Tag Archives: Aquila Asia

Restaurant Review: Aoki (Aquila Asia, Nov-Dec 2011)

Fresh Sashimi

Heralding the true flavour of Japanese cuisine from Nagoya, Aoki now completes its resurrection with a dashing new look and exciting new dishes. Its compatriot upstairs Le Gran Mahakam has successfully indulged Aquila Asia in the past edition, now it’s the time of truth for the new Aoki.

Aoki has actually become a fine addition to a city that no longer strange to Japanese culture. But to stand up against the tide of overwhelming competition, it had to undergone an intense makeup since the late 2010 until very recent, Aoki finally reopens and ready to get into the competition again.

The place it resides in, the Mahakam Street, is actually in heavy conjunction with Blok M and Melawai vicinities which have always been known traditionally as the most Japanese district in Jakarta. Take a look at, for instance, the Little Tokyo area just nearby all geared up with Japanese izakaya (Japanese bar), restaurants, hotels and Japanese supermarkets. While it’s a common thing for most Japanese expatriates to reside in Southern Jakarta salubrious districts during their tenure here but the thing is that they do have one common taste they longed for, Japanese restaurant with a very Japanese flavour.

Shabu Shabu

That’s probably one of the reasons why originally Aoki, hailed from a famous eatery back in Nagoya, was franchised by Gran Mahakam. As the basics, Mr. Ignatius Suyanto, the manager of Aoki for the past decade exclaims that Aoki still imported sauces such as wafu (Japanese vinaigrette dressing) and ponzu (Japanese vinegar and citrus dressing) straight from the original Aoki. However with the appearance, Aoki also daringly produces new dishes infused with modern fusion Japanese as well as retaining the originals such as mentioned on the tagline, sukiyaki (Japanese sweet hot pot) and shabu-shabu (Japanese savoury hot pot). Mr. Suyanto further explains that to maintain the quality it’s a must for the backbones in kitchen department to receive specific education first abroad at Aoki in Nagoya.

So how does it look like now? Enter from the special entrance for Aoki, you will then be escorted to a stairway heading for the lower level of the hotel. Suddenly the intensity of dark and elegant surroundings of blackish floors, green lights, modern partitions and finally the oriental wooden parquets will seize you and taking you instantly to the twilight world of Aoki. It’s so different now! What used to be perceived as an old fashioned restaurant has now evolved itself into an elegant yet intimate dining scene. Beautiful though personally, I think that no matter how this facade may cater your privacy needs but surely a constant gloomy appearance can actually ruin your appetite especially when you encounter a type of cuisine known with its beauty in its presentation.

Surely Aoki has plenty to offer besides that and clearly it never ran short with fresh and inviting openers. For example, if you happen to stumble upon tobiko (flying fish roe) salad, a combination of kyuri (Japanese cucumber), carrot, nori (seaweed), flying fish roes, with wafu  dressing, then you are guaranteed with a boosted appetite.

Fresh Crab Handroll

Aoki’s signature fresh crab hand rolled sushi is probably the most intriguing one since it’s quite rare in Jakarta to find a sushi joint that consider a substitution for the use of nori. Instead they use the soya paper which actually tasteless but acceptable for the use in creating sushi or maki and still they look very appealing. The interior which consists of rich and tender combination of crab and tuna are definitely what makes this hand rolled sushi more than just edible but also very delectable!

Dry Sukiyaki

Next if you’re heading straight for the specialties, make sure at least you see how Aoki’s preparing the newly invented dish called dry sukiyaki, served moist unlike the original which usually served with the broth but amazingly still preserve the true flavour of real sukiyaki. Though what you usually experience with sukiyaki and shabu-shabu is when people surround, cook and eat from a hot pot full of thinly sliced beef and plenty of beautiful vegetables. A very hearty meal indeed! But here in Aoki, it’s served individually, one by one in turn, thus making it lack in the togetherness value.

Nevertheless it’s undoubtedly delicious thanks to the supreme quality of the Wagyu beef, fresh vegetables and most of all, the secret concoction of Aoki’s sukiyaki sauce. Then again, if you wish to rekindle the family values, you can always choose the original sukiyaki or the shabu-shabu cooked on the middle of your dining table over a kaminabe (hot pot made from paper).

Homemade Ice Cream

For the closure, make sure to enjoy Aoki’s special homemade matcha (green tea) or ogura (red beans) served on a vase filled with dry ice and that makes the ice cream looks steaming up and very alluring. Surely what other wonderful way to wrap up your dinner if not with a thick and fulfilling bowl of ice cream? Even the kids would love to have it more!

With such apparent result, the rejuvenation of Aoki was indeed not a futile effort though also not without its flaws. It’s arguably a terrific option for business or a private session but a family dine out actually requires a more vigorous surroundings. Even so, you’d still be very impressed with how they treat you as kings and queens. Not to forget also, the gorgeous dishes and how flavoursome they are. It’s Aoki, ladies and gentlemen.

AOKI

Gran Mahakam Hotel. Jl. Mahakam I No. 6 Blok M, Jakarta 12130, Indonesia

Website: http://www.granmahakam.com

Facebook: Gran-Mahakam-Hotel

Twitter: @granmahakam

RSVP: 021 – 720 99 66

Halal Meter: Halal-friendly.

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes.

Reservation: Recommended especially for Sunday Brunch and group meetings.

Opening Hours: TBA

Price: TBA

-As seen in Aquila Asia Nov-Dec 2011 Edition (unedited)-
-Photos courtesy of Gran Mahakam Hotel and Aquila Asia Magazine-
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Restaurant Review: Cinnamon (Aquila Asia, Sep-Oct 2011)

What’s more extravagant than having a dinner affair in a five-star hotel at the most prestigious address in Jakarta? The inconspicuous restaurant with a catchy name of Cinnamon tempts Aquila Asia to unveil what’s behind the exclusivity of Mandarin Oriental Jakarta.

The hotel itself is one of the classic alternatives among other five-star competitors that exclusively surround the Bundaran HI, known as the landmark that defines Jakarta. Mandarin Oriental Jakarta itself had undergone almost two years of interior refurbishment and appeared again stylishly in 2009. Apart from the vintage exterior look, the insides look stunningly modern and extravagant.

Lively yet intimate, the international cuisine restaurant Cinnamon flaunts a casual theme but also romantic scene for dining. Not to mention also about the good suitability for both lunch and dinner in business attire. The use of natural materials such as raw woods with marble flooring, limestone walls, and sisal carpeting brings the rustic side of Cinnamon, especially with the ‘jungle’ scenery that camouflaged the restaurant. But with a wonderful composition of calm colours of cream and gold fused with warm lighting both artificial and natural brings also a multitude of modern touch of nowadays interior style.

Oxtail Soup

The one thing that welcomes everyone first is the display of colourful cakes and hampers from The Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop. What comes next is the feeling of the urgency to really test what Cinnamon has to offer and for that opportunity what’s better than being seated just beside the window to see the soothing greeneries just outside.

So Cinnamon may bring international theme but it is clear that they emphasize the Asian culture. For instance the highlight dishes are the majestic set of Hainanese Chicken Rice or the scrumptious Sampler of many Asian delights such as chicken tikka with mint and cucumber, crab cake with papaya pickles, sautéed prawn skewers and grilled beef salad. Both of them prove to be an excellent choice for a brief business lunch.

For that reason as well, Cinnamon doesn’t rely too much on having a wide variety for their food stations. Aside from some of their notable competitors that present the opposite, Cinnamon appears content with such degree of simplicity. When asked, Mr. Gono Soegiono the restaurant manager explains that, ‘Business lunch takes time only for about 30 to 45 minutes therefore we only serve what the guests need and as the compensation for that, rest assured that what we serve is of the best quality’.

Hainan Chicken Rice

This does makes sense although more options wouldn’t hurt especially judging from the reputation and the history of Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, yet most of all, the expectations. The course starts mainly from the openers such as salads or the Japanese style appetizers like sushi and sashimi. Let us never also miss the cheese station to boost up the morale. From there, some inviting options are there especially for the carving table of roast beef and pasta station that offers homemade tagliatelle, penne, linguini, and rigatoni.

What amuses me is actually the sandwich station which is quite rare in Jakarta hotels for as far as I know. Deriving from the goals to deal with the appetite of brief diners, Mandarin Oriental Jakarta has devised this small station with plenty of options. You can actually pick the already made ones with tuna and cheese for example, but also you can choose from variety of ciabatta, white, and whole wheat bread then decide the fillings. Make it plain or panini according to your liking and have it delivered directly to your table.

To end it all, simply choose the tempting variety of desserts yet the must-pick from all of those is definitely the one and only, the indisputable for the past 15 years, and that would be the American Chocolate Cake. Velvety and luscious, though came in small size! It’s best to spare more room for this one and load them all to your table before they simply vanish into thin air. Complete the excitements with crepes paired with homemade ice cream and sorbet or make it a worthy companion if the cakes ran out.

After two years of its existence, Cinnamon may still feel like a myth despite the imposing presence of the hotel. It’s a hidden jewel to be exact despite its small and modest selections of food. It’s beautiful nonetheless and now I feel like romantic dinner already but now I know one of those worthy for my next pick.

CINNAMON

Jl. MH Thamrin, PO BOX 3392, Jakarta 10310

Website: http://mandarinoriental.com/jakarta

Facebook: http://facebook.com/MandarinOrientalJakarta

Twitter: @MO_JAKARTA

RSVP: 021 – 2993 8888

Halal Meter: Halal-friendly. For dishes using pork are well indicated as well as those that contain alcohols.

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes and plenty of options for that.

Reservation: Recommended especially for lunch.

Opening Hours:

–          Breakfast:                   6 am – 10 am (Mon-Sat), 6 am – 10.30 am (Sun)

–          Lunch:                          11.30 am – 2.30 pm (Mon-Sat)

–          Brunch:                        11 am – 3 pm (Sun)

–          Afternoon Tea:         2.30 pm – 6 pm (Mon-Sun)

–          Dinner:                         6 pm – 10.30 pm (Mon-Sun)

Price:

–          Breakfast Buffet IDR 170,000++

–          Lunch & Dinner:

  1. Lunch Buffet IDR 175,000++
  2. Dinner Buffet IDR 195,000++
  3. Sunday Brunch IDR 195,000++
-As seen in Aquila Asia Sep-Oct 2011 Edition (unedited)-
-Photos courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Jakarta and Aquila Asia Magazine-

Restaurant Review: Le Gran Cafe (Aquila Asia, May-Jun 2011)

Gran Mahakam Hotel is a beautifully designed hotel located conveniently in-between the classy neighborhood of Southern Jakarta and the hustle bustle of Central Jakarta’s business districts. But instead of starring as another modernist heralds, Gran Mahakam rather sees itself as the envoy of classic European architecture from baroque influence with all its ornamental details.

Its international restaurant, Le Gran Café, has a dashing look of mixture between classical and modern, mostly from the West but with a little bit of Oriental touch as well. The use of Onyx stones as the decorations for the wall lamps create the elegance. Next, the blending between wooden parquet and marble flooring, yet also some Asian touch of colored bamboo in the ceilings of the buffet again create a warm atmosphere and the homey kind of feeling.

Without doubt the venue itself is very decent and comfortable, but how about the food? It turns out that Le Gran Café offers a wide array of delightful choices from Japanese, Western, Peranakan, and Indonesian.

Nasi Bali

For example, the sumptuous dish of Nasi Bali is already a complete and excellent choice. The steamed rice, shaped triangle, is accompanied with beef empal (thinly cut beef steamed with various ingredients making it sweet yet tender and then fried), ayam masereh (spicy shredded chicken), vegetables urap (various vegetables topped with urap or grated coconut grounds dressing), telur pindang (egg boiled with herbal water), beef satay, rempeyek kacang (soy bean crackers) and sambal.

I must remark one thing among all these goodness and that credit goes for the beef satay. The beef satay is clearly standing out among the crowd and definitely deserves standing ovation! The meat itself was already made mild, succulent, and to add the spiciness, they put some chili on top of it. What’s driven the beef satay to be that insanely delicious was definitely the secret recipe which I have no doubt that some people who don’t fancy eating satay will be most definitely leave that all behind and embrace the new life after tasting Le Gran Mahakam’s version.

Chocolate Melted

Hey, we even haven’t reached the buffet and the desserts!

For Japanese, there’s always the sushi and sashimi counter alongside the Western salads with colorful vegetables and dressings. Quite unusual also to see fish grills available from dory, gindara and snapper with julienned vegetables. Side-by-side with the fish is the roast lamb carving and its barbeque sauce. Not only that, the envoy from Singapore would be the steam boat and some peranakan influenced dish such as the tasty and spicy roast duck with black pepper sauce. Not forgetting also that the homemade pasta station is always there for you to pick. I admit that their aglio olio pasta is probably one of the best I’ve ever tasted and it doesn’t need an Italian to do the trick. Just make it more meaty, cheesy, or spicier according to your liking. Simply, add life into it!

So if you’re done with the mains, it’s time for the dessert! The best would be the Chocolate Melted with homemade ice cream, preferably vanilla ice cream. The chocolate melted is a warm dessert made from a cake with chocolate filling, melting out of it when you sliced through and with some almonds for topping. The superb taste of the sinful chocolate combined lethally with the righteous vanilla ice cream. Yet the good news is that it’s available every day from breakfast to dinner due to its popularity.

Mahakam Lotus

Alternatively, you can always choose the unique Lotus Mahakam for a cold dessert. Experience the content of a huge carved ice with wondrous fillings such as lotus seeds, longans, lychee, baby corns, and olives all soaked in the lychee-fragrant and sweetened water.

Ultimately, it’s one helluva trip and a joyful ride all day long. My next stop here would be probably for Ramadhan Iftar. They have the already famous very vast array of Iftar openers. So next would be my turn again to see what they really offer me for Ramadhan. As for you, better not wait any longer. Book your seats and get on that rollercoaster ride of joy!

LE GRAN CAFÉ

Jl. Mahakam I No. 6, Blok M, Jakarta 12130

legrancafe@granmahakam.com

RSVP: 021 – 720 9966

Opening Hours: 6 AM to 11 PM (weekend 24 hours)

Delivery Availability: Dine in only.

Halal Meter: Halal, no pork dishes at all.

Vegetarian Friendly: Plenty of choices since it’s an international buffet and since it’s a hotel, just ask about it and they’ll be gladly to assist your vegetarian needs.

-As seen in Aquila Asia May-Jun 2011 Edition (unedited)-

-Photos courtesy of Le Gran Mahakam and Aquila Asia Magazine-

Restaurant Review: A Tavola (Aquila Asia, Mar-Apr 2011)

Behold in awe, an Italian gentleman that goes with the name Signor Davide Lomanto, who successfully blends two opposite specialties, as an accomplished surgeon and his love for cooking. Long story short, he started an authentic Italian prodotto deli that eventually becomes well-known for its cheese, salami, pasta, olive oil, coffee, and a bit of wine. Meet unfamiliar names of cheese like Bel Paese, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, or salami like Prosciutto di Parma, Salame Milano, and Bresaola here.

After gaining some fame, the patrons urged him to instead open a restaurant as well and now everybody can enjoy his authentic dishes together with those unfamiliar cheese and Italian meat. So, an Italian deli combined with a restaurant? A rare combination to be found in Jakarta and that way, A Tavola distinguishes itself from other Italian restaurants.

Once you got inside it doesn’t feel that Italian, but thanks to some paintings depicting typical traditional European towns, cobble streets, and with inscriptions of Italian names like Ischia, Venice, Milano, or Giovanni, later you’ll be convinced that you are in an Italian ristorante or caffè and not just a butcher. The indigo painted walls are also suitable with the lightings and thus creating this calming sensation, especially at night where you might just want to laid back and have a romantic dinner with your partner. It’s not that fancy but it’s just right, unless when everybody’s smoking because it’s a smoking zone all over A Tavola!

Bresaola alle Verdure

It’s time to eat! The star appetizer is Bresaola alle Verdure. It’s a salad that consists of various fresh vegetables such as the romaine lettuces, colorful bell peppers, parsley, tomato, and kyuri. It is also furnished with sundry tomatoes, olives, and the most important part of it all, the bresaola or thinly cut seasoned, salted, air-dried beef. It’s an equation of freshness coming from nature in abundance, mixed and dressed beautifully with a touch of extra virgin olive oil here and there. Savory and tempting, the tender bresaola would just melt right away in your mouth and is indeed the soul to the dish. Kick in some sundry tomatoes and olives for the fresh sour taste and there you go, a divine salad!

Ravioli con Burro e Salvia

A Tavola boasts its fresh homemade pasta especially ravioli, so the first choice goes to the restaurant’s recommendation Ravioli con Burro e Salvia or in English, ricotta cheese and spinach stuffed ravioli served with butter and sage. Sounds simple and not that pricey to tell you the truth, but it’s challengingly heavy. Surely one cannot deny how pleasant an indulging, tangy thick butter sauce mixing in with the ricotta and spinach filled ravioli. Surprisingly enough, it’s just too heavy but if you want to fill your tummy full quick and cheap, that’s the way.

Ravioli di Manzo and Bresaola alle Verdure

So the savior of the clan is Ravioli di Manzo. One must thank enormously to the tomato sauce because it brings the garden-fresh lightness into the already lavishly plate full of ravioli filled with beef, ricotta, and pumpkin. Together they created a taste of extraordinary good cheesy meaty savory feeling. It should be a relatively easy and quick effort to finish this one and there you go again, a happy grin.

Fettuccine alla Norcina

On the other hand, the Fettuccine alla Norcina is lack of character especially with the soul of it, the cream sauce. Without doubt, the sauce was made thick and spread all over the fettuccine, even beforehand it was cooked alongside gorgonzola cheese but the sharpness and the strength of it was diminishing as time goes by and it goes sticky with the pasta. Even with the fact that the dish was well equipped with the good Italian sausage and mushroom but they just can’t help it from deteriorating.

Pannacotta

Finally, to get through the day, it’s the Pannacotta for dessert. However, it may be not a very inspiring experience as well. It is not too sweet if not for the chocolate nor refreshing as a dessert. You may be brought to near suffocation and heaviness thanks to the gelatin but if you seek the Piemonte traditional version, well there you go!

Ravioli di Cioccolato

The uplifting part goes for Ravioli di Cioccolato. Said to be made delicately because the nature of flour and chocolate which just don’t add up for the chemistry but in the end, if successful, creating a very authentic, fulfilling dessert. Filled with chocolate as well, flanked by a scoop of vanilla ice cream, thus creating a sweet encounter. It should be the coup de grâce you might have been looking for from the beginning!

After such pleasant experience, let yourself agree that Italian food is simply for everybody, it’s just like the families in mob flicks you usually see on TV where they share everything for everybody on the same table. Such togetherness and happiness (though bloody) where you see rarely these days, I just can’t help but to thank the Italians for reminding me again of family values. So you might want to share the fun instead of keeping it for yourself. Everything seems fine, but do help the non-smokers to enjoy your good food next time, A Tavola…

—–

A TAVOLA

Address: Jl. Kemang Selatan Raya no. 125, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP: 021 – 7179 3580

Opening Hours: 10 am – 11 pm

Delivery Availability: Dine in only.

Halal Meter: Mostly Halal and the already small population pork dishes can all be substituted with beef. Most of the ingredients are local except for the Australian beef and traditional Italian meat and sausages.

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes and the vegetarian dishes are indicated clearly in the menu. Anyway, all is customizable for vegetarian needs.

—–

-As seen in Aquila Asia Mar-Apr 2011 Edition (unedited)-

-Photos courtesy of Rian Farisa and Aquila Asia Magazine-

Restaurant Review: Kembang Goela (Aquila-Asia, Jan-Feb 2011)

Kembang Goela is an exquisite addition among the small ranks of premium Indonesian cuisine in Jakarta. Located strategically but also somehow hidden from sights at a separated building resembling a house inside Plaza Sentral premises on Jalan Jend. Sudirman.

Kembang Goela symbolizes itself as a woman arrayed in colorful kebaya seated elegantly on a chair. This is a pose of a proud Javanese mother that brings the aura of dignity and royalty. The colors of red and pink of her kebaya represent bravery and tenderness. It happens also that the owners of this beautiful establishment are notably five ladies, a joint venture of sisters who share their love of Indonesian food.

Beautifully designed, Kembang Goela represents Indonesian antiquities with minimalist modern interior style. Separated into several sections, the common room is the main dining room. On the side of it we can see private rooms for families. The rest are the lounge room where customer awaits to be seated or for just plain coffee time and finally the Rijstaffel Room where they usually held conference, seminar, wedding or private banquet.

I particularly remember that there were some classic photographs of Javanese nobles during the Netherlands occupation in the lounge room. I remarked one beautiful picture where a Javanese noble arrayed beautifully in old noble attire, who had been also influenced by European style especially when you see the shoes, standing hand in hand with a Dutch officer. That makes it a very unique sight indeed which of course can be rarely seen these days even to the traditional royalties in Yogyakarta or Solo.

Mr. Williams, the PR of Kembang Goela told me once that there was once a group who specifically asked for this custom private banquet. The guests were all seated on a long table with each waiter attends to every one of them. The private dinner was designed special, similar to royalties of past where the attendants serve and wait for any of their master’s needs. For this occasion, he said that he had to collect enough employees to do such ‘massive’ scale of dinner from everywhere since they’re short of available personnel in Kembang Goela. That feels like a privilege used to be attained only by nobilities now available for everyone and in this case, by enjoying Indonesian dishes!

So what about the food? As we can see from its inner appearance, Kembang Goela presents Indonesian dishes fused up with late colonial heritage from the Dutch and a bit of Peranakan touch. This has always brought the color to Indonesian diet even until now. We can see easily, for example, during religious holidays where people usually bake Dutch-originated hampers or that we usually found many Peranakan dishes in hawkers everywhere. Truly, this is the reason why this assimilated cultures have become an integral part of Indonesian way even in the smallest scale.

Asinan Sayur

Even so, what I had that day was not particularly all about fusion dishes. I was specifically asked for their specialties starting from appetizers to dessert and Chef Ferry Hidayat has been a gracious host for introducing us with the best. The opener was the all fresh Kembang Goela’s Asinan Sayur or many people familiarly knew as Asinan Bogor. It consists of minced vegetables of carrots, bean sprouts, lettuce, and cauliflowers spread with fried ground nuts. What makes Asinan different than the usual rujak or other kind of salad is the use of peanut sauce and a dressing which consists of mixtures of vinegar, red chili, salt, and onions. These dressings then will be poured all over the vegetables and topped with spiral rice crackers. The mild spiciness and the fresh sour taste will guarantee everyone to enjoy it more and more. The Asinan Sayur is served on top of a vessel made of pineapple splitted in half, making it look fresh, inviting, and feels ‘tropical’. You might want to enjoy Asinan next time while you’re relaxing on a beach.

Dendeng Balado

For the main dish, we were presented with Kembang Goela’s specialty, the Dendeng Balado. Originated from Padang, Dendeng Balado has always become one of the most sought dishes within the ranks of many plates served all at once in every Padangnese restaurants. The dendeng was made out of cow’s thigh, boiled first and then sliced thinly before dried by soaking it under the sun. Once done, the dendeng will be fried and given sambal balado on the top. Chef Ferry version, however, is a bit different. The usual dendeng balado is usually a bit thicker and chewy but here, he made it thinner and crispier making it more like crackers in which Mr. Willy told me that once somebody, an indigenous Padangnese, protested this kind of version but he said that it’s Kembang Goela’s unique interpretation of Dendeng Balado. At any rate, it was good, crispy, spicy, but since it’s missing its Padangnese authenticity in it due to the thinness and the crispiness I suppose it’s no longer considered as a proper main dish anymore but more of just ‘crackers’ as I said before. Lucky it came with big portion for everybody but you should really need to order something more fulfilling than this.

We were also served with some side dishes for the main course. Both of them were Asem-Asem Iga and Tumis Genjer. The Asem-Asem Iga is a soup served on a small bowl made with tamarind stock which makes it sour. The soup filled with imported beef rib, belimbing wuluh (tree sorrel, still one family with the usual cucumber but smaller and more sour), and small green tomato. It was wonderful addition and the level of sourness instead of giving me a hard time with stomach, was refreshing and tasty.

The other company was the tumis genjer or sautéed velvetleaf. Velvetleaf is a rare commodity and can only be found mostly in Indonesia or South East Asia’s paddy fields. Velvetleaf is mild in texture and has long edible stems. Usually only sautéed with onions but such simplicity manages to produce a very satisfying taste. I would even eat it without a spoon be it in an casual place to dine and that’s how we originally do it the genuine way with Indonesian food.

Scrambled Pancake

For the dessert, Chef Ferry also presented the brand new dessert out of his own creation, the Scrambled Pancake. It’s not the usual pancake found in any pancake parlors in Jakarta because he made it from different dough, more of a poffertjes dough where there’s a certain degree of chewiness in it. He also put caramels with the dough and once baked, it’s poured with caster sugar, raisins, and strawberries. It’s not Indonesian at all but hey, that was fresh, creative, and a good indulgence for a dessert. How was it anyway? Delectable and sweet but somehow I missed the presence of a scoop of the good ol’ vanilla ice cream.

With many selections of colorful authentic Indonesian and fusion dishes plus the fact that I felt very comfortable during my visit here, I would really suggest that you should book your lunch or dinner early because it’s gonna be swarming with many businessmen during lunch and those who fancy good Indonesian cuisine for dinner while waiting for the traffic to be cleared. So steer you wheels here during such hours after you book because you’ll enjoy hours of good dining here.

KEMBANG GOELA

Plaza Sentral, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 47-48, Jakarta – Indonesia

RSVP : 021 – 520 5625

Delivery Availability: Dine in only.

Halal Meter: Halal. No pork dishes and no lard at all. All meats and poultry are local except for ribs and oxtails are imported from New Zealand.

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes. All is customizable for vegetarian needs. You can even order something out of the menu but expect waiting time for preparation.

Ambience & Interior: Modern minimalist with a touch here and there of Indonesian colonial heritage antiquities, gloriously fused, creating a grandeur display. The contemporary Indonesian classic music brings back the memory and making it an extravagant nostalgic moment.

Service: Very prime. Everything was done swiftly, helpfully, and you will be attended from time to time for your needs.

Pricing: Appetizers, Soups, and Light Meals IDR 19,500 – IDR 87,500; Mains IDR 39,500 – IDR 175,000; Desserts and Traditional Drinks IDR 20,000 – IDR 37,000.

Recommended Dishes: Sosis Om Yance (One meter chicken sausage), Iga Bakar (grilled ribs), Buntut Bakar (grilled oxtails), Asinan Sayur, Dendeng Balado, Rijst Koening Kembang Goela (Indonesian yellow rice with many accompaniments), Tumis Asparagus, Tahu Telor Bledek.

Reservation: Recommended.

Operating Hours: Opens daily from 11 AM to 11 PM.

Payment Methods: All cards accepted.

-As seen in Aquila Asia Jan-Feb 2011 Edition (unedited)-

-Photos courtesy of Saesarez Novandito and Aquila Asia Magazine-