Osteria Gia has a nostalgic charm that makes you want to stay longer, writes Ajeng G. Anindita of Ismaya’s latest venture in the SCBD
Osteria Gia is the latest Ismaya venture in the SCBD area. Unsurprisingly, when Prestige visited one recent afternoon, the establishment was busy with diners filling up the tables, and there were even some patient individuals on a waiting list.
Without doubt, the most requested spot in this new place at ground level of Pacific Place is the area near the front entrance, with its windows and numerous plants beside the tables. This space is also filled up with diner-style pink and red sofas, complete with red-and-white napkins that look absolutely beguiling on social media. Having said that, this well-lit space isn’t trying too hard to be the next “Instagrammable spot”. The overall look feels coherent with the restaurant’s theme.
When you step further inside, the mood instantly feels more intimate, with dim lighting and stained glass adorning the walls. Perhaps it’s because you can hear “Que Sera Sera” playing faintly in the background, but there’s a nostalgic charm oozing from this place that makes you want to stay longer.
Tommaso Gonfiantini, the talented chef behind Gia’s exquisite menu at Sampoerna Strategic Square, leads the kitchen at Osteria Gia. We start with the appetising Angus Carpaccio served with truffle, mushroom and parmigiana cheese, an easy treat for anyone who love the earthy taste of truffle and mushroom. Chef Tommaso insists that we have to eat it together with the focaccia bread served on the table; he believes that you need to get everything on the plate mixed well to get the optimal taste. We then continue with Cavatelli, a typical Southern Italian pasta made out of durum wheat semolina flour and water. The Cavatelli is served with escargot, porcini mushroom and burrata cheese.
Pane Arabo is something new that we haven’t seen before in Jakarta’s many Italian restaurants. It’s a folded pizza – not a calzone, Chef Tommaso emphasizes – filled with bresaola, buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula, caciocavallo and drizzled with balsamic dressing. The easiest way to eat it is with your hands, naturally, as the dough might be difficult to break down with knife and fork. Vegans and vegetarians alike will love this handful as it is stocked with healthy vegetables, and still rich in flavour.
The next dish is Chicken Cacciatora, served in a pot with white wine, black olives, mushroom and rosemary. You can choose to order half or whole chicken, but the half chicken itself is already a big enough dish to eat for two people. Our dessert is Grandma’s Torta, a pine and pastry cream tart topped with choices of rum raisin gelato and dark chocolate sauce or coconut gelato and cherry sauce. Ours is with rum raisin gelato and dark chocolate, which is not too rich and sweet, and a very pleasant dessert to close our meal.
Jakarta has never been short of Italian restaurants. Let’s be honest about that, whether it’s a regular café with bits of pasta and pizza on the menu, or a more authentic place with a real Italian chef helming the kitchen.
But the opening of Osteria Gia is welcome nonetheless. It serves up rich rustic flavours in a relaxed environment that takes you back to the dolce vita era. With great Italian food and friends to share them with in a cool setting, what more could you want?
Ground Level, Pacific Place Mall
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53 South Jakarta
Phone: 021 515 3300
Monday – Sunday: 11am – 1am