Monday, December 8, 2014

historica coffee and pastry

i'm on my teacher's presents hunt the other day and i persuaded my friend to have brunch before sending me home, since my son's about to have his afternoon nap and he will be nagging me so i can't have lunch at home, so better eat first.and he agreed. so we headed to historica since it was nearby. haha.. pretty nice coincidence right?

actually, historica is in a complex which also have 1903, the fine dining place. and supposedly one more place but i can't see it. funny thing is, the parking space is very limited just like domicile which is nearby, but they have valet service at the complex, so even though it wasn't busy, we had to give the key to be parked by the valet officer. 

okay, now stepping inside the coffee shop, it was quite spacious compared to libby and monopole. just like libby, the menu is on the wall, but they also provide an ipad with menu inside. beside the cashier there's a display for cakes and juices (sorry... i've forgotten). the menu was not extensive, just like the other coffee shop, but compared to libby and monopole which have several "heavy dish" menu, historica has the lightest menu. and they don't have many choices on non coffee beverage.. so i ended up ordering oreo frappe and egg benedict while my friend tried the green tea frappe and yogurt muesli.

i have to say in terms of ambience and comfort rating, historica wins over libby and monopole. libby is comfy, but it's not that spacious. monopole is the worst. it's cramped and too busy and too noisy inside.. though probably when i went there it wasn't peak hour, but judging by the placement of the sofa and other seatings, even though it's busy, it won't be as cramped as monopole. in terms of service, i might say that all of them are average. average on the service given by the waiter and the time of service.

the oreo frappe is average. it's sweet but i can still taste a hint of coffee inside. though my friend said that he didn't taste the coffee when he ordered it.. but still, being not a coffee lover or drinker, probably makes me more sensitive to coffee than him. but it's okay.. it didn't make me palpitate. the egg benedict is a standard egg benedict, and it has the original hollandaise sauce (yayyy!!) but i forgot to tell them that i'm pregnant and the poached egg is very runny, runnier than libby's which means it's almost raw.. but hopefully nothing bad will happen. but it's just an ordinary egg benedict, nothing special about it. my friend told me that the yogurt muesli was a waste. you can make it yourself at home..  the green tea.. well, it's green tea.. no special thing about it.

will i go back there? probably if i'm nearby.. but if i'm not, there's no reason to go there just to eat..

oreo frappe

egg benedict

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

food review: monopole coffee lab

yep.. i'm in the mood of trying new cafes. since i'm not that attracted to full main dish, and more attracted to various blended beverage in a cup, so i decided to drag my husband to try another cafe again. this time it's monopole coffee lab. unfortunately it didn't open early in the morning, so i had difficulty to find the right time to go there. but thankfully, i got afternoon shift and my husband picked me up, and the place wasn't full, so we ended up there.

the place had very limited parking space. fortunately, the restaurant across the street was closed, and they had plenty of parking space, so i guess some of the visitor parked there. and the seating arrangement was pretty crampy. i don't know if they had their second floor open for public, but we were seated in the first floor and it was crowded. and the space between each table was not that spacey.

monopole is quite famous for their coffee. but being pregnant and not a coffee lover at all, i can't say anything about it. thankfully, they have non cafein beverages, so my husband ordered the red velvet (which was not similar to red velvet cake) and i ordered cookies and cream blend. there were also not so many food in the menu. i tried their egg benedict, but this one was not using hollandaise sauce, but mornay sauce. i read nothing in the menu that would indicate the egg benedict would be spicy, but when it came out, it has chili flakes on top of the poached egg. at first i thought the chili flakes wouldn't be that spicy, but turned out it was very spicy for me.. since i don't like spicy food. and it was pretty weird for my taste. i prefer the hollandaise sauce better i guess. both the beverages were sweet, mine was sweeter than my husband's.

the food was okay, but will i come back there? i don't think so...
cookies and cream blend. it's very sweet

red velvet blend. it's not as sweet as the cookies and cream

Monday, November 10, 2014

food review: libby cafe

i know.. i supposed to finish my new zealand trip review, but somehow i lost my interest in writing about them. so i guess i will stop pushing myself to write about it and try to write something else. okay.. so if i haven't mentioned it before, right now i'm pregnant with my second child. and somehow this pregnancy is different. in my first trimester i didn't feel that nausea, but i lost my appetite. even the smell of some food made me want to vomit. plus when i realized i was pregnant, i was preparing for my thesis exam, so i was pretty stress at that moment. no wonder i couldn't gain any weight, even lost a kilo. but after that, it wasn't much difference. but now, almost a month now, i could feel my appetite is back. but strangely, i wasn't that attracted to rice, but i was drooling over snacks and sweets and lately beverages in plastic or paper cup with big straws. yepp.. that kind that you will find in starbucks or coffee shop. soooo.. i've been drooling to try some new cafes around my house, and i managed to persuade my husband. so the first one we tried was libby cafe.

i've been there before, but not dine there. it was a small cafe and limited parking space too. luckily it was open quite early, so after dropping my kid at school, we can go there and eat and then back to school to pick him up again. when we went there, they had this breakfast package promotion, and i tried their egg benedict breakfast package. it was egg benedict plus ice/hot chocolate. while my husband strangely still ordered the chicken wing plus tried the new brownies blended or something like that. after he saw other bloggers recommended the beef stew toast, he ordered that one.

the cafe was small, and half of the cafe was a showroom for the cookies (yep.. libby used to sell brownies and cookies). but it was comfortable. we chose to sit at the back so we can observe the whole cafe. hahaha.. oh, and you have to order at the cashier, and the menu is up on the wall. i guess this becomes new habit of new popping cafes in surabaya. okay, for my ice chocolate, it was standard. but the brownies blend it was okay. a bit sweet but i prefer it than mine. for my egg benedict, usually they used english muffin, but here in libby they used brioche. i had no complain about the egg benedict, maybe more sauce and not too acid on the poached egg. but other than that, it was a satisfying second breakfast (yep, we've already eaten our breakfast before, hahaha..). i didn't try the chicken wing, so i have no saying about that. but i guess it wasn't that good since my husband took it home and never touched it again. the beef stew toast was okay, but not enough sauce for my husband. the beef stew was pretty much to cover the brioche toast, probably more than the other bloggers have eaten. maybe they added the portion lately. the taste according to my husband it was okay, but he prefer the beef to be cut bigger, not chopped like in stew or semur. hahahaa...

overall, i was happy to visit this cafe and hopefully i can persuade my husband to be back there again. i wanted to try the pasta, but since they said the portion is big enough, probably not as second breakfast. hehehe..
egg benedict

beef stew toast (i forgot the exact name)

brownies blended

Monday, November 3, 2014

the hermitage hotel

i'm sorry for the very..very late post. i've been busy with school and my pregnancy, and then graduation plus managing my other blog, so somehow this blog is a little bit neglected.

the hermitage hotel is the only hotel in mount cook area. the other one is just motel, so we didn't have so much choices. last time i was there with my husband we were just staying for one night, but this time we stayed for two nights. the first night we slept at the old wing, the room was old and it showed it the bedding and tiles of the room. the other night we slept at the lodge which had living room and kitchen in the room.

the ordinary room, it was quite big. it's enough for 4 people per room. the bed was large enough, and it had magnificent view. we got the room that had a big window to a balcony facing the mt.cook. so it was lucky we could see mt cook early in the morning, and it was a magnificent view for my son, so we could feed him at the balcony without any fuss. the only let down was the heater. last time i was there, there were 2 heaters. one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom. since the room was smaller than the one we were having, the heater was enough. but the old wing room's heater was not enough to make the room warm. moreover, the bathroom had tiles on them, so it was freezing cold when my feet touched them in the morning. and the heater in the bathroom was set at 15 minutes, so after 15 minutes or so, it would automatically shut down. i supposed it was for energy saving, but it wasn't friendly for us, asian people who lived in tropical country. we're not used to the cold, so a 30 minutes window for the heater was the minimum time to keep us warm in the bathroom.

okay.. so the old room was spacious, comfy bed but not too comfy heater. i could make breakfast for my son using minimum space and utensils there. but moving to the lodge, it was heaven. still the warmer became problem. but at least the bathroom floor was covered in something else, i forgot the name of the material, it was similar to the one used in the operating room, so it wasn't that freezing cold in the morning. the heater in the room was not enough too, but fortunately, the bed was equipped with heater too. the kitchen was perfect to cook lunch and breakfast. but don't forget to open the window when you cooked since it was one room for all.

the letdown being in the old room was the breakfast arrangement. though the room was supposed for 4 people, we only got breakfast for one person per room. sucks. and the additional fee for the breakfast was quite expensive. but when we moved to the lodge, breakfast were free for all. unfortunately, my son didn't have the appetite to chew anything beside the honey cereal, and i didn't either, so the free breakfast almost went useless.

so, if you didn't travel with family or kids, probably the motel will be enough. since there were not so many attractions at mount cook. but if you had the money and opted for comfort for the whole family, your choice is limited to hermitage. it was okay, but a bit pricey for me.
this is the room in the old wing 

my son was in front of the heater since it was late at night and it was freezing cold

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

mackenzie's, lake tekapo, new zealand

we were on our way to mt.cook, and it was a long journey, so we were quite late for lunch at lake tekapo. actually, we were planning to have lunch at gohan, japanese restaurant, but unfortunately, it was closed at 2 pm. it only opened from 12-2pm for lunch. *sigh* i was drooling over their pictures at tripadvisor when i was searching for a dining place, and i had to swallow it back. and we were lucky we found mackenzie's was still open for business.

the place: it has outdoor seating which will be great when the weather is great. and it has access to the lake. so my son was excited to finish his meal and then running around toward the lake.
the menu: they have kid's menu, which was a relief.. and it had pizza! it was what my son wanted for lunch that day.. fiuhh.. for the rest of us, we managed to order burgers and steaks.. some were great, but some were not.
the service: well, mostly you have to pick the menu yourself, and then when you're ready, you can order at the cashier. and then, after waiting for a few minutes, they will serve your food. we got the cashier officer to serve us, but i noticed there was this one blonde waiter, who seemed sour, and wasn't that friendly. and when i read at tripadvisor, someone else also complained about the blonde waiter. i guess it's a habit..
the price: well, since we were starving and we needed place to eat, it was decent, but for a comeback, a no-no.. it was a bit pricey..

advice: just order the steak, but not the trio grill (just pass the pork-chicken-beef combination).

and since i forgot to take picture of the food, let me show you the view that you can enjoy from the back of the restaurant. it's the beautiful lake tekapo.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

amross court motor lodge

okay.. it's our first day in christchurch. thankfully, this time it was raining. so it wasn't that cold. but i was worried since this was the first winter trip for our son. but, watching him so excited playing around at the rental car office earlier, i was relieved. i hoped it would last until the trip ended. our first motel was amross court motor lodge. it was similar to our last motel in christchurch, small, quiet but comfy. we booked two kind of rooms. the family type for david's big family, and the regular one for us. the family one had 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a living room connected to the dining room and kitchen. they put extra bed in the living room since there were 5 people.

okay..let's discuss ours first. it was a one bedroom apartment. the bedroom was connected to dining room and kitchen, the bathroom was in separate room, and they also separated the toilet and the shower place. we had two heaters in the room, and it was hot enough to keep us warm. the heater in the bathroom also quite hot. it was a nice start for us to adapt to the winter climate. the kitchen utencils were complete so we could cook our dinner and breakfast ourselves. and the motel was close to merrivale mall, where we could shop groceries.

the family room on the other hand, they said they didn't get enough heat for everyone, except for the one in the living room. well, i guess you were supposed to keep the door open in the family room so the heat spreaded. i don't know.. all i know we could get a good night sleep here. though it wasn't big, but it was comfy.. and clean and nice. and quiet, remembering it was at the roadside.

well, it's just the beginning of our trip.. more reviews later..

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

winter holiday: NZ again

yep.. we're spending another idul fitri day in new zealand again. last time was two years ago. this time we brought my hubby's whole family plus our little one. i was worried that he might get sick due to the weather changes, but he was alright except for a couple of days.. so it was a huge relief. but his appetite dropped a lot, so he was skinny again.. hiksss...

this time, the route was christchurch - mt.cook - te anau - wanaka - queenstown - christchurch. originally, between queenstown and christchurch there was wakatiki (or something like that.. i forgot the city's name), but since my bro in law was tired and wanted to go back to christchurch by plane, we dropped it. but again, due to weather condition, the plane was cancelled and we had to hurry back to christchurch by car again... and we made a quick stop at twizel for a night before heading to christchurch again.

i might say that though at the beginning of the trip the weather was okay, our last trip was better. this one, half of the trip were not so good since it was rainy almost whole day long. we couldn't see the nice view and took picture. and the worst part is, we couldn't visit the zoo since we ran out time due to travel sudden changes. let's just say this is not our most joyous trip.

but then again, i'm quite happy since my son enjoyed most of the trip. he loved playing with the snow and excited jumping around the campervans. but most, he loved travelling by plane.. and now, even when we're home already, he kept asking "where are we going today?" hahaha.. he's still in holiday mode apparently..

though we made some return visit to some hotel and dinner, there are couples new accomodation and dinner to try.. so i'll review them separately. hopefully, we can go back there again someday and the weather will be good so we can enjoy all the view the whole trip long.

food review: ron's laboratory

okay.. ron's doesn't sell food, so it's supposed to be ice cream review. which is odd. what's special about it? ron's claims it's molecular gastronomy, something that has been hyped around the world. and this time in ice cream mode. all i know from watching masterchef and stuff, molecular gastronomy in ice cream means nitrogen. and i was right. they made the ice cream from scratch and then poured liquid nitrogen over it to make it solid. let's get onto it!

the place: so far, in surabaya, there are two places to enjoy ron's, one in ciputra world, and the other in galaxy mall. the setting is a small cafe, but you have to order in line, not like the other ice cream cafe where you can sit down and have the waiter take your order.
the price: hmmm.. for something hype, it's quite fair to pay that amount of money.
the flavour: ron's doesn't offer too much flavour like other ice cream parlour. so far i count only 5 flavours, but i don't know if the dates one only for ramadhan season. there is one funny flavours, the chocolate windproof flavour, which in indonesia translated into "tolak angin". i never drink tolak angin so i have no idea what tolak angin should taste like, so i give it a go. i choose the rocky something, which is a sea-salt chocolate and peanut butter.
the presentation: another unique thing in ron's is they have several flavours that have syringe in presentation. the syringe contains more syrup to pour over your ice cream.

many people attracted to the syringe and i have to say that indonesian are lazy to read the board. they have the flavours plus the notes under the ice cream names and give the syringe sign beside the flavour name, so you can figure out yourself which one gets the syringe and which one doesn't. unfortunately, when i bought them, many people in front of me just came to the cashier and asked "which one has the syringe on it?" ohhhh.. mannn.. no wonder the line is quite long! if only they take the time to read the sign!!! come on peopleee!!!

okay.. back to the ice cream. probably it was me who order the ordinary stuff, so i have to rate this one just so-so. nothing extraordinary, just something exciting to looked at while you are waiting for your ice cream. looking at the "scientist" mixing your ice cream and then pouring the liquid nitrogen, plus the syringe. for me, syringe is not extraordinary, so i don't get it why people so excited playing with syringe.

Monday, June 23, 2014

food review: holycow!

lately, surabaya is excited for new dining place in town. holycow! it's been famous in jakarta for their low-price but high-quality meat. i can't say about jakarta's holycow, but what i'm about to write here is surabaya's holycow. some of you probably knew that the owner and co-owner of the original holycow had split, but i have no idea which one of them started the surabaya branch. all i know, when they were just starting the construction, the big banner in front of the building said that it's domicile group new restaurant. so probably, they have some kind of coordination with domicile here.

okay.. back to holycow. as the new hype dining place in town, they didn't pick the strategic place (according to me). instead, they chose an office-house in graha family area, which is quite remote area in west surabaya. so, for those who live in central surabaya or other area, it is quite far for a steak. but some might say, it might worth the travel.. but, who knows?

the place: as i said, the location isn't strategic enough for me. the restaurant is located in two-story office house. it's pretty roomy, but for a new restaurant, it's quite small. they have separate smoking area, which is good. unfortunately, they only have 2 baby chairs! and their chair isn't that child-friendly.

the menu: i have to warn you that if you were hoping you can try something else other than steak, you might want to skip this restaurant. their menu 100% consisted with steak. the only menu that isn't steak is their wagyu salad, which still have meat in it. but, they have 2 kids menu, which unfortunately, when i ate there, both were sold out. (this "sold out" excuse pissed me off.. you can read it later).

the service: most of the waiter are quite responsive, and that's good for a new restaurant. but, they seem don't communicate well between themselves. my dad ordered a buddy steak with mashed potato, but then the server gave my dad buddy steak with french fries, and he had no idea when my dad complained about it. so my dad just gave up and accepted it. and.. this is what i found out on my second visit, on my first visit, the waiter forgot to give me the stamp card. 10 stamps for 1 free steak. you can get 1 stamp for 1 steak. but the other waiter just give me another 3 stamps for the steak that i've ordered before. you're forgiven for that cause! hahahaa..

the food: on my first visit, i ordered the prime sirloin (since everything wagyu is sold out, the tenderloin is sold out, the holy steak is sold out too.. seee... too many menus that's sold out, which is weird. you're opening a new restaurant, so for the first month you'll probably have people flooding your place. you're supposed to have twice the amount of the menu.. since everyone will be excited to try your best sellers. but if you're running out almost everything on the menu, how can we give you a good score? and that's their second week, so they were supposed to understand which menu is the favorite so they can prepare it more.) i asked for medium well, with mushroom sauce. my husband ordered the same but in medium and buddy steak + bbq sauce. my dad ordered well done and mushroom sauce as well. mine came more to well done rather than medium well, and my husband's more like medium rare rather than medium. and it's tooooooo salty for our taste. i kept gulping my drink to make the saltiness go away.

on my second visit, i ordered tenderloin, medium, mushroom sauce. this time, it's the right medium, but it's still to salty for me. my friend even said that the jakarta's tasted better. much better, he said.

overall, you might want to try this one if you're a carnivore, a curious food lover or food blogger, and have pretty much leisure time (since i believe travelling to west surabaya takes more time than it used to be). but if you want to try something like jakarta's holycow, you might want to skip this, as it might disappoint you.
oh, and they have various promo. if you posted them on instagram/ twitter / path or any social media, you can get free ice cream, just don't forget the hashtag. free steak on your birthday (proven by identity card). free drink for mom-to-be (i'm wondering how can they recognize mom-to-be who's still in their first trimester? there won't be any baby bump i supposed.., how can they tell?) okay then, for me, no more visit in the mean time. if you want to try, my friend in jakarta suggested buddy steak.
prime sirloin

prime tenderloin

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

food review: bakerzin

first of all, before starting this review, i'd like to apologize since i forgot to take any picture. on first visit, it was just me and my son, so i can't take more picture when he's on my lap. second visit, we were quite hungry and just straight eating without taking any picture first. soo.. hopefully you can imagine it or better, just go there and have a visit yourself.

bakerzin is a cafe type eating place, when you can eat and enjoy yourself. though it's a cafe type, they have pretty wide range of food. from appetizer, pasta, meat, asian choices (yes, it means rice), and a lot.. yes, A LOT type of deserts. okay, i'll break it down according to my visit.

1st visit: i was with my son, so i ordered something that both of us could eat, plus a desert. that time i was in depression that i need something to cheer me up. plus i just had my wage after a year off, so a little celebration wouldn't hurt. so i ordered penne with bacon and smoked beef and profiteroles for desert. first of all when i got the pasta, the portion was huge. okay, it's bigger than any other restaurant that sells pasta. it's even a little bit too much even though i shared it with my son. beside the portion, they also gave a generous portion of the meat. usually, other restaurants will give you more pasta than meat, but here, the portion between meat and pasta are almost equal.

since it was a lot pasta, i was almost full when the profiteroles arrived. my son was full too.. he only asked for a couple spoons of ice cream, and that was it. he said "i don't want more ice cream, mommy.." listening that from a nearly 2 yo was pretty odd. hahaha.. the profiteroles was okay, and i should remind you that the portion was big too. three puffs with a scoop of ice cream each. so it was a satisfying lunch for a desperate soul. i was so happy that i bragged about it in front of my husband and it got him curious to try bakerzin again in another mall.

2nd visit: my husband ordered veal and pesto spaghetti, and i ordered 2 deserts, yes... not one, but two. first was a sumatra cake and the other was a warm cake. the spaghetti was satisfying in portion too, though it was a little salty for our taste. the veal was also a bit dry. and it was too oily. probably from the olive oil. but the desert was another story. sumatra was basically a layer cake. it was a chocolate cake, layered with chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse, and topped with chocolate ganache. the chocolate was rich but not too overpowering. de-li-cious...
the warm cake was a molten cake, on top of candied orange. on top of molten cake was vanilla ice cream, and there was raspberry coulis too. overall, they were perfect combination, except for the orange. it was too sour. the molten cake oozed out as soon as i cut it and it melted the vanilla ice cream so richness of the chocolate combined with the sweetness of vanilla ice cream and the freshness of raspberry coulis. the raspberry was sweet and sour, and the acidity was just right. hmmm.. i could eat that all day... so far i can only make a molten cake, and it was too bitter alone. i guess a vanilla ice cream and a coulis is what it needs.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

food review: platinum grill

my husband suddenly had this craving to eat something nice, and we haven't tried platinum grill yet, so he asked me to make reservation for last saturday, no special occasion. fortunately, last saturday wasn't that crowded. probably people still check out domicile or 1914 or le ciel blue. anyway, this will be our first 3 courses dinner. hahahaa..

the place: it was pretty dark, though it was still 6 pm. plus the restaurant was surrounded by trees and no big lamp inside, so there was just a glimpse of light just enough for us to see our way. everything was decorated black. even the waiter and waitresses were all dressed in black. plus last saturday it was cloudy and rainy, so it added extra darkness. the place was decorated for easter, though they moved some bunnies from the original place, probably to avoid it getting drenched by the rain.

the service: they were very meticulous about the service. they asked us whether it was our first time there. they even gave us extra chair for our bag. they explained the menu for us if it were our first time there. anything you asked them, they'll answer it for you. they even urged us to pick a main first and immediately order it for it took some time to prep the main.

the food: 3 courses menu. entree, main, and dessert. all in a package. so the price on the main was for the whole package. the entree was salad or soup, but if you wanted another entree, they will calculate it for you. my husband picked fjord something, which was something he usually didn't eat. below the dishes' name there was a simple explanation, and for the fjord, it was salmon, citrus and caviar. and just that. it turned out smoked salmon, with oranges underneath and some caviar. they served it in a bowl with lid closed, but they opened the lid at your table so you could smell the smoke. hahaha.. pretty theatrical. and i chose mini burgers. i thought if matthew demanded something to eat, he could try it. but turned out i had to eat the fjord since the salmon was raw. hahaha.. my husband had no idea what he chose. and he ate the mini burgers instead. the salmon was too salty for my taste, and the orange was too sour. eaten together the sourness of the orange did balance the saltiness, but i could still taste the salt. oh.. i forgot. when we were reading the menu to pick, they gave us cinnamon crunchy stick to munch.. and some tiny appetizer. it was consisted with orange and egg belt, meat covered in cheese (but looked like klepon) and cherry with mayones. tiny bits. after that, since we both chose steak, they gave us bread and butter. matthew loved it. he ate two. hahaha...

main: tenderloin with mushroom sauce and french fries for me (the fries were supposed for matthew, but he was full from the bread, so i ate them instead) and baby back pork ribs for my husband, bbq sauce and potato wedges. i wanted to try the seafood, but i was uncertain about their dressing and sauce, so i just picked the steak. after all, i wanted to eat some meat too. tenderloin was okay, they cooked the meat perfectly, but the sauce was soooo little. i wanted more sauce. my husband still prefer stevan's for the steak. the baby back pork ribs was delicious. it was tender and delicious. for me it tasted just like domicile's but more meaty. but my husband said it was too much, probably since he chose the large portion. hahaha.. jadi mbleneg, he said.

desert: i chose chocolate gateux and the apple for my husband. i thought there will be a proper size of apple pie, nice, sweet and comforting. but turned out there was just tiny apple pie, just a bite size, and a sponge cake, foam and an ice cream. for me, the chocolate gateux was perfect. rich and moist chocolate cake, with vanilla ice cream, raspberry and orange sauce, drizzled at the top and bottom of my plate and candied orange. i didn't like the candy, it was too sweet for my taste.

for the drink, they gave us lime infused water for free. free top up too.

conclusion: this was a nice example for 3 courses dinner. the menu was all french but the taste was changed to suit asian tongue. though they didn't use overpowering spice, and the side dish (the veggies) was blah. the mini carrot and turnip was actually a regular size cut into mini veggies. and it was bland. the mushroom also was bland. so in case of copying the actual french dish, they were failed at side dish, probably because we didn't have baby veggies like western countries. and our veggies tasted different, like soil and grass, while abroad, some of them tasted sweet. but if you wanted fine dining, but not too french-y, you could try platinum grill. my stomach was a happy stomach that night.
fjord : salmon, citrus, caviar

mini burgers

baby back pork ribs

tenderloin with mushroom sauce

chocolate gateux
the apple

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

food review: domicile

actually, i was planning to dine here on my birthday, but things went south that day, so we finally could try it last saturday. this restaurant's been a hype in surabaya, and i was kinda late to try it, but better late than never i guess.

one thing about the place: it didn't have enough parking space, or any empty lot nearby for valet parking. so i guess the owner might want to reconsider parking arrangement.

interior and decor: once you step inside, the indoor dining place has high ceiling and it feels spacious. the center island is their cake display and cashier. they also have outdoor space, or false outdoor space to be exact. the outdoor space is covered with glass and fake plants to make it cooler. they even put air conditioner out there, so i bet you won't feel hot outside. when we were there, it was near easter time, and they made special outdoor setting with easter theme so people could take picture there.

the service: you have to make reservation before going there. not like other restaurants which apply "first come first serve" principal. but they make 15 minutes tolerance for the reservation, so even though you've reserved it but when you're late more than 15 minutes, they will give up your table if someone else's coming. the waiters are okay. though those without uniform (the apprentice) are a bit slow. funny things happen here though. one of the waiter that take us to our table asked me if i was a doctor. and when i said yes, he asked me if i worked at mitra hospital. i completely had no idea who he was, but he told me at the end that he was the medical record officer. fiuh.. pretty big leap from medical record officer to waiter.

the food: lots of choices from the menu. from appetizer, side dishes, pizza, pasta, main and even lunch special. and don't forget desert. they also have a lot selection of liquor. just like la rucola. from what i see, lunch special is another name for dishes with rice. more like asian dishes. pretty weird thing is the pizza topping. they have beef sausage, which usually will be favorite since it's pretty common, but they combine it with beef carpaccio, which is raw dish, so i can't predict will it be favorite or not. i ordered their black ink seafood fettucine with cream sauce, my husband tried their baby back pork ribs. both were great choice, though the portion was a bit smaller than la rucola. but the pizza was huge. pizza was nice, with the thin crust.

overall, this is a great place to taste a new take of western cuisine, italian particularly. but they also give asian choices so for those who can't eat without rice or take their nanny with them won't have to worry. unfortunately, not to child friendly. no child menu and maybe only a few baby chair too.
black ink seafood fetuccine

baby pork back ribs

Thursday, April 3, 2014

food review: cut catch cucina

the name was difficult to spell, even the receptionist at the hotel only said its acronym, CCC. hahaha..
the restaurant was inside the sofitel hotel bali, so unless you were staying at the hotel and had no other options, you would probably skip this restaurant.

since we were on a budget and my husband was not too fond of western cuisine, so we decided to choose the package menu and a pizza. the package menu was a 3 course menu, minestrone soup as appetizer, beef tenderloin for main, and for dessert supposed to be bavarois, but the strawberry was unavailable, so they changed it into tiramisu. actually, after trying the desert, i was happy they changed the desert. hehehe...

appetizer: i forgot to take any picture, but even though i took the picture, all you could see was orange soup. minestrone was a tomato and lobster soup, a fancy one. but here the lobster was substited by big shrimp. at first they plated it beautifully, with the shrimp in the center and all the garnish at the side, but then the waiter poured the tomato soup and everything was covered by orange sea and nothing could be seen. the minestrone was okay, it was not too sour for a tomato soup, you could taste some saltiness, sweetness inside the soup. it was nice, but it was a hot and sunny day, so after eating the hot soup, i felt hot and sweaty.. not suitable for tropical place like bali.

main: beef tenderloin. the presentation was unique. the beef was cut like a log, and put in the center. the vegetables were arranged around it like bushes. there was some ground-like thing and my husband said it was cinnamon. the beef was tender though it was grilled well done. we asked the waiter about it and he said it was sous-vide first before they grilled it. unfortunately, i prefer beef tenderloin with lots of sauce. and sauce was the only thing that's missing from this dish.
beef tenderloin

pizza: what can i say about this pizza? though the dough was thin and a bit crusty, it was not chewy. and the sauce was nice, a bit sour and sweet, made from fresh tomato sauce. even my husband liked it. he was pretty picky for pizza.

dessert: it was a deconstructed tiramisu. it was delicious. but it needed more coffee ice cream and the crumble. other than that, it was perfect.

holiday alert: seclusion day in bali

yep.. you might think we were weird for spending seclusion day in bali. well, we were too, until some travel agent guy told my husband that it was perfect for a quiet weekend in bali. he recommended hotels in nusa dua especially those with pools. we were excited and started searching. we decided to choose sofitel. it was new, and the pool was big. the beach was at the back of the hotel but we couldn't go to the beach on seclusion day. but it was okay. we decided we'd go for it.

and we did. we survived seclusion day in bali. even balinese decided to stay at the hotel in order to avoid the tradition. particularly those who didn't celebrate seclusion day. so the hotel was crowded on seclusion day.

day1: arrival
it was hot and humid. the first disappointment was the car wasn't as nice as before. but what can we ask? at least we had car to go around. and we decided to shop at the new mall. unfortunately, my son refused to eat. blah. so much for a start. then we drove to the hotel. it was big and nice. my son was excited. he was running around. the bathroom was big.. and we could see the pool from our balcony. we ate at jimbaran that night, and it was sooo crowded. we even didn't eat at made, my husband's usual cafe. we picked nyoman instead. fortunately, the food was okay. at least we finished the first day with our stomach full.

day2: safari time
we decided to spend the morning at bali safari and marine park. it was another hot day. my son refused to eat breakfast again, even though there were plenty choices to choose from. unfortunately, no dessert spotted. what can i say about bali safari? it was soooo hottt... my son was excited while waiting for the animal education show, and he enjoyed it. after the show we went to the safari journey. fortunately, when we saw the tiger, it was standing when we came nearby. usually it was sleeping and did nothing. my son was excited watching the tiger. though he was sleepy at that time. and by the end of the safari journey, he fell asleep. and we got out just in time to get our lunch at mcd since most food outlet were closed after 1-2 pm. actually, most people suggested us to watch ogoh-ogoh festival in the afternoon, but we were afraid that my son would freak out since it was creepy toy that they carried, and it was full with many kind of spirit, so.. for my son sake, we just stayed at the hotel and enjoyed the pool. the children pool was okay and it has a slide so he was excited walking around the pool. ahh.. another day at the paradise.

day3: seclusion day
we spent the morning swimming at the pool. the hotel officers made some games for those in the pool to play. but we had to be quiet. well, it was not easy, since everybody was excited and excited equals screams. we won the treasure hunt game, hahaha.. my son was excited walking around to find the unusual things we were supposed to find. but it was my husband who actually found it. son was exhausted so he was fell asleep pretty quickly, so me and my husband could sneak out to hotel restaurant to enjoy lunch. we picked the CCC restaurant, but the price was insane. so we just chose the package menu and a pizza. i'll review the food later. for dinner we ate at the kwee-zen, the one we usually ate for breakfast. but this time we ate ala carte. it was super hot and my son was uncomfortable. we finished dinner quickly and walked back to our room in darkness. the hotel provided a small flashlight so we won't trip on our way. and my husband was right. when everything was quite and dark, you could see the stars brighter and a lot more than we used too.

day4: our last day
ohhh.. the holiday came to an end. my husband had some business to take care for, so me and my son decided to play sand near the beach. but it was strikingly hot and my nanny told us not to play directly under the sun, so we found a nice place under the tree to play. hehehe.. he was soooo happy playing sand that he refused to get back to hotel room to pack up before going home.

overall, it was nice and quite spending time at bali on seclusion day, so probably you guys might consider it. the hotel price was lower than the holiday season, so you could enjoy the 5 stars hotel without bleeding money. hehehe.. as for sofitel, it was recommended.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

food review : nozomi ramen

i had to admit that japanese food grew pretty fast in surabaya. we had several ramen places spread all over surabaya. actually, nozomi was not new, but since it was in midtown, we didn't have time to visit it. and then, we were bored to food at CW after church, so we decided to give it a go. unfortunately, it was open at 11 on weekend, and 11.30 on weekdays, so we had to wait about 15 minutes. oh well.. we had nothing to do anyway..

the place : they decorated it just like japanese places we saw on tv. the cooking bar in the center, surrounded by high chair, just like food bar. they made the food bar higher than the other part of the restaurant. and there were stones and mini fountain, just to mimic japanese homes.

the people: similar to other japanese restaurant here, there was a native japanese as the supervisor. here, they had two, one on the reception, and one as supervisor/cook (probably).

the menu: they had various menu, from ramen, curry don, to ramen burger. we tried several ramen, the ramen burger, the fried rice and i forgot what my brother's order. but the menu was complicated. for a simple ramen, the waiter had to ask us about the noodle type (soft or hard) and the soup type (strong or light).

the food: i tried the original tonkutsu ramen, pork, soft noodle, light soup. my dad ordered black garlic ramen, pork, hard noodle, strong soup. my husband ordered the spicy one, hard, and strong. mine were blah.. just a slightly salty. and the meat were only 2. no tamago on my ramen, so i had to order the tamago separately. my husband said that his was okay, the spicy was spicier than hakkata's. my dad said that garlic was all he could taste, after all, that's what he chose.. black garlic. the ramen burger was another story. the ramen substituted the burger bun, and it was pretty tough and dry. the meat on the other hand, was nice. it was delicious.

sooo.. if i wanted japanese food, i would go there for the ramen burger.

roasted chashu ramen burger (i think..)

spicy something ramen (pork, hard noodle, strong)

original tonkotsu ramen (pork, soft, light)