Located on the 46th floor of The Plaza, an up-scale commercial building in the heart of Jakarta, Oscar takes diners on an exquisite modern European dining adventure complemented by an intimate mood of the elegant interior design and million-dollar view of the city’s most notable landmark, the Selamat Datang Monument. The venue is eye-pleasing, from its elaborate wall panels filled with charming framed pictures to heavy white tablecloths, fine china and glistening chandeliers all setting the mood. Set within all this opulence are the dry-ageing meat lockers and an extensive wine cellar that boasts over 200 wine labels, showing that Oscar takes its offerings very seriously.
The menu showcases modern European fare, with the main focus on sustainable and seasonal ingredients presented through the farm-to-table concept. This translates to diners being taken on a sophisticated degustation journey where dishes are inspired by the seasons and elements of nature, and each season is represented by an arrangement of produce or flowers characteristic of that time of year. Certainly not an easy task considering the complexity. However, Oscar is backed by a more than qualified team – one of these being Chef Dennis Ray.
At only 21 years old, Chef Dennis is spearheading the concept and line at Oscar. His most recent production is the restaurant’s special Valentine’s Day five-course menu. Knowing Oscar’s reputation for being one of Jakarta’s most high-profile venues for this yearly romantic celebration, this is an outstanding achievement. Chef Dennis’ menu presents taco, pasta and soup before moving on to a choice between lobster or wagyu sirloin. Chef Dennis has realised his dream faster than most – and he is doing very well with it.
E: What made you pursue a career in the restaurant industry?
A: When I was young, I saw my grandmother cooking for the family and I noticed how happy she was when everyone ate and enjoyed her food. That image stuck with me, and in a way became the initial push for me to move towards the culinary arts as a career. I studied at vocational high school, before joining a serious kitchen. Oscar is my current workplace, as well as the next level of my education. By pursuing this career, I hope I can make everyone happy when they taste the food that I am serving – just like my grandmother.
E: In your own words, please define Oscar and its best features.
A: Oscar is all about upscale cooking and located in one of the tallest skyscrapers in the heart of Jakarta. With its contemporary décor and unique modern European dishes, Oscar is the ultimate place to have an unforgettable dining experience.
E: What is your cooking style and what do you love the most about cooking in that style?
A: I may be young, but I would say that I am biased towards the French style of cooking. In my opinion, it is elegant in both taste and presentation. I love planning a dish, applying the techniques, and creating wonderful dishes through my style.
E: How do you handle the stress of a high demand kitchen, especially on busy evenings such as Valentine’s Day?
A: The key, I believe, may sound frivolous because it is so simple. Avoid stress by having good preparation before the event and make sure that all the team members know their roles.
E: Of everything that you’ve created, share with us your best dish of all time and why?
A: Black King Fish. It is a fatty fish complemented by my yuzu beurre blanc sauce’s acidity, making it very well balanced and a delight on your palate.
E: If given the once-in-a-lifetime chance, which restaurant in the world would you like to try and why?
A: There can be only one answer: L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. It could be any one of his restaurants, but dining in Paris where it all started would be a dream. I admire Chef Robuchon’s attention to detail, and just looking at the pictures of his creations makes my stomach growl.
- Black King Fish Oscar
- Hokkaido scallops
- Prawn puffs