Jakarta New Dining: Plataran Menteng’s Homage to Heritage and History

When we heard that Plataran was opening a new restaurant in Jakarta, we couldn’t be more curious of what it’s going to be like. Plataran, a homegrown Indonesian hospitality group has been synonymous with unique and exotic Indonesian charm, rooted with five star delivery and eco-friendly principles. And Menteng Plataran, is the newest addition to its long list of hotels, restaurants, wedding venue, and even private cruises.

What needs to be talked about Plataran Menteng, first and foremost, is where this new restaurant is housed in. Ask anyone living in Jakarta, or even the guidebooks, they’ll tell you what a ‘Menteng’ address entitles.

It is one of the oldest and exclusive neighborhood in Jakarta where many of the houses date back to the Dutch era, and some of the owners are either part of the old rich or descendants of the history makers. It is also one of the greenest part of town and is home to some of Jakarta’s most beautiful mini parks.

The new restaurant takes place in an antique colonial house that used to belong to Dr. Lukito Husodo, one of the Soeharto family trusted gynecologist whose children, after his passing few years back, entrusted the house to Plataran’s owner. The only condition, was for the trees and the orchids that Dr. Husodo kept in his backyard, to be kept intact. And so it is.

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Not much has been altered with the house’s architecture too. Stepping into ithe main lobby, a couple of Plataran’s staff dressed in traditional Javanese kebaya & jarik greeted me and ushered me to the main dining area. It is obvious that the space had once been snug living rooms. A beautiful one too. It has now been transformed into separate dining rooms, and a large one with a full bar that overlooks what first looked like an outdoor backyard. But instead, it is actually an indoor open courtyard that extends to a newly three-floor building that is showered with sunlight during the day, yet stays cool around the clock as it is covered with retractable glass roof.

On the second and third floor, there are even more private dining areas that vary between 10 to 60 people capacity. On the fourth floor, there is going to be a roof top bar that overlooks Central Jakarta’s skyline.

If you’re familiar with Plataran Dharmawangsa, then you will be familiar with Plataran Menteng’s food too. It still prides itself with Indonesian-Asian menu that will peers towards peranakan dishes, yet stays within the humble traditional Indonesian roots. Some  Dharmawangsa’s most popular ones such as Ayam Dharmawangsa and Tahu Telor Asin makes up about 40% of the menu, paired with the chefs newer additions such as the refreshing Salad Putri Dewi; julienned jicama and young mangoes, tossed with fish sauce dressing and ginger flower.

Try the colorful stir fried Ayam Pelangi with broccoli, bell pepper and crispy basil. And for seafood lovers, don’t miss the Udang Sriwedari; fresh king prawns cooked in yellow egg curry with bell pepper and onion. Like most of Plataran’s menu, these dishes are also best enjoyed with rice, convivial style, or as Indonesians like to call it, makan tengah. 

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After your feast, leave room for a shared platter of Plataran’s version of the classic Indonesian dessert pisang bakar with Pisang Bakar Plataran, where sweet pisang is sandwiched between cheddar cheese rosti, and served with a decadent home made caramel sauce. A perfect mix of sweet, salty, and bittersweet. Kids will also love the ice cream booth in the courtyard, where they can mix and match sauces and toppings too.

End your visit to Plataran Menteng’s four floors of beautiful rooms and its nooks and crannies that will make you want snap pictures from every angle. If you’re lucky, maybe you can ask the staff to give you a little bit of a guided tour of what’s being displayed around and the story behind them.

Everywhere you look, you will notice well curated antiques and artifacts being displayed in all corners, all are the personal collection of the owners that they hand pick from their travels in Indonesia and other parts of the world. What best way to enjoy Indonesian food than to be surrounded with a real pieces of history?

Plataran Menteng
Jl. H.O.S. Cokroaminoto No. 42, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat
Phone: (021) 29627771

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