All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

De Ka De Resto

A couple of days ago we tried out a new Indonesian restaurant called De Ka De Resto (Jl. Noja Saraswati No. 2D, Denpasar). The setting was surprisingly nice for a place that serves Indonesian food. The dining area consisted of two parts--one on the patio above the fish pond (huuuuuge kois swimming around) and the other enclosed in an air conditioned room. The food was quite nice though but I'm really not a judge of Indonesian food since I'm not a huge fan myself. The family got mostly grilled fish or various set menu. I wasn't in the mood for Indo food so Wid ordered me gado-gado, stir fried kung kong, stir fried noodle (mie Jakarta?), and rice.

The gado-gado tasted fresh, but it was drenched in sauce. I later found out that typical restaurants are very stingy with sauces so if some place serves the dish with lots of sauce, it shows the place tries to be more "luxurious." Maybe that's why Wid's mom liked my lasagna because it has lots of sauce and therefore more luxurious.

Kung kong was not bad either and they put little red beans (not azuki beans nor the red kidney beans) and chopped shrimp bits, which I thought was a bit different than the other stir fried kung kong I had before. I didn't eat much of the stir fried noodles because I'm pretty bored with mie goreng and egg noodles in general, but the others seemed to enjoyed that dish.

Portion was filling for everyone and the price was not too bad. I wouldn't mind going back to the restaurant if I'm actually in the mood for Indo food. I was definitely pleasantly surprised and impressed by the ambiance because most places that serve Indo foods are warung, shacks, or street carts with zero emphasis on the atmosphere.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Food in Pixel Form

I've been in the mood to make little pixel arts, and these are the result of having too much time this weekend. I got really favorable comments about the slices of cake. Maybe my wanting of decent cake has subconsciously worked its way into the creation of those pictures. Ah, I love combining my interests into one project, sort of like my various comic projects.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Whale Fossil in Vineyard

I suppose you can file this under "when science and food collide." BBC reported that whale fossils were found in a vineyard that produced "the famed Brunello de Montalcino wine" in Tuscany. It's cool that the owner of the vineyard is happy with the discovery, and that the scientist are careful not to disturb the terraces when they do their exacavation.

I love the quote from the owner, Cristina Mariani, and the blur at the end of the article:
"It reminds us "that this rich soil is composed of nutrients and minerals deposited millions of years ago," she says. "It's that special earth that gives complexity to our wines."

So, if you are lucky enough to ever taste a Brunello, just savour it for that extra moment, and remember that beneath the old vines that produced it - there was an even bigger old whale.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007


Inspired by a conversation I had with Koyar a while back and we were running out of our favorite gummy candy, we popped over to Papya the local Japanese grocery store to get some candies. They didn't have the gummy in strawberry so we ended up just getting something else instead. What we found was this candy. It has the texture of gum so at first we thought that we bought gum, but it's a fruit-flavored chewy candy. The flavor is not bad. It certainly tasted like fruit (apple, lemon, strawberry, and grape). I think I like the apple and grape the most.

I should track down some of my favorite Asian candies and make another note about it later.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Eggplant Lasagna

I cooked dinner for the family on Nyepi because I was rather bored with the usual stuff. On the day of reflection we cannot show any lights from the house so I had to start cooking early before the sun sets. I decided to make an eggplant lasagna because I'm been itching to try something a bit new with my usual lasagna.

First I started with the red sauce which had tons of garlic, onion, beef, parsley, basil, and tomatoes. While the red sauce is simmering, I made bachmael sauce and grilled slices of eggplant with olive oil. The red sauce came out really, really good because I let it simmer properly for an hour or so. Bonnie sat by my feet the whole time. I guess she thought that I was cooking for her. I then assembled the dish, but since I didn't have enough the sauces and eggplants, I only managed to incorporate two layers of pasta. Oops. Next time I'll use three cans of tomatoes instead of one, and I'll probably use about 3/4 liter of milk instead of half a liter. Also, I'll use four or five of the Asian eggplant instead of two. I sprinkled some dry oregano on top. I let the lasagna cook for about forty minutes at 175 C.

I really liked the taste of the dish though I'm still sad that I didn't put as much pasta in as I wanted. Mami like it that way actually since she said all the restaurants usually put too much pasta and not enough sauce in their lasagna. Papi liked it so much that he actually ate the dish without having to ask for rice later. He then had another slice for the next day's breakfast, and he was sad when last night we told him that we ate the rest of the lasagna for dinner.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Kekeluargaan (Jimbaran)

A couple of days ago Wid's parents took some guests to Jimbaran for grilled seafood. Jimbaran is known for the row of shacks selling fresh seafood on the beach. This place is quite successful because of its winning combination of beachy setting and good food. Unfortunately, Jimbaran was one of the places that was bombed in 2002 by those terrorist assholes because it is a prime tourist attraction. When we were there a few days ago, we saw a decent number of people there, which is good.

The one we frequent is the Pantai Sari Cafe, also known as Kekeluargaan ("family style"?). I'm actually not a big fan of seafood, but this is one of the few place I actually would eat a decent amount of seafood because it's so fresh and well prepared. According to Wid's parents, Taiwanese tourists like the seafood from Jimbaran, and indeed my family did like this place when we brought them there back in 2005. We ordered a nice selection of seafood: crabs (boiled and grilled), grilled white fish, fried squid in a calamari style, clams, and baby lobsters. There were shrimps available also, but I don't remember we ordering that this time. The fried squid isn't what we normally get, and Wid thinks the squid satay is better. Rice, kung kong (空心菜), and fried potato were ordered as well. The weird thing was the potato took the longest time to show up. We ended up having the mild chilli because of the guests who can't tolerate spicy food.

Wid's bro's father-in-law brought to the dinner sake and XO. It was the first time I tried XO and it was sooooo delicious and very, very smooth. It has a sweet, plum after taste, which I thought was pretty interesting.

That dinner was really nice because everyone seemed to have fun. A little band played assorted music at our request. The weather was cool and breezy.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Donburi and Miso Soup

I cooked lunch two days in a roll!! Pretty shocking. Haha. Yesterday I made donburi with miso soup for Wid and his parents. The donburi was a better batch than the previous version. The taste was stronger (less diluted than the previous one), and I think the reason is the ratio of meat/onion/shiitaki mushroom to sauce was balanced. Wid's mom said that she likes my donburi so much that she refuses to buy the dish at local Japanese restaurant because mine is tastier and cheaper. Hehe. I think another reason why the dish tasted better is that instead of water, I used the water from mushroom soaking as the base for the sauce. Too bad Wid's bro wouldn't have liked it because he developed a dislike for shiitaki mushroom, but he wasn't there for the lunch so it didn't matter too mucj.

I also made miso soup to go with the donburi. Instead of the usual wakame with tofu and scallions, I replaced the tofu with eggs. Nothing super exciting about the soup. It was salty enough for everyone. Hehe.

Natural light is certainly better but my pictures always come out blurry.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tonkatsu Sandwich Part 2

It's been months since the last time I made tonkatsu sandwich. Since I was a bit bored with Indonesian/Balinese food, I decided to make the sandwich for lunch yesterday. Normally our cook would cut, bread, and fry the tonkatsu, but since she was busy I went ahead and made the cutlets myself. This time I made the tonkatsu extra thin by cutting thinner slices of meat (about 5-10 mm) and then really pound it super flat. Then, I dipped the slices of meat in flour, egg, and panko. To assemble the sandwich, I toasted two slices of bread, added lettuce, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced onion, tonkatsu coated with the special sauce. Wid wasn't around to make the sauce this time so I did that too and added a bit of lime juice for extra zest. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough sandwich bread so I had to use the "milk" bread (softer and sweeter than normal bread) as substitute for some of the sandwiches. In the end it tasted all right and the smaller size of the bread was actually better suited for the size of the tonkatsu.

No pictures this time, but it pretty much looked like the previous attempt.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Lanai Review 2

We finally returned to Lanai (Jalan Double Six Legian, Kuta) after many, many unforseen delays (first was CNY, then family gather, then road closed, etc.). We actually went to Lanai on the third day of its reopening back in December, but the food wasn't that great. The menu was still intact, but taste of the many of the dishes was off. For example, the salmon with risotto was so salty that even Sulis who's an Indonesian thought was salty (and Indonesians LOVE their food salty). Even the seared tuna, which I considered as one of their signature dish, wasn't perfect (too soggy). The owner apologized profusely about the food and asked for our honest opinions on the food because she cared just as much if not more about the food than us. We figured that we would give the restaurant another chance because we knew how great the food was before the accident. We thought the quality of the food was due to the new staff needing training and getting use to the kitchen/new equiptment. Since the owner is so passionate about her menu, we were sure that things will be much better.

Last night we were back at Lanai. The menu was still more or less the same, but we did notice some changes, like the salmon with risotto that we ordered the last time. It turned out the reason was that the restaurant had a hard time getting salmon. Salmon is not found in the sea surrounding Indonesia so the fish is imported... At least the seared ahi tuna was still in the starter section. We ordered a bunch of different things and shared so we could sample a bit of everything. The seared ahi tuna was of course the first thing we ordered. We also got the "killer nachoes," Philly cheesesteak sandwich, Lanai beach pizza, seefood bouillabaiss, and lasagna al forno. The service was prompt and the food came out fairly quickily.

The seard ahi tuna with green beans and wasabi was perfect again. The tuna was firm yet juicy, and the taste was just the same as pre-fire. Nachos were nice with lots of toppings (baked beans, sour cream, good salsa, cheese, etc.). The seafood pizza had good amount of toppings (like shrimp, bits of chicken, veggies), but since I'm not a big fan of seafood I'm not the person to judge that dish. It was very cheesy and the crust was nice, two things that I look for in pizza that are not found often here in Bali. Seafood bouillabaiss was tomato soup with large quantity of seafood (like shrimp and fish). The sourness of the soup complemented the seafood chunks quite nicely. The steak sandwich isn't genuine Philly cheesesteak, but, hey, I know what a good cheesesteak tastes like. The meat, cheese, and onion filling was not bad, but Lexo didn't like the bread the sandwich came in. I still think the best cheesesteak hoagie (not Philly though) is still at Broadway Cafe in Ann Arbor, but that's because the meat is bugulgi. Lasagna was cheesy and meaty and seemed to have bachmael sauce as base. It had a good flavor, but I like my own lasagna. Wid thinks that my lasagna is better than all the restaurants here. Hehehe.

For dessert we got white chocolate mousse, tiramisu slice, and creme brulee. Wid loved the white chocolate mousse and I think it tasted the same as pre-accident Lanai. Sulis thought the tiramisu tasted just like the one she got at another place in Bali. She thought it had more cream than she liked, and I guess the best tiramisu she's had is still in Australia. I guess the search goes on for her. My creme brulee was green and the flavor was different from the usual creme brulee because of some sort of sugar they used as flavoring? Even though it's different from my favorite creme brulee (creme brulee topped with fresh fruits from La Dolce Vita in Ann Arbor), the taste is still quite nice and I do like the creamy texture. Plus they did a good job caramelizing the sugar.

In the end the whole meal for the four of us cost 404,800 rp including the 10% tax and service (not making up this number). I thought the price is quite reasonable considering how much food we ordered for the four of us. I think we will finally be able to bring Wid's parents to here. Let's just hope nothing diasterous will happen to the place.

Only thing bad with last night (and it's no fault of the restaurant in anyway) was being accosted by a bum/old man thug pretending to be parking attendant. He tried to get us to give him money, but like a scrawny old man ripping our parking stub and rambling incoherently is going to intimidate us.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Another Nasi Campur

I decided that the nasi campur (mixed rice) from the local, no name place is superior to the "famous" nasi campur from Singaraja. I tried the Singaraja version last night and I didn't like it too much. Like the no name place, it's made with beef instead of the usual chicken, except this one was ALL meat (lung, shredded meat, chunks of meat, dried meat) with no vegetables, noodles, or whatever. The chunks of meat was really tough and it took me a while to finish the whole dish. Bonnie the Naughty constantly begging to play with her throughout the meal didn't help either.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007


For future reference
1-3-12 Shibata
Kita-ku Osaka
(at Hanku-umeda train stop)

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Japanese Curry, Again

I tried to make Japanese pork curry again. The flavor is good as always, but it still wasn't as awesome as my last batch. The meat is too hard this time. Once again I coated the meat with soy sauce and corn starch, but I think the problem was with the cooking. The fire was around medium instead of high. There was a lot of oil at the bottom of the pot. The meat didn't stick onto the pot like last time even though I didn't move it around too much. The end result was the meat not seared and browned properly. Oh well, I'll try again next time.

The last batch is quickly becoming the "dream" curry if I don't figure out how I cooked it that time.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Wid and I found out a few days ago from our friends that the manager/cook of Ippin Nyukon is leaving by May. We then asked the waitress what's going on when we went there for dinner that night. Apparently, the cook is going to either Jakarta or Bangkok to look for a new place to start another restaurant. Don't know if the new place is going to be called Ippin Nyukon. The person replacing the cook is also from Japan so hopefully he knows what he's doing. I just hope the food won't change too much when the new guy takes over.

I had the usual bowl of special ramen, but Wid decided to try something else. We shared a salmon and tomato salad which was surprisingly light yet favorful. Wid really liked the skinned tomato; he thought it was very fresh. The salmon (raw, sashimi quality), tomatoes, and friend wonton skins rested on a bed of chopped lettuce and covered with a tangy sauce and Japanese mayo. For entree, Wid got the eggplant in meat sauce. The taste reminded him of a lighter version of their mapo tofu.

Since it's close to the Lantern Festival (元宵節), I ordered the gluttinous rice balls in tea for dessert. This time I got the sesame version instead of the usual peanut, and I think I like the sesame version more. We also got a raw tuna salad for Wid's parents.

It was a bit scary heading to the restaurant because the electricity was all out so the traffic lights weren't working. A few shops had lights on but that's because they had their own generators. We noticed that even with the outage, Bali Nikmat was packed. Luckily, the outage didn't affect the Kuta area (where IN is).

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Saturday, March 03, 2007


Ugh, had nasty ass tuna carpaccio that smelled way too fishy and tasted gross too. Wid and I eat had a piece and decided that it was too nasty to finish it. If I wan to eat raw fish, it better be sashimi quality. I don't want to get food poisoning from bad fish. Still, it was less scary than beef carpaccio. I'm certainly not about to eat raw beef especially with the mad cow disease and all. No prions to infect my brain, thank you. Luckily, the waitress took the dish away and let us pick another apeptizer to replace the bad fish. The replacement was pretty nice--slices of crusty bread smothered with mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, and mushroom (though the mushroom tasted too watery/earthy like the soup).

Spaghetti with sauteed eggplant chili tomato sauce was good. Must steal that idea for home.

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