The kitchen is the heart of the household all over the world. Aside from being a place that satisfies one of our basic needs there is something comforting and communal about eating. It’s not different in Uruguay. El asado, or the hearth, is the centre focus of any Uruguayan home. But don’t be fooled, El asado Urugayo is not just your normal hearth. In fact it is so revered, that the word is used both for the thing itself and the important social events of having a barbecue. Therefore, when Eugenio Doldan came to Indonesia and decided to open a restaurant, creating El Asador was simply an homage to his homeland and how he grew up.
The typical Uruguayan meal is simple, a variety of grilled meats, but the process is an art. It starts with choosing a very specific wood for the grill to ensure that it embues the meat with a subtle but distinctive smokiness while still retaining the delicious flavour of the meat. The Kemang restaurant keeps to the same high standard. Using rambutan wood to create the coals, the master griller, cooks high quality flavorful meat to perfection on the parilla, or grill.
Our favourite was the Sharing Parilla, which was served with two house-made chimichurri sauces, one spicy and one more herby, and their fresh green salad. Aside from being a massive feast, we loved having the option to choose from a variety of different proteins including their infamous pollo El Asador (chicken) and a variety of steak and lamb sausages.
If you’re seriously ravenous, don’t you worry because they offer an All-You-Can-Eat Parilla, which is replenished as you go dine. Order a signature cocktail to pair with your meal for a perfect asado with your friends.
You also have to grab the grilled chicken caprese quesadilla, an open-face, fresh twist on the well-known Tex-Mex version. El Asador also serves a pretty wicked eggs Benedict and several waffles (named after members of Eugenio’s family, based on their personalities!) on their all-day breakfast menu. Yes, they even have an all-day breakfast menu!
El Asador, Kemang Point, ground floor, Jl Kemang Raya no. 3, Kemang, South Jakarta, p. 62-21/718-2206. Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am, Sun 9:30am-10pm.
This article was sponsored by El Asador.