We are FoodieS!

Month: August 2016



Max Mandias from Burgreens is known his healthy and vegetarian way of life. He shares with us a couple of particular ingredient that stole his heart.

Spice-up Your NEGRONI

Spice-up Your NEGRONI

This month The Dharmawangsa adds a new concoction to its repertoire of Indonesian flavor-inspired cocktails: Roedjak Negroni.



Max and Happy’s fairy tale didn’t just end in happily ever after, the next chapter sees them opening Happy Chappy.

AFTER THEIR LARGE and public wedding in 2010, many might have thought that Max and Happy would just live quietly like any royal couple. Max, more formally known as Prince Tjok Gus Kerthyasa, son of the head of Bali’s royal family, and his celebrity wife, Happy Salma would not have any of that.

I would characterize the couple simple and very down to earth, as I met them one afternoon. It wasn’t the first time I had met them, but both seemed very soft spoken and charming. The setting of our meeting was the middle of their restaurant, Happy Chappy on one of the back streets of Seminyak. Of course I ask, why a Chinese restaurant. “I just love Chinese food,” Max quickly answers. “Since I was a kid, growing up in Sydney, we always ate Chinese food. We would always use to hang out in Chinatown, it was something that we always ate.”

“My partners and I have been talking about opening a Chinese restaurant for more than five years, because in Bali there aren’t really many choices when it comes to Chinese, especially around Seminyak. So we thought it would be a good opportunity. It just took us a while to get organized, and finally we made it a reality,” Max reveals.

Of course we gravitate to favorite dishes. “My favorites are char siu, roast duck and dim sum, I like xiao liong bao, and different dumplings, and the seafood, steamed fish,” Max shares.

Happy adds: “I am a bit picky when it comes to Chinese food. When not done well, some Chinese food can be greasy and oily and can cause headaches.” Happy shares that she doesn’t really like duck, because it can have a gamey taste, but surprisingly, the chefs at Happy Chappy cook duck really well. “So now I am quite obsessed with duck,” Happy exclaims. “I enjoyed the food tasting we did before opening Happy Chappy. I had just given birth then and was breast feeding, so I had a big appetite. I love the prawns in salted egg, which had a good balance of saltiness, also all the vegetable dishes, which were very fresh and delicious.”

I ask the couple, aside from Chinese food, what cuisines do they like. “I like Japanese food and Sundanese food. Anything fresh, with lots of vegetables. I also like Vietnamese food. In Bali, we usually go to Take for Japanese.”

For Max, real Balinese food hits the spot, he says. “Home cooked Balinese meals are hard to beat. One unusual thing we get to eat are bees. They are stir fried with spices and some vegetables, they dish can be sweet and spicy. There’s also a stewed chicken dish which my grandmother makes, we call it ayam tim but it is very different from the Chinese style. This one has many spices.”

And true to form, Max shares his thoughts on Balinese cuisine. “No other cuisine has that many spices in one dish, so that really makes it very unique from other cuisines. Cooking with all these spices can be difficult because you have to balance them all together. And that is something you can only learn from years of experience. You can’t just put all the spices in a blender. Someone really has to chop them all up and use a mortar and pestle to crush them and blend them together. It always tastes much better.”

With Happy Chappy around a year old, they have already expanded and have opened their first branch in Canggu. An addition to their first location is their bar which serves interesting oriental-style cocktails. So if you are craving Chinese food on the Island, you can pop over to Happy Chappy and might run into the handsome couple of Max and Happy.

Jalan Braban no. 62, Banjar Taman, Seminyak, Bali
IG @happychappychinese



Executive Chef Agung Gede works behind the scenes of the iconic Kayuputi restaurant of the St. Regis Bali Resort, treading the thin line between fine and culinary arts.

Reimagined Favorites:  Ardika’s Dessert Creations

Reimagined Favorites: Ardika’s Dessert Creations

Always wanting to come up with dishes that are out of the left field, Ardika D. Tjandra accepted FoodieS challenge to re-imagine and recreate some of the most beloved Indonesian dessert.




Sangsaka has the whole island buzzing with its fresh take on traditional Indonesian flavors. We speak with chef-owner Kieran Morland and discover why.

I MET KIERAN almost two years ago when we visited his other restaurant, Merah Putih. Set on the bustling main road of Petitinget, Merah Putih has attracted many visitors not only because of it’s grand interior and elegant design but especially for Kieran’s traditional and innovative take on Indonesian cuisine. Visually, Sangsaka is quite the opposite. Set off from the main road, with an dimly lit signage above the door, the venue is cozy in warm tones. Here, the food definitely speaks louder than the interiors.

“We wanted to make a small relaxed restaurant where we could concentrate on Indonesian flavors but using wood and charcoal as the cooking source. So many of my favorite Indonesian dishes have been cooked over a wood fire or smoked with coconut husks, or even cooked in the ground using coals as the heat source. Merah Putih is a really big beautiful restaurant almost for a special occasion, while at Sangsaka, I wanted you to feel like you could come three times a week and just enjoy the delicious food,” Kieran explains.


They change the menu every week at Sangsaka and are continuously tinkering with all the dishes. “My head chef Hans and I usually first start out with the base protein and brainstorm different ideas on how it could fit into our menu. We ask ourselves: does it fit the style of food we are aiming to cook? Is it interesting enough? But obviously, and most importantly, is it delicious?  We usually sit together to discuss over a beer every Sunday night,” Kieran shares with us his thought process in creating their dishes.

I had heard many good things about Sangsaka and could not wait to visit. So on a recent trip, I had dinner with a group of foodie friends. I noticed that the menu was very ingredient and produce driven and asked Kieran about it. “I guess the most important job of a chef is to source the best quality ingredients possible, and then cooking with those ingredients to the best of your ability.  Indonesia has so many interesting ingredients that really excite me as a chef. If I was a tourist and coming to Bali on holiday I would want to eat food that I couldn’t eat back home. That’s why I try to use ingredients in the dishes that are quite unique to Indonesia. or at least Southeast Asia.”


Kieran admits that there are so many ingredients in Bali and Indonesia that he loves. “I kind of get addicted to something and go crazy with it until I find something else to obsess over. But things I’m liking right now are jukut undis, which is like a plump purple lentil with a really unique flavor. I really like nasi jagung (local cornmeal) at the restaurant we prepare it almost like soft polenta. I also really like kemangi (lemon basil), andaliman (pepper), kencur (aromatic ginger), kunyit (turmeric), kecicang (torch ginger), jangu (no English transaltion, but is a must when making basa gede), and all the different chills in Bali are awesome too.”

We had an amazing meal at Sangsaka and I knew that I had to come back to feature some of the highlights. Tongkol, the yellow fin tuna dish, had been cured in soy and torch ginger flower, served with pickled palm hearts, cucumber and an avocado puree made using the flavors of sambal hijau (green sambal) as a base. Kepiting, the king crab dish, is a take on kare kepiting (Sumatran crab curry) but without the shells, they also use soft shell crab, and wood roasted baby corn. Kambing, the lamb dish, is wood roasted loin and slow roasted lamb neck with coconut husk smoked potatoes, and a sauce using the flavors of tongseng (similar to a goat curry without coconut milk, using sweet soy sauce). And finally, the dessert is ambon cake which is almost like a big sweet crumpet. Kieran says that he challenged his amazing pastry chef, Putu, to make this dish and she did a great job of it. It is served with a spiced chocolate brûlée and poached nashi pears.


Growing up, Kieran says that it must have been influenced to go into food by seeing his mum and dad and family cook barbecues and eating them on the balcony of their Mornington Peninsula holiday home. “Those are my earliest food memories as a kid. It’s a short walk to the beach in Victoria, Australia and we would spend our summers swimming at the Safety Beach sailing club.”


Kieran has lived in Bali for awhile now and I ask him what are his favorite eats on the island. “I really like ayam betutu from Warung Liku, babi guling from Ibu Oka, and the clams on the beach at Menega. My favorite higher end restaurants are Cuca, Locavore, Room4Dessert, and probably Mejakawi at KuDeTa.”


As a last question, I ask Kieran what his food guilty pleasure it. “I just really like good food and especially at 3AM, for some reason!” I assume it is because of late nights at the restaurants. “At that time of night the nasi padang on Jalan Petitenget in Kerobokan is pretty hard to beat. But I always wake up in the morning cursing myself for the five kilometer run I’ll have to do to work it off!”

A creative chef, a strong ethos, the best local ingredients, out together all make for excellent dishes, and a great meal as a whole. Make your way to Sangsaka now!

Jalan Pangkung Sari no. 100
Kerobokan, Bali
T: +62 812 3695 9895
IG: @sangsakabali
FB: Sangsaka Restaurant

Indonesian Food Experience at  THE WARUNG

Indonesian Food Experience at THE WARUNG

The Warung at Alila Villas Uluwatu has consistently delighted diners with its wholesome authentic Indonesian cuisine, served alongside stunning clifftop views across the Indian Ocean. Its experience is now enhanced and restyled, transforming beyond a great place to eat into a must-visit culinary destination for local and international foodies and tourists as well as acclaimed chefs.

GIANLUCA’s New Island Adventure

GIANLUCA’s New Island Adventure

Chef Gianluca Visciglia has left the chaos of Jakarta and has moved to the idyllic island of Lombok. He invited us over to share his new island adventure.

The Afternoon Soiree with  KØKKEN+

The Afternoon Soiree with KØKKEN+


The collaboration between two couples, Askar & Scarlete with Alfred & Jeslin, led to the inception of a lifestyle concept store called Køkken+. It marks a new chapter of urban lifestyle exploration. Our first encounter was at a memorable afternoon soiree recently. Here’s the story.

KØKKEN+ STARTS with an idea to provide a medium for exchanging thoughts between one creative individual to another.  This blossoms into collective events such as walking tour around Tokyo and late afternoon soiree in secret places that would entice the young, creative people of today.

After a successful gathering last summer, this year Køkken+ invited us to a secret rendezvous in Bandung. We took an early trip from Jakarta and were heading up straight to the hilly northern part of Bandung. Arriving at the secret destination, we found ourselves warmly welcomed inside this beautiful house with a sizeable backyard overlooking the mesmerizing view of the city.


Køkken+ team took care plenty of details needed to make its afternoon soiree highly memorable. On the wonderful venue, a long table was set for people to gather over food and drinks for the whole afternoon and evening.

From the kitchen, the chefs Ivan Wibowo from Benedict and Grace Dharmawan have prepared an Indonesian-inspired lineup from the canapés until the desserts. Jumping start the event, Grace first taught the guests to create their own Vietnamese spring roll and everyone was already enthusiastic from the beginning.


After a series of introductions, the meal started and everybody was enjoying their time conversing to one another over Chef Ivan’s prawn cocktails, charred red-spiced chicken, kaffir lime rice, and soy braised beef balls. Each guest came from very different backgrounds but the curiosity to learn more from one another made the day even livelier.

The early evening came and desserts were served. From the traditional jajanan pasar to roasted rice ice cream and choco passion fruit ball, it felt as if we’re going far into the night to savor the rest of the day together. However, the time came for us to head back to Jakarta and we’re all hoping to connect again sometime in the future, not too far away. Thank you Køkken+ for being  such a wonderful host!


Ruko Golden 8
Jalan Ki Hajar Dewantara
Gading Serpong, Tangerang
T: +62 817 0000 882
Facebook: kokken.id

Colorful Afternoon Tea at  FAIRMONT JAKARTA

Colorful Afternoon Tea at FAIRMONT JAKARTA

Renowned for its signature afternoon tea, Peacock Lounge at Fairmont Jakarta introduced a new series of colorful and creative afternoon tea sets, titled “Show Your True Colours”, available from July 11 to October 31, 2016.

Indonesian Food Experience at  THE WARUNG

Indonesian Food Experience at THE WARUNG

The Warung at Alila Villas Uluwatu has consistently delighted diners with its wholesome authentic Indonesian cuisine, served alongside stunning clifftop views across the Indian Ocean. Its experience is now enhanced and restyled, transforming beyond a great place to eat into a must-visit culinary destination for local and international foodies and tourists as well as acclaimed chefs.