Remboelan (means full moon in Bahasa Indonesia) is famed for serving Indonesia Soul food, turning out affordable and tasty dishes based on traditional recipes from all corners of the Indonesian archipelago.
Remboelan sits on the top floor of the upscale Plaza Senayan, underneath the dome of the busy mall that is painted with faux clouds, an apt sand majestic setting for the humble “moon” restaurant, with 2 curved grand staircases leading to the heaven of culinary delights.
The decor is intimate, blending tradition with the modern. The restaurant is panelled with a mix of dark and light wood that combined well with the subtle lighting to create a cozy and comfortable ambience to complement the heavy Indonesian teak furniture. Batik screens on wooden frames act as dividers to create nooks of privacy.
A waitstaff goes round the restaurant peddling cakes fresh from the kitchen. We started the meal with dessert as I couldn’t resist the Lupis, a triangular glutinous rice cake coated with grated coconut and drizzled with gula melaka syrup – a nostalgic childhood breakfast item.
The Curry Squid was tender and fiery yet well rounded by the generous presence of herbs and tart vegetables.
The Egg Tofu was a welcome relief to all the spciyness, sitting on a layer of the addictive ketchup manis, a ubiquitous Indonesian sweet black sauce.
This dish is fresh, crispy fish fillets in a pot of sweetish tamarind broth – the sweet, sour, spicy combination grows steadily on you.
The ribs were delicious too.
The Beef Rendang was succulent and the gravy subtly spicy, allowing the meat to share the limelight.
Another creative dish was the deep fried soft-shell crab, served with a Singapore-chilli-crab-like gravy on the side, perfect foil for the crunchy crabs.
I savoured the Nasi Bakar Peda, which turned out to be grilled lemon grass fragrance rice, wrapped in banana leaf, stuffed with “Peda” fish, melinjo leaf and stinky bean – titillating flavours, but I was sweating profusely as a hidden chilli padi sneaked into my mouth.
All the home-cooked style dishes we ordered were delicious and the prices were very affordable, especially given the prime locale of the restaurant, and perhaps the reason why it’s perpetually crowded at all hours. Remboelan is a wonderful place to enjoy great value traditional cuisine and to experience a whirlwind culinary tour of Indonesia for a peek into the stomach and soul of the diverse archipelago.
Plaza Senayan Lantai 3
Jalan Asia Afrika No.8
Dearth Khusus Ibukota
Jakarta 12210, Indonesia
Phone: +62 215725088