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Figuring Out Andrawina Jakarta

Published 06 January 2011   

VE HANDOJO tried his luck with the new kid on Sudirman block, and got lost in definition.

The brand new aluminium façade of Grand Sahid Jaya resembles batik motifs from Sidomulyo, Central Java – a clear statement that the hotel wants to bring a modern Javanese experience. The specific batik pattern itself is generally designed for brides, and Sidomulyo literally means ‘becoming noble’. Being noble surely doesn’t always mean being a trendsetter, or a frontliner in the race for luxury.

There’s a sense of old fashion wonderment upon entering the new lobby of the hotel, and Andrawina is located just opposite the lobby lounge. It took me some time to get the concept of the restaurant because some elements were clearly art deco, but the deep blue glasses placed on every table screamed ‘eighties’. The chandeliers were contemporary, but the soundtrack in the background was, among many, Kenny G.’s rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”.

The menu of this Indonesian-named, projected-to-be-fine-dining, restaurant? “We offer an international menu,” claims Shanti Setyaningrum, the public relations manager. “But, we focus on Chinese. And Japanese. Also Indonesian.”

The Indonesian appetizer of lumpia rendang, that’s midly-spiced beef wrapped in rice paper, then deep-fried, quickly became a new addiction and you are guaranteed to order a second portion  immediately. Spare no room in your tummy for the ordinary samosa.

Norwegian salmon was recommended by Swiss chef Robert Rieldo. It came in a super-generous portion, the skin was crispy, and the meat juicy. The challenge was to avoid those all those tiny white bones everywhere.

Andrawina’s style of fine-dining also includes no table cloths, and no wine glasses. The clean backdrop, despite a few misplaced paintings on the wall, could flatter your batik and kebaya. The winning bet should be on the pricing, and the view over busy Jalan Sudirman. It is clearly the right place to hob nob with provincial politicians, figuring out what to do for election season in 2014.

Grand Sahid Jaya
Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 86
Jakarta 10220
Tel: +62 21 570 4444