Exquisite Taste - - Contents - By Steven Jauw Waludin

Ex­plore the culi­nary scene with the new tapas and whisky cock­tails at Bali’s Klass & Brass, mod­ern Ja­panese cui­sine at Jakarta’s Rock Pa­per Scis­sors, Akira Back’s new name­sake restau­rant in Sin­ga­pore, Bas­cil­ico’s Basilis­simo menu at Re­gent Sin­ga­pore and the daily chang­ing menus at RHODA in Hong Kong.

Si­t­u­ated in a his­toric colo­nial-era house in the lush and serene Menteng area, Plataran Menteng is a cel­e­bra­tion of the rich In­done­sian her­itage and the

ca­sual el­e­gance of true In­done­sian cui­sine.

The hand­some her­itage house si­t­u­ated at Jalan H.O.S Cokroaminoto 42 has been through many changes.

Ini­tially serv­ing as a board­ing house for med­i­cal students in the 1940s, the house was bought by Dr Liem Khe Loen in 1964 and served as his house and pri­vate clinic. In­her­ited by one of his five chil­dren, the house re­mained empty for a pe­riod of time. A fate­ful en­counter led to a serendip­i­tous meet­ing be­tween the founder of Plataran and the house owner, a close fam­ily friend as it turned out. The joy­ous re­union re­sulted in a new lease of life for the old house.

Pre­serv­ing the stun­ning Dutch colo­nial ar­chi­tec­ture was of the ut­most im­por­tance to Plataran in its restora­tion of the house. With re­spect for the house’s legacy, the front and back­yard, the an­cient trees flank­ing the house and the late Dr Liem’s beloved or­chid gar­dens have been kept.

Boast­ing gen­er­ous bal­conies and over­hangs, clean el­e­gant lines and grace­ful colo­nial-style iron ac­cou­trements, the house cuts a suave façade, which ex­udes colo­nial charm. Step­ping in­side, vis­i­tors are greeted by suave in­te­ri­ors with a touch of el­e­gant Ja­vanese ar­chi­tec­ture. The clas­si­cal lay­out of the house has been kept, with small in­ti­mate sit­ting rooms, par­ti­tioned din­ing spa­ces and ex­pan­sive halls big enough for pri­vate events. A cen­tral court­yard graces the in­te­rior. A stream of nat­u­ral light bathes the house through banks of clean-cut sky­lights on the vaulted ceil­ing.

A sump­tu­ous of­fer­ing of in­spired In­done­sian-Asian cui­sine is of­fered by Plataran Menteng. For starters, try the ker­abu pu­cuk po­long – a re­fresh­ing salad fea­tur­ing string beans, sautéed prawns, per­fectly gooey egg slices fin­ished off with a tan­talis­ing house-made peanut-co­conut sauce. For mains, tuck into the crowd favourite: kari ayam deli. An aro­matic bowl of chicken curry ac­com­pa­nied with a side of de­light­fully crisp and chewy roti prata. Seafood lovers are urged to or­der the ker­apu menteng - a whole grouper fried to crisp per­fec­tion, dressed with a bou­quet of mint leaves, gin­ger flower, lemon­grass and fin­ished off with a spicy tamarind sauce. For those in need of their fix of sweet de­lights, try the ad­dic­tive caramelised fer­mented cas­sava frit­ters (tape goreng), or the sin­fully de­li­cious grilled ba­nana with ched­dar rosti (pisang bakar plataran).

Ker­abu Pu­cuk Po­long

Ker­apu Menteng

Salad Putri Dewi

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