The Jakarta Post
Treasures of coastal Java offered at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta (JP/Handout)
Indonesia turned 73 on Aug. 17, but Independence Day festivities may last for a month. Some eateries in Jakarta have seized the opportunity to offer special dishes or menus, drawing inspiration from different areas of the archipelago.
The Dharmawangsa Jakarta
Jakarta Restaurant & The Courtyard at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta offers Sunday Brunch on Aug. 19 as part of its Indonesian Culinary Journey, highlighting Treasure of Coastal Java. The Sunday Brunch is to include delicacies from eight coastal cities of Java. In preparation for the spread, a team from the hotel led by executive chef Felix Budisetiawan, food and beverage director Diky Lingga Wisnu and public relations manager Theresa Yudistira traveled to the respective cities for a culinary exploration.
Executive chef Felix Budisetiawan (right) from The Dharmawangsa Jakarta is on a road trip to explore coastal Java cuisine. (JP/Handout)
Fresh from the trip, the Sunday Brunch menu includes Cirebon’s empal gentong (aromatic beef soup) and nasi jamblang (teak leaf-wrapped rice with sides including protein and vegetables), Tegal’s batibul lamb satay and tahu aci (tofu cake) and Semarang’s babat gongso (sweet chili beef tripe), lumpia (spring roll) and asem-asem daging (tamarind beef soup).
Independence Day has always been a source of inspiration for Nusa Indonesian Gastronomy, which was officially opened around the date two years ago. This year, Nusa offers the special Nusantara Grill menu to celebrate the day, slated to be offered until Sept. 15. The special menu was also offered for a charity dinner to raise funds for Indonesian veterans on Aug. 17 and 18.
Aside from highlighting ingredients from different areas of Indonesia, Nusantara Grill also features traditional grilling techniques from across the archipelago.
The special grill menu includes grilled fish with Makassar-style sambal, Betawi tamarind soup with grilled crab and Rembiga beef served with mashed burnt tempeh and cassava leaves.
Jaha rice with grilled octopus and water spinach is served at Nusa Gastronomy. (JP/Handout)
Read also: Juice pairing for special dining experiences
In conjunction with Independence Day, Marriott International has organized a culinary competition named Ayo Makan between their hotels across Indonesia. According to a press release, dishes portraying modern Indonesian cuisine will be available from Aug. 12 to Sept. 9.
The winning dishes have been announced, and among them are rujak bumbu petis asinan rumput laut (shrimp paste seaweed salad) from the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel, gepuk, nasi tutug oncom, bakwan jagung (sweet and spicy fried beef, rice cooked with fermented soybean and corn fritters) from The Westin Jakarta and cendol ice cream (rice flour green jelly with coconut milk and palm sugar ice cream) from The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan.
Sweet and spicy fried beef rice cooked with fermented soybean and corn fritters can be enjoyed at The Westin Jakarta. (JP/Handout)
Apart from special menu in conjunction with Independence Day, other restaurants are well-known for their Indonesian cuisine that can be enjoyed to celebrate the special day – or any other day. The Jakarta Post recently tried these restaurants:
Fresh from a recent renovation, Relish Bistro at Fraser Residence in Menteng, Central Jakarta, also takes part in the celebration of Independence Day. The bistro offers its signature and best-selling ayam gecok, a chicken dish served in a skillet with rice, vegetables, crackers and sambal. For the special occasion of the Independence Day, the dish comes with ice tea for the price of Rp 88,000 (US$6.00) in a package deal valid until Aug. 31.
If you are interested in unwinding at the bar that overlooks the pool at Relish, you might also try the Red and White Daiquiri, said to be the guests’ favorite at the bar.
Introducing its revamped menu in early August, Plataran Dharmawangsa in South Jakarta offers a delectable selection of Indonesian comfort food elevated with unexpected ingredients.
Dishes include nasi goreng kecombrang (fried rice with torch ginger), tahu nenek (organic tofu with tempeh crumbs, dried shrimp, celery, carrot, mushroom and egg) as well as nasi goreng rendang (fried rice with beef rendang, French bean, red bean and carrot).
Plataran's 'nasi goreng kecombrang' (fried rice with ginger) (Plataran/-)
Salad ayam delima, which is a chicken salad with pomegranate, apple, coriander, tomato, celery and sesame seeds with a spicy dressing, is a refreshing starter, while udang nagih (deep-fried baby prawns) sets the tone with its all-round umami flavor.
Main courses also include gurame gulai okra (fried gourami with okra and curry sauce), bistik ayam oma (roasted organic chicken with Thai chili-inspired sauce), empal cape ijo (braised beef tenderloin with chili relish and tomato) and tumis ciciwis cianjur (sautéed Brussels sprouts).
'Piscok goreng' is deep-fried banana wrapped in filo pastry with chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Plataran/-)
End your feast with a sophisticated version of the humble piscok (fried banana with chocolate sauce). When usually spring roll wrappers are involved, Plataran replaces them with filo pastry and adds a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a memorable finish.