My first ever visit to Jakarta was just for 48 hours to renew our passports. I had heard many things about Jakarta but one thing kept getting mentioned – the unbelievable traffic jams. I was expecting the worst but was sort of surprised when we did get there as Jakarta reminded me of Manila, except it was greener (not eco-greener, just more trees). And yes, the traffic was a bother but it wasn’t so bad that we were always late.
We arrived in Jakarta on a weekday evening to the shiny and new terminal which was a pleasant surprise. Then, we made it to the hotel in Kuningan in about half an hour with hardly any traffic. After checking-in, we had planned to walk to a restaurant which was a few blocks from the hotel but it started to pour. Luckily, the hotel had a buggy that could take you around the block so we jumped in and headed to the Oakwood shopping arcade for our 9 p.m dinner reservation at Loewy.
Loewy (pronounce low-wee) is a replica of Pastis in New York. From the white tiled-walls, sanded wooden floors, globe lights and red logo to the large menus, bare wooden tables, wooden chairs, leather banquettes lining the walls and antique French posters. This was New York city Jakarta-style, right down to the noise and the crowded bar.
We were seated at a table near the outdoor terrace and were given menus – bistro classics with a few Asian dishes thrown in for good measure and the only deviation from the concept. We made our choices right away and placed our order. A started with a goat cheese salad which J and I helped him with. The salad was good with a large chunk of melted goat’s cheese on a slice of crispy baguette and lots of greens. Our main courses were served soon after – fish and chips for J, sirloin with mashed potato for A and the Wagyu short ribs with french fries for me. Both meat dishes came with a salad of mache (lamb’s lettuce) and a side order of sauce, mustard for A and Bearnaise for me. Portions are good-sized and the food was fine – not spectacular but exactly what you would get in a neighborhood bistro. Service is also a bit too laid-back to the point that you have to wave to get your servers’ attention.
Two desserts to share – millefeuille (hazelnut or vanilla filling, I had the latter) which was oddly served with vanilla ice cream and the profiteroles (vanilla or coconut ?!! ice cream, we obviously chose vanilla) which came smothered in chocolate sauce.
While were waiting for the bill, the DJ cranked up the music and the crowd got rowdier. Our son (the only child in the whole restaurant) had always asked us what it was like to go to a bar or a club. Well, I was finally able to show him what it felt like because the atmosphere at Loewy after ten p.m. was just that – loud music, people still waiting to be seated, mostly expats heaving at the bar and a feeling that sooner rather than later, there were going to be a few clients dancing on tables. Copycat Loewy must be doing something well because the crowds haven’t stopped coming since they opened a few years ago.
Shopping Arcade at Oakwood
Jl. Lingkar Mega Kuningan
Telephone: +62 21 2554 2378
Open 7 days a week, from 11 a.m. till late for breakfast, brunch (on weekends), lunch and dinner