I remember as a kid how I used to get psyched whenever my brothers voted for Tony Roma’s for dinners on Sundays. Sunday dinners are meals my family always have together, and the 3 of us (my older brothers and I) would vote for the cuisine we’d most like to eat.
Although we’ll have different cuisines almost every week, sometimes we’d taste great foods and create unforgettable moments at very particular places, which kept us coming back. One of them is Tony Roma’s. The American chain used to be located here at Panin Center Building, but just a couple of months ago, the whole ground was renovated to uphold this new restaurant, Locanda.
As you can tell from the pictures, the restaurant is super spacious. It’s the ideal place to hang around for hours catching up with friends, chillaxing with a good book, and they’ve got long tables for casual to formal business meetings as well. Aside from sofa seatings, the back-end also hides compact booths and private rooms, plus lots of sunlight in the day and lounge music at night. The fact that this multifunctional dining space is planted at such a strategic location at Jenderal Sudirman Road makes it all the more ideal for all kinds of meetups.
With such an impressive setting, my only concern was whether the foods are going to be disappointing or not.
Let’s see whether they’re as scrumptious as those baby back ribs my brothers and I used to devour.
Skimming through their menu, I was yet again impressed by the wide selection of offerings – particularly the drinks menu. Although I was only here for lunch, I can imagine dinners would be fantastic for those of you who’s looking to lounge for hours, dance, and have drinks with your friends.
Locanda, which means “inn” in Italian, borrows its term from Marco Polo’s voyage across the oceans to Asia. He’d stop by locandas to dine and rest, and this explains why there are a wide variety of selections offered on the menu. You’ll have 2 menus to skim through: The Italian and the pan-Asian. Every course was bloated with items that sound good for my taste buds, and yes, they each have everything from the appetizer all the way to the desserts on both menus.
Psychologically, it’s hard to feel satisfied when you have too many choices. As a matter of fact, I regretted right away about my choice of main dish. But we’ll get more into that later on.
We began with the 4-Cheese Pizza (IDR 75,000).
I was expecting they’d include a bigger fare of the 4-cheese blend to the oven, but apparently there’s more dough than the dairy goods. Then again, that’s just me.
It was good nonetheless, and I’m sure locals would love it for its chewy crust.
Now about that main dish I mentioned earlier, I wish I’d requested to replace the Pulled Pork Ravioline (IDR 70,000) with chicken … because they’ve got MASSIVE creamy melted mozzarella on top, and to think it’d be perfect dairy fans …
… and you already know why I didn’t pick it at first even though it was calling out to me (no pork). After a long while, I finally picked the Ravioli Spinaci (IDR 85,000) – described as ‘Homemade ravioli filled with spinach, ricotta cheese, and tomato’ on the menu.
Now you might be surprised, but this is the first time I’m going to reveal this publicly – I don’t really like tomatoes. They’re fine, but 70% of the time I prefer having without. But again, this is just personal.
I love the generous portion of it. To think that it comes at an affordable price for a pasta dish, I would’ve thought it comes small. But the raviolis were quite big, the seasonings aplenty, and they’re pretty generous with the stuffings too. If you ask me, of course I’d say yes on having more ricotta to be stuffed inside, but this is great enough for any food enthusiast.
Last but not least for our afternoon was the Thai-style Kway Teow Pad Thai (IDR 65,000) from the pan-Asian menu. Interestingly, Locanda has items that infused Indonesian spices into traditional pan-Asian dishes, namely the Spaghetti Telor Asin (IDR 85,000), Squid Balacan with rice (IDR 55,000), and Udon Goreng Jawa (IDR 70,000). But my company told me, if you want to tell whether a Thai restaurant is good or not, you should try their Pad Thai. While this is certainly not a Thai-niched restaurant, they’ve got good Pad Thai that I initially thought was prepared in a way that deviates too much from the traditional taste and obviously suited for the local taste buds, but then I remember – this is Kway Teow Pad Thai.
It really tasted just like what it sounds like – an in-between of Thailand’s spice-laden Pad Thai and the prawn-filled, soy sauce-loaded char kway teow. Love that they included plenty of peanuts in the dish, as there are too many pad thais out there that dismissed the essence of the dish. I would personally prefer a bit more tamarind to add more punch, but the lime squeeze and the sour-spicy dressing provided on the side was quite enough to spruce things up.
Also, it may look like a small platter, but the bowl is actually pretty tall. So, again, you get a lot out of such an economical price.
The final verdict? It’s good, although I’m not hyping it up here.
I’m definitely coming back to try other things on the menu and would recommend this place to just about anyone, mainly for 2 things Locanda has that most places don’t: 1) Superb space, and 2) An extensive variety of food.
View Locanda – Food Voyager in a larger map
LOCANDA Food Voyager
Panin Centre Building, Ground Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1
Jakarta Selatan 10270
(021) 572 7981
Visit Facebook page at Locanda Jakarta
Follow @locandajakarta on Twitter
and @locandajakarta on Instagram
M – Th 10:00am – 12:00pm
F – S 10:00am – 01:00am