In recent weeks, I dined at the newly opened Do An branch at PIK when I passed by this restaurant along the way. I made a mental note to try it out in the near future, and near future loomed pretty quickly.
It didn’t take me long to decide whether I want to do a review on this Malaysian specialty. A lot of things may have travelled in and out of my stomach, especially with the crazy rate of burgeoning F&B establishments in town. But, there’s only so much space on the blog. With Harbour Town, what I’ve tasted immediately moved itself to high priority on my posting schedule – so here goes.
There’s an overwhelming amount of wooden furnitures as soon as you step beyond the glass-door entrance. There’s almost a seaside feel to it, as if you’re in a deck or something, but the overall space was modest. Think of the average restaurant space in PIK, and that’s pretty much all there is.
But that’s just the ground floor. If you’re coming with a large group, the lower ground is great for a grander and private gathering (think karaoke sessions), while the upper level was built for a more intimate setting. All in all, it’s where you’ll bring your loved ones for a good, hearty family meal. The last thing you’d expect is to see is large rowdy crowds here, ‘cuz that would no longer be a seaside breeze.
Now we started off with the steamed minced pigeon soup with chestnut (IDR 58,000), a savory Cantonese classic.
I just loveee this, because it kind of brings back childhood memories of the tonics my mom has been making since forever. I also have vague memories of my guardian in Singapore whipping this up for me and my brothers on some nights, and it’s good. She said we’ll have good memory for our tests the next day. Here you basically have pigeon meats thoroughly pureed, cooked, and flavored with chestnut. It’s as nourishing as a warm chicken soup, only richer and tartier.
Then we had the bihun soup with mixed seafood and milk (IDR 58,000). Before we dig on this, I should also tell you that Harbour Town’s specialty is fish head (and the most requested dish is the same bihun soup as this one, except it’s with fish head and not with mixed seafood). The tag under the label itself says ‘Malaysian Fish Head Noodle’ on the entrance. But I decided that this shouldn’t oblige me to order fish heads when I don’t like fish heads :p So yeah.
Nonetheless, this is a killer, mostly because I’m biased with milk and dairy of all forms. But for those who are intolerant, no worries. I forgot to ask the staff whether it’s coconut milk or not, but it tasted a lot like it (a.k.a. no dairy) – light, non-greasy, and simply decadent. You just keep slurping on the soup once you take a sip.
Maybe it’s the coconut milk, but somehow this soup reminds me of laksa (though obviously without the thickness and spiciness of the Malaysian favorite). It’s actually a simple dish, but seasoned really nicely. You have pickled veggies, soft tofu, and a generous mix of quality oysters, fish, and shrimps on top of rice noodles. Tomatoes actually taste good here because its juices blend well with the mild and cloudy sweetness of the soup. Those vinegars in the crunchy veggies made the taste even more complete. Trust me, this silky soup will have you coming back, because I don’t believe you’ll find anything like this anywhere else in town.
Then we had the Sichuan signature braised eggplant with tofu (IDR 58,000).
I’m not usually a fan of eggplants (except when it’s made into ratatouille) and I’m beginning to feel like a downer in this post, what with the fish head and tomatoes (yeap, not fond of them). But this was good. It’s just the perfect amount of corn starch to fluff up the sauce, not those big ones (as you’ll find in many Chinese restaurants) such that the sauce overpowers the main ingredients of the dish. The eggplant was also cooked just to the right consistency – soft as bolster and flaccid as a woman’s arm flab. It’s easily your go-to texture to match the smooth and scrumptious tofu.
I think this might be the least greasiest Chinese restaurant in the area. Although massive peanut and sesame oils always taste phenomenal, I’m generally impressed by how little ingredients they used to prepare the dishes we ordered and still taste delicious. There’s really no reason for me to not come back here, especially now that the gloomy weather’s begging us all to have ourselves a warm bowl of soup.
So come and taste it for yourself!
Pantai Indah Kapuk
(beside Do An Vietnamese Restaurant)
Bukit Golf Mediterania
Rukan Gold Coast Blok B No. 20
Jakarta Utara 14470
+62 (0)21 2903 3020
M – S 10:00am – 10:00pm