Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Grill, Bandung

Oven baked tenderloin, spinach cream, mushrooms, roasted potatoes, mozzarella sauce, with pepper sauce

As promised, I would take pictures the next time I go to The Grill and I did! We went with my mother who just came in today from Jakarta and these photos were taken with her camera.

Crispy Garden Salad (**) - Rp11.800,-
Nothing special about it. It's allright, but that's all.

Onion Rings (***) - Rp7.800,-
The coat was a bit drier compared to our previous portion the other day, but still crisp and light. This time the onion rings came without the BBQ sauce. Inconsistency!

Bowl of Fries (***) - Rp8.800,-
Also just OK, like fries should be. No grease, right taste.

Club Sandwich (***) - Rp14.800,-
Our customer (Dhanu) is very happy with this dish. Perhaps I'll comment more if I get the chance to taste this one.

Steak a la Dago (****) - Rp30.800,-
Like I said in my previous note: recommended!

Popeye Steak (Beef) (****) - Rp30.800,-
No chance to taste this one, either, but Syb said the meat was well-cooked (he asked for 'medium'), the sauce friendly and the rest just perfect.

"The Grill" Burger (***) - Rp24.800,-
Juicy and tasty ground meat, caramelized mushroom and onion, in generous portion. Added with cheese and eggs and all, it's very filling. Although I think it's not necessary to include that smoked beef. And the buns were a bit dry.

Garlic Bread (*) - Rp5.800,-
We didn't order any garlic bread, but my mother asked for a plain burger bun to finish up her meal. So perhaps it's charged as 'garlic bread'. Oh well.

Snowy Fruit (**) - Rp10.800,-
My mother complained about the fruit only (sour or still frozen, I forgot); the rest was fine.

Sundae (**) - Rp9.800,-
Nothing special about it, either. Just two scoops of ice cream, two cherries to top each scoop, whipped cream, colorful chocolate sprinkles and a biscuit.

Our drinks were iced lemon tea (2 x Rp5.800,-), iced tea (2 x Rp4.800,-) and orange juice (Rp9.800,-). All are chemicals. In total, we spent Rp216.480,- for tonight's dinner.

Click each dish's photo to read the description, or simply check back to the menu :)
My previous journal entry about our first visit to The Grill:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What is Eaten in One Week..

Many of you must have received an email with that title recently. I did; a friend posted it in our mailing list, but the images didn't appear. So I did an Internet search and found the source: Peter Menzel Photography, who published a book titled Hungry Planet, and the photographs are excerpts from that book. The photos can also be viewed at TIME Photo Essays: What The World Eats
The images are photos from various countries, each features one family with a spread of food/drinks that they consume for one week, accompanied by the cost (in local currencies and in US$) and their favourite dishes.

Although I kind of knew that some nations are wealthier compared to another, and that some nations consume much more resources than the rest of the world, and value for money is different everywhere you go, these photographs show clearly how wide the gap actually is between the first and the latter.
What first came to attention was the number of family members: four people (say, family A) from country A vs eight or more B family members in country B. Then see the stack of food on A and B: A eats at least twice the amount of B! But the price A had to pay is not only twice, but could reach up to one-hundredfolds of what B spent for their food(!).

Then look at the components: the food itself, and the packaging that comes with the food. Artificial vs natural, chemicals vs organic, throw-away plastics vs refillable containers, food that travels overseas vs food that grows in your backyard. You can see all of those in the pictures, and even tell which is which.
All only confirm that we indeed need to be aware of our ecological footprints, so we get the picture about the amount of planets are needed to support ourselves, and that we have to do something to improve the situation. To quote Janine Benyus (non-verbatim), "Nature makes sure that the place they live in can still support their offsprings for thousands of years ahead, while still conducting their daily life"  - so why can't we, the so-called 'smartest species on earth'?

Right, if I keep going on, the subject will enter the zone of ethiques and philosophy. So I'd better stop. I'll leave you with some of the images (if you haven't seen them before).. and we can start pondering together: what have I been eating this previous week?               

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

United States
: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

: The Ahmed family of Cairo

Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Friday, January 25, 2008


Genre: Animation
This review is terribly delayed, due to weeks of having to do stuff I dislike, and it’s not even work. Anyway, I’m back and I’ll try to reminisce whatever impressions I have left for Persepolis animation.

I thought that watching a movie based on a book would never bring new sensations towards the work. Especially in this case, a full-featured cartoon based on a graphic memoir: one two-dimensional work after another. What would be different except one being dynamic and the other one static?

I’ve bought and read the books (a box set of Persepolis 1 & Persepolis 2) and deeply enjoyed their stories, wits, complexities and graphics. And there are values beyond the mere words and pictures that are charmingly combined in the books. Therefore it’s clear that I don’t want any animation version ruining my perception towards the whole stories, which are being told in an amazing way through the ‘graphic novel’ media.

But I trust Satrapi, her involvement in the project, and – of course – her insistence in achieving her artistic standards. So I was naturally very curious about the movie.

The long-awaited time came during the Jakarta International Film Festival (JIFFEST) 2007, where Persepolis was screened three times (among which, one was for the opening/ for invitation only). It didn’t take long until I asked my sister to immediately buy tickets for us (and it was a wise move, knowing the fact that tickets for Persepolis were sold out rather quickly). Right. On to the movie.


A prologue featured the little Satrapi in a short occurrence. Perhaps to show what kind of girl she is even at a very young age: bold, yet witty. Then came the title and credits. It’s all black and white, and two-dimensional, indeed, but it visually resembled a shadow-puppet play. The falling leaves, the wind and the wave, the dynamic shots from one object to another, the whole aura that seemed like coming from a faraway land. From here, my hope raised. I knew I would enjoy the ride!

The movie continued with a scene of the adult Satrapi, sitting in an airport, waiting for her flight to Iran, in color. She started telling her stories, narrating the whole flashback scene (yes, in B/W) to the audience.
The next I could remember were flashes of images, similar to but not quite the same with the printed ones. The animated version is more fluid, of course, and the accompanying sound effects could enhance the scenes. Sadness (death of a neighbor, jailed uncle), fright (fleeing from the patrols who found out about a party), even sweetness (fallen jasmine flowers from grandma’s bosom), cuteness (little Satrapi leading her gang) and other senses are presented so touchingly.

For those who haven’t read the book, perhaps the movie is too dense. There are indeed so many things to tell, and who knows how much one can register in one viewing.

As for me and other audience who have read the book, this movie might just be a confirmation of what we’ve read. But what I like most about it is that it’s just not a ‘moving’ version of Satrapi’s drawings – and that it didn’t bore us by telling the same stories with the same sequence. Some scenes were unexpected, and some of them were even funny! Truly an animation that plays with your emotions; the kind you can’t just watch once and forget. It is, for me, like a second treat to appreciating Persepolis. My highest compliments go to this work. I intend to acquire and treasure the DVD, for it is not a mere bunch of drawings arranged into celluloid that makes an animation: it presents a process of maturity, thoughts and values.

Image source:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Grill, Bandung

Lokasinya, yang merupakan bagian dari satu seri ruko baru, memang biasa-biasa saja. Suasananya bahkan cenderung berisik dengan suara kendaraan, karena berada tepat di sisi keramaian jalan Dago. Tapi tempat ini menggoda untuk dimampiri, karena:
  • terlihat sekilas dari jalan terkesan bersih dan luas (meskipun tempatnya tidak besar), dengan interior yang simple sekaligus ramah
  • berjudul steak & burger, cukup bisa mengundang saya yg cenderung karnivora ini
Jadi tadi sepulang menjemput anak-anak dari sekolah, kami spontan mampir untuk ‘makan malam’ di sana. Ketika kami datang, belum ada pengunjung lain. Selang seperempat jam kemudian baru satu persatu meja terisi. Desain meja dan bangku kayunya lurus tegas, hanya berupa kotak persegi panjang yang rapih. Dinding berlapis batu yang dialiri air di bagian belakang dan beberapa vas tanaman berdaun lebar membantu membentuk suasana yang lebih asri.
Tadinya kami duduk di dalam, tapi anak-anak selalu mau lari-lari di luar, jadi akhirnya kami pindah ke meja terluar. Dari meja kami ke tempat parkir hanya berbataskan vas-vas tanaman, jadi anak-anak harus benar-benar diingatkan untuk tidak sembarangan berlarian ke jalan. Tepat di sebelah tempat makan ini adalah warnet untuk game, jadi banyak motor berseliweran, membuat kami makin was-was kalau tiba-tiba anak-anak memutuskan untuk melesat ke lapangan parkir. Untungnya mereka bisa tenang ketika makanan datang (kelakuan liar mereka memang biasanya bersumber dari rasa lapar).

Satu makanan pembuka datang dahulu: onion rings. Irisan bawang bombaynya berukuran pas, dan tepung yang membalutnya juga tidak terlalu tebal, tapi menutupi sekujur irisan bawang. Keseluruhannya crunchy, sekaligus ringan. (Ah, andai isinya irisan cumi segar dan bukan bawang bombay..) Onion rings ini dihidangkan bersama semangkuk kecil saus BBQ yang dipenuhi irisan bawang putih dan bawang bombay. Kejutan indah buat yang gemar bawang-bawangan!
Tambahan lagi, di sisi piring ada ‘buket salad’ mini: daun sla, irisan panjang paprika merah dan hijau, berlumur dressing ringan (rasanya mirip saus huzarensla buatan ibu saya yg terbuat dari leburan kuning telur rebus), diikat oleh satu ring bawang bombay. Tampilannya manis sekali.

Berikutnya, datang makanan utama pertama: kentang goreng + susis punya Lindri (4 th). Memang standar, tapi justru di hidangan yang sepele ini kelihatan kepedulian si pemasak: pas/tidaknya struktur, kadar kematangan, dan juga presentasi keseluruhan hidangan. Kentangnya panjang bergelombang, renyah di luar dan empuk di dalam, seperti seharusnya kentang goreng. Susisnya susis sapi biasa yang berwarna kemerahan – yang sayangnya bukan jenis yang disukai oleh Lindri, jadi tidak dihabiskan olehnya. Tapi dua potong susis itu dikerat bersilang sepanjang ‘badan’nya, sehingga isinya menyeruak dengan ramai akibat digoreng. Menarik. Porsi ini juga dihidangkan dengan saus BBQ serupa. 

Hidangan pesanan Dhanu (7 th) ini datang berbarengan dengan kentang goreng dan susis, didampingi juga dengan kentang goreng dan saus BBQ. Saya tidak sempat mencicip yang ini, sebab Dhanu kelihatan senang sekali dengan makanannya. Tumpukan tiga lembar roti ini diisi dengan bacon sapi dan irisan telur rebus di bagian bawah, dan grilled chicken fillet di bagian atas. Irisan sla, timun dan tomat menambah ketebalan roti bertingkat ini; siraman dressing ‘kuning telur rebus’ (dan mungkin saja ada mayonais dan saus tomat) menambah ramainya hidangan ini.

Berikutnya, datanglah spaghetti pesanan Syb. Gundukan pasta yang sudah bercampur dengan saus cream dan irisan ham sapi itu dihias dua utas spaghetti yang disimpul sehingga membentuk semacam laso, yang didudukkan dengan tegak di puncak gunung pasta. Garam dan merica siap sedia, jadi dapat ditambahkan sesuai selera. Nah, hidangan yang ini sempat saya icip sedikit. Tekstur pastanya sesuai harapan, dan untaian spaghetti yang sudah rata berlumur saus carbonara ini memang berasa sekali creamy-nya, tapi yang dominan terasa di gigitan pertama adalah butter, lalu cheesy. Gurih!

Pesanan saya datang terakhir, pasti karena persiapannya paling banyak. Di lembaran menu, banyak bahan disebutkan untuk hidangan yang satu ini – dan memang benar: piringnya penuh sekali!
Tiga potong Lyonnaise potatoes berjajar rapih di sisi piring, ditemani setumpuk tumisan sayur hijau (kailan?) di sebelahnya. Dagingnya sendiri berupa sirloin yang dibentuk pipih sehingga bisa ‘membungkus’ campuran bayam, mozzarella dan bawang putih di dalamnya. Bayangkan ‘lumpia’ berkulit sirloin dan berisi bayam, dibagi dua dengan diiris menyerong di tengah2nya. Lalu satu potong ditegakkan pada tengah2 piring, sementara potongan lain berbaring tenang di sisinya. Seperti itulah garis besar presentasi Steak a la Dago. Saus black pepper menggenang luas di sekitarnya, diwarnai dengan aksen putih (dari sour cream, bila tidak salah tebak) yang berzig-zag di tengah-tengahnya.
Bayam bungkus daging ini sama sekali tidak sulit dipotong, apalagi dikunyah. Tekstur dan rasa bayam yang lembut dikuatkan dengan tarikan mozzarella dan bawang putih panggang. Dibalur saus black pepper (yang masih bertabur serpihan kasar butiran black pepper), dan sour cream, suapan yang rasanya lumer di mulut ini memang membuat saya enggan berbagi porsi ketika Syb minta gilirannya untuk mengicip.  

Secara keseluruhan, makanannya memuaskan. Meskipun tempat makan ini masih relatif baru (baru sekitar dua bulan), pelayanannya sudah cukup baik, stafnya lumayan tanggap dan lamanya waktu menunggu hidangan pun wajar. Hanya saja minuman yang kami pesan kebetulan semuanya ‘buatan’, instan: lemon tea dari Nestea (utk anak2), dan orange & lemon squash kami hanyalah sirup jeruk dan lemon yang diberi soda. Oh ya, untuk harga, saya kira masih wajar. Kami makan berempat menghabiskan sekitar Rp130.000 (dan ternyata porsi saya yang termahal.. hehe).
Kemungkinan besar kami akan kembali lagi ke sini – untuk mencoba menu yang lain. Apalagi lokasinya dekat sekali dengan tempat kami tinggal, dan anak-anak sudah terbukti doyan dengan makanannya (hanya saja mereka perlu diingatkan terus soal berlarian di tempat parkir). Lain kali, kalau diniatkan ke The Grill lagi, bawa kamera, ah!

The Grill steak & burger
Jl. Ir. H. Juanda 342 D
Telpon: (022) 250 0232
(Kalau dari arah bawah/Selatan, letaknya di sisi kanan jalan, di kompleks bangunan ruko pas sebelum belokan ke Jl. Kanayakan/Politeknik Manufaktur ITB. Kalau sudah lihat Borma di sebelah kanan, berarti sudah terlewat!)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back from Yogya

After spending four days in Yogyakarta, I returned to Bandung at daybreak this morning, with my colleague/friend Nike (who was very useful because she dilligently changed my bandages every day during our stay there).
The event was a workshop on Sustainable Design, held at Tembi, a small village off Parangtritis Street. I'll probably post more entry about it, but let's take care of neglected things first. In the meantime, here's a link to an article about that event in The Jakarta Post.

See you later!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tembi Trip (in progress)

I went to Tembi, Yogyakarta, for a Sustainable Design workshop that was held on 16-19 January 2008. More drawings coming up, in the meantime we have two teaser pages..

Surgery Saga, Here We Go Again, Stitches Off (Not!), Phases

These pages are the last batch of my Surgery Saga. Please bear with me for a while, since - at those moments - all I could draw about was all I could think about: my wound and getting well. Almost all these drawings were done in the doctor's waiting room, to kill time and to distract myself.