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

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