It’s obviously the month of Ramadhan and I usually have this so-called “ritual” where I love to go to restaurants because I believe they usually have this special Ramadhan menus. I don't do fasting, but I just love and appreciate the moments where I can gather with my Muslim friends and break the fasting together over good talks (read: gossip, because after 6 PM usually it goes a little wild... and good food). My experience with last year was pretty splendid, but last year I did more hotels than individual restaurants, and this time I wanna surf them more, well since I haven’t done the review of Canteen Pacific Place, guess this would be the right time and the right post!
Located inside the Aksara bookstore in Pacific Place, Canteen is not the typical shabby canteen if you’re referring to it, now this is Canteen with capital “C” (if that makes sense LOL). I think Canteen has been one of my most favorite places to go whenever I wanna have a chill and relaxing weekend with my close friends over good food and good drinks, and FYI Canteen is also managed by the UNION group and their restaurants have been very popular among Jakartans and maybe expats here, so hands down for their existence in the biz. Anyway, had a big lunch and also sampled some of their new and Ramadhan menus, so enough yakking and let’s DIG IN!
Chicken Spring Roll with Vietnamese “Nuoc Cham”
I was really surprised by how delicious this Chicken Spring Roll, but then I proceed to think that Canteen and E&O (which is my NUMBER ONE best restaurant in Jakarta at the moment) are under the same group, so they might be influencing one another in a good way. The coating was crispy and the filling was cooked and seasoned perfectly: savory & fresh! The “Nuoc Cham” or Vietnamese dipping sauce had this good balance of sweetness with a touch of salty, sour and savory. With or without the dipping sauce, it’s equally good. I recommend!
Quiona Greek Salad
I have this fascination over salads with generous amount of Arugula (rocket leaves) in it and this one was just it! Fresh salad with feta cheese topping, light mayo dressing and generous Quiona seeds, good balance and let the freshness of the ingredients speaks for themselves.
Crispy Chicken Burger with BBQ Sauce
For those who love burgers, you might wanna check this one out! The crispy chicken was cooked beautifully with semi-crispy coating and generous BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce might be slightly sweeter than I expected, but that wasn’t exactly a bad thing, I still found myself enjoying it.
Smoked Salmon and Spinach Pizza
This was one of my favorite menus here, well I am an avid fan of salmon pizza and spinach, and what made this even more special was the generous truffle oil dressing, the crust of pizza was thin, hence the texture was crispy and crunchy and topped with all the goodness: smoked salmon, Mozarella, spinach and truffle oil. YUM IT IS, and for IDR 70k, good deal!
Oxtail Linguini with Leeks and Chili Flakes
Another favorite of mine must be this oxtail linguini of theirs. There’s a thin line between lightly seasoned and bland, but for my palate, this pasta dish was very lightly seasoned (which I love), but some might relatively translated it to “bland”, which then leads to a bad impression. The reason behind it was because I think they wanted to emphasize more on how the freshness of the oxtail could do a big role in enhancing the flavor and for me that works and I think I was align with them on this one. Love the generous Arugula topping it’s almost yummy and very healthy.
Seared Barramundi “Woku Belanga” with Jasmine Rice
This was hands down, my favorite of the day! I think it was the fact that I love fish and nicely executed Indonesian food that really led me in declaring this as my favorite. I don’t know if Canteen would permanently have Indonesian menus in their list, but I think it’s such a good move that Canteen came with that idea because the results were quite serious. The fish was incredible: perfectly cooked with soft meat, and the gulai dressing was really that “it” factor that made this dish very enjoyable and worth trying. I highly recommend this one for you guys to try.
Chicken Taliwang with Sambal Matah
When it got served on the table, the size of the chicken did come to my surprise because it was pretty big for a quarter (might not exactly shown on the picture), but then they explained that they used high quality Kampong chicken, and by the way, that quality reflected on the tender chicken with tasty Taliwang dressing. Normally Taliwang dressing has this blend of sweet and spicy (some could even go crazy spicy), but Canteen’s version was pretty mild because they want to let their homemade sambal matah to do all the spicy works! Their sambah matah had this unique fragrant that I couldn’t indentify but in a good way of course.
Chocolate Pannacotta with Strawberry Sorbet
Their chocolate pannacotta should be married to the strawberry sorbet because the blending was very good! Rich chocolate in perfectly executed creamy pannacotta was balanced and sort of washed out by the sweet and light strawberry sorbet. DA YUM!
Date Cake with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Had a date on my lunch! Well, literally because I was referring to the date fruit. Date is a highly famous fruit originated from the middle east, but here we call it “kurma”, and Canteen came with just the perfect date cake to celebrate Ramadhan, and when I say perfect I mean moist, slightly fluffy, perfectly sweet and just yummy! The date cake somehow reminded me of carrot cake (which is good because I bloddy love carrot cake) and the cinnamon ice cream pairing was just genius. Slighly sweet but it was good... and I actually kinda crave for it right now.
Citrus Tart with Italian Meringue and Basil Lemon Ice Cream
Now this dessert was interesting, I thought this was mistakenly delivered because I didn’t (and would never) order cheese cake, but as soon as I tried it, the cream was not cheese and instead, a milky dessert cream. I suggest having it in one scoop along with their ice cream because then you’ll understand the concept and balance. The bomb for me was clearly the basil lemon ice cream, it was heavenly delicious and they should really have this as an individual menu!
IDR 40 K
One photogenic coffee beverage like you’ve never seen before! So Canteen has been partnering with Toby’s Estate for their coffee beverages and boy it was a good move. I mean Toby’s Estate has been very well known for their well roasted coffee beans and good quality coffee, their beans and a good brew could easily impress coffee enthusiats I believe. Canteen has this drink called “Day’s Mocha” and it was named under their barista, Day, who invented this. It’s actually vanilla ice cream with Espresso popsicle (extremely cute), fresh milk and melted chocolate in gorgeous presentation. The flavor? I was sold. This was very good and good thing you can set how much milk & chocolate you need, but as for me, I wouldn’t mind mix every single thing, I even use the milk to wash the excess chocolate and blend everything in!
After a quick scan of their menu, I realized THEY COMPLETELY REMOVED THE PORK DISHES, after further clarifications, they don’t only temporarily do this while it’s align with the Ramadhan, but (yet) permanently removed the pork menus! I guess they want to grab more customers in the market and welcome everyone in.
I don’t think I have anything negative to say, my lunch was splendid, I had good companies (and maybe that’s the main reason why my lunch was really enjoyable) and I think their Ramadhan menus are pretty good, if you’re running out of ideas where to go for “ngabuburit” or break the fasting, Canteen must be a good place that I fully recommend.
It was published in http://eatandtreats.blogspot.com/ by Stanislaus Hans