Culinary Memoirs of A Biologist Who Loves Food

Posts tagged “salmon

Viking Delicacies 101 – Viking Restaurant Harald

Uhm… everyone who watched Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon movie franchise probably ever heard this:

“This is Berk. It snows nine months of the year, and hails the other three. Any food that grows here is tough and tasteless…” – Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III

No… no… I don’t mention about the dragons. I mentioned about the tribe on which Hiccup, the protagonist of this film affiliated with: The Viking. Go browse about them, so… yes… they occupied the northern area of Europe until Greenland… and if I correct, even until the coast of Newfoundland. It’s basically true, then… they were settling in very cold area. Sure, they had to be tough, or perished. Now my common question: So what did they eat??

Lucky for me in this town of Turku, there’s a restaurant that selling Viking originated cuisines! Viikinkiravintola Harald (FI: Viking Restaurant Harald). The name comes from King of Norway, Harald Fairhair who ruled during Viking period in 872-930 AD.

First time I ate here is on April 21st, 2016.

Harald (1)

Front view.

The front view of this restaurant (Turku branch), is probably won’t telling you much about anything on the inside, but once you stepped in… you’ll see the wonder inside.

Harald (2)

First floor – Where you stepped your feet in. I feel already like in a ship or a chieftain’s lodge.

Harald (3)

From the stairway to the seating area in the second floor. The feelings intensify…

Harald (4)

Harald (5)

Harald (6)

Dining area. You can feel the atmosphere of a Viking gathering hall or hunting lodge in this room.

So I was there for the first time for my lunch. I walked upstairs, a waitress warmly greet me and took me to my seat. She was on a medieval clothing. For lunch, we offered a price of 12.50 euros for three kind of set; I forgot what are those… but I choose the combination of mushroom soup, salmon steak, and for the drink… I bought extra drink called Miklagård’s Drink (in lunch set, we got free water).

VH - Cep and Chanterelles Soup (1)

Cep and Chanterelles soup of Northern Forest (lunch version)

First meal of my lunch is a mushroom soup served with archipelago bread. Although it mentioned only as mushroom soup, I do believe it is the small version of Cep and Chanterelles soup of Northern Forest which description written in the menu. Let’s say, norther area of Viking territory can be sea, icy regions, and forests. I believe in the northern cape of Norway or Finland at the time, it covered by forest. Of course, one of forest product is mushroom. Cep (Boletus edulis Bull.) and chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius Fr.) are both mycorrhizal fungi that grow in symbiotic relationship with trees in coniferous and deciduous forest. Cep is a perfect mushroom for soup or risotto. Chanterelle is a yellow trumpet-shaped mushroom, known by chefs for its fragrance that resembles apricot and mild peppery taste. Combined as creamy soup, the flavour is just wonderful. The archipelago bread here is made with rye and some malt. Unlike normal dry rye bread, this one is soft, emitting some sweet taste with a bit of bitterness and signature fragrance of rye. Compared to normal European dinner white bread and baguette, this rye bread’s unique taste give its own nice combination with the soup.

VH - Lunch - Salmon

Salmon steak for lunch.

The salmon steak served with creamy sauce, sweet root vegetables and fried potato cylinders. The salmon is really good and the sauce topped the tastes. To balance the palate, the sweetness of carrot… and turnip (I’m not really sure) makes your tongue happy. In the end, I love to wipe the remaining sauce with the potato. Yum!

Okay… what a perfect lunch!

But that’s not enough…

Later that afternoon, I stepped myself for early dinner. Table for one with some space left in my belly!

This time, I ordered one a la carte set course, it called ‘Voyage of Finnmark”. Finnmark is a county located in the northern most tip of Norway which connected directly to the northern area of Finland. Thing that sure, River Tana of this area is renown for the largest place in Europe to catch salmon! So… yeah! I expecting salmon as one of my dish! Anything else, based on the menu, since northern Finland area (Lapland) is one good place for reindeer, no wonder if that dish is included on the menu. And of course, any dishes brought from other Viking region might complement the dishes.

VH - HDO - Butter and Rye Bread

Hors d’oeuvres: Hard rye breads and melted butter

Before the starter, we got the small dish (hors d’oeuvres, or appetizer in French) consists of some cuts of hard rye bread, served with melted butter. The bread, I think is Finnish reikäleipä (FI: reikä – hole, leipä – bread). It’s a hard but thin rye bread. I ate that by cracking it into several pieces and dipping it into the butter. The taste is sour at start and there’s a hint of cardamon on the bread. It’s good… and it’s tough as Hiccup said (see the quote in the beginning). You want to make it sweet? Chew it a bit longer and let your enzyme at work!

VH - Salmon Soup From Archipelago (1)

Salmon soup from The Archipelago

VH - Salmon Soup From Archipelago (2)

As it almost emptied…

My appetizer is the salmon soup. The salmon has a hint of crispiness, I think the salmon is added last and it prepared by light seasoning and frying in oil. We know that salmon is one of commodities that you can found in Nordic region. Other thing inside is a mix of artichoke with Icelandic yoghurt called skyr as mousse and the combination add some fresh-sour taste to the vegetable broth. The basic broth itself has carrot, onion, fresh dill, and I think there is cardamon added. Placed between the salmon and the mousse, there is a piece of reikäleipä as crouton, but unlike white bread, it remains hard although it’s soaked. Interesting part is, although it’s hard, it absorbs the flavor from the soup. In the end, the soup itself is just perfect.

Skyr was brought from Norway to Iceland c.a. 1100 years ago, and gradually the tradition perished in Scandinavia but thrive in Iceland until now. Compared to conventional yoghurt, skyr is more solid because rennet is added following the fermentation with Lactobacillus and Streptococcus to separate the whey from the solid protein.

VH - Reindeer From Snowy Fells

Reindeer of Snowy Fells

As main course, I ate an awesomely tender and juicy reindeer tenderloin (cooked medium). Shortly, reindeer meat tastes gamey and the meat itself is very lean thus it’s good for consumption (I will explain it later in my next article). The steak is served with two sauces: cranberry and cut brandy sauce and creamy cep-chanterelle sauce (if you love mushroom sauce, like me, you’ll LOVE this one!). In addition, we have smooth and creamy potato cake (you can see it above in the top right, under the creamy thing) topped with crusty smoked paprika mousse. The creamy thing is a game mousse that top the reindeer salami (the salami is a bit hard with rich smokey meat flavor but with the mousse, it’s become really good!). For the veggies, there are fried kale, soy bean (edamame), bell pepper, rye grain, and one that caught my attention: a bit of sour and sweet Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.) jam. All I can say: Wow!

VH - Pancake From Reval + Tar Ice Cream

Pancake from Reval with added Tar Ice Cream

To let you know, the pancake here in Europe is a real cake made thin on a pan… not the fluffy one served in most area of US. In my dessert here, the pancake… a bit crispy on the outside and soft inside, poured with raspberry and balsamico syrup. The taste is sweet and sour. Actually, there should only one ice cream in here, but I asked with addition of another ice cream with unique taste! The first one (bottom) is ice cream, flavored with Iceland moss, roasted sugar, and nuts. The second one (top) is tar flavored ice cream.

Icelandic moss is not actually a moss but it is a lichen, scientifically called Cetraria islandica (L.)Ach. It was used for folk medicine and said that it taste a bit bitter. However in this ice cream, the sugary flavor is more dominant so it didn’t feel so much in my taste buds. Tar is a result of destructive distillation of organic material. It’s commonly used in Finland from cooking ingredients to candy (which I don’t understand why), but it considered as panacea or capable to heal anything! It was made from wood by burning. When you eat it, it has a minty taste with a hint of smokey flavor. For the ice cream, I could taste it and it went well! Anyway, Reval is medieval name of town we recently know as Talinn, Estonia.

I was leaving the restaurant that night with my belly stuffed…

Then I went there again Friday 13th (wow) 2016. This time, I tried another a la carte set course called “Voyage of Dyflin”. Dyflin is what Dublin, Ireland, called during Viking period. So probably I expecting something that comes from western area of Europe.

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (3)

Njord’s Starter Stone

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (1)

Njord’s Starter Stone: Archipelago rye and malt bread with roach mousse, reindeer salami, fried duck heart, salad with rye grains

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (2)

Njord’s Starter Stone: Salad with brown rice, cold-smoked horse meat, blueberry and onion jam, cold-smoked Greenland halibut, tarred Baltic herring, and marinated vendace.

The starter is this various… meat and stuff. The name itself comes from Nordic god Njord (Njörðr), the father of deities Freyr and Freyja. So, what’s in his stone plate? We have the archipelago rye and malt bread topped with roach mousse. No… not that roach the insect from ordo Blattodea but roach the fish in Cyprinidae family, Rutilus rutilus L. I like the bread with the creamy mousse… so yummy! Then we have reindeer salami, cold-smoked and sliced… horse meat (it’s a bit tougher than smoked beef even it’s thinner here, but it’s good), strangely-but-really-good blueberry and onion jam, cold smoked halibut (it tastes like smoked white fish, but the meat has a bite), tarred (okay… more tar) Baltic herring, and (I think it also marinated by tar) marinated vendace. It’s funny if you imagine a minty tar flavor combined with fish, but it’s good… no kidding! Ah, there are also fried duck heart (this is my first time eating it, and somehow the texture and flavor is close to beef), and salad with rye grains in it.

Fish from Baltic sea like herring is tend to be more plain in flavor than fishes from other seas or ocean, because Baltic see is known for its close-to-fresh water salinity level. Well… that’s for your info, basically I already wrote so much facts here, hehe.

VH - The Horseman's Tenderloin (1)

The Horseman’s Tenderloin (side view)

VH - The Horseman's Tenderloin (2)

…from another view, you can see the potato cake now

For the main course, I wouldn’t say anything… it’s just stunning! The beef tenderloin is so tender and juicy as it cooked medium, very nice to be eaten with the sweet (a bit sour) cranberry and cut brandy sauce. The creamy and cheesy flavor of potato cake (baked with paprika mousse on top, making it crusty) is really delicious. The veggies, aragula, and root vegetables neutralized your palate. Oh… there is also a thin slice of a bit salty and crusty Maasdam cheese, a Swiss-style Dutch cheese make of cow milk, aged for 4 weeks.

VH - Frigga's Chocolate Cake

Frigga’s Chocolate Cake

To close my dinner that day, we have this double chocolate cake (my favorite!) with salty liquorice (another odd “sweets” combination from Finland) mixed in the top layer of white chocolate (it balances the sweetness of the milk chocolate layer below, and intensify the whole flavors in your taste buds). The cake tastes like heaven for me! There is also raw chocolate ice cream with blackberry jam and star anise-rhubarb sauce (I thought it was cloudberry sauce, until I tastes it further). Personal preference: The berry jam is nice with the ice cream, the sauce goes well with the cake and the sugar.

Anyway, the name Frigga… well, if you notice the Nordic mythology (or watched/read Thor comic), Frigga/Frigg is Odin’s wife, Thor’s mother.

VH - Miklagard's Drink

Miklagård’s Drink

In case you wondering, there are of course drinks available here. This mocktail for example. Miklagård’s Drink is a mix of blueberry syrup, orange juice, and soda water.

Miklagård or Miklagarðr (Old Norse: mikll – big, garðr – city) is an old name of Istanbul, Turkey, during Medieval Viking era.

VH - Water Jar

Water jar

If you don’t want to drink anything fancy, you can ask for cold water in a pitcher for 1 euro.

In the nutshell, it’s a wonderful experience to dine in there. It feels like you just come back in time and try the Viking-medieval period delicacy here and this experience, although the price for you to pay (for the food) is considered high, the experience itself is memorable and priceless. I’d like to come back here again for the atmosphere, and of course the food… especially the meat and salmon! 😉

PS: That afternoon (both), I came back to my apartment listening to “This is Berk” and “Flying With Mother” by John Powell to intensify the feels (that I got when I watch “How To Train Your Dragon”). And I feel like I was in Viking island at the moment… :p


Branch: Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Tampere, Turku, Oulu

Turku Address: Aurakatu 3, 20100 Turku. Phone: +358 44 766 8204.

Price Range:

Food: EUR 6.20 – 67.60

Beverage: EUR 1.00 – 64.00

Ordered Courses:

Lunch set: EUR 12.50

Set – Voyage of Finnmark: EUR 52.30

Set – Voyage of Dyflin: EUR 49.90

Tar Ice Cream: EUR 3.50

Water: EUR 1.00

Opening Hours (Turku):

Monday: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am

Friday – Saturday: 12:00 pm – 01:00 am

Sunday: 03:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Website: Viikinkiravintola Harald (available in English version)

TripAdvisor (Turku): Viikinkiravintola Harald

Foursquare (Turku): Viikinkiravintola Harald

Note: Eat the reindeer and beef here, for steak, ask for medium cooked. Seat in the middle room for brighter ambience, or else ask the waitress.


My Culinary Trip at Turku – The Beginning

Moi! Tervetuloa Suomen! Ummm… I meant, welcome to Finland! This month and forth, I will take you to the meals that I will eat for daily routines, or some restaurant visits, or even some traditional food events!

Honestly for me, transition between Indonesia and Finland is not that much in term of food for me because actually I used to eat bread or cereal in the morning instead of rice while I was still in Indonesia. Even more, I actually random enough to made this… Karelian Pasty (low budget and no rye version):

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 2.47.20 PM

Seems… odd…

The idea comes from Alexis Gabriel AKA “The French Guy” in Youtube…

And… now I’m here! Here in Turku, Finland, Karelian Pasty or Karjalanpiiraka is something you can found almost in every supermarket that selling breads which may cost you only less than 1 euro per kilogram.

FI - Riisipirakkan (1)

The difference is uncanny… this one is piece of art!

FI - Riisipirakkan (2)

Bitten one…

As Indonesian that accustomed to be full after eating rice, me myself… after eating like 3-4 pieces of this (medium size), I’m starting to full. I like the mild savoury and creaminess of the rice in here. I like these one! There are other variants of Karelian Pasty: Porkkanapiirakkan (FI: Porkka = carrot) or Perunapiirakan (FI: Peruna = potato).

FI - Porkkanapiirakkaan

Porkkanapiirakkan (with rice and carrot)

To let you all know, Karelia is area in Europe that marks the northwestern part from Russia, including some part in south of Finland. This pasty or pirog is available mostly in Finland, and especially here in Turku (you can find it in LIDL, K-Market, or Siwa). People here say that the pasty is delicious if you eat it with egg butter or munavoi (FI: Muna = egg, voi = butter), butter mixed with chopped hard-boiled egg.

For daily, I ate bread, cheese, and sometime… fish, because fishes in here are all mostly fresh! In Turku, I normally buy my stuffs in supermarket, but sometimes… if I’m in mood for adventure, I go to Kauppatori (FI: market) located in the heart of the city, where sometimes… various goods can be found.

FI - Market

In the market… in fish truck.

We can sometime found a fish truck in the market (last time, I saw it on Wednesday in a week ago, and in Friday around three weeks ago). They sell various cooked fish in there, from salmon with any methods of cooking, fish patties, to other smoked fish. They priced per weight (kilogram).

FI - Salmon

Smoked salmon…

You can found smoked salmon… with cream cheese and herb, with herb, with spices, or original one. Last time, I bought the one with cream cheese and herb… and it’s truly marvellous!

FI - Salmon w Cream Herb

Smoked salmon with cream cheese and herb (0.25 Kg = EUR 5), warmed in microwave.

FI - Smoked Herring

Smoked herring (whole fishes; 0.5 Kg = EUR 5), also warmed in microwave.

For the first time, I also interested to buy smoked herring because I was curious about it. Well… like I was in Indonesia eating nila fish, it has a lot of spiky bones in it so you have to be careful, and because it’s whole… you need to separate anything with flesh before you it it. I ate “something” from it, and I don’t like it…

FI - Limppu


Rye breads are common in here. The one I bought (picture above) is called limppu. It made from rye and added with molasses, so the flavor is between sweet and a bit sour, and it has unique aroma. My housemate told me that it’s a traditional bread here for Christmas and good to be eaten with butter… and it does! It also good with lox (cured salmon).

FI - Limppu + Lohi

Limppu and salmon… and extra horseradish sauce (as you might see)

FI - Leipajuusto w Cloudberry Jam

Leipajuusto with cloudberry jam

Other than fish and bread, Finland is also has their own cheese… and sometimes Finnish people eat meat or cheese… with jam, especially lingonberry (red one, Vaccinium vitis-idaea) or cloudberry (orange one, Rubus chamaemorus). One of the unique cheese here is called bread cheese or in Finn, leipajuusto. This cheese is made from colostrum rich milk of cow that already has calves, and strangely… it squeaks while bitten (in contact basically) with your teeth, so in America, they call it squeaky cheese. It tastes plain with some richness of cream but a bit salty (if preserved with brine). Normally eaten with cloudberry jam or lakkahillo and it gives the flavor quite colorful in your mouth!

Ah right… there are also special foods that can be eaten to commemorate some events. Like in February 5th, you can eat Runebergin torttu (FI: Runeberg torte, SW: Runebergs Tårta) to celebrate Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s (a poet) birthdate.

FI - Runebergin Torttu

Runebergin Torttu

The torte is made from pastry flavored with almond and arrack or rum and in top of it, there is raspberry jam with ring of sugar icing. It is nice to eat as snack in any time!

Ah right, you can found A LOT of pizzeria and kebab store (normally both in one shop) here! You may found one who sell falafel (Lebanese fritter made of chickpea) or kebab pizza!

Well… that’s for now. I believe there will be more soon!

PS: If you are not eating pork, here’s some list to avoid… meals with these words in Finnish:

Sika (FI: pig), sianliha (FI: pork), kinkku (FI: ham), porsaan (FI: pork), porsaanliha (FI: pork meat), porsas (FI: pork), porssu (FI: piggy)

PPS: These stuffs is just okay:

Kala (FI: fish), kana (FI: chicken), pihvi (FI: beef), lammas (FI: lamb)


Christmas Eve Buffet: Royal Restaurant – Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta

Ah, pertama saya mau mengucapkan selamat merayakan Natal untuk yang merayakannya, dan selamat libur Tahun Baru Masehi 2016 untuk kita semua. Ayo kita susun resolusi kita semua dan kejar cita2 kita!

Natal… adalah perayaan umat Kristiani, cuma untuk saya yang Muslim, kadang kebagian rejeki buat makan kayak gini sih siapa yang mau nolak? Toh saya ngga ikut ibadahnya. Oke, buat yang belum tahu, Christmas Eve atau Xmas Eve adalah perayaan malam sebelum Natal (jadinya tanggal 24 Desember) di mana biasanya diadakan makan malam bersama.

Pada Xmas Eve kemarin (24 Desember 2015), saya dengan sangat berterima kasih sekali kepada pihak manajemen Food and Beverage Hotel Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta karena saya dan pacar saya tercinta diundang untuk menikmati buffet makan malam di sini!

Sesi makan malam di sini berjalan di bawah komando Chef Purbo Wahyono selaku Executive Chef dari Royal Ambarrukmo. Beliau memasak begitu banyak jenis masakan yang khususnya didominasi oleh masakan Eropa seperti Spanyol, Perancis, Italia, hingga menu fusion atau campuran.  Karena adanya begitu banyak jenis masakan, saya akan menyoroti lebih kepada variasi makanan yang begitu unik (khususnya beberapa cukup asing di telinga kita) daripada membahas semuanya.

RA - Xmas - Fish

Begitu tiba, kita disambut sajian dari ikan (seingat saya itu sarden segar)…

RA - Xmas - Assorted Sushi

…variasi sushi…

RA - Xmas - Sashimi

…sashimi ikan salmon, tuna, dan kakap…

RA - Xmas - Paella

Spanish (Seafood) Saffron Rice AKA Paella dengan kerang hijau, cumi, dan udang…

RA - Xmas - Tomato n Boccochini Cheese

Tomat dengan Keju Boccocini.

Irisan tomat diberi saus pesto verde dari basil (daun selasih) dengan minyak zaitun. Keju Bocconcini adalah keju jenis mozzarella yang dibentuk kecil-kecil seukuran telur, semi-lunak dan biasanya dibuat dari susu kerbau (water buffalo). Keju jenis ini memiliki rasa yang gurih dengan tekstur seperti spons dan enak dimakan segar dengan sayuran daripada dimasak hingga meleleh.

RA - Xmas - Lobster Bisque (1)

Lobster Bisque…

RA - Xmas - Lobster Bisque (2)

…versi dalam mangkuk dengan crouton atau roti.

Bisque merupakan sup dengan bumbu yang bervariasi dan berasal dari Perancis. Dasar sup nya biasanya merupakan kaldu/coulis dari hewan krustasea yang dimasak (udang, lobster, atau kepiting). Chef Purbo sendiri menjelaskan bahwa Lobster Bisque ini dibuat dengan memasak lobster dalam waktu yang lama (sekitar 8-12 jam) hingga kaldunya keluar dan kemudian disaring, lalu dimasak dengan puree tomat untuk meringankan rasa. Rasa lobsternya memang begitu membahana di lidah ketika dicoba. Mmm…

RA - Xmas - Roasted Turkey w Cranberry n Giblet Sauce (1)

Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and Giblet Gravy.

Turkey alias kalkun… rasanya ga beda dengan ayam cuma lebih lunak kalau menurut saya dan karena massa dagingnya lebih tebal, lebih berpotensi juicy ketika dimasak. Biasanya kalkun ketika dipanggang diisi dengan sayur atau buah agar memiliki rasa kaldu yang enak ketika meresap kembali ke daging. Di sini digunakan jamur. Istilah “saus giblet” adalah saus yang dibuat dengan menggunakan kaldu dan minyak dari hasil panggangan kalkun setelah kalkun diangkat sehingga memberi rasa ekstra yang kuat dari kalkun.

RA - Xmas - Roasted Turkey w Cranberry n Giblet Sauce (2)

“Kok pake saus buah?? Kan manis… ntar rasanya aneh dong!”

Hmmm… kata siapa, beberapa masakan di Eropa Utara kayak di Swedia kadang menggunakan selai lingonberry hasil berburu di hutan dan ternyata rasa saus kaldu, daging, dan selai ini membuat rasa ini menari di mulut dengan perpaduan yang enak! Jadi, penambahan saus cranberry ini klop dengan kalkunnya!

RA - Xmas - Venison Mint Sauce (1)

Venison with Mint Sauce

RA - Xmas - Venison Mint Sauce (2)

Venison atau daging rusa merupakan makanan yang tidak terlalu umum di negara kita. Tekstur daging rusa biasanya seperti hewan yang biasanya diburu, merah, lebih kuat, tapi lemaknya sedikit sehingga kalori dari memakannya lebih sedikit dari daging sapi. Teksturnya pun memang agak lebih liat namun sekali gigit langsung tembus karena dagingnya memang tidak ada lemaknya. Rasanya lebih kaya, daripada sapi. Apa ya… rasa dagingnya lebih pekat dari daging sapi. Di sini, rusa ini disajikan dengan saus mint yang dibuat dari proses reduksi air gula dengan potongan daun mint. Dipadukan dengan daging rusa memang memberikan rasa manis yang khas.

RA - Xmas - Roast US Striploin w Mustard Sauce (1)

Roasted US Striploin with Mustard Sauce

RA - Xmas - Roast US Striploin w Mustard Sauce (2)

Striploin merupakan bagian daging, di sini daging sapi, yang berada lebih depan dari daging sirloin dan tenderloin. Teksturnya empuk dan memiliki lapisan lemak. Di sini disajikan dengan saus mustard dan kaldu yang sangat nendang dengan dagingnya!

RA - Xmas - Pan Fried Spict Rabbit w Herb

Pan Fried Spicy Rabit with Herb.

RA - Xmas - Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Lamb Stew with Carrot, Celery, and Potato.

RA - Xmas - Honey Glazed Carrot, Rabbit, Chicken w Shroom, Irish Lamb

Searah jarum jam dari atas: Honey Glazed Carrot, Pan Fried Rabbit, Roasted Chicken with Mushroom, Irish Lamb.

Pertama, saya akan bahas tentang Irish Lamb Stew. Menu ini adalah menu tradisional Irlandia yang dikenal dengan Stobhach Gaelach. Isinya adalah daging kambing dengan biasanya sayuran akar lokal. Di sini digunakan wortel dan kentang. Saya suka rasa dagingnya yang lunak dengan sausnya yang bercita rasa agak asam.

Ah… terus daging kelinci. Beberapa orang kadang ngga tega makan daging ini, tapi coba aja, nanti kalian akan merasa daging ini lunak seperti ayam… bahkan lebih lunak. Apalagi di sini dimasak dengan rempah. Nyaaamm…

RA - Xmas - Gnocchi w Scallop or Prawn and Fresh Basil Cream (1)

Meja tempat masak gnocchi.

RA - Xmas - Gnocchi w Scallop or Prawn and Fresh Basil Cream (2)

Italian Gnocchi with Scallop/Prawn and Creamy Basil Sauce.

Gnocchi adalah pasta yang biasanya berjenis pasta segar khas Italia yang dibuat dengan bahan utama kentang dan sedikit tepung terigu. Walau ada yang berupa pasta kering dari tepung biasa, buat saya… bukan gnocchi namanya kalau tidak yang segar dan dibuat dari kentang! Ketika dimasak, gnoccho ditusuk atau diberi alur agar sausnya bisa menyatu. Di sini, dimasak dengan scallop dan atau udang… apalagi dengan saus krim basil, rasanya super banget! Super enak apalagi dengan taburan keju Parmesan!

RA - Xmas - Norwegian Salmon w Cream Lemon Sauce

Norwegian Salmon with Creamy Lemon Sauce.

Salmon Norwegia terkenal dengan tekstur dagingnya yang bagus. Dimasak dengan rempah seperti daun dill yang wangi, perasan lemon, dan mentega akan memberikan rasa yang total pada ikan ini! Saus lemon yang creamy dan juga punya rasa kaldu ini sangat memberi nilai tambah rasa daging salmonnya. Enak pokoknya!

…dan hingga akhir, saya makan cukup banyak rondenya berdua…

RA - Xmas - Fish, Unagi, Tomato, Green Mussel (2) RA - Xmas - Fish, Unagi, Tomato, Green Mussel (1)

Tomato with Bocconcini, Boiled Mussel, Marinated Fish (lupa ikannya apa, kayaknya sarden), dan Unagi Sushi.

Selain makanan2 berat, ada juga makanan penutup yang manis…

RA - Xmas - Apple n Plum Strudel

Apple and Plum Strudel.

Strudel adalah makanan pastry khas negara Slavic seperti Austria-Hungaria yang biasanya memiliki isian manis. Di sini bahan isiannya adalah apel dan plum.

RA - Xmas - Italian Xmas Cake

Italian Christmas Cake.

Saya sebenarnya kurang tahu yang cake di sini yang mana. Saya cuma ambil yang merah itu. Rasanya kayak sus apalagi dalamnya juga kosong.

RA - Xmas - Xmas Stollen

Christmas Stollen.

Stollen adalah roti/cake buah dari Jerman yang isinya adalah buah kering dan di atasnya ditaburi gula bubuk. Buahnya biasanya manisan kulit jeruk, kismis, dan ditambah kacang almond. Sebagai penikmat kue manis, saya suka banget ini sebagai pencuci mulut.

Pada akhirnya kami berdua kenyang (iya lah). Salute to Chef Purbo for his maximum efforts for the entire banquet that very widely diverged in variety of foods! Walau ada beberapa makanan yang kurang total buat saya, tapi saya patut acungi beliau jempol karena mempersiapkan makanan yang sangat beragam dengan kualitas yang tinggi ini bukanlah hal yang mudah. Bravo dari kami berdua!

Special thanks also to Mas Rudy Adimulyo as Assistant of Food and Beverage Manager of Royal Ambarrukmo who also a good friend of mine! All the best from us for your career and may we meet again someday!

and of course, my lovely young lady, my girlfriend who accompanied me here, Ghea… 😉


AW’s Place Rating: √√√√√ (full score, sangat nyaman dan damai!)

AW’s Service Rating: √√√√  (4 dari 5, walau sejujurnya nyaris sempurna, pada akhirnya pada overwhelmed dengan tamu yang makin banyak, mereka juga lupa re-stock alat makannya ketika piring udah diganti)

AW’s Food Rating: √√√√½ (4.5 dari 5, hampir sempurna karena ada beberapa yang menurut saya kurang)


Jl. Laksda Adi Sucipto No. 81, Yogyakarta. Reservation Phone: +62 274 488 488

Hotel Twitter: @RoyalAmbarrukmo, Hotel Link: click

Buffet Price: Rp 270.000,00/pax

Buffet time: 06:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Foursquare: Ambarrukmo

TripAdvisor: Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta


Chef Tri Heru Basuki – Memasak Adalah Pembelajaran Seumur Hidup!

Semua orang hidup dengan sebuah cita2. Namun tak jarang cita2 dalam hidup itu berubah seiring bertambahnya pengalaman yang diterima. Tetapi itu bukan masalah! Karena yang paling penting adalah menghayatinya dengan bersyukur, dan memiliki niat untuk terus belajar seumur hidup.

EP - Spag + Chef Heru

Chef Tri Heru Basuki (38), seorang pria yang akrab dipanggil Chef Heru, kelahiran 31 Juli 1977 dari Sragen yang besar di Jakarta ini awalnya mengambil kuliah jurusan arsitektur. Namun karena masalah krisis ekonomi yang melanda pada tahun 1998, beliau terpikir untuk banting setir ke sekolah masak di kawasan Depok. Ternyata pilihan ini membawanya keliling dunia!

Awalnya beliau akan ditugaskan ke Singapura, namun ternyata Chef Heru juga mendapat tugas di Amerika di waktu yang bersamaan dan inilah yang beliau pilih. Merangkak perlahan sebagai petugas housekeeping hotel di kawasan Salt Lake City, sebelum kemudian mulai belajar di beberapa tempat di bawah executive chef ternama termasuk di kapal pesiar mewah The Queen Mary 2, beliau akhirnya mendapat kesempatan memasak sebagai chef di Hotel JW Mariott Boston, Massachusetts AS.

“Hidup di dapur, tekanannya banyak! Di (dapur hotel) luar sana lempar2an piring itu udah biasa!” – jelas Chef Heru, ya saya ngerti… jadi suasana di dapur kayak Chef Ramsay itu bukan rekayasa saudara2!

Jeda beberapa tahun, akhirnya beliau kembali dipindahtugaskan di hotel yang sama di Dubai, Uni Emirat Arab. Di sana, beliau kembali menghadapi orang2 yang berbeda lagi dan cenderung lebih vokal dan keras dari orang2 kebanyakan di Amerika. Tapi itu tak menghalangi niat beliau untuk belajar. Dua tahun kemudian, beliau pulang ke Tanah Air dan berencana untuk wirausaha. Akan tetapi karena fluktuasi dalam usahanya yang tak menentu, Chef Heru kembali menekuni dunia perhotelan. Saat itu kemudian ia menjadi chef di Hotel Sheraton Bandara, Tangerang. Lalu beliau pindah ke Yogya dan menjadi executive chef di Hotel Phoenix, lalu pada tahun 2012 ia diminta mengawasi dengan posisi yang sama di Hotel Royal Ambarrukmo. Pada akhirnya hingga kini Chef Heru meniti karir sebagai executive chef di Hotel Eastparc Yogyakarta.

“Semakin banyak restoran yang pernah dipegang seorang chef (dalam perjalanan hidupnya), maka bargaining position dia akan semakin tinggi. Karena setiap restoran terdapat ilmu yang berbeda, maka semakin banyak restoran ilmu yang didapat akan semakin banyak”

Tidak ada istilah berhenti untuk belajar selama hidup. Itulah semangat yang ingin ditularkan Chef Heru kepada kita. Jangan pernah terpaku sama satu hal, tapi ambillah esensi ilmu yang didapat dari setiap momen dari perjalanan hidup!

Di bawah adalah sesi masak dan trik2 dapur dari Chef Heru, beberapa makanan di bawah ini sudah pernah sebelumnya diulas di blog ini juga lho.

Sesi Masak

Resep – Fettucine Seafood Aglio Olio

Menu ini simpel, rasanya light, tapi punya kombinasi rasa bawang putih dan cabai yang sangat nendang. Untuk membuatnya lebih spesial lagi, Chef Heru menambahkan King Prawn (Udang Galah), snapper (kakap), dan calamari (cumi)!

EP - Spag Ingredients

100 g pasta fettucine, masak hingga matang (atau al dente)

2 siung bawang putih, iris tipis

3-4 buah zaitun hitam, iris tipis

Cabai kering secukupnya, iris tipis

20 g kakap + 20 g cumi dipotong dadu, campur

2 ekor udang galah yang sudah dibersihkan

3 buah tomat ceri, belah dua

2 buah daun basil yang diiris kecil

1 sdm bawang daun yang diiris tipis

1 sdt oregano kering

1 sdt keju Parmesan bubuk

Lada hitam bubuk secukupnya

Lada putih bubuk secukupnya

Garam secukupnya

Gula secukupnya

Minyak zaitun untuk menumis

Keju Parmesan parut besar untuk garnish

Minyak pesto (Pesto Verde dari campuran daun basil dan minyak zaitun yang dihaluskan, ambil minyaknya) untuk menambah rasa

-Hidangan untuk 1 porsi-

Cara membuat

1. Panaskan wajan, tumis bawang putih hingga harum. Dalam keadaan terus diaduk agar tidak kering, masukkan zaitun hitam yang sudah dipotong dan cabai kering ke dalam wajan.

EP - Spag (1) EP - Spag (2)

2. Masukkan udang galah, bolak-balikkan karena udang matang dengan cepat. Masukkan campuran cumi dan kakap. Aduk.

EP - Spag (3)

3. Setelah udang matang dan terlihat berwarna merah, masukkan pasta ke dalam wajan. Aduk rata.

EP - Spag (4)

4. Celupkan tomat ceri ke dalam air panas beberapa detik (blansir) agar melunak, masukkan ke dalam wajan berisi campuran pasta. Beri sejumput taburan lada hitam, lada putih, oregano, garam, dan gula untuk menambah rasa. Aduk.

EP - Spag (5)

5. Pindahkan campuran pasta ke piring saji terlebih dahulu dan pindahkan udang saat terakhir. Beri beberapa tetes minyak pesto, taburi keju Parmesan bubuk, daun basil dan bawang daun. Tambahkan Parmesan parut untuk garnishing dan rasa.

EP - Spag (6)

6. Sajikan selagi hangat.

EP - Seafood Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Tips masak – Memasak fillet salmon dengan tingkat kematangan medium

Menu: Norwegian Salmon

Memasak ikan, khususnya salmon itu prinsipnya sama dengan memasak daging merah, yaitu bisa dengan berbagai macam tingkat kematangan. Menurut Chef Heru, memasak salmon itu cenderung preferable pada tingkat kematangan medium. Pada tingkat ini, rasa ikan masih terjaga dan rasanya masih juicy (tidak kering seperti pada kematangan well done).

Lalu bagaimana triknya?

Sediakan: Fillet ikan salmon yang masih dengan kulitnya.

Untuk membuat kulitnya terasa lebih renyah, tambahkan sedikit tepung pada bagian kulitnya sebelum dimasukkan.

EP - Prepping Salmon Skin

Panaskan minyak di atas wajan. Letakkan ikan di atasnya dengan kulit menghadap wajan. Lihat dari samping, biarkan ikan terlihat matang dari bawah hingga setengah ikan. Balik.

EP - Cooking Salmon (1)

Biarkan setengah bagian ikan matang hingga tengah.

EP - Cooking Salmon (2)

Untuk memberi warna keemasan dengan sempurna, balik ke bagian samping ikan. Ganti sisi kedua.

EP - Cooking Salmon (3)

Angkat… sajikan. Untuk menu Norwegian Salmon di Hotel Eastparc, salmon disajikan dengan mashed potato (kentang tumbuk dengan susu dan krim) dan saus barbecue. Untuk garnish digunakan daun selada, cuka balsamic yang direduksi, dan minyak pesto.

EP - Norwegian Salmon

Tips masak – Memasak tiga daging

Menu: Trio Meat Cross Country

Memasak daging salmon Norwegia, daging sapi tenderloin Australia, dan daging kambing Selandia Baru memiliki trik tersendiri.

Pertama, daging kambing dan sapi ditaburi campuran lada hitam + garam.

EP - Prepping Meat

Panggang di atas grill atau bara api. Lihat sini untuk panduan tingkat kematangan.

EP - Grilling Meat

Sementara daging salmon lebih dianjurkan untuk dimasak di atas wajan agar teksturnya tidak hancur. Trik masak sama seperti yang sebelumnya bisa dilakukan.

EP - Searing Salmon

Setelah matang, daging disusun.

EP - Meat Assembly

Salmon ditata di atas saus barbecue. daging kambing di atas kentang, daging sapi diberi mentega bawang putih (campuran mentega +  bawang putih + bubuk parsley + sedikit perasan lemon) dan hiasan roti. Saus yang disajikan untuk menu Trio Meat ini adalah saus jamur dan beberapa tetes cuka balsamic yang direduksi dan di teteskan di piring. Untuk pelengkap bisa disantap dengan sayuran seperti jagung muda, wortel, dan brokoli yang di blansir.

EP - Trio Meats

Terima kasih banyak untuk pihak manajemen Hotel Eastparc Yogyakarta, khususnya Executive Chef Tri Heru Basuki. Juga terima kasih kepada Yeni Fatmawati dan Farras Adhi Hidaya yang juga membantu selama proses di hotel dan penulisan.

THB ft Yeni, Farras, Chef Heru


Jl. Laksda Adisucipto Km. 6.5, Yogyakarta. Reservation Phone: +62 274 493 2000

Resto Twitter: @VerandahYogya. Hotel Twitter: @HotelEastparc. Hotel Link: click

Jangkauan Harga:

Makanan: Rp 30.000,00 – Rp 165.000,00

Minuman: Rp 25.000,00 – Rp 45.000,00

Jam Buka: 03:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Foursquare: Resto dan Hotel

TripAdvisor: Hotel Eastparc

Note: Pas buat kencan sampe makan malam dan pesta.


Salmon Black Olive Pesto Spaghetti – House of Balcony, Yogya

Pesto… bisa dibilang salah satu campuran masak pasta yang klop sebagai saus dan bahan tumis yang pas. Pesto itu sendiri berasal dari kata mortar atau alat penumbuk makanan. Bumbu ini memiliki beberapa macam variasi. Pesto verde, yang biasanya dibuat dengan daun selasih atau basil, dicampur bawang putih, minyak zaitun, kacang pinus atau kadang kacang mete, dan ditambah keju parmesan sebelum dihaluskan. Ada lagi pesto rosso yang menggunakan tomat yang dikeringkan dengan matahari. Kemudian pesto calabrese yang menggunakan keju ricotta dan cabai plus tomat. Selain itu… ada banyak, intinya ganti komponen daun basil tadi sama apapun. Biasanya orang juga suka nyentrik, ada yang pernah menggantinya dengan bit, jadinya berwarna merah. Namun, yang saya belum pernah kira ini bakal jadi sesuatu adalah yang ini: Zaitun hitam.

Saya mencicipinya di House of Balcony, Plaza Ambarrukmo Lt 2, Yogya.

HoB - Salmon Black Olive Pesto

Salmon Black Olive Pesto Spaghetti.

Pasta spaghetti yang ditumis dengan saus pesto black olive, dan dengan salmon yang ditumis dengan bumbu yang sama, lalu diberi taburan parmesan dan disantap dengan garlic bread. Pesto yang digunakan sederhana tapi memiliki rasa yang khas. Zaitun hitam, bawang putih, dan minyak zaitun, itu yang paling kena di lidah saya. Rasa agak masam khas zaitun memberikan sensasi yang beda. Dimakan bersama salmon yang kematangannya pas, sempurna di lidah.

AW’s Rating: √√√√√ (5 of 5, sempurna)

Harga: Rp 52.000,00 (belum termasuk pajak… yang kayaknya 15%)

Plaza Ambarrukmo Lt 1 (di bahasa awam Lt 2) Kav. 27. Sleman, Yogyakarta. Ph: +6274 4331328

Foursquare: klik

Tips: Cocok buat quick meal atau dinner sebagai appetizer.