Couple weeks ago, I had a chance to visit the renovated restaurant, Bengawan Solo, at Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel Jakarta. It was quite surprising since I never visited this hotel before and got a great experience to taste the dish from one of their best restaurant. Bengawan Solo is Grand Sahid Jaya’s signature restaurant, offers various Indonesian cuisine with artistic interpretation to preserve the Indonesian’s tradition.
Walking into this restaurant, I saw a great presentation of Indonesia which reflect in their influences of Solo from the Becak rickshaw bicycles carrying ‘krupuk’ to the playful Panakawan and wayang puppets. The way they serve the food also became my attention; will gonna share it one by one throughout this post. FYI, Grand Sahid claims themselves serving very authentic Indonesian foods which from taste to the presentation resembles the traditional food we had in our home or in the street foods around. I didn't expect anything from the dinner, except I got the food like my mother cooked for me or at least like the food I found around Jakarta's street area which for me more authentic. So, let’s start the dinner and proved!
The dinner was opened by choosing the drink for us (btw my hubby accompanied me that night. Super thanks hon!). Wait...wait..before we talked about the beverages, I wanna show you how I adored their cutlery, especially the plate which illustrate Panakawan, Javanese puppets which consist of the famous Semar, Petruk, Gareng and Bagong characters. And oh, also their signature snack sserved in a unique Becak rickshaw bicycle. The snacks are served different each day, that night I got cassava chips on my table.
The waitress recommended us two of their best beverages, Es Kelapa Durian and Bajigur. Look at their beautiful spoon with 'wayang' Indonesian puppets as the head. I love how refreshing the Es Kelapa Durian, the coconut taste was perfectly blended with the durian. So did the Bajigur, even though this traditional drink is bes served during cold weather, but Grand Sahid made the drink suitable for a hotel dinner.
Before proceed to the main course, we tried their appetizers, Sosis Solo. This is Indonesian traditional snacks made from rolled crepes and filled with tender mincemeat, flavoured with ginger, garlic and palm sugar. What made me amazed from their presentation was the chili spray for the salad. They even use spray bottle and spray it like a parfum to the salad. Super unexpectable idea! *ouch sorry for not taking the full photos of the spray bottle ;-)
Jumped into the main course, I had Ayam Goreng Jogja (85K) on my plate, served with sambal bajak. This typical homemaker food stole my heart for the first time. It was mommy-homemade-fried chicken! The braised chicken was perfectly wok fried, with crunchy skin, tender meat, and rich with coconut, garlic, and turmeric flavour which made it truly authentic Indonesian. Ah good job, chef!
Next was Sate Ayam Madura (95K). Char-grilled chicken skewers marinated in sweet soya and served with peanut sauce. The chicken was well-marinated and juicy. I love how well they made the peanut sauce. It's condensed enough and rich with peanut taste, similar with chicken satay I found near my neighburhood.
Tongseng Kampung Jogja (110K) became my next highlight. It's not because I love this dish, but I missed something from this Jogjakarta specialty. Yeah, sorry to say that the broth was more likely like Soto Betawi's broth. The coconut milk broth was too light, for me a 'tongseng' should be more 'heavy' with richer spices.
From the beginning of the dinner, Putri told me that she would offer me their one of signature dishes. And here it is, Nasi Goreng Bengawan Solo (95K). Putri asked me to say honest about this food since the Chef claims that this fried rice should be similar with the typical 'nasi goreng abang-abang pinggir jalan' or street food fried rice, and yeah they did a good job! Bravo Chef for brought the street food taste to your hotel. I really really love how the Chef made the wok-smell into the rice. Gosh, now I'm proud to be Indonesian, even the street food can be made high-class like this one!
Lastly, the dinner was closed with another surprise from Bengawan Solo. They offered us their signature dessert, Bengawan Solo Exotic Ice Cream. It might be a simple scoop of ice cream consists of several flavour like durian, cinnamon, lemongrass, banana, green tea, etc, but wait until you see the exotic presentation of this dessert. It served in a bowl of dry ice which releases misty smoke. Super great idea!
I didn't expect that I will had a fantastic eating experience of Indonesian food like this, but thanks so much to Bengawan Solo for making me amazed with your crafting of Indonesian food. I really really appreciate the Chef effort from making the food to searching for the traditional Indonesian cutlery and accessories. Thank you also for Putri a.k.a Miss Purple for having us. Next time who's gonna be in our gossip after Raffi and Gigi hahaha....You guys who wanna try Indonesian food in next level, should consider this restaurant in your list.
Bengawan Solo Restaurant
Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 86
Telp. +62 21 570 4444 ext 1610 – 1613www.grandsahidjaya.com