GIA Restaurant & Bar
I invited Jan and a couple of friends to celebrate my Birthday dinner at GIA Restaurant & Bar. First of all, I am so grateful to have friends from Melbourne University that stay in Jakarta because I am practically a tourist in my own town. The restaurant was recommended by my girl Felisa and she knows all the best places to eat, seriously, I don’t know what I would do without you girl. My requirements were simple, to have a meal in a classy restaurant serving great Italian food. GIA Restaurant & Bar definitely served that need. The restaurant is located in one of the most beautiful venue of Kuningan, at the Sampoerna Strategic Square, the tobacco investment centre.
This place is highly sought after and we probably would not have seats if we didn’t book reservations for a Friday night in.
The breads given were lovely as it comes in two colours, the black and the normal. Both breads have sweet onion fillings and you traditionally should eat them with olive oil, which was given but not shown in the picture. I requested for butter instead because everything gets better with butter. The crackers were also a nice touch.
Milanese Pizza, 175 000 RP
To start, we had two pizzas to share. What caught our eyes was what was recommended by the waiter, the Milanese Pizza. As its name would suggest, you cannot get more Milan than toppings of san daniele ham, pork crackers, and fresh cheeses. This was my favourite pizza out of the two.
Salame Piccante Pizza, 105 000 RP
The Salame Piccante was a more spicy option. Spicy pork chorizo was used with the addition of more heat from cut out fresh chillies. Its a tomato based pizza and I loved the that stinging spice, but I know that many people would not be a fan with the level of heat. By all means if you hate spicy food, request for the piccante to be taken out, because the spicy pork chorizo heat sould be just enough bearable for those spicy intolerant.
We were the first ones in followed by a group of ladies celebrating a bachelorette’s party right behind us. This place is a place of celebration and many celebrate it here. On a side note, most waiters are Indonesian who speak fairly good English. There was a particular caucasian guy wearing a chef’s outfit that went out of his kitchen for a bit, and we can only assume the chef is Italian.
Bottarga La Pasta, 135 000 RP
Indonesian pastas are surprisingly good and this one is no different. The Bottarga is one of GIA’s signature. The pasta was cooked with salted and cured tuna, also called as the tuna bottarga. The style of cooking was aglio olio. To freshen things up, cherry tomatoes, chilli and some fresh herbs was used to make the dish from good to great. The crumbs you see above was Silican crumbs, and they were more than just amazing. That little bit of crunch against the al dente pasta was a heavenly concoction.
Pancetta, 255 000RP
I love a good meat with a side of carbs and greens. Here we have a crispy pork belly with a side of chickpeas puree, onions, arugula, tomatoes, rockets and aged balsamic. Many individual ingredients here are just as simple as they can get, but a mixture of everything really hits the spot.
Scoglio La Pasta, 135 000 RP
Another favourite of ours was the Scoglio cooked in the style of aglio olio. The pasta was cooked in white wine pinot grigio sauce. The seafood combination included mussels, prawns and tender baby squids.
Saltimbocca, 220 000RP
A thin layer of baby veal beef was pan fried with chardonnay wine and we had it with San daniele ham. For the greens, there are nicely poached asparagus and tomatoes included. The roasted baby potatoes was just enough to be addictive, but not too much that we have to leave it behind. All in all this was overall a favourite dish of mine.
Fettuccine La Pasta, 145 000 RP
The Fettucine is thicker than supermarket fettucines, but I assure you the freshness of the pasta. The pasta was probably made in house. Cooked with it were pork sausages and portobello mushrooms as the main core companion. The sauce used was carbonara, and ingredients used are fixated to the basic old classic.
Cosciotto Di Anatra, 165 000 RP
Above a bed of white beans lay a confit duck leg, slathered in crispy fried onions. The meat was seriously delicious especially combining the duck jus with the duck meat and the crispy onions altogether. Cosciotto Di Anatra was indeed another brava.
Mandatory birthday shot with my man after our meal
This crew of mine are my Aussie and American mates. They made my life in Jakarta so much better and less lonelier. I am really thankful to have them by my side today. Celebrating a Birthday celebration can be as simple as having a dinner with a couple of friends. Creating moments of a good time are what I seek because that’s something irreplaceable, and not easy to attain if it weren’t for this bunch.
As I turn a year older, I aim to achieve greater things in life and to have it sorted out. The first step out of uni is often a bundle of mess, but I am determined to pluck the weeds out and start growing my seeds. Cheers to a great start, and I hope to continue to share insightful thoughts through this platform of mine.