..It's a journey after all.. : Food and Travel Blog based in Jakarta: Shammah: JS Luwansa's Mediterranean Jewel...

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Shammah: JS Luwansa's Mediterranean Jewel...

Having been questioned by the five stars hotels, JS Luwansa, a newly opened four stars hotel, promptly had the honor to welcome our President, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, after just being publicly accessible. Not only being strategic due to the location in the midst of Rasuna Said Road, which is one of the office spheres in Jakarta, it is also promising excellent and sincere hospitality services.

Credits to Ellyna from Culinary Bonanza, I had the courtesy to try out a few of their menu in one of the hotel ala carte restaurants, named Shammah. Deriving from a Hebrew biblical word, it has both the meaning of Christian transliteration to be present, which falls into ‘Jehovah is there for a more detailed context and one of the names of King David’s mighty men.  Despite its spiritual context, the restaurant serves exotic Middle Eastern dishes with Asian and European fusions.

Able to be observed from outside, due to being located right next to the lobby and having a majestic see through pillared glass wall, the restaurant has a yellow tone warmth with the dominance of minimalist interior, bright with orange colour. It has successfully accentuated both comfort and simplicity without too much hassle.

Blue napkin ring represents the iconic colour of JS Luwansa Hotel...
Shisha, anyone?
Since it was hosted in the Ramadan month (yes this is such a late post), we were served with Ramadan Set Menu, which was a compilation feast of the favorite dishes in Shammah and new dishes that haven’t even been listed in the regular menu.

I was actually quite glad that we shared all the main courses as they were all family style main courses. Talking about a huge lobster in a plate, a thick slice of beef medallion, yeah, you get the idea, right?

For starters, we had Duo Ahi Tuna (60k) and Country Pea Soup with crispy Pancetta.

A combination of sesame seared tuna with ginger soy dressing and spicy ahi poke with seaweed, shallot, scallion and bits of chili. As much as I enjoyed the approach of cooperating the same element in two different styles, I found my tuna too salty compared to other's. Aside from that, I was very much impressed with the freshness of the raw fish and the balance between the mild heat from the ginger and chili, the alluring fragrance of sesame oil from the ahi poke and the sesame seed from the seared tuna. The sesame seed outer layer and seaweed itself gave a bit of a crunch for the benefit of texture.

Classic pea soup with croutons and crispy beef pancetta. Grainy as a result from the peas blended into this bowl of smooth silky broth. I have never been a fan of pea soup as I have never been a fan of their natural sweetness in liquid form. The others seemed to enjoyed it, whilst my bias continued to cloud my perspective. 

Forwarding to the main courses...

Surf and Turf : Baked Lobster and Mushroom Crusted Medallion with Baby Kailan, Potato Risotto and Red Wine Sauce.
Not just combining meat and seafood as a requirement of a surf and turf, this version came with a more higher standard and a rather peculiar Asian fusion peek-a-boo. A thick slice of tender beef medallion (also known as fillet mignon) and moist lobster, so far everything seemed normal and very western. Then came the kailan and potato risotto, where one comes with a strong Chinese background and the latter sounded like a classic Italian modification. Don't get me wrong, I love the potato risotto, I think it's phenomenally creative. Instead of using risotto rice, the chef substituted it with roughly mashed potatoes. But why the kailan? It has made the impression of putting a half-hearted effort to make it looked fusion. Broccoli makes much more sense.

Braised Rosemary Lamb Shank(128k) with garlic mashed potato, vegetables, and sauce from the braising process
Despite its gigantic size of the shank itself, the enormousness also came from the flavor. The natural thick sauce from the braising process enriched the meat itself. Perfectly tender, moist and exceptionally gorgeous. This has been the guests' favorite order and there's no question in matters to that..

Paella Mixta (120k) : Seared, Braised, Simmered in a Shrimp Saffron Broth with Peas with Beef on the side.
 I was hoping for a 'ready to eat from the pan' paella but this one wasn't such a letdown. Bright orange from the saffron made the paella looked so appetizing.

Mahsawi Mushakala: Selection of grilled tenderloin, lamb chop, and chicken with grilled tomato, eggplant, paprika and rice
 As one of the requirements of a Mashawi plate, they got to have barbecued meat and poultry. Only tried a bit of the tenderloin, though. I was quite amused by the effort of the chef making this dish more Arabic. Instead of serving the meat in skewers, he served the veggies shish kabob style.

Mashawi Bahria : A selection of grilled lobster, prawns, and snapper with grilled tomato, eggplant, paprika and sayadieh rice
Same as the previous Mashawi, only with different types of proteins and rice. The Sayadieh rice has a strong hint of clove fragrant, making it significantly Middle Eastern. 

Green Tea Crepe Cake
Creamy green tea crepe paired with citrus mango sauce. A sweet ending for a sweet tooth, indeed. Though the cream was a bit heavy and too thick for my preference, this slice served its justice rightly.

The night was a round up set of good meals. The prices are soon to be advised and it approximately ranges from Rp100.000-200.000 for the family style main courses. It is advised to make prior call before dining in as Shammah is only available for dinner.

Shammah Restaurant
JS Luwansa Hotel
Jl. H.R.Rasuna Said Kav. C-22
Kuningan, South Jakarta
(021) 29543030 ext. 6699

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