Success beyond expectations!
" a memorable evening recalling the days when royalty hosted spectacular events "
This grand event was long overdue. Together with the Royal Ambarrukmo we organised a memorable Gala diner at the ‘Kedathon’ (Palace) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia’s capital of art and culture.
The palace is located next to the hotel previously used as a retreat by Sultans until Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII in the 19th century. It was designated a National Heritage Museum in the 20th century when Indonesia gained independence.
Anticipation was astronomical on entering the ‘pendopo’ or lobby decorated with a stunning mix of roses, local fruits and leaves reminiscent of colonial era. Royal Palace ladies danced ‘Kenyo Tinembe’ a classical traditional dance expressing happiness and welcome. ‘Mpu’ or masters made traditional Javanese daggers or ‘keris’. A lady painted a batik sarong. Craftsmen made shadow puppets or ‘wayang’. Two dancers performed the iconic, legendary romantic dance of “Kamajaya and Kamaratih”.
We enjoyed cocktails with canapés of mini-cones of smoked salmon tartare, traditional Balinese style ‘sate lilit’ of king fish, spoons of creamy potato gratin with cheese, smoked rolled zucchini and truffle flair.
Guests included HE Dr Trevor Matheson, Ambassador of New Zealand to Indonesia; Rajesh Taneja, Bailli Délégué of Vietnam; Grand Officier MP Moetaryanto; Tazbir Abdullah, Director of Domestic Promotion at Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism. Besides these specifically-named dignitaries, the dinner party numbered local business leaders, Honorary Consuls, Hotel General Managers and gastronomic aficionados. All were warmly welcomed.
On to ‘Gadri’, the dining area, passing the family museum of Kedhaton Ambarrukmo with a view to ‘Bale Kambang’, a building high up, surrounded by ponds which was built ten centuries ago for the Sultans’ meditation and leisure.
The inaugural collaboration of Chef John from Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta and Chef Rôtisseur Nickolas Lazzaroni, our Bailliage of Bali Jeunesse “flying chef”, piqued our interest explaining the menu and wine pairings.
We were curious. What to expect from this first ever dinner held in Yogyakarta? The ‘wow’ factor? Absolutely! In traditional colonial style the team began serving accompanied by the Royal Gamelan Players. The mysterious sorbet and the turkey were the main stars!
Expectations exceeded! The excellent kitchen and service brigades, also the Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta’s Marketing and Communication team, received a well-deserved standing ovation from Bailli Délégué Firdaus Siddik, accompanied by Argentier Indy Siddik, Chargée de Missions Provinciale Klara Dallas and Maître Hôtelier Pierre Lang.
After dinner, Ian Cameron, General Manager of the Royal Ambarrukmo, graciously hosted us well past midnight. It was a memorable evening recalling the days when royalty hosted spectacular events for their international guests.
Yogyakarta, we will return.
Vive la Chaîne!