Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hog Wild with Chef Bruno

Flying all the way from the heavenly island Bali to the beloved metropolitan Jakarta, Hog Wild doesn’t want to go with the moderate level, but choose to deliver a flying start. Why do I say so? Well yeah, you can definitely tell it once you stand in front of its gigantic outlet residing in Paramount Summarecon Serpong area, with wide unoccupied land as its surroundings. Easy to find once spotted as the building’s the only one standing there, catching the attention of any passersby right away; but well, how many people will pass the area? Well I cannot tell, the location’s honestly a big bet for me ;)

Just like it’s two predecessors in Batu Belig and Seminyak, this newly opened one in Serpong does bring out the concept of Warung dining ambiance, having semi open-air space and long communal tables. However, the commitment of delivering fine-dining quality dishes is definitely still there, as Chef Bruno, the actor behind all the success, dares to call it out loud. 

Browsing a little bit about the Hog Wild, I figure out that this French-owned resto has won the 2nd runner up for best steak and grill restaurant in Bali in 2017, hosted by NOW magazine. Woooww! My curiosity jumps even more to its peak and I simply can’t wait to lick the last drop of the barbecue sauce from the ribs!

Covered in red and serving pig statues and pictures at almost all corners, please don’t think it’s a Chinese restaurant. That’s indeed the concept they consistently feature in all the outlets to emphasize that they’re the expert in pork-based dishes. Yes, apologize that it only serves those who eat non-halal food. Moreover, you might also notice that the other emphasis brought is the martini since they believe it’s the best companion to your grilled courses. 

I’m impressed with how they try to be peculiar, giving very casual theme there, which silently can tell you that you can dress as easy as you want to dine in there since they simply want you to enjoy the foods! The hanging martini bottles, the pictures of pigs having feast, and the signature Marilyn Monroe dress and wig on the stage; are just some of the abundant unique details they always display in the outlet. 

Just like being in Bali, all the waiters and waitresses are very friendly and nimble, starting from the way they greet the ones just coming, directing them to the vacant seats, and starting to help the first-timers placing their orders. The detailed knowledge about the dishes served deserves thumbs up, and the effort to understand the concerns and inputs from the guests is worthy to be appreciated. 

Homemade Gourmet Sausage - Chorizo (IDR 82k)
Beginning with something lighter, the homemade chorizo becomes the lucky chosen one. It’s a well seasoned one, delivering flavorful opening to satisfy the tummy. The only input I will give to be able to make it even more favorable is the texture, for which I think I’ll prefer something softer. Well, perhaps I should’ve picked the Italian that uses ground meat instead of this Chorizo that serves chopped one. Nonetheless, it’s surely not bad at all and good lesson, I’ve known what should be my next order list. 

Another great news to call out, though this chorizo doesn’t look like a very fulfilling one, it nicely comes with its companion. The component that should’ve been the sidekick, but apparently turns out captures my interest more than the ‘main actor’ does. Despite being fried, it’s not greasy, and the crispiness is well complemented by the natural sweet flavor from the sweet potato. Shortly said, this finger food is simply addictive!

Wicked Ribs (IDR 159k)

At this premiere visit, for sure I won’t miss the specialty of the kitchen, their Wicked Ribs for the main course! What’s served on my dining plate is the sizable half-kilogram pork ribs, glazed and grilled with the house’s sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Though I feel the sauce is slightly too sweet for my palate and I might want to opt for their more savory one - the ginger honey sauce, I cannot deny that the ribs texture are to die for, extremely juicy and tender! So easy to cut and chew it, giving the delightful sensation to enjoy at every bite. 

Not to forget, the pair to your ribs, the carbo portion for which you’ll have several  other options besides the sweet potato fries I’ve had earlier. The choices ranges from hand cut fries, mashed potato, or even steamed rice like what most Indonesian palates would love to have. My pick is just the mainstream one this time, which for sure you can easily guess, yeppp the first. As the name has told you, it’s made freshly from those round potatoes being cut into long stick shapes, exactly like my fave!

OK, some of you might think Martini will be the next one I’m going to share. However so sorry guys, I don’t mean to let you down, but this time I have to say no. It’s just too early to have it at this early lunch time, so I guess next visit will prolly be the chance, when I’ll make it a dinner. 

Taste: 7.5/10
Place: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Price: 7/10

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Ruko South Goldfinch Blok SGA No. 39, Jl. Boulevard Springs, Tangerang
Phone: (+62) 822 601 999 70
Operating Hours: Sun - Thu 10am - 10pm, Fri - Sat 10am - 00am

Friday, December 1, 2017

Eight Wheels Coffee & Eatery

I went to Times Square last week, which was apparently just around 10-min car ride from my place. No no no, don’t get surprised first fellas as I wasn’t moving to Manhattan (though I’d love to if I could LOL); it’s the Times Square shophouse located at Gading Serpong. Yes, you could continue reading the post now as going to Eight Wheels wouldn’t require you more than 20 hours flight.

I was almost trapped and got lost at first, but luckily I noticed the coffee shop was actually occupying the second floor of the building. Yeah, to state it precisely, the first level was Alfamart and using this as your signpost, it would be too easy to find. 

Opening the door, I was initially confused why the interior looked so different to the one I spotted on Instagram. This looked more like a complementary cafe in a gym studio and yes, there’s indeed a yoga studio right behind. Looked like reading my disappointment, the waitress immediately reached out to me, greet me and asked me if I was looking for Eight Wheels. For sure I nodded right away and that led me to the upper level of the venue. 

Oh WOW! I was finally exposed to the “real” cafe and yeah, you got me beyond-impressed buddy! It’s such a lovely place, that somehow gave the ‘princessy’ feeling with the classic wall decoration like mini tea cups, small windows, white bench by the garden; exactly like everything you would find in fairytale books or Disney movies. 

Having my adrenaline high, I directly jumped to the higher storey to find out what’s served there to amuse me even more. Despite they didn’t have any sofa there, it didn’t mean that it’s less comfortable compared to the lower one. It had its own way to get my jaw broken, which I guessed was the wallpaper particularly, giving the moody ambience and making perfect photo spots. 

Now that I’d strolled around the venue, I finally got what Eight Wheels meant; they’re the eight giant wheels located all around the world, namely London Eye, Singapore Flyer, Niagara Sky Wheels, and many more (PS. You could find the complete name in one of the pictures as they did display them on the staircases). Some corners did show the picture of these giant wheels, aligning with the resto’s name itself. 

Popcorn Chicken (IDR 35k)
Desiring a mix of flavors for my light breakie, I started with their appetizer. I went for one of the most favorite, Popcorn Chicken. Well yeah, I wouldn’t deny that it’s indeed an extremely mainstream one, but I believed you would surely agree with me that these simple fried light bites were such addiction! Yeah 99% for sure because it had that ‘fried surname’, which was like 99% people in the world loved or ever loved, and I guessed 0.99% was because it would surely be batter-coated and this ‘special blanket’ doubtlessly contained tons of seasonings. 

Eight Wheels version wasn’t bad at all regardless it wasn’t something far superior than the common one as well. Good thing it wasn’t overly greasy and the chunks precisely suited my kind of bite-size. If I had to call out the extra effort put by the house on the dish, I would say it’s the honey butter sauce which was an awesome companion and absolutely contributed a lot in enriching the overall dish taste, adding sweetness to the savory protein. 

Choco Lava Croissant (IDR 35k)
Bluntly speaking, if you were myself, standing in front of the Croissant showcase when you’re firstly stepped into the cafe, I bet you would think the way I did - the croissants looked not appealing in presentation; pale color and seemed dry. Fortunately it would definitely be reheated when ordered so I did wish the pastry would turn out flakier and the filling would melt and burst out once the croissant’s cut. 

Still having my curiosity tickled by the offer given by the waitress as well as the tempting promotion saying that the croissants were most guests’ favorites, I ended up still order this pastry. My imagination regarding how the croissant would appear upon being reheated faded away when mine landed on the table. It was a dark-brown-colored one, not looking that crispy, and once cut the filling wasn’t dripped out at all. It’s a fight of disappointment and excitement in my heart as actually I could spot the chocolate cream inside was abundantly served, like full-stuffed croissant was more than ready to be enjoyed. 

Trying to be positive, I gave it a try. First bite and voila!! It’s extremely good regardless I did wish the skin to be crunchier, but yeah it might be compensated this time with this overflown filling. Not only the quantity, the quality did deliver me more than satisfaction being not overly sweet, having bold chocolate flavor, and simply scrumptious! If only it wasn’t as pricey as IDR 35k++, I bet none would doubt to have it as daily breakie!

Freeze Latte (IDR 35k)

When many people kept mentioning what’s a morning without a cup of coffee, I couldn’t agree more with them and for me the statement should never be underestimated as it’s beyond true. You might say it’s addiction, but I would call it daily doze of happiness. Being in the mood for both hot and cold, I started with this refreshing one, the signature creation from the house, named as Freeze Latte, which was basically a cup of frozen espresso cubes, served with warm steamed milk. As you might have guessed correctly, you needed to pour the milk into the cubes cup to let it melt then you finally could enjoy it. 

It started nice and I loved the bold coffee taste, but then the more I had it, the more the sour taste flourished. Nonetheless, it’s recommended to try, especially for those who loved strong kick in the cup. Just ensure you put the whole milk into the espresso to make it ended less acidic. 

Hot Cappuccino (IDR 28k)

Thumbs up for this second round of caffeine as it’s the one got me hitched at the first sip, and still the one I would come back for till the last drop. The body level served was in between medium to strong, and the acidity was lusciously low. A nice one to end the short breakie, and a great one to kickstart the whole day!

Thanks to Eight Wheels for spoiling me early in the morning with cozy and Instagenic place, which had become awesome companion to my indulging cup. Hopefully I could give you another hello real soon!

Taste: 7.5/10
Place: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Price: 7/10

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Ruko Times Square Gading Serpong Unit 82228 (next to Just Yoga, above Alfamart)
Phone: (+62 21) 2944 3359 / (+62) 819 1127 5553
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 10pm

Saturday, November 25, 2017

SIKU Dharmawangsa

Elbow?? *Hmmm* If that’s the first thing coming into your name when hearing of this name, you might shoo away those thoughts as this was another ‘Siku’. Well, I did make my guesstimate only, but I was definitely more confident with this justification. In my thinking, Siku would be the representation of the position of the outlet itself, which was precisely at a hook located in Dharmawangsa area. Yep, if your mind had read it correctly since the beginning the way I did, it would be pretty easy to find the place since you just needed to go to the end of the road. 

Taking the hook was not a coincidence for sure, as there’s an intention behind that. Oops, or perhaps I should correct my prior statement. It could actually be either the founder did purposely take the hook to realize the concept I was about to tell you right after this, or because of getting the hook space then the founder invented this particular concept that you would get exposed to real soon. OK, no need to take longer time, basically the theme I kept talking about before was picnic ambiance, with the cafe providing a small green yard at one of the corners. Mat seating, short table, open-air space; the natural feeling which you might rarely have in recent days as people have shifted to the lifestyle where the entertainment places were mostly shopping malls. It’s doubtlessly a lovely concept, bringing back the strong boundary and high quality time. 

Nevertheless, for you who still preferred sitting in a full air-conditioned room, you needn’t worry as your wish was still the command here. You would certainly get what you demanded and even the indoor area was actually more sizable. The interior wasn’t less competitive to the outdoor space, with colorful homy concept. I did love the idea of featuring ceramics as it made the overall venue looked classy and elegant, while still cheerful due to the combination of colors. I couldn’t hold myself from snapping another one picture as each spot did have its own distinctive point. 

Not only the decoration that’s lovely, the service did deserve thumbs-up. Starting from the very first time you opened the door, the waiters and waitresses had been able to show their professionalism in greeting with warm welcome, directing to the table, and assisting with the order placement. Some recommendations popped up from them to give me a clue in making my final choice on what should be landed on the table. Having a studio at the same physical building, I did hear that Siku also served some Ketogenic dishes to satisfy the palate of the ‘Keto fighters’. 

Seafood Cakwe (IDR 48k)

Not few choices were provided for the appetizer group and honestly there were some capturing my attention, before I finally picked this cakwe. Featuring the ‘title’ seafood there and being valued with this price tag, I honestly expected more than what I saw delivered on my table. Well the batter was indeed blended together with some seafood like prawn particularly which tasted the strongest among others, but still it didn’t reflect that level of price yet in my blunt opinion. I didn’t say that it’s not good, as I did love how it’s being crispy and not greasy, and I did fall for the sweet and spicy dipping sauce. My only ‘hate’ part in this love-hate relationship with the dish was the fact that it’s overpriced. 

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake (IDR 38k)

If you loved chocolate as much as I did, you would surely be hitched by this particular dessert when skimmed through the menu. Yeah, it’s pretty much self-explanatory when you knew that it featured chocolate mousse, chocolate truffle, and chocolate sauce. It’s like 3-in-1 with all chocolate elements. 

When it’s delivered from the kitchen, my first impression (which might match to your current thought as well) was like ‘Oh it’s quite mini’. Nonetheless, I couldn’t lie that the presentation made the Cake looked tempting for me, especially that generous chocolate sauce and my other favorite ingredient, cookie crumbles, which’s there on the plate as well. 

Having the premiere bite, it was good, balancing sweetness and bitterness from its different chocolate components; but my fussy taste bud still expected something beyond. 

Sunshine (IDR 35k)

Nothing has been able to beat the cuteness of this mocktail. Called as Sunshine, I guessed it’s not only the color that looked similar to the name, but its gorgeous looking was such a true wake-up call. The glass mixed the common quartet of orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, and macadamia syrup; but further added one extra ingredient, which for my palate immediately took the spotlight as the taste turned out to be the boldest. I wished this additional element of Kaya jam wasn’t only unique but also tasted luscious, yet my taste bud seemed to disagree. There’s particular smell that I guessed coming from the Kaya spread, which didn’t suit that well into the combination of other ingredients. If only I could have the rest without it, perhaps I would enjoy it at its fullest. 

Hot Piccolo (IDR 35k)

Having the coffee afterwards, somehow this cup came as the savior, serving medium to strong roasted beans. Though the after-taste was slightly bitter, but it’s still a decent one, at the level that’s acceptable to my preference. A bold and aromatic cup to satisfy my caffeine craving. 

In general, offering a cozy and nicely designed space, Siku hasn’t only added one more option to the list of cafes in South Jakarta area, but also has landed one additional line on the flourishing list of cafes offering picnic concept.

Taste: 7/10
Place: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Price: 7/10

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Jl. Dharmawangsa X No. 120A, Jakarta
Phone: (+62) 811 522 0120 / (+62 21) 2277 6376 / (+62 21) 2277 6687
 Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 7.30am - 10.00pm

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