Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Green, Green, and Another Green at Nokcha

Being a matcha addict as well as a Japanese dessert enthusiast, I was highly excited when I first figured out there was a new matcha specialist opened in PIK area. Trying to look for the venue last weekend, it's actually quite easy to figure out which one it was since the shiny green color could already be noticed even when my friends and I were still quite far away. It's basically located in the same array as the recently hyped Saine Daise, the elegant Bienvenue Bistro Terrasse, and my favorite coffee shop in PIK - Native Coffee Tribe.

As expected, it's green here and there at the venue. And I was so happy finding that they brought out the Christmas theme to the place, decorating the corners with mistletoes, snowflakes, Christmas cards, gifts, and many more. I could smell it would come real real soon, the season I've been waiting throughout the whole year! OK, back to focus, basically the spot was not that spacious, yet it was just quite similar to the typical size of cafes in PIK area. Despite the consistent green theme it brought out, I didn't think there's anything distinctive from the design. I actually expected something beyond this to boost my amusement. Great news, there was one concept they offered which captured my interest, the homemade-decorated plate displayed on the showcase, which the guest could choose based on the availability. The decoration drawn on the plates was basically made of food-colorings so it's safe for consumption. Just need to beware of getting the colorants stuck on your hand when you accidentally held the colored part on the plate.

Oh yeah, before I misled any of you, let me shared you one thing. When I reached the place and looked at the menu for the first time, I figured out that in spite of the fact that it claimed itself as the Matcha expert, it was actually not a Japanese cafe. It was a Korean one instead, focusing on both green-tea based desserts and drinks, as well as Korean fusion culinary. Trying to do a little bit research, I was then exposed to the fact that the name 'Nokcha' itself meant green tea with natural toasty sweetness and earthy-biscuity fragrance, enjoyed by people who usually didn't like green tea, which was traditionally produced and organically grown in Korea. Well, good learnings ;)

So you could now start your wild guess on what's there listed on the menu. If you've just thought about Bulgogi, Kimchi, fried chicken, etc; yes you got it right as they were indeed there, available to be served. Nevertheless, this time it's only a dessert time as the matcha desserts were indeed my main incentive to come here.

Serving quite rich options for matcha desserts on the menu, they successfully led me into confusion in deciding which one to opt for. My friends and I then tried to get the inputs from the waitress, yet she seemed like not having that clear clue when explaining what's actually inside each of the dishes. Well, never mind, perhaps she just required more training and I wouldn't let her ruin my weekend spirit, including the spirit to try these sweet tooth for the very first time.

Relying on the pictures shown on the menu, I was initially tempted by Durian Nokcha Chocolate Dome (IDR 40k). Nonetheless, I unfortunately had to find out that they're not available. Thus, the choice went to the other desserts having that small thumb besides their names on the menu, showing they're the recommended ones.

Oreo Nokcha Cheesecake (IDR 34k)

Combination of oreo and cheesecake? Perhaps it's already very generic and could be easily found elsewhere. But oreo, matcha, and cheesecake? Well that's doubtlessly the unique selling point. Since I loved every single component of this trio, my expectation was quite high for the taste of this mixture. Sadly, it tasted good but not yet to the level that pampered my palate. Regardless of its enjoyable smooth texture, I personally thought that the taste was neither too matcha nor too cheese, making it arrive at the vague stage. Another thing was the petite size, creating the thought in my mind that it was slightly too pricey. 

Nokcha Financier (IDR 30k)

Luckily, my friends and I still had another one to save the day, the Financier. Appearance wise, the first one might look more gorgeous, but the saying of 'Don't judge a book by its cover' apparently applied here. Despite its simple presentation, this Nokcha Financier turned out very palatable! It's not overly sweet, emphasizing the strong green tea taste in it. The texture was quite dense as well, reminding me of matcha brownie. Sharing it with my friend and my sister, all of us thought it should have come in bigger size to satisfy our dessert craving. Especially if you tried comparing it with the gigantic plate size, this dessert as well as the first one even seemed to just occupy less than a quarter of the plate.

Mango Nokcha Ice Blended (IDR 40k)

Besides the foods, we were also curious to try the beverages. Coming there in a hot sunny day, my friend @yennymakanmulu couldn't bear with the heat and decided to go for something cold and refreshing. So she ended up ordering this blend of mango and matcha. As you might have guessed, mango actually had quite strong flavor, making it dominating the whole taste and kind of weakened the matcha touch. Well, it's not bad, yet it's just mainly mango.

Hot Banana Nokcha Latte (IDR 38k)

When my friend preferred something cold, I was more into the hot one despite the dry weather. At first I was quite dilemmatic if I should go for the original matcha one or I should order the version mixed with another flavor. I ended up going for the latter with this Banana Nokcha Latte, which was basically the fusion of banana and green tea. Again, the same issue as the previous one, the banana taste dominated the whole cup and additionally, this was quite too milky for my palate.

All in all, I was delighted that my curiosity was finally answered by the real visit to Nokcha and the trial on some of the menu they served. Though I still expected much improvement from Nokcha, just wanted to thank the financier for making my day, and probably I would go back here for their Durian Nokcha Chocolate Dome as well as to have a sip on their original Nokcha Latte.

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

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: Ruko The Metro Broadway Blok 6 Unit KO, Jl. Mandara Permai VII, Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta
Phone: (+62) 21 3005 1690
Operating Hours: Sun - Thu 08.00am - 10.00pm, Fri - Sat 08.00am - 00.00am

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Social Affair, The 'Cacaote' of Northern Jakarta

Got confused by the title of this blog post? No, you needn't have to as I would right away tell you the reason behind using this title. So this newest comer in PIK, Social Affair, was indeed having the same owner as the infamous Cacaote, which was one of the most-wanted places in Senopati, back then in 2013. Yes, that classic and elegant cafe, which got so well-known for its desserts and 'princess-y' atmosphere. 

Nonetheless, at least for me personally, Social Affair was a 180-degree different one. It served less formal, much more casual ambiance, creating that impeccable atmosphere for those long easy chats, out-loud laughter, and narcissist photo poses. Shortly said, the perfect place to let all types of social affair to happen, exactly like what its name told. The venue completely accommodated this with its various cozy spots, complemented with sofas, both small and long tables, and quite spacious area which would surely able to fit quite numerous people. 

Beautifully decorated with green walls, flower pots, and gigantic glass windows in front that allowed natural sunlight to come in, the earthy feeling as well as super 'Instagenic' view at the same time, made me wanna stay as long as possible here. It's definitely irresistible to keep snapping more and more shots here, capturing not only the place but also my own self in the gorgeous spots provided. Just one note, if you're intolerant to hot weather and sunlight, you might think it's quite too warm to sit at the front areas but for me, it was still an acceptable one.  

Calling itself as a coffee & bakehouse, Social Affair did serve much more dishes than just coffee and pastries. They provided all-day brunch, lunch, and dinner menu. The selections were quite rich, combining Asian and Western based foods. Yet, indeed the first checkpoint that strongly drew my attention initially was their long showcase, displaying tons of super appealing cakes and pastries just like the concept usually brought out by most coffee shops overseas. Simply couldn't help myself from drooling. OMG! If only I could either magically turn all of them into super petite version or turn my tummy into super gigantic room, so that I could have a bite on every single one shown there. Unfortunately, I had neither a magic wand, nor super power to do so, thus I should go through the dilemma and end up forcing myself to be satisfied with trying only some of the available choices. 

Honestly speaking, the waiter/waitress actually tried to be helpful, explaining each of the dishes when being asked and tried to come up with several recommendation. However, as they did have quite many suggestions, it made the decision-making still a tough one LOL.

Pork Belly Rice Bowl (IDR 85k)

Luckily, I went here with my friend, @yennymakanmulu, who had helped me passing 'the hard time' (ok, sorry for being quite over-exaggerating but I did mean it when I said it's such a dilemma in choosing which one to opt for as a first-timer). Without having to think twice, she immediately called out that she's craving for rice and she wanted it to be satisfied by this Pork Belly Rice Bowl. Well yeah, at least we got the first decision on what to try.

Coming in tall narrow bowl, it's actually quite cumbersome to dig into the whole dish and mix everything together. However, let's forget about it and directly went to the taste. Though this dish might sound a little bit pricey for a rice bowl, I guessed when you looked at the slices of pork belly given, it's worthy enough since each of them was quite huge and thick; let alone the abundant rice given. The texture of the pork belly itself was so enjoyable as it's tender and juicy, with a hint of crispiness at the edge of each slice. If only it could be slightly less salty and perhaps spicier, for which my idea was to give the option of adding chili cuts, I thought it would be a delightful rice bowl to go for!

Truffled Spaghetti (IDR 75k)

Having rice as the first choice, then the second one went to pasta. Truffle oil was always my weakness as I could never say no when I saw it on the menu. Even since I was still taking pictures of the foods I ordered, I already suffered from the blissful smell of the truffle oil, simply couldn't wait to taste it ASAP. Thanks God, what I had on my taste bud was precisely like what I imagined. Al dente pasta in palatable truffle cream sauce. The mushroom and grana padano (type of cheese made from unpasteurized, semi-skimmed cow's milk) were generously given, spoiling my palate to the max. I only wished the chicken could be replaced by either bacon or pork belly, then I would be beyond assured that the heaven-on-earth feeling could be found in this plate.

Chocolate Lava Croissant (IDR 35k)

Just having a glimpse on the open showcase, those who could say that they're not tempted to bite this Chocolate Lava Croissant absolutely lay. It looked too appetizing to be true with that glossy melted chocolate sauce covering the flaky pastry, a jaw-breaking one! Not to mention, the moment of truth when you cut it right at the center part, letting the melted chocolate inside the croissant to burst out and create the heavenly chocolate flood all over the plate. Having it for the very first time in my mouth, I was hypnotized just in a blink by the strong and succulent chocolate flavor. For sharing? Hmm. Are you sure? You might want to think twice, fellas *wink wink*.

Tropical (IDR 40k)

In the middle of the hot and sunny afternoon in PIK, this cold pressed juice turned out being an unquestionable option. Blending pineapple, orange, apple, and green apple, it's not only refreshing, but also healthy. Two fishes caught together by a single bait.

Finally, without any single doubt, I could immediately say that I highly recommended you to try Social Affair, and you should ensure their Chocolate Lava Croissant was there in your order list, unless you would surely have something missing from your visit :p. Though I was just there last Sunday, I'm now craving to go back again to try more of their dishes, especially their croissants :'). I literally can't wait for my next visit when I'll certainly try their Peanut Butter & Jelly Croissant, Martabak Croissant, Pork Mac and Cheese, and most importantly Miso Salmon! Just now, when I'm looking at the menu again, I've just figured out that the components of their Miso Salmon seems like very similar to Devon Cafe's Sakuma, the best salmon I've ever had in Sydney, oops revised, in my lifetime!

See you real real soon *pretty please*, Social Affair!

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

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: Ruko Garden House Blok B No. 17-18A, Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta
Phone: (+62) 8588 000 1088
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 10pm

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Oldst Bistro & Barber: Satisfying Portion, Scrumptious Taste

Warmest welcome to the one-month-old Oldst Bistro and Barber. Yes, another one who brought the concept of a place for both dining and having hair-cut, and this time the choice went to the Southern area, to be exact Gandaria. Just less than 100m from the well-known One-Fifteenth cafe, this new comer could easily be found without any troublesome. 

Compared to the common bistro and barber, I thought the venue was quite spacious. Located at the same storey, the barber was there at the back, occupying a minimalist space next to the bar. Mainly using sofas and small tables, this spot perfectly suited those who wanted to chill while enjoying comfort foods. Mirrors, pipes, small cactus pots, beautifully covering the grey walls, creating that industrial theme. Not to forget, the hanging light bulbs decorating the ceiling, which I was really in love with <3 <3. 

Despite the fact that I was an Indonesian, my palate seemed to love Western dishes more, disagreeing with the crowd who said that without rice they might not survive. It's not the case that Oldst didn't serve rice, they did have it on the menu, but today myself did deserve to have what it desired, the foods that suited my liking. Giving those beautiful sparks in my heart, Oldst did serve all-day breakfast menu to please me! So here it was, the kickstart of the big big feast. 

Grilled Cheese Waffle (IDR 70k)

I guessed the picture pretty much could explain how the taste was and what's actually stuffed between my waffle. Yesss, I believed you could see that overflowing melted mozzarella and cheddar cheese. They're so generously given that my mind was blown away! Let alone the additional cream cheese sauce, which gave that triple cheese sensation in your mouth. 

Fish and Fries (IDR 80k)

The classic one, coming in quite huge portion. Moist fresh dory, combined with crispy bread-crumb coating. The best part of the dish, which was also the distinctive point if compared to fish and chips generally, was the tartar sauce. It flawlessly served the ideal blend of sweet and sour flavors. 

Steak Roll (IDR 155k)

From fish, now moving on to different type of protein, coming from the 4-leg animal loved by almost every taste bud. This sliced steak was served medium-well, yet the doneness level was actually adjustable depending on your request. Though I preferred it to be slightly more tender, it was well seasoned that I could enjoy it even without the sauce. That blackpepper hint was tasteful and impeccably suited my palate. As for the side dish, the mashed potatoes needed to be made smoother and a bit saltier, however the veggies have come as perfect healthy and luscious companions to the steak. 

Chicken and Waffle (IDR 90k)

The last main course to mention, the creme de la creme, the most favorite among the others. It was indeed said as one of the most recommended dishes, opted by most of the guests. Mixing sweet and savory flavors, soft and crispy texture, from the waffle stacks and the fried buttermilk chicken respectively; this dish turned out AWESOME! Oh yeah, not to mention, even the sauces came in both sweet and savory ones, maple syrup and gravy sauce. The golden brown batter-coated chicken was juicy and scrumptious, satisfying my craving for delicious brunch menu. I guess I've made the perfect decision by having this as the last heavy dish to enjoy. What a climax!

Fried Magnum (IDR 45k)

Just like the light which rises after the dark, here's also the sweet that rose after the savory. Now you got it right, the turn for desserts, and the most unique one among all on the list was this Fried Magnum. Yes, literally Magnum ice cream, coated into bread crumbs and deep fried. It's kinda funny for me personally that I was having Magnum (again) here. I indeed have eaten too much Magnum lately; first reason it's produced by the company I'm working in, second reason I'm responsible for the factory producing it. Haha, now you got it. That's why when I first tried it, I could immediately tell which Magnum variant was used and this time it was the Creme Brulee one. 

Although I've had too much Magnum already, this was my very first time having it deep fried and it was indeed a totally discrete one. If you wonder if it melted, yes slightly, yet it still had that solid texture inside the chocolate as well. Despite it's already sweet, IMHO it might better come with another sauce as topping to enjoy with, avoiding it being too dry.

Kitkat Latte (IDR 45k)

Not only the foods, the sweet drinks were also pretty innovative, including this Kitkat Latte. Well, it might be common if it's the frappe version, yet hot one? I guessed I'd never seen it before. Notwithstanding that I still loved the frappe version more, unexpectedly this hot one tasted quite lovely, especially for you who might want to kind of neutralizing the coffee flavor with something sweet, particularly chocolate touch. 

Strawberry Milkshake (IDR 45k)

Not much thing to comment on this one (in a good way for sure *wink*); well simply said, who didn't love milkshake? It's been one of my most favorite drink since childhood time and let's call it a 'keep-counting' till now. Great news, this blend of fresh strawberries and fresh milk in Oldst's way, could efficaciously pamper my taste bud while bringing back those sweet little-kid memories. 

Ultimate Shake (IDR 60k)

Ultimate shake, the name gravely described this shake, indeed the ultimate sinful indulgence. Perhaps you could mention anything you usually found in milkshake, and I could only say that you would definitely be able to see it in this glass. No, not multiple glasses, you heard it right, it's GLASS, this SINGLE GLASS. Ice cream, chocolate, cookies, and even fruit loops; whatever you wished for :p! Unfathomably, in spite of the fact that it blended uber rich ingredients, the taste was not overly sweet, making it irresistible to stop once you took the very first sip of it.

In a nutshell, it was surely an enchanted brunch to have after the exhausting weekdays. Such a faultless energy and mood booster for the upcoming week. This bistro surely deserved a try if you're looking for a cozy place serving succulent dishes with decent price. Another delighting info to hear, as they're still in opening promo period, there's 15% discount for all foods all-day-long, which the guests could get just by taking picture of their foods and posted it on social media. So just try and share your own stories ;)

And for Oldst Bistro & Barber, CONGRATULATIONS for your opening and good luck!

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

Thanks for Reading! :)

Oldst Bistro &  Barber
Address: Jl Gandaria I No. 67, Jakarta
Phone: (+62) 812 1865 5122
Operating hours: Mon – Sun 09.00am – 00.00am

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