Publik Markette vs Caffé Milano

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
Following the opening of Central retail store and Uniqlo in Grand Indonesia, there has been a few new restaurants opening in this part of the mall. The two most popular are Publik Markette and Caffè Milano. I tried both of them for a quick double lunch on a weekday. In that same area, you also have Union Deli, Benedict and Nomz that I did not visit.

Publik Markette was opened by Ismaya (SKYE, Kitchenette, Pizza e Birra, Fook Yew, etc) and Caffé Milano is owned by the same people behind Union (some of which are also shareholders in Loewy, E&O and Cork & Screw). The Union group's venues, concept and design, are more geared towards Westerners while Ismaya's concepts are very popular among local Indonesians and less among expats (except for a few venues such as Dragonfly). Ismaya is usually more playful, more creative and innovative, while Union stays more classic and chic.

Caffè Milano:
Caffè Milano does not offer anything really new in terms of design and originality compared to the group's other venues. Even though it looks nice and classy, it is a disappointment for this part. Regarding the food, it is prepared by an Italian Chef, Luca Pezzera, so it is rather decent from what I could try. It is quite expensive for what you get though. I paid Rp200,000 for a basic pasta dish (Linguini with Ragout) and a sparkling water. For a 100,000rp more, I prefer choosing a full set lunch menu from Casa d'Oro in Kempinski Grand Indonesia, or in Scusa in Intercontinental also nearby.

Publik Markette
Publik Markette, on the contrary, is quite original, with an artsy design I have not seen elsewhere yet in Jakarta (I let you look at their photos). Their concept is similar to an adult version of Marché restaurants. You can take food and drinks from the display, or order from the menu. Taste-wise, as with most mall restaurants serving Western food in Jakarta, it is average with more misses than hits. The prices are not too high considering the location.
Overall: 
If you are looking for a buzzing and trendy place, both places will make you happy.
If you are looking for a classy venue with better food, more expats and closing late, you should go to Caffè Milano.
If you are looking for an original and comfortable place to eat or drink, you should go to Publik Markette.
If you are looking for excellent food at a decent price, you should go elsewhere.

Caffè Milano
Jl. M.H. Thamrin
Grand Indonesia East Mall, Central Department Store - Ground Floor
Phone number: +62 21 23580638
Facebook: Caffè Milano
Instagram: Caffè Milano

Publik Markette
Jl. M.H. Thamrin
Grand Indonesia East Mall, Central Department Store - Ground Floor
Phone number: +62 21 23581281

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