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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.
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

Sesto Senso by Hide Yamamoto (Jakarta)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Sesto Senso is an Italian restaurant owned by a Japanese Chef, Hide Yamamoto. Located in Lotte Mall Kuningan, it is similar in concept with other recently opened venues such as AW Kitchen and Popolamama. All of these are managed by Japanese but sell mostly Italian dishes.

The design of Sesto Senso is modern minimalist, which made me feel like it was soulless, a bit as if I was sitting in the waiting room of a brand-new hospital. It is a good thing the waiters were warm and friendly to compensate for that feeling. I also enjoyed the view of Jakarta's skyline from the large window.

The menu (available in detail here) features all the popular Italian classics, particularly pasta. The prices are rather expensive, about 20% higher than average.
Pocket Size Pizza Margarita (Rp89,000+21%)
Spaghettini Aglio Olio Peperoncino (Rp85,000+21%)
I had a Pizza Margarita (89,000rp+21% tax and service) and the Pasta Aglio Olio Peperoncino (85,000rp+21%). The Pizza Margarita tasted ok, but certainly not as fine as those you can have in authentic Italian restaurants. It was quite small too. The pasta portion was rather tiny as well and the taste was very common. The thing I preferred actually was the free bread they gave as an appetizer (from their own Flour Flour Bakery). 

Overall: Being used to eat authentic Italian food, I was a disappointed with what I ate in Sesto Senso. I did not see any Japanese or innovative touch in any of the dishes. I could try again if I happen to be in Lotte Mall, but I wouldn't come specifically from far away only to eat there.
Sesto Senso & Flour Flour Bakery
Pasta and Antipesto
Ciputra World Super Block - Lotte Mall
Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio Kav.3-5, First Floor
South Jakarta

Phone number: +62-21 2988 9153
Fax: +62-21 2988 9155


Opening Hours:
Every day from 10am to 10pm
Pasta Menu in Sesto Senso

The Dining Room at Immigrant (Jakarta)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Before it went under renovation, the club and the restaurant of Immigrant were not truly separated. You had clubbers next to you when you were dining, along with loud music and a terrible smell of cigarette smoke.

This was obviously a problem and the owners of Immigrant have solved it by opening two different venues: The club Immigrant, and the restaurant, The Dining Room at Immigrant. Both are still next to each other on the 6th floor of Plaza Indonesia, but there is no direct connection between them.

The Dining Room at Immigrant is probably one of the best venues for eating casual Western food in the mall, along with Moovina, Saint Louis (La Moda) and Bistro Baron. Compared to those, it has the advantage of being in a quieter location, and therefore more suitable for a date or an intimate dinner. It doesn't have a garden but there are large windows and many plants, giving the place a fresh feeling that it did not have before.

I visited during lunch on a weekday. The atmosphere was calm and serene. I imagine that it must be quiet different during the weekends, especially considering they will have DJs playing. The design is similar with E&O, Loewy or Union.

I was with a few friends and we were able to sample a few dishes (see below). The menu is international, with mostly Italian dishes (Pizza & Pasta) and Meat (particulary Beef Ribs). Overall the food we tried was very good, and not too expensive except if you go for the beef.
Pizza Margarita (Rp70,000++)
Iga Bakar Bumbu Bali (Rp190,000++)
Conchiglioni Pasta (Rp80,000++)
Fondant Au Chocolat (Complimentary from the Manager)
My only criticism is that the dishes were missing some originality and some truly unique flavours. I heard that the Chef from Garçon will work in the Dining Room soon and I hope he can add a little something to the recipes to turn them into something more memorable.

Overall: I recommend you to try the Immigrant's Dining Room. The place has just opened so I don't know how it will evolve.Hopefully it could become a lively pre-clubbing venue such as Loewy, Social House or Union...
The Dining Room At Immigrant
Mall Plaza Indonesia
Sixth Floor, Jalan Thamrin, Jakarta


Phone number: + 62-21 3892 8257
Mobile: +62 8 15 8560 1100

Opening Hours:
Every Day starting 11am until late

L'Osteria Italian Restaurant Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
L'Osteria is an Italian restaurant located in the Senopati neighborhood. It serves pastas, steaks and oven-baked pizzas.

I visited before lunch and the place was almost empty. Its design is modern and bright: It would probably be more appropriate if it was inside a mall. It lacked atmosphere, but fortunately the waiters and waitresses were very friendly and made me forget about this.

I tried a Margarita pizza, priced at 75,000rp ++. This is rather expensive for Jakarta standards. It tasted fine, but it did not have an authentic Italian taste. In particular it was way too greasy.

Overall: Average experience. I would not recommend unless you live nearby and you are lazy to go to cheaper pizza joints like Pepenero.
L'Osteria Jakarta
Jalan Ciranjang No 21.
South Jakarta, Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 72 69 015/16

Facebook: Osteria Indonesia 
Website: Osteria Jakarta 

Opening Hours:
From Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 10pm

From Friday to Saturday from 11am to 11.30pm

Le Quartier (French Restaurant)

By Nyoman →

Le Quartier ("The Neighbourhood" in French, pronounced like the jewelry brand "Cartier") is a new French Restaurant, opened in 2013 in Kebayoran Baru, near Senopati. I liked the building facade of the Restaurant as well as the interior design. The decoration is well done and it really gives the feeling you are in a French bistro, with also a few modern touches. The overall impression is that it is an elegant and luxurious place, especially with their beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

The food was good also, with a fair choice of French meals and some good bread. They also serve some Italian food (pasta and pizza) and Burgers. I would not say it is purely a French restaurant in their menu: It is international, similar with the one in Union or Loewy. I liked the Steak Tartare, tasty and juicy. I had some good wine also, which is quite important for a French Restaurant. The desserts were OK and the service was friendly.

Overall: Since the decoration and the atmosphere is very nice and it feels romantic, I advise you to bring a date here, it will be a successful dinner. The only problem with Quartier is their prices: They are quite high even for basic dishes like salads or sandwiches. Expect to pay at least 400,000 Rupiah for a full meal without alcohol.

For our selection on the Best French Restaurants in Jakarta, you can read this article: My Favourite French Restaurants.
Le Quartier
Jalan Gunawarman #34
Kebayoran Baru
South Jakarta

Phone: +62-21 7278 8001+62-21 7278 8001

Opening Hours: Open From 07:00 - Onwards

Facebook: Le Quartier
Twitter: Le Quartier

Photos from my second visit (I had an overpriced Tuna Nicoise Salad):

Modi & Rosa Authentic Italian Restaurant Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I saw Modi & Rosa from a taxi on Jalan Ampera and I immediately wanted to try it as it seemed like the kind of restaurants I enjoy: small, independent, and with a good value for money.

I was a bit disappointed with the general atmosphere of the place. The decoration is minimal and there was no customers. It looks like a meeting room in a 3-star hotel. The waiters were friendly but they seemed bored to death.

The music was not stable, sometimes there were songs, sometimes not. The music from the supermarket Jason's, at the lower level could be heard as well.

They have a rather small Italian only menu, with mainly pastas (from 45,000rp++ to 95,000rp++), pizzas (from 35,000rp++ to 95,000rp++) and meat dishes (between 100,000rp++ and 200,000rp++). The oven for the pizza is electric.

I took one of the dishes of the day, the Duck Confit Ravioli (65,000rp ++). The portion came very small, but it was very good. The raviolis were home-made and cooked perfectly with a delicious creamy sauce.

The food really saved Modi & Rosa because apart from that, it doesn't have much for itself. I think that if they had a nicer location, it would certainly benefit them.

Overall: I would visit again, if I was living nearby, for reasonably-priced Italian food. It is not a place for a date or serious dinner though, because of Jason's Supermarket below.
Modi & Rosa
Authentic Italian Restaurant Cilandak
Jason's Market, Second Floor
Jalan Ampera Raya 22, Cilandak,  South Jakarta

Phone number: +62 (0) 81806199788

Byblos Bistro (Pondok Indah Jakarta)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Byblos is a pub/bar located in the new Pondok Indah Mall 3. It recently changed owner, from an Italian guy behind the Planet Hollywood to an Indonesian.

The place is very comfortable, especially with some large sofas you can never move away from. The service is friendly, you also have 1 or 2 Public Relation ladies, which seemed to be selective about the guests they would talk to.

I only had a Bintang (65,000rp), but it also has a full Pub Fare menu (Pasta, Pizza, Burgers, Asian Favourite, etc). From what I could see on other tables, the food portions seemed generous.

Byblos was not too crowded when I arrived at 6pm, but slowly it got busier. For a monday night it wasn't too bad.
Overall, I recommended Byblos for a drink if you are in Pondok Indah Mall. I should check again on Saturday or Friday nights, they have DJs so it might be good for party as well.

Byblos Bistro
Pondok Indah Mall Street Gallery (PIM 3 Second Floor)
Jalan Metro Duta Niaga Blok. B5, South Jakarta
Phone number: +62-21 29529744 or +62-21 2952 9745
Fax: +62-21 2952 9743

Twitter: Byblos Pondok Indah Jakarta
Facebook: Byblos Jakarta

Opening hours:
Everyday from 10am to 12pm (until 2am on Friday and Saturday)
Happy Hours: From 3pm to 7pm
Lady's Night: Every Tuesday Buy 1 Get 1 Cocktail from 6pm to 12pm

Balboni Italian Restaurant Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

Balboni is an upmarket Italian restaurant located in Kota Kasablanka Mall. It is the property of Mr. Lal De Silva,  an Australian national also the owner of the popular Harvest bakery shops, and Negev and Chateau Blanc restaurants.

The concept of Balboni changed recently with the arrival of a new Italian General Manager, Andrea Gianini (who used to work in La Luce). Once a fusion Italian-Asian restaurant, Balboni is now a traditional Italian restaurant and it seems this new concept is more successful.

My first impression of Balboni was very good. The place was crowded and the service impeccable. Andrea, the GM, was on the floor, instructing his team to make sure each table was well taken care of. The staff was really attentive, even too much. There was not 3 minutes without someone coming to my table to ask if everything was ok.

The music playing was quite good and upbeat. It makes the place a rather nice spot for a pre-party evening. I saw they have regular DJ events on weekends too.

In the open kitchen, I could see there was a western Chef as well, Ivan Tarrago, a Spanish man who is the corporate Chef for all the venues of the group.

The prices are reasonable: I had the Bruschetta for 59,000 rp and a Pizza Margherita for 70,000 rp. It was not incredible, but considering the quality of the service and the atmosphere of the restaurant, I felt it was good value for money. I would not come from far away to visit Balboni, but if you leave near from Kota Kasablanka, it is worth a try.

Balboni Italian Restaurant Jakarta
Kota Kasablanka Mall, Tower A
Jalan Casablanca Raya Kav. 88
South Jakarta

Opening hours:
Every day from 11am to midnight (later on weekends)

Phone number: +62-21 2956 8712

Website: Balboni Restaurant Jakarta
Twitter: Balboni Jakarta
Twitter of the Executive Chef: Ivan Tarrago
Facebook: Balboni Kota Kasablanka