February 1st, 2012

 

European style brasserie dining-  refined bistro cuisine in an elegant yet casual setting- has proven a hit with diners in Jakarta in recent years. The sustained popularity of the brasserie-style bar and restaurant, LOEWY (opened in 2008), led the same partners to launch  a new restaurant last year – UNION Brasserie, Bakery & Bar. Some minor tweaking of a successful concept has resulted in what has become, almost overnight, one of Jakarta’s most popular destinations for all-day dining, and a buzzing evening drinks scene.

UNION enjoys a prime location on the ground level of the upscale Plaza Senayan mall- with an expansive frontage onto the open external courtyard. UNION serves a menu of classic European and Asian style dishes, with contemporary interpretation and preparations under the direction of Head Chef Adhika Maxi and Head Pastry Chef Karen Carlotta. The bar at UNION draws on the acclaimed expertise of the mixologists at sister venue LOEWY- with an impressive offering of classic cocktails that have been updated with innovative ingredients and techniques.  UNION is solidly busy 7 days a week, queues for tables are common most nights. And even though the friendly table service is efficient, with tables clearing at a steady rate, reservations are recommended.

 

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Folding timber framed windows open onto the courtyard

 

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The main brasserie dining room

The space occupied by UNION is a long narrow section spanning along the side of the Plaza Senayan main building. With a facade of folding timber framed windows that completely open up to the outside, and a partial glass roof, the interiors are bathed in natural light during the day. The floor space divides into three sections- the main brasserie dining area, the Bakery counter has its own dedicated space and direct entrance from the mall interior, and at one end of the space, the bar -with adjacent walk-in wine cellar- and a station for the DJ turntable. The interior design draws on the style of the classic early 20th Century New York brasseries – with dark timber wall panelling, pressed metal ceilings, white tiled pillars. Furnishings feature the classic timber bistro style chairs, dark timber tables with white paper sheets, and a series of  leather upholstered booths line the interior wall. Decorations include an eclectic collection of vintage fittings and pieces collected personally by the owners on their travels.

The bar decor continues the classic theme with a long white marble counter top, leather padded bar seats, and mirror-backed timber shelving to display the large range of spirits and liqueurs. Large, vintage, industrial style light fittings are suspended from the ceiling above the bar. And the impressive wine selections are showcased in a walk-in, timber panelled wine cellar directly adjacent to the bar.

 

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Leather upholstered booth seating along the internal wall

 

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The Bakery counter

The UNION Bakery offers selections of daily baked breads and pastries- either for eating at the brasserie tables, or as take home items.  Head Pastry Chef Karen Carlotta has received much local acclaim, and the cakes, pies and tarts she creates in the specialized pastry kitchen at UNION are the subject of much complimentary comment on local food blogs. The Red Velvet Cheesecake in particular is a favourite.

 

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Dining tables with open outlook over the courtyard

 

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Bartenders in action behind the bar

The Bar Menu at UNION is highlighted by their specialty cocktail creations. The experienced team of UNION mixologists have assembled a large selection of cocktails- drawing inspiration from the classic American cocktails- updated with contemporary influences and modern techniques such as infusions and deconstruction.  The cocktails are listed under a number of categories- “CLASSICS” feature drinks such as  Americano- first created in 1860′s- gin, sweet vermouth and soda water; Bloody Mary- first created in 1921- now updated with blackpepper infused vodka and shrimp & celery stick. “TWISTED CLASSICS” include- Mango Jalapeno Margarita- a twist on the clasic margarita- shaken with mango puree and jalapeno; and  Green Tea Whiskey Sour- classic Whiskey Sour- topped with Green Tea foam. The “SIGNATURE COCKTAILS” include concoctions such as  Sakura Spring- sake with strawberries & cream, served in a sake glass; and Truffle Popcorn Martini- candy-corn infused Ketel One vodka,  caramel syrup, sprayed with truffle oil. Completing the cocktail categories are the “CREAMY COCKTAILS”- examples are- Raspberry Cheesecake- Vodka Kurant, mascarpone cheese & raspberry puree; and Chocolate Buddha- vanilla infused vodka, mascarpone cheese, cacao liqueur, peanut butter & cream with strawberry chocolate sauce.

In addition to the cocktails, the Bar Menu features a large selection of premium spirits and single malt whiskies. And the walk-in Wine Cellar holds an extensive variety of New World wines- with a particular focus on Australian wines- featuring wines from both renowned and artisan producers, and representing the best grape varietals from the different growing regions. Other new World regions are also well represented- California, New Zealand, Argentina, etc.  Wines from France, Italy and Spain are also available- and a particularly large selection of champagnes-  N/V and vintage from the famous champagne houses of France.

 

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Seating along the bar counter

 

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The walk-in Wine Cellar adjoining the bar

 

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DJ turntable – at end of the bar area

 

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Signature cocktail-  MEAT PACKING DISTRICT- fat washed bacon, Tennessee Whiskey, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, topped with crispy bacon skewer

 

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“Twisted Classic” cocktail- PINEAPPLE & CINNAMON  JULEP- Pineapple infused bourbon,  cinnamon syrup, char-grilled pineapple wedges & mint

 

The Brasserie Menu created by Head Chef Adhika Maxi include  classic bistro dishes that have been creatively updated with contemporary flavours and ingredients. The menu selections include Snacks, platters of  Cheeses and Cured Hams; Fresh Oysters; Starters; Pastas; and Mains such as Whole Roast Baby Chicken (for 2); Pan Seared Barramundi; Union Burger; and Lobster Thermidor.  Meats from the Grill include cuts of Black Angus Beef, New Zealand Lamb Cops; and Bone-In Pork Chop. The Asian dishes include local favourites - “Dirty Ox-tail soup & Rice; Bakmie Ayam with foie gras; and  Nasi Campur, Beef Redang with sambal goreng  foie gras. Desserts feature the daily special cakes and pastries from the Bakery kitchen, plus classic bistro temptations such as Grand Marnier Creme Brulee with blood orange sorbet; and Tia Maria Tiramisu.

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From the Starter selections- Blackened Tasmanian Salmon Belly- with truffle sesame sauce, caramelized onions

 

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From the Grills selection- Bone-in Pork Chop- served with  garden vegetables and pomme purée

 

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From The UNION Bakery- UNION Cheesecake

 

 

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UNION- Brasserie, Bakery & Bar

Address: Plaza Senayan Courtyard, Ground Floor, Jln Asia Africa No.8, Jakarta  10270. Indonesia
Reservations: + 62.21.5790 5861
Opening Hours:
Daily 11:00 am ~ 02:00 am
Kitchen closes 11:30 pm
Brunch- Saturday & Sunday
Twitter: @UnionJkt
Facebook Page : www.facebook.com/UNIONJAKARTA