Epicurina was born out of curiosity back in the year 2000, as I have to relocate to Jakarta from my home town Bandung to pursue my career in web design. Being in the new city, and a starting job with a starting salary, I found that without proper knowledge, eating out in this city is a bit hit and miss, and could cause hazard to your bank account! Why? Because first, the benchmark of goodness in Jakarta is considerably lower than Bandung's, that's the scary fact. In this case, a famous fancy looking restaurant then so often does not guarantee satisfaction or betterment of my taste-portfolio, despite the high charge they put on; while on the other hand, a shady looking establishment might sometimes offers eating excellence, along with a happy wallet. Another thing is, while Bandung is still quite a big town, Jakarta is pretty much five time size of Bandung; meaning more region to explore, more choices available.
Out of concern to find out the best eateries in the cities, and to share some crucial eating experience on food, service, ambiance, and especially price, I build the Epicurina mailing list at Yahoo! Groups and begin to start my journey as a food reviewer/writer. It was a humble beginning, with list consisting mainly of close friends, then acquaintances, then total strangers, but we got off pretty good; a small and warm group of fellow food hunters.
Epicurina name was a combination of "epicurean" and "Indonesia" -- which internationally abbreviated as "INA", it is chosen with the idea to evoke the sense of refinement, and intelligence, as it is prepared for those who are curious about food, and seek enjoyment from the consumption of food; eating as a meaningful activity, not just merely a nutrition consumption or life preservation.
After a while, I also opens another branch of Epicurina at Multiply social networking site, since it was crowded with Indonesian people, and also to compensate for the lack of photo support of Yahoo! Groups. With the good support for both articles, reviews, and photo albums, Epicurina quickly gather lots of readers.
At the very beginning I used to write my food review in English, but due to lack of respond from my readers, then I switch to writes my writings in Bahasa Indonesia only, and it gain positive responses ever since. However, as I writes and writes, learns and explores, I also noticed that globally, or even regionally, Indonesian Food is still less known! Even though we have such a big country with 13.600 islands stretched along the equator, and very wide choices of rich delicious cuisines, Indonesia is fairly less-known compared to its smaller but more popular countries like Malaysia or Singapore. What's wrong? That's when I noticed that one of the biggest barrier lies in communication. Indonesian food bloggers tend to writes only for their common Indonesian readers, while leaving the international people out of reach. Often we don't realize that we're competing face to face for recognition, with our neighboring countries who mostly happens to speaks English more fluently. This is why the world knows better about Malaysian food, Singaporean food, Thailand and Philippine food compared to Indonesian food, since most of websites on those nation's food are done in English. And this is the exact reason why then, I develop this Epicurina branch at Blogger which consisting of articles written in English, along with my own photo shots, to better accommodate the information spread about Indonesian food to international audiences. Big plan, small steps.
At the new Epicurina blog, I writes mainly simple stuffs about Indonesian food that would evoke such "gitu aja sih semua orang juga dah tau!" comments from fellow Indonesian. But based from my experience also, it is often that what we find ordinary or casual, could be something new for other people, or even exotic! And this is the case especially with those foreign to Indonesian culture and cuisines. By conditioning our self to have the similar curiosity as one beginner would, we open a very wide door into exposing Indonesian rich food and culinary heritage to the international world!
At this brand new Epicurina website - which domain I acclaimed back after wandering around on the internet for some years - you will find even more resources on Indonesian Food and eating in Indonesia to help you find out more about Indonesian food culture.
The following are branches of Epicurina you might find useful:
Happy food hunting,
Bayu Yunantias Amus
Epicurina founder and chief of the tribe