Wine connoisseurs are already familiar with VIN+ for a glass or two of chardonnay on warmer days, merlot and cabernet sauvignon on cool evenings, or other wines for different occasions. One thing that wine lovers and foodies should remember more often about the establishment, however, is its food as some kind of a “secret weapon”.
The wine spot is gaining popularity as a place for good food as well, not to mention with their executive chefs who always come up with appetizing food to go with the wine.
VIN+ recently showcased the talents of its executive chefs, namely chef Deni Sugiarto of VIN+ Kemang and chef Djoko Sarwono of VIN+ Arcadia. The chefs were joined by guest chef Ronald Tokilov of Chef’s Room Espresso & Kitchen, Glaze Grill, and Bali Cardamon in Bali.
The chef collaboration dinner was titled “Tasty Synergy”, presenting a six-course set menu inspired by Indonesian food. Despite it being the first time for the Jakarta-based chefs to meet their Bali-based fellow, collaboration went smoothly and the dinner had been promising from the start.
“We have to put our ego aside,” answered Djoko when The Jakarta Post asked about their secret to a smooth collaboration.
The three chefs sat together with the Post, red wines in the hands of Deni and Ronald, as we talked about each memorable course on the menu. There were pan-seared scallops with slow-cooked baby squid, served with asinan (pickled fruits or vegetables with vinegar-based sauce) salad and prawn curry. That particular menu, a creation of Deni’s, was paired with Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay, bursting with freshness and preparing diners to indulge further into the dinner.
Oxtail ravioli blacknut juice, filled with mixed vegetable and served with salted quail egg was a contemporary version of Indonesia’s rawon beef soup by Djoko. The strong original taste of the soup had been modified to be able to match well with its wine pair, also the chardonnay.
Deni, Djoko, and Ronald agreed that in order for Indonesian food to pair well with wines, the original flavors from the herbs and spices must be made lighter. The food cannot be too spicy or too strong, while hints of those herbs and spices are still present.
Many different elements are presented with the main course, black cod fish infused with roasted coriander citrus juice. Created by Ronald the guest chef, this food is inspired by spices commonly found in Padang food. The tomato confit in this dish stole attention, and Ronald pointed out that it is local.
“The tomatoes are commonly found in traditional markets. Just look for TW tomatoes. Add salt and herbs, and leave it to bake in the oven,” said Ronald.
Other elements that stole the limelight from two other main courses were the mushroom pepes (mushroom wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed) from the kampong chicken roll dish, and the grilled full-blood wagyu spice herb from the three eyes beef wagyu. These two dishes were the result of the chefs’ collaboration.
“We decided together every element for the dish, split focus for each element, and taste each other’s works,” explained Ronald about their work distribution.
Chocolate curry mousse for dessert was a bold ending by Ronald. The chef took a risk by adding green pepper corn sauce, infused in Cointreau and orange. Peppercorn seeds appeared on the plate, to be savored one by one after each spoonful of the chocolate mousse, coconut tart vanilla ice cream, and sticky dodol (sweet toffee-like palm sugar-based confection) from Singaraja, Bali.