Text by Erza S.T., Photos by Ramadhan
Among the superior five-star hotels in town, Hotel Borobudur Jakarta remains one of the most popular establishments to go, whether for a formal event or a simple gathering with friends. It is fascinating that this hotel has operated for over 36 years and is still running so strong. The revamped Teratai could be one of the reasons.
In the past few years, the hotel has been busy reinventing itself to keep up with the competition and most of the rooms and their restaurant outlets now have a whole new look. The birthplace of their legendary oxtail soup, Bogor Café, was the first one which went under the knife, and this year, the hotel successfully rejuvenated another prominent outlet, their Chinese restaurant, Teratai.
During its heyday, Teratai appeared in bright-sponged apricot walls and golden accents, a style that was pretty much adored in the nineties. After their multi-billion rupiah renovation, Teratai was finally back in business during October looking more stunning than ever. Roland Adam, who designed the new Teratai, has given the restaurant a more up-to-date modern and clean look that is dominated in white and wooden elements. Not only that, but he has also expanded the restaurant with a result that is spacious, chic and separated into lounge, dining and private room areas. This restaurant even has a mini Chinese garden to complete its new look. “Teratai has not simply undergone a renovation, but it has actually become a new restaurant,” said the General Manager, Poul Bitsch.
The original Teratai gained a great reputation for its food consistency and taste. Popular dishes such as Teratai’s special roast chicken with garlic soy sauce dip, deep-fried prawns with mayonnaise and Hong Kong style roast duck remain worthy of mention. To them I would add the wonderful long bean deep-fried on egg yolk which was so addictive. However, this was the old Teratai. The new venue is moving in a modern Cantonese direction and introduces us to a completely new menu from dim sum to dessert, snack, dining and set menus. These are very extensive and offer close to 100 selections of Cantonese dishes.
I spent the first 15 minutes digesting the menu but finally gave up as there was way too much to choose from, so I decided to do it an easier way by requesting the presence of Teratai’s Restaurant Manager, Mr. Richard Chau, to recommend the highlights. It was a great decision and the result was more than satisfying.
The appetizer sampler arrived in a very stylish manner, serving seared foie gras with soya honey sauce, fried shrimp with green horseradish and basil seeds, and crispy roast duck with fresh herb salad. By this time it is quite obvious to me that the new Teratai direction has gone not only modern, but also with a twist of western fusion. Nevertheless classic dish selections are available for those who have more conservative tastes. During my review, the lo han cai mix of veggies, fish mau, bamboo fungus and mixed mushrooms from the classic selection was really worth trying.
It is quite a relief to know that the cooking remains technically accurate in all the important fundamentals. Thanks to three chefs from Hong Kong: Alex Kwok (Executive Chinese Chef), Winson Yao (Assistant Executive Chinese Chef) and Steven Low (Chinese Dim Sum Chef), Teratai not only has upgraded it look, but also increased the creativity and the range of food. One of the new dishes that must not to be missed is the deep friend durian that has become an instant favorite amongst their discerning clientele.
Mr. Poul Bitsch was right. Teratai indeed has bloomed into a new restaurant and its delicious food with great ambiance will surely seduce Jakarta people back again for more.
Teratai Chinese Restaurant
Hotel Borobudur Jakarta,
Jl. Lapangan Banteng Selatan,
Tel: +62 21 380 5555