“Expect a virtual tableau of art and cuisine, where the palette of sights, sounds, textures and aromas from open kitchens create a delightful sensory experience. Enjoy an elegant buffet, or Continental and Asian à la carte offerings, served in chic interiors and a backdrop of vibrant Hendra Gunawan artwork.” – Raffles Website
Last week I tried a new buffet restaurant in Jakarta located in Raffles Hotel Jakarta, Kuningan. I have tried (and some reviewed) several (5-10) hotel buffet restaurant in Jakarta in the last year and this is the ONLY one where foods are served to our table instead of us walking around the restaurant hunting for delicious foods. The restaurant name is “Art Cafe”, the entrance of the restaurant itself is from the Ciputra Mall instead of the hotel.
After entering the restaurant, the first thing I noticed is the size of it. It is rather small and have a cul-de-sac feeling compared to normal buffet restaurant, however the view is good if you have your table near window. The service was great, the servants are friendly, knowledgable and professional in the way of serving and communicating to customers.
Despite the size of the restaurant, I found the decoration and settings to be more luxurious than in other hotel, even Mulia Hotel in Senayan (which is the benchmark for buffet restaurant in Jakarta).
I usually never eat breads as appetiser when eating in buffet restaurant, but since trying “tomato bread” in SanaSini Restaurant at Pullman I make it a habit to try some of the breads. The taste were good and even better with butter, which is placed in a unique, bell-like plate. The table is large enough for eating conveniently, without having to brush my elbow with the person sitting next to me. And by the way, drink is not included in the buffet price.
The choice of sushi and sashimi are limited, they serve it in a set of plate, as pictured above. Not the best place for Japanese food lovers. They only served Salmon and Tuna as far as I can remember, and it is not possible to take several plates at one trip, so I have to go back and forth to take several plates.
Pictured above is the assorted cheese and bread district. Not so many choices but up to the standard of international buffet restaurant.
The sushi, sashimi, and fusion roll district. On the right side of image is salad and rujak (mango mix something).
The choice of desert is good and they proved to be delicious to me. Other than the desert they displayed here, the servant will also asked if we like to have ice cream after lunch. Now I will talk about the table-served foods, the specialty of Art Cafe. Once we were seated for 15 minutes or so and touring the restaurant to take some foods, we were served with 5 course of meal alongside to the buffet.
The first one is Singapore chilli crab bun, pictured above. It is a bread with crab meat inside it on the top of crab meat sauce, it taste excellent! This is one of their specialty dish and certainly a good start for the lunch.
Ten minutes after served the first meal, they will clean the table and serve the second set, a salmon with spinach, mushroom and what I think is a potato sauce. Taste great, but nothing special in particular.
The third meal is chicken with mashed potato and corn. It is a chicken breast , so the taste is a bit bitter but it mixed nicely with the sweet potato flavour.
Pictured above is panorama of the restaurant, the left side is appetiser and desert district (as pictured earlier), in the center is sushi and sashimi, and on the right side is abundant choice of main course (Western, Asian mostly). That’s all for the buffet, the rest of the restaurant are filled with table and sofa.
The fourth meal is mac and cheese mixed with seafood, it is very milky and make me feel full after all the foods I have eaten. By the time the fourth meal is served, I was already quite full.
The last part is beef, cooked medium-well and served with carrot in pumpkin sauce. The texture is very soft and tasty, I think this is the second best meal after the chilli crab bun.
Lastly, I eat few assorted desert of cakes and ice cream. Majority of the desert is chocolate based, which suits my tongue better than fruit-based.
To summarise my visit, I recommend Art Cafe for couple or family looking for slow-lunch experience and wanting new experience of eating. The beautifully decorated place combined with excellent hospitality make the lunch pleasurable, however the sushi and sashimi variety could be further improved although the rest of food choices are more than adequate and up to the level of international buffet. Price wise, lunch in Art Cafe is slightly more expensive than in other comparable restaurant, costing about Rp 700.000 net (after drink and service charge) per person. As the price of the restaurant vary between time, it is recommended to call them and ask about credit-card promotion (they have buy one-get one with BCA recently) and the price of the buffet.
Raffles Jakarta Hotel, Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio No. 3 – 5, Kuningan, Jakarta
Breakfast: 6:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Lunch: 12:00 noon to 2:30 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Sunday Brunch: 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM