Basked amongst the residential area of Menteng, Central Jakarta and surrounded by mansions and sturdy old trees lies a restaurant accented with Carrera marble and colonial-era artwork within a white, antique building constructed with lashings Dutch influence.
This is 1928, the newly opened restaurant at The Hermitage, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Jakarta.
Usually, when one thinks of a “heritage building concept”, Kota Tua Jakarta or Old Town Jakarta comes to mind. Yet, Jakarta has its secrets – well, a select few well-informed individuals already know – there are many more Batavia-inspired buildings and interior designs nestled in the capital. 1928 is one of them, the latest colonial-style eatery in Jakarta offering diners a chance to revisit history through an array of Indo-Dutch delicacies.
As soon as you step into the hotel, 1928 is to your right. A massive double doorway greets you. Original printed colonial framed pictures hang against the taupe and white walls, windows accentuated by tan-colour curtains that open passing glimpses of natural lighting that’s slightly enclosed by trees from outdoors and cushioned rattan chairs and marble tables dot the dining area that can accommodate 40-45 people. It’s intimate and private, perfect if you are not fancying crowds.
Imagine playing Tetris where you see a mirrored L-shape – that’s the runway you walk on in 1928. Four groups of diners can indulge in meals in the first half, then appears another double-doorway taking you into the second half that beholds the buffet area with a mirrored divider against more chairs, tables, and photographs. Making a turn to the left is a smaller area for two more groups. That’s because the private dining room is behind – you guessed it – another double-doorway with a chandelier hung over an immense painting of an Indonesian woman wearing a traditional kebaya and a long stretch of a dining table for 10.
1928 was once L’Avenue Restaurant. However, on 27th February 2022, 1928 launched its new and interesting menu focussing on colonial, Peranakan, and Indonesian cuisines. Bringing forth memories of the old times, 1928 introduces a fresh, modern take on the colonial era dishes using the best locally sourced ingredients created by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Ferdian Tobing. In other words, the menu reflects the hotel’s colonial concept set in a brasserie-style fine dining experience.
You’ll be pleased with the Indo-Dutch inspired delicacies here. First of all, the portions are more than enough for one – you can always opt to share with your dining partner/s. When in doubt, choose one of or all of the dishes under “Dutch Signatures”, such as the melted cheese inside the beef bitterballen, sup brenebon reminding you of a mother’s homemade soup, the filling chicken bistik, the tender Holland biefstuk, the Indonesian favourite macaroni schotel, poffertjes smeared in chocolate jam and grated cheese, and the sweet and creamy klappertaart. A Rijstafel Package is also in-store. You can taste a bit of everything from the restaurant’s signature dishes for a minimum of four people. It’s a splendid way to taste what the Dutch brought to Indonesia years ago. Additional treats are in the planning stages, so stay tuned!
If you yearn for Indonesian comfort meals, then get the famous pindang bandeng, or the equally richly seasoned sop tangkar and soto mie ayam. Of course, the hotel’s classic and beloved nasi goreng babi sambal matah (pork fried rice with matah chilli sauce) is not to be missed. Expect to spend Rp200,000-300,000 per person for a one-course meal including a drink.
When Sunday rolls, head to 1928 for an unforgettable semi-buffet “1928 Sunday Brunch”, priced at Rp598,000++, with your loved ones. Indulge in an all-you-can-eat spread uniquely – appetisers, soups, and desserts are served at the buffet corner while the mains are passed around. The brunch features a drinks trolley with a bartender roaming the restaurant to concoct mocktails too. What a convenient and relaxing way to enjoy brunch from noon to 3pm when the capital’s traffic isn’t gruesome.
If you’re aged 25-60, working in government and private sectors, you’re more than welcome. You’ll feel homey because it’s cosy to have a meal in 1928; as if you’re eating at home – plus the colonial photographs that are reminiscent of hanging vintage family portraits you have lying around. Overall, 1928 is the perfect getaway enriched by its tantalising cuisines and unique concept.
The Hermitage Hotel Jakarta was once a Dutch colonial telecommunications office in 1923, which then became the first Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Southeast Asia under Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2015. By September 2016, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide was acquired by Marriott International. Drawn together by character, manifold experiences, and vigorous personality, Tribute Portfolio hotels captivate the colourful and quirky, more so for the travellers who choose to stay and dine at them.
What Indo-Dutch meal are you keen to try?
- The Hermitage Jakarta, a Tribute Portfolio
- Address: Jl. Cilacap No.1, Menteng, Central Jakarta.
- Tel: +62-21-319-26999
- Instagram: @1928_restaurant @thehermitagejkt
- Facebook: @TheHermitageJKT