Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tesate X Sababay Wine Pairing

Indonesian food, the comfort food which no matter how far you go, will always be close to the heart and be missed every single day. The one and only, which is irreplacable in delivering the ultimate satisfaction for the palate. Inspired by the idea of bringing Indonesian food to the next level, letting it to be highly appreciated and known by the whole world, Tesate Restaurant was established in 2008. It was brought out by the group of Sari Rasa, who's also the founder of the well-known Sate Khas Senayan and the exclusive 1945 Restaurant. Coming with the tagline of "A flavorful journey of Indonesia", Tesate basically tries to serve traditional Indonesian foods, coming from the West to the East, opening the eyes of all people both domestically and internationally that Indonesian foods are surely the finest. 

Not stopping at Foods only, Tesate also wants to serve the best for its beverages. It then collaborates with Sababay Winery, one of the only seven wineries in Indonesia, which are all located in Bali. Originated in Saba Bay - Gianyar, this 6-year-old winery only uses local wines, which come from more than 220 wine growers. The founder, Mrs. Mulyati Gozali, initially established the company as she had the desire to help the local wine growers, whose income used to be only IDR 1million per year, as they could only sell the wine coming from their plantation at IDR 400/kg. She then built Sababay, giving assistance to the wine growers, to have their wine be sold at proper market price. Now, Sababay can produce more than 500 thousand bottles per month, which are sold both domestically and internationally. It has even won several international wine and spirits competition; including WSA Wine Challenge Singapore 2014, CWSA 2014, and HKIWSC 2014.

Great news for everyone, Tesate Restaurant now serves the promotion of "Buy 2 get 1 free everyday" at all outlets for the Sababay Wine. Additionally, the guests needn't worry that they'll be drowned into confusion when choosing the wine that suits their likings best, since every Friday & Saturday at 6-10pm, there's wine tasting provided, where the guests can taste the selections of wines served. Not only that, to ease the guests even more, Tesate does provide the recommendation for the dishes to be paired with the wine. Being lucky as always, I get the chance to try the menu this weekend, which absolutely surges my excitement to its highest.

The wine tasting was held at Tesate's Menteng outlet, which's my most favorite one among all Tesate outlets, since it's covered with gigantic glass windows, allowing natural light to freely come in. The venue's beautifully decorated with mainly black and white colors, with a touch of Indonesian cultural design. The 3-storey building is quite spacious, allowing the guests not only to dine in, but also to hold meetings and events. 

The service was delightful with very responsive and knowledgable waiters and waitresses, successfully delivering the feeling of dining in a high-class restaurant. Moreover, at this wine tasting. there's special guest from Sababay Winery team, who's there to explain each of the wine served, including giving the basic knowledge about wine and how to enjoy it best. Such a wonderful experience for me!

Sweet reminiscence of dates, cherry candy, soft, luscious
Pairing with Sate Ayam Ponorogo, Rendang, Tahu Udang Berontak, Serabi Solo, Sate Sapi Maranggi

The first one to try was Ludisia, which's more famous as dessert wine. As reflected by its name, it's the sweetest one and probably the lightest for me, making it come as the perfect opening. Just known from today's sharing, the way to pair wine with foods was by balancing the flavor in each, meaning that if your food was rich of spices, it then should be coming with light wine. Hence, this Ludisia was then paired with dishes like Sate Sapi Maranggi and Rendang, which contain many variety of herbs and seasonings. I was so in love with how the beef in both dishes being so tender and juicy, making it not only very easy to be cut but also to be chewed. Surprisingly, having had the dishes, sipping the wine, then coming back to the dishes, the sauces tasted bolder and thicker, letting my palate to enjoy them even more. 

Sate Ayam Ponorogo (IDR 69k) / Rendang (IDR 112k)
Beef covered in toasted grated coconut / Beef in ground spices & coconut milk sauce

Reserve Red
Ripe Dark cherry, smoky, vanilla, round texture, soft tannin, medium bodied
Pairing with Sate Sapi Makassar, Sate Kambing

My next wine glass was then filled by the Reserve Red, the wine with dry texture and more acid flavor. For me, it was enjoyable to have this tangier one as the second, as it's like having the wine step by step, starting with the lighter version to the stronger one. Another knowledge I gained today, dish with sour taste should be paired with the wine having the same taste. Thus, the perfect companion to this second glass was Sate Sapi Makassar, the food originated from my hometown (BIG YAYYYY!). Both my sister and I were so surprised (in the very happy way for sure) that the flavor exactly tasted the same as the one we usually had at home, making us missing our lovely city right away. Having tried this second pair, I couldn't agree more that they were indeed flawless couple. Another astonishment for me, after having the satay then came back to the Reserve Red, it's now less acid and tasted slightly lighter.

Sate Sapi Makassar (IDR 124k)
Beef tenderloin with sour starfruit sauce

White Velvet
Fruity yet dry, refreshing, lime and grapefruit, apple, light to medium bodied
Pairing with Ikan Bakar Dabu-Dabu, Sate Padang, Cumi Telur Bakar

Yeayyy! Finally coming to my most favorite type of wine, the white one. Being slightly sparkling, this glass gave that refreshing taste on the palate, which for me was doubtlessly addicting. A hint of fruits inside it turned it to be even nicer, giving the natural and not overpowering sweet taste. And guess what suited this wine best? Spicy dish! The sweetness from the wine would come as the impeccable balancer to the hotness from the food. Having beef consecutively with the previous two glasses, now it's the turn to shift to different protein, fish. This time, it's cooked with the signature sauce originated from the city of Bunaken, yes what else than Manado. So there it was on the table, grilled fresh Sea Bass, served in the colorful blend of Bird's Eye chili, diced tomatoes, and shallots. Sensationally burnt the tongue, then neutralized it with the wine. Nonetheless, if you're spicy-intolerance, you could go for another option to pair with this wine, the all-time favorite of most Indonesians especially those born in West part, Sate Padang. Unexpectedly, my sister and I who were neither a fan of Sate Padang (perhaps because we're coming from the Eastern part of Indonesia? LOL), found the sauce as quite lovely. So in case you're its admirer, you might love this dish to bits.

Ikan Bakar Dabu-Dabu (IDR 208k) / Sate Padang (IDR 152k)
Grilled Sea Bass served in Dabu-dabu sauce / Beef cheek and tongue in turmeric sauce

Moscato D'Bali
Refreshingly sweet, balanced by lime acidity and ripe peach sweetness
Pairing with Kerapu Bakar Jimbaran, Tahu Udang Berontak, Sate Padang, Serabi Solo, Rujak Pengantin Salad, Gule Sengkel

Eventually, the last one in the day; the one with the fattest bottle, yet served in the slimmest glass. This was claimed to be most people's favorite, probably due to its mild and fresh touch. When served chilled, it was surely the exclusive thirst quencher. Being the most sparkling one, it was then the faultless match to something fried or crispy. As a snacks and desserts enthusiast, this last set was unquestionably the first one on my list. The garoupa fish was so fresh and so moist that it literally melted in your mouth lusciously with its sweet soy sauce. The crispy fried tofu with super generous fillings of gigantic prawn, abundant mushroom and veggies, definitely brought Indonesian 'gorengan' to the next level. Most importantly, Serabi Solo, the only dessert we had on the table, which was also my most favorite one among all the dishes. I was indeed madly in love with this coconut-based traditional pancake, and I guessed Tesate's one could be one of the best versions I've ever had in Jakarta. It was served with several choices of toppings; ranging from coconut, fermented cassava and sticky rice, and the last as well as the most luscious chocolate cheese. Not to forget, the indulging scoop of coconut ice cream. Having this serabi together with Moscato D'Bali as the last part of the big feast today was certainly a marvelous closing, which would make me want to come back soon!

 Kerapu Bakar Jimbaran (IDR 64k/100gr) / Tahu Udang Berontak (IDR 68k)
Garoupa fish in sweet soy-sauce / Crispy fried tofu with prawn, mushroom, & veggies fillings
Serabi Solo (IDR 37k)
Traditional pancake originated from Central Java

Despite the fact that I'm not a wine expert, I do love drinking wine as I think the taste can pamper my taste bud really well and I love the warm feeling coming after having it. Sincerely speaking, I'm very proud of our local wine growers and the quality of wine they can produce. I have no single doubt that Indonesian cuisines and Indonesian wine can be the dynamic duo that can shine brilliantly in the international market. If you haven't tried them, make sure you don't miss this wine tasting chance ;) 

Taste: 8/10
Place: 8.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Price: 8/10

Thanks for Reading! :)

Address: Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 39, Menteng, Jakarta
Phone: (+62) 21 3193 1250
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10.30am - 11.00pm

Find me on:
Instagram . Facebook . Twitter
Inputs & comments:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Chocolate Gallery at Arts Cafe @ Raffles Hotel

Time does fly very fast, bringing me to 10 months away from the last time I had Sunday brunch at Arts Cafe at Raffles Hotel. Yes, it was last year's Christmas, when the ambiance was all about red and green, and the foods represented the Thanksgiving celebration. Nonetheless, it was totally different this time as the special one brought out by Arts was its Chocolate Gallery. 

Collaborating with Pipiltin Cocoa, the Chocolate specialist who processes by its own self the chocolate sold right from the beans, Arts serves various mouthwatering chocolate-based desserts. What's so special about Pipiltin Cocoa, is that it sources the chocolate locally from arrays of cities in Indonesia. Having your curiosity being tickled, you might also want to try the unprocessed chocolate bars besides the chocolate desserts. If you just say yes, you can shoo your worry away since they're indeed available for sale here with selections of flavors. 

If you have ever dined in Arts Cafe (just click to read my previous post on Arts Cafe's Sunday Brunch), this Chocolate Gallery is located at the right corner, straightly after the entrance door. Yes, it's the place where all the desserts are located, so you can guess that this is also my most favorite spot in the buffet. Nevertheless, please do note that this is not part of the buffet and you do have to pay additional price if you order the dishes from the Chocolate Gallery. However, you can freely enjoy it right at your table while at the same time spoiling yourself with the dishes from the buffet stations. Surely a previous chance, which is not to be missed!

Chocolate Soup (IDR 90k)

As it's weekend, I was so in the mood for desserts and hence, I was highly excited waiting for the special menu from the Chocolate Gallery to be served! Ok, telling you honestly, it's not just because of weekend, as I thought I almost every second could get hypnotized by desserts easily. So here it was, the first want to leave the maiden impression, Chocolate Soup. Yes, the name did sound so unique that hearing it only would make your wild imagination work enthusiastically. 

Once it's served on the table, seemed like the name literally represented how it actually looked like. So we had to pour the so called 'fruit paradise milk soup', which was basically milk chocolate mixed with berries and dark cherries I guessed, into the hole located on top of the dark chocolate shell served on the plate. As the soup was served hot, the heat would break the shell and you could have the smooth chocolate ganache, milk chocolate mousse, white chocolate soil, and almond chocolate cake resided inside the shell, being revealed and blended into the chocolate soup. When you tried to mix all the ingredients, I admitted that it indeed looked like real soup, just that it had strong chocolate taste (in a good way I meant). This dish would perfectly suit those who loved to enjoy chocolate with a hint of fruit flavors. Just like we usually had soup as the appetizer, I imagined this as the appetizer to the full-course chocolate lunch set. LOL.

Chocolate Flower Pot (IDR 80k)

Listening to its name being called out without even having to look at its picture, I was really confident that you could already guess the appearance of the dish as well as what it actually contained. Yeaaahhh, you're beyond right that this dish has ever been one of the hottest trends in desserts, when almost every restaurant served it. Gorgeously mixing 58% dark chocolate layers of blueberry sponge with dark soil in a pot, this dish doubtlessly looked so engaging. It's such a smart idea to top it with raspberries and little leaves, making it look just more real. However, coming in mousse texture and being served in this quite gigantic size, for me this one was a little bit too much and I preferred it to come in smaller version, ensuring the person eating it would still enjoy it till the last bit.

Signature "Crushing Hat Box"

No wonder why this dish was called out as the signature one. I had no single doubt on this 'title' as my heart was indeed stolen away by its appearance and taste. Also being served with a jug of hot thick chocolate to be poured on top of the hat-shaped chocolate box, this dessert was another unique one, with faaarr more indulging taste for me!! I could even clearly say that it was my most favorite among everything listed on the Chocolate Gallery menu.

Once you poured the hot chocolate from the jug to the top of the hat, its top layer would then start to break, creating the hole which grew bigger and bigger. You could then be drooled by the wonderfully presented caramel ice cream and berries inside the hat. The salted caramel sauce would then simultaneously became the base part of this dessert. The combination of sweet and salty taste brought out by this dessert made me couldn't help myself from keep feeding my mouth with its sinful indulgence.

Moving on to the next part, foods would definitely be incomplete without the beverages, so the Chocolate Gallery smartly came with their innovative drink menu, giving the guests complete chocolate experience.

Raffles Green Choco (IDR 75k)

Looking weird with those chili flakes covering the glass? Yes, I did think similarly, and you absolutely got it right when you thought this drink would taste a little bit spicy since it actually did. From the color, I thought you could already call out what would be the ingredients. Yuppp! It's the mixture of fresh milk, green tea, and white chocolate as the key ingredients; complemented by chili powder, salt, and honey, to enrich the flavor. Being mainstream this time, my taste bud apparently did not blend in well with this drink. Well, perhaps it might suit those who loved rich taste coming from complicated joint of herbs.

Raffles Choco Nut (IDR 75k)

Again, the name of the dish clearly explained what it contained; so basically chocolate and nuts. To be exact, it's the blend of fresh milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter cream, cashew nut, and even cheddar! Yes, you got it right, CHEDDAR! Unfortunately, I thought the cashew nut was put quite too much in this drink, causing its flavor kind of overpowered all the others. Perhaps slight reduction on the cashew nut could transform this glass to be the one to fall for.

Thai Young Coconut Ice Cream (Part of Sunday Brunch)

When the previous 3 were not part of the 'freebies' from the buffet, this distinctively presented dessert was luckily a part of the set (I could see the wide smile now!). Using chocolate shell as the 'bowl', it served the combination of coconut ice cream, passion fruit,  and chocolate crumbles; not only in wonderful presentation but also marvelous taste!

Not to forget, it's not only this Thai Young Coconut Ice Cream, you still had much much more bread, cakes, mousse, pudding, and any other desserts to be enjoyed from the dessert stations! The amazing dark & milk chocolate fountains were also there to satisfy your sweet tooth craving. And if you wanted to neutralize your palate with anything savory, you did have the foods from the arrays of stations as well as signature dishes coming in petite size from the live kitchen. Beware of getting bloated after the buffet ;)

Taste: 8.5/10
Place: 8.5/10
Service: 9/10
Price: 8/10

Thanks for Reading! :)

Chocolate Gallery @ Arts Cafe at Raffles Hotel Jakarta
Address: Ciputra World 1, Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio
Phone: +62 21 2988 8080
Opening Hours:
Breakfast (Mon – Sun 6am – 10.30am)
Lunch (Mon – Sat 12pm – 2.30pm)
Dinner (Mon – Sun 6pm – 10.30pm)
Brunch (Sun 11.30am – 3.30pm)

Find me on:
Inputs & comments: