I hope you have had your meals before reading this.
It's for your own sake. Please be advised that this post may cause excessive hungriness and drools on your keyboard.
So here's the story. I can't be more grateful that I was invited by Pullman Hotel (Central Park, Jakarta) to a dinner at Collage, the hotel's restaurant. The hotel is quite new, only one month old if I'm not mistaken. With its 'Industrial Raw' concept, the place looks so elegant yet not overdone.
We (Roo came with me as the +1) entered Collage feeling a bit nervous and amazed at the same time. And then my eyes caught the sight of the giant house of ginger bread. And I knew I was going in for a delicious ride.
|Giant ginger bread house|
The first word that came up to my mind about the restaurant is elegant. It's sleek and gorgeous, really a sophisticated contemporary design.
It is spacious and bright too, and if it isn't enough, spoil your eyes with the live cooking shows around the restaurant.
|Interior design, unique table lamp|
Ms Muthia, as the Marketing Communication Manager, took us around while explaining essential things about the hotel and the restaurant. Then we arrived at the cocktails and mocktails display, where tall glasses with pretty concoction inside were showed off.
All of them looked beautiful, but as a non-alcoholic drinker, I avoid the cocktails. Few mocktails won't hurt, so here's what I tried:
Bridgespoon and Cherry (honeydew, cherry, yoghurt, grenadine, gummy melon skewer), which has robust taste of cherry, sweet, and has some fiber texture in it.
Favarica (apple syrup, green apple slice, brown sugar, topped with soda), which is a bit too sweet for my liking, but pleasantly refreshing.
Balasis (lychee syrup, lime juice, mint syrup, peach syrup, guava juice, fruit candy), which has strong mint flavour, but not enough lychee and peach hints for me.
All of these drinks were provided in mini shots, offered by friendly waiters and waitress who were all very helpful. Bravo for the service!
|Clockwise from top left: arrays of cocktails, Axell, Favarica, Bridgespoon & Cherry|
This dainty creation is praline mousse. I can't take my eyes off it really. It's one of the best looking desserts I've ever seen. I didn't take note on its description, but I'm sure it involved hazelnut, chocolate, and berries. I would like to taste this dessert, but unfortunately it is only available on a la carte menu.
While showing us the four plates of Collage a la carte menus, Ms Muthia said that she really recommends the desserts. 'They are so good and can't be missed', she added.
|Praline mousse (a la carte)|
The second plate on the display held the lamb a la provencale, which includes rack of lamb, polenta, comte cheese, and thyme scented lamb jus.
|Lamb a la provencale (a la carte)|
Nasi bakar Majapahit (Majapahit style grilled rice) is a great adoption of Indonesia's traditional cuisine. I tried this one, and it's incredibly good. Very fragrant (especially with the banana leaves wrapping), the rice is perfectly cooked and flavorsome, and the beef filling is also very tasty.
|Nasi bakar Majapahit - Majapahit style grilled rice (a la carte)|
Tomato terrine is another recommendation, consisting of micro cress salad, black olive puree, tomato, and goat cheese.
|Tomato terrine (a la carte)|
The restaurant adopts buffet concept, where many kinds of cuisine is on offer. The dizzying selection varies from western, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian, and Indonesian cuisines. There are so many options, so forgive me if I can't provide the name of some food, as my memory doesn't work well when I eat too much.
Live cooking is the best part for me, it's utterly amusing watching the chef tossing pasta on the Italian food station, watching fresh sashimi being sliced and sushi rolls being made on the Japanese food station, and watching bamboo baskets with dimsums inside being steamed on Chinese food station.
To choose, is a challenge. I started with arrays of sliced cold meat and amuse bouche, also some cold salads as appetizers. Among the selections, there are cheese and fruit platter, foie gras brulee, and fresh seafood.
|Clockwise from top left: assorted sliced cold meat, cheese and fruit platter, mozzarella and tomato salad, assorted amuse bouche|
Moving on the the Japanese and Chinese stations, the greedy side of me was spoiled by selections of sushi rolls, sashimi, and cold noodles on Japanese, and fried dumplings on Chinese. I didn't realize at first that steamed dimsums are given on order, and by the time I knew that, I was way too full.
|Clockwise from top left: assorted cold noodles, assorted sushi rolls, fried dumplings, battered calamary|
The mozzarella and tomato salad is really good, the cheese is as soft as pillows and the tomato is so fresh. A bit more seasoning would be great for me, though. The lemon tuna salad is a bit too lemony for me, as I never really like lemon tuna. I don't know why I put that one on my plate. Cold soba is as bland as expected, but the addition of miso soup helps a lot.
|Clockwise from top: cold soba noodles, mozzarella and tomato salad, lemon tuna|
Appetizer plate. The sushi rolls are fresh and tasty, and I added a lot of chilli powder. The one rolled in a kind of crumb has cheese in it, so that one is the more preferred. I took a slice of cold ham and I went back for more. Very delicious, thin and juicy, wonderfully flavorsome. The paprika chicken is a bit weird for me, but it is seasoned very well. Chicken teriyaki salad is cold, yet tasty and fresh. Fried calamari is one of Roo's fav, thinly battered but still hold their crunchiness.
|Appetizer plate: sushi rolls, sliced ham and paprika chicken, chicken teriyaki salad, battered calamari|
Fried dimsums satisfied my craving for fried things that night, although they are rather small in size. The spring roll is crunchy and the filling is tasty, red bean pancake is adequately sweet although a bit oily, and the crab dumpling is the best one. The tofu skin encrusting is gloriously crispy, and the crab meat inside is definitely real crab meat. It's crabtastic.
|Fried dimsums: spring roll, crab dumpling, red bean pancake|
I didn't try much of the seafood, only the prawns. They are cold but perfectly cooked, such a perfect piece of seafood to nibble on. Sweet and sour sauce would really go very well with these prawns.
|Seafood: cooked prawns, fresh oyster, green clams|
On the Western side, we had roasted chicken, slow cooked beef, and lamb chop. Polenta and some fried bites are also on offer. The lamb chop was done after I have finished eating (and feeling super full) so I didn't get to try any. But I heard it's great and juicy.
|Clockwise from top left: slow cooked beef, polenta, mushroom arancini|
The slow cooked beef is medium rare, and it looked inviting to me. To me, who don't eat medium rare beef. So it must tastes exquisite then. I didn't get some, because I have issues with meat which still has some blood.
|Slow cooked beef (medium rare)|
Breads are provided as well, and I took one. They aren't warm, but I thought it won't hurt trying one.
Alright, second plate. The peking duck is great, with delicious sweet skin, but a bit on chewy side. The mushroom arancini is also scrumptious, especially with that crunchy skin, although I didn't pick up much mushroom taste. I do not know the real name of this one, so I'll just call it crumbed chicken chunk with tomato sauce and mozzarella. It is tasteful, and the chicken is succulent. This one will make a perfect bite-sized snack.
The poppy seed bread roll is a real winner for me. Not that easy to bite, but oh boy isn't that the tastiest bread roll I've ever had. Can't you believe a bread roll being tasty? It's just perfect. I reckon it's great paired with any kind of jam or pate or sauce or anything.
|Clockwise from top: poppy seed bread roll, mushroom arancini, crumbed chicken chunk with tomato sauce and mozzarella, peking duck|
|Innards of mushroom arancini and crumbed chicken chunk|
Now this is a splendid slice of roasted chicken. Cooked to perfection, it's amazingly juicy and tender. The herbs sauce, which I believe involves some ginger and rosemary, makes this slice of heaven even better. Absolute yumsters.
|Roasted chicken with herbs sauce|
My Indian plate is also satisfying, although I left some parts of the naan bread because it's too burnt. Briyani rice is robust with spices, yet a bit too bland for my tongue. The potato curry (aloo dum) and chicken malabar curry provide perfect aid for the bland rice, by being flavorsome and full of spices explosions.
|Indian plate: naan bread, briyani rice, potato curry, chicken massala|
Feeling curious about the Italian dishes, I paid the pasta station a visit. Collage made their own pasta, so freshness is guaranteed. Only three types of pasta are available that night: parpadelle (carrot and tomato pasta), squid ink pasta, and gnocchi. You can also choose your sauce and topping, all made on the spot.
|Clockwise from top left: fresh pasta on display, three kinds od pasta available, chef making pasta on spot, cheese quiche|
The cheese quiche is Roo's fav of the night. I love it too, as the cheese and smoked beef filling is luscious and savoury. The base is a bit hard, but still enjoyable to eat.
I chose gnocchi bolognaise that night, but I have to say that I didn't really enjoy eating it. The gnocchi is pillow-y, but too soft for my liking. The bolognaise sauce is rather bland, although chunks of minced beef are given generously.
Somehow I managed to summon my extra stomach for desserts. There's no way I would miss desserts if the options are this... magical.
The displays and tiers seemed groaning with delicious treats, and the best part is that you can take as many as you wish.
The options seemed to be endless, and I had a hard time choosing. Especially with super full stomach. As much as I wanted to take each one of everything, I didn't want to take too many and then ended up wasting some.
The selections vary from pretty macarons to mango cake, black forest cream, and even Indonesia's signature layered cake.
|Clockwise from top left: dessert tier, mango cake/mousse, macarons, more desserts and the condiments|
And here is my last plate to end the epic dinner. Tiramisu cream is not overly sweet, just the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. Chocolate pudding is good too, silky smooth although not the best that I've had. The macaron, however, doesn't have enough filling for me. It's not overly sweet like most macarons, but more chocolate filling would be perfect. The hazelnut choux is the most preferred, with flaky choux pastry and delicious hazelnut cream in the middle.
UPDATE (19/12): I just got info about Collage's buffet price, which is just IDR 190.000++/pax. I said the word "just" because the price is relatively much cheaper than other buffet restaurants' fares. Plus, the restaurant is housed in a five star hotel, and there are a great deal cuisine options to choose from. I say, the price is a great bargain.
|Dessert plate: (clockwise from top) tiramisu, chocolate pudding, macaron, hazelnut choux|
During the dinner, the friendly and cheeky GM, Mr Fabrice Mini, kindly chat with us and also introduce us to the head chef, Chef Eric Baudru from France. To be really honest, for me, Chef Eric looks more like Korean boy band singer than a French hehe.
A lucky dip is done, and Corry won it happily.
|Clockwise from top left: Ms Muthia & Mr Fabrice Mini (GM), Corry won the lucky dip, foodies' tables|
Meeting other food bloggers is also a great experience, and I had a little starstruck with Ruby (from Wanderbites, whose photos are really awesome) and Jen (from Jenzcorner, whose blog is the first Indonesian food blog I visited).
I was also utterly excited meeting the others, and I truly hope that there are more bloggers gatherings like this in the future. Here are some foodies I met that day, although I didn't get to acquaint myself to some of them. Next time for sure!
. Ellyna from Culinary Bonanza
. Selby from Selby's Food Corner
. Sara from Experience of a Big Hot Tummy
. Urukyu from My Journal, My Life
. Mrs & Mr Jajan from Anak Jajan
. Natasha from The Yummy Traveler
. Lolo from Taste Buds to Share
. Umay from Ah, Mashita
. Ichil and Febee from The Ingredients of Life
. Dino from Good Food and Good Friends for Good Life
. Icha from Eating Until Die
It was such a wonderful dinner, and since that night I've been craving for Collage's bread roll. I know this is such a long post, but believe me, the food are so great it won't do them justice if I make a short post. Thank you heaps for Ms Rita and Pullman Jakarta for inviting me!
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very recommended)
Wide variety of food, great tasting food, price really OK for buffet restaurant, fast service, elegant and cozy ambiance.
Irene's Getting Fat! dined at Collage as a guest of Pullman Hotels and Resorts, Jakarta.
Pullman Hotels and Resorts
Podomoro City Jl. Let. Jend. S. Parman Kav. 28
Phone: (+62 21)29200088
Website: Pullman Hotel