Dear fellow tasters,
This was the second time I got invited to Buka Bareng Blogger (blogger’s break fasting gathering) held by Grand Indonesia Shopping Town with Fimela and Multiply Indonesia as dotcom sponsors; the event was one of the many activities for the Ramadan Rhapsody program. August 23th was the date, four days after the Katsusei‘s event, just enough time to prepare myself for another feast. The place was Jun Njan Seafood Restaurant, the final participating restaurant for the BBB event after Tairyo and Katsusei.
The history of Jun Njan (read as Nyun Nyan, it still uses the old Bahasa spelling) dated back to 1956 when a Chinese-descent family started their first humble seafood eatery in Tanjung Priok. Jun (Yong in Mandarin) means ‘forever’ and Njan (Yuan in Mandarin) means ‘source’. Both combines to give the wise meaning of ‘to forever remember your source/heritage’. Nowadays, the main restaurant can be found on Batu Ceper, Central Jakarta, with many outlets in several Jakarta’s shopping centers and other locations. The Grand Indonesia branch is located on Level 5 West Mall, with a prominently Chinese-themed and oriental-decorated interior.
Apparently, I arrived a bit early this time, still covered with sweat and dust from the 5 km walk from Tosari TransJakarta shelter to Jun Njan. It was almost 6 pm when I arrived and several bloggers were already seated nicely on a couple of round tables reserved specially for the event, but there was no sign of an opening speech or a talk of some sort. After cooling myself off with the es campur ta’jil (mixed iced drink with grass jelly, palm seeds and fruits), I turned my attention to the menu leaflet, took some pictures of the lobster and interior, and joined with the others to patiently wait for the dinner to be served.
Before dinner, there were some presentation and explanation from Grand Indonesia’s Mr. Adhi about the Ramadan Rhapsody program and promotions, followed by Jun Njan’s Mr. Bobby about the restaurant’s history and specialty menu. Subsequent talks were from Multiply Indonesia‘s Mr. Iril about the new marketplace feature in Multiply and from Fimela’s Ms. Nuniek about Fimela.com.
The menu for the evening listed two entrée items, the lobster salad a la Jun Njan (a new addition to Jun Njan menu) and the steamed live prawn (an old time Jun Njan favorite). However, to make things more interesting, there were some preliminary activities prior to enjoying the food. The first was a demonstration of preparing for the lobster salad, including chopping the lettuce and longan, peeling and cutting the bamboo lobster, mixing the ingredients and plating the salad. Of course, each of us was then given a taste of the much anticipated lobster salad. It tasted quite nice with the sweet longan, tangy mayonnaise and crunchy lettuce leaves, but unfortunately my small platter happened to get only some shreds of the lobster, making the whole composition a bit unbalanced.
The next entrée started off with a prawn peeling games, which I luckily won with a prize of 200k Jun Njan voucher, yay!!! I have always enjoyed Jun Njan’s steam live prawn or simply called udang rebus and this time was no exception. The prawns were fresh, sweet and delicious even without having to dip them in the chili sauce.
For main course, there were seven different menu items. I’m listing them here ordered by my most favorite to less favorite (very very subjective).
- Fried squid with Jun Njan sauce: This one was definitely a winner. Although the squids were small in size (probably deliberately chosen like that), they were very tender and not rubbery. The Jun Njan sauce just made this even better. I couldn’t really tell or get them to tell me about the secret sauce recipe but there might be some Worcestershire sauce and XO sauce in it.
- Fried prawn with salted egg yolk: I usually don’t like the skin-on version of this dish but the fried prawn was so crunchy that I could eat the whole thing, head and skin.
- Braised soft tofu with Jun Njan sauce: The only thing vegetarian on the menu but definitely not the last on my list. The silk tofu was soft and tasty and tasted scrumptious with the straw mushrooms, scallions and savory Jun Njan sauce.
- Black pepper beef: Although a standard dish for any Chinese restaurant, Jun Njan’s black pepper beef was quite delicious. I particularly liked how the beef was thickly diced but somehow still maintained its tender texture.
- Deep fried carp with sweet and sour sauce, Seafood fried rice, and Fried chicken with butter sauce: These three dishes tasted a bit ordinary for me but still quite enjoyable. If I could make a suggestion for the chicken, it might have been better deboned.
The dinner ended with an ice fruity cream dessert, quite refreshing but could have been sweeter. We also got to take a group photo and were given a goodie bag loaded with vouchers from Grand Indonesia’s tenants. Overall, I had a good food time, good laugh and conversation, might even have made new good blogger friends. Thank you Jun Njan, Grand Indonesia, Multiply Indonesia and Fimela for inviting me.
Enjoy your seafood, don’t overcook it!
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – fried squid JN sauce, steam live prawn, fried prawn with salted egg yolk, tofu JN sauce and black pepper beef
What to try next time – curious about the pigeon, frog, eel and crab menu