No Rhapsody in Surabaya’s JW Mariott


This is Surabaya’s JW Marriott Hotel’s breakfast restaurant. It is also a lunch and dinner restaurant. It is not shiny so the name is unimportant. Without limiting or delimiting this JW Marriott establishment, it is proper to say that they serve Indonesian cuisine. My colleagues and I were able to say “terimah kasih!”. No thanks to this JW Marriott’s plain restaurant/lounge menu, though. No authentic Indonesian food.


The Impatient Mr. Kurosawa

12:15 am. After office.

We decided to eat out somewhere. We were not yet sure where but we headed right to some place. We were brought to Resorts World Manila. After surveying all the floors of Newport Mall, we found out that only The Cafe and Mr. Kurosawa were open. The cafe was less crowded than Mr. Kurosawa, a Euro-Japanese restaurant. So we decided to go to the latter thinking that there must be a reason why it was so crowded. It looked like a watering hole. Literally.

We were given a table on the side. It was the only available table at the time we came into the restaurant. The table was quite wide. It could accommodate four. The chairs were cushioned. Everything was elegantly designed. The ceiling had back lighted Japanese paintings, we assumed, on a semi-opaque white plastic material. Or those were simply the light of the restaurant albeit with some nice design. There was a figure of a samurai in attack position. We figured that it was Mr. Kurosawa.

On the wall where our table was against was a red velvety drapery hanging from the ceiling to the floor. On the right and left sides of the wall were two silver framed mirrors hanged by steel wires.

1:00 am. After all such musings about the physicality of the restaurant.

We were given the menu. It was a huge book with thick cardboards for pages. Each dish had a picture in it. The menu was well presented. And in a few while we were ready to order. We made a few attempts to call the attention of the waiters. The restaurant was packed with attendees from The 34th Gawad Urian Awards held at the Marriott Hotel. In fact, TV host and writer Butch Francisco was seated next to us. So catching the attention of the servers was a great challenge. We called Martin and Athens but they did not hear us. A lady-waiter noticed us but refused to approach. O snap! We were already losing our cool.

After about 15 mins of waiting and hailing for a server we were finally attended to by a chubby girl. We ordered Beef Teppan from The Kurosawa Selection, Shrimp Enoki Pizza from the You Had Me At Pizza selection, and California Rolls from Rolls Of A Lifetime. The menu could be confusing. It was not for the faint of heart. With a selection of 195 dishes, a client would feel like a government exam reviewee. Choosing from there was a practice of decision-making. You cannot afford to deliberate on every item on the menu. You have to make a choice, and fast.

Choosing from the menu could also be a practice of chance, sort of trying your luck. It was like picking a lot from a fishbowl not knowing what it is but sticking with it even though you do not know how it would taste. The menu had 23 sub-groups. They call their soup selection Soup For The Samurai, Noodles For A Ninja, their hotdog selection Roboto Dogs, their steak choices as The Meatpacking District. They have dishes like Roppongi Braised Pork, Kobe Kurosawa, Iwo Jima (Chicken Teriyaki and Mangoes) Pizza, Kobe Kurosawa, Steak and Foie-gras, Sizzling Kobe Beef, and Fruit Parfait.

Then came the eternal wait for our food to be served. Tik. tak. Tic. Tac. Was the food worth the wait? Watch out. Let’s wait some more. Something will be written about the food. Just wait.

2:30 am. Out of the restaurant.