Dear fellow tasters,
Last month, I was invited to a food tasting lunch with several food bloggers at Scusa, an Italian restaurant located on the second floor of InterContinental Jakarta MidPlaza Hotel. I have heard about the place but never had a chance to try it, so getting a lunch invitation there was very exciting for me.
The lunch was to present Scusa’s new a la carte menu, creatively whipped up by Executive Chef Gary Palm, together with Sous Chef Wawan Barito Setiawan. The result was an additional 23 (twenty three) mouth-watering Italian dishes and we were given the opportunity to try some of them.
Prior to the dishes from the menu card, we were served a bowl of warm walnut bread with feta cheese. The bread had delightful crunchy crust and soft nutty inner part with a hint of saltiness from the feta. I would’ve finished the whole thing, had I not remembered to save some place for the courses that followed.
To allow us to get a taste of different dishes from the new a la carte menu without getting overstuffed, we were served a smaller tasting portion, especially for the appetizers and main courses. In the pictures you will see several dishes in minimized portion served together in a plate. For sure, when you go there and order the same item, it will be served in a separate plate and in its larger original version. Continue reading below for the rundown of the lunch and some of my commentaries.
Appetizers & Salad
- Broiled duck breast with warm cheese, julienne of vegetables, walnut glazed and port-apple sauce – The duck was a bit pink to my liking, nevertheless enjoyable.
- Pan seared sea scallops on beetroot salsa, avocado, marinated seaweed and saffron emulsion – What’s not to love about scallops, the additional stuffs on the side were a bonus.
- Buffalo mozzarella with semi-dried tomatoes and rocket leaves and black pepper – The cheesy mozzarella and the sour tomato were a match.
- Pan-fried maize dusted foie gras on dried fruit and nut bread with balsamico glazed apples – This was definitely the highlight for the starters. The black balsamico glazed apple looked a bit hideous but tasted divine. As for the foie gras, we all agreed that we didn’t get enough of it.
- Zuppa di pesce: seafood soup with clams, squid, salmon, snapper and prawns – The tangy and refreshing soup was light and much enjoyable with delectable tomato and basil flavor.
- Linguine al nero di sepia con capesante, salmone e calamari: squid ink linguini with scallops, salmon and calamari – For a simple garlic and olive oil sauce, the pasta was quite tasty without trying too much to impress.
- Braised angus short rib with asparagus, polenta and pesto – The short rib was quite tender, serving it with polenta instead of mashed potato was a plus.
- Roast dover sole fillet with zucchini, sundried tomato, semolina dumpling and pesto sauce – The dover sole was fresh and firm and served with lemony cream sauce. Light and dainty with super delicious taste, the fish certainly stole the spotlight for the afternoon.
- Scusa’s molten chocolate cake with rum-raisin ice cream and vanilla sauce – Beautifully presented, it was everything one could wish for in a molten chocolate cake. Forget everything and surrender to the sinful temptation.
Lunch that afternoon was truly a wonderful experience. We even had a passionate conversation with Executive Chef Gary Palm, of course mostly about food and cooking. Contrary to the meaning, Scusa, translated to an excuse or pretext in Italian, certainly need no excuse in offering a selection of authentic Italian dishes in a modern yet casually elegant ambiance. Thank you Scusa, Intercontinental Jakarta MidPlaza, Mr. Eddy and Miss Ayleen from Public Relations, and Chef Gary for cooking us a delightful lunch. I will definitely be back to savor more.
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – foie gras, zuppa di pesce, dover sole, molten chocolate cake
What to try next time – lobster, veal chop