The hotel, which I passed on my way to and from work everyday, is special. It’s been a frequent reunion place with old friends and coworkers, mainly due to its location. So, walking across the lobby then up to Ambiente where the event was held gives a special memory.
Aryaduta is revamping. This month, Celebrity Chef Rinrin Marinka joined on board the kitchen team to develop new menu for the restaurant. Taking Batavian street food and twist them with Marinka style. The star of the day is Nasi Goreng Kambing (Lamb Fried Rice). “Back in college, when I crave for Indonesian food, I always cook this dish. The challenge is how to make the dish interesting and pretty without losing its authenticity.” She then proceeds to do a live cooking show with Rob Cunningham, Group Director Food & Beverage from Aryaduta Hotels Indonesia.
Unlike Chef Marinka, I didn’t grow up with Nasi Goreng Kambing. So, the fried rice taste I knew was all commercial, from the street food kind to the ones found on restaurant’s menu. I showed Fiona a picture of the fried rice and she commented that it looks homemade. It tastes homemade too. I think Chef Marinka picked this dish as the champion for street food, aside from the fact that it seems to her comfort food, because it’s simple and delicious. But I’m sure for me, it won’t be as easy as the demonstation.
So, Chef Marinka uses fresh lamb for the fried rice instead. The rest of the menu consists of your favorite street food such as asinan, kerak telor and her interpretation of Es Campur. My personal favorite on the tray is Kerak Telor, a surprise because that traditional Batavian street dish isn’t what I usually like to buy. Even on those Jakarta Fair days. But I picked up the Kerak Telor twice within half an hour, when the appetizers are served by the waiters and waitresses, before the live cooking began. Chef Marinka gives a contemporary twist to the classic omelet. Adding another level of hotness, a cut of green chili is included in the topping, exploding a surprise tangy taste on your mouth. I was more ready on the second piece.
These dishes are the first of the series. There will be more unveiled as the hotel finished upgrading its premise and opening new ones around the archipelago. It will also launch its second brand, called Dali by Aryaduta, later this year. Chef Marinka isn’t the only celebrity who will join the panel of ambassadors helping out with the new face of Aryaduta. There would be more along the way, so I guess we can expect more surprises from the brand. In the meantime, enjoy the menu at any Aryaduta Hotels in Indonesia.