Sunday, May 5, 2019

Santi's Cake's Spiku Kenari

Just as I got home, there was the mail man with a big box just in front of my house. I took a quick glance and spotted the word “makanan”, which is “food” in English. I was expecting for a delivery, either today or tomorrow, and turned out my package was delivered today. “Is it for Kinan,” I asked the mail man. He nodded and handed me the big box that had stickers on it that said, “URGENT” and “FOOD. DO NOT FLIP”. I went inside the house, excitedly opened the box, and was welcomed with two boxes of Santi’s Cake Spiku Kenari, woohoo! 

Urgent delivery for Kinan!

Choose the size of your liking.

Quality check is a must!

Just how on earth shouldn't I be excited.

So, last week, the owner of Santi’s Cake, who goes by the name David, reached out to me and said that he wanted to send me his homemade Spiku. Spiku (most Indonesian are more familiar with the term Spikoe, or Lapis Surabaya) is actually derived from an Indonesian-Dutch dessert named Spekkoek. Although the two are somewhat different from one another, the basic method of baking the cake is pretty similar, which is baking stacks of layered batter. While Spekkoek, or Kue Lapis Legit, has numerous layers and consists of Indonesian spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg, Spiku has only two to three layers of cake and is made entirely of cake batter and natural food coloring, like cocoa powder. 

Mom holding the entire cake effortlessly. 

Walnuts galore!

Just a slice away and I couldn't wait any longer.

David might did some alteration to his cake by adding a dash of modernity because his Spiku Kenari has no layers. It’s just a large, yet light and fluffy, cake with a sprinkle of diced walnuts. (Now, the walnuts we have in Indonesia are much different than those walnuts you see on Tv. I may be wrong, because the two, when translated to Indonesian, are both “kacang kenari”, so I apologize in advance if I gave the wrong information. Do enlightenment on this subject!) It is very thick, but I bullshit you not about how light it was. Mom and I got to try lift one of the cakes, which was the big one, with each of our hands and we both agreed that the cake is far from heavy. I don’t think it even weights a kilo! 

Look at that cross-section!

Doesn't it reminds you of a sunflower?

Mom took the liberty of slicing the cake. She didn’t need any effort to ram the knive into the cake as it was very fluffy and moist. With one quick move, she managed to slice the cake evenly. No crumbs, no cracks, just a perfect cross-section of it, and boy was it beautiful. The brown surface of the cake hid a beautiful perfect yellow cake inside. I love how the color combination reminded me so much of a beautiful sunflower.  

It was a full house today, my aunty and my cousins were at home, so the five of use got to try a slice of the cake each. The first thing that popped in each of our heads was the same: fluffy. The cake was very fluffy and fairly moist. At first glance, I thought the cake would be dry, yet I stand corrected after my first bite. The texture reminded us of how a sponge cake should be, yet it was more moist and more dense. On the other hand, it was not as heavy, nor as solid, as a Lapis Surabaya. So, in terms of texture, it goes without saying that it ranks above sponge cake, yet below Lapis Surabaya. 

Another slice 'cause one will never be enough.

Hello, beautiful!

The sweet flavor is not sickening, although we could hint the piquant vanilla essence that dominated the whole flavor wheel. I assume no spices were used in the making of this cake because there was no significant kick of nutmeg, nor cardamom, whatsoever. Unfortunately, I’m no fan of walnut, so I did no justice in distinguishing its’ role in the cake. To me, walnuts taste bland. Period. But, I do love to have a different crunchy and chewy texture to chew on in between my cake, so it was good nonetheless. 

The color combination fulfill my aesthetic needs.

Don't you just want to have a bite of this Spiku Kenari?

The cake was probably sent all the way from Surabaya yesterday and it landed safely at Bekasi today, and the fact that it arrived safely intact and still have a good quality to it awes me. 

For those of you who live in Surabaya and Denpasar, or other cities in Indonesia, and want to get a bite of this cake, y’all can head straight to Santi’s Cake Instagram to obtain the information you needed on how to order this cake. It’s time to give modernity a shot! 

Dig in!

Santi's Cake
Available for online order

Surabaya: +62 815 5211 1800, or +62 812 3262 767
Denpasar: +62 819 9906 5826

Friday, April 12, 2019

Something Before the Drink

I continued to roam the alley of Poppies for a nice and aesthetic coffee place until I stumbled upon this hidden cafe named Crumb & Caster. Located on the side of a narrow street in Poppies alley, I didn’t have to think twice to park my tired ass on one of the outdoor seating as the scorching sun was tiring me to the bones. I was sweating like a goat during a Qurbani! The heat was excruciating, but that didn’t stop me from getting a nice cup of Flat White. 

I flopped at a table for two outside, accompanied with my laptop, a pack of Marlboro Ice Burst, and my Flat White that took around ten minutes to be served. The coffee was nice and creamy, just the right amount of milk and espresso to not make my fingers tremble as the result of caffeine overload. It was hot, but still enjoyable. And you know what can make my afternoon coffee more delightful? Is to have you sitting across me. 

Right across Crumb & Coasted is this aesthetic dining place named Paperboy. “Smoothie, but first, coffee,” was what written on the sign parked near the entrance. The outdoor seating of Paperboy was painted in pastel and tropical colors, just like paradise. The moment I finished my coffee, I grabbed all of my stuff and moved myself across the street. 

I hadn’t have lunch, so I decided to go for something that would be rather fulfilling, the Tuna Hawaiian Poke Bowl and a big glass of Bay Breeze that consists of blended cucumber, kale, apple, orange, and mint. 

My Tuna Hawaiian Poke Bowl was okay to say the least. The tuna was marinated with a generous amount of sauce that tasted sweet, yet savory. The drizzle of sesame seed on top brought out this smoky flavor onto the dish, while the other veggies were very plump and juicy. I enjoyed my lunch while reading an article about the amazing Ramengvrl on this very aesthetic magazine that was provided by the dinning place. Its’ name escapes me. I ended up spending hours at this place, despite the lousy service from the waiters towards locals, before I finally headed to the beach and got dead drunk. 

Jalan Benesari, No. 2
Kuta, Bali

Opening Hours:
MON - SUN: 7AM - 11PM

Crumb & Coaster
Jalan Benesari No. 2E

Opening Hours:
MON - SUN: 10AM - 10PM

+62 819 9959 6319

The Burger Cartel, Ubud

Today’s lunch was burgers, woot! Dad was in the mood for some burgers and I decided to go along with his cravings, even though I didn’t feel like having carbs. We searched for a proper burger place in Ubud on Zomato and it leaded us with two choices: Halal Ubud Burger, and the Burger Cartel. It didn’t take long for us to decide which burger joint we want to visit. Can you guess?

Welcome to the Burger Cartel!

Oh, I'm satisfied alright! 

Yep, the Burger Cartel! Managed by the dynamic duo, Ricard and Koco, this restaurant is going places! Despite the fact of it being a newcomer in Ubud by being open for business for only three months, the Burger Cartel is currently climbing the ladder of success. The cozy and aesthetic interior design of the restaurant sure does attract a lot of visitors, both local and international, with its’ warm, yet vibrant tropical colors. Decorated with real and synthetic plants, the Burger Cartel managed to bring out the holiday spirit and positive vibe of Bali. 

The beautiful decoration of synthetic plants above our heads.

I'd spend hours at this place just for chilling.

If you're in the mood for some booz, head straight to the bar. 

I had a quick chat with one of the waitress who was serving us today, Mbok Pita, who patiently explained to us about the set of dishes they serve at the Burger Cartel as well about the restaurant itself. I love the way she treated us locals with friendly and polite manner, along with a smile that never seemed to fade away from the moment we stepped into the restaurant until the moment we left. After a wee while of scanning through the menu, Dad decided to go for a well-done Cartel Burger, while I settled with a medium-well Moody Meat Burger.

Lunch is served!
The crispy potato wedges that was plain delectable. 

It took a while for our burgers to be served, I managed to light around three cigarettes and finished half of my drink, but, I bullshit you not, the waiting is totally worth it. Mbok Pita came with both of our burgers, each stacked beautifully in this breakfast tray. My first impression on Dad’s burger was not that good as it looked a bit plain and pale. But, then, I saw mine. Good Lord. I had this momentary rush of excitement and happiness and I knew nothing can go wrong with this burger just judging from the look it self. I mean, look at it! Look at this beautiful baby!

Both burgers came with a bucket of crispy potato wedges, along with mayonnaise and ketchup on the side. The ketchup caught my attention as its’ presentation doesn’t look like the usual ketchup I had in any other restaurants, you know the one that came from the bottle and is manufactured in Indonesia, but it looked more like a homemade bolognese sauce or some kind? The texture of the ketchup really did remind me of how bolognese sauce looks like, and it taste slightly similar too! It had this sweetness of a tomato, yet a slight spicy kick into it. I am not against this sauce at all. 

My burger was big, but I didn't feel like sharing it.

My Moody Meat Burger is basically a humongous skewer of stuff. It consisted of pickled cucumber, sautéed mushroom, caramelized onion, a medium-well black angus beef, tomato slices, fresh onion, a slab of Old Amsterdam Cheese, two slices of home-dried bacon, and a handful of crisp rocket lettuce sandwiched in between bagel-like buns in which its’ inner part was smeared with mustard mayonnaise sauce. So breathtaking. 

Like always, I usually deconstruct my burger before devouring it. I couldn’t finish both buns in one go, so I took away the top part for take-away later. For the first bite, I stuff a bit of everything in my mouth barehanded. No fork, nor knife, just hands. Chomp chomp chomp! “Oh God, is this for real,” I thought to myself, “this is epic!”. 

Dad's Burger Cartel.

Boy, look at that melted cheese!

The meat, guys oh my God the meat, was very juicy! The seasoning used on the meat was on point as it had this umami kick that was just plain satisfying. The flavor combination from the meat and the sautéed mushroom was superb, followed by the crispy and savory bacons and the rich melted cheese that sticked on the beef patty like stamps on postcards. 

Now, I know how every main star can shine on their own, but sometimes they shine because of their supporting cast, in this case the onion rings. I don’t think I have ever seen such beautiful onion rings before in my life. The ones they serve at the Burger Cartel was thickly well-battered and very very crispy. There was a dash of black pepper on the deep fried batter and some chopped green inside, which made it not tasteless. Very enjoyable and delicious, and it brought the whole burger to a whole new level of deliciousness. 

Oh, and also, shout out to the buns as they were very delicious to be munched on itself! The texture of the bread was fluffy, yet chewy and very dense, like the texture of a bagel. Although it was a bit heavy, just eating one part of the bun itself already made me feel stuffed, but it was very enjoyable. It had this slight sweetness in every bite, which I love!

The thirst-quenching freshly squeezed orange juice, with no added anything.

It didn’t take long for Dad and I to finish our meal. 15 minutes tops. For the whole time when we had our first munch on our burgers, we focussed ourselves in devouring and enjoying our dish as if we hadn’t had any proper food for the past couple of days. After we were done with our meal, we finished it off with a couple of cigarettes and some final sips of our freshly squeezed orange juice. 

Care to join the challenge?

The Burger Cartel
Jalan Raya Pengosekan, No. 108
Ubud, Bali - 80571

Opening Hours: 
SUN - THU: 11 AM - 11 PM
FRI - SAT: 11AM - 11:45 PM

+62 812 9586 5347

Friday, March 8, 2019

Gluten-free Penne Bolognese

Gluten-free Penne Bolognese

- gluten-free pasta (chose your pasta according to your preference. I was in the mood for some penne pasta today, so I settled with that baby)
- bolognese sauce (I got the one in a jar. I chose the one that has less preservatives, which is San Remo's Homestyle Pasta Sauce)
- minced beef
- pork sausage 
- 3 cloves of garlic
- water

How to Make: 
1. Boil your pasta with a boiling pan. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta gets into the texture that you like. I like mine al dente. 

2. Chop up some garlic, as well as the sausage, and fry them on a separate frying pan. Fry them sausages first because you don't want your garlic to be burnt from being fried too long.

3. When your sausage has changed its' color into brownish dark grey, put in the minced beef and fry 'em up nicely. 

4. When everything is well-fried, pour the bolognese sauce onto the frying pan, add some water, and stir well. I don't like runny sauce, so I only poured a bit of water and let the whole thing simmer until it thickens. 

5. Last, but not least, pour your al dente pasta onto the frying pan and mix until the whole thing gets covered by the meaty sauce. 

6. Y'all can add some garnish as you like. I added some gluten-free tortilla chips and some local chili flakes for that extra kick of spiciness. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Great Falafel in Ubud!

Located at a narrow street somewhere in Ubud, Warung Falafel lives up to its’ name as it was very small and compact. The Mediterranean food spot is surrounded by local people and their booths of Balinese handcrafts competing against each other to sell some goods to foreign tourists. Dad and I were just casually strolling around Ubud with our motorcycle when I happen to have this sudden urge to munch on Falafel. I quickly typed in “great falafel in Ubud,” on Google’s search engine and the first option that popped on my phone was the one and only Warung Falafel. I didn’t have to think twice to ask Dad to turn around as we just passed the designated road that would lead us to the warung. 

There were no exclusive parking spots for the customers of Warung Falafel, so I do not recommend you to bring your own motorcycles, let alone cars, as the narrow alley was already too small and compact for pedestrians to begin with. You might want to use local transportations, or online transportations, or if you happen to bring your own bike, you can definitely park it on the sides of the streets near Warung Falafel. 

I made my entrance to the warung and was welcomed with the friendly staff who was just serving free samples to tourists. I spent a minute to enjoy the lovely vibe that the food spot gives. Despite it being way too small for a restaurant, or a cafe, Warung Falafel has this vibrant color scheme that makes it delightful to look at. All those splash of blue and green really work well in bringing a comfortable atmoshphere. 

“Hi, welcome to Warung Falafel. If you have any questions, let me know,” said the man behind the counter. He was a bearded man with swishy brunette locks and beautiful olive eyes. Was it olive? Or was it hazel? Now, I’m not so sure anymore. But, I do recall being shy when I talked to him as he was very beautiful. All of the staff at Warung Falafel were all local people, except him, so I’m guessing that he’s probably the owner of the plant-based food booth. 

I had a hard time choosing my preference despite the fact that there were only three choices of dishes, which are pockets, wraps, and bowls. All of the three comes with falafel, a generous slop of hummus and tahini, and three choices of add-ons of your favorite greens. I settled for the wrap had the sprout salad, Arabic salad, and Tabouli for the three extra ingredients, then the staff gave me some extra spicy carrot and this generous translucent sauce which I don’t know the name of and forgot to ask. “Do you prefer the normal size, or the royal size,” asked the brunette man. I was feeling a little bit famished, so I impulsively went for the royal size. 

“Is the wrap gluten-free,” I asked. “Our wraps have gluten in it, but we also have gluten-free wraps. Are you gluten intolerant,” he replied. I briefied him about how I actually don’t have any intolerances towards food and that I’m currently on a no-carbs no-sugar diet. He nodded quickly with a smile and complied with my request. 

Unfortunately, despite the fact that Warung Falafel is an open place, smoking is not allowed on the table. I had to smoke outside its’ territorial, even when it means that I’m smoking exactly adjacent to the imaginary border of the warung. 

I diligently watched the staff preparing my lunch. The falafels were in the frier, my gluten-free wrap was spread out on the cutting board, a handful of sprout salad was placed on top of the hummus-glazed wrap, then came the splash of the translucent sauce followed by another handful of the Arabic salad, and she kept going building my wrap until the whole ingredients were overflowing. I was super excited!

A minute later, my Falafel Wrap was served on the table, although it didn’t look much like a wrap but more like a soft taco. “Miss,” the brunette man approached me, “our royal wrap today are smaller than our usual, so it’s just our normal wrap. And since the gluten-free wrap is smaller than our normal wrap, we couldn’t wrap the whole thing, so it is shaped similar to a taco.” I’m not complaining, the dish looked sexy!

Most gluten-free food that I have eaten so far would result in me having a nausea after eating too much of it but, thank God, not this baby. I know I would have enjoy tortilla way better than this, but it ain’t bad, especially when you’re trying to lose weight but still wanting to eat sinfully delicious food. The gluten-free wrap has this chewy and rather flaky texture that is similar to a tortilla, and it tasted bland, although had a bit of sweetness in between my bites. 

My wrap was filled with four pieces of falafels that tasted very delicious. It had a quite mushy texture, which was kind of a let down because I love my falafel to be slightly crispy and has this bitable chickpea bits in it, but it definitely satisfy my need for pea fritter. On the one hand, I really love the Tabuli as it was very refreshing and crispy. I would definitely come again to have my wrap with extra Tabuli in it, along with a dash of lemon zest, yum! “Mbok, enak ini,” I said to one of the staff who was busy preparing some ingredients at the open kitchen. She smiled and thanked me for the positive feedback. 

After I finish the whole thing, I got me a bottle of Warung Falafel’s mint-infused water, which was stored inside an empty Marjan (Indonesia’s leading brand of bottled fruit-flavored syrup) bottle. One bottle costed me Rp20.000,00 and I got to keep the bottle to myself, which is a great deal! I also ordered a couple of falafels to go for dinner. “Do you want a bag, or banana leaf is okay for you,” asked the brunette. “I’m cool with banana leaf!” 

Warung Falafel
Jalan Karna, No. 15
Ubud, Gianyar - 80571

Opening Hours:
MON - SUN: 9AM - 9PM

+62 813 3722 8733