Sunday, December 19, 2010

From romantic dinners to clubbing

THE Christmas atmosphere is already tangible at many entertainment places in the city. When you enter Pacific Place, SCBD, for example, you will be immediately stuck by the Christmas ambience. On the main floor you can see Christmas trees in every corner and in the center of the mall there is a stage in the form of a giant glass ball that contains a huge screen with all sorts of Christmas ornaments.

Some of the Christmas trees are contemporary, while at a glance they look very similar to conventional Christmas trees, the difference is in the material and the ornaments. Each tree is made from different material based on the philosophy of the sponsoring company. This is the kind of art installation that blends with the ambience of Pacific Place and is enjoyed by visitors to the upscale mall.

The Christmas atmosphere and decorations are not limited to Pacific Place but are seen in malls in the city from Pluit area to Blok M. The restaurants and cafes in the malls are also welcoming Christmas and New Year 2011 in unique ways. One example is Nuzzy’s Mousse and Resto, which is located in Central Park, West Jakarta. This restaurant is uniquely decorated with Christmas ornaments. Its open kitchen concept in a building with a unique design, live music and a giant Christmas tree at the center of Central Park called Tribecca, enlivens the entire atmosphere.

The food served here is Italian. Bright Christmas colors are represented by its pasta which comes in combination red and green making it look both attractive and appetizing. The red and green coloring comes from beet and spinach respectively, so it is healthy to boot.

Another dish is Ribs Pasta and Gnochhi which is made from high quality potatoes. There is also Paela, made from a variety of choice mushrooms plus chicken or seafood as well as Deep Blue Sea Mussel, which is green mussel shells with tomato sauce grilled over an open fire. All of these are the creations of its chef, Jimmy Enggelete.

In Kemang area in South Jakarta, famous for its café culture, the Christmas atmosphere is already here. Elbow Room, for example, offers a special menu: a romantic dinner with a traditional menu with homemade Gravy, Buttered Mashed Potato, Sautéed Vegetables and Cranberry Sauce. Every Saturday a free Christmas Cocktail is available.

If you enjoy Japanese food two new venues are recommended, Ootoya at Plaza Indonesia and Benihana at Grand Indonesia. At Ootoya, which has been in Japan since 1958, you can savor authentic cuisine from the Sakura country. Its main menu items are Sumidon (beef over rice), Oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice), Hokke, Saba fish, Cold Udon/Soba and Okosama Udon.

Meanwhile at Benihana Village you will be pampered not only by the delicious Japanese dishes but also with the attraction of the chefs cooking and preparing the food in front of you. Benihana Village is a Japanese restaurant that has become famous in the United States and soon spread its wings to other places including Jakarta. All the food is prepared on teppan tables, including the empty plates which will be soon filled with food prepared by the expert chefs. You can order various teppanyaki according to your taste, such as seafood, chicken and beef. “We serve an authentic Japanese menu with a bit of creative maneuvers,” said one of the chefs.

Still at Grand Indonesia, for wine lovers Social House on the third floor has a rich collection of wines. It also serves light food or snacks, such as pizza, spring rolls, French fries and so on. This is the right place to relax and enjoy the view of Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and at night you can enjoy the unique decorative street lights on Jakarta’s main thoroughfare.

If you prefer a more entertaining venue then visit Dragonfly which is located at Graha BIP, Jl. Gatot Su-broto, Jakarta. Here after dinner you can immediately enjoy enthralling music played by DJ Justeen.

Currently there are many places to hang out in the city that offer a creative ambience. Entirely new concepts are offered by such places and the plus point is that they are located in strategic spots, such as clubs that you can find in office buildings and malls. This means access is easy as they are not complicated to reach.

Another popular hangout is Blowfish Kitchen & Bar which is owned by Ismaya Group. Blowfish’s strength is its Asian or Japanese ambience. The place is divided into two parts, restaurant and lounge with a modern Japanese look that is also seen in its restaurant and bar. Blowfish serves modern fusion Japanese food, and the lounge has numerous cocktails ala Blowfish. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, December 20, 2010

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