Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Traditional Balinese Food: Bali, Indonesia

Date:  20-25 avril 2010
Location:  Bali, Indonesia.

Balinese cuisine is so savory and exotic.  I cant write much on it because I am salivating just thinking about it... and at 11pm San Francisco time there is just no way I can get my hands on local Balinese dishes... so I won't even begin to try.

Instead, I include the following links which describe Balinese food wonderfully.

Bon appetit.. in my dreams!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

La Sal Spanish Tapas: Bali, Indonesia

Date:  20 avril 2010
Location:  Jl. Drupadi Il No.100
Seminyak - Kuta - Bali
Tel:  +62 361 738 321

Every night in Bali is a balmy tropical evening.  The kind of warm, subtle humidity that vacationing couple's dreams are made of.  Comfortable in your own skin around each other, clad in casual tank tops, cool button down shirts, shorts and skirts, flip flops... hair let down... free in spirit, mind, and body...

As the car pulls up to La Sal on a quiet street of Bali (almost like a back alley way, which is the way most streets in Bali feel), you will immediately relax.  The open entrance way to the restaurant's terrace is calming and soothing.  Not proper nor fussy.  Most all of Bali is like this.  Warm, balmy humidity, casual dress in shorts and sandals...  anything fussy in your mind is immediately transported to some other unknown destination.  You are left with just your senses, seeking rest, peace, and positive comfort.  And hopefully romance, if you are lucky!

The ambiance is loungy, calm, amorous.  You'll dine by candle lite.  The food - excellent.  Light yet savory.  Clean and simple, yet every bite and morsel painting a warm memory in the mind...  Thing is, La Sal is so adept at preparing the tapas dishes that you might forget whether you were actually on the Spanish Mediterranean, or really in Bali, Indonesia?  This exact thing happened to me.  =)

You'll have an enchanted evening here at La Sal.  You'll remember it forever.

What we enjoyed:
-We ordered a pitcher of customary Sangria, of course.
-Complimentary hummus on thinly sliced croutons was served, savory and delicious texture! 
-Delicious salad made of green leaves with truffle vinaigrette.
-Veal carpaccio with foie gras & manchego cheese cloud.
-Crab chowder.  
-Claypot of clams "sailor style".
-Small squid cooked in its own ink.
-Sauteed seasonal vegetables.
-Wagyu beef prepared and marinated in house spices.
-Delicious paella, chicken and seafood mix.  Perfectly cooked in its own broth and heavenly!

The Dharmawangsa for Afternoon Tea: Jakarta, Indonesia

Date:  17 avril 2010
Location:  Jl. Brawijaya Raya No. 26, Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta 12160 Indonesia
Tel:  62-21-7258181

Beautiful place to take afternoon tea and coffee, bite sized south east asian desserts, and cuban cigars and cognac.   Tranquille, tropical warm humidity... decadance in peaceful, quiet, serene environment.

Aroma Laut Grilled Local Seafood: Jakarta, Indonesia

Date:  17 avril 2010
Location:  Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Eating with hands, that's the only way!  Down homey hole-in-the-wall restaurant.  Great local seafood.  You pick, they bbq up for you.  Honestly I think I got food poisoning from the local seafood here since my system is not accustomed to the local shellfish, but the experience was was worth it.   =)

Before entering the eating area, you will walk past the "kitchen" - which is basically the open air bbq.  You pick the seafoods you want, they weight it, and then throw it onto the grill.  Fish is cooked on the banana leaves, else it will burnnnn....

When served at your table, there are self serve condiments, chilis and chips... eaten with the freshly hot bbq'd seafoods.  Yummmy... sweet and sour and tangy... and can we just say CHOLESTEROL OVERLOAD leading to gout! 

Very delicious and totally fun experience.  Locals got it good here. 

Portico Terrace Bistro & Champagne Bar: Jakarta, Indonesia

Date:  17 avril 2010
Location:  Senayan City, Panin Tower Level Ground
Jl. Asia Afrika kav. 19
Jakarta, Indonesia

A swank restaurant and champagne bar at Senayan City, Jakarta.  Seating area is an indoor Japanese inspired glass house, which allows one to sit indoors with cool air conditioning while still having the effect of being outdoors. Very chic concept catering to those who are looking for a nice spot to laze the afternoon away with tasty cocktails, wines, and champagne.  Perfect lounge music playing in the background.  I love this place. 

The interior is filled with contemporary furnishings and the high ceilings and open air glass construction offers a wide angle view of Jakarta's Senayan skyline. 

The food looked edible... not particularly refined or special in its presentation.  However I did enjoy my cocktails.  I recommend Portico's French 75:  Bombay Sapphire, fresh lemon, and champagne combined over ice.  The Pisco Sour was so so, I prefer the and fine concoctions prepared by none other than mixologists in San Francisco.

Portico is the latest addition to the growing portfolios of OPCO Establishment, a Jakarta based company specializing in life style concepts.
Should you find yourself dropping in at this establishment, be sure to have a few hours available to chill down and relax and laze the Saturday or Sunday afternoon away... watching Jakarta Senayan city pass you by......

Monday, May 03, 2010

Medan Baru - Northern Sumatran Small Eats: Jakarta, Indonesia

Date:  16 avril 2010
Location:  Jl Krekot Bunder No. 65
Jakarta Pusat

Very, very special ethnic Northern Sumatran small eats!  I was totally elated to be taken here by my very dear and gracious host.  This is one of those local joints that a tourist simply would not know about.  Lucky for me I was in the know, tagging along as a willing visitor eager to try anything new and different that was indigenous to the area.  The experience felt like an episode out of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" - a popular American TV Food Show hosted by Anthony himself as he uncovers the best in culinary cuisine across the world.  A real foodie knows that good food spans the local hole in the walls to 5 stars.  I love finding the casual joints that serve authentic, local tastes.
Here's how this place works.  They quickly place over 17 different small dishes on your table.  You only pay for what you touch.  Anything not eaten goes back to be served to next customers... honor system here!  You can also order their specialty dishes - one of which is a giant fish head.  I may have to go back and try that one next time.  Dying to know the texture of a giant fish cheek!  One of the small dishes was 2 large chunks of fish egg, from this very same fish.  No wonder the fish egg was so large - the fish itself was huge! 

I liken this place to dim sum, or tapas, but Sumatran.  As soon as you sit down, the efficient and friendly staff almost surround you to 1)  place over
Such a feast for the eyes, everything looked tasty!  If you are like me, then you will want to try a little bit of everything!  Oh me oh my, where was I to begin?  My host was no newbie to introducing foods to foreigners.  He explained the ingredients in every single dish, pointing out what made each dish unique to the region... so lucky and fortunate I am...