Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Mix of Surprises at Gran Mahakam

Believe it or not, this is our first visit to Gran Mahakam, a European style 5-star boutique hotel putting forward warmth and comfort of its guests. Yes, we’re here because of food too.

After saying hello to Debby Setiawaty, Director of Public Relations and Sheryll Angelina, Senior Public Relations Officer at the dining room with a big round table, we got a sneak peek of the food. The party started with an introduction of the hotel’s two restaurants: Le Gran Café and AOKI Japanese Cuisine. Le Gran Café serves International cuisines as well as time-honored Indonesian dishes which means there’s something for everyone. AOKI prides their authentic Japanese cuisine, refurbished to cater the earthy and natural palette.

“Blind Food Tasting” Mini Game

Hello, Fiona here, participating in this TV Show-like fun game.

Blindfolded, while tasting different food and trying to guess what’s on it. The first dish is served on a small bowl (or plate?) and is eaten by spoon. But once I smelled it, I know what it is because it’s my favorite Indonesian snack: Putu Mayang! The second dish feels like mayonnaise and nori. Sushi? I put it inside my mouth and the wasabi explodes. I’m not a big fan of wasabi, so I’m aware of its strong taste. The last one is sorbet because it’s cold and of sour flavor. After opening the blindfold, we’re asked to write the name and the ingredients of the three dishes served. Wish me luck!

Gado-gado Padang 
The Real Feast
Appetizers are Gado-gado Padang and Fresh Crab Hand Roll. The Gado-gado (Indonesian mix vegetable salad) is accompanied with super thick sauce and (surprised) yellow noodle. It reminds me of rujak juhi (without the juhi). I love this kind of Gado-gado. The roll is basically, crab meat wrapped in soy paper with fresh tuna on top. Soy paper instead of nori is a new challenge to everyone’s taste bud. Love this one too!

Fresh Crab Hand Roll
Soto Padang served as soup is irresistible. West Sumatra’s signature soup consists of angel hair, potato and jerked beef, topped with red crackers. Kudos to the amount of salt they’re using as well as the quality of the meat. Rice, anyone?

Soto Padang
Moving on to the main course, Nasi Daun Jeruk (Rice with Lime Leaves) comes with ayam masereh (shredded chicken with chili sauce), mixed vegetables with anchovies, squid with green chili sauce, jerked beef, satay, dried potato and our signature peanut brittle. This dish is arguably the most famous of Gran Mahakam and attracting loyal customers to return. People usually avoided young jack fruit in dishes but this one is good enough. But my vote goes to the squid; it’s so vibrant and tasty. 

Nasi Daun Jeruk (Rice with Lime Leaves)
Truffle Beef Bowl comes next. Japanese slices marinated beef sprinkled with the finest Truffle sauce and scallion served on steamed Japanese rice. The smell of Truffle is heavenly, the meat is soft and rice is moist. Another perfect dish. It’s gonna be hard to choose between the two main courses.

Truffle Beef Bowl 
Everything that starts out nice should end with a glam. So the two desserts better be unforgettable as well. Es Tape Hijau is a mix of tape ketan, tape singkong, kopyor, kolang kaling with milk, coconut milk and syrup. Tape is fermented dish, sometimes from cassava, others have them from rice or sticky rice. Ice shavings aren’t my thing but the fillings are tempting and I felt like digging up treasures. Mochi Ice cream, another Japanese touch on the feast. Japanese confection made from mocha (pounded sticky rice) with green tea ice cream filling. Yummy! Can we have more of them?

 Es Tape Hijau and Mochi Ice Cream
Last Surprise
Full stomach (after an array of great food) is always satisfying. So while we let that deliciousness down, the answers from previous games were revealed. The last one was raspberry sorbet. Whoa! Every participant jotted down different names and none of us were correct. The next surprise is me being named the winner of the game (really?). I just can’t believe it!

A big thanks to Gran Mahakam and Code Hunter for this Dolce Gusto Mini Me Machine, something I’ve been dreading to have this past year. Well, if you want this machine too, go download Code Hunter at the Appstore or Playstore. I’m not giving up mine. Ruth is gonna be jealous. 

Where is This?
Jl. Mahakam I No 6 Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta 12130 - INDONESIA
Tel : + 62 21 7209966

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