By June Ramli
In the bustling metropolis of Jakarta, a short but unforgettable stay at the renowned St. Regis Hotel offered a truly remarkable experience.
On the enchanting afternoon of July 23, I had the privilege of indulging in the lavish Sunday brunch at Bel Etage.
Despite the initial surprise of strict security checks akin to airport procedures, my journey through the hotel’s offerings turned out to be an absolute delight.
As I arrived via a Grab ride from my cousin’s place, I found the St. Regis entrance secured by a gated checkpoint.
All guests were required to undergo a thorough security check, including baggage scanning, due to past hotel bombings in the city.
While it had been nearly a decade since the last incident, the hotel’s commitment to maintaining stringent safety protocols was evident.
A small inconvenience, perhaps, but undoubtedly for the well-being of all patrons.
Upon entering the splendid premises, I was cordially greeted by a hostess who inquired about my purpose.
Eagerly anticipating the delectable brunch, I was asked to wait briefly as the final touches were being prepared for the sumptuous buffet spread.
I took advantage of this time to explore the hotel and was mesmerized by the tranquil swimming area nestled amidst towering buildings – a haven of serenity.
Finally, the moment arrived for brunch, and I was led to table number five, where I had the pleasure of dining with an Indonesian media personality and his lovely wife, as well as the St. Regis hotel publicist. The company was delightful, and the culinary journey commenced.
Starting with creamy mash and delightful Mac and Cheese, I eagerly ventured to the roast area, only to discover an extensive assortment of delicacies.
The buffet boasted an array of Japanese cuisine, western classics such as meatballs, a Chinese noodle station, and a delightful selection of local Indonesian dishes.
Notably, I learned that the buffet was not Halal certified, which meant that some non-Halal options, including pork, were included.
However, much to my relief, I realized that what I initially thought was pork in the Mac and Cheese turned out to be beef ham.
In addition to the buffet, diners could also opt for a set Ala carte menu, which featured a variety of refreshing juices and beverages.
The spectacular culinary experience at Bel Etage was curated by Chef Oscar Perez, and I was informed that the menu would change periodically, offering fresh surprises for repeat visitors.
I couldn’t resist sampling a sip of their signature St. Regis Bloody Mary, a delightful rendition tailored to suit local tastes, complete with crackers (kerepek) and a unique lemongrass stem stirrer.
Nevertheless, the mouthwatering offerings surpassed any expectations, especially the extensive dessert selection that left me in awe.
Throughout the brunch hours, the dining area was brimming with enthusiastic patrons, many of whom revealed in the experience from the very start to the late afternoon.
At 1 pm, a captivating St. Regis ritual unfolded as champagne bottles were popped, and guests were treated to complimentary servings of the bubbly.
As my brunch journey came to an end, St. Regis kindly invited me to explore their range of rooms.
The accommodations, catering to various budgets, offered unparalleled luxury, with the Presidential Suite standing as the pinnacle of opulence – a haven for those willing to indulge lavishly.
In conclusion, my experience at the St. Regis Hotel in Jakarta was nothing short of extraordinary.
Amidst rigorous security measures, the Bel Etage brunch enchanted guests with a diverse and delectable spread, leaving a lasting impression of culinary excellence.
A true gem amidst the vibrant city, St. Regis Jakarta promises a retreat where luxury and gastronomy converge seamlessly.
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli