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/

Sarong Restaurant

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I would be lying if I told you that I came to visit Sarong with confidence about their food. At first, I didn’t believe that a “westerner” was able to cook good Asian dishes, but they got me completely wrong.

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Sarong was established in 2008 and gained several accolades including the prestigious San Pellegrino Asia 50best in 2014. The food is a mixed between Indian, Thai, and Southeast Asian accents. The mastermind behind the kitchen is Will Meyrick, the Scottish chef who was born in Portugal, started his apprenticeships at numerous places in London before he traveled around South America, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

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Their Coktail selections were worth to try.

Tempeh Cracker served with Green Chutney (Mint, Coriander Root, Yoghurt)

Tempeh cracker is best to be enjoyed at any time any day, whether as a condiment for your main, or going with your beer. Even though I prefer to enjoyed on its own, the green chutney brought the cracker more alive by adding the fresh and sour element to the savory cracker.

Grilled Scallop with Sweet Crispy Duck Thai Basil Young coconut & Peanut Nam Jihm Tuna Betel Lemon Grass Green Tomato Sambal Matah and Bumbu Pasih

Don’t be fooled by its humbled appearance, because lot of things are going on in a single bite. The scallop dish delivered a strong South East Asian flavor with Balinese touch. Too bad the scallops were slightly overcooked, otherwise this would be spotless.

Butter Chicken with Cashew Nut Ginger Garam Masala Kasoori Methi & Tomato Sauce

I ordered additional Pita Bread to accompany this delicious butter chicken. The chicken was juicy and tender, but the gravy was slightly too salty.

“Bebek Madura” Twice Cooked Duck with Sambal Mangga & Balinese Sambal

This duck was mind blowing. It has every duck confit checklists that you can probably named off. Tender and Juicy meat, crispy skin, and undoubtedly good flavor. If you’re a big fan of sambal then you’ll definitely love those things.

Signature Crispy Pork Belly with Sichuan Chili Salt Tamarillo and Tamarind Sauce

I was amazed by the texture and the flavor from this pork belly. I tried this dish at their two sister restaurants, Mamasan and E&O, but in my opinion they’re fail to deliver the flavor balance like this one. It was either too sweet or too sour. The one I had here was clearly stunning. The sweet, sour, savory balanced really well. The texture  of the pork was crispy on top, followed by tender meat, and buttery texture from the fat.

Lemon grass Panacotta with Cucumber Lime Jelly served with Citrus Lemon Basil Sorbet

Since I and my partner were quite full during that evening, we decided to order one dessert for sharing. Let’s get it straight, the pannacotta texture was too hard, I think that my pork belly felt more tender that this. The presentation clearly didn’t match the texture and flavor.

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Overall, Sarong is a place who treats Asian cuisine with respect. It is a must whenever you’re visiting Bali whether you’re having a date or with a group of friends. I believe that the varieties will please the palate diversities. Obviously, Chef Will is a master in combining complex and strong flavor without sacrificing the main ingredient quality.

 

Sarong

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Jl. Petitenget No, 19 x
Kerobokan, Bali 80361
Indonesia

T. +62 361 4737 809
F. +62 361 4737 810
E. info@sarongbali.com
W: www.sarongbali.com

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/

Kayuputi

Kayuputi is a beachfront fine dining restaurant at St. Regis Bali. The 4-time Wine Spectator Award winning offers Asian inspired haute cuisine. The kitchen is helmed by the executive chef Agung Gede with 10 years of professional experiences behind his back.

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I had a hard time taking pictures during my dinner because I was chose to dine at the beachfront table with minimal lighting.

IMG_1025Starter: Smoked Salmon, Crushed Potato Salad, Balsamic Reduction

 SAMSUNG CSCWholemeal bread: Rosemarry, Caraway Seeds, Sundried Tomato, Oregano

Served with Butter, Olive Tapenade, Spicy Apple Puree.

Warning: The spicy apple puree is very addictive!

 IMG_1038Lobster Bisque, Poached Lobster Zucchini Cannelloni, Sour Cream, Avruga Caviar, Ginger Crisp

The bisque was light but packed with tons of flavor and it was well paired with the cannelloni. The good thing about the cannelloni is that you can literally cut it down with your spoon. It’s firm and smooth. Perfect cooking.

 IMG_1037Pan seared Alaskan scallop U10 set on seafood agnoloti, topped with caviar and lemongrass infused crustacean – parmesan foam

Those perfectly cooked scallops were paired really well with the crustacean bisque. The agnoloti pasta was cooked al dente. Very intense sea flavor was coming trough this dish.

IMG_1039Indian Ocean “fruits de mer”

Assorted seafood of the day; sea bream fillet, Manila clams, octopus, cuttlefish, king prawn and deeper scallop with carambola, ginger flower “nage” of Balinese aromatic roots.

Seriously, everything on the plate was spot on. From the fish to cuttlefish, the prawn, and the scallop were cooked with high level of precision. Too bad that  I couldn’t really enjoyed the ginger flower “nage”. I felt that the nage was too heavy in flavor (especially the dish was topped with “sambel matah”) and lacking of acidity.

 IMG_1040(1)Black Angus Beef fillet “Rossini” – Kayuputi version

Pan seared foie gras, composition of mushrooms, red onion jam, and Perigueux sauce.

The meat was well seasoned and perfectly pink. The sauce was compliments the dish really well, and the red onion jam cut the richness beautifully. The only thing that bothered me was the foie gras was slightly overcooked, otherwise this dish would be spotless.

 IMG_1101Pumpkin – Orange – Ginger

Pumpkin-orange brûlée, ginger sable, orange-ginger sherbet, espuma of golden ginger candy, orange coulis

The sweet and sour flavor with a hint of ginger that coming through from this dessert was well balanced and refreshing.

 IMG_1042Strawberry – kemangi basil

Kemangi basil infused compressed strawberry, kemangi basil meringue, strawberry mousse and yoghurt ice cream

The kemangi was perfuming the strawberry with a sharp lemony aroma with a hint of mint at the back. The mousse was smooth and melt beautifully on your palate.

 IMG_1041Chocolate – Balinese long pepper

Guanaja bar long pepper infused chocolate manjari coulis, Valrhona bitter chocolate ice cream, cooca nibs – long pepper tuile, liquored chocolate stick.

I believe that the picture and the explanation are enough to tell you how good it is to be put in your mouth.

 

I’m impressed and proud at the same time about the food they offer. Since the executive chef was a Balinese, yet he’s able to execute the plate with finesse. From the cooking to the presentation were deliver precisely and beautifully like a haute cuisine master.

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This place is definitely a must place to go on special occasion. The service was warm enough, the staffs were knowledgeable, and the outdoor dining table is suitable for romantic occasion. If you are willing to have Asian/Bali flavor with a strong touch of haute cuisine, Kayuputi won’t fail you definitely.

 

Kayuputi

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St. Regis Bali – Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua Lot S6 · PO Box 44, Nusa Dua · Bali 80363 · Badung · Bali  ·
Indonesia
(62)(361) 300 6786

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

Namaaz

Indonesian Fried Rice, Satay, Indonesian Grilled Chicken, Padang Rice, you named it, they have it. Indonesia, an archipelago spread across from east to west that consists of thousands island, cultures, and off course, wide varieties of food that might not documented yet.

Maybe, just maybe, Indonesia will never be like France with the most complicated, political, and luxurious food nor like Japan where they have the most Michelin stars in the world these days. Or maybe Singapore? Hong Kong? Where you don’t have to travel as far as United States or Europe to have the finest dining experience. Indonesia will always be Indonesia. They don’t give a damn about how they plate their food, about how it looks, perfect temperature, perfect texture, they don’t get obsessed with perfection, at least not yet at this time.

Heart, that’s what they have on the plate. Delicious food that’s what they have. Fold and keep your ego, and try to concentrate about the food and flavor, and I can guarantee you. It will stick in you memory.

In my opinion, Fine Dining in Indonesia doesn’t get enough appreciation like other country have. For the society, it’s only for the upper class people or socialite. In a way, I have to agree on this, they required big bucks to spend. In my opinion, only some of them know how to appreciate food. Most of them only interested about how the restaurant look a like instead of how fine the food is. They will feel happy by spending big bucks on creamed pasta or a piece of dead steak in a well-decorated place.

Alright, at least you have a picture about this country. In short, comfort food still rules the game.

Adrian Ishak, a culinary director from a restaurant called Namaaz, is like a nuclear bomb for the culinary scene in the country by delivering the most innovative and daring dish with his “Molecular Approach on Indonesian Cuisine.” Some of you might say “Ah, that’s boring,” “Cliché” “Too ambitious”, but for us, modernist cuisine is like something we never heard before, or maybe we never expect it to be applied on Indonesian cuisine. He’s a self taught in Molecular cuisine beside spending some time in hospitality school and working at his family restaurant that serves authentic Indonesian food.

The kitchen looks more like a home chemistry lab instead of a professional kitchen, and they only serve 8 diners a day. On the kitchen’s wall they have the picture of culinary maestros such as Heston Blumenthal, Grant Achatz, Ferran Adria, and Rene Rédzepi.

Lets start.

 IMG_2480Pineapple Menu

This is the display of my 17 courses menu. But, the excitement didn’t start later, it started as soon as the menu arrived on the table. This menu is edible. It’s made from pineapple meringue. I’ll bet the first bite will put a smile on your face.

 IMG_2482Fruit Soda (Soda Buah)

Another excitement. Drop it to the glass, the tablet will release its magic my transforming the fruity water into a carbonated fruit drink.

IMG_2483Lychee (Leci)

This bite-sized lychee sphere will blast in your mouth. The outer layer is in jelly form, and helps to protect the lychee juice inside. Interesting.

 IMG_2484Sautéed Oncom (Tumis Oncom)

Oncom is a traditional food that comes from West Java. It’s made from fermented soya bean. The flavor and texture of this dish didn’t manage to catch the excitement that comes from the idea and presentation. The sautéed oncom was accompanied by beancurd and sambel bajak (a traditional chili chutney from west java). The combination was far too dry and the chutney was too aggressive. They just don’t come together as a dish.

 IMG_2372Asinan Betawi

Asinan in Indonesia means preserved, usually vegetable or fruit, something like pickled vegetable or fruit. Asinan comes from a word Asin that literally means Salty in English. Some parts in Indonesia have different types of Asinan. This is Asinan that comes from Jakarta. It consists of Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Beansprout, Carrot, Cucumber, and dressed with peanut sauce (kind of peanut vinaigrette) with cracked yellow cracker on top. Sounds like Indonesian Salad doesn’t it? This is my favorite dish. I love this dish until I know how right this dish supposed to be. And this was amazing. The balance of flavor is there. Chef Adrian gave it a twist by putting Grapeseed Oil Candy instead of a normal yellow cracker. It has a Candy coating with grapeseed oil inside.

 IMG_2485Aceh Noodle (Mi Aceh)

I haven’t tried Aceh Noodle before, so I don’t how is it supposed to taste. I don’t really like the texture of the noodle, it’s like undercooked pasta, but the combination of flavor was great.

 IMG_2486Coco-Cola

Carbonated pure coconut water. I would like to have this under a coconut tree on the beach. Very refreshing.

 IMG_2377Sayur Asem (Sour Vegetable Soup)

 Sayur Asem is an iconic dish of Indonesia. You can ask every single person in this country,  Sayur Asem is everyone’s dish. It’s a tamarind based soup with ingredients such as corn, melinjo, bilimbi, chayote, and long beans. Chef Adrian gives a twist by transforming a soup into a hot jelly and topped with corn puree. Delicious!

 IMG_2378Telur Balado (Balado Egg)

Telur Balado is a dish from north part of Sumatra. It’s a combination of chili sauce and egg. Namaaz gives this dish modern interpretation by using sous-vide egg yolk served with spinach crisp and Balado purée. I think Namaaz did a great job. The Balado purée was really good, it wasn’t too aggressive but still manage to give the heat and flavor.

 IMG_2379Semur Daging (Indonesian Braised Beef)

My personal preferences, I’m not really a big fan of sous-vide beef. I’m not saying that this is a poor dish. From the seasoning to the flavor and texture was good. But I prefer to have a little bit of searing on the meat.

 IMG_2380Ikan Woku (Woku Fish)

Ikan Woku is a fish dish from Manado, North Sulawesi province. It has savory, spicy, and strong flavor. This is a clever dish. Since the Woku Style can be applied to both fish or chicken, the chef manage to combine the fish and the chicken into one plate. It looks like chicken, it has a chicken bone, but the main protein is fish. Flavor wise, I need more of this. Really good.

 IMG_2381Kambing Guling

Kambing Guling is a spit roasted goat served with sweet soya sauce. This is a twist version of  Kambing Guling served with charcoal cassava. Again, the chef only used sous-vide to cook the cook which was a let down for me because it didn’t balance the amazing flavor from the seasoning and the sauce.  Speaking about Kambing Guling, I’ll expected the smoke flavor and aroma that comes trought the meat, at least, I need a crust, slight bite to prove that this meat is fit for a king, not a “boiled meat”. But overall, this is amazing.

 IMG_2487Es Campur (Mixed Ice)

Es Campur is a traditional Indonesian dessert. The topping can be varied from shredded coconut meat, jackfruit, avocado, tapioca pearl, kolang-kaling, grass jelly, fermented cassava, or basil seeds, and topped with shaved ice with rose syrup and condensed milk. The twist here is the amazing crystal ball right there that filled with avocado, jackfruit, raspberry, blue kolang kaling, and shredded coconut meat. Break it, mix it with the granita and coconut milk, and the last one, enjoy it, you will.

 IMG_2488Pencuci Mulut (can be translated as dessert or palate cleanser)

Amond syrup served with sweet foam. I still prefer the Es Campur, but this is great though in terms of the element of surprise and texture.

 IMG_2386Raw Champagne

Carbonated Grape Fruit

 IMG_2489Black Forest

Have a bite, and you’ll find a delicious chocolate truffle behind the fruit, and the magic didn’t stop there, your mouth will start to sparkle that comes from the popping candy inside it.

 IMG_2490Es The Lemon Panas (Hot and Cold Lemon Tea)

Have you ever thought of drinking hot and cold liquid at the same glass? Try it here. It’s just too amusing.

 

Eating at Namaaz is all about the whole experience. I might not agree if some people say we only pay for the excitement. Namaaz is about the whole package. The food, the people, the excitement, the surprise, and the most important is the memory that you will left with.

Don’t expect three stars service or ambience, as I said before, fold your ego with your napkin and set aside, you don’t need them. The feeling of eating here is like you are invited to your best friend’s house for dinner. Just sit down, and let the magic speaks for itself.

Oh, by the way, the restaurant will update their menu regularly by season. In this season, which is the first season, the chef explained to me that they just use the very basic technique in molecular cuisine. But, they will not just stand there, the chef will push another limit on the next season with more elaborate dishes.

For those of you who might dine outside the continent might have a perception that the food here is outdated. For example some of you might notice that edible soap is inspired by Mugaritz, or lets say the hot and cold iced tea, straight ahead Heston’s name will pop out from your head, and off course El Bulli, the temple of Molecular Gastronomy. But in Indonesia, Modernist Cuisine is like a baby, or a freshly baked cake.

One thing that I really appreciate and respect about what the chef does is the courage to elevate authentic Indonesian cuisine to a completely  different level. When people are praising French or western cuisine as the God of fine foods, Chef Adrian Ishak is like, “hey dude, let me show you how magical our cuisine can be.” Clearly, Namaaz has raised the bar of the food scene in Indonesia.

Is it worth to give a try? HELL YEAH, YOU SHOULD!

Namaaz Dining

Jl Raya Fatmawati 26C, South Jakarta

http://www.namaazdining.com