Jun 27, 2012

Bengawan, Keraton at the Plaza

Keraton at the Plaza is a newly opened hotel, located in the heart of Jakarta, on top of the famous Plaza Indonesia.. a part of The Luxury Collection of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Keraton offers a unique combination of modern technology and rich Indonesian culture.. in the lobby, for instance, a very masculine steel pillars harmoniously standing side by side with batik kawung decorations.. similar harmony can also be found inside the room where in-room high technology meets batik parang decorations.. such a great way to spend your night in a hotel while visiting Jakarta.. 

image taken from here
last week, I was invited to enjoy a culinary experience of eating at Bengawan, the signature restaurant of Keraton at the Plaza.. serving a balanced menu between Indonesian and international cuisine, Bengawan offers a whole new dining experience with a high-quality ingredients.. located at the 7th floor, the restaurant is divided into indoor and outdoor eating area, both provide a magnificent view of Jakarta sky-scrappers.. 

coming through the Plaza Indonesia, I was quite confused finding their entrance.. luckily, a security was there to help and show me the exclusive entrance located right next to Bakerzin.. once entered, it was like I was brought to a completely different place, so calm and elegant.. a security inside took me to the elevator heading to 7th floor, where Bengawan was located.. arriving at the main entrance of Bengawan, a waitress was ready to welcome me.. I told her that I was meeting Ms Ivana Novida, the Online Marketing Manager.. she then politely delivered me to a nice table for two located at the corner while waiting.. while walking to the  table, all the staffs greeted me good evening, which was very pleasing.. you feel like you are somebody important.. a really nice way to start your night..

the name Bengawan represents the water elements found in almost every corner of the restaurant.. it also chosen to embrace the strong Indonesian culture brought to the restaurant.. looking around the restaurant, right beneath the outdoor eating area, is a magnificent swimming pool dedicated for Keraton private residents and next to it is an indoor infinity swimming pool dedicated for Keraton hotel visitors.. I would love spending my evening sipping my coffee in their outdoor area, watching the sunset and the beautiful pool.. at night, you can totally enjoy the view of Jakarta lights through the window or by sitting at the outdoor area.. or, you can just relax yourself in the romantic atmosphere of the indoor area where lights were dimmed to ensure a maximum coziness.. 

while waiting for my dinner companion, a basket of warm bread was directly served to accompany my waiting time.. a few moments later, Ms Ivana came and introduced herself.. she then guided me through the ala carte menu while explaining some of Bengawan's signature dishes.. from the beginning, I had determined to try their Indonesian menu, since I was really curious how to serve Indonesian cuisine in a high-class style.. after going through the menu, I decided to try  caesar salad with grilled chicken (Rp95,000) for my appetizer and pindang udang (Rp175,000) for my main course.. iced lychee tea was recommended as my thirst quencher.. other than ala carter menu, Bengawan also serves buffet.. so beside my orders, I was also encouraged to try their buffet menu.. sushi and seafood bar, bread selections and dessert corners are available.. I tried their sushi and found it was freshly prepared, loved it since the very first bite.. 

bread corner
seafood and sushi
the iced lychee tea come in a huge, tall glass which I think perfect for two to three persons.. it was indeed very refreshing and sweet.. what makes it different than other lychee tea is that some of the lychee was crushed to make the flavor even stronger, and I found popping lychee pearls which gave a really nice little surprises inside my mouth.. 

iced lychee tea

caesar salad with grilled chicken

pindang udang

the caesar salad come not long after I finished my sushi.. I am a big fan of caesar salad, and this one didn't disappoint me at all.. fresh lettuce drenched in caesar dressings with parmesan cheese, bacon bits and grilled chicken.. it was one satisfying appetizer.. I even intended to finish the whole plate, if I was not reminded that I still have some other food coming in haha.. in a perfect timing, my pindang udang arrived.. shrimps, belimbing wuluh, pineapples, green onions and chili in a red soup served with steamed rice did look very appetizing.. I tried the soup first, and love it since then.. it tasted so good.. spicy and sour soup combined with fresh, perfectly cooked shrimps and sweet pineapples was such a treat for my tongue.. I love everything about this dish.. the soup kinda reminded me of Thailand's tom yum, but with a more Indonesian taste.. 

during our dinner, my table was visited by the one and only Toni Azhari, the genius executive chef behind every delicate dish served at Bengawan.. he has a 14 years of professional chef experience, specialized in Western cuisine but also strong in Indonesian local dishes.. two thumbs up for Toni Azhari and Bengawan for bringing Indonesian cuisine to a whole new level.. it's thrilling knowing that our local cuisine is worthy served in a high-class restaurant, cooked with high-quality ingredients and be known world-wide..

a dinner is not a dinner without any dessert involved and Bengawan really knows how to spoil their customers.. as I was reaching their dessert corner, I felt like a child in a candy store.. I remember I was so busy looking around every sweets, taking pictures and confused which cake I should try.. finally, I decided to try their red velvet cake, rainbow cake and carrot cake along with strawberry ice cream and peach sorbet.. the red velvet cake was scrumptious.. it was not too sweet and not too creamy, making it possible to finish the whole slice.. the cake texture is not moist, instead it was more like crumbles.. Ms Ivana told me that it was not the best Bengawan's red velvet, the usual red velvet is four layers and much more delicious.. even with the less delicious one, I was already in love.. the rainbow cake, however, is just too sweet for me.. I also fancy the carrot cake which was not sweet but has a very nice cake texture.. the sorbet was sour but very refreshing with a silky texture, which just makes you want to have some more..

dessert corner

Ms Ivana offered me to try their cocktail selections, since Bengawan offers a fusion cocktail, which combines alcoholic drinks with Indonesian local drinks.. such as es cendol (vodka mixed with sugar cendol and coconut milk) and jamu sour (vodka with local Indonesian elixir, fresh lemon, local palm sugar & egg protein).. however, I'm not a fan of alcoholic drinks, so I passed her offer.. she then offered me to try their coffee instead.. and you know, I just can't resist coffee, so I let myself have a cup of hot cappucinno.. the coffee was freshly brewed.. it smelled really good and tasted as good.. I preferred to add a little brown sugar to my coffee, so the coffee tasted a bit sweet but still have that light bitterness.. though it was a bit unusual to have a cup of coffee on 9p.m at night, it was still one perfect cup for me..

after the dinner, I was took to look around the hotel room.. grand deluxe and junior suite are the room types available.. both room was magnificent.. equipped with high technology, modern facilities decorated with local ethnic Indonesian touch makes the room a perfect choice to stay.. I specifically was so in love with the bathroom which can be opened if you're staying alone, or closed if you're sharing the room.. I can totally imagine myself enjoying a nice, warm bath in that bathtub.. another amazing thing about the room is the floor-to-ceiling window which allows you to enjoy the view of Jakarta.. a complete package of anything you want from a hotel room.. in-room check in was also available, so guests do not have to wait in the reception while checking in.. pack-unpack service is another personal touch available, so you can have your luggage unpacked and you clothes tidied up in the closed while you go around.. including in the room facility is a coffee machine, so you can have your own fresh coffee or, if you're too lazy making one for yourself, just call the butler to make it for you.. a promotion rate valid until July 31, the grand deluxe room is available for USD299++ while junior suite is available for USD324++.. (view the luxurious rooms here)

and like the whole experience is not enough, I was not allowed to go home empty-handed.. a box of cake is prepared for me to take away.. thanks a lot Ms Ivana Novida, really had a great dinner with you and waiting to see you some time in the future :)

Signature from Bengawan:
· Iga Bakar (Rp225,000)
Grilled premium spare ribs, served with konro broth, sambal balado and steamed rice
· Pan Fried Foie Gras (Rp195,000)
Caramelized apple, toasted brioche, macadamia nuts
· Kiwi Pohpohan Mojito (Rp135,000)
Silver Rum, Indonesian lime with fresh crushed kiwi mint, local pohpohan leaf over crushed ice
· Pasundan Fashioned (Rp135,000)
Crushed Indonesian pohpohan leaf and beetroot, bourbon, fresh local pineapple, fresh lime and honey

Buffet Packages of
· Breakfast Buffet Package (Rp225,000++)
Inclusive appetizer, main course (Western & Asian) in buffet and a la carte menu, dessert, live cooking selection, pass around smoothies and croissant, egg selections, soft drink, fresh juices, fresh brewed coffee and tea.
· Lunch Buffet Package (Rp288,000++)
Inclusive appetizer, main course (Western & Asian), dessert, live hot cooking selection, pass around Foei Gras and carving selections, fresh brewed coffee and tea.
· Dinner Buffet Package (Rp188,000++)
Inclusive buffet appetizer, dessert, fresh brewed coffee & tea.
· Brunch Package (Rp388,000++)
Inclusive all non-alcohol beverage, appetizer, main course (Western & Asian) in buffet and menu, live cooking pasta, unlimited pass around, pass around (mie goreng, nasi goreng, foeigrass, carving selections), noodle selection, dessert, pass around beverage, fresh brewed coffee and tea, welcoming bubble.
· Beverage Package (Rp. 288.000++)
free flow red wine, white wine, champagne, cocktail, martini.

Bengawan, Keraton at the Plaza
Jl. MH. Thamrin Kav. 15
Jakarta 10350

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