Went to the pre-opening of this soon-to-be-opened Louisiana themed seafood restaurant called "The Holy Crab", you know how much I adore unique names that's inspired by the... *you know what*, this name's probably my second most favorite after "Fook Yew!" Major LOL.

While the restaurant's scheduled to be officially opened for public on February 3rd 2014, I got the first watch and privilege to try out some of their highlighted menu and be the first guests with some other bloggers, thank you The Holy Crab!

A little history about The Holy Crab, it's managed by the Ersons Food Group which by the way also manage some other famous names like Santouka Hokkaido Ramen and Grandma's Suki *applause*. This happens to be their first outlet and hopefully more *fingers crossed*. The Holy Crab is located in Gunawarman street which is famous for its culinary scene since it's on the same rail as Senopati and Wolter Monginsidi.
The restaurant's exterior looked like a fancy house, Louisiana architecture typical since this restaurant is pretty much influenced by Louisiana. I got the homey impression when I first stepped into the restaurant. It was decorated with mostly earthy elements like woods and cement. It actually reminded me of the good old southern eatery (if you have seen it somewhere in movies), only this was more spacious (can hold up to 130 people), cleaner, more comfortable, and I adore the simplicity of the whole concept for the interior. It was just an appropriate dining venue.

A more private area for those who wanted privacy.

The Dummies Guide to De-Shelling, so this was the board that will be your ultimate guide while eating here, keep your eyes on this board, this would help a lot!
Some of the highlighted menu were 'The Snow Crab" which was also imported straight from the land of Alaska, Gianormous "Lobster", "Dungenees Crab" and "Shrimps". I got to try all except for the Lobster which I found to be really unfortunate, I was staring non-stop at the freaking lobster but soon realizing that it wasn't meant to be mine, love hurts :(.

I couldn't provide you guys the exact price for the food here because the pricing system was determined by the weight of the seafood and the source (local or international), but what I can tell you is that the price ranges from IDR 20k to IDR 120k (for 100 grams) for the seafood while the light bites starts from IDR 25k to 60k. Prices may vary depending on the market seasonal price.

Let's start the seafood raving!

What I love about the eating concept here was there's no plate, no appliances and nowhere to be tidy. If you are an OCD freak then this might not be the place for you, it's where you get down and dirty, dude... Lousiana style, freaking beautiful mess!

Fish and Chips Crispy Fish Fingers
IDR 60k
The appetizer of the night, it was the good old fish and chips. The fish was cooked beautifully, crispy coating but still leaving the fish meat to be moist and in a way, juicy. Probably a little more seasoning to the fish would be good, it just needed a little kick of butter and salt and I'm hooked like a fish! On the other hand, french fries was cooked nicely, and this one had a proper seasoning.

Snow Crab Legs and King Crab Legs
Before we get to the actual meal, to consume the crab legs, the 'weapon' that we're going to need is "Shellfish Cracker Shell Opener" (the blue ones in the picture). Surprisingly, the crab legs shells were not as hard as I had imagined before, more like a plastic kinda fabric and it was not as hard as the body shell for sure. The purpose of the shell opener was to rip the shell off and to get the meat out of the shell, if this doesn't work just remember you always have your teeth which is like the ultimate universal opener.

The wood hammers were used for the crabs if you care.
Apparently, cracking the shells was not rocket science to me, here's the fun part: EATING THE MEAT and since this was like the first time having giant king crab legs, for a first timer, this was really impressive. The meat was really soft, sort of juicy and buttery, it had that natural sweetness and saltiness to it and it just melt in your mouth. The meat from the legs were generous and I couldn't stop having this with the Louisiana sauce which tasted like bolognaise in a way but in the same time a little BBQ-ish, spicy and it had that Cayenne pepper touch to it, the combination was superb, I couldn't think of a better sauce than this to be honest. I was sold.

You know I could even roll a bread on the sauce and it could simply be a stunning dish already. Must must try, I couldn't emphasize enough! You could also custom the spiciness level from Mild, Medium, Spicy to Holy Moly.
Louisiana Shrimps and Sausages
IDR 28k/100 gr.
Ok, might not be the most photogenic dish but seriously you are just a little silly to skip this from your order. The shrimps were fresh, they were really soft, smooth, I could clearly tell that they were cooked on the perfect timing and temperature. The sausages were like big big chunks and they're also cooked nicely. The corn might look ordinary but that was another bomb! It had that buttery-caramelized flavor to it, sort of sweet and worry free! The whole thing burst in your mouth. You know it's so good when I am lost for words I just wanna make foodgasm noises.
Dungenees Crab
This was also the one that I was obsessed about, taking pictures of this was the pain in the ass man, it had that alluring scent that seduced! I presumed that this was going to be filled with thick meats since the size itself was like...gianormous!

You're gonna need the wood hammer to "fight" this one. The kind chef/ *ahem* owner Chef Albert showed us the way to eat this, it's by cracking the body shell first, he was opening it effortless while we were spending a lot of calories already just wondering how to start eating this HAHAHA just kidding lah!
I literally go wow-ed when the shell was cracked opened because it's like looking at a hidden gem! Take a look at the picture on the right, it was filled with so many eggs that had this fatty consistency and savory, one scoop and burst of flavor just like that. The meat was decent but I clearly root for the meat from the king crab legs more, it was just juicy and addicting!
Unfortunately didn't manage to try out the lobster, so I guess pictures instead.

Stop licking the screen...

I was not experiencing any distinct and disgusting smell like how I usually experienced when having seafood most of the times, must be goddamn fresh! Well I smell something else... jealousy! HAHAHA do come here guys, this is a one recommended seafood restaurant!

I had a beautiful visit to The Holy Crab, the food was amazing, none really disappointed me, the ambiance was nice, the staffs were friendly and really attentive! But since it's the pre-opening session and media tasting, I hope they will continue to act this way for days to come, service and hospitality are everything!

The Holy Crab is going to be a strong contender to seafood restaurants out there, better watch your back or the crab claws will 'tweezered' you out!

I wonder if this is a proper dating venue, maybe you'll be surprised by your own date, they might turn in to a baboon mutant when they start looking at those lobsters and crabs and the last thing you know they're applying the Louisiana sauce as their make-up HAHAHA my mind is a little aggressive during the night!

Thank you The Holy Crab for the tremendous dinner! You rock.

By the way, since it's January 31st already...
Picture of firework that I took earlier among my big family dinner gathering, Fireworks are truly beautiful, live or frozen. Anyway, I hope this year will bring you a lot of good fortunes, good health, happiness and prosperity. Don't forget to always pray and fight for your dreams AMEN! :).

The Holy Crab
Jalan Gunawarman No. 55
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan
Jakarta Selatan 12110
021 - 2923 6155
Opening Hours:
5 PM - 10 PM (Weekdays), 12 PM - 10 PM (weekends)

Been receiving a lot of pressure requests from eatandtreats readers for me to post the SG trip ASAP and here I am doing it right this second!

It’s 12 AM and since I am a night owl, I do most of my entries during the night because this is the time when I feel the most comfortable to write, and I always wear the ugliest old t-shirt when I am writing the blog posts if you care. Such an 'important' news to share.

Enough with the intermezzo and to kick things off, the very first post from my latest Singapore trip will be about this restaurant I went during my stay in Singapore called Wild Honey. This particular eatery was initially on my list to have breakfast (after days of stalking on the internet), and in fact so many of you recommended me this restaurant on Instagram, hence I dedicate this post to you! Yes you, thanks to you!

There are two Wild Honey(s) in Singapore, one located at the Mandarin Gallery and the other one located at the Scotts Square. The one in Scotts Square, venue wise, more spacious and more vibrant, the one in Mandarin Gallery was a little more quiet and reserved, also what makes them different was the way of service, in Mandarin Gallery, it’s all about self-service while in Scotts Square, it’s the common ‘table service’ like what applied in most restaurants. One thing that's pretty common about those two, they're always packed.

I easily got hungry in Singapore, I wasn’t sure if it’s because of the tempting cafes or the natural beast that I am, I got hungry most of the times. It was around 11 AM and I haven’t got anything to eat so I need a pretty large breakfast... ehm more like brunch. I went with the Tunisian Breakfast ($19) while Chris (my super helpful mate during my stay in Singapore, more about him on the upcoming posts!) ordered the Norwegian Breakfast ($26). Good thing about Wild Honey is that they're serving all-day breakfast menu! If you're a big breakfast person, this might be just the perfect place for you!

Tunisian Breakfast
$19 / IDR 180k

Presentation wise, both dishes were beautiful. The Tunisian Breakfast's presentation was executed well enough to make me drool over, not to mention, this was an effortless beauty, I probably took only 5 shots of this and done! I presumed this dish was going to be a little spicy because Tunisia is a country in the northern Africa which is sort of well known for its spices, and my presumption was correct, even though it had that kick of Shakshouka spice (tomato, onion, red pepper and chili), but overall it was not overpowering the whole meal, and in fact, I love how well they were with the dose. I felt the spices just clicked very well with the runny soft-boiled eggs. The Tunisian breakfast came with two slices of homemade bread which were soft, fragrant and short to say: soulmate to the dish. The salad side was also fresh even though I was expecting a little hint of light seasoning to it. I had this with a glass of Iced Valrhona Milk Chocolate ($9) was just the perfect companion, it wasn’t overpowering the ‘creamy’ course that I had.

Norwegian Breakfast
$26 / IDR 247k
The Norwegian Breakfast was basically an “eggs benedict” with the addition of Smoked Norwegian Salmon wrapping the soft boiled poached eggs, Asparagus, Avocado, Hollandaise Sauce and Salmon pearls as dressing and all on top of whole wheat-brioche. Presentation wise, awesome. The eggs were perfectly poached and still runny which indicates the perfection of cooking, on the other hand, the smoked salmon was also beautifully cooked, fresh and lightly seasoned without any distinct smell. Short to say, beautiful dish.

Oh so beautiful egg yolk lava... eyegasm.

Mandarin Wilderness
$14 / IDR 133k
It's no wonder that this following beverage was clearly the pleasure to the eye, just look at that tempting "berry" colors, if I wasn't even bother of taking pictures, I would have finish this even to its freaking last drop. I am personally not a big 'ice' person when it comes to mornings but this was surely not to miss. This was actually the mixture of a few fruits like raspberry (of course), banana, mandarin and honey, overall the raspberry flavor was major which I found to be the decent neutralizer as well, but you could still taste the hint of other flavors, and on top of it, generous amount of fresh raspberry fruits. Recommended.

My visit to Wild Honey was tremendous, I think it's just the great place that serves a lot of delicious menu to have your breakfast, brunch or even dinner... sort of fancy but not intimidating, maybe that's why they're always packed, especially with the "all-day breakfast" menu that they're having.

Despite all those impressive things about Wild Honey, it's just that eating here won't cost you a little, the prices was relatively high and I don't think I would go here regularly to have my meals even if I was a Singaporean, but since I was on a holiday, it's completely fine (tourist advantage), but honestly, I will visit this again when I am in Singapore. I personally highly recommend Wild Honey simply for the awesomeness of it: great food and nice ambiance!

Wild Honey
[Scotts Square]
6 Scotts Road
Level 3 Scotts Square
Nearest MRT: Orchard

[Mandarin Gallery]
333A Orchard Road #03-02
Mandarin Gallery Singapore
Nearest MRT: Orchard and Somerset

Opening Hours: 
Sunday - Thursdays: 9AM - 9PM
Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays: 9AM - 10PM

Chinese New Year is approaching in less than a week and who will be better companion to spend the CNY if not your loved ones like your family, even better when the moment’s surrounded by good food. Eatandtreats has compiled its list of the best places for Chinese New Year dinner in Jakarta. This list is compiled based on what those which I have personally visited before and I saw (or you can say pictured) the potentials from these restaurants as the great venues for the private and intimate dinner with your loved ones, and most importantly, they serve freaking good food and in my dictionary, does not neccesarily has to be all CHINESE food, even though it’s suggested.

I totally understand the urge of having a more special touch to the dinners but trust me, good dinner doesn’t mean it has to rip you off,  I have added some of the “friendlier” names.

Enough yakking, here is eatandtreats’ Chinese New Year dinner Jakarta 2014 list (sort on alphabetical order).

Komplek Ketapang Indah B1 B-I/11
Jl. K.H. Zainul Arifin
This particular name is probably one of the “seniors” and legend of the Chinese culinary scene in Jakarta since it’s been there for a long time, decades ago. Even my parents actually held their wedding reception there. When it comes to awesome Chinese cuisine, Angke is surely a well-respected name, one of the reasons is probably all those uncountable wedding banquets that has been held there and therefore must be a reason, I would say they serve seriously nice food... as simple as the fried noodle and the boiled chicken blew me away.

Keraton At The Plaza
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 15
Jakarta Pusat 10350

Bengawan is a buffet restaurant located in Keraton At The Plaza Hotel Jakarta and it’s one of the most famous at its league. For me, they have a good quality control of their food and most of the times when I come here, I always go for their raw seafood station because they’re fresh and in a way “addicting”. I think Bengawan is a nice place to spend a lovely dinner with your family because it’s managed by Keraton, which is known for its top notch luxury and private environment. I suggest this if you want to have a slightly more quiet and private dining.
Cahaya Lestari
Jl. Mangga Besar Raya #87
Jakarta Barat 11170

photo credit: the hungry doctor

Cahaya Lestari is seriously can’t be missed from this list, from many Chinee restaurants that I have visited before, this is probably on my top 10 list. Frankly speaking, venue wise, not the most luxurious or fanciest one, but trust me, sometimes venue could be the least of your worries and in the end, it’s the food that keeps you rave for more. Make sure to try some of their signature dishes like their Fish Head Soup, Boiled Chicken and Lindung Cah Fu Mak.

Din Tai Fung
Plaza Indonesia 3rd fl Unit 30
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Jakarta Pusat 10350
Din Tai Fung is one of the most well-known Chinese restaurants in the world and their reputation is undoubtedly magnificent. In a nutshell, they have beautiful range of Chinese cuisine to choose from and personally for me, I love their Dim Sum series, their dumplings and I am super blown away by their mango ice dessert, some call it "Mang Guo Bing". Very good!

Duck King / Imperial Chef
photo credit: the hungry doctor

I put these two on the same league because it’s actually being organized by the same group and they both are awesome. I personally think nothing THAT significant is different, they both serve Chinese cuisine but Duck King is more proper for those who want to have lovely duck dishes. Make sure you order the roasted duck and pecking duck when you happen to visit this.

Menara Rajawali, 1st fl.
Jl. Dr. Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung LOT #5.1
Kawasan Lingkar Mega Kuningan
Jakarta Selatan 12950

I told you earlier that to celebrate Chinese New Year, it doesn’t neccesarily mean that you must have Chinese food, well I mean it’s suggested but if you can be more open for the other Asian cuisine like what E&O is offering you, that would be very lovely. E&O wins the number one spot as eatandtreats best restaurant of 2013 simply because it’s AWESOME in every way. Another reason why to choose E&O is actually the portion of the food, most food here is for sharing serving and why not share it with your loved ones like your family?

Imperial Treasure
Plaza Indonesia 1st fl. Unit J 113
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Jakarta Pusat 10350
Imperial Treasure is also one of the top Chinese restaurants in town and most of the times, I keep on coming back thanks to their lovely lamians, but beside all those fabulous lamians, they also have nice Chinese dishes options like their signature Salted Egg Yolk Prawn which I love. Overall it’s a nice place to spend your CNY dinner. Pricing? reasonable.

Jun Njan
Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall Level 5 (West Mall) #11A
Jl. M.H. Thamrin #1
Jakarta Pusat 10350

photo credit: the hungry doctor

Another famous name when it comes to Chinese restaurants in Jakarta is Jun Njan, Jun Njan which by the way means "remembering your own roots" is known for its generous portions (emm have you had their prawns?) and mostly good and wide range of Chinese courses.

Lai Ching
Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta, 2nd fl. (Garden Wing)
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said
Jakarta Selatan 12920
021 - 12920

Lai Ching is a Chinese restaurant located in the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta. Lai Ching is probably the most famous for its Dim Sum, some awarded their Dim Sum as the best in town, based on my personal experience, the Dim Sum were indeed nice, awesome seasoning and filling. Beside all those must try Dim Sums, don’t forget to try out their signature Beggar’s Chicken during your visit here.

Paradise Dynasty
Plaza Senayan 5th fl.
Jl. Asia Afrika 8 
Jakarta Selatan
Paradise Dynasty is known for its colorful Xiao Long Bao which brings a lot of costumers to keep on coming back. Overall they have series of decent Chinese food that you should not miss, but still, the must try menu is their Xiao Long Bao. 

Raja Kuring
Jl. Kakap 5 RT. 002
Pluit Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara 14440
021 - 661 0332
Raja Kuring is probably one of the most famous Chinese restaurant on the region, its fame as the wedding reception venue is undoubtedly steady, well why not when you have great food with great prices? Again, Raja Kuring may not be the best looking restaurant when it comes to its interior but again, I have to emphasize this, nothing beats the beauty of good food, you can even turned away from all those little details when you’re electrified by the good food.

Jalan Tomang Raya No. 29
Jakarta Barat

Sentral is one Chinese restaurant that you simply should NOT miss and underestimate, okay, to be honest, I think it’s not the most luxurious and fanciest when it comes to decor, but I think from all those Chinese restaurants I have visited before, this will certainly be in my top 10... OVERALL! First, I love their food, even though they make it for large group of people (usually for wedding reception) the food still tasted really good. Don’t miss their Fried Chicken and Roasted Duck if you happen to hop in here.

Shang Palace
Level 1 Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta
Kota BNI Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav. 1
Jakarta 10220
021 - 2922 9999

Shang Palace is an upscale Chinese dining by Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta and when Shangri-La is behind all these ventures, you can rest your worries. I haven’t found one bad restaurants from Shangri-La, and guess what, most of the times, generally their restaurants always make it to the *ahem* eatandtreats list. The recommended menus here are their Marinated Pork with Soft Buns, Fried Rice and their Seaweed Tofu and Mushrooms.

Soup Restaurant
Plaza Indonesia 3rd fl. Unit 22-24
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Jakarta Pusat 10350
When it comes to my personal favorite Chinese restaurant then Soup Restaurant is one of those that I instantly have in mind. What I love about this restaurant is its simplicity and the great range of food as well as the taste. You should try their Olive rice and Chicken dishes when you pay a visit here.

Sulaiman Chinese Muslim Restaurant
Jl. Wahid Hasyim No. 116
Menteng, Jakarta Pusat (Across Akmani Hotel)

Sulaiman Chinese Muslim Restaurant came to my surprise, it has a unique concept because this restaurant serves Chinese food that is appropriate for Muslims. Let’s open the card and be honest, venue wise: NOT the best place, gathering proper and far from fancy, more like a street food type I would say, but food wise, freaking awesome! You know I use the word “freaking” when it’s seriously good.

Despite the not so glamorous venue, please, at least for once when you happen to be in the Sarinah area, pay a visit. May not work for a Chinese New Year dinner, but always do for the Dinner for the Chinese. Major LOL but I meant it.

Talaga Sampireun
Jl. Lapangan Golf 7
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Pademangan Utara)
Jakarta Utara

Talaga Sampireun is a big name when it comes to Sundanese restaurants in Jakarta. They serve decent food and undoubtedly awesome and comfortable venue, for a more private dining, make sure you book one of their cottages but it will cost you extra, but not crazy different. I see this restaurant has a huge potential because during dinner, the ambiance of this restaurant somehow turned a lot more heartwarming... just family material.

Taste Paradise
Plaza Indonesia 4th fl.
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Jakarta Pusat

Taste Paradise is one of the most upscale Chinese restaurants in town, well I noticed some Chinese restaurants use the word “Paradise” by the way. Let me tell you upfront that dining here won’t cause you small money but they are worth it. I have tried some of their highlighted menu like the Hi Sit Soup, The Swallow Nest Soup, Roasted Duck, Beef Courses and they’re all great! I guess you should really consider Taste Paradise on your personal list, but remember, don’t take so long, it’s less than a week already.

If you’re willing to pay more for luxury, they have super fancy VIP room with minimum spending IDR 500k++/person for 18 people. You do the math.

Tien Chao
Gran Melia Hotel Jakarta
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. X-O
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan
021 - 526 8080
Opening Hours:
Lunch: 11.30 AM - 14.30 PM (DAILY)
Dinner: 18.00 - 22.30 (DAILY)

Tien Chao is a Chinese-Cantonese restaurant located in Gran Melia Hotel, interior wise, one of the best, well, I mean... hotel restaurant... and food wise, awesome. Went there to attend a lunch invitation for Chinese New Year promotion and the food was great, you can read the whole post here. If you're willing to come here, please make your reservations two days before in advance, even more is better because they tend to get super packed for CNY dinner.

Xin Hwa
2nd fl. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Jakarta
Jalan Kebon Kacang Raya
Jakarta Pusat 10310
Another great Chinese restaurant that you should consider is Xin Hwa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Jakarta. They seriously have great range of Chinese cuisine and most of them made with perfection, if not, all. 

There you have it, some of eatandtreats selections to spend your Chinese New Year lunch or dinner with your loved ones. One of the purpose of creating post like this besides helping the readers is also as Chinese restaurant glossarium in Jakarta. Well, if not for the special occasions like Chinese New Year dinner, those featured in this list could always be in your consideration whenever you're craving for great Chinese cuisine.

I hope you're having an awesome dining time later and happy early Chinese New Year dinner from eatandtreats :).

Somebody send me an angpao for writing this! Nah, I'm just kidding, but if you really want to, I am very open HAHAHA!

Shoo for now.