Tag Archives: French

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

What Chef Eats: Antoine Audran (The Foodie Magazine, Dec 2014)

Forty years of experience working in many kitchens across the world and covering the roles as executive chef, restaurant owner, and spearheading the R&D about food are what that drew us to know more about Antoine Audran and what he really likes to eat here in Indonesia.

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With a mixture of fluent Bahasa and English as well as his big stature, Chef Antoine Audran is easily recognized. Twenty years of living in Indonesia has brought him to get along very easily with the people anywhere and that’s what I saw when he greeted many fellow business owners inside Pasar Santa.

Quite recently he rented two kiosks and providing a good space for her wife to start her simple pasta business. “Whenever I’m here in Jakarta experimenting with produce that we got from the countryside, I will always be around here to drop by at my wife’s café and grazing around for good stuff around Pasar Santa”, says the chef who proudly admits that he can have his lunch three times when he’s with the right crowd.

You can say that Chef Antoine Audran is my personal hero on French food. Years ago, I was very fortunate to enjoy French dishes that he cooked personally at his former restaurant – Java Bleu. I never thought that real French food ultimately does not always require finesse with presentation, but it’s also like us here in Indonesian – the food has to be good and fulfilling!

Clearly, years of working with five-star establishments gave him clear understanding that eventually most people wanted their food to look more than a feast for the eyes.

Working in both France and England didn’t stop young Antoine to travel around the globe and heading to the unknown parts of the world during the era of dictators sometime around 30 years ago. “Not only in hot kitchens, I started early also to learn about managerial when I was assigned as the head chef to supervise airline meals owned by Air France back in Africa”, he says.

A few years later, Chef Antoine moved to Le Meridien Baghdad nearby the presidential palace where he often catered high ranking officials including Saddam Hussein himself. “Iraq was a beautiful country and I love the people so much. The food was unique and I was lucky to experience Iraq when it was still peaceful”, the chef reminisces.

Finally he set foot in Indonesia after a few years spell in Thailand and has done so many things from opening up his own restaurant and now in a food R&D business specializing with local produce. That’s also why we asked him to take us to his favorite local haunt for Indonesian food.

“I always enjoy the original Sate Padang Ajo Ramon here in Pasar Santa. We are lucky that it is not too crowded today!” he says while ordering a plate full of sate campur with rice cakes.

Well, there’s a reason why that he brought us there in the first place before off we went on to scour the lively Pasar Santa, grazing around what it has to offer, and of course, talking about food!

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE December 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!