If you think that the only way to enjoy Thai Mango Sticky Rice is eating a huge blob of sticky rice and freshly cut mangoes, think again. As a huge fan of that dish, the image sticks to my heart and is ingrained in my brain. But Cultivate Gading Serpong has proven me wrong.
At Cultivate Gading Serpong, gone is the rustic, street-style Mango Sticky Rice (IDR 45K). It is replaced by a beautifully plated dessert, reminiscence of those at posh cafés and five-star hotels. On the plate are two neat balls of sticky rice, mango gelee in place of fresh mangoes, refreshing coconut sorbet, and a bit of crumbs. On the bottom of it all is a splash of coconut milk, Jackson Pollock style.
To be frank, the purist in me feels like there’s something missing without the freshness and texture of real mangoes. Having said that, Cultivate’s version manages to capture all the essential flavors and elevate the presentation. It also feels great to be able to have Mango Sticky Rice any time you want, regardless of the mango season.
The second dessert we ordered, Valrhona Kalingo Lava Cake (IDR 50K), also took a “familiar flavors, different visuals” route. Chocolate lava cake and vanilla ice cream are always a favorite combination, but when the lava cake is made of single origin 65% Valrhona Kalingo dark chocolate, suddenly everything tastes better. As for presentation, I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Despite the heavy emphasis on beautiful plating, Cultivate’s dessert is so much more than that. They play with tried-and-tested classic flavors, but then change things up and make the dish their own. If you’re wondering who is the creativity behind those smart desserts, look no further than Jane Setiady, a former pastry cook of Akira Back, one of Jakarta’s best fine dining restaurants.
Cultivate Gading Serpong also offers brunch menus like Eggs Benedict and Club Sandwich, coffee to wake you up, hot chocolate to warm your body, and tea by Tea et Al. I think it’s appropriate to say that Cultivate is an all-round solid place to hang out, regardless of your food preference. Now, one more thing that has to be said. A café focusing on dessert, when everyone is doing coffee non-stop? A breath of fresh air. Awesome move. May more dessert-centric places pop out in the future.
Address: Jalan Kelapa Gading Selatan Blok BH10 No.11
Price Range: IDR 45-50K (plated dessert); IDR 35-55K (savoury food); IDR 25-35K (beverage)
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