Halo Niko

Halo Niko! - Buncit Raya (II)

3/31/2015 Soya Yanagawa 3 Comments

Last saturday, Halo Niko held a food tasting where guests from Media, friends of the owner, Instagramer, and me were invited to give the opinions for their new dishes. I am so grateful to be invited and welcomed to this outstanding event.

For those who is new to Halo Niko!
Halo Niko! is the one and the only restaurant in Jakarta that features both Greek and Javanese fare under one roof. It was founded by husband and wife – Niko and Rika.

To be noted, you will not find an authentic greek food or Javanese food here. It was because, Halo Niko! is a restaurant that cross breed the two cuisines.

I falling in love at the first sight to this wonderful place. I can feel the touch of artistic hands of Rika, it felt so warm and welcoming. Homey and cozy are the things that can easily felt when you were here. The cute and the colorful furniture is a plus point for your eyes to enjoy the moment.

Halo Niko's food tasting event was held in "Kembang Kencur". For your information, Kembang Kencur is not a restaurant, it was a place that can be rented for private events, with maximum capacity 100 people. This homey and warm ambiance place is also owned by Niko and Kika.

Why I called this place has homey atmosphere, because the informal and homely furniture are spread throughout the floor instead. Such a wonderful place to held a social gathering or arisan, birthday celebration,  bachelorette party, etc. Well, if you want to know deeper about Kembang Kencur, you can check out their blog HERE.

OK, Let's talk about their dishes.

Lumpia Ayam IDR 65,000
Chicken & Cheese Springrolls

Crunchy and crispy on the outside, moist and creamy on the inside enriched the texture of this golden brown springrolls. the savory from the cheese and sweet from the chicken, combined beautifully and makes a wonderful symphony on your mouth. Do not forget to dipped it to the chili sauce, so you will never forget the stunning aftertaste sensation. Served 3 pairs in one portion will make you rethink to share this lumpia ayam with others.

Lumpia Veggie IDR 65,000
Vegetable Springrolls

Yes, now Halo Niko has a vegetarian menu! Crunchiness will enliven your mouth when you eat this Lumpia Veggie. The sweetness from the vegetables add

Bruschetta IDR 85,000
Grilled homemade bread with 4 dips (Salmon, Beef, 4 Cheese, Strawberry Jam)

Grilled homemade bread was served along 4 kind of dippings. Each and every dipping has its own uniqueness and deliciousness.

Beef dipping
It has a wonderful collaboration between sweet, savory and sour. It was beautifully seasoned and it almost look like a bolognese sauce.

Salmon Dipping
The textures are wonderful! The creamy sauce is exquisitely complementing the salmon. sweet and savory will gratify your tastebuds.

Cheese dipping
this cheese dipping sauce was made from 4 kinds of cheese. For some reason, I scent a hint of blue cheese's fragrant. And yes, one of the ingredients was Gorgonzola Cheese. But the odor was softened by the the other cheese that complementing each other. Really love this velvety dipping.

Strawberry Jam
I just thought that it was kind a weird to put strawberry jam along with the other dippings. but actually this homemade strawberry jam was quite delicious. Indeed, it was rather sweet than sour strawberry jam, but the sweetness is not overwhelming and really delicious.

OK, here is the crazy part.
Beef and cheese was a perfect combination. So, why don't we try to mix the salmon with the strawberry jam? Haha... Indeed, it was a crazy thought.. But surprisingly it mixed beautifully. For me, the sweet-sour strawberry jam blend together with the savory-sweet salmon. They were complementing each other. So, why don't you experiment it yourself? This Bruschetta really fit for a snack with a group of friends or family.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich IDR 80,000
Homemade potato bread with grilled chicken, tomato, cheese served with fried yam

People often to think that the most important thing on sandwich is the fillings. But for me, the bread is the crucial thing to make a delicious sandwich. If you miscast the bread, even if you have delicious fillings, it will be useless. That is why I gave 2 thumbs up for this sandwich. Really love their homemade potato bread. It has sweet and beautiful textures. Complemented with the smokey scent from the grilled chicken, indulging savory cheese and freshness from the vegetables really make this sandwich is one of my favorite dish in Halo Niko!

Love Boat Veggie IDR 75,000
Carrot, Zuchini, Eggplant, Paprika, Tomato Sauce, feta cheese

Another menu for vegetarians. I think that Niko really pampering their customer vegetarian customer. There is a lot of vegetarian dish on their new list of menu. Love Boat Veggie is one of them.

Just like its name, the presentation looks like a boat. to eat it, you just gently slice the dish and let the thick filling flow out. I really love the dough, it has soft and beautiful burnt scent  that lifted up my appetite. The filling has complete sweet-savory-sour from the vegetables-cheese-tomato sauce. Too bad i already full that day... If not... I will eat it all

Kwetiauw Sapi IDR 65,000
Rice Noodle, Carrot, Bean sprouts, beef

I really love this kwetiauw. But some people might misidentified this kwetiauw sapi with Pad Thai. it taste really similar, but actually has a big different on it.

Kwetiauw as known as Shahe fen or he fen is a type of wide Chinese noodle made from rice. Shahe fen noodles are white in color, broad, and somewhat slippery. Their texture is elastic and a bit chewy. They do not freeze or dry well and are thus generally (where available) purchased fresh, in strips or sheets that may be cut to the desired width.

But Pad thai or phat thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles.

This Kwetiauw sapi had a perfect balanced sweet and savory taste. But the ground nuts add some textures and beautiful sensation on your mouth. Taste really delicious and wonderful!

Iga Manis IDR 75,000
Beef ribs in sweet chili sauce served with rice

Actually the beef ribs was seasoned beautifully, but unfortunately it was a little bit tough. Sweet and savory blend together complementing the ribs. A hint of heat aftertaste from the chili will tickled your tastebud.

Soto Daging Paklik IDR 60,000
Beef Curry Soup served with rice

For a soto lover, I have to admit that this soto daging paklik was beautifully seasoned. It has perfect texture and tasted delicious. But once again, the meat was a little bit tough and chewy. But overall, I love the consistency of the soup, arousing the appetite fragrant and indulging taste.

Otoberi Cheesecake IDR 50,000
Strawberry jam, homemade cheesecake

This otoberi cheesecake looks stunning in margarita glass, but perhaps Halo Niko might already changed the container when you came to this place.  The Idea to change the container is you have to eat the strawberry jam, cheesecake and the crumbs in one bite. But on the margarita glass, there is a cavity in the middle of the glass that filled with crumbs.

But actually, this is my new favorite dessert at Halo Niko! the combination between sweet, sour and savory will tickled your tastebud. The richness of textures add an indulging sensation when you eat this otoberi cheesecake.

After a great meal, I think a cup of Greek Coffee might perfected the wonderful experience at Halo Niko! Having a wonderful conversation with Niko and Rika will be my unforgettable moment.

Have a great day and Godspeed!


The Promenade
Jalan Warung Buncit Raya no.98
Pejaten, Jakarta Selatan
T: 021 7919 1227

Instagram: warunghaloniko
Twitter: @warunghaloniko

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Hospitalis - Ahmad Dahlan

3/23/2015 Soya Yanagawa 0 Comments

Finally, I have the opportunity to visit Hospitalis. Calm down dude, it was a restaurant.

Located at Jl. Ahmad Dahlan, this place looks eye catching and can not be missed. This restaurant took hospital as their theme, so you can see nurses, doctors, and surgeons walking around this area.

Hospitalis is a place for people who are not feeling well to improve their health. They offer the guests a place to escape from the stress of the city. A place to heal a tired body and mind. A place to relax with friends, eat good food and have a drink or two.

Hospitalis used hospital thematic furnitures. so that is why they use customized wheelchair as their chairs and many other cute stuffs. Too bad, when I went here the indoor area was too crowded and dark, that is why I have decided to sit on the outdoor area. Luckily the weather was nice and friendly. 

Indeed, I really love the idea, environment, and the interior design. The mural looks beautiful and funny. But in my opinion, the indoor area was to dark even when I came there in the afternoon. And I don't really get it, why did the nurses wearing pink wig. Sorry to say, it looks cheap and a little bit "naughty".

OK, let us talk about the dishes.

Virgin Mexican Blood IDR 31,00
Strawberry Juice, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup and Grenadine Syrup

For the presentation it looks stunning with the blood bag hanging on the IV pole. to enjoy the drink, you just gently roll the roller clamp wheel and point it to the glass. Actually, It come into my mind about the cleanliness and hygiene. But no worries, everything has been thought thoroughly. They only use it 1 time and they discard it so no one can use it improperly.

Oh well, how about the taste? actually it was pretty good. It taste sweet and indulging. It screams for freshness and really pampering you to the fullest. It has beautiful combination between sour and sweet that will wash away your tiredness and weariness.

Virgin Coughing Removal IDR 35,000
Blackberry syrup, mint syrup, orange juice, bubble gum powder, lime juice and simple syrup

Once again, the presentation looks stunning! You will find a full package of medicine served into your table. To prepare the drink, you just pour the juice, add the simple syrup and sprinkled the bubble gum powder. For the taste, it taste quite unique. you will be surprised with the strong bubble gum taste and mint flavor. the black berry taste so sweet with a hint of sourness from the lime juice.

Quite funny and unique beverage to makes your visit to this place more colorful.

Iced Lychee Pomelo IDR 35,000
Monin Lychee, Lychee and Pomelo

OK, this is the only drink that looks ordinary, except they use measuring cup beaker as the container. It looks a little bit pale for me, cos the pomelo and lychee didn't have contrast color. For a lychee lover, this might be quite good beverages for you. Although the pomelo was not really help for the taste.

Squid Bronchitis IDR 35,000
Fried squid rings with chili sauce

The fried squid rings was served on the nierbekken plate, accompanied with salad. Actually, when I try it, it taste so chewy and lack of seasoning. I presume it was overcooked. Indeed, squid is one of the ingredients that easily overcooked. It will be rubbery and chewy.

The seasoning was not brave enough for my palate, It was helped because the chili sauce. But overall, not really my favorite.


Thailand Chicken Allergic IDR 55,000
Thailand style chicken gapou with rice

I really love the idea to use the common container that can be found in the hospital. It looks cute and neat. The color from the Thailand style chicken gapou was bright and appetizing. But for me, the Thailand Chicken Allergic was over seasoned. It was to salty for  my palate.

It was served with fried egg, white rice and prawn crackers.

Brain Transplant Pannacotta IDR 36,000

To eat this dessert, indeed needs braveness and courage. Once again, I really love the idea to use brain shape pannacotta. But too bad, the texture was to dense for pannacotta. Another thing that makes me a little disappointed is the small amount of strawberry sauce. I thought that they will give us a generous amount of strawberry sauce like the pictures. Well, I can only say that it was OK.

For me, I am quite disappointed with the food, but quite satisfied with the drinks. The thematic restaurant looks stunning with the props and trinkets. But it will be a perfect destination to experienced an unique dining, if they can improve the food.

Have a great day and Godpessd!

Hospitalis Resto and Bar
Jl. K.H. Ahmad Dahlan No. 31
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12130
021 - 9782 6123

Twitter : @hospitalisjkt
Instagram: @hospitalisjkt

Opening Hours:
Sun - Thu: 11 AM - 1 AM

Fri - Sat: 11 AM - 2 AM

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[RECIPE] Vermicelli Bolognese with Chicken Katsu - Soya Learn to Cook

3/21/2015 Soya Yanagawa 0 Comments

My mom's Spaghetti Bolognese is my most favorite pasta dish in this whole world. Indeed, she is not a master chef, but she is a great chef for me. That is why I asked her to tell me how to cook the spaghetti Bolognese, so I can make it at my boarding house.

Once again, she is not a master chef, but everything that she cooked, taste so delicious for me. I have cooked this spaghetti bolognese for my friends, and THANKS GOD they love it (maybe it was because I gave them free meal) and the most important thing is, they didn't have any stomach ache. So, that is why I encourage myself to put this recipe on my blog. 

For this recipe, I will using vermicelli for the pasta, I just thought that vermicelli was cooked faster than spaghetti. 

Thickness Comparison:
Vermicelli diameter between 2.08 and 2.14 millimetres
Spaghetti diameter between 1.92 and 2.00 millimetres
Vermicellini  diameter between 1.75 and 1.80 millimetres
Fidelini diameter between 1.37 and 1.47 millimetres
Capellini diameter between   0.8 and   0.9 millimetres  (known as "angle hair")
In the United States, the National Pasta Association, founded in 1904, that has no links with its Italian counterpart, the Unione Industriali Pastai Italiani, lists vermicelli as a thinner type of spaghetti. 
The Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America defines "spaghetti" and "vermicelli" by diameter: 
Vermicelli diameter less than 1.5 m.
Spaghetti diameter between 1.5 and 2.8 mm

So, the vermicelli that I use was thinner than the spaghetti. Next, I added chicken katsu on the top of the pasta dish, as a matter of fact.. it is complementing each other and give more texture on the dish. But if you are in hurry, you can just enjoy the pasta

Well, let us start cooking!

(For 2 portions)

- Bolognese- 

250g Dried Vermicelli (or Spaghetti).
250g Fresh Beef Mince.
250ml water
1/2 teaspoon Salt & Pepper
olive oil
125ml Tomato Sauce / Ketchup
1/2 Medium Onions, peeled and finely diced.
1 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely diced.
grated Parmesan Cheese,

- Chicken Katsu -

1 pair skinless, boneless chicken breast
 salt and pepper to taste
 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 1 egg, beaten
 1 cup panko bread crumbs
 oil for frying

Chicken Katsu
Pound the skinless, boneless chicken breast into 2 cm thick.
Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. 
Place the flour, egg and panko crumbs into separate container. 
Coat the chicken breasts in flour
Dip them into the egg
Coat into the panko crumbs until well coated on both sides.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Deep Fried the chicken around 3 - 4 minutes each side, or until golden brown.

Vermicelli Bolognese
You can use a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and place it on a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and gently fry the garlic and the onion. reduce the heat and add the ground beef.
Stir gently until the ground beef is getting brownish, pour the water into the pan, then reduce the heat into low-medium.
Add the tomato sauce (ketchup), salt, and pepper.
Wait until the water reduce and become thicker.
Meanwhile, add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a pan of boiling water. (The cooking oil is to preventing the vermicelli become sticky and clinging). Cook the vermicelli until it is ready, and put it on the plate.
Pour the bolognese sauce on the top of the vermicelli, sprinkled the grated parmesan, and topped with the chicken Katsu.
The vermicelli Bolognese with Chicken Katsu is ready to served.

To tell you the truth, this is my first recipe that I have put it on my blog. Well, it's quite easy and quite tasty (for me). But to be noted, each ketchup's brand has their own characteristics. Some ketchup can be sweet, while the others tasted sour. But for me, I really love Delmonte's Ketchup. It has perfect balance of sweet and sour taste that really fit with my palate. 

Tell me your opinion about this dish on the comment box. but please don't be mean... Newbie here and just sharing this simple recipe....

Have a great day and Godspeed!

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RoCA Restaurant - ARTOTEL Jakarta

3/18/2015 Soya Yanagawa 1 Comments

Have you heard about ARTOTEL jakarta? It is an Art inspiring boutique hotel that was located in Thamrin, right next to Sarinah Building. Featuring original designs by talented young Indonesian contemporary artist, ARTOTEL offers a fresh twist to every visit. With a powerful combination of top notch art from some of this country's emerging artists and best-in-class service delivered by a talented hospitality team, ARTOTEL offers a hotel experience like no other.

In just several months, ARTOTEL has won a lot of outsanding awards such as:

ITTA AWARDS 2013/2014








ITTA AWARDS 2014/2015

YUP, ARTOTEL Jakarta was opened on 3Q14, and yet they already have a lot of awards and recognition.

Located in the lobby floor of ARTOTEL, Jakarta, there is a fun and vibrant restaurant named RoCA Restaurant. I fell in love with this hip and trendy restaurant once i stepped into this place.

The environment so clean and artistic. Really love the drawing and the giant window that brighten up the dining room. The cushion looks so comfy and colorful. Such a delightful place to dine in.

Let us start with the beverages. At RoCA you can choose the beverage that suits with your tendency to dine there. You can ordered tea or coffee if you want to enjoy your breakfast or teatime, juice to accompany your lunch, even wine, spirits and cocktail to enjoy your dinner or romantic moment with your beloved one. Well, because I went there for lunch.. Why don't we try their Mocktails?

Hospital Hater IDR 48,000

This mocktail actually is a healthy beverage, consists of broccoli, pineapple juice and lemon. Maybe people often to think that healthy food or healthy drink is NOT delicious. But you have to try their "Hospital Hater". I really admire the taste! It was so refreshing and delicious. The mild taste of broccoli soften the bold taste of pineapple, and the sweetness of pineapple erased the bitterness of broccoli. They are complimenting each other. The hint of lemon add some freshness into this beverages.

I really love the combination and the taste. Sometimes, on healthy drinks, you will find an unpleasant aftertaste on your mouth, but this drink will gives you a relieving aftertaste.

Pretty Cinderella IDR 48,000

My friend ordered this pretty mocktail. The nuance from orange to red looks so stunning with the bubbles swimming from the bottom to the top. From the look of this beverage scream for freshness.

True, the taste really fresh just like its look. The combination between orange juice and grenadine taste delicious. Added with soda, this beautiful beverage, really boost up your freshness and stamina.

Orange Juice IDR 38,000

Sometimes, you just need a simple, fresh and delicious juice to accompanying your lunch. Well, you can find RoCA's Juices collection. Just like the orange juice above, from the look, you can see the thickness and beautiful color of the fresh juice. The taste? it just like eating orange in liquid form.

Are you ready for the food?

RoCA was known for their wonderful dishes like Nasi Goreng Kemangi, Sop Buntut Goreng and Nasi Goreng Kampung. Indeed, I have already tasted it when I visit BART, and it was superb! Too bad, I went there at night and the situation made me give up to take pictures. What makes me want to come back to this place is the deliciousness and the reasonable price (you just have to pay IDR 55,000 for Nasi Goreng Kemangi Teri or Nasi Goreng Kampung).

Spicy Asian Salad with Prawns IDR 58,000

The salad was so fresh and really appetizing. Like always, I really love the red and green color combination, it really contrast and beautiful. Diverse textures can be fount on this salad, especially RoCA put deep fried shrimp on the salad. Even though that I have found that the shrimp wasa a little bit overcooked, but it really enrich the textures. I also find that RoCA's Spicy Asian Salad using fried garlic, love the aroma and the crunchiness. It brings you to the other level of satisfaction.

You can find the Asian touch from the dressing. Taste the honey sweet and lemon sour explodes in your mouth with a reverberating heat from the chili. The heat aftertaste really gives you a kick,

Orange Chicken Rice Sweet & Sour Sauce IDR 48,000

When the dish arrived to my table, I cannot hold any much longer NOT TO  EAT this mouth-drooling dish. The sweet and sour sauce glistening concealed the chicken. It looks so yummy!

Beneath the pile of chicken with the glistening sauce, there was a white fried rice. I said white fried rice because it did not use sweet soy sauce. Indeed if you just eat the fried rice, it will tasted a little bit bland. That is why the fried rice was paired with the bold taste of sweet sour chicken. The combination is perfect and delicious, you will not stop eating it until it was empty.

The orange gives beautiful fragrance and flavor on the dish. Beautifully and  wisely seasoned, the sauce really complemented the chicken and fried rice to the fullest. Such a mesmerizing dish that you have to try while you're in RoCA

Crab Garlic Noodle IDR 89,000

Actually, if you take a look at the dish, you can see a shell-less crab was deep fried and put on the top of the noodle. So elegant and jaw dropping presentation.

I really love the seasoning. It has a wonderful sweet savory taste with beautiful fragrant from the garlic. The crab was astonishing and add some texture and indulgent on the plate. Really a breath taking dish and will be back for sure!

Spicy Turkey Sandwich IDR58,000

This spicy turkey sandwich was served along with french fries and salad. Really love the humble presentation and generous portion. But you know what? They use Croissant as the bread, so the texture was so crisp and delish. The turkey ham was complemented with the cheddar, so you can find a crunchy exterior and moist and juicy inside. Deliciousness sometimes can be found on the dish that use simple ingredients, just like this spicy turkey sandwich. An alternate dish to fill your empty stomach in the morning or noon.

Banana Foster IDR 45,000

Before I start to describe this dessert, There is a fun fact that I really want to share with you.


Banana Foster was created in 1951 by Paul Blangé at Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was named for Richard Foster, a friend of Owen Brennan who was then New Orleans Crime Commission chairman. 
Bananas Foster is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with a sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, and then alcohol is added and ignited. The bananas and sauce are then served over the ice cream. 

Luckily I have met with Chef Faizal Irvan, the Executive Chef ARTOTEL Jakarta, that give us a brief about this Banana Foster. He said that, he made this common dessert in US with a twist. He add herbs such as clove, nutmeg, etc into this dish.

RoCA's Banana Foster using croissant beneath the banana and caramel. So the caramel was absorbed to the croissant so it become denser, more aromatic, and full of taste. The fragrant really so rich and mind-blowing; It has calm and indulging caramel scent, strong and tough cinnamon aroma, refreshing tropical fruit fragrance, and a hint of earthy sensation.

The taste was heavenly.. you will be blown away because its unearthly taste. Sweet, sour, and savory combined beautifully and added with hot and cold sensation. Really love the hint of citrusy taste that perfected this dessert and makes you remove the word of "sharing" on your dictionary.

2 words.... MUST TRY!

If you happened in near Sarinah, Thamrin, why don't you try to go to this awesome place. I really fall in love with this hotel and restaurant.. Will be back again for sure!

Have a great day and Godspeed!

RoCA Restaurant

Artotel Jakarta, Ground Floor
Jl. Sunda No. 3, Thamrin, Jakarta Pusat

Twitter: @ilove_artotel
Instagram: @ilove_artotel
Facebook: Artotel Indonesia
Phone: 021 31925888

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