Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Celebration with Pannacotta Etc (And Giveaways!)

" It's the most wonderful time of the year. It's the hap-happiest season of all."

A song by Andy Williams in the 60's and still hitting radioplays until now. What a beautiful legacy one can leave behind. This makes me reminisce a year back when this all started. Have I made a worthwhile legacy, a good pictorial and heads up on each review? With this in mind, will continually evolve and improve.

As some of you might've known, Wanderbites Studio is already underway and I've started photo collaboration with several chefs, restos, and magazines. They can be viewed here. That means you can expect more appetizing foodporn as I develop skills behind the camera. ;) Other than that, several ideas are juggling into culmination next year. Pray that I have extra energy to make it all happen.

To close this year, I dedicated this post, a post of festivity, a celebration of gratitude to you Biters who have been a faithful readers to this blog, to foodplaces who has made my belly happy and happier, to fellow food bloggers who has spiced up my 2011 with joy and laughter. You all have made this year wonderful for me.

I hope you enjoy this post. And read through, I'm giving away PRIZES for two lucky Biters. Alrighty, let's open up the box!


As I first laid eyes on this thing, I found love. It's everywhere as you can see in the design, the details, the colors, the choice of fonts and the wording in the packaging are just lovely. I spent the next 3 minutes observing it. Love does come in a box. 

The people behind Pannacotta Etc must've put a serious thought and effort from conception to execution. Somehow this fueled up my passion. "A thing this awesome deserve an awesome photo as well." I said to myself. Automatically I ran to grab my gears, tables, tablewares, etc etc. Forty minutes after, I was in-the-zone, and here's the outcome. =)

Love in a box <3

I'm always fascinated by foodplaces who only serve a few (or even a handful) of distinct menu to choose from. To one extreme is Rotiboy or Deli Manjoo. It proves an anomali that while you can't satisfy everyone, you can satisfy quite a lot of people with a few option and still keep your business profitable. And now Pannacotta Etc have join the hood I suppose. Three option and that's it. I love how they staged customer's encounter with their products.

The Infatuation begins here says Classic Panna Cotta with Butterscotch
The Celebration begins here says Toffee Nut Panna Cotta with White Cream
The Addiction begins here says Classic Panna Cotta with Baileys

Toffee Nut Panna Cotta w/ White Cream

Classic Panna Cotta w/ Baileys
Among all three I'd say the infatuation is my favorite. Probably it's the first encounter effect, but the slightly bitter yet creamy butterscotch suits my tastebud very well. It reminds me of creme brulee only with a more gelatine-like texture. My second favorite would be .... both of the others. Haha. They're both equally good. And considering the size, I'd say everyone should go through all phase and try out all taste in one run like I did. It ended with a huge grin on my face.


I wish I could meet the founders and say it to them in person. Well, until then I hope you liked the photos and reviews. Oh, and I almost forgot, PRIZES! =D


Here's how you could win a boxful of Pannacotta Etc:
1. Follow our twitter @Wanderbites
2. Choose your favorite blogpost from
3. Tweet it (with links to your fav post), and use the hashtag #wanderbitesfav

This Christmas celebration giveaway opens from today December 24th, 2011 and close on January 10th, 2012 midnight and only for Jakartans (or anybody who's willing to travel to Jakarta to pick up the prizes =p) Two winners will be drawn with random generator. So keep the tweets coming Biters!

I'm looking forward to see your happy faces tasting that Panna Cotta.

Happy Jingling and Twinkle-ing

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites
Snack on my instagram @Captainruby
Email me at


Pannacotta Etc
T: @pannacotta_etc
Ph: 0853-1111-9868

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Karē Frenzy at Mr. Curry

"Mr. Curry was a legendary chef from Curry Land. Together with Mango-nyan, they travelled the world in search of the ultimate curry. They finally stumbled upon the finest curry in Japan & now are coming to introduce the goodness of Japanese Curry." 

While sounded a little corny, the description they put out in their website reveals more that it meets the eyes. Mango is the very ingredient that shaped their curry. It resulted in a proportionate mixture of sweet and savory that's more suitable to the Indonesian tongue, as compared to its spicier counterpart, Indian curry.

As I recall there's only several foodplaces to go to in Jakarta. While my favorite is still my hometown Bagan Siapi-api pork curry, Mr. Curry is definitely one of the select few to consider. As another establishment under Ismaya Group you can expect a good combination of strong concept, creative execution and continuous innovation. I discover these on my last visit to Mr Curry at their newly opened joint in Pondok Indah Mall 2.

To cut the story short, let's have dinner shall we?

Korokoro Tofu - Crunchy exterior, soft interior. Perfectly enjoyed with chilli dip.

Korokoro Tofu was the first meal summoned to jumpstart my appetite. It did just right with the bite size diced tofu. Crunchy
exterior meets soft interior. Dip it in the chili sauce that accompanies it for an extra kick.

For the mains I had Chicken Katsu Curry, Curry Ramen, Assorted Mushroom Omurice, and Spaghetti Curry. Among them all my favorite was the Omurice and Curry Ramen.

Chicken Katsu Curry - Your typical katsu with Mr. Curry Original Sauce
Assorted Mushroom Omurice - Go for Tomato rice instead of Butter rice.
As someone who love egg, my tastebud was entertained by the well cooked buttery omelet blend in very well with the mushroom sauce. And the great thing is that you get two sauce for the price of one. I had fun tasting them in turns. I don't think you'll get bored with this dish. Especially with the option to change into tomato rice, and several other interesting sauces and toppings. I'd definitely come back to Mr. Curry for this.

My second favorite is the curry ramen which I personally consider as the most promising meal in the menu. Why? Cause you see in the photo a crowd of toppings but when it arrived, it was nothing more than a pair of egg cut in half and a slice of salmon. Disappointing knowing that its a small improvement that Mr. Curry can bear I guess. On a side note, I loved the idea of having a ultra thick curry broth on a ramen which I rarely find anywhere else.
Ramen Curry - Especially attracted by the thick soup. More toppings please?

Manggo Smoothie - Sweet, fruity, lovely thick juice. Like!
In between the meal, these two drinks was the thirst quencher. A fun, fruity, refreshing Mango Smoothie and the equally refreshing Berry Lassie for those who fond of soury taste. It is a bit hard to describe precisely the taste of lassi, but just so you have an idea, it is a yogurt-based drink originated from India.

Berry Lassi - For those who fond of soury taste.
As the dinner getting near to the end, I was presented with these two lovely desserts. Macha Caramba and A Dash of Fruit Splash.

Matcha Caramba - A must try!

There's something different about Macha Caramba. Its green tea ice cream connects very well with the toasted bread. And the interesting part is that all sides of the cubical toast gets toasted equally. Word from the kitchen is they brought a specific oven from Japan just to get it perfectly toasted. Give it a try and then you'll know what I meant.

Along with the Omurice, this is another menu I'd surely crave for from Mr. Curry. Plus it's definitely worth the price tag.

All in all it was a belly satisfying night. Many thanks to Mila and Grace from Ismaya who made the night enjoyable despite of the long two hours traffic just to get to the place. It was all worth it I guess.

Until the next tasting, so long Biters.

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer


Mr. Curry
Pondok Indah Mall 2, Restaurant Row, Level 3
Ph: 021-75920666
T: @mrcurry_

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Healthy Meal : Collaboration With Chef Rinrin Marinka & Go Girl Magazine


As I promised, here's a look of my latest collaboration with Chef Rinrin Marinka. For those who watched Masterchef Indonesia should already have a hint of who she is. For me, my first meeting with Rinrin was through her amazingly scrumptious Green Tea Cake at Jakarta Culinary Festival 2010. I can still recall the clash of sweet macha layer and sour passionfruit. Yummy! It was lovely to taste her cooking again, and this time meeting her in person.

The theme we're aiming was healthy meal alternatives. And so she create these two menu especially for Go Girl Magazine: Hello Muscle for breakfast and Salmon Buckwheat for lunch.

Helping out behind the scene was Didit, Yence, Rianty, & Mba Ika from Go Girl Magazine. I'm thankful working alongside them, a group of passionate people with great work ethic. Alrighty, I shall not spoil the details here, let these photos tell the story.

Wise up! Eat up!

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

PS: For Christmas gifts and parcels you can email me at for details =p Nah, I'm joking. But seriously ...

It's a wrap! Thus the happy, relieved faces.

My very first take home assignment. Love the baby tomatoes!
If only this is my breakfast everyday.
A good companion for those on weight-loss diet.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sweet Temptation // Collaboration with Go Girl Magazine & Keisha Xaviera

I'm one of those who's fascinated with creation. From zero to hero. From a blank piece of paper to artistic sketch. From raw ingredients to belly fulfilling food. This time I had the chance to make it happen.

My very own version of creation: from nothing into a piece of mouth watering pictures. The canvas was mine to paint.

It was because of this excitement, this chills in the bone, this urge for creation that got me saying 'yes' to this project on such a short notice. One day preparation, one day shoot, and voila! I hope it accomplishes its purpose: to drool each and every one of you Biters.

I'd like to take this session to thank personally Yohanes Radityo for being such a warm, patient, and encouraging compadre during the photo shoot, his artistic inputs really kept me inspired. Rianty and Yence for the hands on touches on styling the foods, doing the extra mile of grocery shopping and helping out in the kitchen. Thank you the anonymous Shinta Himura for hooking us up. Young chef Keisha Xaviera, thank you for letting us make a huge mess in your kitchen, the desserts are lovely and yummy. I'm just happy to see such talent in youths like you. Keep it up.

I love it when all the chemistry work. We were all in this together. I had such a fun times with you guys. Really awesome people, keep making your awesome mark in the world. 

Oh, if any of you want to order one of these you can call the chef right away at 0818681351. My personal favorite is the chocolate choco pie and apple crisp. I hope you like it too. =)


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist, Photographer, & Just being a bit too Emotional at the moment.

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites

PS: I think I'd like to see you guys again over dinner, or maybe another photoshoot? =D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

For The Love of Wasabi

Truth Hurts

Do you know there's a good 90% chance that the wasabi you're having at your favorite sushi joint is not real?

The simplest rule of thumb to differentiate is to taste them bare, just the wasabi, and see if the hot tingling feeling attack your tongue or your nostrils. If it's the earlier, then I could argue 99% its not real wasabi. It's usually made from a mix of horseradish, mustard, and green coloring. 


Sad isn't it? For the premium price we pay for Japanese food, you would only expect the best authentic ingredients. But apparently the price of real wasabi is reserved for high-end restaurants. At $99 per 500 gram (source: Real only a few can afford it.

However, this just adds my curiosity even more. I wanted to taste the real wasabi grounded from the root. Several source claimed it to (of course) attack the nostril with a glimpse of sweetness on the palate. I also wonder if the hot tingling sensation is similar to that of the 'fake' wasabi or is it exquisitely different? A question I will continually seek for answer until I have the chance to taste it myself.

That's a whole 'notha story. Now you've gotta be wondering what constitute the expensive price? The answer is simple, and you might find it in almost all primary school economic book.


Wasabi plant is one of the most difficult plant to grow considering the selective climate that it requires, the treatment of growing, and also the two years gap it takes to grow from seedlings to maturity. In contrast with that, the worldwide increasing demand for wasabi. In the end demand supersede supply and create imbalance of trade, thus the high price.

In Japan itself, only several areas are suitable for large scale wasabi cultivation namely Shizuoka, Nagano, Shimane, Yamanashi, and Iwate prefecture.

Here's a look of a wasabi farm in Nagano. My dad happen to visit it sometime ago, I hope it shed some light to you Biters.


Wasabi plant grows naturally along stream beds in mountain river. In several areas, they are planted on terraces with a continuous flow of mountain spring water. Below is a quick look of the like in Shizuoka (source: Shizuoka Gourmet)

The most interesting thing is that the water coming in to one section of bed terrace is directly tunneled out so that it wont contaminate other sections. This allows only bed sands and water to come into the field, nothing else.


A wasabi that reaches maturity will grow to one meter height. It will be harvested mainly for the root, the leaves can be eaten raw or pickled, the stems will be pickled in Sake and become what they call "Wasabi Tsuke". In other words from top to bottom each part of wasabi plant is usable and edible.

Other than being used as sushi companion, research has also develop wasabi as a material to wake deaf people up in the case of emergency. An attempt that has redeem the group of Japanese researchers the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

All in All

This little plant still fascinates me somehow even with all the things I wrote up there. I suppose this curiosity can only be cured by actually eating the 'real' one. If you do know where I could find them, let me know. ;) Here's a look of the real wasabi, grounded using a dried sharksfin.

Arigato Gozaimashita, Haik!

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist, Photographer & Wasabi Lover

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Un Pranzo Piacevole In Pesto Autentico

 One enjoyable lunch at Pesto Autentico.

Indeed it was. Upon entering the venue, I was greeted directly by the manager in charge and led to my reserved table next to the window (perfect lighting for a quickie photoshoot). Was so excited to finally try this place. I've been in love with their design, interior and their simple catchy name for quite a while.

And so with the menu in my hand I ordered me-self a bunchful of Italian delicacies.

I started off with Classico Pane Italiano to kickstart my empty belly, a little virgin olive to oil my digestion system and a sip of Pesto Signature Tea to get it ready for some muscular heavy food munching activity. These bread are of course compliment of the house. And so just as with any compliment, I don't want to spoil myself with it. Took a tiny bite and that's it. Too much of a compliment is not good for anybody.

A couple second after, I get a message from my belly informing that he is ready for the big party. Just in time! The Fettucinne alla Pescatora came few minutes afterward. You've got to look at the generous amount of shrimp and squid, not too mention the portion big enough to satisfy two belly. I also love the creamy sauce. It came with a perfect combination of salt and sweet for my liking. The only setback is that I couldn't taste the white wine that they said was part of the bechamel sauce. It feels almost like being lied to. Or maybe I'm just too sensitive. Nevermind.

Coming up second on the main course list was the Rustica Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, cooked ham, and mushrooms).

While the picture might get you stunned and drooling, the taste is somewhat far from what their beauty projected. On my defense, it was too Italian (so much for an italian-sounding name Rubs). On their defense, my tongue is too Indonesian. Both are correct, and thankfully there's a win-win solution ... Heinz Tomato Sauce! Yes! That bottle of tomato literally saved my appetite. So Pesto, there's a hint for you. There might be a reason behind if you keep finding yourself running out of tomato sauce.

Bread, bread, and some more bread. I just had enough of it halfway through my lunch, hence I asked my Panacotta to be served. This time I have to thank their lack of rum because its just what I wanted. My tongue simply refuses rum mixed in any kind of food. But this one, is just right, maybe not on the extraordinary end, but a sweet closure to my lunch, oh yes!

Overall, I had a satisfying first encounter with Pesto. As I mentioned earlier their warm and inviting interior is always a plus for me.

Will I come back? Hmm. I definitely will IF and ONLY IF Disdus offer another promo voucher. =p Don't you agree Biters?

Looking forward to hear your Italiano feedback.

Adios Biters,

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist, Photographer, and I swear that Italian sounding name is just my parents creativity.

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites
Or catch my Instagrams @Captainruby


Pesto Autentico
Thamrin Nine, UG Floor
Ph: 29937230
T: @PESTOautentico

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Now Cooking - Krispy Kreme Doughnut Cafe Central Park

 Before we start, I'm gonna set this right. I've never been a big fan of doughnuts. When everyone's hyping about J.Co all I did was sit and stare at the strange sudden increase in people's liking toward something that has been there for years. Its the same thing with a tweak on fancy names, added with a couple of downlight in the room to create enjoyable atmosphere, an extra free wifi and bingo! You've got a whole new crowd lining up behind you.

With that in mind, when an invitation came to the so called "VIP Opening Party" at Central Park, I was quite intrigued to see what's more there to offer. What innovation could possible be made in the already saturated market. Which additional market segment they can target now. Would they be the first to successfully alter my doughnut indifference a step forward toward 'liking'.

And so I went.

To my surprise, I'm not surprised. Well, of course the new colorful and cozier interior helps in boosting the mood. Of course the outdoor open space looks inviting especially for smoker. Of course the addition of new menus adds curiosity. But is that it? I kept questioning but stayed expectant. I should hold my director's commentary until I get the taste of the new menu, Baked Creations.

After a long queue, me and fellow food bloggers finally have Baked Creations in hand.

1#, Pull Apart, which is another name for a doughnut like sweet bread with four selections, Pepperoni Pizza, Double Cheese, Sausage & Cheese, Smoked Beef & Cheese.

2#, Kruffins, which simply means muffins with a hole. It comes with a few different flavors: Triple Chocolate, Apple Streusel, Blueberry and Chocolate Banana.

Up to this point, I'm still not surprised. The Pull Apart series is something I would let you try just to cool off the curiosity and that's it. I didn't find anything special. The Kruffins though is worth several try. As I'm a good consumer of muffins, well my opinion is bended, I enjoyed most muffins, particularly the ones that are served hot. Too bad, that night they weren't as freshly baked as I expected but still worth the bite.

For the doughnuts, they only served the original glazed that night. I might have to pay another visit to assemble opinion and find which is acceptable for my liking. A visit, that might be delayed into another week, another week or even a year. I'm still as indifference as I was toward doughnut. They are still a bunch of pricey piece of bread with a hole and a junkful of calories and sugar that I don't need.

That's just me. How about you, Biters?

One thing I know they surely look drooling.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites


Krispy Kreme Doughnut Café
Central Park Mall -
Ground Floor - Tribeca Park
Jl. Let. Jend. S. Parman Kav. 28

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Being Nostalgic at Ta Wan Restaurant Jakarta

Family. Its the first thing that I recall whenever I think, see, or hear about Ta Wan. This can be traced back to my very first encounter with this foodplace that specialize in Chinese cuisines. It was a day of celebration, while I forgot what was it about, but I remembered walking along Mega Mal (now Pluit Village) fourth floor with parents, bro and sis, came in and had a big feast.

I always carry the same nostalgic mood on my visit afterwards. But then there's a long vacuum, its almost like Ta-Wan went off my food radar for years. I blame it on my newly found curiosity towards new food that I rarely try out Chinese's again. Until a while ago, an invitation come by to taste Ta Wan branch in Pacific Place. I was more than happy to revisit the taste I've forgotten.

Here's a recap of what me, Umay and Tari had that night. Thanks to you two for your patience, for letting me mess the food before we eat. Hahaha.

Eat up!

Fried Shrimp w/ Pineapple Sauce

I vote this to be the highlight of the night. The queen of the dishes, simply because I'm a fan of this particular party of flavor, the dance among sweet, sour, and spicy. Second, the use of pineapple is quite uncommon, so its a thumb up for the dare. And lastly lets not forget, its shrimp!

Crispy Fried Enoki Mushroom

I'm a huge fan of enoki. I loved it when it wrapped with beef and become Gyu Enoki at Sushi Tei. I loved it when it's mixed among vegetables in a bowl of suki. There's a distinct texture that I like while munching them. It's gone with this one, and replaced with a crunch. To the truth, I'm still in a love-hate relationship with it until now.

Black Pepper Beef

Enjoyed this one. It's blackpepper after all. A glance at the photo and you'll understand. =9

Three Flavored Porridge

This said to be the distinguishing specialty of Ta Wan. I'd have to agree and disagree. Agree for its portion, taste, and generous amount of meat (fish fillet, chicken breast, and shrimp). Disagree because its porridge, I just don't enjoy 'em. I'm sorry. Porridge is not in my dictionary of delicacies. But for you who eat porridge, this one is good to go for.

Spicy & Salty Squid

Enough said. I can imagine you mouth starts to water. I just don't know why, whenever I go Chinese, I order this menu and they always leave me satisfied. This one as well.

Kung Pao Chicken

While I enjoy the taste, I would appreciate it even more if its served with cashew nut instead of ordinary ground nut. The ground nut kinda extract the exoticism out of this dish.


To conclude, I had to say, until now, Ta Wan is still one of my go to place for family dinner for the romance and also it gives me a certain level of comfort knowing that their cooking rarely go wrong while it doesn't always especially stand out. However, for the price I'm paying, its well worth it. You can find them at their many branches, Taman Anggrek Lower Ground, Pacific Place, Pluit Village, Ciputra Mal, to name a few.

If you have a similar place where its nostalgic for you, do share. =)

Cai Cien Biters,

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist, Photographer, and a Proud Chinaman

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites
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