ISMAYA Group has never failed me in term of dining concept as they are very creative and innovative when it comes to releasing new restaurants/cafes ideas.
Publik Markette is a new creation of this gigantic group that is worth visiting. You might think this is better written in the epilogue, but this deserves a clear shout out even from the beginning of this entry. With no intention to brag, I must say I have been in almost all ISMAYA’s F&B outlets and as much as I love their concepts, I don’t always fall for the food (and drinks) completely. Some are undeniably good, some are average, some are quite embarrassing coming from such well-executed restaurants.
When I heard about Publik Markette for the first time, I was excited and just like any other ISMAYA F&B outlets, it immediately triggered my curiosity. Located on the Ground Floor at the newly revamped East Mall of Grand Indonesia, it’s easy to find as it’s the first thing you’ll see when you walk in from the Shinta Lobby.
The venue is quite big and spacious, with typical ISMAYA restaurants modern interior design with casual yet luxurious touch here and there. At the first glance, it resembles Kitchenette in Senayan City for some reasons, but Publik Markette has a more casual and relaxing atmosphere in it.
I visited the restaurant during dinner so it was quite dark, I actually love the ambiance very much: intimate and private although it was crowded, minimum lighting here just make everything better in some ways.
Here comes the FUN part!
On every table, you’ll notice there are numbered sticks which you’ll need to order the food through the so-called FOOD GALLERY. Yes, Publik Markette has a special concept like a cafeteria or canteen, where we can choose the food using our eyes by browsing through the food gallery.
All we need to do is to bring the numbered sticks to the food gallery, make order by showing your table number, pay in the cashier by the end of the gallery, and VOILA, just wait until the staffs bring the food and drinks to your table.
The Food Gallery opens everyday in two separated timelines: 11.30AM to 2.30PM for Lunch and 6.30PM to 9.30PM for Dinner. Between those hours, Publik Markette is still open for a la carte orders.
I recommend you to try visiting when the food gallery opens because you can have the maximum “public market” experience that way, and because the food always changes everyday. There are also same basic ingredients like chicken, beef, fish, pork, but cooked with different ways so you can even visit and eat here every single day without getting bored! But beware of having flat pocket afterwards, LOL.
The food gallery is not big but I definitely had hard time choosing one or two! I ended up ordering quite a lot, but before we move on to the food, let’s check some recommended drinks they offer 😉
Crimson Rush IDR 45,000
A Power smoothies menu, mixes of dragon fruit, sweet mango and oranges. This is a photogenic drink and I am sure nobody can resist the beautiful red-colored smoothies! I am gonna say that this was terrific. Love the fruits combination, sweet with faint hint of sour taste giving a nice kick to awaken my appetite. If I didn’t read the description before, I would have thought berries are involved.
The Deer Hunter IDR 95,000
Vodka shaken with spices, tomatoes, and clam nectar. A unique cocktail, probably not an everyone’s favorite but if you’re up for challenge, try it out! The taste of tomatoes and spices were so strong that they kind of annoyed me a bit, but vodka was nice and kickin’!
Mad Hatters Tea Party IDR 95,000
Rye whiskey, peach and black tea mix. This cute cocktail is served for 2 person as written on the menu. The presentation is cute and lovely, no wonder because it is inspired by Alice in Wonderland theme. The cocktail was actually yummy, with a taste resembling wine: it’s sour, sweet, and fragrant at the same time. I think I finished this alone because it was easy on the throat and didn’t have any alcohol effect on me (not that others do, anyway, LOL!) 😉
Bread Basket with Herb Lemon Butter IDR 20,000
The cheapest menu from the food gallery, but definitely a must try, just because the herb lemon butter was so good. Bread was okay but I prefer harder ones.
Spicy Roma Tomato & Chickpea Soup
Recommended by the Chef himself, I was curious about this particular soup. This reminded me of Mexican soup with generous herbs and spices, as well as the tasty broth. The soup is great for people who love tomato soup, period. I like it but I would love it better if they put chili or spicy stuffs to give a nice kick, not just a sweet taste.
Mediterranean Charred Octopus Orzo Salad IDR 45,000 (Regular)
This looked interesting when I saw it in the food gallery but to be honest, it is my least favorite of the day. The orzo (large rice grain shaped pasta) was cooked perfectly: not too soft and not too hard, but taste-wise, it was very bland. The sprinkled herbs on top didn’t help much other than adding some fragrance. The Mediterranean charred octopus was crunchy and fresh, but didn’t really compliment the taste of the orzo. Better luck next time!
Balinese Corn On The Cob IDR 20,000
Look at those beautiful corn cobs! Seriously, the corn cobs were the most appetizing thing I saw in the food gallery, no kidding. And as much as I hate eating corn cobs in public places, I was willing to do it for the sake of those beauties. Thanks God they can actually help you shaving the corn off the cobs, YAY.
And… here we go!
The beauties became a total unattractive plate when it was served. But who cares, right? We eat the food, not the looks, or so I thought. When I tried it, I wasn’t impressed even a bit. The corn was soft and a bit soggy, the seasoning was weird: a mix between sweet, salty and spicy in a weird balance. Some things are better enjoyed by eyes, don’t you think so?
Garden Baked Macaroni Pasta IDR 55,000 (Regular)
A good fulfilling portion of baked macaroni with nice consistency. Love the thickness and also the mild taste.
Beef & Mushroom Quiche IDR 65,000
The quiche was thick and egg-y (if there’s such a word), as this quiche was undoubtedly overloaded with egg. I really love the flaky crust in the corner, and softer part on the bottom. The roast beef wasn’t really prominent, but the mushroom was very tasty and delicious.
Tomato Salami Focaccia IDR 45,000
The focaccia bread was so hard and dry it wasn’t enjoyable at all. Toppings were okay but lacking of taste despite the amount of ingredients used and how mouth-watering it looked. Stay away from it.
Barramundi with Cajun Remoulade Crostone IDR 70,000
These were better if the barramundi was cooked differently. The barramundi was dry and hard to digest, the seasoning was alright but lacking of bold Cajun Remoulade taste: less garlicky, IMHO. The bread crust was hard and inside was too soft, probably because of all the water from the fish and seasoning. I just don’t recommend it.
Crispy Pork Belly with Horseradish Mayo IDR 155,000
Before my visit to Publik Markette, I have heard many good words about this particular crispy pork belly dish. It was indeed good, but not great. The crispy pork belly wasn’t really “crispy”, probably because it wasn’t really freshly cooked when I ordered it. The skin was quite thick and already hardened somehow, but luckily, it was still enjoyable. I chose Balinese Red Rice as the side, not bad.
Beef Short Ribs with Pico de Gallo IDR 155,000
Another main course, the beef short ribs didn’t disappoint. The meat wasn’t too thick but very tender and well-seasoned. I chose Rosemary Garlic Crushed Potatoes as the side and it went so well with the beef.
Havana Pork Sandwich with Dijon Honey Mustard IDR 155,000
Succulent pork in tasty sandwich served with Dijon honey mustard, what can I say? The pork was well-seasoned, soft and fragrant, the bread was soft and perfect. I chose the Spicy Asian Greens for the side and believe it or not, it complimented the sandwich quite nicely. I even put some inside the sandwich and it gave colorful twist to the taste, love!
Coconut Cake IDR 50,000
Recommended by the staff behind the food gallery, I was glad I followed her words. The coconut cake was superb. I love how soft and moist the cake was, eating that was effortless. The subtle aroma and taste of coconut was overwhelming, but not to the point of making me sick. I would go to the extent of saying this is the best coconut cake I have ever eaten so far in Jakarta.
Pumpkin Pie IDR 50,000
The pumpkin pie looked so good and absolutely was a must-order item since one of the chefs is from USA and we all know how good pumpkin pie in America is! The pie had really nice crust with softer bottom (my favorite), the pumpkin was sweet and solid. I love how everything complimented each other nicely, with no dominance of any ingredients.
This is the new menu which is probably available for order by now, my ultimate favorite Carrot Cake! Was lucky to be able to try this because they were making one whole cake that time and asked whether we wanted to give it a try, which of course I said YES with no doubt!
Remember how I raved about the delicious carrot cake from Trafique Coffee? Although that one was great, this was even greater. The cake was solid yet still maintaining its softness, it was moist without being lumpy in the texture. Simply said, a MUST TRY if you are a carrot cake lover like me and if you want to have a taste of authenticity.
Behind the great food, there are always great chefs.
Or so I believe.
And although I didn’t love everything that I tried that night, overall I have to say that the food were impressive and exceeded my expectation for an ISMAYA restaurant. Thanks to the super fun and friendly Chef Philip Mimbimi and also Chef Julius for creating such magical line of food that we enjoyed so much that night. Chef Philip definitely has a bubbly personality that makes the food gallery glowing whenever he is around. If you see him, say hello and he will gladly recommend you the best menu of the day!
Publik Markette is an ideal place for casual dining, not-so-formal business meeting or catch-ups, romantic dates, or even family/friends gatherings. There are also many selections of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages that will be served by friendly waiters and waitresses 😉
Thanks for reading, everyone! And…. SMILE! Because there’s cocktails! TEEHEE! XD
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
East Mall Ground Floor (GF)
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1
Central Jakarta 10310
Phone. +62 21 2358 1281
Sun – Thu 10AM – 11PM
Fri – Sat 10AM – 1AM
Food Gallery (Lunch) 11.30AM – 2.30PM
A La Carte 3PM – 5PM
Food Gallery (Dinner) 6.30PM – 9.30PM