Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Super Suikiaw - Mangga Besar

Having nowhere to go on Sunday, I figure I should get away from malls and fancy restaurants once in a while. I decided to venture out Super Suikiaw after hearing a lot of happy-praises from too many friends. Also credits to Selby Food Corner for successfully drools me into coming here.

At the first sight, the signage was a clear hunch that I was about to enter a strangeland. But I did not expect that until I set foot inside and started to see faces that looks like my second cousin from another great-grandfather that sailed right away from Mainland China. I'm exaggerating of course, but I need to so that you can visually see and hear the Mandarin / Hokkian that was being conversed fluently by one patrons to another.

The red lampion hanging from one end to the other end of the hall adds a strong Chinese flavor to the room. Not too mention the Buddhist praying table hidden at one corner.

This is a good sign though. I sense originality.

And without further adieu, there came our boiled & fried Suikiaw. I must admit, the fried one is a notch better that the boiled. I suppose when it's fried, the flavor of the fillings (shrimp, pork & garlic chives) was better released. Even without the addition of dipping sauce (vinegar, soy sauce & garlic) it tasted super! But for those of you who prefers a hint of spicyhotness, dip it in!

Suikiaw Rp. 40.000 / Portion (12 Pieces)

Fried Suikiaw - Rp. 40.000 / Portion (12 Pieces)

Siao Lung Pao / Xiao Long Bao - Rp. 28.000,- / Portion (6 Pieces)

Believing that we would not be satisfied with one portion of Suikiaw, we had an extra portion of Siau Lung Pao that turned out to be a disappointment. Pork fillings were not seasoned enough, soup was rather mild, and the worst of all the super-thick skin. The ideal kind of Siau Lung Pao in my mind was the one that you have to carefully pinch with your chopstick to avoid being torn because of the super-thin-slick skin. But that dream was shattered. Good thing it wasn't that pricey.

Putting all the pieces together, I suppose by now you know what to order and what to expect right?

For me, it was a wonderful afternoon. Trying out new food always put me in a good mood despite of the taste, and most importantly for the joy of having a great company, who shared a liberal view on things, food, and happens to be an awesome stylist / hand model as well. Haha.

Anyways, by the end of this experience, I felt so Chinese that I think I'd stay away from anything remotely related for a while. I'm afraid if I keep coming back and eating this, I'd turn more and more into Stephen Chow as I've been warned a lot for the past few years. Or maybe not. ;)


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Storyteller & Photographer

Jl. Mangga Besar Raya No. 3B
Ph: 0815-7464-8999

Monday, September 17, 2012

Xin Hwa & Chef Lee's Definition of Chinese Culinary

Its been a few days since I visited Xin Hwa, but the thought of Chef Lee's cooking still invoke my appetite every time I looked through the photos in my iPhone. The last time I had this similar insatiable craving was when I dined at Otellobby. For a beautiful experience that only comes every once in a while, I'm always packed with excitement to share. Allow me to take you to last Thursday night.

These are first five that speaks to my tastebud. Why five? Because three is not enough and four is not a good number in Chinese.

Old fashion Shanghai smoked fish fillet. 
Served as an appetizer, I didn't think this particular dish would stand out, but half of the patrons that night might have heard my "mmhhmm.." as I munched on the crisp sweet skin and savored the smooth fish fillet. I'm glad I was the first one to acknowledge this. According to Chef Lee most people would be turned off by its appearance.

Oven baked tiger prawns with cheese and spicy XO sauce. 
Chef Lee surely knows how to give a surprise. It is the only one among the dishes that night that brings a kick of spicy-hotness, and it did just that at the right amount with the right flavor on the prawn.

Chilled drunken chicken topped with "Shao Xing" wine shaved ice.
This was another surprise among the appetizers. Here's where I see the playful side of Chef Lee and his attempt to give his dose of modernism in the meal. Its not your usual drunken chicken when the feel of alcohol came from a chunk of wine-shaved-ice on top of the meat.

Steamed black cod fish with homemade green ginger puree
Served warm, with fish that's flawless and a good balance of flavor. What more to ask?

Chilled lemongrass Jelly with Aloe Vera flavored in Lime Citrus Juice.
Grand opening. Grand closing. That's all it takes for Chef Lee. He did just that with this perfect closure. Thick chunk of sweet Aloe Vera and Lemongrass jelly was a pleasing play of texture. Another "mmmhmm.." to sum it up.

I'd expect nothing less from Chef Jeff Lee. Having traveled 14 years in culinary industry from Malaysia, to Singapore and Shanghai, his take of Chinese and particularly Cantonese is something commendable and I'd definitely come back to. The only part of me that still curious is to taste his take on pork. Born and raised in a traditional Chinese family, it has been an indispensable part of our meal. It is almost a must-have in every family occasion. And I suppose it is only natural that one of the most look forward menu in a Chinese restaurant is none other than the pork.

Until the day that my personal request come to happen, I guess I'd be happy to pay another visit for its set menu. At the price of 388k / person or 138k / person for the dimsum, I suppose it is a good treat every once in a while.

Thank you Xin Hwa for having me. Thank you Melinda & team from Mandarin Oriental, I enjoyed the company.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Storyteller & Photographer

Xin Hwa 
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Level 2
Jl. MH Thamrin
Ph: 021 - 2993-8888

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday (11.30 - 14.30)
Monday - Saturday (18.30 - 22.30)
Sunday (10.00 - 14.30) 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Super Steak : This is it!

What's the first thing they ask you after you decide on your cut of meat? That's right, the sauce. And almost every time, you'll stumble upon the usual three: blackpepper, mushroom, and barbeque. Guess what? You will not find any of them here.

Super Steak begs to differ on their choice of flavor. You'll have these instead: Beerloin, Butter Garlic, Honey Hot, Lemon Herbs, Asian Delight, Cajun Delight & Honey Herbs. 

What are they? Let's rewind to two hours before our first encounter with the 'it' steak.

Me and Jie didn't know what to have for dinner. As a host, I try my best not to screw my friends' experience while he is in Jakarta. After a quick brainstorming session, we were in between. Super Steak or Super Suikiaw. I guess its only natural that super men eat super food. =p Well, both has come with commending praises from people, but failing to choose the right one might end the night in disaster.

Good thing, we sailed our ship to Jalan Dempo I No. 76 where the small secluded house receive a wide variety of patrons. Judging from the wall of fame, you can see expats has come over, celebrities (that includes me & Jie =p) and people from all walks of life. Almost everyone enjoyed their visit here. I can understand why, and the reason is twofold.

Lemon Herbs Part II - Sirloin - 200 Gram (115K)
Beerloin - Sirlon 200 Gram (115k)

1. It all comes down to the food

I had one of my most memorable moment among my many carnivorous adventures. The Lemon Herbs Part II was a treat. As a foodie who likes it hot, it is a rare occasion that I don't request chili sauce when I have my meat. But as it turned out, I didn't have to. The flavor was all there. The 200 grams of meat was well seasoned and marinated. Cooked just at the right 'medium', resulting in one appetizing fleshly pleasure.

Same thing with Jie's Beerloin, beer marinated to add tenderness to the meat with an extra kick of unique flavor. Subtle but it makes the difference.

On a side note, I also find the french fries quite lovely. It's like a cross-pollination between straight cut french fries and wedges. You still have the potato skin and the size is just a notch thinner than usual wedges. With the sprinkles of salt and greens, it was one bowl of fries.

2. And the experience

Tell you what, when you dine here, it won't be just a meal. In my case it transformed into an enticing conversation with Om Mashud, the father of the owner (Windu). Being a photographer and a reporter himself, he welcomed both me and Jie taking photos of the steak. I even stood on the chair to get the birds eye view shot. Such a cool dad. Seventy and still kicking it like seventeen.

Homey Super Steak. 

With all these in mind, part of me can't help to share it and the other part wants to keep it in secrecy. It's one of those less known place that offer good food. I'd like them to stay original. I would hate it if it became a national franchise one day at the risk of becoming generic. But I suppose, that's not for me to decide. You Biters, deserve to know and to taste it.

Let me know when you do. Twitpic me the photo @Wanderbites.

So long, carnivores

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer & Conversationalist


Super Steak
Jalan Dempo I No. 76
Kebayoran Baru
Ph: 0817 639 6255

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Coffeebeerian : A Clash Of Flavor

Four buddies, Hendra Gunawan, Nova Dien, Michel Hamilton, and Laki Gushari are passionate divers, who happens to enjoy a good proportion of coffee and beer in their travels. An idea struck them one day in a conversation to gather resources and assemble a place of their own. After months of consistent pursuit, Coffeebeerian was born  in the vicinity of Panglima Polim (South Jakarta).

Combining two of their most favorite drinks, came out their specialties: Black Pony and Coby Brown.

The earlier is a mix of espresso, mint, and stout. A rather strong version. While the latter is a mix of coffee, lemon, and draught. Much more pleasing for first timer. I myself find it hard getting used to it. It's gonna take quite a while, but for the time being, I'll still enjoy either coffee or beer separately. Coffee aficionado will probably enjoy the thrill as Tony Wahid already wrote praises in his blog recently. 

What you'll find here: 

1. A good selection of beer (Anker Draught, Stout, San Miguel, IPA, Indian Pale Ale, Carlsberg) and home brewed coffee from different parts of Indonesia. 

2. Great atmosphere. As a place revamped from a massage parlor, it has gone through a lot of changes to get to the right mood. The warm, industrialist atmosphere is well crafted with unfinished walls, used items and a lot of wood characters. I can imagine sinking myself into one of the cozy corners, having a good read, or catching up on my work. Bliss. 

What you wouldn't find here is full-course menu. Yes, get your belly prepared before coming because the most you'll get are finger foods (sausage, french fries, and nuggets in a can) or desserts (cakes). 

That being said, I have no more to reveal, other than giving you a chance to experience it yourself. And when you do, poke me on Twitter @Wanderbites and let me know what you think. 

Pardon on the black and white pictures, I'm being experimental =), oh let me know what you think on that matter as well. 

Save water, drink beer!


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer & Conversationalist

Poke me on Twitter @Wanderbites or Instagram @Captainruby =D
Jalan Panglima Polim IX No. 8
Jakarta Selatan

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sengoku Noodle (PIK) - A Ramen War Of Its Own

It was only a few weeks ago that I tasted the increasingly popular Ikkudo Ichi. So popular that even my pastor went all the way to PIK to try it. That is something! In case you missed out, you can read my review of Ikkudo here. Continuing the ramen wave, recently I paid a visit to Sengoku Noodle who happens to be nearby.

My first impression of Sengoku Noodle was a bit displeasing. The poorly design menu was a major turn off. Printed on a piece of carton paper, laminated, with fonts that resemble the work of amateurs. I'm sorry I'm judgmental when it comes to this. A food photographer's holy discontent. Haha. But hey, I've seen worse and yet the food turn out amazing. I decided to give it a second chance and ordered myself a bowlful of Tampopo Ramen.

I suppose I was in a sentimental mood, and the name reminded me of one of my favorite food-movie, Tampopo. A lot of lessons learned from that movie, but let's keep it straight on the food this time.

Clean broth yet flavorful aroma. I can easily sniff the meat stock. Intriguing.

Two huge slice of pork in parallel with two piece of soft-boiled eggs. Spring onions overflowing. Seaweeds swimming on top.

Curly noodle that appears 'al-dente'.

It's the moment of truth. One bite and the record is set. It is a rather calming type of broth, with not much excitement going around. A safe version of ramen I would say. Not to be mistaken as poor ramen, it was actually quite enjoyable, especially after the second munch on the pork. I was just looking for more lively kind of ramen. The kind that would make you "oohh" and "aahh". The kind that makes you grab the bowl with both hands and literally drink the broth until the last sip.

That was not it.

Well, I still think its too early to judge Sengoku Noodle from one bowl of ramen though. There should be more in store for something that is licensed all the way from Seattle. It is a part of the emerging Samurai Noodle. The name Sengoku was given to appreciate the Japanese warring era and great advancement that marked the height of Samurai's reign in Japan. I heard they even flew some of the cast to Jakarta to help around for the first few months.

For a two months old foodplace, they are doing well. Don't close just yet, I'll come back to taste some more.

Until then, I hope this post helps you ramen-lovers out there. If you do, send some loving on Twitter @Wanderbites. Feel free to poke.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer & Conversationalist

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