First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Yusuf Tanuwiria for inviting me to this foodtasting event. It's truly an honour.
Well that day I was invited along with other fellow foodies to experience Modern Mexican Kitchen, 3 course Lunch Express Blogger Gathering Event at Bengawan - Keraton at The Plaza Hotel. I, myself, never had Mexican food besides Tacos, and this invitation has truly made me so eager to come.
Bengawan itself is located at the 7th floor of the Keraton at The Plaza Hotel.
The interior was elegant. It has a touch of sophistication but with that comes along that simplicity touch. Modernly artistic and sure is comfortable. There is a bar on the left side and the buffet tables are on the right.
There is also an outdoor dining area, which in my opinion is a great place to sit. Even though it was freakin' hot that day but the outdoor dining area felt cool and really comfortable, and the view was also excellent too. So you should really try it.
Well, enough talking about the spectacular interior, so let's start talking about the food shall we?
For this event, I've got the chance to try the Express Lunch Menu which is labeled under the price tag of IDR 150K nett/person. It's a 3 course lunch set, so I will get starters, main courses, and also desserts. Sounds yummy right?
Let's start with the appetizers.
The Tortilla Chips were given as a welcome snack, and truly it was so addictively delicious. It's crunchy and savory. It also came with 3 kinds of dipping sauce: red salsa, green salsa, and sour cream. They all tasted good.
Sopa de Tortilla
This soup was just awesome. It's creamy and so savory. The chicken was incredibly delicious and I love the use of tortilla strips here. It really gave another texture sensation in every chew. This was just a dish that I can't get enough. I just want to keep putting a mouthful and another mouthful. Yes, it was soo good!
Guacamole is just something you've got to try when you talk about Mexican dish. It's like a signature dish not to be missed. And surely this one tasted exremely nice. My first time ever to have Guacamole and I was pleased that Bengawan did an excellent job in serving this dish. It's so fresh, buttery and savory too. Actually this Guacamole is made from the best-riped Mexican avocado, so it's guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds!
Now moving on to the main course.
There were 2 kinds of Grilled Quesadillas presented to me that day. This one is the Steak, which uses beef as its choice of protein. For this one, the tortilla is red-ish colored. The taste was awesome. The beef chunks were seasoned perfectly and the use of chipotle (smoke-dried jalapeno) just elevated the flavor in a nice way. It came also with the red salsa sauce and the sour cream sauce. Highly recommended.
This one came with the chicken fillings. It's also nice. The chicken was cut into dice so it's more easy to bite. The taste was delicious, and it also came with the red salsa sauce and the sour cream sauce.
There were 2 kinds of tacos I tried that day. As you see above, the one on the left is the Lamb Birria which filling was the leg of lamb slowly braised for 12 hours. Yeah it's true, 12 hours! Then it was served on a soft or crispy corn tortillas, Mexican rice and re-fried pinto beans. The lamb is absolutely delicious. Being braised for 12 hours resulted in a nice tender but still juicy lamb. For my palate it was just so delicate.
The one on the right is the Carne Asada which filling was beef steak diced cut and served on the same corn tortillas, Mexican rice, and re-fried pinto beans as the Lamb Birria. The taste was just as phenomenal as the Lamb Birria. It's a must try menu.
Iron Skillet Fajitas
This menu has several components. First you have the flour tortillas as the wrapper, the Mexican rice and also the Hanger Steak. How to eat it is you take the flour tortilla then you put the Mexican rice, the Hanger Steak, and maybe some Guacamole or Salsa on top of the tortilla. Then you fold the tortilla and eat it altogether. It's a new experience for me and I eventually loved how all the flavors come together. It's bursting with flavors in my mouth. The Hanger Steak was quite salty but it combined so well with the Mexican rice. And the Guacamole I put in it just made the savoriness more perfect.
Now finally my favourite part, the dessert.
Cinnamon Sugar Churros
Churros can be considered as one of the most hippest dessert these days. And I do love churros. But the churros here are on another level. Visually it looked more chunky, more fat, unlike those long slim churros you might see at other places. Never be fooled by its appearance because it's just heavenly delicious. The crispy skin and the sugar coating are just sweet-tooth indulgement. It came with 3 dipping sauces: Cajeta (Goat Milk) Caramel, White Chocolate, and Chunky Mango Compote. My favourite dipping sauce that day was the Chunky Mango Compote because it has that sourly taste that gave the churros an exciting sweet-sour taste. But I have to say the two other dipping sauce were mind blowing too.
Visually they looked stunning right? Tastewise they were as exceptional. The sweetness was just fine, not to over-blowing. The texture was soft and fluffy. And the caramel "crown" gave it a nice crispy texture that complimented the flan really well.
And you can opt for 3 choices of flavor: vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio caramel crunch.
Moving on to the beverages.
Awesomely refreshing. Perfect sugar level too.
The Ice Tea came with liquid sugar in a separated small cup. Surprisingly, it was served in a big tall glass. The taste of the tea was pretty decent too, but still I love sweet tea more.
Mixed Berry Tea
This one was ordered by my blogger friend and I didn't get the chance to tasted it. But my blogger friend told me it had a punch of sourness inside. And it must have tasted good since he really finished up the entire glass. Btw, this was also served in a big tall glass.
And the foodtasting event got more perfect because we had the chance to talk to the Culinary Director of Bengawan, Chef Lamberto Valdes Lara. Here are some snapshots of him.
We really learned a lot from him about Mexican cuisine. He even taught us about tortillas.
So finally this concludes my review about the Mexican dining experience I had at Bengawan - Keraton at The Plaza Hotel. Truly this was a great lunch. All the foods were exquisite.
It's a good deal for only IDR 150K you will get 3 delicious lunch course menu. Give it a try!
Keep on chewing!
Bengawan - Keraton at The Plaza
Keraton at The Plaza, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Phone: (021) 5068 0000
Jl. MH. Thamrin No. 15
Jakarta Pusat 10350