..It's a journey after all.. : Food and Travel Blog based in Jakarta: E&O: The Foodgasm Duet by Chef Will and Chef Palm

Friday, 12 July 2013

E&O: The Foodgasm Duet by Chef Will and Chef Palm

That night has turned into more than just a lovely night, the night when I was invited to Eastern and Oriental, which short-named to E&O, a Thai - Vietnamese restaurant. Meeting the other fellow bloggers compiled with reputable and warm hospitality from the host have always been a perfect combo!

How do I say this? It was another ordinary night cramped with Jakarta's traffic. Obviously, I arrived late due to the inevitable circumstance. It was my first time going there and I was instantly enchanted with the dimmed yellow tone which came from the small triangle lamps encompassing the place. It was a no wonder that, although slightly a bit different, it has its own similarities to Loewy as E&O is basically under the same group, also collaborating with Sarong Group owned by Chef Will Meyrick himself. The semi open glass doors/windows, the ceramic walls and ceilings, the eye-catchy bar on one side of the restaurant and the wooden furniture with leather sofas are the distinctive resemblances. What allured me the most was the beautiful table setting. The dark grey streaky plates accompanied by flickering light reflections from a full set of wine glasses, it was almost magical to me as I furthermore got absorbed to the enchantment..

My arrival was also welcomed with three tasting canepes. From this point onwards, you have to tolerate the photos you'll see as they don't share the same amount of lighting and ambiance. It was dark and as far as I am concerned, it was a photo hunt jungle war between the other bloggers and myself. Without a doubt I was a no winner (with my almost average photo skills and unsturdy hands).

Also, the portions served that night might not be similar to the usual portions served on the restaurant as this event was a friendly gathering. The choices of food given to us were plentiful and I am glad some of the dishes were served with smaller portions. *My belly isn't getting any toner*
Pork Belly with Tamarillo and Tamarind Sauce served with Nam Pla Prik (thai chili and fish sauce) - 190k. The others have been eaten and I was left with four of these. I gobbled up the whole thing at once and the flavors literally burst in my mouth. Salty and fresh over the succulent fatty pork belly, yum..
Betel Leaf with Galangal, Dried Shrimps, Roasted Chillies, Coriander and Salmon Roe - 32k/pcs. The betel leaf served as edible spoons for individual portions.
Chicken and Prawn in Egg Net with Peanuts, Lemongrass, Mint and Pickled Cucumber and Shallots Relish - 65k. Again, my mouth was full in an instant gallop as I struggled to chew in all the goodness. On the left side, it was Pineapple Coriander Margarita (90k), but I ordered mine to be virgin. So far, all the things that went inside my mouth was a complete balanced proportion of sweet, salty and sour.
Moving on to the sitting dinner... Eight menus for one night, divided into seven courses. As if it wasn't enough, the food kept on arriving one by one. Each has a significant taste and uniqueness that left you either mesmerized or wanting more.

Selection of Northern Thai Relishes : "Nam Prik Ong"(chicken), "Nam Prik Goong"(dried shrimp), "Nam Prik Num"(eggplant) and Crispy Tempura Vegetables - 125k. I always think that Indonesians can easily adapt to Thai food. All of the Nam Prik relishes mimicked Indonesian sambal, minus the chicken. One has a saltier taste, one has a spicier hint, and one has a more subtle approach..
Grilled Beef Salad with Green Mango, Shallots, Peanuts, Mint and Nahm Jim  - 90k. The beef was pan seared but the chef also mentioned that it was slow cooked. When put inside, it literally melted after a few bites. Its tenderness amazed me. The sour mango salad alone gave you a kick of freshness. I must say, again, everything was perfectly balanced!
(Southern Thai)Hot & Sour Soup of Fish with Tamarind Leaves, Turmeric, Chillies, Lime Leaves and Coriander - 80k/140k (half/reg). The chef talked a bit about their adventure while traveling South Thailand. Their journey was what inspired this bowl of soup. At first sip, I could feel the warmth streaming through my throat and it stayed there. Not in a burning sensation kind of way, more like a warming gingery-after taste. 

"Choo Chee"(curry) of Crispy Barramundi with Chilli and Thai Basil - 170k. I have to say that this was the star of the show. Despite the fish's average size, the over-all taste was nowhere near average. Explosions from the chili was tangible completed with a hint of sweetness. Let alone the sauce, I think I could be satisfied by the fried fish itself. It was definitely fresh as I sensed no fishy smell. We ate it along with Jasmine rice and Roti Canai(Indian influences). Not exaggerating, the imported Jasmine rice really has jasmine fragrant (I have no clue how the Thai planted their rice).

Massaman Curry of Slow-Braised Lamb Shank with Cardamom, Shallots, Pumpkin and Tamarind - 170k. Rich Rich Rich. That would be my first three words describing this dish. The thick sauce was rich with distinctive flavors from the spices, competing to satisfy your taste buds. The tender lamb shank itself was big and generous with succulent juicy meat.
Twice-Cooked Beef Short Ribs with Sweet Fish Sauce, Cucumber and Nam Pla Prik (thai chili fish sauce) - 220k
Fortunately, I am a big big fan of coriander (I think I ate all the coriander garnishes). There was a reason for the plating of this dish. As you can see, there are two small bowls of condiments. One is ground chili, one is the fish sauce. The short ribs itself was caramelized, therefore has a pungent sweetness. The chef explained, to eat this, you must combine all the elements on the plate. So squeeze the lime all over the ribs, take a fork, pulled the strands of meat, dip it into the fish sauce and ground chili. VOILA, epiphany, ladies and gentlemen.. Pure awesomeness of foodgasm epiphany..
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. That night was no exception. As all the fun was ending, we were prepped with desserts! Jackpot!

Cocoa Ganache with Peanut Butter Palm Sugar Ice Cream and Honeycomb Crumble - 50k. One scoop to the bottom of the glass and you'll end up having all the three elements.
Durian Panna Cotta with White Sticky Rice - 50k. I love love love the panna cotta. As you chew the velvety smooth, not forgetting creamy, pudding-like consistency, the taste grew. Yes, it left a delightful after-taste as if it was growing itself in your mouth. The durian sticky rice was also fulfilling!
Even though Chef Will is no Asian, I can vouch that he knows what he's actually doing. You can definitely see the passion as he talks about his cooking, his love for what he is doing. Let's just say, it won't be the end for this comical super friendly chef. As for Chef Palm Amatawet, who is more shy compared to Will, I would say that he's the perfect side-kick. If Batman and Robin fight evil crimes, Chef Will and Chef Palm continuously make delicious food (yeah, you get what I mean) 
Additional random info : I actually took a photo with both chefs, but it was in Icha's camera. I'll upload it to my instagram once she has the time to send me the picture. 

Menara Rajawali 1st fl.
Jl. Mega Kuningan lot 5.1
South Jakarta
Ph. +6221 29023418
Opening hours: 11am - 1am

1 comment:

  1. Hai Elvina, nice to meet you ya kemaren ini. I linked your blog to mine ya, hope you don't mind :D :D