By Vira Tanka
9/27/2019Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono
Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono
A culture is shaped by many things, from spiritual beliefs to material goods, as well as other cultures melted into one. It exists in many elements of our daily lives, including food and design. Eastern Opulence incorporates the complexity of Indonesian cultures through a lavish culinary experience that you will never forget.
Set in a prestigious neighbourhood of Jalan Wijaya, South Jakarta, Eastern Opulence easily attracts the awareness of people driving by due to its white-painted colonial façade that exudes luxury and elegance. The establishment stands nicely at the hook off the street with the main entrance on Jalan Cipaku side; a strategic location that works perfectly to avoid traffic congestion during the rush hours.
Designed exclusively by its owner, who has a penchant for art and design, the restaurant is a show of eclectic style, rooted in the Archipelagic, Chinese and colonial styles. As you step into the main entrance, a150-year-old hand-carved gapuro or archway will greet you. The archway is originally from Jepara, a regency in Central Java known best for its meticulous woodcarving skill. Immediately showing its cultural diversity theme, you will see a Chinese style carving embedded on the right side of the foyer.
The gapuro connects the foyer to the expansive dining hall with seating areas to the right and left. Most of the dining area on the first floor boasts the colonial style, as showcased from the pillars and ceiling details, drapery and selection of chairs. No less interesting are the China plates that decorate the upper wall behind the counter. Whilst, diagonal chequered marble floor runs across the room and takes you to the grand staircase. Next to the stairs is a private room that seats up to 20; and framed botanical drawings are hung against the subdued green walls.
The second floor only consists of four private rooms. Each room is named after a gemstone and is painted and decorated accordingly. Amethyst, Emerald and Ruby, each seating up to 12, whilst the larger one, Sapphire, can accommodate up to 20 diners. The walls in the corridor are painted in blue and white, with similar tree pictures as the ones in the gemstone rooms. The second floor features a playful combination of natural forms and geometric shape of the floor.
The sumptuous interior is embellished with some antiques. Chinese vases are amongst them, placed at some corners on both floors. Meanwhile, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles throne stands gracefully in a corner by the stairs on the first floor. Across the chair is a piano that has witnessed the lives of the Germans before World War I, which can be played by guests at any time.
With a design that leans towards feminine, Eastern Opulence attracts mostly women as their guests. Reservations for arisan (a sort of women’s gathering) happen on a daily basis. On weekdays, business luncheons take up most of the reservations, where smaller groups usually occupy the private rooms. On weekends, it is often reserved for events such as birthday parties and weddings. With such an opulent ambiance, clients rarely need to add anything else for decoration other than flower arrangements. As for seating capacity, the first floor alone seats up to 150 whilst a standing party can hold up to 500 people.
The third floor functions as a lounge and bar. As the design speaks of the space, you will notice why the lounge and bar is called The Glass House. It previously had larger outdoor space, but the indoor space has now been expanded due to the popular demand from guests. The Glass House opens from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. and offers a more contemporary ambiance. A must-try items on the menu includes the signature cocktail called Miss Gill. Have a sip of it and enjoy your dining moment with the food that can be ordered from the restaurant.
Eastern Opulence serves nothing but the best of Indonesian fare with a magic touch from Chef Kevin Zhu, who has had many years of experience in New Zealand. From the revamped menu, today’s most favourite dishes are the Wagyu with Black Pepper Sauce, Serundeng Lamb Rack and Duck Salad. Not only is the taste divine, Kevin also pays attention to the presentation of the food. Added to that, some of the older items on the menu that have been guests’ favourites are the Gyutan with Green Chili Sambal and Smoked Peking Duck. If you think the portions are big, then having a group dining can be a clever solution.
Even though Eastern Opulence has opened its doors since 2017, they are always up for new ideas to improve the service. The business has been running well until today, yet guests may expect to see some surprises in the interior design by 2020. There is no stopping for this establishment when it comes to providing better and better dining experience to its guests.