RIVA Forever!

The lunch I had with a few friends at Riva was quite a bittersweet event as it was the last time I would dine at Riva, the old Riva that is.

The Park Lane Jakarta, which is probably as old as (if not older than) me, has been undergoing a series of major renovations. The rooms and the swimming pool have just been completely rejuvenated (click to view photos). Gone are the gloomy and dimly-lit rooms, as they have transformed into cozy, bright and elegantly modern pads. Another pivotal renovation was also decided for Riva, Park Lane's French Bistro & Bar, which previously felt more like a fine dining restaurant. But Riva will soon shed that image, as Riva's new concept (I got a tip-off from a highly reliable source by the way), will be more suited to the younger crowd. The new Riva will be more casual, but still French and still elegant and it will soon be able to cater to both smokers and non-smokers at the alfresco tables by the pool, and there might even be live bands too! I secretly hope the prices on the menu will be adjusted too...haha!.

As we began to tuck into the complimentary bread basket and butter (gorgeous and fresh bread, they come with a few types of bread to choose from), the Amuse Bouche soon came out. This one changes everyday, depends on your luck. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you're very lucky. For that day's lunch, we had the Tuna Confit with Potato Mushroom Truffle, very lucky right?

Choice of Cold or Hot Starters. I was the only one to order from the Hot Starter: the Mushroom Cappuccino. The photo might not show quite clearly, but the soup-cup was actually quite big, so it can be shared if you want to save some room for main course. The other 3 Cold Starters were equally fine too, but if I were to pick a favourite, it would be the Aragula Salad, which came with delicious and juicy pan-seared scallops. 
Left: Mushroom Cappuccino (mushroom ravioli served with its own cappuccino) IDR 195,000 /portion
Right: Foie Gras Terrine (fruit chutney, lemongrass essence and toasted brioche) IDR 340,000 /portion

Left: Wagyu Beef Tartar (freshly ground hand-cut beef with egg yolk and toasted brioche) IDR 250,000 /portion
Right: Aragula Salad with Scallops (shaved parmesan, julienne onion and porcini sauce) IDR 185,000 /portion

Main Course
Choice of "From The Land" or "From The Sea" mains. Again, I was the only one to order From The Sea, while the rest had meat. On everyone's recommendation, I took a leap of faith by ordering the Dover Sole. Do you know what a dover sole is? I didn't, until it came to my table, de-boned, marinated and seared in a plate. A dover sole is actually a type of deep-sea fish that roams the ocean floor. It sweeps on the floor, like the shoes' sole on the floor, hence the name. The flesh is white, quite chewy and tougher than any average edible fish. My only concern when eating seafood is the fishy odour. Lucky this dover sole was fresh and well prepared. But as a precaution I drenched it in lemon juice and the vinegar sauce before eating. Recommended wine pairing: white wine, simply because it's fish. The dummy's way to remember: white meat is paired with white wine. The Sommelier poured some Louis Latour Macon-Villages Chameroy 2010, a Chardonnay from Burgundy, France. Let's toast to Dover Sole and Chardonnay!

From The Land, we had the Wagyu and Black Angus. The portion is more than generous, even for a man.
Wagyu Cote de Boeuf (oven roasted served with roasted jus) IDR 680,000/portion for 2 persons
Left-Top: Fillet de Boeuf Black Angus (190gr pan-roasted tenderloin with Bordelaise Sauce) IDR 470,000
Right-Bottom: Dover Sole Meuniere (with steamed potatoes and baby bokchoy) IDR 400,000(half)or IDR 570,000 (full-portion)

I would never miss Riva's madeleines for anything (I think it's one of the best madeleines around!), such a perfect companion with the fine JJ Royal Coffee. But we didn't stop there, as I was particularly curious with the Souffle. I've always seen them on TV and cooking shows, but never actually ate them (believe it or not!). Despite on the verge of unable to stand up, I was glad that I ordered the Souffle. It was simply decadent, both the chocolate and the vanilla with Grand Marnier Orange Sauce and each comes served with vanilla ice cream. The Souffles puffed up beautifully and felt like cotton when my spoon broke the surface. An honorable mention must be addressed to the Valrhona Chocolate Lava Cake too. Such a wonderful ending to this lovely lunch reunion!
Sorry folks, I forgot to take note of the prices

Come here for: fine French cuisine. Come again after the renovation, hopefully before 2013 ends. I can't wait to welcome the new Riva as soon as possible!

The Park Lane Hotel
JL. Casablanca Kav. 18
South Jakarta
Ph: +6221 8282000


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