Monday, January 30, 2017

Artistry, The Artsy Space Next to Bugis

Coffee shop and art space in a single package, well, common to find in Bandung while never come into my mind that I'd find one in Singapore. Took me to another surprise, it's actually not something new as this place has been there for quite long time. I've even repeatedly see the snaps taken there, yet I just hadn't known that it's actually a very artistic spot. 

From the outside, you could already tell the place's such a perfect OOTD spot. Walls with pictures and words, simple yet sophisticated. Thanks God I went here with my friends who were always professional photographers of myself. Snap, snap, and more snaps!

Located just 5-minute-walk away from Bugis MRT station, to be exact at the Kampong Glam heritage district, the venue itself was not like common art space which was usually quite huge. It was quite a small one, especially the indoor area, where the tables were quite close one to another. It was still a cozy place nonetheless, as they provide various types of chairs as well to fulfill different preferences and different number of people; starting from the one for couples, for family, till bigger groups. Besides usual chairs, they did have sofas, which were surely more comfy for spending the lazy chilling time. 

I myself preferred the outdoor one as I could breathe the fresh air from this area. Yeah, I couldn't get it in Jakarta, as much as I could get here in Singapore so shouldn't miss it, should I *wink*? Besides, outdoor seating also meant bigger space and natural light for the Instagram snaps (I guessed the last one was actually the most honest reason ;) ).

The service delivered by this coffee shop's surely an important highlight that impressed me the most. The waitress immediately gave a warm welcome when my friend and I just reached the entrance. She quickly directed us to the vacant table we preferred and assisted us with the recommended dishes. You surely got my appreciation!

My taste bud couldn't be spoiled better than what it got in my last Singapore culinary trip with my friends. Brunch dishes to start every single morning, just like what I liked the most. 

Big Breakfast (SGD 22)

Coming on the table in the big beautifully hand-crafted pottery, this Big Breakfast of Artistry 'wow-ed' all of us. Perhaps this was so called breakfast of a champion, serving various proteins in generous portion. Luckily, I could have it shared with my friends and thus I could leave some space in my tummy to try another one. If I might say, this dish was one of the richest Big Breakfast I've ever found as it contained almost everything you could ever ask for from a Big Breakfast. Great thing, I was in love with almost all of them. Though the after-taste of the spicy Italian pork sausage didn't really go well with my palate, but the grilled portobello, the streaky bacon, and the pommes noisettes (sautéed potato balls) successfully had my hands-up as I was sold. Having it with the mix of yolks from the runny sunny side up and the sautéed baby spinach with garlic, had made my day started with a wide smile on the face. 

Duck Confit Beurre Noisette (SGD 20)

The second one we opted for was pasta as my friend Darius had kept mentioning since early in the morning that he'd been craving for pasta. Our choice fell on this linguine, which was tossed in Beurre Noisette, brown butter sauce which was typically used for French cuisine. The main toppings blended together with the pasta were shredded duck leg, chili flakes, garlic, cherry tomatoes, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), and Italian parsley; another rich mixture of ingredients. Honestly said, I had a love-hate relationship with this dish as it was quite oily despite that the pasta was cooked al-dente, the overall taste was actually not bad and the shredded duck was abundantly given. 

Hot Cappuccino (SGD 5)

For the coffee, Artistry used Liberty Coffee, which was a local Singaporean coffee roaster. It was a pretty decent cup though I couldn't say that it's my favorite one. Still worth to try though, who knew it could suit your liking? ;)

Hot Mocha (SGD 6)

Compared to the cappuccino, I could say that I was more into the mocha as I loved the bold dark chocolate flavor in it as well as how it's being not overly sweet. A great balance delivered in a single cup and totally pampered me in the early beautiful morning.

If you're getting curious after looking at the shots taken here, I could say that it's a recommended place to visit since it might be quite rare to find such an artsy coffee shop. Moreover, it's also a highly accessible one so you needn't have to worry of getting lost or having to walk long distance. 

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

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: 17 Jalan Pinang, Singapore
Phone: (+65) 6298 2420
Operating hours: Tue - Sat 9am - 11pm, Sun 9am - 4pm

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Bringing the Vietnamese Taste from Bali to Jakarta at Bo and Bun

Bo and Bun's already really familiar to me as my friend Fiona, has repeatedly mentioned it as one of her most favorite restaurants in Bali and yes I know that almost every time she went to this heavenly island, she visited this restaurant. Successfully making my friend got addicted to it, Bo and Bun has tickled my curiosity to give it a try. Two times visiting Bali upon knowing this place, there're always stuffs making me unable to come to the restaurant. Called it a coincidence, just last week I knew that Bo and Bun's finally here in Jakarta! Yep, approximately 2 years after its very first branch in Bali, Eat Company, the leading group of this restaurant who's also the owner of Lantern and Bowl Mama, finally spread its wings to our beloved capital city. Wooohooo, no need to spend 100-minute flight just to try this Vietnamese-cuisines specialist. 

Resided at PIK are, Bo and Bun has just added one more line to the long list of restaurants in this Jakarta's hype culinary spot. If you're wondering where's the exact location, it's at the array of Yamatoten Abura Soba and Hakkata Ikkousha, right next to the trending Sushi Hiro. Occupying this three-storey building, the restaurant itself only took the first two floors. This Sunday, my friend Darius and I initially didn't have the intention to visit Bo and Bun. It's not even in the list of place we're thinking to go for our food-hunting. However, when we're on our way to a steak house in PIK, suddenly Bo and Bun popped-up in our conversation, then we thought why not going there. So there it was, the impromptu visit to Bo and Bun!

At the time I finally visited the outlet this afternoon for lunch, the venue was packed with people, mostly family, and I guessed the friends and relatives of the owner or the management (I was not sure if he's the owner but apparently he had an important role in this restaurant). Despite that they did have second floor, only the first floor was used, perhaps because the queue was still managable and the turnover was actually quite fast, not really requiring people to go to the second floor. Different from the first floor which was rich of natural light due to the huge glass window in front of the venue, the second floor had quite dim and yellow-ish lighting. The venue itself was designed in classic style with many chandeliers decorating the high ceiling. I didn't think it reflected any Vietnamese traditional theme, yet it was quite a nice one. The white marble tables as well as the  ceramic motives attracted me the most, simply said, perfect food for my Instagram feed. Feeling a bit curious, I tried to browse for more information about the restaurant itself and I did figure out that they indeed want to use French bistro dining decoration for their interior.

Considering it as luck, my friends and I arrived there just in time that we got the very last vacant seats. Just a second after we occupied the available table, the queue started to get longer. Yeah, Sunday, lunch time, new restaurant, and PIK area; queuing's surely one of the most expected things. 

When we're about to place our order, we realized that they're apparently still lack of waiters/waitresses. Somehow it's reflected that the guests were 'competing' to call the waiter/waitress to get themselves bejg served. I did see some people started complaining about their orders not coming. Surprisingly, perhaps it's just another luck for us, our worry of the long serving time's proven wrong as all our orders were there landed on our table in just normal waiting time, approximately 15-20 minutes. Actually, even when we're ordering the waitress had warned my friend when he ordered the pork chop as it might take longer, yet fortunately it's not that long to be waited for *wide wide smiles on our faces*. 

Focusing on Vietnamese dishes, Bo and Bun did serve other dishes coming from various Asian countries particularly Thailand. So don't get confused in case you find Pad Thai or Pandan Chicken listed on the menu ;). 

Fresh Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (IDR 40k)

For me, rice paper rolls were like mandatory appetizer every time I had Vietnamese foods. Kick-starting our dining session at Bo and Bun today, we had this obligatory dish of mine, coming with prawn, coriander, mint, pickled carrot and lettuce stuffings. Served in quite petite portion, the taste was actually not bad, except I wished the veggies could be fresher so the texture could be more crunchy. As the highlight of this light bites, the hoisin peanut sauce which accompanied the rolls as the dipping, was a delectable one that I even had it with my other dishes.

Vietnamese Spring Roll (IDR 40k)

Desiring something more than just the first version, we also opted for the fried one. Actually, the fillings were quite different as this came with chicken, shredded cabbage, wood ear mushrooms, and glass noodles. Honestly speaking, at first I was not that interested with this second one as the presentation wasn't as gorgeous as the first one. Yet, the sayings of 'Don't judge a book by its cover' apparently applied to this dish. Unexpectedly, having it touched my palate, I fancied this one more than the first as the flavor was richer for me. Moreover, this was the second dish proving that Bo and Bun's dipping sauce was indeed luscious. This time it was Nouc Cham, Vietnamese signature sauce made of mainly Asian fish sauce and lime juice, giving an indulging mix of sweet and sour flavors. 

The '12 Hour' Pho (IDR 90k)

The first signature Vietnamese main dish served on the table, carrying a very unique name of '12 Hour' Pho. I didn't know if that's what actually happened in the kitchen, but based on my knowledge, the meaning of this name was the broth had to be simmered for 12 hour before it's finally served *WOOOWW!*. Perhaps that's also the reason why on the menu, this dish was marked as having limited daily supply. Luckily, my friend who opted for this, still belonged to the group of those lucky people who could still get it.

If you didn't take pork, you'd better be happy as this one could be your bowl as its main protein was beef, serving beef broth, sliced tenderloin, and beef meatballs together with rice noodles as the main carbo just like another Pho. As the flavor creators and the side dishes, you could find coriander stems, sliced onions, bean sprouts, thai basil and lime. As it belonged to my friend, I only tasted the broth, which for me was pretty decent yet somehow seemed to be missing something. Hard to explain, but my taste bud demanded for something more flavorful although it's definitely not bad at all. My friend did love the noodles texture and the tender beef toppings. 

Pork Chop with Jasmine Rice (IDR 95k)

Who said Vietnamese dishes was mainly Pho? There's also rice-based one besides noodles and giving additional indulgence for your tummy, it's jasmine rice instead of the plain one. Coming with grilled lemongrass-marinated pork chop and sunny side up, as well as pickled carrots, jicama, and cucumber as the healthy compliments; this dish was one of my recommendation for you to go for when you had your first trial on Bo and Bun. The pork chop was succulent, being impeccably seasoned that you could taste rich combination of spices in every single bite. Dipped it into the Nouc Cham sauce, it turned to be such a lip-smacker. Just a single input on this dish, I thought it might be far even better if the pork chop could come in slightly thinner slice, so the meat could be juicier and more tender. Other than that, finger-lickin' good.

Banh Mi Thit with Lemongrass Pork (IDR 75k)

Preferred to go for bread, this was my order, the Vietnamese baguette stuffed with lemongrass pork belly slices. As the side dishes, I did have fried wonton skins to be paired with my Banh Mi. Actually, I initially opted for the 18-hour pork belly slices as the protein part, yet it's out of stock and I had to go for this one. From the three main dishes on the table, this was doubtlessly my favorite and lucky me, it was MINE! I loved the combination of texture played here with the crunchy baguette paired by the juicy pork belly. Adding same pickles and veggies as the ones served with the rice, mayo, sliced chili, and coriander; I could enjoy the delicacy in a single wide-opened mouth. Next time, I would surely go for the 18-hour one!

Banh Flan (IDR 55k)

Appetizer box ticked, main course box ticked, now it's the turn for dessert and our choice fell on this Banh Flan - French creme caramel of smooth vanilla custard served with Vietnamese coffee and crushed ice. Being a dessert addict, I was quite picky for this particular section of my full-course meal, and apparently this flan wasn't really my portion. The flavor itself was actually pleasant, having bold vanilla and caramel taste, yet I expected it to be much smoother. Fortunately, the Vietnamese coffee was such a curer, having bold coffee flavor and strong aroma. 

Iced Vietnamese Coffee (IDR 30k)

The only difference of this one from the one served with the flan, was this was mixed with condensed milk, just like common Vietnamese coffee. Additional ingredient blended, additional indulgence there to spoil your palate.

Frozen Vietnamese Coffee (IDR 40k)

If the previous drink was quite generic, this was the special version from Bo & Bun, serving the Vietnamese coffee with crushed ice and additional cocoa. It supposed to come with whipped cream as well yet my friend requested to remove it. Simply said, she enjoyed every single sip from this glass. Highly recommended!

The Ultimate Ice Lime Tea (IDR 40k)

Another option from the specialty drink selections here was this Ice Lime Tea, bringing the combination of lime, black tea, mint, crushed ice, syrup, and extra joy from a scoop of lime sorbet. If you opted for non milk-based drink, which was also the refreshing one, this couldn't suit you better. Just beware, it's quite sour, which was actually what my palate's excited for.

Overall, it was a delightful dining experience spent in Bo and Bun. Congratulations for the grand opening in Jakarta, wish you all the best and looking forward to coming back here :)

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

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: Ruko Garden House Blok B No. 18C, Jl Pantai Indah Kapuk Boulevard, PIK, Jakarta
Phone: (+62) 821 1383 6954 
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 10.30pm

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