Monday, August 14, 2017

Hokkaido Baby, Enjoying Hokkaido's Sweetness in J-town

Starting from one petite take-away outlet in Pondok Indah Mall and another one in Shirayuki/Cabe Ijo PIK, Hokkaido Baby currently just established its next branch in Jakarta, choosing another spot at South area by occupying a space at Plaza Senayan. It's located right across Ta Wan at the place which used to be Hero supermarket under Metro department store. Great news, this one was complemented with some seats for stopping by for awhile, and finishing your orders right away. So welcome to those who couldn't hold any longer to carry the desserts home and had them later (perhaps including me? *giggling*). 

I was really impressed by the hard work of the owner as I knew exactly how she started from inventing her own recipe, made all the cheese tarts on her own, finally established her initial physical outlet, and now expanded to much more outlets! Great job done there and you deserved the thousands thumbs up! Now even the fellas in East Java could enjoy these Japanese sweets as they did have outlet in the city of heroes, Surabaya. 

In this new Plaza Senayan outlet, surely they served their signature tarts and all flavors were beautifully lining up there on the trays; Original Cheese (IDR 22.5k)Chocolate (IDR 22.5k)Matcha/Green Tea (IDR 25k), and Salted Egg (IDR 25k)

Yes you heard it right guys, SALTED EGG! For you who might haven't tried, well it's better to have it late than never. My personal favorite was the cheese one when it's served chilled or frozen as I really enjoyed having that bold cheese taste in dense texture. Nonetheless, when it's fresh from the oven, or alternately molten upon being re-heated, I loved the salted egg, having that gooey yolk at the center of the lusciously crunchy tart. I honestly wasn't a big fan of salted egg, yet I would call this an exception as I surprisingly fell for it since it didn't come in that sandy texture <3. 

Besides those 'first-borns', you would be able to find their other family members which actually had just been launched several months ago, Choux Baby (IDR 28k) and Choux Choco (IDR 28k), the eclair-shaped choux covered in cookie crumbles, just similar with soboro bread. While the first one was filled with vanilla cream and recommended to be served cold, the latter was stuffed with chocolate and okay to be enjoyed in room temperature. I did love both as it somehow cured my craving on the original ones I had in Harajuku, Tokyo. That dynamic duo of crispy skin and moist creamy filling was such heavenly pleasure for the palate!

Not only new outlet, Hokkaido Baby also at almost the same time launched its new baby, Petite Chizuko (IDR 40k each or IDR 70k for box of 2), adding more variant into the portfolio which had continuously grown since the initial establishment. This newbie was basically mini cheesecake with molten fillings, available in exactly the same 4 flavors as the tarts. 

They weren't only dressed beautifully in that uber cute appearance, but also handcrafted impeccably in that delightful texture, which stood at the precise balance between soft and dense. I admired how it neither went too airy like cotton cheesecake, nor went too solid like heavy types of cakes, making it turned out suitable for all preferences. Just like the tarts, though it could also be served chilled, for me it's best to have it freshly baked. Nevertheless, if you either took it home or got it delivered, you would be able to experience the climax of the taste by having it re-heated so you would enjoy that heavenly molten filling (geez! I found myself drooling already). 

Okay I knew I might have talked too much already and sorry for waking up your tightly-sleeping curiosity. Beware of getting addicted, fellas!

Taste: 8/10
Place: 7.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Price: 7.5/10

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Plaza Senayan Basement Level, Jl. Asia Afrika, Jakarta
Phone: (+62 21) 2967 8490 / (+62) 878 8867 7868
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 10pm

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Kata Kata "Eat to Meet"

Being far far away from my current residence, I tended to keep procrastinating my visit to places in North Jakarta area. Kata Kata unfortunately became one of them, which I ended up not coming to for long time since I simply felt it took too long going there. Having my list kept going longer and longer, I could hold it no more and finally decided to 'pay back my long outstanding debt'. 

If you asked me what engaged me the most from this newborn baby, I would definitely say its name and tagline! Yeah, when most cafes or restaurants started with selling its signature menu or hotspot in the venue first, Kata Kata apparently chose not to follow the majority. Standing in distinction, it captured people through the what so called motto, 'Eat to Meet'. Well, such a catchy one but somehow undeniably true. So many meetings in life unconsciously began with the intention to eat. Specifically in countries like ours where meeting while dining was such a habit and could even be a trick or attention seeker. 

Plainly spoken, I initially expected the venue to be magnificent kind of space, which would get me hooked right away with its design. The reason being was pretty simple, the hype it created on the social media. Usually people were highly interested with such kind of places. However, reaching the place, I would frankly say it's just an okay one, like any other family bistro. I didn't say that it's not cozy or not spacious, but I would state that it didn't 'wow' me as much as my premiere imagination did. 

The spot served quite high people-accommodation level, with big-sized tables lining up all around the area surrounding the order point, which was also the center of displays for some pastries and cakes. In front, there were few tables which I guessed were dedicated for smokers as it's actually pretty hot to sit at the open-air space around this area. Located right next to the long-standing Eng's Resto, you needed to expect some challenges in finding parking space as well as in reaching the place as you needed to go through a little bit jam. 

At my time of visit, it was so packed of children and their other family members as there's a guest handling his birthday there, occupying more than half of the venue. Despite that the cafe was still open for public, the 'excessive-crowd' was doubtlessly there. Impressively, the crews handled it extremely well by being so speedy in greeting and serving me. I was caught by the great initial service as well as how knowledgeable and persuasive she was in explaining their signature meals. Nonetheless, I was only kind of disappointed as I requested the dessert to come together with the meal because it contained ice cream, yet they in contrary serving it first, causing my entire ice cream to melt down before I could take a proper picture of all my dishes *long deep sigh*

Hot Piccolo (IDR 20k)
OK let's shoo away the disappointment and sip from the caffeine cup :). WOW! It's like a loud morning alarm that got you directly jumped out of the bed. A very strong one with high acidity. Well I might love the body, but not the acidity, so I guessed next time cappuccino or latte might work better for my palate. 

Salted Egg Rice Bowl (IDR 45k)

I hoped you guys weren't board of looking at salted egg rice bowl *LOL*, yeah it's simply like everywhere and so many restaurant or cafe were trying to come up with their own version of this dish. Nonetheless, I believed some of you were now looking excited finding another one to try. Hands up the salted egg bowl hunter!! 

Looking pretty different from the common ones, Kata Kata version used scrambled eggs instead of sunny side up. Taste wise it did suit the other elements in the bowl, just that it might need to be less dry and more buttery. Then moving on to the main component which was the salted egg sauce, it turned out quite different from the common one as the texture was thicker. It was okay-ish but my taste bud preferred creamier version. Fortunately, the whole dish was saved by the roast pork, my choice of protein leaving the chicken as the other available option. The roasted pork slices were tenderly cooked and well-seasoned ones and they were given in generous amount making the price paid worthy. If they could add the crispy skin element, which most people ran after the most for any roasted pork, that might add another point the overall score I would assign to the dish.

Caffeine Addict (IDR 30k) 

When I asked for the most favorite dessert menu of the house, the waitress came up with the recommendation of the newly launched one, which she was very sure would turn out special. Being a dessert addict and a coffee enthusiast at the same time, this new invention from the kitchen indeed stood at the front line in the order of temptation level on my sight. 

The name might give you the first implication already on what would be featured in it, yeah for sure not something far from coffee. It was indeed a coffee-based cake, served with ice cream, cookie crumbles, and petite macaroon as well as strawberry slices as the condiments. This dessert would suit best those who fancied lighter type of dessert as it didn't over complicate any of the elements. Serving something quite basic, yet pampering enough for crafting a sweet ending on the full-course, with the milky flavor from the ice cream impeccably balanced the bold coffee flavor from the cake. I was making a right decision by trusting the waitress and opting for this cake! <3

When you're trying to find a place somewhere around North Jakarta to either eat or meet or eat to meet now you had one more options on your list :)

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

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Jl. Pluit Karang Indah Timur Muara Karang Blok O 8 T No. 59, Jakarta
Phone: (+62) 81 5806 3838
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 7am - 10pm

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Morning Energy Recharge at Morningville

Not going somewhere too far from what its name told you, Morningville's simply a perfect place to go for a champion breakie! Actually they neither merely served breakfast menu nor opened only in the morning, but I called it a 'gas station' who serves the morning fuel as for my preference, what they served on the menu were mostly types of dishes I wished I could have every single day to kick start my long busy hours. 

Taking the space in Conclave Co-working Space, this eatery adds another line to the long list of similar cafes in South Jakarta area. At first when I hadn't known the precise location, I was just wondering it's actually a brave decision to come as another new comer, having already quite many existing competitors. Nevertheless, I finally figured out that it's the brand new version of Typology, the cafe I used to go quite often for their cake shake, and I guessed they're indeed one of the first comers for these drinks. Having had great experience with Typology, I did have high benchmark set for Morning Ville so let's made it a bet ;). 

Nothing much was changed for the interior, that even my sister who was usually ignorant and forgetful could notice just in a sec that it's ex-Typology (yep if you knew her you would probably understand this statement better LOL). It was still a quite sizable space with one tall communal table, accompanied by smaller ones by its surroundings. Most were for group of 4, yet they were definitely adjustable when you came with more people. My pick would certainly be the one with sofa seating located just next to the window. 

Honestly speaking I couldn't recall the theme-color carried by Typology but I did guessed it's pretty similar to this one. The petite private room was also still there, occupying the back space, dedicated for those who might want their exclusive space. Being in a co-working space, the room actually served those who might want to conduct a meeting with few people as well. Besides, sometimes the venue's even booked entirely for events and I had experienced this since Morningville was still Typology. 

Chicken Karaage Sambel Kecombrang (IDR 64k)

Arriving at what to dine in the venue, I was in dilemma of either having Smoothie Bowl or this Chicken Karaage. Well yes, perhaps rice breakie wasn't really typical me, but that Chicken Karaage pictures I had spotted for multiple times couldn't easily be removed from my mind. It simply looker too tempting to be true that I couldn't help myself from finally opting for it. 

Exactly fulfilling my expectation, the dish was wonderfully preserved with a half-done sunny side up in the middle. I knew the snaps didn't lie at all when I found the gigantic karaage chunks in my plate. You could picture that uberly wide grin on my face, especially when I had my first spoon of the dish, combination of flawlessly runny yolk, crispy-outside-juicy-inside chicken, and impeccably cooked torch ginger spicy sauce. The sliced onions and scallions mixed as the toppings were like bonus of happiness for me (not the after-smell though LOL). It's doubtlessly a portion of perfection, which would definitely bring me back here <3. Nothing more to say than must-try!

Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl (IDR 59k)

Here came the sweet part upon the savory. Beauty might be indeed in the eye of the beholder, yet taste would never lie. Looking gorgeous on my sight with its rich combination of colors, this healthy dish wasn't only refreshing for the eyes, beneficial for the body, but also spoiling for the palate. Fresh fruit cuts on top of the blended frozen berries and banana, enriched with granola and eye-catchy edible flowers; it simply created rainbows of colors and taste as you would have sweet and sour flavors burst out altogether. 

Hot Cappuccino (IDR 33k)

No, it's no more sinful shakes like what I used to have in Typology. Nonetheless, so long as I still had my caffeine doze, I absolutely wouldn't mind. Picking their cappuccino, I found their coffee suited my liking really well! They got me sold to the aromatic coffee fragrance, which I could strongly sensed in each sip. Taste wise, it was actually more to medium roast, giving medium body level as well. Yet, its bold coffee scent made it a delightful morning cup to have. 

Regardless the name or even the concept change, I was still highly satisfied with everything's served on my table in this place. Bluntly said, nothing in particular impressed me from the venue's design or ambiance; yet for my palate, it was a wonderful morning pleasure delivered by Morningville today.

Taste: 8.5/10
Place: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Price: 8/10

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Jl. Wijaya 1 No. 5C, Jakarta
Phone: (+62 21) 2912 6149
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 9am - 9pm

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