Tugu Kunstkring Paleis
About a week ago, my family and I headed out to the heart of Jakarta and had lunch at a fancy place. A very fancy one. Because my sister was leaving the next day, I thought why not. Plus, she told me that the place was full of historical shiz, going back to the days when the Dutch colonized Indonesia. Because I'm into historical stuff, I was super happy to have spent two hours in there.
Tugu Kunstkring Paleis was a immigration back in the days when the Dutch was still in Batavia (now Jakarta). Now, the place doesn't have that old feeling like Europeans buildings do, but I was quite impressed. Obviously, it has been renovated and all that, but with all the Indonesian paintings surrounding us and the old knick knacks in every corner of the place, it really felt like we were in the 1900's. I basically felt like a Queen when I was there (haha!). The service was great!
Not only is it a restaurant, but the whole buildings also consists of an art gallery, gallery shop (some cool looking souvenirs!) and cool ass private dining rooms. I was in awe when I saw the private rooms! Nicely decorated. Before getting on with that though, let's talk about the food!
Now, the food isn't something that I would rave about. But I must say their bitterballen (1st picture) was a good un'! The portion was small, so I was quite sad that I could only eat one or two of it because we only ordered two portion of it. Now the poffertjes (2nd picture) isn't the greatest that I've had. I personally like poffertjes that are a little bit harder and crispier instead of going all soft and gooey on the inside. Then again, that's just my personal opinion! The other special thing we ordered was the Escargot drizzled with melted cheese on beds of skin champignon. Sounds fancy, ey? Because I'm not a big fan of seafood, I didn't try it at all. My sister did and she said the taste wasn't as great as she thought it would be, but hey, that's alright! At least we got to enjoy a couple of hours in a fancy historical place with a good service intact to it. ;)
As for the main course, I didn't order anything special. I'm a creature of habit, so I went and ordered roasted chicken (bleh, I'm so boring). My sister on the other hand (so much more adventurous than I am), went and ordered the crispy duck with kungpao chicken! Sounds interesting, but again I didn't get a taste of it.
FYI, aside from the art gallery and cool ass private rooms that I will be briefing you with after this, beside the restaurant is a lounge/bar called the Suzie Wong Lounge. Before getting on with the late 1950's Chinese decor, the lounge used to be the Buddha Bar. It only lasted for a year or so, because many Buddhists were offended by the name. Anyways, I was impressed that the decor matched so well to the story of Suzie Wong. Because I didn't know who she was when I was there, I searched her up on google and was weirdly intrigued by the story. It's sort of a cliché story. She was a prostitute and fell in love with a British artist who lived in Hong Kong. Anything that dates back to a century ago, hell even five centuries ago, will leave me curious and intrigued. No matter how crude it is. Lol.
Random thing to say, but did you know Queen Elizabeth I who was best known as the 'Virgin Queen', might not actually be a virgin? Yes she wasn't married, but she was rumored to be having an affair Robert Dudley the 1st Earl of Leicester. Kept him close to her quarters and all that. The sad thing about it was that he had liaisons with other woman as well. Pretty sad because she was so in love with him *sigh*. Correct me if I'm wrong though! (20-30 seconds reading the thoughts that I have on a daily basis).
The most grandiose private room in the building. Called the Soekarno Room, named after Indonesia's first president, Soekarno Hatta. Not only was he the first president of Indonesia, but he is also best known as the one who brought Indonesia into independence.
In all honesty, I was never invested into Indonesian history as I am to European history. Ashamed to say that, as Indonesia is my home. Alas, I love how well the private room is decorated and how well they did to put the main focus on Soekarno. Aside from the big photo/sketch of Soekarno with three exotic Legong dancers surrounding him, there are also a bunch of photographs of his life in the private room. Sadly, I didn't get to take a picture of that because I was so consumed by every single thing in the room. Always happens to me when I'm in a museum or a historical place. *rolls eyes at myself*
In total there are three private rooms in the buildings, but I only managed to see two of them properly. This one is called Colonial Rijsttafel. Rijstaffel translated into English literally means "rice table". Right now, I feel like I'm educating you guys about Indonesia's history (lol, no, Ash). This is probably my most favorite one, because not only does it look cozy, but the photographs and paintings surrounding the room is spectacular! Most of them are of the Dutch people who lived here, surrounded by servers around them. Plus, there's a dirty old looking mirror that I'm completely fond of. The glass has splotches and all, but that for me just screams history. And I friggin' love history. I just wonder where the mirror was located a hundred years ago. I guess I'll never know the answer to that. *sobs*
I'm gonna go off topic now.
With the recent terrorist attack that happened a couple of days ago, here in Jakarta, I hope you're all okay. And that no one you loved was affected in this tragedy. So heartbreaking to see the city that I've lived in my whole life get trampled on by such horrible people. But hey, it's part of life. Not everything is perfect. Events like this one, even though it could be stopped, in a way is also inevitable. Because the world we live in, is plain cruel. Stay safe everyone. Keep your loved ones close.
Much love, Ashley xx