1953 Restaurant Indonesien

Kebayoran Baru was a satellite town accommodating a newly independent nation’s capital on the brink of a population boom. The area was a melting pot of former colonials and the country’s elite – a reunion of East and West in a world where opportunity abounded. That was in the 1950s. Today, although much has changed, one place preserves such bespoke charm: 1953 Restaurant Indonesien.

Displaying a modern minimalist look on the outside, much of the interior has remained steadfastly original since the Dutch East India Company built the mansion back in 1953. Past the main entrance, an old memorial plaque signed by a Dutch Corporation and the mansion’s original builder in the year 1953 grabbed my attention. In addition, 1953 Restaurant Indonesien offers three private dining rooms, making it ideal for more intimate events. On the ground floor, diners can enjoy their meals in a spaciously comfortable hall connected to an open kitchen area, just adjacent to the outer courtyard, which can also be utilised as a smoking area, or a makeshift bar during special functions. With a generous balcony riddled with colonial-style finesse, your dining experience will be similar to that of discerning aristocrats from yesteryear, plus all of today’s modern glamour. Portions are fit to share, as is the hospitable nature of Indonesian culture. Complex fusions of herbs and spices are found in abundance, emphasizing the riches of one of the most valuable colonies of the late Dutch Empire. Presentation is immaculate and beautiful – such was life for the brave in the wake of exploring and charting the uncharted.

If you are a fan of hot food, you will welcome the embrace of Wagyu Garo Rica-Rica as its spiciness assails you at each bite of the juicy meat, or ask for the signature Gado-Gado for a varied taste of Indonesia’s fresh vegetables with a slightly spicy peanut sauce.

Another favourite course is ayam bakar bumbu kecombrang nasi kencur. The rice in this dish has grilled boneless chicken mixed with a very delicate combination of fresh herbs, including kecombrang, an edible flower found only in Southeast Asia. Cooked with grated aromatic ginger and minced onions, the combination of these two elements created a very pleasant experience that gave each bite a different flavour.

Completing your dining experience is 1953 Restaurant Indonesien’s wide variety of wine and champagne specifically hand-picked to delight, which you’ll no doubt agree upon discovering what a glass of fruity Merlot can do to your spicy nasi goreng. The cellar also carries some premium Old World labels to suit your connoisseur self.

1953 Restaurant Indonesien clearly elevates the principles of Indonesian food by marrying its sheer potential with a level of presentation worthy of any international gastronomic establishment and all of its modernized Old World charm.