The restaurant’s refined interior ambience.
Text by Erza S.T. Photos by M. Ramadhan
Home cooking is often seen as comfort food that should stay at home and be eaten amongst family members. However, we are always longing for the comfort that comes from the memory of someone’s mother’s or aunty’s kitchen. A recently open Indonesian restaurant called Plataran Dharmawangsa is trying to capture that essence and show that cooking comfort food can also be seen as a modern cuisine surrounded by classy ambience.
Nestled in the prestigious vicinity of the Dharmawangsa residential neighbourhood, Jakarta, this restaurant has all the right elements to make it work. A gorgeous garden filled with exotic birds, like guinea fowl and doves, welcomes you at the entrance, while the main restaurant is actually a traditional Javanese joglo house. Additional rooms extending off both sides with glass roof and walls, make us feel like we are in some kind of beautiful modern terrarium. The restaurant also has a separate additional building in the style of a limasan house (another type of Javanese house) that works as a private room that can fit in up to 50 people.
The beautiful facade of the joglo house and its gorgeous garden.
The beautiful façade of the restaurant balances with its exquisite ambience; a big chandelier is the centre point, juxtaposing a massive wooden panel backdrop that is fully carved into beautiful piece called gebyok, that will surely capture the attention as you step inside, and Indonesian artifacts meet with classic wooden furniture on floral motif tiles that give a subtle, modern, colonial feel.
Going on to the menu, I feel that the whole ambience is really well represented here as well. It offers some of Indonesia’s best home-cooked dishes from around the archipelago, including Chinese and even Indian influences. On the traditional side, dishes such as Gado-Gado Dharmawangsa (salad with peanut sauce), Mie Godok Jawa (noodle soup Javanese style), to Dendeng Batokok (air-dried beef spiced with traditional Sumatran relish) are made true to tradition with all the right notes on the palate.
As for the home-cooking section, I noticed the Chinese influence on the selection and I couldn’t be happier. Memorable dishes on the menu include Sup Oyong Telur Puyuh (silky gourd soup with quail egg, fish meat ball, chicken, shimeji mushroom and ginger), Shimeji Telur Asin (shimeji battonet toasted with salty egg yolk, curry leaves and chili padi), Belut Cah Fumak (stir-fried eel with fumak vegetables) and Jamur Istana (sautéed shitake mushroom, broccoli, bean sprout and served with oyster sauce) are not only good but cooked with such precision in taste. It really took me back to my childhood, where my grandmother would actually cook some of these dishes.
Going to Plataran Dharmawangsa gives me the the impression of going to a wealthy babah peranakan family’s house (Chinese who married with Javanese in the past). Their beautiful joglo houses would usually be decorated with some European nuance, though still offering the same Javanese hospitality with Chinese inspired ways of cooking. It is truly a great place where you can find refined home cooking in a beautiful home set up.
Tel: +62 (0)21 290 44 267