July 4, 2017 EatineraryID

A few weeks ago, we were invited to an exclusive VIP dinner hosted by Samsara. With the rise of modern Indonesian restaurants opening in Jakarta, Samsara is one of the newest player in town. Established by Terra Gastronomy, the same mastermind behind Midtown and Gyoza Bar Jakarta, Samsara serves a variety of traditional Indonesian cuisines but with a contemporary twist and plating style.
Strategically situated in Gunawarman, the atmosphere upon entering the restaurant is different from what is currently trendy. Its crimson and woody tone of the interior sets a rather homey and elegant vibe rather than the usual minimalistic and youthful decor of most restaurants nearby. 

A large painting of a Balinese dancer decorated one of the walls and took center stage of the restaurant. The manager explained to us that the painting formerly belonged to an art museum in Bali (meaning: extremely expensive and originally not for sale). However, the restaurant owner fell in love with it and managed to coax the museum to hand him the piece. This is how Samsara takes on this concept of connection and love; love for food, love for the art, love for all possibilities. Samsara hopes to be more than a restaurant, but one that establishes deep connection with its customers.

During the dinner, we were not only treated to a 7 different dishes but also given a tour around the kitchen to see how they operate. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet the head chef who kindly explained to us about how Samsara attempts to fuse traditional Indonesian dishes with western cooking techniques to achieve dishes that are unique.

Take a look of the menu served during the VIP dinner:

Deconstructed Traditional Beverages
Starter: Lemper Cakalang Fufu
Sticky rice cakes filled with lumber jack tuna ragout and green tomato salsa
Entree: Pangsit Panggang Udang Ronggeng
Pan grilled chicken and shrimp ravioli served with sweet and sour chili vinaigrette

Rujak Sorbet
Sop Buntut Jadoel (110,000 IDR)

Classic Indonesian oxtail soup served with bone marrow, pickled vegetables and sambal ijo.

Definitely one of the night's standout dish. We thought putting the broth in a bottle was a fun and such an interactive way of presenting the dish. The broth itself was flavourful yet light and subtle. It complemented the bone marrow well as it helps tone its creaminess. Portion wise, it is definitely satisfying for one. 

Main Course: Nasi Jagung Seruling Bambu

Corn rice cooked in green bamboo with lumber jack tuna, green chili, stinky bean, anchovy, cassava leaf and Indonesian basil

Celestial Pearl

Traditional handmade Indonesian vanilla ice cream hidden like a precious celestial pearl inside a chocolate orb, served with avocado, diced bread, black rice pudding and crushed peanuts with delicate flow of hot caramel sauce.

This dessert was the perfect way to end the night. Tempered chocolate spheres have been a trend in the industry these few years and we will never get bored of it. We enjoyed looking at the waiter pouring the hot caramel sauce onto the chocolate sphere and watching it gradually melts, revealing what is underneath. The ice cream when eaten with the warm sauce and the other condiments create a myriad of sensation and texture in your mouth (i.e. hot and cold).

We found that Samsara offers a unique variety of dishes and the items on the menu are definitely interesting. Serving Indonesian dishes in a new way that we have not seen before is definitely not an easy task, but Samsara manages to do it well. We love how Samsara is bold, daring, confident, and different and would love to try more. Seems that we have made a connection with Samsara ourselves! Best of luck Samsara.

Samsara Indonesian Cuisine
Jl. Gunawarman No.16, RT.5/RW.2, Selong, Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12110, Indonesia
Phone: +62 21 72787110


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