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What Chef Eats: Nabila Yoestino

What Chef Eats: Nabila Yoestino

Auli Cinantya
04 March 2022


As pastry chef of BIKO Group, Nabila Yoestino is the mastermind of all the sweet treats at Actra Brasserie and FŪJIN Izakaya. For her, dessert is an art form - through it she can express her creativity, through flavors and textures she puts on the plate.


Hi Chef! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your day-to-day activities?

My name is Nabila, and I’m the pastry chef of BIKO Group. On a daily basis, I do R&D focusing on dessert for Acta Brasserie and FŪJIN Izakaya

What is the most recent dining destination you visited that left a good impression? 

Because of the pandemic, I rarely go out. But when I do, I usually go to Japanese street food shophouses that have been my favorite since a long time ago. Aside from that, I prefer to spend my time cooking with my family at home, as well as making their favorite dessert. It is always comforting to be able to come back to your own kitchen at home.


Did you develop new recipes or discover a new type of food you have enjoyed in recent years?

Yes! Not long ago I developed a few menus at Acta Brasserie, and one of my favourites is the Macadamia Pie – one of the best selling items at Acta Brasserie! It has a soft filling with a mellow sweet taste that melts in your mouth. I incorporate Macadamia nuts to give it a touch of savoury flavour, the crust is made from Cocoa Nibs Cookie to add a little bit of bitterness, and I topped it off with Yogurt Sherbet to give extra freshness to the dessert. Developing this menu is so much fun! There have been many trials and errors until we finally found the perfect combination that suits my expectations.

What are your favourite local dishes, and where do you go to eat them?

Nasi Padang! It has been my favourite since a long time ago because they have varieties of side dishes and are served with hot white rice. Pagi Sore has always been my first choice, their Gulai Tunjang and Sayur Daun Ubi Tumbuk are the best!

Do you have any go-to venues for hanging out with friends, or maybe for special occasions with family?

Mr. Park and Pagi Sore! Byurger is also my go-to place to hang out with my fellow chefs. I also like to visit other chefs’ outlets when they’re in charge, just to catch up and support each other.

Is there any food you can eat every day without getting bored?

Mie Ayam, my favorite is Bakmi Roxy Fatmawati or Bakmi Bangka Asli 17. They also have other branches all over the South Tangerang area.

Do you have your favourite quick and straightforward recipe that you made yourself?

Mille Crepes cake. A sweet treat that anyone can instantly love. I made it at home for my children and my husband during the first PPKM. Surprisingly, when I post it on my social media, many people are interested in trying the Mille Crepes. Hence, I decided to put it into one of my home-bakery menus, Aloonabs, and the response from everyone was overwhelming!

When you go out for coffee, what do you look for, and where do you go? Any regular places?

I’m not a coffee person since my stomach can’t handle too much caffeine. I often order Iced Chocolate from Animo Bakery, because the chocolate that they have fits my palate. If I need some coffee intake, Black Forest Mochaccino from Acta Brasserie is my go-to. It has a unique flavor and it reminds me of an old school Black Forest cake with a kick of coffee.

What are your favourite foods?

I like Indonesian street food, and one of them is Bakmi Ayam. Apart from that, spring rolls are also one of my favorite snacks.

What is your favourite home-cooked meal?

Anything that incorporates squid. From Sambal Cumi, Stir-Fried Squid with Green Chillies, or Black Spiced Squid. The perfect companion to enjoy with a bowl of hot rice!

What is your favourite midnight snack?

Kebabs, Pempek or sometimes fruit salad.

What is your favourite Jakarta’s Hawker food?

Nothing specific, but I like to explore the Blok M area in search of hawkers and street food. From Gultik to small Japanese restaurants, they are all fascinating to visit.

In the past few years, we have seen a lot of unique food trends; which food trend do you like the most and why?

Bread, especially sourdough bread. I’m amazed and really appreciate the spirit and the hard work that the bakers and chefs have on not just making sourdough a trend, but also to become a part of the Jakarta citizens lifestyle.

There’s a lot of research and learning being done there, and it’s not easy to introduce something that is uncommon in our society. At first, people might not be familiar with the sour taste of sourdough, but nowadays, I could see many people have appreciated and turned sourdough into their go-to bread.

If you have visitors from abroad/out of Jakarta, where do you take them to give a genuine taste of Indonesia?

Since I grew up on the outskirts of Jakarta, I really enjoy visiting the market! If I’m having visitors from out of Jakarta, I usually take them to BSD Modern Market. The market is clean, yet it has a fun market vibe, and if you go there in the morning, there are a lot of variations of traditional cakes! from Dadar Gulung, Kue Cucur, Kue Lumpur, Nagasari, Onde-onde and many more. Besides that, I would also recommend Serabi Notosuman and Pisang Goreng Pontianak – truly a market paradise! 

At night, BSD Modern Market turns itself into a row of tents where all kinds of street food can be found. From Chicken Satay, Mutton Leg Soup, to Steamboat Shabu-shabu. The food that they offer is clean yet still has an authentic taste.

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