The long-awaited Caffé Milano finally opens for public since last Monday, 9 March 2015. Another establishment under Union Group, I couldn’t wait to try it since the news about the opening reached me.
Union Group is known to have reputable restaurants (or cafes, if you prefer) and the greatest thing about their restaurants is that they are not only trending for a while, but constantly popular in terms of being able to maintain the loyalty of their crowds.
Caffé Milano is located inside Central Department Store in East Mall of Grand Indonesia. While the brother, Union Deli, is visible from outside of Central, Caffé Milano is located only few meters away from it.
Connecting directly to the Central’s entrance lobby: From outside, look for the bright yellow canopy and you will be fine.
Caffé Milano is Italian restaurant with typical smart casual dining environment like other Union Group’s establishments. If you are familiar with Union, Union Deli, Cork & Screw, E&O, Loewy, or the latest one: Benedict, you’ll notice that the furniture and ambiance are quite similar to them.
Entrance of Caffé Milano from inside of Central Department Store
The restaurant has 2 main areas: indoor seating area and a smaller outdoor seating area. I remember the greeter asked about the smoking/no smoking tables, but in the end, even people seated in indoor area actually are allowed to smoke.
What I don’t like about these places is the maximum usage of the space, means that the regular tables are usually super small and are supposed to be shared for 4 person. The distance between tables are too short and it’ll be super uncomfortable during peak hours (which means, almost all the time).
The decoration of Caffé Milano is very well-thought of. Everything looks right in their places, and my favorite is the vintage looking piano. It gives some kind of European rustic feeling and there is something luxurious and precious about it.
Caffé Milano opens from 10PM to 2AM everyday.
And since it’s more into social house or something, it’s only fair that alcoholic drinks are available to order.
With extensive selection of Spritz, Negroni, Cocktails (price ranges from IDR 100,000 to 180,000), also Wine, it’s an ideal place to hang out and chill. Better yet, there are some Bar Bites to accompany you drinking.
Outdoor Seating Area
As a restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine, Caffé Milano manages to steal my immediate attention with its beautifully curated menu by world renowned Chef Luca Pezzera, a native of Bergamo in North Italy, who has over 20 years experience working in culinary field in Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, Istanbul, Jordan, Dubai, Singapore, and Indonesia.
With options from Antipasti, Pasta, Secondi, Pizze, and Dolci, they offer many options that seem delicious even only from the way they sound. Prices range from IDR 35,000 to 310,000 for food.
Tea IDR 40,000
Options: English Breakfast, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Chamomile, Ceylan O.P., Jasmine.
Milano Iced Latte IDR 75,000
The specialty coffee which is highly recommended by the waiter, this simply gets 10/10 from yours truly. The coffee is served as ice cubes, and the milk is served separately. Rather than having problems with your latte, you can actually choose to drink according to your own preference! If you prefer the mild coffee taste, you can immediately drink it after pouring the milk into the ice cubes. The more they melt, the stronger the coffee taste will be. It’s entirely up to you!
Oh, did I tell you the coffee tastes fantastic?
Heineken Draught IDR 45,000
So on every tables, there are 2 bottles which are actually extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. As predicted, we got the complimentary bread which is amazingly good.
The bread has a beautiful golden brown color in the outside and it’s a swirl inside! From the first glance, I almost thought it was a cinnamon bread or something, LOL. The taste is a bit similar to pizza, thanks to generous amount of oregano sprinkled all over.
Vitello Tonato Alla Piemontese IDR 105,000
Veal with Creamy Tuna Sauce and Capers
Chose this for the antipasti and wasn’t disappointed. The veal (meat from younger cattle) was thinly sliced, and it’s just like a cooked version of carpaccio. The meat was fresh and very tender, perfectly accompanied with the sauce. I also think it might be better to leave the tuna raw while making it as creamy sauce as to add some texture of smooth raw fish inside. Adding some black peppers made the dish exceptionally good and I wish I could have more!
Diavola Pizza IDR 125,000
Spicy Soppressata Ham, Chilli Flakes, Mozzarella
There are many options for the pizzas and I was puzzled for a while which one I should pick. I finally decided to try this as the waiter mentioned that they use pork soppressata ham (Italian dry salami) and I was curious about it.
When I had my first bite, I was just, WOW! This easily won my heart as I loved everything about it. The regular-sized pizza was cut into 4 slices, had a thin crust and perfect crispiness and softness in the inner part, very well-seasoned and most importantly, they use fresh tomatoes for the paste. The ham was aromatic and believe it or not, I didn’t use any other condiments beside the parmesan cheese.
Homemade Tagliatelle IDR 125,000
Served with Porcini mushrooms and tiger prawns
First of all, the tagliatelle looked colorful and appetizing because it looked “juicy” to me. When I tried it, I fell in love with it. The tagliatelle itself might not be perfectly cooked for me (a bit too soft or cooked too long for my liking), but the taste was excellent. Thanks to the special Porcini mushrooms, the sauce has a distinctive nutty flavor that reminds me of sesame oil and lard. The prawns are fresh and crunchy, and brought another flavor combination to the whole dish. It’s just LOVE!
Pistachio Crusted Mango Gelato IDR 65,000
For the dessert, I couldn’t choose anything else when I saw the word “pistachio” on the menu. XD The mango gelato is very nice, and actually covered with pistachio crust and something else which tasted like coconut. I was almost sure that coconut must be involved in the crust but I don’t know because there is no coconut mentioned on the menu. Served with wild berry compote, which is sweet and sour, there are so many flavors mixing up together in one plate! Not that I am complaining though, because this is just so good to end our dinner.
Caffé Milano is the new kid on the block and it already managed to impress me from my first visit. To be honest, it’s always 50-50 chance, I love some of Union Group’s restaurants but some others, I don’t. This was a great experience dining in such a well-executed restaurant even during the first week of opening. There are some menu which are not available yet, but it’s understandable and with so many options, we can easily choose another one. The food are great, service is outstanding (thanks to the main two waiters and one waitress who served our table today), and I definitely will return for more.
The only thing that bothered me is the yellow canopy covering the outdoor seating area. I chose to be seated there at first so I could take good photos with natural light, but in the end, the photos looked like they are taken with yellow filter or something, LOL. In the end, I asked to change my table and sat inside, which explains the funky colors of some pictures in this post. Trust me, I did my best editing them to be “easy on the eyes”. XD
Congratulations for the opening and best of luck to you, Caffé Milano!
*All prices are subject to 10% service charge & 10% government tax
Visited on: 13 March 2015
** The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Central Department Store Level G
Jl. MH.Thamrin No.1
Central Jakarta 10310
Ph. +62 21 2358 0638