Gandy Steak House is probably one of those Jakarta’s old school steakhouses which you can find at many locations in the city. It’s not their brilliant era anymore but my father regards them highly. That made me curious. With many new high-profile competitors, but not necessarily luxurious, it’s hard to make it out alive in Jakarta these days. One must have a certain degree of reputation and respect. It’s easier perhaps for a single restaurant with a long standing tradition where customer got nowhere else to go but that place. That alone keeps the establishment easier to be managed and remembered.
On the other hand, Gandy Steak House owns many branches and some of them are actually in good locations such as around Menteng area and the one that I visited in Kelapa Gading just across Mall Kelapa Gading (MKG). So apparently after some research, they also have other branches as well aside those two.
First thing first, after an unsuccessful trip around MKG to find a place to eat, which apparently during this particular weekend (just after Lebaran) and dinner time, was a hugely bad idea. We even took almost more than half an hour for just finding a space to park our car! Even so, Kelapa Gading area is indeed a good place to find good eateries. I haven’t really explored the area myself since Kelapa Gading is like a city of its own but far from Jakarta proper.
I found out about it just by passing through it before turning right to MKG. Judging that it’s hard just to find yourself a seat in the food court of the mall while the rest of the restaurants didn’t seem inviting, I decided that we should just cross the busy street for a peace of mind. As we arrived on the restaurant, the place seemed old and definitely on its waning days but that’s the Gandy’s bakery on the first floor. We headed for the second floor for the steak house.
Upon ascending the stairs we heard of the solo keyboard voice and somebody singing an oldies song. My girlfriend all of the sudden asking me, ‘Is it the right thing to come here?’ Though I had been convincing her to come here, upon hearing that I guess most people of our ages would feel the same way. I assured her that nothing’s wrong and that we have to proceed, more of out of my curiosity actually. As we arrived, we noticed that the restaurant is vast but designed like 80s. Perhaps more like my post about Miranda though neater. They got the salad bar also as we passed through but none of the contents interest me.
We were seated way in the corner nearby the window that overlooking the street. The place was vast, old, and I feel old. Not to mention also the annoying live music culminated with the World Cup 2010 soundtrack which actually should be sung properly.
Since there weren’t too many customers that time, we were served right away but I can sense the boredom in the air. There’s no spirit and an incident happened where my girlfried who happened to put her shoelaces on the table, accidentally taken by the waitress who cleared up the table of the menu books. Later admitting that she thought that belongs to the previous patrons. Well, she could’ve asked first before doing that right? Jeez…
Ah let’s get to the food then. In the menu, numerous steak dishes available from local beef to Australian beef. I forgot whether they serve also Wagyu there, but anyway we ordered the Gandy Steak (IDR 62,000) and Gandy Black Pepper Steak (IDR 64,000), both using local tenderloin beef.
Well, as I was expected, old school steakhouses like Gandy does indeed serve the steak on the classic hotplate. The difference than other similar steakhouses is that Gandy separates fries and sauteed veggies on another plate. By the way, you can always pick the grill grade of your steak and what do you want with your potatoes.
Unexpectedly, the size of the beef was considerable. I reckon it’s about 300 grammes. My tenderloin black pepper steak surely looks inviting. It’s already coated with the sauce, looking dark and alright. Some fried garlic are poured over it. I took some vegetables and potatoes to make it look more inviting. They also always put mushrooms on the side of the hotplate. The appearance of my girlfriend’s dish was also quite similar but they poured it with the so-called Gandy sauce which doesn’t feel like a BBQ sauce but it’s okay. Doesn’t impress me much.
As of the black pepper steak, it was awesome. You’ll feel that the level of the spiciness and the sharp taste that makes the steak really good were evenly balanced. It’s not necessarily the hot kind that will make you sweaty but sauce on the surface and the meat that’s already absorbed really blend well in your mouth. Feels like you wanna cherish each and every bite of it. Unlucky that the sauce was depleted before I can finish the meat. That’s a shame actually. I could use extra sauce readied just in case I wanna pour it again. Maybe they can supply it freely if I asked but I just don’t know. Perhaps next time I will ask for that.
So in all, it was a good visit but definitely they could improve more in other departments. I’d say that they may be too ambitious. Unlike new restaurants which has enough capital or ‘willpower’ to expand, Gandy has indeed lost that power a long time ago. I feel that they’re now more like surviving rather than enjoying themselves from many years of their reputation or even expanding. Forget about that. I do truly wish that Gandy will still exist in many many years to come where I can take my children someday to enjoy a classic, good ol’ steak. Which I deem different that the new generation steakhouses. It’s just a silly melancholic thing for me I guess where I used to visit a good steakhouse in Bandung which had burned down and another one which had undergone many changes where I can no longer taste the originality anymore. I do declare that Gandy’s different and by all means, needs to be preserved. By who if it’s not because our loyal patronages. ^^
Jl. Boulevard Kelapa Gading Blok LA no. 1-3, Jakarta Utara
and many other locations! To be announced later.