If you are a food lover like me, the name Ismaya Group surely is familiar to your ears. As one of the fastest-growing lifestyle & hospitality industry group in Indonesia, it’s impossible to miss any of their “creations” when you find fanciest restaurants to eat, drink or just socialize. They seem to have endless innovative ideas, and whatever they release, boom, the places gain popularities as easy as turning back your hands. Some of their already-famous places including Blowfish, Kitchenette, Pizza E Birra, Fook Yew, Social House, Colette & Lola and so many more big names; even SKYE and Tokyo Belly are also parts of their powerful, consistently developing group.
This time, we were invited to try some new menu from Ismaya Catering Cafe & Gallery, which is a pop-up project from Ismaya Catering Co., which was started on 2009 and has been delivering the premium catering service ever since. The cafe is located on the 5th level of Grand Indonesia Shopping Town (West Mall), makes it a strategic place for lunch or business meeting, as well as winding down after a long day at work. It is homey, comfortable and very humbly decorated with simple layout and seatings. There is also a smoking area in the inner part of the room, unseparated with the no-smoking one. The open kitchen looks fantastic, by the way.
Nachos with Beef Chili Con Carne IDR 45K
Corn Tortilla chips topped with Beef Chili Con Carne, complimented with jalapeno and red chili cuts, and served with additional 3 sauces: salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. The tortilla chips were very crispy and fresh, but the beef chili con carne, not really my thing. It was too sweet, too modified or localized, so it became like some kind of oriental sauce, very far from chili con carne that I know. I love the generous amount of cheese and jalapeno peppers, though.
Mexican Cheese Quesadilla IDR 48K
Served similarly with the above dish, it came in a personal pan size and the exact similar garnishes. The quesadilla is filled with mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, coriander leaves, and cheese, again topped with jalapeno and red chili cuts. Served with another batch of same sauces: salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. It was nice, but again, the sweetness overpowered the whole dish, but thanks to the life-savior 3 sauces, my quesadilla experience wasn’t bad at all. I personally love the touch of coriander leaf (because I am such a huge fan of it!!) and the slice of lime that kinds of giving some authentic sourness of Mexican food vibe.
Beside those two, they also release 2 more new menu for EASY BITES but weren’t served in the food tasting, which are:
- Takoyaki IDR 42K, fillings are squid and cheese, served with Bulldog sauce, mayonnaise, nori (seaweed) and katsuobushi (bonito shavings).
- Shrimp, Enoki and Tofu Fried Basket IDR 45K, deep-fried battered shrimps, enoki mushrooms, and tofu sprinkled with fried garlic, salt and pepper, then served with sweet chili sauce.
Nasi Goreng Kecombrang IDR 45K
As the name suggests, the main star of this dish is the spice called kecombrang, which is actually one of quite popular spice for cooking many traditional food. I am sorry I felt that I had never heard about it before, but I was told that Balinese people usually use this spice to make their infamous sambal matah. The fried rice was cooked with that spice, chicken, shallots, and lemongrass, resulting in a very beautiful and fragrant fried rice I have ever had. The rice tasted so unique, colorful and with the side dishes of sunny side up egg and pickles, you’ll get various sensation of taste.
|The kecombrang, thanks for the new knowledge!
Soto Tangkar with Jasmine Rice IDR 45K
Another menu that we tried that night was Soto Tangkar, contains of meat and tendon cuts, slices of tomatoes, potatoes, spring onions, celeries, and sprinkled with fried shallots. Served with jasmine rice, spicy sambal, slice of lime and melinjo crackers, it was no different from the other soto tangkar you can find in nearest street stalls. But wait, I found this soto to be milder, lighter version of the street stalls version, which I like, because I easily get sick of the thickness of the soup usually. This one has a good enough consistency, well -at least for me, and the taste was just nice. I love the strong flavor of the spices, and found myself engrossed in the smell of it. Wish they put more meat inside, though! XD
Then here is the STAR of this post!
Double Trouble Spaghetti IDR 65K
Before I even start this, I wanna say thanks to the person who initiated the idea of creating this dish!! I don’t know you, but if you read this now, BIG KUDOS to you! So apparently, this new menu is like REALLY, SUPER new, as according to one of our hosts that night, this dish idea just came up on the morning of that very day when we were invited. She said that when they all tried it, everybody agreed that it was very delicious so she thought about letting us food bloggers tried it that night. And seriously, it is a very genius creation and I think almost everyone of us that night couldn’t agree more that this dish was superb!
Combined from 2 of Ismaya Catering Cafe’s most favorite dishes: Aglio Olio and Crackling Pork Belly, this menu totally ROCKS!! I usually prefer white sauce pasta rather than Aglio Olio, but this one totally won my heart the moment I tried. The pork was super nice, crispy, tasty, crunchy, you name it. Not only that, the spaghetti was perfectly cooked al dente, and everything in that plate just balanced each others so well that I almost ordered another one full plate for myself after the event ended, LOL! And if you ask me, yes, it was THAT good.
Other new menu in HEAVY BITES section are:
- Balinese Satay Lilit with Jasmine Rice IDR 55K, chicken satay lilit served with urap, white rice and sambal kecombrang.
- Nasi Bakar IDR 48K, rice filled with spicy anchovies (ikan teri) wrapped with banana leaves, grilled, then served with tofu, tempe, urap and sambal kecombrang.
Molten Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream IDR 40K
The presentation was very cute, with a typical molten chocolate cake shape accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberry, chocolate sauce and icing sugar. I had high expectation when I saw this served on the table, which apparently was right. The cake was sweet but not too sweet, which was great because chocolate cakes tend to be overly sweet sometimes. The lava was still kinda hot and melted nicely in my mouth. I just think that something was a bit wrong with the cake’s texture, which was a bit too “empty”, and seemed too hollow inside. Keeping that aside, this was simply a recommended sweetness that Ismaya Catering Cafe offers.
Singkong Belanda IDR 32K
Literally translated as Holland Cassava, this dessert easily became Food Escape team’s favorite that night. Served with caramel and grated cheese on top, the cassava were transformed into a fantastic dessert that we could have never imagined before. The steamed cassava were not too soft yet easy to bite, combined with glory of sugary sweet and salty cheese creating a contrast that enhanced the flavors of both sides.
Red Melon Berry Refresher IDR 35K
This mocktail is a combination of watermelon, strawberry and soda, which sounds so yummy. My initial impression after having my first sip was, “this tastes like toothpaste!” *__* But after I took my second sip, well, I could feel the distinctive taste of watermelon, but no strawberry whatsoever, and of course, minty taste still. Yes, it was refreshing but I expected more fruity flavors rather than just mint!
Virgin Apple Mojito IDR 35K
First of all, mojito is a type of cocktail which consists of sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, mint and white rum. And since this is a “Virgin”, so take out the white rum, and voila, you get the mocktail version of mojito. Personally, I love this drink. My main concern was that it (again) was dominated by minty flavor and thus, overkilled other flavor in that glass. The mocktail was served with generous amount of diced green apple (which were super crunchy, fresh, and so fruity, by the way), but still, I could just taste a very little hint of them as the whole drink tasted just like mint.
Lychee Refresher IDR 35K
And the last one is not really a new menu, but I had the chance to try it and freaking love it! Known as the most favorite and best-selling mocktail in this cafe, this really lives up to its reputation. Consists of lychee, soda, and lemongrass, the taste is unique, sweet and fragrant, makes you want more and more! Unlike other drinks that use lemongrass only as decoration, this drink clearly has distinctive flavor and taste of lemongrass and it surprised me in a very good way. Totally recommended!
Well, those new menu are available starting today, Feb 28th, 2014 and I urge everyone to try some of their new creations and the yummy drinks as well!
Thanks to Ismaya Catering Cafe & Gallery for having us, see you again next time!
Ismaya Catering Cafe & Gallery
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
West Mall, Level 5 Unit ED2-12A
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10.00 – 22.00
Estimated Spending: min IDR 70.000/person