Tag Archives: French

La Maison, The Mansion of Macarons (Passion, 2017)

As a newcomer in Jakarta’s fierce pastry shop competition, La Maison quickly announced itself as a pastry shop with an interesting specialty – macarons!

Established in 2011, the company actually started as an online shop. The drive to move forward came from the simple, pure love of baking of its owner Stella Lowis including the pursuit of building her own pastry shop one day.

For Ms. Lowis, her version of pastry shop should be a refined one, based also by her serious education background at Le Cordon Bleu, Australia. “I gained a lot of experience by working part time as a pastry chef at several restaurants and catering company that supplies pastry for five-star luxury hotels”, said Stella. When she returned to Indonesia, Stella worked together with his brother, Harryck Lowis, to experiment over many recipes until finally they’re ready to share it with everyone.

Persevering for several months initially, orders since then had been coming non-stop. After some time realizing, it’s time for her to build her first shop in Medan. Her unique take on pastry was warmly welcomed there. Years passing by and La Maison have started to take shape and grow into something more significant. Finally, it’s high time for her to spread out the wings of La Maison to Jakarta – the one city where appreciation of pastry is at its zenith in Indonesia.

Speaking about the characteristics of this pastry shop, La Maison is almost exclusively promoting a vast array of macarons – a complicated confection that has gained prominence over Indonesian pastry world for the past few years.

“This small tidbit requires delicate hands and a very complex balance between texture and flavor. Its smooth top, ruffled circumference, a flat base, has mild moistness, and it should easily melt in your mouth. Now that’s what we’re aiming for and the challenge proved to be exciting”, said Stella smiling vigorously.

Taking it to the next level, La Maison’s mind-blowing innovations are macaron flavors which are inspired by Indonesian cuisine – such as Nasi Uduk, Lemper Ayam, Martabak Bangka, or even Sate Padang. “One of our best-selling however, is the Salted Popcorn Macaron. Although people tend to perceive macaron as something sweet, the savory version is actually a success”, shared Ms. Lowis.

From the cakes department, Stella personally admits that each and every of them has to be made with passion by using the finest ingredients and decorated with utmost care. “Two things taken into consideration are taste and also the aesthetic elements”, she said. One of La Maison’s signature cake (and apparently everyone’s favorite) is the Mademoiselle – a refreshing take of almond cake with layers of fresh watermelon, strawberries, red dragon fruit, and decorated with red rose petals.

To fully proceed professionally, Stella observes the trend as well. “Locally speaking, pastry has come a long way in our country. People used to buy cakes only for special occasions but now they have found the simple pleasure of enjoying it any time”, she said. Her remark here pointed out how strategic this move to cater Jakartans who are increasingly fond of dining out and nibbling with pastry.

The pastry industry in Indonesia has grown exponentially for quite some time now and shops can be found in many corners of Indonesian cities. The global trends, more or less, influence the demands especially now in the digital era where customers can simply access interesting pastry innovations by browsing through the social media.

So the next question would be, what’s after this for La Maison? Stella is certainly aiming to expand to other cities and in-between, she hopes to engage in interesting collaborations with legends in pastry industry. What’s even bigger in mind for her though is to keep on improving and serving the best for her beloved customers. (RF)


LA MAISON | www.lamaison.com
Jalan Biduk no. 66, Medan
T: +62 821 6602 6668 / +62 61 4573 745
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 11am – 5.30pm

Grand Indonesia, East Mall – Jakarta
T: +62 811 987 6668 / +62 21 2358 1331
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10am – 10pm


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/la-maison-the-mansion-of-macarons

Images by: Passion

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Much Ado About Eggs at Benedict (mise en place, Vol 14 – 2016)

From the creative minds behind the successful private dining venture Good For Eats (G48) and the rice bowl haven Umabo in Jakarta, Chefs Fernando Sindu and Ivan Wibowo have been successfully helming Benedict for the past one year now as Jakarta’s beloved place to have breakfast, brunch, and as a full-fledged all-day dining.

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Despite the initial challenges of opening up a restaurant in the newly refurbished section of the East Mall of Grand Indonesia, under the adept hands of these two chefs and the expert managerial umbrella of Jakarta’s premiere F&B venture – Union Group, Benedict thrives and readies its surprises for the year 2016.

As fellow graduates of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and spent their early years apprenticing at high-profile Michelin-starred restaurants such as Noma, Jean Georges, La Boqueria, and several others; these dynamic duo have been entrusted with a free rein to present the gourmet food lovers of Jakarta with the best of their abilities.

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True to its name, Benedict is known for its collection of classic all-day breakfast menu that involves many combinations of egg dishes.

Benedict has the Full Monty; huevos rancheros; deviled eggs; scotch eggs; combinations of eggs Benedict from classic to Florentine, Southern, and Mexican-styles; and last but not least, the chef’s creative take in using the sous vide technique of cooking egg at 63C and then combining it in a jar with mac & cheese, shiitake mushrooms, crispy beef bacons, brioche, and potato foam.

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Altogether with these savory selections, Benedict is also no short of healthy meals from fresh fruit bowls, 7-grain muesli with Greek yogurt, tempeh quinoa salad, and up to the hearty Cubano and banh mi from the sandwich section.

Chef Ivan Wibowo colors the dessert section with highlights such as churros with dulce de leche, chocolate orange soufflé, his latest creation of almond crusted stuffed French toast with homemade ice cream, and many more. Later this year, Benedict is planning to showcase its ice cream cart where patrons can enjoy flavors of their choice anytime.

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Adding the excitements for this ensemble of creative dishes, Chef Fernando Sindu decided to introduce the cuisines of the world on monthly basis in addition to exciting all-day menu such as the spicy chipotle Benedict with chorizo and corn bread or the Southern-style fried chicken with waffles. So in several months to come, it is best to prepare yourself for a surprising cuisines coming from countries such as Vietnam to as far as Turkey and even beyond.

Benedict’s menu came from the chefs’ direct experience during their research and travels, while also they are committed to present the local flavors with modernist touch that aims to please diners who are more and more explorative as we see in global culinary scenes of today.

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As for its coffee culture itself, Benedict and other Union Group restaurants are no stranger when it comes to quality. While previously working with Toby’s Estate, Union Group is now committing themselves with local beans. The consideration came with the spirit to localize the ingredients more and more as the foundation of their dishes and that Indonesian coffee has now reached a new height of quality and appreciations everywhere in the country.

In addition, Benedict also pays the attention to the whole architecture of the restaurant. While the idea since the beginning was all about gourmet comfort food, Benedict was designed to be homey and casual. Since the beginning, it was meant to that way so that the customers could dine in even on their most casual attire and not worrying other things but to simply enjoy themselves with the food wholeheartedly.


BENEDICT
Not halal-friendly (serving alcohol and some menu contain pork)
Suitable for vegetarian

Address:

  • Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall, Jakarta – Indonesia
  • Pacific Place, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours: Daily, 10am- 10pm


Link: http://miseenplaceasia.com/much-ado-about-eggs-at-benedict/

QuikSkoop™: Decanter

It took me years to ever finally see Decanter again. Just as I still remembered like it was back then, I am finally home.

It’s not that I came too often back then but surely there was a time when I used to go out with my colleagues from my previous career. Friday night is the time we had been looking for the whole week and we usually went out to try new places to eat and having that cuppa late at night.

Well, Jakarta’s dining scene back then was not as colorful as it is today but certainly there were places that we can always visit from time to time. Decanter was among the most exciting in Kuningan and the one that still stands tall against other come-and-go competitors coming from nearby office buildings and also with the tenants of Setiabudi One and Pasar Festival (now known as Plaza Festival).

My recent visit was originally to exclusively meet Chef Johannes Pratiwanggana. I was quite surprised to find out that Decanter houses one of the most senior chefs that Indonesian culinary scene ever has for the past few decades and also among the rarities that is still very active until this day.

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Of course, he wouldn’t let me go without actually tasting some of his best in Decanter. It was late in the afternoon and dinnertime will happen in an hour or so. Despite of that, Chef Jo – as he’s usually called, presented two lovely dishes that day.

The first one was the rigatoni with spinach and pesto made from sundried tomato. It was a balance mixture between heartiness and the refreshing taste from the pesto. The single serving of it was already very generous and Decanter can also prepare the patrons sharing portion which I deem would be a really good try for group of friends and colleagues for solid lunch or dinner.

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The second one was that perfect duck confit accompanied by oven-roasted potatoes. It’s actually rare to find a really good duck confit lately for me, but Chef Jo’s version is not just crispy on the outside but the in-depth flavor inside is not to be taken lightly at all.

Well, that was one helluva nostalgia. It was short but intimate, it was not at all splurging but instead, comforting. Despite the growing pains coming from the competition, Decanter actually has all that it needs to beat the odds.

If we can appreciate what Chef Jo has to offer, judging from his vast experience and finesse, Decanter is that one place to go for your weekend dates, business lunches, and even for some personal time alone.

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DECANTER
Not halal-certified, smoking is allowed
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Plaza Kuningan, Jalan Rasuna Said, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 12am

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Menu Highlights: A Taste of France at Oakroom Restaurant & Bar with Chef Jerome Cartailler

As one of Jakarta’s premier serviced apartments, Oakwood – which has been known worldwide, presents all gourmets in the metropolis to enjoy the rustic French dishes by Chef Jerome Cartailler.

Chef Jerome Cartailler

Currently the executive chef for Oakwood Manila, the chef will host A Taste of France dining events from 5 – 30 October 2015 at Oakroom Restaurant & Bar Jakarta.

Lucky to be among the early tasters of his skills, I was introduced with a three-course lunch which consisted of warm goat cheese salad with walnut vinaigrette sauce. The baked buche cheese was presented on a toast and altogether with the mixed greens created an intricacy of flavors behind this seemingly simple presentation of an appetizer.

Secondly, the seared salmon did not fail me at all. Despite the ubiquity of salmon nowadays, Oakroom provided a good quality and developed wholeheartedly as well by the chef. With the light aioli sauce and Mediterranean crunchy vegetables as well as mashed potato, this dish was the clincher of the day.

Lastly, the profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce. Classic and straightforward, the dessert successfully enchanted my heart. The taste of the ice cream may be all too familiar for me. Hopefully it will have a distinctive characteristics should the chef decided to put his real flavors into it. As for the chocolate, it was good!

So, be sure to visit Oakroom very soon since the opportunity will only last until the end of October!

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OAKROOM RESTAURANT & BAR
Not halal-certified
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Oakwood Premier Cozmo
Jl. Dr. Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung, Blok E4.2 No 1, Mega Kuningan, Jakarta – Indonesia

T: +62.21.2554.2300

Opening hours:
Daily, 6am – 11pm

Menu Highlights: Business Lunch 2015 at Lyon (Mandarin Oriental Jakarta)

A year was all that I need to part with Lyon and Chef Thierry’s masterful cooking skill. During a Zomato Meetup last time, we were all finally reunited and I managed to sample the restaurant’s three-course business lunch.

Lyon’s version of business lunch was made intelligently and also hearty. In terms of flavor, you cannot argue with what Chef Thierry and his crews have crafted with such intensity, freshness, and creativity at the same time.

Seared fillet barramundi from Java Sea
Seared fillet barramundi from Java Sea

So let’s get on with my choices for the lunch, shall we?

As an opener, the seared scallop appeared the same but Chef Thierry’s decision to pour the consomme and paired it with cockles made it wholesome. Born in one of the northernmost regions of France overlooking the English Channel, Chef Thierry shared his nostalgic touch with intense seafood flavor and I am loving every minute of it.

Creme fraiche enriched with potato gnocchi 'a la Francaise'
Creme fraiche enriched with potato gnocchi ‘a la Francaise’

It was not by accident that I skipped the barramundi only for the pleasure to have the chicken for the main dish. While the chicken was kept as the main star, the chef also introduced serious flavor coming from the sidekics in a form of braised celeriac, which was a pleasant and refreshing addition to the onion emulsion and bawang goreng that he also introduced in the dish. It was both fulfilling for business lunch and even for other occasion. I’d love to have this again some other time!

Gunung Salak Hills free-range chicken on the bone
Gunung Salak Hills free-range chicken on the bone

Finally, we are now coming down to the dessert. It was a spectacular oven preserved apple served within what I would call as cannoli and served with buckwheat ice cream. Quite unexpectedly the ice cream was done really nicely and became subtle when paired with the acidity coming from the apple. It was a perfect marriage between sour and sweet! Not only that it refreshed me, but it was the coup de grace that I was looking for in a dessert!

Thank you for the good reunion, Lyon!

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LYON
Halal-friendly (some of the menu contain pork and alcohol)
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Jalan MH Thamrin, Jakarta – Indonesia

T: +62.21.2970.4981 ext. 442

Opening hours:
Daily, 11.30am – 2pm (lunch), 6pm – 11.30pm (dinner)

Website