When a few of my friends continued to blog about our Jakarta adventure recently, i realised i left out probably the most epic dinner we had before we left the country. After a long day at the Garuda Training Centre, which was probably as long of a time we spent on the roads; we were all dead tired, starving and our bums could not stand another minute in a car.
The solution? We dress up and eat in the hotel. Thankfully the coffee house does have a comprehensive menu serving a whole load of local delights and had an aesthetically pleasing ambience.
Sunda Kelapa, the place was called.
When a basket of bread is placed in front of you of butter, you can't refuse.
I had this Tahu Telur Surabaya dish, the first time here and i must say i really like the simplicity of the ingredients thrown in and mixed together with a peanut sauce. Essentially an omelette with pieces of taufu thrown in and topped with peanuts, tauge and other unidentified "flying" vegetables.
The Gado Gado was very appetising and served beyond it's purpose for preparing our stomachs for the main course. The sweet yet spicy kick got us digging into their generous portion, really quickly.
An international cuisine coffee house has to serve beyond their local delights and our dear "western" palate of the group ordered their grilled prawns sitting on a dollop of mayonnaise. No complaints.
They also did a very nice smoked salmon sandwich but really, you should just leave the sandwiches and eat the local delights they have.
While all the appetiser action was going on, we had to get a cooling drink and we got a really "big" jug of beer. Just look at the size compared to the salt container.
When all the mains arrived, the only thing that we were worried about was finishing.
Just in case, you wanted to be a little different and try something beyond my recommendation of trying local (i know you would), there is a Tom Yum soup if you like that. I know it had quite a kick and had plenty of seafood in there.
Soto Tangkar Betawi - Spicy creamy beef rib soup. Meant to be a match made in heaven with rice, strong flavours from all that floating chilli and really, it was more of a stew than soup.
Tongseng Kambing Cakrawala - Spicy lamb stew. Now that i look back at the description, could it have been the other way around? Although i really doubted that the above could possibly be beef. Who knows? If you do end up here and order the two, correct me if i am wrong!
The Ikan Bakar Jimbaran - Grilled Baby Snapper or an other fish based on availability. I couldn't take more than a bite of this because anymore and the button of my pants would have popped. Although i really liked this, judging from the bite.
All of the above are served with rice, just in case you wanted to know.
Unless you wanted to be different, order their Nasi Goreng Sunda Kelapa which comes with satay and prawns. This, i never got to try but if my memory serves me correctly, once upon a time when i was studying at Taylors Business School, an Indonesian auntie ran a small cafe and served the most awesome sambal fried rice, spicy till you tear but it was with the most flavour. I sincerely hoped it would have been the same.
Eating out at the Hotel, promises a bit of everything and of course, hygiene. I am quite surprised that the food was all delicious although i would have never known since it was a virgin experience with the local cuisine. So if you happen to find yourself in Ancol, not wanting to pay this ridiculous RM10 toll (one way) when you exit and when you re-enter the area, stay in and eat.
Price are slightly more expensive but if you convert back to Ringgit Malaysia with drinks, we spent RM60 per pax, really a sneeze for some.
Located at the Ground Floor of Mercure Conventional Centre Hotel at Ancol, Jakarta.
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Decent local fare in a hotel setting.
Once again thanks to Garuda Indonesia Malaysia for hosting the trip to Jakarta and Mercure Group for hosting the hotels throughout our stay.