Kemang is one of the culinary region in which I can say is pretty hip, with lots of interesting cafes, restaurants and food joints. But to know that there is a certain mall in this region is quite surprising to me. Well, to be honest, everytime I step at this particular area, my attention and interest mostly go to restaurants or cafes found at the side of the street and not the mall.
This month was a new experience for me, and also an honor to be picked as one of the foodbloggers by Indonesian Food Blogger (indonesianfoodblogger.com), given the task to write reviews for the tenants of Lippo Mall Kemang in an event called FoodVaganza.
So in this event I was given a list of tenants to be visited and to be reviewed. A little bit about FoodVaganza, this is an event long awaited by culinary enthusiast. Why? Because there are just so many things associated with food can be found here. Cooking competition, eating competition, food talkshow, a gallery of Indonesian traditional spices, street food idea challenge, and also food bazaar: the Market Museum in which in this bazaar you'll find Mini Pasar Santa too. How cool is that? And this event is happening from March 9 - April 19, 2015.
So this post mainly will be about the food tenants which I visited during FoodVaganza, in which I had the opportunity and also the experience of not only having good food but also experienced the humble service. Here goes:
Located in the Avenue of The Stars, Upper Ground level, this was the first tenant I visited.
Different from its other outlet in Plaza Indonesia which tends to have a more family concept, the Red Tomato at Lippo Mall Kemang offers a more cozy, chill, and youthful ambiance. The use of wooden materials for the interior gave it a rustic but still comfortable ambiance.
The manajer greeted me nicely, even the head chef spared his time to have a chat with me, in which I didn't expect to be given such a humble hospitality.
Wagyu Tenderloin 4+ - IDR 290K
Wagyu Tenderloin was the main course served to me that day. This restaurant specializes on steaks and I saw it's no wonder for the steaks to be loved. A nice, perfectly cooked steak with a medium doneness was served on a plate along with crispy curly potato and vegetables. The steak was presented with the restaurant's best selling mushroom steak sauce. I really loved the consistency of the sauce, perfect thickness, and truly complemented the juicy succulent steak. The potato was something to be adored too. Usually in this kind of way of frying the potato if it wasn't done right you will still find soft mushy part of the potato. But this one was crispy all the way. And I loved how they didn't over seasoned the potato, making the steak still came as the star on the plate.
Red Bambini - IDR 39K
As the thirst quencher, this mix of fresh strawberries, passion fruit, and soda came as a delightment. The refreshing taste was memorable, since the sweetness was just fine, and that hint of bursting soda was a delish.
White Elephant Thai Bistro
The second tenant. Actually White Elephant was one of my favourite Thai restaurant. Located also in the Avenue of The Stars, Lower Ground, this quite spacious bistro could easily be seen from it's distinguished and unique logo.
Stepping inside the restaurant, I was immediately fascinated by the interior. Elegant yet simple enough, with wooden chairs and table and also the dimmed light. Yes, I came when afternoon was about to shift to night, and the dimmed light had me worried about taking photos.
Phad Thai Kai Krob - IDR 55,5K
Thai rice noodle with prawns, bean sprouts, diced tofu, in sweet tamarind sauce. The chef at White Elephant is actually a native Thai, so to feel and taste an authentic Thai food was highly expected by me.
And I wasn't let down that day. This Pad Thai was good. Considerably delicious. Squeezing that lime slice and giving it a bit sour flavor just elevated the entire dish. All in all I enjoyed this dish so much, I could just sobbed on my last spoon.
Pineapple Lychee - IDR 35K
Visually it's soo beautiful. A mix of pineapple and lychee, with a balanced sweetness and the perfect thickness. It's just loveable. Every sip was delightful.
Kopi Kitchen is a great hangout place. First because they served so many choices of finger foods and desserts. Located in the Upper Ground level of the Avenue of the Stars, this is a perfect place to relax, have a cup of coffee and maybe grab some snacks.
They have an indoor and outdoor dining area which both are comfortable, though I would prefer indoor during the day and outdoor during the night. The servers were very responsive and also friendly. Really loving the service that day.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Waffle - IDR 65K
Buttermilk fried chicken with crispy batter with cider slaw, waffles, and the sauce was chilli maple. Served in a very big portion. The chicken was just delicious, crispy and savory. The cider slaw was a great companion along with the tasty waffles.
Kopi Tarik - IDR 32K
I loved the way they presented the coffee in an old fashioned mug like this. So unique and felt so old-skool. The flavors were good, though I usually never put interest for a coffee which was made this way. But really, I liked the flavor. It's a bit too sweet for me though, but it's just a personal preference since I liked coffee better with a bit bitter taste.
My 4th visit was to this fancy restaurant. Located just across White Elephant, this is one elegant restaurant which caught my attention on the first time I came to Lippo Mall Kemang.
Modern, simple yet intriguing interior. The service was excellent. The waiters helped me to decide on what to order. Yes, the manager was very kind to let me choose something of my liking, and the waiter was a big help in my confusement on what to order. Great hospitality.
Seared Barramundi - IDR 99K
The manager and the chef opted me to order this menu, the Seared Barramundi which came as something to be memorable. Great way in searing the barramundi, perfectly cooked with a crispy skin which was so loveable. The buttered capers was fantastic, adding a nice salty yet savory flavor to the outstanding soft mashed potato. And I also loved the added crispy toast which gave an additional texture to the dish. My compliments to the chef.
Tutti Frutti - IDR 42K
A mix of kiwi, and mango. It's so refreshing with a strong fruity flavor from the syrup.
Snowbowl at St. James
This place I have to say is like a hidden gem. I would've never expected to find a dessert shop inside of a utensil store. Yet the position was a bit cornered and outcasted. It's such a pity considering they served great Korean desserts.
As I walked in that day, there were also three Korean natives who came along. I noticed from how they spoke fluent Korean. It seemed like they have been used to enjoy the desserts here, probably because the ones served here matched their palate more.
Snow Milk Red Bean - IDR 42K
First thing I have to say is that I am so loving the snow ice. The texture was soooo soft, it was just like eating a soft cold cotton mixed with milk. No rough crystalized ice was found. They also ordered the red bean specifically from a Korean household industry, making sure that the Korean flavors would not fade into the background. And then on the top there were rice cakes which sort of tasted like mochi but more thick. Overall this is a great dessert.
Snow Berry - IDR 42K
For something more refreshing, there is this Snow Berry. Packed with a bit more sour yet sweet taste, I found this one was very nice. The sourness came from the berries and the syrup that the berries bear upon. Once again, the snow ice was just DA BOMB. A dessert truly to be loved. I wouldn't mind coming back again for this one.
Monviet was my final and ultimate culinary destination in this FoodVaganza review. I've been hearing a lot about this place. Some of my blogger friends called it as the best Vietnamese restaurant in town, something which made me more curious and more eager to try the food.
The restaurant was indeed catchy and nicely decorated. Once you enter you will have the feel of a homey yet modern style of interior design. I loved the drawings on the wall too. The service was nice although some miscommunication happened which resulted me to wait for quite some time. But the food was a healing for the time wasted on waiting. So let me just go straight and tell you about the food.
Bun Bo Hue - IDR 59K
The best pho noodle I've ever had. So the rumours are true. I would have to agree with my fellow bloggers that this is the best Vietnamese restaurant in town! The Bun Bo Hue was phenomenal. The flavors were spot on. I really liked how the soup was light and not too oily like some pho noodles I've experienced before. The soup was pretty clear with strong stock flavors. The rice vermicellis were chewy and the beef was sooo succulent. I just instantly fell in love with this dish. It was not that spicy so I really do enjoyed every mouthful of it.
Ca Phe Sua (Hot Vietnamese white coffee) - IDR 34K
A unique drink with strong coffee flavor. The condensed milk was nice although it was a bit too sweet for my liking. It's not much problem though since the coffee was nice.
* * * * *
So that wraps up my culinary journey in Lippo Mall Kemang's FoodVaganza. It was a splendid and spectacular journey all the way. Six great restaurants, six times the hospitality, and certainly multiple times of great food.
It's great that the fact these stunning restaurants gathered altogether in one place. So Lippo Mall Kemang should now be listed as one of my culinary spot for food hunting.
Thank you so much to Indonesian Food Blogger (IdFB) for the wonderful opportunity to take part in this great event. I wish the best of success for IdFB, Lippo Mall Kemang and all the food tenants above. Cheers!