OKU, The Brand New Modernist Wave of Japanese Washoku in Jakarta (Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta)

Setelah penampilan apik Signatures Restaurant sejak masa Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta berdiri atau Nirwana Lounge yang terkenal sejak berdekade-dekade lampau, kini Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta menghadirkan OKU – sebuah kejutan baru dari Negeri Sakura!

OKU 10

Begitu banyak pengaruh masakan Jepang yang tertancap di hati para pecinta kuliner masa kini. Dimulai dari restoran yang paling casual yang biasa kita temui di mall-mall, berbagai restoran washoku tersembunyi di pergedungan Bilangan Sudirman, hingga ramen shops yang kini menjamur di berbagai pelosok ibukota.

Yang menarik adalah masih cukup jarangnya kita menemukan restoran Jepang yang bisa mengombinasikan dua dunia – yaitu antara citarasa tradisional dengan teknik dan kreasi kuliner modern. Restoran-restoran ini tidak hanya berbicara soal rasa, namun juga ada proses kreatif yang menarik dari pemunculan masakan-masakan cantik dengan bahan dasar yang segar dan berkualitas ini.

OKU 12

Kesan pertama saya sendiri saat mengunjungi OKU adalah rasa nyaman dan tenang karena desain restoran yang didominasi warna kayu, elegan karena adanya bubuhan rasa zen yang lazimnya didapatkan di restoran-restoran Jepang premium.

Dengan tambahan jendela-jendela besar maka ini memungkinkan banyaknya cahaya masuk. Keseluruhan suasana ini jujur membuat saya serasa tidak berada di tengah-tengah ramainya Bundaran HI maupun Grand Indonesia. Apalagi dengan latar belakang musik jazz kontemporer dan pelayanannya yang prima, rupanya ini menjadi modal penting untuk menikmati sajian khas kreasi Chef Kazumasa Yazawa.

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Ketika menapaki buku menu OKU untuk kali pertama saya, maka jelas sekali bahwa restoran ini memiliki banyak eksperimen menarik untuk ditampilkan sejak level paling awal atau sebagai appetizer. 

OKU 9
Five types of sashimi
Karasumi pasta with uni
Karasumi pasta with uni

Selain lima jenis seafood segar yang tersaji di atas mangkuk untuk sashimi beserta pendamping seperti angel hair seaweed serta sea grapes yang mampu memvisualisasikan lautan dengan kekayaannya, tentunya berbagai menu pilihan lainnya yang saya coba sebagai pembuka juga tidak kalah serunya.

Oku karaage
Oku karaage

Sebut saja oku karaage yang berwarna hitam dan dibubuhi shichimi togarashi ini. Kedalaman rasa paha ayam goreng yang berbalut tepung renyah ini cocok sekali untuk dimakan langsung, bahkan tanpa dipping sauce sekalipun. Atau misalnya karasumi angel hair pasta dengan tambahan uni di atasnya. Segar sekaligus tampil menawan!

Uni & onsen tamago
Uni & onsen tamago
Salmon carpaccio
Salmon usuzukuri

Lalu ada juga penampilan uni beserta telur ikan serta onsen tamago yang disajikan di atas cawan kaca segitiga dengan bejana di bawahnya yang diisikan tetumbuhan dan air. Selain itu salah satu yang juara adalah salmon carpaccio yang dibubuhkan ikura serta ponzu dressing dengan bubuhan truffle oil yang khas. Nikmat tiada tara!

Lalu bagaimana dengan hidangan utamanya?

Unatama don
Unatama don

Kali ini pilihan saya begitu simple sekaligus hearty. Nah apa lagi kalau bukan unatama donburi? Porsi besar nasi serta belut dengan onsen tamago tersaji dengan eloknya. Telur yang begitu runny ini lalu membasahi seantero hidangan dengan cantiknya dan terjadilah percampuran rasa yang tiada tara lezatnya. Meskipun ada sedikit dominasi rasa asin di sini, tapi masuknya rasa manis dari belut turut menyeimbangkan keseluruhan sajian ini.

Chocolate mousse plated dessert
Chocolate mousse plated dessert
Sorbet (beetroot, pineapple, yuzu)
Sorbet (beetroot, pineapple, yuzu)
Green tea custard with azuki and mochi
Green tea custard with azuki and mochi

Terakhir tentunya adalah dessert. Beruntung saya berkesempatan mencoba plated dessert dengan chocolate mousse sebagai bahan utamanya. Selain itu, terdapat juga berbagai pilihan sorbet dengan rasa beetroot, pineapple, serta yuzu. Namun salah satu yang juara juga adalah green sundae yang merupakan penggabungan custard dari teh hijau, butiran azuki, serta mochi.

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OKU
Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
Jalan MH Thamrin, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.2358.3896

Opening hours:
Daily, 12pm – 3pm (lunch), 6pm – 10.30pm (dinner)

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On My Plate: Chef Susanto – The Street Food Lover (FOODIES, Mar 2016)

Meeting up with chefs can be a lot of fun. Talking about what they cook every day and what are the challenges in their line of duty can be inspirational, but what about if the chefs are talking about how foodie they are in real life?

Chef Susanto (1)

Chef Susanto – Grand Hyatt Jakarta’s Chef de Cuisine of Grand Café, was all into street food and other forms of comfort food. Despite him growing up with big hotels since his first gig at Menara Peninsula and to The Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan Jakarta, The Monarch Dubai, Century Park Hotel Jakarta, and now at Grand Hyatt Jakarta; he does not forget at all about his foodie roots.

Chef Susanto is well-versed with hidden street food around Jakarta and other cities, as well as explaining about why are these certain hawkers that he chooses have distinctive advantages than the rest.

At the end of the day, his choice rests upon the smoky chicken satay – the most beloved of night street food and commonly found in many corners of neighborhoods across Indonesia.

“The best part came from the thigh – which is naturally the richest but also meaty part of the chicken, and it has to come also with the fat! Grill it right and have it your way with the peanut sauce. Nothing beats that!”, proudly he tells us all about how he glorifies this beautiful national dish.

While soto Betawi comes next after the satay, he also mentions other places where he would love to spend time at and apparently some of them are iconic.

“Ragusa’s ice cream is enjoyable, albeit the flavors feel very classic. However, what I am lamenting most is the fact that Tan Goei has been closed forever”, he explains.

Yes, it was a sad moment as well for me personally but I was lucky to visit it one time last year before it closes indefinitely.

As the sunlight wanes, our conversation moves on to cheerier topic once more and this time, it’s all about mie ayam, nasi goreng, soto, and so on.

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Featured in FOODIES Mar 2016 edition

EAT: The Hook (JAX, Mar 2016)

Anchors aweigh! We are now sailing for a wild seafood treat at The Hook!

The Hook (1)

The Hook, as the name suggested, has many things you always wanted from a seafood restaurant. Located conveniently across the famous Blok S square, the restaurant rests comfortably on an intersection between the busy Jalan Suryo and Cikatomas. It has the all needed sunny large windows surrounding the laid back atmosphere inside. It is as if you are retreating to seek solace, away from all the commotions on Jakarta’s streets.

Initially I thought that The Hook might be another version of Fish & Co. or Manhattan Fish Market. Apparently it is not. While there is a fish and chips on the menu, the restaurant actually employs an immense use of grouper fish in different presentations. The grouper or some might more familiar with the term garoupa fish, is exclusively provided from a farm at a remote island on the pristine waters of Arafura Sea – far to the eastern part of Indonesia.

The Hook (3)

Heading straight to the food, start with something fresh and light such as the grilled prawn schasclik smeared with beautiful BBQ sauce or perhaps the fish roll satay served with chili dipping sauce. They are both appetizing and will certainly refresh you for the next course.

The Hook (2)

One among the signature dishes at The Hook is the steamed humpback grouper. Steamed fish retains much of the nutrition with the original taste and texture of the fish itself. It was made savory and delectable after a good marination process and receiving further treatments from the delicate soy sauce with herbs.

The Hook (6)

While at it, treat yourself also with other fine creations from The Hook such as the grilled Emperor grouper, grouper steamboat with vegetables, the deep fried grouper ribs withrica-rica, and more from other fruits of the sea such as lobster Thermidor, stir-fried black pepper Papuan crab eaten with mantao, and even the grouper head with turmeric fish broth.

The Hook (4)

With the garoupa playing the central role here, it does sound interesting and appealing. If you are keen, let us sail together for The Hook!

The Hook (5)

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THE HOOK
Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Cikatomas II no. 35, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: +62.21.2970.4981

Opening hours:
Daily, 10am – 10pm (Sun-Thu), 10am – 12am (Fri-Sat)

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/the-hook/

The All New Three Flavors for Meat Lovers from PHD

Tidak cukup dengan Meat Lovers yang selama ini menjadi primadona penggemarnya, PHD kini memperkenalkan variasi Meat Lovers dengan tiga jenis saus dasar berbeda dan pinggiran baru yang tidak kalah serunya!

PHD 1

Siapa sih yang selama ini belum pernah menjamah kenikmatan Meat Lovers dari PHD? Sebagai salah satu menu paling legendaris sejak masa Pizza Hut berdiri pertama kali, kehadiran PHD turut mempopulerkan pizza yang menggiurkan ini.

Sulit untuk tidak mengenali satu loyang pizza hangat yang dipenuhi dedagingan ini. Berbagai macam topping seperti sosis sapi, smoked beef, daging cincang, beef burger, dan keju mozzarella mewarnai keseruan Meat Lovers dengan saus pizza klasiknya.

Nah, inovasi terbaru dari PHD yang baru-baru ini diperkenalkan adalah Meat Lovers dengan tiga pilihan saus dasar baru sebagai opsi pengganti saus tomat tradisionalnya.

PHD 5

Sebut saja tiga base sauce menggiurkan seperti HONEY BBQ yang kental dengan rasa smoky sekaligus asam, gurih, dan manis secara bersamaan – nah, ini adalah favorit saya pribadi!

Selain itu ada juga CHEESY MAYO dengan rasa yang begitu kaya dan tebal, serta yang ketiga adalah SPICY TOMATO – sebuah saus yang begitu terinspirasi kesuksesan pizza kesukaan pribadi saya yaitu Hawaiian Chicken. Saus gurih dengan rasa dominan tomat ini disertai tingkat kepedasan yang membuat saya terus menggali satu loyang Meat Lovers tanpa henti!

PHD 4

Kalau kesulitan harus memilih yang mana, kenapa takut untuk memilih semuanya sekaligus seperti yang saya coba waktu itu? Layaknya berbagai panganan seru lainnya untuk mengisi waktu sambil menonton film, berkumpul keluarga atau ketika terjebak di kantor saat menanti macetnya Jakarta, pasti lebih mantap bila Meat Lovers disantap beramai-ramai!

Rupanya selain ketiga saus dasar ini, PHD tidak ketinggalan mengenalkan kreasi terbarunya yaitu SAUSAGE PASTRY CRUST yang tersedia untuk semua jenis pizza dan semua ukuran!

PHD 2

Pinggiran puff pastry yang berisi sosis ini lalu ditaburi dengan tambahan keju parmesan. Ya, keju parmesan yang selalu menjadi idola saya sejak masa-masa saya bersantap di Pizza Hut dulu kini tampil menggoda. Tidak hanya sebagai penambah warna namun juga sebagai penambah kelezatan sang pizza! Tentunya, tambahan keju parmesan juga dapat dipesan terpisah.

Jadi tunggu apa lagi? Bermalam minggu panjang kali ini bakalan tambah seru dengan kehadiran Meat Lovers – tanda cinta sepanjang masa dari PHD. Nantikan pengiriman gesitnya yang 30 menit dan pastikan akhir pekan kalian pasti menjadi lebih berwarna!

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*Harga dimulai dari IDR 75,000 untuk Meat Lovers dan tambahan IDR 20,000 untuk Sausage Pastry Crust ukuran reguler

*Saus yang tersaji terpisah seperti yang terlihat di foto hanya bersifat sebagai penggambaran bentuk saus dasar pizza tersebut

*Saus dasar tidak dapat dipesan secara terpisah ataupun sebagai tambahan

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PHD
Halal certified
Delivery and takeaway only. Dine-in only available on selected outlets.

Phone: +62 21 1500 600

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The Classics: Bandoengsche Melk Centrale (FOODIES, Mar 2016)

Follow us as we trace return to the olden days where Bandung became the center of the whole Indonesia, known for its milk and butter produced by its foremost proponent – Bandoengsche Melk Centrale.

There is probably only one in Indonesia so far, a milk producer with a long history, decades before the independence day of the country and still exists until now.

Bandoengsche Melk Centrale (BMC) came all the way since 1928 and became the country’s first and foremost milk producer – starting since the Dutch colonial era, imperial Japanese, and now privatized by Indonesian government.

Like coffee, the existence of milk in Indonesia came from the Dutch colonialists. Only this time, it was the South African Boers who came all the way here and settled themselves on the heights of Lembang – a highly suitable terrain to start dairy farming.

The effort was supported by the colonial government, which in turn imported cows from Frisia, a province in The Netherlands known traditionally for its dairy products. Even as of today, the crossover breed between cows from Frisia and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany retains its reputation as world’s most productive dairy cattle.

Of all the dairy farms in Lembang back on those days until this very day, they distribute the dairy products freshly on regular basis to Bandoengsche Melk Centrale.

Traditionally pasteurized and sterilized, the milk has since become the initial flavor for mainly the citizens of Bandung. The company enjoyed its heyday during colonial government era and it was known to many that the current BMC director of that period boasted the importance of BMC for the whole Dutch Indies or one would prefer the name as Nusantara nowadays.

However, the turbulent times came ahead since the Japanese took over the control of Indonesia. It was even recorded that the early years of Indonesian government marked the declining era of BMC. Left as it is, BMC had to survive with old equipments and limited resources until it finally went into “coma” for around two decades.

My recent visit was of course, very nostalgic. Remembering my childhood and my college days visiting this place evokes a lot of memories. There’s always a heartwarming sensation whenever I paired a glass of iced sweetened fresh milk with toast or French fries and sausage. It’s the same ritual that my family used to do whenever we visited this place back then or any milk cafes in Lembang.

Today, the menu lineup of BMC becomes more formidable than ever. The decades spent on perfecting the milk came to realization with immense selections like this. If you are up for the sourest taste and with more health benefits, BMC also has the kefir.

If you are the traditionalists, then you should opt for the plain milk or yogurt. However, the best choice that I made last time was the grape yogurt with homemade vanilla ice cream and it was such a divine choice to accompany the nibbles.

In the end, it was ultimately the long legacy of the business that saves the day. BMC has been reorganized several times until now and it remains Bandung’s pride and joy as an establishment that encompasses more than just milk and yogurt. It is also a place to enjoy local fares, coffee, and also as a bakery.

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BANDOENGSCHE MELK CENTRALE
Halal-friendly
Suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Aceh no. 30, Bandung – Indonesia

T: +62.22.420.4595

Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10.30pm

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Featured in FOODIES Mar 2016 edition

The exciting gastronomic escapades of a stylish gourmet!

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