The first joint venture of chef Hans Christian and restaurateur Budi Cahyadi, August is getting diners to turn their attention to a city often seen more as a business centre than a culinary destination. Leading the gastronomic wave in Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta, the restaurant offers a winning combination of local and international inspiration served up in a relaxed dining room – its bold and unique flavours quickly became the talk of the town when August opened to the public in late 2021.
The 50-seat dining room, located in the Sequis Tower building in Jakarta’s central Sudirman district, feels warm and unpretentious. Christian and Cahyadi, both seasoned operators with international experience, felt sure from the beginning that August – despite the grandiose sound of its name, which means ‘respected and impressive’ in Latin – was to provide the feeling of a friend’s home, into which they would welcome the community every evening.
Here, with diners surrounded by bookshelves filled with the team’s favourite reads, Christian’s individual cooking style has a chance to shine. Born in West Java and raised in Jakarta, the chef applies his international training – which took him to Rhode Island and Chicago – to a well-curated selection of Indonesian ingredients, interpreting the result through his own food memories and the country’s ancestral traditions.
The 14-course tasting menu is an invitation to travel across Indonesia, taking in dishes such as James and Jen’s Fresh Egg, which sees said egg harvested in Bogor in West Java and transported to Jakarta within just 48 hours, then cooked at 65 degrees Celsius. It is accompanied on the plate by bacon marmalade, sautéed horenzo and a gingery chicken bone sauce.
Another of the chef’s most popular creations is inspired by his mother’s opor ayam, an Indonesian dish of chicken cooked in coconut milk. In his interpretation, Christian uses a confit duck leg and combines it with opor-flavoured béchamel and potato, then coats the mix in batter and deep fries it as a croquette. A raisin and cola jam completes the comforting and surprising snack.
Receiving the top honour for a rising star restaurant in the Asian region, August aims to be an inspiration for Jakarta’s restaurant scene. Christian and Cahyadi feel strongly that the city holds much as-yet-untapped potential and want to help uncover it. Even as their restaurant bursts onto the culinary scene at the international level, the founders are already looking beyond at what’s next on their path, cementing August’s status as the American Express One To Watch 2023.
Now read the interview with Christian and Cahyadi and watch the video:
Discover more about the previous award winners