Hot new eats
Executive chef Monthep Kamolsilp didn’t have to look very far to create his menu at TAAN. Working with local, independent farms, Kamolsilp is able to dish out what he calls “hyper-local innovative Thai cuisine”. There’s organic Tapao-thong chicken in massaman curry (THB550/S$23) and black wallago fish (a Southeast Asian catfish) with red curry mousse (THB450), to go along the champak flower infused Kristall Gin in the Klin-jun (THB330). Best of all, TAAN’S prime location atop Siam@siam Design Hotel Bangkok offers a sprawling view of the bustling city. 25/F, Siam@siam Design Hotel Bangkok, 865 Rama I Road, Khwaeng Wang Mai, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand. Tel: +66 65 328 7374 Here’s another spot to satiate your cravings for Wagyu beef. Hisato Hamada, co-founder of the members-only Wagyumafia, has opened his first overseas branch in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Wagyumafia Hong Kong mirrors the experience in Tokyo. An open kitchen is where Hamada and team will present an omakase experience (dinner only; Hkd2,000/s$351/person), guiding guests through the exquisite flavours of pedigreed Wagyu and Kobe beef over 10 to 12 dishes. Expect a wide range of cuts and cooking methods, including his famed Cutlet Sandwich of a thick, panko-fried Chateaubriand between Japanese milk bread. Reservations (through Tock) are currently limited to members, but there are plans to extend it to the public in January. Shop 1B, Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Tel: +852 2812 0500
Ex-gymkhana chef Rohit Ghai has opened an upscale Indian restaurant in Chelsea. Kutir focuses on game meat and seafood through a six-course tasting menu (£60/ S$106). Think Lobster Bonda and Rasam, a 24-hour slow-cooked Roganjosh and Tandoori Stone Bass with Crispy Squid. The succinct cocktail list features ingredients commonly found in India. The vodka-based Lodgic, in particular, is a favourite, thanks to its refreshing mix of watermelon, Alphonso mango and sugarcane juice. 10 Lincoln Street, Chelsea, London SW3 2TS, U.K. With Swiss chef Nenad Mlinarevic at the helm, Brenners Park-hotel & Spa’s latest culinary concept, Fritz & Felix, is off to a great start. The winner of 2016’s Chef of the Year by Gault Millau restaurant guide, Mlinarevic showcases the best of Baden-baden in dishes like the Redfish (otherwise known as Ocean Perch) with chorizo (€28) and a delectable risotto with cèpes (porcini mushrooms), burnt celeriac and snap peas (€19). The invigorating Fritz & Felix Spritzz is a standout from the drinks menu. It’s a mix of house-made vermouth and Birds Riesling Spirit, a German spirit made of Riesling and botanicals like voatsiperifery pepper, cloves and liquorice. Brenners Park-hotel & Spa, Schillerstrasse 4-6, 76530, Baden-baden, Germany. Tel: +49 7221 900 999
Anthony Strong makes his solo debut with PRAIRE in the up-and-coming dining destination Mission District in San Francisco. Formerly the Delfina Restaurant Group’s (Locanda and Pizzeria Delfina) group executive chef, Strong’s take on Italian fare is inspired by his adventures as a budding chef in California. There’s the Tagliatelle with Cutting Board Ragu (US$18), a dish he’d often prepare at home using roasted chicken, and his version of a gnocchi using Korean rice cakes (US$17). In the latter, he serves it with mushroom sugo, pine nuts and sprigs of mint.
Two charcoal grills take pride of place at his restaurant kitchen – Josper from Spain and a J&R Woodshow Broiler from Texas – to produce sharing portions of Berkshire Pork Spare Ribs in Calabrian XO rub (US$25) and Mt. Lassen Trout with nasturtium butter (US$32). The bar menu gets a little creative with Kombucha Bellini (US$12) and a hilariously named gin-based tipple, Becky with the Good Hair (US$13). 3431 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, U.S.A. Tel: +1 415 483 1112
Travel back in time to 1930s Bali at The Seminyak Ball (Rp1,800,000 per person). Held at beachfront resort The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa, enjoy a lavish Balinese cuisine buffet served at different food stalls. Watch several dance performances at different venues within the resort, including an appearance of Barong Landung, a couple of giant puppets and the sacred Old Man Mask Dance. The latter is traditionally only seen during religious rituals and festivals.
Guests can also release sky lanterns, watch the fireworks and dance under the stars to mark the end of 2018.
Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak. Tel: +62 361 730814 Just in time for the festive season, try
TWO Islands Sparkling Chardonnay 2017 (price upon request) for your year-end celebratory toast. The 8th variety in the brand’s range, the Chardonnay is produced using grapes from the vineyards in Adelaide Hills and Limestone Coast in South Australia. The first locally produced sparkling wine made by méthode traditionnelle and aged sur lie for a minimum of 12 months, the brut sparkling Chardonnay displays aromas of spring freesias, stone fruits and a lingering finish of toasted nuts, marmalade and pastry. The wine is available for tasting at The Cellardoor Bali and Jakarta. Hatten Wines Building,
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai 393, Sanur. Tel: +62 361 4721377
There’s much to anticipate from Ubud’s latest haute cuisine destination. Led by executive chef Nic Vanderbeeken and his talented multicultural team, Apéritif is a globallyinspired restaurant that draws inspiration from Indonesia and beyond. Diners sit through an eight-course degustation (from Rp1,350,000) to experience Vanderbeeken’s finesse in executing modern European dishes such as the Venison Wellington served with truffle mash, and Papua Crab. Have a go at their classic cocktails, which are pulled off with a twist by award-winning mixologist, Ran Van Ongevalle. Viceroy Bali, Jl. Lanyahan, Banjar Nagi, Ubud 80571. Tel: +62 361 917777 Plaga Wine’s Plaga Frizzante (price upon request) is its attempt to capture la dolce vita in a bottle. The sparkling wine is made for the Indonesian palate, as it has a gentle balance of sweetness and refreshing tingle. With just 4.3% V/V alcohol, the Muscat wine offers a fruity aroma with hints of pineapple as well as a punch of white fruits and jasmine. An easy drink for casual parties. PT. Barindo, Jl. Sunset Road, Kuta. Tel: +62 361 8477232 Celebrate Christmas on 24 and 25 December at the feted Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique. Choose between a six and eight-course tasting menu (from Rp1,250,000), which includes dishes such as Foie Gras Duo with Fresh Cherries, Secreto Iberico Pork with Ginger Bread Man, and Eggnog Ice Cream with Cognac Jelly. Come by on New Year’s Eve for the Dinner Spectacle: A Night of Great Surprise where artist Jasmine Okubo will give a special performance inspired by the tasting menus (from Rp1,700,000). Other decadent dishes include Coral Trout and Black Truffle Papillotte as well as Coconut Smoked Wagyu Beef with Kluwek. Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud. Tel: +62 361 975768
A real winter Christmas in tropical Jakarta is a pipe dream, but Fairmont Jakarta offers a tempting alternative. Make a reservation for the delectable White Christmas Afternoon Tea (Rp588,000 per set, including over 20 selections of TWG tea for two) at the elegant Peacock Lounge, where you can nibble on winter-inspired delicacies such as Snowman Lemon Meringue and Santa Hat Strawberry Brownie. Spectrum Restaurant is available for your Christmas Eve buffet dinner and Christmas Day brunch (both priced at Rp788,000 per person). Enjoy classic dishes like roasted turkey and minced pie while being serenaded by Christmas carol performances. Jl. Asia Afrika No.8, Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta. Tel: +62 21 29703333 Cementing its status as a one-stop gourmet destination in Jakarta, PIK Avenue had welcomed a recent addition to its restaurant lineup, Bara, a wood-fired rotisserie restaurant. Inspired by an industrial farmhouse, their open kitchen sets the scene for a delicious array of dishes, including Bara Rotisserie Chicken (Rp140,000), Double Bone in Pork Chop (Rp265,000) with homemade spiced honey glaze, and the Bucatini Carbonara (Rp90,000). Order a bottle of red from the well-stocked wine collection to complement the meal, like the 2014 Mouton Cadet Edition Vintage, Bordeaux (Rp620,000) with strong plummy notes. PIK Avenue Mall GF, Jl. Pantai Indah Kapuk Boulevard, Jakarta.
Tel: +62 21 22572296
With its lush garden and relaxing ambience, Aryaduta Lippo Village is a welcoming oasis far from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. Treat your family to a special Christmas and New Year’s celebration with a stay at the resort (from Rp2,395,000/night) or enjoy a buffet dinner at the Palm Cafe. Think Roast Beef and Thyme Marinated Norwegian Salmon for your Christmas Eve dinner (Rp288,000/person). For the New Year’s Eve countdown (Rp348,000/person), the Ebony Ballroom will be transformed into a stomping ground for music, entertainment and food. 401 Boulevard Jenderal Sudirman Lippo Village 1300, Tangerang.
Tel: +62 21 5460101 Experience a refined Christmas Eve’s dinner as well as Christmas Day brunch (Rp859,000) and dinner (Rp655,000) at The Dharmawangsa
Jakarta’s Jakarta Restaurant & The Courtyard. The experience will include classic Christmas carols performed on the piano while guests enjoy an array of international dishes. Don’t miss the New Year’s Eve Parade (Rp1,080,000/person) where magic tricks, music and tarot reading are part of the celebration – not to mention a tasty roasted prime ribs among other tasty dishes. Alternatively enjoy seafood and chocolate martinis at the New Year’s Day Brunch (Rp655,000/person). Jl. Brawijaya Raya No.26, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta. Tel: +62 21 7258181 In need of a family staycation? The Ritz-carlton Jakarta Pacific Place may be the ideal venue that you’ve been looking for. Book the special holiday package for two adults and two children under 12 years old; it includes a daily food and beverage (with five different menus) offer at the The Ritz-carlton Club Level Access, adorable welcome amenities for the little ones from the pastry chef, and one complimentary roll-away bed. The offer is valid till the end of December. If you are checking in on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, enjoy the hotel’s festive treats at PASOLA Restaurant. SCBD, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53, Jakarta. Tel: +62 21 225501888