Please note that some of the venues may serve alcohol or non-halal ingredients.
THE OPENING OF PEPPER LUNCH’S LATEST STORE WITH INDONESIAN FOODBLOGGERS at CITOS, JAKARTA
Openings may be a common thing for my fellow food bloggers but certainly not for the group I recently encountered. They’re the Indonesian Foodbloggers (IDFB) and this group comprises of mothers and aficionados on hands-on cooking as well as those who excite upon exchanging delicious recipes of homemade food.
Although largely active in Facebook and has many members, the prominent people of this group came by for their first ever food tasting at Pepper Lunch and Boga Group apparently approached them for a long-term cooperation.
At first it was pretty awkward for me because my current group, The F Biters, is filled with younger generation of food enthusiasts while this one is demographically different in age. But I mingled quick with some of the members and even talked about how we could get along for future plans. Speaking of which, our next encounter would happen again around late April and it will be about a cooking class at Ten Ten – Plaza Indonesia, another project with Boga Group seemingly.
By the way, Pepper Lunch’s new branch at Citos has this new look of blackwashed walls with chalk writings. It’s quite refreshing and it did filled in quickly with hungry customers. In terms of taste, consistency has become the main key of success for this particular franchise from Singapore and both me alongside my wife has been enjoying our times semi-cooking the dishes. Additionally from our usual beef rice and salmon rice, we also tasted Pepper Lunch’s new red velvet cake, came in small but fulfilling.
It was an enjoyable brunch as I again having the privilege of getting to know new bloggers and especially, another visit to Pepper Lunch which has always been a personal pleasure anytime and anywhere.
DAILY MARKET EXPRESS LUNCH – INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL JAKARTA
>>> AVAILABLE NOW!
Intercontinental Hotel Jakarta (IHJ) has made several clever initiatives to absorb the dining needs of potential market around the premise. For instance, its pub bar Bacchus and its bakery Deli have now presented live cooking stations of noodles and pasta for quick lunch. Much to my amazement, this concept has proven to be successful as I witnessed a full house during lunch and even some of the patrons were my former colleagues of neighboring building.
With Java as IHJ’s all-day dining restaurant under renovation, the heaviest weight now goes to Scusa which has to cater not only its Italian concept dining but also the breakfast to dinner spreads. Even so, an angle of creativity was conceived and Scusa now offers its patrons a daily changing menu of express lunch.
With most of the dishes inspired by Italian cuisine and served under 45 minutes or less, the promotion becomes a new way of having your lunch smart with no fuss of going back and forth the buffets like in most all-day dining restaurants. The food is of course made from freshest ingredients available that day (hence the word ‘market’), daily-changing which makes it very exciting, and comprises of two-course or three-course (including dessert).
Appetizers of the day may start from beef carpaccio with avocado, shaved parmesan and mixed lettuce, Greek salad, wild mushroom soup or cannellini beans soup, heading next to Milanese veal with saffron risotto and red wine sauce, pan-seared sea bass fillet with sauteed vegetables, linguine with tuna puttanesca or any pasta and meat options for the main course, until you end it with great desserts such as banana spring roll with marinated fruits and yogurt, pistacchio ice cream, lemon sorbet, tiramisu or fresh fruits platter. All changes daily and at the end of your lunch you get to play an instant lucky draw for privileges during your next visit to Scusa. Indeed this has become more interesting than ever.
My first ever experience with express lunch was to savor the freshness of lightly seared tuna, which my wife really fond of a lot, with salad of julienned vegetables, tomato salsa and micro greens. The other option for appetizer that day was a not-too-finely blended cappellini white beans soup. It kinda reminds me of bubur kacang hijau in a way due to its rather coarse texture and somewhat similar in flavor, but Chef Wawan later explained that the whole mission is to give the sense of beans in a soup to those who eat it and he did accomplish it well. For me, I could really use more savory spirit but for European tongues, the soup will be more than suffice.
For the main course, I openly admired both of the dishes of beef involtini (asparagus, Fontina cheese, and beef wrapped in bacon then seared lightly) with Tuscan style of potatoes, huge asparagus, and delicious foie gras emulsion and the other dish was seared salmon medallion with mashed potato, broccolini which is quite rarely used, and tomato chutney. The main course is a phase when everything gets peaked and it was a successful accomplishment back at Scusa. I often found that the particular chart of deliciousness sometimes decline drastically in some restaurants at this stage, leaving only the appetizers as the best part of the whole course, but certainly not here!
I love the fact that the beef involtini possessed smokey scent similar of grilled sausage but effortlessly undemanding of much spices as it was already fulfilling. Meanwhile, the salmon was also fresh, not a single fishy scent came up, and it blended well with the soft texture of mashed potato and the sour-y freshness of tomato chutney. These dishes appeared simple but it was delicately put in balance. I had fun a lot with the main course!
For the dessert, actually I preferred the crisp caramelized apples with vanilla sauce and mixed berries compote instead of the peach sorbet. It was actually a loss for those who only took the peach sorbet as the caramelized apples dessert was not only delicious but much more delicately satisfying. You’d experience layers of flavors from the comforting sweetness of caramelized apple with a hint of sourness and also the freshness of the compote with a bonus of good tuile. The desserts were actually beautiful in terms of presentation, but the sorbet was a bit too ordinary even thought it’s refreshed your palate good as well.
Guess what? During the lunch both me and my wife drew lucky draws of 50% discount on appetizer and main course. With this quality, I’d really love to go back and try more from the menu. Looking forward!
Scusa – Intercontinental Hotel Jakarta
Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta
RSVP & Info: +126.96.36.19988
Monday – Friday 11.30 am – 2.30 pm
Two course: IDR 145,000++
Three course: IDR 170,000++