Last week, we were invited for a food tasting session in one-month-old LOCANDA, a new restaurant located on Ground Level of Panin Center Building, Senayan. It used to be where the hip Cafe Aria was located at, or even earlier then, the first Jakarta’s Tony Roma’s. It was raining cats and dogs that noon, and I almost considered not going, but well, because of its location (probably takes only 2-3 minutes from home), we finally decided to go anyway.

From the street, you can spot this restaurant easily as it’s facing the main Sudirman street directly and from front-view, the restaurant takes quite a spacious area. The place is decorated with glass doors and windows so make sure to find something like that when you are around. Very big and spacious, it is said to be able to seat up to 250 person and 500 person (standing), and whether you come for quick lunch/dinner, or enjoying some drink and coffee, you can have lots of options in term of seatings including comfy sofas and high chairs. Everything is decorated very artistically and I really love the ambiance.

Locanda itself is an Italian word that means “inn”, comes from the story that during his travels, Marco Polo often stopped at an inn, hence the tagline Food Voyager. Here, they offer selective cuisine from Italian to Pan Asian (mostly Thai cuisine) and even only hearing that, I was very excited to see what they would come up with, because I am a big fan of both! Before our food were served, we ordered some of the signature drinks, mostly the mocktails, which I think were pretty good and quite enjoyable. 

DRINKS

Apple VS Lemongrass IDR 40K
Red apple fruit, fresh mint leaves, lime, lemongrass, and soda. Seems like a great combination for a mocktail, no? I and Mr. K immediately chose this for the sake of lemongrass, but sadly, the lemongrass almost had no significant presence in the drink, although we have to admit that the drink was indeed very refreshing.

Locanda Goes To Hollywood IDR 40K
Orange sunkist fruit, cranberry juice, lime, and sprite. From what I took when asking the waiter, it seems like this one was the most recommended drink out of the mocktails selection so I chose this. The drink was dominated by sour taste, not exactly my favorite but if you like something citrusy, this one can be the option :)

Classic Mojito
So this was the mocktail version of the Mojito, while the cocktail version is priced at IDR 95K, we can actually ask for mocktail version aka non-alcoholic one, probably same price with other mocktails – IDR 40K. The rum was replaced with soda water, and together with fresh mint leaves and lime, ta-dah, the drink was ready. I quite liked it although it basically tasted so much like fresh toothpaste, but very refreshing!

Locanda Punch IDR 40
Fresh orange juice, mango juice, almond, and grenadine. This one was my favorite amongst all drinks served that day, and I can even say this was the best Fruit Punch ever! Usually I think there are weird and funny taste from fruit punch which I didn’t find in this. Perhaps because they didn’t use berries kind of fruits, well, this one is definitely recommended and you’ll understand why after you try it!

APPETIZERS

Tom Yam Kung IDR 65K
It was pretty decent Tom Yam Kung to begin with, just lacking of lime so the taste wasn’t as strong as it  is supposed to be. I still think it was enjoyable because of the generously-given coriander leaves.

Cigar Prawns IDR 60K
I think everyone on the table loved this particular snack very much! The cigar prawns were crunchy, tasty and addictive. It is said to be served with sweet chili sauce, but it came with mayonnaise dipping sauce. Not that I am complaining, though, because the cigar prawns were already so good, they went so well with any sauce, I think! ;)

Sinchos IDR 55K
Traditional “singkong” (cassava) crackers, yellow cheddar sauce and truffle oil. This is their signature appetizer, and probably the only one in Jakarta (for now) that brings this unique concept. Not only the unique cassava chips replacing nachos, the seasonings were also nice and tasty. Personally, I really enjoyed this dish and will come again for this.

White Truffle Pizza IDR 85K
Mozzarella, celery stick, wild mushroom and truffle oil. Kind of crispy, crusty pizza but a little thicker in the center, the toppings were also light and good. I love how they always manage to use truffle oil and make the taste significant in some ways.

Angel Hair IDR 120K
With tiger prawn, garlic and chili, olive oil. This angel hair pasta was very tasty and nice, especially with the gigantic tiger prawns on top! I am not a fan of prawns but I always love seeing big-size prawns and this one was not an exception. Very tasty and fulfilling pasta for a main course, this one surely didn’t disappoint!

Kai Pad Prik Klea IDR 60K
Thai chicken black pepper and garlic. Duh, this one was very delicious!! I am originally a fan of Thai cuisine and by that, I mean the real street-food kind, not the restaurant ones. And this one managed to satisfy my current cravings for authentic Thai taste, thanks to the super bold seasonings. You know, it would be great to eat with white rice, so next time, will definitely do that.

Udon Goreng Jawa IDR 70K
Japanese noodle, beef, vegetables in Javanese style. Now seriously, I think I will be using the word “delicious” quite often here. The fried udon was very nice and chewy, cooked with Javanese style, it was totally an incredible dish. Very aromatic and nicely stir-fried, it was easily becoming one of my top list.

Grilled Spring Chicken IDR 120K
With mashed potatoes and spiced tomato sauce. Lovely dish, soft and tender grilled chicken, served with little bit of salad and salsa-like sauce. Wished they could do something better with the mashed potato, though.

DESSERTS

Castangel Mollica IDR 55K
Mama cookies crumbled modified on special cake. The so-called special cake was actually a cheesecake that tasted so heavenly good!! I remember the bottom part was chocolate and then there was the blueberry spread that gave more fruity taste to the cake. The mama cookies crumbles were also very  easy in mouth and a nice addition to the solid cheesecake. Love!

Melted Choco Cake IDR 60K
With wild berry and rum raisin ice cream. The choco cake was fabulous and overloaded with good hot chocolate inside. But the best part of this dessert was the rum raisin ice cream, very strong taste of rum and so addictive.

Manciam IDR 50K
Thai cassava cake with coconut milk. OMG OMG OMG!! Manciam is my favorite Thai dessert EVER and I was so glad that I finally found THE BEST ONE in Jakarta!! Unless I eat this in Thailand, normally I would be disappointed and wished that I lived in Thai only for the sake of this. Usually, the manciam that I found here in Jakarta are mostly boiled cassava only, then poured with sweet coconut milk paste, so the cassava are still hard. But here!! The cassava is exactly like the ones I find in Thailand, soft and sweet, the coconut milk paste was also much better! If you wanna eat manciam here in Jakarta, you just have to come here, period.

Luk Chup IDR 50K
Thai sweet mashed mung bean on ‘agar-agar’. Probably the most popular Thai dessert, of course Locanda has it and we were happy to be able to try it. Needless to say, the Luk Chup wasn’t disappointing and we even went to the extend saying that it was probably one of the best ones we found in Jakarta so far. Very pretty in appearances, also tasted very good, what else do you ask for?

And what’s a good restaurant without a good chef?! So, Mr. K had chance to ask the Head Chef of Locanda, Mr. Ferdian Tobing, the person behind all the glorious creations that we just had that day! This amazing chef has experience in various kitchens for approximately 14 years until now, with the basic of Italian cuisine. Among his outstanding experiences, he had ever worked with some big hotels like Ritz Carlton, Intercontinental, and so on; also had worked in some hotels in Singapore as well as restaurants there before moving back to Jakarta. What a series of achievement! No wonder the food here are so good!

Head Chef of Locanda, Mr. Ferdian Tobing! 

Basically we really enjoyed our lunch in Locanda, and we are planning to visit it again real soon. Thanks for having us and GOOD LUCK!!

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Locanda Food Voyager
Panin Bank Building, Ground Floor
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 1
Senayan
Jakarta Selatan 10270
Ph. +62 21 5727 981
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 10.00 – 24.00, Fri-Sat 10.00 – 01.00 


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