The "Real Food Concept" is currently causing much abuzz among foodies in Jakarta, particularly in the Instagram social media. So, what is it all about and is it truly worth all the attention? Last week I had the privilege to be invited as one of the selected guests (from media, colleagues and business partners) to preview the Real Food Concept Chapter 01 OCEAN. I know it is over, but this is exactly why you should keep reading, because I will convince you to secure your seat for the upcoming dinner, which will be open for public, on Saturday 17th May 2015 at 1/15 Coffee (Gandaria).
"Respect Ingredients, Respect the Technique, Respect the Customer"
The above is the cornerstone philosophy which guides the three young passionate Indonesian chefs, who came together as a group with, what I'd say, an ambitious mission.
Real Food Concept, in its barest essence, is a series of themed pop-up dinners, with carefully crafted and executed menus by the chefs (henceforth will be called 'the collective').
"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an OCEAN; if a few drops of the OCEAN are dirty, the OCEAN does not become dirty" (Mahatma Gandhi).
Real Food Concept Chapter 01 chose the theme OCEAN. It is inspired by the fact that the ocean is so vast and conceals a myriad of flavours and natural's finest ingredients yet to be discovered or fully appreciated, according to the collective.
Indonesian chefs are often overlooked or underestimated not just by foreigners, but even by our own people. This sort of condescending mentality and mindset is the major barrier that Real Food Concept tries to shatter. The collective aims to show that being young and Indonesian, does not mean one cannot be on par with non-Indonesian chefs. Besides trying to pioneer young Indonesian chefs movement, Real Food Concept also aims to create one-of-a-kind experience for the respected customers, in a wholesome dining experience in which every component is meticulously selected, from the ingredients, decor, menu even to the utensils and branding materials.
The Chefs (in alphabetical order)
|L-R: Angela Stasia, Arnold Poernomo & Talita Setyadi|
Angela Stasia - @angelast
Angela graduated from Le Cordon Bleu London in 2012 and has since been collecting experience learning in top kitchens from London to Sydney. Last year, she started her own catering company, Marylebonefoods, which specializes in catering fine French cuisine.
Arnold Poernomo - @arnoldpo
Arnold inherited the raw talent from his family who owns and runs restaurants in Indonesia for generations. At age 14, he started to seriously hone his skills, working in various restaurants in Sydney. Today, Arnold is widely known by the public, as one of the judges of Masterchef Indonesia and Junior Masterchef Indonesia.
Talita Setyadi - @talitasetyadi
As the Best Patisserie Graduate from Le Cordon Bleu Paris in June 2012, Talita made her mark as the first Indonesian chef to be featured in the Spanish professional haute pâtisserie magazine, 'So Good..' issue #10 (July 2013). Talita is currently based in Jakarta and Bali, to keep up with her updates and recipes, visit her blog here.
Now that I have filled you in with the basics and facts, you are ready to take a dip in the real OCEAN...
Preface - Snacks
Tuna, roe, jalapenos, achovy mayo
by Arnold Poernomo
Tasting note: delightful seaweed crackers, with sweet tuna cubes and it packs a surprise, which I won't tell what, but it is definitely fun!
Escabeche, kaffir lime, turmeric foam & savory sand
by Angela Stasia
Tasting note: the savoury sand is worth digging in again and again.
Prologue - Entree
Tuna belly, foie gras mousse, caviar, yuzu & soy
by Arnold Poernomo
Tasting note: foie gras mousse was pleasantly odourless, melted in the mouth like butter, while the otoro put up a little fight when being cut into smaller pieces, so I'd recommend to eat the entire chunk at one go.
Sea Consommé, scallops, octopus, shrimp, clams & sea urchin
by Angela Stasia
Tasting note: consommé was light and sweet. Everything tasted fresh, but the creamy and sweet sea urchin made a delightful variation to the otherwise similarly-textured seafood slices.
Verse - Mains
Poached chicken, sweet shrimps, ebi, cauliflower puree & dashi
by Arnold Poernomo
Tasting note: never expected cauliflower to taste this good pureed, part of the credit goes to the thick dashi.
Squid ink gnocchi, beef ribs, squid, red wine & bok choy leaves
by Angela Stasia
Tasting note: to serve squid ink gnocchi sans any sauce is a bold statement, which is impressive as they taste good even in the absence of any seasonings.
Epilogue - Dessert
by Talita Setyadi
"Maki" - spinach 'nori', vanilla rice pudding, baked pumpkin, palm sugar caramel and coconut pandan puree.
Tasting note: ridiculously tasty to the last bite! No, the spinach does not have the 'green' smell at all, I'm so impressed!
"Fishbowl" - dulse seaweed ice cream, Valrhona Caramelia & saba ganache, purple sweet potato, raw cacao liquor, mung bean crumble, lime foam.
Tasting note: the mung bean crumble stole everyone's attention with its incredibly addictive crunchiness!
"Depth" - charcoal brioche, squid ink ice cream, honeycomb, black rice, black quinoa cous cous, black sesame puree, black sea salt.
Tasting note: squid ink could taste this good, really? Tasting is believing, gotta try it for yourself to prove it.
The 9 courses above were enjoyed with Sababay Winery's wines:
- Sababay, white, White Velvet (12%)
- Sababay, red, Red Velvet (12%)
- Sababay, sparkling, Moscato d'Bali (8%). Recently won a Silver Award in the Wine and Spirits Asia Challenge 2014
|Sababay, red, Red Velvet|
Real Food Concept is not a wine-pairing dinner, it does not serve menu that any restaurants in Indonesia dare to serve commercially, because the ingredients alone probably would cost more than the average commercial price tag. The techniques used in creating each and every single components of the dishes are undoubtedly sophisticated and is a culmination of years of hard work, sweat and tears. Thus, resulting in a totally new kind of dishes to express the collective's vision and passion to share their own experiences, of having consumed various amazing food from various parts of the world, with the foodies in Indonesia.
Be among the first ones to experience the Real Food Concept Chapter 01 OCEAN, which will be hosted at 1/15 Coffee (Gandaria) on the evening of 17th May 2014. The price for the 9 courses dinner including wine is IDR 1,250,000++/pax. To RSVP (limited seats available), simply call / send an email to the contacts as can be found at the end of this post.
Sponsors & Supporters of Real Food Concept, without whom, the experience would not have been wholesome:
- Schott Zwiesel
- Sababay Winery (wine partner)
- The Foodie Magazine (media partner)
- Tea Rose Wedding Designer (nautical-themed decor)
- Studio Tomapo (branding & graphic design)
Real Food Concept
RSVP: +62 812 10113601
JL. Gandaria I No. 63
Ph: +6221 7225678