A few weeks after my visit to Java Bleu, I often wondering about other French bistros around the J-Town. The population is small but certainly not diminishing! Fans are still around and they even let these elegant genre of food ripped them off but made them happy nonetheless. No matter how bad the experience, they might gonna proudly say, ‘I’ve been to a French restaurant!’. Good for them then! But for me, it won’t be that simple.
It was sunny day that day and I was invited for a workshop from a certain chocolatier named Laurent Bernard from France in Emilie. He’s the master of chocolate so they called. Opened up his choco cafe back in Singapore and now he’s gonna counsel us about how to make a good, simple chocolate praline and ganache.
But first thing first, it’s the lunchtime at Emilie!
I was seated among other journalists in a table for four. It was an exciting moment when for the first time I exchanged gestures with people of immense experience in journalism and one of them turns out to be Mr. Burhan Abe, ex editor-in-chief of Appetite Journey. I remembered that I used to apply as a freelance contributor there but then again, it was not a masterful move if I got myself admitted since they’re now closed. For good..
Also I was seated with Ms. Emi, an Indonesian journalist and a blogger based in Japan. Also another blogger named Rere arrived afterwards. So over lunch, we were all engaged in conversations about what we do daily. Not wholly about food though. The thing is, that workshop was designed wholly for bloggers and not necessarily about foodie bloggers but also about home and living.
We were served with lunch first before heading for the workshop. Emilie has graciously served us a lunch set of what they called Menu Du Dejeuner, the creation of Chef de Cuisine Ivan Duchene. Foremost, as a teaser, I was served the usual bread and butter. It’s just ordinary, perhaps because it’s not warm anymore but luckily not long after that, the first dish of the course arrived. Le Salade Cesar.
The salad was good though mainly consists of lettuces with thinly sliced cheese and vinaigrette dressing. Alongside of the salad, a very big prawn, sautéed, teasing me. I had high hopes about this certain prawn and I used the small knife to cut through nice and easy. It’s big enough for 3-4 times of small chews but the taste was strange. I feel as if the prawn’s not fresh, but it’s not smelly. The taste was strange as well and thanks to the lettuces, it appears the flaws from the prawn can be disguised somehow.
The main dish for the lunch would be what they called Le Poulet. It’s a roasted chicken breast, savory jus, and mashed potato. I figure out that since this is a free event therefore the cheapest course will be using chicken. There’s no way events like this, if we’re not paying a dime, will use lamb or even beef. As for the taste, the chicken proved to be a bit less than satisfactory. I appreciate the effort where they pulled all the bones to give us this bare breast and although the jus was there to help the chicken, it’s not worth the effort.
I felt a bit strange seeing the sidekick of the dish. It’s the sauteed spätzle and mushroom with foams. The last time I had a spätzle dish was in Mama’s German Restaurant in Bandung and no matter how boring the taste, it’s still better than this one. Spätzle is, most likely judging from the spell, originated from German/Austria/Swiss alike. In short, it’s the pasta of those countries but not necessarily cultured like in Italy. In this dish, it tastes so weird and makes me hoping in an instant that I was better off served with carrots or beans instead of this strange mixture of foamy spätzle and mushrooms.
Thank God that the mashed potato and the thin potato chips tasted good! I liked the design of the dish by the way. The mashed potato was lined thinly cutting through the plate and it’s probably the best thing on it also aside from the very ordinary chicken and the weirdo, spätzle I mean.
What’s good left and the last chance would be the dessert, Les Profiteroles. I had to say that I was thinking highly of Java Bleu’s profiteroles and I assume that Emilie would do exactly the same to appease my standard. Here in Emilie, the choux pastries were a bit bitter and no matter how warm and good the dark chocolate sauce was, the dish failed to deliver itself for my contentment.
Though I know that Java Bleu mostly serves hearty, countryside dishes adapted with Indonesian size. Should be big, tasty, and not too expensive.
On the other hand here in Emilie, it’s completely different. Emilie emphasizes on the presentation. French dishes may be complex in its presentation and preparation in which we have to appreciate. But then again, no matter how small the size or the portion, people will always wonder inside their minds about the taste. They may become hypocrites when they say, ‘It’s beautiful!’ but inside, they’re yearning and swearing. So once again, gastronomy is a very hard thing to do for just ordinary people. I have to be balance but also unforgiving here.
I was forced to leave in a hurry manner since the Laurent Bernard’s class is about to begin. It’s too bad that I can’t really feel everything about this place. Further research needs to be done in the future. Chef Ivan Duchene actually has many things else behind his sleeves. I have to admit that everything’s here is beautiful but you need to work on the taste, Chef. I’ll be sure to come here again later and ‘force’ you to show what you got from all those years of experiences.
Ah by the way, the Laurent Bernard chocolate workshop? I’ll tell you later about it. ^^
Jalan Senopati no. 39, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta – 12910
RSVP : 021 – 521 36 26
Chef: Ivan Duchene.
Halal Meter: Imported meats but no lards at all. Some pork dishes but available for substitution.
Ambience & Interior: Conversational. The restaurant decorated with elegance and luxury. Hidden behind the bushes and making it very comfortable and a quiet haven from the busyness and noise from Jalan Senopati. The VIP rooms upstairs are nice with a superb and warm kitchen for cooking class.
Service: Neatly dressed, friendly and knowledgeable about the elements in the dishes.
Pricing: A La Carte Entrees IDR 70,000-IDR 300,000, Poissons & Crustaces IDR 220,000-IDR 310,000, Viandes IDR 280,000-IDR 790,000; Dejeuner 2 Plats IDR 240,000, 3 Plats IDR 300,000; Decouverte Discovery Menu IDR 820,000, Wine Pairing IDR 680,000; Desserts IDR 50,000-IDR 90,000
Recommended Dishes: I wouldn’t recommend anything for now.
Reservation: Recommended for dinner especially weekends.
Operating Hours: Daily 11.30 AM to 10.30 PM.
Payment Methods: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards.