Sunday, January 30, 2011

Going Spicycrazy At Kamikaze Chicken

Hi fellow Biters and Wanderers. How's your weekend? I hope you had a terrific one just as I did. My formula of a blissful weekend is simple : good friends + good food. And this time I got to taste the newly opened Kamikaze Chicken. Tried it out the first time out of curiosity, this is the story of my second comeback. And you know what that means. Mmhmm. It is that good, let's start.

This beautiful cup of cold ocha (pictured above) welcomed me in less than a minute (plus point for the service). I took a quick sip of it, letting the aroma sink deep into my palate. It was one interesting ocha, tasted different than any other, a bit more powdery than leafy. In a way it reminded me of chef Rinrin Marinka's green tea cake at Jakarta Culinary Festival 2010. It was one good cup and the best thing is of course the free refill. A short while after the set menu arrived in a well presented wooden tray. It wasn't photo friendly though, so I'm leaving it as a surprise for you when you get there. =) Here's what on my tray:

Kimchi Chanan (Kimchi Fried Rice). Its sticky form, minor kimchi flavor, and ungenerous portion of kimchi topping slightly impaired my mood as I was truly expectant for this new dish. Good thing I also ordered the Kani Corn Salad and Sishito as the side dishes. Sweet, creamy, savory sauce mixed with fresh fresh veggies always delight my tastebud. At this moment, I've bounced back to my gleeful mood only to be dissed again on the Sishito. Maybe it was my Javanese-inclined tongue that has always been poor in accepting soft mushy textured dishes.


I saved the best for the last. =D The signature dish of this food place, Tebasaki (Chicken Wing) with Kamikaze Sauce. Rated the hottest sauce in their menu, this is exactly what I expect to pamper my taste buds and my belly with. Simply looking at the mouth watering reddish coating has jump my appetite to a level I can't contain. I finished all five in less than five minutes (oops =p). That's how good it was for me.

I liked how they managed to keep the inner deep fried chicken crunchy after all the thick spicy coating, and not to mention the extra pepperish-tabasco-like sauce. Word on the street says it is made of Naga Jolokai (ghost chili) grown in India. This Guinness World Record winner chili claimed to taste 400 times hotter than Tabasco. It wasn't that hot for me, but still I remember sweating my face out while savoring every tiny bit of this Tebasaki. Only one thing I wasn't in favor with, after biting off the crunchy layer, the meat was baretaste. Almost like the seasoning was skin deep only. The rest was one good dish. Paid 48k for one fulfilling set menu. I'd surely coming back for more hotness I couldn't find anywhere else.

Cheers to all who love spicy hot food,

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Enthusiast & Photographer


Kamikaze Chicken
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Fashion District Level 3A
Ph: 021-2358 1878

Friday, January 28, 2011

Muffins House - Muffins To Crave For

I love it when things get specific, narrowed-down, focused, cause then you'll get specialized and eventually you become the best in what you do. I believe the same thing work for food and resto. You gotta narrow it down to one culinary subset and further to one signature dish. That's what you'll be remembered for. You must have it on your head right? Things like "oh, you should go to Cake Away for their tiramisu" or "no one can beat coconut pudding at Maystar". The same thing goes for Muffin House.

Being a muffin supporter myself (meaning: an opposition for cupcakes! =P), this is currently my go-to place for scrumptious fresh-from-the-oven muffins. Their variety of flavor range from the classics like chocolate chip and blueberry muffins to the inventives like cheese muffins and caramel muffins pictured above and below. Ain't that appetizing? And adding to their delicious warm soft-baked texture is the healthy ingredients they use. Claiming to have no artificial additives or preservatives, they also alternate their use of butter with thoughtful choices of olive oil or canola. Not to mention their fiber abundant choice of wholewheat muffins.

My current favorite is the caramel muffin and the chocolate muffin. You have got to taste that thick layer of cocoa that looks like overflowing from a cup. Guaranteed to stain your nose and cheeks. =p 

Priced reasonably in 10-15k range (plus the extra discount if you own BNI CC), I wouldn't mind to have this as my daily breakfast or afternoon snack. Dang! I'm craving for it already. Give it a taste and let me know if you crave for it the day after. 

Cupcakes are overrated. Go splendor these Muffins!

Muffins House
FX Lifestyle X'nter , FB # B
Jenderal Sudirman
Jakarta Selatan, 10270  
Ph: 021-25554268

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If I Had My Own Food Place

I was sitting on my working chair when a thought came to me. What if I could have my own restaurant? How would i like it to be?

Having spent quite some time in Sydney and having the privilege to visit Max Brenner as a regular, I used to have in mind the similar yet different medium-sized cafe with bricks and stones, indoor space and outdoor space on rooftop, dimmed light, wood interiors, shelves with collections of chocolates from countries around the world, and a huge diorama of chocolate-process from cocoa tree to a bar (basically a mini Wonka Factory). Oh and maybe, just maybe, a sushi-train-like section, but of course instead of sushi, you'll have various selections of chocolate based food.

Also a chocolate tasting section where I'll have myself with my toque and double breasted white jacket, leading a group of people to try the wonderful varieties of chocolate products, from fudges to truffles, candies to cookies. Astound them with the fact that Indonesia is on the top three cocoa-producing countries, interest them with the differing taste of Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario cocoa beans, and of course brainwash them with all the goodness and health that chocolate can bring. To end the treat, everyone will get the chance to make their own mix of chocolate with their favorite fillings, nuts to liquor, in their favorite size and shapes, have each of them stamped with their personal name.

I'll have it named after this blog. Wanderbites! Chocolate & Beyond. The tag line will be "Let's Get Chocolate High!" And just like Max Brenner, I'll have my face in vector character instead of his bald head. Ha! I'll probably be the first chinese-looking-guy to ever brand his face in a chocolate bar. =P That would be the kind of legacy I totally looking forward to leave this world with.

Besides, its a disturbing fact for me, Indonesia is one of the largest cocoa producing countries but doesn't even make it to the top ten chocolate consumers. I'd like to recall the famous tale where a bunch of explorers come into a remote island and see the natives wear no footwear at all. Would you be the one saying "hey nobody wear shoes here, they don't need it, they don't want it, lets head out" or you'd be the one jumping euphoricly screaming "nobody wear shoes yet! this is a huge market!".

You know which one I'll be.

Before all my chocolate dream happen to reality, have a glimpse of it here, this might just be the perfect fountain to put in the middle of Wanderbites! Chocolate & Beyond:

(a little poll: after seeing this video do you agree that Asians are the best in capturing amateur travel documentary?)

And another one, that totally surpasses my idea at this link.  And interestingly, it came from a guy named Maurits Rubinstein. Hmm, fate has its unique way to connect us, Rubies, and chocolates. =D

Oh, it's a couple weeks to Valentine's day. Get ready. Let's get chocolate high!

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Enthusiast & Photographer

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Would You Like To Have Extra Gold Toppings, Sir?

Hi all. I'm currently reading Extreme Cuisine by Jerry Hopkins. For you the weak-hearted, I suggest to leave this book behind, some of the pictures depicted are foul to the eyes. From monkeys, to bats, or cockroach, you name it, its all true and happening at the other side of the world. For me, I'm one curious neophile and looking forward to try these extreme food. But relax, today we're not going to touch that. Today, i'm interested in Gold. Yes, turns out that expensive rare metal has been used over centuries as ingredients. Let me take you through some of the interesting ones. 

Sometime in late 80's and early 90's, during the Japanese economic boom and the riches were discovering ways to leisure in their extra fortune, the fad at the time was food garnished with real gold. Restaurants in major cities like Tokyo began offering menus ranging from curry to ice cream with gold sprinkles on top. The popular one was sushi wrapped in gold leaf served along with the traditional seaweed wrapped sushi. This trend arise at the time as restaurant owners realized this was a considerably simple way to increase the value of their meals. How's that possible? That's real 22 carats gold! 

Here's how. These gold flakes appear to have more volume than it actually weight. And here's the process. One thick bar of gold are mechanically pressed into 1/100.000.000 of an inch thick. They are cut after, and place in an ox-hide pouch covered by bamboo stripes. They will then be continually beaten using hammer sledges. After approximately 6 hours, the leaf size will increase twelve times in size, and it's so thin that you could easily tear it apart. 

At the time, a plate of gold sushi worth about 5000 Yen or $40. This trend grows to the neighboring countries such as South Korea where you can find restaurants and coffee shops serving fish, pork, coffee and liquor sprinkled with gold dust to customer who believed that it helped clear waste in their body.  One serving of ten fish with 'special seasoning' could cost as high as $1,500. Of course, despite of the 'healthy' claims, Gold in that tiny amount has no direct effect whatsoever to the body.

 Me, myself, I happened to try one of these gold flakes. Or should I say, drank one. It was back in December 2009 when me and a group of friends were on a trip to Bromo mountain. We were chillin' at the villa and found an abandoned bottle of champagne in the shelf with a 'gold leaf 22 carats' on the label. The bright shiny tiny yellow flakes was like calling us to have a sip of it. And we did, opened the bottle, drank it. I felt good afterwards. It was most likely the 'placebo effect' but oh well. I feel accomplished having scratched off one extreme cuisine from my list. As many fads come and go, I'd like to see if gold makes it comeback anytime soon. Well maybe, if it ever goes cheaper compared to the rising chili price in Indonesia. =P Until then, I'll see you in my next foodventure.

Oh, and now I finally gets Flight Facilities lyrics in Crave You: "I walked into the room dripping in gold, yeah dripping in gold".   =P

Smile on, Shine on.

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Enthusiast & Photographer

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Le Whif - As Sweet As Chocolate Without The Calories!

Imagine having the scrumptious taste of chocolates, the stimulating aroma of coffee, and many other little pleasures without having to worry about the calories. Too good to be true? Well, good news for you, its already here for quite a while (hallelujah!). Meet Le Whif, it started out in 2007 as an experiment by David Edwards, a Harvard professor and Thierry Marx, one of France's top chef well known for its avant-garde culinary innovation. After several years of tweaking and perfecting the design, in May 2009 it has become commercially available worldwide.

The first Le Whif comes in three varieties of chocolate: pure, raspberry chocolate, and mint chocolate. As you can see in the picture, this lipstick sized inhaler is meant to be enjoyed by taking a short whiff naturally, then the tiny particles will be picked up by the air stream, entered the mouth and tasted by the tongue. The next Le Whif innovations are the breathable coffee and breathable vitamins. The sites claimed it 'revolutionary'. Hmm, we'll see about that. Being featured in Oprah, New York Times, Cosmo and many other media has helped Le Whif took off rocketfast. While I can imagine the amount of ladies dancing happily singing hallelujah as it definitely write off the popular quotes "a moment on the lip, forever on the hips", I'd say it would take some more time to see if the success sustained.

I personally would like to give it a breathe, before verbalizing my verdict. Here's some thoughts anyway.

Its definitely interesting for me and many who has a sweet tongue. This might just be the answer for us to enjoy chocolates in its entirety without worrying about the scale (and the guilt) after as it delivers all the flavor in less than a calorie! However, being priced at 1.8 Euro (equals to around 22.000 Rupiah) per unit might makes me think twice in using this alternately with real chocolate. First and foremost, the price will most likely one-halved or doubled once it reached Jakarta, and secondly, each inhaler only gives about 4-5 'puffs' as published by Oprah. Also, in my opinion, nothing beats the scrumptious munch on a thick milky chocolate bar and having it lingers on the tongue. You coffee aficionados will most likely in the same page as me. A whiff is much less intense that holding that cup of Starbucks' latte and sipping it hot. Right?

In the inventor's defense: "This is not against chocolate anymore than eating bars of chocolate means I don't eat a chocolate milkshake, this is just a new way of experiencing chocolate, and it's sort of an addendum to how we normally eat chocolate."

Oh well, the neophile in me still very much intrigued though. Now, would you be so kind to bring Le Whif from abroad and once again made me one happy foodie? =D

Expectantly waiting,

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Enthusiast & Photographer

Munch on my tweets @captainruby

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day One - Starting With A Splash of Creativity

Happy New Year ! Wishing every single one of you another great year ahead.
What did you start day one with? Tweet me @captainruby with the hashtag #istartdayone and share some interesting stuff you do first thing today (aside from your morning 'unloading' session of course --").

As for me I decided to work on something creative with the new Facebook profile. Here's a screencapture of what I did. Initially I hate the new design, but now, I think it gets quite idea-provoking, I might challenge myself every month for something fresh. And I challenge everyone of you too. =) I learn something as well, when we see something we dislike, we have the options to (1) complain about it (2) complain then do something to make it better. I did the number two (not that number two =p). So can you, let's start this year with a positive thought. =)

Also, I'd like to thank you for tuning in to this blog. I reviewed the stats today and throughout the year I've received more than 5000 visits according to Google Analytics and Posterous counted over 14.000 visits. I'm humbled and honored that this startup receive such a support.

To the truth, I've been pondering on revamping this blog into a full website with custom domain, design, and much more interactivity. It's gonna take a while to develop (ehm, faster if anyone would like to sponsor =p), in the mean time, I'll welcome suggestions and inputs. Practical inputs such as domain names, yep the web address like or the likes. Or anything you haven't see here and would like to. Feel free to drop comments below or again tweet me @captainruby.

Looking forward for a delicious and fruitful year ahead.

Smile on (Munch on) Shine on!
Fellexandro Ruby
Food Enthusiast &  Photographer
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