Uda Denai (Jalan Tambak, Manggarai, Central Jakarta)

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This is, "a hole in the wall"- type restaurant. A step away from the main road Jalan Tambak.

This is, “a hole in the wall”- type restaurant. A step away from the main road Jalan Tambak.

No parking spaces at all, only fit for bicycle or motorcycle

No parking spaces at all, only fit for bicycle or motorcycle

The traffic noise, dust and smoke create "in a rush" and rustic ambiance

The flow of traffic create dynamic background for the plate display

Uni (Elder sister) Denai, preparing my rendang to go. The beef rendang is incredibly delicious, wholesome spiciness and rich taste of the rendang's sauce

Uni (Elder sister) Denai, preparing my rendang to go. The beef rendang is incredibly delicious, wholesome spiciness and rich taste of the rendang’s sauce

My lunch for that day; grilled chicken and fried lung with rice plus sambal ijo and sambal merah

My lunch for that day; grilled chicken and fried lung with rice plus sambal ijo and sambal merah

The grilled chicken taste perfectly balanced, not too salty like most cheap padangnese food. The fried lung cooked exactly the way I like it; crunchy with a little bit of chewiness, also seasoned with restraint.

The grilled chicken taste perfectly balanced, not too salty like most cheap padangnese food. The fried lung cooked exactly the way I like it; crunchy with a little bit of chewiness, also seasoned with restraint.

 

This is, intact the cheap food with expensive flavor.

Uni and Uda Denai have special hands that magically turn humble or cheap cut of meat into delicious cuisine. The balanced seasoning and restrain with enough punch to give you kick in the right spot are the strength of this restaurant.

If you come with a car, you can park in the Kelurahan office nearby. Just park and ask permission to the security guard there while slipping a five thousand rupiahs into his hand. And then you walk back to the joint about 200 meters.

After eating there, don’t forget bring some rendang to go. Put them in the fridge overnight. The next day, smash the meat into smaller pieces or strands. Then reheat the meat and sauces on non stick pan, add sambal merah or smashed chili. Cook them untill the color turn darker, or as you like. The perfect condiment for white rice or rice porridge or steamed bun or regular sandwich bread.

It’s time for award again and NRJS is nominated!

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Hey guys, it’s the appreciation time again! Acknowledge blog or blogs that inspire us in different ways

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Badge

It’s an honor for No Recipe Just Story to be nominated by other respectful blogger.

Please support NRJS and other inspiring blogs by following these rules:

1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3 Share 7 random things about yourself.
4 Select 15 blogs for the award.
5 Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

I want show my gratitude to Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy for nominating my blog to this award.

Mama Miyuki, “the woman behind the gun” of this exciting food blog wants to share Indonesian food recipes in the most easy breezy way. She also spread her knowledge and experience to recipes from all over the world. The one that I appreciate the most from her is how she makes each recipe so simple to comprehend even for a recipe phobia like me. The Ingredients Index credit for better understanding for the recipes. Check out her blogs and discover the simplest way to prepare you yummiest meal.

I want you to get to know me better, so here’s 7 random things about me:

1. I have soft spot for cheap street food, specially that reminds me to my childhood days of hawkering.

2. Currently I’m crazy with this concoction:  my cold brewed Sidikalang mud coffee +  a lot of sweetened condensed milk with +  ice cubes.

3. I sweat profusely when following recipes while cooking in the kitchen, specially the one with multi steps.

4. I like taking pictures of food with my standard Canon EOS 550D or iPhone.

5. I hate when people didn’t turn off their flash light while taking picture of food in restaurants, so annoying.

6. I gained wight a lot since I started this blog.

7. I really want to start my own online store that sells unique, authentic and organic Indonesia’s delicacy.

My pick on very inspiring blogs are:

1. Epicurina

Bayu Amus, share similar vision with me, which is spreading Indonesian cuisine worldwide. Epicurina not only delivers authentic recipes, also some of the cultural values from the ingredients or the food. That makes me love this blog so much. Bayu’s ability to narrate and building ambiance through his writing is very addictive.

2. Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy

She embodied simplicity without breaking (or broke some of  :p ) the cooking rules to create awesome dish.

3. Majalah Arkeologi Indonesia

I know this blog is in bahasa, but I like cultural history. This blog posts some of the most interesting findings of Indonesia’s culture through archeological findings, including how our ancestors cooks and eats.

4. The Gastronomy Aficionado

This bilingual food blog offers food or restaurant reviews with strong journalism flavor and all the current news updates of the culinary world.

5.  A Cook Not Mad

This blog captured harmonious blend of foodie and photographer in a cup of partnership. They travel around the world revealing the culinary world and immortalized the experience through photos.

6. Blue Kitchen

Terry Boyd’s stories intrigued me more than his recipes. He has splash of romanticism, facts, culture, clear opinion and intelligent sense of humor displayed all around his posts. That’s all it takes to make me adore this blog.

7. Chubby Hubby

Being one of the early food blogger generation make this blog can “hit the mark” over and over again, in terms of delivering recipes, recipe reviews and all those beautiful pictures.

8. Cooking et Cetera

This is a food blog that not only offers recipes, Indonesian food recipes, but outstanding food photography. Claimed as a self learner in food photography, Dhita does has great taste in capturing food as an eatable art.

9. I eat I shoot I post

A very straight forward blog about Singapore’s hawker food. Leslie Tay received many media attention and awards for his blog.

10. Indonesia Eats

This is a memoir blog from a Javanese born food photographer that lives in Canada. Besides Indonesian recipes, the author also shares mediteranian and other asian food recipes. Pretty and neat pictures are the icing on the cake.

11. Just Bento

The dedication and never short in ideas from Makiko Itoh to share her love in bento.

12. Jungle-frog Cooking

A fresh looking blog from a former nurse turn food stylist and food photographer, Simone.

13. After double shot espresso

I just like the photos arranged into a chain of stories, without too much words within.

14. Selby’s Food Corner

I really respect how Selby’s effort in translating Indonesia’s food culture into much familiar International’s food and cuisine vocabulary.

15. Anak Jajan

A living journal documented the Jajan’s family’s adventure exploring food and beverages in Jakarta’s Mall and other places in Indonesia.

Let’s participate this appreciative atmosphere, share your inspiration sources with us.

The most annoying comments for worlds class chefs (CNNGo’s report on World Gourmet Festival at Bangkok)

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As cited from “How to annoy a world class chef”

Still in the same vibe with my previous post about food retard, a professional cook or chefs must be placed in the same category as painter or sculpture. They really are artists.

Well, being a world class artist come with many consequences. One of the bittersweet things are comments, remarks or questions from people who enjoyed their art. For chefs, they are the people who come to their restaurants.

feeling so annoyed behind that poker face

feeling so annoyed behind that poker face

We might think that world class chefs will be annoyed with shallow comments or questions from know it all person. Apparently, they have touchy and quite sensitive feelings about their arts. Here are some examples of what they feel most annoyed line from people, some of it quite surprising for me.

Chef Igor Macchia, La Credenza, Piedmont, Italy

 Your wife will be a really lucky lady

This is one of the most common comment pops in my head when I see a woman married a great chef. Evidently, most chef do not like to cook at home, hence Chef Macchia felt annoyed when he heard this sort of compliment.

Jeannie Cho Lee, Master of Wine

What is your favorite wine?

Just like when we met a bartender or barrista, we usually ask them what’s your favorite cocktail or coffee recipe. I never suspect this question will create uncomfortable atmosphere during conversation. But Ms Cho Lee bluntly explain that she gets annoyed with this question. She compares the situation with Picasso asked to choose his favorite color.

Chef Shiqin Chen, La Rei, Il Boscareto, Piedmont, Italy

Ask them what their favorite dish is

Chef Chen shares the same shades of outrage with Ms Cho Lee about favorite things. Maybe he might compare this with parents asked to choose their favorite children, to cut the question later.

Chef Victor Quintillà Imbernón, Lluerna, Barcelona, Spain

That the food was made without love

Hmm, no need to be genius to understand this impolite comments.

Chef Galvin Lim, Les Amis, Singapore

Chefs who are skinny can’t cook well

At first, I find this comment quite funny and unrealistic. But then I remember, in Asian culture like Indonesian, there were shared understanding about the relation of waistline and ability to cook. When I remember the great cook in my family or my husband family, most of them do have fuller figure. With the trend of cooking and eating health  spread around the world, this phenomena begin to dissolve. We, or I personally, prefer leaner figure chefs or any expert. Because that means he or she can take care of them self better and function at best with leaner (with assumption healthier condition) body.

So, next time you meet a chef or cook or anyone in culinary business remember these most annoyed line to prevent awkward moments with them.

Ooops, wrong question! Awkward....

Ooops, wrong question! Awkward….

For the complete article visit cnngo here

Meet Me at Starbucks

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If you happens to be in a Starbucks at Jakarta and see me sitting alone focusing on my Mac and my headphone on, don’t hesitate to say hi.

We can share stories about your experience to winged recipes , foolish cooking attempts, kitchen nightmares or local produced groceries and so much more food related subjects. Maybe I can review your food related business, or you can inspire me for my articles or personal projects. Or we can spend giggling time for a moment before heading back to work.

I know, my soft spots for Starbucks may seem less Indonesian. Since most of my articles in this blog is to promote and share Indonesian food experience, you may wonder why.

The shallow explanation because Starbucks is easy. I can access their store easily, even 24 hours if I want to. One more thing is easy access of fast internet connection courtesy from their partner: Biznet in every Starbucks stores at Jakarta. All I need is one user ID and one password, I can access the connection at every Starbucks. No fuss.

If you want a little bit deeper explanation, here they are.

First, as huge and fast growing multi continent company, Starbucks stores always offer anything but generic services. With so many coffee shops or cafes popping around Jakarta, Starbucks still able to maintain a little bit uniqueness or even snobbishness in positive way.

Second, the company concern for the coffee farmer and conserve the origin of the coffee beans quite remarkable. Regardless the dynamic of coffee trading in the world, they have clear policy to do ethical trading and required their partner to grow coffee responsibly.

Third, when they say, ‘premium’ to describe the condiments it does taste damn good. Premium milk, premium freshly whipped cream, premium chocolate, premium syrups, etc.

Fourth, their original blend:  Starbucks® Espresso Roast uses combination of Indonesian and Latin American coffee beans since the 70’s.

They also sell other product from Indonesian coffee beans without diminishing the distinct Indonesian flare from the it:

Komodo Dragon Blend®

Komodo Dragon Blend®

Sumatra Coffee beans

Sumatra Coffee beans

Sulawesi Coffee Beans

Sulawesi Coffee Beans

Fifth, most of their barristas, security officers and other staff at any store in Jakarta are very friendly and helpful. They help me finding cable extension for my lap top, I can ask them to watch over my belongings while I’m away to the bathroom, etc.

Sixth, when they provide in store bath room they take care of it cautiously. Always clean, dry, never runs out tissues and odorless.

Seventh, I can ask for a glass of water as much as I can for free! Sometimes I don’t comfortable with the sticky feeling in my mouth after sipping any cold-creamy beverages. I need water to rinse it out, so I will enjoy the drinks at the next sips. While other cafes charge for a glass of clear water, Starbucks provide them free even with extra ice cubes.

My usual spots are Starbucks at Kelapa Gading or La Piazza or Skyline building at Thamrin. So when you see me, or listen for order: Grande Mocha Frappuccino without whipped cream and extra double shot espresso, don’t forget to say hi!

Knock on my table and say hi!

Knock on my table and say hi!

“Warung Padang” spreading wisdom of spice, one small plate at a time

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Warung Padang, is a generic term for Padangnese style restaurant. In my opinion, this is one of Indonesia‘s authentic entrepreneurship in culinary. Traditionally, Warung Padang operates like a well oiled chained or franchise  restaurants. This phenomena exist preceding McDonald, KFC, Pizza Hut or any western brand offering greasy food.

Padangnese community known for their business appetite and genetically inherit tradesman attitude. While Islam influenced heavily to the West Sumatran culture, their philosophy transform into more down to earth principles and fairness. Although we called it Padang restaurant after Padang city the capitol of West Sumatra province, but most of the cooking style and classic meal available at these restaurant were native to Bukit tinggi, Solok, Payakumbuh and Padang pariaman. Those are the adjacent cities to Padang and rich in culinary culture. But the community seem didn’t mind with generic labeling, hence increase their popularity by sharing similar identity as Warung Padang.

Pointy architectural feature is classic sign for Padang restaurant, mimic their ethnic house “Rumah Gadang”

Rumah Gadang, the inspiration

When we come to any restaurant that has the title “….. Padang” (the dots can be replaced with WarungRestoranRumah Makan or just RM.  They all means the same: a place to eat) or with significant display of stacked plates of food on the window, you will get similar experience.

After you get a sit, no body will give you the menu card or even ask what do you want to eat. A man or two suddenly approaching your table with small plates of food arranged attractively on top of their upper and lower arm. Fast and almost acrobatically, he will transfer all the plates to your table. All of sudden your dining table will get crowded with mini plates consist of colorful dishes. No fancy dining etiquette here, just the basic rule: no double dipping, don’t touch the food with your finger if you don’t going to eat them, pick only the food you want to eat and pay the same way. Using both hands are recomended, than spoon and fork. If you think you want more than one small plates, you can ask the staff member. Those experience can be expected from all Warung Padang at all over the world. In the most expensive ones at five star hotel or high end malls; and at the wet traditional market in the middle of no where, they have the same structure.

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Spicy aromatic dishes on mini plates (high end restaurant with air conditioned room)

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Similar dishes, equally delicious on more humble table setting (nearby traditional market)

Structure in managing business, which emphasized in sense of ownership between the member of staff. Without mambo jambo management terms or economy fancy words, all of the staff share ownership of the restaurant. The capital owner is the one or several people who use their money to start the business. He is the first liner of ownership. The second one are the cook and cook assistant. These men (yes, Warung Padang almost always consist of men very seldom women), are acting the operational manager who direct and guide their business in daily basis. The cook decides how many produce and raw ingredients should be bought for a day, in the sense they also predict how much they’ll earn money for that day.

The third liner are the shopper or Toke, they responsible for buying all of the groceries needed by the cook and document the cash flow. Next are the Tukang Sanduak or the spoon man. Sanduak means spoon, so his job is about plating and portion. He runs the front part of the restaurant where all the food are neatly stacked and displayed for the customer. The spoon man must follow the direction from the cook about portion, in plating rice or other dish, or else they won’t get the income predicted. After plating in mini plates tapas style, the middle man or Bahagian Tengah will organize them on his hand in acrobatic manner. The goal was to be efficient and deliver all the food needed by customer. So minimizing the walking distance, walking frequency and chaotic people crossing between the tables. Cleaning the table also part for middle man’s job, since he is in charge of the middle part of the restaurant. The washer or tukang cuci are the starting rank and he have to deal with dirty dishes for a certain period of time. The cashier usually share the front part of restaurant with the spoon guy, but not all people can be selected as cashier. He must be proven honest and meticulous in counting money and charging people.

Just like any other high reputable company, Warung Padang management also got their audit regularly. Daily audit always held to calculate their gross income and compose menu (the quantity and quality) for the next day. The cashier can’t corrupt the money, because then the cook will know if his prediction on income are missed. So there are check and re check mechanism, mimic self audit activity in corporate live. Every three months or after 100 workdays, they held a big meeting. On this forum all staff member can share and discus about everything, mainly related to the business. People got promotions, sanction even fired during this event. Since there are no real employer and employee line, the staff will give their best effort and thinking to make sure their restaurant will make profit. Because, when the restaurant got profit everybody will taste the money according to their shares proportion. That means, the staff experiencing their own performa first hand through the amount of money they received. When they all as a team doing good job, the customer are satisfied and coming back for second transaction or more, they will get more money, and vice versa. In the end, Warung Padang also create a working environment with sustainable correcting system. If one staff member being lazy or making the customer angry, he must face not only the owner but the rest of the crew too.

make the phrase ‘an arms length’ felt crowded with plates

stacked of plates of food for window display, very typical for Warung Padang

See the display, find what you like and hear your stomach growling seeing delicious food

When the Starbucks highly praised about making partner relationship rather than traditional employer-employee with their barristers, Warung Padang already doing it decades ago. So, next time you go to eat Beef Rendang or Chicken Curry or Prawn Crackers at Padang restaurant, appreciate the people who serve you. They aren’t just your waiter, they all are business owner.

Resources:

http://sosbud.kompasiana.com/2010/03/21/manajemen-rumah-makan-padang/

http://ekonomi.kompasiana.com/bisnis/2010/02/28/manajemen-rumah-makan-padang/

http://umum.kompasiana.com/2010/04/17/“rahasia-dapur”-rumah-makan-padang/

http://muhammadalfisyahrin.blogspot.com/2010/05/warung-padang-semi-waralaba-dan.html

http://www.bloggerborneo.com/mengambil-manfaat-dari-manajemen-rumah-makan-padang

http://radjanusantara.blogspot.com/2007/12/dahsyatnya-rumah-makan-padang.html