Friday, August 21, 2009

Loewy: Where You'll Never Leave Well Enough Alone

Raymond Loewy (1893-1986), often referred to as the father of industrial design, was the genius behind the iconic Lucky Strike logo and Coca Cola bottle. He's also credited for originating a (design) technique called streamlining, calling the concept "beauty through function and simplification."

I think those idea and concept are truly applied to Loewy, a (near) authentic French-inspired bistro located in the middle of bustling Jakarta. With its open air patio, wooden flooring, aluminium ceilings, tiled walls; illuminated by dim lights and decorated by ceiling fans. It gives out a certain rustic feeling yet intertwined with a chic modern buzz at the same time. The place emanates a timeless appeal, just like Raymond Loewy's designs.

Warm, inviting, and comfortable. It's the perfect place to wind up after a long day.

Theoretically, that is.

In practice, finding a seat (or sometimes, just a spot to stand) in this latest 'it' place could be quite a tedious task, especially during the weekends. Just like finding a place to sit/stand on TransJakarta on busy after-working hours.

Yes, just a little over a year after Cork&Screw's phenomenal success, its younger sister seems to be following its footsteps easily. I heard that the place has been packed since its first (opening) night. Wow. Business is really good for this group, I suppose.

Positioning itself as a bistro (with a bar), Loewy doesn't boast a wide array of wine selections such as Corks. It focuses more on the food (and experience) I suppose. Though in my opinion, the menu's list is not particularly outstanding if compared to Corks'. And since the kitchen's run by Koi too, you may find many similar/familiar items here.
 Clockwise (L-R): duck with red wine sauce,smoked salmon salad, 
trio warm chocolate cakes, escargot

For starters, the cheese fondue is tempting enough. A pan of sizzling hot melted cheese with bite size baguette cuts on the side. The smell is just intoxicating. The escargot is quite good, though not as good as Praline's. Half a dozen of shelled escargots are served soaked in luscious garlic butter sauce, covered with bread crumbs and baked, served with sliced baguettes on the side.

For main course, they have Asian and European selections. I never tried the Asian menu but I heard that the fried kwetiaw is good. For European menu, try the duck in red wine sauce or, if you're brave enough, try their beef tartare. Steaks are also recommended here as well as the delicious duck confit.

The highlight of the menu is in the dessert selections. Sweet indulging treats perfect for sharing with friends and family (but you could have it alone if you want to of course). For a lighter treat, try the delectable homemade ice creams and sorbets. Or if you prefer something more filling and decadent, the mille fuille, warm chocolate cake (in white, milk, and dark chocolate) with vanilla sauce, or large apple tart are (always) good options.

The wine list, as I've mentioned earlier, is pretty limited. But the bar serves some hip looking cocktails (the martini's are tempting) and have quite a good selection of beers (from Erdinger, Stella Artois, to Kirin). If you're not into alcohol, the tea and coffee list are pretty good too.

 L-R: steak & frites, mimosa

For me, aside as an escape on weekdays' nights, Loewy is a perfect place for lazy Saturday or Sunday brunch or lunch (they serve delectable brunch menu on weekends, including steak & eggs and mimosa). As the place's not as packed as weekday/weekend nights by then. Just gather a small group of friends, sit near the open air patio for some sun, pop up a bottle of chilled wine to accompany your food, and spend the day chit chatting while being serenaded by Bossanova tunes. It makes for a perfect and beautiful day --at least for me.

As (Raymond) Loewy said, "Never leave well enough alone." So make sure you share your times at Loewy with your darling friends and/or family.

Oakwood Premier Cozmo Lingkar Mega Kuningan
P +62 21 25542378

* Originally posted in Multiply, August 06, 2008

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