Indonesia Expat

Warung Toscana

Jl. Prawirotam­an No. 29

- www.warungtosc­ @warungtosc­ana29 @warungtosc­ana.official

“It was open for two weeks, then lockdown came!” recalls Stefano, husband of Sara, the owner of Warung Toscana. She’s also the creator of her own line of handbags, which you can buy in the restaurant too.

It had taken a long time and a little heartache to get the Italian restaurant off the ground. Originally from Siena, Italy, Stefano has been exporting high- end recycled wood from Indonesia for 16 years. In that time, one of his best friends from Italy, Adelio, moved to Jogja to work as a chef in another new Italian restaurant.

“He trained the staff in the restaurant, but things went wrong and the restaurant closed,” he explains. “We decided that my wife could open an Italian restaurant and take advantage of Adelio and the team he taught.”

Whilst putting together the project, his friend sadly died, but they pushed on. Then, along came the pandemic. After being closed for weeks during the initial lockdown in the city, they reopened but something was still missing – the tourists.

“People from Bandung and Jakarta, they really understand great tasting Italian food, but they can’t come here, so we’re connecting with the people of Jogja,” he explains.

Great tasting? That’s no brag. The sauce used for the pizza is naturally sweet, made from tomatoes imported from Italy. Handmade tortellini are filled and cooked to al dente perfection, and the authentic carbonara sauce – there’s no cream used here – is rich and delicious.

After being open again following the easing of lockdown restrictio­ns, the pair received an offer to buy out the place. “It’s been tough with the pandemic, but this has been a dream for so long that we want to keep at it. We owe it to our team as well,” he explains, as bottles of imported extra virgin olive oil arrive to drizzle over the fresh pizza.

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