Indian or Middle Eastern cuisines have always been uncharted in my culinary map despite their rise to prominence in Jakarta culinary map nowadays. It’s quite strange knowing that in the past, the archipelago of Indonesia has always been influenced by people coming from that direction but in modern times they flourish mostly only around Singapore and Malaysia.
It’s not that hard anymore to find decent Indian food in Jakarta now because at least you can try buffets at five-star hotels and alternatively you can now find Indian restaurants at many places in Jakarta such as the one I tried, strangely, in Bellagio Boutique Mall.
The mall itself has lost its charm long time ago and if it wasn’t for its sprawling apartments up there, what could this mall do to prolong its suffering of survival?
It was around 7.30 pm, Ramadhan, and it was dead silent outside with most of the tenants already closed, some probably for good. But the sound of Indian music keeps on calling everyone to come inside and there I found the only survivor, flourishing on the Bellagio desert of emptiness, and the name is The Royal Kitchen. Surprisingly enough there’s plenty of patrons for dinner though and not just Indians but people coming from different ethnics as well.
Though I have to be honest that if it wasn’t for the benefit coming from disdus.com all-you-can-eat voucher, I believe such place would only be an urban myth to the point of non-existent.
Much to my dismay though, the displayed buffet didn’t seem to offer many variations. The best part however came from the impressive duo between biryani rice with meat and the rich chicken curry. The basmati rice was definitely came from good quality, fragrant, and moderately spiced yet the rice would just melt in your mouth. Even my companion enjoyed it pretty much though she naturally doesn’t really fond of cuisines from South Asia and Middle East.
The chicken curry was the highlight of the night with all the savory thickness. I tried to overdose the emphatic taste of it with the chewy naan bread and dal makhani plus the mint raita. There I found happiness and curiosity as I feel more and more that Indian cuisine is something that I should know better and embrace.
For the closure, the exotic moong dal and rasmalai were the also the highlight of the fading night. The moong dal may look much like the fillings for nastaar cookies but it was made from beans, ground, and mix with this and that thus creating a sweet taste fitting for an ending. On the other hand, the rasmalai or the ‘pudding’ made from milk tasted also nice and sweet but with a strong milky odor.
Honestly, it was fruitful experience and quite an authentic one judging from the visitation of Indian patrons, the Indian owner wearing sari, Indian soundtracks from start to finish, great Indian food, and plenty plenty more to be explored from the menu. Regardless the lacking of variations in the already expensive all-you-can-eat dishes, it’s still gonna be another visit for me or I just plainly try somewhere else good inside this concrete jungle of Jakarta.
The Royal Kitchen, you’re the ambassador of Indian goodwill and now you reside as their envoy in my heart.
Bellagio Boutique Mall GF
Jl. Kawasan Mega Kuningan Barat Kav. 3-5, Jakarta
RSVP: 021 – 3002 9975
Opening Hours: Mall opening hours
Price: Lunch buffet IDR 69,000++ & Dinner buffet IDR 79,000++ (beverages excluded)