Monday, February 21, 2011

Canton Bay - Puri Indah Mall

Our family was just hanging around in a mall we seldom go to a couple of weeks ago and we realized we were craving for some light simple Chinese food. And voila, here we were browsing at the Canton Bay restaurant menu and who knows it's so tempting looking at the pictures.

So without much consideration, we went in and ordered a few looking-great-in-the-menu food.

I had the most craving in porridge in ages and I HAD to order the well-recommended HongKong style porridge (with scallops) in here. It was very very hongkie, but a little too salty, though the scallops isn't as fresh, but the overall smooth texture of the over-cooked rice is pretty nice. The young ginger sprinkled on top just makes it more hongkie. Of course HongKong porridge is not complete without the deep-fried chinese doughnuts.

Then we ordered the Seafood Ifu Mie. Just like a typical ifu mie sold in school canteen, this was definitely the most disappointing menu. It was too crispy, the choice of egg noodles was too thin, and thus making the noodles just to crispy when deep-fried. The seafood and vege condiments were over-cooked and the sauce is too thick. Bad bad choice.

For the soup, we ordered the duck (I forgot the name) soup. Also, doesn't live up to the expectations. It was like eating soup cooked with left-overs from yesterday. Don't bother trying. It just wasn't our day.

Then we came across the so-tempting Beancurd hotplate Szechuan Style. Oh wow, this was very good. We opted for a change from Japanese silk tofu to just normal tofu. The mince pork (or chicken) coated in the Szechuan sauce was probably the best taste in all of the dishes.

For vege, we ordered cai miaw cooked in garlic. Surprisingly well-cooked. Not too over-done, the stem and the leaf is still crispy when you bite it, and the fried diced garlic make the dish less "vegi".

Though we ordered this last dish first, it came last. The 3 combination BBQ; BBQ Duck, Beef, and jellyfish. All I can say about the dish is, 4/10. Firstly, the jellyfish is not fresh, too spicy and too salty. The duck isn't tender as it looks, and the beef, was the worst. It's topped with some garlic-hoisin sauce and taste just as bad.

Overall, disappointing.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pho House - Muara Karang

It was actually my second time going to this restaurant, but the first experience was a few years ago and both the service and food were really disappointing. A few friends mentioned there were changes in the menu and renovations, so why not give it another try. There were definitely improvements on the service, and of course the food also. They vary from the original Vietnamese pho noodle, pork (or chicken) chops, broken rice, and some Thai food as well (Tomyum and padthai).

For the entree we ordered beef salad and prawn spring roll. The beef salad was refreshing, very different from the usual ones I had in Oz. Very thinly sliced beef with raw red onions, red chilly and a plash of vinegar. But a little too spicy for me.

We ordered the "wet" spring roll instead of the usual fried ones. Had too many oily food recently and not wanting to mess around with sore-throats during Lunar New year. Anyway, the spring rolls were just OK. Though the dipping sauce was nice, it's hoisin sauce and some crushed peanuts. The spring roll itself is served chilled and tasteless, but the sweetness of hoisin sauce and crunchiness of the peanuts give it more flavour. Fresh prawns nonetheless.

What is the point of going to a Vietnamese restaurant if you're not ordering PHO! So we ordered two portions of it. The first one is the pho special; inside were beef slices, beef balls, beef tendons, and other beef parts I can't remember of. The rice noodle is just average, but what was nice is the beef slices. Even the soup wasn't as good as I expected. It's was just beefy and tasty, but that was it, nothing special. The pho set came with a plate of raw bean sprouts, raw onions, basil leaves and a slice of lime - to add sourness. You can eat all of them raw, but I just dumped them inside the hot soup.

Prices as of 30 Jan 2011
Beef salad - 26k
Prawn springroll - 16k
Pho Special 37k
Pho (Beef slices + Beef balls) - 35k

Restaurant Info:
Pho House - Muara Karang Blok L9 no 5-6
Telp : 021 33099648

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bakmi Gajah Mada - Emporium Pluit

Went there last week for Saturday lunch after a few months absent and I promised myself not to order the same one as I usually did, the Chilly Beef noodle.

As usual, we've got to pay first, only then the order is put through to the kitchen.

For drinks we ordered some ice green tea and warm tea (since I've got a bad flu to conquer before the ultimate Chinese New Year feast the week after).

Anyway, the four of us ordered a few entrees and each ordered a noodle. Of course, we got to order the ever-famous fried dumplins. I'd say, this is probably their winning formula to grow from a small noodle shop along Gajah Mada Road to being a house-hold name in noodles in Jakarta. If one hadn't tried the "pangsit goreng", one had not had bakmi gajah mada. The sweet and sour sauce accompanying the fried dumplings, too, had not changed a bit since I first had it maybe some 20 years ago.

Now, the dumpling is not oily at all. Nor is it crunchy like the usual oil-absorbing-dumpling-skin some other shops sell. Many noodle shops / Chinese restaurants tried to copy the dumpling, but of course to no vail. They just can't make the oil go away. In the past, My brother and I had a theory they might not fry the dumpling at all, but of course, baking them would not work either. And other theory include frying them in a very very high heat for seconds, then quickly scoop them up before the oil starts to get absorbed.

We also ordered the soup dumplings, which IMO, is crap. If only the standard of the soup ones is as good as the fried ones, they'll be more successful. We tried the chicken siomay as well. Another disappointment! Tasteless, oily, and super oily.

Let's move on the main course. I ordered the broccoli beef noodle, something different than the usual. It was just OK. The sauce was too thick and the noodles was a little bit over-cooked. But the broccoli and beef were complimenting the downsides.

Then we ordered one of the new menu, Thai chicken noodle. The chicken was grilled, not too oily and crispy. The sauce accompanying was also very Thai, sweet and sour.

Of course, as usual, one of us must order the chilly beef noodle. In the end, we ordered a couple portions. Anyway, to me this is the best noodle they have. The beef is very tender and the dish was not spicy at all considering the name itself. Ever since the price of chilly hiking up since the past months or so, it seems, they also cut down the quantity used.

Prices as of 29 Jan 2011
Fried Dumpling (5 pieces) Rp10k
Soup Dumpling (5 pieces) Rp9k
Fried Chicken Siomay (2 pieces) Rp13k
Broccoli Beef Noodle 30k
Thai Chicken Noodle 22k
Chilly Beef Noodle 30k

Restaurant Info:
Bakmi Gajah Mada - Emporium Pluit Mall, Lt 2. Jakarta Utara
Phone Number: 021-6667-6399

(Go to for more info)