Kemang has long been renowned for its bohemian flair, a mix of eclectic cultures and the treading ground of choice for many expatriates. Apart from hosting a slew of local galleries old and new, it also satisfies diners seeking international fare. Tucked away underneath Oktroi Plaza on Jalan Kemang Utara Raya hides Nutmeg Cuisine & Bar, a new concept restaurant offering intercontinental dishes that present something to appeal to everyone’s palate.
Behind the glass door entrance, diners walk into a welcoming shabby chic living room that conjures a rustic mood. Juxtaposing a mix of classic and contemporary, black and white photographs of London hang above French provincial wicker pod furniture, while vintage Persian carpets lay on the bleached blond wooden floor. It brims with character.
Still in its soft opening stage, the restaurant is divided into smoking and non-smoking sections, the area closer to the bar being the obvious choice for a smoking section. On some nights, the eatery features live piano and DJs.
The menu is a melange, or what the owners prefer to call “Moluccas to Mexican.” Signature dishes include Hungarian goulash, hot and spicy seafood barbecue, bangers and mash, and salmon tandoori. The drink list includes fine wines and champagne, classic and virgin cocktails, smoothies, cognac, single malt whiskeys, cordials and coffees.
After much contemplation, I decided to go with the crispy duck on a bed of rice, while my friend ordered the beef tenderloin with a side of mashed potatoes.
The tenderloin was perfectly cooked medium well with a bearnaise sauce that tied in nicely. The crispy duck came with yellow rice and sliced oranges and strawberries, which added a nice acidic touch to the end of each bite.
What truly sealed the deal though was the dessert menu, which interestingly enough, consisted of just a three-item choice: baklava, sticky date pudding or pear ravioli.
We opted for the sticky date pudding and pear ravioli. Warm and inviting, smelling of cinnamon and spice, the date pudding was satisfying without being overwhelmingly sweet.
The pear ravioli pieces were wrapped and fried in crispy wonton skin and were easily my favorite at the first bite.
Without meaning to be cliched, it was like munching on soft pillows of sweet heaven. Much like the date pudding, they were light, with a pastry crisp on the outside and the pears softly cooked and tender on the inside.
We finished our meals with cappuccinos as we awaited our bill. When it finally arrived, we were amused to see it come in an old leather-bound book instead of the usual black-jacketed mini folders in which bills normally arrive.
“It is all in effort to infuse the 18th-century spice trade era into the thematic dining experience,” the waiter explained as my dining partner and I agreed that this was one cool concoction and a welcome new addition to the Kemang dining scene.
Jl. Kemang Utara Raya, No. 1
Tel. 021 719 5020