Wow, what a contrast! Having visited the rather poor Glass Lounge, I was looking forward to doing a restaurant review that was a tad more upbeat. And upbeatness I have found by the bagfull in Trattoria. Looking through the window, I realised where all Poste and Glass Lounge’s customers were.
Favouring dark modern wood, Trattoria has stamped an authority that wasn’t apparent in its previous incarnation in Menara Karya. It is also slightly smaller than it was, but with that smallness comes a homeliness.
Note the aquarium with massive lobsters, like something from Star Trek
The menu is ridiculously comprehensive and as I was only a little peckish, I had the appetiser of Beef Carpaccio with Rucola Salad and Parmesan cheese with strawberry juice (to drink!). I don’t know who the portions where designed for, but after eating a lot, I still hadn’t dented the food mountain placed in front of me. The carpaccio fell to pieces and was very flavoursome and the parmesan was salty and light.
The menu also caters very well for vegetarians and has many options beyond the boring and bland alternatives offered by other Western-influenced eateries.
Another nice feature is that you are provided with a break basket which is excellent for nibbling while waiting for your food to arrive. They also provide (an admittedly rather limp) bruschetta gratis.
A lot of the charm in Trattoria comes from the fact that the waiting staff busy themselves in ways other than annoying the life out of the customer. People lingered chatting, and generally behaved as if they really were in a European restaurant, rather than in a hectic Jakarta restaurant. It is weird how striking that feeling can be after visiting many of Jakarta’s new places. What, I can just chill out and smoke and think?! Cool…
The only downside that I can think of is that with the inside being so dark and one wall being completely glass, it is a little difficult for your eyes to cope with the constant pupil dilation and contraction, but then I guess this is easily solveable by turning your back to that wall, or wearing shades, when you run the risk of people thinking you are taking this Italian thing a little too far!
EMPTY! Not a good first impression. However, it gives me the chance to wander and annoy the waiters. Having come from the Gran Melia, this ninja was suitably refreshed and in the mood for some classic Jakarta fail. After a few Diet Cokes to straighten the mind, I set about asking the waiters to do stuff. This may sound like I was asking them to do dancing tricks, but I was merely asking simple requests. One kid looked spectacularly stunned after I asked him if it was always this empty. Kid’s brain: “Shit, should I tell the truth and risk sackage or bluff it?!” Bluff it he did, and I am pleased to report that Poste is the busiest eaterie in the whole world since God invented the word busy. This statement was obviously enhanced as we watched NO customers enter during the 5.30-7pm slot. Being fair, it was a rainy Sunday. And the location kind of sucks. OMG!
People! At 7.15pm, three sheepish looking ladies entered and the place was abuzz with pretending-to-workingness. My ashtray was changed in a flurry of excitement. CUSTOMERS!!!
Having eaten comprehensively earlier, I ate more out of politeness than desire. The ‘Rosemary Roast Pork served with Buttered Garbanzo Beans and Sticky Balsamic [something]‘ was a small plate (as advertised) of bog-standard Babi Merah, marinaded in a sickly sweet sauce, served with lettuce and, em, campfire standard baked beans. I had thought Garbanzo beans would have been more exciting, but no, my hopes were dashed, like a Lindsay Lohan fan upon discovering their goddess was but a cheap, corporate, drug-addicted whore.
We also ordered a ‘Bucket of Potato Fritte served with Pesto Mayo, Wasabi Aioli or Chilli Aioli’. We opted for the wasabi. The dip was clean and crisp and mildly wasabi-y, but the fries had only been single-dipped and were limp and unfluffy. Restaurants need to learn the value of the double dip. Blanche, let the oil re-heat and dip again. Culinary Rocket Science 101.
About 10 minutes later, more people arrived, driving the ambience count up to 11 people spread over 120 seats. The place was positively murmuring!
The decor is minimalist and looks like it doesn’t expect to be around for long, which is a pity as the lying waiter appears to have a fantastic career in Poste’s PR.
Indonesian political parties with human rights abuse problems, apply here for a bare-faced spokesperson!
I also feel the need to point out that one beer = 50k. Not cool.
If you are familiar with the word ‘meh’, this is it. Otherwise, look it up. You’ll see a picture of Poste.