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Being Amused in AMUZ Jakarta

Published 06 January 2011   

Text by Erza S.T.
Photo by Ramadhan

Exactly a year ago, I went to Riva and reviewed that legendary restaurant with the great man in the kitchen, Gilles Marx. He is recognized for his modern approach to traditional French cooking and for his success in dealing with the toughest epicureans in town (such as Laksmi Pamuntjak of The Jakarta Good Food Guide). It seems that Gilles provides something new every time you meet him. Well, like any true artist, Gilles once again stunned me with his new invention; his own restaurant in Jakarta called Amuz.

First open to the public in October 2010, Amuz is pretty much still within its soft opening period. Prepare yourself to be amused with the ambiance and, of course, the cuisine. For his new atelier, Gilles has moved to a contemporary yet romantic and chic Parisian style featuring Eiffel Tower inspired iron work. Designed by Idris Samad, Amuz has the right elements to be an elegant fine dining restaurant without overdoing it. Sublime warmth from the teak wood flooring with fabulous teardrop-like chandeliers combined with Indonesian paintings from renowned artists and Indo–French styling has made Amuz a one of kind restaurant.

Some of Gilles’s characteristics remain, such as the open kitchen area where all the delicious dishes were born. The difference now is that he has more freedom to create new and modern French cuisine. Some of his new inventions such as escargots served on a pastry bed with basil pesto is one of the best samples of his new creations.

Like the restaurant name (liberally taken from the words amuse bouche), Gilles enjoys spoiling the guests with his particular brand of pre dinner tastes. During my visit there, his surprise was a black truffle and foie gras consommé with puff pastry served in a cup. It was not only cute but also very tasty. Over twenty years of experience with French cooking has given Gilles a strong understanding of Jakarta’s market. Amuz’s menu is divided into a classic and a new inventions section which is simple but filled with handpicked cuisines designed to more than satisfy.

I was very much impressed with some of his new inventions, such as the Alaskan king crab salad that had an edge delivered by a chilled watermelon gazpacho accompaniment. And my thoughts remained the same when it came to Gilles Marx’s famous foie gras. Gilles once again showed us great skill cooking a classic pan seared foie gras. Marry that with a glass of Amuz’s fantastic house wine then you are guaranteed a fine result.

It is quite tricky for me to not make this review sounds like purple prose, but it is as it is and Gilles excelled on both of my visits in Amuz. It will be interesting to see how the restaurant progresses and observe if it can be a new legend in the city. So far, my experiences there have exceeded my expectations for a new restaurant, though some improvement on the service could be appropriate. Nevertheless, the overall experience was simply superb. Make sure you leave some room for dessert to complete your experience, however, as Gilles and his team take their sweets seriously and it make it their goal to amuse.

Amuz Gourmet Restaurant
The Energy Building 2nd Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 250 5064