Culinary Memoirs of A Biologist Who Loves Food

Posts tagged “beef

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


International Food! (Part 3) – Venezuelan Street Food Lunch

For me, I feel sad to leave Turku. The place is really inspiring, calm, and I also have a lot of good friend there. Before I went off from Finland, my good friends, Diosa and Jens made a memorable farewell party of Venezuelan street food! Venezuela is Diosa’s home country. I was very excited at the moment because like I said in the previous blog article, Southern American food is something new and rare for me! As in my previous review on my Peruvian lunch, Venezuelan food has similarities with them as they also mainly use corn as their basic ingredients.



The center of attention would be this arepa. This maize-based bread is staple in Venezuela and it’s good to eat it like we normally eat sandwich. Interestingly, it has nice corn fragrance and aftertaste. To eat the arepa, we mixed it wit some other stuffs:


Reina Papiada


Carne Mechada


Caraotas Negras

Reina Papiada, Carne Mechada and Caraotas Negras served as main fillings of the arepa this time. Reina Papiada is a pulled chicken tights, mixed with creamy avocado sauce consists of onion, leek, garlic, mayonnaise, corn oil, salt , and pepper. Carne Mechada is pulled beef with tomato sauce. Caraotas Negras is black bean and pork. To make them taste better, we add them with cheese, or some sauces.


Sweet Corn Sauce (top) and Bacon Sauce (bottom)



Sweet corn sauce, bacon sauce, and Guasacaca are the creamy sauces. Of all, Guasacaca is the most known sauce traditionally from Southern America, including Venezuela. It’s composed mainly of avocado, lemon juice, and garlic. For me, sweet corn sauce will be nice to combine with Reina Papiada, while Guasacaca is for Carne Mechada. I didn’t eat the Caraotas Negras and bacon sauce since I’m not eating pork. The combination of chicken and corn, and beef and Guasacaca are truly amazing!


Arepa + Reina Papiada + Corn sauce + cheese


Arepa + Guasacaca + Carne Mechada + Cheese

Other than the Arepa mixes, Diosa and Jens made us this…


Ensalada de Gallina (SP: Chicken Salad)

Ensalada de Gallina is a fresh pulled chicken salad made of pulled chicken tights, leek, onion, potato, carrots, asparagus, and more. It has rich flavor but really fresh to eat as an appetizer or in-between meals.


Alfajores de Maizena


The sandwich version.

Alfajores de Maizena is corn-based cookies. We ate them as whole, or mixed like sandwich, bound with dulce de leche (milk-caramel-based sauce) and sprinkled with shaved coconut. For a sweet tooth like me, it tastes amazing! I love the sweetness of the caramel and the corn, and the fragrance of the corn popping out from the cookies!

I had a wonderful last lunch with my friends that afternoon. I wish I can see them again in the future…



My special thanks to Jens and Diosa! Wish to see you guys again in Japan! 😉

Part 1 – PaF International Food Night

Part 2 – Peruvian Lunch and Bunny Chow

Part 4 – Medieval Dishes

Part 5 – African Jollof Rice


Viking Delicacies 101 – Viking Restaurant Harald

Uhm… everyone who watched Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon movie franchise probably ever heard this:

“This is Berk. It snows nine months of the year, and hails the other three. Any food that grows here is tough and tasteless…” – Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III

No… no… I don’t mention about the dragons. I mentioned about the tribe on which Hiccup, the protagonist of this film affiliated with: The Viking. Go browse about them, so… yes… they occupied the northern area of Europe until Greenland… and if I correct, even until the coast of Newfoundland. It’s basically true, then… they were settling in very cold area. Sure, they had to be tough, or perished. Now my common question: So what did they eat??

Lucky for me in this town of Turku, there’s a restaurant that selling Viking originated cuisines! Viikinkiravintola Harald (FI: Viking Restaurant Harald). The name comes from King of Norway, Harald Fairhair who ruled during Viking period in 872-930 AD.

First time I ate here is on April 21st, 2016.

Harald (1)

Front view.

The front view of this restaurant (Turku branch), is probably won’t telling you much about anything on the inside, but once you stepped in… you’ll see the wonder inside.

Harald (2)

First floor – Where you stepped your feet in. I feel already like in a ship or a chieftain’s lodge.

Harald (3)

From the stairway to the seating area in the second floor. The feelings intensify…

Harald (4)

Harald (5)

Harald (6)

Dining area. You can feel the atmosphere of a Viking gathering hall or hunting lodge in this room.

So I was there for the first time for my lunch. I walked upstairs, a waitress warmly greet me and took me to my seat. She was on a medieval clothing. For lunch, we offered a price of 12.50 euros for three kind of set; I forgot what are those… but I choose the combination of mushroom soup, salmon steak, and for the drink… I bought extra drink called Miklagård’s Drink (in lunch set, we got free water).

VH - Cep and Chanterelles Soup (1)

Cep and Chanterelles soup of Northern Forest (lunch version)

First meal of my lunch is a mushroom soup served with archipelago bread. Although it mentioned only as mushroom soup, I do believe it is the small version of Cep and Chanterelles soup of Northern Forest which description written in the menu. Let’s say, norther area of Viking territory can be sea, icy regions, and forests. I believe in the northern cape of Norway or Finland at the time, it covered by forest. Of course, one of forest product is mushroom. Cep (Boletus edulis Bull.) and chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius Fr.) are both mycorrhizal fungi that grow in symbiotic relationship with trees in coniferous and deciduous forest. Cep is a perfect mushroom for soup or risotto. Chanterelle is a yellow trumpet-shaped mushroom, known by chefs for its fragrance that resembles apricot and mild peppery taste. Combined as creamy soup, the flavour is just wonderful. The archipelago bread here is made with rye and some malt. Unlike normal dry rye bread, this one is soft, emitting some sweet taste with a bit of bitterness and signature fragrance of rye. Compared to normal European dinner white bread and baguette, this rye bread’s unique taste give its own nice combination with the soup.

VH - Lunch - Salmon

Salmon steak for lunch.

The salmon steak served with creamy sauce, sweet root vegetables and fried potato cylinders. The salmon is really good and the sauce topped the tastes. To balance the palate, the sweetness of carrot… and turnip (I’m not really sure) makes your tongue happy. In the end, I love to wipe the remaining sauce with the potato. Yum!

Okay… what a perfect lunch!

But that’s not enough…

Later that afternoon, I stepped myself for early dinner. Table for one with some space left in my belly!

This time, I ordered one a la carte set course, it called ‘Voyage of Finnmark”. Finnmark is a county located in the northern most tip of Norway which connected directly to the northern area of Finland. Thing that sure, River Tana of this area is renown for the largest place in Europe to catch salmon! So… yeah! I expecting salmon as one of my dish! Anything else, based on the menu, since northern Finland area (Lapland) is one good place for reindeer, no wonder if that dish is included on the menu. And of course, any dishes brought from other Viking region might complement the dishes.

VH - HDO - Butter and Rye Bread

Hors d’oeuvres: Hard rye breads and melted butter

Before the starter, we got the small dish (hors d’oeuvres, or appetizer in French) consists of some cuts of hard rye bread, served with melted butter. The bread, I think is Finnish reikäleipä (FI: reikä – hole, leipä – bread). It’s a hard but thin rye bread. I ate that by cracking it into several pieces and dipping it into the butter. The taste is sour at start and there’s a hint of cardamon on the bread. It’s good… and it’s tough as Hiccup said (see the quote in the beginning). You want to make it sweet? Chew it a bit longer and let your enzyme at work!

VH - Salmon Soup From Archipelago (1)

Salmon soup from The Archipelago

VH - Salmon Soup From Archipelago (2)

As it almost emptied…

My appetizer is the salmon soup. The salmon has a hint of crispiness, I think the salmon is added last and it prepared by light seasoning and frying in oil. We know that salmon is one of commodities that you can found in Nordic region. Other thing inside is a mix of artichoke with Icelandic yoghurt called skyr as mousse and the combination add some fresh-sour taste to the vegetable broth. The basic broth itself has carrot, onion, fresh dill, and I think there is cardamon added. Placed between the salmon and the mousse, there is a piece of reikäleipä as crouton, but unlike white bread, it remains hard although it’s soaked. Interesting part is, although it’s hard, it absorbs the flavor from the soup. In the end, the soup itself is just perfect.

Skyr was brought from Norway to Iceland c.a. 1100 years ago, and gradually the tradition perished in Scandinavia but thrive in Iceland until now. Compared to conventional yoghurt, skyr is more solid because rennet is added following the fermentation with Lactobacillus and Streptococcus to separate the whey from the solid protein.

VH - Reindeer From Snowy Fells

Reindeer of Snowy Fells

As main course, I ate an awesomely tender and juicy reindeer tenderloin (cooked medium). Shortly, reindeer meat tastes gamey and the meat itself is very lean thus it’s good for consumption (I will explain it later in my next article). The steak is served with two sauces: cranberry and cut brandy sauce and creamy cep-chanterelle sauce (if you love mushroom sauce, like me, you’ll LOVE this one!). In addition, we have smooth and creamy potato cake (you can see it above in the top right, under the creamy thing) topped with crusty smoked paprika mousse. The creamy thing is a game mousse that top the reindeer salami (the salami is a bit hard with rich smokey meat flavor but with the mousse, it’s become really good!). For the veggies, there are fried kale, soy bean (edamame), bell pepper, rye grain, and one that caught my attention: a bit of sour and sweet Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.) jam. All I can say: Wow!

VH - Pancake From Reval + Tar Ice Cream

Pancake from Reval with added Tar Ice Cream

To let you know, the pancake here in Europe is a real cake made thin on a pan… not the fluffy one served in most area of US. In my dessert here, the pancake… a bit crispy on the outside and soft inside, poured with raspberry and balsamico syrup. The taste is sweet and sour. Actually, there should only one ice cream in here, but I asked with addition of another ice cream with unique taste! The first one (bottom) is ice cream, flavored with Iceland moss, roasted sugar, and nuts. The second one (top) is tar flavored ice cream.

Icelandic moss is not actually a moss but it is a lichen, scientifically called Cetraria islandica (L.)Ach. It was used for folk medicine and said that it taste a bit bitter. However in this ice cream, the sugary flavor is more dominant so it didn’t feel so much in my taste buds. Tar is a result of destructive distillation of organic material. It’s commonly used in Finland from cooking ingredients to candy (which I don’t understand why), but it considered as panacea or capable to heal anything! It was made from wood by burning. When you eat it, it has a minty taste with a hint of smokey flavor. For the ice cream, I could taste it and it went well! Anyway, Reval is medieval name of town we recently know as Talinn, Estonia.

I was leaving the restaurant that night with my belly stuffed…

Then I went there again Friday 13th (wow) 2016. This time, I tried another a la carte set course called “Voyage of Dyflin”. Dyflin is what Dublin, Ireland, called during Viking period. So probably I expecting something that comes from western area of Europe.

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (3)

Njord’s Starter Stone

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (1)

Njord’s Starter Stone: Archipelago rye and malt bread with roach mousse, reindeer salami, fried duck heart, salad with rye grains

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (2)

Njord’s Starter Stone: Salad with brown rice, cold-smoked horse meat, blueberry and onion jam, cold-smoked Greenland halibut, tarred Baltic herring, and marinated vendace.

The starter is this various… meat and stuff. The name itself comes from Nordic god Njord (Njörðr), the father of deities Freyr and Freyja. So, what’s in his stone plate? We have the archipelago rye and malt bread topped with roach mousse. No… not that roach the insect from ordo Blattodea but roach the fish in Cyprinidae family, Rutilus rutilus L. I like the bread with the creamy mousse… so yummy! Then we have reindeer salami, cold-smoked and sliced… horse meat (it’s a bit tougher than smoked beef even it’s thinner here, but it’s good), strangely-but-really-good blueberry and onion jam, cold smoked halibut (it tastes like smoked white fish, but the meat has a bite), tarred (okay… more tar) Baltic herring, and (I think it also marinated by tar) marinated vendace. It’s funny if you imagine a minty tar flavor combined with fish, but it’s good… no kidding! Ah, there are also fried duck heart (this is my first time eating it, and somehow the texture and flavor is close to beef), and salad with rye grains in it.

Fish from Baltic sea like herring is tend to be more plain in flavor than fishes from other seas or ocean, because Baltic see is known for its close-to-fresh water salinity level. Well… that’s for your info, basically I already wrote so much facts here, hehe.

VH - The Horseman's Tenderloin (1)

The Horseman’s Tenderloin (side view)

VH - The Horseman's Tenderloin (2)

…from another view, you can see the potato cake now

For the main course, I wouldn’t say anything… it’s just stunning! The beef tenderloin is so tender and juicy as it cooked medium, very nice to be eaten with the sweet (a bit sour) cranberry and cut brandy sauce. The creamy and cheesy flavor of potato cake (baked with paprika mousse on top, making it crusty) is really delicious. The veggies, aragula, and root vegetables neutralized your palate. Oh… there is also a thin slice of a bit salty and crusty Maasdam cheese, a Swiss-style Dutch cheese make of cow milk, aged for 4 weeks.

VH - Frigga's Chocolate Cake

Frigga’s Chocolate Cake

To close my dinner that day, we have this double chocolate cake (my favorite!) with salty liquorice (another odd “sweets” combination from Finland) mixed in the top layer of white chocolate (it balances the sweetness of the milk chocolate layer below, and intensify the whole flavors in your taste buds). The cake tastes like heaven for me! There is also raw chocolate ice cream with blackberry jam and star anise-rhubarb sauce (I thought it was cloudberry sauce, until I tastes it further). Personal preference: The berry jam is nice with the ice cream, the sauce goes well with the cake and the sugar.

Anyway, the name Frigga… well, if you notice the Nordic mythology (or watched/read Thor comic), Frigga/Frigg is Odin’s wife, Thor’s mother.

VH - Miklagard's Drink

Miklagård’s Drink

In case you wondering, there are of course drinks available here. This mocktail for example. Miklagård’s Drink is a mix of blueberry syrup, orange juice, and soda water.

Miklagård or Miklagarðr (Old Norse: mikll – big, garðr – city) is an old name of Istanbul, Turkey, during Medieval Viking era.

VH - Water Jar

Water jar

If you don’t want to drink anything fancy, you can ask for cold water in a pitcher for 1 euro.

In the nutshell, it’s a wonderful experience to dine in there. It feels like you just come back in time and try the Viking-medieval period delicacy here and this experience, although the price for you to pay (for the food) is considered high, the experience itself is memorable and priceless. I’d like to come back here again for the atmosphere, and of course the food… especially the meat and salmon! 😉

PS: That afternoon (both), I came back to my apartment listening to “This is Berk” and “Flying With Mother” by John Powell to intensify the feels (that I got when I watch “How To Train Your Dragon”). And I feel like I was in Viking island at the moment… :p


Branch: Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Tampere, Turku, Oulu

Turku Address: Aurakatu 3, 20100 Turku. Phone: +358 44 766 8204.

Price Range:

Food: EUR 6.20 – 67.60

Beverage: EUR 1.00 – 64.00

Ordered Courses:

Lunch set: EUR 12.50

Set – Voyage of Finnmark: EUR 52.30

Set – Voyage of Dyflin: EUR 49.90

Tar Ice Cream: EUR 3.50

Water: EUR 1.00

Opening Hours (Turku):

Monday: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am

Friday – Saturday: 12:00 pm – 01:00 am

Sunday: 03:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Website: Viikinkiravintola Harald (available in English version)

TripAdvisor (Turku): Viikinkiravintola Harald

Foursquare (Turku): Viikinkiravintola Harald

Note: Eat the reindeer and beef here, for steak, ask for medium cooked. Seat in the middle room for brighter ambience, or else ask the waitress.


To The Sea! Food Aboard Silja Line and Viking Line Boats

Moi! It’s been so damn long since I wrote something here. Being a Ph.D student is one heck of a challenge you know. But, when science stuffs drain your brain energy, food will be there to soothe it up!

In these both months of March and April of 2016, I’ve been on a boat cruise twice. First, it’s for a cruise seminar along my lab colleagues in Silja Line (route: Turku-Åland-Turku in a day) and second, I went to Stockholm with Viking Line. For my second trip, I can only tell you about my return trip, since my departure trip is at night and I was obviously spending most of it on my cabin bed.

In the nutshell, if you want something really Nordic to eat, go to their buffet!

Let’s start from the breakfast meals!

SL - Yoghurt and Lingonberry Jam

(Silja Line) Buttermilk (FI: Piima) with lingonberry jam

Most of the time, finding yoghurt and other dairy products here in Finland is always been easy. You go to any convenient stores to big supermarkets, you’ll find one. Even honestly, this become my reason of why I can get easy access to cheese, yoghurt, milk, and buttermilk every time! Anything else is, berries are common forest products to find in summer. Back to the ship, so then I tried the buttermilk with lingonberry jam. I thought the jam is sweet. I was wrong. It’s face-warping sour. Now I know my supervisor, Pav, poured a lot of sugar in it.

VL - Karelian Pasty, Swedish Pancake w Jam, Cookie

(Viking Line) Nordic pancake with starwberry jam, Karelian pasties, mini cakes, and cookie.

Nordic pancake is similar to French pancake or crepes. The serving for pancake in Nordic way is by combining it with berry jam. This time (learning from experience before), I used the sweet strawberry jam. It tastes really good and fresh! About Karelian pasty, I’ve explained about it before. However, in both boats, it tastes plain, you have to use munavoi (butter mixed with chopped boiled egg) to give the taste in. The mini cakes flavor mostly buttery, sugary, and sometime have almonds in it.

VL - Bread and Salmon

(Viking Line) Bread, butter, and smoked salmon.

You know what? It’s hard to find a white dinner bread or toast here in Finland. They mentioned it as French bread for it. But the French bread I know available here is baguette, the long hard bread. So, to eat a sliced loaf of soft bread, you will normally found bread that normally and naturally colored brown or yellowish. The color comes from rye or other cerealia seeds (or carrot). And it’s common to eat them with LOT of butter as topping. Anything else, you can also add smoked salmon in it. It’s protein and omega-3 rich meal for you! And its taste is very rich, umami, and fresh!

SL - Cheese

(Silja Line) Cheese plater

In Europe, cheeses are something you can easily found, staple, and cheap (compared to Asia countries, including Indonesia). You can eat cheese like emmenthal, blue cheese, smoked cheese, or more with crackers. Me? I like to eat the cheese as it is! Not everyone have an endurance for the taste of blue cheese, and I’m enjoying myself eating one of the strongest blue cheese, roquefort from France!

SL - Caviar, Smoked Salmon, Pickled Herring

(Silja Line) Caviar, assorted herring, smoked salmon, and open sandwich with fish salad.

Smoked salmon (FI: savulohi), especially the cold smoked one (slowly smoked in 25ºC for hours to days, allowing the natural fragrance of the smoke to permeate the fish) is recommended  dish to start your day! You can it it with bread, or as it is. Anything else, in Nordic country, an abundant fish you can find from Baltic Sea is herring. You can found it as fresh commodity, hot-smoked, fried, baked, pickled, and even… as sour herring (SE: surströmming, the Swedish cuisine, a fermented RAW herring with extremely putrid smell… if Capt. Barbossa of Black Pearl in Pirates of Caribbean ever mention the smell of kraken’s mouth… here you go). Here, you can find the pickled herring that tastes salty or sweet. I don’t know exactly yet on how it cooked. Open sandwich, normally with fish is common dish in Nordic countries, especially Norway. And in picture above, you can found herring cooked in tomato and caviar… although we believe it’s not the actual one, but it made with alginate. Yeah… the original one has a price of fortune.

SL - Mix

(Silja Line) Roasted beef, spiced chicken with red sauce, and Greek Dolma with Feta cheese.

There are also many European dishes and some Asian dishes like curry in the buffet. Even you can find roast beef and Dolma (Greek dish, grape vine filled with sour rice, been explained here although it’s in Indonesian).

Other than these buffet menus, I was also walking around in the boat. I found this in Frank’s Casual Dining… let’s put it as extra…

VL - Reindeer and Beef Potato Lefse

Reindeer & beef filled potato lefse (FI: Poro & nautarieska, SE: Ren och nöstek fyllda potatis tunnbröd)

My second reindeer dish during my whole journey in Europe! Lefse is basically Norwegian flatbread made of flour, butter, milk, and potato. Here, the lefse is rolled with cold roasted beef, small-diced roasted reindeer mixed with mayo, lettuce, sliced grilled tomato, and sliced cucumber pickles. I kinda like the combination! It’s fresh!

VL - Mezzarin (1) VL - Mezzarin (2)


Mazarin or in Swedish, Mazarintårta, is a tartlet consists of almond paste dough and topped with icing sugar. So far, this is one of my favorite dessert because I love the sweet flavor combined with the almond taste inside! If you asked me to compare this one with the one I ate in IKEA Tangerang (near Jakarta), Indonesia… it’s heaven to earth compared.

So much new food to try! I’m glad I’ve been through various trip in here!

Special thanks to my lovely colleague from Laboratory of Paper Coating and Converting, Åbo Akademi University, who brought me to the special cruise seminar and then… the buffet!


Aurora Buffet

Breakfast: EUR 10.50

Lunch: EUR 24

Dinner: EUR 31

Frank’s Casual Dining

Reindeer and beef potato lefse: EUR 6.90/SEK 63

Mazarin: (around) EUR 3/SEK 30

Note: Booking the buffet while booking the cruise ticket is recommended to avoid fully booked restaurant.


Christmas Eve Buffet: Royal Restaurant – Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta

Ah, pertama saya mau mengucapkan selamat merayakan Natal untuk yang merayakannya, dan selamat libur Tahun Baru Masehi 2016 untuk kita semua. Ayo kita susun resolusi kita semua dan kejar cita2 kita!

Natal… adalah perayaan umat Kristiani, cuma untuk saya yang Muslim, kadang kebagian rejeki buat makan kayak gini sih siapa yang mau nolak? Toh saya ngga ikut ibadahnya. Oke, buat yang belum tahu, Christmas Eve atau Xmas Eve adalah perayaan malam sebelum Natal (jadinya tanggal 24 Desember) di mana biasanya diadakan makan malam bersama.

Pada Xmas Eve kemarin (24 Desember 2015), saya dengan sangat berterima kasih sekali kepada pihak manajemen Food and Beverage Hotel Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta karena saya dan pacar saya tercinta diundang untuk menikmati buffet makan malam di sini!

Sesi makan malam di sini berjalan di bawah komando Chef Purbo Wahyono selaku Executive Chef dari Royal Ambarrukmo. Beliau memasak begitu banyak jenis masakan yang khususnya didominasi oleh masakan Eropa seperti Spanyol, Perancis, Italia, hingga menu fusion atau campuran.  Karena adanya begitu banyak jenis masakan, saya akan menyoroti lebih kepada variasi makanan yang begitu unik (khususnya beberapa cukup asing di telinga kita) daripada membahas semuanya.

RA - Xmas - Fish

Begitu tiba, kita disambut sajian dari ikan (seingat saya itu sarden segar)…

RA - Xmas - Assorted Sushi

…variasi sushi…

RA - Xmas - Sashimi

…sashimi ikan salmon, tuna, dan kakap…

RA - Xmas - Paella

Spanish (Seafood) Saffron Rice AKA Paella dengan kerang hijau, cumi, dan udang…

RA - Xmas - Tomato n Boccochini Cheese

Tomat dengan Keju Boccocini.

Irisan tomat diberi saus pesto verde dari basil (daun selasih) dengan minyak zaitun. Keju Bocconcini adalah keju jenis mozzarella yang dibentuk kecil-kecil seukuran telur, semi-lunak dan biasanya dibuat dari susu kerbau (water buffalo). Keju jenis ini memiliki rasa yang gurih dengan tekstur seperti spons dan enak dimakan segar dengan sayuran daripada dimasak hingga meleleh.

RA - Xmas - Lobster Bisque (1)

Lobster Bisque…

RA - Xmas - Lobster Bisque (2)

…versi dalam mangkuk dengan crouton atau roti.

Bisque merupakan sup dengan bumbu yang bervariasi dan berasal dari Perancis. Dasar sup nya biasanya merupakan kaldu/coulis dari hewan krustasea yang dimasak (udang, lobster, atau kepiting). Chef Purbo sendiri menjelaskan bahwa Lobster Bisque ini dibuat dengan memasak lobster dalam waktu yang lama (sekitar 8-12 jam) hingga kaldunya keluar dan kemudian disaring, lalu dimasak dengan puree tomat untuk meringankan rasa. Rasa lobsternya memang begitu membahana di lidah ketika dicoba. Mmm…

RA - Xmas - Roasted Turkey w Cranberry n Giblet Sauce (1)

Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and Giblet Gravy.

Turkey alias kalkun… rasanya ga beda dengan ayam cuma lebih lunak kalau menurut saya dan karena massa dagingnya lebih tebal, lebih berpotensi juicy ketika dimasak. Biasanya kalkun ketika dipanggang diisi dengan sayur atau buah agar memiliki rasa kaldu yang enak ketika meresap kembali ke daging. Di sini digunakan jamur. Istilah “saus giblet” adalah saus yang dibuat dengan menggunakan kaldu dan minyak dari hasil panggangan kalkun setelah kalkun diangkat sehingga memberi rasa ekstra yang kuat dari kalkun.

RA - Xmas - Roasted Turkey w Cranberry n Giblet Sauce (2)

“Kok pake saus buah?? Kan manis… ntar rasanya aneh dong!”

Hmmm… kata siapa, beberapa masakan di Eropa Utara kayak di Swedia kadang menggunakan selai lingonberry hasil berburu di hutan dan ternyata rasa saus kaldu, daging, dan selai ini membuat rasa ini menari di mulut dengan perpaduan yang enak! Jadi, penambahan saus cranberry ini klop dengan kalkunnya!

RA - Xmas - Venison Mint Sauce (1)

Venison with Mint Sauce

RA - Xmas - Venison Mint Sauce (2)

Venison atau daging rusa merupakan makanan yang tidak terlalu umum di negara kita. Tekstur daging rusa biasanya seperti hewan yang biasanya diburu, merah, lebih kuat, tapi lemaknya sedikit sehingga kalori dari memakannya lebih sedikit dari daging sapi. Teksturnya pun memang agak lebih liat namun sekali gigit langsung tembus karena dagingnya memang tidak ada lemaknya. Rasanya lebih kaya, daripada sapi. Apa ya… rasa dagingnya lebih pekat dari daging sapi. Di sini, rusa ini disajikan dengan saus mint yang dibuat dari proses reduksi air gula dengan potongan daun mint. Dipadukan dengan daging rusa memang memberikan rasa manis yang khas.

RA - Xmas - Roast US Striploin w Mustard Sauce (1)

Roasted US Striploin with Mustard Sauce

RA - Xmas - Roast US Striploin w Mustard Sauce (2)

Striploin merupakan bagian daging, di sini daging sapi, yang berada lebih depan dari daging sirloin dan tenderloin. Teksturnya empuk dan memiliki lapisan lemak. Di sini disajikan dengan saus mustard dan kaldu yang sangat nendang dengan dagingnya!

RA - Xmas - Pan Fried Spict Rabbit w Herb

Pan Fried Spicy Rabit with Herb.

RA - Xmas - Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Lamb Stew with Carrot, Celery, and Potato.

RA - Xmas - Honey Glazed Carrot, Rabbit, Chicken w Shroom, Irish Lamb

Searah jarum jam dari atas: Honey Glazed Carrot, Pan Fried Rabbit, Roasted Chicken with Mushroom, Irish Lamb.

Pertama, saya akan bahas tentang Irish Lamb Stew. Menu ini adalah menu tradisional Irlandia yang dikenal dengan Stobhach Gaelach. Isinya adalah daging kambing dengan biasanya sayuran akar lokal. Di sini digunakan wortel dan kentang. Saya suka rasa dagingnya yang lunak dengan sausnya yang bercita rasa agak asam.

Ah… terus daging kelinci. Beberapa orang kadang ngga tega makan daging ini, tapi coba aja, nanti kalian akan merasa daging ini lunak seperti ayam… bahkan lebih lunak. Apalagi di sini dimasak dengan rempah. Nyaaamm…

RA - Xmas - Gnocchi w Scallop or Prawn and Fresh Basil Cream (1)

Meja tempat masak gnocchi.

RA - Xmas - Gnocchi w Scallop or Prawn and Fresh Basil Cream (2)

Italian Gnocchi with Scallop/Prawn and Creamy Basil Sauce.

Gnocchi adalah pasta yang biasanya berjenis pasta segar khas Italia yang dibuat dengan bahan utama kentang dan sedikit tepung terigu. Walau ada yang berupa pasta kering dari tepung biasa, buat saya… bukan gnocchi namanya kalau tidak yang segar dan dibuat dari kentang! Ketika dimasak, gnoccho ditusuk atau diberi alur agar sausnya bisa menyatu. Di sini, dimasak dengan scallop dan atau udang… apalagi dengan saus krim basil, rasanya super banget! Super enak apalagi dengan taburan keju Parmesan!

RA - Xmas - Norwegian Salmon w Cream Lemon Sauce

Norwegian Salmon with Creamy Lemon Sauce.

Salmon Norwegia terkenal dengan tekstur dagingnya yang bagus. Dimasak dengan rempah seperti daun dill yang wangi, perasan lemon, dan mentega akan memberikan rasa yang total pada ikan ini! Saus lemon yang creamy dan juga punya rasa kaldu ini sangat memberi nilai tambah rasa daging salmonnya. Enak pokoknya!

…dan hingga akhir, saya makan cukup banyak rondenya berdua…

RA - Xmas - Fish, Unagi, Tomato, Green Mussel (2) RA - Xmas - Fish, Unagi, Tomato, Green Mussel (1)

Tomato with Bocconcini, Boiled Mussel, Marinated Fish (lupa ikannya apa, kayaknya sarden), dan Unagi Sushi.

Selain makanan2 berat, ada juga makanan penutup yang manis…

RA - Xmas - Apple n Plum Strudel

Apple and Plum Strudel.

Strudel adalah makanan pastry khas negara Slavic seperti Austria-Hungaria yang biasanya memiliki isian manis. Di sini bahan isiannya adalah apel dan plum.

RA - Xmas - Italian Xmas Cake

Italian Christmas Cake.

Saya sebenarnya kurang tahu yang cake di sini yang mana. Saya cuma ambil yang merah itu. Rasanya kayak sus apalagi dalamnya juga kosong.

RA - Xmas - Xmas Stollen

Christmas Stollen.

Stollen adalah roti/cake buah dari Jerman yang isinya adalah buah kering dan di atasnya ditaburi gula bubuk. Buahnya biasanya manisan kulit jeruk, kismis, dan ditambah kacang almond. Sebagai penikmat kue manis, saya suka banget ini sebagai pencuci mulut.

Pada akhirnya kami berdua kenyang (iya lah). Salute to Chef Purbo for his maximum efforts for the entire banquet that very widely diverged in variety of foods! Walau ada beberapa makanan yang kurang total buat saya, tapi saya patut acungi beliau jempol karena mempersiapkan makanan yang sangat beragam dengan kualitas yang tinggi ini bukanlah hal yang mudah. Bravo dari kami berdua!

Special thanks also to Mas Rudy Adimulyo as Assistant of Food and Beverage Manager of Royal Ambarrukmo who also a good friend of mine! All the best from us for your career and may we meet again someday!

and of course, my lovely young lady, my girlfriend who accompanied me here, Ghea… 😉


AW’s Place Rating: √√√√√ (full score, sangat nyaman dan damai!)

AW’s Service Rating: √√√√  (4 dari 5, walau sejujurnya nyaris sempurna, pada akhirnya pada overwhelmed dengan tamu yang makin banyak, mereka juga lupa re-stock alat makannya ketika piring udah diganti)

AW’s Food Rating: √√√√½ (4.5 dari 5, hampir sempurna karena ada beberapa yang menurut saya kurang)


Jl. Laksda Adi Sucipto No. 81, Yogyakarta. Reservation Phone: +62 274 488 488

Hotel Twitter: @RoyalAmbarrukmo, Hotel Link: click

Buffet Price: Rp 270.000,00/pax

Buffet time: 06:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Foursquare: Ambarrukmo

TripAdvisor: Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta


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.


Meat Tower – Karnivor, Bandung

Beberapa hari ini, saya lagi pengen makan daging. Apalagi sejujurnya kalau boleh curcol, setelah kamera saya Canon EOS 40D plus lensa2nya dicuri di bus Kramat Jati jurusan Yogya-Bandung. Saya jadi semacam butuh pelampiasan atas rasa sedih dan kekesalan saya.

Di malam setelah saya di Bandung, bersama teman dekat saya, Teguh, saya pergi ke restoran di daerah Jalan Riau/RE. Martadinata, Bandung yang sangat terkenal dengan menu2 berporsi raksasanya, Karnivor… dengan slogan “Let’s Meet Our Meat!”. Restoran ini terkenal dengan menu Monster Steak… tenderloin sebesar 1 Kg, Monster Sausage… sosis porsi besar, Monster Pizza… pizza raksasa (yang kapan2 mau saya coba), Jambo Wing… chicken wing porsi gila, dan Meat Tower yang saya makan ini… burger raksasa dengan total 5 patties masing2 200 g, jadi total… 1 Kg (belum termasuk berat sayur, berat basah roti plus mayo).

KA - Meat Tower (1)

Ini dia…

KA - Meat Tower (3)

Dari samping…

KA - Meat Tower (2)

Dari atas…

Roti, selada, tomat, dan mayo spesial adalah figur tambahan di menu ini (biar keliatan jadi burger). Mayo nya rasanya manis dan agak kayak tomat. Rotinya… agak gepeng. Rasa daging? Agak keras di luar, cuma empuk dan juicy di dalem. Bumbu yang kerasa adalah merica sama adas. Ini kita bisa lihat…

KA - Meat Tower (4)

Setelah dipotong…

Saya secara personal suka rasanya!

Cara makan? Bisa diiris vertikal kayak makan kebab (ini susah), bisa dimakan dengan brutal, atau kayak saya… kalo makan sama temen, diambil satu2. Saya yang jelas makan ini selama 20 menit dan habis (makan berdua). Sekali makan ini, saya kenyang sampai besok pagi…

Jadi… cukup gila kah Anda buat makan ini?

AW’s Rating: √√√√ (4 of 5, masalahnya luar dagingnya agak keras)

Harga: Rp 179.000,00 (belum termasuk pajak 15%)

Jalan Riau/RE. Martadinata no. 127, Bandung. Ph: +62 22 71031111. Twitter: @karnivoresto

Foursquare: klik

Tips: Minimal makan berdua!

Anything else: Coba makan sendiri… KALO BERANI!



Philly Cheese Steak Bagel Sandwich – Bagel Bagel Kemang, Jakarta

Philly Cheese Steak

Menu andalan Bagel Bagel, Jakarta, yang bahkan direkomendasikan teman saya untuk saya cicipi. Tapi memang benar! Rasa dagingnya simpel tapi dalam! Cuma terdiri dari daging iris (kayaknya daging sukiyaki), bawang bombai, dan jamur kancing yang ditumis (kayaknya pake butter aja), dimakan bareng roti bagel, rasanya sempurna!

Pas saya datang, memang sih saya melihat daging itu udah pre-packed, tapi saya pikir nampaknya itu dibuat paginya karena tidak ada tanda2 rasa yang aneh. Definitely worthy as the signature sandwich!

AW’s Rating: √√√√√ (full score)

Harga: Rp 55.000,00 (belum termasuk PPN 10%)


KEMANG STORE: Jl. Benda Raya 14D, Kemang
MON-THU 06.00-20.00 WIB; FRI-SUN 06.00-21.00 WIB
Delivery Service: 781 8769 / 3625 2345

SCBD STORE: Imagerie, Fairgrounds Lot 14 SCBD
SUN-THU 07.00 -22.00 WIB; FRI-SAT 07.00-24.00 WIB
Delivery Service: 515 0250

Tips: Ganjelan perut buat makan siang kilat!