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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