Sous Chefs: Ivan Casusol & Sandro Medrano

Sous Chefs: Ivan Casusol & Sandro Medrano


Exquisite Taste caught up with Sandro Medrano and Ivan Casusol, sous chefs of the highest dining place in town, Henshin. Originally from Peru, they talked about their passion for Nikkei cuisine, the concept behind the cuisine and shared their insights about spreading its splendours.


E: Can you explain your role as sous chef at Henshin?
Sandro Medrano: My and Ivan’s main responsibility is to introduce Nikkei cuisine, a combination of Japanese and Peruvian ingredients and techniques. At Henshin, I am also learning to use local Indonesian ingredients and to be creative with Nikkei cuisine.

E: What do you think is the most special thing about Nikkei cuisine?
S: Aside from ceviche, sushi and tiradito, the history behind Nikkei cuisine supports it as a culinary sensation. When many Japanese families migrated to Peru hundreds of years ago, Japan also taught Peru how to prepare ceviche and make it taste better.

E: What is your favourite dish at Henshin and why?
S: Nigiri from the cold kitchen. Nigiri is a very special dish for me because this was my first station when I started working in a restaurant. I also like all sushi dishes because eating sushi helps me improve my palate.

E: What do you think about the culinary contrast between Japanese and Peruvian?
S: They are different but not contradictory. The Japanese way of cooking is not complicated, it’s simple, but like in life, you need balance. The flavour combinations bring together the best of the elegant and delicate cuisine of Japan with the freshness and spicy punch of Peruvian cuisine.

E: This is your first culinary venture into Asia, so what are your initial impressions?
S: I really did not know anything about Indonesia before. But now I love Bali with its beaches. On the other hand, the city of Jakarta can stress you but it is good for developing a career. I also go to the market occasionally.


E: When did you first discover you had a passion for cooking?
Ivan Casusol: When I was at school. Although at first I had my doubts, over time I fell in love with the kitchen. Since then, I have never had any jobs other than cooking.

E: Where has your career taken you geographically and do you have a favourite?
I: I was born and raised in Peru. At first, I did not want to leave my country, but I received an offer from Mexico. I worked there for several years. Then, my experience in the kitchen brought me to Indonesia. I am greatly enjoying my time in Indonesia.

E: What is your favourite dish at Henshin and why?
I: Arroz Con Pato. It’s a slow-cooked duck leg based on an idea from one of my mom’s recipes. She made it for my father and I really love it.

E: Any exciting future plans we can look forward to at Henshin?
I: We have a lot coming up which is going to be a big surprise for everybody. Currently we are working on an amazing new set menu.

Tiradito Conchita de Abanico 


Green Sauce

  • 150g avocado
  • 40g cucumber without seeds
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20ml dashi broth
  • 10 coriander leaves
  • 40g celery stick
  • 5g salt

Quinoa Pop

  • 100g white quinoa
  • 1l water
  • 500ml frying oil


  • 3 scallops cut into two slices each
  • 10g red onion chopped finely (mini brunoise)
  • 5g red chilli, mini brunoise
  • 1g Himalayan salt
  • 10ml lime juice (jeruk nipis)


Green Sauce

  1. Blend all ingredients for 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Strain through a fine sieve until completely smooth.
  3. Reserve.

Quinoa Pop

  1. Put hot water in a pot and cook quinoa for 12 minutes.
  2. Strain and put in dehydrator for 24 hours at 65C.
  3. Heat oil to 180C and fry quinoa in small portions for 10 seconds each. Reserve.


  1. Salt scallop slices.
  2. Mix other ingredients, then mix with scallops.
  3. Reserve.


  1. Use a ring to make a circle with green sauce.
  2. Place two scallop slices and quinoa pop.
  3. Garnish with ikura and green herbs.


Henshin Jakarta

The Westin Jakarta

Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said

Jakarta 12940, Indonesia

T: (+62) 2127887788


Exquisite Taste September – November 2019