Bakerzin Revisited

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A few months ago I came to Bakerzin to taste their infamous macaroons. While I did have a great time in there, one slice of plain strawberry cake at the end of the meal kind of ruined the whole experience. That’s not a reason for me not to come back though, especially with my sister paying this time.

Sunday might not the best time to have a brunch since all of the good tables were already taken, but we managed to score a seat right beside the window, which means better Instagram pictures for me. Our waiters were the same cheerful man that instantly offered us real menu books this time. I will stop here and give a quick compliment to whoever designed Bakerzin’s menu books. Good job, man! Everything is in the right place with the right font and beautiful photos, without being overly decorative to the level of chaotic collages of ice creams and steaks. Kitchenette needs to learn a thing or two from Bakerzin in this particular area.

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Kitchenette

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Christmas is right around the corner and it is no surprise my friends and I decided to celebrate it a little bit earlier with nice dinner at Kitchenette. Located in the middle of giant artificial park complete with small pond to give the restaurant a Zen-like atmosphere, Kitchenette is just fabulous. It is a perfect Gourmet restaurant for youngsters. The atmosphere is chic without overused acoustic music or overly loud electro beats that are just too much, even for 18-year-old smartphone-wielding group of teens.

I instantly fall in love with crystal clear rooftops with plastic plants hanging around, providing good lighting for my Instagram feed or/and my blog. It can be a little bit hot during the day though, so be careful with timing. The back of the restaurant is not bad, even though its quite gloomy with small yellowish lamps as the only source of lighting and 3 giant window panes providing good, but limited, natural lighting.

After deciding where we want to seat (at the back of the restaurant, near the kitchen), the staffs hand us three pieces of brown cartons which turn out to be menu ‘books’. Each carton has elegant typography describing Kitchenette’s signature dishes, but they show no clear pictures whatsoever. We end up stumbling around, trying to guess what the dish looks like. Even though it is not a really big deal, it can be quite annoying sometimes. I think it is time to change into a real menu books, Kitchenette!

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Jun Njan

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I can summarize Jakarta’s culinary landscape in two words: Western and Cafe. In the past few years, Jakarta has become the new home for international coffee outlets, brewing tons of caffeine and dominating local magazines with their newest creations. Along with the rise of coffee makers, Western foods are also slowly gaining back their popularities. Mostly because they offer not only glorious melting cheese and smoking beef pastries, but also trendy places with plenty of natural lightings for selfie lovers.

The competition is getting harder day-by-day, and it seems the favor is not in authentic traditional family restaurant like Jun Njan. Jun Njan is more than an old player in Jakarta’s culinary world. Established in 1950s, the restaurant has been serving seafood dishes with classic Chinese touches for at least two generations. Unfortunately, just like many other historical restaurant, it suffers from globalization and trend changes. Though local customers are still ready to order at any time, the younger ones go right across the street ordering coffee to go and beef lasagna. The question that lingers in everyone’s head is; is there really no place at all for restaurants like Jun Njan? Continue reading

Sushi Tei

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After having lunch in Washoku Sato, which is hardly an uplifting experience, I am starting to wonder about traditional sushi, the one with simplicity, elegance, and technique. Instead of random mayo and scattered grilled salmon. At the same time, I also begin to realize that it is really hard to find traditional sushi in Jakarta, Indonesia. The city is filled with Western-Japanese fusion restaurants that look (and taste) awesome, but can’t hold a candle against real sushi. Lowering my expectation a bit, I come to Sushi Tei.

Sushi Tei is probably the most popular or affordable, high-sushi-restaurant in town. Combining great service (unlike Union), fusion Japanese-Western menu, and classic conveyor belt sushi bar, Sushi Tei instantly steals my heart and becomes one of my most favorite Japanese restaurants. What I love most about Sushi Tei is their abilities to add just a little western touch to their traditional Japanese sushi and create a lovely balance from those two, a task that looks simple, but proves too hard for other so-called fusion restaurants.

Stepping into the restaurant during lunch break means having your name written in their never-ending waiting list. Fortunately, my sister and I are able to score two seats right at the end of the ‘bar’. We quickly decide not to order from their two gigantic elegant menus (one for dessert) and just take everything we need from the bar. Our waitress just smiles and nods her head in understanding. Continue reading

Pizza é Birra

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I dreamed about eating a huge plate of pizza last night. It tasted like Pizza Margherita with bold red tomato sauce as base, melting buffalo cheese (!) and some kind of olive leaves, but  they tasted really fresh, sweet, and kinda like meat instead of leaves for some strange reasons. The dough was sticky, crispy, thin, chewy, gummy, and danced in my mouth like crazy Vegas showgirls. I woke up in my bed literally panting for relieve. That’s why I abandon my food schedule and show up in front of Pizza é Birra, one of the hippest pizzerias in the city.

É Birra has been sparking controversies among food writers, bloggers, and even basic food lovers. Some call it a ‘total disappointment’, both in presentation and taste (my sister is one of them). Others claim é Birra has given a tad of fresh air in boring Indonesia’s pizza world, which is dominated by two giant franchises; Pizza Hut and Dominos. I, for one, don’t give a single shit and keep on daydreaming about thin chewy dough and buffalo cheese. 

Calling é Birra beautiful is an understatement, the restaurant is a pure definition of modern urban interior. Standing proudly in the middle of giant fish pond in form of white modern gazebo, é Birra craves for anyone’s attention. Half of the gazebo is used for Kitchennete, a spanish-western-asian fusion restaurant specializing in dessert bar (we are going to talk about  that later). Even though relying on outdoor beauty, é Birra also provides indoor section with crazy flag decoration from all over the world, World Cup screening in flat screen TV, and warm romantic lights.  Continue reading

Nanny’s Pavillon

When you are not in a good mood, one thing that you should do is go to Nanny’s Pavillon and order their special blueberry cheese pancake with soothing cream cheese, crushed blueberries and thick rolled pancakes. But, being in a good mood after seeing Maleficent on the theater, I am willing to try something out of the pancake-box and order their relatively new menus, which are unsurprisingly not nearly as good as their pancakes.

Nanny’s has been around for years now, serving good pancakes and notable desserts. A few months ago, they decided to expand Nanny’s menu with some classic Italian dishes including baked rice, lasagna, grilled salmons and of course new selection of pancakes. It’s only natural for a franchise to gain as much profit as they can, while they’re still on the game. But Nanny’s needs to evaluate wether they’re capable of delivering the dishes or not. 

I start my lunch with Nanny’s new Salmon Baked Rice after seeing a guy with his two daughters at the next table ordering the same thing and they truly look satisfied with it. My sister on the other hand, choose to follow her heart and order Hubert Salmon Paquet.  Continue reading