With a flight time of less than seven hours from Denpasar to Sydney, Indonesia has long been a popular holiday destination for Australians thanks to its agreeable climate, affordability and vibrant culture. No need to travel this week, though, as Shangri-La Hotel Sydney brings the Taste of Indonesia to The Rocks. Guest chefs Nur Budiono and Marjono of Jakarta’s Shangri-La hotel promise to cook up a storm from August 4 through August 12 2017.
As befitting a country rich in botanical resources, Indonesian food is known for its sweet and sour ingredients with many regional specialities across its 6,000 islands. Staying true to the spirit of Indonesian cuisine, the Shangri-La buffet includes national dishes, such as Udang Bumbu Bali (Balinese prawns), Beef Rendang (curry), Soto Ayam (spicy chicken soup) and Gado Gado (Indonesian salad).
For the carb-lover, the rice and noodle station is where it’s at. Nasi Goreng is a type of fried rice spiced up with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), deep fried shallots, garlic, shrimp paste, tamarind, and chilli; the Shangri-La version is mixed with diced prawns as well as scrambled eggs. The deep fried shallots add not only a textural contrast to the rice but also bring an incredible aroma. Mee Goreng is the noodle equivalent of Nasi Goreng and the sweetness in Kecap Manis enhances the natural savouriness in the dish.
Spices are prized not only for their flavour, but also for their health benefits in Indonesian cuisine. “We’re turning up the heat, so guests can enjoy the bursts of chilli, spices and flavours for which the captivating Indonesian culture is renowned” Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney’s Executive Chef Hemant Dadlani Dadlani said. One of those dishes is Sambal chicken, where the poultry is slow cooked with spices and chilli until the meat falls off the bone. The heat is toned down to suit the western palate, and allows you to enjoy the flavour without enduring the ‘pain’. Seafood lovers can savour similarly spicy dishes like sambal prawns or curry fish.
There are an array of salads and side dishes to accompany the meat and seafood and it is the green tea noodles that catch our attention. It is one of the few fusion dishes served in the buffet and an ideal cold side to balance out the heat and richness in the main dishes.
To finish the buffet on a sweet note, we have a difficult task at hand to choose between passionfruit white chocolate mirror glazed cake, pandan creme brûlée and dadar gulung (a sweet coconut pancake), but the real standout is the coconut and mango shot topped with sago and pineapple. One certainly was not enough!
Taste of Indonesia is one of the many culinary festivals hosted by Shangri-La Hotel Sydney this year demonstrating the abundance of Asian cuisines. The festival takes place at Café Mix from 4 – 12 August with lunch priced at $55 per person and available Sunday to Thursday from 12–3pm. The seafood buffet dinner is priced at $85 and available from Friday to Saturday from 6-10.30pm.
Taste of Indonesia
Cafe Mix, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
176 Cumberland St, Sydney NSW
Phone:(02) 9250 6000
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Shangri-La Sydney