Tag Archives: International

The Weekender: Rooms Inc. Hotel, Berwisata di Semarang Dimulai dari Sini

Lama tak berjumpa dengan kota Semarang, rupanya sudah banyak yang berubah. Kalau ingin berkeliling kota dengan nyaman, semua dimulai dari memilih tempat menginap yang pas. Rooms Inc. jadi pilihan utama kali ini untuk memulai wisata Semarang yang akan berlangsung selama 3 hari!

Ketika seorang teman mendengar bahwa saya akan bertandang ke kotanya, tentu lokasi menginaplah yang jadi pertanyaan. Rooms Inc. yang sejak awal sudah jadi pilihan langsung dikomentarinya. “Ah, sepertinya berdekatan dengan DP Mall. Lokasinya bagus tuh!”, begitu katanya.

Ternyata benar, Rooms Inc. “menempel” dengan mall yang sudah lama tenar di kota Semarang ini. Konon mall ini baru-baru saja direnovasi dan alasannya jelas, lokasi strategisnya sungguh menguntungkan. Keberadaan Rooms Inc. menjadi menarik karena dari sinilah kita bisa berkelana keliling kota dengan sangat mudah.

Tiba di hari Jumat malam setelah menempuh perjalanan kereta api dari Jakarta selama hampir 6 jam, saya dan teman-teman perjalanan langsung bermalam di hotel. Setidaknya malam itu saja kami sudah tercengang akan tampilannya yang hype dan kamarnya yang nyaman. Kita lanjutkan saja esok hari untuk menjelajahinya.

Suasana Rooms Inc. bagian depan

Sebuah cafe bernama Grab & Go dan sederetan tempat duduk serta meja.
Grab & Go, tujuan tepat untuk sarapan pagi cepat sebelum berkeliling kota Semarang.

Interior-nya yang bergaya industrial dan bernuansa temaram ini memperkuat sisi elegannya. Lokasi pintu masuk memiliki akses sendiri, tepat di sebelah pintu utama DP Mall. Dari sini, kita hanya perlu naik lift untuk menuju lobby. Untuk yang membawa mobil, parkir saja di lantai atas dan kemudian masuk ke dalam lobby melalui lift turun ataupun menggunakan tangga.

Baru kali ini saya melihat counter check-in disatukan dengan beverage bar dan pastry station dari konsep kafe milik hotel ini. Di sini selain untuk urusan administrasi, bisa saja kita berbelanja croissant, kopi atau jus untuk to-go ataupun untuk dine-in di cafe-nya yang dinamakan Grab & Go. Konsep cafe-nya pun tidak setengah matang, karena sudah dilengkapi banyak tempat duduk yang nyaman hingga meja bilyar ataupun dart. Di sampingnya, beberapa meeting room berbagai ukuran siap disewakan.

The Verve, restoran dari Rooms Inc.

The Verve, restoran dari Rooms Inc. Semarang dengan deretan meja dan kursinya.
The Verve, mulailah hari dari sini dengan sarapan lengkap ataupun untuk mengakhiri hari ngafe bersama teman-teman.

Bittersweet Symphony, sebuah lagu yang pasti jadi pikiran kalian-kalian penggemar Britpop. Tenang, bukan itu, kok. The Verve adalah bistro sekaligus restoran milik Rooms Inc. Ia berlokasi tepat di belakang Grab & Go, dan sekaligus dekat dengan lokasi gym serta akses menuju kamar-kamar hotel.

The Verve terdiri dari dua bagian, satu adalah yang biasa dipakai untuk makan pagi. Sementara satu bagian lagi sepertinya lebih ditujukan sebagai bagian smoking dan live music. Bagian ini lebih hidup ketika malam tiba, dimana para pengunjung bisa lebih santai ngafe dan memesan minuman serta makanan.

Menu makan pagi milik Rooms Inc. cukup bervariasi. Hanya saja satu concern saya adalah penempatan stasiun makanan yang terasa terpisah. Kalau misalnya di hotel-hotel pada umumnya ada satu bagian khusus untuk menu prasmanan standar bersama dengan nasi putih, namun di Rooms Inc. posisinya menjadi berbeda.

Nasi putih terletak bersama menu harian tradisional yang berubah-ubah. Sementara menu prasmanan yang jadi temannya nasi putih diletakkan agak jauh dan lebih difungsikan sebagai camilan. Sementara, menu-menu utama adalah berupa beragam hidangan tradisional yang berubah setiap harinya. Hmm… Sungguh konsep yang khas diterapkan oleh Rooms Inc.

But anyway, sesi sarapan pagi yang selalu dinantikan saat menginap di luar kota ternyata dapat dipenuhi dengan baik di sini. Suasana restoran yang menyenangkan, makanan yang lezat, dan teman-teman yang seru menjadikan momen makan pagi semakin seru!

Kamar hotel yang nyaman

Sebuah kamar hotel dengan tempat tidur berukuran queen size dan TV.
Berukuran pas, kamar paling ekonomis dari Rooms Inc. ini terlihat nyaman dan elegan.

Dekat dengan The Verve, kita akan menemukan sebuah pintu akses khusus yang menggunakan kartu pass yang dimiliki para tamu. Di dalamnya langsung ada sederetan kamar dan lift internal bagi yang menginap di lantai berbeda.

Masuk ke dalam kamar, suasana khas Rooms Inc. yang saya temui di luar terasa konsisten hingga ke dalam. Suasana santai seolah mengajak saya untuk langsung beristirahat ketika malam itu tiba nyaris mendekati tengah malam.

Tata ruangan Rooms Inc. cukup tipikal dengan banyak hotel lainnya, hanya saja minus keberadaan lemari yang biasanya menjadi tempat menggantung pakaian. Alih-alih beberapa gantungan sudah ditempel di dinding lorong antara kamar mandi dan tempat tidur. Luas kamar mandi juga cukup memadai dan ada ruangan shower dengan bingkai kaca yang cukup spacious. Jangan lupa cek balik kaca wastafel karena ada rak tersembunyi. Hanya saja, jangan sampai lupa cek sebelum check-out seandainya kamu menaruh barang di sana.

Masuk ke bagian tempat tidur, tempat menaruh bagasi cukup luas dan bisa memuat beberapa tas. Nightstand tersedia di kiri kanan ranjang berukuran queen size. Sedikit berharap awalnya kamar dilengkapi dengan desk dan kursi kerja, namun ternyata memang ukuran kamarnya tidaklah terlampau besar namun juga tidak terasa sempit. Hanya saja memang tidak akan muat bila meja kerja juga dipasang di sana. Beruntung di bagian lobby, Rooms Inc. sudah menyiapkan banyak tempat duduk nyaman untuk bekerja di depan laptop, bukan?

Jarak antara ujung ranjang dan dinding hanya muat bila kita berjalan menyamping secara perlahan. Di sini, TV berukuran 32″ diletakkan dan terasa besar serta memuaskan untuk menikmati tontonan. Channel TV kabel juga sangat lengkap dan banyak alasan untuk bisa betah berlama-lama di kamar.

Kesimpulan

Sebuah meja makan panjang untuk bersantap ataupun bekerja.
Ruang rekreasi antara Grab & Go dan The Verve. Terdapat juga meja bilyar dan mesin dart di sini.

Singkat kata, Rooms Inc. bisa jadi pilihan saya berikutnya kalau kembali bertandang ke kota Semarang. Selain tempat menginap yang nyaman, jaraknya yang selemparan batu dengan Lawang Sewu terasa sangat sentral. Dari sini saya bisa berbelanja oleh-oleh di Pandanaran serta tentunya Tahu Petis Yudistira kesukaan orang rumah. Bahkan satu pagi saya sempat berkelana ke beberapa tempat makan terkenal di Semarang untuk sarapan dan ngopi.

Satu malam ketika mager, cukup turun sejenak ke DP Mall dan kamu bisa bersantap di restoran-restoran terkenal asal ibukota. Sebut saja Kimukatsu, KOI, Pepper Lunch, ataupun food court-nya yang punya banyak pilihan – termasuk Pempek Ny. Kamto kesukaan saya!

Sudah siap pelesir ke Semarang, gaes?


ROOMS INC. HOTEL SEMARANG

Address:
DP Mall
Jl. Pemuda No.150, Semarang – Jawa Tengah, Indonesia

T: +62 24 8600 1200

Website


UNION Café, Ready to Take on The New Terrain

Much to everyone’s excitement, UNION Café was recently unveiled as the latest entry from The Union Group – the big family that shapes the F&B scene of Jakarta for years now.

Known for the endless innovations when it comes to various dining concepts, UNION Café in a way differentiates itself with the siblings. Emulating the success of UNION as the group’s flagship restaurant is already a challenge, but to leave its own mark of distinction to curious Jakartan diners would be an admirable feat.

Within just few weeks of their opening since before Eid this year, the establishment has already become the talk of the town. The welcoming atmosphere, the circular shape of the café, and the alluring display of bakery would entice even UNION’s most seasoned patron. Once inside, it’s all about comfort and privacy – albeit pretty much the whole Senayan City can see the hustle and bustle of the café.

The distinctive features came mostly from the menu and perhaps this is the first time in the history of UNION that we have Indonesian-inspired dishes more than ever. The inspirations for the menu was either creatively driven or derived from personal experiences of chef proprietor Adhika Maxi and his wife Karen Carlotta. The result is an exciting lineup worth every penny to indulge.

From the starters, UNION Café boasts the collection of Indonesian snacks such as the prawn and chicken tahu isi with daun jeruk, singkong fries “soto flavor”, scallop bakwan jagung, and bakwan fishcakes. Alternatively, you can choose international flavors such as the lemongrass tuna tataki with tempeh crumbs or the calamari with San Marzano tomatoes and tartar sauce.

Heading to the pasta section, the Indonesian flavors can be seen right away from the appearance of crispy teri aglio olio spaghetti and the crispy chicken penne with sambal matah. The latter shows UNION Café’s new commitment for bolder taste. It’s not just about the depth of flavors and the sophistication of the dish, but also the level of spiciness. This would be a new height that perhaps only a few internationally-themed restaurants in Jakarta would be brave enough to climb.

Heading to the main course, one certainly must play along with UNION Café’s signatures. For example; the Indo Spiced Steak with cabe rawit confit, colorful vegetables, and rice would be a great substitute for your usual Steak Frites. Other than that, the café offers the appetizing nasi bebek garing on garlic rice and served with 2 kinds of sambal. Not stopping on those, we have all the goodness from slow cooked short ribs with tamarind sauce, nasi goreng kepiting, and seafood mie goreng.

Heading straight to the desserts – a specialty that has contributed so much for UNION’s success, is also not short of surprises. Firstly, we have the es teler ice cream bolu roll, and pisang coklat with cinnamon sugar and burnt caramel ice cream. The rich display of cakes and pastry would be great for takeaways as well.

With this, one would be curious enough to see with what UNION Café in particular, would conjure again in the future with its potentials. As they say, UNION made is well made, and certainly we’d be looking forward to more exciting things coming from the group and its other ventures.

UNION CAFE
Lower Ground Floor, Senayan City,
Jl. Asia Afrika No.19, Jakarta
Phone: +6221 7278 1145
www.unionjkt.com


Featured on Passion Magazine

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

Rosso: Standing Tall Against the Test of Time

Eleven years and counting, still standing tall as ever. Meet Rosso, the envoy of high-end Italian dining from Jakarta. 

We live in an era when contemporary cuisine based on creativity, quality ingredients, and delicate presentations has taken the society by storm. The interesting part is at the same time, the movement to promote local values from traditional cuisines are also gaining prominence.

From budding home cooks to professional chefs, nowadays everyone is harnessing the wide availability of information and ingredients from all over the world to conjure up innovative cuisines by creating a synergy – partly inspired by traditional dishes, using the freshest possible ingredients, and applying modern cooking techniques. Not to forget, the dishes are also aesthetically presented.

Embracing the harmony of these aspects for years of its existence is Rosso. Tucked in the corner of the lobby level of the opulent hotel, Rosso clad itself with the color of red. The many windows of it invite the sunlight, evoking the much needed warmth and intimacy thanks to the gray skies Jakarta this rainy season.
There’s a light touch of Renaissance era found from the paintings on the ceiling of the restaurant. The elegant dining room is juxtaposed side-by-side with the lounge and the bar. In the back, an open kitchen for pasta and pizza serves also as a showroom for a wide collection of antipasti, cheese, and cold cuts available for lunchtime and Sunday brunch.

My virgin flight with Rosso started from a Sunday brunch back in 2008 during the time of Chef Alessandro Santi. It was deemed a rare find to be able to enjoy brunch culture back then in Jakarta. The next few years brought me to know chefs Oriana Tirabassi and her successor Paolo Gionfriddo, whom the former actually taught me personally about the many types of Italian cheese and further appreciation for an Italian element that always eludes me – gnocchi. Finally in 2016, Chef Gianfranco Pirrone reigns supreme.

Hailing from Sicily, Chef Franco is breathing his homeland’s charms and the best from twenty Italian regional cuisines to Rosso’s ever-evolving artistry. This January 2018, he will be unveiling a fresh lineup for the menu.

“Firstly – the Gourmet Pizza, which is the current hype in Italy. The concept itself is to elevate pizza to a new level. For example, by using porcini or foie gras as the topping. Or one can also use beef tartare and even applying scallop and lobster on a blackened pizza. I’m planning to introduce this as an appetizer”, explained Chef Franco.

Among the many varieties of fresh pasta available at Rosso, Chef Franco decided that 2018 would be a great start to introduce his childhood favorite – the cappelletti. Shaped like small hats, as the name implies, each cappelletti is filled with thickened lamb ragout and paired with creamy parmesan sauce and truffle butter.

“The cappelletti represents my family Sunday brunch back in Italy. Usually it was cooked by my mother or grandmother. This time I made a twist with the filling and the sauce for our guests”, shared the chef.

Growing up with his family foodie culture also inspired him to share other favorite recipes such as the veal tenderloin with walnut sauce and the perfectly cooked Australian tenderloin with gorgonzola sauce and roasted potatoes with caramelized shallots. For the desserts, the seemingly simple chocolate foam with coffee sauce, apricot, and mint actually delivers a sweet and satisfying ending from the whole ensemble.

Chef Franco also shared his other plans. “We are improving our Sunday Brunch from time to time. We try to limit the size of the buffet but we compensate it by presenting only the best produce. Cheese, cold cuts, mini ala carte dishes are available at your disposal. We try to serve our guests freshly cooked fish, meat, and pasta.”

“Additionally, we still have the risotto and pasta cooked on parmesan wheel every Sunday. I have also an idea to bring this concept for dinner. I want to present it to the guest personally by using the trolley. Let’s see if they will like it”, says Chef Franco confidently.

Rosso of Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta has become a role model for other Italian restaurants in Jakarta and has been so for the past eleven years of its existence. It is apparent that Rosso never shies away from the face of competition and today, what it presents us is a testament about how the preservation of pride and authenticity of traditional Italian cuisine can adapt harmoniously with the ever-changing dynamics of modern restaurant business.


ROSSO, Shangri-La Jakarta | Kota BNI, Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1, Jakarta | T: +62 21 2922 9999


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/standing-tall-against-the-test-of-time

Images by: Shangri-La Jakarta