The al­lure of Beauken­hof restau­rant

The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Museum -

In­done­sia was col­o­nized by the Dutch for cen­turies be­fore declar­ing its in­de­pen­dence in 1945. While the pe­riod brought plenty of mis­ery, it also left a num­ber of ex­quis­ite pieces of her­itage in the form of art, ar­chi­tec­ture and many other cul­tural and phys­i­cal trea­sures. Ullen Sen­talu’s Beauken­hof Restau­rant em­bod­ies one of the more pic­turesque sides of colo­nial­ism. As en­tered the restau­rant, its col­or­ful floor­ing pat­tern and bold white pil­lars in­stantly caught my at­ten­tion. Its ta­bles are cov­ered in white linen and paired with var­i­ous old wooden chairs.

The decor is dom­i­nated by ochre hues and its dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments in­clude old pic­tures and blue Chi­nese ceram­ics. In the back­ground was the hum of 1930s Dutch songs.

The restau­rant has a veranda from which you can see a green lush gar­den with a cupid statue down be­low. The view straight ahead, mean­while, fea­tures a ma­jes­tic sil­hou­ette of Mt. Mer­api. En­joy­ing a cup of warm Earl Grey Tea in a breezy af­ter­noon in the Kal­i­u­rang high­lands was quite a bliss­ful ex­pe­ri­ence. Nat­u­rally, I would ad­vise try­ing the Dutch fare for a nos­tal­gic ex­pe­ri­ence. Fa­vorites in­clude ap­pe­tiz­ers salmon cro­quettes, which are made of Nor­we­gian salmon, pota­toes and veg­eta­bles served with mus­tard sauce, and, as a main course Hutspot met Klap­stuke, which is mashed pota­toes stuffed with slices of beef ten­der­loin and beef sausage, ac­com­pa­nied by a spe­cial red wine sauce and served on a beau­ti­fully gar­nished plate.

For dessert, try the ba­nana caramel. This fried pisang with palm su­gar syrup and rum was quite a knock­out and it was thank­fully not too sweet for my taste. The restau­rant serves other Euro­pean items, such as mush­room cream soup, pasta, beef stroganoff, and Nor­we­gian salmon steak with spe­cial sauce.

When I left this restau­rant, an old Dutch song was play­ing. I didn’t un­der­stand any of the lyrics, but they were cer­tainly a wel­come touch for my din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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