Us­ing the Guide

Indonesia Tatler Best Restaurants - - CONTENTS -

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

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