Text by Erza S.T.
Photos by Ramadhan
Once upon a time there was a place called Bengkel Night Park; a pyramid-shaped building located in Jakarta’s SCBD. It was known for hosting many of the city’s great concerts and parties, including the legendary bubble and ‘acid rain’ parties back in early 2000. A decade on and the place has transformed into something called Fairgrounds and is home to many new restaurants, clubs and lounges, one of which is none other than Potato Head Garage.
Sister to Potato Head at Pacific Place Mall and Potato Head Beach Club in Bali, Potato Head Garage took over the massive concert area inside and converted it into Jakarta’s latest semi-fine dining institution. The entrance, through a short yet beautiful hallway accentuated in black and white geometric tiles, brings you right to the main area in the what used to be concert hall. It is now totally transformed with countless hanging chandeliers and tables covered in white cloths and chairs and sofas covered to match. Tall white candles on each table add to a total nuance reminiscent of la belle époque.
Not too far from the entrance hallway, and situated right in the centre of the area, lies the gorgeous, oval-shaped, marble topped mojito bar. The bar is accentuated by red bar stools, and an array of vintage statuette lamps in the form of angels and women which strengthens the whole vintage ambience. We loved the subtle Paul Smith-inspired accents on their red cushions. Look before you sit down and perhaps you will get a smile from a cute piglet.
They offer an extensive list of mojitos, from the classic up to their own unique creations. During our visit, we were entertained with the sweet and refreshing taste of the passion fruit and kaffir lime as well as the PTT Mojito with a sugar cane base. If you want something impressive from their cocktail list, then perhaps the ‘Millionaire Martini’ will do. It is a set of drinks that has an appetizer, main course and dessert, which comes in the form of two cocktails and a real dessert.
Food-wise, they have brought in Chef Hikaru directly from his residence at Tapping Shoes at Potato Head Bali to create the menu and to run the kitchens. Though he is rooted in classic French cooking, he has created a rather mixed menu with an Asian and Mediterranean edge. Not only that, but he has also made Potato Head Garage a wood-fired grill house.
Super premium quality meat such as 9+ David Blackmore’s full-blood wagyu from Australia and Txogitxu beef Astigarraga from Spain are on the menu to impress. The 200 gram wagyu strip loin that we ordered arrived with roasted organic baby carrots and roasted organic baby snap peas served with port wine sauce. Cooked to perfect medium, this strip loin is juicy, tender and really showed a great cooking technique with a great quality of meat.
Aside from a stunning meat selection, we also enjoyed the bold yet mouth-watering Asian beef tartar and tasty blue swimmer-crab cake as an appetizer. The wagyu ragout pappardelle is a great pasta dish and served al dente.
Overall, we were very pleased with Potato Head Garage, both its ambience and the food. Its high ceiling that reaches for the sky and provides an abundance of space and its old world charming design with the latest dining techniques and menu is a great utilization of this prominent down town space.
Potato Head Garage
Tel: +62 21 5797 3330