Author: Posh Eater
I had a unique dining experience at Samarra, one of The Tugu Hotels Group’s company beside restaurants such as Shanghai Blue, Lara Djonggrang and Dapur Babah.
Although this is an Indonesian restaurant, Middle Eastern interior is the main character of this place. Heavy smoke from the incense welcomed me at the door. My first impression was like I stepped into a different part of the world. I settled myself in the Tao room, a private room that could contained 20 people. The interior: Middle Eastern, mixed with Budhist culture. If you like antique, exotic places, you will enjoy being here, like I did.
About the food. The menu has so many things to choose from, most of it are Indonesian food,and the rest is Middle Eastern.
Salad Lobster (IDR 70.000): Lobster salad with water spinach,green apple in soy orange vinaigrette. The taste was alright, plenty of lobster meat but a shame that they slightly overcooked it.
Samarra Mussaman Kare (IDR 68.000): This version od curry of beef was brought from Indonesia by Indian and Arabic merchants hundreds year ago. Using ‘asam kandis’ (exotic sour fruit), baby potatoes,green beans and fresh mint leaves, this curry is very different from the Indonesian version of curry.
Martabak Bourekas (IDR 43.000): Very tasty bite sized flaky pastries with spinach, mushroom, and cheese filling.
Kare Ayam Merah (IDR 68.000): Red tender chicken curry with bamboo shoots, slightly spicy.
Udang Panggang Bawang Putih (IDR 78.000): Char grilled prawns, served in butter and garlic sauce. Perfectly cooked and seasoned prawns. Really delicious.
Roti Miriam (IDR 24.000): Miriam bread/ Arab bread.
Ikan Kakap Goreng Asam Pedas (IDR 68.000): Sweet water carp, crisp-fried and served with tamarind chili sauce.
This is the main dish that you’ve got to try, Pasar Sate Samara (IDR 348.000): A boat of twelve kinds of satay, a remake of Bali & Javanese old tradition of The parade of Sate Ibu Sarongan. In the old days, women from the village would go out and put on their best sarong/kebaya, carrying baskets of satays slung on their backs and walking down to the evening markets. They would sing flirtatiously to attract customers. In this restaurant, instead of the traditional women, the male waitresses brought the heavy satay boat. It is still entertaining nonetheless.
The Pasar Sate Samarra are consisted of:
–Sate Lilit Ikan Gianyar (Bali): Minced Balinese fish satay marinated & grilled in tropical spices, served with ‘sambal matah’ (12 ingredient-Balinese relish)
–Sate Kerang Kraton (Pasuruan): Fresh cockles in skewers,marinated in soy paprika sauce
–Sate Ayam Ponorogo: Chicken Satay famous from Ponorogo village vendor.
–Sate Usus Sleman (Yogyakarta): Chicken intestine satay marinated in turmeric and sweet chili marinade.
–Sate Kambing Kapuran Camaram (Semarang): Lamb Satay with sweet soy sauce and kaffir lime leaves.
–Sate Tempe Panggang Kecap (Nglegok Blitar): Grilled soybean cake satay marinated in coconut milk.
–Sate Daging Manis Kotagede: Skewers of tender beef marinated in sweet spices.
–Sate Ikan Kelapa Blambangan: Fish skewers on lemongrass.
–Sate Kambing Muda Giling: World famous grilled slow-marinated minced young lamb kofta.
–Sate Ikan: Fish Satay.
–Sate Udang Besar: Prawn Satay.
–Sate Cumi Cumi: Squid Satay.
The only downside of this place that concerned me was the cleanliness. I’ve noticed that being on the tatami style room with my shoes off, left me with black dusty feet. For such a beautifully decorated place and delicious food I think Samarra should improve more on the hygenic to keep their loyal guess around.
SAMARRAKebon Sirih Raya 77-79 Central Jakarta, Indonesia Phone: (021) 3918690