Posts Tagged ‘Fairmont Jakarta’


cupcakes and meringues

The plan was a meet up, but it fell through because she got caught in traffic at the opposite side of Jakarta. So I ended up enjoying Fairmont Jakarta’s Sunday Brunch alone one November. It was not a sad affair as a table for one normally impresses upon others who are with friends, family, or a special someone. I wasn’t really all by my lonesome self. The crew of Spectrum came up every now and then to inquire about how I was doing or to suggest something that I should try. On two separate occasions, two trolleys trundled up to my table: caviar and liquid nitrogen ice cream. I just let the caviar chef do her magic with the multi colored caviar likewise with the one making the liquid nitrogen cheese ice cream. At that time, too, I was accompanied by Italo Calvino whose book “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler” I went back to after putting it down for a while. 

Spectrum’s Sunday Brunch is a grandiose affair compared to its regular buffet. The dessert station burgeoned into a station plus a long, tall table teeming with sweet delights and a medium one across it with cupcakes and meringues guarded by superheroes. Another station that whets the appetite is the seafood laden with fresh shellfish – clam, bamboo clam, mussel – ready for the picking along side lobsters and its cousins. Sauces are below the seafood waiting for be slathered on the chosen seafood. For meat lovers, the piece de resistance is the huge leg of roasted beef that is immediately seen when one emerges from the entrance into the dining area. Behind the roasted beef is a long array of Chinese and Indonesian dishes ending with a turkey ready to be carved at one’s bidding. A second long table features a wide assortment of salads and appetizers. Parallel to this smorgasbord are several open-kitchen stations viz. Japanese, noodles, grill, and Italian which ends, on a diner’s right side, with the open-kitchen dessert station overflowing with ice cream, cookies, bread and butter pudding, waffle, etc.

Enjoy your “frozen” cheese ice cream

Caviar on wheels right at your table

bite-size caviar

Grilled shrimp and chicken satay

Get your fill of dimsum.

Clams, mussels, and lobster from the seafood corner

Sunday Brunch for one is, as I have discovered serendipitously, far from an affair of solitude. Mine turned into a time of being away from the general melee of society, narcissistic individuals, and everyday struggles. It was just me, my book, and excellent food.

Clockwise: orange cheese tarts, apple crumble cake, zepote, and salted caramel popcorn cake



Dark skies and an almost-empty gas tank weren’t enough to stop us. Even the snail-pace traffic to Jakarta from Bekasi wasn’t a deterrent. With a little bit of prayer and switching off the car’s AC, we made it to Fairmont Jakarta with time to spare to freshen up. On the 22nd floor of the hotel was the Taittinger Champagne Dinner. The last time I had flutes of the delectable champagne was two years ago when Taittinger was introduced in Indonesia at Orient 8 at Hotel Mulia.

Champagne Dinner with a view at The View

Table setting at the Taittinger Champagne Dinner

champagne at the bar

the bar at The View

It was a thrilling reunion that April night at The View, one of Fairmont’s restaurants, with its magnificent view of Jakarta’s skyline. A prelude to the eight-course dinner was a tipple at the bar where I introduced Taittinger to my gal-pal Theresia as a way to let the stresses of the mid-week hang. Dropping by the bar to say hola was Alvaro Acebal, Fairmont’s Food & Beverage manager, whom Theresia and I met at Sapori Deli last March at another one-night dinner event of guest Chef Antonio Facchinetti.

with Alvaro Acebal

Photo op with Alvaro Acebal, Food & Beverage Manager of Fairmont Jakarta

Dinner commenced with an amuse bouche of Tuna Tartare with ponzu, yuzu, and avocado that strongly whetted the appetite. You just have to get pass the eyebrow-raising hand cast it is served on.  Juxtaposed to the tuna’s savory flavor is the next course of Apple Pie (View’s interpretation) which was ingenious both in taste and presentation. There was this sweet tugging sensation on the palate between the savory and sweet flavors, and that the apple pie was shaped as a mini ball reposing on a bed of pebbles in a wooden box was simply artistic.

Tuna Tartare

Ready for your Tuna Tartare?

Apple Pie

Apple Pie – The View’s Interpretation

The champagne kept coming and Satria, our gracious attendant for the night, made sure nothing was lacking from our table including enjoyable tête-à- tête. He regaled us with stories about his one-month training stint in Makati and the incidents of being mistaken as a Filipino while Theresia and I coaxed him to put Ambon – especially Ora Island – on his travel list.

Dining with a view

Champagne and dining with a view – this is the life!

Then it was time for the Foie Gras Torchon with cherry gel and macerated mix berries which was paired splendidly with the Taittinger Nocturne, Sec NV. There was this sweet and fruity chase at the end of each bite of the foie gras after nips of the champagne; Satria, following the chef’s suggestion, advised us to quickly follow up a bite of the foie gras with champagne. This dish was immediately followed by Scallop Tartare enveloped in white chocolate foam and lime jelly that did an electrifying cha-cha on the palate together with sips of the Taittinger Reims Reserve Brut NV.

Foie gras torchon

Foie gras torchon

Scallop Tartare

Scallop Tartare

Taittinger Reims

Taittinger Reims goes well with the scallop tartare

Too much champagne is a misnomer. In fact, the abundance in champagne led to a pleasant discovery that Lobster “cappuccino” – fortified lobster bisque and foam – squirted into our cups by The View’s Chef Hans actually blended well with both the Nocturne and Reims.  Discovery 2: the lobster cappuccino was a teaser to the first main dish of Canadian Lobster with Sturia caviar, shimeji, and champignon nage that grooved smoothly on the palate as the flavors mingled with the Taittinger Prestige Rose Brut, NV. Lobster and champagne – what can go wrong?

Lobster Cappuccino

Lobster Cappuccino

Canadian Lobster

Canadian Lobster

Taittinger Prestige Rose

Taittinger Prestige Rose Brut NV

Gazing out the floor-to-ceiling window of The View, the landscape had turned a shade darker as the night danced on. The ant-like lights on the streets below had lessened, but the brightness hadn’t diminished, and there I was happily ensconced in my chair sipping from flute to flute. Life is rosier with champagne in my hand.

Norwegian salmon_The View

Norwegian salmon with glazed oyster mushroom

Satria pours Taittinger Comtes

Satria pours the famed Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 2004

Then it was time for the main course of Norwegian salmon with glazed king oyster mushroom, champagne, and seaweed broth.  Without skipping a beat, affable Satria was at our table ready to impress us with, paraphrasing his words, the champagne set to dislodge Dom Pérignon from its pedestal. He poured the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc, 2004 generously into our flutes and bade us a hearty meal. The salmon was flavorful and generous in serving (read: it was more than a matchbox size) while the strip of mushroom melted in the mouth.  And the night drew to a close when the Stone Rose was laid on our table. Breaking the pinkish Christmas “ball” revealed a smooth cheesecake-like texture of lychee, raspberry, and chocolate that rolled effortlessly on the tongue. Which champagne went with it? Take your pick.

Stone Rose

Stone Rose

A champagne dinner is exciting. However, a well-orchestrated Taittinger champagne dinner is more than simple excitement. It’s a bubbly and electrifying dining experience that leaves wearied souls keyed up and ready to tackle the world again.

world of Taittinger

world of Taittinger



Interior design at Sapori Deli

There was no way I was going to miss the one-night dinner of Chef Antonio Facchinetti, after reading that he helmed Prego, one of the premiere Italian restaurants in Singapore. In town for a couple of days, Chef Facchinetti was set to tickle the palates of Jakarta’s foodies by recreating the trattoria ambiance of Prego at Sapori Deli. Featuring a five-course dinner, “A Taste of Italy” was set at 6 pm on March 17.

A heavy downpour that Friday afternoon had me a little worried that my gal-pal Theresia and I would never make it to Fairmont Jakarta. Rain in Indonesia never augurs good tidings; it always means snarled traffic and flooded areas. Unexpectedly, the rain abated and traffic was smooth, arriving 10 minutes before 6 pm. The only bump on the road was finding our way to Sapori Deli; Theresia and I were more familiar with Spectrum, the hotel’s buffet restaurant.

We sat down amidst a softly lit room with tables festooned with mini Italian flags and elegant flowers. Our Italian repast began with a bowl of Zuppa Di Fregola Sarda or fregola (picture bigger couscous) with baby clams and broccoli leaves in tomato saffron broth. The soup was a perfect way to start dinner, having come in from wet Bekasi. The fregola was cooked to perfection and blended well with the flavourful broth and fresh baby clams.


Zuppa di Fregola Sarda

Shortly before empty bowls were whisked away to the kitchen, flutes of Italian soda, a maraschino cherry lolling at the bottom, made their way to our table. It certainly did the trick of further whetting our appetites with its bubbles and sweetness. Theresia and I were ready for the second course of Carpaccio di Wagyu. It was a certain delicateness to eating the dish – the Chinese spoon containing the quail egg yolk threw us off. Shall we mix it with the wagyu or have it first? The suggestion: it was up to us and that the egg yolk could do a bit of salt and pepper. I chose to swallow the quail egg yolk drizzled with salt and pepper first then immediately followed it with a bite of the paper-thin Carpaccio, which melted in the mouth, and bits of the parmesan chips, garden herbs, and grated black truffle.  Splendid dance on the palate!


Carpaccio di Wagyu


post-dinner drink of green tea and mid-dinner drink of Italian soda

Seguing into the third course, we were deliciously treated to Bigoli Con Baccala, a plate of bigoli and “Venetian-style” salted cod fish. Served on a warmed plate, the bigoli was al dente and rolled well with the tomato sauce and cod fish. Adding to the delectability of the dish was the knowledge, shared by Chef Facchinetti himself who dropped by our table, that Sapori Deli makes its own pasta fresh every day.


Bigola con Baccala

There was a brief interlude – we requested for 10 minutes – before our main courses were brought in, so Theresia and I chatted up a storm until the 10 minutes were up. Theresia had Agnello in Crosta, a serving of two pieces of pistachio-crusted lamb chops with fresh pea and mint pesto, which she found flavourful and succulent. The lamb was done to perfection. Meanwhile, I had the lamb changed into a chicken dish, which was similarly flavourful and tender.


Agnello in Crosta

Chef Facchinetti decided to close “A Taste of Italy” with a delectable Torta al Cioccolato, which was far from being saccharinely cloying. The just-right chocolate delight melded well with the wild berries coulis and streaks of lemon. Whose palate wouldn’t explode in pleasure with the glorious mix of chocolate and fruitiness? It’s simply divine.


Torta al Cioccolato


Bravo Chef Facchinetti!

It was a superb culinary journey from the first dish to the last that wet Friday night. Theresia and I asked Chef Facchinetti when part 2 would be. He was non-committal and uttered, “It’s all up to the boss,” pointing surreptitiously to the table near the counter.  We told him we’d be waiting if we don’t get to Prego Singapore first.