Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta
Hotel Mulia has already been known as one of the best hotels in Indonesia. Those who are fortunate enough to enjoy Mulia’s luxury should have noticed that the hotel also provides the best dining places. Every restaurant in Hotel Mulia was differentiated from each other. There is “Il Mare” which specialized in Italian cuisine, “Orient8” which offered Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean cuisine, the 24 hours dining place “The Café”, to “Table8” or “Pa Sian Cuo” which means table for 8 Gods.
The latest one, which was formerly named Samudra Shark’s Fin, is a Chinese food restaurant. According to Andry Kurniawan, Mulia’s Communications Manager, the reason behind the name change was to improve the restaurant’s facilities, the name “Shark’s Fin” also doesn’t sound like an environment friendly terms. Instead of talking directly about the food, Table8’s interior must has grabbed any visitors’ attention.
Unlike the other Chinese restaurants, Table8 goes beyond the traditional interiorwise. The dining place introduced the concept “chinoiserie”, a French term which means “Chinese-esque”, a theme in European artistic styles with Chinese artistic influence. Although the concept was already popular in the 17th century, Table8 managed to take the concept to a new level and prized as “Winner in the Fine Dining Restaurant in 2010 Hospitality Design Awards for Creative Achievement” in New York, USA. The restaurant received the award in June 2010, which is quite surprising because the restaurant had just opened in February. The best of it all, the restaurant was designed by Indonesians (Mulia designer team) and beats over 300 other competitors from all over the world.
To visualize the mixture of East meet West concept, you can see Marilyn Monroe dressed in cheongsam at the main dining room’s ceiling. The main dining room also features two of China’s most famous symbols, Pagoda and Dragon, in many of the restaurant’s ornament. But unlike the traditional Chinese red and gold theme, Table8 is using natural color of the wood, metallic silver, and ivory combined with gold. As a result, we have a more stylish, exclusive, luxurious atmosphere while maintaining the dominant Chinese influence.
Authentic Szechuan and Cantonese Cuisine
While the interior is the combination of eastern and western culture, Table8 is serving authentic Chinese food, especially the home cooking of Szechuan and Cantonese. Szechuan cuisine is generally more spicy than Cantonese which is lighter in taste. Customers can choose from a la carte menu, 7 set of exclusive menus, to the only authentic and widest line of Chinese buffet.
Some of Table8’s favorite menus are “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup”, “Braised Superior Shark’s Fin with Black Truffle and Dried Scallops served in Stone Pots”, and “Szechuan Stir-Fried Chicken Cubes with Dried Chili and Pepper Corn”. The foods are supervised by a Chinese Chef to retain the original flavor. If we’re talking about authentic Chinese food, it is difficult to avoid pork. Therefore, although the cooking utensils to cook the pork are separated, it is strongly recommended for Moslems to read carefully the menu before ordering.
Tea is a must in any Chinese restaurants. As a high end dining place, Table8 offers various imported Chinese tea and special performance by a tea master, a person who is specialized in serving the tea to customers. Using a special tea pot with very long spout, the tea master serves the tea in a very extraordinary way, his acrobatic movement is similar to what you’ve see on kung-fu movies. The ceremony is a traditional Chinese custom that has been descended through generation. Next time you dine in Table8, make sure to ask the tea master to serve you.
The Weekend Dim Sum
Dim sum is often associated with the older tradition “Yam Cha” which means drink tea. A long time ago, the travelers of the Silk Road needed resting place, therefore, many teahouses were built along the roadside. The teahouses became a resting place not only for travelers, but also for the farmers who had been working hard in the fields to drink tea. Combining tea with food was believed would lead to excessive weight gain, but when people discovered the fact that tea can aid in digestion, teahouse owners began to add various snacks. Nowadays, these snacks are what we know as dim sum.
Aside from providing the traditional dim sum menus, Table8 also offered many of its signature Dim Sums. Table8 offered the total 28 dim sum variations, Steamed Chicken and Shrimp Dumpling (Shao Mai), Steamed Prawn Dumpling (Ziao Jao), Steamed Bun with Crab Meat (Xie Lou Xiao Long Pao), Steamed Rice Roll with Prawn (Xian Xia Chang Fun), Deep-fried Prawn Dumpling served with Mayonnaise (Salud Ming Xia Jiao) and Baked Egg Tart (Tan Tat) are among the best selling dim sum in Table8.
Table8 noticed the rising popularity of dim sum and brunch among Indonesians, therefore, the restaurant offers “Weekend Dim Sum and Brunch”. With Rp 198.000++, customers can enjoy the dim sum buffet package. The promotion is only available on Saturday and Sunday from 08.00 am to 02.30 pm. Having a bite of the old Chinese traditions in a mixture of Chinese and French atmosphere should be an interesting experience. (Edwin)