Cassis Kitchen introduces a gastronomic journey featuring incredible flavours and cuisines from around the globe, along side talented world-class chefs, through a recently established innovative and modern-style dining program called Tasting Table.
Month: October 2016
Like any other foodie, Gerald Prinz, the Executive Chef of Gran Melia Jakarta, has a lot of favorite food. But, nowadays, his a plate of simple yet refreshing and healthy dish.
THESE DAYS, Chef Gerald enjoys less heavy food. He does not eat a lot of fruit, but gosh does he eat a lot of salad!
One of his favorite dish is the tiradito, a Peruvian dish of raw fish, cut in the shape of sashimi, in similar concept to the Italian crudo and carpaccio, doused with a spicy sauce. It’s a dish that reflects the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peruvian cookery.
“I love it very much. Tiradito with seafood marinated in lemon, orange and extra virgin oil, accompanied by salad leaves. Needless to say, they all have to be fresh. It’s a very simple, but very healthy dish,” says the soft spoken Austrian native.
Chef Gerald practically eats similar dish for his lunch. “Every day I have salad with meat or seafood for lunch. It’s a kind of meal that doesn’t tire your body, because it’s nutritious, it has a lot of vitamin.”
The chef has been an executive chef at Gran Melia Jakarta since he arrived for his second stint at the hotel in early 2015. He is known for extensive set of skill in classic European and Asian cuisines.
The graduate from the Culinary Institute of Vienna, Gerald has held many positions in five-star hotels and resorts across the world, including Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, the U.S., Germany, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Gerald admits that he doesn’t do a lot of exercise like he used to. “Eating well is my way of balancing this out. I used to go to the gym routinely, but my physique is not as prime. I’m not young anymore, “ he says with a chuckle.
“I believe people should eat well. I tell you this, I don’t remember the last time I was sick. It must have been a few years!” he says.
Let’s take a cue from Chef Gerald then.
GRAN MELIA JAKARTA
Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. X-0, Kuningan, Jakarta
T: +62 21 5268080
In the mood for a tasty recipe minus the guilt baggage? Chef Vania Wibisono shows us how to make yummy meatball sate and lawar with little fuzz.
CHEF VANIA is all about healthy yet trouble-free meals. When it comes to finding tasty and healthy recipes, she’s the go-to girl.
She’s a walking collection of tried and tested recipes, some of which she had published in her book “Buku Resep Sehat dan Lezat Anti Stress” (The Book of Stress-free, Healthy and Tasty Recipes). The book was inspired by the memory of her mother who died of cancer. “I wanted to share the healthy lifestyle and wellness approach to life,” she said.
Vania loves working in the kitchen. As a teenager, she helped her grandmother with the family catering business. She studied psychology at college, but decided to work at Le Gourmet Bakery as a baker upon graduation.
In 2001, she took a course of professional food production and management at the UCLA, the U.S. She returned to Jakarta to continue working in the food and beverage industry as well as the entertainment business through several cooking and food talk shows.
On this particular occasion, she showed us how to make a healthy Balinese sate with a side of lawar.
“It’s a healthier Indonesian dish. We are going to use ingredients like beef with little fat content, coconut oil, and organic salt,” she said.
Vania also tweaked the Balinese recipe to create a heart healthy lawar. The popular lawar is created from a mixture of vegetables, coconut and minced meat mixed with rich herbs and spices.
“I re-constructed the lawar to use no meat and instead add more colorful vegetables like carrot and red cabbage. All are cooked in just a few minutes to keep their color bright and their nutrition intact,” she explained.
The chef further elaborated that brightly colored vegetables contain various phytonutrients which are beneficial to health and help prevent various diseases.
She also gave us a secret to process less fatty beef to perfection. “This kind of beef can turn tough when cooked, especially if you’re going for that crispy surface.”
The trick? Simply ground the meat. “This way you can get that tasty caramelized crispy surface, but with a lot less effort with your bite,” she shared.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s go to the kitchen!
Meatball Sate, with Lawar, Nasi Merah and Sambal Bajak
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1 pc Garlic Clove, crushed
1 tsp Kecap Manis
1 tbp Fried Shallots, crushed
To Taste Salt, Pepper, Ground Nutmeg
1 stalk Lemongrass, bruised
2 pcs Salam Leaves
2 pcs Kaffir Lime Leaves, thinly sliced
2 tbp Tamarind Juice
1 tbp Palm Sugar
1 tsp Terasi (shrimp paste), grilled
4 pcs Cherry Tomatoes
100 ml Water
4 tbp Coconut Oil, for frying
12 pcs Red Chilies
8 pcs Red Bird’s Eye Chilies
6 pcs Shallots
3 pcs Garlic Cloves
4 tbp Coconut Oil
100g Grated Coconut, roasted
4 pcs Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced, fried
8 pcs Shallots, thinly sliced, fried
2 pcs Bell Peppers, seeds removed, sliced
4 pcs Bird’s Eye Chilies
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tbp Lime Juice
5 pcs Long Beans, chopped into small pieces
½ cup Bean Sprouts
½ cup Red Cabbage, shredded
½ cup Carrots, shredded
- Mix all ingredients together well
- Form small balls, place four meatballs on each bamboo skewer
- Glaze with sambal bajak, then grill until brown
- Ground chilies, shallot and garlic.
- Heat oil, sauté ground ingredients with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and salam leaves until fragrant.
- Add tamarind juice, water, palm sugar, terasi and tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil, simmer and reduce to paste. Set aside.
- Sauté all ingredients together in coconut oil, until half cooked
- Assemble sate and lawar with nasi merah and sambal bajak on a plate.
T: +62 21 98207006,
+62 21 97841936,
Reminiscing memorable time in Kuala Lumpur, I took a food trail over the weekend to taste dishes ranging from Malay, Indian to Chinese that build the taste of the city I once called home.
FOR SOMEONE who used to be woken up by the smell of Nasi Lemak and have a glass of Teh Tarik for night cap for years, a weekend gateway to Kuala Lumpur is definitely a calling. Here are few nostalgic places where I let my beloved kaki makan (foodie friends) Alia and Wan take me for a treat to taste some nostalgic plates in two days.
Shin Kee would be my first place to-go-to straight from the airport for a welcome set of beef noodles—a Hakka style noodle soup made of stewed beef, beef broth and Chinese Noodle. My friend, Alia, would make sure that I get to release the longing of having their ‘konlo min’ (dry noodle) with minced beef on top of it, aside from personal choice of clear soup with beef slices, beef meatballs or both. However, since it is served in a small portion, ordering different mix wouldn’t harm anybody. Trust me.
Shin Kee is located in Petaling Street area, so it wouldn’t be so hard to find.You wouldn’t miss the scent of beef noodle soup that waft out from its stall in Tan Cheng Lock that opens in the day, or from its original cart which parked at Hang Lekir that make you (still) go hungry at night.
Shin Kee Beef Noodle Specialist
7A, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Open 10.30 am to 3.30 pm
Jalan Hang Lekir
(the back lane of Hong Leong Bank)
Open from 6 -11 pm
Banana Leaf Rice
If there’s one thing to do to get my hands dirty in Kuala Lumpur, having banana leaf rice is the answer to it. Nothing beat the joy of getting messy with the pile of rice and curry—chicken, mutton or fish—with top notch condiments such as chutneys, masala chicken, varuval mutton and plenty of meats galore one could choose. My favorite addition is of course deep fried tenggiri, beside lots of pappadom and crunchy bitter gourds on the side. To flush all of those down: a glass of fragrant tamarind rassam would gently lead me to bliss.
Sri Nirwana Maju at Bangsar has been my usual place to go to with bunch of friends. Remember, upon finishing your place, fold the leaf inward to show gratitude or praise the proprietor and chefs. That’d be a nice gesture to complete the whole experience of having Banana Leaf.
SRI NIRWANA MAJU
43, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Open: 10am – 2 am
Assam Laksa & Chendul
If you’re a fan of noodle like me, Assam Laksa should be on your list. I got to admit that I always have a huge crave for this Nyonya noodle in spicy and tangy thick fish broth with generous amount of shredded fish on top, ever since I had my first bowl experience in Penang with Alia.
Though Teochew Chendul is located inside one of the biggest mall in Petaling Jaya, but the warmth out of one minty aromatic Assam Laksa bowl managed to bring memories of roadside stall at Lebuh Keng Kwee. As I slurped out the noodle and fish off of the giant bowl, it’s time to gulp down its sour and delicious soup to comfort the belly. To balance out, never say no to a bowl of Ais Chendul, a shaved ice dessert with soft pandan-flavored noodle in light coconut milk and sweetened by gula Melaka. This one might be sounded like our cendol back home, but with addition of thoroughly boiled kidney beans that makes it richer.
1Utama Shopping Centre, Lot LGK05, 106 & 115 LG Floor Promenade Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Opens from 10 am – 10 pm (Everyday)
If you fancy snacking for supper like me, heading to Lok-Lok stall would be a nice idea. Lok-lok refers to the open-air carts, a street version of steamboat where you could find anything edible to be put on stick. Anything, no kidding.
Lok-Lok carts generally have a huge amount of different offerings especially the Chinese version: sausages, ham, intestines, vegetable, tofu, squid, mushroom and of course my favorite, cockles, among other offers. Get your chosen sticks fried, grilled, or boiled deep, it’s all up to you. But make sure the choice of dips—hot chili or peanut sauce— drizzle them good.
FAT BROTHER AT JALAN SULTAN
Open: 6 pm – late
Roti Canai and Teh Tarik
One thing to enjoy in Kuala Lumpur at night is the lepak time with friends in mamak—voted as the unofficial Malaysian icon—everyone’s favorite place to hang out with friends 24/7. My all-time nostalgia would be comforting offerings such as roti canai and teh tarik.
Mamak restaurant can be found almost at any neighborhood, but the one at Nasi Kandar Pelita could be a good start to try. It is one of my favorites to go to get a flaky and buttery roti canai, a unique flatbread served hot with curry or dhal. It tastes best eaten with hands, chased later with hot teh tarik , local-style milk tea that is creamy and frothy.
If you manage to come to Kuala Lumpur and would love to have a laid-back local vibe, catching up with friends at Mamak would definitely a tradition to embrace. Cause above all memories, mamak-ing is definitely what I miss.
NASI KANDAR PELITA
149, Jalan Ampang
Back in my old days in Malaysia, Nasi Lemak was a meal that I hardly missed in a day. Traditionally, Nasi Lemak is fragrant rice cooked with coconut that is packaged in a banana leaf and simply packed with crunchy ikan bilis, fried nuts, slices of cucumber and sambal. But for me, my Nasi Lemak wouldn’t be complete without sambal paru.
Nasi Lemak can be found at any breakfast pop-up stall in the morning. But at rare time where I found myself craving for it late at night, Nasi Lemak CT Garden has all my favorite topping ready.
NASI LEMAK CT GARDEN
Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman
Open: 24 hours
Just behind the busy downtown thoroughfare of Jl. MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta, is the Jl. Haji Agus Salim, a road stretching just a little over one kilometer long. The road is more famously known as Jl. Sabang (its old name) and for hosting a variety of tasty culinary establishment. Here are some of them.
In the midst of Bali’s fast-paced development, it was a delight to find something old in something new.
AT THE HELM OF this new local favourite are Made Runatha, Indonesia’s first certified plant-based cuisine Chef, and Made Janur Yasa, a qualified food technologist. Both are living in their self-proclaimed ‘second chapter’ and shared a vision to create something more than a restaurant.
And so they did. Moksa is a sustainable 50 hald hectare farm-to-table project, custom designed to integrate environmentally conscious principles with healthy healing cooking.
Set within the rice fields of Sayan, we venture off the main road into a narrow street through a traditional village. We arrive in the late afternoon happy to be surrounded by the abundant greenery and the simple Balinese structures; wooden tables are grouped together under open bales, and the cheerfully bustling kitchen is contained in a small earthen brick building.
At first glance it is sparse, but after a moment we are taken in with the atmosphere of natural simplicity. We sit in the warm sunshine on the deck overlooking the permaculture garden, watching local children and rice farmers meander along the narrow dirt path ahead and listen to the distant sounds of the gamelan and the intermittent rooster crows. The deck is an ideal platform to take in the peaceful village life that Ubud is renowned for.
The menu is short but interesting, offering creative vegan interpretations of familiar international dishes. Almost half of the menu is raw.
The first dish to arrive from the kitchen is the Kale Avocado Maki roll elegantly presented on a handmade earthenware plate; kale, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, jicama and carrot wrapped in nori, fresh and crisp, and served with a deliciously smoky Asian sauce.
Next came the Moksa Cheese Trio, a raw vegan cashew nut cheese fermented overnight and flavored with pesto, sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives. The cashew nut cheese has a rich creaminess with a tartness that subtly echoes the sharpness of real cheese. It is served with crunchy and moreish pumpkin seed crackers on a bed of fresh peppery rocket leaves and beetroot.
Both founders are Balinese born and bred. And the concept of Moksa stems strongly from their cultural traditions
“Tri Hita Karana is the harmonious connection between human to god, human to human and human to the environment,” said Pak Made Janur. It is their vehicle for manifesting their own interpretation of Moksa, the sense of liberation and fulfillment, that we feel at the end of a day well spent.
Moksa is green at its core with its exclusively vegan menu; there are no high energy consuming meats or meat products here. But their commitment to sustainability is evident at every turn and starts from the ground up.
Below the property lies a 43,000 litre rainwater catchment which provides all the water for the bathrooms and the garden. No chemicals are used here, and all consumables are local, natural or biodegradable. An efficient compost nourishes their permaculture garden and even processes vegetable matter from neighbouring vegetarian restaurants too.
Each detail has green merit but perhaps most charming of all are the lemongrass and papaya stem straws that grace our tall drinks. “When we think about the environmental crises in the world it can be overwhelming but we are proud to be part of the solution in our Moksa world. Nothing leaves the property except for plastic, glass and metal; everything else stays here,” said Made Janur.
Our friendly waitress Kadek brings over the Tropical Jack Fruit Tacos and informs us it is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Young jack fruit is marinated in cumin, paprika and garlic, and encased in tasty corn and flax meal taco shells. The shredded jack fruit has a firm meat-like texture and a delicious kick tamed by a fresh salad and light coconut sour cream made in house.
We choose the green Incredible Curry Tofu for our final savoury dish and the flavor is true to form: rich and delicately balanced with a delicious brightness from the fresh coriander. The coconut milk is made in-house using dehydrated coconut meat and the freshly picked vegetables are cooked lightly to keep their firmness.
Chef Made Runatha is a passionate advocate of plant-based cuisine. After an international career in hotel restaurants, he found himself back home in Bali and was given the opportunity to travel to the United States to study raw cuisine with the Living Light Culinary Institute.
“I fell in love with this style of food because it’s medicine,” He said, insisting it cured him his 25 year streak of insomnia. “You can cure a lot of diseases; diabetes, cancer, stroke. Food loses 70 percent of its nutritional benefits through conventional cooking, but raw cuisine keeps all its nutrition, all of its enzymes.”
Cooking workshops at Moksa focus on the principles of plant-based cooking. “The basics are more important than the recipes. You can have a hundred recipes but the basic knowledge allows people to move beyond the recipes.”
For instance, instead of using egg and dairy, natural binders such as avocado, flax seed, and coconut meat give food a smoother texture and help retain its moisture. Plant-based cuisine also substitutes egg and gelatin with natural thickeners such as cacao butter and cold pressed coconut oil to give food texture.
We try the raw Orange Chocolate Mousse to understand the properties of binders in unbaked sweets. Its key ingredients are chocolate, orange juice, orange zest with avocadoes as the binder. The end product is a dense mousse with a rich silkiness. It is served with an interesting nectar-like caramelized coriander sauce and a gorgeously light cashew nut cream.
“The most important challenge is how to make healthy food delicious, and delicious food healthy,” Made Runatha says passionately. “We have to learn about the character and the benefits of each ingredient. Focus on what we can do to balance the flavor because we need things to be delicious.”
- Plant-based ingredients consume less resources in production and transport compared with animal products
- The on-site permaculture garden supplies up to 40 percent of kitchen produce
- Recycling & composting waste wherever possible, even bringing in compost waste from other vegetarian restaurants in Ubud
- Underground rainwater catchment storing up to 43,000 liters
- Grey water system used to recycle water for garden
- Sourcing recycled timber and building materials such as roof tiles
- Sourcing locally made ceramics, cutlery, glasses and napkins
- Using biodegradable cleaning products
- Using biodegradable packaging when needed
- No chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers used
- All products are cooked on-site from natural ingredients reducing the waste of product packaging
Puskesmas Ubud II, Gang Damai
T: +62 361 4792479