Thursday, January 31, 2013

Le Bistro (French Restaurant)

Le Bistro is a charming French restaurant in front of Sari Pan Pacific hotel, near Sarinah. It is a real gem and one of the best discoveries so far in Jakarta.

Le Bistro is actually the oldest French restaurant in the city, since 1976. It is owned by Rima Melati, a famous Indonesian actress, who is also behind Jaya Pub and La Bodega Grill in Cilandak. The inside looks quaint, with many antiques, probably bought in France. The tablecloth had old stains on it, but it was clean and adding to the atmosphere (that's the opinion). With some famous French songs playing (Brel, Souchon, Brassens, etc.), it is among other things perfect for a romantic dinner. There were a few customers that evening, all expatriates (Japanese and European).
The menu features classic French dishes, with a strong Mediterranean influence. It reminds me of another French restaurant in Jakarta, l'Escargot-Café de la Bastille, but more expensive.

We had the Salade Provençale (Rp38,500k), the NZ Lamb Chops (Rp135,000), the Bouillabaisse (a seafood and fish soup from Southern France, Rp75,000++), and Crêpes Suzettes for dessert (Rp30,000++). An average 2-course meal should cost you between Rp150,000 and Rp200,000.

The food was not fine dining, but nevertheless we really enjoyed it. Among the things that could be improved: The Salad Provençale was served with American "French Dressing", and it would have been much better with just olive oil and vinegar. The bouillabaisse was delicious (it is the Chef's specialty), but a little too heavy on the pepper. At last, the ice cream with the Crêpes tasted average.

Overall: In spite of that, I strongly recommend Le Bistro if you like independent restaurants managed with heart. Entering this place feels like stepping into someone else's world: More than a customer, you feel like a guest in Le Bistro. All the staff were among the friendliest I've seen in Jakarta, and we even had greetings by Rima Melati and her husband. Next to Le Bistro, you also have the Casablanca bar, an old-fashioned pub with a pool table and a piano.

Opening Hours:
Everyday from 11am to 1am (2am on weekend nights)

Le Bistro
Jl.MH.Thamrin Kav.1-2 (Gedung Jaya)Jakarta, Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 390 92 49

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