From Street to Fine-Dining, Chef Herwan Setiawan From Mercure Hotel Cikini Talks About Elevated Street Food

Sunday, 17 November 2019 | 08:36 WIB
  • From Street to Fine-Dining: Chef Herwan Setiawan From Mercure Hotel Cikini Talks About His View in Street Food
    From Street to Fine-Dining: Chef Herwan Setiawan From Mercure Hotel Cikini Talks About His View in Street Food

    Chef Herwan changed bad reputation of local street food from dirty food to fine-dining delicacy
    Chef Herwan changed bad reputation of local street food from dirty food to fine-dining delicacy

    I remodel street food to be fancier by making it visually appealing, by using garnishes or purees. Also, I fuse Indonesian and western foods without reducing local flavors of the dish. For example, this month's promo is Fried Rice Fiesta. It is a special event where we exhibit authentic creations of traditional fried rice but with fancy plating and a little bit western touch. 

    What do you do to make foreign tourist familiar to Indonesian food? As we know, the latter is known for its eclecticness in flavors and spiciness, which some people don't like. 

    Most of the time, I substitute some ingredients whose fragrant and flavors are similar. You never find bitter bean in any hotel dinings, but it is an important component in some foods, especially Indonesian foods. Therefore, I replace bitter bean with mushrooms. Both share the same texture and flavor, but mushroom doesn't have pungent smell like bitter bean.

    For some cases like ayam taliwang, I add some veggies to tone down the spiciness. Surprisingly, it works. Ayam Taliwang was our best-seller dish for past few months among overseas tourists. 

    Quoted your statement on online media "Indonesian food is the most challenging cuisine I have ever created", why is that?

    Sera B
    David Togatorop
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