Using the Guide
Bistro Garçon at Plaza Senayan is one of the few dining establishments in Jakarta that has successfully been holding wine-pairing dinners in a consistent fashion since its inception two years ago. The tradition, which allows diners to experience a variety of creative degustation menus paired with curated wines, has been an integral part of Garçon’s mission to educate more and more Jakartans about the art of wine pairing, which doesn’t necessarily have to be exclusive and expensive. Now, at least once every two months, the venue rolls out new fivecourse menus to accompany the wines selected from estates all over the world. Garçon’s Head Chef Camille Benedetto-flosse, who was named “The Best New Chef” by Indonesia Tatler best restaurants guide last year, said a talent is required to conjure up harmony in wine pairing. “It’s like the cosmos (where every single element aligns with each other). In addition, the wine pairing at Garçon is also good value for money; it’s relatively affordable in that we consider it as a present to our guests. Our wine pairing events always attract our loyalists, and we don’t want to make it too often because people will find it boring,” Chef Camille said. A wine-pairing dinner is worth a try. It averagely costs under Rp 1 million.
Holding a wine-pairing dinner needs elaborate preparations. It starts with Chef Camille trying the wines brought in by suppliers, at least one month before the dinner. “After the process, we discussed which wine matches the dish, or which grape variety matches the ingredients or condiments we will be using. There has to be great collaboration between suppliers and the kitchen.” Chef Camille wants to break the boundaries of wine pairing, twisting the conventional principles and yet still staying true to the sine qua non of conscious pairing. “People always expect red meat paired with red wines, sweet wine with desserts, or seafood with white wines, and more. But then, I usually give them surprises in that we pair salmon with a pinot noir, for instance.”
We took a sneak peak into one of Chef Camille’s wine-pairing menus. The degustation starts with Meli-melo of Vegetables with Hazelnut Vietnamese Dressing, paired with Founders’ Estate Sauvignon Blanc; continues with Tasmanian Salmon Confit with grilled zucchini “Mimosa” and lemon emulsion with Founders’ Estate Pinot Noir. Next, the chef picks Sulawesi Lobster Medallion with green peas risotto, a touch of pomelo, and smoky oven-wood bisque sauce, paired with Napa Valley Chardonnay. Braised Blackmore Wagyu Shin Shank with carrot custard, creamy spinach, lemongrass consommé, and rawon sauce is matched with Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and last but not least the Sweet California Sunset with Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
Chef Camille also checks up on every guest, making sure that they experience the best of Garçon. “Most of our guests are very happy and satisfied with what they get at Garçon, but of course, we still want to improve more: expanding the food variety, for example.” He added, “Also, it’s important for guests to understand that attending a wine-pairing dinner is not about filling you belly. It’s more about appreciation and harmony.”
For more information on Bistro Garçon at Plaza Senayan, please refer to page 46