Few days ago, we joined a private tasting session at L’Avenue Restaurant in THE HERMITAGE, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Menteng, Central Jakarta. Although we always wanted to visit this hotel for dining at the restaurants or just for a weekend staycation, we never did, so this was our first visit here.
The Hermitage is a five-star hotel and a contemporary interpretation of 1920’s Art Deco style with 90 deluxe rooms & suites. The nine-story hotel blends old-world elegance, ultra-modern amenities, and gracious Indonesian hospitality. Originally built in 1923, this stunning Art Deco building was once the Telefoongebouw, a Dutch telecommunications office. Since the 1945 independence of the Republic of Indonesia, it has housed the Department van Onderwijs en Eredients, the National Committee Indonesia Center, the Department of Education, and the Directorate General of the Ministry of Culture and Education.
Before the dinner started, we were brought to the lobby lounge, where the welcome drinks were served. While the hotel has been serving Iced Lemon Tea as regular welcome drink for the guests, they are planning to serve a new welcome drink, Bir Pletok, which we got to taste that day.
Bir Pletok or Pletok Beer, is a traditional Indonesian drink with deep history behind it. Although the name is beer, it contains no alcohol and is basically a mix of ginger, pandan, and lemon grass drink. The red color of the drink is from the ingredient called “kayu secang”. Here the beer is served beautifully on a tray complete with glass lid, which brings a smoky effect when removed. The smoky effect itself is made using apple wood and cinnamon, creating a scented smoke that is calming and aromatic at the same time.
The welcome drink was served with delicacies on three tier stand, very beautiful.
After that, we were given a tour to view some of The Hermitage’s rooms and facilities. The first thing we saw nearby the lobby lounge was the bar area and the cigar lounge, which looks like gentlemen’s clubs back in the 1920s. The room is considerably small but the atmosphere is suave and elegant, makes it attractive since the first glance.
For the rooms, we were totally impressed by their Presidential Suites, which are available in 2 themes: Batavian and European theme. Both suites have similar size but are decorated with completely different styles.
The Batavian suite is dominated with white color sweetened with touch of warm colors like yellow, gold, orange, and red. The impression of this suite is homey, comfortable room, with familiar feeling surrounding the area.
In the contrary, the European suite uses mainly dark colors, giving an authentic, vintage European feel into the whole room. It looks rich and extravagant, just like a room of royals or something. Personally, I love the European suite better, but I must admit the dining room area certainly gave me goosebumps because it was just a little too intimidating. XD
Look at the bathroom, it looks like one of the halls in Versailles, France! XD
After the room tour, we proceeded to L’Avenue Restaurant just near the lobby to have our dinner there. Adorned with Carrera marble, colonial-era artwork, and rich veneers on iridescent taupe walls, L’Avenue is a chic ethno-brasserie with true international flair.
Pan-fried Scallop with Apple Sauce, Cranberry and Dragon Fruit was served in the beginning as amuse bouche. A delightful dish consisted of crunchy fresh scallop with touches of sweet and sour sauces, perfect to awaken our appetites for the night!
Sababay Wine Moscato d’Bali 2012
Complimentary white wine was served along, and boy, we simply loved this wine! Very bubbly, fragrant, and fruity, with moderate alcohol and lively refreshing effervescence. TOAST!
Seared Foie Gras with French Toast, Apricot Jam, and Cider Duck Jus
I am never a fan of foie gras but I must admit this dish was very enjoyable. The foie gras was soft and smooth, not smelly at all, and very well-seasoned. I loved everything on this plate, the beautiful combination of flavors and textures was really impressive.
Pan-fried Sea Bass with Cassava Apple Puree
Perfectly cooked, a great crisp combined with soft meat.
Do you notice the round-shaped “seeds” with 3 different colors near each sea bass cuts? Basically the jelly-alike balls are made with secret ingredients which will bring the special flavors as the seasonings. From left to right in the photo below: the darkest color ball is created from heirloom tomato (sweet mixed with sour taste, but very fainted), the middle one is from Saffron, and the last one is from pineapple. They were a very nice addition to this platter in term of presentation, but flavor-wise, they didn’t bring much impact to the whole dish.
Black Truffle Risotto with Wild Mushroom, Parmesan Cheese, and Rocket Salad
Coming next was heavier meal involving risotto, which was perfectly cooked resulting in a very crunchy and flavorful one. Risotto looks like a simple dish but to cook a great one needs patience and skill, IMHO. The truffle’s taste was also very prominent but not overwhelming.
Beef Tenderloin Wagyu with Potato Wedges, Vegetables, and Mushroom Sauce
The dish that we secretly had been waiting for since the beginning, it was worth all the wait! The steak was AMAZING. In every bite, I could taste the high quality meat, great cooking skill, and most of all, the harmonious balance of everything on the plate. The meat was so tender we cut it effortlessly, and letting it melt inside our mouths was so enjoyable.
According to the plan, we should have gone to La Vue, the rooftop bar to enjoy the desserts. However, the weather was extremely bad that night and when we were having dinner, the rain started pouring so in the end, we didn’t go there. Nevertheless, the dessert samplers were served in the restaurant and we were very ecstatic to see the beauties!
Raspberry and Pistachio Creme Brulee
Pistachio macaron was superb, the texture was soft but not soggy, with hint of crisp in the outer part. The creme brulee complimented the sweetness, and raspberry balanced it all with the fruity, natural sourness. Four thumbs up!
Chocolate Mille Feuille
This is definitely a dream-come-true for any chocolate lovers. ‘Nuff said.
Smoky Basil Sorbet
Probably the most talked dessert on the table that night. Presentation was similar with the Bir Pletok (with the lid and smoke), and the main point is the basil sorbet on top of the watermelon. I love, love, love the basil sorbet. Very refreshing, fragrant, and innocently sweet. This was a perfect ending to the great dinner that night.
In the end, we just left the hotel around 11.30PM because we simply had a great time with the companies. Special thanks to The Hermitage Hotel for having us, we sincerely feel grateful for the warm hospitality and great dinner we had that day. Hopefully we can stay in the hotel sometime soon.
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 24 February 2016.
A TRIBUTE PORTFOLIO HOTEL JAKARTA
Jl. Cilacap No. 1
Central Jakarta 10310
Ph. +62 21 3192 6888