30/01/2018 by Rian Farisa 0 Comments
STANDING TALL AGAINST THE TEST OF TIME
Eleven years and counting, still standing tall as ever. Meet Rosso, the envoy of high-end Italian dining from Jakarta.
We live in an era when contemporary cuisine based on creativity, quality ingredients, and delicate presentations has taken the society by storm. The interesting part is at the same time, the movement to promote local values from traditional cuisines are also gaining prominence.
From budding home cooks to professional chefs, nowadays everyone is harnessing the wide availability of information and ingredients from all over the world to conjure up innovative cuisines by creating a synergy - partly inspired by traditional dishes, using the freshest possible ingredients, and applying modern cooking techniques. Not to forget, the dishes are also aesthetically presented.
Embracing the harmony of these aspects for years of its existence is Rosso. Tucked in the corner of the lobby level of the opulent hotel, Rosso clad itself with the color of red. The many windows of it invite the sunlight, evoking the much needed warmth and intimacy thanks to the gray skies Jakarta this rainy season.
There’s a light touch of Renaissance era found from the paintings on the ceiling of the restaurant. The elegant dining room is juxtaposed side-by-side with the lounge and the bar. In the back, an open kitchen for pasta and pizza serves also as a showroom for a wide collection of antipasti, cheese, and cold cuts available for lunchtime and Sunday brunch.
My virgin flight with Rosso started from a Sunday brunch back in 2008 during the time of Chef Alessandro Santi. It was deemed a rare find to be able to enjoy brunch culture back then in Jakarta. The next few years brought me to know chefs Oriana Tirabassi and her successor Paolo Gionfriddo, whom the former actually taught me personally about the many types of Italian cheese and further appreciation for an Italian element that always eludes me - gnocchi. Finally in 2016, Chef Gianfranco Pirrone reigns supreme.
Hailing from Sicily, Chef Franco is breathing his homeland’s charms and the best from twenty Italian regional cuisines to Rosso’s ever-evolving artistry. This January 2018, he will be unveiling a fresh lineup for the menu.
“Firstly - the Gourmet Pizza, which is the current hype in Italy. The concept itself is to elevate pizza to a new level. For example, by using porcini or foie gras as the topping. Or one can also use beef tartare and even applying scallop and lobster on a blackened pizza. I’m planning to introduce this as an appetizer”, explained Chef Franco.
Among the many varieties of fresh pasta available at Rosso, Chef Franco decided that 2018 would be a great start to introduce his childhood favorite - the cappelletti. Shaped like small hats, as the name implies, each cappelletti is filled with thickened lamb ragout and paired with creamy parmesan sauce and truffle butter.
“The cappelletti represents my family Sunday brunch back in Italy. Usually it was cooked by my mother or grandmother. This time I made a twist with the filling and the sauce for our guests”, shared the chef.
Growing up with his family foodie culture also inspired him to share other favorite recipes such as the veal tenderloin with walnut sauce and the perfectly cooked Australian tenderloin with gorgonzola sauce and roasted potatoes with caramelized shallots. For the desserts, the seemingly simple chocolate foam with coffee sauce, apricot, and mint actually delivers a sweet and satisfying ending from the whole ensemble.
Chef Franco also shared his other plans. “We are improving our Sunday Brunch from time to time. We try to limit the size of the buffet but we compensate it by presenting only the best produce. Cheese, cold cuts, mini ala carte dishes are available at your disposal. We try to serve our guests freshly cooked fish, meat, and pasta.”
“Additionally, we still have the risotto and pasta cooked on parmesan wheel every Sunday. I have also an idea to bring this concept for dinner. I want to present it to the guest personally by using the trolley. Let’s see if they will like it”, says Chef Franco confidently.
Rosso of Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta has become a role model for other Italian restaurants in Jakarta and has been so for the past eleven years of its existence. It is apparent that Rosso never shies away from the face of competition and today, what it presents us is a testament about how the preservation of pride and authenticity of traditional Italian cuisine can adapt harmoniously with the ever-changing dynamics of modern restaurant business.