Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lay's Honey Butter Flavour


Introduction
Back in the August 2014, there was an uproar in South Korea caused by... a snack, honey & butter flavored potato chips joint-manufactured by confectionery giants Calbee (Japan) and Haitai (Korea). The snack was crazy popular it always sold out everywhere and could be found resold online at three times of its original price, drove someone to make an app to track its availability, and other confectioneries rode the wave by making similar products while at the same time helped to calm the craze. You can read the details in here.

One would wonder how such thing could happen. The truth is, it basically fulfills all of our basic cravings: sweet, salt, fat, and crunch. You reach for sweets when need to think hard or sad, crunchy crackers when angry or bored, a bowl of thick-souped Tonkotsu Ramen when really hungry or just want to pig out. Well, you get the idea. Eating one of those kinds of food will send a feel-good signal to our brain and the snack has four. That's why the snack can be so comforting to eat ...or maybe the combination of butter and honey is just darn delicious.

Anyway, Lay's has recently introduced Honey Butter flavor to their selections aside from Seaweed, Salmon Teriyaki, Plain Salt, Pizza, BBQ, or Sour Cream and Onion I've reviewed before. Priced at eight thousand rupiah per pack, it's much cheaper than the original from Calbee which can be easily four times of Lay's because it's imported. Does the huge gap in price matter? Let's find out.

Review
Upon opening, you can immediately smell the buttery aroma from inside the package. Good, but not amazing. The chips are crunchy yet it kinda lacks in flavor. You can taste the honey butter but it's not very pronounced as if it disappears the moment you taste it. It leaves a weak aftertaste, too. It's not that bad by itself but I had tasted the honey butter chips from Calbee and Lay's is just pale in comparison. Calbee's had a more intense flavor, a perfect balance of salt, sweetness, and butter, with chopped parsley mixed to enhance the aroma; it was a flavor that drives people into addiction and stirred a craze. Lay's isn't just as good, for better or worse. 

Conclusion
Well, what do you think? Are you with me or do you think my review doesn't do enough justice to the product? Write away your thought in the comment.
See you at the next review.

Manufacturer: PT Indofood Fritolay Makmur
Price range: 8000 Rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your place might have them under different price.)
Worth to buy? Maybe.
Who'll love this: potato chips lover in general
You'll also like: Calbee's Shiawase Butter Potato Chips

Monday, June 13, 2016

Indomie Bite Mie

Left to right: Seaweed, Shrimp Tempura, and Barbecue Pizza flavor.
I've been curious about this product for a while and today I finally found some. Let's find out how good are they.




Review

With each package only weights 40 gr there isn't much to eat. By eyeballing I'm guessing there're about 20 pellets inside.

For better or worse, they don't taste like the instant noodle counterpart; these are pretty mild. Still, they're very dry and I'm strongly against eating it with no drinks available nearby.
Smaller than expected

Shrimp Tempura flavor
Tastes and smells shrimp-y, like the usual shrimp seasoning used in many snacks. The taste reminded me of something and I finally figured it out, this tastes just like Sumpia. It should be obvious if you think about it. This a mass of crunchy dough flavored with shrimp and sugar, it's just same darn thing! Although this one's even drier as it devoid of oil.

Seaweed flavor
You know how Taro seaweed-flavor smells? It's exactly like that. The flavor is somewhat close to Lay's seaweed flavor but sweeter. I like this one the most for having a fuller flavor than others. Still, it's rated pretty near the bottom of my list.

Barbecue Pizza flavor
Wow, between these three, this one smelled the boldest. You can totally pick the tangy smell of tomato sauce and cheese with hint of BBQ seasoning. That was a good start... that totally killed by the first bite. Despite the bold aroma this tasted tame; it's like the neighbor's chihuahua, bark so loud but no bite.


Conclusion

I don't like them and I think that's fine. After some thinking, it's clear that this was created with children in mind. These noodle pellets might be small for adults but just the right size for children. They keep the flavor mild, priced them low, use ziplock for children who rarely finish their food in one go or eating stand-still, and did you know that producer could request their product placement? These were put on child's eye-level on the isle where I bought them. I mentioned how they're very dry but I think they'll like it just fine; remember how we used to eat dry noodle like anakmas or mimi all the time when we were a kid? Parents should keep watch on their kids so they won't be dehydrated though.

Well, what do you say? Are you with me or do you think my review doesn't do enough justice to the product? Write away your thought in the comment.
Don't forget to follow and share. See you at the next review.

Manufacturer: PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk
Price range: 3,900 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your place might has them under different price.)
Worth to buy? No.
Who'll love this: Children.
You'll also like: Dry noodle Anakmas.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Indomie Real Meat Vs. Bakmi Mewah Rasa

Purple: Rendang flavor, Red: Chicken and Mushroom flavor.

Bakmi Mewah Rasa or The Scrumptious Chicken Noodle

For decades, Indomie has been dominating Indonesia's instant noodle scene and some of the international market share. Many brave contenders tried to challenge the absolute king yet little did succeed. The one being closest to Indomie's rival is Mie Sedap (from Wings Food) which has been building faithful followers over years, although there's still a huge gap of power between two. One day, another challenger from Mayora group, whose a well-known sweets producer, enters the ring. With its gold-over-black box packaging and "includes real chicken meat" catchphrase, Bakmi Mewah Rasa quickly garnered public's attention. The supreme ruler who wants to re-establish its dominance didn't take long to release their version of premium instant noodle, namely Indomie Real Meat. Will the challenger emerges as the champion or joining the silent minority in the shadow of instant noodle titan? We'll find out.





Review



Indomie Real Meat: Rendang flavor

Spicy and oily are what best describe this noodle. I can taste a generous amount of white pepper and chili mixed in the seasoning. This mightn't the authentic Rendang cooked according to traditional recipe (which is cooked for so long to the point the meat went as black as charcoal and reeeeally spicy), this is actually tastes quite close to the rendang you can buy in most Padang restaurants.

This instant noodle do use real beef as promised, although I'm not sure which cut they use; it's so tough. There aren't many meat dices included in a single serving so the kidney bean is a welcomed addition. I think they made the right decision by adding kidney bean to reduce the production cost; kidney bean is one of the meatier variety among legumes and a good source of protein. Though, they were a bit undercooked for my taste. Edible, but hard. They should've used industrial pressure cooker and these beans will be cooked to perfection in no time, boiling just take too long! Another complaint coming from the sauce; it contains too much oil! So much that I can spoon it. Thankfully, oil is thinner than the sauce so for those who don't like oily food like me can make a small cut in one of the packet's corner to let out some of the oil.

At any rate, this is a commendable noodle and far better than the Mie Goreng Rendang Indomie released some time ago, which is pungent yet barely tastes anything close to rendang (well, duh. it costs one third to this!)




Indomie Real Meat: Chicken and Mushroom flavor

Rendang might've chosen for its popularity as a beef dish but Chicken and Mushroom flavor is clearly the unspoken challenge letter to Bakmi Mewah Rasa! They use flat noodle, the type they use in their premium line-ups as opposed to the usual round noodle; dried leek chips and not the usual shallot crisp. Chicken is cut into tiny chunks but I like how they cut the mushroom slightly thicker than regular slice. These chicken and mushroom are flavored by kecap manis and some other seasoning, they taste pretty much like the usual Mie Ayam's ingredients. It wasn't clear with the Rendang flavor but they cut the amount of MSG used in Real Meat compared to their regular line-up; the flavor is less harsh now but with nothing much to offer, it got boring. The dried leek flakes are somewhat less fragrant than the one used in Bakmi Mewah Rasa, I'd say it's an useless addition. Overall, this is nice to sate your late-night craving but if you've got a favorite Mie Ayam hawker, don't bother eating it. Fresh food is always better than processed instant food after all!



Bakmi Mewah Rasa

I'll be blunt here; I'm a fan of this noodle and may be biased. But really, does a human free from any biases truly exists? I strongly doubt so. I'll try to judge this noodle in the same measure as other noodles, pointing both pros and cons I see. Well, without further ado, here we go.

I have liked this noodle from my first encounter, so much that I made a hype post at facebook back in December last year. Bakmi Mewah Rasa is the first to use actual meat among national instant noodles, the first to use leek flakes, the first to use soy sauce and sesame oil. "The R&D people must've refined taste," I muttered to myself. In my opinion, Bakmi Mewah Rasa has better noodle than Indomie's. It has elasticity and better mouthfeel, while Indomie's noodle is limp and tastes floury.

The overall taste of this noodle is "light"; the chicken and mushroom are salted lightly, the soy sauce used in here must've mixed with monosodium glutamate although remains lightly salty, the leek flakes add a light grassy scent, and the noodle is springy. Eating a bowl of this noodle is like listening to a playful melody blown from a flute in a grassland during daylight. This noodle also comes with a packet of sambal, although there's nothing remarkable to write about it. It's sweet and doesn't contain any heat. If anything, it'll ruin the perfection in your bowl. It's only there to answer Indonesian people's obsession over sambal, our term for hot condiment.

A bit of trivia: This noodle is closer to Chinese-style chicken noodle, hence it's named Bakmi (Ayam). However, the term Bakmi in here is used erroneously as Bak in Chinese cuisine means pork yet no pork used in Bakmi Mewah Rasa. Personally, I'm using Mie Ayam to refer to Javanese-style chicken noodle while Bakmi Ayam to Chinese-style.

This noodle seems to be so balanced that despite the relatively small portion, it doesn't make me want to reach for another. Every part completes each other, forming the whole picture. Careless addition will ruin the balance, like adding a discordant note in the carefully written composition. Even egg which can improve many other instant noodles doesn't really quite belong in the ensemble. This noodle can satisfy your stomach and your palate. If you're a fan of Chinese noodle, you'll surely appreciate this.

Now let's talk about its downfall. Many people are commenting on how salty this noodle is. That's right, this noodle can be too salty for some. But I disagree! This problem can be solved easily by adding a bit of hot water to the finished noodle. It dilutes the noodle a bit, tones down the salt, and provide broth to the noodle. But seriously, your noodle won't comically explode just because you didn't follow the cooking instruction word for word. If anything, to have broth is in accordance to Chinese style! The R&D people must be under impression that people who lives in Jakarta prefer strong flavor, that's why they recommend to eat this noodle dry. Rather than that, my only complaints are they should've used the richer leg meat with its skin intact than this chalky breast meat and the mushroom were cut into bigger pieces. But even without that, I love this noodle so much I eat it at least once a week. Totally recommended!


To tell the truth, I bought both flavor of Indomie Real Meat twice before writing this review because I still have some doubts regarding its quality. The first time was when it was recently started their sale exclusively in Indomaret and the second time at Carrefour. Many new products are actually sold exclusively in convenience stores, like Indomaret or Alfamart, before finally available in hypermarkets, such as Hypermart, Carrefour, Giant, Lotte Mart, or the recently opened Lulu. Just like Beta Testing procedure in gaming industry, this practice serves so the manufacturer can make adjustments based on consumer's feedback and field test as things don't go exactly like what's written on paper. For example, Bakmi Mewah Rasa included a piece of paper inside its packaging for some periods after its initial beta testing which reads "This noodle does not need broth," to clear some confusion. Also, Bakmi Mewah Rasa and Indomie Real Meat had their meat cut in bigger chunks during beta testing to give a good first impression.

Conclusion
Between Indomie Real Meat Chicken & Mushroom and Bakmi Mewah Rasa, Bakmi Mewah Rasa comes as the better one, thanks to its noodle. However, I think it matters a little as each noodle has its own identity. Indomie Real Meat Chicken & Mushroom caters so Mie Ayam's fans and Bakmi Mewah Rasa serves the fans of Bakmi Ayam. All's well that ends well.

Well, what do you think? Are you with me or do you think my review doesn't do enough justice to the product? Write away your thought in the comment.
Don't forget to follow and share. See you at the next review.

Indomie Real Meat: Rendang flavor
Manufacturer: PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk
Price range: 9000 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net weight: 110 gram.
Worth to buy? Yes
Who'll love this: Rendang fans
You'll also like: Indomie Mie Goreng

Indomie Real Meat: Chicken and Mushroom flavor
Manufacturer: PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk
Price range: 9000 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net weight: 110 gram.
Worth to buy? Maybe.
Who'll love this: Mie Ayam fans
You'll also like: Indomie Mie Goreng Jumbo Ayam Panggang

Bakmi Mewah Rasa
Manufacturer: PT Dellifood Sentosa Corpindo.
Price range: 7500 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net weight: 110 gram.
Worth to buy? Yes.
Who'll love this: Bakmi Ayam fans
You'll also like: Shio Ramen

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Francis Artisan Bakery

I just found out there's a new bakery in town last night and apparently, it's owned by a celebrity. Just like when there's anything new it became a short-living sensation and this one should be no exception. This bakery joint has been around for a few months and has five outlets (listed at the bottom of article), four located in Jakarta and one in Gading Serpong which is the one I visited.

I've always liked breads and sandwiches but I don't like the breads made here in where I live. Too soft, too sweet, barely fills you, boring choice. Forget bread, its identity is closer to a sad, flat pillow of baked gluten. A ray of hope shone upon me when Tous les Jour decided to open a branch in here. They got good bread, but sadly I think they priced it a bit too high. Then life goes on, breadless... until I found this bakery.








With the price average out at 30k rupiah per piece, the price is high, yes, but I don't think it's expensive as it offers great value. Look at the size of those loaves! One loaf can easily be the lunch of two people, or three if they has tiny stomach. They don't come short in quality, either. Chewy or crunchy, firm, and perfectly salted breads in a vast selection of Charcoal Beef, Pesto Cherry Tomato, Kraftkorn Flaxseed, Giant Beef Sausage, Squid Ink & Turkey, Beetroot Cranberry, Choco Durian, and many more. Availability varies with time as I don't see all of them during my visit. Salivate before their whole selection here: http://francisartisanbakery.com/bread-gallery


The best thing about this bakery is most of the bread has a bowl of free samples placed on its side. This is truly helpful for a curious eater like me. Without it, I can't find out about how wonderful their breads are and I'd disregard this establishment as pretentious. Their bread truly live up to its name!


These are what I bought on my first visit. My hand is there for comparison. My hand is big, mind you, but the loaf is even bigger! Amazing!
Pictured here: Choco buns (the black one), Black Tea Apricot loaf (the big one),
Sakura Mochi (the small one).



Choco Buns

Sold in a pack of five under price tag of 20,000 rupiah, these buns are dense and full of rich chocolate, through and through! The bun is flavored with chocolate, filled with thick chocolate, and yet it's not very sweet. The flavor of chocolate also come and go cleanly, not clinging in your mouth unlike of those of inferior quality. Another plus point is these buns goes well with tea or coffee. No wonder it's a crowd favorite!

As one of the best seller, this one sure disappear quickly. They had a counter full of this when I came and when I'm done paying, only a few packs left! Boy, people sure love chocolate.



Black Tea Apricot Loaf

This gigantic loaf costs you 30,000 rupiah. But I assure you, you won't regret picking this one. The loaf consists of black tea dough, dried apricot slices, and very creamy mango cubes in the center. To be honest, I can't smell or taste the tea in this bread. It can't be helped, the mango is just too strong! It smells even stronger than Dilmah's mango tea. What surprised me was the mango's very creamy. Judging from its odor and taste, I'd say it come close to Arumanis variety. They might've crushed the fruit and mix it with heavy cream, resulting in silky mango cream that's very sweet, slightly sour, tastes tropical, and packs real punch! They didn't put much cream in the bread yet it's enough to flavor the huge loaf. Also, slices of dried apricot scattered through the bread providing contrast in each bite. Delicious! If you love fruits in your bread, try this one!



Sakura Mochi Bun

I'm clueless on why this bread has Sakura in its name when it's not flavored with cherry or pink in color. But that's the only downside of this humbly good bread. Pillowy and chewy, slightly sweet with a tad bitterness from the pleasant toasty flavor it has. Generous amount of black sesame seeds mixed in the dough gives fun crunch and richness to the flavor. Priced at 12k per piece, I'd say it's a good snack to grab on the go. Eat it freshly baked if you can; I ate one on-site and it blown me away. Like any other baked goods that's a world of difference when came out from the oven, this bread was amazingly fragrant and the skin, that would soften when cold, was slightly crunchy and had more intense toasty flavor to it.


That's all I can say for now. I look forward to my next visit!

Manufacturer: Francis Artisan Bakery
Price range: 15,000-60,000 rupiah.
Portion: BIG.
Worth to buy? YES YES YES.
Who'll love this: Those who loves real bread and knows there's more fillings beyond chocolate and strawberry jam.
You'll also like: Tous les Jour Bakery.

Outlets, as per June 11th 2016
Summarecon Mall Serpong 2
Mall Kelapa Gading 3
Mall Taman Anggrek
Grand Indonesia
Lippo Mall Puri

Social Medium
Site: francisartisanbakery.com
Facebook: francisartisanbakery
Twitter: francisartisan
Instagram: francisartisanbakery

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kruster Lemon Cream Sandwich Cracker



Review:
Each pack contains 15 pieces of sandwich crackers.
The cream has the distinct smell and flavor that comes with lemon food flavoring, sweet with a lick of sour in the finish and lingers in your mouth for awhile. The cracker was made with shortening so they're airy and slightly salty. It didn't resist at all when I bite them. Very crunchy, very nice. They're quite sweet, but not as much as Lemonia. You could eat a few and still reaching for more.

This could go really well with tea. Skip the Earl Grey, it already has the citric punch. Instead, go for English Breakfast or Jasmine tea and you're in for a pleasant afternoon.

Well, what do you say? Are you with me or do you think my review doesn't do enough justice to the product? Write away your thought in the comment.
See you at the next review.

Manufacturer: PT Monde Mahkota Biskuit
Price range: 5650 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net Weight: 100 gram
Worth to buy? Yes.
Who'll love this: Biscuits and tea enthusiasts.
You'll also like: Nissin Lemonia Biscuit

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chitato Mi Goreng flavor



Indomie Mi Goreng is world-famous and critically-acclaimed to be one of the tastiest instant noodle. Mainly produced in Indonesia, it is loved by locals who often would pack a few whenever travelling and those who living abroad would go as far as importing or smuggling through friends.

Few months ago, Chitato, a potato chip brand under the same manufacturer of Indomie, suddenly announced new flavor and it's everyone's favorite Indomie Mi Goreng. It caused quite an uproar back then and the stock rarely available as people kept buying them. There were mixed reviews; some says it's too spicy, tastes nothing like Indomie Mi Goreng at all, or they got addicted. Things have calmed down so we'll find out if it really worth all the hype or a failed epic mash-up.



Review:
Upon opening, the smell of mi goreng is out to my room. I gave a few sniff, picking the fragrance of fried shallots, chicken powder, and a bit of kecap manis. So far it's promising.

The bite of truth.
It's spicy. I didn't expect it to contain chili powder; must be to represent the chili sauce in the original Mi Goreng. Few munches later, I can confirm that this indeed tastes like Mi Goreng or better. Highly umami from chicken and garlic powder, contrasting sweetness from kecap manis and touch of heat from chili powder. Flavorful yet not sickening like other Chitato's flavor. The chips itself got a nice crunch. I think this might be my favorite Chitato flavor, other than the Plain Salt flavor. Now I know why people went as far as buying it in bulks. It's just THAT addictive.

Actually, this is quite amazing. It's been hours since I finished the bag yet my room is still smelling like Mi Goreng. I guess you know what I'm going to eat for my next meal.

Well, what do you say? Are you with me or do you think my review doesn't do enough justice to the product? Write away your thought in the comment.
See you at the next review.

Manufacturer: PT Indofood Fritolay Makmur
Price range: 8000 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net weight: 55 gram.
Worth to buy? Yes.
Who'll love this: Indomie Mi Goreng and MSG addict..
You'll also like: Indomie Mi Goreng.

Serena Milk Short Cake Cream Biscuits



Review:
It contains twenty pieces of biscuits per pack for less than a dollar. Sweet deal, I say.

Perfectly crunchy for a biscuit. Not too hard or too crumbly, just right. They're quite sweet thanks to the cream but the slightly chocolatey biscuit tone it down, resulting in a balanced flavor. If you're not a sweet tooth, this is perfect for you.

This biscuit might not be anything sort of special but it has no flaw either. With its affordable price tag, you might want to stock it up. They're great company to your favorite cup of coffee or tea.

Well, what do you say? Are you with me or do you think my review doesn't do enough justice to the product? Write away your thought in the comment.
See you at the next review.

Manufacturer: PT Serena Indopangan Industri
Price range: 9550 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your place might has them under different price.)
Worth to buy? Yes.
Who'll love this: Adults who like their sugar not too sugary.
You'll also like: Oreo.