Being one of the few established fine dining restaurants in Jakarta, and perhaps in Indonesia, is something to celebrate. Amuz Gourmet Restaurant is entering its 10th year of quality service and is marking it with a revamp. For the renovation process, the restaurant collaborated with designer Hans Susantio.
The new experience begins when you’re about to enter Amuz, nestled on the second floor of the Energy Building in Jakarta’s bustling central business district. The double door captures the essence of a French lady going to a party, all dressed up and wearing a jade ring. The door leaves are detailed with handmade pyramids, painted with a special paint from Italy. Designer Hans Susantio created the concept for the whole interior.
Old customers may be surprised upon entering the restaurant, though the unchanged layout still leaves some familiarity. Light colours and materials are used to rejuvenate the whole ambiance, which now feels lighter, brighter and younger. “The aim is to modernise Amuz because it has been around for 10 years,” says Hans. As Amuz is a French restaurant, he incorporates a lot of French Art Deco elements with a bit of an Asian twist.
With a seating capacity of 60, the restaurant is divided into a few sections without any partition, except the private room. The elongated room seats 12 people, with a monochromatic theme and a painting as the centrepiece at the end of the room. The rest of the dining area includes the Lounge, the Ladies Area and the Chef’s Table. The Lounge comprises two sets of sofas wrapped in Italian leather, bordered with an oval marble table on one side and the bar on the other.
The Ladies Area is located next to the wine cellar, consisting of two sets of purple sofas against a gradational texture-painted wall. The Chef’s Table, which seats four people around a large marble table, is where guests can exclusively get recommendations from the chef, which is available upon reservation. It is designed in a rather masculine way, incorporating darker tone marbles with leather finishing. At the far-end corner overlooking the window, a chinoiserie wallpaper, which is an art developed in early 18th-century in France, embellishes a large wall. The thin tree branches and birds depicting a French garden adds a feeling of lightness to the room. The beautiful painting is also a matching accompaniment for the delicious meals.
“Each area gives a different feel but it is a continuous experience from one to another. No area screams louder than the other. Everything is in harmony, easy on the eyes,” is how Hans describes his latest creation.
The interior design is not the only new development in the restaurant. The founding chef, Gilles Marx, has also recently created several menus to perfect the dining experience. “Basically we wanted to revamp Amuz. So we refreshed the entire restaurant. It is also more to the fine dining side than before,” says Gilles. Some of the highlighted menu items are Pan-Seared Hokkaido Scallops, Canadian Lobster & Quinoa Salad, and Macha Financier, Rose Vanilla Namelaka with Ispahan Jam as the dessert, and lots more. The menu is all still rooted from France, specifically the South of France.
As an international award-winning chef with more than 20 years of experience under his belt, Gilles’ practical knowledge on ingredients is undoubted. He mixes local and imported ingredients, depending on the need. “When we find high quality local ingredients, we use them. For example, locally grown organic vegetables and herbs. Some good-quality edible flowers can now also be found in Indonesia. We only buy live seafood to guarantee the freshness. But we still have to import beef, asparagus and truffle,” Gilles explains. The food is all beautifully presented on Amuz’ new ceramic plates which were produced in Japan. They are specially made with Hans’ sketches of French landmarks printed on them.
Having served French delicacies at Amuz since it opened, Gilles sees that Indonesian customers love to try new and unique things. Up until now, the guests at Amuz are predominantly Indonesians. Being strategically located amongst offices and high-end neighbourhoods, it has become the “it” place to go to for upscale meetings and gatherings.
Living up to its name, dining in Amuz is an experience that amuses and entertains you; it makes sure that you have a good time. And after a satisfying dining experience, there is one more thing you can do. Hans has cleverly designed a decorated curved wall for guests to take memorable pictures just before exiting.