Some weeks ago, I joined a food tasting at White Box Bistro & Deli in Menteng, Central Jakarta. It was raining really hard since the previous night, so as expected, not many people could join and there were only about 20+ people in total. I was quite curious when the first time I heard about the restaurant’s name, as I expected something like what bistro and deli should (really) be. When I arrived, I wasn’t really impressed because the place looked more like a cafe instead of what it claims to be, although I really think that it is beautifully decorated and clearly a nice place to hang out or just have some drinks and relax. There are many rooms which are decorated differently, which look so comfortable and stylish in the same time, complete with a private room for more private meetings or such.
If you see the menu, you might find difficulties in choosing because there are so many options available in each sections. And honestly, the list and descriptions are just too tempting! Lucky it was a food tasting event, so they gave us limited selections and we could try some of their recommended dishes.
Calamari IDR 38K
Tender, lightly breaded calamari served with tartar sauce. Just 5 pieces of calamari rings for that price, and they weren’t even tender like promised. The tartar sauce was quite runny and tasted like 80% mayo, a major rip-off.
Fries Go Lucky IDR 33K
French fries topped with Bolognaise sauce and melted Mozzarella. I actually loved this dish, with freshly-fried french fries, yummy red sauce, and tasty mozzarella, well, who can resist this?
White Box Sampler IDR 47K
A quartet of appetizers – calamari, chicken ginger, spring rolls, and french fries. This was quite enjoyable although if it were not for food tasting, I would think twice to order because of the ridiculously high price. Our favorite from the plate was the chicken ginger, which surprisingly was unique, with prominent taste of ginger, simply reminded us with authentic Japanese chicken karaage.
Zuppa de Funghi IDR 21K
The mushroom soup was served in a tiny cup accompanied with a tea spoon, very cute indeed. The mushroom was blended until smooth, and although it was barely visible, the taste was quite strong. With the creamy texture, the soup was nicely done, especially if you just drink it right away, or better yet, dip the garlic bread into the soup first, eat that and drink the soup bottom-up. But be careful, it’s hot! XD
Broccoli Soup IDR 21K
Fresh blended broccoli with cream based soup, no taste of broccoli could be detected but it was quite good and refreshing for a warmer 🙂
Beef Goulash IDR 29K
Cubed beef tender served with beef and tomato stock. Honestly, I was surprised when this was presented on the table because I specifically chose this one out of the 3 options of soups, and was expecting something else. I am sorry if I am wrong, but this is not a goulash as usually goulash are cooked quite long and the texture is thicker. The beef, potatoes and carrots were cut into cubes and cooked in beef and tomato stock, yes, it was delicious, but it is still not a goulash. I think they should rename this as beef and tomato soup or something.
Beef Stroganoff Pasta IDR 42K
Surprisingly, this was nicer than it looked, and I quite liked it. The spaghetti was nicely cooked, the beef pieces and mushrooms were very tender and juicy, mixed with hot creamy sauce, it could be good option for a simple lunch or dinner.
Chicken Cordon Bleu IDR 45K
Deep-fried breaded chicken breast with ham slices and melted cheese inside. The chicken was fried into perfection, it was very beautiful and also tasted great. The chicken was quite big, with generous amount of ham slices and cheese inside, it was heavenly delicious. Served with spaghetti Aglio Olio on one side and the salad on the other side, it was a very nice dish and was picked as our favorite that day! Besides the chicken, I also love the spaghetti very much because of the dried chili, made it hot and spicy. Totally recommended!
Fish and Chips IDR 48K
My first impression: they looked like bunch of banana fritters (pisang goreng) rather than the fish from usual fish and chips, LOL! But when I tried a bite, hmm, YUM!! The fish was very soft and the crispy outer skin really gave the contrast to that softness, made me want more and more! The tartar sauce was also nice although a lil bit too runny. Some parts of the skin were also overcooked so it was harder than the other parts, but overall this dish was very enjoyable!
Banana Choco Cheese IDR 39K
This was actually two stacks of pancake, topped with sliced bananas, grated cheese, chocolate sauce and a cute cherry on top. Banana is one of my fave fruits ever so I was very happy that I could try this dessert as this is one of their top list menu for SWEETS section. The pancakes were beautifully done, fluffy, soft and chewy, and very moist <– gave them TWO THUMBS UP because they weren’t hot when served yet still very moist like that. The toppings were very good combined and complimented each others well.
Mango Pudding IDR 32K
This was very yummy! The mango taste was very rich, like it was made from real, natural mango blended with jelly. I love the texture of the pudding, too, very soft and melted in the mouth right away. Not too sweet, just perfect.
Durian Mousse Cake IDR 35K
This cake was like, the savior of the
soul day!! After some disappointments caused by the staffs (more about that later), having this cake helped calming me down like, totally. Made from durian mousse, durian sponge cake and some real durian fruit, it was very durian and I love it so much! The durian flavor was very strong, it was just amazingly wonderful dessert to make your day brighter instantly. Well, maybe it was just me. XD But seriously, if you happen to be there and like durian, why not try?
In this event, I had the chance to talk to one of the owner’s daughter, Ms. S, who explained that one of the specialties menu from White Box is their Fried Oxtail Soup (IDR 68K)
, but we didn’t get to try it. She also mentioned that (one of) the chefs used to work in Marche, but I wasn’t really impressed by the quality of some Western food that were served that day.
And, it always sucks to be in restaurants with bad or not so professional service especially when the manager is around! ERGGHH it just makes me wonder why people hire him/her in the first place, and why he/she can’t do the job well delegating the works to other staffs?
We were among the first ones to come that day and the waitresses took out our order card as soon as we arrived, but later, my dishes always seemed to be the LAST to come out, and the worst thing was, some dishes were forgotten. When we asked for that, it was then served almost immediately (after Ms. S herself went to kitchen asking for it!) but it was totally cold (e.g. the Beef “Goulash”). What a bad service! The waiters and waitresses looked like they were totally newbies with the attitudes, no apologies was said, slow responses (even though we just asked for the DAMN SPOON), and there was practically NOONE who stood in the dining area to assist the 20+ guests. On top of that, the manager was actually around, and rather than delegating his staffs to do the jobs properly, he was stuck in the kitchen doing only-God-knows-what, and looked as confused as his staffs when Ms. S called him asking what was going on with the service. Okay, that sucked BIG TIME and as much as I like the place, I will think twice to come back there again if the service doesn’t improve.
Anyway, despite of all the disappointments caused by the services, I still recommend this place because aside from the large selections of menu, they also have many types of drinks and desserts to accompany you doing your assignments or just having some good time.
Thank you for having us and hope your service improves the next time we visit you!
Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto No. 91A
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11.00 – 23.00, Fri-Sat 11.00 – 02.00, Sun 08.00 – 23.00
Estimated Spending: min. IDR 80.000/person