04 September 2015

Exploring Le Gran Cafe and Aoki Japanese Cuisine at Gran Mahakam Hotel

Gran Mahakam Hotel  
Jln. Mahakam I no.6, 
Blok M, 
Jakarta 12130
Tel: +6221-7209-966 
E-mail: dopr@granmahakam.com; pro@granmahakam.com

Blok M area is not a new place for me. I had the moments when I took a bus from the station and shopped around the malls there. My previous office was located in the area too. And Gran Mahakam Hotel is not so strange for me because I had taken my previous clients to have the business meetings in the restaurants of the hotel. When I received the invitation to have a Dinner Gathering in the hotel, all of the sudden, all the good memories return to my mind. I am so excited to feel the old atmosphere again.

As I enter the hotel, I can feel that there is nothing change there. It still feels the same way. So homy and comfortable. I always love the warm feeling I get in its lobby.

As I go up to the function room where the event is held, I can see some of the hotel guests are relaxing their mind by sitting comfortably at the couch in the lobby that feels like our living room in our house.

The Gran Mahakam Hotel is designed in the European-baroque-style architecture, so you feel like going to an old building in most of the places in Europe. The hotel is a boutique style hotel which means that guests can expect an intimate atmosphere when they stay here.

The hotel holds the Dinner Gathering to introduce the signature food of the two restaurants in the hotel, Le Gran Cafe and Aoki Japanese Cuisine. Le Grand Cafe is known for its superb International Buffet and Indonesian Cuisines, while Aoki Japanese Cuisine is known for its authentic Japanese food.

The event is started with a Blind Food Tasting. The hotel team prepares Putu Mayang - the traditional Indonesian snack, Sushi roll and Raspberry Sorbet. What we should do is to guess the ingredients of the food. I know what kind of food I eat, but I give the wrong name for the first food - I named it with one of Indonesian singers Mayang Sari, and I can not describe the ingredients of the Sushi and the Sorbet. Damn! I fail! LOL!
What I learn so far from this session is that our eyes is the main source of our taste. Once we close our eyes, our tongue and mouth might know what kind of food we eat, but our brain can not explain the ingredients of the food that we eat. Amazing experience!
That is the reason why they say "Eyes are the windows of the heart" and "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Ladies and gentlemen, our eyes are the key to our joy and happiness, so please take care of them.
(The photo is taken from Billy's camera).

OK, it is time to eat with open eyes :-D


Gado-Gado Padang 
(Mixed vegetables with the signature Padang peanut sauce on top)

The sauce is delicious that I and my food buddy, Billy, request for the second bowl of sauce. The taste of the sauce is sweet and fresh, and I guess it fits the taste in the tongue of both Asian and Western people. This is one of the best food that night.

Fresh Crab Hand Roll 
(Crab meat wrapped in soy paper with fresh tuna on top)

The unique thing about this food is that you can eat the crispy soy paper. There is an art to eat this food. You need to start from the bottom until you reach the top of it where you can find the tuna. So exciting!


Soto Padang 
(Angel hair, potato, jerked beef served in the signature soup from West Sumatra)

The broth from the soup is delicious and warm. This soup is good for those who like rich taste in a bowl. You need to try its delicious chilly sauce / sambal that is placed inside a mini green bowl from a lime. Don't worry about the taste of the sambal, I think it has been adjusted to meet Westerners standard of hotness :-D
Don't forget to pour the lime to the soup to add the feeling of fresh and juicy, and to eat the pink crackers to feel the kampung or village moment from the bowl.
You can order the soup and combine it with rice. Hot soup and hot rice are the best friend for a rainy day :-)


Nasi Daun Jeruk 
(Rice with lime leaves served with ayam masereh; shredded chicken with chili sauce, mixed vegetables with anchovies, squid with green chili sauce, jerked beef, satay, dried potato and our signature peanut brittle)

Special flavored rice with many assorted Indonesian side dishes of meat and vegetables! Perfect for those who are really hungry. This is unique for me as the one I usually eat in a special occasion is Nasi Kuning or Yellow Rice, and its yellow color is from turmeric. The rice I eat in the gathering is Nasi Daun Jeruk or Lime Leaves Rice, and its green color is from the leaves, so I can call it Green Rice. This Green Rice can be used as an alternative to replace Yellow Rice when the chef is running out of turmeric :-)
Forget about ordinary steak and other meat with their basic sauces and condiments. This dish is good if you want to sample the spices in Indonesia that are mixed in the food, such as lemongrass (Sereh) and chilies. Like the rainbow, you can find many colors of Indonesia from this dish. From salty to savory, from sweet to spicy. I think this is the best signature food from the hotel.
By the way, Yellow Rice in Indonesia is only available when we celebrate special occasion and ceremony. It is made in a cone-shaped like mountain just like this dish, but in a bigger size, with banana leaf on its base. We also call it Nasi Tumpeng. In 2014, the Indonesian Government awarded Nasi Tumpeng as the official national dish of Indonesia, and describe it as "the dish that binds the diversity of Indonesian various culinary traditions".

Truffle Beef Bowl 
(Japanese slices marinated beef sprinkled with the finest Truffle sauce and scallion served on steamed Japanese rice)

After all the spicy food I eat, this dish neutralizes all aspects of my taste buds. The sweetness of the Truffle sauce can turn the rock n' roll music in mouth to a romantic song. The dish is good enough for a fan of sweet and savory. The stickiness of the Japanese rice is perfect. And I start to slow down everything, because my belly is so full :-))


Es Tape Hijau 
(Mixed of tape ketan, tape singkong, kopyor, kolang kaling with milk, coconut milk and syrup)

The duo of fermented sticky rice and fermented cassava are dominating the taste of this dessert. The interesting strong aroma from the fermented ingredients and the sweetness of other fruits and syrups are good combination to freshen my throat after I eat so many kind of food. The naturally occurring coconut mutant (Kopyor) and the fruit of sugar palm tree (Kolang Kaling) add freshness to the dessert. Check out the color, very pinky! The traditional shaved ice can show you that Indonesia has its own version of ice cream :-D

Mochi Ice Cream 
(Japanese confection made from mocha - pounded sticky rice - with green tea ice cream filling) 

For a fan of ice cream and not too sweet dessert, this is a good choice for you. The ice cream is very smooth and the sticky rice balances the coldness in the dessert.

The night is still young as we realize that all the people who attend the dinner gathering get many special prizes from the hotel and a sponsor.

The hotel gives a Teddy Bear and a brunch voucher for two people. The Teddy Bear is definitely mine! And the voucher will be given to special people in my life. Who are they? I will update you later ya :-)
The other sponsor in the gathering, Code Hunter application from Alternative Media Group, gives Nescafe Dolce Gusto - the coffee maker. Oh my God! I had been wanting this coffee maker for so long, and finally my dream comes true. Woho!
Code Hunter is a code hunting games application in the smartphones that can be downloaded from the Google Play and App Store. There will be reward for the hunters who are able to collect the most points through the certain media they see. The coffee maker is a part of the rewards, and the biggest prize is a car and motorcycles. So if you want to get many gifts in your life, you can download the app in your smartphones. Good luck!

Going home with a satisfied belly, a Teddy Bear, a brunch voucher at Gran Mahakam Hotel and a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee maker from Code Hunter app, I just can't deny the joy and happiness I get from the gathering :-)

Thank you, Gran Mahakam Hotel and Code Hunter app from Alternative Media Group, for a night of joy...

Have a great dining, everyone!

15 August 2015

Sunday Brunch at C's Steak and Seafood Restaurant

Grand Hyatt Hotel 
Jl. MH. Thamrin Kav. 28 – 30, 

What can I describe about a happy Sunday? Going to church, having a great brunch and teaching yoga. And this kind of Sunday does not always happen. So when I have one, the world feels like a paradise :-)

The paradise comes when I receive an invitation to have a Sunday Brunch at C's Steak and Seafood Restaurant. So, after making my soul happy by praising God at the church, I make my way to make my belly happy by having the brunch at the restaurant. Praise the Lord!

Let's start talking about the story behind the brunch. The Executive Chef of Grand Hyatt Jakarta, Rolf Knecht, says that most of the ingredients they use are brought in from various sources in Indonesia in order to help local farmers. This is also because that Indonesia has excellent quality agricultural produce. The hotel will work together with more Indonesian suppliers too, so it is easier for the hotel to take and receive food supply. He also says that a part of this decision is because he is also from a farmer family, so he understands the situation.
WeIl, what can I say? I love this man! Is there any 5-stars executive chef who respects and supports the local wisdom? Chef Rolf Knecht is one in a million, and I adore him each time I talk to him. He is not just a chef who cooks, but he is a big man with a big heart. My time with him is like a meditation. He will do the wisdom preaching, and I will be a good student who listens to anything he says. If you meet him, I suggest you to grab him and say hi to him. He will shower you with his friendly rain :-)

In the Sunday Brunch, C's offers unlimited servings of finest quality of meat, appetizers and premium seafood on ice. The choices of food at Sunday Brunch in C's are fair enough. This is more than enough to satisfy one's hunger.

I start to shower my throat with the Virgin Mojito. This drink tastes so fresh with the mint leaves on top of it.

As a big fan of seafood, my concentration directly goes to the Seafood corner. In this corner, they serve Jumbo Prawns, King Crab Legs, Canadian Lobster, Clam Live, Mud Crab, etc. I take all of them! This is H.E.A.V.EN !!!
I eat them without the sauces and condiments, and I can taste the deliciousness and freshness of them. That means the quality of the seafood is great and they are cooked by the right chef. So good!

On the Appetizers and Salads corner, C's serves Seafood Salad Nicoise Style, Roasted Beet Salad, Momotaro Tomato And Feta, House Smoked Salmon, Traditional Caesar Salad, and Shaved Vegetable Salad. My favorite is the Salmon and the Beet Salad.

From the Grill Section, there are various of Meat and Seafood (again!!!!) that I can choose, such as Wood Oven Roasted Canadian Beef Sirloin, Beef Tenderloin, Rack Of Lamb, Whole Roasted Baby Chicken, Tropical Lobster, and King Prawns. I still eat the meats in this corner, and they taste fine, but I am not a big fan of meat. As you can predict, my favorite from this corner is the Lobster and the Prawn. They taste ooohhh so yummy!

From the Asian corner, my favorite is Peking Duck Pancakes, Dim Sum, Steamed Buns, and Spring Rolls.

From the C's Wok Fried corner, you can choose Wok Fried Garoupa, Wok Fried Tropical Lobster, Wok Fried Mud Crab, and King Prawns. One more food I enjoy at this Brunch is the mini Foie Gras that is served in the middle of two crispy breads. Both of the food are cooked right in front of me. The breads balances the taste of Foie Gras that make it feels so crunchy.

Almost all the food served with the condiments and the sauces on the side. Honestly, I don't take the sauces and condiments when I eat at this Sunday Brunch. Not because they don't taste good, but I believe great food don't need additional thing to feel good in my mouth. And yes, it is proven that all the food in C's are delicious and yummy without the sauces and condiments. Well, all the chefs in C's have done their job perfectly. Well done!  

The lazy Sunday is ended by satisfying my unusual sweet tooth. Okay, I usually have a salty tooth which means that I mostly like salty and savory food. But that day on the Sunday Brunch session, a lady from the Desserts corner keep teasing me to try some of the assorted Desserts there. I tell her that I will try them later as I want to look around first, especially that my concentration is still focusing on the Seafood corner. But she never gives up until I take a plate and grab a bunch of desserts. She then gives me a big smile, and I take it as a victory smile. Dang! She wins! LOL!
In this corner, they have a great collection of Crepes, Desserts, Pastries, Ice Cream, Sorbet, and Fresh Fruits. I try all of them and, and they are good. Most of them come in a small size, so I don't have to worry about my diet. Diet???? What diet :-D
My favorite Dessert from this corner is Chocolate Chili. When I bite it, I feel the chocolate at the beginning, but the Chili taste attacks my mouth softly as the chocolate cake disappears from my throat. How do they do it? Amazing!
Another best thing from the Dessert corner is the Sorbet. I aways love its sour taste, and Sorbet is healthier for our digestion than Ice Cream because it is made from yoghurt. Sorry, ice cream lovers :-D

You can find other food at this Sunday Brunch, such as: Garlic Roasted Baby Potatoes, Potato Puree, Truffle Mac & Cheese, Sauteed Forest Mushrooms, Season Vegetable, Tofu Tomato Soup, I FU Noodle With Crispy Duck, Javanese Fried Rice / Nasi Goreng Kambing, Honey BBQ Fried Chicken, Steamed Mixed Seasonal Vegetables, Deep Fried And Steamed Mantau, Bread, Cheese, Charcuterie, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Local Honey, Fruit Compote, etc.

Speaking about something special, Chef Rolf Knecht tells me a secret that Grand Hyatt Hotel is working together with a local famous company to prepare a special thing for its guests. As it is a secret, I can only share you the box, ya. LOL! But I guarantee, it will be great! That is why I suggest you to follow the news about the hotel and its restaurants. So once the gift is ready to be served, you will be the one who can get it.  

And after all this happiness I get in the Brunch session, I can go to my yoga client's home with my happy belly and happy soul. Perfect :-)

Have a great brunch, Sunday people!

30 July 2015

Yoga Privat untuk Kebutuhan Spesifik - Koran Kompas 29 Juli 2015

Saya merasa bahagia sekali karena bisa membagikan pengetahuan saya tentang kelas yoga pribadi (private yoga class) dengan menjadi narasumber dari artikel Yoga Privat untuk Kebutuhan Spesifik yang membahas hal tersebut di Koran Kompas. Artikel ini ada pada Koran Kompas yang terbit pada tanggal 29 Juli 2015.

Ini adalah artikel kedua di Koran Kompas yang menjadikan saya sebagai narasumbernya. Artikel pertama di Koran Kompas ada di tautan ini: Persiapan Sebelum Beryoga

Di dalam artikel ini, tidak hanya saya saja yang diwawancarai, namun ada juga pelatih yoga lain yang menjadi narasumbernya.

Senang sekali rasanya bisa membagikan pengalaman saya dalam mengajar kelas yoga pribadi selama kurang lebih 3 tahun terakhir ini.

Sekali lagi, terima kasih untuk mbak Monica Yohari yang telah mewawancarai saya untuk artikel ini.

Saya selalu dan tetap berharap bahwa latihan yoga ini dapat semakin dinikmati oleh seluruh manusia di bumi ini dan semakin merakyat di Indonesia, sehingga seluruh manusia dapat lepas dari stres dan memiliki hidup yang bahagia dan berkualitas.

Tautan langsung ke artikel ini di Koran Kompas Online dapat dilihat di: http://infoklasika.print.kompas.com/yoga-privat-untuk-kebutuhan-spesifik/ 

Untuk yang ingin membaca artikelnya dalam bentuk cetak, di bawah ini saya lampirkan foto dari bentuk cetaknya.

Selamat membaca! Semoga bermanfaat! Namaste.

28 July 2015

Celebrating The 1st Anniversary of AW Kitchen

AW Kitchen Pasta House by Akira Watanabe 
Senayan Plaza, 4th Floor 
Jl. Asia Afrika,

It is a great moment to be invited to the 1st Anniversary of AW Kitchen Restaurant in Jakarta. It is an appreciation night for the people who have supported the restaurant through their delicious time :-D

It is another great visit to the restaurant after my first one at lunch time here: Lunch in Japanese and Italian Style at AW Kitchen

The dinner is set in such a romantic theme. Many flowers with some lights from the candles, good food on the table and good friends we know around the table. Such a warm dinner scene!

The romantic yummy dinner starts after breaking the fasting with some dates, dried fruits and cookies. Yes, the dinner is held on one night during the fasting month.

Aren't you curious about all the dinner menu they have prepared for us? Alright, let's start drooling :-))

Gazpacho Shrimp Pinchos 
Caponata Canape 
Yellow Tail and Salmon Carpaccio 

These three foods are served in one plate and all of them are delicious. I eat the Canape first to open the taste channels in mouth. Then when I chew the Shrimp, the flavor in my tongue starts to increase. And when I end the food in this plate by eating the Yellow Tail and the Salmon, my life becomes clear and open! Yes, the Shrimp, the Yellow Tail and the Salmon deserve a 5 Stars rating. Oh yeah, I always love seafood!  

Cold Capellini with Salmon, Capers, and Lemon Sauce 

This is our favorite! Everyone who attend the dinner agree that this is the best food we eat that night. Besides the Salmon, there are Salty Fish Eggs (or maybe I can call it Caviar) on the top of the cold pasta. The Fish Eggs are the main factor why this food is delicious. As I bite the Salty Fish Eggs, they explode in my mouth giving me some exciting sensation :-D
The taste of the Salty Fish Eggs balances the juicy of the Salmon and the coldness of the pasta. A truly perfect match! It is like a paradise is happening in my mouth!
The funny thing about the pasta is that it is made in a cold condition. For me, this food is a clear sign that the food in AW Kitchen is a combination between Japanese food and Italian food. Cold pasta reminds me of cold soba or cold noodle. Cold soba is from Japan, but AW Kitchen replaces it with pasta, which is from Italia. Such a clever idea!


For this menu, the restaurant gives two choices of food and we need to choose just one of them. Just one? My belly disagrees with the rule :-D

Black Angus Tenderloin with a choice of Porcini or Wasabi Pepper Sauce

I take a picture of the steak from my friend who sits next to me. No, this is not the food I choose. I try a bite of it and it tastes fine.

Salmon With Salsa Sauce

This is the food that I choose! I always like fish, because its taste is richer than meat, and I consider fish is healthier than meat for their non-stop swimming activity in the water. In my imagination, the fish have more healthy muscles than meat :-))
I am satisfied with the salmon as it meets my expectation. The Salmon is juicy and fatty, while the Broccoli and the Asparagus freshen the taste. Good choice of mine!

Orange Lychee Sorbet 

The Sorbet is made specially by the Chef from Japan. It is made by his own hands in front of us! So one person from the restaurant will pour the Orange Lychee liquid to a bowl while the Japanese Chef mixes it using a large spoon until the liquid is thicken and cold. Some smokes come out from the bowl that makes the process looks so dramatic! Woho!
This is amazing for me, as I have never seen the process of making sorbet like this before. Such a great experience!  

The restaurant has some great cocktails in their menu, but they don't serve it in this celebration dinner because it is held in the fasting month. I just wish they could copy the other restaurants that can serve cocktails and the other alcoholic drinks after 8 PM during the fasting month. I hope next year AW Kitchen can serve cocktails and alcoholic drinks after 8 PM during the fasting month ;-)

And just before we go home, AW Kitchen prepares beautiful gifts for us. Yeay! Thanks a lot, AW Kitchen!

In December 2015, AW Kitchen will open another restaurant in Plaza Indonesia with some new food in their list. The restaurant will have more cold pasta, one of the best selling food in the restaurant. I am excited to wait for this new restaurant, especially for the new menu, and the location is just around my corner.

Thank you, AW Kitchen, for the invitation to celebrate your 1st Anniversary! After all, life is all about celebrating your moment, right?

Enjoy your happy moments, everyone!

17 July 2015

Couple Yoga (Latihan Yoga untuk Pasangan Suami dan Istri)

This is a simple yoga practice you can do to enhance your romance life. This yoga video of mine is created by MommiesDaily. The original link of this video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5CvQgLUqOg

Ini adalah latihan yoga yang mudah untuk dilakukan agar hubungan suami dan istri menjadi semakin mesra. Video yoga saya ini dibuat oleh MommiesDaily. Tautan asli dari video ini adalah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5CvQgLUqOg

Office Yoga (Latihan Yoga di Kantor)

This is a simple yoga practice you can do at the office. This yoga video of mine is created by MommiesDaily. The original link of this video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdQaRhOszlg

Ini adalah latihan yoga yang mudah untuk dilakukan di kantor. Video yoga saya ini dibuat oleh MommiesDaily. Tautan asli dari video ini adalah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdQaRhOszlg

08 July 2015

MixRadio - My New Music Application

One day, I see a music playlist at the personal computer of my yoga client that plays some collections of music. He says that the name of the playlist application is Spotify. As I try to register, the application says that it is not available in Indonesia due to some reasons. Dang!
After that, I have been looking for other alternatives for music playlist applications. I have installed some of them, but I do not really use it.
A few days ago, I receive an invitation to try a new music application called MixRadio. When I read the brief explanation about the application, I know that I have found what I have been looking for! Yeah!

MixRadio is a music application that can be personalized based on the color and the the taste of our music. It is good for music lovers like me who like to keep the favorite music in a list that can be played continuously. It also gives us a chance to discover the latest music charts everyday based on our favorite themes and genres. It is a very personal music service, personalized to our own taste. The best thing is that MixRadio is free for us to download.

Here is how to play with MixRadio:

You can download MixRadio from these links:

As you open MixRadio, the first page is about your mix, a collection of your favorite music.

You can also find the information about the artist you like.

You can always choose your music easily from the list MixRadio provides at the second page, by Themes and Genres. Pick a few of your favorite artists, then they will do the rest.

Quick Tips: If you see the numbers at the top right position at the Mixes page, it is a quick button to go back to the current music that you play.

For Indonesian music lovers, MixRadio has themes that are suited to the Indonesian tastes.

MixRadio also has Dangdut mixes, a popular genre of Indonesian folk and traditional popular music that is partly derived from Hindustani, Malay and Arabic music. Woho!

If you want to create your own mixes, you can create it by browsing the name of the artists at the third page.

At the fourth page, this is where you can download your mixes, so you can listen to them offline.

At the menu part, you can see "My Account" where you can register as a member, so you can save your mixes. There is an option of audio quality based on the type of your data, whether it is mobile data of WiFi. In my case, WiFi gives a higher quality music.
At the menu part, you can also give feedback, look for help, read about its info and sign out from MixRadio.

When I listen to some music, MixRadio learns about the music I like and will suggest another music, both old and new music, that have the same themes and genres. The more I listen, the more MixRadio knows what kind of music I want to listen next. Amazing! Is it a playlist or a fortune teller? LOL :-D
MixRadio is also good for saving my time. Instead of spending my time looking for the music I like, MixRadio will choose some tunes from its library for me by detecting the music I choose. Its library contains more than 35 millions tracks. Great!

With the high quality audio MixRadio has, I enjoy it like listening to my private CD.

With MixRadio, I take the control by having the ability to create my own mixes. Even if I do not know what kind of my favorite music are, I can always choose the mixes chosen by other industry experts and global music gurus from around the world.

To avoid the internet data costs, I can listen to the music offline by downloading my top mixes. I need to register and have an account to do this. If I get bored with my own mixes, I can just swap my offline mixes easily. This is something good that I do not have to bring another music device to listen to my favorite tunes. My phone device is also my music device. Cool!

Another thing that you should know is that MixRadio can only be opened and played at your mobile phone. I hope that someday MixRadio allows us to open it at our personal computer and laptop. I am crossing my fingers now :-)

What I can learn from MixRadio is that I always have options in my life. While Spotify can not be downloaded in Indonesia, I can always have MixRadio to accompany me.
Another lesson is that I can always take control of my life. With MixRadio, I can start learning to take control of my music first, and everything else will follow.

Just remember that you can always download MixRadio from the following links:

Enjoy your music, everybody!