Friday, April 8, 2011

The Red Crab Series: John Bamboo - Nuvali

Though, only a few of us have tasted and really know that there’s an Indonesian Cuisine, I’m glad that I’ve got to experience my first try of their cuisine through the amazing creations and preparations of Chef Peter and Chef Nur of John Bamboo at Nuvali, Laguna.

Nuvali being now known as a place where people and nature thrive, it now offers the most delectable and satisfying yet affordable restaurants in the south  that you can really enjoy. With its breath-taking scenery and very relaxing atmosphere, Nuvali is a perfect choice to spend a weekend’s lunch or dinner with you family or friends.

And last week, as I was invited to have a taste of Indonesian dishes, I can truly say that John Bamboo and Nuvali is one of the dining experiences that I would love to do every weekend.

And to start off this dose of Indonesian dishes, let me share to you a little story on how did they came up with such an idea.

As Chef Peter told us, John Bamboo is one of the restaurants under The Red Crab umbrella. And The Red Crab, which is known for its themed restaurants, they put a place where Chef Peter can share his life and “second home” to every Filipino. Chef Peter Ayson grew up at Indonesia, and growing up there inspired him and taught him on how rich and flavourful Indonesian dishes are. And from this lifetime experiences, together with The Red Crab company, they put up a place where a unique and authentic Indonesian dishes can be tasted here in our country.

Indonesian dishes have these very wonderfully colored dishes, and even though at first sight they may look normal to us, like Filipino dish normal, once you get to taste them, you’ll know from the first scoop of their soup the difference and the richness of their cuisine.

And so, to start this amazing Indonesian Cuisine adventure, we were first served two soups that really set my food and made me realize how lovely this experience will be.

Soup Buntot – Php245.00

Balsese Seafood Chowder – Php245.00

If you want to have a beef-base soup, you should have the Soup Buntot, a soup made with ox tail, carrots and potatoes. If you like bulalo and nilaga, this dish will surely fill you in. Though, I think, comparing this to any bulalo and nilaga that I’ve tried, nothing can beat the rich flavour of this dish, it was simply delicious!

But if you want seafood, be surprised with their Balsese Seafood Chowder. I was surprised on how did they manage to made its soup so flavourful that you’ll forget that there still is a prawn in your cup. This was my favourite soup and dish that day.

With just their soups, I’m already good. But of course, As Chef Peter said, I should try all the dishes that he prepared for us to truly appreciate and learn the richness of Indonesian dishes just as like its culture.

Before he ordered the kitchen department to take out all the the dishes he prepared for us, he then first shared to us their oh-so-yummy drinks! I said yummy, because their drinks or cocktails as Chef Peter called them were like dessert because of its sweetness.

(From top left to bottom right)
Javanese Red Iced Tea - Php95.00
Ice Cendol - Php135.00
Soda Gembira - Php95.00
Soup Buah - Php135.00
Markisa-Seven - Php95.00

Among these five eye-catching and very colorful drinks, my favorite was the Ice Cendol. Its Halo-Halo appeal to me was very delightful. Though, the only mistake I had that day was to drink it all just before they served the main dishes... I was already half-full just because of this drink. Hehehe.

Lumpia Semarang - Php165.00

Bakwan Jagung Manis  Php155.00

For our appetizer, we were served with those two dishes. Lumpiang Semarang was like our Fried Lumpia except that this one has bamboo shoots. It was good, actually, I like how the spicy-soury taste matched with the crispy lumpia wrapper. While the Bakwan Jagung Mani, which is made off sweetcorn and shrimp, was just okay.

Tumis Kangkong Dengan Tempe -Php185.00

After that, our main dishes were served, first is that vegetable dish. It was like an Adobong Kangkong, a little spicy but good. Those toppings are fried fermented soybean, and they are really yummy. This is a perfect vegan food. ^_^

After that, my favorite part begins, we had a noodle dish and a rice dish - Indonesian style.

Nasi Goreng Gila - P195.00

Mie Goreng - Php255.00

The Nasi Goreng Gila was okay. It wasn't that outstanding but it wasn't that bad. It was just perfect for all the wonderful dishes we had that day. As for the Mie Goreng, well, I liked it! It was one of my favorites that day because the noodles tasted just perfect.

I barely eat duck, but I can say that this one is good too!

Bebek Goreng Dengan Sambal - Php595.00

The Indonesian salsa was, for me, it's perfect match, but the chili one was okay too. I guess it depends on you taste really. One thing that I can assure you, the duck was yummy.

Beef Embal with Balado Sauce- Php279.00

As for this beef dish, well, I didn't really appreciate it that much. It was just like our typical fried pork chop, only beef. Hehehe. Probably, the kids will love this one because kids are usually into fried stuff, right?

This next one is one my another favorite.

Beef Semur - Php279.00

The beef was really tasteful and cooked to perfection. It has this sweet and salty combination that I found really great.

Mixed Seafood Sate Sampler - Php565.00

For some fun food treat, John Bamboo has these Sate Samplers, which is perfect for families and friends. It is served with its griller, so you can be assured that this John Bamboo's take on Indonesian street foods will come to you hot and delicious.

The chefs were too proud and happy to share this to us because it reminded them of their happy childhood on how we Filipino are so into mangga and bagoong and scramble during our younger days, in Indonesia they have this sates on streets.

The taste was sweet but a little spicy. It was delicious, plus the aroma was really inviting.

Bika Ambon Cake - Php155.00

Lastly, we had for our dessert this Indonesian cake. It's a sweet lemon grass cake that will help you cleanse your palette from the explosion of flavors that you had after eating here at John Bamboo. What a really sweet ending, right?

The prices were a little high, as you may notice, but once you tasted even just one of those soups, you'll realized that it is worth every peso and all the travel you had just to meet the John Bamboo of the south.

It was nice meeting you Chef Peter and Chef Nur! My stomach and palette were both delighted from this adventure!

with Chef Peter and Chef Nur 
of John Bamboo - Sate House by The Red Crab

Happy eating!


  1. Wow, sarap naman! I''ll try John Bamboo next time I visit Nuvali! Nagutom ako he he..

  2. Mouth watering dishes you have shared in here. Sana makapunta din kami sa restaurant na to soon, gusto ko yung soup! :)


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