Text: Ve Handojo
After a series of failed attempts, it seems that Jakarta finally has a proper up-in-the-clouds dining venue. Altitude @ The Plaza houses three different dining experiences named Gaia for Italian, Enmaru for Japanese, and Salt Grill – the brand and establishment by Australian Masterchef Luke Mangan. On level forty six of the city’s most stylish building, Salt Grill’s floor-to-ceiling window seats offer a majestic view of the very centre of Jakarta from the very best angle. Come evening the stressful traffic jam looks like a dazzling light show on Jalans Jend. Sudirman and MH Thamrin, tied in the middle by the iconic fountain. The dramatic visual feast lifts the atmosphere within the restaurant where ladies and gentlemen dress to the nines.
An extensive wine list was offered as we were seated at a table with million-dollar-views and we saw that Luke Mangan’s signature was quite literally served in every plate. On the eve of our anniversary dinner, my gnocchi entrée had all the balance of being tangy, rich in texture, and with a volume that was just right. My partner went for its silky lobster bisque that came with a well-grilled prawn. I have to admit, however, that the following grilled salmon, while being very delicate and fresh, tasted rather bland. Opt for the fillet mignon with bone marrow sauce instead which my partner tried hard to protect from my knife and fork.
The dessert selection was small but all sounded great. The popsicles that decorated my soft cheese cake added fun to the already perfect dish. Luke Mangan’s signature liquorice parfait with lime syrup rose to the occasion and its infamous reputation. If dessert is to cleanse your palate and wash your mouth, this one is the perfect definition.
Between lunch and dinner, Salt Grill opens for tapas, and on the Tuesday afternoon we visited, the tables were empty, and once again I could enjoy the view of the city – this time under a different shade. The tin bucket of salt and pepper squid that came with the miso mayo and char-grilled lime instantly became a new addiction. Finish them with no manners because that is the best way.
The dramatic visual feast lifts the atmosphere within the restaurant where ladies and gentlemen dress to the nines.
Spread the chicken liver parfait on the toasted brioche together with the golden pear chutney, and you will have a feast of tangy flavours inside your mouth, and remember to bathe them with port wine. The roasted cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and peppers on grilled bread came to the sweet side with tiny bursts of freshness, while the char-grilled beef chorizo and squid got spiced up with the accompanying olives, capsicum and basil. For bigger fillers, bite the mini-beef burgers and feel the alluring teleggio cheese melting beautifully.
Salt Grill sits around 140, and is helmed by Executive Chef MJ Olguera, who has been in Mangan’s kitchen for a decade. For impressive big dinners, intimate dates, or joyous celebrations, Salt Grill will set them right with a troop of friendly attendants. A fresh new place in the city and, once again in my humble opinion, the only sky-high resto in Jakarta – if not the whole of Indonesia – worth repeat visits.
Salt Grill Jakarta
Altitude @ The Plaza
Level 46 The Plaza – Office Tower
Tel: +62 21 2992 2448