While still considered as a relatively new player, The Holy Crab has quickly risen to prominence with its fancy crab selection, the Louisiana-style hot sauce and the traditional way of having it all!
Located conveniently at Jalan Gunawarman, The Holy Crab conjures up a comfortable atmosphere that intertwines the traditional fisherman’s wharf feel complemented with a ship’s bell and dominated by wooden décor, and during dining hours, it becomes very lively with the scene of customers enjoying their loot and hard core blues tunes playing.
Their crab selection is to die for. The Holy Crab provides an assortment of local blue crab, mud crab and prawns, plus their one and only premium Dungeness Crab, flown directly from Washington State. Weighing between 1 to 1.5 kgs per crab, they are exquisitely sweet and combine well with the Cajun sauce that is made up of cayenne pepper, bell peppers, lemon, and garlic.
Additionally, we enjoyed so much the accompaniment of the fulfilling yet juicy flesh of Alaskan King Crab alongside sweet corn and fantastic local prawns. The whole idea of getting your hands dirty is reinforced by the crab boil-style, no plates or utensils way eating, wherein the food is served directly onto the paper lined table.
THE HOLY CRAB Halal-friendly (alcohol is served here) Unsuitable for vegetarians
Jalan Gunawarman no. 55, Jakarta – Indonesia
Opening hours: Everyday – weekends for lunch and dinner & weekdays for dinner only.
While it proved to be elusive, at least for me, I successfully traced the whereabouts of this legendary seafood hawker after it moved out from its original neighborhood. The result for the hardship was a dining experience worth its weight in gold!
It feels like ages, but actually, it hasn’t been that long. In a previous life, I was part of one of those banking enterprises around the Jalan Sudirman. My officemates and I used to have dinner at street food stalls around the office or head north for the shopping malls.
One of the options they asked me back then was to have a dinner at Santiga Seafood in Benhil, a portmanteau for Jalan Bendungan Hilir. It was a nay that time for me as I was rushing for a prior engagement somewhere else and the chance never came again until quite recently after all those years.
Much to my dismay, my personal tour around the street made me realize that Santiga was no longer there to be found, aside from another hawker of slightly the same name took over the old place where Santiga used to be.
Finally, I discovered that they moved permanently out of the neighborhood two years ago further south to Jalan Fatmawati. It’s a strange move considering they had hardcore fans around the area but I assume that if the food was that good, then people will follow them wherever they go.
So there I was on Jalan Fatmawati, in front of a closed ceramic store where Santiga had relocated. They set up a huge tent and were open for Jakarta’s seafood fans all night long. Business was good that night as patrons filled most of the seats even if it was already past 10pm on a weekday. The cooks were busy in front of their hot woks, the large flames bursting underneath, the fish griller in front of the shack commanded the wafting smokes that surely signaled for everybody to come. Street musicians were playing on the side, accompanying those who were waiting in anticipation of the great food coming their way.
Usually, seafood hawkers cook their meals Chinese-style, with basic dishes such as fried rice, fried noodle and stir-fry vegetables present on the menu too. The cooks were ready to serve the rich catch from the sea in various types of cooking, as varied as the seafood available. From gourami to snapper are available to be fried or grilled. But before that, be sure to try the boiled cockles, or known locally as kerang rebus, as the opener served with appetizing pineapple sambal.
That night, I enjoyed the prawns – stir-fried in oyster sauce, and the crispy calamari. I found it rather inconsistent for some restaurants and side-street hawkers to be able to bread the cuttlefish well and fried it evenly, but Santiga clearly achieved it successfully.
While enjoying all these goodness, I spied a bit on other tables only to find the customers are all happy and enjoying their loot as well. The highlight that night was a guy eating so many steamed prawns all by his own and a family of three sharing a really good looking black pepper crab. That view alone made me want to visit the place again!
When are you going?
SANTIGA SEAFOOD BENHIL Halal-friendly (ask for the use of angciu) Unsuitable for vegetarians
Jalan R.S. Fatmawati no. 42, Jakarta – Indonesia
Hailing from France, the young Alexis Gudimard, who just recently joined the ranks of Pullman Jakarta Central Park as its pastry chef, quickly charms everyone with his good looks and wonderful creations. Not just that, the young chefs also told us of how it all started with his career and introduces his latest creation, The Royal Cake.
Chef Alexis Gudimard’s apprenticeship years began around in several boulangerie and chocolaterie in Montpellier and Nice in France, following his pastry education at two schools, until he wrapped it up by working under the most famous French chocolatier, Pascal Lac.
“After I finished my studies, I headed to Courmayeur right at the edge of Italy, nearby Chamonix, to start working professionally as chef for one of the resorts there,” Alexis told us. As fate would have it, he met his girlfriend there, and they worked together for a year, until moving to England together for work.
England became the big break for Alexis as he got admitted as chef de partie for the only restaurant outside of France to retain three-star Michelin for almost three decades. “I was proud to part of the team that assured another year for The Waterside Inn to preserve such prestige”, said Alexis.
The Waterside Inn itself is managed by the Roux family famed for their flagship restaurant in London, Le Gavroche. “I had a fruitful two years of learning so much at The Waterside Inn. The ala carte desserts were delicate to handle but I enjoy my years of making special pralines and soufflés for the guests there”, he continued.
When asked about his favorite dessert, the chef simply replied, “While sometimes what I eat may depends on my mood of whether I want milk chocolate or dark chocolate, I personally like my chocolate strong and I will put a lot of sour accompaniments from fruits and caramel around it”.
In this edition, The Royal Cake he presents us is a mixture of four delicate elements that pair perfectly with each other. The flavor depth of Valrhona dark chocolate and milk chocolate are combined with cream and biscuits to make the textures even richer which concealed perfectly with the luscious dark glaze. You can personally savor his secret touch for this cake every day at Pullman Jakarta Central Park or perhaps you’d prefer to recreate it yourself and bring your skill to the next level. Either way, enjoy the treat!
THE ROYAL CAKE
Serves: 60×40 cm size
700 gr Egg whites
320 gr Sugar
600 gr Ground almond
150 gr Flour
150 gr Icing sugar
2) Praline Feuilletine
500 gr Couverture milk chocolate
800 gr Praline
600 gr Royaltine
3) Bavaroise Dark Chocolate
325 gr Cream 35%, liquid
3100 gr Cream 35%, whipped
325 gr Egg yolk
350 gr Sugar
1700 gr Couverture dark chocolate 61%
4) Black Glaze
870 gr Sugar
480 gr Water
1070 gr Cream 35%
535 gr Glucose
230 gr Cocoa powder
235 gr Trimoline (inverted sugar syrup)
300 gr Gelatin
STEPS (in order):
Whip the egg whites with half of the sugar using 3rd speed until it achieves a light meringue consistency.
Add remaining sugar little by little and keep whipping it until it reaches full meringue consistency.
Add sifted flour and icing sugar that has already been mixed with the ground almond slowly.
Spread the mix upon two trays using baking paper and ready to cook.
Bake for around 10 minutes or so at 180C. Set aside and let it cool down naturally or chilled until needed.
Melt the chocolate and add the praline.
Add the royaltine and mix it altogether.
Spread the mix all over the dacquiose evenly. Don’t forget to border the cake first using rectangular bracket to make it tidy.
Bavaroise Dark Chocolate
Mix the egg yolk and the sugar well.
Bring the liquid cream to boil and pour half of it to the mix.
Pour the rest while boiling the mix up to 81C. Mix it constantly during the process.
Put out from the stove and continue mixing for around 1 minute.
Bring in the dark chocolate, put it in the microwave for 45 seconds, and pour the cream mix over the chocolate.
Mix slowly until it becomes homogeneous.
At around 35C, incorporate the mix with the whipped cream.
Once ready for use, pour over the dacquoise and praline feuilletine to create a new layer.
Tidy the surface by using an iron ruler. Set aside and refrigerate.
Cook the sugar with water at 120C.
At the same time, boil the cream and glucose.
Add the cocoa and the trimoline in the hot cream. Mix it.
Add the cooked sugar with water while not boiling by mixing it altogether.
At 60C, add the gelatin and the remaining glaze (if you made one before this).
Mix well using hand blender until thick and without incorporating the air.
Use only when at 35C and always check the temperature before use.
Pour it over the chilled cake evenly by using strainer.
Tidy up the black glaze on the cake.
Decorate the cake as you please and ready to serve.
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE April 2014 edition
Entertaining Jakarta’s increasingly demanding crowd becomes a renewed challenge for any restaurants in Jakarta, especially those that maintain special characteristics as fine-dining restaurants or as sky dining establishments.
Skye, being one of the best for the latter category, quite recently unveiled the appearance of Chef Hamish Lindsay as the head of the kitchen. As an NZ native, Chef Hamish unexpectedly prepared great surprises during a press lunch owing to his extensive experience. Let’s dig in!
While Skye is often associated as one of The Two Towers with Singapore’s Sky on 57, we must not neglect the fact that Skye has crafted its own fame and huge number of fans thanks to the breathtaking view from the top of current Jakarta, the vibrant atmosphere, the drinks, and its stern policy for dress code or taking pictures.
So what about the food? While I actually had heard from a few of my friends of their personal ups and downs with the dining experience, I was actually quite in awe with my very own experience of having the best from Chef Hamish.
Born and bred under the influence of Australian-NZ cuisines, where people would easily acknowledge it as another form of Western cuisine, Chef Hamish Lindsay is clearly not a person who satisfies himself with only just that. He travels through time and captivated by Thai cuisine during his stay in the country. Now with his Indonesian family, he’s more than excited to incorporate all his experience with the local touch as well.
During the press lunch, we sampled around three to four appetizers, mains, and desserts; which I have to highlight as highly balance, rich, and clearly an upgrade of quality under the reign of Chef Hamish. With the Thai touch that he gives, Skye’s current dishes become another interesting perspective especially with Jakarta’s peaked interest on the marriage between Western and Asian.
Once in while, let us do the highlight of the best meal on each course. I’d like to take sides also sometimes, mind you! :D
For appetizers, the highlight would be the double baked cheese souffle. Now, I have to be honest with you because I never had a souffle before for an opener and Chef Hamish proved that it does work. While the cheese factor was considerably decreased to allow us having the good feel of everything around it – such as the creamy sauce, the tomatoes, and the herbs; but all in all, it was a highly balanced dish that boosted me to start for the next.
The rest of the appetizers were also of good quality, but clearly the souffle won this round in terms of wholesomeness and creativity.
The mains, for me personally, were clearly dominated by the wonder of Asian flavor. Altogether with the white rice, I completely enjoyed the Thai-style stir-fried seafood. The crunchiness of the fresh vegetables, the balanced sour and spicy Thai sauce, and the seafood were more than I could ever ask. I’d like to have it all by myself next time and only with rice even though that might cost me more than IDR 150,000!
The contenders for this course gave a good fight as well and I’d pick both the seafood pasta and the sea bass for second position. However, as much as I enjoy the Black Angus tenderloin with the level of juiciness and the temperature level, I’d have it like steak frites rather than with mashed potatoes. Probably, it’s because that I like the whole meat feels clean when entering my mouth and with the mashed potatoes were all over the meat, it feels like everything got too mixed up.
Heading next for the desserts, it’s time for sticky date pudding to win the round. Call it my soft spot or being too whimsical about this pudding, but it was really highly enjoyable.
The mango cheesecake with passion fruit is also a good alternative for a refreshing end-note for the meals. The interesting part came from peanut butter panna cotta, especially those who enjoy their PB&J breakfast, but it proves to be too sinful for me although Chef Hamish strikes me as a person who came up cleverly with this kind of arrangements.
So, I think that’s it for now for taking sides. Overall, Skye has upgraded so much from its F&B department especially with this performance by Chef Hamish and I’d love to return back for more for his creations. Not only that you can enjoy the good view or the romantic setting, now you have more reason to come there. Justified!
SKYE Halal-friendly (some of the menu items contain alcohol and pork) Suitable for vegetarians
Address: Menara BCA, 56th fl., Jalan MH Thamrin, Jakarta – Indonesia