Guests at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta are embraced in an ambience of quiet sophistication and timeless elegance from the moment they enter the hotel. Renowned for valuing Indonesia’s rich culture, every room and public space is a tribute to the country’s outstanding artistic culture, with décor that features numerous bespoke artefacts and artworks that stand testament to a rich history.
The hotel has been serving the city’s elite for over 20 years and Jakarta restaurant is committed to upholding Indonesia’s rich culinary heritage, while also serving its distinguished guests with a range of other Asian, western and international cuisines to suit all tastes. The beautiful venue has both indoor and outdoor seating and looks out onto the hotel’s lush gardens.
The exquisite food and drink capture the authentic flavours of the nation with many regional delights offered. Ensuring every dish is authentic and cooked to perfection, the culinary team regularly explores different regions to try unique specialities, bringing back their favourites to The Dharmawangsa Jakarta. Whether diners are indulging in the buffet breakfast, an à la carte lunch or dinner, or a special event, there is a section of the menu dedicated to these regional specialities that is regularly updated.
Many of the dishes have a strong, loyal following, such as the succulent coriander-marinated Maranggi beef satay from Purwakarta. Popular multi-dish meals include nasi liwet, a medley of coconut rice served with marinated chicken, tofu, soy-braised eggs and spicy chayote boasting silky textures and rich flavours. Regional desserts and beverages also feature on the menu.
- Iga Panggang Madu
- Sate Sapi Maranggi Purwakarta
- Nasi Campur Dharmawangsa
Felix Budisetiawan Executive Chef of The Dharmawangsa Jakarta
E: Who or what have been your biggest influences and inspirations?
F: My mother and my wife, they both cook well. My wife learned from her mother, who is Balinese. Of course, I have also worked with many foreign chefs from around the world and I’ve learned a lot from them. All of them have challenged and inspired me.
E: What are the most important philosophies that you apply in your career and in the kitchen?
F: Good ingredients and good people. With good ingredients you can make anything, even using simple methods, a great dish. Without a good team, it is difficult to achieve anything in the kitchen.
E: What’s the most memorable/rewarding experience you’ve had throughout your career?
F: I’ve had many great experiences, but perhaps one of the most memorable was when I had prepared a dinner for 120 people and at the last minute, just one hour before serving, the organiser decided to change the dessert. I had to come up with something new based only on what I had available in the kitchen. Fortunately, it was successful and no-one at the dinner realised.
E: Can you elaborate on the F&B concepts at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta?
F: Delivering the best dining experiences. For Indonesian food, we showcase traditional dishes that incorporate the sophistication of The Dharmawangsa Jakarta with authentic flavours from Indonesian home cooking, but we also provide outstanding Asian, western and international cuisines to accommodate guest preferences.
E: You are renowned for your Indonesian heritage cuisine at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta, but you also trained in French cuisine. Do you use your French skills for Indonesian cuisine?
F: When we study French cuisine, we learn a lot of basics so that we really understand food and its characteristics, as well as learning processes and methods. This is a great foundation and I still find it very helpful regardless of what cuisine I am cooking. For example, sous-vide is a great way to make meat tender while retaining all the flavour and we can use this kind of technique to help elevate the Indonesian food experience. We always work to ensure that our dishes match or exceed our clients’ expectations.
E: Most of your work has been in Indonesia; why is that?
F: I really enjoy exploring other countries and learning from foreign chefs, but we need to develop Indonesia and Indonesian chefs. I’ve been fortunate to work alongside chefs from around the world, but I find it very satisfying to pass on my experience to young local chefs here.
E: The Dharmawangsa Jakarta often cooks for foreign and local heads of state and dignitaries. What is your culinary goal for these state events?
F: I like to educate, but gently, presenting Indonesian food at its best. However, the most important thing is working out the requirements; what is the purpose of the event and who is attending. Then we can create a menu that satisfies the organisers and the guests. For me, it must always be an authentic taste, even if it’s basic home cooking, but we can make the presentation something really special.
E: What’s your ultimate goal as a chef?
F: The happiness of my clients; that’s what makes me happy.
Exquisite Taste June – August 2019