Lunch at Restaurant 1953 Indonesien Jakarta

Restaurant 1953 Indonesien enchanted me from the very beginning. I found the concept of serving classic Indonesian food in a house built during the Dutch Colonial era exciting.

The well-furnished interior and cozy atmosphere remind me of chic semi fine dining restaurants in Bali like Sarong.

During our visit at lunch hour, the place was not crowded. Besides our group of 8, there's also a group of young ladies in what seems like a class reunion setting, judging from all the laughs and similar ages.

Upon our first interaction with the waiter, I was quite impressed by the gesture and professional but relaxed manner. Fits nicely with the chic elegant setting.

Upon selecting our food we have several recommendations from our waiter and decided to order them all.

How was the food? Here we go:

The restaurant's highly recommended menu was Tongseng Iga Kambing (199K) that served with medium hot spicy broth, and three full sized lamb chops! While the broth was fine as it resembles a slightly toned down street food version, I found the meat felt significantly fatty hence it tasted quite strong. The cooking level of all three lamb chops was also not equal, as one was still rare compared with the somewhat medium well two others. Not something I'd recommend for the lamb-shy foodie.

The Mixed Satay Plate was gorgeously presented and the satay variants tasted pleasing. I did find the Sate Lilit Bali a bit weak, strong on the herbs but lacking the significant taste of the fish.

On the other hand, the Wagyu Rica Rica was good. The meat melted in my mouth oozing that buttery meat juice, and it pairs beautifully with the rica rica sambal provided. I'd highly recommend this menu, though it's not something traditionally Indonesian.

If you enjoy eating with rice, there's different kind of rice to choose, and one of them in Nasi Kencur, steamed rice seasoned with campfera galangal, aromatic herb with mellow ginger flavor and significant umami flavor.

In the drink department, I found Bir Pletok is on the menu, among other traditional, and popular contemporary choices. While the Bir Pletok tasted authentic, I did find the sweetness level overwhelming, hence I ordered my second drink a fresh juice without sugar.

On the overall, the service was prompt and friendly, and the elegant laid back ambiance fits nicely small gathering, semi romantic dinner, or arisan.

Restaurant 1953 Indonesien
📌 Jl Panglima Polim 3 No 93
🌐 Jakarta Selatan 12160
☎ 081387773177

#jakartafood #jakartadining #indonesianfood #kulinertradisional #kulinerjkt #jktfoodies #epicurinajkt #lambchops #tongseng #1953restaurantindonesien #flavorsofindonesia #tasteofindonesia #restaurantreview

Membawa Cita Rasa Indonesia ke Ranah Internasional - Ubud Food Festival 2017

Empat minggu sebelum berlangsungnya Ubud Food Festival (UFF) di pusat seni dan kuliner pulau
Bali, Ubud, tim UFF membawa sepotong kelezatan dari meriahnya perayaan kuliner ini ke hadapan
para pencinta kuliner Jakarta. Berlokasi di Plataran Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, puluhan awak media
dan bloggers, serta beberapa pembicara yang akan hadir di Ubud pada tangal 12-14 Mei mendatang
berkumpul untuk mengenal UFF lebih jauh.

Salah satu program andalan dari UFF adalah forum diskusi yang membedah industri kuliner, sebuah
ruang di mana para pelaku industri kuliner dapat berbagi ilmu. Program yang dinamakan Think,
Talk, Taste ini dihadirkan di Jakarta mengangkat tema diskusi “Bringing Indonesian Cuisines to
the World” atau ‘Membawa kuliner Indonesia ke dunia’. Founder & Director UFF, Janet DeNeefe, duduk bersama celebrity chef Farah Quinn, penulis kuliner Petty Elliott, dan chef Ragil Imam Wibowo yang berada di balik Nusa Gastronomy.

Selama ini kuliner Indonesia kurang mendapatkan apresiasi yang sebenarnya pantas didapatkan.
Tersembunyi di balik ketenaran kuliner Asia lainnya seperti Thailand, Vietnam, Cina, Jepang, Korea,
dan India, makanan Indonesia masih kurang dikenal di ranah internasional. Pertanyaan seperti
“Mengapa masakan Indonesia kurang dikenal di dunia?” sering dilontarkan oleh banyak penikmat
UFF. Beberapa jawaban seperti kurang besarnya penyebaran komunitas Indonesia di negaranegara
lainnya dan kurangnya dukungan pemerintah dalam mempromosikan kuliner nusantara
dianggap belum dapat memuaskan rasa penasaran tersebut.

Namun mungkin jawabannya terletak pada begitu banyaknya jenis dan cita rasa masakan
Indonesia. Seperti kata salah satu figur kuliner Indonesia, Bondan Winarno: “Satu bangsa, jutaan
cita rasa”. Jenis kuliner Indonesia dari Sabang hingga Merauke begitu beragam dan dipengaruhi
oleh latar belakang sejarah yang panjang, mengakibatkan jenis kuliner dari setiap daerah dan suku
berbeda antara satu dengan yang lainnya.

Setiap pembicara dalam diskusi ini berasal dari latar belakang yang berbeda-beda, dari beberapa
daerah di Indonesia, membuat diskusi berlangsung seru. Namun mereka semua setuju bahwa
keragaman kuliner Indonesia dari Sabang hingga Merauke adalah kekuatan utama kuliner
Indonesia yang membuatnya menjadi unik. “Sebagai orang asing, saya merasa masakan Indonesia
layaknya masakan Italia. Jenis masakan yang masuk dalam kategori comfort food, dapat dinikmati
kapan saja dan di mana saja.” ujar Janet DeNeefe yang berasal dari Australia namun telah tinggal di
pulau Bali selama 30 tahun.

Petty Elliott sendiri menyatakan bahwa masyarakat internasional sudah siap menerima jenis-jenis
masakan dengan cita rasa yang rumit dan perpaduan bumbu yang melimpah, seperti masakan
Indonesia. “Sewaktu saya berada di London, saya melihat bahwa ramen dari Jepang sedang banyak
digemari, dan ketika saya mencicipinya, bumbu dari ramen tersebut tidak main-main, alias begitu
kental dan pedas. Berarti orang Barat sudah mulai terbiasa dengan masakan pedas dan berbumbu

UFF, yang dilangsungkan selama tiga hari selalu mampu menarik pengunjung yang datang dari
berbagai macam negara, dan seringkali UFF menjadi kali pertama mereka mencicipi masakan
Indonesia. Keempat pembicara yang hadir di acara ini setuju, bahwa dengan hadirnya para juru
masak dari penjuru Indonesia yang tampil berdampingan dengan juru masak dari beberapa negara
lainnya, tidak diragukan UFF adalah satu-satunya Festival di Indonesia yang merayakan kuliner
Indonesia sekaligus memperkenalkannya ke hadapan masyarakat Internasional.

2016 Updates and Surprises!

Hi Guys! It's been a while!

What's new with Epicurina? Well we encountered a significant turning point around the mid of 2016 and decided to relocate to Jakarta! As even though we love Bali, and many of our friends think it's a loss, actually there's a bigger challenge awaits in The Big Durian.

As a debut (comeback?) we're happy to share the reasons why we should be proud of Indonesian Cuisine, and why it's important to actively promoting them as our heritage, because it's part of our identity!

You can view the full video at this link, and participate in the contest through this link:


Kedai Kopi Gayo in Bali

While I did notice their sign from a while back, I didn't really become interested to find out more, thinking like, oh, it's another cafe with so-so food that I've seen too much.

It was only after getting tagged on Instagram post about Mie Aceh, and it's been a while since I had any, I made the effort to turn my car toward the street where Kopi Gayo resides, and wow I was impressed!

Turned out it's an actual Warung Kopi, sits right next to the street, set in a very casual setting with a long boat that used as the main table, neat minimalist design and lots of light! Immediately we made a plan to visit them the next night.

Scouting the menu we discovered that they're quite serious. After some conversation with the owner we also found out that he's coming from Aceh, and just been living on the island for about two months. Surely as Bali Food Blogger we become more interested in what Kopi Gayo has to offer.

To start our journey we ordered Kopi Sanger which is a favorite in Banda Aceh: it's the mix of 3 parts black coffee with 1 part condensed milk, where the coffee is filtered using conventional cloth coffee filter (pictured above). The result is a bitter sweet coffee drink carrying both the traces of Gayo coffee and sweet condensed milk. A good company for long conversation.

As the main dish we ordered both Nasi Rempah Ayam Tangkap, and Mie Aceh Sapi Goreng. I was aiming for the more lavish variation, Mie Aceh with Crab, or with Prawns, but they're already running out of stock for both items. Should try it next time when the day is still young. Turned out they're open from early morning at 6:30 am for breakfast.

The Mie Aceh combines thick udon-like but softer yellow noodles, with savory sour and spicy thick sauce that bathe the noodle like a spaghetti sauce.

Comparatively while we love how the flavor stands out, we think it's a bit spice shy compared to the rustic smokey specimens we usually have from our favorite vendor in Pemogan, Rumoh Aceh.

For the other main menu we choose Nasi Rempah Ayam Tangkap which on first look resembles Nasi Goreng with heavy dose of spices put in. The taste however, was not as wild as I first suspected, and on a food diagram it would be grouped more with Nasi Hainan and Nasi Kuning, than with Nasi Kebuli. The addition of whole cardamom help adding the exotic nuance, however it wasn't really blended into the rice to create the true rustic feels.

As with prices, they're very affordable and worth every rupiah you spend. Have a look:

We did also try their Teh Tarik, and Martabak Aceh, but was too involved with the food to take a shot. Martabak Aceh differs with the usual Martabak Telur, as it's an "inside-out" martabak where the fillings is outside and its crusty skin inside.

Since we love their place, and the people hospitality, we surely points out our thoughts above to the owner as feedback. You guys should also give it a try and let me know what do you think? (byms)

Kedai Kopi Gayo
Jl. Tukad Musi V
Opens daily 06:30 - 00:00

Nutrilicious stay at The Leaf Jimbaran Bali

While Bali is better known for its lush green scenery and its beaches, for this staycation we choose to try something new: The Leaf Jimbaran, which is a villa compound with wellness and health conscious food and activities.

Away from the beaches, and the bustling tourist areas we usually look for, The Leaf Jimbaran sits in the hills of Jimbaran area, accessible through the same road that leads to Ayana and its marvelous Rock Bar. While the premise can be reached through its alternative route which exists nearby Garuda Wisnu Kencana, it's advisable to use the main entry instead.

How to NOT have your Uber ride in Bali

Uber is a revolutionary application that connect passengers with drivers in a way that's never been happened before. Through the app, Uber users can easily order their ride, rent out a car only for the duration and distance they need.

More than the ease in ordering, Uber users also have the comfort of knowing how long their ride will arrive, who the driver is, along with the driver's reputation. Uber users also get the cost estimation of the trip, and how long approximately will it take to get there. Something that exists only in the wildest customer dreams in the past, despite the abundance of similar rent-based car already in service.

Rejection of Uber service in Bali

Outside of all the service and customer experience advantages, to local Bali cabbies Uber and other similar services like Grab Taxi poses a threat to their operation, which mostly prefers a haggle based pricing scheme despite having the mandatory argo meter installed.

To the government, Uber operation also raises issue since it provides similar service with taxi, but doesn't have a legal entity to operate in Indonesia. Uber's self-established pricing also violates the government rules that require all taxi tariff must undergo government review to ensure its fairness, which includes it wont severely hurt other taxi companies operating with their current pricing scheme.

Awaiting for a stricter government regulation, a zone restriction is applied by the local Balinese authority, hence the many "No Uber allowed" signs sprouted up on Bali's popular tourist destinations, and discreetly on many hotels as well.

Hotels as well? Yes, because in Bali, most if not all of the hotels must sign an agreement with local Banjar (Balinese authority village) that guarantees employment of local workforce up to certain percentage of hotel staffing, along with rights to provide specific services like hotel security and transportation for the hotel guests.

Foto: Kalangan sopir taksi di Bali menolak taksi berbasis aplikasi beroperasi di Bali ( Maruta)

In Uber's defense, they repeatedly states that Uber is not a taxi service, but they're a technology company that offers way to rent and rent out car in convenience, in cooperation with registered Uber partners to provide the cars. To prove the difference, Uber don't have a taxi armada, or have even a single car they operate as taxi.

Outside of the definition and legal battle, it's still quite possible to use Uber service in Bali as the government itself still figuring out what they want to do with modern day internet based service like Uber, Grab Car, Gojek, etc. hence no stricter action has been taken yet.

With the zone restrictions happening in Bali though, getting your Uber ride could be tricky, especially if you're in the hot tourism destination zones like Airport, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Batu Belig, Canggu, and Echo Beach.

Uber drivers worst case scenarios

Having some riding experience myself with Uber, traveling between venues and meetings related to my Bali food blog activity, I got to learn about the different stories different drivers have, including their worst ever experiences.

Here's what the Uber drivers explained as worst case scenario they have faced related with the local cabbies and authority sentiments, where on most of those occasions they prefer to step on the gas and cancel the order from their side. It's just not worth risking a broken window glass or dents and nasty scratch marks on your car over a cancellation penalty.

Scenario 01 - The Haggler

You finished shopping at the local shop, then haggle price with local cabbies with no satisfying agreement. Instead of walking away, you then proceed to open your Uber App and order your ride, right there beside the now insulted local cabbies.

Scenario 02 - The Innocent

You finished eating in a hip restaurant, politely reject local cabbies offering their service, but right there proceed to open your Uber app and said "Yes" when they ask "Are you ordering Uber?!" despite noticing tenseness in their voice.

Scenario 03 - The Unsure

Walked out of your Hotel, doesn't haggle price with local cabbies, but order your Uber ride right there near the local cabbies parked their taxi, and constantly cross-checking the plate number of every car passing with the number shown on your Apps, thus getting all the attention from the now insulted local cabbies.

Scenario 04 - The Big City Tourist 

You walked out from the arrival gate at the airport, ordering Uber, then go to the nearest passenger pickup zone patiently awaiting for your ride... but waves frantically while yelling out loud "You're from Uber right? From Uber right?! Uuubeeer?" upon your ride arrives, attracting unnecessary attention from all the insulted local cabbies, informal cabbies using private cars, freelance tour agents, and security guards.

Some thoughts about Uber endangering local Balinese businesses

While I acknowledge the reasons local Balinese taxi drivers (and associations) about Uber operation hurting Balinese Taxis, and that all Uber cars are operating without taxi license, here's some of the interesting findings discovered from using Uber and interviewing the Uber drivers:

  • On my numerous rides with Uber in Bali, surprisingly most of Uber drivers in Bali are Balinese! They're using Bali registered cars with special tourism permit from the government, that took months to process, and costs at least 6 million rupiah to obtain.
  • Many Uber drivers are only utilizing Uber in between of their regular business of renting cars, or tour guide, meaning they're already doing the business anyway before Uber comes to Bali. 
  • Some Uber drivers are even "graduated" local Bali taxi drivers that switching to Uber for a more humane working hours and better income through the guaranteed passengers, especially during low tourism sessions.
  • Some Uber drivers are turning to Uber to come out of their hardship, e.g.: Pemutusan Hubungan Kerja (PHK), in between jobs, slow going business, etc.

Outside of rejection and legality issues, the most notable differences I experienced as passenger upon riding Uber is transparency, and consistency, which in turn establish the sense of fairness, something that most local taxi companies failed to give, for example:

  • There's been numerous cases where I arrived in Ngurah Rai from business trips outside Bali, ordering the official Ngurah Rai Airport cab, and find out that the cost of the trip varies each time, as it's determined not by a price table but by someone "official" who remembered the pricing in his head. 
  • What's consistent though is the Airport taxi price is always about 30% to 50% higher than using regular taxi like Blue Bird. Compared to airport extra charge in Soekarno Hatta Airport for example, this is quite high as taxi companies there usually charge only 15-30 K IDR for a 150K worth of taxi ride. 
  • When your Bali Airport taxi broke down, there's rarely working contingency plan. They don't provide replacement car so you have to wait until the driver fix his car, or order another taxi by your own cost.
  • When you arrives really late in Bali, the official Ngurah Rai Airport cab has officially closed down their service for the day, and what's left are haggle based unofficial taxi that has this shady "Jakarta in the 80s" aura, and even shadier condition car.
  • Ordering Bali local taxi on the street usually mean you have to prepare to haggle for the fare. As even though they're all equipped with Argometer/Taximeter, most drivers prefer the "guess your price" method, which poses real issue for visitors as they usually don't have idea how far their destination is, and what the fair fare would be. 
  • Most discussion about fairness and transparency happened online rarely ends in brainstorming on what we could do to improve the quality of Balinese taxi service, or its attractiveness, instead they're mostly ended with "Pulang saja jangan tinggal di Bali" classic closing.

From years of living in and visiting various cities in Indonesia, I do recognize that this haggle based pricing and syndicated protection is nothing new, as it also applied in various cities across Indonesia.

What I also learn from the history though, rarely the forced protection survives. In Jakarta for example, there's no more thing like Airport Official Taxi company, only regular taxi that has special permit to receive passengers from the Airport.

In Bandung the same thing happened, but on much later years. What used to be a service orchestrated in monopoly by Koperasi Angkatan Udara, are now replaced with regular taxis with special Airport permit.

While forced options or protections like the zone restriction sometimes work, however in the modern days, it's usually the customer demands that dictate the market, and shaped the future. If we failed to listen to the customers voice, sooner or later we'll be abruptly forced to change, and usually in the least convenient ways. (byms)


01. "Uber Taxi Dilarang di Bali, Grab Car Kok Boleh?" -
02. "Bali Akan Hentikan Taksi Uber dan Grab Car" -

Nyepi Day Experience at The Trans Resort Bali 2016

What it feels like to be isolated from the world for a total 24 hours? Nyepi is the only time Bali shuts down, and it feels both eerie, and amazing at the same time.

Continuing our Nyepi Day coverage, this year the four of us will be sharing our Nyepi Day experience from Trans Resort Bali.

Follow our Instagram, and stay tuned to watch how one of the busiest spot in Bali transformed into a place of tranquility for a whole day.

The Trans Resort Bali
Jl. Sunset Road, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia
+62 361 8981234

Tips for taking great food photos in dark environment

Among the biggest concern we Bali food bloggers faced upon dinner invitation, is whether we will be able to capture good food photos or not, as there are situations where even a modest DSLR couldn't cope with, like extremely with dim lighted dinners. What are the options that food bloggers have on such ocassions?

Pushing the light sensitivity

Most of modern day DSLR provides a wide range of ISO option. Ranging from the usual ISO 100, into the super sensitive ISO 1600 or 3200. Pushing camera's light sensitivity with using a very high ISO however, usually resulted in a too grainy photos. While it might look artsy for B&W pictures, it is not so stunning for food shots.

The maximum ISO with acceptable grain for a food shot differs with each camera models. My Samsung NX 300 for example, despite its impressive maximum ISO 25600, can only take good details and acceptable noise for food shots until ISO 800.

A glass of Kombucha and steak sandwich shot with ISO 800. Can you  notice the fine grains on photo's the lower part?

Spending Hari Nyepi Day of Silence in Grand Nikko Bali

When Bali island shuts down

Hari Raya Nyepi will fall on 9 March 2016 this year, where for 24 hours long the island shuts down. No flights in or out of the island, no ferries operating, no cars or motorcycles passing, not even people walking on the street.

Nyepi gives off quite an eerie feeling at first, to imagine there's no way to leave the island for almost two days long. Despite the fact that we rarely travels outside Bali, or often in needs of quick getaway from the island. It's a sort of claustrophobia, but after several Nyepi spent in Bali we can (almost) outgrow the worries.

During Nyepi there's a very worthy trade off to get though, that can hardly recreated anywhere else on the planet: the silence and time-stopping experience.

As during Hari Nyepi the Balinese are prohibited from lighting fires, working, having entertainment or pleasure, anything that might interfere with the purpose of self-reflection is prohibited, hence the island's shutting down.

Only some critical facilities like hospitals, and tourism businesses like hotels are excluded from the prohibition, however the activities must also adjusted in a way that it wouldn't interfere the practice of Nyepi for general Balinese population.