Wed, 25 Sep 2002

Asian-style seafood dishes at new Seafood Garden resto

Maria Endah Hulupi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

For those who have a taste for seafood, Jakarta is a good place to live. A wide array of seafood is available: in upscale restaurants, small eateries, down to roadside stalls that do business in the evenings.

And their number continues to rise despite the economic crisis. Among the new players is Super Kitchen Seafood Garden, a member of the Super Kitchen group, whose other restaurants specialize in noodles, dim sum, roast duck and pork.

Super Kitchen Seafood Garden restaurant is close to the Super Kitchen headquarters in Roa Malaka Utara, North Jakarta, near the rear entrance to the Omni Batavia Hotel Jakarta.

This newly opened seafood restaurant occupying 926 square meters of land serves as a dining place in the heart of Jakarta where people can savor the fresh flavor of seafood in an open yet refreshing cool atmosphere like in Puncak, a popular hill resort area in West Java among Jakartans.

To obtain this effect, the management hired a Malaysian architect to create a structure with wide openings and installed at least 10 fans with built-in nozzles from which artificial mist is blown into the air. For the artificial mist, the restaurant uses filtered and purified water. If you go there in the evening you will not feel the scorching heat thanks to this innovation.

While the other Super Kitchen restaurants serve mainly Chinese dishes, seafood garden has a wider selection of Asian dishes.

"We prepare Asian-style seafood dishes mainly from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. These are countries whose seafood dishes are well-known among our (targeted) customers," said Budy Widjaya, president director of the restaurant.

To ensure authentic flavors, the restaurant has hired four chefs from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. They have had over 20 years of experience in five-star hotels and famous restaurants in their respective countries.

Customers are free to pick the fish of their choice kept in the restaurant's 18 aquariums; an interesting part of their dining experience.

"This is also our way to ensure freshness," said Budy, while explaining that the restaurant has 25 cubic meters of seawater in its underground water reservoir.

The restaurant provides popular (and mostly imported) seafood items like geoduck clam, white crab and a variety of crustaceans and different varieties of fish, including shark fins.

Prices of dishes are set per ounce of the selected seafood items and prices are specified at each of the aquariums. "The cooking cost is inclusive," said restaurant general manager Harry Djohan.

The restaurant is able to prepare 300 recipes from the raw items.

"If business prospects are good, we will consider extending the opening hours to 3 a.m., like our restaurant next door," said Harry, referring to the Super Kitchen center, whose kitchen never sleeps. It also supplies specialty food, roast duck and pork, not only for its restaurant chain but also for several other restaurants in Jakarta.

The Super Kitchen Seafood Garden Restaurant on Jl. Roa Malaka Utara No. 49, North Jakarta, opens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner.