AB Steak: The Haven for Steak Aficionados

Staying true to the roots while continuously expanding his visionary F&B empire across the globe, the Korean chef Akira Back opened AB Steak just last year and has since garnered rave reviews. As for what makes the steakhouse really special, let’s find out.

Following the huge success of Akira Back Indonesia – the chef’s first restaurant in Jakarta, there’s no way for Chef Akira but to move forward from here. The untapped potentials and endless curiosity of Jakarta’s diners sparked the brave move and at the same time making Jakarta among the few cities in the world with more than one Akira Back’s restaurant.

Akira Back Indonesia itself has set the bar very high in the competition, thanks to its highly consistent quality as well as service. It is only natural that the crowd would expect the same from AB Steak and our visit there last time exceeded all the expectations.

AB Steak by Chef Akira Back is a revolutionary restaurant that incorporates the American-style of steakhouse imbued with lush Korean flairs. The restaurant offers a new level of dining experience not just for gourmet food seekers but for true steak aficionados as well.

As one can see from menu, already AB Steak has prepared a complete lineup of in-house dry aged beef from 30 days and up to 120 days. The dry aging method is very much preferred nowadays in many steakhouses all over the world. The process itself makes the flavor more concentrated and at times, giving away unique characteristics like for example the taste of aged cheese and the pleasant meaty texture.

The best part of the dining experience here is when the chef themselves visits your dining table personally and grill the meat in front of the guests. The cut of your choice was previously trimmed to minute details and then brushed with garlic oil to give that glossy good look. After that, it is simply rubbed only with salt and pepper, no marination needed. The steak then grilled to perfection, sliced, and ready to be enjoyed – optionally using six different salts with different flavors from truffles, yuja, yuzu, Sriracha, garlic, and the Himalayan salt.

As for the steaks, diners are encouraged to traverse across different cuts of meat. Choices of the premium cuts are ranging from grass-fed wagyu of NY strip or skirt steak and up to the luxurious Ohmi short ribs or Chateau Uenae’s Hokkaido “Snow” California cut. The must-try came from the lineup of in-house dry aged meat selections such as the 45 days or 90 days old porterhouse, the excellent and juicy 21 days old “Picanha”, and the exquisite Spinalis Dorsi or the crème a la crème of the ribs.

The more pronounced Korean part also appears from the starters and side dishes sections. Among our most memorable was the Chilean blue mussels with wagyu meatballs, and accompanied with crispy tteokbokki – all dressed in gochujang butter sauce. Other than that the Tuna Yukke was presented neatly with cucumber and scallion muchim and decorated with seaweed bugak and sesame sauce. The mind-blowing appetizer goes for the bone marrow, perfectly roasted and paired with beef tartare made from wagyu, served on toasted brioche.

One of the best accompanying dishes for the steaks is the roasted Brussels sprout with garlic confit and the crispy rice puffs. Another interesting choice would be the bibimbap with foie gras, poached egg, mixed vegetables, short ribs, with the always delectable gochujang sauce.

Chef Akira himself is no stranger in the world’s top class fine-dining scene. It all started with years of his upbringing as a professional chef, and even previously as an athlete, in the United States. Not only in Dallas, Las Vegas, and Toronto; Chef Akira Back has already now spread his business across to Asia – from Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Hanoi, Jakarta, to as far as New Delhi. DOSA in Seoul is among his highly successful restaurants which was opened just mere two years ago and was already awarded with one Michelin star in 2017.


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/ab-steak—the-haven-for-steak-aficionados

Photography is courtesy of AB Steak

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Chef Marco Lim: Indonesia’s Envoy of Padang Peranakan Cuisine

Passion meets the man behind the renowned Padang Peranakan restaurant Marco by Chef Marco Lim. The executive chef himself shares us stories behind his love for food and the mission to expand abroad.

It has been a long time, Chef Marco! What are you currently preparing for your restaurant these days?

This Ramadan we have prepared a new set menu – the Nasi Padang Berjamaah. Inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, we are serving our own take of nasi kebuli using the rice from Solok, West Sumatra. It has similar characteristics – a bit elongated and not sticky. Much like basmati rice.

We are also pairing the rice with kambing kurma. This dish is very popular in Pandangpanjang, especially during Ramadan. Traditionally, it doesn’t use any dates at all as the name implies, and the green color came from the use of coriander. The dish comes in family portion. It’s something like what we call in West Sumatra as makan bajamba – the time of the year after harvest when people gather and eat to celebrate.

What makes Marco different than the rest of the competitions?

I’d like to think that the restaurant is more of a mixture between authentic Padang cuisine and my Chinese inheritance – or Peranakan. The food is what my family cooks back at my home in Padang for four generations now. For example, we have in the menu – dendeng cah pade, my grandmother’s version of dendeng cah darek from Bukittinggi.

Other than the flavors, I also make sure that the colors and aroma are the same as what we have back in Padang. That’s why the ingredients are brought here fresh from the country – starting from the rice, chilies, turmeric, and even the crackers. For Ramadan, we are importing about a ton of ingredients!

As for the cooking process, we are still using traditional wood-fire stoves at the central kitchen. This way, you can even sense that the aroma is different than when cooked using modern stove. The meat itself becomes smoky. That’s how we devoted ourselves for authenticity.

You also have several different concepts within your already established restaurants. Care to elaborate that?

Sure. Based on the demographics study, we decided to open our first coffee shop concept at Gandaria City. There we emphasize more on beverage and snacks. As for the main dishes, they are instead served like a rice bowl.

We have secret menus as well. For example, our dendeng batokok is using wagyu rather than the usual beef but only at Pacific Place. Additionally, we have our mie goreng rendang only for delivery orders. You really should try the latter. It was our best seller during one of our missions with the Tourism Ministry back in South Korea.

About your collaborations with the ministry, can you tell us a bit about it?

We did several trips with the ministry to promote Indonesian food to South Africa, The States, South Korea, and Spain a while back. Madrid was an exciting opportunity especially. We were given the opportunity to serve a 7-course Padang-style dinner.

We even brought around 125 kilograms of ingredients from here! Only the three of us did the whole cooking and plating for a gala dinner a lot of guests. We also prepared about 600 sticks of sate Padang. After that, I was also given the opportunity to teach about Indonesian food at a local university.

We heard that Marco is planning to expand abroad. Can you tell us about it?

Yes, we have plans to open new restaurants in Bali and Kuala Lumpur. We are still in the middle of planning it properly. My major concern is how to retain the authenticity of our ingredients and transport it abroad. The restaurant’s concept would be similar though. We are still going to serve our dishes in their original form and taste, all freshly cooked. We are planning to open our first restaurant abroad hopefully in 2019.


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/indonesias-envoy-of-padang-peranakan-cuisine-

Photography by Edwin Pangestu

Meracik Kopi Menggunakan Clever Dripper

Seorang Mira Yudhawati meski tidak memiliki espresso machine di rumahnya, ia tetaplah tipe seseorang yang meracik kopinya sendiri di berbagai kesempatan. Baik ketika di rumahnya saat akhir pekan bersama keluarga dan hari-hari di kantornya. Bahkan juga ketika menjadi penumpang pesawat di sela-sela perjalanannya keliling dunia sebagai juri kompetisi kopi internasional.

Selain menyukai kopi-kopi berjenis single origin, Mira juga melengkapi hobinya dengan berbagai alat yang memungkinkannya meracik kopi kapan saja. “Kalau aku sehari-hari bawa penggiling kopi biasanya merek Comandante. Masih jadi favorit dan yang terbaik. Permukaan kayunya tidak bikin licin saat dipegang dan hasil gilingannya presisi”, aku Mira.

Tapi Mira mengakui kalau saat traveling tidak juga selalu harus membawa alat giling. “Minimal aku bawa QBag atau Clever Dripper. Nanti tinggal seduh di kamar hotel atau bahkan saat di pesawat tinggal minta air panas”, begitu sahutnya.

Soal ngopi di pesawat menurutnya jadi keharusan tersendiri tertama untuk perjalanan jauh. “Cranky juga bawaannya kalau tidak ngopi misalnya perjalanan jauh ke Eropa atau Amerika. Tapi wangi-wangi kopi yang saya seduh malah bikin orang lain menengok ke saya!”, ujarnya sambil tertawa.

Kopi favoritnya dari Caswell’s adalah Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Untuk produk lokalnya sendiri ada kopi Aceh dan khususnya Jawa Barat yang sedang naik daun belakangan ini. Intinya bagi Mira, ia suka kopi yang bercitarasa ringan tapi memiliki karakter-karakter unik.

Kali ini ia berbagi preferensi pribadinya dalam meracik kopi dengan menggunakan Clever Dripper.

CARA SEDUH DENGAN CLEVER DRIPPER

  1. Untuk menyeduh kopi, gunakan air bertemperatur antara 89C – 92C. Menurut Mira, maksimal boleh di 96C dan rata-rata orang menggunakan air di 94C. Suhu terlalu tinggi akan memberikan rasa terbakar pada kopinya.
  2. Misalkan tidak ada indikator suhu pada pemanas air, didihkan air dan biarkan sekitar tiga menit agar suhu turun terlebih dahulu. Begitupun bilamendidihkan air menggunakan kompor.
  3. Gunakan rasio standar 1:15. Mira menggunakan kopi 10 gram dan airsebanyak 150 ml. Meskipun ada kalanya rasio ini bisa berubah-ubah tergantung dari karakter kopinya.
  4. Karena menggunakan Clever Dripper, proses menjadi lebih simpelketika penyeduhan. Cukup pastikan semua kopi rata dengan air dan biarkan selama 4 menit setelah selesai menuangkan air.
  5. Pindahkan Clever Dripper ke atas gelas dan selanjutnya kopi akan menetes sendiri hingga selesai.
  6. Nikmati perbedaan karakter kopi saat dinikmati selepas diseduh dan ketika sudah agak dingin.

Selamat mencoba!


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/meracik-kopi-menggunakan-clever-dripper?searched=clever

Mira Yudhawati: Gaining Knowledge Through Competitions (Passion, Apr 2018)

There’s always a lot to learn from the coffee industry, especially nowadays. The one we’re sitting with today is Mira Yudhawati, among the most esteemed personas in Indonesian coffee world. She shares us a story about her life as a world competition judge and as someone who sets her hope high for Indonesian coffee.

How’s your story with Caswell’s at the beginning?

I started to work for the company in 2008. Back then, Caswell’s was already known as Indonesia’s first specialty coffee business. Even back when coffee has not yet reached the level of appreciation like today, Caswell’s had already sent its people all over the globe for symposiums and competitions. We have our first Indonesian barista from here competing in WBC, or even judges for international competitions. The company’s reputation was among the main reasons I joined here at the first place.

How’s the transition so far after the acquisition for you?

As of now, I am still entrusted by the company as the General Manager. Since the takeover by BonCafe, we’re still pretty much the same as family – only bigger. Instead of focusing only for coffee like we did since 1998, Caswell’s is now a one-stop hub beverage company.

So, other than managing only specialty coffee beans, machines, and classes; we are taking care of other products such as smoothies, juices, tea, and many more – especially for wholesales. Currently I am still adjusting to a new culture, which is both challenging and very exciting.

Can you explain a bit about the Q Grader certification and how people often relate it to you? 

Q Grader certification was first held in Indonesia back in 2009 and yes, I was among the first Indonesians who received the title. But I was actually not the pioneering Indonesian woman who got the certification. Perhaps people mistook that with me being the first Indonesian woman appointed as an international WBC (World Barista Championship) judge.

As a Q grader, we are certified for certain technicalities in coffee business. However that does not automatically makes us qualified to be an international judge. Even so, being a Q grader, you have privileges while being tested as an international judge. For example, we get to skip certain questions that are reserved only for those who have not yet attained their Q grader certification.

Can you share us some of your stories being an international judge?

Well, I have just recently returned from a competition in Haikou, China. As an international judge, there will be invitation from time to time and I am very grateful for these opportunities.

I think the most exciting part from the competitions is when meeting other judges from around the world and to share with them anything new about coffee. Even myself as a judge, I always started with a clean slate whenever I’m on duty testing baristas from all over the world with their skills and presentation.

You get to learn so much from barista – what kind of coffee they bring, how they brew it, new techniques, and their presentation skills. It’s an amazing feeling to taste great coffee in accord with their presentations. World class baristas are playing for keeps. They prepare for everything months ahead the competition and that’s what makes them champions.

What about the local competitions? 

I am actually among the co-founders of BGI (Barista Guild of Indonesia). We collaborate with traders and many parties to help nurture the quality of the baristas through competitions. Usually we are entrusted to organize local competitions and I would usually help as the head judge.

It’s great to see the quality of our competitions and the baristas nowadays. Back then, everybody started from scratch so we had to learn through trial-and-error. I remember the time when baristas actually presented their coffee by mixing it with raw eggs, curry powders, and even rose petals!

Now we are happy to see that the standards are there and competitions are held in many places with contestants coming even from rural towns. I do think we have a bright future ahead.

Speaking of which, with the rise of es kopi susu trend, even I observe that Indonesian market share is still so huge that everyone could actually get their share in it. It’s going to be interesting to see what will happen next with our coffee world here.


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/mira-yudhawati—gaining-knowledge-through-competitions-?searched=mira

Gaggan is the Number One of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2018

Gaggan in Bangkok claims the No.1 spot for a fourth consecutive year, retaining the dual titles of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and The Best Restaurant in Thailand.  Gaggan Anand’s eponymous Bangkok restaurant debuted on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2014, rising to No.7 last year.

The winning chefs and restaurateurs celebrate at the sixth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, at Wynn Palace, Macau.

The 2018 edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list boasts nine Thailand entries, including newcomer Paste (No.31), headed by Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun, who is also named Best Female Chef 2018. Other returning Bangkok favorites within the top 20 include Sühring (rising nine places to No.4), Nahm (No.10) and Le Du (rising 23 entries to No.14).

The 2018 list includes eight new entries, with Japan claiming 11 restaurants. You can discover the full list here.

The exciting gastronomic escapades of a foodie journo!

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