The Bon Vi­vant

A group of close fam­ily and friends gather to cel­e­brate Maria Luk­ito through the del­i­ca­cies she loved thanks to Amuz’s Chef Gilles Marx. Edith Emer­alda writes 158

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link! eight flutes met in cheer to the good mem­o­ries of the late Maria Luk­ito, as clear and dar­ing as the Krug Rosé it­self. More re­marks and ban­ter res­onated in the warm wood-pan­elled room as the group set­tled white nap­kins on laps and the din­ner in mem­ory of Ibu Maria started. The door opened and a very unique per­fume wafted in the air fill­ing the room with par­ti­cles too par­tic­u­lar for one’s mem­ory.

“Oc­to­ber to Novem­ber is the short sea­son for white truf­fles,” Chef Gilles Marx said. “This first batch had just been hand car­ried to Amuz di­rectly from Alba in Italy’s north.” As one of Maria’s favourite in­gre­di­ents, truf­fle was the star that night start­ing from del­i­cate shav­ings atop creamy ch­est­nut soup to amuse the palate. Caviar was an­other, sim­ply served on a bed of ice with fresh bli­nis, chopped herbs and other tra­di­tional ac­com­pa­ni­ments.

An­gel hair pasta, a favourite of hers and other diners at Amuz, came next, moist­ened to a beau­ti­ful glis­ten with truf­fle cream

sauce. The but­ler also re­turned with the un­mis­tak­able square-shaped tool to care­fully shave more white truf­fles on top. Still lin­ger­ing on the taste­buds after a few spar­ing bites, the fungi’s in­tense, though del­i­cate, flavour re­turned yet with a more de­lec­ta­ble pair­ing.

Soft, white and juicy Cana­dian lob­ster brought to a slight charred-sweet­ness from pan roast­ing ar­rived on the ta­ble with savoury spring veg­etable ragout. Ea­ger forks and knives waited with pal­pa­ble de­light as the white truf­fle ar­rived in its full glory to crown the fresh crus­tacean in flavours un­mis­tak­ably rich and re­ward­ing. Alas, this was the last course fea­tur­ing Italy’s prized fungi be­fore the din­ner took a route closer to home.

One of the choic­est cuts Maria loved was sir­loin from Ja­pan’s wagyu raised in the greens of Miyazaki pre­fec­ture. Sim­ply grilled to a pink per­fec­tion be­fore be­ing thinly sliced to show­case the in­tri­cately dense mar­bling, the wagyu and a few drops of chimichurri sauce in­ter­min­gling with its juice com­pleted the heav­enly ex­pe­ri­ence.

Sto­ries flowed gen­er­ously and the Châteauneuf-du-pape swilled grace­fully around the ta­ble when Chef Gilles’s new Amuz sig­na­ture dish ar­rived to de­light the diners. Whimsy in mush­room shapes and colours, the Al­sace-born chef re­vis­ited the beloved Forêt Noire—or Black For­est cake—and turned all its clas­si­cal flavours the con­tem­po­rary way.

All of the cre­ations made by Chef Gilles dur­ing Amuz Group’s seven years, and his four types of din­ing ser­vices in Jakarta, couldn’t be men­tioned with­out re­mem­ber­ing Maria’s love and sup­port for it all. “I’ve been in In­done­sia for 18 years now and Ibu Maria was al­ways one of Amuz Group’s great sup­port­ers—also the whole French food in­dus­try here,” Chef Gilles

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