Category Archives: Jakarta

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

Burgreens Express – One Step Closer to Live Healthily (Passion, Mar 2018)

As one among the pioneers who introduce healthy food and lifestyle in Jakarta, Burgreens has become a business that grows closer than ever with its patrons. One vital move to achieve that was its re-branding into Burgreens Express. So what’s the difference with the Burgreens we used to know? Let’s find out about it.

With a noble vision to begin with, Burgreens wants to share everyone its colorful approach of healthy living while also provides a degree of convenience and reachability for its customers. Burgreens is indeed a mission-driven restaurant business with an elaborated plant-based menu and collaborates with local farmers and women to produce healthy and sustainable food by also staying responsible with the supply chain.

In terms of food, the chef proprietor Max Mandias himself spoke with me personally a few years back. He wanted all of us to know that healthy food can also be made delicious. It was a grinding process of trial and error which culminates into Burgreens now having a solid lineup of inventive dishes. Among my personal favorite – the “Greenogiri Platter”, comprises of brown rice onigiri filled with spiced tempeh and accompanied with oyster mushroom skewer cooked with fruit-based teriyaki sauce and on the side is salad with wafu dressing.

Another signature dish from Burgreens is the “Mini Quarto” – four mini burgers with four different flavors. Or perhaps you might want to try Chef Max’s favorite – the “Tempeh Gomashio”. This one has the all the goodness of tempeh patties with cashew pesto and covered with homemade gomashio seasonings. It is served on a bed of organic mixed salad with mushrooms. The vegan hot dog is also an interesting choice. The sausage is made from chickpeas, tofu, and seitan (“wheat-meat”) and wrapped in whole wheat bun, homemade BBQ sauce, vegan mayo, mustard, and chopped pickles and onions.

With their restaurants originally located deep in residential areas, Burgreens realized that the vision to provide reachability for everyone might be compromised. It was then decided that Burgreens should be re-branded and start opening up outlets at shopping malls and business areas. They believe that the new concept can cater more demanding, fast-paced Jakartans who are always in the search for something good and healthy. But in terms of menu, Burgreens stays faithful with the old lineup and continuously creating something new and exciting.

Since October 2016, the flagship Burgreens Express outlet was opened in the vicinity of Dharmawangsa – a strategic decision to approach the upmarket and health-conscious crowd of South Jakarta. Furthermore, Burgreens is also creating events like clean-eating talkshows and cooking demos, educational activities at schools, and also the catering services.

Additionally, Burgreens was also participating in events such as the Namaste Festival and YogFest at Taman Menteng or the Paw Day at Taman Langsat which was organized by Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN). Burgreens was also co-creating Pasar Semesta – a festival celebrating health, local and natural products, diversity, and sustainability. The event lasted for two days at Burgreens Express Dharmawangsa and attracted more than 800 visitors.

Despite the fact that healthy food market is not that big yet to begin with, still Burgreens does not want to compromise quality. Burgreens co-owners Chef Max and wife Helga Angelina prefer to think that their biggest competition is to actually keeping up to their high standards. They remind each other in the management to not be easily satisfied, to always raise the standards, and constantly innovating – not only in terms of food, but also in all departments, and also to have an open-minded approach to critics and feedbacks.

Looking forward, Burgreens is also aiming Surabaya and Bali for their next expansion. They envision that business will grow to as far as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand in the next five years from now.

The healthy food movement nowadays grows much faster than the time when they first opened the doors back in 2013. Burgreens has been successful in creating a notion that healthy eating can be fun, tasty, easy, and has a lot of variety. This will in turn make people more committed to living healthily – a kind of impact which certainly became the reason why Burgreens should grow bigger than ever before.


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/burgreens-express—one-step-closer-to-live-healthily

Why You Should Visit Fairmont Jakarta for Sunday Brunch This Weekend

Jakarta seems can’t get enough of Sunday brunches and there’s no sign of stopping. Jumping into the fray now is Fairmont Jakarta with its self-styled Moonlight Sunday Brunch. Naturally, there are many reasons for you to book your place there and enjoy it this weekend.

Spectrum is perhaps among the most highlighted of many all-day-dining restaurants of five-star hotels in Jakarta. Based on my personal experience, Spectrum has that edge with many inventive cuisines from time to time. Partly perhaps because of the initiatives done at VIEW, the hotel’s premier fine-dining restaurant. But most of all; it’s because of Fairmont Jakarta’s brilliant Indonesian chefs, their free rein of creativity, and for me personally – Spectrum has among the best Indian food in town!

Spectrum is located on the 2nd floor of this extravagant, prestigious hotel in the southern part of Jakarta. For Moonlight Sunday Brunch, Spectrum prepares a wonderful lineup of buffet selections, carving stations, a wide array of cheese selections, blini and caviar, alluring antipasti and fresh seafood, and many more.

The fresh seafood part is among the best in Jakarta as it encompasses wide selections such as the sweet prawns, tiger prawns, Fine de Claire oysters, king crabs, mud crabs, clams, and many others. Spectrum also introduces its so-called halal charcuterie with choices such as the air-dried beef or the bresaola, the turkey ham, lamb salami, lobster terrine, and cured sea bass or smoked salmon.

When I said earlier that the cheese selections are widely arrayed, well, indeed it is. Premium cheese cuts from the usual parmesan wheel to brie and camembert as well as comte and gorgonzola are available with fresh grapes, biscuits, or dried fruits as the accompaniments.

The star of the show however, comes from the carving station. Chef Edi Pancamala initiated an ambitious approach to introduce something special to this station. By not setting aside the usual selections like the ribs or the fish, he instead featured the steamship!

Weighed around 30 kilograms and came from the thigh of the cow, the specifically ordered steamship takes three days just for marination and cooked at optimum temperature using sous-vide methodFurthermore, the herb and seasoning rubs were also applied and the presentation is indeed very eye-catching.

I personally had around a couple of huge slices of this majestic cut and grew very fond of it. It’s a cut unlike others and has a consistency that is less meaty but gives away a brand new experience and appreciation for the blessed beast – if I may say so myself. It’s definitely a must-try for brunch regulars of Jakarta.

Last but not least from the savory section is the a la carte menu that comprises of eight choices from burrata, scallops, lamb pie, eggs Benedict, and more. Ending the whole experience would be the neatly arranged and delightful desserts, influenced by both worlds – Indonesian and abroad.

For those who wish to spend the weekend with their family and loved ones, the Moonlight Sunday Brunch at Spectrum restaurant is available every Sunday from 12pm to 3pm and priced at IDR 625,000++ per person – including coffee, tea, special mocktail and fresh juices.


SPECTRUM
Not halal-certified (serves alcohol, some dishes contain pork)
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Fairmont Hotel Jakarta
Jalan Asia-Afrika no. 8, Jakarta – Indonesia
T: +62.21.2970.3333

Peacock Lounge, Redefining the High Tea Time Culture (mise en place, Vol 21 – 2017)

As a country among the world’s biggest tea producers, Indonesia has assimilated tea drinking culture into the daily lives of its citizens. For many, tea is a beverage that does not require specific preparations – unlike the Japanese with their tea ceremonies, and often served as an accompaniment for breakfast and snacks.

The high availability of mass tea products from abroad within the past two decades can only mean one thing: Indonesians have been exposed to a world of different flavors aside from their regular tea dated from the colonial era. At this point, many Indonesians are already accustomed to blended black tea products such as Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or tea infused with herbs and fruits.

However, higher appreciation for tea was only shown rather recently, especially with the appearances of tea houses that introduce lineups of imported tea leaves and the high tea time culture. While this haute trend is yet to reach the peak like the third-wave coffee movement in comparison, these establishments have managed to sustain their businesses for quite some time now. The movement is also reinforced by tea experts and aficionados, introducing the deeper meaning of this lifestyle.

Especially for high tea time culture, more success found at Jakarta’s five-star hotels. From the hustle and bustle behind the business district of Senayan came the Fairmont Jakarta. After its foundation in 2015, Fairmont Jakarta introduced Peacock Lounge to complement its vast and opulent main lobby. The lounge itself can seat up to 40 people and offers an intimate ambiance that is suitable for conversational tea time and lunchtime meals. Thanks to its chic persona, Peacock Lounge has also become famous among socialites and social media influencers.

The afternoon tea set here is presented unlike anywhere else. Instead of the usual trays, Peacock Lounge uses jewelry drawers, all clad in white leather. Inside one will find the seasonal changing petit fours, tea sandwiches, canapes, and traditional scones with jam and clotted cream. Accompanying the treats, Fairmont Jakarta offers an extensive range of teas from black tea, blue tea, green tea, rooibos, and even the rare white and smoky tea.

Competing with other five-star hotels prompts Peacock Lounge to devise certain advantages. While these hotels may be equally efficient when it comes to creativity, manpower, or logistics; Fairmont Jakarta instead employs collaborations as its main advantage.

In 2016, Peacock Lounge launched the Show Your True Colours campaign that featured the color-changing theme of the confectioneries from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and especially pink for the support of breast cancer awareness month.

Following next was the collaboration with Indonesia’s legendary fashion designer Iwan Tirta for an exclusive batik-themed afternoon tea for the whole two months from April to May 2017. This particular collaboration was also to support Iwan Tirta’s upcoming fashion show which was held also at Fairmont Jakarta later that April.

The most recent collaboration was held between the hotel and Kate Spade New York. Launched in conjunction with the Fall 2017 collections, the theme was inspired by 1920s Parisian color palettes which was predominantly red and black with striking motifs such as leopard prints, red poppies, and cherries.

During these promotions, Peacock Lounge’s interiors are usually redesigned lightly to match the theme with the collaborator’s products are put on display. Operation-wise, the pastry kitchen also create a lineup of products that represent the whole mood. Patrons are encouraged to share their experience through social media channels and compete for interesting prizes.

Through this strategy, Peacock Lounge has been successfully maintaining its tea time culture by keeping it fresh, exciting, and already further collaborations are planned quarterly with other premium brands. With all the values given for the hotel itself, the brands, as well as the patrons; Peacock Lounge ultimately remains faithful to its original concept as a tea lounge that is open for everyone.

The lounge opens daily from 10am to 5pm and the afternoon high tea set is available from 2pm to 5pm.


FAIRMONT JAKARTA – PEACOCK LOUNGE | Jalan Asia Afrika no. 8, Jakarta – Indonesia | +62 21 2970 3333 | www.fairmont.com/jakarta


Images by: Fairmont Jakarta

This is the unedited version of the article