Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Bali Favourites: Tutmak Warung Kopi, Ubud

My friend who was living in Bali at that time, Danang recommended me this place. He also rented me a motorcycle and provided me a thorough explanation of how to get from Legian to Gianyar and later to Ubud by motorcycle, but that's for another time, another post. He said this was one of his favourite places that fare better than the more famous ones that can be a little bit overrated and sometimes overpriced.

Located in the quiet street of Jl. Dewi Sita, the restaurant was already pretty busy at around 6 pm, at least more than other places around it. The place was quite big, with an elevated floor and lounge area. Like most places in Bali, all the seating are semi-outdoor and no AC is needed thanks to Ubud's super nice temperature. 

 After being seated, we looked through the menu and found a wide selection of food, from breakfast, lunch, dinner, to desserts, all with prices that look reasonable. We started off with ordering Fresh Vietnamese Spring Roll (Rp. 28,000), which was quite large and would pass for an entree if you feel like it. We ordered the chicken-filled one, but there were also vegetarian and shrimp filling option. 

Vietnamese Spring Roll, Rp. 28,000

Sunday, January 10, 2016

[Recipe] Raspberry Pie

I wanted to make berry pie but because fresh ones are insanely expensive around here, I had to make do with frozen berries. I came across frozen raspberries for about Rp. 59,000/pack ($5) of about half a kilo. Not the cheapest, but definitely not the most expensive. (blueberries are). 

For the filling, I used the fresh berry pie recipe I took from Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (1st edition!), just slightly modified due to the use of frozen berries. For the crust, I took Grandma O'Reilly's tried and tested crust recipe below. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

[Review] BAM! Spanish Tapas - Sake Bar

as published in 17 November 2015

If you haven’t heard of BAM!, I am sure you will soon enough hear a lot about this new combo of a tapas slash sake bar. Affiliated with its Singapore counterparts under the same name, BAM! Is a brainchild of Pepe Moncayo, de former chef de cuisine of Santi, a Spanish restaurant of the late Michelin-starred Santi Santamaria whose dramatically tragic end deserved its own movie.

Here in Jakarta, BAM! shares space with Senju Omakase & Sake Bar. Omakase, or” I’ll leave it up to you” in Japanese means that the guests usually leave it up to the chef to serve them his specials, or alternately the guests would also be able to order their favorite sushi or robatayaki menu, paired with sake. Bottom line, there’s usually no menu. Although at BAM!, a menu is presented to give the patrons an idea of what the chefs could offer, and also for the young ones.

For the first menu, I was served with angel hair pasta with octopus, bamboo shoots, and freshly chopped chili. The octopus and the bamboo shoots lend a refreshing twist to this dish, and the sliced almond gave a pleasant texture; perfect for those looking for a simple lunch menu with a subtle tapas influence, like the tako or octopus.

Chef Arturo then upped the ante by presenting one of BAM!’s signature, the characteristically sweet and succulent Japanese squid stuffed with Singaporean otak, sitting on a puddle of squid ink puree and flavorful rostit sauce which somehow able to beautifully blends the visually exotic dish into something mild and comforting, even.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

High Tea Like Thai Royalty at The Blue Elephant Jakarta

A franchise restaurant with branches in major cities of the world, the name Blue Elephant will ring a few pleasant chimes for the gastro-enthusiasts. Despite Thai Food’s popularity In Jakarta, it is one of the very few restaurants in the city that is headed by a Thai chef, hence reliable for serving an authentic Thai favorites The saying has it, there is Thai food, and there’s fine dining royal Thai food a la the Blue Elephant.

Most recipes are centuries old, faithfully handed down through generations. Others are new, creative and unique variations on traditional themes, many are visually stunning dishes artistically presented with carved fruits and vegetables.

The interior reminded me of a more minimalist version of Thai royalty’s palace, laden with deep mahogany colored rattan furniture, with touches of regal elements in their cutleries and decorations.
My visit that afternoon was to sample one of the newest offering of the restaurant, the afternoon high tea menu and also some of the restaurant’s staple dishes, the Tom Yam Koong and Green Chili Curry.

Interior, Blue Elephant
The afternoon high tea consisted of 5 kinds of bite size snacks and sweets, beautifully presented on a raised cake stand. On the savory sides, there was the Thai Fish Cake, dipped in a sweet and spicy sauce in a shot glass and the flower-shaped Chor Muang, which purple color made me mistook it for a dessert, where in fact it is actually a rice cake dumpling with mild sweet minced-chicken filling.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

[Resep] French Apple Pie

Disadur dari buku resep Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (terbitan pertama, 1950)

Resep ini tepat untuk baker pemula, karena tidak melewati proses yang cukup mengesalkan dalam membuat pai: membuat lapisan atas pai yang cantik. Proses yang paling menantang hanya membuat alas pai yang rapi.

Grandma O'Reilly's Pie Crust (Resep Kulit Pai a la Oma O'Reilly)

Membuat kulit pai sesungguhnya sulit-sulit gampang, dan tidak ada resep yang paling baik atau paling enak. Asal bahan-bahan yang dipakai segar & bagus, pasti enak hasilnya. Perbedaan biasanya ada pada lemak yang digunakan, butter (mentega) lebih enak tapi jauh lebih sulit pengerjaannya, terutama di negara tropis. Penggunaan kulit pai dengan bahan lemak nabati (margarin atau juga shortening) lebih mudah pengerjaanmya dan tapi rasanya tentu tidak segurih mentega.

Oleh karena itu, resep pai pada umumnya menggunakan kombinasi 2 macam lemak; hewani dan nabati. Seperti resep Oma O'Reilly yang menggunakan shortening dan lard/butter.

Tips-tips yang harus diingat:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Taqueria Tijuana, South Omaha, Ne

Dari hari pertama kami menginjakkan kaki di Omaha, sebenernya saya sudah ngebet banget pengen ke Omaha Selatan (South Omaha) atau disingkat South-O. Daerah selatan ini adalah dimana para imigran keturunan hispanik banyak bermukim, dan kalau Anda berkendara dari daerah tengah menuju ke daerah ini, sedikit demi sedikit akan semakin kentara. Papan penunjuk jalan, nama-nama toko, hingga papan iklan raksasa tiba-tiba bertuliskan bahasa Spanyol atau nama-nama seperti Pedro's Automotive, La Conchana (ngasal), Ristorante de Juanita, atau.. Taqueria (!!) si restoran khusus taco. 

Salah satu taqueria yang kami incar adalah Tijuana Taqueria, yang terletak berseberangan dengan sebuah restoran meksiko lain yang ulasannya juga cukup baik di TripAdvisor (tapi saya lupa namanya).