I might be missing the original Riva as one of the old guards of French cuisine in Jakarta, but I am also excited at the same time with the huge effort The Park Lane Hotel has done to rejuvenate the restaurant into something fresh and inviting.
Riva is after all a magical name that the hotel will not replace despite of the restaurant’s new concept. We all have to admit that the name bears a charm in it and it is actually, simply irreplaceable after all. So, after the (long) wait of several months, what used to be a retro-looking French restaurant has now become different, in a really good way.
Riva has turned itself into both a restaurant and a bar at the same time. The French restaurant is no longer there but the blast from the past is kept dearly as you can see from the menu, where you can find its legendary Côte de Boeuf, Duck Magret, and also the Grand Marnier Soufflé that has a taste so elegant that I can still until this moment.
There’s a clear separation between the restaurant, the bar, and also the outdoor lounge overlooking The Park Lane Hotel’s also recently revamped swimming pool. It’s a sentimental moment for me to see the restaurant side on the left upon entering Riva, because it still retains the open kitchen with several old paintings that Riva had back then. Aside from that, it has become a stylish restaurant with a contemporary touch with a jazzy theme and plenty of natural light, making it vigorous but also romantic.
What makes the new Riva interesting also is the menu itself. A wide array of cuisines from around the world await everyone’s visit to be savored and being a fan of Executive Chef Deden Gumilar’s cooking skills, exploring Riva was a task that I carried on happily.
For the small bites, we started from a really appetizing crab meat salad with apple, artichoke, semi sundried tomato, and with pineapple dressing. While for the hot appetizer, then came the Moroccan lamb kofta with fresh tomato, garlic, and basil sauce.
The mains selections are probably one of the most exciting parts. The prime cut steaks, which are actually the heritage of The Park Lane Hotel’s Stix steakhouse, came from different farmers and have a wide range of marbling grades for you to choose from. However if you’re in doubt, again I recommend you to try the good old Côte de Boeuf for your romantic date.
If at times you’d like to rather have something casual, Riva’s gourmet pizza is also a wonderful alternative especially because last time, we had a really delicious duck and hoisin sauce pizza – something that you won’t find anywhere else! It’s definitely something really suitable for you to try while hanging out at the new bar and enjoying their signature cocktails or the classic ones.
The desserts are definitely not short in creativity. Among the French heritage Riva still retains such as the soufflé, crème brulee, and also the cheese, the restaurant now presents the colorful fruits gellee with two sorbets or the flourless chocolate cake from the sweet side.
While the concept was thoroughly thought of from start to finish, Riva bravely shows up having everything that a crowd needs from a fancy restaurant and also a lively bar under one roof. But for a five star hotel, you’d be surprised that Riva promotes its menu for an affordable price but with a guaranteed high-end quality.
RIVA GRILL BAR AND TERRACE
The Park Lane Hotel, Jalan Casablanca Kav. 18, Jakarta – Indonesia
Facebook: Riva Grill Bar Terrace
Opening hours: Everyday, TBA
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE May 2014 edition
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Photos by: Dennie Benedict