Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Blissful Desserts at North Pole Cafe

Hola people! I was beyond happy today as finally (*sigh*) I could manage to visit one of the abundant recently hip places in town! Yes, my parents are currently visiting Jakarta and I do have to accompany them going here and there so it’s quite hard to be able to catch up with those newly opened restaurants. I’m also quite overwhelmed looking that there are so so so many new places opens simultaneously.

Sooo. Let’s get back to the topic, North Pole. Just opened a couple of week ago, you definitely had to expect long queue when visiting this place. It was located very close to Shirokuma, another happening dessert spot at Pantai Indah Kapuk. At the time I visited North Pole, I had to wait for awhile (read: queue number 5) before getting a seat. Luckily, the waiters and waitresses were so friendly and helpful that most of the guests did not mind to wait. Moreover, once I got my table and made the order, I did not have to wait for long time to get my desserts served on the table.

The venue itself is indeed not that spacious and therefore, it can only accommodate more or less 35 to 45 people. The design is dominated by three husky friends namely Coco, Cream, and Waff, which are the main characters of North Pole. It’s actually simple yet cute enough. I personally think that the venue is quite cozy for chilling, despite that it’s super crowded.

If you have been wondering what are the dishes offered by North Pole, then you needn’t worry as I’ll answer your curiosity right after this. So basically, this new cafe mostly serves desserts, focusing on Gelato. It provides various innovative menus, which are mainly themed with Gelato. However, there are also several pasta dishes, some finger foods, and lots of unique beverages provided. For the gelato itself, there are many flavors available here which are classified into 2 big groups; regular and premium. The regular one consists of lemon, bubblegum, mango, choco lemon, strawberry, banana, almond cherry, vanilla, oreo, forest berry, thai tea, salted caramel, and hazelnut crunch. On the other hand, the premium group only has three members; diablo beer, choco ferrero, and baileys.

Smoky Pan (IDR 68k)

The winner of most stunning presentation went to this first dessert, Smoky Pan! Serving 6 scoops of gelato with various flavors (Thai Tea, Forest Berry, Bubblegum, Choco Lemon, Lemon sorbet and Almond Cherry) on a smoky pan, whose smoke was basically created by the dry ice, this menu would surely drive people’s attention. Though you could not choose the flavors by yourself, I was pretty sure that the ones served would not disappoint you since all of them tasted wonderful. As some tasted sweet while some were sour, together they created a perfect balanced of flavors. My most favorite was Thai Tea and Lemon Sorbet. The Thai Tea flavor had the right sweetness level and it let you get a new way to enjoy Thai Tea. On the other hand, the Lemon Sorbet had very light texture and was so refreshing. Additionally, you could enjoy those gelato with the toppings of fruity pebbles and whipped cream!

Ferrero Waffle Pop (IDR 42.5k)

Who doesn’t love Ferrero? I’m a Ferrero addict and that’s why my heart was dancing when I noticed this Ferrero Waffle Pop mentioned on the menu. Again, this one also came in impressive presentation. For you who loved to enjoy your gelato with various toppings, then this menu was created special for you. Blending corn flakes, vanilla gelato, chocolate, crushed Ferrero Rocher, and quarter-sized waffle; this one would also suit the appetite of any chocolate fan. I extremely enjoyed every single component put into the glass. They might sound simple, but when mixed into one, the taste was indeed superb!

Thai Tea Gelato with Fruit Loops Cone (IDR 30k + 15k)

When I firstly saw pictures of North Pole dishes, this Fruit Loops cone was the one that dragged my attention. Yes, this might be the simplest one among all innovative dessert menus available here, but I found it to be the most interesting. Surprisingly, the colorful Fruit Loops were not only eye-catchy, but also able to create colorful flavors on my taste bud. As I combined it with my most favorite gelato flavor in North Pole, Thai Tea, this dessert was flawlessly irresistible.

Baileys Gelato with Fruit Loops Cone (IDR 35k + 15k)

Not only with Thai Tea, I also tried to enjoy the Fruit Loops Cone with Baileys Gelato, which was one of the premium flavors in North Pole. The taste was nice enough and this might be the correct choice for you who preferred your gelato to be not too sweet. Just one input, I guessed it would be even better if the baileys flavor could be slightly stronger.

Thai Tea and Salted Caramel with Cone

As my family and I really really love the Thai Tea flavor, we decided to order more of it (please don’t get shocked or laugh at us, and bear in mind that we’re indeed sweet-tooth lovers). To give more excitement, we also added salted caramel flavor. Guess what? My mind was blown away once I had my first lick on this flavor. Not trying to over-exaggerate it, but this flavor was heavenly delicious! Mixing it with my most favorite Thai Tea flavor, this one has perfectly closed my dessert time at North Pole.

Having read my review, I guessed you have known how in love I am with North Pole now. Doubtlessly, it has entered my long list of favorite spots for desserts, particularly gelato. Though it’s indeed quite pricey, but I think the price paid does worth the blissful taste of all their desserts. So if you are an ice cream or gelato flavor, trust me you don’t want to miss this one (PS. I am not paid or whatsoever to write this). I will unquestionably go back here to try their other desserts and of course, to have their Thai Tea and Salted Caramel again!

Taste: 9/10
Place: 8.5/10
Service: 9/10
Price: 8/10

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: Ruko Crown Golf Blok A No. 57, Pantai Indah Kapuk
Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 11am – 10pm

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

The All-Time Favorite Bubur Ayam Mangga Besar

Located at the heaven for Chinese Food Lovers, Bubur Ayam Mangga Besar has been long well known as one of the best chicken porridge in Jakarta. You will almost always meet a long queue before able to get a seat here. Similar to any typical traditional Chinese restaurant, the venue doesn't have any particular design theme and it's indeed hot inside.

One unique fact, you cannot see any menu and there is no waiter who'll come to your table and ask for your order. Instead, you have to immediately tell your order by yourself right to the owner, who's stand by at the front part. At first, I was quite confused which one should I order as I’ve never dined in this restaurant before and I was totally clueless. Thanks to the queue, I could see what the people before me ordered and I then knew how to do so. 

Basically, you were given several options for the carbo-dish; jasmine rice, Hainanese rice, plain porridge, and fish porridge; all of which would come with cakwe. Then for the toppings, there were lots of choices, which can be mixed and served together in a big plate together with sliced ginger and fermented pak choy (sayur asin). They were steamed chicken, fried chicken, chicken liver, grilled duck, boiled egg, and even century egg/preserved egg (telur pitan). Another signature dish they had was tofu with sweet sauce. You were free to choose which toppings you desired, including the quantity for each.

So here was what my family and I opted for our supper at that night.

Tofu with Soy Sauce

If I might say, this tofu could be called as the appetizer here. As I mentioned before, it was also the signature dish here, which all guests would definitely order. This dish might look so simple but once it entered your mouth, your mind would immediately be blown away as it was SO SO GOOD! The tofu was so moist and you could strongly feel the soy sauce taste even until the middle part of the tofu. As the sweetness level was impeccably balanced, this light dish was surely able to be a seamless starter.

Fish Porridge with Cakwe

I always love eating hot porridge. In fact, I find it hard to eat porridge if it’s not served hot, yes extremely hot is actually my most favorite. This time, the porridge served here perfectly suited my preference. The texture was precise as well as it’s neither too dry, nor too watery. Unfortunately, I could barely find fish inside the bowl. Thanks to the abundant toppings in front of me, because they did come as flawless substitutes to the fish.

Boiled Egg
I actually did not know how to call this one in English as in Bahasa, it’s called as Telur Kecap. I just felt it weird to mention it as ‘Egg with Soy Sauce’ or ‘Soy Sauce Egg’. Thus, I called it as Boiled Egg instead. Actually, they did serve plain boiled egg here, for which they used duck’s egg. While this Telur Kecap was actually boiled egg, which was cooked with soy sauce. It was slightly sweet and the texture was chewy. The egg yolk’s color was orange as it was duck’s egg.

Chicken Liver
I personally hate chicken liver so this one was not going into my bowl. It’s my mom’s order since she is the only one in the family who loves to eat liver. She said that it was well-seasoned and she really enjoyed it.

Steamed Chicken
If you were a Chinese cuisines lover or maybe Singaporean dishes enthusiast, I believe you’ve been very familiar with this steamed chicken. Yes, usually people enjoy it with Hainanese rice. The steamed chicken served in this restaurant was so lovely. It was perfectly boiled that the texture was so tender. It was well-seasoned as well, making this healthy dish tasted so yummy.

Fried Chicken
If previously I said that the steamed chicken was great, then this fried chicken was way even better! Similar to the steamed one, the texture was unquestionably soft as well. But, this one came with one plus point, which was the heavenly crispy skin! Cooked with the sweet sauce, it was just unexplainable by words. Please note that I was not over-exaggerating this. Wait until you try it by yourself and don’t blame me if it causes you addiction.

Overall, I really enjoyed my dining experience in Bubur Ayam Mangga Besar. I was so happy that finally I could try this super well-known Chinese dish, which so many people have told me since long time ago. The taste was indeed superb as what people have said. It surely deserved repeating visit :)

Taste: 9/10
Place: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Price: 8/10

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: Jl. Mangga Besar 1 No. 46A
Phone: (021) 6280 474
Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10.30am – 2.30pm, 5.00pm – 00.30am

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

First-Class Padang Dishes at Marco

Usually, when people talk about eating Padang food, I believe what comes into your mind is a simple depot with natural air conditioner (read: No AC) located by the side of the road, where you'll sweat a lot while enjoying your dishes. Or something better might be a restaurant, where all the dishes will be displayed on your table, then you can immediately choose which one to have. But still, the restaurant must be the one having very simple design, where people merely care about what they eat, instead of the ambiance.

Dining in Marco, you will surely get a totally new experience in enjoying Padang cuisines. Marco try to create a breakthrough by letting the guests enjoying luscious Padang dishes in a first-class ambiance. Offering Padang Peranakan cuisines, the spacious venue brings out classic and elegant design. Looking by the restaurant only, you might even not notice that it’s a Padang restaurant. Not to mention the service, which is highly pleasant as well. All the waiters and waitresses deliver very warm greetings and are highly responsive to any of the guests’ requests (including taking quite many pictures of my foodie friends and I :P ). Thanks to the waitress as well for all the recommended dishes she informed to us and here were the ones served on our table.  

Nasi Sayo (Ramas) (IDR 21k)


Rice is definitely a must every time you have Padang dishes. This time, we ordered Nasi Sayo or commonly known as Nasi Ramas. Some of you might have been familiar with those two names, while some might have not yet. So basically, it’s rice coming from Solok with Padang’s sauces and chilis. As what you have been familiar with, when you dine in any Padang restaurants, you will get many sauces poured on your rice in order to give you richer taste to be enjoyed. The same exactly went to this one. I loved all the sauces mixed on the plate. I could even say that I had been very happy though I was only given this to eat.   

Gado-gado Padang (IDR 35k)

However, you needn’t worry as my friends and I did not only eat that Nasi Sayo without adding any other dishes as the ‘toppings’. So the first additional dish we ordered was basically the veggie element, Gado-gado Padang. Mixing tofu and boiled egg with various veggies including cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, and bean sprouts; and then pouring peanut sauce on top of it, I personally think there’s no much difference between Padang’s Gado-gado with Jakarta’s one. Since I’m indeed a fan of this traditional dish, I really enjoyed this one. Just one thing, I wished they could give more peanut sauce so it would be even more delicious.

Belut Lado Ijo (IDR 39k)

I often eat eel but it used to be only in Japanese restaurant, which is Unagi. I’m really mad of it as I admire both the texture and the taste. However, I’ve never tried eel in Indonesian version. So this was my first time and unexpectedly, I fell in love at the first try with Indonesian’s eel. Having it cooked with traditional recipe from Bukittinggi, which was using green chili sauce, this eel version has successfully blown my mind away. The texture of the eel was indulgingly crispy and the sauce was a perfect balance of savoury and spicy taste.

Randang Itam (IDR 35k)

Randang! The beef-based dish, which I’ve never missed in every single time I dine in Padang restaurant. I extremely adore it and therefore, I also wanted to try Marco’s version of it. Guess what happened? Marco made me get addicted to Randang even more! The beef was flawlessly cooked as it was so tender and juicy. Moreover, hands down to the sauce! It did pamper my taste bud until I could not stop eating the sauce though the beef’s already gone.

Ayam Pop (IDR 28k)

Looking at the picture, you might wonder whether I’ve mistakenly written the dish name. No, I’m not. This was indeed Marco’s version of Ayam Pop. Appearance and taste wise, for me this was more suitable to be called as fried chicken instead of Ayam Pop. However, since the taste was succulent as it was well-seasoned; who cares about the name, or whether it’s similar to the common Ayam Pop or not.

Soto Padang (IDR 39k)

Another not-to-be-missed one was this Soto Padang. For me, this was certainly a very rich blend of spices. Though I couldn’t name all the ingredients used for the broth, I could assure you that this dish would cause you an addiction. Besides, the presentation was awesome as well and I believe you’ve never seen such appearance for Soto Padang in your entire life. Please note, don’t forget to mix it with the lime and chili sauce to get the heavenly taste!

Dendeng Batokok (IDR 51k)

Finally, the award winner of all the dishes I’ve tried at Marco, Dendeng Batokok! One word for this traditional recipe from Kerinci, I.M.P.R.E.S.S.I.V.E! For all of you who plan to dine soon in Marco, trust me, you will surely regret if you don’t order this one. As the beef was thinly sliced, the texture became appetizingly crispy. Most importantly, the scrumptious sauce, which was basically made of sweet soy sauce, red onion, and various spices. Together, they have created the best Dendeng Batokok ever!

Hot Tea (IDR 15k)


At first, I felt quite reluctant to dine in Marco as I thought why bother I should pay that much just for Padang dishes. However, my mind turned 180 degree upon trying their dishes. Though it was quite pricey and the portion was indeed tiny, Marco did deserve a try from any Padang dish lover. It was doubtlessly a delightful dining experience!

Taste: 9/10
Place: 9.5/10
Service: 9/10
Price: 8/10

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: Lotte Shopping Avenue, 3rd Floor
Other Location: Setiabudi 1, 1st Floor
Phone: (021) 2988 9377
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 10pm

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