1945 Restaurant

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1945 is the newest and the most daring venture from sari rasa group after the successful Tesate and Sate Khas Senayan restaurant. The restaurant tries to elevate authentic Indonesian cuisine into the fine dining arena. The restaurant team manages to refine the ingredient, preparation, and plating of the dish without pulling the root.

 

2016-02-14_20-21-44The amuse bouche started with boiled plump peanuts, garlic rice cracker (kerupuk gendar), sweet and salty cracker made from melinjo (gnetum gnemon), and sweet cracker, served with savory peanut sauce. The chilled ginger drink has a mellow and sweet gingery flavor coming through. Very good.

 

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Foie Gras Duck Timlo

Timlo is a clear soup originated from Surakarta. Usually, it consists of chicken liver, chicken gizzard, chicken meat, savory hard boiled egg, and vermicelli. In this bowl, they use shredded duck meat, foie gras, poached egg, and rolled duck croquet. It might not tasted as authentic as the traditional one. But this one still manage to capture the idea by replacing the ingredients and the cooking technique. It is a good dish to start of.

 

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Oxtail Consomme

The refined version of Indonesian signature oxtail soup presented beautifully with tender meat and flavorful oxtail consommé.

 

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Pecel Kembang Salad

Pecel basically is a mixed of blanched green vegetables dressed with savory peanut sauce. Here at 1945 they serve a mixed of greens with cherry tomatoes, edible flowers with two different peanut sauces, black sesame sauce with spicy notes on the sides, and the traditional peanut sauces on the bottom. I believe that both sauces works incredibly well with the salad. It has the fragrant aroma coming through, and packed with flavors. They also serve rempeyek (savory cracker made with rice flour and peanuts) on the sides.

 

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Tongseng Lambchop

I personally feel that 1945’s version of Tongseng was more towards gulai. Tongseng was a muton stew originally from Surakarta, it was salty, sweet, savory, and fresh at the same time. Gulai is slightly sweeter, thicker, and more mellow compared to tongseng. The lamb was sous vided first before they deep fried it to get the crust from the outside and tender inside. The gravy was was very tasty but slightly too sweet to my liking.

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Beef Rendang

This dish was delicious. The meat was unarguably tender, but the flavor was not bold enough. It was slightly missing the strong savory flavor that you normally get in rendang to be honest.

By the way, they serve 3 different selections of rice ranged from white rice, brown rice, and yellow rice. The yellow rice was fragrant, and very tasty, like it’s been cooked with coconut milk. Traditionally the yellow rice was colored by using turmeric.

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Frozen Srikaya soufflé

The soufflé was felt more like a mousse to be honest, and coated with shredded coconut. It was smooth and has a right amount of sweetness. It’s paired with Bubur Sumsum puree, made with rice flour.

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Tape Cheesecake

This combination really works! The sweet and sour fermented cassava (tape) flavor balanced the richness from the cheese really well.

 

1945 restaurant manage to refine Indonesian cuisine with great respect. The dishes have been constantly right in terms of texture and flavor. I would greatly recommend this place to anyone who wants to experience Indonesian cuisine in a ‘fine’ way. The only advice is to make sure you choose the menu wisely. In my case for example, the flavor profile is mostly sweet and heavy so that you’ll become quite bloated.

 

1945

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Jl. Asia Afrika No.8, Jakarta, Central Jakarta City, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, Indonesia

+62 21 29703333

http://www.fairmont.com/jakarta/dining/1945-restaurant/

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Orient 8

As one of the Asia’s finest hotel, Hotel Mulia is a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of Jakarta. The hotel has several well known restaurants under his roof including Orient 8, a pan-Asian and French fine dining restaurant that caters big appetite like buffet to the poshy degustation menu.

The kitchen helmed by Florian Lamelot. A French-born chef who became Daniel Boloulud’s protégé for about 5 years at several restaurants including his eponymous Restaurant Daniel at NYC, and DB Bistro in Singapore.

DSC01556 I’m not good at describing an interior, in my opinion, the dining room is absolutely lovely. Everything just looks right, paintings on the wall, chandeliers, and tableware. This place is perfect either for special occasion or a casual one.

DSC01606 DSC01607During Valentine’s day, they had two sets menu for “him” and for “her”. (sorry for the blurry images)

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Amuse Bouche: Risotto Ball, Tuna Tartar, Quiche

A set of palate teaser started with a risotto ball, crisp on the outside and al-dente in the center, seasoned with grated truffle. The tuna tartar was fresh and perfectly seasoned. The quiche is basically a savory egg tart with grated truffle, the pastry was slightly soggy.

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Trio de crabe et asparges vertes

  “Mille-feuilles‟‟ of peekytoe crab, avocado and asparagus salad, Petite verrine of crab claw and Parmesan croustillant, orange vinaigrette.

Mousse had a lovely creamy texture, the sweetness from the crab meat and the asparagus blend really well, I believe that a hint of acidity will perfect this dish.

DSC01578For him: Foie gras and artichoke cannelloni, grated Parmesan, chicken jus

This humble looking dish carries big bold flavor. The pasta was perfectly cooked, slightly crisp on top and soft in the center (foie gras and artichoke filing). The chicken jus binds the flavor altogether really well.

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Gnocchi à la truffe noire

For her: Hand-made potato gnocchi, shaved winter black truffle topped with a light veal jus.

Probably the best gnocchi I’ve ever had in town so far. Perfectly made, perfectly cooked, far from the boring, starchy, gluey texture that you might easily get from other places. It’s served with veal jus and truffle slices. You can’t get enough of this!

Effeuiller de cabillaud

Effeuiller de cabillaud

For him: Poached cod fish “Baccala style” paired with “A.O.C” Tarbet white beans, chipiron à la plancha and red wine ink sauce

Definitely a hearty dish with strong Italian accent, good seasoning, especially the slightly cured cod (baccala style). I personally felt that the fish was slightly overcooked, or it might be resulted from the drying process? I might getting wrong with this. The squid was absolutely good.

Cabillaud d’Atlantique en croûte vin rouge

Cabillaud d’Atlantique en croûte vin rouge

For her: Atlantic seabass topped with red wine crust, cauliflower, romanesco seafood cremolata and red wine sauce.

Didn’t manage to taste it. My bad.

Le bœuf Wellington

Le bœuf Wellington

Prime Black Angus beef Wellington layered with foie gras, truffle and baby spinach

The main course was absolutely stunning. I believe that the picture tells you almost everything what it is going to feel in your mouth. The seasoning and the cooking were spotless. From the crisp pastry, running down to the succulent beef, buttery foie gras, perfumed with truffle, and accompanied with beef jus. Voila!

Soupe de fruits aphrodites


Soupe de fruits aphrodites

Pre-dessert: Seasonal chilled fruits soup topped with strawberry sorbet

The pre-dessert was pretty boring to be honest. It was too sweet to my liking, and not chilled properly.

Fleur d’amour

Fleur d’amour

Coconut candied flower vase, golden raspberry and nuts crystalline

This pretty looking dessert has the right amount of sweetness and manages to carry the surprise element hidden in the sugar works. The sweet coconut feeling was paired really well with the raspberry gelee on the bottom.

Orient 8 definitely has a lot to offer, too bad the brilliant kitchen didn’t match by the service on that day. It was pretty slow, and both of our fish and meat course were switched (the beef was served before the fish). The staff was apologize due to miscommunication between the kitchen and the service staff. Quite a disappointment to be honest, but still, the cooking is solid, and the consistency  was there.

Orient 8

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Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jalan Asia Afrika, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10270, Indonesia

+62 21 5753278

Lunch: 12.00-15.00 (last order 14.30)

Dinner: 18.00-23.00 (last order 22.30)

http://www.theorient8.com/

Cassis Gourmand

DSC01548Ginger Bread Christmas House

Ask any Jakartans to name several, if not one of the best, French restaurants in town, Cassis will always be easily crosses your ear. The kitchen helmed by Michelin starred chef Jerome Laurent since 2013. His past restaurant Le Cilantro in Arles, France, earned Michelin star in 2007. I was choosing a la carte instead of their Christmas menu.

DSC01521Amuse Bouche
From left to right: Barramundi fish cake, “Cheese Cake”, Cheese Gougères

DSC01523Pan Seared Foie Gras “Cassis”
Caramelized apples, toasted brioche, blackcurrant sauce

Who doesn’t love the foie gras? This luxurious, rich, buttery like texture piece of fatty goose liver that easily tease your palate any time. I believe that Cassis knows their foie gras really well. Each component was cooked to perfection. The foie gras was crisp at the outer layer, and melted easily in your mouth. The apple was tender, but still left a slight bite into it. The Sauce has the right amount of sweet and sour that compliments the dish really well.

DSC01528Traditional French Onion Soup with Baguette Bread
With comte cheese gratin

DSC01534Crispy Iberico Patanegra Pork
Baby pok choi and Balinesse pepper sauce

Unfortunately, my main course was completely in contrast from my starter. It was a let down to find out that the pork felt somewhat dry, slightly under seasoned, and the “Balinesse pepper sauce” seems didn’t work out.

DSC01541Crispy Mallard French Duck Leg Confit
Sauteéd new potatoes, mushrooms, mixed lettuces

Cooking a simple dish is never a simple task. The duck confit was pretty mediocre. The duck was dry, tasted more like a deep fried duck than a confit.

DSC01546Strawberry Hibiscus Fresh Bubble
Homemade vanilla ice cream

This is really good. The flavor was balanced really well. The vanilla ice cream mellowed the sharpness from the strawberry beautifully.

DSC01547Sorbet Selections

I personally believe that chef at his caliber will able to deliver far better precision into his food. Yes, the foie gras was absolutely the star on that afternoon, but you don’t judge a restaurant by the foie gras alone do you?

Cassis gourmand

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Jalan KH. Mas Mansyur, Kav. 24, Pavilion Apartment Retail Arcade, Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10220, Indonesia
+62 21 57941500

Namaaz Dining (revisit)

During my first visit to Namaaz, I felt that this restaurant had something to offer to the Jakarta culinary scene. I like the way they present their idea to elevate authentic Indonesian cuisine by applying avant garde technique into it. I decided to spend my Valentine’s day here to experience their new menu and location.

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The restaurant itself is more refined in terms of dining room and service. The new 30 seats Namaaz has an open kitchen where the guests can almost barely see everything throughout the dining experience. I was sitting on the chef’s table, so that basically I had more exposure to the kitchen.

IMG_0725Passion fruit sphere. Soda tablet.

What you see isn’t what you get. Both the appearance and the texture are completely like a proper raw egg. The idea is to create the flavor similar to passion fruit Italian soda in a egg form. The yolk and the white are made from passion fruit juice, and served with soda tablet.

IMG_0726Martabak

Ultra light and crisp puff pastry, served with sous vide yolk spread (The chef keep the temperature at 64’ C), sous vide mutton topped with egg whites caviar and spring onion. Even though this interpretation of the martabak (or known as murtabak in Singapore and Malaysia) didn’t really meet the real stuff apart from the components, it was absolutely delicious. The moment you spread the yolk jam on the pastry, and having it together with the mutton, you’ll know that that this plate wasn’t enough.

IMG_0727Sate lilit

I personally feel this interpretation is way too off from the original version. It’s normal for a chef to push the boundary, but the danger lies when he doesn’t know where to stop. This is a spanish mackarel fish cake with red cabbage coating served with peanut sauce. Let’s get it straight, the fish cake is too salty, and fishy to a state where it was being unpleasant. I was close enough to stop myself from having it after the first bite.

IMG_0655Bebek cabe rawit

The concept of this dish is similar to Heston’s “meat fruit”. Basically, it’s a minced duck in a red chili case, served with authentic Indonesian bbq sauce. Taste wise is pretty decent, and I don’t like the duck to be prepared this way.

IMG_0728Rujak semangka

Again, this is another manipulative dish. It looks like a plate of beef carpaccio, but the beef was actually made from “dehydrated and rehydrated watermelon”. It’s served with “rujak” sauce (rojak in malaysia). This dish was spot on! Especially for the rujak sauce was really good, even though it might be slightly too spicy for some people.

IMG_0729IMG_0730Rujak bebek

This dish was adapted from the original rujak bebek (“pounded rujak”), where normally some selections of fruits are pounded and mixed with palm sugar or known as gula Malacca. The “case” is made from jicama juice shaved ice. Jicama or known as bengkuang in Indonesia is a root vegetable that high in water content, naturally sweet, and normally used in the soup, salad, or even dessert. Inside the jicama case you have mangosteen sorbet, peanut, pomegranate, diced ubi jalar (some kind of yam), topped with jambu air (known as water guava or malay apple) foam, and served with Malacca sugar sauce. This dish was so good, because every component compliment each other and blend really well.

IMG_0740Beef Rendang

The beef is pre-seared and cooked in sous vide for 1.5 hours in 58’ which resulted in a beautiful piece of pink meat. As I mentioned in some of my previous post, I’m not a big fan of sous vide beef, but, it works. Here, you are having something different from the normal meaty (sometimes tough) beef rendang meat sink in a bold, oily rendang sauce to a neat and classy beef rendang on a plate without sacrificing the authentic flavor a bit.

IMG_0731Sop buntut (oxtail soup)

Normally the original sop buntut  is served with bone marrow. Here, the bone marrow is emulsified with with rice to form a puree, but the texture is too pasty in my opinion. I think the soup has been on top of the stove for quite sometime that makes the broth somewhat slightly too salty (over reduced).

IMG_0732Udang telur asin (prawn with salted egg yolk)

Smoke butter infused king prawn, mashed potato, smoked butter sauce. Perfectly cookef prawn, tender, sweet, and tasted far too good compared to the normal salted egg prawn.

IMG_0733Bacem

Braised mutton chop, mutton jus, white rice, broth foam. The meat was undoubtedly tender, but it was slightly dry.

IMG_0668Opor ayam

This is a complete makeover from the original dish. Short biscuit topped with “opor” custard that is too heavy in my opinion. I get the idea, but the execution is a no for me.

IMG_0734Kue keranjang (Basket Cake)

Basket cake or normally known as Nian Gao in Chinese is a special cake during Chinese new year. It is made from glutionous flour and sugar. On this plate I was having a basket cake with mandarin coating, served with Indonesian cotton candy (rougher texture compared the normal cotton candy). I personally don’t like basket cake, so I can’t comment much about this one.

IMG_0736Pisang bakar lilin (edible grilled banana candle)

Some people might easily notice that this dish first introduced by Heston Blumenthal in his legendary Fat Duck restaurant in a different version. On this dish the chef  use the grilled banana coated with fructose and served with popping candy. The wick is made from pecans.

IMG_0675Dragon’s breath

Another famous gimmicky dish, Dragon’s Breath. The vanilla meringue is dipped in liquid nitrogen for about 35 seconds, and it will produced a smoke when you eat it.

IMG_0737Es kachang

Caramel pearl, peanut puree, chocolate paste, and Chocolate pearl filled with es kachang syrup. Check out my Instagram account for details.

IMG_0679Hot and cold ice tea

Similar to the previous session, you can read it here

IMG_0739Smoked chocolate mousse

There’s an Indonesian proverb saying that whenever you’re in love, even a cat shit will tasted like a good chocolate. This is where the idea was coming from this dessert, smoked “poo” chocolate mousse.

 

I have zero doubt about the way chef Andrian executes his flavor. He is the man who can put almost everything on the plate tasted right. One thing that bothered me was about the slow service. I was far too slow in my opinion. Looking the way the chefs (apart from the head chef) plate their foods was really pain in the ass. It was slow until I felt that the 3 hours meal was supposed to be end in less than 2 hours.

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I really appreciate the way chef Andrian explained every single dishes to every tables on that night, but it will far more efficient if the floor staffs are trained to explain the dish as well.

Hopefully by the time I post this they’re having some improvements.

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Namaaz

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Jl. Gunawarman No. 42, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta

http://www.namaazdining.com

Amuz Gourmet

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Amuz Gourmet is regarded as one of the best French fine dining establishment in Jakarta. Since the opening in 2010, the restaurant has been received numerous award including Asia Tatler, and listed at Miele Guide for Indonesia region. The French-born chef, Gilles Marx, is the chef founder and has more than 20 years experience, including in several Michelin starred restaurant in Lyon, Burgundy, and Paris.

The executive chef, Stefu Santoso, who works alongside chef Gilles is the Vice President of Culinary Professionals Indonesia. With more than 12 years experience in his arms, he started his career by taking hospitality school before he nailed his reputation from the bottom. He worked at Jakarta Peninsulla Hotel, and then moved to Jakarta Park Lane Hotel where he got his last position as an executive chef at one of the country’s best French restaurant, RIVA.

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The food here is contemporary French. I choose to build my own meal instead getting a tasting menu.

IMG_3812Welcome Bread

IMG_3811Artichoke Consomme, Atichoke Crisp, and Tuna Toro tar tar

A light and fresh start from the tuna, and finished with a warm artichoke consomme.

IMG_3816Chilled Alaskan King Crab and Sweet Papaya Salad.

I have no doubt for the freshness of the crab, but the orange – dill vinaigrette needs a little bit more acidity to balance the sweetness of the crab and the papaya to my taste.

IMG_5052Wild Mushroom Tea Infused Consomme, sauteed Porcini, White Truffle Scented Potato Espuma.

This is a lovely dish. I enjoyed this dish as mush as I enjoyed a cup of hot cappuccino on Sunday afternoon. The creaminess from the espuma blends beautifully with the consomme.

IMG_3818Pan-seared Diver Scallop & Light Creamed Baby Butter Lettuce, served with Black Summer Truffle Jus, and Pomme Paile

Scallops were cooked to perfection, but they tasted slightly bland. I feel that they were kind of lost their natural sweetness. The other thing is that the endives just didn’t work with the scallop.

IMG_3820Pan Roasted Live Canadian Lobster, Kipfler Potatoes, Harricot Coco Plats, XO Lobster Jus.

The lobster slightly too much bite to my liking. I won’t say this is a bad dish, but I feel that it’s lacking of wow factor. It’s pretty a decent dish.

IMG_3825Raspberry mille-feuille.

Classic at its best!

The overall experience at Amuz didn’t really meet my expectation. I came here with a great expectation to have faultless cooking and perfect service. Beside the slow phase between meal, most of the front house staffs struggled to give details about the food, they need to ask their supervisor to do it. If this is what they called the best French restaurant in town, they need to offer more than what I had that night. I hope I was wrong.

Amuz Gourmet

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Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52 – 53 SCBD Senayan Kebayoran Baru Jakarta Selatan DKI Jakarta  Indonesia

+62 21 2505064

Cheffounder@amuzgourmet.com