It was a quiet Sunday morning and I longed for an elegant lunch with a touch of class. So here we go, AW Kitchen, a pasta house by Akira Watanabe that is located at Plaza Senayan! This place is a replacement tenant to Avorio, a trattoria I also used to love coming to. Let's hope this change is for the better!
By the way, I've come to this place two times already: with friends and by food blogger invitation. Thanks to AW Kitchen's generosity, now I have the opportunity to give you guys a thorough review!
You can see that the interior is somewhat intriguing: not so classic, but also not too upscale: it's just the right mix of a modern western bistro with a touch of Japanese accent. Truly a remarkable, yet simple concept.
See, these ornaments of lights are one of the things that accentuates its Japanese origin, despite the western influence seems to have more say in this place.
The 2nd time I visited this place with my fellow food bloggers, we were taken to sit inside the VIP room! Apologies since I so clumsily, I don't know how, didn't take any picture of the room.
You can see from the seating that they're not providing a grandeur sofas or other overwhelmingly luxury furniture: just keeping it simple, neat, and humble. Down to earth yet comfortable.
Here's the open kitchen! Truly outstanding by the time I see the pizza oven! I also love how it goes well with the tableware and walls! Old school!
Do you get what I'm talking about the walls? They're so ambitious about this despite the simple furniture they're using!
Now getting on into the tasting: thick hot chocolate to accompany some pasta! It's a good glass of chocolate despite me expecting a proper, thick Italian chocolate. However! this one is also good, not in an extraordinary way, but in the way that you'd like.
HONEY TOMATO BRUSCHETTA
Now this is one hell of an appetizer! Might look as simple as another bruschetta visually, but let me tell you: this one tops the others in so many levels! The freshest tomatoes that are sweet, perfectly textured bruschetta, and fresh honey! They also use some kind of nuts here which type I'm not really familiar with. How are they eaten in one bite? Class. I'm at a loss of words!
FRIED FISH BALL WITH SHRIMP AND SCALLOP IDR 85K
This might look confusing to you as it looks just like ornaments with something red and stuffs..But this one's another mind blowing dish that will make your tongue dance. Luxurious! You'll get the fresh taste of seafood inside the crunchy batter with a splash of sour sauce: I don't know what it's made of, but it's like a classic sweet and sour with a strong citrus taste instead of tomato. Elegant and beautifully harmonic.
BLACK ANGUS BEEF TATAKI WITH SOY TRUFFLE SAUCE IDR 108K
Now let's talk about luxury: this plate says it all! It's a japanese style salad, as they use black angus beef tataki as the main actor, supported by savory and aromatic soy truffle sauce. Oriental, fresh, authentic! They recommended two ways of eating it: whether you want to eat them separately, or to mix the softly minced black angus tataki and blend it to the greens. I chose the latter! I'm so interested in mixing ingredients because I believe that a different kind of harmony and new taste could be born in mixing different ingredients into making a new one. How this works on this menu, you say? I'd say splendid!
TUNA SALAD WITH JAPANESE RADISH SAUCE IDR 65K
This is somewhat unique for a salad! When I first heard about radish sauce, I imagined something weird tasting, but this one is perfect. It tasted so good despite me being at a loss of words of how to describe its actual taste in my palate. However, you can just see how it is visually: lightly baked tuna on fresh greens smeared with a touch of uniqueness and originality. Respect.
LINGUINE MUSHROOM CARBONARA IDR 82K
Into the main! Note that this is a "pasta house" so we ordered most of its specialty: pasta! This one is a classic, just linguine in carbonara sauce, grated parmesan cheese, herbs, and mushrooms. However! Don't let the plain presentation fool you as it was cooked so perfectly in every way that it's flawless!
SPAGHETTINI IN GARLIC OIL WITH SPICY COD ROE & JAPANESE MUSHROOMS IDR 138K
My personal favorite is here! This totally caught my eye as we wouldn't see this kind of pasta in an Italian trattoria! This one is a Japanese: garlic oil with spicy cod roe. Stir all the toppings into one and you'd taste the great harmony of Japan: fresh nori and mushrooms wed with the spiciness of savory, luxurious cod roe.
SPAGHETTINI PESCATORE IDR 148K
This is yet another classic that excels! Seafood spaghetti in spicy&sour base sauce: The perfect kind of sauce that unleashes the best taste and aroma of clams, prawns, and squid. Don't have much to say as you can only swim at the sea of goodness and try not to be drowned. It's more into savory rather than freshly sour, as some tomato based pasta offers. I personally prefer this one though! Set sail!
RISOTTO IN IKASUMI SAUCE (ARROW SQUID INK) IDR 88K
Now this is also one of my favorite: as a big, big enthusiast of risotto, I'm really strict with this one, and this one deliberately gets past any ill judgement of mine! Delicious on so many levels in the goodness of "Ika" heaven. Note that ikasumi means squid ink, so it's like they're having every bit of element they have in squid: savory sauce and chewy squid meat in greatly cooked arborio rice, blended with the richness of fgrated parmesan cheese. One of the best I've ever tasted. Majestic!
BLACK ANGUS SIRLOIN BEEF IDR 198K
They say happiness is simple. As simple as diced sirloin steak from a black angus grade beef: cooked in medium, saikoro style. A huff of disappointment has to come after the high expectation I placed though. It has 3 choice of sauces: porcini, wasabi, and ginger sauce. I'm not a good fan of wasabi, but all of them tasted good. It was just that the meat was slightly hard to chew and not as tender as my expectation.
PANNA COTTA & BERRY SAUCE IDR 58K
Perfection. That's what I've been thinking about this place. Japan is famous not only for its pasta; but also for their passion in dessert making. This panna cotta might look simple to the eye, but you can't comprehend how well made it actually is just by seeing it. fresh berries reinforced with actual berry sauce in the tender, sweet, and uniquely textured, rich in milk panna cotta that would melt inside your mouth... *gulp*
CHOCOLATE PROFITEROLE IDR 68K
Profiterole! That's puff pastry with vanilla custard inside: crunchy on the outside, but once you've got a bite, it's a waterfall of flavor! Sweet vanilla, slightly bitter chocolate, and sour orange and strawberry that would totally cleanse your palate to a heavenly end of a meal! If you've tried the traditional "kue soes" of Indonesia, you might not be impressed so much with this one though, as they share a similar taste. But I love the plating!
BANANA & STRAWBERRY TIRAMISU IDR 68K
Lastly, there's this unique tiramisu that gives off three combination of flavor: tiramisu, banana, and strawberry. There are two shapes of them within these photos: I've got to make a late confession... I went here two times! Once with my friends and another as an invited guest (Honored! Thank you so much to the generous AW Kitchen representatives!) But I'm still impressed with the taste! This one is a tricky one though: I think the banana and strawberry kinda overwhelms the taste of the tiramisu itself as they emit such a fruity taste.
How about it? I don't think I even need to mention! If I had something to comment, maybe it's just that their main course is soooo good that their desserts (which is also good) still needs to catch up to their main course's extraordinary quality! Hold your saliva as we're at the end of the journey! Just come to this place and fulfill your satiation, okay? See you there!
AW Kitchen by Akira Watanabe Pasta House
Plaza Senayan 4th. fl
Jl. Asia Afrika No.9
Jakarta Selatan 10270
Opening Hours : 10am - 10pm