Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta, Java
Androwino Bistro is the main restaurant at the Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa, Vegan Food Quest dropped by for lunch to see how they would cater for a vegan guest visiting one of the main tourist destinations in Java.
The Vegan Food
The chef had prepared a 4 course vegan menu for us with a few different options to choose from.
To start with had a vegan gado-gado salad which had been prepared in a more contemporary style with the ingredients served separately and the sauce on the side, which was was rich with peanuts, sweet with palm sugar and spicy with fresh chilli.
This was followed by a soup course where we had a tofu and mushroom soup. The tofu and mushroom soup had a sweet, clear broth with a slightly smokey flavour and a mix of snow fungus and straw mushrooms. Small cubes of firm white tofu floated amongst the other ingredients which together made a nice, light simple soup.
Snow fungus has a kind of soft but crunchy texture, a very subtle flavour and is rumoured to have anti-ageing properties as well as other health giving properties.
We always knew that a plant-based diet is good for your health but we didn’t expect to have a soup for lunch that would make us look younger!
For our main course we had our first experience of eating vegan ‘mutton’. The mock meat ‘mutton’ pieces had been cooked in a thick and mild coconut curry sauce, full of garlic and turmeric and like a lot of the cuisine in this region, it was sweet and rich.
The vegan mutton had a nice texture and was slightly chewy whilst being light at the same time. Served with creamy coconut rice and sautéed broccoli, we really enjoyed the flavours of this dish.
We love spicy food and instantly fell in love with the two small servings of freshly prepared ‘sambal’ that were served as an accompaniment to our meal. The tomato sambal was rich with tomato and chilli and added a nice heat to our food. The ‘sambal matah’ which was made from chopped lemongrass, shallot, garlic and chilli, packed a real punch of flavour and heat and was delicious!
Our second main was ‘mushrooms in black pepper sauce’. Straw mushrooms had been lightly battered and then covered in a rich, peppery, sweet soy sauce. This was served with coconut rice and some sautéed baby kailan (also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale). The kailan was tender with juicy stems and green leaves; a lovely serving of green vegan goodness to accompany the mushrooms in their rich sweet sauce.
For dessert we tried a red bean pudding which tasted like a dense jelly that had been made with blended aduki beans. Using beans in desserts is very common throughout Asia and we were excited to try them prepared this way. As vegans we love eating pulses in savoury foods and can now confirm we are happy to have them for dessert too!
The pudding wasn’t overly sweet and was surprisingly light.
The Service and the Interior
All the staff we met during our visit were smiling (always a good sign) and we found the service we received during our meal to be efficient and pro-active.
It’s hard to describe the interior of the restaurant without mentioning the amazing view of Merapi volcano in the near distance. Floor to ceiling glass windows allow you to sit and gaze at the view and contemplate the immense beauty of the volcano which dominates the horizon.
The restaurant itself contains some beautiful antiques including traditional sculptures of ‘Loro Blonyo’ (the ‘inseparable couple’) which are typical of Central Java.
The art, antiques and exceptional view make Androwino Bistro’s interior feel very luxurious; a great setting for our vegan lunch.
The grounds here are truly beautiful with landscaped gardens and pool based on Taman Sari which are the former Royal Gardens in Yogyakarta, we could have happily spend all day here relaxing by the pool.
The Sheraton have developed a simple approach to eating healthily called ‘Color Your Plate’ where they provide guests with nutritional information about food in a simple way using the colour of foods to help identify their health benefits.
As all the foods they mentioned in the literature were plant-based we were really interested to learn about it and think it’s a great way to help their guests eat a healthier diet.
When we arrived we were served a glass of their signature ‘lemongrass juice’ which was really delicious and definitely something to try when you are visiting.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
Make a reservation at Androwino Bistro and enjoy a warm welcome with your vegan lunch whilst gazing out over the fabulous view of Merapi Volcano.
We were guests of Androwino Bistro but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views
Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta
Jalan Laksda Adisucipto
Telephone: +62 (274) 488 588 x7727
Opening Hours: 6am – 11pm every day