Friday, November 18, 2016

Arts Cafe by Raffles Hotel - Part 1

Arts Café Sunday Brunch by Raffles café Hotel Jakarta is the perfect place to spend on Sundays with the family. It is a scrumptious buffet and open kitchen serving continental and oriental a la carte offerings with the backdrop of vibrant artworks by the celebrated painter, Hendra Gunawan, well known for his caricaturist, colorful style of painting that draws on an Expressionist background. Expressionism art emphasizes on distorting objects to evoke emotional effects of moods or ideas. The paintings in this restaurant is an invitation to immerse patrons in a unique dining experience.  

I do recommend the Sunday brunch although Arts Café opens daily from breakfast to dinner; In the weekdays (Monday to Thurday and Friday only until lunch time) the Arts café offers only a la carte menus and no buffet. The buffet only available from Friday dinner and weekend.

Breakfast             : 6:00AM to 10:30AM
Lunch                   : 12:00 noon to 2:30 PM
Dinner                  : 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Sunday brunch   : 12:00 noon to 3:30 PM

The prices for the buffet are as follow:

-Lunch at IDR 320,000++ per person
-Dinner at IDR 380,000 ++ per person

-Sunday brunch starts from IDR 550,000 ++ per person (Sunday brunch includes complimentary fresh juices and soft drinks with five to seven special menus from the show kitchen to your table) 

 With IDR 400,000 ++ per person it gives you free flow wine and beers alternatively.
 And free flow of champagne available for IDR 1,200,000,++ more.

As of right now, there is promotion from BCA card holders that allow you to pay 1 for 2 during Sunday Brunch, make sure you make good use of it while it last!

Now that I have the information jotted down, let’s move to the food experience itself. I was impressed by how the open kitchen work; it allows patrons to take sneak peek and judge by themselves how fresh and well executed on prepping the fish and crustaceans for the sashimi bar and seafood stalls. Also getting up close on how the chefs prepare their food to entice anyone’s appetite just by looking them preparing the food. 

There are five main stations here in Arts café, the closest to the main entrance is the dessert station which at the moment is collaborating with Pipilitin Cocoa (can’t wait to try all the chocolate dessert!!!). The next station is the fruit and beverage station followed by the light bites station then continue on with the meat, sushi and seafood stations with the main course station as last but not least. 

I did (shamelessly) try almost 90 percent of everything here in the buffet, so let’s see what I had:

Like I mentioned that during the Sunday brunch there will be a la carte menus coming from the show kitchen. I found all the dishes are unique and interestingly appetizing; 

not just how they present them but also the bold flavor on every dish that is just memorable. Here are those menus from the show kitchen:

  1. Mushroom veloute
I prefer my mushroom soup to be less thick and this one has the right texture, the amount of the truffle oil was generous and the fragrance can sure wake anyone’s appetite. In terms of presentation, I do like how they make foam from the truffle and it comes with almond biscotti and red pepper powder

  1. Chili crab bun

This one is what I described as unique; Instead of using a typical Mantao bun and dip it in the sweet spicy chili crab sauce and eat together with the crab, this dish is served in such a way that you actually use your fork and spoon to eat it. The idea of using charcoal bun is also smart because the black color will stand out against the creamy red and yellowish sauce.

  1. Pan Seared Foie Gras

I rarely eat Foie Gras as it is hard to find quality ones; it will smell if it is not done right and it might not look appetizing if it is not presented correctly. What a pleasant surprise that the dish is platted beautifully and delicious; with caramelized plum for the sweetness, sprinkled with raspberry crumble and raspberry coulis for sourness, then mushroom puree with spinach puree for color on top of brioche toast. The size of the foie gras they served was generously aplenty.

  1. Lobster Ravioli
This is a unique dish! I would give a standing ovation if I could to show how much I was impressed by the creativity of using prawn mousse. They add lemon crumble to mask any smell of ‘fishiness’ (if it actually is present) and parmesan cheese with Vin Blanc (white wine) and pea sprout to seal the deal. I do like this dish very much, simply magnifique.

  1. Seared Beef Tenderloin
This is the last course in the menu, beef tenderloin that is platted with potato gratin, mix sprouts, pickled shallots, carrot ribbon, cassia foam and topped with pumpkin puree. The beef itself is tender and juicy; a big cut yet it was not chewy. Medium cooked with pink color in the middle, a vision of perfection. I personally not a big fan of pumpkin but the sweetness from the pumpkin goes very well with the juicy tenderloin and it was a marriage in heaven.  

PS : The food is so good that I have decided to write it in 2 parts, the next part would be dessert, so stay tune! 

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