If you had enough money to buy a car, would you:
A. buy a car, or
B. spend the money on good food and wine?
Well believe it or not, someone would rather choose option B. This person is, in my honest opinion, an embodiment of a truly passionate gourmand, a bon vivant personality who enjoys life too much, that the pleasures from materials such as car, hold no value against his lifetime pursuit for fine food and drinks. This person I am referring to is Andrea Peresthu, Chef and Co-owner of Javanegra Gourmet Atelier.
Who would've thought that a professor, and an architect would turn into a private dining chef? Signor Andrea spent almost half of his life living and working overseas, mostly in Europe, but he has a particular affinity for Spain and he speaks Spanish like a true Spaniard! If you don't see the person talking, you will certainly think that the croaky throaty masculine voice belongs to a caucasian Spanish gentleman!
Javanegra, which means black coffee, started as a specialty roaster based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is a collaborative efforts from several European and Indonesian coffee enthusiasts and coffee growers. The Cooking/Gourmet Atelier came about as Andrea, who often cooks for his friends, was strongly encouraged by his friends and business partners to explore his passion further. Alas, Javanegra Gourmet Atelier came into existence.
|Left: Flores Bajawa brewing from the kees van der westen machine|
Right: Cold Drip
Around the Gourmet Atelier...
|This is the Specialty Coffee retail area|
|Where the magic happens!|
|Left: traditional copper pots|
Right: The long dining table, where the meal, wine and conversation is shared
At Javanegra, you'll get to see Andrea himself, getting his hands dirty and sticky to cook for the guests. The amiable gentleman would share about his passion and stories from his travels, etc, all the while cooking up a storm in the kitchen and serve authentic, unpretentious Spanish dishes. But of course, Andrea can cook other types of cuisine too, other than Spanish.
|watch Andrea Peresthu live in action|
For that evening, Andrea has prepared a line up of traditional Spanish cuisine, the first and foremost, to tease our palates, he prepared 2 Amuse Bouches:
- Gambita con Salsa Japonesa - fresh and juicy shrimp in Japanese salsa, topped with salmon fish roe and pomegranate
- Smoked salmon on tartare salsa topped with fresh dill, served on water crackers.
|Smoked salmon on tartare Amusé|
|Gambita con Salsa Japonesa Amusé|
We had the amuses straight from the island counters, right after Andrea was done plating each pieces, they were gone in a blink of an eye! For the next dishes, however, we behaved ourselves and sat at the table and wait for the staff to serve the dishes to our table.
The next starter dish was Tuna Tartare with pomegranate and dill...a coherent continuation from our amuses earlier. I love the fresh diced tuna and popping sweet pomegranates.
An authentic Spanish dining experience would be incomplete without 'escalivada' or grilled marinated vegetables. Andrea served us Pimiento ala Brasa or grilled paprika and Champiñones al Ajillo or mushroom in aglio olio. I just could not believe that paprika could taste so sweet, it was almost tomato-like!
|Left: Tuna Tartare|
Right: Pimiento a la Brasa
|Champiñones al ajillo|
Nothing spells Spanish more than Paella and Andrea cooked for us: Paella Marinera, cooked 'en su punto' or 'al dente', to borrow Italian terms. Andrea stewed the arborio rice in the rich Javanegra's signature Marinara broth.
Next, Andrea left the table to prepare the next main course: Mero con Salsa de Bouillabaise - Garoupa fillet seared with black hawaiian salt, red pepper, spinach and Bouillabaise sauce made with Persian Saffron. It was a delightful combination of flavours, sweet & juicy garoupa flesh meets the bold red pepper and rich yet refreshing bouillabaise sauce.
|Mero con Salsa de Bouillabaise|
To end our feast, we were served Tiramisu de la Casa, which I personally enjoy better by soaking it in more coffee.
As a special treat for behaving ourselves at the table, we were treated to a coffee degustation at the end. It was a privilege to sample the rare chili-flavoured coffee and Javanegra's premium Kopi Luwak (civet coffee). The chili-flavoured coffee certainly packs a surprising punch and it is interesting to listen to the story about how it accidentally came about. Apparently the coffee farmers, in order to survive and have something to trade while waiting for the coffee beans to ripe, had to grow other perennial crops. It so happens that the chili plants growing around the coffee vines, actually influence the coffee cherries via cross-pollination, thus resulting in the slightly spicy coffee cherries.
|The reward for behaving well at the table: Coffee Degustation|
Life is well with all the good coffee, good wine and good food, Signor Andrea is certainly a living proof! Shall we dance Sevillana? ;)
Javanegra Gourmet Atelier is a specialty/gourmet coffee retailer offering specialty coffee from 7 Indonesian highland rainforest origins, a private dining venue, and also available for cooking classes & coffee appreciation classes.
Javanegra Gourmet Atelier
JL. Kramat Pela Raya No. 212 (click here to open in Google Maps)
Kebayoran Baru - South Jakarta
Ph: +6221 29054899 / 72780119
M: +62 81381363468 (CP: Ms. Reni)