Tag Archives: Food & Dining Experiences

Food & Dining Review: Pippo Senayan City

>> At A Glance

* Restaurant name: Pippo

* Cuisine: Italian

* Address: Senayan City Mall, Jl. Asia Afrika No.19, RT.1/RW.3, Gelora, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta 10270

* Opening times: Everyday 10.00 – 24.00

* Phone: +622172781089

* Social media: Facebook, Instagram

>> Ratings

* Overall flavour: 3.5

* Price for portion: 2.5

Definitely on the expensive side for the flavour and portion being offered. Some dishes are more suitably priced than others. For example, I can still consider 95k IDR for a smoked beef pizza reasonable, but 75k IDR for a relatively small raviolini in brodo or 55k IDR for two small scoops of ice cream are arguably extortionate. I would agree with the current pricing if the flavour was truly unique and dynamic, but unfortunately this is not the case for many of the dish I tasted.

* Service: 4

Service went smoothly for the most part. The waitresses are well-trained and knowledgeable about the menu (i.e. they were able to answer questions about ingredients and provide recommendations). All the dishes were served promptly, with a reasonable waiting time of 10 to 15 minutes. Nevertheless, I would appreciate it if all the staff were friendlier and more approachable, particularly the front-of-house waitresses. I understand that the restaurant has bookings, but there are better ways of letting guests know than simply saying “we can accommodate you, but we need you to finish eating by 7 pm” as soon as we request for a table. That being said, for a restaurant that has only been open for a few weeks, I’m thoroughly impressed by how much the waitresses know about the dishes.

* Venue / ambiance: 5

Hands down, the venue/ambiance of this restaurant is truly top-notch and perfect for gatherings. The dim lighting, transparent windows, elegant decorations, and overall layout of the restaurant establish a charismatic, high-class feel to the venue. The bar area is also a nice touch to the atmosphere.

* X factor: Amazing venue/ambiance

* Overall experience: 4

>> Dish By Dish Review

* Smoked Beef Pizza for 95k IDR: 4.5

Certainly one of the best pizzas I’ve tasted in Jakarta! The thickness of the dough is just right and it’s baked to perfection. The combination of thoroughly melted cheese, tomato, and oil tastes absolutely amazing and satisfying. If this is the standard for all of Pippo’s pizzas, then they will undoubtedly stand out overtime. An improvement that’ll make this dish perfect would be to have more smoked beef bits, because some slices just taste like margherita instead of smoked beef pizza.

* Raviolini In Brodo for 75k IDR: 4

Don’t let the broth’s lack of colour fool you, the opaque soup is rich in flavour and truly delightful. When you bite into the perfect-sized raviolini, be prepared for a burst of flavour as you taste their cheese filling. The cheese complements the broth rather well, making the dish very well-balanced in flavour. For a 75k IDR dish, however, I would like to have more than eight raviolini.

* Angel Hair Aglio Olio E Peperoncino for 95k IDR: 4.5

It’s evident that the seasoning of this dish has been adjusted to suit an Asian palette, and honestly, I see no reason to complain. The soft, springy angel hair pasta is decorated with tomato, chilli, parsley, and cheese flakes that are mixed well together. I love how this dish isn’t too oily whilst still maintaining the characteristic aglio olio taste. I’d love to see an improvement presentation-wise, maybe add some garnish to create a more aesthetically pleasing finish.

* Black Ink Tagliolini for 145k IDR: 3.5

This is the first time I’ve tried a black ink tagliolini dish and it was overall okay, but not necessarily mind-blowing. I couldn’t really taste the black ink, because it was mixed with so much cream. The taste of the parsley flakes unfortunately didn’t come through either. The only upside I can think of is the fact that the tagliolini was soft, tender, and clearly well-made. However, I think the creaminess hinders most of the flavour profile intended for this dish.

* Kiwi Fresh Juice for 45k IDR: 4.5

The kiwi juice is refreshing and light, making it suitable for accompanying heavy pasta dishes. I personally enjoy the grainy, rough texture, but some people might find it too scratchy. It would be good to have the skin of the kiwi slice peeled off so guests can eat it easily.

* Stracciatella & Dark Chocolate Gelato for 55k IDR: 4

Stracciatella and dark chocolate make a great combination, and this gelato is proof. The gelato is smooth, soft, and milky, great for ending a meal centred around pizza and pasta. The price for portion ratio could be made better: reduce the price and/or make each scoop bigger. Either way, a sweet and simple way to end your meal at Pippo!

>> Other Opinions

* Various reviews on Zomato (in Indonesian and English)

>> Previous Post On This Category: Zeo’s Caramel, Coconut & Passion Fruit Soft Drink

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Pippo? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

Disclaimer For Reviews

Food & Dining Review: Zeo’s Caramel, Coconut & Passion Fruit Soft Drink

Click to enlarge.

This is not a food and dining review per se, but more of a drink sample review. Nonetheless, since I don’t have a category specifically dedicated to drinks and don’t think it’s necessary to create one at the moment, I’ve decided to sort it under “Food & Dining Review” instead.

>> At A Glance

“At Zeo, we make a range of lightly carbonated soft drinks. Inside each bottle is 98% spring water blended with naturally extracted fruits and botanicals.” – Zeo

The particular flavour that I’m reviewing today is a special, limited edition one that was released in September and October 2016: Caramel, Coconut & Passion Fruit. 180, 000 bottles of this flavour were released in partnership with the Pink Ribbon Foundation to support breast cancer awareness, with 10p from each bottle going to the foundation. 

>> Ratings

* Flavour: 2

Unfortunately, this combination of caramel, coconut, and passion fruit just didn’t really work for me. Frankly, even I’m having a tricky time imagining how these flavours can complement each other – I wonder how they choose the three things. Anyway, the drink was way too sweet; both the coconut and caramel were very strong, but there was barely a hint of passion fruit. This imbalance established a somewhat cinnamon-like, rather peculiar taste. The only bright side I can think of is that the drink wasn’t too carbonated, but I think this is a general feature across all Zeo soft drinks instead of a notable aspect of this flavour. Although it was still drinkable, I don’t think I’ll ever want a second one.

* Packaging: 3

The packaging is simplistic and, paired with the soft-pink-coloured liquid, creates a stunningly elegant look. However, as the bottle is made of relatively thick glass, it’s quite heavy and difficult to carry around.

* Price for portion: 4

I received my bottle as a free sample, so I’m not entirely sure of its actual retail price. Nevertheless, I read that the recommended retail price is £1.29, which is reasonable for a soft drink and is actually cheaper than other mainstream soft drinks brands, although this may be due to its slightly less volume.

* X factor: It’s for a great cause!

Overall, I believe that the only unique selling point of this flavour is that it’s a limited edition flavour that’s released in aid of breast cancer awareness. This would make the drink appealing to those who care about breast cancer and those who are enthusiastic about sampling this one-off release.

>> Another Opinion: by a YouTube channel called JWW

>> Previous Post On This Category: Paradise Dynasty

Leave a comment below with drinks you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Zeo? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to review any new products!

Disclaimer For Reviews

Food & Dining Review: Paradise Dynasty

>> At A Glance

* Restaurant name: Paradise Dynasty (Plaza Senayan branch)

* Cuisine: Chinese

* Address: Plaza Senayan Mall, 5th Floor, Unit Cp 512-513, Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8, Jakarta 10270 (also have branches in Surabaya, Medan, Bali, East Java, and North Sumatera provinces of Indonesia as well as branches in other Jakarta malls including Central Park and Baywalk)

* Opening times: Everyday 10.00 – 22.00

* Phone: 02157900146 (Plaza Senayan branch)

* Social media: website, Facebook, Twitter

>> Ratings

Rating Scale

* Overall flavour: 4.5

* Price for portion: 4 (click here to access the menu on Zomato)

Taking into account the high quality of the ingredients and moderate high-end feel of the restaurant, I’d say the price for portion is rather reasonable. Most main courses is around 70k IDR and any dish for sharing tends to be less, so it’s not exactly extortionate. Additionally, they often have credit card discounts (especially during Chinese New Year) and will give you 100k IDR voucher(s) after bills depending on how much you spent. It’s worth noting that the voucher can only be used when spending 200k IDR and above on your next visit, though.

* Service: 2.5

The Plaza Senayan branch is highly popular on weekends and public holidays, so don’t be surprised if there’s a waiting list going. That said, it’s usually still a manageable 10-to-15-minute wait. What may be a deal breaker is that, when it’s especially crowded, service can unfortunately be rather slow and neglectful. You might need to ask the waitress about the status of a dish a few times before they realise that they didn’t input the order in the first place. I’m not saying that this is always the case, but this has happened twice in the dozen or so times I’ve been here on weekends (this restaurant is one of my family’s go-tos).

The manager always rectified the situation quickly and professionally, though. He/she will apologise and offer the customer free birthday buns if the mistake is on their part, so I guess a silver lining exists, but the restaurant wouldn’t be my first pick if I’m pressed for time.

* Venue / ambiance: 5

What could be improved in service they make up for in venue/ambiance. The restaurant has a great familial atmosphere with elegant lighting, decor, and Chinese instrumental background music. Furthermore, whether it’s for lunch business meetings or family gatherings over dinner, the space is reasonably spacious with plenty of seating options. A few private rooms with rotating round tables are also available for booking should you want to avoid the restaurant’s hustle and bustle, although there might be a minimum charge when booking for special occasions. No wi-fi available.

* X factor: Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao

These are eight multi-coloured, multi-flavoured xiaolongbaos unique to Paradise Dynasty. I didn’t order it this time around, but I’ve tried it in the past and I’d definitely recommend first-timers to give the dish a shot. Although people typically share a serving of xiaolongbaos, it’s best to keep all eight to yourself this time to appreciate the entire culinary experience. As your chopstick sleeve will illustrate, the eight flavours in the order that you should consume them are original, ginseng, foie gras, black truffle, cheesy, crab roe, garlic, and szechuan.

* Overall experience: 4

>> Dish By Dish Review

* Crispy Pork Buns for 25.8k IDR: 4

The pork filling was sweet, mild, and honestly everything you could ever want in crispy pork buns. I’d personally prefer it if the bun is crispier, but the filling to bun ratio is spot on. This is quite an interesting way of serving pork buns as they’re traditionally white and fluffy, but it’s not necessarily original as I’ve encountered it in other dim sum places.

* Stir-Fried Green Beans w/ Minced Pork for 65k IDR: 3.5

This is a typical dish that people order at Chinese restaurants, and whilst it’s technically vegetable-based, it’s not necessarily healthy as it’s often way too oily for its own good. That being said, Paradise Dynasty served this dish with an acceptable amount of oil and a great proportion in the quantities of pork and green beans. The green beans were young, fresh, and crunchy, just the way I like it. Unfortunately, the seasoning on the minced pork was way too salty, even when consumed with rice. In short, the green beans in this dish were perfect, but the minced pork fell short.

* Ten Pork Xiao Long Baos for 78k IDR: 4

These xiaolongbaos were smaller in size than those I’ve tasted at other restaurants, and there was subsequently less soup and meat packaged into each one. Nonetheless, the ratio between the flour wrap, meat, and soup was perfect, and this led to a truly distinct, delicious burst of flavour when the xialongbao is consumed along with some soya sauce as well as shredded ginger. This dish, however, was a bit on the expensive side in terms of price for portion; including more xiaolongbaos or making them bigger would compensate for this limitation.

* Porcupine Nutella Buns for 36.8k IDR: 5

A twist on baozi I have yet to find anywhere else! Presentation-wise, carving the steamed buns into porcupines give the dish a cute and creative look that can easily attract children and adults alike. The attention to detail dedicated into shaping each porcupine is in itself commendable. Additionally, although they’re called Nutella buns, the filling actually consists of both melted Nutella and a thin spread of red bean paste. Many sweet baozis consists of either chocolate or red bean, so it was a nice surprise finding that both were incorporated in these ones. Designating the perfect proportion of ingredients into a dish seems to be Paradise Dynasty’s specialty, because again, the bread to Nutella to red bean paste ratio created a wonderfully addictive taste. To top it all of, the dough was soft and fluffy, making it a perfect complement to the warm red bean paste and melted Nutella.

* Birthday Buns for free: 3

This wasn’t a dish I was expecting to review, but it was given to us after a poor service experience. The vividly coloured, custard-filled buns were aesthetically pleasing, and they were the perfect balance between sweet and doughy. Assuming from the name, I’m guessing the restaurant also serves these buns to customers who are celebrating birthdays. Thus, if it’s your birthday and Nutella buns aren’t your thing, then you’re in luck because the birthday bun makes a decent dessert.

>> Other Opinions (on the Plaza Senayan branch)

* Various reviews on Zomato, TripAdvisor, pergikuliner (in Indonesian and English)

* On food/travel blogs called Jakarta in Food, thefoodxplorer , and objekwisata (in Indonesian)

* On food/travel blogs called Soompeat and Eshtravaganza (in English)

>> Previous Post On This Category: Cocoro

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Paradise Dynasty? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

Disclaimer For Reviews

Food & Dining Review: Red Cow Carvery

>> At A Glance

Red Cow Carvery #1

Click to enlarge.

* Stall name: Red Cow Carvery

* Cuisine: British

* Address: Greenwich Market, 5b Greenwich Market, London, United Kingdom, SE10 9HZ

* Opening times: 10.00 – 17.30 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays

* Phone: (+44) 7775997435

* Facebook: Red Cow Carvery

>> Ratings

Rating Scale

* Overall flavour: 4

* Price for portion: 3.5

There was enough to make me adequately full, but that’s all there is to it.

Menu - click to enlarge.

Menu – click to enlarge.

* Service: 3.5

As the stall is in a market and surrounded by other food stalls, crowdedness is inevitable and tolerable. The vendor has a good line up system that’s clearly communicated, easily understandable, and doesn’t block neighbouring stalls. Service was quick and thus prevents the line from being too overwhelming. That being said, staff need to be careful not to sacrifice too much friendliness towards customers solely for quicker service.

Additionally, the stall serves everything on a rectangular styrofoam bowl. Whilst I understand that this is convenient, it would be great if a more environmentally friendly material can be used or maybe the vendor can offer a fair discount to customers who bring along their own reusable containers.

* Venue / ambiance: 4

Located relatively at the centre of the food hub, as far as market stalls go it’s pretty decent and accessible. The surrounding intersections amplify the rush and hecticness at times, but having two stalls merged into one certainly helps establish a less suffocating atmosphere for customers. Due to its central location, there are no seats or tables nearby.

* X factor: None

Can’t put my finger on any, great British food with great flavours, but nothing that makes me scream, “Wow!”

* Overall experience: 3.5

>> Dish By Dish Review

Click to enlarge.

* Roast Beef w/ Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding & Gravy for £6 : 4

Overall, the dish was mildly seasoned and well presented. The beef was cooked well done and the Yorkshire pudding was tasty. For improvements, larger potatoes should’ve been cut into smaller pieces for a better and more uniformed roast across the potatoes. One or two extra Yorkshire pudding(s) and more caramelised onions would’ve made the price for portion more ideal. Additionally, I reckon some roasted or boiled vegetables can complement the dish rather nicely.

>> Other Opinions

* On ilovemarkets.co.uk

* On a food and travel blog…

>> Previous Post On This Category: Spatula

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Red Cow Carvery? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

Disclaimer For Reviews