Restaurant Series: Enjoying Food in an Art Sanctuary

I first read about ARTOTEL (Thamrin) from a magazine and thought it was a pretty cool concept —  an art-inspired boutique hotel featuring original works of ART by emerging local artists. What a great platform for Indonesian artists to showcase their art (mainly contemporary) to both locals and tourists! There and then, I made a mental note to visit the hotel sometime soon.

Sometime soon came in the form of yesterday afternoon when Agent D and I decided to check out RoCA Restaurant housed inside ARTOTEL for lunch.

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Exterior of ARTOTEL.

Our driver doesn’t work on weekends so we cabbed there from church. Once our taxi turned into Jl. Sunda (a small road), we spotted it at once. In fact, it’s actually quite impossible to miss. The exterior is wayyyy too eye-catching. Because RoCA Restaurant is located within the hotel, it is open 24 hours. Awesommme. Now you know where to GO-JEK your supper from should you feel hunger pangs at 12 a.m. (ESPECIALLY applicable to us because Agent D ALWAYS gets hungry close to midnight).

This same scenario plays out time after time. He’ll flash me his most pitiful face and say in a really sweet voice, “Dearieee, I’m H-U-N-G-R-Y.” And then with the sweetest smile, he’ll go on to ask, “Pleasssse can you cook me something. Anything simple, hot and soupy maybe.” Not agggaaain. (In case your were wondering, this happens very frequently. Something like EVERY OTHER NIGHT.) Despite my immense inertia every time it happens, I’ll usually find myself rummaging through the fridge, cutting some veggies, and cooking him a pot of noodles (when actually I really just want to continue chilling in bed / lounging on my sofa at that unearthly hour). :/

The pictures below show last Friday night’s situation when Agent D started getting hungry 15 minutes to midnight. I’m not quite sure how Agent D manages NOT to put on weight (he gets hungry despite eating 3 BIG BOWLS of rice for dinner) + fall asleep with a full stomach.

OOPS sorry for sidetracking. Back to RoCA Restaurant…As I was saying, the lobby of ARTOTEL is not very big and you’ll see the restaurant once you step in.

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“This world is but a canvas to our imagination”.

The restaurant’s design is quirky and loud. The entire place oozes with artsy-fartsy vibes and the colours give off a very happy feeling. I LOVE the cement walls, which reminds me of my bedroom back home.

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RoCA’s longish interior.

I really liked that the smoking area was separated from the main area by glass doors (most restaurants in Jakarta have their smoking areas within the same four walls as the non-smoking areas).

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Outdoor smoking area is behind the glass.

The seats were comfortable and with the full-length glass, sunlight was able to stream in and brighten the entire atmosphere. It seemed like a nice place to just read a book or work on the laptop. More pictures of the ceiling painted in loud funky colours:

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Before eating. Mandatory table photo.

We were so eager to tuck into our food that we forgot to check whether the photo turned out okay. And my eyes were closed. *sobs*

Both Agent D and I ordered a pasta each and a sandwich to share. I ordered the “Prawn Spaghetti Aglio Olio” (IDR 87K) which was pretty good (I guess it’s actually hard to go wrong with aglio olio). The combination of olives and tomatoes added a different but nice flavour to the aglio olio. I personally do not really like olives and was glad the taste of olives wasn’t too overpowering.

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Prawn Spaghetti Aglio Olio.

Agent D ordered the “Chicken Spaghetti Basil Pesto” (IDR 79K) which was not bad too. They were quite generous with the chicken chunks and the pesto sauce was not too salty.

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Chicken Spaghetti Basil Pesto.

The “Grilled Chicken Panini” (IDR 85K) came with french fries and salad on the side. We specifically told the waiter not to over-grill our bread (we don’t like it crispy and black!) and it came nice and soft. The sauce inside the panini was a little on the spicy side but overall no complains!

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We felt that their portions were smaller than usual. But then again, it could have been because we were both feeling particularly hungry that afternoon. 🙂

I particularly liked their “Iced Lychee Green Tea” (IDR 35K) because it was at just the RIGHT level of sweetness (without adding the syrup given) – not tasteless or overly sweet as most iced teas are. Oh, and you can choose between green or black tea. Simply refreshing on a hot afternoon day.

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Iced Lychee Green Tea.

I’m thinking of booking a staycation at ARTOTEL on one of the upcoming long weekends (their room rates are cheaper than the branded hotels). Will write about it if I ever do!

RoCA Restaurant
ARTOTEL Thamrin
Jl. Sunda No.3, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat,
Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10350.

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