Le Meridien

Discover Éclair - Le Méridien Jakarta

4/23/2014 Soya Yanagawa 1 Comments

What will popped out when you hear Le Méridien? For me, there will be éclairs.

For your information, Le Méridien will announce on the upcoming months, around May-June 2014, their new global brand for éclairs. That is why Le Méridien is trying to spread the words about the place for iconic French Pastry, with classic offerings as well as unique local creations that bring to life the destination.

What is Le Méridien?
Le Méridien is an international hotel brand with an European perspective, formerly headquartered in the United Kingdom, with 130 properties. It is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and has a portfolio of more than 120 hotels in over 50 countries worldwide. 
Le Méridien Jakarta was build at the heart of the city’s golden triangle, providing an endless gateway to Indonesian culture and history. 
Offering 396 rooms, the hotel exemplifies intimate luxury. The hotel features an all-day dining restaurant, restaurants serving delicious Lebanese and Japanese cuisines, two bars—and a world class spa and wellness centre with Asian massage treatments, sauna and whirlpool.  
The main ballroom, called Sasono Mulyo, is thoughtfully designed and luxuriously appointed with a capacity of 800 to 1000 guests—an ideal venue for wedding celebrations, corporate events and large-scale functions. A full range of audio, visual equipment and High Speed Internet Access are also provided in other meeting venues designed for 10 to 150 persons. 
Le Méridien Jakarta also features a penthouse featuring a 100-year old, handcrafted Kudus House, an intricately carved structure made from teak wood. Le Méridien Club Floor encompasses the top four floors of the hotel tower, and Le Méridien Club Lounge is on the 20th floor, providing spectacular views of the city below.

Last month, I was invited by Le Méridien for their event called "Taste The Unexpected Discover Éclair".

The event was opened by Ari Ardiati as Le Méridien Jakarta's Marketing Communications ManagerRobert Hogenstijn, Le Méridien Jakarta's General Manager introduces us with Le Méridien's Eye Opener.

What is Eye Opener?
Eye Opener is a beverages that will be served in the morning for the guests who had breakfast at La Brasserie, Le Méridien. It was called as an eye opener because the drinks has a mixtures of fruits and spices that will boost your stamina. The unconventional Ingredient pairings has unique and intriguing local flavors. Created by Le Méridien's hotel chefs, this shots are served complimentary at the entrance of the restaurant. 

On this event, Le Méridien Jakarta serves a diverse canapes and éclairs. For the drinks, they serves juices that will quench our thirst. Amazingly they have successfully made eclairs with savory ingredients. The topping and the cream inside compliments the éclair.

What is éclair?
The word comes from French éclair 'flash of lightning', so named because it is eaten quickly. Éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry then is filled with filling or custard (crème pâtissière), or with whipped cream, or chiboust cream; and then iced with fondant icing. 
The éclair originated during the nineteenth century in France where it was called "pain à la duchesse" or "petite duchesse" until 1850. It is a popular member of the pie family served all over the world. The word is first attested both in English and in French in the 1860s.
For your information, all Le Méridien in the world will simultaneously campaigned this iconic French pastry. Each and every Le Méridien all over the world will introduce their own flavor of éclair, that use local ingredients. For Le Méridien Jakarta, they will promote their Pandan (Pandanus) flavour.

After Robert Hogenstijn introduced us with the Le Méridien's Eye Opener, It is Edoardo Vastolo, the Master Barista of Illy Coffee turns to take the spotlight.

Who is Edoardo Vastolo?
Edoardo Vastolo began his F&B career in Ischia, Naples. In 2005, he was appointed Hotel Manager of Hotel Miramonte e Mare. In 2007, the Bar Service beckoned to Eduardo and so, he began exploring the bar world through managing an American Bar in Portici, Naples. During his 4-year tenure as a Bar Manager, he developed a keen interest in the art and science of coffee.

In 2010, Eduardo decided it was time to pursue a specialized course from Universita Del Caffe by Illy caffe in Trieste. After completing the course, he began working as a Barista in Espressamente Illy, Paris. Eduardo returned to Italy in 2012 to further his knowledge and study of coffee. Following the completion of his course, he was handpicked by Illy caffe, for his enthusiasm and passion for coffee art and Illy caffe, to become a Barista Trainer for the Asia Pacific Region
It was so much fun to hear Edoardo Vastolo's lecture about coffee. I learned a lot that day.

Edoardo was there to paired Le Méridien's éclairs with Illy's Coffee. So, without further to talk, lets go to see Edoardo's wonderful pairings.

Le Méridien's Chocolate Éclair with Frappé al Caffè

For Le Méridien's Chocolate Éclair, Edoardo pair it with Illy's Frappé al Caffè. It was 2 shot of Illy espresso that blended with ice cube and sugar. For an iced coffee, Illy's Frappé al Caffè is really delicious. I thought it was going to be tasted very sour. But when I tasted it the acidity was in the perfect highness.

I really love the deliciousness of cream filling and chocolate icing on the éclair. It was beautifully paired with the bitterness of the Frappé al Caffè. The Frappé al Caffè really compliments the éclair. I really enjoy the wonderful symphony that played on my mouth.

Le Méridien's Vanilla Éclair with Leggero fondente

For the Le Méridien's Vanilla Éclair, Edoardo pair it with Illy's Leggero Fondente. This cold beverage was made by using espresso, skimmed milk and cocoa powder. The hint of the chocolate flavor really binding the vanilla's soft and silky sweetness with coffee's bold and strong bitterness. 

The vanilla custard tastes so delicious with creamy, milky undertones and silky sweet fragrance. I thought that the coffee will be overpowering the vanilla éclair, but the fact is the creamy taste with a hint of cocoa powder really complimenting the éclair. The well balanced combination of the vanilla éclair with the leggero fondente really indulge my mouth with the amount of sweetness.

Le Méridien's Pandanus Éclair with Marocchino Caldo

Well, this is Le Méridien Jakarta's signature éclair; Pandan éclair. Edoardo paired this wonderful éclair with Marocchino Caldo. Pandan's aromatic and taste wise with a piney overtone was complemented with the creamy hot chocolate aftertaste coffee. I really enjoy the wonderful sensation when we taste them both.

Salute to Edoardo Vastolo who beautifully paired the éclair with Illy Coffee. I really enjoy the excitement to taste the éclair's pairing coffee.

On this event, Edoardo shows his skillful hand by making some latte art in the front of us. I barely catch nothing. He moved so fast and light-footed, I just can dropping my jaw and amazed.

What is Latte Art?
Latte art is a method of preparing coffee created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the resulting latte. It can also be created or embellished by simply "drawing" in the top layer of foam.  
Latte art requires first producing espresso with crema and microfoam, and then combining these to make latte art.  
Before the milk is added, the espresso shot must have a creamy brown surface, an emulsion known as crema. As the white foam from the milk rises to meet the red/brown surface of the shot, a contrast is created and the design emerges. As the milk is poured, the foam separates from the liquid and rises to the top. If the milk and espresso shot are "just right," and the pitcher is moved during the pour, the foam will rise to create a pattern on the surface. Alternatively, a pattern may be etched with a stick after the milk has been poured, rather than during the pour.

Edoardo shows 2 kinds of latte art's technique, and those are:

"Free pouring"

For free pouring, the cup is either kept level or tilted in one direction. As the milk is poured straight into the cup, the foam begins to surface on one side (due to the tilt). The barista then moves the pitcher from side to side as they level the cup, or simply wiggle the spout back and forth, and finishes by making a quick strike through the previously poured pattern. This "strike" creates the stem portion of the flower design, and bends the poured zig-zag into a flower shape.

A more direct pour and less wiggling yields a heart shape, and minor variation (reduced lobes, larger stem) yields an apple shape.

The two most common forms of poured latte art are a heart shape and the "rosetta" or "rosette", also known as "fern" which resembles a type of flower or fern. Of these, hearts are simpler and more common in macchiatos, while rosettes are more complex and more common in lattes.

More complex patterns are possible, some requiring multiple pours. Some examples of advanced latte art techniques are that of the tulip, wave heart, swan, or even a scorpion.


Etched patterns range from simple geometric shapes to complicated drawings, such as crosshatched patterns, animals, and flowers, and are generally performed with a coffee stirrer of some sort. Etched latte art typically has a shorter lifespan than free poured latte art as the foam dissolves into the latte more quickly.

Edoardo shows us another kinds of latte art that has been popular nowadays. It was the 3D latte art. Edoardo told us that he is actually not recommend this kind of latte art. Because for this 3D latte art, they use stiff cottonball milk foam. Indeed, there will be so much fun by just looking at the presentation for 3D latte art, but it is going to be so dry and tasteless.

Last but not the least, Le Méridien Jakarta asked us to "create your own éclair". They already provide everything that to be needed to decorate an éclair. There were a lot of enthusiast participant who want to try to fill and decorate the éclair, and I am one of them.

Do you want to see my éclair? hehe... Here it is:

Well, I choose to combined Vanilla and Pandan together. I want to use the Le Méridien Jakarta's signature éclairbecause of my nationality, that is why I have made this éclair. For the topping, I use pandan icing for the base, and marbled with the vanilla one. I use etching technique that Edoardo showed by using a toothpick. I garnished my eclair with a simple fondant flower.

Thank you for inviting me to this awesome event, Le Méridien Jakarta. It really brighten up my day. Godspeed!

Le Méridien Hotel Jakarta
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Kav 18 – 20
Jakarta 10220

Telephone: 021-251 3131
Facebook: Le Meridien Jkt
Twitter: @MeridienJkt

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Rosso - Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta

4/19/2014 Soya Yanagawa 0 Comments

Located on the lobby level of Shangri-La Hotel jakarta, Rosso is a restaurant and lounge that offers sensational yet authentic Italian cuisine. .

I really amazed when I went to this place for the first time. Their interior was dominated with black and red colors. For your information, Rosso means "RED" in Italian. Red is one of major colors that shout for passion, boldness, excitement, warmth and elegance. That is why I can feel their vibrant and passionate atmosphere in a second I put my feet here.

They use black and red to uplifting the elegance and formality while you partake the authentic Italian dish. Indeed, they use diverse furniture to comply the restaurant. But all of them were guerdon each other and make the environment full with Italian's zest.

Rosso's main dining room exudes a colorful, vibrant yet sophisticated ambience. They also provide two semi-private rooms, with one private room attached to a finishing kitchen where guests are able to preview the final touches placed to the preparation of their meal. They also have giant windows surrounding the restaurant, so the sun will become their natural lighting on the afternoon.

One thing that really makes my jaw drop is the painting on their ceiling, so beautiful and mesmerizing.

While we are waiting for the others to complete, we were indulged with Rosso's mocktails and canapes.

Virgin Mojito
lime wedges, lemon juice, brown sugar, mint leave and soda water.

Love the minty lime taste of mojito. Its combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus, and mint flavors is intended to complement the soda. One thing that makes this welcoming drink so unique was the strong scent of brown sugar. This drink was perfect to refresh the body from Jakarta's heat. It will instantly remove all the tired and weariness.

Italian Lemonade
Lemon wedges, mint leave, lemon juice, simple syrup sprite

For a simple drink that made from 4 kinds of ingredients, this drink was very refreshing and delicious. I really like the sweetness from the sprite. Lemon and mint really give a kick as an eye opener and body refresher.

Saffron Arancini
Rissoto Carnaroli (Italian rice), Saffron Powder, virgin oil, sea salt, parmesan cheese, onion, mozarella cheese, bread crumb, flour and organic egg.

This Sicilian fried rice balls was coated with breadcrumbs. The name, arancini was derived from arancia and arancina that means "little orange". It was called arancini because the food's shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange.

This Arancini has a bold taste and strong scent of saffron. The saffron has strong perfume and a bitter. The taste is pleasantly spicy and bitter and the odor is tenacious.

Eggplant Parmigiana
Buffalo ricotta cheese, basil leaf, buffalo mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and salt, wrapped with Eggplants, flour, and salt.

The combination between the eggplant and cheese is surprisingly delicious. I really like the combination between the aromatic basil leaves with bold savory taste of cheese. For this canape, you better eat it in one bite, so you will be surprised with the deliciousness explosion in your mouth.

I am very grateful that I have got the opportunity to watch Rosso's new chef in their kitchen. So I can see how he prepares the dishes before serving. His hand was very skillful and trained, he keep his focus to deliver his artistic plate to the guests. Are you curious who is the man behind the dishes at Rosso? Well, let me introduce you to the ingenious chef from Sicily, Italy named Paolo Gionfriddo.

here is a brief about him:

Chef Paolo was born and raised in Sicily, Italy, where the beautiful landscape and natural beauty inspires the flavours and richness of all his culinary works.  Taking nature’s beauty and cultural influences, Chef Paolo ensures that his final product is nothing short of exceptional.  His passion in creating and presenting unrivaled dishes for guests has brought him to various restaurants in Italy, working alongside such culinary icons as Chef Marco Pierre White.
Chef Paolo is no stranger to the world of fine dining because he has been a chef at a handful of Michelin-star restaurants in his native Italy.  He left the United Arab Emirates before moving to Indonesia, where he is sure to leave a long-lasting mark with his Italian gastronomical masterpiece in the culinary world. 
Chef Paolo has a unique philosophy on what it means to be a chef because he understands that being a chef is much more than the managerial aspect of a kitchen.  He believes in taking part in the process of making the dishes, allowing an ordinary dish to transform into an innovative culinary wonder.  His outlook on being a chef has given him the space to express his personality in creating quality dishes that keep guests returning for more. 
Chef Paolo brings an intense passion, high-quality standard and individualistic flare to Rosso with his Italian cuisine.  Guests can find simple appreciation in Chef Paolo’s artistic and distinctive dishes representative of a true Italian with every creation. 

While we are waiting for Chef Paolo's dishes to be served, Rosso gave us their homemade breads. I really love the one with cherry tomatoes and olives. The breads itself have diverse textures, you can choose the one that interest you the most.

Without any further, lets take a look at Chef Paolo's dishes:

Pastetti ri Baccala
Fried cod, fennel, blood orange segment and saffron sabayon

For the antipasti dish, Chef Paolo gave us his Pastetti ri Baccala. I really admire the artistic and aesthetic dish that served in front of me. It was so beautiful and jaw gaping.

Shredded fennel was plated in the center and topped with deep fried cod. The saffron sabayon, blood orange was put artistically, and garnished with anise hyssop makes this antipasti looks so elegant.

I really like the fennel; it was very aromatic and taste like flavored herb. But the king of this dish was the fried cod. It has a crisp texture on the exterior and soft and moist interior. The taste was superb! You can taste the sweetness from the protein that wisely seasoned. The saffron sabayon adds more taste and flavor in this dish. Every thing that in this plate was compliments each other; you will be drawn into the beautiful symphony that melts in your mouth.

Spaghetti che cozze e muddica
spaghetti with mussels, parsley cream and aromatic bread crumb

For pasta, we were served with this spaghetti che cozze e muddica. For the minutes I saw this dish, I thought it was served with tomato-based sauce. Surprisingly, when you stir it, all of the dish will become green.

The green parsley cream was put in the bottom of the dish, topped with swirled spaghetti, mussels and vegetables. For the finishing Chef Paolo sprinkle the breadcrumbs and anise hyssop. The presentation was so colorful and elegantly beautiful.

The parsley has a grassy, fresh and brightens flavors. I really love the vibrant taste from the parsley cream combined beautifully with the mussels sweetness. The breadcrumbs add the richness of the textures but the mussels make the dish so addicting.

Agghiutta ri Tunnu
Yellow fin tuna, sweet and sour braised onion and reduction of balsamic

For Pesci, Chef Paolo served us with his signature dish named Agghiutta ri Tunnu. The yellowfin tuna was covered with pistachio's crumbs, served with sweet and sour braised onion and reduction balsamic.

I really love how Chef Paolo adds some color into his dishes. The green colored pistachios looks so fresh with the dark red of tuna. He often to add anise hyssop for garnish and it really works. It raised one level of beautiness into wonderfulness.

The balsamic reduction is the one that compliments the dish. It complex tastes are highlighted and enhance the tuna. The pistachio adds some sweetness and textures into the dish. Every element on this dish compliments each other and wisely added, so there is no ingredients that impractical.

Cannolo ca' ricotta
Cannolo filled with buffalo ricotta cheese and pistachio

Before we eat the dolce, Chef Paolo introduced us with his hometown, Sicilian pastry dessert named canollo. Cannolo is a tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with sweet and creamy ricotta filling.

To eat this cannolo ca' ricotta, you do not need any fork or knife, you just took it with your hand and bite it. The ricotta's moist and soft texture was blend beautifully with the crunchiness from the fried pastry. The sweetness is really fit into my palate, its not overwhelming. The dessert concludes the meal; it was successfully bring the joy and happiness into your mouth. What a wonderful way to concludes it all.

I almost forgot, my dining at Rosso was so splendid and unforgettable. Rosso was also offered us the wines that really suit to be paired with Chef Paolo's dishes. Rosso generously pampered us with their Sicilian wines.


This Sicilian wine named Planeta Chardonnay was paired with Chef Paolo's pasta. It has a bright golden color with lively green tones. It has a rich, fruity, honey-ish, and citrusy aroma. For the taste it has a soft, fruit acidity and round.

Harmoniously paired with spaghetti che cozze e muddica, brings my dining experience become more mesmerizing. The wine and the pasta compliment each other.

Planeta chardonnay is also quite nice to be paired with pasta dishes that use fish as their protein.


This Planeta La Segreta's red wine has a deep crimson-red color with hints of purple. The richness of fruity fragance makes this wine is very suitable to be paired with Chef Paolo's pesci, Agghiutta ri Tunnu.

Its juicy vibrant fruit flavor really compliments the dish. It has a beautiful forward through mid palate tannins and good structure and consistency.

Overall, i feel overjoyed with the wonderful indulgence that Shangri-La gave. Rosso will stimulate you with the well-known Italian passion for vibrant lifestyle and food. 

Rosso lounge has a distinctive cosmopolitan elegance that provides guests with a stylish, informal meeting place for pre- or post-dinner drinks or a relaxing evening listening to contemporary smooth sounds. 

Thank you so much Shangri-La Jakarta for inviting me to this wonderful dining with Chef Paolo experience. This will be put on my top list for my most unforgettable experience with Shangri-La Jakarta. I was so grateful and feel blessed for this kind of opportunity. 

Once again, thank you very much and Godspeed.

Rosso Italian Restaurant 
Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta, Lobby Level
Kota BNI, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1 
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1
Jakarta 10220, Indonesia

T. +62 21 2939 9562
Facebook: Shangri-La Jakarta
Twitter: @ShangriLaJKT

Operating Hours:
Lunch: 11.30 AM - 2.30 PM
Dinner: 6.30 PM - 10.30 PM
Lunch: 11 AM - 2.30 PM
Dinner: 5.30 PM - 1 AM

DC: Smart Casual

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