The highlight of last week is when we were invited to this Intimate Wine Dinner at VIN+ Arcadia Plaza Senayan. What’s so special? Although I have been in some wine pairing dinner before, this was my first time joining a wine dinner featuring Indonesian inspired dishes. Don’t blame me if I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, but stay with me if you are curious what the dinner turned out to be!
VIN+ is a pioneer in wine business in Jakarta, opened its first store in Kemang in 2004 that provides an array of more than 1000 different international wine labels. Wine enthusiasts, young and old, beginners to aficionados, flock to this iconic establishment.
Following the success, now there are 2 other outlets in Jakarta (Arcadia Plaza Senayan & Central Park Mall), 1 at Seminyak, Bali; and another outlet is opening soon in Pondok Indah Mall Jakarta.
That night, the atmosphere in VIN+ Arcadia was very lively and intimate, thanks to the minimal lighting and special table setting. If you ask me which VIN+ outlet I love the most, the answer will be Arcadia because it’s very close to home and that is the only VIN+ outlet I have ever been to, LOL! When we need something to drink, we sometimes go there and have some good (alcoholic) drinks to relax ourselves. We simply love the place, the ambience, and the people there.
The wine dinner this time was crafted and delicately prepared by VIN+’s Executive Chef Djoko Sarwono, a noted chef who has won Iron Chef Indonesia and is often featured by various television cooking shows. He prepared 5-course Indonesian inspired dishes (with Western touch, of course) which were paired with wines from Burch Family Wines. The wines were served in Riedel glasses, a glassware manufacturer based in Austria, which is established back in 1756.
Udang Bakar Asinan Betawi
MADFISH Unwooded Chardonnay 2010
The first course was a marinated grilled prawn served with fresh vegetables and homemade spicy peanut dressing. Presentation was impressive, a combination of East and West (reference to the East came from the half spring roll lying beneath the prawn, FYI) that brought so much colors and beauty on the plate. The prawn was fresh, crunchy, and fragrant; while the spring roll was alright. The black sauce smelled and tasted a little fishy, in a good way, we assumed it was petis.
The Chardonnay was crisp and fruity, but we thought it was stronger than the usual Chardonnay we drink. However, that doesn’t mean that it was bad, since it complimented the distinctive flavors from the prawn so well. Loved this pair and we couldn’t wait to move on to the next course!
Rawon Foie Gras
MADFISH Pinot Noir 2010
The Rawon Foie Gras was actually a dish of classic Ravioli stuffed with dice foie gras in soy sauce reduction. I am no fan of foie gras (never!) but I found this dish interesting and amusing at the same time. Thanks God the foie gras wasn’t smelly at all and was very enjoyable that I was so engrossed into it. The ravioli itself was good, but the winner was the black sauce a.k.a. the rawon, tasty and flavorful it was.
The Pinot Noir worked fine with the dish: it was fresh, delicate, and fruity. For a tasty pasta dish, the wine delivered a refreshing touch for sure.
Interestingly, it was served on a special Riedel glass with large bowl and a flared top lip. The large bowl allows the wine to develop to the full, while the slightly flared top lip maximizes the fruit flavors by directing a precise flow onto the front palate. I am no wine expert but I enjoy good wines so much! And this is what I call “quality”.
Barramundi Acar Kuning
MADFISH Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009
Steamed barramundi served with spring vegetable and Indonesian yellow pickle, that was the third course of the night. While we were quite surprised that it was paired with a red wine instead of white, we were curious like hell. Call me old school, but I am a type of person who thinks that seafood ALWAYS tastes better paired with white wine, period.
The barramundi was steamed and the meat was very soft and lovely. The dressing was good but too mild for my liking.
The choice of the wine for this dish was Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, which is medium-bodied, with strong tannins (acidity) yet still smooth in texture. This notable red wine was paired with mild-tasted barramundi dish, and our first reaction after sipping the wine was that the fish taste was completely gone. Unfortunately, the pairing didn’t work for us and we think that the wine totally overpowered the dish.
HOWARD PARK Scotsdale Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
The so-called “beef rendang” was slow-cooked US short ribs in traditional spicy Indonesian herb and served with fried potato and a block of brown rice.
The beef was super soft and tender, thanks to the slow-cooking process and high quality beef. The rendang sauce was spicy and full of flavor, it was simply AWESOME!
An excellent pairing to the beef, the full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from Howard Park totally hit the nail. So pure and clear taste of the fruit, luxurious and oaky at the same time, this wine was nothing but perfection to the dish. As good as it is, I found it a bit difficult to drink as the strength was obviously too much for me.
For the dessert, we had “Es Teler”, which is a traditional Indonesian fruit cocktail served with coconut virgin milk and vanilla ice cream. Served in an edible chocolate bowl with bird drawing on it, it was a dessert everyone will cheer on.
Needless to say, the ice was a good ending of the fabulous wine dinner that night.
Once again, I have to state that this review is written based on my opinion only as a foodie, not a wine expert. I for one don’t have any wine-related knowledge nor any background that can support me in describing wines, because all these times I just enjoy drinking wines, that’s all. This post is written with much help from Mr. K who used to study a lot about wines back in the days, so I think we are doing quite well trying to describe what we tasted during the dinner. However, if there were any mistakes whatsoever (in describing the wines, not our opinions), please feel free to let us know and we’ll gladly recheck the information, thank you!
Last but not least, it was a superb wine pairing dinner for us and such an eye-opening event that we now know Indonesian dishes can actually taste good too, paired with wines. I mean, who expects that? XD
Anyway, hope you enjoy this post and thanks VIN+ Arcadia for having us!
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 21 October 2015.
Plaza Senayan Arcadia
Jl. New Delhi No 9, Pintu Satu Senayan
Ph. +62 21 5790 1477
Mon-Sun 11AM – 2AM