I would like to point out an observation which I’m sure everyone must have already noticed. It seems to me like there are new restaurants/cafés/bistros/bars opening in Jakarta every single week, if not daily.
I’m not complaining about the myriads of choices, but good luck to the owners who would better find a niche area to win our increasingly discerning taste buds (thanks to the selection of fine food all around us!). The newcomers better understand the market among the humdrum of similar, if not identical, competitors.
This week, a Chinese restaurant franchise from Singapore, Paradise Inn had just opened for public in one of Jakarta’s most sophisticated shopping malls, Plaza Indonesia. Imported by Boga Group, Paradise Inn promises high quality food for Jakarta’s culinary adventurers. For your information, familiar, premium establishments, namely Bakerzin, Pepper Lunch, Ten Ten, Paradise Dynasti, are the brainchilds of Boga Group.
But no… Not another Chinese franchise, you said? Why should bother trying out Paradise Inn, while you already have Indonesia’s halal-ized Din Tai Fung or the ridiculously over-priced Crystal Jade group?
Here’s why. If you’re Chinese and you crave for a homey soup, double-boiled with pork bones, then you should try the double-boiled soups at Paradise Inn. The price ranges from Rp 108,000 to Rp 128,000 per pot, and it can be shared for 2 – 4 people.
I tried the Double Boiled Sea Whelk with Spare Ribs and Chinese Yam which is believed improve eyesight, maintain youthfulness and nourish the kidneys and lungs. I’m not very convinced about the maintaining youthfulness claim, although it surely maintained my stomach full for hours after drinking the fragrant soup.
You can also find venison – deer meat – here. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling how it tastes but I advise you to go and try for yourself. All I can say is that it was my very first time eating deer meat and it won’t be my last.
Unlike Din Tai Fung, which, upon entering the Indonesian market, succumbed to the lure of pocketing greater profit by making its menu pork-free, Paradise Inn doesn’t fall into the same pattern. I have nothing against halal food but I have respect for a place that stays true to its identity. Pork ribs, spare ribs, pork bones soup, pork trotters, pig stomach, you can find them all at Paradise Inn.
Paradise Inn positions itself as a tea house with classic signatures. You can choose from the four types of their herbal tea selection. The one I tried was a mix of Jasmine, osmanthus, dried longan and chrysanthemum, which is supposed to nourish the heart and spleen, improve the immune system and strengthen eyesight. It tasted mildly and naturally sweet, perfect for health-conscious diners.
Having said all that, is Paradise Inn your cup of tea?