Exquisite Taste - - Contents - By Steven Jauw Waludin

Sari Del­i­catessen at Sari Pan Pa­cific Jakarta is an es­tab­lish­ment in its own right, so we find out what ex­cit­ing new treats it has in store for dessert lovers in the city.

An es­tab­lish­ment in its own right, Sari Del­i­catessen is a haven for clas­sic

sweet treats and ex­cit­ing new creations for dessert lovers in the city.

Vis­i­tors to Sari Del­i­catessen are usu­ally drawn by the won­der­ful aroma of freshly baked treats waft­ing out of the shop lo­cated in Sari Pan Pa­cific Jakarta ho­tel lobby. First-time vis­i­tors will mar­vel at the wide va­ri­ety of pas­tries and sweet treats that the deli has to of­fer. Bas­kets full of au­then­tic rus­tic breads and baguettes are avail­able, warm and freshly baked from the oven. An as­sort­ment of scrump­tious cook­ies, meltin-your-mouth meringues and lux­u­ri­ous palmiers are wrapped in beautiful pack­ag­ing, en­tic­ing browsers to pick them up and take them home for the whole fam­ily. Small slices of deca­dent choco­late cakes, colour­ful fruit tarts, fra­grant tra­di­tional lapis and fancy éclairs sit pa­tiently be­hind chilled glass coun­ters, await­ing se­lec­tion. A smat­ter­ing of glazed Dan­ish pas­tries, but­tery crois­sant rolls and de­lec­ta­ble hand­made choco­lates rounds off the mouth-wa­ter­ing line-up, which would sat­isfy the staunch­est sweet tooth.

A star-stud­ded cast of heav­enly cakes is avail­able to be pur­chased out­right, pop­u­lar for fancy events and in­ti­mate gath­er­ings alike. The del­i­catessen’s Black For­est cake has been the ho­tel’s sig­na­ture dessert for the past 40 years – an el­e­gant assem­bly of choco­late sponge cake, dark choco­late shav­ings, whipped cream and can­died cher­ries. For those look­ing for some­thing lighter, the del­i­cate and vi­brant fruit cheesecake comes highly rec­om­mended. Choco­late ad­dicts look­ing for a lit­tle sin­ful in­dul­gence would be re­miss not to try the del­i­catessen’s famed St Eloi, a deca­dent dark choco­late cre­ation made with im­ported French choco­late.

We had the priv­i­lege to sit down with Sari Pan Pa­cific Jakarta Ex­ec­u­tive Dessert Chef In­dra Gu­nawan and have a chat about what in­spires him as a dessert chef, what it takes to run a suc­cess­ful kitchen and shar­ing the recipe for his favourite sweet treat.

: How long have you been with Sari Pan Pa­cific Jakarta and how did you end up here? In­dra: I’ve only been here for one month. I’ve worked in Man­darin Ori­en­tal in Sin­ga­pore, Har­ris Ho­tel and Re­sort in Batam, Ho­tel Kempin­ski and JW Mar­riott in Jakarta, and Bul­gari Re­sort in Bali be­fore end­ing up in Sari Pan Pa­cific Jakarta.

: Why did you be­come a dessert chef, was it al­ways a pas­sion of yours?

I: Ac­tu­ally I started out as a Chi­nese chef! Some­how I found my­self help­ing out with the desserts, but I loved it so much I ended up stay­ing. I’ve al­ways had a pas­sion for desserts, and I’m the type of chef who is rest­less. With desserts and pas­tries, there’s al­ways some ex­tra de­tail to work on.

: In your opin­ion, what’s the most im­por­tant qual­ity in suc­cess­fully run­ning a dessert kitchen?

I: You need to pay at­ten­tion to de­tails and you need to be cre­ative. Be­sides that, you just need to put in the hard work.

: What parts of your job do you love? I: What I love is how quick-paced the desserts in­dus­try is. There are al­ways new trends like cronuts, ni­tro­gen ice cream and so on. There’s al­ways some­thing ex­cit­ing around the cor­ner.

: Where do you get your in­spi­ra­tions for your desserts?

I: I’ve al­ways been able to vi­su­alise what I want to cre­ate and make it. Maybe it’s a gift?

: What’s one dessert that vis­i­tors to Sari Del­i­catessen should def­i­nitely try? I: Def­i­nitely the Black For­est. It’s Sari Del­i­catessen’s clas­sic and has been around for 40 years. If we took it off the menu there’d be uproar!

: Can you tell us a lit­tle bit about the desserts we’ll be savour­ing to­day, what’s unique about them?

I: There’s the Pink Plea­sure, which is our Valen­tine’s spe­cialty, it’s bright and cheer­ful. We also have the For­est Noir and White Blanc, which are two of my ren­di­tions of the clas­sic Black For­est cake.

: I un­der­stand you’ll be shar­ing a recipe with us to­day for one of your favourite desserts?

I: Yes, I’ll be shar­ing the For­est Noir recipe. I hope you like my ver­sion of the Black For­est!

In­dra Gu­nawan

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