Who would knew, that Jakarta already had its first 'hipster' dining spot more than 2 decades ago? This understated and established venue is probably not on top of many people's list of 'newest places to try', so there must be a reason why it can survive after 2 financial crises right...
For wooden furniture and interior enthusiast, a visit to KOI Kemang might seem like an adventure in Wonderland. As the upper floors of KOI are filled with all sorts of wooden inventories and furniture such as tables, chairs, cabinets, stools, genuine Indonesian art and antiques, as well as paintings exhibitions, etc.
The owners’ passion for interior and furniture, particularly wooden, was aptly expressed in the form of a well-spaced gallery on the second and third floor of KOI Kemang where they display the products and models. This space is also rentable private spaces to hold private functions.
|al fresco Terrace|
|Art & wood everywhere!|
2 decades old, 2 outlets and still counting…
Restaurants come and go, that’s just the way it is. If even world famous franchise could succumb, then how would other independent, stand-alone restaurants fare against the competition? Apparently, despite the odds, KOI is among the few that survived literally 2 waves of financial crises in Indonesian since its establishment in 1993.
More than 2 decades ago, KOI, then under a different name and concept, opened its doors for the first time on the restaurants-lined Mahakam area in Blok M, South Jakarta. KOI was actually among the first middle range, stand-alone restaurants.
5 years later, not long after the Indonesian financial crisis, Belgian Chef Benoit Claeys joined KOI in 1998 as the Head Chef and co-owner. That’s when KOI acquired its oriental-sounding name, as well as a major update for the menu to include not just Asian, but also Western dishes. Then in 2002, KOI opened in Kemang area, which is well known to be expat’s residential & commercial centre.
A favourite spot for families & office executives...
Menu at KOI is a balanced combination of Asian & Western favourites as well as Chef Benoit unique twists, in terms of taste and presentation. Expect a rather theatrical presentation, such as the A la Minute Smoked Salmon on Mango Salad, served inside a glass dome filled with burnt oregano smoke, which dissipates in a rather dramatic fashion when the glass dome is lifted up.
KOI in Kemang opens daily from 8 AM until 12 AM, which is early enough to grab breakfast and late enough for post-work drinks. If you come here for breakfast, recommended menu is the Steak & Eggs, a serving of 200gr Tenderloin with vigneron butter sauce, 2 eggs any style and grilled vegetables. This item used to be offered only on Weekend Brunch, but by popular demand, the Steak & Egg becomes a permanent fixture on the daily menu.
|Steak & Eggs IDR 110,000|
During lunch time, it would be common to find KOI packed with two different groups: the non-smoking wing by expat families and their children, the smoking wing by executives from the offices nearby. Some of the lunchtime favourites are the Duck Confit, served on a bed of sautéed string beans and baby potatoes, or the Moroccan Lamb Sausage Merguez Spaghetti, Chicken Pad Thai, etc.
Or if you fancy a little drama for your meal, you must totally try the Smoked Minute Salmon on Mango and Mozzarella Vinaigrette. The Salad is literally smoked with burnt herbs and kept inside a transparent dome. Take it slow when opening it, as you don't want to smoke to overwhelm your face...
|Smoked Minute Salmon on Mango and Mozzarella Vinaigrette IDR 95,000|
|Duck Confit IDR 125,000|
|Moroccan Lamb Sausage Merguez Spaghetti IDR 110,000|
|Chicken Pad Thai IDR 60,000|
|Red Fruit Pavlova IDR 40,000|
For dessert lovers, the Red Fruit Pavlova served with vanilla ice cream & strawberry sorbet is seriously amazing! Great texture of the pavlova, it'shard but crumbles easily at the knock of the spoon and the red fruits coulis is not too sweet nor sour, just perfect!
So, instead of racing to be the first to try the newest place in town, why not, for a change, visit one of Jakarta's oldest restaurants for brunch? ;)
*) Prices are subject to 10% Government Tax & 10% Service Charge
Open Hours: 8 AM - 12 midnight (daily)
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 72
Kemang - South Jakarta
Ph: +6221 7195668
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