Few weeks ago, I visited this 5 months old restaurant called Blue Monkey that is located inside the Foundry 8 complex in SCBD area. Foundry 8 area itself is packed with dining places, from casual to fine dining, and Blue Monkey shares the same building with Kei Sushi and Chopstix next to Empirica club, taking the space of second level.

Blue Monkey is a brainchild between two persons who are passionate and experiences in hospitality and F&B industry. The catchy and cute name came from a long night of searching, and after few glasses of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the two gentlemen felt blue and were considering that in our society, we are all trying to copy or imitate each other, then came the name “Blue Monkey”. 
That day I got the privilege to meet one of the owners, Mr. Yannick Salerno, who kindly invited me to try some of their signature dishes and drinks. Born with French and Italian blood, he luckily has parents who know how to cook great food. Being an adventurous and passionate person himself, after spending years growing up and studying in Switzerland, he moved far to South East Asia: Koh Samui, Thailand, to be exact. After 5 years managing one of the top hotel restaurant there, he moved to Jakarta to build his own Blue Monkey and the rest is the history.

As the main purpose of Blue Monkey is to be a casual hangout spot for everyone, the place is divided into 3 areas: main dining area, the exotic red lounge, and a VIP room with Balinese touch. The concept is more like a bar and social place so don’t expect no smoking area. Decorated with large glass windows, it can be extremely hot during the day and annoyingly bright. 

The exotic red lounge area is not big but gives a very festive and sexy vibe to the whole area. It makes you feel special because of its location (in the middle of the room), and covered partly with red rope curtain, it feels even more exotic and intimate. This lounge area has some nice sofa and good news for everyone, there is NO minimum spending to be able to sit in this area, how cool is that?!

Blue Monkey serves mainly Western cuisine, especially Italian; and uniquely, prior to our visit, they had no menu and basically just experimented with everything they have at the moment. From what I took when I talked to Mr. Yannick and Chef Deni, in this place, they are bunch of innovative and creative person who always try to find and make new creations so sometimes they just make something and it becomes a hit but they actually don’t have exact recipe for that. Funny but interesting in the same time. And this is what I admire from cafes/restaurants in Western countries, sometimes they just provide you with blank blackboard and write a list of new menu everyday.
As the concept is more focused to be bar or drinking place, they have large selection of beverages including alcoholic drinks, and also they are open to any request or anything if you want certain mixes or the likes. Price ranges from IDR 29K to 189K for F&B, considered very reasonable for a place like this. Keep reading to know why I say this ;)
Mango Muddle IDR 59K
This Mango, Banana, Passion Fruit combination mocktail started our experience with Blue Monkey that day. Presentation-wise, I couldn’t think of better one than this as it looked amazingly fresh and attractive with its bright, vibrant orangish yellow color. The drink had dominant mango taste (surprise, surprise!), with a little hint of banana, and nothing of passion fruit. I expected something bolder though.

Strawberry Kiss IDR 59K
Another one combines Strawberry, Banana, Apple, and although it was refreshing, again I didn’t think it was too special for the taste. I barely could taste the strawberry, not to mention apple, and the whole drink was too bland for my liking.

No Name IDR 99K
Smirnoff Vodka Orange, raspberry and lemon juice, topped by a raspberry foam, served in a brandy glass. Apparently, this funky named cocktail is included in Blue Monkey’s Signature Cocktails list and it got me curious as hell. I was told that the drink is more for ladies market (and indeed popular amongst them) but surprisingly it’s also hit for the gentlemen. Everything about it was so fascinating (even from reading its description) and when it was served on the table, I instantly fell in love. The drink was lovely, started by the soft and smooth foam, then the liquor reaches the tongue, and it started kicking. Sweet and bitter, it was playful and addicting in the same time.

Flaming Passion IDR 99K
Myers Rum, passion fruit and lemon juice, Cointreau. This is another signature cocktails and I just had to see it! I am always so enthusiastic to see those flaming drinks (err.. XD) but taste wise I don’t really have any favorite so far. This cocktail uses Cointreau (orange-flavoured liquor) that in my opinion, combined really well with the citrusy passion fruit and lemon juice. As expected, it was fragrant and mild, with good balance of sweetness and sourness. The passion fruit seeds gave an extra crunchy twist to the drink and it was fun!

Salmon Millefoglie IDR 89K
Basically salmon slices served with Raspberry vinegar sherbet, goat cheese and pesto. First of all, the salmon was incredibly fresh and mouth-watering. They were stacked up together with some biscotti-alike crispy breads and goat cheese. The raspberry vinegar sherbet actually looked like seasoned mashed raspberry, sweet and sour, perfect as dipping sauce or better yet, pour it onto the salmon and you’ll be amazed of how it will taste. It looked like a simple dish but it is not.

Mushroom Cream Soup with Truffle Oil Foam IDR 59K
And this, this has gotta be one of my (and Mr. K’s) favorites that day! The soup was creamy but not too thick, very fragrant and flavorful! Topped with a special foam created from truffle oil, the soup was tasty and savory. I think the Blue Monkey team maybe a little too obsessed with foam (keep reading and you’ll know why), not that I am complaining, though.

Beef Carpaccio IDR 79K
The Beef Carpaccio is served with Mesclun, pesto sauce, raspberry vinegar sherbet. Honestly I am not a fan of beef carpaccio as I don’t really fancy raw beef or other meat, except fish. And the fact that the beef carpaccio that I found always had this blah taste of raw meat although they were seasoned, certainly doesn’t help. Here, the beef carpaccio looked merry and tasty even from the appearance. Surprisingly, the taste was great too, it almost felt like they were cooked because of the seasonings but the raw texture was still there. If you have never tried something like this and always hesitate doing it, maybe you should give it a try here!

Pan Seared Barramundi IDR 109K
I looooveee barramundi. I love fish. And this was superb! The pan seared barramundi is nothing new but the way they cooked it gave me a whole new experience. First of all, the barramundi was cooked with cacao butter resulting in a crispy layer in the outside and keeping the softness inside. Again, the fish was topped with orange foam which is actually made from paprika. Served with mashed potato (very delicious with super smooth texture, but wish we got more, LOL!) and chopped truffle (seriously? I thought it was caviar or something), the plate is simply a feast to the eyes (and tongue).

Prosciutto E Funghi Pizza IDR 59K
Now a visit to Blue Monkey is never complete if you haven’t ordered the pizza yet! There are currently 4 selections of pizza with price ranges from IDR 49K – 89K only, with medium size to be enjoyed for 1-2 persons. I tried this one with tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushroom, and smoked beef. The pizza was served on a square wooden board, complete with the spatula. The bread was soft and chewy, the kind that I love the most, and the toppings completely covered the surface. Everything was delicious, including the tomato sauce (definitely not instant one), the smoked beef was even more brilliant with visible beef meat texture.

Beef Gulash IDR 99K
Served with spietzel gnocchi and paprika cloud, this dish is categorized as main course. Although it didn’t look fulfilling but it surely did! The beef blocks were soft and tender, they almost melted in the mouth! The gnocchi wasn’t the most beautiful I have seen but had good consistency and paired well with the well-seasoned beef. Again, they played around with the paprika foam on the top and it gave another kick to the plate. Seriously I am hooked!

Now you might think that eating all those food above wouldn’t satisfy you because of the fine-dining portions? Don’t you worry because it is NOT the case! You know, I am more as ‘kuli’ (labor) eater so I am used to order a lot of dishes whenever I go to restaurants, and the kind of person who will be disappointed to see small portions (that’s why I go fine dining only occasionally), but here everything is being considered so carefully. I could totally feel and see how the owners and chef collaborating together to create something innovative and new, which probably can fit each guests’ tastes. I saw the passion and the drive, to actually give something different, a new experience that we can probably never find somewhere else than here.
I stayed there from around 4PM and managed to snap the night atmosphere when the sky went dark! Since it is built more for nightlife purpose, Blue Monkey only opens from 3PM everyday except Sunday, and actually it is more recommended to visit when it’s dark. But you know, we take pictures and daylight is the best studio we can afford, LOL!

Onto the dessert!

*DRUMROLL*

Half Meter Platter Dessert IDR 159K
Assortment of several home made desserts to share for 2 persons. So this is the HALF METER version of the infamous Blue Monkey’s One Meter Platter Dessert (IDR 189K). As we were already quite full, we opted for the half meter one and I think it fits well for 2 persons. Beautiful presentation indeed, and it was magnificent to see assorted dessert like this in cute, tiny portions, rather than bigger portions. There are gelato, panna cotta, mousse, cookies etc.

Highlight of the platter would be the beautiful Chocolate Mousse, which is shaped into flower pot complete with the “leaves”. The chocolate was indeed delightful and addicting, not only sweet but had the strong cocoa flavor that hit the buds just perfectly. I thought the chocolate was put in certain brown pot but the pot is actually made from chocolate too and everything is edible.

The other favorite was Vanilla Gelato that was kinda different from usual gelato I had. The texture was thick, complete with milkier flavor. I don’t like milky stuffs but this one was exceptionally good. I wish they put more vanilla essence inside, though because it was easily overkilled. Pardon the picture of melting gelato, we had no choice, blogging about food means taking photos is the priority! XD

And meet Chef Deni, the genius behind all the dishes!

Overall, a nice place to hang out, drink, eat or just socialize. I fell in love to their dishes, and am planning to go back to try more (and definitely won’t miss the pizza out!!). For a place for drinking, there is a room for improvement especially for the mocktails. Okay I just tried 2 and might not be the right person to judge, but the 2 mocktails that I tried barely impressed me, so yeah. In the end, I am glad that I have finally found a good drinking place with great food and hip music. Let’s go to Blue Monkey and have some fun!

*All prices are subject to 10% service charge & 10% government tax

*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
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BLUE MONKEY RESTAURANT
Foundry 8
Kawasan Niaga Terpadu Sudirman (SCBD) Lot. 8
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Jakarta 12190
Phone. +62 21 215150533 / +62 857 1080 1993
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 3.00 PM – 1.00 AM


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