Japan in a dash

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A week ago I just finished a Kaizen healthcare tour in Japan. It’s not a holiday event, It’s a business trip. But, I managed to take a few of quick shots of food collages we’ve been tasting.

Unfortunately some of my foodgasm experiences I couldn’t get my phone fast enough because it reached my mouth  first. I tasted some of the best sushi in my life from just by the corner cramped between offices building at Shinagawa. The sushi master served me the best eel sushi I’ve ever tasted in my life. I usually think of eel as a so so dish. And some of japanese restaurant in Indonesia served grilled unagi that are good. But this mind blowing-ly excellent. I didn’t remember if what I eaten what fresh water eel (Unagi) or sea water eel (Anago). I’m sure the waiter told me in Tarzan style sign languange (she didn’t speak english. But said yes when I ask “Is this eel?”), or but maybe I’m too hungry to listen. Okay, back to the Unagi/Anago suhi I had. The eel flesh is so fluffy, not oily at all (It usually is at regular sushi in Indonesia) and the most important thing the seasoning was so mild and balanced (usually it will be too sweet for me). Oh my God! It’s like eating cloud on the bed of vinegar rice. Totally foodgasm experienced. And I went there twice, still forgot to click my phone. The tuna, salmon, shrimp and octopus sushi also very very good. When I told the other tour participant about this, some of them said they also experience A++ sushi at other neighbourhood at Shinagawa. So, look for teeny tiny sushi restaurant when visiting Shinagawa for mind blowing experience. Oh the price isn’t that expensive either. My colleague and I ate a big plate of assortments sushi, plus two extra shrimp, a grilled tuna cheek, a bowl of salmon sashimi and four extra eel sushi and I payed for both of us for 4800 Yen.

So here are some pictures of the other food experience I had while dashing through Japan in between heavy schedule of the tour. Enjoy!

1. we had vegetarian lunch

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The veggie appetizer

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veggie main (rice with veggie croquet and salad)

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veggie dessert (rather awesome sponge cake with ice cream)

2. Izakaya style dinner

 

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Appetizer 1 cold tofu with dressing

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appetizer 2 tuna and white fish (forgot the name)

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tapas style main 1 a little of everything from fish, egg to seaweed. The main 2 course is mushroom rice, forgot to photo but it’s the best food for that night

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forgot what it was

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roasted tea ice cream for dessert. like a frozen smoke but sweet.

 

 

Something Old and something New

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My favorite Starbucks at Skyline building, Thamrin street, Jakarta changed their interior.
It feels homy, with smart design that increase seating capacity with electric socket on each seat. I really like it, the rustic industrial chic sense of it.

Congrats Starbucks Indonesia, you’ve got stellar NEW design!!

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The last time I went to Secret Recipe restaurant was almost a year, before three days ago. I was hoping to enjoy their luscious cheese cakes varieties.
I was felt underwhelmed.
I don’t if its because my taste level had elevate, or there were actualy some degree of lack in quality. I don’t like it!
It upset me so much, because this used to be my “Go To” restaurant for cheese cakes. I ordered the whole cakes for numerous occasions for relatives and clients. I used to love and trust their cheese cake quality.
Unfortunately, not so much anymore.
The cake consistency weren’t complimenting the flavor. I don’t taste the high quality cream cheese or any cheesy flavor at all. Only heavy dairy product in various toppings.

Sorry Secret Recipe, I think you should upgrade your OLD cheesecake recipes to keep up the competition!!!

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Lepat Bugis at Buchari’s house

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We have a pop up family gathering at one of the Buchari’s family’s house. I found this cute banana enveloped food.
They said, it is a Lepat Bugis.

Its a package of sweet and savoury treat. A party in your mouth snack or a succulent dessert.
Made from sticky rice flour with sweetened fresh shaved coconut and crushed peanut, steamed in banana leaf.
Hmmm fragrant voluptuous humble gift for your tastebuds.

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Juicy with a kick of flavor of Chicken Satay by Sate Blora, Rawamangun, East Jakarta

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Sorry it took me longer to post another story. I hope I redeemed my self by giving you, all my faithful readers,a little bit food porn.

I was in crave for chicken done right. I mean, a real good cooking that serve the poultry good respect it deserves. I could tell you, It’s different here in Indonesia. We didn’t used to tender and just cooked chicken. Either we deep fried it, long hour stewed it or hard grilled it. The stringy texture of the chicken meat are expected and commonly accepted. So, surely you would understand that I was a little bit skeptical when my husband took me to this Satay restaurant.

How happy I was to be wrong.

The chicken satay from Sate Blora restaurant is exquisite. The meat was adequately marinated, so the flavor and aroma from only a few spices used, just made me salivate instantly. The grill master put the skewered bits on the hot charcoal grill, then manually fan them with the traditional fan made from palm tree leaves. The heat cooked the chicken enough, without overkilled it. When I bite into them, it was the juiciest and melt in your mouth chicken satay I’ve ever had.

Enough said, let the show begin!

Uncooked chicken satay

I warned you about the porn, right?Here we go.
These sexy voluptuous bits on sticks were the uncooked one. Covered them selves with light peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce, patiently waited in line before touching the heat.

The young master grill and his magic fan

The young man who smile shyly is the talented master grill on the job that night. He had his own system to grill by the order, while the charcoal keep on burning. He memorized the set, which ten skewers for which table. He waved the fan a little bit differently on each portion set, to increase or decrease the grilling process through the meat. He didn’t use any timer or thermometer, there were no button to turn the gas up and down. Like any grill master, he used his eye and vast experience to determine which set is ready to serve.

Sssss it hot

The sizzling sound when the uncooked chicken first touch the hot iron grill was so intriguing. Instantly it created the smoke with inviting aroma.

Roll it over

Beside manually fanning the charcoal, the grill master must keep alert to roll and turn every single skewer. This part is also important to keep the meat cooked evenly, including the light caramelization from the soy sauce marinade. Every satay lover like that slightly burned bits at their meat.

Hot stone

When the time was right, the grill master took a portion set (ten skewers) off the grill onto the hot stone plate to keep it sizzles. Oooh look at those plump meat gleaming on its own juice (too much? sorry).

Much more than this

Finally, I could sample the fruit of the master’s labor.
On each table there are two sauce we could use to drizzle on the satay. For extra flavor. Chicken satay goes really well with the peanut sauce, so I add that and ate the whole portion my self with steamy fluffy white rice. If you think it would be too sweet, I can tell you that you are wrong. Very different with Japanese version of Yakitori, this one is not that sweet. The seasoning was mild and well balanced, so the taste of the chicken it self prominent as the hero of the dish. That was scrumptious!

Walking and cycling food at the street

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“Tahu Gejrot” vendor crossing the main street at Thamrin while balancing the weight of a small kitchen on his shoulder. Everything he needed to make the dish; small plates, spoons, forks, small mortar to smash combination of garlic+chillies+salt+brown sugar+soy sauce+vinegar to a cohesive sauce for the sliced Tahu Pong (tofu that have been deep fried long time to create a hollow center so it will absorb more sauce). Gejrot similar with Smashed.

Mobile veg vendor #igers #igdaily #instamood #instastreet #instagrammers #instaindonesia #instanusantara #jakarta #jalanjakarta #slump #mayanggrafi #norecipejuststory

I found this “Tukang Sayur” cart, not far from a wet market. The merchant was went out to the market to buy more daily produce. He stuffed his cart up with the popular items his clientele asked for, with hope they will buy all of it from him.

Rebellious breakfast #igers #igdaily #instamood #iphonesia #instastreet #instagrammers #indonesianfood #instaindonesia #instanusantara #instanusantarapalingindonesia #jakarta #indonesia #breakfast #bubur #kacangijo #streetfood #stopsign #motorcycle #morni

It was cold saturday morning. Even though this “Bubur Kacang Ijo” merchant fixed his cart in front of forbid-to-stop sign, not lessen a motor cycler to stop and bought the warm-sweet-savoury green bean porridge for cheap and filling breakfast.

Between lanes #foodcart #jakarta #jalanjakarta #streetvendor #indonesia #igers #igdaily #instastreet #instagrammers #instaindonesia #instanusantara #mayanggrafi

This time was Sunday morning, and the traffic regulations didn’t mean anything to most Jakartans at this day.

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Wonder what he sells? He delivered hot beverages accessible for anyone in the street. The thermos filled with hot water, when his customer chose any sachet of instant powder they liked (coffee+sugar, coffee+sugar+creamer, cappuccino) or just plain tea bag, then he poured hot water with it in a plastic disposable cup.

Peyeum; the Sundanese rice dessert

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Peyeum (pronounced : Pe as Pe in Peru – ‘yeum as Yum in Yummy) is one unique dessert from Sundanese culture (the West part of Java Island, Indonesia).

As a tropical country, our ancestor cleverly manipulated the same-o ingredient, which is rice grain, into a vast range of food.

We have it plain or spiced steamed rice as our main dish. We also grind it into a rice flour and make tons of dish from it. Some culture even fermented it; to be a Tuak (Indonesian style of sake) or for the sweet and soft texture rice grain we named Tape (Ta as ta in table; Pe as pe in pear).

There are several ethnic known for their variety of Tape. The sundanese people call it as Peyeum. One important difference between Peyeum and other form of Tape is the leaf wrap.

The sundanese use guava leaves to wrap the rice grain into small square package before starting the fermentation process. Since most of the community use white rice grain, the leaf infuse beautiful subtle green hue into the grains and give a pleasant aroma when we un-wrapped it.

Fermentation process is limited until just in time when the grain is “cooked”, enough carbohydrate disintegrate into sugar to give sweet flavor  and only some of it turn into alcohol. So it won’t make you drunk, only a sugar rush.

Personally I like it after chilled in the fridge, then I dissolve a package of Peyeum with half glass of cold water. Ooh so delicious and refreshing in a hot day. My brother on the other hand, he likes just as it is, straight from the leaf into his mouth. Anyway you eat it, it would be as nice.

Enjoy the Peyeum!

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Red is our color

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Today is moslem new year’s day. It kinda remind me of what our family had during the last holiday of Ied Al Adh.

Our family from my husband’s side (The Bucharis) got special groove that always create dynamic interactions and palate sensations on any meet and greet events.

A few weeks ago, moslems around the world celebrate Ied Al Adh holiday. One of the main idea was about being grateful, living modest and share something to the unfortunate ones. That “something” could be “some meat”, on Islam world known as Qurban.

A goat / mutton or A cow or A water buffalo mercifully slaughtered in the name of Allah, and we give away the meat to people in need.

Since my blog is all about food and culture, you must be waiting for all delicious pictures. Okay, here we go.

In the Buchari family, like any large family, we have what we call “the family cook”. She is usually an aunt or a grandma blessed with magical hands. She made the best version of family’s favorite menus, although the other aunts and mothers practically good at it too. She is the best, period.

"Dok Mami" is what we called her, the cook in the family (left) with my mother in law (right)

“Dok Mami” is what we called her, the cook in the family (left) with my mother in law (right)

The Bucharis in holidays; everybody was catching up with the current what a bouts while waiting for the next rounds of eating

The Bucharis in holidays; everybody was catching up with the current what a bouts while waiting for the next rounds of eating

The Bucharis in holiday; talkative and cheery

The Bucharis in holiday; talkative and cheery

There was always somebody lingering near the table where plates of food on display

There were always somebody lingered near the table where plates of food on display

Red is the prominent color in Bucharis dining table; we sure love our chilies in heritage recipes

Red is the prominent color in Bucharis dining table; we sure love our chilies in heritage recipes

"Dendeng (kering) Balado" is the speciality of Dok Mami's. She's the expert making delicate thin and crunchy squares of beef jerky.

“Dendeng (kering) Balado” is the speciality of Dok Mami’s. She’s the expert in making delicate thin and crunchy squares of beef jerky with red chilly sambal. It is our family’s favorite savory dish.

"Balado Ikan Bilis" dried anchovy-like fish in red chili sambal with stinky bean

“Balado Ikan Bilis” dried anchovy-like fish in red chili sambal with stinky bean

Thinly sliced and crispy potato chips seasoned with special mix of sambal

Thinly sliced and crispy potato chips seasoned with special mix of sambal. Salty, spicy and crunchy as side dish with plain white rice

Not that pretty looking beef rendang but equally delicious

Not that pretty looking beef rendang but equally delicious

Delicate strings of cucumber in simple syrups with ice cubes. A soothing dessert after all those spicy dish.

Delicate strings of cucumber in simple syrups with ice cubes. A soothing dessert after all those spicy dish.

Or for the daring ones, a sweetened and fermented purple sticky rice as dessert

Or for the daring ones, a sweetened and fermented purple sticky rice as dessert