Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Lil' Sip of French (and Nespresso) at Bistro Baron

This new place looks very lovely on the outside with its tres chic French bistro design and romantic accordion music. You'll feel like you're in one of those scenes in 'Ratatouille' ;P But frankly the service was rather a disappointment -it took (almost) forever for our orders to come out.

One of the main attraction of this place, for me, is the fact that they serve Nespresso. So my partner and I, both a self-professed coffee enthusiasts, specifically went there for it. We are very keen to taste this it coffee. So far, on the menu, they only serve 4 types of pods out of the available 16. At Rp. 45.000 per cup (excluding the 21% tax of course), this cuppa is no doubt an expensive indulgence.

Nespresso Roma cappuccino (front) & Livanto long black (back)

I ordered Roma (intensity 8) as cappuccino while my partner opted for long black Livanto (intensity 6). Wrong move for me, since the rich taste of the coffee was covered by the richer milk. It would be better to order it as espresso to experience its intensity. Oh well, save it for another visit then.

After ordering a bowl of French Onion soup to share, we 'entertained' ourselves with the complimentary bread basket. Though I liked the idea of putting some salt on the butter, the bread (baguette) itself was too crispy and thus, a bit too tough to chew on. The soup itself was quite a delight albeit the small serving -it was warm, sweet, and not too rich. I also love the yellow pot they use.

My friends and my sister came to join us a while later for some pre-dinner snacks and ordered a salad (I forgot the french name) and croquette (again, I forgot the name). The salad resembled that of caesar salad, both from presentation and taste. The dressing was garlicky but light. Again, the only thing to complain was the size of the serving. The croquettes were soft with a very strong and pungent cheese and garlic flavor -I suggest you to stay away if you don't fancy garlic that much.

Clockwise (from top): afternoon buzz, garlic & cheese croquette, 'caesar' salad, churros

As my sweet tooth was demanding some sugar, I decided to order some dessert and opted for the Churros. It's basically similar to doughnuts: fried doughs dusted with sugar and cinnamon. Served with dark chocolate and milk chocolate dips, the one here was rather a disappointment. The dough was hard, not soft and fluffy, and there was a certain smell which I suspect came from the frying oil. I prefer the ones served at Miitem.
My lovely Monday to Sunday lace skirt

Down to the last drop

The following Sunday, I revisited the bistro again for brunch, this time with my family. Keen (and curious) on having another taste of Nespresso, but a bit discouraged to order espresso since I came with an empty stomach, I ordered long black Arpeggio (intensity 9). This time around, the cuppa came with the original pod on the side -which is an added bonus for the eyes, at least my eyes. The coffee itself was bold and bitter, with a balanced acidity aftertaste.

For the main course, I ordered their spaghetti aglio olio with smoked duck and rockets, pan fried seabass for my mom, and dory fish and chips for my grandma, while urging my uncle to get the duck confit

Clockwise (from top): Nespresso Arpeggio long black, pan fried sea bass, 
aglio olio with smoked duck, mimosa, duck confit, fish and chips

My pasta, though simple, was a delight. I love the combination of the light al dente pasta with the smokiness of the duck and the bitterness of the rocket leaves. My mom's seabass was quite satisfying too. The fish was not too dry, the sauce delectable, and the addition of the small and somewhat chewy potato 'cakes' was interesting. The fish and chip was nothing special -too much fries with not much fish on the plate. The duck meat was soft and it didn't leave any trace of that distinct duck smell, which is a very good thing as I rather dreaded that aftertaste. The red wine sauce was tangy and the potato 'pancake' served beneath the duck was very good.

To accompany my pasta and to round up my French brunch experience, I ordered a glass of mimosa (a mix of OJ and champagne). I'm not too sure about what kind of OJ they use, whether it's fresh or bottled, it tasted somewhat artificial. But the cocktail list itself sparked my curiosity, and I'm keen to try some of the unique and special drinks that they offer on my next visit.

All in all I'd say that it was a pleasant dining experience albeit the high price tag. There's nothing too spectacular about the taste of the food, but the ambient and the Nespresso are plus points for this bistro.

Bistro Baron
Plaza Indonesia Extension Level 1 #E20-E21
Jl. MH Thamrin Kav 28-30. Jakarta Thamrin
P +62(21) 29923505

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