My Journey Through Life..

~Some people believe we only live once, so have fun while doing it.~

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Across the Border : Neighbour’s Cuisine (Part 2)

Booya! Second part is coming, hahaha. Now it’s going to be about my dinner. My brother took me to his campus, NTU and we decided to buy our dinner there. I asked him to take me to a vegetarian restaurant, so we headed to NTU’s canteen. Maybe NTU has some food courts but the one that I visited was the inner one. There’s an Indian vegetarian food counter there, as far as I remember it’s called Komala or something like that (forgive if I’m wrong). Just remember, this is a vegetarian food counter, don’t expect to have any meat here :D.

Having no idea about Indian food, I chose my meal randomly. I only know curry and prata BTW, so I didn’t choose that as my meal. It ended up for me being choosing an Uthappam. It has some choices of topping like tomato, cheese, etc (I chose cheese, no pun intended, LOL). For the physical presentation, you can see my picture below :

Indian - Cheese Utthapam

Uthappam is a thick, round Indian pancake, made of rice and some Indian spices, causing the Uthappam tastes sour-salty-savory combined (I’m not a food expert, just a food hunter-taster, hahahaha). The sourness maybe from a fermented something that was added as ingredient. The texture of the Uthappam was medium (not too smooth and not too rough). No, I’ve never tried this kind of flavor before. That round pancake was my Cheese Uthappam (my brother took the picture for me). The whitish thing on the top is the melted cheese. Looks like it’s baked. The cheese really complemented the Uthappam well. Just imagine it, sour savory plus melted cheese, but my suggestion, if you are the type who can’t eat a lot in one time, you might wanna share it with others. The angle of that picture doesn’t really show the size, huh? But believe me, its diameter was even bigger than my maximum-opened palm (span from thumb to pinky is about 24-25 cm). In my opinion, a bit sweetness (like tomato topping) will do good and give more flavors and sensations. Next time I’ll try the Tomato Uthappam.

When you bought it, the Cheese Uthappam came with 4 different dipping sauces and every single one was spicy (my tolerance for spicy flavor is very very low, bottom low :D). The sauces were not thick like a ketchup, but more like liquid sauces. The bigger round container was a chili sauce (salty, spicy). Then, there’s a container with 3 compartment (these 3 were less spicy than the other one), the light brown one was a mashed peanut sauce (in my country, this kind of sauce is sweet, but what I got was savory and a bit salty), the white one was coconut sauce (this one was full savory, so for the ones who like a not-so-strong-flavored sauce, this might be the choice), last but not least, the dark brown one was a *mystery* sauce (a bit bitter and full taste of spice). Yep, up ’till now, I still haven’t figured that out. It had a strange taste, I’ve never tried that before in my life. But, no offense, that one wasn’t my favorite at all.

Now, moving to the next dish, my brother’s Masala Bread (both my brother and I forget the name of the actual dish, but let’s just say it’s Curry Masala because the filling was a kind of curry). This is the picture of the dish :

Indian - Masala

Again, about the size, this one is slightly bigger than mine. In the name of Holy Food! Two dishes that we ordered came in extraordinarily large size :O. But, sometimes it’s more satisfying isn’t it? Hahaha. We got the same dipping sauces, maybe those are the signature dipping sauces. This Curry Masala had different texture than my Uthappam. The Masala was more like a crepe but a bit thicker (or nearly like spring rolls’ wrapper). The edge of the Masala was thinner than the middle one, but you can still easily crack and chew it. Even though it was thicker than crepes, you can still say it was crispy. The flavor of the Masala was mainly savory and a little bit salty.

Being different than my Cheese Uthappam, this Masala had filling, Curry. This Curry was made of potatoes (mostly), and (I thought I tasted minced scallion or some kind of minced vegetables). But, what made it so strongly flavored was the chili paste. Wow! The chili paste was quite spicy. In scale of ten, it might be 6 or 6.5. Quick enough to make me felling hot and sweating. The filling was bright red in color, with roughly mashed potatoes and minced vegetables (not really sure what those were, it was well mixed). The flavor was good actually and I like it (will like it more if it’s not spicy AT ALL, hahahaha). I basically love food with strong flavor instead of the light ones (but still, if possible, no chili used  LOL).

Aside from the food, my brother also ordered a tea, Masala Tea. That makes me wonder, what does ‘Masala’ means? Anyway, the tea is a bit unique than any other tea that I’ve tasted before. The Masala Tea tasted like a milk tea but I’m not sure if it was, since that was a vegetarian food counter, and I’m pretty sure that milk won’t be considered vegetarian ingredient 😕 Aside from the *mysterious* milk, I also tasted some spices as the ingredients of the Masala Tea, maybe some things like ginger or so. That made the flavor ‘biting’ the tongue with its sensations, a little bit spice spicy. Best for rainy or cold days with hot serving :9. The tea was good, but it’s not really sweet, maybe no sugar added or very little amount of sugar was added. Below is the picture of Masala Tea :

Indian - Masala Tea

Indian food, the taste that I’ve never tasted before. New sensation, new experience, new taste for my tongue. I think it’s better to taste something new.

Stay tuned for next partS.. 😀

P.S. : I still wonder what the mysterious dipping sauce was. Maybe if one of you happened to read this post and know what that is, you can enlighten me with the answer 😀 Also, this is based on my personal opinion, mistakes might be there, so corrections are always welcomed. Cheers!


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Across the Border : Neighbour’s Cuisine (part 1)

So, since this is going to be about foreign cuisines, maybe English will do good, haha. This is my first entry using English, though, wish me luck and hope there’re no mistakes since English isn’t my mother tongue. *WARNING : PORK DETECTED!* So, some times ago, I was visiting Singapore (SG). My secondary mission is for the cuisines, and my primary is visiting my big bro there. Since my big bro was busy when I stayed there for some days, so sometimes I need to go alone. In a foreign country, I knew only a little bit about this country and how to interact with the environment there. Actually, this post is not about how I enjoyed my days there (well, maybe not now, but I think that’s a good idea to make a post about that), it’ll be about how I enjoyed my MEALS there 😀 So when I stepped at the Changi Airport, my bro picked me up at the entrance and took me to my first destination as a cuisine seeker. So, this restaurant is in a different terminal than the arrival terminal, so you’ll need to ride e LRT to move to the other terminal (arrival is in Terminal 1 and the restaurant is in Terminal 3 [or vice versa, I don’t really remember about that]). The restaurant we’re about to visit is a ramen restaurant called Ramen ChampionSo, the basic concept about this Ramen Champion is a food court but it’s all about ramen. So they offer only ramen with every unique variants of each of their signature cooking style. We chose 1 menu each, and my choice was Nitamago Ramen. This menu has 2 types of soup that you can choose : Shoyu (Japanese salty soy sauce) or Miso (Japanese soup that is made by fermenting soybean with salt & fungus). Curious about the saltier one, I chose shoyu soup. I’ve got a picture of what I ate that day : Ramen - Nitamago Shoyu That was my bowl of Nitamago Ramen. This ramen came with a pair of half-cut soft-boiled egg, some portions of boneless grilled pork, bunch of beansprouts (seriously, those beansprouts are piling up high, haha), a set of chopsticks and a spoon (of course). The noodle itself was boiled not too overcook so it still has its elasticity. The beansprouts were served fresh and tasted good. The grilled pork was so tender, deliciously savory it came in 4 or 5 medium-sized sliced pieces. I think the pork is my favorite part of the dish. Also, you’ll get half-cut soft boiled egg. For the one who love ‘juicy but not too raw’ yolk, you’re gonna love this. I love it, the flavor of the half boiled yolk. Even the egg white was not so hard & dense. It had the similar density of a Japanese tofu. Finally, the soup. Shoyu really add the salty and savory taste on that soup. The pair of the soup and pork was really great. The shoyu add a strong flavor to the entire dish. FYI, when I first arrived, I was starving, now after I ate the ramen, it’s like I can’t drink a glass of 300mL water anymore. I was at maximum capacity of my stomach. But maybe some people can get 2 bowls of this :D. Meanwhile, on the other side of the table, my brother got his Hokkaido Tonkatsu (or something sounds like that, I lost my note that I brought for culinary purposes *doh*). Anyway, that menu has no options for the soup like mine. This is the picture of his ramen Ramen - Hokkaido Tonkatsu It had 1 similar ingredients as mine (soft-boiled egg). The entire dish looks so different than mine and it had more ingredients. Sadly I didn’t taste much, only the miso soup :(. Anyway this dish had sheared corn kernels, (I think it’s) mushroom, minced scallion, chili paste (or in my country we call it ‘sambal’), and of course the pork. Once again, I didn’t taste the food, but it looks appetizing, isn’t it? Hahaha. All I know is that the pork wasn’t grilled like mine, but maybe just steamed, but I bet that was juicy as well :9. Also, the way of ordering here is unique (and cool! We don’t have something like this back in my country, well, I don’t know about some big modern cities, but as far as I go to a food court, there’s nothing like this). Look at the first picture, when we first entered the food court, the (looks like) manager gave us a bead bracelet (near my bowl) for each of us. Those were not only for accessories, but we used them to order. When we decided what we’re gonna buy, we gave the bracelets to the clerk, they scanned them and sent the data to the main cashier, so in the end what we ordered was on the computer already. After they scanned it, they gave a ‘some kind of round machine disc’ with a number (maybe the order number) and some lights, and a beeping sound mechanism. When the food has been cooked and ready to be served, the disc was beeping (maybe the clerk pushed a button or something) and we need to take our dish in the counter, and gave back the disc to the clerk. Well, I’m amazed LOL, and that’s new for me. Well, this is one of my hunting process, still have some more, but not now. I’ll split the each post with each type of food, and this post is about ‘Ramen’. Stay tuned for the next part….s. 🙂

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The Extraordinary Feel : El Dorado

Malam ini (06/11/14) rasanya pengap sekali di rumah, maka saya keliling-keliling cari hawa segar (bukan kaum hawa, tapi udara segar hahaha). Jadilah saya pergi, dan di tengah jalan saya lapar. Akhirnya saya putuskan untuk pergi ke salah satu resto di Jalan Gejayan, namanya El Dorado.

Pemilik resto ini teman saya, tapi kebetulan pas saya kemari hari ini, dia tak ada di tempat. Sudah dua kali saya kemari, yang satu sudah sekian bulan yang lalu. Resto ini ada di Gejayan, belum lama grand opening-nya (belum lama -> masih taun ini, beberapa bulan yang lalu). Letaknya kira2 ada di pertengahan jalan gejayan, dekat belokan menuju UGM-UNY yang jalannya di-paving sepertinya belokan ini tepat di selokan. Kalau dari lampu merah Gejayan sisi selatan, jalan lurus saja ke utara sampai ketemu belokan itu, jangan belok tapi lurus saja sekitar 30-50 meter nanti kiri jalan. Ada plangnya gede sekali, terang, dan jelas, ga akan kelewatan kalau liat kiri terus (asal jangan nabrak).

Saya juga ga kepikiran kalau teman saya akan buka resto semacam ini. Konsepnya unik, begitu pun dengan fitur-fitur di dalamnya. Ketika buka pintu masuk, suasanya sudah beda total. Desain dinding yang tampak seperti batu bata, dedaunan tanaman menjalar di dinding, simbol-simbol yang jadi logo untuk resto ini terpampang di berbagai sudut, membuat interior resto ini mirip setting Indiana Jones huahaha. Keren memang, kreatif, dan setau saya baru ada El Dorado yang pakai konsep seperti ini.

Itu dari segi interior-nya…

Kemudian dari segi fitur (menunya saya taruh bahasan belakang saja, biasanya kalau di konser, bintang tamu kehormatan ada di puncak acara :D), resto ini menawarkan beberapa fasilitas menarik. Karena didesain juga untuk kumpul-kumpul (gathering), maka disediakan sebuah proyektor dan giant screen di dinding sisi utara ruangan. Untuk yang narsis-narsis juga jangan berkecil hati. Photobooth ada di sisi barat ruangan, lengkap dengan beberapa background (kesukaan saya Hello Kitty) lengkap dengan background property-nya, serta aksesori-aksesori yang bisa dikenakkan untuk pelengkap foto seperti wig, selendang bulu, sayap-sayapan, dll (kesukaan saya topeng Rey Mysterio dan Sin Cara, keduanya superstar WWE) -> (alhasil jadilah foto saya bergaya ala Rey Mysterio dengan background Hello Kitty 😐 ). Oh iya, ada free WiFi juga di sini..

Interiornya (mohon maklum kualitas gambarnya ala kadarnya, hasil HP saya yg biasa-biasa saja standarnya huahaha) :


Di ujung jauh sana itu adalah photobooth-nya. Ada 3 set. Untuk narsis-narsisan di sebelah sana tidak dipungut biaya, pun untuk menggunakan segala property dan aksesorinya.


ScreenJuga diambil dengan HP yang sama, itu adalah giant screen yang disediakan untuk acara khusus yang diadakan di resto ini. Proyektornya ada di langit-langit, nggak ikut ter’jepret’.

Itu dari segi tampak fisik…

Kemudian, dari segi menu (ini bahasan utamanya), tampilan menu disusun rapi, dengan banyak contoh gambar masakan jadi pengunjung bisa tau kira-kira bentukannya nanti seperti apa. Saya lupa ambil foto menunya, tapi bentuknya seperti buku dengan 5 atau 6 halaman full color & picts. Menu yang ditawarkan ada dimsum, steak, mie, sukiyaki, aneka masakan ayam, bahkan hingga makanan kecil seperti french fries pun ada. Pokoknya jelas banyak banget pilihannya, jadi kalau yang pertama kali ke sana, kalau ga ada rencana dari rumah mau beli apa, pasti bingung milih (kaya saya dulu) karena banyaknya masakan yang ditawarkan. Harganya juga bervariasi, mulai Rp 10rb hingga  Rp 40 – 50rb-an. Kira-kira itu rentangnya. Tiap jenis makanan datang dengan berbagai jenis variannya, jadi selamat memilih-milih. Yang kemarin sempat saya amati adalah steak nya : ada chicken & beef original, crispy, chicken & beef mushroom, chicken & beef blackpeppersirloin, tenderloin. Kemudian untuk menu ayam, salah satunya yang pernah saya makan, Chic K’Pow (atau semacam itu tulisannya).

Ini penampakannya Chic K’Pow :

Chick Pow

Cukup Rp 15rb saja, Anda sekalian dapat menikmati hidangan ini. Salad dengan mayonaisse, butiran wortel dan jagung manis, serta potato wedges akan menjadi teman dari potongan-potongan sayap ayam dengan siraman saus ala Mexico. Rasanya manis-sedikit asam-gurih campur jadi 1 paduan rasa yang nikmat di lidah.

Untuk minuman, rentang harganya antara Rp 4rb hingga sekitar Rp18rb-an (saya agak lupa kalau minuman). Minuman juga lengkap. Mau apa? Susu ada, teh ada, kopi ada, jeruk ada, olahan susu (milkshake) ada, yang campur-campur bahan olahan juga ada contohnya yang saya pesan pas pertama kemari, namanya Stuby Mint. Ini menu baru pada saat itu.

Ini penampakanny Stuby Mint :

Stuby Mint

Yang ini harganya cukup Rp 10rb saja, tapi sensasinya luar biasa. Susu strawberry bercampur sensasi mint dan di’wadah’i dengan gelas yang ukurannya lumayan besar. Cocok untuk mengobati lelah, letih, lesu, panas yang disebabkan terik matahari dan rindu mantan *eh..

Kemudian beberapa waktu lalu resto ini juga mengeluarkan 11 menu baru tapi saya lupa 9-nya. Saya hanya ingat 2, potongan-potongan ayam crispy serta 1 set sukiyaki. Belum sempat saya lihat detailnya, bahkan saya coba, maklum anak kuliahan, isi dompet ‘terbatas’ bwahahahaha. Untuk lebih detail tentang pilihan menu (terutama yang baru) bisa langsung cek TKP :D.

Lalu hari ini, yang saya pesan Blend Chocolate Milk dan Beef Mushroom Steak. Untuk penampakannya, di bawah ini :

Beef Mushroom Steak Chocolate Blend

Yang seperti lampu Aladdin itu bukan jin isinya, tapi saus steak-nya. Saus steak yang gurih dan sedikit asin cocok sekali menemani hidangan utamanya. Butiran jagung, potongna kacang panjang dan potongan wortel dimasak dengan kematangan yang tepat, potato wedges-nya agak undercook, tapi saya pribadi suka tingkat itu, kemudian beef dipanggang agak kering (yang saya juga suka seperti itu, juicy maupun agak kering saya suka semua :D), dan plating hidangannya rapi. Porsi steak mungkin terkesan kecil, tapi ternyata nggak. Kenyang juga tuh. Cukup Rp 22rb saja. Minuman itu juga, terasa sekali susu coklatnya, di-blend sehingga jadilah milkshake hahaha. Dan minuman ini cukup Rp 10rb saja (gelasnya lumayan besar lho).

Nah, yang unik dari resto ini adalah tiap harinya selalu beri promo yang berbeda. Yang saya tau promo hari Kamis karena saya dtg pas Kamis sama Sabtu. Promo hari Kamis adalah tiap datang 4 orang, gratis 1 french fries. Kemudian Sabtu :

*ternyata gambarnya besar sekali 😐

Hari Senin beda lagi, Selasa beda lagi, Minggu nggak ada di daftarnya tuh, mungkin tutup 😀

Untuk sensasi tempat unik, fasilitas banyak dan varian menu beragam, cobalah tempat ini, El Dorado.