Dear fellow tasters,
Wrapping up the one month festivities of Jakarta Culinary Festival 2012 was a special closing event. I was fortunate enough to get an invitation to experience 7 of Indonesia’s best chefs presenting their signature dishes in an ‘Eat, Drink & Donate’ Charity Dinner, with proceeds to be donated to Drive Books Not Cars, Taman Bacaan Pelangi and Sahabat Anak organizations. That evening of 31st October 2012, the guests, bloggers, and other invitees were welcomed in the JCF 2012 Pop Up Restaurant with a glass of Orange Marmalade, a mix of gingery and lemony Absolut Elyx cocktail.
Soon enough, we were seated at our tables and the first course was served. It was a cold appetizer by Hugo Adrian, Executive Chef of Blowfish Kitchen and Bar, namely Tuna Carpaccio with Okinawa Sauce and Daikon Salad. It was a dainty and delightful starter with the fresh tuna and lovely appetizing sauce. The wine pairing (by the charming Yohan Handoyo from Dimatique International) for the carpaccio was the light and slightly sweet Cape Discovery Rose 2011.
The next course, Grilled King Prawn with Green Curry Espuma by Arimbi Nimpuno, Co Founder and Lifestyle Guru of Lifestyle Studio and ArimbiKitchen, was a big disappointment for me. The supposedly ‘king’ prawn looked more like a ‘baby princeling’ prawn and the 500 rupiahs a piece ‘kerupuk putih’ (tapioca cracker) side dish failed to impress me. My only consolation was the pleasant green curry espuma and a glass of Cape Discovery Sauvignon Blanc 2011 to wash down this dish.
Then came the Pumpkin Soup with Foie Gras, prepared by Sandra Djohan, Chef & Restaurateur of Epilogue. It was hearty, delicious, perfectly-seasoned and definitely Frenchy with the foie gras and all, as expected from a Le Cordon Blue Paris graduate. It was followed by an Italian dish, cooked up by Gianfranco Beltrame, Executive Chef of Casa D’oro, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. The Ravioli Stuffed with Cepe Mushroom, Yellow Pepper Sauce was well executed and beautifully presented but somehow the taste was not that memorable for me, except for the tasty cheese and herb crisp. To accompany the pasta, the selected wine was Montes Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from Chile.
A fish dish was next on the menu, Steamed Fega Barramundi, Ginger Scented Rice & Lime-Coconut Sauce by Gilles Marx, Chef Founder/Owner of Amuz Gourmet. Perhaps it was my too high of expectation and the fact that it was prepared by a famous Chef from a French fine dining establishment in Jakarta, that I found this oriental-looking and tasting dish to be a letdown. Sure, the fish was cooked perfectly but it turned out to be no more than a fancy looking Hainan rice with a piece of barramundi instead of chicken. The wine pairing for this dish was also Chilean, Vina Ventisquero Grey Chardonnay 2010.
Actually a palate cleanser, Orange Granita with Lemon Sorbet by Ismaya Catering, was supposed to be served before the big meat dish but it didn’t show up until dessert. The sixth course, the Roasted Bultarra Saltbush Lamb Shoulder Rack with Mustard and Tarragon, Radish Agnoloti, Salsa Verde and Cepes Jus was the climax of the dinner, the highlight of the evening. Vindex Tengker, Executive Chef of The Dharmawangsa Hotel, did the lamb a justice. It was perfectly cooked to medium leaving a juicy tender pinkish piece of meat upon cutting. The lamb flavor was well balanced with the mustard and tarragon seasoning and I especially loved the delectable mushroomy cepes jus. This course was wonderfully paired with a red Argentinian, Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2010.
The last course and dessert, the Golden Hazelnut Praline, Served with Amaretto Nougatine Ice Cream, was simply divine and gorgeous. Steve Diaz, Executive Pastry Chef of the upcoming Ismaya Group’s cakery Colette & Lola, sublimely created this golden, glittery, chocolaty hazelnut praline which tasted like a little bite of heaven. I would definitely buy more of this dish, should it become available in Colette & Lola.
The charity part of the dinner involved an auction of several celebrity chefs’ memorabilia along with donations from the guests and several door prizes. Apparently luck smiled at me and I won some vouchers which I will be giving away for my fellow tasters (read below part on how to win the vouchers). I would like to thank Jakarta Culinary Festival for inviting me, the Chefs for cooking up a spectacular dinner, and Goorme for co-organizing the dinner.
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – pumpkin soup, lamb, golden hazelnut praline
What to try next time – one time only event
Price rating – by invitation
Damage – complimentary
I am giving away vouchers for two winners. Each will get vouchers worth 200k rupiahs from Nomi Inc. which can be used at Anatolia – Turkish Restaurant (Kemang), Maroush – Middle Eastern Restaurant (Crowne Plaza Hotel) and FrontPage – Wine & Dine (Plaza Gani Djemat). To enter the giveaway, you only have to:
- Follow twitter @gfgfgl
- Like facebook page http://www.facebook.com/gfgfgl
- Comment on this post with your name, twitter account, facebook profile URL and what you think of this blog (any critiques and suggestions are welcome!)
- Tweet what you think of this blog, mentioning @gfgfgl
- Do all four of the above, it’s as easy as that!
About the voucher:
- The vouchers are valid until 4th January 2013.
- Maximum redemption of the vouchers is 50% of the total bill.
- Vouchers will be mailed to the winners’ postal address.
The entries are accepted until Monday, 3rd December 2013 and the winners will be picked randomly and announced on Tuesday, 4th December 2013. Good luck!