Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh La La Cafe le Parisien - Plaza Indonesia

Words could not express how happy I am receiving my Macbook the other day. That means, I can access all my photos, and I can write another post, which is exactly why I'm so pumped to share with you this new establishment.

Yes, it is no longer Oh La La with colorful neon lights, food court trays, waiters in colorful uniform, and simple patisserie. It has got an upgrade in design and an upscale in class. The Oh La La in Plaza Indonesia make an effort to resemble outdoor cafe along Parisian streets. Champs-Élysées Avenue maybe, or rue de l'Hotel de Ville? Whichever that is, the typical wooden chair, round marble table, and street lamps on the background says it all. It is a good spot to simply sit on an afternoon and catch up on your readings. If only all this is really actually outdoor, and it be just perfect. But hey, that's just me and my ego.

As I recall, it was about 5pm. An in-between hour. Not the time yet for dinner, but the little dragon in my belly has made a quick announcement. So I decided to go for a coffee. Cappucino to be exact and a slice of Red Velvet Cake to shut the dragon up. It did just that.

I liked the Red Velvet, the body is soft and airy with proportionate cream cheese dividing them into three layers. Good size for a personal enjoyment. My taste bud was delighted with the quick treat, though I would prefer a sweeter tastier one any time.

As for the coffee, hand made by their very own manager, I have to say it was one of the best cup I've ever tasted. It has a bright, caramelly aroma, followed with a rather full body with subtle hint of peanut butter, a tiny dash of lemon and citrus. It was a rather complex but well balanced coffee, a characteristic expected from a well roasted arabica. On the following sip, it brought out a spicy, woody, tobaccoey flavor which is not entirely disagreeable. And finally, it closed with an aftertaste full of lie. Yes! I just made up all those tasting notes. Haha. I hope you enjoy the joke hidden between the line.

Anyway, as I'm new to coffee, there is no way at this point I would be able to discover such a deep insight from a sip of cappuccino. Still a long way to go, but I'm challenged to learn. So, really, the coffee for me was just as I expected. No acid. I dislike acid in coffee. Medium body and a creamy milky taste on the top.

All in all, I saw a lot of improvement attempted by Oh La La. Some of the things unthought of by others are well executed here. I really wish they would do the same to most of their major stores. It is about time for a little refreshment. I love the new logo. I love the menu designed in a newspaper. I hope it makes more effort to brings out the taste of Paris into life. And I'd surely comeback for more than just cake.

Until then, Au revoir.

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites or Instagram @Captainruby

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sinou Kaffee Hausen : A First Timer Visit

Having traveled the streets of Panglima Polim for a few times, I couldn't help but noticing this food place just next to 7-Eleven and right across Convivium Deli. Something about the name attracts me, and even more when I step on the raw, vintage, industrial interior. Colorful in many sections, remain unfinished in some, and worn out in others. For me, it generates a 'feel' that brings out inspiration for creative work I've seen several photoshoots taken in this place and some more musical events held here. Good for a lazy Sunday with friends, even better if they separate the smoking and the non-smoking area. However, are the food in par with these eye-pleasing appearances? Let me take you through it.

I had for the appetizer, Butter Mushroom which was a hit for me. But then, so does anything deep fried and comes with mayo sauce. =p I'm easily pleased for this kind of stuff. It was a good match of texture, the breadcrumbs sealing the legit mushroom. Butter and sauce. A pleasing meal indeed.

Butter Mushroom (30k)

For the mains, I've heard a lot of buzz about Sinou Steak from fellow foodie and Twitter world. Upon confirmation from the waiter that they served the same steak from its sister restaurant, I had my choice on it right away. A quick ten minutes after, voila! Comes the so called Dad's Sirloin Wagyu Steak. Cooked at medium rare, just the way a foodie should preferred it. By 'should' I meant I have no problem having it in any other way, medium well, well done, I can still enjoy steak. But for this time, again I owe it to taste it the way it 'should' be.

Dad's Sirlon Wagyu Steak (98k)

On first bite, tender, juicy, flavorful. With the addition of their signature Sinou Sauce, it blends itself with extra creamy savory taste. A touch of elaboration from the usual mushroom sauce. Liked it!

Funny, that for a place that name itself 'coffee house' I didn't order any. And I don't see many having it. Maybe it was just not a proper time for coffee, or does it refer to something else? I guess I'll have a separate visit to have a take on their coffee.

In the mean time. As lucky as I was, I'd recommend the Butter Mushroom and the steak. I'd still look for second opinion though, right after I tasted the actual Sinou Steak.

So little time, so much to eat.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Snack on my tweets @Wanderbites


Sinou Kaffee Hausen
Jl. Panglima Polim V No. 26, Kebayoran Baru, Jaksel
(+6221) 7258568 – 081999393556
Twitter: @sinou_kaffee

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Now Cooking: Rati Rati - Roll Cake From Japan

A Response To Request Bites
If wedding videographers has what they call same-day-edit, than this post that I write one hour after trying the new restaurant has got to have something to call to. I've done #livebites on Twitter. That's for instant on the spot review. How does Today's Special sound? =D

As you might noticed, I tweeted on #requestbites a few weeks ago. A bunch of replies came in suggesting many food place to try out. One of them is Rati-Rati. I've been intrigued by the catchy name, the striking orange dominated venue, and the huge bouquet of flower with a huge Japanese name written on it. This has got to be original from Japan, as I think in my head. It turns out to be true, as I dined there, I was introduced with the director. We then swap stories about food, coffee, and his 'experience' in setting up business in Indonesia. Well, its another story for another occasion, let's check out the food.

Origin of Roll Cake

The name roll cake is also commonly known as swiss roll. In contrast to the name, it is not by any means related to Switzerland. Some mentioned it was originated from Central Europe while some others believe it rooted from a traditional French dessert called Buche de Noel that's usually served near Christmas.

Buche de Noel literally means Yule Log which is a huge log of wood burned during the hearth of Christmas celebration in several European countries. The roll cake back then was positioned as standing cylinder to resemble a wood log.

Rati-Rati Version of Roll Cake

Rati in Sanskrit means the goddess of love. I suppose they are really trying to spread the love through their cakes. I ordered their Cheese Berry roll. It was sliced at 4 cm thick (29k), or alternatively you could purchase the whole roll (118k). On the side was Matcha Ice Cream. It comes together with the dine-in package.

Cheese Berry Roll Cake (29k)

On the first bite, the sponge was very soft, smooth for the tongue. It is at a different caliber from our Indonesian version of "Bolu Gulung" which is usually thick and less airy on the sponge. The cream was not rolled in spiral, it was more like a filling instead and it could use some more cheese. I could taste it but only subtly behind the berry.

The green tea ice cream melted so quickly that I ended up playing around with it before finishing the whole plate. I suppose it was powder based matcha, resulting in a sweet sandy aftertaste on my throat. It reminds me somehow to the Japanese mochi given from a friend a while ago.

Matcha Ice Cream on the side. (comes w/ the dine in package)
Cheese Berry Fillings

Summing Up

I'd definitely like to come back and taste more of their 'love' cake. Haha. It is a bit cheesy, but hey, they really mean it if you see the hardly translated closing quote on their menu below. I was lucky, their Japanese chef is still in Jakarta and making each cake by hand. Before he flees I gotta taste some more. On top of my list are the chocolate and matcha roll cake. Now who's coming with me? Poke me on twitter @Wanderbites.

Rati = Goddess of Love in Sanskrit

Arigato Gozaimasu,

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Porto at 
Munch on my tweets @wanderbites


Rukan Cordoba Block G No. 5
Pantai Indah Kapuk
Ph: 021-56983506
(In between Teko / Leko & Viti)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nannini Jakarta : Rejuvenated

It is quite an achievement of its own for a restaurant to prevail more than a decade in Jakarta, and not just barely existing, but also continually adds color to the industry. As such is Nannini, established in 1995, and much known for its former name, Alesandro Nannini. At the moment the brand is being refreshed along with the addition of the new branch in Plaza Indonesia.

I had the opportunity to experience first hand what the fuzz is all about last week. Goorme, one of the leading culinary portal in Indonesia, prepared a tasting dinner, gathering almost all of the prominent food bloggers in Jakarta. I arrived with my default expectancy, that is full curiosity and a ready belly. Let me take you through it.
Beetle Juice (Orange, Pineapple. Kiwi, and Passion Fruit) 35k

A glassful of Beetle Juice welcomed me as I was taken to my seat. Loved the proper table arrangement, and the details right to the ribboned menu. As the name suggested, it was a clean refreshing fruity mix of Orange, Pineapple, Kiwi and Passion Fruit. A good thirst quencher and exactly what I needed to warm up my appetite.

While waiting for the appetizer, I took a short stroll of the surrounding to see the furnished design. I guess many foodplace nowadays are going for the similar approach, different in details but feels the same, wood panels, basic earthy colors, and unusual lights as eyecandy. The interesting feature for me was the high ceiling that gives a breathable sense of space.

As we waited further, Fitrah Bya, the operational manager gave a demo of his skillful hands mixing drinks and cocktails. Was interesting to watch, but as I'm not too fond into cocktails, I didn't give it a try.

Fitrah Bya, Mixing Cocktails w/ Fire

A little while after, we were presented with the first meal of the night, Wild Mushroom Soup. On a first bite, it was delish! I find the garlic bread is a good complement to the soup. The mushroom debris also added a good feature on the texture. Creamy and flavorful. A great meal for an opening.

Wild Mushroom Soup 50k (A medley of wild mushroom drizzled w/ truffle oil)

Up next was a trio of Nannini's signature Salmon, Striploin, and Cordon Bleu. Out of the three, if I have to score out the most likeable, it would be the Salmon. I might be biased as I favor fish over others. I liked the grill and the fresh fish, although the sauce was contradictory for my palate. The next would be Striploin and then Cordon Bleu being the last. As I tried the Striploin, I couldn't help but noticing that it was a bit cold on the plate. A little warmth could really help to elevate the taste. Steak lovers would agree with me. However, the saucing was delightful. In my opinion, it might help if they did not force themselves to have three main courses on a same plate. The outcome was obvious, we waited two hours for them to come out. Not to mention, the small portion that has to be shared for two. It's better to have one coming after another as it would be served at its best timing.

Fortunately, I had filled up my belly an hour before with Oh La La's Red Velvet. That piece of cake saved me from madness (seriously, you don't want to see me hungry!). So, as it turned out, I enjoyed the waiting with my dinner mate, Daniel Kauranny and Harry Soetardjo. From coffee processing, to photography, to a debate about wine and the questionable marketing behind, we talked and talked. I really enjoyed the company, thanks to you two.

Nannini Salmon 85k (Grilled fresh norwegian salmon w/ mesclun salad, balsamic dressing)
Nannini Striploin (Grilled striploin served w/ creamy champignon sauce & mashed potato)
Nannini Cordon Bleu 75k (Chicken breast stuffed w/ smoked beef, cheese, red wine gravy)

In between conversation, we had these two drinks: Pineapple Cinnamon Roshka (a mix of vodka, pine, lime wedge, and cinnamon) & Sangria (brandy, mix fruits and red wine). I haven't had any encounter with these two before, so I don't have a yardstick to benchmark with. I do remember noting down the roshka was sweet with a bitter end. Light cinnamon so it does not really annoy me who dislike cinnamon. The sangria was stronger on the liquor, it almost wipe out the flavor of the fruits. I liked the earlier than the latter.

Pineapple Cinnamon Roshka 80k (Vodka, Pineapple Liquor, Lime Wedge, Mix Sugar)

Sangria 125k (Brandy, Mix Fruits, Red Wine)

To close the dinner, we had Nannini Tiramisu, or in their best description: "Mascarpone mousse covered sponge cake drenched in Kahlua and Baileys." I liked it, the soft moist texture and the tasty mouse. It was an enjoyable dessert and a sweet closing, although my favorite is still the one made by a friend of mine.

Nannini Tiramisu 65k (Mascarpone mousse covered spongecake in Kahlua & Baileys)

And that was it. I hope I did a complete write up of what we had. Curiosity killed. And I went home with a happier belly. Thanks again to Nannini & Goorme for having us. I'd like to come back soon to have the 'full version' of your main courses. In the mean time, I wish you all the best with the new rejuvenated Nannini.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Snack on my tweets @wanderbites and instagram @captainruby


Plaza Indonesia 2nd Floor, Unit L2, No. T. 111
P: (021) 2992 3650
T: @nanninijakarta

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Nest Grill : Less is More

Life has its own quirky way of mashing up people from different works of the world at the same place. Such is my meeting with Nest Grill and Arnold Poernomo, the general manager and the man behind the kitchen. A young, determined, and skillful chef with years of experience working his way up from the bottom in many kitchen in Australia before finally settling in Jakarta. While I've also spent a year in Sydney before returning in Jakarta as well.


Hidden inside the Lumina building in Kuningan, the food place is effectively a small dining area within a food hall named Nest. The Grill on the other hand present modern minimalist interior with open kitchen, brick wall, dimmed lighting, and wood populated color palate. Why and why such a delicate establishment is separated a tile away from a seemingly misplaced food hall is out of my mind, but hey, let's just keep an eye on the food instead.

As he spills out his Sydney tales, Arnold prepared some of his cookings. Coming out kitchen smart as opposed to culinary school smart, he surely mastered his craft around the kitchen and watching him cook is a feast on its own. It was as if I'm in a chef's table. Soon after, came the 'must-try' as he called it: Beef Burger and Pork Belly. Both are as delightful as it appears, especially the pork belly. The soft and tender texture resulted from hours of slow cooking has won my tongue. The saucing was complimentary to the pork. If only I could have extra chili (I know, please pardon me =p) to add some hotness just the way I like it, then it would be perfect.
Beef Burger

Pork Belly
Not stopping at the main courses, he continues to awe with his creation of Eight Texture Chocolate Cake. Chocolate praline, mousse, caramel creme, ganache, chocolate disc, chocolate sponge, and chocolate dacquise all in one taking. I couldn't ask for a better dessert. I finished with a wide grin from ear to ear. That is one sweet sinful delicacy.

Eight Texture Chocolate Cake

The Nest Grill is indeed an epitome of the credo less is more. I am looking forward to its new place opening in Kemang, hoping that they would expand its selection of menu with a grandeur ambiance. Expectant!


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Snack on my tweets @Wanderbites


The Grill At The Nest FoodHall
Lumina Tower
The Kuningan Place
Jl. Kuningan Utama Lot 15
South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2555 4614
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