Lume is an attractive new eating-out option in Senopati-Suryo thanks to its plush interior, creative dishes – Italian with touches of French and Japanese – and home-made sauces. Ajeng Anindita reports.
Tucked away in Senopati-Suryo, Lume is a recent addition to Jakarta’s ever-growing restaurant scene. The Executive Chef, Nicola Mondelli, was previously at Komunal 88 in Kemang. He has been living here long enough to converse in Indonesian slang. Talkative in a good way, and passionate about food, Chef Mondelli told us all about his delightful new restaurant, its plush interior and its creative food: Italian with touches of French and Japanese.
After going through the arched entrance, a rendering of “School of Athens”, a fresco by the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael, greets you. It depicts Plato and his student Aristotle together in conversation. They are surrounded by philosophers, scientists and artists of earlier and later ages.
The Renaissance art theme continues upstairs in the lounge. In the dining area, you will find tables for two, four or six. The chairs are adorned with velvet fabric, in pink and soft grey. Some tables have half-rounded sofas, adding a vintage feel to the interior.
The ambiance is warm with mood lighting: not too bright, not too dark. There’s an open kitchen and bar, and the staff greet you with warm smiles and friendly gestures. They seem to be well-organised and to really know what they’re doing.
Plato’s philosophy is abstract and utopian, whereas Aristotle’s is empirical, practical and rational. Such differences of approach are reflected in Lume’s food philosophy, where traditional Italian recipes are combined with innovative modern cooking techniques, as Chef Mondelli informed us.
Not long after this explanation, an appetiser came to our table: Katsu Sando. This is Lume’s version of a Wagyu sandwich, complete with mustard mayo and salad. “Usually, I put the salad inside the sandwich. But it looks nicer in the picture if I put the salad on the side,” said the chef as the conversation turned to Instagram’s impact on the restaurant business.
“It’s both good and bad, it’s the reality that we’re living in now,” he mused. “A group of ladies came in recently to try a chocolate ball dessert – the one you have to crack open and everything. These girls came in just for that. First, they made videos of it for posting on Instagram. Then they ate it, paid and left. There’s the power of social media for you!”
While we were chatting, a waiter brought us another appetiser: Beef Tartine with succulent American Black Angus, truffle mayonnaise, caviar and crispy egg yolk, served open- sandwich style using thin, crispy bread. All of the flavours were perfectly balanced, in one delicious bite.
Among the main courses is the rustic hand- made Orecchiette: pork ribs braised for 12 hours and tomato sauce. Next up was Tuna Tataki with basil mayonnaise, black olives, salsa and crispy onions. As we sampled the third course, we were starting to see a pattern.
“Yes, I do like using mayonnaise,” said Chef Mondelli. “On its own, mayonnaise is boring. But to me, it’s the perfect base for my home- made sauces.” Tuna with mayonnaise may not sound like an enjoyable proposition. But Lume’s take on it, including salsa and crispy onion, is actually quite refreshing.
We finished up our little taste test with a classic dessert: cannoli. While the original cannoli is tube-shaped, the Lume version is a little different; pieces of chocolate-dipped and fried pastry dough circle a creamy ricotta topped with meringue, strawberries and mango sauce. A sweet and refreshing ending indeed.
Jl. Suryo No. 30, Senopati, South Jakarta Phone: 021 72788750
Monday – Thursday: 11am – 12pm Friday: 11am – 1am
Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 1am