Tag Archives: International

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

Advertisements

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

Chef Eric Gouteyron: The One Who Fell in Love With Indonesia (Passion, 2017)

The seasoned French chef Mr Eric Gouteyron welcomed Passion at his boutique pastry shop L’Amandine in Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. There he told us about his colorful soon-to-be four decade career as a professional pastry chef and how he fell in love deeply with Indonesia.

How did you become a pastry chef?

You can say my passion in this industry went through two important stages in the beginning. First, there was my mother who taught me pastry since I was 12 back in my hometown Le Puy, nearby Lyon.

Then, I decided to pursue my passion and applied for apprenticeship, worked at several pastry shops, and finally met Mr Gerard Sciennat – the second person who inspired me immensely. He’s a gifted pastry chef who always created masterpiece for his clients. He motivated me to join competitions. When I got first place, he gave me an opportunity to train in Paris.

You had a fantastic spell back in New York we heard. Care to tell us about it?

I was recommended by an American friend during my training in Paris to work at The River Cafe in New York, a famous restaurant by the river overlooking the Manhattan district. It’s a very beautiful restaurant and my first time working abroad. Moreover, celebrities frequented the restaurant from time to time. I met Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, and many more during my time there.

Next I was appointed as the Executive Pastry Chef at The Plaza Hotel, my first time working for five-star establishment. I stayed there for fourteen years and we did also many celebrity weddings there like for Eddy Murphy, Michael Douglas, and for Mr Trump as well – the proprietor at that time.

What’s after New York and why did you decide to stay in Asia afterwards?

Next I joined Fairmont Hotels group and was assigned to their property in Dubai. One time I was also part of the pre-opening team for Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi.

As for why I stay in Asia until now. It all started during my tenure back in Dubai. I was working perhaps with the best team I ever had in my entire career. It was a team comprised of people from different nationalities, and I found out that Indonesians in particular are very passionate people. That’s why I wanted to find out more about Asia. From there I went to Hong Kong and eventually, Indonesia.

How did you start it here in Indonesia?

After a brief spell with Intercontinental Hong Kong, I joined The Harvest here as their F&B Director. At the end of my contract, I met my old friend Chef Chandra Yudasswara, whom I had the pleasure to work with during my time back in Dubai. We work together now. He’s expanding Portable Kitchen & Bar, and I’m running L’Amandine as the pastry counterpart.

So, how would you suggest people to enjoy L’Amandine products and can you highlight some of the best?

Well, imagine yourself back at home and feeling hungry. Imagine how nice it would be to please yourself with a slice of our bread, added with smoked salmon, cold cuts, or put some sour cream on our homemade rye bread. Perhaps you can also make yourself a quick sandwich, with BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) and melted cheese on top. You can do a lot of alternatives and very healthy as well.

The signature product for L’Amandine is the Black Diamond – an entremet of almond & chocolate dacquoise, with mild acidity came from passion fruit and the sweet, light bitterness of the chocolate. We have also the Black & White Truffle and Chocolate Double Fudge. We’re also known for our croissants.

Now that you have been living here for quite some time, are you planning to stay in Indonesia for good?

As a chef, it’s difficult to imagine myself dropping the suitcase and settle somewhere permanently. But for Indonesia, I really enjoy myself living here and I am seriously considering to stay for good.
There’s something that I admire from the people. Here people act naturally and they are always smiling. Even though life treats them bad, they are still genuinely happy. This is a situation unlike anywhere else I ever found out during my travels.

Lastly, tell us about your favorite Indonesian food?

Oxtail soup is nice. I also like gado-gado, rendang, and other Padang food! I don’t eat much rice but nasi goreng is a good treat once in a while.


Original link:
http://www.passionmedia.co.id/b/the-one-who-fell-in-love-with-indonesia

Images by: Edwin Pangestu