Friday, August 30, 2013

Going Nuts For Cronuts! - The NY Hype Has Come To Jakarta

It is Dominique Ansel, the man who single handedly created a worldwide hype on this particular cross breed between croissant and doughnut right from his bakery in New York City.

It is sold for $5 (before tax) apiece, and they usually only make about 300 cronuts per day. But it doesn't stop people from trying. Or is it the exclusivity that keeps people starving in curiosity. Thus, willing to go the extra mile to try. Why the extra mile? Because to get your hands on them, expect a queue for as long as few blocks, as early as two hours prior to opening time! Exactly why I decided to skip it on my last #WanderUS trip.

From NYC to Berlin to Singapore, this viral sensation finally hits Jakarta in the name of Kronut. Yep, Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop has got to come up with a new name as Cronuts is apparently trademarked. Well prepared, Ansel. A step ahead for world domination.

On my first try, I must say, it is just as I expected. MO's Kronut is airy as a croissant should be, well layered, a result of skillful bakery technique. However, it feels like it's freshly made but been sitting for quite a while that it loses its flaky crunchy feel. The vanilla cream hides itself in between the layers, and might just be perfect for those who likes toned down sweets. I'm a sucker for patisserie, however kronut doesn't strike a special chord. At IDR 30.000 / piece (including tax), I could easily find a substitute dessert. Or I'd rather pay a little extra for a more fulfilling sweet indulgence.

That being said, let's make a bet then. Do you think cronuts will stay here for a while or will it fade out soon? Words on the street, Union and Publico has come up with contending cronuts. But my guts tells me this trend are not here to stay. Are you with me?

Cheers, and stay tuned for London & Paris stories soon. ;)

Fellexandro Ruby 
Food Conversationalist & Photographer


Cinnamon / Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman (Bundaran HI)
Ph: 021-29938820

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shake Shack : NYC's Must-Eat Burger

I have a newfound love for this patty-in-between-bread dish and I'm glad I had my eureka moment in the capital nation of burger, United States. What started as a quick way of tricking lunch so I can fit in my tight schedule of wondering around the depths of San Francisco, eventually turned into a fascination. The variety of buns, patty, sauce, filling, fries. The flavor. The character of each burger. I mean, man, what we have in Jakarta is nothing compared to those in the States.

I ended up trying 7 different burger joint on my last trip. Shake Shack here is worthy of mentioning first simply because of its superstardom. Almost everyone I know who've been to US recommends it.

Having visited their location in Madison Square Park and tried their signature Smoke Shack burger, I must say it lived up to its reputation. I finally understand what separate the good and the mediocre. That is, they are serious about all things that make up the burger. Now, let's break it down to its part:

1. The Bun
Shack Burger is sandwiched with two buttered grilled potato bun. Word on the street it's an East Coast favorite bun sourced from Martin's Potato Rolls. I personally prefer a much crunchier bun, this one is on the very soft end of the scale.

2. The Bacon
Niman Ranch all natural applewood smoked bacon. Crisp. Flavorful. Enough said.

3. The Cheese
In the spirit of burger as comfort food, Shack Burger is topped with a typical American Cheese. It does well to add saltiness, creamy texture and of course the melt-effect.

4. The Patty & The Sauce
If you notice, a good burger joint will insist of having the meat cooked medium rare to keep the beef juice in good portion. For me, that's the only way to go, and Shake Shack does exactly that. The result is an intense flavor combo between beef and the sauce. Shack signature sauce is mayonnaise based with their 'secret sauce' that has been refined a few times. The goal was to give a little bit of each flavor to the tongue: sweet, salty, bitter, smoke and spice.

The result is a burger so good that it is greater than the sum of its parts. With so much attention on detail, it's only natural that this $8.80 burger made such a hit in US. It even has branched out to London where they opened their first stall in Covent Garden. Location is part of their success recipe, I must say. It is a very relaxing experience having good food in between tall tries, sunny weather and chilly breeze of spring air. I totally recommend this.

Speaking of Covent Garden, I shall leave you Biters with this post, and off I go for two weeks journey in the land of Shakespeare, Puddings and Shepherd Pie. Wish me luck as I travel to scour for the best food & experiences around.

Tune in to my twitter @Wanderbites. Who knows I might live tweet from Heston Blumenthal's Dinner. ;)

See you in a bit, lads.

Fellexandro Ruby 
Food Photographer & Conversationalist


Southeast corner of Madison Square Park
Near Madison Av. and E23rd St
Subway: N/R or 6
T: @shakeshack
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