All posts by Rian Farisa

Rian Farisa stars himself in a flick about how a culinary correspondent living a life full of adventures as if he will live forever. At the end of the day, he lives to retell the chronicles of his swashbuckling daring gastronomic adventures like a bard singing his tales of beautiful faraway lands. Since gastronomy consists of complex aspects and that is where his passion lies, he decided to unravel how businessmen, hawkers and luxurious restaurants alike, serve their dishes for the patrons. Whether they only serve for the advantages in taste or only the surroundings or whether they really throw anything for the sake of customer's satisfaction, he shall be solely the only one who can tell and in the name of this noble profession, justice shall be done!

Dish That I Crave: Chef Gianluca Visciglia’s Burrata

I miss Scusa and everything about it. It has been awhile since I had an exciting Sunday brunch back then where everyone could enjoy the food from both Scusa and Java (now Rasa).

Just around two months ago, Scusa appointed a native chef to revive everything again that I and many other Italian cuisine fans had been waiting for. My encounter with the chef Gianluca Visciglia was for another affair but upon knowing that I had missed my lunch, he decided to whip in some cool stuff to go with his main dish.

Chef Gianluca Visciglia's Burrata 1

As a starter, he made some kind of less creamy burrata, which he named something that I unfortunately did not remember or unable to find any similarity with burrata (oh come on, you’re a journo Rian!) and he put the glorious cheese on top of sliced tomatoes. Around the tomatoes, he placed lightly fried fennel with garlic and butter. As a finisher, he drizzled extra balsamic vinegar and of course, the olive oil.

It was lighter than the magnificent burrata that I just had several weeks ago at Caffe Milano but it was impressive still. The use of fennel is what that elevates the whole thing and if it wasn’t for the chef’s finesse in the kitchen, it would just be another appetizer in some Italian restaurant.

Kudos, Chef Gianluca!



InterContinental Jakarta MidPlaza
Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta – Indonesia

T: +


Foodies Lists: Union Deli (The Foodie Magazine, Feb 2015)

The mission to bring back New York to Jakarta is now accomplished. Chef Adhika Maxi introduces his crowd at his newly opened Union Deli with great sandwiches and delicious pies.

The long wait for the revitalized eastern section of Grand Indonesia was finally over and it unveils exciting surprises for those who cannot escape the enchantment of shopping malls. Among the newly introduced charm on this part of the mall, there’s one particular restaurant that is quickly gathering the attention of urban foodies with only the name that it carries.

Union Deli 2

Union Deli. Yes, it’s the continuation of success from the already famous Union at Plaza Senayan and Pondok Indah Mall, but this one caters the more whimsical side of Chef Adhika Maxi from his experience back in the Big Apple with an extreme fondness of anything deli. Thus, the sandwiches suddenly fill up the menu as the main cast.

Meanwhile his wife, the pastry prodigy Karen Carlotta, who has been magnetizing the sweet tooths with her popular the classic red velvet cake since Union first opened, now returns strong with her beautiful pies that put us all in a dilemmatic question of “Which one first, the sandwich or the pie?” as one might ponder.

When I finally met again Adhika, the jolly look on his face can be seen immediately. Business was good even when it just got opened and as can also be seen from the never ending queue of crowd. Many would wait to be seated, but some would settle with anything that they can have for takeaway from the freshly baked bread counter up front. It’s a win-win solution apparently.

Union Deli 1

From the danish to doughnut and then croissants. All were lovingly made and baked fresh from the oven. “With this, we are also proud to announce that we have our own pastry studio now and ready to cater wider range”, said Adhika.

So, what about the sandwich then?

Union Deli 3

“I was hoping that one day people could thoroughly enjoy only and only the sandwiches. This will be a proving ground to the “Deli” concept that we are currently promoting”, continued the chef while also informing me that he’s more than confident to introduce the delightful pastrami as a start.

With a week-long process to achieve the definition of good pastrami, Union Deli serves it with utmost pride and joy. It came with a choice for classic sandwich or a plate of exquisite fried rice, all up to your mood. The pastrami itself has a complex character that retains its juiciness, tenderness, and smokiness but all nicely brined and seasoned. I quickly imagined myself standing in front of a busy counter of a New York delicatessen munching the pastrami paired with a toast whole wheat bread, the seedy and savory mustard, and pickled cucumber upon savoring it.

Union Deli 4

Other fine selections from the sandwich section that I thoroughly enjoyed were the spicy tuna sandwich with sambal matah and also the sweet and indulging bulgogi sandwich. You can’t go wrong with Asian influence nowadays and it would be a feast to have Indonesian, Korean, and Jewish flavors on the table at the same time.

What’s next would be the timeless red velvet pie as the closure. With the smoothly crackling upper crust, crushed nuts, and tasty cream fillings; the pie was an extraordinary adventure if compared with regular RV cake. That’s also the case when you complete the experience with other pies such as the refreshing key lime or the elegant mint chocolate. Many struggle to enjoy it until the last scoop but with what Union Deli has formulated, it’s a no sweat job for everyone.

With so much contentment seen from the faces of happy patrons, it may seem that Adhika’s hopes and wishes to make sandwich an exclusive thing on the menu is well on its way. However, I am still hoping that the pastrami fried rice will still be around. Well, it’s not exactly what defines a deli, but still, please don’t take that away from us.


Halal-friendly (some dishes contain pork and alcohol is served)
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall, Central Dept. Store, GF


Opening hours: Daily, mall opening hours


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Feb 2015 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Food Event: The Easter Brunch at Sailendra, JW Marriott Jakarta

Known as one of the top buffet restaurants in town, Sailendra Restaurant is ready to serve its signature buffet spread along with a vast array of Easter signature dishes.

Special for this year, Sailendra’s culinary team has prepared an array of Western-Asian fusion inspired dishes, where guests may indulge in various delicacies such as hot cross buns; spot prawns on rainbow radish potato salad with spiced yogurt dressing; miso soup with bean sprout, shimeji mushroom and seaweed; crusted lamb loin with coconut chicken gratin potato, zucchini and port wine jus; roast Chicken with rosemary; and honey-glazed Easter ham.

Spot prawns on rainbow radish potato salad with spiced yogurt dressing
Spot prawns on rainbow radish potato salad with spiced yogurt dressing
crusted lamb loin with coconut chicken gratin potato, zucchini and port wine jus
crusted lamb loin with coconut chicken gratin potato, zucchini and port wine jus
Cheesecake with graham cookies with mixed berries coulis
Cheesecake with graham cookies with mixed berries coulis


Certainly not to be missed in this occasion is Sailendra’s various selections on the dessert buffet which features a delicious Easter bunny treats made from Swiss Lindt chocolates, cheesecake with graham cookies with mixed berries coulis, selection of freshly made gelato and local treats that will compliment your Easter brunch.

Being the ones who had the chance to taste these delights first, I would like to highlight the spot prawns and miso shiru for the appetizers as great starters, fresh, and also appetizing. Sailendra’s take on these two openers were simply great. I particularly enjoyed the miso shiru. Although it may be a usual dish now anywhere, Sailendra’s version was of a different take but retains the original flavors well.

Meanwhile, the crusted lamb loin is a must-try. The coconut chicken was also nicely made and will remind you of the grated coconut found in urab and it went well with the lamb. 

Lastly, the cheesecake is unlike that I had before. Even with such size after a fantastic three course previously, I managed to finish the cake completely.

This enticing feast is available for brunch on Saturday and Sunday of 4th and 5th of April 2015 at Rp 413,000++ per person. Celebrate this special holiday with your family, friends and colleagues at Sailendra Restaurant.


Halal-friendly (some dishes contain pork and alcohol)
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta
Jalan DR Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung Kav. E.1.2 No. 1&2, Mega Kuningan, Jakarta – Indonesia

T: +62.21.5798.8888

Opening hours:
Daily, all-day dining


Foodie Quotes #27

“I doubt whether the world holds for any one a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice-cream.”
- Heywood Broun

Halal 101 #3: The Zabihah procedure

The animal is put down on the ground (or held it if it is small) and its throat is slit with a very sharp knife to make sure that the three main blood vessels are cut.

While cutting the throat of the animal (without severing it), the persons must pronounce the name of Allah or recite a blessing, which contains the name of Allah, such as “Bismillah Allahu-Akbar”.

The Halal ingredient must not be mixed, or even come into contact with Haram materials. The act of slaughtering is to ensure the quality of meat and to avoid any microbial contamination.

For example, a dead but un-slaughtered animal is normally associated with disease. Most disease originated or is carried in the animal’s blood.

Therefore, slaughtering is mandatory to ensure the complete drainage of blood from the animal’s body, thus minimising the chance of microbial infection.

Zabihah is compatible with the overall concept of cleanliness that is always emphasised in Islam.


Text credit:
Halal and Haram Fact Sheet, compiled by Tasmania Dept. Health and Human Services