Tag Archives: Italiano

Restaurant Review: Rosso (2009)

Sunday Brunch! That’s it! It’s time for the new level. Not just an ordinary all-you-can-eat buffet, but it’s an exclusively designed Sunday Brunch buffet with limited time and you gotta book yourself a seat first. Long story short, my friend had asked me out and of course I said I’m coming, and then booked the place one week prior. The price however, was a bit stunning since it was my first Sunday Brunch. Expect to pay IDR 268,000++ for Sunday Brunch with free flow soft drinks and juices or IDR 288,000++ with free flow red or white wine. I had to admit that before agreeing this offer, I felt reluctant a bit but since this was a rare offer and an intriguing adventure, I said to myself why not? Let’s hit the road then! *grinning*

Since Sunday Brunch only available from 10.30 AM until 2.30 PM, we decided to come a bit early so that there would be plenty of time should we wish to appease the monstrous appetite. Haha.. Intermezzo! So, lately I have been a quite frequent patrons for breakfast at Hyatt Jakarta with my other friend. They do close the breakfast buffet at 10.30 AM and we always start the breakfast at around 9 AM and that was a huge space of time for me to try everything. Let’s say that when we first came to Rosso, we were still rookies for a hotel dining. Therefore I conclude that coming too early does not necessary at all. Coming late would be a disaster of course, but at least 2 hours would be enough to taste everything from appetizer to dessert. Just take your time, don’t be too ambitious, prepare your stomach (a.k.a less breakfast), and don’t drink too much. That’s the secret art of maximizing the satisfaction in your all-you-can-eat dining experience.

We were given the menu explaining things about the brunch and we’re supposed to pick one from several options for the main dish. As for the rest, it’s gonna be all-you-can-eat! I picked Veal wrapped in cabbage, layered with mushroom, spinach, and cheese sauce. Sounds yummy eh? My partner chose Grilled sea bass with marinated vegetables, roasted potato, and balsamic emulsion. Enthralling! Haha.. Well, you can also pick other options such as Risotto with asparagus, tiger prawns, and fresh spinaches or Beef fillet mignon with pancetta sage potato, sauteed capsicum, and black truffle sauce. You might also want to know about ‘V’ crispy polenta with capponata, breaded mushroom, and basil pesto sauce or even try the Marinated chicken breast with roasted baby potato, grilled zucchini, and diavola sauce. Well, to be honest, these options might be obsolete by now. I do expect that Chef Alessandro Santi who runs the place, might do more experiments about the Italian main dishes there and the menu may be updated from time to time. FYI, that was the menu for March 2009, but at least you got the real image about Rosso right?

We can order the main dish anytime we’re ready. So first, we gotta indulge ourselves with the exquisite appetizers. There was a buffet made of ice blocks filled with fresh frutti di mare such as tiger prawns, scallops, crabs, and even lobsters. Further, we found the salad and pasta bars with many ingredients that I love such as asparagus, mushrooms, sliced beef made into carpaccio, many kinds of cheese, and others! You can also find meatballs that can be dipped with tomato sauce and pasta that you can take with ease. On the opposite table I found juices and drinks but you’d better save it for later.

Ravioli with Tiger Prawn Sauce

The most interesting part here was the pasta bar, made and served personally by the Head Chef Alessandro Santi. We’re supposed to pick the type of pasta and the sauce. Doesn’t sound that interesting eh? But you’ll find it interesting once you know that Rosso provide pasta dishes like starting from Traditional Lasagna Bolognaise, Dover Sole Cannelloni, Saffron Fettucine, Spaghetti Rustichella, Farfalle, Black Olive Gnocchi, or Sea Bass Agnoloti and with sauces that you won’t find anywhere like Tiger Prawn Sauce, Eggplant Pesto, Porcini Sauce, or Black Truffle Sauce. Now now, you wouldn’t wanna pick too many appetizers (except for the fresh raw seafood) if you know that Rosso make such recipes. Personally made and delivered by the chef himself, showing that he cares. Such personal involvements really do make people appreciate food more and not only through the taste. By the way, I chose Ravioli with Tiger Prawn Sauce and that was a good choice!

‘V’ Minestrone soup with basil pesto, roasted pine kernels, and extra virgin olive oil

Next, we’re ready for the main dish but first we’re served with another appetizer from the kitchen, the ‘V’ Minestrone soup with basil pesto, roasted pine kernels, and extra virgin olive oil. Well, I hate to say that it was like any other vegetables soup but still a decent one for sure. Not long after we finished with the soup, the main dishes came. My choice, the Veal wrapped in cabbage, layered with mushroom, spinach, and cheese sauce, was not exactly as I had thought. The veal might be tender, but the cabbage somehow didn’t fit into the taste. I actually favored the spinach only as the companion for the veal and topped that with mushroom for more decency in taste. However the so-called cheese sauce didn’t feel like cheese at all. It was nonetheless quite satisfying but it was beaten black and blue by the brilliance of the appetizers. That’s a shame because the main dish was supposed to be better.

Veal wrapped in cabbage, layered with mushroom, spinach, and cheese sauce

As for my friend’s choice, the Grilled sea bass with marinated vegetables, roasted potato, and balsamic emulsion was somehow better but still not that special. Well, I don’t know whether it’s because the tongue of an Asian, notably Indonesian, was suitable enough with European dishes because we seem to fond more for sharper taste equipped with plenty of spices. Pretty bland for my tongue so I suppose this would be the homework for the chef. Adapt and conquer! That’s what we’re doing wherever we are right? Well, that’s for March 2009 menu. Perhaps now should be better.

Grilled sea bass with marinated vegetables, roasted potato, and balsamic emulsion

Afterwards, we just can’t wait for the desserts! Plenty of cakes, ice cream, and colorful things to be plundered in the dessert section. I can tell you one thing, the best part of the dessert was the Pannacotta! Extraordinary! You gotta try it if you come to Rosso. Well, the tragic thing about the dessert was that I was beaten by my inability to try to finish all of the desserts. To wrap it up, they offer us coffee or tea as the finisher. After I finished the coffee, everything seemed to be blurry just like a dream that just passed away through a phase of my life. It was indeed like a dream come true and I do really wish to get a chance for another Sunday Brunch adventure. Perhaps Scusa for a comparison study. ^^

Pannacotta

The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):

1. PRICE (6/10)

IDR 268,000++ for Sunday Brunch with free flow soft drinks and juices

IDR 288,000++ with free flow red or white wine

Pretty reasonable judging from ingredients used and things that you can’t find that easily outside. It’s a loss though if you can’t keep up with the goldmine. Hoho..

2. INTERIOR (8/10)

Dominated but red and good interior. Makes your dining experience doubled by the lascivious and elegant look of the joint.

3. SERVICE (7/10)

What else could you ask? Even the chef himself deliver the food personally to your table.

4. TASTE (7/10)

Excellent appetizers and desserts. They need to work out more for the main dishes though.

5. OVERALL (6/10)

Additional Information:

RSVP Required!!

Location : Shangri-la Hotel, Jakarta

Restaurant Review: Nanny’s Pavillon (2009)

My only wish few months ago was to apply to manage a Pancious franchise for Bandung. Equipped well with the insights of how wonderfully this business will run in Bandung and disappointed utterly with the appearance of this similar concept due to the lack of fund!

Fresh from the oven. Lo and behold! The Nanny’s Pavillon in Bandung!!! This place offers almost the same as Pancious but with a friendlier price of course (the one in Jakarta is more expensive).

Since it has become one of the hippest place in town, on and on it’s crowded like almost everyday. Located in a fine premise, very strategic, integrated with a boutique outlet and a food court, Nanny’s Pavillon boastfully presents its existence. The name ‘Pavillon’ was indeed French but since it’s using Nanny’s than it’s a bit strange actually but does the knowledge of proper English matters here? What matters is indeed what this Nanny may offer us!

It was indeed literally located in a pavilion, the open air design will give you a more fresh kind of feeling if you compare it to other air-conditioned pancake parlors in Jakarta. They also cover the place with plants and making it feels like home because in reality it’s located just beside the busy street of Riau/Martadinata St.

The problem would be where to park your car because they don’t provide enough parking space inside so most likely you gonna need to park your car outside and if you happen to be unlucky in a situation where you’re really craving of pancake at a wrong time (i.e : weekends), then you might gonna need to walk a bit from where you park your car.

Luckily, for those who use public transportation, you can stop the angkot just outside the place. Very convenient, but judging from how Indonesians now prefer to flood the street with motorcycles and the fact that Bandung is lacking of parking lots, you gotta do what you gotta do then.

Butterscotch Coffee

That time, the air was still in the atmosphere of Lebaran holiday but it was the remaining days of it so many people already got back to work. We assumed that even Jakartans already return back to their bustling city, so we decided to have a lunch there. It was a misjudge, lucky for us that we had arrived earlier for the waiting list because less than 5 minutes later, tons of people flooded the waiting list right away. We’re welcomed by waitresses dressed like French maids in green stripes clothes. The Nanny thing also applied to the theme of the place, like the interiors, the benches, and the whole design. It is very fitting with the pancake, I’d say. When we browsed the menu, they also served pasta, sandwich, baked rice and coffee.

Peach Pancake with Maple Syrup and Vanilla Ice Cream

Since my mom wanted a pancake, then I should pick something else. I suggested her the Peach Pancake (IDR 29,000) and I picked myself a pasta dish of Beef Fettucines with Brown Sauce (IDR 29,000). For a price comparison, the pancake was in the same tier with Pancious but the pasta surely cheaper. You gonna get around IDR 40K in Pancious for the pasta.

For the drink, I picked the Auntie’s Butterscotch Coffee (IDR 18,000). I took the liberty to change the name from Aunt Butterscotch coz I forgot the Aunt’s name. Hahaha.. So, the peach pancake was great! It was big, warm, tender, it got peaches in it (the one in Pancious was different, they simply ‘pour’ the peaches with the sauce on top of the pancake), plus really fits well with the vanilla ice cream (too bad Nanny hasn’t provided other flavors besides vanilla that time). They also provide the maple syrup, which was a very important thing you can add to a pancake!

As for the pasta, it was quite okay. You may see it like small portion at first, but when you dig it, it’s quite deep. Perhaps it’s lacking in composition whereas they put only few meatballs to balance the portion and the sauce. Plus it lacked of herbs. European dishes use plenty of grassy herbs like oregano, rosemary, and friends. Luckily they provided parmesan cheese (unlike the stingy Pizza Hut).

Beef Fettucine with Brown Sauce

To wrap it up, it was a decent lunch after all and people indeed seem to like the place and the food. I got no objection in that. Since Nanny’s Pavillon is the first and the most decent pancake parlor Bandung ever got. Sooner or later, competitors for the same genre will join in for the fight and as usual Bandung will become even more indisputable as a culinary haven. The price we gotta pay would only be the heavy traffic.

One more thing, why pick Pancious for the comparison study? It’s because that it’s the most famous pancake parlor in Jakarta. That simple. Pancious surely owns more menu though but you can substitute it with Nanny’s when you’re in Bandung, no sweat! ^^

The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):

1. PRICE (7/10)

Since Bandungnese are price-sensitive people. This place would accommodate their wallet and their appetite. Though the price tags in Jakarta are several thousand rupiah more expensive.

2. INTERIOR (6/10)

Feels like home and far from the feeling that it’s located just beside a busy street. The waitresses are like French maids ready to serve you with good home dishes.

3. SERVICE (6/10)

Quite helpful but if it’s the rush hour, you might gonna get a bit difficulty asking for their prompt compliance.

4. TASTE (6.5/10)

So far so good. I still need to work on the other menu there.

5. OVERALL (6.375/10)

The pioneer of pancake parlor in Bandung. They gonna need to improve every time so that they can compete with potential competitors sooner or later. As for the rest, I feel quite contented.

Additional Information:

Location : Jl. R.E. Martadinata No. 112, Bandung

More locations in Jakarta have opened (updates TBA)

Restaurant Review: Scusa (2009)

Insalata di Frutti di Mare

This has become a lucid, transparent target for me to raise myself into a new level of connoisseur dementia. It’s a good thing, unlike any other dementias. Well.. There might be pros and cons about this dementia stuff because some will still got hurt in the process (notably the wallet). I, who obviously suffer this dementia, enjoy each and every moment of it anytime it strikes! Everyone would probably bailing out when it comes to this level because the stakes getting higher and higher. A word of advice for all the wannabes, always ensure that you’re up for this or else you can quit at your loss.

Okay, so what’s with the opener? It’s quite strange actually. Well, it’s because that I opened the Pandora’s Box, the door to the very road that will drag me on and on towards the appointed doom, the very thing that was long time ago before I was even born embedded in my mind and my tummy (haha..), are now finally and ultimately revealed, unraveled, unveiled, brought to light! It’s a revelation for me! It’s the fate that I should cling into for the rest of my life (much to the expense of my health and my pocket)! It’s the next level of how (I warrant) a gourmet I should become. It’s…. It’s……..

The Invasion of Hotels!!!!!

Wait… that doesn’t sound cool… Any other name?

The…. uh…. ummm….

I got none right now… Yeah whatever!

Anyway here’s the big deal, I ran into several promotion posters every time I visit Intercontinental Hotel, Jakarta. Starting from 2009, Chef Antonio Massagli will reign over Intercon’s only Italian bistro, Scusa! For the whole year! Yaay! Some people told me that before this guy came, the food was not that good. If it’s true from what I read in a certain magazine, the kitchen was ruled by Chef Luigi Girardin. You should know me that I shall not trust others’ judgments even for movies. It’s essential for me, the afflicted patient of connoiseur dementia, to judge whether it’s good or not, only through my tongues!

Homemade Spinach with Ricotta Ravioli with tomato, butter, and sage sauce

So one day, one of my colleagues, one of those people from the neighboring department who were the lifeline of my workplace, the profit makers, the highly paid, and of course, those who like to spend for fancy foods, asked me out for a lunch at Scusa alongside the rest of the gang. Many of my colleagues here reckon the not-so-surprising fact anymore in my office, that I’m the guy for foods, the sole survivor in the office rather than in the jungle, and the one who always carries foods from nowhere and people would ask, ‘Where did you get it?’ and I would say, ‘From the sky!’.

Yup! That’s me!

By the time I got there, my friends already had their dishes ordered. They took the same dish to my surprise. It’s actually one of the most common main dish everywhere, but what’s the essence of having this discounted fiesta with RBS card plus the ingenious Italian cuisine?! For me, it’s for having more expensive dish and this will cut the price half more than usual and that’s what I call a rare chance! Even so, I didn’t even take the 50% opportunity. There’s a lot of interesting menu of course but I took the package menu (Mezzo) instead which notably excluded in this discount system. That’s what I call the connoisseur dementia if you can now understand what the hell I was saying at the beginning of the show.

Mango Gelato

So, to start to whole party, we were all given the Walnut Bread with Fetta Cheese fillings as the opener. The round-shaped bread was stuffed into this small cup but somehow the bread still has a quite considerable size for an appetizer.You might gonna guess that the taste would probably the same like any other bread added with cheese, but it’s completely different! It’s tender with empty core in the middle but you can go straight downstairs, I might add, for the fetta cheese. It’s a match made in heaven. The looks may not be much, but you gotta dig in and find it out by yourself. Well, at any rate, don’t stray too far coz it’s only an appetizer. You’ll never know until you meet the main dishes right?

The main dishes for my colleagues were the Salmon Steak served with asparagus, veggies like scallions, and mashed potato. Seemed to be drenched with herbs and olive oil sauce. Very decent taste! The salmon was humongous, definitely not smelly, plus the you’ll be overwhelmed by the tenderness of the mashed potato with the slices of asparagus there. Anyway, two of my colleagues actually shared this other type of salmon dish, it was the Salmon Fillet with the sauces you can pick. The composition was actually quite the same, but you gonna need to pick one from the many sauces.

Tiramisu

Since they had ordered their dishes before they even got there, my dish came a bit later. Though they spoiled upon their desserts like Mango Gelato, which was great also! Plus one of them had Tiramisu Cake, and probably some fruity coolers if I’m not mistaken, I just tucked in to my appetizers. The Italian name over my dish sure made it cool enough before even eating it and that would be the Insalata di Frutti di Mare. The Fruits of the Ocean in a salad form. Frutti di Mare is a common term in Italian for seafood. The big shrimps that went with mussels and oysters plus the green veggies with the red and green of the bell peppers, not to mention the watery cherry tomato soaked in olive oil and most likely the Italian dressing made it perfect. Of course I tucked in greedily. Hahaha..

Not long after that, the star of the show came, Homemade Spinach with Ricotta Ravioli with tomato, butter, and sage sauce! Though the name was quite spectacular, but I didn’t approve with the taste. It’s more like gyoza with rarely placed spinach. The sauce was extraordinary however, but I was quite disappointed with the composition of the main dish. Sorry Monsignor Massagli, but this one’s a bit… lame. The good thing was, I can add more olive oil. I’m always a fan of OO, like Rachael Ray says.

Sabayon Parfait with orange sauce

Well, my colleagues were all disappeared at this point since it’s already past the lunch break hour, but I managed to texted my boss telling him that I’m gonna be late. Now that the formalities done, I can now have my dessert at ease. It’s a Sabayon Parfait with orange sauce. It’s a quite weird parfait for me. The vision about parfait for me was like in Japanese manga where you can see the characters having this tower full of ice creams alongside plenty of melted chocolates, bananas, cherries, and any of those ice cream condiments. Truly, this Sabayon parfait was like an ice cream, but it didn’t feel like one. It’s a defrosted ice cream, feels gelatinous, which is okay because gelato works nicely in ice cream but it has this somewhat bitter taste like you can find in oranges. Also the orange taste didn’t fit well in the ice cream though the sauce was okay actually.

As the real finisher, I was offered the coffee! I can actually pick anything that I like, be it Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, or anything. I picked the Cappuccino instead, the much safer one. Normally I’d pick Latte but since I had one earlier, well.. actually just a few days before, might as well pick another one. Turned out that the cappuccino thing was the right choice, it was quite nice in fact. I had this quite wonderful lunch, probably if I got accompanied by more friends to discuss and share the taste of the food, that would be lovelier. But the thing was, the reason why I had picked the package menu because I wanted to know the whole thing about the food starting from the appetizers up until the desserts. For me, it was quite okay because I can still see some flaws here and there, but then again, you might not see it if you order ala carte menu since the Salmon Steak was great! You see, in my case, it’s actually the main dish and the dessert. They can actually make it more ‘proportional’, not just a bland ravioli with the God only knows whether the chef put the spinach or not in it. Plus the parfait would’ve been better actually. They just need to work on the bitterness there. As for the insalata, terrific! I’d suggest that you might want to try the Sunday Brunch for everything you wish to know about Italian food. Perhaps that would be the best time to test the whole real thing and in this case, it’s the time when Chef Antonio Massagli show his might and magic in his dishes.

Hot Cappuccino

The Judgment (based on scale of 10 score plus the comments):

1. PRICE (5/10)

What can you expect from an Italian bistro with an imported chef. It’s expensive! But then again it has to be this way though in some dishes, it’s just not worth it.

2. INTERIOR (7/10)

Mysterious. I like the dark scene. It gives the elegant atmosphere, especially with all the jazzy stuff. Perfect for personal events, perhaps a bit scandal will do here. ^^

3. SERVICE (8/10)

Responsive, helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. What more can you ask here? Well, you still gotta pay the service taxes. *_*

4. TASTE (7/10)

You gotta prove it in Sunday Brunch, Chef Antonio. I’ll come again. That’s the proving time for that.

5. OVERALL (6.75/10)

Additional Information:

Location : Hotel InterContinental-MidPlaza Jakarta