Notwithstanding their being crazy about football and erotic tango, Argentinians are among the world’s steak enthusiasts. For these South American folks, beef is their everyday fare even for ladies who have a penchant for smart dresses.
Breathing the scrumptious air of Buenos Aires while spoiling your palate on a thick, tender, juicy and perfectly cooked prime cuts with a glass of red wine are truly heaven for meat lovers.
Nestled in a South Jakarta’s prime shopping mall, Brasas Argentinian Steakhouse has since its opening in April 2008 transported those craving a distinctive taste of juicy steak to the beautiful country of Argentina.
The most fastidious palate for the steak is Asado de Tira, a 480-gram beef ribs that is great not only in size but also flavour. Having smokey aroma, Asado de Tira is a well-known traditional barbeque where meats are cooked on charcoal and firewood.
Even though beef is the most preferred meat in cooking Asado, others like pork, lamb and chicken can contribute to the authentic flavour of this Argentinian grill. “Regardless of your choice of meat, the genuine taste of Argentinian steak is produced through a distinctive way of cooking. We use charcoal and firewood when cooking Asado meats,” Ignacio Virgen, the Brasas’s Executive Chef says.
The word ‘Brasas’ itself is a Spanish word meaning red-hot coals. It can also be translated as passion. “It’s like sizzling the best meat on traditional method of cooking to spoil your passion for an authentic flavour,” Ignacio adds.
Aside from the 480-gram Asado de Tira, a 400-gram rib eye wagyu, Bife de Chorizo (a 450-gram New York Strip Steak), Milhojas de Ternera Con Salsa de Foie Gras, Spanish Ibėrico Ham “Pata Negra, Black Chilean Sea Bass Fillet with Rocket Puree and Tomatoes Walnut Oil are among the chef’s recommendations.
All the grilled meats are served with three assorted sauces; Criolla (creole), Brasa (Hot Spicy) and Chimichurri. “Specially designed for grilled meat, Chimichurri has become the traditional flavour for not only the steak, but also appetizers like bread and toast,” the executive chef explains.
As for starter, you should definitely try Empanadas, the South America’s typical of stuffed baked pastry with two different fillings of mozzarella cheese and mashed sweet corn. Other recommended starters include Grilled Provolone Cheese and Argentinian homemade sausage. And don’t forget to try Beef Tongue with parsley vinaigrette, one of the Ignacio’s secret recipes that will get every patron stirred up.
In spite of the restaurant’s chef recommendations, good steak is often a matter of individual preference. People have different choices over how they like their steaks to be cooked – be it rare, medium rare, medium, medium well or even unfavorably well done. Likewise, a fine-dining steakhouse should be able to either accommodate to its guest’s request or offer a distinctive style of cuisine.
Prior to moving to Indonesia, Ignacio had worked as a chef in a number of upscale restaurants and five-star hotels in countries like France, Spain, Holland, Japan, the United States, Mexico and of course Argentina.
With his exciting gesture, he remarks that he likes to utilize his expertise in cooking a variety of foods. Correspondingly, Brasas now has special menu every weekend. “Ranging from main course, appetizer and dessert, we want to offer more international cuisines yet maintaining Argentinian style of cooking.”
For this special menu, the restaurant has different lists every weekend. Main courses such as surf & turf (a 200-gram rib eye and tiger prawn) with green mustard and horse radish sauce are worth a try, indeed.
While crab cake gives the delicacy of the appetizer in the special menu, patrons will find the delight of tasting the healthy rich cocoa on Chocolate and Safron Mille Fuille.
Among crème de la crème of Jakarta, moreover, going to a steakhouse is not only to harmonize the lush life that results from the very best grade of beef, but the ambience and the bounties of the restaurant matter.
Smart-casual fine dining and an avant-garde atmosphere are the two phrases to describe Brasas. While listening to the Latino tune, patrons at Brasas can enjoy such a splendidly warm dining room that is casual yet intimate and elegant.
In spite of the restaurant’s preeminent service and high-quality cooking, many patrons like to indulge themselves in pairing a juicily flavoursome Argentinian cut meat and high-quality wine.
Brasas’s wine list features an international selection of red and white wine, champagne and sparkling wine. Among them are Vino Destina de Mesa, Louis Latour, Moet & Chandon Brut and Taittinger Reims Brut Reserve, respectively.
BRASAS ARGENTINIAN STEAKHOUSE Pacific Place Mall, 6th Floor Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 52-53 Jakarta 12920 Tel (021) 5140-2703 Fax (021) 5140-2785
By Aulia R. Sungkar, published in the 5th edition of PMR Magazine S’pore, September 2009.