Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gudang Rottie's Polo Coffee

As a curious gastronomer that I am, I was very excited when I found out that Gudang Rottie has some new family members. Sloppy Joe Burger, Roti John Negeri Seberang, "LOCO" Extreme, they are the new dishes that you can find at this petite restaurant. Other than new main courses and side dishes, they also have some new bakery products, which are Polo Coffee and scones. Last Sunday, I was able to get a taste of the brown and crispy Polo Coffee.

Coffee lovers ought to fancy this particular bun. With leavened dough coated in coffee flavored butter cream, this bun has a crispy and toothsome outer layer, while the inside part is as soft as cotton. This bun is filled with coffee cream that has a balanced flavor, which is not too sweet nor too bitter, and it certainly didn't make the consumer feel nauseated or stuffed.

Polo Coffee has become one of my favorites in Gudang Rottie and I'm looking forward to the day I can get another bite of this soft and bitter-sweet bun.

Gudang Rottie's Polo Coffee

Gudang Rottie
Rukan Villa Jatibening Tol
Kav. 4A, Bekasi 17412

Phone: (021) 9737 2883

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday: 6AM - 10PM

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oktoberfest at Grand Indonesia

As you all know, this year's Oktoberfest has come to an end on the seventh day of October and will be continued next year around late September. Luckily for us, Indonesian, or Jakartan to be exact, we don't have to wait until late September and book a ticket to Munich to attend the annual beer festival because there is, or was, an Oktoberfest at Grand Indonesia for two straight days. I was able to attend the beer festival on its' last day, which is today! I had fun, ate lots of pork, and played the Beer Pong Game. It was fun while it lasted!

The Oktoberfest that was held at Grand Indonesia, on the fifth floor of the West Mall, was a collaboration event between Paulaner Brauhaus and Die Stube. Those two restaurant are examples of the so many German restaurant that you can visit in Jakarta. Today was the last day of the festival and I managed to join in the fun with my Mom, my aunt, my friend, Angel, and my cousin, Nuning. Although Jakarta's version of Oktoberfest is not as awesome as the one in Munich, it was still fun and entertaining.

Starting off with buying vouchers. The procedure is new for me as those who wished to have a plate of Pork Knuckle or Sauerkraut are obliged to have vouchers with them instead of money. You could buy the vouchers at the cashier for Rp10.000,00 each. When we acknowledged the only thing that we can trade a voucher with is a pretzel, we decided to buy lots of it.

The vouchers that you use to get food

We started with a plate of Pork Knuckle that costed us five vouchers. The Pork Knuckle came with a side dish, which is sauerkraut, or sour cabbage. I was disappointed by the fact that the pork knuckle was only as big as my fists combined. But it tasted delicious though! The meat was very easy to chew and there were not covered in fat like how I expected they would be. And the crispy skin was beyond crispy and savory, and oily too! 

Grilled Pork Belly for Rp50.000,00, or five vouchers

Our plate of Pork Knuckle with sauerkraut

Then we proceed to the next dish, which is pretzel! Again, I was very disappointed with the food. Aside from the fact that the pretzel looked malnourished, it didn't have any sea salts on it! Those pretzel looked much more like shaped bread to me. It even share the same texture like kneaded bread, soft and chewy, instead of as-hard-as-brick on the outside and soft on the inside like how pretzel are supposed to be. The pretzel tasted funny, but it was not that bad. I ended up buying another piece, to be honest.

Lines of soft-bread-like pretzel

The pretzel that tasted amusing

There were three kinds of sausages at the Oktoberfest, which were Pork, Beef, and Chicken. What kind of people are we for ordering a plate of Chicken sausage on Oktoberfest? We sticked with the Pork sausage, a.k.a. the bratwurst that costed us three coupons. 

The bratwurst were big and juicy. They were nicely grilled, until the outer layer, which is the skin that wrapped the entire meat, harden. Now, inflexible sausage skin is a good thing because genuine German sausages have tough and crunchy skin that pop when you penetrate it with your fangs. As the skin breaks, savory fluids and oil will come out from the sausage and filled your mouth with glorious flavor that would make your taste bud goes, "MANNA FROM HEAVEN!" I was satisfied with the bratwurst I got myself a second serving with Potato Salad as its' side dish.

A tray of  bratwurst being grilled

A portion of bratwurst 

What is Oktoberfest without beer, right? My Mom, along with my aunt, Angel, and Nuning, got themselves a glass of beer, while I sticked with a bottle of mineral water. They had a glass of Kilkenny, an authentic Red Beer that originated from Ireland. I took a sip of my Mom's beer, hoping that it would taste nice and preferable to my liking, but it was bitter and tasteless as usual. Sometimes, I wonder what would life be if I like beer. 

A funny thing happened when Angel and I were buying the beer! The bartender was being chatty and asked about where we go to college and stuff. Angel said that she goes to UIC college and that she is going to UK someday. Then the bartender said, "UK is in America, right?". We were speechless. If this were a story in a manga, there would be ". . ." written on my bubble speech and sweat drops on our foreheads. As a person who suck at world mapping, I am aware about UK being the United Kingdom, thank you very much!

A glass of Kilkenny

There was a Beer Pong Game that can be played if one owns a game coupon that can be gained from buying five vouchers at the cashier. We got lots of game coupons that can be spent, so we got ourselves ready and started throwing ping pong balls. The game was pretty easy though, we only have to throw a ping pong ball into a cup filled with water. The three of us won three drinks each, and Angel won a Pizza e Birra voucher. 

Let the Beer Pong Game begin!

A bottle of Teh Botol and a can of Guinness Beer

Pizza e Birra Voucher

Even though Angel and I had eaten a plate of Pork Knuckle, we were still hungry for more, so we decided to try the Pomme Frites. They were plain deep-fried sliced potato, but they were very delicious and amusing for some reason. Those deep-fried potato are glazed with chilly sauce, mayonnaise, and tomato sauce, and we devoured them in less than half an hour.

The sight of the potato being deep-fried

A cup of Pomme Frites

We couldn't just leave before we have dessert, so Angel and I went to the dessert section and bought ourselves a plate of German Chocolate Cake. It was a petite fudgy chocolate cake, glazed in vanilla sauce and chocolate sauce, served with a small amount of whipped cream. The cake was warm and fudgy. One mouthful of that German dessert could fly you to the moon. It tasted so good, it tasted even better if you eat it with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream.

Angel's German Chocolate Cake

Later on, Nuning and I went over to the dessert section and ordered ourselves a plate of Apple Strudel. The apple-filled pastry was glazed with various sauce, same like the German Chocolate Cake, but the chef didn't gave us whipped cream. The pastry tasted delicious, but it was too sweet and cinnamon-like for my liking.

Nuning's Apple Strudel

And by that, our adventure at the Oktoberfest came to an end. We strolled around the mall and paid a visit to a bazar that sold Indonesian products. There were handmade clothes and shoes, soaps that smelled like chocolate cake, funky earings with drawings of the Eiffel Tower on it, ice cream rings, and many more. There were even homemade delicacies being sold at the corner of the bazar area.

The one that caught my attention was Cake in a Jar, which is, obviously, a cake inside a jar. Now, this particular product is rather popular. I have been wanting to try one of Cake Velvet's Cake in a Jar ever since I saw a picture of them on Twitter. They have lots of unique flavor of cakes, such as Cotton Candy, Caramel Beer, Baileys Tiramisu, and even Hot Chocolate Marshmallow. I got my eyes set for those petite jars of Hot Chocolate Marshmallow cakes. I hesitated at first because they were very expensive, but I would eventually buy them in the future, so why wait?

Cake in a Jar

The sight of Cake in a Jar's booth

I collected my jar of cake

I got my eyes on those Hot Chocolate Marshmallow cake

I bought myself the Hot Chocolate Marshmallow cake for Rp35.000,00. I opened the jar and share the cake with everybody. The chocolate cake was topped with a generous amount of cream cheese and some marshmallows. I ate the marshmallows first, which tasted chewy and sweet, then I began to devour the sweet chocolate crumbs that lies at the bottom of the golden jar. Since I didn't know the proper way to eat it, I mixed the entire thing and scooped it up in my mouth... AND THE CAKE TASTED SUPER DELICIOUS! Pardon my caps lock.

The chocolate cake is very moist and delicious, it went well perfectly with the cream cheese. A spoonful of that cake tasted like Disneyland, while the other spoonful tasted like Saturn's rings. I didn't regret buying Cake Velvet's Cake in a Jar as they were really lip-smacking.

My cake (left) and Angel's cake (right)

A jar of Hot Chocolate Marshmallow and Caramel Beer 

That pretty much sums up my Saturday night. I ate pork and I ate cake, and I'm a very happy girl. It was fun being able to attend the Oktoberfest with my friend and family, and I'm hoping that I could join in the fun next year. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

After a Game of Tennis

What's the best thing you can get after a tiring game of Tennis? Food, of course! A bottle of cold mineral water will suffice though. But can you really resist an invitation to indulge a bowl of pork noodle and the oldest ice cream in town?

My Dad and I had been playing a game of Tennis with my friend, Dennis, and his Dad. I didn't technically team up with my Dad and beat the enemy by sending yellow balls to their territory, for it was my first time holding a Tennis racket. I had no idea how to properly hit a Tennis ball! True, Dennis' Tennis teachers were there, teaching me about Tennis-related stuff, but it clearly showed that I'm more of a basketball chick than an apprentice of Maria Sharapova. 

It was nine in the morning when the final match is over. My Dad and Oom Bob, Dennis' Dad, decided that both family should have lunch together. Pasar Baru came up in the conversation and my Dad immediately recommend the best noodle house in the neighborhood, Bakmi A Boen. We reached an agreement to have pork noodle for lunch, then off we went to Gang Kelinci.  

Bakmi A Boen - Gang Kelinci

It was noon when we arrived at Bakmi A Boen. The place was crowded with people having various kinds of pork-related food for lunch. Luckily, we found rather large unoccupied table, so we rest our bottoms and browse through the menu book.

The sight of the owner and the worker

The owner of Bakmi A Boen, cooking a handful of noodles

Meatballs in a pan

I settled down for a bowl of Special Pork Noodle, same goes with my Mom and Dad, Dennis, and Oom Bob. Tante Dewi, Dennis' Mom, ordered herself a plate of Chicken Dumplings and a bowl of Chicken Noodles because she is not much of a pork enthusiast. I ordered myself a glass of Iced Soy Milk, just like my Dad, and waited in anticipation for the meals to come.

The waitress marched towards our table with a tray decorated with bowls. She handed me my share of Special Pork Noodle and I sighed with joy as I was welcomed by a glorious pile of noodles topped with various kinds of pork meat. There were roasted pork, sweet pork, crispy pork skin crackers, minced pork meat, mushroom, and chinese lettuce. The word "luxurious" sums up my entire meal! I poured the noodle broth into the bowl and I dig in. My mouth was filled with soaked noodles and crispy roasted pork, and they tasted beyond delicious. The broth itself was very savory and flavorful, and it went well with the pork skin crackers. This dish right here is what I have been eating every time I visit Bakmi A Boen. It is very luxurious and rich in flavor. So, if you happen to visit Bakmi A Boen, do not hesitate to order yourself a couple portions of this masterpiece.

A bowl of Bakmi Babi Spesial (Special Pork Noodles)

Dumplings in the noodle broth

My Dad also ordered a bowl of meatballs, or bakso, to be shared with the six of us. Those bakso tasted so good I wasn't fast enough to take a picture of them because everybody immediately poked them with forks and devour them. A bowl of bakso is the second recommended dish that you have to order when you get a chance to dine in at Bakmi A Boen. They were soft and savory, and they had lightly bigger size compared to most bakso I have ever eaten.

A glass of Iced Orange Juice and Cold Soy Milk

Tante Dewi's Chicken Dumplings, or Siomay Ayam

A table of delicious dishes

After we had lunch, we drove a few kilometers to Jalan Veteran to have Ragusa Es Italia's traditional ice cream for dessert. I had been wanting to visit Ragusa Es Italia ever since my good friend, Angel, recommended me the place. I finally got a chance to dine in and I went berserk in a still humanly way.

Ragusa Es Italia

Ragusa Es Italia's menu

The place is very old and compact. As you entered the dessert shop, you will find tables and chairs made out of roots and walls decorated with pictures and awards. This particular ice cream place is famous for its' record in being the oldest ice cream shop that is still in business and for its' traditional Italian ice cream. Lots of people visit this small restaurant everyday, and we were lucky to be able to find some seats on that day. 

The sight of the dinning place

It is said that Ragusa es Italia is the oldest ice cream parlor in Jakarta

Ragusa Es Italia hold the record of the oldest ice cream shop that is still in business 

I ordered myself a plate of Cassata Siciliana and a bowl of Spaghetti Ice Cream, while the others had a scoop of chocolate ice cream and a glass of Coca Cola Float. I went to the back of the dessert shop to see the making of the ice creams and I was very much entertained. They only use chocolate syrup, nuts, and, dried fruits for toppings. The ice cream was stored in a big ice box and they didn't look as fancy as Baskin Robins, just plain traditional ice creams. 

I paid attention as they oldest employee of Ragusa Es Italia gently scoop colorful ice creams into stainless cups. He decorated the ice cream with a dash of nuts, a spoonful of dried fruits, and a wave of chocolate syrup. He looked like beard-less Dumbledore working some magic on snowflakes.

Chocolate syrup, nuts, and dried fruits for toppings

The oldest employee of Ragusa Es Italia, making ice creams

Then, he proceed on making the Spaghetti Ice Cream that I ordered. I have no idea what Ragusa Es Italia's Spaghetti Ice Cream made of. The only thing that I could imagine was a genuine spaghetti decorated with ice cream and toppings, like the one in ELF, where Will Ferrell played as an elf in New York. Remember that scene where he eats spaghetti with various sweets, marshmallows, chocolate ganache, and chocolate sprinkles? Yes, that was the only thing that popped out in my mind. But, as I kept an eye on how the old man made the dish, I felt like Tom Hanks, a.k.a Harvard genius Robert Langdon, when he found a clue to the next possible murder case in Angels & Demons.

The man used a tool, that looked like those Play-Doh clay-shaping tools, that turns a chunk of ice cream into spaghetti-shaped ice cream. It was an entertaining and educating process to watch. I let out the same expression when I found out how babies are made, "SO, THAT'S HOW THEY MADE IT!" Then he continued by decorating the spaghetti ice cream with the available topping and hand it to me so that I could enjoy it.

The secret behind the almighty Spaghetti Ice Cream

Work some magic with that wand of yours

I enjoyed both of my ice creams. The Cassata Siciliana was sweet and cold. It is composed from three different flavors ice cream, which were chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and pandan with sprinkles of nuts, and it has pandan-flavored cake inside. The ice cream tasted different than branded ice cream as they were traditionally made by the lovely ice cream man. My Spaghetti Ice Cream was also very enjoyable. It was decorated with chocolate syrup, nuts, and dried fruits, and I took pleasure in every single scoop.

Cassata Siciliana

Spaghetti Ice Cream

Bakmi A Boen
Jl. Kelinci Raya, No 1 - 3
Pasar Baroe, Jakarta Pusat

Ragusa Es Italia
Jl. Veteran, No. 10
Jakarta Pusat

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On the 30th of September

On the last day of September, my Dad got a belated birthday cake from Oom Wahyudi, one of his closest friend in Doha, Qatar. Oom Wahyudi and his family, Tante Rosi and Nabila, surprised Dad by popping out out of nowhere with a big cake from Opera Patisserie decorated with candles and singing Happy Birthday. My Dad was overwhelmed as it was already a week after his birthday and he still got a cake and being sung birthday songs.

"Tiup lilin-nya," said Nabila, teling my Dad to blow the candles. The 44 years old thanked Oom Wahyudi, Tante Rosi, and Nabila for the cake, and thanked everybody for singing along to the birthday song. He then blew the candles and unwrapped the plastic that was sticking on the sides of the cake so that he could cut it. 

"Happy Belated Birthday, Pakde Unggul"

Dad, thanking Oom Wahyudi, Tante Rosi, and Nabila for the cake

This cake is the most beautiful cake I have seen in my life so far. The sides of the cake are decorated with thin cake in a shape of tribal design, or so I think it is, which reminded me of the writings in Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The chocolate ganache with writings "Happy Belated Birthday, Pakde Unggul" on it literary melted. Bellow the chocolate ganache, you can find a generous amount of chocolate cream as mushy as oil paint. When you cut the cake open, you will find a luscious chocolate cake, sandwiching some chocolate cream beautifully. Can you imagine how delicious this cake tasted? If food is sin, then this cake will be the ultimate sin. 

The Chocolate Mousse cake tasted so good. It literary melted in your mouth. No, seriously! The cake is very chocolaty and very sweet, words cannot describe the epic-ness contained in this cake. It was the most epic and mot sinful chocolate cake I have ever eaten so far. And, yes, I am a fool for not wanting to have another slice of this cake.

Can we all just agree that the melting cream looks delicious?


This cake tasted so good!

On The 23rd of September

My Dad turned 44 last September, on the 24th to be exact. We held a small party at home, with close friends and family. A round Red Velvet cake was cut into pieces and handed out to those who still have  empty spaces in their stomach for dessert. Two bottles of alcohol, a Glenfiddich and a Dalmore, were continuously poured into shot glasses and everybody who got a share clinked their glass with each others. The birthday boy (technically a man, but still a boy in his heart) was beyond excited to receive a box of GoPro as his birthday present. It was a fun small gathering!

It all started with my Dad telling me that he was going home on the 23rd of September. "You must not tell Mom, because it's a surprise," he said. I still don't get it why he threw a surprise for my Mom, when the one that should be surprised is himself. In the evening, 24th September Eve, Dad called me saying that he almost arrived at home. "I'm bringing the whole crew with me. Just tell Mom that you're gonna have friends coming over," he whispered. Again, I still don't get it why he whispered, when I should be the one who's whispering. I went to a warung (a small grocery shop) to buy some beers because my Dad told me to. Of course, I lied to my Mom, saying that I wanted to buy ice cream.

The clock showed that it was six in the evening. Three cabs arrived at my residence. Out of them, came out foreigners with fancy casual clothes. My Dad and I were very eager to surprise Mom. "Now, go get inside the house with the crew," said Dad. So, I did. Mom was having some companies, my dog's trainers to be exact, and they were all chatting in the living room. They had to pause when I exclaimed, "Mom, my friends have arrived!" The look on their faces was priceless as they saw grown-up foreigners popping out from the front door. My Mom got a "What even..." stamped on her face.

But then, my Dad popped out out of nowhere. My Mom was very surprised and we all cheered for reason that escaped me. Since we didn't have any food at that moment, the crew are welcomed to leisure at the backyard, with bottles of beer and packs of snacks that I got from my working place. Soon, my Dad's friends showed up one by one, and they brought food, which was a good thing because I'm pretty sure that the guests were all famished.

Tante Risni, the wife of my Dad's roommate in Doha, Qatar, came with ehr children. She brought boxes of traditional snacks, which were Martabak and Bolu. Martabak, you see, are deep-fried thin egg filled with meat, veggies, and some more eggs, while Bolu are cake. Later on, Oom Uda (Oom means uncle, but it doesn't have to be blood-related) and Tante Merry (Tante means aunty) came with their children. They brought big pots and dinning utensils, and the next thing you know, the table was decorated with food.

Preparing the Eco-friendly plates

Put this here and put that there

A bowl of mixed lungs, meat, and crispy skins

A plate of Martabak

The broth for Soto Padang

Various dishes, awesomely cooked by Tante Merry

Tante Merry cooked us wonderful dishes! There were Soto Padang, Rendang, Sambal Goreng, and many more. The dishes were spicy to my liking, but they were all awesomely delicious because Tante Merry is a great cook. I love her Soto Padang very much I even got myself a second serving. Soto is actually broth with mixed foodstuff in it. It's technically a soup, but soup and broth with foodstuff are two different things here in Indonesia. In Soto Padang, you can find crispy skin, meat, lungs, rice noodles, crackers, peanuts, and bean sprout in it. It is very delicious, a must-try for those who are not familiar with it. 

The guests were very happy to be able to try Indonesian cuisine as they were all foreigners, even thouse some couldn't handle the spicy dishes. I was very enthusiast to explain what is what and what to eat with what to them, it made me feel like some kind of a food expert.

Would you believe if I said that those people in the middle of the photograph are my friends?

Time to have some munchies

The crew had to leave early because they were very tired from a 9-hour-flight. I thought the party was over, but then my Dad's friends started to show up head by head. The house was crowded again and it was time to put some ice cubs into shot glasses. I had a medical check up appointment on the following day, so I had to force myself not to grab a glass of my own to be filled with Glenfiddich.

A friend of mine named Memes, who is the daughter of my Dad's best bud whom I call Romo, also came to visit. We didn't join the adults drinking and munching on peanuts, instead we devoured half a watermelon by ourselves.. with a spoon! It had been my long-life dream to eat a watermelon with a spoon, and I finally did it! Scooping watermelon is a lot more fun than clinking shot glasses.

The clock finally stroke twelve. Memes and I took out a box of red Velvet cake from the fridge and decorated it with pink and red candles. We brought the cake to the center of the living room and started singing Happy Birthday, followed with the others merrily and joyfully. My Dad gave a short speech before blowing the candle, thanking everyone for their presence at that moment and praying for each on of us. Then, he blew the candle and cut the cakes into pieces. I got my share and, I have to admit, although Red Velvet cake is getting too mainstream and boring, this particular birthday cake is delicious and very enjoyable. 

"Pakde" here share the same position with "Oom", both means "Uncle"

What are cakes without a shot of Dalmore?

Are you ready to blow the candles? 

Mom and I got my Dad a birthday present and he was over excited when he found out what it was.. a box of GoPro. He went full Joker, I could see the corner of his lips touched his ears. My Dad was overwhelmed, making my Mom and I happy as well. It was a wonderful birthday party!