I find it slightly astonishing that I have only just discovered the place I’m going to tell you about next .When I did some research into the history of Go Curry, I learnt that it has been open for a-number of years. Well up until now, I was under the illusion that I knew some of the best places in Jakarta, but turns out I’m late on the scene! Tonight I really wanted to check out, what I had heard was one of the best places in town to satisfy my Curry craving. Now I’m going to give you the lowdown on Go Curry. The restaurant is located on the 5th floor of Pacific Place Mall, tucked away in the corner. When it comes to curry, in specific Indian Curry, I was yet to find a place which I consider totally authentic. Having already tried a few places, I had pretty much given up on my quest. I guess I was spoilt for choice in the UK, where it’s very easy to get top notch curry on almost every corner. My quest tonight was to find such a mind blowing curry to rival those I had tasted in the UK.
I’ll start by explaining a little about the concept behind Go Curry. This restaurant, is all about customization. You can choose from a number of curry bases, 5 in total. The two which stood out for me, were the Green Curry and the Rogan Josh. I’m a big fan of both of these. This probably has to do with the fact that we are very exposed to both Indian and Thai cuisine in the UK. Both of which I’ll admit are completely diverse in their taste, but equally as interesting. After selecting the base, you then need to choose the level of spice for your curry. They range from Mild at one end of the spectrum, right through to Insanely Hot! I do love spicy food, so I thought a hot Rogan Josh based curry would definitely fulfill my needs . It’s never enough just to try one dish though, so we proceeded to order the Green Curry just to see how it measured up. Once again the level of spice we chose was hot. Next up you choose between five different rice selections. I chose the long grain rice which I thought would be the perfect complement for the Rogan Josh. Something different was needed for the Green Curry so we chose the Aromatic Yellow Rice which is slightly buttery in flavor. It’s also possible to order from a selection of Naan Bread if you prefer.
Customization is key here, which is one of the things I loved about Go Curry. After choosing the base and level of spice, the final element to bring it all together, is the topping, and oh boy do they have a lot of toppings! This was the most tricky part for me. In fact, at first I wanted to order the breaded prawns with a Green Curry base. But the waiting time for that dish was kind of long, so I switched to the Rogan Josh, which worked out better in the end. I thought the Chicken Tika would pair up well with the Rogan Josh, so I ordered that. Seeing as the Breaded Prawn and Breaded Fish toppings would have taken an hour to prepare, another option was needed. So enter the Zesty Cheese Chicken, which was marinated in yoghurt and cheese. Sounds delicious right? The great thing is, with having 7 toppings to choose from, there is something which appeals to everyone.
When it comes to the service at Go Gurry, it’s beyond fast! Within 10 minutes of placing the order, both curries had promptly arrived on the table! Full points for quick service. But I guess the real thing you’ll want to know, is how the curry actually tasted. I loved the Rogan Josh, it was fragrant, spicy and the chicken was super succulent, a real pleasure to eat. This is the first time in Jakarta I’ve found a restaurant which I think is serving up authentic Indian curry. I was wowed by the flavors, I really was taken aback at how good it was. Go Curry had exceeded all of my expectations. I do have to tell you, that when they say hot at Go Curry, they really mean it! Oh my, was this curry super spicy. It’s a good thing I really love spicy food, because if you are not such a fan, I would recommend ordering the milder version. Now onto the Green curry. When I think of Green Curry, I always think of the Thai classic version. So I set my standards around that. I did enjoy this flavorsome curry but my preference tonight was definitely the Rogan Josh. Next time around, I think I will give their Brown Curry a whirl. It’s a Japanese inspired Curry and I think it would work particularly well with the Chicken Katsu topping.
The ambience at Go Curry is very laid back with a contemporary feel. I think it's the perfect spot to hang out while enjoying the curry of your choice. Go Curry was definitely a surprise find for me. I would say that the food is good value by Jakarta standards, and the quality of the Curry is high. I was equally impressed by the fast service they deliver for such appetizing curries. If you haven’t tried this happening restaurant, and you are a fan of curry, be that Japanese, Thai or Indian, check this place out. I'm pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. So I have to pack for Singapore now, so happy eating guys!
So I’m finally getting around to telling you about my experience at Tesate, an Indonesian restaurant which is located at Plaza Senayan. I've also been to their other restaurant at Pacific Place, but it was the first time I’ve been to the one in Senayan. I had actually planned on going to Sate Khas Senayan, which incidentally is owned by the same group. But once again Jakarta's traffic got the better of me and I decided going to Tesate would be easier.
There are a few things which are noteworthy about Tesate. First let me tell you about the design and the overall ambience of the restaurant. When I walked inside the restaurant, it somehow felt like I wasn’t in Jakarta. First of all you walk through a fluorescent corridor, which is somehow reminiscent of a club. Once inside, the ambience changed again .The evening I visited, it was very busy and there seemed to be a certain buzz in the air. I really appreciate what they have done with the design of Tesate. I would describe it as chic cool. The yellow and white touches create a really welcoming effect, and I could see myself spending quite some time there. Even the menu is well designed, with a distinct Javanese inspired theme. The menu must have been enticing, because I was more than ready to order some food!
Tesate is an Indonesian restaurant that specializes as the name suggests in the Indonesian favorite, Sate. They have many varieties of this dish, so there is plenty for you to choose from. Sate is not really one of my favorite Indonesian dishes, but seeing as I was at a place which specializes in Sate, it would be a sin not to try it. I settled on the Sate Ayam Madura 65k, which is marinated chicken sate served in a peanut sauce. Okay, so I was not particularly wowed by this dish. I expected it to be more flavorsome to be honest, but I was hopeful that the other dishes would have that wow factor I was looking for.
Indonesian cuisine really does differ so much from Island to Island. I have discovered that I really enjoy the spicier dishes. So much so, that when the dishes are not spicy, i'll invariably request more sambal! Sambal is a kind of Indonesian chili dip which accompanies many dishes. I think it’s always good to try one of the rice dishes at Indonesian restaurants. At Tesate there are quite a few which caught my attention. I chose the Nasi Tutug 95k, which is described as an exotic rice dish combined with squid, chicken and vegetables. This dish was definitely more to my taste. It was a mix of many elements, making the flavors quite complex. It was also spicier than the last dish, which I prefered. A tamarind flavored soup also same as part of this dish. I always associate Tamarind with Indonesian cooking. Tesate's soup was fragrant and mixed well with the other flavors of the Nasi Tutug.
The evening I went to Tesate, I was craving seafood. The one dish which looked very appealing, and would have been my first choice was the Kepiting Soka Mangga Muda, 125k. I love soft shell crab and Tesate's version is served with mango and chili. Sounds amazing right? Well that’s what I thought too, but unfortunately it was sold out, as were all the other crab dishes. I was really disappointed because this would have been my main choice. I hope it’s available next time because I really would love to try it.
The last dish I ordered was the Tahu Udang Berontak, 64k. A fried tofu dish filled with prawns and mushroom. I have to mention that it is also served with a super yummy chili dip. I sure do love my sambal! This dish was a pleasure to eat. It may even have been my favorite out of the three.
As dinner came to an end, I was left thinking about the Soft Shell Crab. I think I would have enjoyed my experience at Tesate more, had this dish been available. Tesate is not your cheapest option for Indonesian food. In fact if you were to order the fish it could be quite expensive. Because I have lived in Jakarta for nearly 3 years, I know you can find Indonesian food for much cheaper. I do want to try Tesate’s sister restaurant Sate Kaus Senayan to see how it fares against the higher priced Tesate. But if sate is your preference, you may be interested to try Tesate for their selection. I can assure you that the presentation is excellent with all dishes. So if you have friends coming from outside Indonesia, this might be a nice place to take them.
I stand accused of eating nothing but Indonesian food for the past week. Yes, I’m guilty as charged! In fact I still have a blog post to write about yet another Indonesian restaurant I went to last night. To be honest, I have been preoccupied with passport issues. After waiting 6 long weeks to receive my new passport, I just found out that it had been sent to the UK by mistake, super annoying! But I promise I will get down to writing last night's review tomorrow. No excuses haha.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve eaten Italian cuisine, and if I’m honest it’s quite rare I do these days. It’s not that I have anything against Italian food, it’s just that I always seem to end up eating asian food. Well not tonight! A few months ago, I came across an Italian restaurant at Pacific Place Mall. At that time I had already eaten, and was not hungry enough to sample the menu. I did try a slice of Pizza and I remember it was incredibly good. Tonight I was ready to try more of Sopra's menu. When I arrived at the restaurant, it was already busy which I took to be a good sign. As I walked through the seating area, I took in the somewhat modern interior decor, which is decked out with dark wood and low lighting. It’s the kind of place you could sit and while away the evening, enjoying the relaxed vibe.
Italian food is always appealing mainly because I love a good pizza. I tend to measure pizzas by the Italian standard. Which is generally a thin and crispy base topped with super fresh ingredients. That sounds simple enough, but being so far away from Italy ,it’s not always easy to find. I wouldn't say that Sopra's pizzas are 100% authentic, but I can tell you they are extremely tasty. The base is thin following the Italian version but maybe not quite as crispy. I don’t think that takes anything away from the overall enjoyment of Sopra's Pizzas though. I chose the Imperiale 49k, which is topped with mozzarella, tomatoes and mushrooms. I found this pizza to be super yummy. What I liked, is that the pizza base is very light and definitely satisfied my pizza craving. The pizzas at Sopra come in 3 different sizes. I chose the small one because I wanted to try out a few other dishes. Next up the Calzone. A Calzone if you didn’t know, is a folded over pizza. This is shaped like a half moon with the bread on the outside and the inside is stuffed with ingredients you would normally find on a pizza. Calzones originate from Naples in Southern Italy and are delicious if they are made well. Sopra's Calzone was listed on the menu as having a surprise filling. So it’s at the Chef's discresion what your Calzone will be filled with. I must admit, I was wondering if I would enjoy this dish seeing as I didn’t know what the filling would be. I have to tell you that this Calzone was very good! Even though when I cut through the crust, it wasn’t as crispy as those I have tried in Italy, I still think it's worth ordering. So far Sopra was impressing me. But I was starting to feel like I had ordered too many carbs. It happens at all Italian restaurants though right? So much pasta and pizza. To balance it out a little, I ordered the Caprese Salad 109k, which is a mozzarella and tomato salad. This dish was my least favorite. Actually it just lacked flavor, and maybe it could have been seasoned a little better. I think if they improve on this, they will be up to standard in no time.
I had a great dinner tonight. I didn’t expect it, but isn’t that the best when you least expect something and have an amazing experience. I lived in Italy myself for a few years, so I do have a good idea of what Italian cuisine is like in Italy. In Jakarta there are many places serving Italian cuisine, but as far as I can tell Sopra Risporante is one of the best. Well done guys, keep on serving those great pizzas and desserts!
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman No.52-53,
Pacific Place Mall
Lantai 1 Unit 122,
Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
+62 21 51400557
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Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been living on a completely different planet. I mean how could I have missed out on the best tea invention ever created! I am of course talking about Bubble Tea, also known as Pearl Milk Tea or Boba Tea. Bubble Tea is a hugely popular drink which originates from Taiwan. For those of you in the know, Bubble Tea has been trending for quite some time. For those of you who are not familiar with this well-liked tea, I’m sure after reading this you will start to notice all the Bubble Tea Palours all around the city. It’s always like that isn’t it? Something which has always been there, but you never really notice until it’s pointed out.
One such Bubble Tea Parlour is aptly named Chatime. Cha actually means tea in Chinese. The first time I came across Chatime, was when I was searching for Grass Jelly drinks. In a bid to switch from my daily coffee, I was looking for something which was equally as satisfying to replace it. Chatime seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Grass Jelly is just one of the many toppings you can add to your favorite drink. If you are wondering how this all works, well the idea is that everyone customizes their own drink. First you select your preferred flavor, then you can add extra toppings. Finally you can add ice and sugar based on your requirements. Sounds good right? I like the concept of Chatime. If you've always wanted try your hand at tea making, this is the perfect opportunity. If you are health conscious, you might be interested to know that there’s also an option to cut out the sugar and topping. But it’s really up to you. I mean it’s so damn hard to resist those pearls right?
The ingredients used in Bubble Tea differ slightly between each Company. After trying 3 places in Jakarta, Chatime is a clear winner for me. As luck would have it, they have a Tea Parlour in the mall close to where I live. But there are quite a few others I have spotted in Jakarta, so have no fear, they are everywhere. I'm pretty sure that this is a craze which is not about to die down any time soon. As far as I can see, it’s Bubble Tea mania in Jakarta! The queues are always super long no matter what time of day I go. But believe me, it’s more than worth the wait to try one of this delicious teas.
Chatime have cleverly combined traditional tea into numerous fusion inspired favorites to suit your every need. They offer 7 different Tea Series altogether. Probably the most popular being the Milk Tea Series. My preference though, has to be the Jasmine Green Tea with Pearls and Grass Jelly, 21k This drink is one of the Fresh Tea Selection. It's wonderfully fragrant and really quenches your thirst. I'll admit, It would be healthier if I opted for the drink sans Tapioca Pearls, but sometimes you just have to treat yourself. I will warn you though, Bubble Tea at Chatime is very addictive! It’s almost like the Pringles slogan, once you pop you can’t stop. I feel the same way about Chatime, the Pearls are too good!
Last night I dined at Remboelan Soulfood, Plaza Senayan. Remboelan apparently means full moon in Indonesian. I guess they named it that way because the design of the restaurant is circular, in the same way that a full moon is. Because of this circular layout which occupies quite a large space, it’s incredibly difficult to capture the ambience of the restaurant on film. As a result, I was not able to get any good shots of the interior.
As I mentioned in my 2 previous posts, I’m currently on some kind of quest to discover Indonesian food, and so far I’m loving it! Indonesian food is unique in that it's flavors are much more complex than the subtler tastes associated with most western cuisine. The cuisine has taken it’s influence from India, the Middle East, China, and even Europe. The main staple for Indonesian cuisine is rice which is called nasi in Indonesian. Rice is eaten with most dishes here, even with soup, which is somewhat an unusual concept for westerners.
I have to say I am a complete fan of Indonesian mixed rice dishes, which differ slightly from each of the Islands. Remboelan Soulfood, I was told offers it’s diners a range of dishes which are not unique to one Island. As I scanned through the menu which was brightly patterned, I noticed there were more than 6 different rice options. I had a hard time choosing which one I wanted more! In the end I settled for Nasi Bekat 38k, which is a rice dish combined with bean curd, tempe, beef, Indonesian vegetables, chili, coconut and herbs. The idea behind these mixed rice dishes is to mix all the elements together, to create what can only be described as an explosion of flavor! These tastes I feel are lost in translation as I can't really compare them to any other cuisine. The flavors of the Nasi Bekat, really complemented one another and it was a delight to eat. I noticed that Remboelan Soulfood also serve baked rice dishes which are marinated and cooked in banana leaves. I'm really interested to try those next time round. As I have little knowledge of Indonesian style seafood, I find it’s always better to get inspiration from others. I wanted to try something I wouldn’t usually order and the Fried Gurame Fish cooked in Mango Sauce, 85k, seemed like a good option. This it turned out, is one of their specialites. Gurame is a freshwater fish native to Asia. In fact I had never actually tasted Gurame Fish until I moved to Jakarta. The fish was deep fried so the skin was perfectly crispy on the outside and the flesh was deliciously succulent. This combined with the Mango Sauce and fragrant spices and was a clear winner for me. I loved the way all the flavors blended together to make for a super yummy seafood choice. It’s sweet and spicy flavor with the textures of delicate fish flesh and crispy skin, make for a really special dish. If you are coming to Remboelan Soulfood, be sure to order this one! When it comes to tofu, I have to say it’s one food I enjoy on any menu. Tofu is often seen as a substitute for meat because of it’s high in protein content. It is usually considered to be healthy, but tonight's version, I have to admit was not as healthy as you might think. Indonesian’s love to fry food and that is exactly how the next dish was prepared. Tahu Susur 22k, is basically fried tofu stuffed with carrot, cabbage and chicken. I have to admit this dish is damn tasty! As with the fried fish, the fried tofu is also crispy on the outside and inside you get the wonderfully silky tofu mixed with meat and vegetables for extra punch. If you prefer to add spice, this dish is served with raw green chilies. I really enjoyed this dish & chose to forget about the vast amount of calories I was consuming, at least for one night!
After the mains and appetizer were cleared, I was actually feeling quite full. Surely it was a bad idea to order a dessert! But greedy as I am, I just couldn’t finish without having something sweet. It’s no secret that I love Ice Cream, I have done since I was a small child when my mom used to take me for Ice Cream as a treat. Coconut is native to Indonesia and I think it works particulary well when it’s made into Ice cream. Recently I discovered a fruit which was completely new to me. It’s name is Kopyor and apparently it's a special type of Coconut which is quite rare. Kopyor has a unique flavor and when I saw it on the menu I decided to try the Kopyor Ice Cream. The dessert I ordered, which is called Malkie’s Tape Semarang 28k, is as traditional as it gets. The base is made from fermented Cassava which is then topped with Kopyor Ice cream. Cassava is neither sweet or bitter and it’s really a flavor I’m not familiar with. I enjoyed the coconuty flavor of the Kopyor Ice Cream. The fried Cassava was not really to my taste but I’m guessing that’s because I had eaten one too many fried things!
If you are looking for an Indonesian food in the Senayan area, Remboelan Soulfood is worth a try. I really enjoyed the seafood and would like to go back and try some of their other dishes. So happy eating! I will go on with my quest to find more tasty food to share with you.
Plaza Senayan Rotunda (4th Floor, Main Gate)
I like being surprised & sometimes I'm lucky enough to discover somewhere that I never knew existed. There's a certain excitement that comes with finding a hidden gem. Over the past week I’ve been trying to find restaurants that specialize in Padang cuisine. The only problem is I’m not looking for the typical Padang style of restaurants that you can find in high volume scattered all over Jakarta. Rather, i’m searching for something unique which apparently is not so easy to find in Jakarta. Or so I thought until today, when I stumbled upon a restaurant which seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. Enter Marco Padang Grill. This restaurant I learnt specializes specifically in Padang Cuisine which instantly grabbed my attention. Especially after I spotted some really appetizing dishes on their Instagram feed. This alone was enough to persuade me to brave the Friday night traffic from Senayan to Kuningan, where Marco Padang Grill is located.
On the restaurants very informative website, I learnt that Chef Marco hails from Padang. This in my eyes already made him perfectly qualified in the art of cooking Sumatran Cuisine. One of my favorite Indonesian dishes just so happens to be Rendang. Of course any Padang restaurant worth it's salt will offer Rendang as a staple. If you are wondering, Rendang is a traditional meat based dish rich in spices that can literally take up to 9 hours to cook. The meat is cooked slowly in coconut milk and spices, which allows it to absorb all the flavors. This traditional dish has gained global recognition for being one of the most delicious foods in the world. It’s safe to say, whenever I see Rendang on a menu, I'm more than happy to order it.
One of Chef Marco’s signature dishes is the Nasi Sayo. This dish is made from special high quality Solok rice. This Sumatran rice is so amazingly satisfying it only seems to take minutes to devour! It’s accompanied by a selection of vegetables, sambal (Indonesian chili dip) and crackers, all cooked in a special curry sauce, 16k. This dish I have to tell you is a taste sensation! All the elements work in perfect harmony to create a super yummy dish that I would highly recommend you try. I paired this with Marco’s Randang Itam 25k, which is Marco’s own special recipe. Due to the meticulous preparation of this dish whereby the beef is cooked in coconut milk and spices for hours, you'll see that end result is truly divine. I savored every last mouthful of Marco’s Rendeng dish. It mixed particularly well with the Nasi Sayo. I was already impressed by the food at Marco’s Padang Grill. First impressions really do count and this restaurant had already won me over. The seafood dishes on the menu looked equally as appetizing. I’m a big fan of Barramundi and I noticed at Marco Padang Grill, there are several Barramundi dishes on the menu. Because I’m partial to green chili, I selected the fried Barramundi, mixed with green chili and spices, 55k. This dish was deliciously spicy and marinated to perfection the result was another flavorsome dish which I really enjoyed. I found myself wondering if all the dishes at Marco’s Padang were equally as worthy!
I think this restaurant is ideal for anyone who wants to taste the delights of Padang cuisine. I would happily go back and try some of the other tempting dishes on the menu. I also noticed that this restaurant offers a very competitive pricing strategy. To prove my point, the Rendang dish for example costs a mere 25k, which I think is very reasonable for such a delectable treat.
You really know a restaurant is good when all the elements blend seamlessly together. I already mentioned how great the food is here but the ambience also plays a key part in the overall dining experience. Marco Padang has a very homely feel, making you feel comfortable enough to take your time and order more. Evidence of this came at the last minute when I decided to try one last thing. After having so much success with the main menu, I needed to know if the desserts would live up to the same high level. The Martabak Kelapa 15k, which is a type of Coconut Pancake looked particularly appealing. So how could I resist! The heavenly Martabak provided the perfect end to my love story with Padang Cuisine! The pancakes at Marco Padang are delightfully light with just the right level of sweet, which was something I can commend them highly for.
I really think that this restaurant is a great addition to Jakarta’s culinary scene. It’s offers very affordable great food in a perfectly nice setting. So well done Marco! I will definitely be back to try more really soon!
I travel to Singapore frequently and I’m rather happy to do so as it offers some respite from the craziness that is Jakarta. On my monthly visits, I try to visit places or do things which are either not readily available in Jakarta or have a different take on things. Cocktails are one of the things which I believe fall into the second category. I wouldn’t say that it’s impossible to get a well mixed cocktail in Jakarta but by the same token, it’s not incredibly easy. One evening while strolling through Singapore’s Arab Street, my friend suggested that we should try Maison Ikkoku. We actually went there searching for a well brewed coffee but when we took the stairs up to the bar, it became apparent that it's a bespoke cocktail bar. The coffee bar we later discovered was downstairs. Never mind, I really wanted to try the cocktails after I saw how skillfully the bartenders were mixing drinks. These creations were simply too good to pass on. So with little persuasion from me, my friend was convinced that coffee was officially off the menu!
There are 2 seating areas which you can choose from at Maison Ikkoku. As it was a pleasant evening, we decided to sit out on the rooftop which overlooks a beautiful Mosque. This part of Singapore is filled with culture and you could even be forgiven for thinking you were in some exclusive setting in Europe. The sounds of french and portuguese accents filled the air. I think if you closed your eyes you really could have been anywhere.
As I approached the bar, I had no idea that the cocktails are mixed to your exact preference. This is of course the best way to enjoy a cocktail of your choice. The bartenders are busy expertly making drinks for the clientele and even watching the process is inspiring. When you order your drink, just tell the bartender which liquor you prefer as a base for the drink. Also mention which kind of flavors you like. I chose rum as my base and berries for the flavor. My friend had chosen coffee as the flavor and left it up to the expertise of the highly proficient bartender to select the liquor. I watched fixated, as my drink was made. When the bartender finished his creation it was presented beautifully. If it tasted as good as it looked, this would be the first of many! The drink I must mention also contained a small scoop of sorbet. I was totally wowed when I tasted this wonderfully mixed drink. The fruit and sorbet disguised the fact that this drink actually contained a fair amount of alcohol. This was a perfect blend of berries and it ranked as one of the best cocktails I’ve tried world over. I knew this was exactly how a first rate cocktail should be. I would give this drink a 10 out of 10! My friends drink was coffee based and I don’t know what the alcohol the bartender used but her drink was also delicious and smooth. Tasting rather like a decadent dessert. I would give this drink a 9 or of 10, but only because my preference is not coffee based cocktails. I will add that the coffee cocktail was also one of the best of its kind I've tasted.
I would whole heartedly recommend going for a cocktail at Maison Ikkoku. It’s comparable to being in another world with your favorite drink! After this experience I assure you will be thinking about going back. When I’m next in Singapore, I will be sure to head down to Arab Street to get one of the best cocktails in town!
20 Kandahar Street Singapore 198885
T +65 6294 0078
F +65 6294 2616
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After a successful dining experience at an Indonesian restaurant earlier this week, I was inspired to find another South East Asian restaurant. As usual I asked friends for ideas and after debating, finally decided to try Penang Bistro. They have several branches across Jakarta. The one I'm reviewing is in Mega Kuningan. This is a central business district where many westerners live, work and eat out. I usually flat out refuse to go near that side of town due to the traffic situation in Jakarta. Traffic does seem to rule out many descions, eating included. But on a weekend traffic is considerably lower, so most places are easily reachable. During the week it’s good to know that they operate a number of restaurants across the city making it more accessible for you.
It’s worth mentioning that this is not my first time at Penang Bistro. My memories are somewhat blurred of the previous occasions though. I seem to remember trying the Roti Canai & if my memory serves correctly it was pretty damn good. The key is not to eat too much bread, it can be very filling. Trust me, don’t make the same mistake as me! Roti Canai or Roti Cane is a type of Indian-influenced flatbread found in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. In Indonesia, Roti Canai is called “Roti Cane” and is often accompanied with a lamb curry. At Penang Bisto they serve it with beef or chicken curry. If you haven’t tried this dish and are new to South East Asian cuisine I would recommend trying it here. As I scoured the menu, I was searching for something different to try. So armed with my willpower to stay away from the Roti Canai, I endeavored to find dishes which I hoped would light up my taste buds.
At Penang Bistro the menu is extensive, with offerings of seafood, meat, noodles and rice based dishes. As a westerner it can be somewhat daunting knowing what to choose. In asian culture, it’s often the custom to order a number of dishes and share. I have always preferred this because it allows you to try lots of different dishes on one outing. Somehow the sharing concept seems to add to the enjoyment. It would certainly help if you have any background knowledge with this type of cuisine. If you don’t, then dining with someone who knows the cuisine is equally as good. I say this because it is easier to pair the dishes with one another if you know the flavors. I fully admit I am no expert on South East Asian cuisine, therefore enlisting the help of whoever is dining with me is is one way of getting around it. Don’t be daunted if you haven’t tried these dishes though, part of the fun is seeing what you do and perhaps don’t like so much.
It’s often to case when you are not super knowledgeable, you invariably choose a dish which you already familiar with. This is exactly what I did & the result, well it was this was my least favorite dish of all. My point being, you really have to experiment in order to discover something new. I chose the Penang Char Kway Teow, which is a fried flat rice noodle dish, 51k. Penang Bistro’s Kway Teow is seafood based in a black sauce. I have eaten Kway Teow countless times at various restaurants cooked in Chinese, Indonesian and Malay styles. I would dare to say that the one at Penang Bistro is learning towards Indonesia style. The noodles I found to be nothing special. I’m not saying they were bad but I don’t think they challenged my taste buds in any special way. Next up I ordered the Lemongrass Beef Kelantan, 88k. I chose it based on the fact I enjoy Lemongrass based dishes. This offering did not disspoint. It was perfectly fragrant with an essence of Lemongrass and hints of curry. The Australian Beef in the dish is very tender and worked well with the spiced sauce. South East Asian cuisine is not only about spice but also textures. To balance the textures of both the noodles and the beef a little crispness was required. Too add that extra crunch, I ordered the Ebi String Beans. They were perfectly al dente & well seasoned. The dish which really brought everything together, was the Penang Hainanese Spring Rolls. Crispy on the outside filled with vegetables and chicken cooked in a Penang Style. What really made these Spring Rolls work was the yummy Soy Bean dip that comes as an accompaniment. I felt satisfied with the dinner selection, even more so due to the fact I'm mostly familiar with this type of cuisine. Next time round, I will carry on pushing the boundaries with my taste buds.
I’m now at a point where I simply love to discover unfamiliar cuisine. There is a certain pride which you feel when you stumble across a new restaurant. Penang Bistro is what I call a mid range restaurant. If you talk about ambience, I prefer their restaurant in Pakubwono. The restaurant in Mega Kuningan is divived into 2 rooms. Smoking and no smoking. The no smoking room being the larger of the two. If you are looking to sample some local cuisine, you might want to give Penang Bistro a go. If its your first time I suggest you try the Roti Canai. It looks great and it really is quite delicious. Just be careful if you are on a diet when you visit!
Kebayoran Baru, Jl Pakubuwono VI, no.2, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan
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So, I've just arrived home from yet another successful dining experience at Crystal Jade Palace, located in the East Building of Grand Indonesia Mall. I really wanted to share this with you guys while it’s still fresh in my mind. So now I’m glued to my trusty Mac writing this! Oh yes, this is the way I love to spend my Friday nights, because writing about food is never tiring! The first time I heard about this restaurant, I immediately assumed that the menu would be identical to the other branches of the Crystal Jade chain of restaurants located throughout Jakarta. I’m happy to report this is not the case. Crystal Jade Palace is something of a novelty in Jakarta. It serves high quality cuisine at a standard which beats some 5 star hotels who offer Cantonese cuisine in the city. As proof of that fact, tonight was my third visit to CJP. In fairness to the restaurant, the only reason I don’t go more often, is because of the location. It can be kinda annoying for people to reach in an evening if they are driving. This is of course due to the infamous 3 in 1 car system down Jalan Sudirman. Please don’t get me started on Jakarta’s never ending traffic problems! I’m just feeling somewhat content. Today was actually Friday 13th and I experienced a zero traffic situation AND a super satisfying dinner. Consider it a win, win in this City!
The menu is kind of inspiring to me. I love Cantonese cuisine and at CJP I could literally order everything! On the last visit I ordered the Seafood Kwetiau which is actually a Malay inspired dish. This evening I felt like trying the Singaporean Fried Noodles, 75k and the Braised Homemade Bean Curd in a casserole style, 75k. The later comes with mushrooms and fish. I have to say they really nailed this dish. The tofu dish is also delicious, a great texture and not in the least bit heavy. The moment the Singaporean Fried Noodles arrived at the table I knew they would be supper yummy. They immediately reminded me of the noodles that my friends mom had cooked back in the UK. This was good because as well as being a great cook, she's a restauranteur from Hong Kong. I would not hesitate to order either of those dishes again. As a starter I opted for the deep fried cuttle fish with salt & pepper. Another hit, the batter is perfectly crisp and light, even though it’s a fried dish, there is no trace of oil. The cuttlefish is fresh and a pleasure to dip into the excellent chili oil. That reminds me, in my opinion any Cantonese restaurant that’s worth it’s salt, should serve great chili oil. I’m happy to tell you the one at CJP is hands down the best I have found in any Cantonese restaurant in Jakarta. It’s perfect, I really cannot fault it. The good thing is, you can actually buy it for 100k. In my opinion if you are eating Chinese food at home it’s well worth the spend. On previous visits I haven't ordered a dessert. But as a rule I say that any good dinner should be finished with a dessert, so as to close the palate. I opted for the Avocado Pudding, 25k. Initially it was the Avocado which tempted me. I hastily ordered it without even bothering to read the full description on the menu! So when it arrived, I was even happier to discover that the dish is almond bean curd based. The almond bean curd is both subtle and smooth with the essence of avocado. This is a very subtle dessert and a delight for the taste buds, I personally really enjoyed it.
I don't know about you guys but I have personally found that you really can learn a lot about restaurants from other people. I am thankful for the day on which I had a conversation with a stranger about Chinese restaurants in Jakarta. This was his recommendation and what a great one it is. This is one of Jakarta's best Cantonese restaurants in my humble opinion. The ambience of the dining room features dark mahogany wood with splashes of red decor not to forget the ever present chandeliers. It definitely has a certain elegance to it. Perfect for all kinds of occasions or just simply lunch or dinner. I am yet to try their dim sum. If its as good as the A la Carte menu, they will be seeing a lot more of me! If you love Chinese food, especially if you familiar with Cantonese cuisine, my guess is you will love it. So happy eating guys! I left the restaurant tonight feeling very satisfied, there are so many things which CJP are doing right.
Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant
Grand Indonesia East Mall Unit #EM-UG-33A
Ph: (021) 2358 0768
Sometimes I just get the urge to change things up, spice things up a little if you know what I mean. How easy it is to slip into a routine and before you know it, that very routine is hard to break. I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to have my go-to restaurants. By this I mean places that consistently deliver food which satisfies me without fail. Nothing comes without pros and cons though. The very fact of having your favorite place or places can keep you from exploring new things. Then I was wondering, surely that's part of the fun about dining out. Discovering new places to share with family and friends? It’s fair to say that I love asian cuisine but strangely enough, even though I live in Indonesia I rarely eat Indonesian cuisine. Maybe it comes down to the fact that I’m less familiar with it than other types of cuisine. So this evening as I trawled through yet another of Jakarta’s malls, I decided I wanted to sample some Indonesian cuisine. I had already heard of the restaurant I chose at Lotte Shopping Avenue. I discovered online that it has a fairly high rating on TripAdvisor. When I arrived, I was pleased to see that most diners were Indonesian, a good sign that the food should be authentic.
Seribu Rasa has 3 restaurants in Jakarta the first one is located in the Menteng area of Jakarta. They have one at Gandaria City Mall and the one I’m writing this review on is at Lotte Shopping Avenue Mall in Kuningan. As you walk into the restaurants the air is scented with jasmine and the dark wood decor really offers you a sense of relaxation. It is comfortable and busy enough to know that they are doing something right. The menu focuses on a mix of Indonesian and South East Asian cuisine. I noticed that as well as Indonesian dishes, Malay and Thai inspired dishes are also present on the menu. This is my second visit to Seribu Rasa & I wanted to try different dishes to the ones I had previously tasted. Although I gotta say it was hard to stay away from ordering the Beef Rendang, which in my opinion is excellent. One good experience always tempts me back to try more dishes, which is what any good restaurant should be aiming for. I ended up choosing the Nasi Sayur Medan 65k. Which is a traditional rice dish served with beef rendang, spicy tofu shrimp, stewed vegetables in coconut milk with a peanut condiment. I really loved everything about this dish. The depths of flavor, the spices and the amazing rendang which is part of the dish left me feeling very satisfied. I would highly recommend trying it if you haven’t already. Being a fairly new restaurant for me I wanted to try more. As I was already in the mood for noodles, I ordered the Mie Jawa. This is a Javenese traditional fried noodle dish with seafood and vegetables, 57k. This dish did not particularly wow me as the rice dish had but I did enjoy it all the same. As always it’s a matter of personal taste as to which dishes you will prefer. I seemed to be more partial to sumatran dishes at this restaurant. I also think the Beef Rendang which I tried on my last visit deserves a mention. This dish is a must. If either you have never tried Rendang, or haven’t tried it at Seribu Rasa. Go ahead and order it, I’m guessing you will be back for more! The Beef Rendang is well priced at 90k.
This restaurant was a welcome surprise to me. I was impressed with the dishes I’ve tried so far. I think it's a great choice for anyone wanting to sample an array of cuisine from the Indonesian Islands. That’s why I would recommend it if you are curious about trying the specialities from these places. I feel that their prices are very affordable for enjoyable food in a nice environment. I’m quite sure I will be visiting this restaurant in the near future to explore the menu further and take more photos to share on my blog. Thanks for a new experience Seribu Rasa!
Lotte Shopping Avenue
Jl. Prof Doktor Satrio no.5
Tel : +6221 2988 9318
This blog contains snapshots from our cafe hopping meet ups and other places we visit. We are 2 friends who both love City life, style and social media. You can also connect with us through Instagram which we update daily.