Culinary Memoirs of A Biologist Who Loves Food

Chosen Meal

(Bandar Seri Begawan) Ambuyat – Aminah Arif Restaurant Serusop

July 2019, I was going to Flora Malesiana 11 Symposium in Brunei. For me, the entire week of symposium felt so long. Yet now, I really want to be BRUTALLY HONEST about that symposium.

I feel disappointed to the committee to NOT presenting one of your FLAGSHIP dish in the symposium even on that dinner which you took us to a remote restaurant! I expect any Bruneian food there, but 90% of the dishes you gave me were nearly identical as you serve on lunch in the symposium and that even almost the same dishes I found in typical wedding party here in Indonesia! I mean, oh come on! I went across the island and yet served with something familiar! The only thing different was the Bandung, rose petal flavored syrup (but hey, you can even find that in Malaysia and Singapore!).

Ah well, at least I found a lot of connections there and I am happy for that!

So then, to anyone who attend to the symposium with me might realized that I was absent from the symposium in the Wednesday, July 3 2019, AND the real reason was that I was going to find something different and truly unique to Brunei to eat! What is that? And that, my friend, is called Ambuyat.


The whole dish, minus the fried fish. Clockwise from top: The ambuyat, sweet potato (ube) leaf stew, cucumber and carrot with sambal dip, spicy curried beef tendon, and tempoyak (fermented durian) dip


Now featuring the fried whole fishes and we have the ambuyat pulled up

For everyone who wondered, what the heck is that white, gooey stuff, that is a carbo part of this dish. It is made of sago (Metroxylon sago) stem starch, mixed vigorously with water up to the glueey consistency. It tastes bland (as any other staple carbos like rice) so we need to eat that with the other side meals below.


The fried fish, the main highest protein source for this dish. Sorry that I was hungry and already eating this fish while I took the photo

The fried fish was the salty and lightly seasoned, eat it with the ambuyat to gives some deep fish flavor and saltiness. For spicy kick, you could eat the ambuyat with this one:


Spicy Beef Tendons (and Fat)

It has rendang (that awesome meat dish from Padang, Indonesia) like taste, thus I like the spices, but since I do not really like beef fat and tendons, I ate this only for some bites. Thing that I like though, it tastes soft to eat instead of chewy.

Now we go to the other dish which we can eat with ambuyat, but now for the best parts!


Sweet Yam/Ube/Sweet Potato Leaf Stew in Coconut Milk Broth

I really love the deepness of the flavor from this stew. It has sweetness from the coconut milk but it is not really overpowering. The seasoning inside the stew really added more flavor to the stew and the leaves inside is so yummy to eat with the ambuyat.

Last but not least for the complementary meal, and surprisingly, my most favorite one (but for you who hates durian, it is up to you!)


Sour and spicy tempoyak dip

Honestly, I do not really into durian, but for some dish, its creaminess and sharpness might be cooked into something really good! Take this tempoyak for example. You might disgusted with the sense of eating durian, leave alone the fermented version of that fruit. But this meal, combining the tempoyak with chili, lime, and other ingredients bring out the freshness of this dip! The acidity adds the freshness, combined with ambuyat, it was just really good! Especially with also the fried fish, and after that you can eat the ambuyat with the stew to indulge your taste bud with vibrant flavors!

As for the cucumber and carrot with sambal dip, I skipped this part. I believe this side dish is useful to cleanse your palate after the dense meal, but also to satisfy your need for sambal spiciness.


Carrot and cucumber with sambal dip

At first, I was thinking that eating ambuyat was like you eating something with chopsticks. Wrong, and that is not how chandas (the bamboo long fork specially made for ambuyat) works! Eating this requires extra “skill” to manipulate this semi-solid food with speed and dexterity! Observe:


Interesting, right? After I went back from the restaurant, I felt so satisfied. I love this part of my visit in Brunei (next to the hotel with massive room they gave me and the lovely view of the city). Ambuyat, despite the quite expensive price, is the part of Brunei that I think I will going to miss. I heard the news that in the other part of Bandar Seri Begawan, they also serve fried ambuyat (ambuyat in style of fried noodles), but unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to try all of those variants. Maybe next time.

My thanks to Aminah Arif Restaurant Serusop Branch, and the waiters who helped me eating ambuyat!


Ordered dish: Ambuyat biasa (normal ambuyat; because there is the special one with more side dishes complement it; this one is actually for 2 persons) – BND 16

Address: Jl. Muara, Simpang 68, Serusop, Muara District, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Ph: +673 233 0773. Website: Link

GoogleMap: Link

TripAdvisor: Link

Notes: Some side dishes are interchangeable, ask the waiter/waitress!


Mille-Feuille Katsu (Kimukatsu, Jakarta)

Japanese meat cutlet or katsu is one of simplest Japanese dish, made of sliced meat like pork, beef, or chicken, then breaded in panko breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. This kind of meal is typically served with rice. There are many variations of katsu, but have you heard “a thousand-layer katsu”?

The concept called “mille-feuille” or in French means “thousand leaves” was, as I remembered, applied only in cakes. You probably heard about mille crêpe in a list of French desserts, it is a crêpe that being served in multiple layers in form of a cake, and between the crêpe layer, they put a sweet layer of cream. However, when we go back to the topic, I never heard anyone make a thousand layer concept in any one of savory dishes.

Recently, there is a new (quite new) restaurant in Mall Kota Kosablanka, Jakarta, called Kimukatsu and they serve this thousand layered katsu. The kimukatsu (キムカツ) concept was originally created in a franchise of the same name in Tokyo, Japan, but here in Indonesia, they don’t serve pork in the restaurant.

I visited the restaurant twice and I tried both the chicken and beef. The fun parts are: There are various of katsu in there – from the kimukatsu itself (chicken and beef) to salmon and tempeh (vegetarian), also in your table, there are authentic sweet-sour katsu sauce and sesame to grind and mix in your own desire.


Original Chicken Kimukatsu


The layers within

The layers in the thousand-layered chicken katsu or kimukatsu here probably are relatively hidden as the fact that chicken meat is more delicate than beef. On the first bite, it’s so juicy and it is really good with the sour katsu sauce. The coating is really crunchy as well!


Beef Garlic Kimukatsu


The layers and garlic inside

For the beef, I ordered one with garlic inside. As you can see on the pictures, the layers are more visible here than in the chicken one. The flavor is also awesome. As we probably know, the beef has more bite in it and the garlic blended perfectly in the middle, not overpowering, but just right.

Aside the concept, as I remembered, the folding technique to make layers in cooking helps to intensify the flavor, as the separations allow the juice to be preserved in it and being intensified; strengthening the depth of the flavor. And I think that this one works pretty well. Have to say, it’s a good experience to eat these kimukatsu!


Address: Mall Kota Kasablanka, Jl. Kasablanka No.88, Jakarta. Phone: (+62 21) 2946 5387. Zomato. TripAdvisor.

Ordered Meals:

  • Original Chicken Kimukatsu – IDR 45k before taxes
  • Beef Garlic Kimukatsu – IDR 54k before taxes


Taste Test – Indian Sweets

There are a lot of sweets in the world, all are typically made of sugar, fruit, milk, and more. There were some times, I tried the Indian ones. Some of it, I have to say this: They have TONS of calories in it!

Let’s start from this: Gulab Jamun.


Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is Indian (ranged to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar) sweet made of khoa (condensed milk) and (I think) flour, mixed together, deep fried, and to put it even further, drenched them in simple syrup (water and sugar) and rose water. Have to admit, it has soft consistency as a baked cheesecake, and it is very very sweet.



Another, quite similar one, is Rasgulla. It is made of chhena (Indian cottage cheese) and semolina flour, mixed, fried, and also placed into sugary syrup. It has more bite as more flour is in it, but the flavor is nearly same.



Next one is Laddu. It is made from bundles of crumbles of chickpea flour that has been fried in clarified butter (ghee). Yes, also fried. But, this one is only glazed with the simple syrup, not drowned in it. In the syrup, they put cardamom pods or other spices. The texture is similar to doughnut, with more resistance, and more sweetness to its inside.



Last one for this time, is bits of condensed milk (khoa), spices (saffron, cardamom, etc) and pistachio called Peda. This one is not fried, it has quite a texture like chewable milk candy, but not sticky like chewable candy, it is more crumbly.  Unlike the other previous, this one is not glazed or soaked in syrup, but peda is already sweet.

So, maybe all of these sweets will cancel your diet immediately, but honestly, all of these are good to try! So good, once you eat them, it’s hard to stop!

Gulab Jamun and Rasgulla were bought in: Gran Melia Hotel, Jakarta (Google Map).

Laddu and Peda were bought in: Lulu Hypermarket and Department Store, BSD, Tangerang (Google Map).



Se’i, The Famous Indonesian Smoked Meat (Se’i Lamalera, Bandung)

Smoking and curing are known way to preserve meat, as well as probably the most favorite ones. These procedures enhance the flavor of the meat to the max, making it more enjoyable to eat. And normally, when we hear about smoked beef, we might think if that comes from Europe or America. The answer, not really. Smoking is popular in many cultures and traditions throughout the globe, including Indonesia.

In Eastern Indonesia, specifically in Kupang (Timor Island), Nusa Tenggara Timur, there’s a smoked meat product called se’i (from Rote language: to slice the meat in thin strips). Originally, as it is a game food, venison is used. But now, because there is a restriction on deer hunting for conservation, either pork or beef are used. Sometimes, chicken and fish are also good for options.

To make se’i, the normal ingredients like table salt (NaCl) and saltpeter/curing salt (KNO3) are used as flavor enhancer and preserving agent against unwanted microbes, respectively. But, the real magic comes from a specific tree, which leaves and woods used for smoking the se’i. The tree is called, kesambi or kosambi (Schleichera oleosa (Lour.) Oken, which belongs to family Sapindaceae, a cousin of Rambutan), also known as Makassar oil tree, or Ceylon Oak. Somehow, in a reason I don’t really know, smoking with this plant materials gives se’i its distinctive flavor and aroma, as well as giving it the reddish surface color.

Unfortunately for me, I haven’t had a chance to go to Kupang to tell the real story. So instead, I visited a restaurant, which specifically selling this smoked meat goodness in Bandung, that only takes me a moment by train from Jakarta (the travel duration would be the same, but you spend only IDR 100k (USD 8) to Bandung, IDR 1.1 million (USD 80) to Kupang).

I ordered the se’i sapi (beef se’i) and se’i ayam (chicken se’i), using the traditional sambal lu’at (sambal or spicy condiment from Kupang, with chili, tomato, and coriander leaves) and sambal matah (sambal made of chili and lemongrass, quite trendy now in Indonesia). Ah, and when we ordered se’i, it seems to be common if it served with rice, a lemony clear broth, and sauteed papaya (Carica papaya L.) flowers. This time, not only the flowers, but also sauteed papaya leaves.


Se’i Sapi with Sambal Lu’at, sauteed papaya leaves and flower, the broth, and rice on background


Se’i Ayam mixed with Sambal Matah, sauteed papaya leaves and flower, the broth, and rice on background

The taste is awesome. The beef one used brisket meat (if I correct), making it layered with fat, enhancing the flavor. It tastes like normal smoked beef, but the smokiness is stronger, as it was just smoked. We normally eat meat with something sour, right, so we used sauces like barbecue sauce. Sambal lu’at has the spicy and sour kick that we need, the coriander boost the flavor even more. Sambal matah is also good, but too spicy for me and it conceal the smokey goodness of the se’i. The broth is good if you add it a bit to the rice, giving more lemon flavor with a hint of meat stock flavor to it. For the sauteed leaves, I like the bites in it and the perfect saltiness add to it. As it is part of papaya plant (it has bitter latex), I’d say that they cook it perfectly.

Final verdict, sambal lu’at is the best condiment for se’i. I like the beef one, but preferably I like the chicken more. Because the beef se’i is kinda shrinking and drier when it served, while the chicken (also I like chicken) is still meaty and succulent, although the beef has stronger smokey flavor.

P.S.: Other than regular beef meat and chicken meat, they also selling se’i of beef tongue (it is much softer and has smoother texture) and beef ribs (rib eye meat) (which has even more denser beef flavor).


Address: Jl. Bagus Rangin no. 24A, Bandung, Indonesia. Zomato. TripAdvisor

Restaurant notes:

  • Mushalla (praying room) – Available
  • Debit card – Available

Ordered Meals:

  • Se’i Sapi with Sambal Lu’at – Regular Size (IDR 20k)
  • Se’i Ayam with Sambal Matah – Regular Size (IDR 15k)


  • Because the price is very affordable for students, this place is packed with people for lunch, plan your trip wisely so you can get a seat!
  • You can buy the 1/4, 1/2, and 1 Kg of the Se’i here. The 1 Kg beef se’i was about IDR 150k


Kopi Kawa, When Your Coffee is Also a Tea

Indonesia is known for world’s most delicious coffee. You name it, from Java Arabica to Toraja Kalosi, we have a broad spectrum of coffee to try, even if you trace it, there’s a local coffee shop in Yogyakarta that sells these variants of coffee, up to the level when they included the farmers and their own methods as tool for classification. We also home for world famous civet poop coffee or “Kopi Luwak” (although recently, its popularity is shadowed by Thai elephant poop coffee, somehow). “Kopi” means coffee and “Luwak” means civet in Bahasa Indonesia.

Back to the Dutch colonial era, the Kopi Luwak was originally invented by local Javanese people as the result of when the Dutch took away the coffee beans for themselves to drink and trade. Leaving the locals to decided (I don’t know why and how they even thinking of it) to took the civet excrements, rinse them up to clean the coffee bean, and roasted the bean, which turned out to be more valuable than normal coffee. Although I’m not a coffee person as my dad, I could tell you biologically because the civet knows that they like only the most ripe coffee fruits. This also combined that the biological process on the civet body, the enzymatic process, further enhanced the coffee flavor. I remembered that some of the researchers are now trying to imitate this enzymatic process outside the civet body (this is because due to the high demand, some scumbags are force feeding the civet to bleed with the coffee fruit, while you are actually have to let the civet pick the fruit for you).

Well, that’s in Java. Their innovation are now one of the most expensive coffee in the world. It’s another story in Sumatra. In 1840, following 10 years earlier success of coffee planting in Java, Governor General Van den Bosch decided to grow a coffee plantation in Minang, West Sumatra with locals as slave labors. His iron-fist and strict rules obligated that no coffee beans would be spilled on the way. Leaving no chance for the locals to pick any beans.

Instead of picking the poop of the civets, the locals of Sumatra decided to pick the coffee leaves instead, drying them up, leaving the end product called “Kopi Kawa”. The name “Kawa” was originated from “qahwah” (قهوة) in Arabic, that means coffee. Don’t ask me why the name is translated into the abundant words “coffee coffee” here.

Now in present day. Lucky for me, I had a chance to try the Kopi Kawa myself in Jakarta. So I visit the coffee shop, Kedai Kawa Wahidin, located in Tebet, South Jakarta. When I look into their menu, their drinks are mostly traditional coffee based drink of West Sumatra. I was then ordered the Kopi Kawa, one original, another with milk as comparison.

Kawa Original (left), and with milk (right)

Closer look to Kawa Original

When the drinks arrived, I was amazed. So they placed the drink on a coconut shell. As for the first impression, it looks like tea with even darker color. It has, odd smell, very rich in metabolites (I could tell, it’s kinda aromatic and strong). Then I took a sip. It’s bitter and due to higher plant secondary metabolites accumulation on the leaves, it provides very strong, strange aftertaste and leaving an astringent flavor on your mouth. Honestly, the drink is not my favorite, but in the name of knowledge, I decided to try it anyway. And the one with milk, I was glad that they give me the sweetened condensed milk instead of liquid fresh milk, because it helps with the flavor a lot. But still, the flavor is too strong.

Final verdict, it’s okay to try it to satisfy your curiosity and for a challenge, and ultimately to understand, and to appreciate the local Minangkabau (West Sumatra) culture. I don’t say it’s bad, simply because I’m not a fan of coffee.

Location: KEDAI KAWA WAHIDIN, Jl. K.H. Abdullah Syafei no. 57B, Tebet, South Jakarta, Indonesia (Google Map: Link)


  • Kawa Original – IDR 9.5k
  • Kawa Susu (with milk) – IDR 12k

My notes: Take your friends, or family with you, you probably need them to drink with you!


Kebab Pizza, The Infamous Swedish Odd Pizza

It has been more than 2 years since I published my article about Finn’s Berlusconi Pizza. Yet, Scandinavian pizza culture still not cease to amaze me. It’s a 2 years late post, actually. But I guess I am not that late to share my odd experience.

When I was staying in Turku, Finland, my living place was in proximity to a local pizzeria called Orikedon Taverna. Whenever I have a sudden craving for pizza every time I went back from campus, I always stopped my bus on this restaurant which only 400 meters from where I lived. Like many pizzerias I found in Turku area, the pizzeria is also a kebab eatery. Not sure for me, but I guess the culture comes from the immigrants who come to live and work in Turku.

Then one day, I read an article about a pizza, which topping is (or was) famous in Sweden, while I know that some of the citizens of Turku are fluently speaking Swedish, next to their native Finnish. The pizza is called “kebab pizza”. At first impression, I was like, what the heck is that?? How on the earth they going to make a random crossover between pizza and kebab… and secondly, it also famous??

From that moment, if you nagged some people because they put pineapple to their pizza. Then they, and you as well, are nothing compared this one.

Some moments after, I payed a visit to Orikedon Taverna, found that kebab pizza, and for my curiosity, I ordered it for take away so I could eat it at home. Then I walked, I arrived, and I opened the pizza box lid.

The Kebab Pizza

I spend several minutes to stared at the pizza. How could this be popular amongst Swedes and Finns?? Then I remembered salmiakki by Finns (that black ammonium chloride licorice candy, Finns known “sweets”) and surströmming (that infamous sour, pickled herring; known as the world’s smelliest food that even surpass Indonesian durian fruit in comparison).

But hey, they made Berlusconi Pizza (see above link for access) in Finland, and in Sweden, they have their famous Kottbullar (Swedish Meatballs). Let’s give this kebab pizza a shot!

First bites, it is quite funny to taste the intersection between the spicy mayonnaise that usually in kebab for dressing and the marinara tomato sauce that topped a pizza crust. But it’s not bad! Then here comes the meat part, and the odd one: the lettuce part. It’s good actually.

My first experience on trying fresh lettuce on pizza was when I was in the elementary school 1st or 2nd grade. I remembered when Pizza Hut has gone too far and they made a “Taco Pizza”. That time, it tasted really odd to eat a pizza, which the crust not even crunchy, with lettuce and non-melted cheddar as topping. Funny thing to compare to Kebab Pizza, they shredded the mozzarella on top of the marinara sauce, baked it, so you can see in the picture above, there are traces of mozzarella on the pizza topping, but then the sliced kebab meat, freshly shredded lettuce, and spicy mayo was added. The pizza is good, for my tastebuds. Although, I wish the spices were more prominent in the kebab meat. I said this because whenever I eat kebab in Indonesia, the kebab meat always has a kick! Combining it with the spicy mayo is always a good idea.

There you have it. I tried the Swedish popular pizza on Finland!


Can be found in any kebab-pizzeria places in town, but this was bought at: Orikedon Taverna, Vanha Tampereentie 137, Räntämäki, 20380 Turku, Finland (Google Map: Link; TripAdvisor: Link; Foursquare: Link; Web)

Price: EUR 10.50 (regular size)


The Pizza That Fights Back – Pizza Berlusconi, Kotipizza, Finland

First of all, thank you @KotiPizza for the nicest pizza I’ve ever eat in Finland, my first experience to eat reindeer meat (although it’s chunk sized) and chanterelle mushroom, and after I read the history, I salute the pizza you made here in Finland! 🙂

Not much people know about Finnish food. Even myself, before I know my professor in Åbo Akademi University and watch some TV cooking show about Nordic food, I have completely no idea about food in Finland. In my thought, it’s… fish, something nature and gamey, bread and cheese. I remembered in my childhood that I read a magazine that said Finns have black bread and cheese. My curiosity lasts long enough until I discovered it’s a rye bread and some kind of smoked cheese.

I read this story from Wikipedia about Finnish Cuisine and KotiPizza. Years ago, two leaders of two countries renowned for their excellences in culinary art, French president Jacques Chirac and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi gave negative critiques to Finnish cuisine.

“I’ve been to Finland and I had to endure the Finnish diet so I am in a position to make a comparison.” “The Finns don’t even know what Parma ham is.” – Silvio Berlusconi

“After Finland, [Britain is] the country with the worst food.” – Jacques Chirac

These statements however, were countered by some international food reporter:

“Chirac and Berlusconi are wrong! Finnish cuisine is much more international than I expected. I have eaten very good food in wonderful restaurants, visited market places and enjoyed in good cafeterias. Cheese is very good in Finland. I also love Finnish cloudberry and smoked fish.” (Ute Junker, Australian Financial Review MagazineSydneyAustralia)

“Food in Finnish restaurants is extremely good. Especially I love Finnish salmon, mushroom soup and desserts. I have also got very good Finnish wines. The worldwide reputation of Finnish cuisine isn’t very good – but it should be!” (Liliane Delwasse, Le FigaroParis, France)

“I have eaten only good food in Finland. Food in Finland is very fresh. Bread, berries, mushrooms and desserts are very delicious. Finnish berries (especially cloudberry), salmon, cheeses and reindeer should be available in London, too.” (April Hutchinson, Abta MagazineLondon, England).

Personally saying, I have to agree. Finnish cuisines are fresh and true (combinations of the foods here, even it has low on spices… are all delicious for me!). Although as someone who comes from Indonesia who accustomed to spicy and foods with stronger flavors, I really love to eat salmon, breads, and some other meals in here!

In 2008, Kotipizza from Finland won America’s Plate International pizza contest in New York, while their competitor, an Italian-American pizza stood in second place. Outstandingly, they name their award-winning smoked reindeer pizza Berlusconi as payback to the Italian prime minister.

Okay… that’s the story. What is it look like? Awesome news, I bought it in my second week of my stay in Turku!

FI - KP - Berlusconi

Berlusconi pizza… damn, I have to eat it while fresh next time. Waiting for bus for more than 20 minutes in the weekend under 2ºC of outside temperature is a bad idea.

FI - KP - Berlusconi Zoom (1)

The slice…

FI - KP - Berlusconi Zoom (2)

Zoomed for reasons… look at those stuffs!

The pizza is thin crusted pizza (of course unlike the American pan pizza with thick crust), with tomato pizza sauce and mozzarella. For crust, they use rye fibre crust. For the topping, they use chunks of smoked reindeer, marinated chanterelle mushroom, red onion, and some sprinkles of dried oregano. Once you open the cardboard lid, the smell of smoked reindeer and onion say hello to you. The flavor itself is absolutely wonderful! For those who never tried the marinated chanterelles, it tastes like normal button mushroom but in shape close to oyster mushroom (the fresh one is claimed to has apricot aroma). Have to say that I agree with my friend, this is a Holy Grail of pizza!

Can’t wait to taste more of it! Kiitos Kotipizza!


Berlusconi Pizza – EUR 10.90

AW’s Rating: √√√√√ (full score, no complain!)


For address, it’s spread around Finland. You can found one in both Turku or Helsinki. I bought this one in:

Uudenmankatu 19, 20700 Turku. Ph: +358 2 251 5660

Opening hours:

Restaurant: 12:00 PM – 22:00 PM

Home delivery: 12:00 PM – 21:30 PM (minimum order: EUR 10.00)

Foursquare: Kotipizza

TripAdvisor: Kotipizza


Ramen Gunung Berapi di Kazan Ramen, Jakarta

Siapa sih di antara kita2 semua wahai foodies yang asing sama ramen? Ramen adalah mie khas Jepang yang berukuran mie normal (kalau gede jadi udon) dan dibuat dari tepung terigu (kalau soba dari buckwheat) dan disajikan biasanya sebagai makanan mie berkuah. Di Jepang sendiri, untuk setiap daerah, terdapat berbagai macam ramen yang khas… mulai daerah Hiroshima di selatan, sampai Sapporo di utara. Kuah yang digunakan biasanya adalah kaldu daging, bisa daging babi, daging ayam, atau ikan. Seiring modernisasi dan globalisasi, ramen pun bermacam2 cara penyajiannya dan bisa menjadi makanan yang disajikan dengan kreatif.

Oke… sekarang saya akan membahas sedikit soal rasa makanan dan suhu. Saya sempat melakukan percobaan kecil, bahwa ternyata suhu makanan itu berpengaruh pada bagaimana lidah kita sensitif terhadap pengecapan rasa. Coba ini:

  1. Minum jus pada suhu dingin, suhu ruang, dan suhu hangat. Meski dari satu kemasan yang sama, jus pada suhu ruang lebih terasa manis daripada jus pada suhu dingin dan hangat (kalau beda, bilang di kolom komentar ya).
  2. Makanan hangat memiliki rasa yang lebih enak daripada makanan dingin atau pada suhu ruang. Ini makanan tipe panas ya (bukan makanan dingin). Ntah karena faktor perilaku/kebiasaan, atau ada faktor kimiawi yang berpengaruh secara fisiologis.

Cukup dengan bahasan beratnya!

Hari ini (31 Oktober 2015) saya dan teman saya Andi berkesempatan mencicipi Kazan Ramen. Kazan dalam bahasa Jepang artinya gunung berapi! Lho kenapa disebut gitu? Mari lihat dari wadah penyajiannya dulu:

Kazan Ramen (1)

Oke… wadahnya itu yang merah sebelah kanan. Nope… itu bukan corong kebalik!

Beda dengan ramen pada umumnya, Kazan Ramen memiliki kuah dan isi yang terpisah di saat awal. Mie ramen, bumbu (di sini miso untuk menu yang saya pesan), sayuran, dan ayam ditempatkan dalam nabe (mangkuk gede) yang terbuat dari batu yang dipanaskan pada suhu sangat tinggi.

Oke… pesanan saya adalah Chicken Kazan Karamiso Ramen…

Cara penyajiannya…

KR - Chicken Kazan Karamiso (1)

Sekitar 350 ml kuah kaldu ayam dan miso dituang ke nabe. Kemudian ditutup.

KR - Chicken Kazan Karamiso (2)

Dari sinilah nama “kazan” itu berasal… ramen dibiarkan mendidih selama 1 menit.

KR - Chicken Kazan Karamiso (3)

Setelah mendidih akibat tekanan uap permukaan yang tinggi (oke… bahasa fisika), ramen ini diaduk.

Mie ramen di dalamnya ini lebih besar dan agak kayak udon tapi lebih kecil daripada udon. Mungkin ini bertujuan mencegah mie jadi mengeras dan gosong ketika sebelum dituang kaldu. Terus bagaimana rasanya? Enak banget! Proses pendidihan kaldu ini juga mengeluarkan komponen rasa dari sayuran dan ayam di dalam makanan ini. Seiring kaldu menguap, rasa akan terkonsentrasi di sisa kaldu, membuatnya lebih kaya rasa dan kuat. Kalau ga percaya, coba bandingkan kaldu yang tersisa di teko kaldu dengan kaldu di nabe. Pasti beda jauh! Walau pasti nanti kita akan tuang pelan2 kaldu yang tersisa.

Overall, saya suka sekali dengan menu ini. Unik juga, ayam yang disajikan juga ayam yang sebelumnya sudah dimasak dengan bumbu dan ukurannya gede. Ga kayak di ramen pada umumnya yang berupa ayam potong atau suwir. Mungkin dengan bagian ayam yang lebih utuh, rasa tersisa di ayam akan keluar bersama kaldu dan meresap ke dalamnya. Hmmm…


Harga: Chicken Kazan Karamiso Ramen: IDR 79.000,00 (sebelum pajak)


AEON Mall lantai 3, Ramen Village, Jl. BSD Raya Utama, Serpong, Tangerang. Ph: +6221 291 68513 atau +6221 291 68517.

Jam buka: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

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Makan Mentah: Daging Sapi

Halo pembaca! Sudah lama saya tidak menulis artikel ya, dan kali ini… saya mau cerita soal makan daging mentah, tapi bukan daging ikan… melainkan DAGING SAPI. Mungkin hal ini bukan hal lumrah untuk pembaca atau pecinta kuliner Indonesia pada umumnya karena di negara kita kebanyakan kuliner yang dijual adalah kuliner yang dimasak atau matang, saking matangnya… karena masaknya lama (kayak rendang sama gudeg). Jadi… ayo tarik napas… *apa coba*

Steak Blue Rare

Steak. Tingkat kematangan blue rare (cuma luarnya doang yang coklat).

Pertama kali saya makan steak, saya SELALU pesan daging yang sepenuhnya masak atau well done. Awalnya saya takut karena merah2 di dalamnya mengindikasikan adanya darah, padahal ngga. Warna merah di daging itu berasal dari warna myoglobin. Mirip dengan hemoglobin (warna merah di darah), kedua protein ini memiliki gugus heme dari molekul besi yang mengikat oksigen dan molekul ini ada pada daging merah (sapi, kambing, kuda, dll) tapi ga ada di ayam dan ikan. Jadi warna daging sapi mentah ya memang merah ketika darahnya pun ga ada. Akhirnya saya pun mulai bergeser ke tingkat kematangan medium wellmedium, lalu akhirnya “menetap” di medium rare dan rare karena kepiawaian seorang chef steak dan kesegaran daging bisa diuji pada kematangan tersebut. Penasaran? Baca deh di sini.

Tingkat di atas medium rare itu rasa dan tekstur dagingnya mulai ilang, di bawah itu… rasanya mulai rubbery atau alot. Penasaran dengan level blue rare yang konon buat menguji kualitas daging, akhirnya saya mencobanya. It’s not that bad, cuma rasanya susah digigit.

Soal makan daging sapi mentah, sebenarnya di dunia ini ada kultur yang menganggapnya lumrah kok. Mari kita mulai dari Steak Tartare. Saya yakin sebenarnya kalian pernah tahu kok! Khususnya yang dari kecil suka nonton Mr. Bean. Suatu ketika Mr. Bean sedang ke sebuah restoran fine dining, tapi dia lagi rada bokek. Sampai akhirnya dia memesan makanan termurah dan menu itu tak lain adalah Steak Tartare itu. Karena dia ga suka, akhirnya dia berusaha ngebuang steak mentah itu ke mana2.


Episode ini lho.

Klik di sini jika ingin menontonnya di tag atau window terpisah.

Ternyata… menu ini ga se-menjijikkan itu lho. Memang pada kenyataannya, ga semua chef mampu memuat makanan satu ini dengan benar. Steak Tartare namanya berasal dari steak a la tartare karena awalnya disajikan dengan saus tartar (saus mayo dan timun acar yang biasanya hadir kalau kita makan Fish n Chips). Hal yang keliru walau dianggap biasa adalah, steak ini disajikan menggunakan daging cincang. Salah. Yang benar, steak ini dibuat dari daging sapi mentah yang tanpa lemak (lean beef), diiris kecil2 memanjang, sebelum dicampur dengan bahan utama lainnya. Sehingga kita dapat tekstur dagingnya sekaligus rasanya. Daging cincang kadang memberi rasa kayak kornet. Oh iya, walau kadang disebut steak… menu ini adalah hidangan pembuka, bukan menu utama.

KOI - Beef Tartare

Steak Tartare and Salad. Dibeli di KOI Kemang, Jakarta.

Steak Tartare biasanya disantap dengan bawang bombay cincang, acar timun, bunga capers, dan kadang dengan telur mentah. Saya waktu itu mencicipi di KOI Kemang, Jakarta Selatan. Awalnya ragu, tapi ternyata enak! Rasanya kayak makan tuna salad karena ada rasa bawang bombay nya, rasa mentah yang menjijikkan itu malah hilang. Oh ya, membuat makanan ini ga bisa sembarangan! Hal yang harus diperhatikan: Cara memotong, cara mencampur, dan yang paling penting KUALITAS DAGING. Soal cara memotong dan mencampur, kita bisa melihatnya di video sehabis ini. Tapi kualitas daging itu mutlak! Kita harus memilih daging yang sumbernya jelas dan kalau bisa beli di toko yang bersih, atau beli di supermarket sekalian. Kalian ga mau kan kena risiko patogen Toxoplasma gondii yang membuat risiko keguguran janin dan Taenia saginata, cacing pita yang hidup di sapi? Jangan takut! Kalian pikir makan sushi bebas dari cacing pita? Semua itu adalah bagaimana pemilihan bahan!

Disclaimer: Kalian boleh buat Steak Tartare pakai ikan seperti salmon atau tuna, atau daging merah seperti sapi, rusa, dan kuda. JANGAN PERNAH sekali2 membuat dengan ayam karena risiko infeksi Salmonella typhorum alias patogen tipus.

So… kalian penasaran? Silahkan diklik video berikut ini:

Video oleh Munchies tentang Chef Julien Ponthieu yang tinggal di Berlin yang mau memasak Beef Tartare. Klik di sini jika ingin menontonnya di tag atau window terpisah.

atau versi santainya… oleh rekan dari Chef Jamie Oliver, Chef Alexis Gabriel (AKA French Guy) dengan varian sayur:

Klik di sini jika ingin menontonnya di tag atau window terpisah.

Ah, selain Beef Tartare, ada juga Beef Carpaccio. Walau ada yang menggunakan daging sapi asap, tapi carpaccio asli menggunakan daging mentah. Menu ini berasal dari Italia, dan sama dengan Beef Tartare, menu ini termasuk hidangan pembuka. Keahlian yang diperlukan dalam membuat Carpaccio lebih ke bagaimana mengiris dengan SANGAT tipis daging yang kita sajikan dengan homogen. Setelah diiris tipis, daging ditaburi lada hitam giling kasar, garam laut kasar, minyak zaitun, keju Parmesan iris tipis, dan kadang bawang bombay, seperti yang saya pesan di PePeNERO ini…

PP - Carpaccio

Beef Carpaccio. Diapason di PePeNERO Kuningan, Jakarta.

Makan Carpaccio kadang lebih menunjukkan rasa dan tekstur dagingnya karena potongannya lebar, bukan kecil seperti Tartare. Cuma sensasi yang dirasakan adalah lumernya daging di lidah karena tipisnya daging itu. Ini juga yang membuat pemilihan daging segar juga kritikal!

Mau coba buat? Ini ada petunjuk dari Chef Jamie Oliver!

Klik di sini jika ingin menontonnya di tag atau window terpisah.

Cuma saran atau tips dari saya… kalian jangan coba buat sebelum kalian mencobanya langsung!

Sebenarnya, selain dua sajian yang saya tampilkan, masih ada lagi lho yang belum saya sebutkan. Khususnya ada makanan Korea yang menggunakan daging sapi mentah yang persis Beef Tartare bernama Yukhoe. Di Jepang ada juga varian dari daging kuda atau disebut sashimi kuda atau Basashi (馬刺し), sama di Jepang… kita tau ada sapi Jepang alias wagyu (和牛), kadang disajikan mentah untuk semacam menghormati keaslian dagingnya yang begitu empuk. Misal kayak gini… sebagai sushi yang saya makan di Itacho, Jakarta.

Itacho - Kagoshima Wagyu Sushi

Sushi Wagyu.

Kagoshima Wagyu Sushi ini teksturnya begitu lunak, kontras sama daging blue rare yang saya makan dan saya ceritakan di atas, ini selunak tuna ketika digigit. Jadi bayangin makan tuna tapi rasa dan aromanya daging sapi segar. Lumer di lidah. Alasannya karena sapinya dipijat dan diminumi sake dengan rutin sehingga lemak dagingnya membentuk marmer dan teksturnya sangat lunak. Kandungan lemak tak jenuh di daging wagyu, yaitu omega-6 dan omega-3 nya lebih tinggi! Marmerisasi (apa sih bahasanya) lemak di daging sapi ini juga meningkatkan perbandingan jumlah lemak tak jenuh rantai unggal terhadap lemak jenuhnya yang berbahaya untuk kita lho!

Jadi, mau dari mana kalian mau mencoba? Hehehe…

Beef Tartare

Harga: Rp 135.000,00 (belum dengan pajak 20%)

KOI Restaurant & Gallery Kemang. Jl. Kemang Raya no. 72, Jakarta Selatan. Ph: +6221 719 5668. Link: Zomato, Foursquare.

Carpaccio Filetto

Harga: Rp 71.000,00 (belum dengan pajak 15%)

PePeNERO. Menara Karya Lantai Dasar (Ground Floor) – Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kuningan, Jakarta. Ph: +6221 579 44727. Link: Zomato, Foursquare.

Kagoshima Wagyu Sushi

Harga: Rp 70.000,00 per buah (belum dengan pajak 15%)

Itacho Sushi. Grand Indonesia Mall Lantai 3A, Sky Bridge, Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Jakarta Pusat. Ph: +6221 2358 1228. Link: Zomato, Foursquare.


(Improvised) Classic Bread – Milk n’ Cheese, Yogya

Roti panggang adalah makanan sejuta umat. Kita sering tahu roti tawar yang dipanggang dalam toaster seperti yang disajikan sebagai makanan sarapan khas Amerika, dipanaskan dan diberi mentega untuk sandwich, hingga benar2 dipanggang seperti roti bakar yang biasa kita jumpai di kedai2 tertentu di Jakarta, Bandung, maupun kota lain. Varian lainnya adalah roti yang bentuknya seperti kotak balok, permukaannya zig-zag, dan yang satu ini biasanya dipakai sama abang2 pinggir jalan untuk dipanaskan di wajan logam yang rata dan diberi margarin. Nyaaamm… siapa sih yang ga pernah ngemil malam2 dengan roti satu itu?

Pertama2 saya mau bahas ini sebagai pengetahuan simpel sekaligus sharing aja… tentang roti bakar gerobak yang enak dan sandwich yang ideal. Untuk roti bakar gerobak, yang menentukan nilai tinggi buat itu adalah gimana si abangnya ngasih margarin dengan bener; gak lebay, tapi juga ga pelit. Elemen margarin inilah yang membuat roti bakar itu rasanya jadi asin gurih berpadu dengan manis karena isinya yang biasanya adalah selai. Terus kalo sandwich, pemanasan bagian luar rotinya kalo roti yang luarnya coklat, kemasakan rotinya kalo yang dipakai adalah irisan roti (toast) yang dipanggang pakai toaster atau di wajan, sama bagian dalamnya yang dikasih mentega dan kadang dipanaskan juga. Pemberian mentega di dalam itu tujuannya untuk memberi lapisan pada roti, mencegah rotinya jadi lembek dan berair. Pemanasan bagian dalam roti itu biar memberi permukaan dan rasa. Kadang sandwich juga ditekan dengan pemanggangan khusus, saus dan isinya pun masuk ke roti dan menambah rasa. Tapi ini hanya buat panini, dan penekanan itu membuat roti juga tambah masak tanpa membuatnya benyek.

Oke, gimana kalo roti bakar gerobak dan sandwich digabung?

Di Yogya, ada sebuah kedai yang menunya penuh diwarnai dengan susu dan keju. Kedai ini bukanya di waktu sore dan berada di dekat kawasan Pasar Condong Catur. Sesuai yang disajikan, nama kedai tersebut Milk n’ Cheese. Dari keseluruhan menunya, yang paling membuat saya tertarik untuk mencobanya adalah bagian Classic Bread. Yah, sebenarnya “classic” nya mungkin karena roti yang dipakai adalah roti zig-zag a la gerobak itu. Cuma isinya sangat terimprovisasi dan lebih menyerupai sandwich yang diberi saus krim keju di atasnya. Yang bagus adalah, bagian permukaan roti ini sudah dipanaskan sehingga dikasih keju di luar pun dia ga bakal langsung benyek.

MnC - Beef of Happiness

Beef of Happiness.

Roti ini isinya selada, daging cincang, tomat, bawang bombai dan saus keju yang creamy. Buat pecinta sandwich yang agak creamy dan agak seperti ragout, menu satu ini patut dicoba! Apalagi ini saus kejunya luar dalam!

MnC - Meet Ball In The Summer

Meet Ball in The Summer.

Entah, yang ditawarkan adalah adanya meatball (bola daging) di dalamnya, cuma yang ada malah daging cincang dalam saus tomat yang agak seperti saus Sloppy Joe yang sederhana. Selain saus daging itu, juga ada selada di dalamnya. Coba itu pakai meatball beneran dengan saus tomat yang dimasak, pasti epic. Terlepas dari itu, roti ini udah bisa saya bilang enak dan saya tertarik buat beli lagi tiap ke sini!

MnC - Tuna in Cheese Island

Tuna in Cheese Island.

Nah, kalo yang ini juga kesukaan saya! Sebagai pecinta tuna sandwich, roti isi tuna mayo dan selada ini bisa dibilang paling wah!

Mungkin awalnya kita mengira roti2 ini harganya mahal. Ngga kok! Liat aja harga di bawah ini yang udah bener2 nett alias tanpa tambahan tax lagi!


Beef of Happiness – Rp 13.000,00

Meet Ball in The Summer – Rp 13.000,00

Tuna in Cheese Island – Rp 15.000,00

AW’s Rating: √√√√ (4 dari 5, bisa lebih dari ini cuma udah enak)


Jl. Nusa Indah 2, Condong Catur, Yogyakarta. Instagram: @milkncheese_yk

Jam Buka: 04:30 PM – persediaan hari itu habis (paling jam 09:00 PM)

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