Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coffee Journey with Michael Gibbons, Illy & Bosch

Rush. A happy rush, that's what I was getting when a text message came through from Bosch representative saying that a spot has opened up and I'm the first one on the waiting list to fill the gap. What's with all the excitement you ask. Nothing actually ... only the PROFESSOR of coffee university is here and giving a discourse on coffee! =D

It was Illycaffè and their dedication to coffee that started Universita del Caffe Di Trieste (UDC) in 1999 with a simple goal of extending their 75 years of coffee excellence to coffee producers, connoisseur, and culinary professional. Here they will learn everything about coffee, from theories, to cultivation, until preparation technique. Michael Gibbons, a barista for more than twenty years in Australia has teamed up with Illycaffè to head UDC in Jakarta. Located in Hasyim Ashari (Ph: 021 6386 4152) , the place is up for any coffee enthusiast to visit.

Now back to the event. As I walked in Mike standing behind his espresso machine responsively asked if I wanted a drink. Right then and there he shows what he's made of. A little less than a minute, a cup of warm, fresh cappucino is ready. I must admit, I'm not a coffee drinker,  so I'm not to judge if the coffee is good or bad. My tastebud is just as bland when it comes to coffee. But this is the very reason why I joined this event. I'd like to know firsthand what excites people into this addiction to coffee and maybe catch a little hint to start enjoying it.

A short time after, Mike began to present his take on coffee. I won't bore you with too many details. Let's just enjoy the photos as he makes the coffee of his specialty and slip in a few fun topics and facts in betweeen. Shall we?

Coffee & Caffeine

Many of us drink coffee for the pleasure, and undoubtedly some drink to stay awake and alert. However, say I line up a cup of Coffee, a cup of Tea, a can of Energy Drink and a 100gr Chocolate bar. Which topped the caffeine chart? Go ahead make a guess.

If your answer is coffee, then my friend, you'd be surprise to know that Chocolate beats coffee by almost threefold. In order of comparison, from coffee, tea, energy drink, and chocolate : 65mg, 50mg, 28-87mg, 150mg. This simple fact means different thing for different people. In my case, I gotta tone done my chocolate consumption =( What about you?

Arabica & Robusta

For years I cannot distinguish the two. And still don't. Haha. But in general I get the idea that Arabica is of a favorable breed for several reason. One is for being the earliest species of coffee to be cultivated. Originated in Yemen on the arabian peninsula, thus the name Arabica. Two is because it contains less caffeine (1.3%) than the second popular siblings, Robusta (2.5%).

 Barista & Espresso

“Barista is the most misused term in the industry,” said Michael Gibbons. “Someone who can make coffee is not a barista. He’s a coffee maker. A real barista should be able to make 150 cups of coffee in an hour comfortably,” Gibbons said. “And each one should be excellent.” 

That sounded harsh to some. But watching him doing his magic with the espresso machine above, I have to agree. It may look easy. Grind the beans, press, click on the machine, press a button or two, pour milk, make a froth, fill in the cup, voila! But let me tell you, its far from easy. Every detail has to be in the exact proportion, timing, and temperature. For instance, Espresso, should be within 7 gram of coffee, 30 second of extraction, 90 degrees water temperature, 9 bar of pressure to get 25-30 ml of quality coffee. One cup might be easy, try making five or ten in a row and have to maintain the consistency. That is something.

And that's what happen in Barista competition. Espresso said Gibbons is the primary distinguishing feature of a barista. From the way they are prepared, Espresso in itself is one complex drink with concentrated flavors and aromas that distinguish it from coffee prepared by any other method. Or as UDC explains it, Espresso is "the purest way to enjoy its aroma and flavour at their maximum intensity". When a Barista can nail down the Espresso, the rest shouldn't be a problem.

Kopi Luwak (Civet Coffee)

So I asked Mike what his take on Kopi Luwak and the answer is obvious from the look on his face. Hahaha (you know what I meant). Anyway, his diplomatic answer was "... depends on the way its prepared, if its through a syphon then yes, if its through an espresso machine, then you can forget it. But then again would I pay 300 bucks for a bag of coffee? Naah." 

The reason behind he explains after is that, a good coffee for espresso is the one that is mixed among at least 6 or more blend of beans. If you try to extract an espresso from a single blend, then most probably the outcome wouldn't be good.

Where To Start For A Good Coffee?

Mike really recommend Kitchennete, Social House, and Espressamente Illy for their coffee if you want to benchmark your tastebud with a really good coffee. He also reveals that their Ice Cappucino thingy is his signature creation for them. I simply can't wait to go over and get all my five senses used to a good coffee so that I can tell the bad ones.

To close, I'd like to give a heads up to Illy and Bosch for organizing such a delightful and informative event. If you're curious about their products, you can visit their new showcase studio at Wolter One Place, Jl. Wolter Monginsidi 63. Looking forward to the next one.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Blogger & Photographer
Snack on my tweets @Wanderbites

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vigorous Fish Soup at Warung Mak Beng - Bali

Hola Biters!

June, I bet its a happy month for students. Yes! School holiday is on. That means lazying around, doing nothing, barbeque grill and beers Coke freeflow.  That means flying off to the coolest tourism spot all over Indonesia. If Bali happen to be on your itinerary, I hope the series I posted on Bali culinary is on for a good cause. You still got to eat when you travel right? Might as well add some fun and make your belly happy then. In case you missed it, you should check out Kafe Moka around Seminyak and Sate Penyu around Kuta.

This time I'll take you through the well acclaimed Warung Mak Beng at Jalan Hang Tuah, Sanur, just a few steps from the beach. By acclaimed I really meant curated, as the famous foodie Pak Bondan has tasted their specialty soup and pull up two thumbs for it. In other word this is 'maknyus' - certified Mak Beng Fish Soup.

The first moment I tasted this particular soup I was in awe. All the freshness you can imagine from a fish broth. The sweet savory smell of the spices. Its simply invigorating. And not to mention the soft pillowy fish. From what I heard they use a special breed of fish, some said it is Tribang, some said it is Sinangin. I don't know how to distinguish the two, but I know so well it is gooood.

And if that's not enough for you, they have something more, meet Mak Beng Fried Fish. This one is a feast for those who are more inclined toward sizzling hot meal.  See that chunk of chili sauce on the back? Now that thing is THE thing. One sip of it is more than enough to get your mouth watery. Two sip to get your nose runny. And after the fourth, you'll get all that tingling in your head sensation from having a super hot chili. This is what I came here for. All these for no more than 22K.

In my personal opinion, this is surely a not-to-miss culinary spot in Bali. I even bought two full pack of Mak Beng chili for my own enjoyment. I still have some of it in my fridge. Come and get some if you're that curious. ; )

Smile on, Shine on

Fellexandro Ruby
Self-made Chili Sauce Sommelier and of course Food Photographer

Catch my spicy tweets @wanderbites

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Taste Hopping At Jackrabbit - Cuisine & Libations

Hey Biters, I bet Jackrabbit's hype has reached you in one or other way. As for me it was the reputable Chef Juna Rorimpandey and his appearance on Masterchef Indonesia that reached me first. I personally haven't watch even one single episode, but heard numerous praise and 'boo's around it. Well, Jackrabbit is where Chef Juna stars as the executive chef. I've been wanting to try this place and just as my belly cried out for it, somebody heard it and made it happen. That somebody is Goorme - a leading food portal in Indonesia - which invited me and a bunch of hungry renown food bloggers / netizen for a brunch date. I said Yes! Yes! Yes! And here's a little write up for you Biters.

We were presented with at least fifteen selections of freshly created cuisine. See, by fresh I mean new recipes made purposely to fit in the 'brunch' theme, and not fresh as in fresh from the oven. As excited as I was to try out, most of my mood head to a downfall when the foods presented was barely warm. Cold, for a lack of better word. Probably because they were resizing their kitchen, as a result, it took them quite a while to cook the meal.

I did not get to taste all of them, I'm just gonna lay out some, and I'm gonna start with the one that appealed to me the most. The hero of the day : Lamb Chop! (178K)

I find the medium-well cooked meat was savory, juicy, and a little on the salty end. But, gotta say the yoghurt mint sauce was intense. Who would have thought to mix the two and use it as a dip on lambs? And the best part for me was that the yoghurt overpowered the mint, cause my tongue just hate minty stuff (I know some of you will find this weird). I like this for it brings new experience to my tastebuds.

The runner up champion would go to Beef Chimichanga (58K). Imagine a thick layer of beef wrapped in tortilla crepes skin, topped with a mix of chopped tomato, radish, oh and the beans on the side is an interesting add on. Beware though, this might be daily menu for foodies in Latin America, but not for our Indonesian tongue. You gotta have quite a welcoming affection toward unfamiliar taste, but it will be worth it ; )

This one up here is what they call American Hearty Pancake. Although I would oppose the size that barely reflect America. I mean, in my head an American meal wouldn't be so supportive to your diet by laying only one slice of bacon and one wiener sausage to accompany the lonely chunk of butter. Tastewise, this feels like any other home-made meal. The bacon that I tasted was overcooked. I don't know if Americans like it crispy as a cracker, I know I don't. I wouldn't go so much as recommending this one, BUT! This one follow is a definite must-try. HA! I purposefully slip it in the middle of my post, so the lazy readers who skim through it wouldn't find it. Lucky you! Yes you! Meet the top of the pop, the super scrumptious Chocolate Lava Cake.

Let me tell you this, you could have any meal that you want at Jackrabbit, but you wouldn't wanna miss this one as dessert.I don't know if its because I had this after a stream of so-so food, or is it because of the fact that its free. YES! Its free for grab if you checked into your Foursquare and show it to the waiter. Now there's another freebies for you Biters who read through the post front to end. =P

Allow me to retell this sweet chocolate tale. I love how the warm soft cake melts in my mouth as the hot chocolate lava disperse and do wonders on every single taste bud. This is no less than scrumptious. And if you desire more, try mixing the caramel ice cream (top left) with the lava cake. You just got super scrumptious! I can't stop telling how good this one is, but I know I have to step on to the next one.

Meet, Jackrabbits' Apple Pie.

If you're up for soury flavor, this one's for you. For me, the sprinkle of cinnamon on top was a little bit too much, and the ice cream didn't make it any special. Wouldn't hurt to try though, cause it comes for free as well (look at above paragraph if you just skimmed through here =p)

There you have it. A sweet end to the taste hopping. Even sweeter cause I got to catch up and meet with fellow bloggers. Thanks for the company dear people with a little less food on the table, Lolo, Jendry, Imel, Sara and Tony =) Oh, I forgot to mention, the last two desserts are not in the brunch menu. Let me repeat, you can find them on their main menu. Got it? Alright.

All in all it was one happy day. You know us men, a happy belly is more than enough to put a smile on our face. And by men I meant both of us 'men' and wo-'men'. Right? ; )

Happy Hopping.

Fellexandro Ruby 
Certified Fat Magnets & Photographer

Munch on my tweets at @wanderbites

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Misteri - Sate Penyu, Sate Babi, atau Sate Celeng ?

Om Swastiastu!

Ini akan menjadi salah satu post berbahasa Indonesia dari sekian banyak post saya sebelumnya dalam Bahasa Inggris. Bukan sombong bukan congkak, but I do feel I write better in English. (tuh kan balik lagi =p) Dan sebenarnya, saya ingin sekali kuliner Indonesia bisa dikenal dan dinikmati juga oleh foodies di luar Indonesia. Itu salah satu alasan utama saya. Alasan lain, saya memang bisanya Inggris saja, haha. Alasan terakhir, kalau saya pake Hokkian situ bisa keblinger.

Nah dalam perjalanan saya menyusuri Bali beberapa kali terakhir, saya selalu menyempatkan diri untuk menikmati sate yang satu ini. Rasanya sangat khas, dan sulit saya lupakan. Terletak di Jalan Patih Jelantik, masih seputaran Kuta, sate ini sudah ngebul mulai pagi sampai sore. Ini penampakannya.

Daging yang empuk dan juicy, dibalut dalam bumbu rempah yang wangi. Plus siraman sedikit pedas rawit pada kulit terluarnya. Satu porsi saya jamin tidak cukup. Saat itu pun saya menghabiskan dua porsi back to back dan masih nagih. Benar-benar nendang rasanya. Untung diingatkan oleh teman-teman kalau setelah itu masih akan menyambangi resto lain. Hehe.

Yang masih menjadi misteri untuk saya adalah daging apa gerangan ini? Kalau teman-teman yang asal Bali bilang dari dulu mereka menyebutnya Sate Penyu. Tapi dalam benak saya, daging penyu itu enggak murah loh. Kenapa saya tau? Ehm, ada teman saya yg mantan exportir tapi sudah tobat kok. Suer. Tidak mungkin rasanya melihat harga per porsinya yang cukup ekonomis, hanya Rp. 10.000,- saja.

Lalu pada kesempatan kali ini saya beranikan bertanya pada sang udang di balik batu ibu di balik kipas sate. Beliau bilang kalau ini daging babi (namun dengan wajah yg mencurigakan). Tapi paling tidak lega lah saya setelah tau kalau saya bukan baru saja melumat salah satu hewan yang dilestarikan. *fiuh* Belum selesai saya menikmati info terbaru ini, sang supir yang mengantar lalu menyeletuk kalau yang baru dimakan itu Sate Celeng (Babi Hutan / Babi Dewasa)

Entahlah. Babi. Penyu. Celeng. Saya pegang prinsipnya trio Kwik, Kwek, Kwak saja "Makanlah selama makanan itu enggak makan balik."


Fellexandro Ruby
Babivora (Pemakan Babi Segala Jenis), Food Blogger & Photographer

Cemal-cemil tweet saya di @wanderbites

Monday, June 13, 2011

Petit-Déjeuner at Kafe Moka - Seminyak

A sip of warm sunshine on the surface of your skin. Bright blue sky seen from behind your Raybans. Swirls of cool wind while strolling around Bali with motorbike. These little earthly pleasures are what I seek for from this getaway trip. And while doing that, many good food along the journey made it epicly awesome.

It was one of those smileful morning when I bumped into this cafe while riding around Legian. What attracts me was how cultured this place. A lot of foreigners were around enjoying the food and drinks. I hear an Australian which looked a lot like the famous pastor, Brian Houston. I hear French with their masculine-feminine vocabulary. I hear a faint American English. By this short observation,  I reckon they must have a particular level of authenticity to be well accepted by these foreigners taste buds.

I walked in and then it came to me, I've heard about this place before. Yes! In a review by fellow foodbloggers somewhere. And there I remember, it was on Jenzcorner, and read somewhere along the line that the shepherd's pie was one of the specialties. You can guess what I ordered right? Yep.

Oh, and while I was waiting for the meal to come, they gave me this basketful of complimentary sliced baguette. I love this bread. It always remind me of Paris and the dining tradition there. Bread is always on the table. But let's not go too far this time. I took a slice, wipe a layer of salted butter, simple yet scrumptious to the tongue.

A little while after, a generous portion of Hachis Parmentie arrived on the table. A little trivia, the dish was named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and inventor who, in the late 18th century, was instrumental in the promotion of the potato as an edible crop.

The portion was way beyond generous for my typical size of breakfast. Ended up with some leftover, but it was one savory meal.

The mixture of texture from the diced beef and the baked mashed potato was a treat for my tastebud who was in dire of variety after days of local Balinese food. Also the lyonnaise sauce with a hint of wine and garlic added the foreign European taste I was expecting. A pause from the stream of chili-hot-spicy food. One contented pause. It also kinda took me down memory lane. Weird, but yep, it reminds me of Sydney's meat pies. The ones you can conveniently bought at Coles, and microwave it yourself for 4 minutes or so.

It's amazing how a single meal can give a good assemble of flavor and feelings. I guess it was just a melancholic side of me, or maybe that's what Bali do to most of us. What do you say? =) Well after all it was one lovely breakfast or petit-dejeuner as the French call it.


Fellexandro Ruby
Munch on my tweets at @wanderbites

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Now Cooking - Nuzzys Resto

"Nuzzy's is a casual concept dining. Serving Europian cuisine from Napoli, French, and Spain. " 

That's how they introduced themselves in their website homepage here. Yup, right to the typo. =p Funny thing is, when I asked the waitress what are their Spanish cuisines, she didn't know which is which and simply answered "We have mostly Italian". And that is true if you looked at their menu, maybe a handful of Spanish menu and that's it. They even have one page dedicated for Asian menu. HA! They should write that down in their website homepage.

I was a bit upset feeling a bit misled into coming to their foodplace. But I reckon, might as well give it a try. And so I ordered the following.

Gratin Escargot as appetizer.  

"Snails sauteed in wine garlic and gratin smooth hollandaise served on puff pastry".

Yep, they're as tempting as the menu description. I like how the buttery hollandaise sauce & the tomato burst out a differing taste with the snails. On a side note, it would be so much nice if the puff pastry was actually 'puffy'. Oh well, they're not a patisserie, what do you expect. 

Moving on, and here I must acknowledge the importance of speed. Restaurateur, waiter / waitress, you all should know that  when people ordered an appetizer and a main and a dessert, he expects to be pampered. He wants a joyful enough amount of minutes to savor each menu. And he wants each menu to come in time. Meaning, warmly flavorfull right off the oven. Meaning, you don't pour out all orders at once!

So the Smoked Beef Green Fettucinni came when I was halfway through my appetizer. I hate rushing one meal to quickly go to the next one before it goes cold. Good thing I had a nice ice cold Strawberry Lychee ice tea to cool down my nerves (a little too bland though). There you go, another input for you to learn, dear Nuzzys.

 The pasta was cooked just right for my taste bud. Not too rigid and not too mushy. Plus point.

The fact that is green also make it interesting. I reckon it has a mix of healthy veggies in it, thus the color (the reason). It gives a good show of color on my plate and I like it (the actual reason, green is my fav color), especially when the generous amount of red beef bacon and the brownish mushroom rolls on plate. Also, DO YOU SEE THE CHEESE TOPPING?! Love it when food is as scrumptious on the eye as it is on the tongue. I would recommend this, spice it up with some dried chili and voila!

Priced at 35k on the Escargot, 45k on the Pasta, and 19.5k on the drink, this is not your particular everyday lunch, especially when they topped another 7.5% service charge above the 10% tax. The problem is not on the amount, in fact I gave extra tip on this visit. The problem is one, whether what you charged is up to par to your service, and second, I think tipping for service is up to one's personal choice and on-the-spot experience. And this goes for all foodplace. A little something for you to consider.

Cheers to an awesome weekend,

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Blogger & Photographer

Nuzzys Mousse & Resto
Tribeca, Central Park Mall & Flavor Bliss, Alam Sutera
Phone: 021-83838201
Twitter: @nuzzysresto
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