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travel and culinary

tuesday . 30 september two thousand eight.

Continuing our food-hunting adventure, I dragged hendro to Kelapa Gading the next noon (Michelle had another agenda that day). Determined to taste the rumored babi guling “Warung Tengil” but had no idea of its precise location, we attentively both sides of Boulevar Raya from inside our speeding cab. Not far from MKG we spotted the cheerful piggy painted on the sign board. Ah…that made us feel cheerful too

As we’re going in and seated ourself at the farthest table from the entrance to avoid generous shower of sunlight, we noticed the bamboo tables and chairs and the wall lined with bamboo made the room looked gloomy and narrow instead of warm. The large pictures of the food hung didn’t come in good quality and quite far from giving mouth-watering effect. We gladly put our previous method in practice by ordering only 1 portion of nasi babi guling to share, which was served on a woven rattan basket covered with brown paper. The tiny portion was finished soon, leaving us half-wondering what make this place recommended ha? The taste was indifferent, far from any babi guling I ever tasted, even the size is…teasing. So as you’d guess, they got only 3 stars.

As we had already planned as we ate, we looked around the many food outlets lining Boulevar raya and chose our next stop. There’s makassar food, pempek, pisang goreng, but Kedai Kurcaci attracted us most with their various yummy snacks and foods, among them batagor and two nice glass of yoghurt that we gulped down right away. 4 stars blinged! we’d like to try the bakmi another time.

And that gave us energy to roam ke mall, checked out what’s new on MKG 5, shopped for cookies and got dizzy from the noise of so many people in there.:D but..before we got home, a little visit to Gading Food City was made. Where La Piazza seemed relatively quieter than regular days, GFC was rather livelier. The stage was set for a Bedug performer, who were performing both in La piazza and GFC. After consulted the menu, we had chinese, kaylan and mun tahu from i forgot the exact name but it contain 99.  It was just ok, enough to make two happy tummy. too happy that we forgot one supposedly visited place: the park accros La Piazza.  we had just talked about how impossible it is in jakarta to have a nice time in a park, a decent park, the day before. well…tummy business was certainly more important  rite. ;P

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monday. 29 september two thousand eight.

The beginning of my tummy-fattening holiday.

Started out with brunch at an in-the-middle-of-nowhere – at least according to me – Chinese restaurant. Been planning to try out this Dim Sum specialized outlet since ages ago, we – hendro joined me in this time-killing adventures – finally took courage and jumped into the crammed busway heading to mangga dua. Michelle had already waited for about an hour when we showed up at Tai Pan (or Taipan?), located at 6th fl WTC Mangga Dua, which at that moment was the only place in the whole building showed any sign of life. There were Talas Bun and Casio dumpling accompanied by pot of chinese tea already served on the table and enjoyed by michelle. We then ordered pitan chicken porridge and some more dumplings and hakau and siumai and… we ate and we chatted and ate and…wow we’re so full!

All that stuffs that went down our stomach that noon were given 3 stars* (read about our stars at the end of this page) for these reasons: The place was quite nice but unfortunately the location was like screaming “Don’t come back too ofteeen”, made me reluctant to come by another time. Better go to their sister restaurant, Ming at Setiabudi Building, Rasuna Said, which is far more reachable and also has better food – so i heard. Secondly although the food itself was quite enjoyable, there were no tears coming out from our eyes as a sign of exceptionally great meal. We spent around 66000 rp each person.

The next three hours spent roaming Orion & Mangga Dua Mall – or more acuratelly, hendro and I was sitting scanning his Jakarta Food Guide Book and aimlessly wandering around while michelle upgrading her notebook. Though none of us was the ITC’s frequent flier but we decided it was a perfect time to set foot on it. After a little observation and a lot of shirts, jeans, dresses and shoes checking and rubbing, hendro and I agreed that there’s no fun in shopping at mangdu at all. Aside from the ridiculously high price attached to poor quality fabric and making – and the uncomfortable surrounding of course – we are just those kind of people who are too lazy to bargain on the price.

Anyway…we got something really well worth at the end of our journey in mangga dua: es potong. Unbelievably the three of us spotted that icebox containing those yummy-temping-sexy-little sticks almost at the same time and suddenly forgot our destination: the exit door. We just stopped dead in our track in the middle of our hasty steps and adopted three sticks, 2 durian and 1 red bean.

Soon afterwards we continued to the parking lot with much lighter steps and cooler heads :) On michelle’s suggestion, we chose Kam Seng as our next victim – not after much debating and skirting along mangga besar hawkers and restaurants though. We ordered one bubur babi jamur and cakue and 3 glasses of hot tea. Saw a cute 24 hours neon sign in front, we were really sorry we didn’t have any camera with us. It will be fun to capture each stop and food. If you’d like to try, each of us give Kam seng 4 stars, and will certainly come back to that place at Mangga Besar I no 26 and try another food. (For bubur, cakue & 3 glass of hot tea we spent 41.800 rp).

Leaving Kam seng around dinner time, we were back to mangga besar raya and strolled along the food stalls. Full with customers and smokes form the fry pan, Kwetiau Akang invited us to try a few bites – 1 kwetiau goreng + 1 kwetiau siram to be exact – and we were not disappointed. The kwetiau siram looked very tempting but tastes just ok, while i said the kewtiau goreng was tasty. I forgot how much for those but it’s reasonable and we all agreed on 4 stars.

Crossing the road, we stumbled into one traditional looking Chinese restaurant – which turned out to be really traditional & authentic. Located just opposite of Kwetiau Akang at Mangga Besar 3B, Super Suikiaw served various chinese cuisine but we particularly wanted to try out the sukiauw. The lady who served us – apparently the owner – hardly spoke bahasa. At first appalled that we didn’t order anything else but 1 portion of suikiauw, with broken bahasa she offered to prepared 2 kind of filling in one portion after we kindly explained that we had already eaten and just wanted to try their specialty. The Suikiaw’s price ranged from around 27.000-35.000 rp per potion (10 pieces), depends on the filling. We got half vegetables suikiauw and half pork kucai suikiauw with perfect sauce. We love the kucai ones better. The lady gave us a copy of their menu so we’ll know what to eat next time. I’m sure there will be next time, as 4 stars came up again from the three of us.

For me – and hendro – that day was quite extraordinary as we didn’t hang out in that part of jakarta very much. We never tried those kind of foods in those kind of environments, and with that kind of method – i mean, ordered one or two portions to be shared at each outlet, so we won’t too full to try another dish at another outlet:) Practically we ate 3 full meals with only 105000rb gone form our pocket that day.By that time we were convinced that that certainly was fun way to spend our holiday. Too bad we didn’t bring camera – still regretting it until now, us the ‘Banci foto’ers. But our adventures on the next days was carefully captured and will soon be shared with you guys. ;)

*While waiting for our porridge at Kam Seng, hendro set up an evaluation system:

5 stars = Best of the best

4 stars = Good food, will certainly come back next time

3 stars = Ok, may or may not come back

2 stars = won’t bother to come back

1 stars = won’t ever coming back again