After hosting a chain of exclusive dining concepts with success, The Dining Room (TDR) at Raffles Jakarta is back with another round of celebratory feast that sprung up in harmony with the joy of the holy month. In their endeavour to amplify the pleasure of iftar to the city’s epicureans, the hotel called upon award-winning Indonesian chef Maxie Millian to helm TDR’s kitchen throughout this month of togetherness. The guest chef, who previously captained Bali’s famous restaurants Sangsaka and Merah Putih, collaborated with celebrity chef and restaurateur Renatta Moeloek to dish up a full-course meal that espouses the culinary fortunes of our Indonesian roots for his first Buka Puasa series.
“In cooking Indonesian dishes, it’s fundamental to understand the authenticity of the dish,” said Chef Maxie, whose career in the culinary arts took off in Dubai at the Michelin-starred restaurant Al Mahara. Upon his return to his home country, the chef settled in Bali to hone in on Indonesian cuisine. His love for experimenting with local spices and ingredients never stopped, and in 2017, the chef partnered up with Renatta to travel across Europe in a mission to introduce the diversity of our cuisine.
“We went to five different countries to present the many varieties of our local cuisine. I felt that the international communities need to know that our local dishes go beyond fried rice and rendang,” shared Chef Renatta, whose appearance on MasterChef Indonesia made her a household name. On their aforementioned 2017 Indonesian Food Tour, the chefs plated up a string of Indonesian food ranging from Naniura to Gado-Gado. Similar excitement hits home in TDR’s iftar dinner that fell on 20 April 2021. Together, they took hold of the restaurant’s kitchen to whip up a full-course meal, all magnified by the personal touch of charisma they carry.
The exclusive iftar journey consists of three appetisers, six main courses and two desserts, each embracing the authenticity of our local dish presented for a gastronomic experience. The appetisers include the Kue Talam Oncom, the chefs’ explorative take on the Indonesian traditional snacks of kue talam (a steamed snack consisting of coconut milk and rice flour) that marries the sweet with a hint of spice, Kurma (date served alongside fried sweet potatoes and sambal) and a pair of peanut-coated Sate Pentol Sapi Maranggi, a staple satay dish originating from the regency of Purwakarta.
The dining experience continues with the serving of six main courses that demonstrate different ways of devouring Indonesian comfort food, highlighting a variety of popular proteins from duck breast, lamb, fish to beef. For a peek into the whopping list, there’s the Arsik Ikan (a plate of ikejime raw cured cobia, Batak pepper andaliman and confit leek) that greets the palate with a refreshing zest, Sumatran Bebek Lado Mudo (duck breast with green chilli relish and tomatillo) and the loved-by-all local staple Sate Padang that is prepared with a modern flair using wagyu oyster blade and tongue, showered in spiced gravy with beef chicharron.
The course ultimately builds up for a delectable set of desserts: a petite plate of the icy coconut-based dessert Kopyor and Colenak, a treat of fried fermented cassava with pandan, coconut filling, and gula aren coulant—garnished by the respective chefs at the table as they strike up a friendly chat on your iftar experience.
With their modern takes that rest on Indonesia’s diverse culinary offerings, the night becomes a remarkable dining experience that takes one to travel across the archipelago in one sitting.
The collaboration between Raffles Jakarta and Maxie Millian is ongoing with schedules until 6 May 2021. For more information on schedules and reservations, visit https://linktr.ee/rafflesjakarta.