Monday, January 28, 2013

The Cafe at Pistos (Gunawarman) : Sandwich Coffee Breakfast

"Life is like a sandwich. You have to fill in the best ingredients."

Any of you are heavy fans of sandwich? I was, but not any more. It was one of my staple food back in my Sydney years along with sushi rolls and kebabs. They are convenient, good to go meal especially if you're mobile and always catching up buses and trains.

Different city, different treatment. In Jakarta, there's not much going on in the sandwich world. That's what I thought, until few weeks ago, two female Sydneysiders forced me to think of a culinary trip consisting only ... sandwich.

I Googled, blogwalked, tweeted for recommendations. While I was at that, we bump into this small joint on the street of Senopati, not far from the KFC. Two hipster / designer looking guys were in front and heck we might as well check it out. Turns out it is new and 3/4 of the real estate was resorted for jewelry display. The rest is this cafe. It is not more than five tables, a display and a counter.

The menu is dominated with sandwich selections. What a coincidence! And they are not cheap, ranging from IDR 59 - 70k.  With such confidence in pricing, they gotta be good, I said to myself. But you know what? It wasn't really worth the premium price we paid.

The Ruby Sandwich (Ehm, not a very smart way to choose a menu eh? XD ) 

Something with egg and tuna and friends. 

My salmon wasabi sandwich arrived with no smell, taste, or hint of that japanese green spicy thing at all. Other than the fresh veggies and salmon, there was nothing worth mentioning. The bread appears grilled but no warmth and no appealing crunchy texture that I look for. My friends' piece was equally disappointing. One of them took two bites and simply didn't want to pursue it further. She is the hardcore sandwich fans and eats sandwich religiously. I trust her taste. But I guess, we weren't lucky enough to find the one that could live up to the quote above. The search goes on though. I'll keep you updated.

WTF Prices for a handful of sandwich.

We have no idea what Pistos means but one thing for sure, we left Pissedoff alright. I should've known. Who sell jewelry and sandwich at the same time? Pfft.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer & Conversationalist

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites ;)

The Cafe at Pistos
Jl. Gunawarman
(Not far from Turkuaz) 
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yours Truly, featured in Cleo Magazine & Farrago

I had quite a hot and cold moment when both media approached me for an interview. Since the beginning I wanted Wanderbites to be less of me, more on food, travel, and whatever stories in between. But I also wanted it to be personal. That's why my food reviews are as if I were speaking to you in eye-to-eye.

In that spirit, I finally decided that it wouldn't hurt to come out of the shell once in a while, or more appropriately : come out of the green bowl that's been shadowing my profile picture for the past two years in the 'about me' page.

I wanted you, Biters, to know that this guy right here is alive and human. The guy behind every drooling pictures and mouth-watering paragraph. Yes, when you're reading the stories, you are experiencing what I went through. And no, when you put comments you're not speaking to the giant W! logo, despite of its consistent appearance.

Speaking of comments, it is one of the things that kept me doing what I'm doing. For me it is your form of appreciation. I read every single line with a smile. I would be lying to say that I'm not happy when I got the copy of CLEO's January edition and  when I read the feature on FARRAGO. Thank you for the appreciation. It speaks to everyone in this profession.

The question that's been asked frequently by Cleo & Farrago was:

Why food? 

I guess the only answer to that is passion. The same thing if you ask MJ: why basketball? or Awie from Axioo: why photographing wedding? It's built in. There's this inexplicable sense of being toward a certain subject or activity. That when I do it, I feel alive. Sure I get tired, but also energized emotionally.

That's what food photography do to me. I hope you discover your passion too.

Although I've been writing since 2009, its not until the end of 2010 that I started posting food reviews religiously. And its not until mid 2011 that I had my first (paid) commercial photoshoot.

From a simple hobby to making a living out of it. Its a long journey and not one free from struggles of course. I had my ups and downs. This is one of the ups. While we're at that, I'd like to thank you Biters, everyone who's reading, fellow bloggers, foodies, photographers, and friends who have supported me in one way or another. =D

Here's a readable link to both article:


Fellexandro Ruby
Food / Travel Photographer & Storyteller

Snack on my Twitter at @wanderbites ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ah Poong (Pasar Apung) Sentul : Curated Good Food

Curated (v.) : select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition).
Ah Poong, a wordplay of apung (or floating in English) is an example of extensive collaborative work. This time between Pak Bondan and the gang behind Eat & Eat. Applying the similar concept but moving the whole food court into a private secluded area in Sentul. Twist it with a few fun stuff for the kids to play with and voila, you got yourself a new go-to family spot.

Speaking of la familia, I went there with my crowd of Sydneysiders who happen to be back in Jakarta for a few weeks, and man do they have the appetite. An enormous craving for Indonesian food I must say. Here's what I love culinaring (yeah I just made out that word) with them : the communal spirit. It's never about one personal satisfaction but rather the enjoyment of trying as many food as possible as a group. You can see where this is going, can't you? Yes, we had on our table more than 20 different dishes and drinks to share with. Bazinga! That's the way to dine.

What you're about to see is a series of photos. What he ate, what she drinks, what I see, and what we experienced. I couldn't recall most of the prices, we don't keep count at the tab anyway. You could make an approximation yourself if you've dined at Eat & Eat before.

Interesting sight to see here are: (1) That some of the stalls are not available in Jakarta or other Eat & Eat branches, (2) with the space this big (2.670 m2), there are a lot more options to choose from, (3) when Pak Bondan curated the stuffs you can safely confide to his maknyus tongue.

I suggest coming here with a group of friends or with your family. Its quite a long drive to Sentul, you might as well chill around here for a while, or head to Bogor after for more culinary delights just like we did.

I really enjoyed being the culinary tour lead that day. Thank you for the company, Sydneysiders. Until the stars are aligned again. =D

Without further adue, let me welcome you, Ah Poong, Pasar Apung Sentul (just inside Sentul City).


Fellexandro Ruby
Food /Travel Photographer & Storyteller


Mie Kepiting Kalimantan (Close to the original).

Martabak Kupang (One of my favorite on the trip).

Teh Tarik

This Batagor is so friggin' good.

Kiamboy w/ Soda (On a hot day, this is superb thirst quencher)

Cing Cau with Ginger (Ehm, a bit too serious for a hot day)

One of the many Soto Stalls.

See the happy faces?

One of the rides. What makes it 'apung' I suppose.

Word on the street. The best Nasgor Pete in Bogor.

Ah Poong (Pasar Apung)
Inside Sentul City
(Exit Tol Sentul Selatan)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sea Circus Seminyak Bali : Eyecandy!

Bright colors, flowers and striking contrast.

This little shack off Oberoi, Seminyak knows how to make a statement from the seemingly similar eateries in the neighborhood. The first time I lay eyes on her was in my friend's photos. It was love at first sight. I was on the hook. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, chase her up and finally made it here few months ago with a bunch of hardcore foodie, Jenz, Jie, and the quick learner travel blogger, Vira.

Arriving in the afternoon, with a quarter-full belly we ordered a few drinks and light bites to justify coming here. Haha. A Skinny Dip (pineapple & mint) because Jenz actually feeling like doing so, Bloody Shame (virgin bloody mary) because I was feeling a bit brutal, and the cool, calm, composed Jie had a cup of Cappucino as usual. I didn't quite enjoy my drink. I find it weird having a spicy aftertaste on a glass of juice. Tried Jenz' as well but I have to quit halfway. Not a big fan of minty drinks. I'm a big believer that mints only deserve to be in either candies or toothpaste.

Skinny Dip (IDR 25k) 

Bloody Shame (25k)

Cappucino (IDR 26k)

In the sharing plate was a portion of churros with chocolate dip. Marvelous. Close to the one I had back in Sydney's favorite San Churro Chocolateria in Glebe.

And finally on the confused corner was Vira. As a travel blogger, her first encounter with us, three foreign creatures who doesn't seem to ever get full astound her so much that she put it into one of her blogpost here. Its interesting to hear her point of view, and how much our world actually coincide but we naturally pay attention to different part of an experience that matter the most to us individually.

Churros w/ Chocolate Dip (IDR 45k)

For me that one visit was unfinished. I have yet to taste their lunch and dinner courses. I guess, I can wait. Let's keep it interesting. I'll unravel your other layers next time, but I must admit, you're an eyecandy.

Bali, you never cease to amaze me.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer & Storyteller

Sea Circus
Jalan Kayu Aya (Oberoi Rd) No. 22
Ph: (0361) 738667
T: @SeacircusBali

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Tavola Kemang : Italian? Definitely (Maybe).

I've heard of praises prior to coming here, but it all tears down the soonest I enter the place on Sunday afternoon and find no patrons there. There were only one waitress to do all the job, including printing bills from behind the till. (Hey that rhymes!)

Few scenarios run in my head. I pulled out my occasional not-so-sure-about-your-place-but-I-wanna-see-what-you-have trick.

"May I have a look at your menu first?" 

A quick glance, still with doubts, but I say to myself : no harm in trying. My usual drill in an Italian restaurant is to order the two dish that represent the country the most: Pizza and Pasta. Lucky my friends are all with me and everyone picked a different menu.

Here's what was on our table:

Pizza Con Pepperoni (60k)
Shameful. Not only that the bread was hard to chew, when we let it air for 10-15 minutes it slowly deteriorates into something close to biscuit. Let's not go to the meat and cheese shall we? They are equally uninteresting as the bread.

Chicken Cordon Blu (Pardon me, forgot the price)
This saved my friends' belly from more pizza torture. A decent roll of meat, served warm, enough creamy sauce. Not something worth of honorary mention though. By the way, I'd appreciate if you could tone down the grated cheese. As you'll notice along the way, they are a little too serious in showing of their cheese to the point of almost ruining the taste. Because everything taste similar now.

Spaghetti Al Pesto (28k)
I personally would recommend this. Cooked al dente with the complementing basil & pine sauce, I needed nothing more to satisfy my tastebuds. Simplicity at its best.

Beef Lasagna (55k)
Another promising menu saved by the beef. But distracted by the cheese (again).

Fettuccine Con Prosciutto (40k)
Well cooked pasta. Cream based sauce was fascinating as well. I have no complains but the unnecessary reappearance of the grated cheese (again for the third time!).

Torta Di Cioccolato (30k)
Thank God they didn't pour cheese on this one. Probably the best thing that happened that afternoon. Not the best warm chocolate cake in town though. What makes it inferior to the one at Spageddies is probably the choice of chocolate. I just like their richness better.

At the end of the day, I probably should have listened to this review instead, or pay more attention to my gut feeling. I have no disappointment though. The meal was a lot more enjoyable with good friends around, they made it worth the while.

This is also a lesson to you Biters. If you have been coming to this site, lets not forget the written review while mesmerized by the photos. Read it paragraph by paragraph. Not everything that looks good is delectable. Same with food, same with women.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food & Travel Photographer / Storyteller

A Tavola
Jl. Kemang Selatan Raya No. 125
Ph: 021-71793580

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nasi Campur Kenanga Wijaya : Pork In South Jakarta

When I tweeted this particular Nasi Campur some time ago, a fellow foodie, Aris mentioned that he doesn't trust nasi campur that resides in places other than North & West Jakarta. I have to agree with him to a certain extent. The reason is pretty obvious, both area probably has the strongest population of pork-eating Indonesians. As a result, there are more Chinese cuisines available and more authentic too.

However, I beg to differ on this one. Kenanga, located in Grand Wijaya Centre, Kebayoran Baru is an oasis of pork in South Jakarta. I trust the taste of the elderly in the photos below. Man, their tongue must have tasted more delectable food than me, and especially Chinese culinary for that matter. If they come here, there must be something good about this place. 

Here, you can choose either rice, noodle, or bihun as the base. You can also custom order the different variation of pork that suits your taste buds the best. There's pork satay, chasiu, roasted pork, gohiong, siewmay, and pig ear. 

Nasi Campur Kenanga (IDR 35k)

Its a meaty affair in one plate. However, I must say the roasted pork tasted best among others. Thick juicy cut with a crispy fat skin. Phew! I mean, you can find a better chasiu or siewmay some place else, but I'd definitely comeback just for the roasted pork. See? The elderly are right. 

Trivial questions must be running in your head whether it is the same with Nasi Campur Putri / Putra Kenanga that is more commonly available in malls. In a quick glance, the ingredients are quite similar, but from the look of it, they are of different management. Judging from the old building that houses Kenanga, I have a feel that this place is the genesis of the appropriately named daughters and sons of Kenanga. Coincidence? 

In short, if you're around the area and curiously starving for pork delicacy. This is one possible options, aside from Kacamata that's just a block away.

My fellow demographic from the North and the West, let me tell you that there's another world out there other than your current comfort zone. Explore! 

Cheers from the guy who sacrifice getting fat to fulfill your curiosity for good food, 

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer / Storyteller

I tweet more pork and whatnot @Wanderbites. Keep the conversation going! 

Nasi Campur Kenanga
Grand Wijaya Center 
Blok F No. 19
Twitter: @KedaiKenanga
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