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Chef Adhitia Julisiandi is Playing with Fire

Chef Adhitia Julisiandi is Playing with Fire

Auli Cinantya
03 August 2022


With his fiery passion and broad knowledge and experience, Chef Adhit offers a full-on heated dining experience at SKYE.


In the dim light of the 56th floor of BCA Tower, Executive Chef Adhitia Pratama Julisiandi talked with great enthusiasm and humor. Towards dinner that time, I got the chance to sit down and talk with Chef Adhit. 

“Young, talented, and charming,” said chef Adhit proudly while laughing, as I asked him to describe himself as a chef. Starting his career in 2007, Chef Adhit found his passion for cooking early in his childhood by helping his grandmother cook. What was once just a curiosity became something he enjoyed and is passionate about. 

“I remember the first time I served my parents my homemade dish; it was just simple fried rice. I remember their expression the first time they tasted it. I could see their faces light up, full of pride. That moment touched my heart,” reminisce Chef Adhit. 

Graduated from Trisakti School of Tourism, he has shown his enormous talents and expertise. He has a lot of experience in kitchens around the world. His inspiration started from training in Spain, Dubai, to the Maldives. And throughout his career, he has had the chance to learn from renowned chefs, including Chris Salans of Mozaic, William Wongso, Chele Gonzalez of Gallery, Petty Elliott, Guillermo Varella, and three-Michelin star chef Paul Walsh. 

With over 12 years of experience, he is now tasked to manage SKYE, presenting a new concept and menu, and elevate the dining experience and scene from the popular restaurant & lounge owned by ISMAYA.

Since it opened in 2012, SKYE has made a name for itself as a “lifestyle resort in the sky,” with distinctive South American architecture and unmatched city views. Their popularity immediately shot to become an icon of Jakarta, a destination for nocturnals and socialites. 

Years later, under Executive Chef Adhit, SKYE has transformed, offering an elevated dining experience with a contemporary Western grill concept focusing on prime cuts of fresh and dry-aged meats, grilled and smoked to perfection, a meat lovers’ haven, literally and figuratively. The only place in Jakarta that offers 15 different premium steak cuts. He also made SKYE the only restaurant in Indonesia that serves Kiwami Wagyu 9+ Marbling, great Japanese 90 Days, to Prime Tomahawk Irish Dry Age.

Ambitious and fiery, yet quirky and fun, talking with Chef Adhit was amusing, the conversation punctuated by bursts of laughter. You might experience the same thing when tasting his food, an indulgence full of surprises that will make you go ‘wow’, not only by the visuals but also by the flavors. “I like food that has punchy flavors, something that is bold.”

How do you describe your cooking style?

Anything by fire. My cooking is mostly technique based on live fire cooking; it frees me up in almost every other aspect. I can do traditional smoking, backyard grilling, “stir firing” (wok on a grill), “brick oven pizza,” fire-roasted casseroles, or even this week, frying eggs on a griddle on the big green Egg; everything comes back under the live fire. 

What’s your philosophy when it comes to food? 

First, I try not to restrict myself and the others in our cooking. We like to try new things and mix flavors, so a lot of our food is a crossover between various cultures. We also make everything from scratch, taking care to use all the food and reduce waste as much as possible. It’s crucial to us that we never take any shortcuts while cooking, and we are careful not to use pre-manufactured foods. We use only the best ingredients and put our heart and soul into every dish, qualities that we believe are reflected in the final result. 

How do you want people to see your dishes? 

Something look simple, but when you eat it, it blows your mind with the complexity of flavor and texture. I don’t really do molecule gastronomy or an over-complicated food platting; it looks just as it is, but the flavor when you taste it is more than meets the eye. 

Where do you find your inspiration? 

Pinterest, Instagram, book, and market research, trying out new restaurants. I often open Pinterest and Instagram for presentations, how to do platting, etc. Books are all about the technic, how to do this, how to do that. Lastly, market research is essential; when I try out new places in other restaurants, I can easily get plenty of ideas and how they inspired me to create something new by combining all the places I have gone to. 

I also like traveling; I love going around the world. Like when I travel to Manado, where they serve bats and rats, or when I explore the food street in New Delhi and Kolkata back when I visited India. Different places have different sources of ingredients and food cultures, and those travels broaden my perspective. 

How do you describe your cooking? 

My food is all about fire; that char woody flavor and that smokiness are what I love. A punchy and bold flavor surprises people. 

When you visit here, you’ll find the server will bring out some sizzling dishes, and it will catch the attention of people, and then it will be followed by the aroma that will make your mouth water. I like something to add a theatrical side to the menu and a more friendly and intimate approach to our guests. There is a lot of interaction where the server or the chef will explain to the guest about the food. And sometimes people would find it really enjoyable, for instance, like our SKYE Spinning Salad, like its name the way we serve it is by showing the ingredients and spinning the bowl to mix everything, and some people would be amused and then post it on their social media. 

And again, I love bold flavors, so for me, the salad is something that will bring up your appetite before you move on to the other dishes; the blend of fresh, sweet, and sourness from the salad will make your mouth crave for more food. 

You have been in the industry for about 12 years; what is the most challenging part you find in your line of work? 

To be honest, the journey of revamping SKYE with the whole new food concept, trying to find a new identity that suits SKYE the most, while at the time struggling with the COVID situation. SKYE was famous for its lounge, but sometimes people miss out on the restaurant, and I’m trying to show them, hey, we have this great restaurant with a great view and food!

When I joined SKYE, their food was more towards Asian and Western selections. And at that time, I thought we could do better than this. So I talked to the owner and said, ‘let’s revamp this place’ I have this idea, and I’m confident in it. At first, we were going with the concept of a steakhouse, but I think we can do better than that. And since I love charcoal, I love fire; I said, ‘let’s do a temporary western grill.’ It definitely will have more comprehensive selections than a steakhouse, and I can show the strength of fire, wood, and charcoal – the three kinds of things I really love. And I believe people are gonna love it. 

I admitted it was not easy to change the concept, to put 50 new dishes on the menu, and the most challenging part was to change people’s perspective that SKYE isn’t all about the lounge and the drinks. We wanted to introduce SKYE as a good dining spot. And thankfully, after we revamped the concept and the menu, there was a lot of positive feedback. But this is the most challenging thing throughout my whole career. 

How do you describe your relationship with food? 

It is something that I genuinely care for, and I really need to take care of it. The reason is that the result won’t be good when you don’t take care of your ingredients or when you don’t care about what you serve on a plate. For instance, properly storing your meat and preventing it from getting spoiled or dry – the same thing with vegetables and other ingredients. You need to give extra attention to the ingredients. I just love to cook and see people reacting to my food! For me, that’s it!

Over the years, SKYE has evolved its concept and food; what are you planning for SKYE this year? 

There will be a special menu and collaboration with other chefs until December. It will also be interesting for us because we are trying to introduce to the market that even though we have this temporary western grill as our concept, we can also collaborate and match with other chefs with different backgrounds or different concepts of food with us. So, a mix of different styles will create a whole new dish.

For the special menu, we will bring a special limited menu every month; this month is titled Tempting Catch. Seafood galore where we have lobster, oyster, abalone, caviar, and other things. 


BCA Tower Lt. 56, Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1, RT.001 / RW.005, Menteng, RT.1/RW.5, Menteng, Kec. Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10350

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