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10 Reasons Why You Should Not Open Another Restaurant in Jakarta
A friend of my wife came to tell me about a restaurant that her husband – a very rich man who owns a Ferrari but is unable to drive in Jakarta because there is not any decent highway- bought for her, so she would stop wasting her time. She doesn’t know anything about food, restaurants or the hospitality industry. I told her not to do it! So I gave her my ten reasons to not open another restaurant in Jakarta 1. Location, location, location. Today’s customers want to drive fancy cars in Jakarta. Even before they have decent toilets in their houses, they have cars. Well, a car needs a parking space and if you don’t have parking areas, forget about your restaurant, unless you want to call it a warung and you will sell mieand krupuk. 2. Most restaurant customers in Jakarta know nothing about cuisine and yet they will pretend that they know what a béchamel is, whether a steak is at a medium rare point or how to make a reduction. They will complain as if they visit a Michelin Star restaurant every week. 3. Not another Italian, please. Ok, Italian food is great and easy to cook and has the best margin for a restaurateur. But come on, do we need another Italian venue? Lift a stone and you will find a delicious pasta restaurant in this big city. 4. One is born, one is dead. I have serious figures from the Restaurant Association of Indonesia that for each new restaurant which opens, one closes down. Consider yourself lucky if you survive. 5. If you believe that owning – opening – or being a partner of a restaurant is fancy, you are absolutely mistaken. Being a restaurateur is one of the hardest jobs in the world. You drink, you eat, you go to sleep late, you get fat, you have hypertension, and you may die. 6. Your staff will rob you, whether you want it or not. You will fill the place with CCTV cameras, you will watch the images in your iPad and that staff member sitting on the floor in the gudang is not praying, darling. That person is eating a delicious Japanese wagyu prime steak from your fridge. 7. Alcohol licensing will be a mess and you will need to play by the black market rules. What does that mean? It means for one legal bottle on the shelf, you will have ten bottles more with no cukai sticker hiding in your super secret office in the back of the restaurant. 8. Get used to it, this is a market of wholesalers and not buyers. Get used to the word ‘HABIS’ for all your imported goods like meat, cheese, charcuterie, risoarborio and of course wine. And they will not only tell you ‘habis’, they will not let you know when it will arrive. It will be because of customs, because of the quota, because of Jokowi, because of KPK, etc, etc, etc. In addition, get used to having a very cheap menu because you will need to change it very often. 9. You will need to pay for your license, whether you want it or not, and you may never have it because of this reason and that reason and you will have to open your restaurant without any license. If you wait until everything is ready, you may never open it, darling. 10. You will name your restaurant with an unusual name like Potato Face, Green Grass or Luna Roja and they will still forget you. After I gave my ten reasons, my wife’s friend told me that I was the grumpiest old man of all Kemang and that she was going to open her Italian trattoria still, in the latest shopping mall in her fancy neighborhood. I told her not to invite me to the restaurant’s soft opening, in which customers will be served cheap wine and tasteless bruschetta. She said, “Don’t worry, old man. You will not receive any invitation from me.” Well, until your closing party then.:
Jakarta Restaurant Trends, What to Expect in 2015
Last year showed us that Jakarta’s culinary landscape is a very dynamic place where innovation and variety keeps on blossoming. From restaurants at the mall, swanky coffee shops, the come-back of stand-alone restaurants, to the ever-popular upscale bistros, the scope is growing, literally on a weekly basis. So what should we expect this year in terms of restaurant trends? Last year I noticed the restaurant business increasing all around Jakarta; encompassing everything from cafes to fine dining restaurants, independent restaurants to hotel venues, from traditional to more modern approaches. Some of these new venues are now thriving or at least beginning to become popular while others were thwarted by bad taste, confusing concepts or below par service. How do I know? Well darling readers, yours truly gets various invitations for both ladies’ luncheons and dinners on almost a daily basis! Believe me, in between arisan and gossiping over coffee, we take careful note of the ambiance, food quality, price and service of the restaurant. For us, there is nothing more exciting than going to try a new place! Japanese, Italian and Indonesian cuisines proved still to retain their popularity last year. Places such as Sake+, Akira Back, Gia, Three Buns, Akasya Express and Plataran Dharmawangsa were some of our favorite new restaurants of 2014. These places not only produce great food but also show the potential to become one of those iconic food ‘institutions’ in town. During a recent chat with a few Jakarta food bloggers, we agreed that aside from the above categories, this year will likely see a demand for things like French patisseries and chocolate salons. Existing venues, like Cacaote, Pipiltin and Amber, will most likely get competition this year, either by local restaurateurs or even from international players such as Ladurée or Pierre Hermé. Interest in Indonesian food itself is always high and we will surely see more exploration from small enterprises, which will either promote a specific cuisine from a certain region or create their own versions of well known Indonesian dishes. Perhaps this concept will merge with the recent trend for food trucks, transforming the concept of warung as we know it. Last year we also witnessed the emergence of the ‘green lifestyle’ where keywords such as “green smoothies,” “kale” and “organic” were popular (and still remain trendy now). Will we see a restaurant that serves only organic food coming soon? Maybe not yet, but it is something to watch out for as more and more people are now changing their ways and looking toward a healthier, more organic lifestyle. At the end of January this year, Letter D opened in the Kebayoran vicinity, boosted by the fact it was the brainchild of Indonesian Masterchef judge, Degan Septoadji. Famous for uber delicious fried duck at his first restaurant Café Degan in Seminyak, Bali, he decided to try his luck in Jakarta by opening this bistro and bar. During the opening, I was truly impressed with his new creation of salmon lodeh,prepared in the true manner of east-meets-west fusion. It is just a matter of time before his fellow ex-Masterchef judge, Vindex Tengker, follows Degan’s footsteps since he is now no longer running the kitchens at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta. Talking about hotel chefs, I got to experience the dishes of Chef Michael Muller at the end of last year at the sneak preview of the new and about to open Raffles Jakarta. Known as the chef who started one of Singapore’s fabulous culinary institutions, Jaan, in 2003, Chef Michael Muller enticed me with his artisanal French cuisine that was simply out of this world. I can hardly wait to taste his food again when the hotel opens this coming March. Staying on the topic of restaurants at hotels, we witnessed the opening of the new Fairmont Hotel right next to Plaza Senayan in January. During the opening, I learned that the hotel has 9 F&B outlets, though they are currently still running with only the coffee shop. My expectation is already high with the hope that the hotel’s food can once again rejuvenate our palate, like in the past. I will get back to you on this matter in another article. With the revival of Pasar Santa as a culinary destination (thanks to the city’s thriving hipster culture), we also got to see a different approach to the restaurant business; where the focus is on taste rather than ambiance or décor. We can also note some new food innovations there, including the popular black hotdog aka “Black Dog”. Hopefully this concept will be infectious, influencing existing markets elsewhere and helping to bring back the fun. Having said that, I would also say that this concept is still on trial; this year will be their ultimate test to see if they can keep up the hype. Oh and my take on the ever increasing number of coffee shops? It won’t stop, trust me! I do wish we had more tea houses as well to balance it out though… But I guess that is just my opinion.
Top Chefs’ Iconic Recipes 3
When we dine at restaurants, we are often amazed by the finesse and beautiful presentation of the dishes which are created by passionate, innovative chefs. For our culinary issue, we have asked 4 gifted chefs from 4 respected restaurants and hotels to share their signature recipe for our readers to try at home. Don’t worry about the techniques being too complicated or the ingredients too obscure; these particular recipes – they assure us – you can make at home in your own kitchens! Chef Sandra Djohanof Epilogue It is always fun to meet Chef Sandra Djohan. This bubbly chef knows exactly how to entertain diners, whether through simply greeting them in her restaurant or on Asian Food Channel’s cooking show ‘Spice of Life’. And she never seems to run out of energy, even though – when we met her – she had just returned home from an adventure exploring corners of Indonesia to collect materials for her second edition of the cookbook series “From My Kitchen to Yours: Indonesian Heritage”. The chef’s love for Indonesian cuisine also shone through when she and fellow chefs Petty Elliott and William Wongso represented Indonesia at Frankfurt Book Fair’s Gourmet Gallery last year. At her popular South Jakarta restaurant, Epilogue, she showcases French cuisine with an Indonesian twist but for this, Chef Sandra offers up a little memento from her recent culinary trip; the recipe for Ayam Tangkap. “Ayam tangkap is a traditional dish from Aceh made from fried chicken, cooked with selected spices and herbs. The chicken is served with several kinds of crispy fried leaves so it looks colourful and pretty. I assure you it’s very easy to make and of course, it’s really delicious!” Ayam Tangkap Ayam Tangkap 1 spring chicken, cut into ten pieces 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice 1 cup curry leaves 1 cup sliced Pandan leaves 3 red curly chillies, sliced 1 teaspoon salt Spices mix 10 curly red chillies 10 large green chillies 10 small green chillies 20 garlic cloves, peeled 6 medium shallots, peeled 1 knob ginger, approximately 3 cm, peeled 1 tablespoon coriander seeds Steps • Combine spice mix ingredients in a mortar and pestle and grind roughly. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, a small blender works as well, just make sure the paste is not too smooth • Marinate the chicken with 2 tbsp of spice mix and lime juice for 2 hours • Heat cooking oil in a wok or large pan. Fry chicken until golden brown, remove from heat and set aside. • In new clean wok, heat two cups of cooking oil, add one cup of spice mix and sauté until golden and fragrant. Turn off heat and set aside • In a clean pan, heat shallow level of cooking oil and fry curry leaves, sliced Pandan leaves and sliced red curly chilies until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. • Transfer fried chicken, sauteed spice mix, fried curry leaves, Pandan leaves and curly red chillies to new clean wok. Mix and cook all the ingredients together for few minutes. Remove from heat and serve with warm rice.
Top Chefs’ Iconic Recipes 1
When we dine at restaurants, we are often amazed by the finesse and beautiful presentation of the dishes which are created by passionate, innovative chefs. For our culinary issue, we have asked 4 gifted chefs from 4 respected restaurants and hotels to share their signature recipe for our readers to try at home. Don’t worry about the techniques being too complicated or the ingredients too obscure; these particular recipes – they assure us – you can make at home in your own kitchens! Chef Felix Budisetiawan of The Dharmawangsa Jakarta Appointed as the new Executive Chef of The Dharmawangsa Jakarta this January, Chef Felix Budisetiawan is ready to bring his fresh innovations to all of the hotel’s culinary operations; the restaurant and lounges, hotel banqueting services, and Bimasena Club. Chef Felix already has 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including leading the kitchens at various hotel and restaurant chains throughout Asia and the USA. For NOW! Jakarta’s food edition, this well respected chef presents one of his latest creations; Seared Baramundi with Mushroom Pesto, Tempe Salsa and Feta Cheese, a western dish with an Indonesian touch. “This dish is quite easy to prepare, the ingredients aren’t difficult to find either and it doesn’t require any sophisticated cooking techniques. The unique thing is that I use tempe as a side salad, taking this traditional Indonesian ‘street’ food to a new level,” explains Chef Felix. Seared Baramundi with Mushroom Pesto, Tempe Salsa and Feta Cheese Crispy Baramundi 1200 gr Baramundi fillet 100 cl canola oil Bali rock salt, to season Black pepper – Pan fry the baramundi until the fish is cooked – For a delicious crispy skin, simply score the skin with a sharp knife and season each side – Pan-fry skin side down over a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until the skin is golden brown, turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until cooked. Tempe salsa 100 gr Fresh tempe, grilled, pulled 50 gr Diced tomato 80 gr mixed peppers, diced 50 cl corn oil 25 cl Lemon juice Salt & black pepper to taste Combine all ingredients, mix well and season. Garnish on top with diced feta cheese. Mushroom pesto 100 gr button mushroom, roasted 30 gr Olive oil 50 gr sweet basil 30 gr cashewnuts, toasted 15 gr sambal oelek Put all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, season. Ready to serve.
Must-try Lousiana-style crabs in Bali
Bali is one of the best places to enjoy seafood in Indonesia. Jimbaran, for example, has long been one of the island's most popular spots to savor this particular dish while enjoying an amazing sunset. For those longing for Lousiana-style seafood, there are at least two crab restaurants available in Bali; allowing you to eat with your bare hands on the table, without any fancy plates and cutlery to bother you. The Holy Crab Following its popularity in Jakarta as the 'it' place to eat Alaskan crab, Bali's Holy Crab on Jl. Petitenger No. 50 offers a great combination of world-class seafood and traditional Louisiana cooking techniques in a chic yet cozy dining atmosphere. “There has been such a great response to The Holy Crab from food lovers in Jakarta that we are bringing the whole concept and experience to Bali. It has always been a dream of mine to be a part of the island's culinary scene, which has a broader international audience,” said The Holy Crab owner as well as executive chef Albert Wijaya. Choices available on the main menu include Dungeness crab, king crab legs, snow crab legs and lobster with prices ranging from Rp 88,000 (US$7) per 100 grams for the Dungeness crab to Rp 120,000 for the king crab legs -- all served in a delicious secret recipe sauce with mild, medium and hot levels of spiciness. Sausages and corn are also available as additional dishes. According to Albert, the restaurant's crustaceans are imported straight from Alaska and some are from Indonesia. Crab Bar Situated on Jl. Batu Belig 106 in Seminyak , the Crab Bar was founded by famous Indonesian chef Ragil Imam Wibowo in August 2014 with the aim of becoming the first destination for people seeking to savor Lousiana-style seafood on the island. “In Bali, if people want to eat pork, they will head straight to Ibu Oka. We want that to happen to us too; we want to become the first place people recommend when they talk about eating crab in Bali,” said the restaurant's general manager Don Domingo. For newcomers, the Crab Bar's most popular dish is CB's Hot Bag which consists of 500 grams of mud crab, 150 grams of prawn, 200 grams of yabbies (Australian freshwater crustaceans) or clams, sausages and corn. A portion costs Rp 495,000. The CB’s Cold Platter, priced at Rp 450,000, is also recommended with cold Mud Crab, 200 grams of prawn, 200 grams of clams and four pieces of oyster or yabbies. The Crab Bar offers six types of sauce for its hot-platter menus with three levels of spiciness (mild, medium and TNT). The choices include original Lousiana-style with smoked Cajun butter, oriental-style CB’s Bali Sauce, Bangka curry sauce, chili sauce, teriyaki black pepper and garlic butter. While for the cold platter menus, foodies can try garlic mayo, tomato tartar and tom yam mayo sauce. - See more at: http://www.jakpost.travel/news/must-try-lousiana-style-crabs-in-bali-otImxpP0OU7Hu4aJ.html#sthash.rQELFKmb.dpuf
How To Make Mee Goreng Mamak (印度炒面), Fried Noodles with Indo-Malayan Flair
I love Indonesian food. Based on their history and interactions with the rest of Asia, the cuisine has subtle nods to Chinese, Thai, and Indian dishes, but with their own special (and usually nice and spicy) twist. Mee goreng is perhaps my favorite of the Indo-Malayan dishes. From the picture, it looks like a standard chow mein-esque stir fry, but the flavor involved is absolutely incredible and definitely sets it apart from its 'noodle cousins'. (Especially when you top it with fried onion pieces and just the right amount of sesame oil.) Mee goreng is such a popular dish that you can buy instant packages of it all over Asia. In fact, I have some friends who lived in Western Africa that enjoyed instant mee goreng as a steady staple through the week. (You can buy instant mee goreng at a majority of Asian supermarkets in America, but try this recipe for the real deal and super authentic stuff!) ------------------------------------------------------ Mee Goreng Mamak (Fried Noodles) 500 grams of yellow noodles Handfuls of beansprouts depend on liking 2 small tomatoes, quartered 2 small onions, chopped Handful of chicken breast meat, thinly sliced, or minced beef 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 potato, boiled and cut into cubes 1 small size dry bean curd, cut into small pieces 3 tablespoons of cooking oil (I usually use soybean.) 1 tablespoons of minced green onion and garlic 2 fish cakes, sliced (optional) Handful of shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined, optional 1 green chili or Thai chili or red cut chili, optional 3 tablespoons of ketchup 3 tablespoons of chili sauce or chili paste 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce 1 teaspoon of garam masala/curry/turmeric powder, optional (but highly recommended!) For garnishing (optional): Some cucumber slices Some fresh coriander leaves or green onion Some lime or Calamansi lime (cut into half) Some deep fried shallots Some grounded peanut + sugar mixture Sesame oil 1. Assemble all the ingredients that need to chopped or sliced. In a big frying pan, sauté the onion and minced garlic until fragrant. Add in turmeric or Garam Masala (if preferred). Add the chicken breast/minced beef, stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the dry bean curd, fish cakes and potato cubes. 2. Add in the yellow noodles and stir fry until well mixed. If the yellow noodles is too dry, add about 1/4 cup of water. Add the tomatoes, prawns, tomato ketchup, chili sauce or paste, freshly cut green/red chili (if any). Stir fry until well combined (about 2-3 minutes). 3. Add in the beaten egg, sugar and salt to taste, followed by the beans sprout. Stir fry until the beaten eggs dries up. Off the heat and transfer to the serving plate. Top with sesame oil to taste.
5 new hangout spots in Bandung
What makes a hangout place popular is usually a combination of having a great ambiance, good food and drinks and a strategic location. In Bandung, one can add affordability to the criteria. Though these cafes and eateries on our list are quite new, they have already attracted crowds of loyal customers who claim they are their favorite hangout spots in town. Blue Doors Located at Jl. Gandapura No. 61, this little coffee shop can be easily recognized by its blue doors, although the pergola with green vines half-covering the outdoor area hides them nicely from being spotted from the street. One of Blue Doors founders, Alvin Setiadarma, said the shop had a lot of flaws. He said the place was limited in space and that despite the location being strategic, near Jl. Riau, Blue Doors was a little hidden with limited parking space - crucial for a successful business in Bandung. However, according to Alvin, Blue Doors made up for these limitations with its homey yet stylish interior and great quality menu, especially its coffee. "Blue Doors is created out of concept and mission to introduce what coffee culture and proper coffee should be," said Alvin, who is passionate about the particular beverage. Hence when they opened Blue Doors last July, they offered special grade full Arabica coffee with choices of single origin coffee beans as well as specialty teas and brunch-type dishes, which typically served from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. I sampled the coffee shop's signature and recommended menus: Magic Coffee, served in a medium-height glass, Fried Onion Turkey Bacon Spicy Slaw and Salad (FOTBSS) Tartine - sourdough toast at the bottom, turkey bacon with tartar sauce, an onion ring topped with spicy salad and slaw and hand cut fries - and the lasagna. The price of each item is Rp 30,000 (US$2.4), Rp 55,000 and Rp 38,000, respectively. I found my coffee and lasagna were very nice. As for the FOTBSS Tartine, although I enjoyed the fresh spicy salad and slaw, I disliked the accompanying fries that were a little too greasy and oily, although crunchy. Most of all, I found the ambiance of the place, which is adorned with nice interior details, to have a decent me-time feel, plus enough people, who were mostly in their own worlds, working on their laptops or talking to friends, to be the most favorable. Morning Glory & Co Eatery Situated near Jl. Riau - one of the most popular spots in Bandung for chic cafes, eateries and factory outlets - this place at Jl. Taman Cempaka No. 7 opened recently. Located opposite Taman Foto (Picture Park), I especially like its semi-open concept of the sitting area, which offers an amazing view of the park. Coming to this place in the morning or afternoon after strolling through the park is lovely. The place offers a spacious seating area, which is smartly equipped with many charging stations for smartphones and gadgets to cater to modern demands. As an eatery, Morning Glory offers an array of dishes, from Western to Indonesian food, various beverages; and all at very affordable prices. My choice that afternoon was a noodle dish of Bakmi Ayam Rica and Green Healthy Juice, priced respectively at Rp 35,000 and Rp 39,000. The noodle dish was moderately tasty, but the juice was very refreshing. Dipa Junction Located at the corner of Jl. Ariajipang No. 1-3 in the Dago area, it is very easy to see why this place is such a popular hangout spot. At Dipa Junction, not only the parking space is spacious, but it's like visiting a one-stop lifestyle hub for those who want to hang out, get a haircut at its stylish old-school barbershop or shop for some local clothes brands. The place offers an array of cafes and eateries to suit one’s tastes, such as Freddy's Kitchen, which specializes in mutton dishes, Woople for those craving for savory waffle dishes, and G Food & Coffee Factory. I have tried their recommended crispy chicken skin, which is served with Balinese sambal matah condiment and a Slight Tofu drink. The crispy chicken skin was really good, worth the guilty feeling of nibbling such food. The Slight Tofu drink was surprisingly very nice too without any hint of tofu as a food, which the thought at first rather put me off. Roti Gempol & Kopi Anjis! Nestled at Jl. Bengawan No. 34, also nearby Jl. Riau, this eatery has been open for several months but ha already attracted crowds of customers. As I passed the street I could see that the place always catered to a lot of visitors, which were mostly college students. According Arief, one of the staffers, the place is also packed with families in the morning and on weekends. The name Kopi Anjis! is derived from the word “coffee” and a Sundanese informal curse word, which feels rather harsh but is often said in a light manner among close friends. The eatery has conveniently merged with the legendary bakery from Jl. Gempol, famed for their generations of bread popularly known as Roti Gempol. The merger has successfully benefitted both parties. Kopi Anjis! has made the legendary bread thrive again, while Roti Gempol, of course, brings tasty and high quality bread to compliment the Kopi Anjis! menu. Raihan, a college student of Telkom University in Bandung that I met during my visit, said that he already been a loyal customer since the first branch on Jl. Surya Sumantri. But since he learned that this new branch had opened, offering a more comfortable hangout place, he now preferred to come here. He said not only was the price very affordable for students like him, but he also found the menus to be unique and tasty, such as Toblerone Coffee, obviously a mix of coffee with the famous chocolate brand. Open from 8 a.m. until midnight, the establishment has an outdoor terrace equipped with cozy spots to sit in at nighttime and enjoy Bandung's cool air and romantic mood. Wiki Koffie Braga Before making his first visit, Dimas Krismandi had always wondered about this place, which always seemed crowded. When he finally visited, he understood why. "The food and drink are very affordable and quite nice for such a price," Dimas said. Wiki Koffie inhibits a unique vintage colonial building on the corner of Jl. Braga No. 90, but contrary to its facade, the interior is quite contemporary. "It offers free high-speed Wi-Fi too," Dimas added. During his first visit, he tried the homemade meatballs with barbecue sauce, the Thai Green Curry with rice, a lava cake named after West Java's Mount Galunggung and drinks Milo Dinosaurus and Oreo Borneo. He said the meatballs was delicious, but found the Thai Green Curry to be similar to the Indonesian chicken dish of Opor Ayam rather than the Thai taste. He enjoyed the lava cake, served with vanilla ice cream. He added that the Milo Dinosaurus - a milo drink sprinkled with Milo powder - was nice while the Oreo Borneo was mediocre. He praised the eatery's pricing, which is very affordable starting only at Rp 10,000 for the meatballs and the drinks, Rp 22,000 for the Thai Green Curry and Rp 18,000 for the lava cake dessert. Wiki Koffie is open daily from 10 a.m. until midnight. - See more at: http://www.jakpost.travel/news/5-new-hangout-spots-in-bandung-YoTlFkjrXpPiA3md.html#sthash.BBzgISW5.dpuf
Where to hangout in Bali according to food bloggers
Either for business or pleasure, Bali offers plenty of attractive joints to hangout with friends, colleagues or loved ones. If you’re looking for inspiration on where to go when visiting the island, three popular food bloggers from Jakarta and Bali share their favorite spots. Kakilima By The Sea According to the dynamic duo Monica Manoch and Donald Manoch from foodcious.com, Kakilima By The Sea is a perfect escape from the bustling touristy area in Seminyak. Situated on Jl. Batu Bolong in Canggu, right beside the black sandy Batu Bolong Beach, the place offers an awesome view of sunsets and surfers on the waves while you sit cozily on the carpet or the lush green grass. “You can enjoy an afternoon chit-chatting with friends while watching the sunset without having to worry about the messy sand. The place is also great for those who want to bring kids,” said Monica. For both, the Mediterranean platter is their favorite menu item as a light bite to share with friends. It consists of falafel and pita bread served with tabouleh, babaganoush and hummus with a fresh light flavor. 3Three Café This particular joint on Jl. Petitenget in the heart of Seminyak is also a recommended hangout spot from Monica Manoch and Donald Manoch. This café serves an all-day breakfast and lunch menu that not only comes with gluten-free options, but also vegetarian and vegan options. Its popular dishes include the Veggie Stack - consists of grilled sweet potato, asparagus, tomato, spinach and mushrooms - and Benny Taite, which is basically poached eggs on toast with either salmon or ham and the hollandaise sauce and asparagus. The restaurant also offers delicious coffee that uses a mix of local and imported beans. “I always find it hard to eat vegetables, but at 3Three, they cook the Veggie Stack so nicely and really enjoyable. I can eat them all,” Monica said. Sisterfields Café Situated close to Seminyak Square, this boutique café is highly recommended by Stanislaus Hans Danial who blogs on eatandtreats.blogspot.com. It serves fresh pastries, salads and sandwiches alongside an all-day breakfast or lunch menu. Thanks to its bright and light ambiance, Sisterfields offers a convenient place to have short or long conversations with friends. “I am more a dining person than a party person. I love the art of good old breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner with my loved ones. When in Bali, Sisterfields is my favorite brunch spot. It's a hip café that serves amazing food,” Hans said. He mentioned the Philly cheese steak baguette as his favorite dish at Sisterfields; a baguette with sautéed rib eye, charred onions and capsicum, finished with Swiss cheese and chipotle mayo as the dressing and served with fries. Habitual - Quench & Feed If you're longing for a good burger during your stay in Bali, this particular place on Jl. Umalas, Kerobokan, has, according to Stanislaus Hans Danial, the best burger on the island. “Habitual is one of the best hidden gems in Bali. Its burgers are to die for,” Hans said, adding that the joint's mushroom cheeseburger was his favorite dish there. “The patty is quite thick, cooked to perfection and awesomely seasoned. The mushroom and caramelized onion are also cooked adorably with butter; still leaving the consistency to be juicy and flavorful,” Hans said, describing his experience when enjoying the burger on a recent visit to Bali. Warung Gula Bali “The Joglo” For Bayu Amus from epicurina.com, visiting Warug Gula Bali “The Joglo” is his favorite way of enjoying time with close friends. Situated on Jl. Merdeka in Renon, this place offers delicious Balinese dishes with a comfy laid back atmosphere. As the name suggests, it nestled in a traditional joglo wooden house that brings a classic yet casual and fun ambiance for friends or family gathering. “I usually come here for the dessert, such as kolak campur with ice; which is a Balinese kolak bathed in coconut milk and brown sugar. It’s a perfect companion to sooth yourself in the midst of Bali's scorching heat,” Bayu said. The Joglo's other highlights include Tipat Cantok, Es Daluman and Balinese Rujak. Warung Bunana Another great place to spend quality time with friends according to Bayu is Warung Bunana in Sanur area. Serving palatable Indian-Malaysian dishes, the place's signatures include roti canai, martabak and teh tarik. “Although you might get a free sauna as the place tends to be quite hot and steamy during the day, throw one or two roti canai into it, suddenly it becomes a nice street food experience,” said Bayu. His all-time favorite dish at the place is the Roti Canai Sardin Keju, which consists of an Indian flat bread roti canai with sardines and cheese.