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a short diary of some part of my life.

Posts from the Food Category

I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite. The salmon nigiri looked incredibly fresh. Wait! There’s also a fresh otoro. A feat considering how bad sushis are in Jakarta, Indonesia. Famous establishments like Sushi Tei should be ashamed of themselves. Genki is not only much better in all categories (rice, vinegar, fish, cut…) but also in pricing.

Absence of Sour Smell

The absence of sour smell was a good sign when I entered the restaurant. Initially, I had a low expectation because Genki in Seattle was good but somehow they restaurant decided to lower the quality due to dwindling customers number. They were right, once the price and quality were lowered, more and more customers were coming to the store. It was a great decision for the restaurant but for a sushi aficionado like me, the decision drove me away.

Operation

I spoke to (I believe) Genki Indonesia manager, a Singaporean. He spoke a great deal about how Genki operates in Indonesia. I admires the efforts. They basically import everything from Japan, from the Kamikaze rice to the tea they serve. I’m not asking for super great sushi like Tsukiji’s. I’m asking for decent quality sushis and if they can, maintain the quality and price just like they are now.

Complete Makeover

There was a sushi restaurant by Genki Sushi in Grand Indonesia. It was closed. I guess it coincided with the return of Genki in Singapore. If I remember correctly, the menu that Genki offers is completely different than the ones I had in Seattle. It’s possible that they revamped the whole restaurant and how they operate.

The App

As you can see in the photo above, Genki hands out iPad Minis with custom app for ordering. The app is smooth and flawless. Everything in it is crystal clear and easily understandable. Customers are allowed to order four dishes at once. It’s not crash-prone. I have tried ordering multiple items in sequence and it’s rock-solid!

No More Servers!

We are entering the age of automations. They don’t use servers to serve the dishes. Genki uses a minuscule ‘toy’ train to deliver the ordered dishes. It’s a pretty neat and fast way to deliver. There is also a hot water tab that you can use to create your own cup of green tea. Again, no server involved unless you ask them to come to you.

Take Aways

Most restaurants when they do take aways, the meals do not taste nearly as good as what you usually get when you dine-in. This is not the case with Genki. The sushis are more or less the same in cut, quantity, and quality.

I sincerely hope that Genki can maintain the quality they are offering now. In rare cases, after having been there four times, I’ve seen uneven cuts and inferior fish quality. Jakarta really needs a decent sushi restaurant. Genki can fill that role.

They are located in the Foodhall area, just below Sogo department store in Plaza Senayan.

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Sea Change: Ocean acidification | Pacific Ocean takes perilous turn

It’s no longer the time to be aware of these issues, but to do something about it, seriously.

In the link above, you’ll see that the consequences are already happening in a very rapid rate. We won’t be able to erase them overnight but we can try slowing down the ever-increasing rate and eventually, hopefully, Earth can be fixed.

Seattle Times is one of my favorite papers, they are willing to do such ordeals to make those reports and sometimes, they sacrifice so much for so little information. That information is vital for the story.

This time, they wrote Sea Change.

There is a story about crab industries. The people are trying to breed King Crab due to the depleting number of them in the open ocean. Another story is about a family owned oyster farm who moved half of their operation 3000 miles away to Hawaii from Washington State for the Hawaiian pristine water.

Read them and if you feel compelled to do something about it, do it now.

Disclaimer: I have forgotten how a great ramen should be. The only two ramens that I consider great are Santouka in San Diego and Shin Sen Gumi in Fountain Valley Irvine. Both in California.

I should have written down the name of the ramens but these two are their favorites. There are quite a few options on the ramen and the soup but since I cannot read Japanese, I only asked them based on popularity and suggestions.

The noodle was smooth, not slippery but just smooth and easy to bite and cut. There was virtually no dominant taste on the noodle. It seemed natural and yet, inviting.

The soup was also very tasty. Not overly tasty like Ikkudo’s. This soup was superbly done. It did not make me want to drink a lot of water.

The meat was also very natural. It’s like it’s never frozen but I could be wrong. I like fresh meat and this thing was one of the freshest I have encountered in a ramen.

The gyoza was supreme. Perhaps I’m already biased here but I can’t help it. Honestly, the gyoza was cooked just right, not hard, not overly crunchy or soft. I really like how Japanese look into the tiny details and they are able to do it right every single time.

Just look at the spices, me likey!

They sell the sauce, I should have bought it. Maybe next time!

Before the busy hour started.

Given the limited time I had in Tokyo, if I have to pit it against Santouka and Shin Sen Gumi, I think they are all pretty good in their own ways. Ippudo is different. I’m glad I had the chance to come by. Next time, I’ll try another ramen. I’m sure I can’t go wrong with any ramen restaurants in Tokyo.

The Food

This is the famous seafood Ayu restaurant in Kelapa Gading. The restaurant is almost always jam packed. Their specialty is off course seafood. I chose a number of menu, I asked them what the popular selections are. Usually, I don’t eat seafood with this many spices. Spices hide the overall taste of the seafood but since this is a totally different style, I was willing to try them out. The spices are okay I guess but I sensed the use of MSG which adds a bit of punch to the taste. I could not differentiate which seafood was fresh or how the textures were like. I can imagine why this is so popular among locals. They like the style of the dishes. Lot’s of spices are produced in Indonesia.

I started with fried squid. It was fine. But again, the use of MSG is obvious. I don’t have anything against MSG, I just have a preference of not consuming food with fake taste. I don’t know if MSG is bad for our body but at this point, I continued to eat to find out what’s the fuss is all about.

MSG

After I finished eating, I felt like there was dryness on my tongue, I also felt I needed to drink a lot more water that normally would. I believe this is the side effect of consuming MSG.

Stomachache

During a trip going home, I started feeling very ill on my stomach. I started looking for a clean restroom, a hotel preferably. I found one and the rest… you don’t want to read it.

So,

Here was the condition during business hour.

Here is the restaurant.

Here is the unsurprising surprise, I won’t eat here ever again for the sake of my stomach.

You probably think asking for a decent food offering mixed with great ambience and interior design is impossible to be done in Jakarta. This place is the anti-trend.

Let’s start with the overall design of the bistro.

It’s amazingly neat and well done. The space is reasonably sized, clear, free of obstruction, and airy. There is almost no over-the-top design. They really nailed it, function and style.

Service

Servers are not packing the restaurant, the numbers are reasonable and they are also reasonably quick at taking orders and actually serving them out. When called, they are quite responsive as well.

Food & Drink

I have not tried any of the main dishes. I did try some of the appetizers and they were all great. The appetizers were tastefully done and there is little to complain about. I’m definitely going to go back for the main dishes. The drinks were just as well done as the appetizers. I ended up adding more than I could consume. That was a very rare case. Most of the time, I despise drinks from these kind of establishments, they were just terrible. Parc 19 is not.

Conclusion

While I think I can find better restaurants /cafes serving better foods, they are likely much more expensive than Parc 19. Expect to spend around Rp. 75.000 per person for a combination of a drink and an appetizer. The bistro is cozy and people will likely stay for a long time.

Score: 4 / 5