Friday, February 28, 2014

Laughing Stock Steak & Seafood Grill

Last week, I got an opportunity to taste the food of Laughing Stock Steak and Seafood Grill, a new restaurant in Cipete area. Before you start reading, I have to warn you that this post will be a long post containing lots of foodporn, and I will not take any responsibility for the drooling consequences, so read at your own risk :p Oh but I hope if you decided to read, please read it till the end, because I'm saving the best part for the last.

Located at the foodie street Jl. Cipete Raya, Laughing Stock looks pretty humble from the outside but it is warm and comfortable at the inside. The two-storeyed shophouses is designed with lots of bricks and concrete element to create the industrial look, yet provided warm sofas and bright sun light to make you comfortable. My favourite spot is the colorful Scandinavian sofas by the window at the second floor, you should aim for it right away!

Sharing a little background of the restaurant, Laughing Stock is a family business started by Mrs Febri, for her love of food. She loves cooking since she was young, and she and her family love having people eating her food. Having her own restaurant has been her dream since a long time. At first they tried franchising a quite famous restaurant, Seruput, and now that they've already got the experience and knowledge about restaurant business, they finally opened Laughing Stock for public this late January 2014. 

The food they served here is mainly grilled seafood and steak, as the name said, but they also provide all-day breakfast and Indonesian food. They also served limited choices of milkshakes and desserts, well for me I think milkshakes are too heavy to accompany a heavy meal such as steak, but their desserts are definitely must-try.

Chicken Mayo Bruschetta 
Chicken Mayo Bruschetta is one of their new appetizer menu, basically there are four slices of crunchy French breads topped with fresh shredded lettuce and chicken and corn mayo. A fresh and light dish to start our lunch.

Oxtail Balado (IDR 110.000)
Fried AUS Oxtail in Balado style, served with steamed white rice, pickled vegetables, soup, and crackers. To be honest I wasn't a big fan of oxtail and spicy food at the beginning, so I doubted this dish would be suitable for my liking. But it is! The oxtail was perfectly tender and the balado chilli was hot, but deliciously hot that I fell in love with it instantly. The soup was also light and savory. Dip your crackers in the soup, and eat it together with the rice and balado oxtail, yummm! 

(Psst, people said that the Oxtail Balado here are even better than Hotel Borobudur's! Curious?)

Pan Fried Salmon (IDR 120.000)
Pan Fried Norwegian Trout in miso broth served with baby tomatoes, baby potatoes, spinach, enoki mushrooms, and ginger flakes. It is another dish that has hooked me at the first bite. The combination of the perfectly crisped skin salmon fried together with spinach, enoki mushrooms, and miso broth are amazingly well balanced and delicious. Very light and healthy, yet addictive and contagious.

US Hanger Steak (IDR 110.000)
Seared 200 gr US Hanger Steak served with caramelized onions, mashed potatoes, sauteed vegetables, and Beef Jus Sauce. Hanger is a part of the plate section of the cow, which is also known at butcher's steak. There is only 400-650 grams of hanger meat in a cow, and the meat is very tender, that the butchers usually keep it for themselves instead of selling it. But here in Laughing Stock you can try the Hanger Steak, even better, it is served with Laughing Stock's special sauce, the Beef Jus. Beef Jus (or Au Jus) sauce is made of beef broth and wine reduction. The texture is kinda watery, it tasted light yet rich and a little sweet. I really love the outcome when you eat the steak with the sauce, caramelized onion, and mashed potatoes together. Totally the best main course of the day!

Surf and Turf (IDR 175.000)
Grilled Rib Eye Steak topped with fresh seafood in garlic and herbs butter served with mashed potatoes or French fries and asparagus. It is the dish for people who doesn't like monotonous food. By ordering this, you could have a huge steak together with fresh grilled prawns, sauteed squids, and battered-fried dory fish. Overall it is a nice dish, liked the salty and garlicky sauce, but for me the amount is too little for a steak that big, since I love to have my steak eaten with sauces. Oh and I have to give credit to the presentation! It's really artsy, beautiful, and unique, isn't it? The most photogenic food of the day, haha.

Grilled Maine Whole Lobster (IDR 250.000)
This was supposed to be the highlight of the day. Grilled Maine Whole Loster in garlic butter seasoning, served with sauteed vegetables and choice of shoestring french fries, mashed potatoes, or rice pilaf. Unfortunately, this lobster was not as fresh as I expected. It's not fishy, but the texture is kinda soft, it didn't have the seafood-ly crunchy texture, if you know what I mean. It would be much more delicious if the lobster was just a little bit fresher, since the seasoning was great and having pilaf rice as the side dish is a perfect choice.

Uncle Romy's Hotplate Chocolate Brownies (IDR 55.000)
Homemade dark chocolate brownies served with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate sauce. This restaurant's favorite dessert was named after Mrs. Febri's husband, Mr. Romy. He loves chocolate so much that he ask Mrs. Febri to create a chocolate dessert dish at Laughing Stock, so it is named after him. This dish looks like no other, at first it is a simple chocolate brownies topped with vanilla ice cream, once you start pouring the chocolate sauce, it will start boiling and create the hot-and-cold sensation to the dish. Such a creative and unique dessert, this might be the next IT dessert on instagram. lol.

Apple Crumble (IDR 55.000)
This is the reason why I told you earlier to read till the end. The new creation of Laughing Stock, warm caramelized apple served with cookie crumble, vanilla ice cream, and white sauce. After I took a bite of this, I literally raised my eyeballs and told the others that this is really good! Apple is cinnamonly sweet and has the perfect texture, and the crumble is not just like any other cookie crumble. It's really crunchy like it's covered with sugar, but it is not sweet, so I don't know what they did to the crumble to make it that good. Take a bite of it with the vanilla ice cream and the rum-scented white sauce, and that's heaven in your mouth. Like, seriously.

(FYI, this apple crumble is Mrs. Febri's new creation that will be launched with some other new dishes on April, so you wouldn't find it on the menu, but you can ask the waiter directly if you want to order this)

At the end of the post I know I seems like praising this place so much, so I'm going to tell you that this is NOT an advertorial post, and I didn't receive any payment for posting this. This was just like another food tasting, but I really love the restaurant, they've got amazing food with beautiful presentation and lovely taste, comfortable seatings, and natural daylight to help me capturing the food better. The only thing I regret is the fact that Cipete is far from my house, and the traffic is mad.

Lastly, thank you Mrs. Febri, Norwin, and family for hosting such a nice food tasting session. Please do wait for my next visit :D :D

Laughing Steak Steak and Seafood Grill 
Jl. Cipete Raya no. 7BC
Jakarta Selatan
Ph. (021) 7591 3285/86

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bacchus Bar at InterContinental MidPlaza Hotel

Bacchus Bar is one of the restaurant at InterContinental MidPlaza Hotel that specializes at Asian Food. Last Thursday, I was honoured to get the opportunity to enjoy Lunch at Bacchus Bar.

Located at the Lower Ground Floor of the building, the venue itself wasn't too spacious yet it gave you the warm and private ambiance. Most of the seats are bar stools, but they also have nice comfortable sofas at the back. And they got their own wine storage room with lots and lots of wine selection. 

For the appetizer that day, we tasted two favourite menus from their Pan Flair Asian selections, Thai Beef Salad with Mango and Chilli Vinaigrette (IDR 98.000) and BBQ Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce (IDR 98.000). Their Beef Salad's presentation was such a feast for the eye, isn't it? Really love the bright colors. Taste wise, it was tangy and fresh, it also got a nice dressing, but for me the aroma of Basil was too strong. In the other hand, the BBQ Chicken Wings came in a generous portion, thickly marinated in a nice sweet BBQ Sauce. 

For the main course, Bacchus Bar have two options, you can either order the main course from the Pan Flair Asian selections, or order it from the live cooking stands. The live cooking stands is a collaboration between Bacchus Bar and Deli Restaurants, every weekdays during lunchtime, they served Pasta and Nasi Bakar (Indonesian style grilled rice wrapped in banana leafs). We ended up trying both of them, for they were both really tempting, especially when you see them cooked right before your eyes and you can smell the aroma.

Pasta Set (IDR 90.000 including bread and choice of Iced Tea or Iced Lemon Tea)
Here at the pasta stand, you can build your own pasta! Here's what you need to do:
1. Pick your pasta. The pasta selections varies everyday, that day they got penne and green linguine
2. Pick the sauce. There are tomato based sauce, carbonara sauce, pesto sauce, or simply aglio olio
3. Pick the meat, veggies, and cheese. You can choose up to three meat and veggies available. For the meat they have chicken, prawns, squid, beef bacon, pork bacon, sausages, etc. And for the veggie selections they have broccoli, tomatoes, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, etc. 

Easy right? And only for IDR 90.000 nett, you get your pasta served with bread and butter and also a glass of drink, which is a very nice deal, for having lunch in Sudirman area. That day I decided to have Penne Carbonara, but I was confused on which meat and veggies to choose, so I'll let the chef decide it, and it came with Prawns, Beef Bacon, Sausage, broccoli, mushrooms, and tomatoes! Phew that was a lot of toppings. But the taste was really great. The penne was al dente, the carbonara sauce was amazingly balanced between the creamy and savory taste, and for the toppings, I especially love the generous amount of fresh prawns. Oh I'll deal with you later, cholestrol, for now please just let me enjoy the fresh and crunchy prawns.

Nasi Bakar Set (IDR 82.000 + including a choice of Iced Tea or Iced Lemon Tea)
For the Nasi Bakar, you only have to pick your rice flavor (it also varies everyday), and it will be served with Balado Eggs, Sauteed String Beans, Shredded Chicken and Duck Meat, and Fried Tempe. That day they only have two flavor of rice, Oncom (fermented products of soy beans) and Ikan Peda (Indonesian salty fish). I'm not familiar with oncom, so I play safe and choose the Ikan Peda flavor. And that was a decision I wouldn't regret. The rice was very very fragrant and tasty, and all the side dishes were great and compliment it well. It was spicy but still tolerable for me. Well I'm not a big fan of Nasi Bakar before, but I am now. This dish was really satisfying for me, even better than the pasta! The best Nasi Bakar I've tasted so far!

I'm really impressed that their simple yet humble live cooking stands could create such an awesome food. Thank you InterContinental and  Catrina (Social Media Officer of InterContinental MidPlaza) for inviting me and being a really nice lunch companion! I definitely will come back to this place :D

Bacchus Bar
InterContinental at Jakarta MidPlaza Hotel
Lower Ground Floor
Jl. Sudirman Kav 10-11
Jakarta - 10220
ph. (021) 2510888 (front desk)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

[Bali] Rock Bar at Ayana Resort

I got some spare time today but I haven't got anything new to post since I've been busy lately, so I'm diggin' up my old photos and find this beautiful place that I've been wanted to post since forever! And I'm kinda missing Bali right now, so here goes.

Rock Bar at Ayana Resort has been known for ages as one of the best spot to watch sunset in Bali. Hanging at the edge of the cliff at around 14 metres above the Indian Ocean, Rock Bar is definitely offering a different experience to enjoy sunset. And not only the sunset, you can also enjoy the sunny weather, the sound of the waves, and the mesmerizing view of the surrounding cliffs and the sparkling ocean.

The place opens at 4PM everyday, but usually people have started lining up since 3.30, so if you wish to get a good spot, you better come early. On my first visit about two years ago, I arrived here at 5PM and ended up missing the sunset, because the place was already full and people usually not leaving their table until the sun is set. So in my second visit last year, I came earlier.

Rock Bar is serving various cocktails and mocktails, and also light snacks and desserts. There are no minimum purchase per table here, but every person has to purchase at least a glass of drinks. Well since this is an old photos, I've lost the bill and can't remember the name nor the taste of these cocktails that we ordered that day, so I'll just share the photos :)

Potato Wedges, Curly Fries, and Pita Chips (IDR 50.000)
It came with three kinds of condiment: Ketchup, Hummus, and Curry Mayonaise. I was quite satisfied with Rock Bar's light snacks so far, they served it hot and fresh, and all of them tasted really nice.

Chicken Pop Corn served with Herbed Olive Oil and Spiced Dukkah (IDR 85.000)
This chicken pop corn is also a nice dish. The chicken are thick and tender, and the seasoning was really good that we didn't need to dip it to the condiment at all. 

In the end I realize why people keep coming to Rock Bar. Because not only great place and mesmerizing views, the food and beverages they served here are also nicely done that people could really enjoy the views with nice enjoyable food and drinks. Anyway, enjoy the sunset!

Rock Bar
AYANA Resort and Spa Bali
Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran
Ph. +62 361 702222

Web. Rock Bar
Opening hours: 4pm – 1am

Monday, February 17, 2014

[Puncak] Cimory Riverside


Some weeks ago on the weekend when I visit Nicole's Kitchen and Lounge, I also got the chance to visit Cimory Riverside for the first time. Yeah I've never been to Puncak for that long that the last time I went to Puncak, there's still only one Cimory Restaurant.

Cimory Riverside is one of the must-visited restaurant when you're going to Puncak. It's located on the right side of the road if you're heading there from Jakarta. The place is a spacious semi outdoor restaurant divided into some different levels. Below the restaurant area is the Ciliwung river, which visitors could see closer and have a riverside walk when the skies are bright. Too bad it was raining hard when we arrived there that we could only see the river from up above.

From left to right: Strawberry Milk, Chocolate Milk, and Mocca Milk (IDR 7.500 each)
Well one does not simply went to Cimory and not buying their milk, so here are ours. My favorite would always be their plain and mocca milk. It's too bad they're only serving their milk in cold temperature, because I'd love to have a cup of warm milk in such a cold day.

Zuppa Soup (IDR 26.500)
Since we failed to get a glass of warm milk, we decided to order this warm soup instead. As expected of zuppa soup, it comes with crunchy layers of pastry and creamy warm soup. The soup also came with generous fillings.

Nachos is our comfort food, we almost always order nachos wherever we go. Cimory Riverside's nachos comes with generous tomato salsa and mozzarella cheese toppings. Love the tomato salsa, it was sour yet refreshing.

Assorted Sausages (IDR 44.900)
Five mini sausages served with potato wedges, mini salad, and BBQ sauce. I read somewhere on the internet that one of the sausages was supposed to be a cheese sausages, but this portion has no cheese sausages. I don't know if the sausages is different in every plate or we just got the wrong sausages in our plate. Anyway the sausages tasted good, but I enjoyed the potato wedges more. It got the crispy outer skin and seasoned just right. Perfect combination with the BBQ sauce.

Cimory Riverside also got a chocolate shop called Chocomory. The place is cute, the chocolate here are freshly made from their own chocolate factory. A nice place to buy souvenirs for your loved ones :D

Cimory Riverside
Jl. Raya Puncak KM 77
Ph. (0251) 8257 888

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sarang Oci

Hello, it's been more than a week without blogging. Actually I am currently quite busy with work and stuffs that I haven't got much time to try new restaurants and edit the photos. That's why I decided to find something in my drafts, and I found this, my favourite Manadonese Restaurant in Jakarta! It's been in my draft for quite some time (just look at the old watermark), but it doesn't mean that I'm not eager to write about it. Sometimes I just feel kinda lazy to write about Indonesian Restaurant because the menu is written in Indonesian and I have to translate it into English.

Anyway, Sarang Oci is located in Jalan Panjang in Kebon Jeruk area. Finding the place is easy because it has huge red "SARANG OCI" signboard at the front facade. Especially on weekend, it's even easier to notice the place because there's so many cars parking in front of the place that most of the time the parking lot is full and they park the car on the road area and cause traffic jam.

Entering the place, it looks like a two storeyed house decorated in colorful ambiance. At my first visit here years ago, I actually think that the interior kinda more suited for Morrocan restaurant than Manadonese, because of the colorful mozaics and lamps. The dining area itself is separated into several rooms in the first and second floor.

The food they served here is of course Manadonese, mostly cooked in the famous "Rica" and "Woku" style. Rica (literally translated as chilli) is Manadonese style of cooking chilli, while Woku is another tradional dish usually cooked with some spicy herbs and coconut milk. Both could be served with some choices of protein like chicken, fish, or prawns.

Ekor Tenggiri Bakar Rica (IDR 73.000)
Grilled Mackerel Fish with Rica Seasoning
It is one of customer's favourite in Sarang Oci. Despite the not-so-photogenic look, expect a fresh mackerel with thick meat and spicy yet flavorful rica seasoning when you take a bite of this. It comes in two levels of spiciness, Medium and Hot. For me, Medium is just right. But feel free to challenge yourself ;)

Perkedel Jagung (IDR 25.000 for 5 pcs)
Crispy Corn Fritters
Even though I said before that rica and woku is Sarang Oci's specialty, these crispy corn fritters is the true champion amongst all. This is the one thing that keeps the customers craving for more and more. Being a fan of Manadonese (and also all kinds of) corn fritters, I must say that I haven't found any other place that serve corn fritters as crispy, as flavorful, and as good as Sarang Oci's. It taste so d*mn good, you could find the taste of shallots and chives somewhere between the crispiness. See for yourself, not a single table could dine in Sarang Oci without ordering this dish. 

Perkedel Nike (IDR 30.000 for 4 pcs)
Manadonese Anchovy Fritters
Another Manadonese fritters! To be honest it's not as good as the corn fritters. Not that this dish is not delicious. It is delicious, but for me the corn fritters is just too hard to beat. It's not as crispy but also tasted good. Worth trying if you're up to something new.

Kuah Asam Fillet Goropa (IDR 38.000 for Small Size)
Grouper Fillet cooked in Manadonese style Sour Soup
This is my daddy's favourite, but I kinda like it too. It's Manadonese traditional soup, basically it tasted sour but you can also taste a hint of spiciness and other seasonings. It is nice and warm and healthy, because the ingredients are fish and vegetables like tomato and spinach.

Kangkung Tumis Jagung (IDR 23.000)
Sauteed Water Spinach, Corn, and Shallots
Water Spinach is a very common vegetable for Indonesians. But to make it more authentic, Manadonese usually cook their water spinach with corn, or papaya flowers. I like it more with corn, because the papaya flowers tasted a little bitter, but some people like the papaya flowers too.

That's what we had in our visit some times ago, but not only that, Sarang Oci also have great woku and lots of Manadonese traditional snacks and desserts that are worth trying.

And as I said above, Sarang Oci is currently my most favorite Manadonese Restaurant in Jakarta. I actually have two favorites, Sarang Oci and Beautika Restaurant, but Sarang Oci is much more affordable in price and easier to reach from my house. It could even do delivery to Kebon Jeruk area! I don't know if it's because my half Manadonese blood from my mother that I love Manadonese food so much, but a lot of my friends also love this place and the place couldn't be always packed for nothing. So give it a try and I'll be glad to hear your opinion :D

Sarang Oci
Jl. Panjang no.99
Arteri Kelapa Dua
Kebon Jeruk 
Jakarta Barat
ph. (021) 532 9791

other branches:
Jl. Tebet Raya no.78A
Tebet - Jakarta Selatan
ph. (021) 829 5237

Jl. Bulungan no. 24
Kebayoran Baru - Jakarta Selatan
ph. (021) 722 2403 
(opening February 2014)
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