Dear fellow tasters,
It is always exciting to write a post about a new hip, fancy restaurant and Luna Negra is one of them. Because of all the built up excitement, I decided to move this review to the top of my to-write list. I had heard and read rave reviews about the ‘black moon’ (translated from Spanish… or is it Italian?) restaurant-slash-bar, so I was quite excited when my friends finally agreed to go there. This was after much rescheduling and long BBM contemplation. Fortunately, another friend who couldn’t go with us that evening (you were missed) reminded us about making a reservation beforehand. Without this we probably would have ended up on the waiting list!
The first striking feature that caught our eyes upon entering was the elegantly-designed two-story wine cellar complete with a gold-accented spiraling staircase, the kind you wished you had in your own home, or at least I did. The next prominent feature, was the long overcrowded bar with lineups of black-metallic ceiling lights, which we had to pass through to get to the dining area. The drinking and dining crowd featured the “whose-who” of the Jakartan expatriate scene; mixed with Jakarta’s own label-wearing, cocktail-drinking, socialite-wanna-be ladies and gents alike. The dining area looked no less fabulous. The brick walls, the shiny giant light bulbs, the retro-looking wall hanging and decor, the ornamental-tiled floor, and the beat-pumping music in the background. All of this blended into a perfect atmospheric place for a fabulous night out.
Menu: Luna Negra offers a wide range of varieties, from tapas, starters, pizzas, pastas, to grilled meat, poultry, seafood, assorted Asian cuisines, tantalizing desserts and drinks. Of course cocktails, wines, and other merry-drinking substances were highlighted. Aaah, now for our orders — there were five of us and we decided to share one starter, one pizza, one pasta, and something from the grill menu. We were served the complimentary bread and sticks basket but strangely, this came together with all the food that we ordered.
For the starter; fried eggplant with mozzarella, zucchini, and tomato sauce – totally delicious. I’m not really a huge fan of eggplant but combined with the cheesy mozzarella and tangy tomato sauce, this one was definitely a tasty treat.
Pizza; prosciutto e funghi was quite large and looked very appetizing, however the taste was a bit mediocre.
Next; we all loved the thick beef fillet 210 gr (american black angus) with blue cheese walnut and honey sauce. It was the priciest item from the menu that we ordered, but surely worth every rupiah. The thick beef fillet was actually two stacked fillets, the meat was quite tender although I couldn’t help noticing that one part was a bit well-done and the other was a bit medium (maybe because we asked for a ‘medium-well’ steak). Nevertheless, the blue cheese walnut and honey sauce was über delectable. I loved the crunchy walnut on top and the delicate flavor combination of savory blue cheese and sweet honey. The fillet was also served with mashed potatoes, fried battered mushrooms and zucchini slices, and some bland-tasting potato-like triangles (couldn’t really figure out what this one was called OR made of).
Pasta; we pretty much enjoyed the pasta titled passatelli with italian sausages and creamy mushroom sauce (the passatelli looked a bit similar to spaghetti but much thicker and shorter with a rougher texture). Perhaps it was because it contained pork, which is why the pasta tasted so nice. The portion serving was quite generous and great for sharing.
Afterwards, we ordered one dessert, the melted chocolate cake, which turned out to be the perfect ending to our dinner. The cake literally melted when we cut into it and tasted scrumptious. A bit soft but also crisp, and of course… chocolaty. It was without a doubt the best molten chocolate cake I have ever had. As for drinks, we quenched our thirst with some mocktails and smoothies with cute names such as berry milky, fruity buster, cathy fruit, and shabadabadooo….
I conclude this post by saying that it was a fabulous dinner at a fabulous place and we had such a fabuloso time. The menu price range for a restaurant this fancy is also still reasonable. One regrettable criticism however, was the hostesses’ rude attitude (well, I would have used the ‘b’ word but it might come out as impolite), both the hostess at the door, as well as the table escorter. It was weird because they appeared to be very friendly to foreigner patrons. Another annoyance, the fact that they didn’t seem to have distinctive separate areas for smokers and non-smokers. Other than that, the male waiters and maîtres d’ were pretty friendly and helpful even though they seemed preoccupied all the time.
PS: Two things. First, since the title of this blog has ‘Good Friends’ in it, my friends suggested that I put one or two picture of them and me in action. I hope you don’t mind seeing more of me here. Second, I’m adding address and contact number of the places from this post onward just in case you need to find the place or make reservation, hope this is useful ^^
The taster’s notes :
Favorite dish – the fried eggplant, the beef fillet, and the melted chocolate cake
What to try next time – I actually already decided on the crescent moon lobster ravioli in shrimps and garlic sauce but we changed it to the steak at the last minute, so will try that next time
Price rating (without alcohol)