Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bittersweet Corner - A Treat For The Sweet Toothed

It has been a while I noticed a growing number of patisserie-inspired foodplace around Jakarta. Offering small bits of snacks, cakes, tea, coffee and the likes. Not to fulfill hunger, but more to please the sugar obsessed like me =P. Bittersweet is well within that group. This tiny secluded cafe is more like a hidden gem. Placed at the end of the corner of a lowly visited alley in Plaza Indonesia's 3rd floor (exactly on top of Kopi Luwak), it's more often than not missed by many. This space used to be occupied by a similar establishment. I used to come here for the macaroons, but it was closed for quite some time until replaced by Bittersweet.

By now, I suppose you know where this is going.

Yes! Macaroons! And more photos below! 

This time I took these lovely colorful macaroons home and recreated Alice in Wonderland's Tea Party with none other than me, myself, a pack of French Earl Grey TWG Tea, and of course the light of the day green tea, strawberry, and Oreo macaroons. A blissful me-time on Sunday morning, while its raining outside. Irreplaceable. Oh, and I learned that this particular macaroon is considered as French style macaroons in contrast with the more chewy English macaroons. My favorite out of the three is ALL THREE OF THEM! Haha =D I'm sorry but I had a tough time deciding and the fact is I share the same amount of liking for all three.

I mean what's not to like, especially when two pieces of colorful crunchy sugary mini meringues sandwiched together with luscious fillings. They might not be in par yet with Pierre Hermes' macaroons in Paris (oh i so want to try his signature pistachio macaroon), but sure thing, they are quite a treat.

A treat too hard to put down. Just as my next surprise guest on the tea party. Meet ... *take a sip of tea* ... Bittersweet's Chocolate Caramel Tart. =) Beware! Foodporn ahead!

Drooling yet? Haha. I know! And I'm writing this at 10 in the night. I have to fight this desire to open my fridge and take a bite on the leftover from the tea party. Well anyway, it was as desirable as I expected. As soon as I took a bite over the crisp round part of the tart and the gooeysweet chunk of caramel, I fell in love with it. That was one dangerous bite. Munching on it and feeling it swirling around the tongue successfully drop my logic right on the floor, and I end up taking the second and the next bite easily until one bite left. And that's whats left in my fridge. Saved from guilt. =p

Oops, sorry for the foodporn again. =P

Anyway, it's so good to be able to sit and think clearly about life and whatnots. Just myself. I think everybody needs a me time at least once a month. With so much going on, and the external forces affecting us daily. Its a must to refill your tank. One day. Secluded. And come back the next day refreshed. Do you have that kind of moment? Share with me if you don't mind and what you usually do. 
Cheers for all the sweet-toothed Wanderbiters, 
Fellexandro Ruby

Bittersweet Corner
Plaza Indonesia Perennials Store Level 3 #E18
Jalan MH. Thamrin Kav 28-30
+6221 2992-3661

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Random Act of Kindness. You Can Do It Too = )

Good day Wanderbiters! It's been a week or so since my last post. Haven't been eating out that much. I did, but was in the mood for street hawker kind of cuisine. Good GOOD food, but aren't as pretty as I wanted to display here. =P So bear with me. Something sweet, something colorful is on its way.

In the mean time, I'm passing you this opportunity to spread some love (it doesn't have to be February for this right?). Ever watch that movie Pay It Forward starring Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment? Yes, that little kid that decided to help a homeless guy by housing him and only asking one thing in return: to pass forward the act of kindness to another person.

So, here's a little act of kindness you can pass on today. I've been wanting iPad desperately. It would definitely help me in my line of work and ease me in spreading these scrumptious foodphotos around. Wait-wait, I'm not asking you to buy me. But simply clicking on this link of a contest I'm joining and vote on my photo:

And in return, I shall forward my act of kindness further to another. You'll be in touch with this. You never know, your one click, one vote might goes farther and present greater good than that. Thank you Wanderbiters.

Yours Truly,
Fellexandro Ruby

Monday, February 14, 2011

Homemade Italian Cooking at Convivium Deli

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Its a celebration of love. If you're single, envy not, let it be a reminder that the best is what you'll get. If you're in a relationship then let the joy be shared. Share your moment, share your attention, share your laughter. And in that spirit, I'm gonna share to you my beloved wanderbiters these beautiful Italian delicacies.

Meet this fresh Italian resto located at the South of Jakarta, serving the very best of its kitchen. Clean, homy atmosphere is the first thing I noticed the second I step in. Occupied mostly by large collective tables, they are intended to favor group of people to dine and chat, as the name Convivium itself means place for gathering and eating. The second thing was the super attentive and polite waiters who quickly serve those lovely complimentary breadsticks as soon as I sat down.

As it is the culture in most European culture where they have two or three courses menu and closed with a dessert, this time I wanted to relive the same experience. And so I began with the Mushroom Soup. This creamy and fulfilling bowl of thick savory mushrooms made me reminisce of the good times in Europe. Surely a great variety killer for my tongue.

Moving on to the mains, I had one plateful of Lamb with Traditional Italian Sauce. It was interesting how they present the garlic in its entirety without having the skin peeled. Same thing for the potatoes. I liked it this way though, the unpeeled skin gave a good pair of smooth and coarse texture mix. As for the lamb itself, it was for my tongue particularly average. Maybe it was the firm meat that almost too resilient to munch. Or maybe it was the unexpected amount of fat compared to the meat. I wasn't lucky that day I guess.  Yeah, I wasn't.

And so I spoil it on my drinks. Drink drink. And here's another angle of the Lamb to give you a better sense of size and a better sense of ... o well I can't find another reason. Actually I just liked it portrait-style. Haha. So drool on this Lamb. Oh, size wise this isn't too filling even for a person, so don't even consider sharing. =p

Actually, I ordered two desserts two close my dinner with, The Italian Chocolate Cake and The Tiramisu. I'm not that excited to talk about it, hence the absence of photos for the two. In short, I was teenybit disappointed. In my head, an italian chocolate cake suppose to spill all the goodness of chocolava, however after one even two bites, I couldn't find the lava I was looking for. WHAT?! The Tiramisu was effectively my last resort. But it dissapoints as well. I'm sorry. I find my friend's homemade Tiramisu is much tastier and closer to original than theirs. Not to mention, the awful presentation. Instead of making the dessert better looking, the splash of sugar / cocoa was more like random spills.

For all the good and the bad I spent around 250K. Quite pricey but still in the normal range for european resto. I still think I got unlucky this time, there's so much potential I see in this space. I might pay it a second visit. But until I do, why don't you? Try the pizzas and pastas, let me know after. =)

Stay lovely Wanderbiters. Buon Appetito!

Fellexandro Ruby
Munch on my tweets @captainruby

Monday, February 7, 2011

Breakfast Like a King at Imperial Wok

Hello! Gong Xi Gong Xi for all of you who celebrate Chinese New Year. I had a blast last weekend, the angpao wasn't much, but the togetherness with fifty-plus family members was priceless. Anyway, angpao is one of Chinese traditions where the married couple give a certain amount of money in red envelope to the kids or single adults as a mean of wishing them a prosperous year ahead. Well, since I'm not married yet, here's my angpao for you Wanderbiters =) And what could be more CNY-ey than  a review of dim-sum resto! Get your chopsticks ready!

Dimsum is the chinese term used for small portion dishes usually served in small bamboo steamer. It goes way back to the old times in Canton where people love to gather and relax while enjoying tea. Thus, people having dimsum is said to have yum-cha (tea tasting). At the beginning drinking tea and eating was not recommended as it was believed it will lead to excessive weight. However, as research found out later that tea actually helped digestion, tea houses started offering snacks. These snacks later become a tradition for the elderly to feast on after morning exercise. This tradition goes on as we see today, dimsum is mostly served from mid-morning until mid-afternoon.

I kicked off my Imperial breakfast with a scrumptious crispy puff with chasiu (red pork) fillings. I always have an interest in mixed-texture dishes just as this one. The layers of crumbles is one appetizing combo with the soft, tender, and sweet pork. Just as I expected.

Up next are the 'musts'. Yep! Gotta have these on dimsum. Chicken feet and hakau (shrimp bonnet). There's a tale from one of my uncles. Years ago when he was a kid, as a family of immigrants, during the tough years, having one portion of chicken is the ultimate treat. His parents used to tell them don't eat the feet, the neck, and the wings, they're dirty part of chicken and meatless. The mom and dad would give the kids the meaty part of chicken, the drumsticks and breasts. He continued to hate this particular part of chicken until one day a friend stuffed him up with one luscious chicken feet then he realized, the feet is the best part of chicken, the meaty part was nothing compared to the fatty gelatinous tender skin! Good thing he found out early enough and didn't get to miss what the chinese like to call 'phoenix talons'. So kids, thank God if your parents give you these feets, it means THEY LOVE YOU! =P

Another musts menus are the siew may (pork dumpling) , and the xiaolongbao (soup dumpling). Xiaolongbao is often considered as the prime showoff of a chef skills. The skin must be thin enough for the tounge, but strong enough so that it won't easily break when pulled off with a chopstick. However, this one was lame. The meat inside wasn't spiced enough, also the soup tasted more salty than savory. It was almost like munching a spoonful of salt. Same thing goes for the siewmay, nothing special. Suprisingly, despite of these turnoffs, I had a turn-on from this particular dish below.

I know what you're thinking. Yes! One breakfast can be such a drama (especially for a king =p) It was the steamed bun with saltyeggyolk fillings that delight me from the very first bite. Quite hard to explain by words, you gotta have to taste it yourself. And when you do let me know what you think. =) 

Now, there's a reason why I had them in this order. Why you asked? So that when the main menus happen to be a failure, I know I can always count on this one. This couldn't go wrong, shouldn't go wrong, and has never went wrong. My favorite closure for every dimsum dining: Fried Mantau! One thick feathery-textured hot mantau dipped in sweet condensed milk. YUM!

Well, they might not be the best dimsum I tasted, but breakfast like this surely made me happy and feel special (as a king). One happy belly once again made one happy food photos and one happy review. After this my favorite dimsum ranking is still unchanging with Taipan restaurant on the top and Eastern coming second just because of its all-you-can-eat dimsum =p. Let me know what your favorite place for yumcha!


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Blogger & Photographer

Imperial Wok 
Rukan Gold Coast, Block A 11-23
Bukit Golf Mediterania
Ph: 91214351
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