Established in 2009 by Corry Tjong, Culture Royale is a pioneering premium catering service that brings forth innovation and technology with international standards. Having started with only eight staff, Culture Royale has now grown into one of the leading catering services in Jakarta that is accustomed to serving large-scale parties and events of all kind. On today's Ask an Expert, Culture Royale shares with us their most popular delicacies and menus, strategies on how to tackle catering emergencies, and some catering-related advice for future brides.
Q: What services do you provide? What does your package include? A: Aside from wedding catering services, we are quite strong in our beverage section. We have our own bar setup which provides choices of hot or iced coffee, mocktails, even cocktails. If requested, we can serve after-parties as well. Our packages include cutleries and waiting staff, besides food and drinks of course. We even have a butler service to wait on the bride and groom and help them with catering matters.
Q: What is your signature menu? A: We always try to create a modern twist in our menu, with respect to traditional tastes.
Q: What is your most popular menu? A: There are a few, actually. Our customers especially love the Nasi Culture Royale, Salmon en Croute, Spanish Lobster Thermidor, Roasted Duck Noodle, Tongseng Kambing, and Empal Gentong.
Q: Do you add new menus regularly? Or do you just improve your existing menus? A: We always try to add new menus. In fact, we have set a standard of a minimum of 15 new menus every year.
Q: Can you adjust your portion and menu selection to a specific budget? A: Yes. We can adjust to each client's request, but there is a minimum revenue for every event.
Q: Do you do out-of-town weddings? A: For now, we cater to cities as far as Bogor, Bandung, and Bali. In the last six years, we have catered for weddings in Sorong, Palangkaraya, Pontianak, Surabaya, Semarang, and Cirebon.
Q: Being such an experienced player in the industry, you must have done many outdoor weddings. Can you share some catering tips for outdoor weddings? A: Outdoor weddings are more complicated, as there are a number of extra factors we have to consider. To ensure a comfortable service, it would be best to have a minimum distance of 5 meters between the pantry and your party area. The clear-up area for all the trash needs to be sanitized. All the preps will be done in the central kitchen and a Cambro food container will be prepared to keep the food's temperature. We also provide tents and candles to shelter from rain and shoo away flies.
Q: Can you recommend menus for outdoor weddings? A: We usually recommend the Teppanyaki Grill, Teppanyaki Fried Rice, and Kambing Guling. Less suitable food would be angel hair pasta and mousse type desserts as they will melt easily outdoors.
Q: Speaking of menu selections, what is the current trend for wedding menus in general? A: We noticed that in the beverage section, not only are there mineral water, juice, and soft drinks, there are also bar and coffee corner with a barista that mixes drinks for the guests. As for the food, more brides have asked for set dinner menus for their wedding. Dessert-wise, the menu that our customers have most sought after lately is the Colenak with Durian Sauce and home-made Es Puter Kopyor. And our newest addition to the dessert family is the Klapertaart Souffle.
Q: Do you have any tips for brides choosing their wedding menu? A: What's most important is maintaining balance in the food composition. In the stalls, there needs to be: protein (meat), seafood (fish/shrimp), soup-y menu (Zuppa Soup, Oriental Meatball Soup, Thai Suki, Tom Yum, or Empal Gentong). For carbs, you can choose either pasta or rice then throw in some lighter menu choices like Tahu Campur Magelang, Lumpia Udang Mayonaise, and some desserts like Colenak.
Q: A celebration often brings to mind alcoholic beverages. For brides who don't want to provide alcohol, what non-alcoholic beverages can you suggest as alternatives? A: Go with mocktails and juices. Our favorite drinks are Purple Snowy (taro cream, milk, and yogurt) and Mango Passion (mango, passion fruit, and mango puree).
Q: Now, for our most basic and important question. How do you determine the number of portions to order for a wedding? A: In the catering industry, there's actually a formula for this. For a party with 1000 guests, brides can pick either one out of two types of catering. The first one is the all-stall type, meaning that all the food is provided in stalls. Say you will have 5 stalls. In this case, the total portion should be 5000 to cater to all guests, assuming each guest will try each of the 5 stalls. The second option is the ratio-based one, either 60:40 or 50:50. The 60:40 ratio divides 600 pax for buffet and 400 pax for stalls, which is equal to 2000 total stall portions based on the earlier assumption. This results in a total of 2600 portions. As for the 50:50 ratio, 500 pax for buffet and 2500 stall portions for the remaining 500 will produce a total of 3000 portions.
Q: How do you tackle catering problems like having excess food or even not enough food for wedding guests? A: In the case of excess food, we would give them to the wedding organizer or the client to take away. Proper communication with the client is important to avoid not having enough food for the guests. The client should be open about the number of guests invited to the wedding up front, as we won't be able to do anything if there is a lack of food on the wedding day.