[Do It Yourself ] Salmon Sashimi

Hubby is a big fan of raw salmon. Every time we went to our fave sushi restaurant, He ordered raw salmon for him self. He was very happy when our hotel in Manchester served raw salmon in a buffet. It meant He could eat as much as he wanted.

One day, He challenged me to make him a portion of salmon sashimi. I browsed the recipe and found out this recipe was quite easy for a beginner like me. Well let say it’s a foolproof:)).


My New Baby: Twizel

In 2009, when I wrote in facebook note that I was an aspiring restaurateur I didn’t imagine that it happens this fast. I love cooking, I love eating food but owning and running a restaurant? It seemed so faaaarr awaaaayyy. To tell you the truth that when you love cooking or eating it doesn’t mean that you are able to make a restaurant! Culinary and culinary business are two different things. Once it comes to culinary business, many things involved. Hospitality, human resources, logistic, location, promotion, marketing and many more. One thing for sure: it’ s a business!!

Here the story begins. The fetus of our restaurant was created before we off for 3-week holiday. My hubby and I came up with the idea of making restaurant in our veranda. There is a tiny room as well that can seat 5 people. So, why not? Starting with the small one is not bad at all. 3-week holiday passed and we ‘had’ to make our dream came true.

On the very first time we wanted to make a restaurant, we planned to sell baked rice. Why baked rice? It’s simply because we love it, I can cook it, and no one sells it seriously at Yogya. For about two months, I did experiment in kitchen to formulate a very fine recipe of rice and the topping. My hubby was bussy searching and looking for the ingredients and material suppliers. Both of us were also bussy of finding the essential utensils such as bowl, plate, fork, spoon, glass and many more. Excited. We set the launching deadline and we managed to be ready before it.

On 22 April we launched our restaurant. n the first day, we invited some friends and some followers of @makanjogja to try our menu for free. Besides, some people came to buy our baked rice. Yes they were our first buyers. Thanks to them. More people came the following days. The news of Twizel launching went viral via Twitter. All of sudden, people talked about it on Twitter. What a nice start!!

A nice start should be followed by well-planned executions. As the veranda and the tiny room were no longer able to seat customers, then we decided to shut down our clothing store in the second floor. To be honest, during the first six months, the store didn’t perform well. So we think it is the best moment for pivot. All clothes are sent to Jakarta to be sold in our online store. We revamp the second floor’s lay out, add some details here and there, and voila more space in second floor ready for more crowd.

Our restaurant’s name is Twizel. What is Twizel and why? Twizel is a small city in South Island of New Zealand. It is beautiful and surrounded by amazing lakes. We’re impressed by its beauty, its cleanliness, its tininess. We want to be back there and that’s why we name our restaurant after it.

We are new player in culinary business and we still learn. I find out that managing culinary business is very exhausting. Though, my hubby and I are very excited. We know that more problems will be coming to tackle. What we have now is a new-born “baby” and we are willing to nurture it on and on. We are hopeful about it.


Bali Culinary Treasure

Bali is a word equivalent to holiday…sun…leisure and good food. I think I have visited Bali for about ten times however I never feel satiable of it. I want to go there again and again. Just like what I did last month. My hubby and I visited Bali once again. As we already visited almost all tourism sites in Bali, then we focused our last visit to enjoy the culinary treasures of The Island of Gods. Here I’d like to share some foods that you might try upon visiting this heavenly island.

Warung Sop Ikan Makbeng

Warung Sop Ikan Makbeng is one of “legendary” food in Bali. It’s located in Sanur Beach area. The look of the warung is simple. It’s small yet packed with tables and chairs. I think it can accomodate more than 50 seats at once. On the wall, we found out Indonesian artists on frame. Apparently, the warung has gained popularity among them.

                          sop ikan makbeng

Then I ordered two portion of the sop ikan. 10 minutes later the waitress came with two bowls of sop ikan, two plates of fried fish and two plates of steamed rice. Before my eyes was served the famous sop ikan Makbeng. It contained of big chunk of fish (I guess it’s snapper) and many chunks of cucumber. The broth was yellowish, neither too thick nor too light. Straightly I tasted the sop. Hmmm…savory and a hint of sour blended nicely. it reminded me of sayur asem banjar,  that my mom’s used to cook. Yet, this sop ikan makbeng doesn’t taste as sour as sayur asem banjar does. A big slice of friend fish was served as sop’s companion. The flesh of fish was still moist. I dipped the fried fish with the sambal (traditional chili sauce) and sweet soya sauce. It was heaven. Yummy. Warm steamed-rice, savory-sour sop and a big chunk of fried fish as well as the sambal were a deadly combination.  I ate a lot and suddenly didn’t care how much calorie I gained that day:)

Warung Ikan Bakar Mami

I should thank Pak Bondan, an Indonesia culinary enthusiast for reviewing this simple warung in his blog. Warung Ikan Bakar Mami is another must-visit warung in Bali. It is located in Jalan Uluwatu II/30 X. What warung mami serves is grilled sea fish which is mostly found and sold in touristic area of Jimbaran. The difference is what will you get here is the grilled fish with the same excellent quality as those served in Jimbaran but with a very reasonable price. Pak Bondan says “Harga Jujur”. No excessive mark-up. Customers happy, seller happy.

the grilled fish

I found no difficulty once looking for this warung. Faithfully following the direction written in Pak Bondan’s blog, we could spot this warung from the smoke of the griller. I ordered a portion of grilled fish and a portion of grilled shell directly to Pak Putu, the owner cum chef of warung mami. He opened a box of fresh fish. There were ikan kakap a.k.a snapper and ikan tresi.  I asked Pak Putu what was the difference of those fishes. “If you want the firm fish, choose kakap. Tresi has soft flesh”. As I ever ate kakap, then I decided to choose ikan tresi. Hhmmm….I couldnt wait the soft-fleshed fish served before me.

the grilled shell

We sat on the plastic chair. There was no essential ornament in this warung. Only a picture on Pak Putu and Pak Bondan on the wall. For beverage, there was a cool box with some selections of chilled-bottled drinks. After 20 minutes of waiting, the grilled fish and grilled shell were delivered with the hot steamed rice. Ahhh the grilled fish with reddish ingredients which I really loved. I tasted the fish first. Mmm…suddenly fell in love from the first bite. The flesh of fish was very moist covered with bumbu basep and red chili at its best.


Besides the main dishes, condiments here were deserved another compliment. The condiments were plecing kangkung (boiled kangkoong with chili paste), two kinds of sambal (sweet soya sauce with chili and matah sambal), acar timun tomat (cucumber and tomato pickles) and the hittest one was fried garlic. I rarely found fried garlic served as condiment especially in sea food restaurant. It turned out that garlic fried was a deadly combination of grilled fish and steamed rice. I had to join Pak Bondan in agreement that all dishes served in Warung Mami deserved thumbs up.



Pempek Nyonya Kamto

Pempek Nyonya Kamto. One of many Pempek in Jogjakarta, yet it is the best one, in my opinion. I have eaten pempek in many places, including ones from its origin place, Palembang. And from my point of view, what pempek Nyonya Kamto offers is as delicious as those from Palembang or other places at South Sumatera.

Pempek is a fishcake made of Tenggiri fish. It is served with sweet, sour and spicy sauce. As topping, you may add cucumber or noodle. You can have it wet or fried. Both are delicious. Back to Pempek Nyonya Kamto, the menus served vary. They are pempek kapal selam, pempek bulat, lenggang, pempek lenjer, and pempek kulit. They also have tekwan. Tekwan technically is not a variation of pempek. It is actually a fish ball served with delicious broth. My favorites are always pempek kapal selam and pempek kulit. Pempek kapal selam is the biggest pempek of all (in size) and stuffed with duck egg. As for pempek kulit, it is made of kulit or fish skin, mixed with flour and the ingredients. The last time I went there, my hubby tried lenggang. Lenggang is fish cake fried with omelet.

Pempek Nyonya Kamto have several branches in Yogyakarta. I have been to its first outlet at Jalan Beskalan 3, Yogyakarta (close by Toko Ramai) and to another outlet at Lower Ground floor of Plaza Ambarukmo, Yogyakarta. The price is affordable. A pempek kapal selam costs only 10.000 rupiahs. Other menus like lenggang, kulit, lenjer, and bulat are priced 7500.

On Monolog


Finally, I had a chance to visit this coffee shop, Monolog, which is located on Plaza Senayan. Well I used to be curious every time I passed this coffee shop. The style is very unique. Woody and warm. And when I killed the time before going to the cinema, my hubby and I, decided to go there.

Once entering the coffee shop, the waitress greeted me warmly. I could see his enthusiasm. We chose to sit at the terrace of the coffee while watching people passing by. The concept of Monolog resembles coffee shops in Melbourne. Many coffee shops in Melbourne are located precisely by the street, so visitors sit near with the hustle bustle of street.

I ordered the signature beverage of Monolog. Iced Orange Caramel Latte. It tasted so nice. I could taste the flavor of orange blended subtly with the coffee latte. Ogi, my hubby ordered hot choco praline (I forgot what its name exactly, but pretty sure that it was praline chocolate). The hot choco praline is a must-try for you who love chocolate. Not too sweet with a nice combination of bitterness along the sip.

The place was very clean. The waitresses were always responsive and helpful. Once I ordered additional tissue, they quickly got one for me. As this place attracts many people in the weekend, so I suggest you to enjoy it in the weekdays. As like what I did before, I came in the weekend and barely empty chairs there.


Iced Orange Coffee Latte : IDR 36K
Hot Choco: IDR 31K

Plaza Senayan CP 101B
Palm Gate Entrance
Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8
Jakarta 10270

cookies and yearly resolution

Last Ied Fitr, I said to my hubby that the next Ied Fitr I would bake my own cookies. That was a challenge I gave to my self as I was not an expert of baking. I love cooking, my family loves cooking. However, baking is not in our blood. My mum is not in to baking. She prefers cooking to baking, And so do I. I was not growing in baking culture. I grew in cooking culture of my family.

However, I have been nurturing my passion on baking since 3 years ago. It started with an oven I got as my wedding gift. The company was the mixer. Also from the wedding guests. As  a start, I baked the food that I love such as macaroni schottel and lasagna. And then, I tried with the sweet delicacies. I baked banana cake, muffin, brownies or cheese cake. Yet, cookies were not in my list.

I started baking cookies when I needed to make cookies from my son, Cena. It is my commitment to give him fresh food , including snack for him. So, instead of buying instant cookies  (which mostly contains preservative material), I baked it myself for Cena. Then, I continue baking and baking. I try many recipes I find in the internet.

So, as one of 2011 resolutions, I put baking my own Ied Fitr cookies in the list. There are four kind of cookies I have baked: kaastangels, choco chips, lidah kucing and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. Of each kind, I bake as much as four jars so in total I bake for 16 jars. The cookies will be dedicated for my mother, my mother-in-law, my helper and of course for my family.

My first Lasagna

Layer by layer, I put them on the pan.
The first layer, then I applied tomato pasta with the minced meet and smoked beef. Ups, I didn’t forget to give oregano leaf into it once cooked.
Next, again, I put another layer of lasagna, which previously boiled, in which I mixed some spoons of oil into the water so they wouldn’t stick together.

I added creamy sauce, made of low fat milk that I cooked with cheddar cheese and pepper powder. It was just like making creamy soup where I fried flour with the butter.

Okay then I put another layer, then laid the tomato pasta, the creamy sauce, consecutively until the tray was full.

Finished with the layers, I prepared the oven, turned it into 150 degree. I took the pan into the open and set the timer. It was around 30 to 45 minutes. I saw the the topping, which was full with chess, melted.

And the good smell came around. It was just baked perfectly. But I couldn’t taste it directly as I had two guests to be the first taster.

Not long after that, the awaited guest came. I served the pan and let them tried first.

Nervous, I expected their comment.

“Delicious, Mbak Thea”

Then I stared to my hubby.

“It’s delicious, Hun”.

I was flattered.

In the morning before leaving for the office, I prepared some slices of Lasagna to be brought to the office. My hubby said,

“Don’t bring all of them to your office. I wanna some more”

Okay hunney. Then I left half of Lasagna with him.

“So you can cook Lasagna?”
“Is it really your first-baking?”
“You can run business, then”

Those are their comments.

In the Yahoo Messenger, my hubby said,

“I got drunk because of your lasagna. It’s just really delicious”.

Voila…my first Lasagna and it’s nice:)

Roasted Chicken van Gandu

Once you have a chance to visit Magetan, there’s another spot that you may visit aside Sarangan lake which is located at the feet of Lawu mountain. In the Desa Gandu, Rejosari, Magetan, the people are actively involved in culinary business, which has empowered local economy impulse.

My visit to Sentra Ayam Panggang Gandu was solicit, unplanned. Starting from a plan of attending a best friend’s wedding at Ngawi, my friend, Citra and her hubby treated us to have a lunch at Gandu. Entering the village, on the left and right side, I saw houses with tag ” Ayam Bakar”. Almost every house there sells ayam panggang (roasted chicken). The appearance of the home doesn’t look like a restaurant as it’s not set like that. Instead, guests will be served in each house’s living room. No chair but all sit on the floor.

We arrived in a house which is said serves one of the most delicious ayam panggang. Mas Eddy, Citra’s hubby, ordered for us. Not so long after that, the menus came. There were two plates of ayam panggang, one was onion flavor and another one was bumbu rujak flavor. Hmm it looked delicious. The ayam panggang wasn’t served alone as there were other companions such as lalapan, botok, trancam, pelas, and of course sambel. All of them really awoke our appetite.

I tried the ayam panggang bumbu rujak. Though it was a little bit tough, the flavor was so nice. Maknyusss. It’s combination of sweet, salty and spicy at once. Then, I moved the botok into my mouth…hmmmm delicious. Just like the one my mum’s cook. The trancam wasn’t less delicious. They were good combined with the warm white rice. Yummyyy:)

I am so sorry that I can’t give a detail information on the price as I was there because I was treated:D. But once talking with Mas Eddy, He implied that the price of a whole chicken is around 44-45 thousands rupiah. Worth it as it can be eaten by 4-5 people.

Botok: mix vegetable which steamed in a banana leaf
Trancam: mix fresh vegetable with coconut sauce
Pelas: dish made of black soya bean

Culinary Diplomacy

In a phone conversation with SBY, Obama said that he’s missing nasi goreng, bakso and rambutan. All of those local delicacies were a part of his childhood while living at Jakarta, Indonesia with his family.

Food is memorable, especially when it’s unique, special and of course delicious. It has a “special” capability to melt the situation. The relationship also can begin from a dinner banquet. Diplomacy occasion is not complete without serving the guests with dinner or lunch.

USA and Libya have been involved in unfriendly relationship for years. But last September, another story happened when the Secretary of the State visited Libya and met the Libya president, Moamar Kadaffi. They met in a comfortable situation. Kadaffi served his honored colleague by asking her to look around to his kitchen. Leeza (nick name of USA Secretary of State) was accompanied to have a look at the kitchen and of course tasted Iftar, the Libya delicacy. The success of kitchen diplomacy marks the milestone of USA-Libya relationship.

In 2003, Govt. of Thailand launched program Thai Global Food which aimed at reaffirming the international culture to its appeal. 8000 Thai restaurants around the world were up and it didn’t only introducing Thai food to foreigner but also attracted them to visit Thailand. 15 million tourists are recorded coming to Thailand every year.

According to a source, Diplomats in Washington have pointed out from time to time that restaurants are often the only contacts that most Americans have with other cultures. See, it has a magnificent role. Some say that meal time is the best one when you want to discuss about sensitive things, in sense it’s the moment when people share the same dish and ignore differences for a while.

Maybe our govt, can learn form Thailand. We can encourage entrepreneur to run Indonesia restaurants abroad and make it easier for them to import local ingredients from Indonesia. So, Mr. Obama won’t meet any difficulty when he wants to memorize his childhood through the Indonesian delicacy.

Bakmi Pele

My coming to Bakmi Pele isn’t only about eating. For me it’s also about enjoying the heart of Jogja, in the night nuance, feeling the breeze whispering near my ears.

Bakmi Pele, located in the north alun-alun Jogjakarta, is one of the culinary places that you must visit once at Jogja. Recently, I’ve been always devoting my time to have a plate of fried noodle when I go home to Jogja. The fried noodle served there is Javanese style. We call it Bakmi Jowo. Using endog bebek (egg of duck) and ayam kampung, to my opinion, Bakmi Pele is the embodiment of original recipe of noodle. I always love noodle, Bakmi Pele is one of my fave.

If I may suggest you, try to sit with lesehan style, instead of on chair. There, you can sit while overlooking the large field, known as Alun-alun. Then, order a glass of hot tea or wedang ronde and take your time while you can, before a portion of fried noodle coming in front of you.

The last time I went there, I took it not as the ritual of ordinary eating, instead of commemoration of my being in that lovable city. And for you who has a chance to spend moment there, please enjoy the noodle, your time at Jogja, while seeing the slight buzzing of the city. And for me, it’s always nice.