courtesy of SG
Thinking of our cave-dwelling predecessors squatting next to fire pits and roasting chunks of animal flesh for their dinner, I'm thankful that this time-consuming cooking method (and blisteringly hot!) has been refined over the millennia.
However, everything old becomes new again as fashion shifts and restless foodies search hungrily for The Next Big Thing. Primitive cuisine appears to be making a comeback. Today, Jakarta's food aficionados can channel their inner cave persons at Stonegrill, located conveniently at Pondok Indah, Mega Kuningan, and Pluit Junction.
Originally from Melbourne (Australia) this international franchise had established in big cities around the globe such as Hong-Kong, Seoul, London, Hawaii, Vancouver, and the latest in Greece and Dubai.
At Stonegrill, diners cook chunk of raw steak on a very hot square volcanic stone (400 degrees Celcius) right at the table. The concept is that they give you a premium cut of meat, cook it as you prefer (rare, medium, or well-done) and you slice when you about to it the meat. Yes, you must grill it yourself and find your "sweet spot". Normally at any other steak house, meats are cook to the chef's preference and it is very common to find that the steak was under or overcooked. Hard to find your perfect steak but not at Stonegrill. I recommend to have the steak to be medium rare to medium so that you?ll be able to taste the sweet natural juices of the imported meats. Another secret was, to not use any sauce they provide because it could ruin the natural taste of the meat. I dare you to try your first bite minus the sauce, sprinkle some salt and pepper to enhance the steak?s natural taste. It was sooooooo good, melt in your mouth good, bite your tongue good.
Some people like to go to restaurants and all they can taste are the sauces and not the actual quality of the meat itself. Therefore, if something is served too ?plain?, they automatically think that the restaurant is not good. At Stonegrill, it is all about the quality of the meat ? no fancy sauces to hide anything. It is a more pricey because of the meat quality they serve at the store.
Even though it?s a trendy thing to do, cooking on hot stone which is a healthy way to cook since no oil or sauce is used (hence low in fat and calories for those who are watching their weight).
Whether it was the seafood or steaks ? whatever you order ? is always superb in quality, fully comparable with the very best, and you?ll be amazed how good they taste without any additional oil, msg, or most of time, without any sauce (although they always give you a decent sauce to dip your food into). Only a few sprinkles of salt & pepper, and voila!
As a starter, Ms. Elya (Rest. Manager of Stonegrill Mega Kuningan) suggested me to try Portobello Mushrooms on the Stone.
?It?s one of our signature dish and anyone will find this menu in every Stonegrill restaurant around the world. So, it?s a must try for any first-timers!? she said. Since she knew that it was my first experience with Stone cooking, Ms. Elya carefully explained and demonstrated how to cook the food on these hot rectangular stone blocks. The Portobello mushroom was savory and it took only 2 minutes max on the stone for it to be ready for consumption. Overcooked mushroom will result in dryness and loss of sweetness while eating it.
The main entr?e (and also the customer?s favourite) was Australian Black Angus Tenderloin Steak. The steak was a thick cut and really REALLY good as it was tender and juicy. I could only feel amaze that a good steak could taste so good with only salt and pepper. Our next steak was an Australian Black Angus Rib-Eye steak where it was quite HUGE and covered the entire stone. Since it was much a thinner piece of steak (compared to the Tenderloin), I could see how it can be easy to overcook the meat. This is where the sliced onion came in for us to ?park? the not-thoroughly cooked meat on it, to prevent overcook meat. This way, we could still enjoy our meal even if we ordered Sirloin or the Rib-eye steak. All the main entrees come with potatoes or rice, saut?ed vegetables, and sauce of your choice.
For dessert, I had the Crepes Suzette which was a thin pancake served with Strawberry sauce and Vanilla ice cream. It was surprisingly good- the pancake didn?t get too soggy and it was garnished with fresh strawberry.
Since you must grill the food yourself on the provided hot stone, there is a bit of casual feeling to the place (Mega Kuningan). The d?cor of this outlet is also very stylish and cozy with very clean lines of black-red domination. Since it's situated near the business district, it is suitable for the executives to have a healthy lunch here at Stonegrill Dining. The other 2 locations are at Pondok Indah and Pluit Junction where they are more comfortable for family, special events, or business gatherings.