Tag Archives: Middle Eastern

Iftar Experience 2017: Grand Hyatt, Jakarta

Sukses dengan sajian-sajian khas Ramadhan di tahun yang lalu, kali ini Grand Hyatt Jakarta mengulang kembali sukses serupa dengan mempersembahkan masakan Turki sebagai menu andalan selama bulan ini.

Selama bulan Ramadhan ini, Grand Hyatt Jakarta khusus bekerja sama dengan Hyatt Regency Istanbul Ataköy yang mengirimkan dua ahli masakan Turki terbaiknya. Kontingen Turki dipimpin oleh Chef Gokhan Alkan dan seorang chef Indonesia yaitu Irba Sabarudin.

Grand Cafe khusus menjadi ajang perhelatan menu-menu iftar terbaik dari hotel kenamaan ini. Bila ingin berkesempatan mencoba masakan khas Turki yang hanya ada selama bulan Ramadhan tahun ini, maka sekaranglah waktunya.

Terakhir berkunjung, semua lini masakan Turki tersaji dengan lengkap. Mulai dari barisan meze dan salata sejuk dan segar, pengiring yang tepat adalah roti bazlama khas Turki yang rupanya lebih empuk dibandingkan roti-roti khas Timur Tengah lainnya. Sederetan meze tersaji berupa haydari (yogurt dengan daun mint dan bawang putih), çoban salatası yang mirip dengan salad hummus fatoush berupa potongan sayuran kotak-kotak yang saya pribadi sangat gemari, serta hummus yang sudah tidak asing lagi.

Dari bagian sajian utama, tidak ada yang lebih menggoda selain dua hal. Yang pertama adalah bütün kuzu tandır & iç pilav atau kambing yang telah dibumbui dimasak perlahan selama berjam-jam dan disajikan bersama nasi pilaf. Kedua adalah bagian döner yang kali itu menyajikan daging ayam. Seperti biasa daging yang telah diiris-iris disajikan dengan sayuran dan ditangkap oleh roti pita.

Pengiring masakan utama hari itu adalah kofte (bola daging), zeytinyağlı enginar (artichoke yang dimasak dalam minyak zaitun dan sayuran), serta karnıyarık (terong dengan daging sapi dan daun mint), dan banyak lainnya.

Satu hal yang sangat khas dari Ramadhan tahun ini adalah penampilan menarik dari pastrami serta sosis sapi khas Turki yang cocok dipadukan dengan roti. Sedikit usil, tentu kali itu saya padukan saja dengan nasi pilaf dan hasilnya tetap lezat!

Terakhir iftar ditutup dengan sederetan dessert khas Turki seperti buah pir yang dicelup dengan saus gula yang khas, cookies khas Turki dengan kacang badam, dan banyak lainnya.

Tidak hanya masakan Turki, seperti biasa Grand Cafe juga menyajikan sederetan masakan internasional lainnya yang sepertinya tetap sulit dilewatkan. Namun terakhir jangan lupa tutup dengan pilihan pastry ciamik Grand Hyatt Jakarta yang termashur, homemade ice cream, serta tentunya kopi Turki!


GRAND HYATT JAKARTA | Jalan MH Thamrin no. 30, Jakarta | +62 21 2992 1234 | jakarta.grand.hyatt.com

Iftar Experience 2017: Le Méridien, Jakarta

Dengan semangat yang terbarukan akhirnya Ramadhan di tahun 2017 telah tiba! Sehari penuh bekerja keras dan beribadah, tentu memberikan semangat untuk berbuka puasa dengan sesuatu yang menyenangkan. Kali ini giliran Le Meridien Jakarta yang unjuk gigi dengan segudang pilihan.

Al Nafoura (image by Le Meridien Jakarta)
Haruf Ouzi (image by Le Meridien Jakarta)

Lama tidak bertandang ke Le Meridien Jakarta, tentu ada dua pilihan besar menanti untuk berbuka puasa. Yang pertama adalah Al Nafoura yang dikawal oleh Chef Ahmad Jamil asal Yordania yang muda namun kaya dengan pengalaman. Di Al Nafoura, keceriaan saat iftar dimulai dari pilihan mezzeh dingin berupa hummus, fatoush, taboule, dan babaghanoush dengan roti pita. Lalu lanjutkan dengan haruf ouzi yang menjadi kebanggaan Al Nafoura dan mixed grills dengan shawarma. Tutup dengan dessert khas Timur Tengah dan Turki berupa umm ali serta baklava.

Indonesian dishes (image by Le Meridien Jakarta)

Kali ini namun yang mendapat giliran dari saya adalah kunjungan Le Brasserie, all-day dining kebanggaan hotel ini. Berlokasi di lobby level, La Brasserie pada malam itu terasa lebih homey dari biasanya. Memang suasana restoran ini, khususnya yang berada di pojok terasa lebih syahdu dan cocok untuk acara santap malam.

Malam itu pilihan sangat beragam terhadir untuk para tamu La Brasserie, yang sepertinya bahkan lebih meriah dari biasanya. Tambahan-tambahan meja buffet dipersiapkan dan jenis-jenis makanan diperbanyak. Bulan Ramadhan memang selalu spesial!

Seperti biasa yang selalu menarik perhatian adalah cold cuts yang terdiri dari beberapa jenis ikan, grilling station untuk menikmati surf & turf, variasi menarik dari masakan-masakan Indonesia, Eropa, serta China, dan terakhir tentunya sentuhan Timur Tengah dan India yang menjadi tema bulan ini.

Selamat berbuka puasa di Le Meridien Jakarta!


LE MERIDIEN JAKARTA | Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 18 – 20, Jakarta | +62 21 251 3131 | www.lemeridienjakarta.com

Chef Eats: Ahmad Jamil

The young chef Ahmad Jamil shares us the beloved dish that reminds him of home and a must try for any avid Middle Eastern cuisine lovers.

Chef Ahmad Jamil 1

On his tenth month spell at Al Nafoura of Le Meridien Jakarta, Chef Ahmad Jamil is more than keen to promote the cuisine of his home country – Jordan. His homeland; which lies on the crossroad between Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine; benefits from the cultural exchanges with these countries over the years and even way before.

There’s a degree of similarity between the names of cuisines in Middle East countries but usually, the difference lies in the process and composition of the dishes. Above all, there are several particular fares deemed as the most traditional in the country. One of which is maqluba, dear to all Jordanians and Chef Ahmad in particular.

“Usually we are having this after the Friday prayer for lunch. Friday is the start of weekend in many Middle Eastern countries and maqluba is always available in every Jordanian household that day”, explains the chef.

Maqluba has all the richness you would seek from a combination of chicken, rice, vegetables, and authentic Middle Eastern spices. The rice owes its flavor from the stock and then later combined with the chicken itself. Vegetables included in the rice are such as potatoes, cauliflowers, and eggplants. The one unique thing is that this casserole is served upside down after the cooking process. Hence the word ‘maqluba’.

Chef Ahmad’s cookery skills do not entirely owing to his academic and professional backgrounds, it came actually straight from home.

“I usually become our family’s second cook if my mother’s busy with work”, confesses the young chef.

After spending some time abroad in Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Russia, and Malaysia for his professional career, his first time in Indonesia and living in Jakarta is actually a surprising experience for the chef. As we all know, our beloved city is downright busy and crowded – unlike the countries he’s been at.

Judging from his wonderfully made Jordanian dishes, which we also enjoyed that day, we suppose he will have no quarrel with all Jakarta’s hustle and bustle.

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Nov 2015 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

QuikSkoop™: Nagasari Curry House – Malaysia

Nagasari Curry House is dear to many fellow Indian food lovers of Kuala Lumpur, including one of its top lifestyle referral magazine. Which is why I decided to task myself with this endeavor and find out why.

Yes, I will tell you the name. Time Out Kuala Lumpur. That’s the name of the publication that I mentioned earlier and Nagasari is so dear to them and that it received several awards from the magazine.

As an ex-Time Out Jakarta (in memoriam), I felt the urge instantly to come here (and it takes only a short walk from Bukit Bintang, apparently). In a leafy neighborhood where several traditional eateries found as well, Nagasari opens its door for 24 hours every day for those who seek full-fledged Indian food, nasi kandar, or iced pulled tea to beat the heat.

It was 3pm and nowhere near dinner obviously. That’s why I got the whole restaurant for myself. Service was very attentive and the menu got everything you need from local fares, Indian, and some of Thai cuisines. Inside, the self-service nasi kandar counter is at your disposal, but I decided to share tandoori chicken with my wife.

Nagasari 1

The cooking process took some time and I wondered why. When the dish came, it was a grand treat even for both of us! Nagasari literally gave out well-cooked and chopped whole chicken alongside rice and three side dishes from the nasi kandar counter. Additionally, my wife ordered one serving of huge garlic naan and it was accompanied with three types of curry.

Well, that was a feast, but my plan since the beginning was to share it with my wife (who apparently that time was not really too hungry). Nevertheless I dug in and I found joy. The tandoori chicken was good, rice was nice, and each ingredient support one another. However, I have to agree that it was not entirely too rich, in a way that Indonesians would want to have for their taste buds.

Nagasari 2

We could have actually finished the naan but we decided to take away the remainder of it for our night time snacks back at the hotel. In all, Nagasari was an interesting choice and there might be a next time whenever I am at Bukit Bintang and looking for good deal of lunch.

Upon my next visit in the future, I would really like to try the banana leaf Indian food. If you happen to have your favorite in the city, do let me know! 😉

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NAGASARI CURRY HOUSE
Halal-friendly
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

Opening hours: Daily, 24 hours

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Halal Eat Out: ABM Restaurant – Singapore

Singapore makes me always in need to be in motion. Where ever I am, it’s necessary to absorb as much culture and other advancements unseen in Indonesia. Singapore in particular, has plenty coming in from India – as we all know.

Food naturally becomes the pivotal part of my adventures here as you would grow tired and hungry from all those walks. During my visit recently to Mustafa Center (as always), ABM became my choice for the late night dinner.

Six years ago, ABM became a memorable place for me and my colleagues with its dinner and drinks. Now, it is my time with the wife.

Previously, we had a really nice experience back at Komala’s but of course, it would be a waste to not try something new for her. ABM itself is bustling with customers and at around 10pm, it started to ran out of what I was looking for through its menu.

ABM Restaurant 1

Again, I was ‘forced’ to order the biryani and chicken this time. The guy behind the bar was quick to serve my requests – from piling up the rice, the chicken, and the achar and up to brewing our iced horlicks and pulled tea.

The price was very friendly, as expected, and the taste was also decent. The downside of it is that the rice was a bit cold, but I was pleased to see that everyone of many nationalities around were enjoying their dinner.

We came back home quite content, but our dinner back at Komala’s was still more memorable. Perhaps next time.

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ABM RESTAURANT
Halal-certified
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
136 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore
T: +65 6299 2723

Opening hours: Daily, morning – 11pm

Website

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