FRENCH Techniques meet LOCAL Flavors
Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his son Cédric bring French-American style cooking to Indonesia with VONG Kitchen.
FROM THE CULINARY empire of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, globally renowned for his Michelin-starred Jean-Georges restaurant located in the famous Trump Tower, New York, VONG Kitchen now marks the mogul’s first endeavour in Indonesia. Located at the upcoming Alila SCBD in one of Jakarta’s most prestigious business districts, Jean-Georges’ son, Cédric, is in charge of crafting a set of modern international delicacies with French influence.
Named by Zagat as one of the top 30 up and coming chefs under 30, the Bangkok-born chef is already a prominently well-known celebrity chef in his own right. Working closely with Cédric as Head Chef of VONG Kitchen is Luisa Caicedo, a Colombian chef who has been part of Jean-Georges’ group for around a decade.
In sharing what it was like to work with the dynamic father-and-son duo, Luisa explained that “it has been a very lovely experience. They like to be very tough on me, especially Cédric, but I know it is only because he sees what i am really capable of – to bring out every bit of potential that he sees in me. It was tough love, but I’ve learned a lot over the years and he has given me a lot of opportunities and we’ve become very good friends both in and out of the kitchen.”
Cédric and Luisa works closely together to create the core menu of VONG Kitchen in the style that they knew would work best in a sprawling city like Jakarta. “Cédric and also his father love to work with Asian ingredients. And so here we are as a French restaurant that uses a lot of local Indonesian ingredients and spices. Even though we have a lot of those local flavors, we are still essentially very Western, especially when it comes to cooking techniques and philosophy, which are mostly French,” Luisa further explained about the culinary concept of VONG kitchen.
“My favorite item on the menu right now would have to be the Grilled Octopus with Romesco sauce. This is a superbly done dish that perfectly balances every delicate component in it,” the chef continued when asked about her favorite dish from the current menu. The Grilled Octopus has a very beautiful presentation and a delightful balance of fresh marine flavorswith the warm and mildly spicy Romesco sauce. The dish comes with neatly served potatoes and bell peppers.
Another signature dish not to miss at VONG Kitchen is the Braised Beef Short Ribs – a set-up of slow-braised short ribs topped with picked chilies and herbs for a spicy touch, with a base of garlic mashed potatoes. Thanks to a very long braising process, the beef is super tender and had perfectly absorbed the many spices and herbs it was cooked with, resulting in unmatched savory goodness in every bite. Magnify the glory of this dish by pairing your order with a nice glass of red wine.
Other popular main courses include Australian Grilled Lamb Chops with broccolini, tomato-harissa, and crispy potatoes and roasted wild mushrooms, which is a selection of the finest wild mushrooms served with pine nut, Pecorino cheese and a sherry vinaigrette sauce.
VONG Kitchen also offers a generous bar and lounge area located just at the front if you enter the restaurant from the building’s main lobby. Here is a place of refuge for those looking to carry their exhaustion away after a full day of work. The bar serves sours & swirls, iconic gin & tonic combinations, signature & classic cocktails, old world and new world wine & champagne, as well as straight up spirits.
Several signature and classic cocktails to watch out for include the Lychee-Raspberry Bellini, which gives you a brew of prosecco, lychee and raspberry; Ginger Margarita, which consists of Reposado tequila, Cointreau, lime and ginger; Boulevardier, a drink of American rye, cinzano rosso, and Campari; and Whiskey Sour, which gets you Kentucky Straight Bourbon, lemon, simple syrup, and egg whites.
Alila SCBD Jakarta
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Kav. 52-53, Jakarta 12190
T: +62 21 5080 8787