Some days ago, I went to this restaurant in Veteran street, Central Jakarta, called The Koreana International Restaurant. I thought it was considered a newer restaurant, but in fact, it is not, because it actually had been around in another location since years ago. The previous outlet was located at Teluk Betung street (behind Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall) and it seems like it had received quite good responses from Korean and local people who worked around there or just usual visitors. Then it was closed down and the restaurant reopened in this location now, Veteran street, align with Dapur Babah Elite & Tao Bar and the infamous Ragusa Ice Cream.
When I entered the place, I was surprised to see how beautiful the place is. The high ceiling makes the place looks grand and spacious, much more bigger than it actually is. Later on, I just found out that the place used to be where Domus Italian Restaurant was located at, and although since 2010, I had tried a couple of times to visit it, I had never had any luck with it. Can you imagine, everytime I went there, the place was always closed, either not operating (my first visit was the New Year’s eve 2010 and it wasn’t operating!) or closed for renovation. In the end, until Domus was closed down, I had never actually tried their food whatsoever, even once! That’s what I call destiny, perhaps. XD
The Koreana serves mainly Korean cuisine, with good variety of stew, stir-fry, sashimi, fish and meat (chicken, beef, seafood, pork), and if you want something easier, they also serve Dosirak or what we know familiarly as Bento. While the prices range for all the food starting from IDR 25K to IDR 550K, the Dosirak/Bento is priced at IDR 100K/box and it’s quite complete. I got the voucher for this so I got 4 different bento to try: Jap Chae, Tempura, Bulgogi, and Topokki.
|Jap Chae Bento|
First of all, the boxes are big, just like typical Japanese bento boxes with partitions and red in colors. The contents of all 3 boxes are actually similar: rice, vegetable salad, kimchi, myulchi bokkeum (stir-fried anchovies), goguma mat tang (candied sweet potatoes), and a slice of watermelon. The difference is only the main stuff that we want, in this case, the jap chae (Korean glass noodle), bulgogi, or tempura, as shown in the pictures above. Everything tasted okay, not special, and they were not served warm, even considered cold. Maybe they just reheated it quickly before putting everything on the box whenever someone orders it. I noticed that they were quite stingy with the rice, but eventually I felt quite full too, thanks to all the side dishes, especially the candied sweet potatoes.
Topokki is Korean rice cake and although I prefer my topokki to be served with thicker seasonings, this one was quite enjoyable too. The plate was combination of topokki, some kind of flat fish cakes or something, and chopped vegetables. The sauce was quite runny and milder than the usual toppoki red sauce that I like, but it was alright. And the kimchi! It was fresh, crunchy, and full of flavor. Usually I am not really a fan of kimchi, but I enjoyed this one very much because it had no unpleasant smell and I loved the texture!
|Goguma Mat Tang|
|Egg Drop Soup|
The other side dishes like the Stir-fried anchovies and Candied sweet potatoes are always my favorite so I was glad they were included in the box. Oh yes, we also got a bowl of Egg Drop Soup for every bento box. It was okay and a nice addition to enjoy our meal.
For the drink, we ordered Lemon Squash (IDR 28K), which I think was freshly-squeezed, but I might be wrong. But honestly, I quite liked it, the lemon taste was prominent and very sour, with the already-added sugar when served, the lemon squash was very refreshing and helped digesting all the oil we consumed from the meal.
Last but not least, although I didn’t get to try their BBQ this time, I enjoyed my experience and am planning to come back soon to explore more of their menu, especially the meat! 😉
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
** The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
The Koreana International Restaurant
Jl. Veteran I No. 32
Ph. +62 21 344 7288 / 344 7289
Mon-Sun 11.00 – 22.00