Talented Chef: Jakov Orsulic – Executive Sous Chef at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski...

Talented Chef: Jakov Orsulic – Executive Sous Chef at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta

Located at the capital city’s best address, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta boasts a diverse array of dining outlets, each offering a unique culinary experience.

Jakov Orsulic

Signatures Restaurant is where an inviting ambience blends seamlessly with Indonesian embellishments. The restaurant promises a legendary culinary journey with an extensive buffet spread featuring authentic Indonesian, Asian and western delicacies. Rich in Indonesian heritage, the space is adorned with art and photography celebrating the history of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. 

For a zen-like atmosphere and laid-back jazzy vibes, OKU is the place to be. Ideal for business lunches, special occasion dinners or after-work gatherings, the Japanese specialty provides a relaxing setting for pre-dinner cocktails or post-dinner drinks. It offers an extensive selection of premium sakes, whiskies and other spirits, creating the perfect environment for a post-work pick-me-up or an afternoon sip.

Indulge in the unique experience at Paulaner Bräuhaus Jakarta, the only microbrewery restaurant in the country. With a seating capacity of 200, it serves traditional Bavarian food alongside the famed German beer, crafted with authentic imported ingredients. The venue offers a lounge with stunning city views, nightly live music performances and screens for major sports broadcasts. Annually, Paulaner Bräuhaus hosts the country’s only authentic Oktoberfest, creating an atmosphere of Bavarian revelry and delight.

E: Can you share some highlights of your role as the executive sous chef at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta, and how it differs from your previous experiences?
A: Despite our busy schedules, we enjoy a dynamic working environment fostered by a dedicated team committed to achieving higher standards. I take immense pride in our collective efforts. The main difference lies in the setting; this city hotel is a contrast to my previous resort experience. Although we have fewer outlets, they are larger and we manage more banquets, adding a unique dimension to our operations.

E: This isn’t your first position as executive sous chef. Could you elaborate on the challenges and successes in the role?
Having a lot of outlets is challenging because team members need nurturing to become successful, but I believe so far my team and I did a great job as guests were very happy and was financially doing well, bringing one of the best years for the hotel. To be sucessful in this position first you really need to know your team and their abilities. You need the right people in right place. Second, you have to be hands on, as people aprecciate and give respect when you are with them and train them on the new things. Third and lastly, you need to know the limits. You are the leader, so lead by example.

E: You’re experienced in working for a five-star chain hotel during the pandemic. How did you manage kitchen operations during the reopening of a hotel under new regulations?
A: I found myself in Koh Samui island when pandemic unfolded. We swiftly transitioned from full occupancy to complete closure within three days. The reopening phase was challenging, navigating through ever-changing rules. Despite limited guests due to travel difficulties, we prioritised personalised service, ensuring a pampering experience for those who did visit. The commitment to exceptional service became our hallmark during a period marked by uncertainty and fluctuating circumstances.

E: You’ve also worked in a two Michelin-starred restaurant. What do you think is the most important thing in maintaining the high standards of a Michelin-starred venue?
A: Staying motivated is crucial, especially when working 20+ hours a day. Strive to improve each day; discover ways to enhance efficiency without compromising quality. Quality ingredients are non-negotiable. A strong team spirit is paramount; as chefs, our success is directly linked to the strength of our team. Collaboratively, we elevate each other, ensuring excellence in every aspect of our work.

Indonesia Menu at Signatures Restaurant

E: What were the key challenges in creating menus and recipes?
A: The key to crafting proper menus is to properly understand your future costumers and their backgrounds, avoid overcomplicating simple things; and remember, simplicity often enhances the dining experience and resonates better with guests.

E: We see that you have worked in many corners of the world. Do you have one favourite country, and can you tell us the reason?
A: I have worked in eight countries, and while I love Indonesia, Thailand holds a special place in my heart – it simply feels like home.


  • Bubur Ayam HI at Signatures Restaurant
  • OKU Karaage at OKU
  • Pork Knuckle at Paulaner Bräuhaus Jakarta

Exquisite Taste Volume 42

Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta

Jalan M.H. Thamrin

Jakarta 10310, Indonesia

T: (+62) 2123583800

E: info.jakarta@kempinski.com

W: kempinski.com/jakarta

IG: @hotelindonesia_kempinski