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Indonesian cuisine gets a molecular makeover

WHILE MOLECULAR gastronomy has been popular outside the nation’s borders for some time, local chefs interested in using esoteric culinary techniques from applied physics and chemistry on Indonesian dishes have been rare. Enter Chef Andrian Ishak, an autodidact gastronomic explorer and rock-n-roller who traded his guitar for a life in the kitchen. A typical dinner at Namaaz takes the experimentally minded or adventurous gourmet through a 17-course degustation experience. More than a meal, dinner with chef is closer to a whole-sensory show. No dish is exactly what is seems, either visually or orally. There’s a slight of hand at play. One moment, Andrian might serve an explosively flavorful dish that physically resembles a piece of paper and a pencil. Another moment, and you’ll be asked to don a raincoat–just in case. While there is an element of theater in Andrian’s table service that might not suit every diner, chef has a respect for Indonesian flavors, which he playfully draws out in dishes in a rotating menu.(cr)




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