Union Deli

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Knowing one’s weakness is the key to gain victory. That is the absolute rule of war… and restaurant business.

Union has been strolling around everyone’s face in the culinary business by claiming the crown for best bakery in Jakarta; the jewel is undoubtedly their glorious Red Velvet Cake. However, they still fall behind to the likes of Collete and Lola in terms of money-making. Why? The reason is simple; they don’t have enough stores.

Union had 2 notable spaces and the most famous out of the two is located in Central Jakarta, in a mall called Plaza Senayan (the other one is in most western part of the city, which no one really cares). A great place to meet expatriates, desperate rich housewives who are looking for fun with their frenemies, and a bunch of teens seeking the next hip place to hang out (I shamelessly get into this third category). Still, it is not the best place to sell cakes.

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Orient8

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‘Hedonism’ is a new trending word in social media right now, right after ‘fine dining’ and #2015. What’s more annoying is I found myself using this way too many times with my friends, especially when we were eating at Orient8 in Mulia Hotel. Eating at Mulia means major bucks, which you will try to cope by thinking how good the foods are. Orient8 is no different. Standing right beside Table8 and one of 3 main restaurants of Mulia Hotel, Orient8 kicked my wallet in spiral of recession and self-loathing, yet I still left the restaurant with a smile.

Like many other fine dining restaurants, Orient8 open around 12 am to 2.30 pm, then after changing some dishes and prepare a few fancy things for dinner, they open again around 6 pm to 11 pm. If you are planning to have a cool Sunday brunch with a bunch of your friends, you better make reservations a few days before. Honestly, I was concerned about not getting seats, but my friend reassured me that everything was going to be okay.

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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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Sumoboo

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Sumo Boo is exploding like a small sized nuke these past few months. I don’t know whether its because shaved ice based dessert is so popular these days or Sumo Boo’s signature dog shaped ice cream that’s just so Instagram worthy. Whatever it is, the line outside its newly opened cafe in Taman Anggrek Mall is simply crazy, noisy, and very sensitive. A timid looking waitress is trying to calm the costumers in a futile effort while kids running around with their nannies attracting several raised eyebrows.

I squeeze into the line and say my name out loud to the waitress, she looks down and politely say I need to wait for a few minutes. When I ask her how many people left before my turn, she looks up apologizingly and says nine more people. Nine! I brace myself for 30 boring minutes staring at lucky people in their small seats enjoying shaved ice and something like a hotdog.

Fortunately, my stare strategy works. People quickly come and go, acknowledging the impatient line waiting for their seats like a bunch of hungry ogres in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. Before I know it, the waitress calls my name in panic and point at small seat near the entrance. Not the best seat in the house, but this is not the right time to complain about anything. Continue reading

Washoku Sato

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In order to be successful a restaurant needs to have two aspects; a good place (means location) and a good food. Usually, there is only one dominant aspect between the two, but that’s more than enough to create enough hype for a short period of time and figure something out. Washoku Sato doesn’t have any of those.

Located inside Central Park Mall in West Jakarta, right besides one of the hippest bakeries in town, Tous Les Jours. Washoku has to suffer being ignored by hungry bakery lovers and deal with bad lighting and fake sakura (cherry blossom) tree. To make things even worse, Sushi Tei is right one level below the restaurant, creating perfect disguise and even more ignorance from customers.

To be honest, I didn’t realize Washoku exists either, I usually walk right to Starbucks or Tous Les Jours or it’s eternal nemesis, Sushi Tei. Today, I am suddenly feeling awkward force forcing me to turn around and face giant transparent kitchen with chefs hanging out and cutting sushi. My curiosity is taking over me and before I know it, my sister and I are already sitting with giant menu books in our hands. Continue reading