It was a bright Saturday afternoon when Indonesia Tatler entered the spacious lobby of Aston at Kuningan Suites. Located next to the lobby is Suasana Restaurant, the Indonesian fine-dining eatery that opened last year. A Pakis Culinary creation, Suasana offers a variety of local cuisines with modern twists and a number of international fusion dishes. Take a peek at the menu and you will find unique names for the dishes, from Aseli Sedep to Asin-asin Kenthek. It’s not just about the name, but also the flavour and the presentation, which are delectable and palatable.
The name “Suasana” means ambience and refers to a beautiful, warm, and cosy place that is pleasing to the eye and which makes guests feel at home. The décor, with an Indonesian urban tropical theme, was designed by renowned interior designer Agam Riadi. Divided into smoking and non-smoking areas, Suasana can house up to 270 people, with an additional three VIP rooms, the Glass House room, and the main room.
As we waited for the food to arrive, Steven Kim and Jooa Lee, our guests for the day, made their way to the table. The lovely couple were easily recognised due to their strikingly tall statures. They took a seat on the plush grey sofa and, while sipping flavoured iced tea, cheerfully announced that they were expecting a baby boy this September. Steven and Jooa, who are South Korean natives, married last year in Seoul. Since then, the pair decided to permanently live in Jakarta.
Serial entrepreneur Steven Kim is the CEO and co-founder of Qraved, a food discovery app based in Indonesia. Steven founded Qraved in 2013 with his business partners, Adrian Li and Sean Liao. Prior to Qraved, Steven helped to launch several start-ups, such as Lazada, Zalora, and Foodpanda. A foodie at heart, Steven explains that Qraved is expanding. It initially began as a food reservation app, but now has a food directory, listings, and reviews, as well as a media platform that publishes articles and video content.
Qraved also recently announced a partnership with Go-Food, Go-Jek’s food-delivery service. With this integration, users who browse the Go-Food partner restaurants listed on the Qraved mobile app can click on the “Order Now” button and will be redirected to the restaurant’s page on the Go-Jek app to finish their transaction there. “Go-Food is good if you know what you want, but if you don’t, it can be very hard,” Steven said. “Another new update means that users can now also follow shopping malls, so they can get notified about discounts, coupons, and promotions,” he continued.
Meanwhile, his beautiful wife Jooa Lee is a model and was second runner-up in Miss Korea 2009. The happy mum-to-be is now an ambassador at the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Indonesia (Kocham). Aside from her modelling career in South Korea, Jooa has also taken part in fashion shows in New York, Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia, including shows by Ivan Gunawan, Jakarta Fashion Week, and Seoul Fashion Week.
The waiter brought the appetiser, Tahu Rasa Laut. Served on a flat wooden tray with a special homemade sauce, the deep-fried battered tofu with seafood filling was laid out on the tray. As we took a bite, Jooa chimed in that she liked the distinct taste of the tofu. Soon after, the main course followed, Sop Buntut Suasana. A true highlight of the day, this Indonesian signature dish is warm and inviting.
The oxtail beef, which was grilled and then boiled, was slow-cooked to perfect tenderness. It was mixed in the soup and combined with carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and scallions, served with caramelised shallots, bitter nut crackers, pickles, green chili relish, and a slice of lime. The soup was served with a bowl of white rice, although one might enjoy it on its own.
Finally, it was time for dessert. We had Passer Baroe: canai bread served with sliced banana and with vanilla ice cream on top, which reminded us of a pancake. Fruit lovers might enjoy another option that Suasana offers—Semusim. The plate consists of diced fresh fruits, ranging from pitaya or red dragon fruit, kiwi, papaya, orange, grape, and strawberry, topped with mango crush and vanilla ice cream. Meanwhile, Suasana has plenty of beverage options, one of which is a smoothie called Tropical Sunday, a mix of strawberry, peach, banana and honey. Without doubt, these desserts were the perfect ending to our delightful luncheon at Suasana.
Aston at Kuningan Suites
Jl. Setiabudi Utara, Kuningan, South Jakarta 12910
Tel: +62 21 526 0260
This story appears in the July 2018 issue of Indonesia Tatler. To read more interesting stories like this, grab the copy at your nearest newsstands, or subscribe here.