Where to eat? What's for lunch? What's good for dinner? And many other variations of that.
Of course there's heavy amount of exaggeration, but you get the idea. Welcome to my demographic! Indonesian born and raised Chinese. That means 300 out of 365 days in a year we enjoy most Indonesian & Chinese food as our mother flavor. Taipan at WTC Mangga Dua is one such place. Its one of our favorite go-to place to satisfy our insatiable desire for original swine goodness and their friends.
Dining here is not complete without the companion of the elderly who speaks fluent Mandarin. Trust me, bringing one was the best decision I made. I got instant access to their VIP room while out there a line of crowd waiting to get seated. That's right, I even did a Chinese-mob entrance with my old man. Just without the suit, the guns, and the windblown half blondie hair.
As soon as we were seated, we know exactly what to order. If you even have to take a small peek into the menu, then your Chinese-o-meter has just decreased by several points. Here's a recap of what we had and how we had it.
Chinese Tea. This is 101. Never ever order anything else to drink. Its a disgrace to your Chinese-eating experience. Choose their Oolong, its one of my personal favorite. Aromatic to both senses, taste and smell. And forget those blooming-flower-in-your-glass tea. They are tasteless and nothing but cosmetics.
Then go to the appetizers. Should I remind you that this is not for the faint hearted. Literally. Because the way we prepare our belly for the main pork course is by cleaning our palate with some more pork. Meet Taipan's Chasiu. Red as its should be. Juicy as it should be. Sweet & fatty as it should be. The only drawback is that its been sitting quite a while in the open in the dim-sum section. Otherwise, all would be perfect. My second choice of appetizers would always be spicy jellyfish with vegetables and sesame seed. These two can really play the game.
Good good foreplay, marked by the wet watery mouth.
But as it is written, the longer you manage to arouse it, the better the climax would be. And so I listen to the wisdom of the crowd. Here comes Quail Soup in bamboo case. Clear broth yet tasty. A work of few hours slow simmer that brings out the meat's goodness. Salty sweet kind of pleasure.
With three appetizers, I spare no time for nonsense. To keep the momentum alive, I say we go straight to the intercourse. I mean, main course. Meet the glorious Mini Roast Duck. I don't think I need to waste too many words on this. This is grand! We all had one duck each for maximum pleasure because once you bite it, you don't want to share it. The same goes to their Wheat Fried Shrimp. It successfully add texture to our previous menu. And it did it with flair. Coming in hot and crispy.
Exhausted. I simply maxed out.
I leave no meal behind though. There's three more in line to savor. Here are the comforting kisses and hugs. The desserts.
Of all three, I'd say these Small Round Thing with Egg Yolk filling is the must-have closing bit. A sweet closure to a beautiful climax. The secret is the addition of butter aside from the crispy outer skin and savory sesame seeds.
Before leaving, my old man expose his one final trickery. Called out the manager, spoke to her a few lines in Mandarin, and before long we got a 200k discount off of the bill. Let me tell you, this is the only time I feel like going back to those boring classes and actually learn Mandarin. All in all, we paid almost 800k for all this. Worth it? Hell yeah.
Have I sound Chinese enough? I hope I make justice to my demographic. Even if I don't, I hope the food here does it. Give it a visit, and you'll get what I meant.
Food & Travel Photographer / Storyteller
WTC Mangga Dua, 6th Floor