Italian & Sri Lankan Feast at Balboni Ristorante

Italian Piadina
Hearty & tummy filling lunch at Balboni Ristorante :)
Did you see the photo above? Pretty isn't it? Not just because of how I styled it, somehow every photos I snapped here at Balboni Ristorante are so pretty, I had a tough time picking out which ones to post on my blog. It's taken me much longer to deal with the photos than to write this blog, but alas I can share with you, an Italian restaurant worth visiting (if not, must).

Balboni Ristorante is an Italian restaurant by Mount Scopus Group (the name behind the omnipresent The Harvest Patisserie, Negev, Chateau Blanc and Terra Bistro Bar in Malang. The casual Italian diner is located at the lobby of Office 88 building, connected internally to Kota Kasablanka shopping mall. It's actually been around for more than a year (est. February 2013) and is still of the top Italian go-to place for local Jakartans.

The Venue
Balboni's spacious area comprises indoor and outdoor seating areas. The indoor, divided into the bar (smoking) and the non-smoking dining tables. The entire area is decorated in rustic and what I'd call vintage paraphernalias including bicycle, vespa, ancient ground water pump, old typewriters, etc. The open kitchen is a stage where the chefs perform their "acts" of baking the fresh bread daily, making the sauces, kneading the pizza, grilling, etc.

At the other side of the restaurants is the outdoor patio with large shaded tables that can accommodate large groups.
Balboni Ristorante

Balboni Ristorante

Balboni Ristorante

Balboni Ristorante

Balboni Ristorante

Balboni Ristorante

Balboni Ristorante


The Menu
The Menu is 80% Italian (a mix of contemporary and traditional). Wait why is it only 80%? Well, here's an element of surprise: you can find Ceylon a.k.a. Sri Lankan traditional dishes on the menu. Sri Lankan food, though has parallels to South Indian food (quoted from Mark Wiens), remains a distinct type of cuisine, depending on which part of the island you're at.

The Food & Drinks
Americano and Strawberry Vodka Beer
Left: Americano IDR 35,000
Right: Balboni Signature - Strawberry Vodka Beer IDR 100,000 (I love this drink! naughty, yet so refreshing)

Traditional Italian Menu
Bread Basket and Insalata di Mare
Left: Complimentary Bread Basket
Right: Insalata di Mare - salad with seafood shaken in a jar and lemon dressing IDR 55,000
Parmigiana di Milanzane - baked eggplants, parmesan, mozzarella & tomato sauce
Parmigiana di Milanzane - baked eggplants, parmesan, mozzarella & tomato sauce IDR 80,000
I never fancied eating eggplants, they're soft and gooey, but after eating this Parmigiana di Milanzane, I totally changed my mind forever. The soft eggplants blended with the cheese and balanced with the tomato sauce, I could finish the entire thing alone!

The pizza was the BOMB, crispy thin crust Italian pizza, smeared with sweet, sour & spicy chicken and topped with arugula salad. So addictive!
Devilled Chicken Pizza
Devilled Chicken Pizza - spicy chicken chunks on top of thin crusted pizza and extra virgin olive oil IDR 75,000
Devilled Chicken Pizza and Piadina alla Diavola
Left: Devilled Chicken Pizza
Right: Piadina all Diavola with beef pepperoni, fresh peperoncino, spicy tomato sauce and salad IDR 65,000
The piadina is another specialty of Balboni, which I have not come across yet at any other Italian restaurants around. Piadina is a type of Italian flatbread, which is quite common apparently, that they are sold as street foods at kiosks called 'Piadinerie'. We had the Piadina alla Diavola (with beef pepperoni), but I reckon the Piadina Tonnata with wagyu ribeye and tuna sauce would be even more awesome.

As a not much a fan of seafood, I'm quite surprised to find myself enjoying the Calamari Ripieni, seared squid stuffed with creamy seafood and vegetables stuffing, served with tomato concasse.
Calamari Ripieni
Calamari Ripieni 70,000
Calamari Ripieni

Tortelli di Burro e Salvia
Tortelli di Burro e Salvia - homemade pasta of tortelli spinach ricotta in butter and sage IDR 85,000
squid ink tagliolino
Tagliolino al Nero di Seppia con Seppie - squid ink tagliolino with cuttlefish and cherry tomato IDR 70,000

Branzino All'Isolana Al Cartoccio - sea bass 'Al Cartoccio' with potato, tomato & zucchini. The term 'al cartoccio' means to boil, sauce, then wrap in paper and bake the food, and for this dish, the subject is a chunk of sea bass.
sea bass 'Al Cartoccio' with potato, tomato & zucchini
sea bass 'Al Cartoccio' with potato, tomato & zucchini
Branzino All'Isolana Al Cartoccio IDR 130,000
chicken Milanese with marinated cherry tomatoes and basil
Milanese di Pollo con Pomodorini Cilegia - chicken Milanese with marinated cherry tomatoes and basil IDR 105,000


Specialties from Ceylon

The Sri Lankan menu offers option of either individual serving or for sharing, because the Sri Lankan tradition, like in most of Asia, normally share the meals. We had the Devilled Fish ('devilled' basically means sweet and sour), Vegetables Curry and Chicken Curry, which actually would not look out of place in any Indonesian or Indian restaurant. By that, I'm trying to say that Sri Lankan food is indeed quite familiar to South and South East Asians after all. The most distinctive item was probably the 'Hopper' or Sri Lankan side dish / bread / pancake / omelette, whatever you want to call it. It is supposed to accompany the main dishes I mentioned before, but alternatively you can order the rice or Pratha bread.
Sri Lankan Cuisine
Specialties from Ceylon


Sri Lankan Cuisine
Left: Tomato & caramelised onion sides
Right: Egg Hopper IDR 14,000 /piece
Devilled Fish IDR 90,000 (single portion) / IDR 265,000 (sharing)
Vegetables Curry IDR 60,000 (single) / IDR 175,000 (sharing)
Chicken Curry IDR 75,000 (single) / IDR 210,000 (sharing)
Egg Hopper IDR 14,000 /pc
Plain Hopper IDR 10,000 /pc
String Hopper IDR 4,000 /pc

Dessert
White & Dark Chocolate Mousse and Red Velvet Brownie
Left: White & Dark Chocolate Mousse IDR 45,000
Right: Velvet Brownie - chocolate brownie with nuts & red velvet cake layered with cream cheese mousse IDR 55,000
Chocolate Souffle
Chocolate Souffle IDR 55,000
Chocolate Souffle
Yummy Perfetto! Great texture
Cream Caramel and Mango Tiramisu
Left: Cream Caramel - vanilla custard with caramel layer on top IDR 55,000
Right: Mango Tiramisu IDR 60,000
Definitely I'm going to come back to have another round of the pizza and oh, I'm craving for the Parmigiana di Milanzane already :(

Open Hours
Sunday - Thursday 11 AM - 12 AM
Friday & Saturday: 11 AM - Late

*) Prices are subject to 8% Service Charge & 10% Government Tax

Kota Kasablanka - Office 88 Lobby
Jl. Casablanca Raya Kav. 88
Casablanca - South Jakarta
Ph: +6221 29568712/13/14



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