from my mouth. The toast was basically just bread, it was not toasted whatsoever. The hash brown was definitely an instant one, not homemade. And the omelette.. was just sad... The only thing that was warm on the plate was the hash brown. Even the omelette was kind of cold. I seriously think that this dish is overpriced, considering the quality, the taste, and the ingredients. There was nothing special to it and  they took 30 minutes to get this whole plate served. No wonder everything was so cold..

Dry sausage! 
Startled with my not so pleasing complains, my dear friend finally realized that it was the time to step back into the real world. Afraid of having the same unfortunate encountering, he asked to cancel his order. He thought that it was way too long to wait for an egg benedict that there must be something wrong with it.  About 5 minutes later, he knew that it was inevitable to avoid such a catastrophe. 

Pork Egg Benedict (53k)
Fat Fat pork belly
It was slightly below an okay dish. The hollandaise sauce tasted like runny mustard. There were merely any meat in the pork belly. Good thing that he liked it all fatty. I just tried a spoonful bite and decided that I had enough. The brown sauce coating the pork belly was actually quite good. The pork belly itself was well infused with the sweet savory brown sauce. A plus point for the dish. However, I once again had a problem with the toast. Why called it a toast in the menu if they don't toast it at all?

It was my first time trying BLD and may I say that I am not too delighted with the whole experience. Maybe the private party in the upper floor was the main cause of the whole tragedy. I once again rethink about the main reason why I came to this place. It was simply because of the name of the restaurant. To have the guts to call themselves Breakfast Lunch and Dinner, I thought that they must have really specializes in those three aspects. Well, I am sorry to say that they surely don't specialize in breakfast. For the time being, I don't think I want to go back there to try their lunch or dinner dishes.

PX Pavilion, St. Moritz level GF-6E
Jl. Puri Indah Raya, Jakarta
Phone : (021) 58358582
Website : http://www.bldjakarta.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/bldjakarta
Twitter : https://twitter.com/bldjakarta

Monday, 11 March 2013

Lekker Bekker : Savory and Sweet

I always believe that we will naturally group up with people who share a common something with us. A common job/activity, habit/hobby, belief/perspective. My in-group of college friends is a living example. Not only we shared the same classes for 7 semesters, but we also share the same admiration, curiosity and taste in food (just to name a few). Let me walk you through as you read the following few words..

A common habit...
So there we were, walking randomly from one corner to the other corner of the mall. Another common thing that we share, the fact that we are willing to (burn calories) take the time considering a few places (by weighing the potential factors of atmosphere, setting, price range, and the future of the expected meal itself) before actually dining in one.

We stumbled upon this cute corner with feminine warm touches interior. It's a vintage homey restaurant which serves classic infused Dutch delicacies.

Feminine touches all over to appeal that homey atmosphere

All of the menu was written in Dutch with English explanation below.

For starters, I ordered Bruinebonen Soep (24,5k). The broth is made from brown beans, onions. They gave generous chunks of beef and sausages inside the soup. It accentuates that warmth you get from eating a home cooked meal. Very simple, very Dutch, very comforting. However, I am not a fan of the instant sausages inside my bowl of soup.
Bitter Ballen (22,5k). Fried little Holland meat ragout served with mustard pickles. They simply complete my expectation of a good bitter ballen. Crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. Four is a small number and for me, four is not enough!
Galantine (38,5k) It is fried minced chicken and beef in tomato sauce with onions. Again, it's yummy but for 38,5k, I think they are too stingy with their portion. Simply not enough!
A famous Dutch delicacy, Steak Lidah (38,5k). It is beef tongue served with sweet salty brown sauce. Perfectly balanced. The tongue itself is very tender, but the slices are too thin. It's almost paper-like and I once again, think that it's overpriced.
Steak Balls (38,5k). My least favorite out of all what we ordered. The meatballs are made from tenderloin beef and cooked with their special sauce. I found the meatballs too dry and too firm. They need to put a bit more lard or maybe mix it with breadcrumbs to make it more tender, juicier and richer in flavor. The sauce is too sweet for my taste, I personally think they don't match and again, too pricey.
A common rule (in food)...
My friends and I gave the same comment after we finished our meals. With that little of a portion, we all think the menu is simply overpriced. We came out with quite satisfied taste buds but the unsatisfied tummy tagged along. The fact that the four of us shared a common opinion on the food's taste made me realized we also shared the same standardization on eating portions. We came from different backgrounds and have different personalities, but in the end we all naturally assemble ourselves due to our mutual taste and mutual preference. 

My companions for the day. Okay, Kevin is way too grumpy in this picture.
Hah, a slightly smiling Kevin! Way better, Kevin.. Way better.. 
Lekker Bekker
Summarecon Mall Serpong 2
2nd Floor #219

Monday, 4 March 2013

New Menu from Macaroni House : Baked Potato!

Gather around, people! Macaroni House has just launched a new variation menu to their family. Now, not only specializing in their yummy baked macaroni, they are also specializing in baked potatoes!

"Little rounds of scrumptious sliced potatoes", that's what I would call these little babies from Macaroni House. It is little portions of potato gratin-like savory treats with 3 choices of flavors : Ranch Potato, Curry Hurry and Carbonara Potato. 

Each portion comes with a disposable foil container with the size of 6cm x 7cm x 3cm. A small cup with big flavors! Each purchase (minimum purchase) will come in a package of 6 of these babies and it will cost you Rp 100.000. So approximately, one cup will cost you around 16k. A bit pricey for a small cup, but again, Macaroni House has always been generous with their fillings and they really pay attention to product's quality. 

From left to right : Ranch Potato, Curry Hurry, Carbonara. They all looked the same from the outside. But I assure you, each flavor really stands out on its own way.
Ranch Potato : Sliced potatoes with minced beef, little pieces of carrots and peas. Topped with melted cheese as usual. The fact that they use beef, not chicken, for this flavor, brings out that aromatic meaty scent that gives its flavor a kick of extraordinary. It makes you wanna gobble it all up in one bite. 

Once you dig in, you can see they have different ingredients inside. This one is Ranch Potato flavor.
Curry Hurry : Sliced potatoes with little chunks of chicken and fragrant curry seasonings, topped with melted cheese. Warning : it is a bit oily. However, I still find this flavor enjoyable as the curry aroma is just in the right amount. Not too mild and not too strong.

Carbonara : Has always been my favorite flavor from Macaroni House. Every bite comes with appropriate amount of sinful creaminess that makes this baby so addictive! The only warning I can give about this is one might not be enough!

Call it a marketing strategy, the fact that each portion is little, it itches me to grab for more! That's my only complain. For me, one will not be enough! I found myself in the kitchen, at midnight, reheating another carbonara potato and before I knew it, I finished the whole thing. 

Oh, they will launch new flavors for each month. There will be 5 more flavors coming so stay tune to their twitter account..

How can you resist these babies?
Twitter : @macaroni_house
Facebook : http://facebook.com/macaroni.house
Phone : 021-5803464, 082112034570