Inside a steakhouse on the 12th floor of MD Place in Kuningan, the cooks enjoy a particularly comfortable relationship with the teppan grill—or as the name of the restaurant suggests, iron plate. They kind of have to, as each cook stationed on every table is expected to effortlessly deliver a show of grilling, boiling and frying, right before the eyes of anticipating diners.
Ironplate, which just opened its doors in September, exults in this one-on-one experience. Headed by Chef Andri Dionysius, who also helms American-Mediterranean resto Animale located in the same building, Ironplate is billed as a classic chophouse that serves bistro-inspired dishes, putting the spotlight on French-Asian flavours, or “Franco-Asian”, as it is described.
Dim with subtle lights emitting from the view of the Kuningan skyline, the room sees dark interiors embellished with stone furnishings. Diners sit side-by-side, while Chef Andri or other cooks tend their steaks and seasonal ingredients from behind a slab of black marble table that is each set with a steel flat-top grill. No quirky, sculptural artwork or scene-stealing colours to divert the attention of customers—all the performance is on the teppan and the personal experience it brings.
Here, French-inspired dishes find a connection with Asian influences through a mix of ingredients and cooking techniques. A case in point is the starter dish Kaki à la Bourguignonne, where Hiroshima oysters are prepared escargot-style and generously seasoned with garlic and onion crumbles, providing a savoury opener that readies the palate for more theatrics.
In that matter, Ironplate doesn’t lack showmanship. That goes from pioneering the ‘shallow fry’ (a technique where dough is used to contain oil to desired portions of the grill) in cooking the surprisingly biting Chicken Fricassée, to exploring new possibilities with classic French dishes like the Plat de Côtes steak infused with a selection of homemade flavoured butter, for which an accordion cut is utilised to produce thick slices of karubi or boneless short rib meat.
Don’t miss the restaurant’s increasingly popular dessert, La Vie en Rose, served with the crushing of a frozen rose over a sweet combination of brioche, lychee cream, rose compote and strawberry sherbert. Naturally, call this feast with drink pairings from their list of refreshing cocktails and wine.
The genre of French-Asian cuisine may not be common, but it’s an interpretation that Ironplate freely brings to play. And like any great performance, the crew puts special attention to the ingredient preparation before the show—hence the reservation recommendation. The result is an exciting presentation with complex flavours that anyone would appreciate, or even root for.