It was quite a hot sunny day when I went to Kemang Steak at Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta. It's my second invitation from Indonesian Food Blogger to attend their blogger gathering event. Again as I may say, this is one event I've marked in my calendar: not to be missed. I'm loving the opportunity to meet other passionate bloggers who share the same love for food.
It was kinda hectic that day due to the many invites who came to this event. But yet we found ourselves to be blending in joy and also sharing the excitement to try out the foods.
A little story about Kemang Steak. As you might have guessed, the first outlet was opened in the year 1992 at Kemang which contributed to the restaurant's name. After that, it moved to Jl. Haji Nawi in 1993 up until 2009. Thus afterwards it kinda hibernated for the upcoming 5 years ahead and then it re-opened again in the hip culinary area of Pantai Indah Kapuk.
Still maintaining its original concept of using coconut shell charcoal instead of the modern steak griller, gives Kemang Steak a one-of-a-kind trademark which is carried on to the food. Using traditional ways to grill the steak also giving it a nice scent and flavor to be incorporated in the dish.
The place sure is nice and comfy. There's a kind of warm feeling I got looking at the nicely decorated interior. Unfinished brick wall gave a homey feeling while the vintage ornaments and displays added a bit of sophistication.
The service was quite nice, although I found my order to came very late to my table (all the other bloggers have finished dining already!). But I understand that it was a hectic day and I was very pleased that the manager kept on reminding the waiters about my order.
Also on each table I found a bottle of Kemang Steak's special BBQ sauce which tasted really good and of course you can add it as much as you want to elevate the flavor of your dish.
Well, enough mumbling and let's start eating!
Beef Ribs - IDR 55K
Do keep in mind that all the meat weren't marinated before they're grilled. It's like when you're doing BBQ on New Year's when you grill chicken or fish, you applied the sauce as you grill the meat. Same goes here. As the meat were grilled, a special sauce (family recipe) is applied during the grilling process. Due to that, the sauce seeped inside the meat, giving you flavorful yet juicy meat.
The Beef Ribs came out first to the table. For the price range of only IDR 55K this was an enjoyment as I saw quite a huge rib served on a plate. And this dish also came with potato wedges and an Indonesian style salad which consists of corns, chopped carrots and green beans.
The ribs tasted good. The meat was tender and pretty juicy. You can actually just peel the meat directly from the bone instantly. But my complaint would be there were some fat still sticking.
The potato wedges weren't my cup of tea. I prefer something light-battered, or something that's not too thickly crunchy as it turned out biting the wedges was a bit hard. But you can opt for other side dishes such as mashed potato (we'll talk about this soon) and even rice, as any Indonesian would say: you haven't eaten if you haven't had rice.
Australian T-Bone - IDR 60K (150gr), IDR 90K (regular)
The T-Bone was a bit over-cooked. As I remembered, my friend (this was his order) asked the level of doneness to be medium, and yet what came was almost well-done.
Luckily it didn't turn hard or rubbery. Flavorwise, it tasted the same as the beef ribs since it also used the same sauce in the grilling process. And yet I found quite a lot of fat in the steak.
Australian Lamb Chop - IDR 75K
The lamb chop came as a bit consolidation. Although (again) it was slightly over-cooked (almost well-done, not medium) but the meat was still tender. There was no strong tangy smell coming out from the steak too.
Red Snapper - IDR 75K
This was my personal order. Personally for my own palate, I can't say it was my cup of tea. The fish wasn't fresh. Visually it's beautiful as it came to my table, but the flavors were not balancing it. The meat still had that fishy, strong tangy scent like it's not properly cleaned. The weird smell somehow came as a very disturbing distraction. Luckily the Kemang Steak's BBQ sauce helped a bit. Just a note, do put more attention on meat which has strong scent.
Australian Sirloin - IDR 68K
This steak probably came out better than the rest above. At least, this was the one which was executed better. Less fat, perfect tenderness and the portion was fulfilling.
Mashed Potatoes - IDR 25K
This is one side dish you can opt if you prefer something light-textured. But unfortunately this one was quite heavy, too creamy and grainy. Although it tasted good but eventually I found myself stopping at the second scoop of my spoon. It's too thick. Could be heavier than a plate of rice. But if you feel the need to get your tummy full, this dish might suit you well.
Es Kemang Cincau - IDR 25K
One of the variety of Indonesian dessert worthy to try. Grass jelly along with basil and syrup served cold. It's so refreshing. And I love the well-balanced sweetness also the nice taste of the grass jelly.
Fresh Lime Kemang - IDR 20K
A nice sour refreshing drink. The lime truly came out strong and the sugar was in the perfect level too.
Lychee Iced Tea - IDR 20K
I'm so loving this drink, especially there's a bonus of lychee fruit inside. It's fresh, sweet and totally nice. A must-order.
Overall conclusion, if you feel the need to have steak the traditional way but in a more-modern-ambience, then you should probably consider Kemang Steak as a destination.
Sure, this place still has its slips and glitches, but I surely hope that in the coming future there will be improvement. The positive thing is that the price tags are quite affordable for a steak restaurant.
Thank you Indonesian Food Blogger for inviting me yet again to another wonderful blogger gathering. Keep up the good work!
Keep on chewing!