IO, Jakarta – Mega Kuningan, downtown South Jakarta. This business district contains many hidden culinary spots. It takes some effort to unearth one of these delights. One of them is The Royal Kitchen, a local Indian restaurant located on the ground floor of the Bellagio Boutique Mall that serves among the best dishes in its type. Not many restaurants actually serve Indian cuisine in Jakarta, and this one is a jewel among those few.
Indian dishes are well known for their unique, strong flavors due to the amount, types, and methods of spice preparation used in them. The Royal Kitchen lives up to its name in terms of both décor and dishes. Its interior is richly decorated with brass lamps that emit a gentle golden light, mysterious exotic statues, and mini-altars with flowers and incense. The staff’s gentle and deferential service also brings a sense of being served as royalty.
The Royal Kitchen cooks food both from the North and South of India. Whether you visit day or night, your appetite will be satisfied by the offerings of either the all you can eat or à la carte menu, from appetizer to dessert. For example, you might want to start teasing your appetite with a masala dosai. Diners can see how this dish is made. It is something like filo pastry stuffed with beans and potatoes, accompanied with a soup made of beans and chili, as well as a coconut milk-based sauce. It has a delicate, savory but sweet flavor.
Other favorite dishes include kalmi kebab, kashimiri mutton, and chicken biryani rice. Kalmi kebab is extremely tender chicken thighs baked in tandoori oven. Kashmiri mutton is slices of tender lamb mutton served with naan paratha bread. And we all know chicken biryani, which is a main course chicken and rice dish.
The Royal Kitchen management has stated that they have just opened a branch in Bali, and they are now planning to open another in New Zealand. This is no surprise, as their dishes are made with delicate and sophisticated spice mixtures and preparations. Their bold, exotic décor also enhances the sense of a royal visit to India. (Aldo)