Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, Jakarta
Casa D’Oro offers Italian gourmet cuisine in the heart of Jakarta at the luxury Hotel Indonesia Kempinski and the Vegan Food Quest visited to try some Italian delights, vegan style.
When making a restaurant reservation we always make sure they know we are vegan and this usually allows time for the Chef to prepare a plant-based meal for us. However, when we arrived at Casa D’Oro information regarding our vegan diet hadn’t reached the kitchen.
This can be a real test for the Chef who has to suddenly get creative with the ingredients in the kitchen and design a vegan menu on the spot.
What was the result of this on the spot vegan creativity from Chef Wahyu at Casa D’Oro?
The Vegan Food
Straight away Chef Wahyu got to work on making his vegan ideas into a delicious meal for us.
To start we had a salad of chargrilled vegetables that included grilled aubergine, zucchini, peppers and a crispy organic salad garnished with a delicate looking slice of dried orange.
The orange tasted sweet and zesty and had a satisfying chewy texture that went really well with the vegetables. The salad reminded us of trips to Italy where we would eat vegetables prepared just like this, enjoying the natural flavours of the ingredients which had been prepared using a light touch to make sure flavours and textures aren’t lost by complicated techniques.
This was followed by an asparagus risotto, drizzled in truffle oil. The dish contained the classic combination of green asparagus flavours with earthy truffle oil and had an amazing aroma as well as a great taste.
We have visited restaurants where the chef has refused to believe a risotto can be made without the use of Parmesan cheese or butter so we were really pleased to taste our vegan version that was full of asparagus and truffle flavours.
It was a pleasure to eat and we would have happily eaten a second helping!
Our next course of polenta and seasonal vegetables consisted of a grilled polenta cake, which had a beautifully subtle chargrilled flavour, served with plump cherry tomatoes, broccoli and a mix of peppers and asparagus with a hint of mint. Toasted pine nuts added a nutty, rich and flavoursome garnish.
The polenta cake was topped with a potato crisp that had a small sprig of thyme pressed into it, a clever visual treat that also tasted good. We enjoyed this dish, with it’s sharp presentation and great combination of flavours.
For dessert we had frutta minestrone – a mango and orange ‘soup’, full of sweet and juicy fruits floating about in a sweet tasting liquid that was lightly scented with mint.
The soup was accompanied by a sorbet that was light and refreshing, this was a lively and fresh dessert that was a good balance to the rest of our meal.
After this, Chef Wahyu presented us with a plate of candied fruits, our favourite being the bright green pandan flavoured jelly. They were intensely flavoured and super-sweet; a quick and indulgent second-dessert.
One of the stars of our meal was the vegan wine we enjoyed. Casa d’Oro has the largest wine list in Jakarta, all housed in a climate controlled glass wine cellar, which takes centre stage in the restaurant.
We tried a 2012 Dr Loosen Reisling, which was fresh and well balanced, complementing our food perfectly, meaning we didn’t miss out on one of the best features of this restaurant.
Top marks from the Vegan Food Quest!
The staff were helpful and we were particularly impressed with Chef Wahyu who managed to create a tasty meal for us at a moments notice and was totally unfazed by having to think on his feet in the face of our vegan requests. Our hosts for the evening were great company and made us feel relaxed and welcome which added to our overall enjoyment.
Soft lighting, chic decor and quiet piano music gave the restaurant a relaxed, stylish and intimate feel, the stunning, well stocked circular wine cellar stands in the middle of the restaurant, creating an impressive centrepiece.
The brand new Kempinski ‘Sweet Boutique’ is located just outside Casa D’Oro so after dinner you can pass by for some tasty vegan chocolates to take home, we loved the nutty, chocolate clusters (even though we’d had two sweet desserts) and would definitely recommend them.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
Make a reservation at Casa D’Oro for an inner city chic vegan Italian meal where you can enjoy a fabulous glass of vegan wine alongside your authentic Italian food.
We were guests of Casa D’Oro but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views
JL. MH Thamrin 1
Telephone: (62 21) 2358 3896