Out of so many fine dining restaurants in Jakarta, how many Indonesian fine dining restaurant can we find? Not as many as its Western counterparts, unfortunately. But with the arrival of this new Indonesian fine dining restaurant in town, the class of 'Indonesian fine dining' shall no longer be limited exclusively to just Rijstafel...
The term 'fine dining' is often associated with fancy French or Italian restaurants or anything that comes from the west to the majority unassuming Asians. What about other type of cuisines from other regions like Japan, India, Indonesia, China, etc then? What is that distinguishing or 'X' factor, which makes a type of dining, a fine dining as opposed to just a casual dining? Is it the price, location, elaborate preparation, concept or some other gimmicks? I suppose a right balance of all the factors I mentioned before, is required to result in a solid fine dining establishment, like the new place I was talking about, 1945.
1945 is the latest brainchild of Sari Rasa group, which has successfully popularized satay in air-conditioned venues as stand alone restaurants, in food courts and shopping malls, through its brands like Sate Khas Express, Sate Khas Senayan, and Tesate. Unlike the existing brands, 1945 completes the range of Indonesian-themed restaurants belonging to this group from semi-fast, mass casual, casual, and fine dining, making it whole, like a full circle. Perhaps that's why the logo of 1945 uses rounded typeface, as do all of the fine rounded ceramic plates used here.
The venue of 1945 is divided into 4 distinct 'layers': the outermost close to the entrance being the Lounge, set on concrete floors where guests cold get drinks and light bites and some of the dishes on the main menu. The next 'layer', set on 1945 carpet floor, is a row of private rooms, and the last 'layer' is an elongated and open dining hall, where the main dining affair takes place. Rather hidden new the wine display, is a private room called the Oval Room. The interior is an eclectic blend of traditional and modern design, as can be seen from the photos below.
|The Lounge area|
|Main dining hall|
|Wine display, will be filled with various range of wines in no time|
Some would consider the menu at 1945 to be fusion, but they call these an innovative re-imagining of traditional Indonesian dishes as gourmet cuisine, that is still recognizable as Indonesian cuisine. And it goes beyond just the food, even the drinks are upgraded with a twist. For example Es Gandul, a classic childhood treat, shaved ice, compacted then served on a stick and topped with red banana flavoured syrup, becomes a trendy Iced Soda Gandul.
|Left: Fruity Lime Granita Mulberry (red), Fruity Lime Granita Passion Fruit (yellow)|
Right: Iced Soda Gandul Blue Pea Flower
|Ice Soda Gandul Tamarind|
|Rebusan: assorted Indonesian crackers, steamed nuts and sweet fried yam balls and sweet pandan chips|
Sate and Appetizers
|Tahu Isi - tofu stuffed with prawn, topped with seared scallop and caviarThe caviar and the scallop add that luxury touch to this all-time-favorite street treat,|
|Sate - grilled meat (choice of Wagyu Beef / Chicken Oyster / Lamb Tenderloin / Gindara) on bamboo skewers|
|Lilit Kepiting - crab cake lilit on a bed of urap vegetables and sweet rujak dressing|
Rice Dishes and Main Course
1945 stays faithful to the classic when it comes to Nasi Goreng, from the ingredients and the dish presentation, it's a classic number that can't go wrong, although I honestly hoped for something more special, since its price is also quite special. For the Main Course however, the chef displays a more daring and playful combination of traditional Indonesian recipe with modern & western techniques to result in a clever and beautifully presented Indonesian dishes.
|Nasi Goreng Kampung - 'kampong' style Indonesian traditional fried rice with fried egg and chicken oysters|
|Nasi Goreng Wagyu - fried rice (black and white rice) with wagyu and infused with terasi (spicy Indonesian shrimp paste)|
|Duck Galangal - crispy fried duck confit with Asian greens and sweet galangal dressing. As a non-duck fan, I totally liked this duck dish, so it's a really special one.|
|Gindara - grilled gindara fillet with 1945 sweet terasi infused sauce. This is my favourite dish here!|
|Tongseng Lamb Chop - sous vide lamb chop, deep fried and served over stir fried vegetables in tongseng sauce.|
Of all the dessert that we had, the Frozen Srikaya Souffle stood out the most, just see the photo below and you'll understand what's so special about it. But the Nastar Cake and Tape Cheesecake are quite impressive as well, it's just a matter of subjective preference.
|Nastar Cake - golden pineapple sponge cake topped with butter crumble|
|Frozen Srikaya Souffle - cream souffle with frozen srikaya filling, served with pandan glutinous rice.|
|just look at that sticky kaya filling!|
|Tape Cheesecake - creamy smooth cheesecake infused with tape (sweet & soft fermented cassava), served with vanilla sauce|
One of the biggest challenge for bloggers is to capture Indonesian food, because finger-lickin' and scrumptious they may be, often times the presentation do not look appetizing, even ugly at some cases. But as you can see from the beautiful pictures above, 1945 proves that Indonesian food too, can look beautiful and taste great at the same time and that it can extend beyond the lavish Rijstafel feast. Besides, for a fine dining restaurant, the prices are still quite reasonable, in my opinion. It's only a matter of time until I return for its Frozen Srikaya Souffle =)
Entrees & Dessert: IDR 80,000 - 190,000
Main Course & Rice Dishes: IDR 135,000 - 800,000
Beverages (non-alcoholic): IDR 50,000 - 100,000
*) Prices are subject to Government Tax & Service Charge
- Lounge: 11 am - 12 am
- Restaurant: Lunch 11 am - 3.30pm | Dinner 6.30 pm - 11 pm
Fairmont Jakarta, 3rd Floor
Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8
Gelora Bung Karno
Jakarta - 10270
Ph: +6221 29039179
Click here to open location in Maps
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