Text by Erza S.T.
Photos by M. Ramadhan
The mind of a genius is always striving for next invention or creation. As one of the most renowned French chefs in Jakarta, Gilles Marx shares this same belief. After launching his successful fine dining establishment Amuz Gourmet Restaurant a couple years ago then following up with Energy Cafe, Gilles and his team are continuing to pleasantly surprise Jakarta with their latest creation called Auroz.
Out of curiosity, I asked Petty Elliott – renowned foodie-cum-chef who is known for her sophisticated palate – to check out the food here on the quiet. Nevertheless, our attempt to make an incognito appearance failed as the restaurant team immediately recognized our faces as soon as we entered.
Unlike its fine dining sister, Auroz is more like an upscale bistro serving steak and seafood, though the main foundation is still French cooking. Before our tongues started to make comments, our eyes were pleased with the beauty of the whole ambience. As a modern and sophisticated upscale bistro, Auroz incorporates a classic black and white colour palate in a contemporary style.
Petty and I passed Auroz’s impressive wine cellar and the big open kitchen area where all the creations are invented, before arriving at the main dining room dominated by black furniture, white walls adorned by Sandy Karman’s art posters, and contemporary black and gray checker motif tiles. Three intimate private rooms with dramatic-looking chandeliers on each room nestle around us and we just fell in love with this alluring space.
While we were still browsing the menu, Gilles Marx came to welcome us. He also introduced us to his resident chef, Alexander Riehl. Knowing that we would be in good hands, we let them to surprise us during this lunch. Following in the Gilles Marx style, the amuse bouche tongue seducer was not only delicious but also has a great combination of tastes.Click to view slideshow.
An array of grilled honey balsamic quail, mesclun lettuce and feta cheese; light creamed white asparagus soup with garlic chips; gougere cheese puff and salmon gravlax on fresh blinis with horseradish cream – created a spectacular start. Petty joked that if the amuse bouche portion was big enough, she would have been very happy just to leave it at that.
The white asparagus that was currently in season was accompanied by prosciutto de Parma, a soft poached egg and black truffle vinaigrette. Our palates were tantalized even further when grilled foie gras on angel hair pasta and black truffle jus with grilled Sulawesi blue fin tuna loin, teriyaki style with tangy orange – fennel salad and green tea were also sent to seduce us.
We demanded a break before continuing the lunch, as they were quite generous with the portions. Whilst talking about people’s bad habits on requesting chili sauce at a gala dinner or a fine dining establishment, the aroma of beautiful grilled meat tantalized our senses.
Suddenly Chef Alexander arrived with a little trolley that held our meat under a closed lid, with all its savoury goodness inside. As he
removed the cover, we got to smell that delicious aroma even more. Chef Alexander then cut the US prime entrecote for two into smaller pieces. The meat was then presented to us complete with assorted vegetables, potatoes and choices of sauces.
Cooked medium to perfection, the beef was superb in every possible way. It was very juicy with that hint of smoke in the flavour, making your tongue want more with each bite. The taste and quality was in such great balance that we forgot that we could actually dip the meat in the sauces.
It was indeed a long lunch affair and we were still discussing Top Chef Indonesia when suddenly the dessert came out. A duo of crispy, coffee mousse, mille feuille with fresh raspberries, vanilla Chantilly cream and coffee sauce, plus variations around blueberries made into mousse, gel and crème brulee, put a definite pause in our conversation. We started grabbing our smartphones and focussed instead on taking pictures of it all before uploading it on to our social media pages.
Auroz’s concept as an upscale bistro focussing on grilled dishes definitely makes a great addition to the Jakarta culinary landscape. Petty believes that Auroz also has a touch of Japanese in their cooking technique. She also added that Auroz would make an easy choice for those who like perfection in grilled meat and seafood. When a good concept blossoms in this city, it is important to know which of the city’s best chefs are leading the way.
Menara Merdeka Tower, Ground Floor
Jl. Budi Kemuliaan I no.2