Owned by Chris Winston Sandy, Emilia Cucina sits comfortably in a cozy neighborhood spot in South Jakarta. The place is a bit hidden, so at first, I doubted I was on the right path. But then I noticed the word “EMILIA” glowing from afar.
I recognized that the building’s architecture was inspired by the Italian trattorias. The outdoor area was right by the entrance – long tables and benches, pizza on each table, Christmas decorations, people laughing, exchanged conversations, and some had their laptops open on a Friday night.
I took a few steps to the front door and was immediately greeted by the host.
“Do you have a reservation?” she kindly asked.
“Yes. It’s under Hanna; for 6 people.” I replied.
The host smiled, “Right this way, Ms.” She held the door open to let me in. I scanned my eyes through the room. They had their menu handwritten with white chalk on a big blackboard stuck to the wall. The dimly lit space was not too spacious, but it successfully radiated warmth and intimacy which conveyed Chris’s intention to create a humble Italian communal eatery. The tables and the chairs were made out of wood. The interiors were decorated with more Christmas decorations, framed artworks, and wine bottles – a personal touch from Chris Winston Sandy himself.
As soon as I was seated, a menu was given to me. I started with appetizers; Gamberetto Fritto E Manioca – fried baby prawn with lime juice on top. The crunchiness of the prawn and the taste of the herbs and spices caused an explosion in my mouth. It’s a magnificent start to tonight’s dinner.
Still with the appetizer, I ordered Zuppa Di Funghi which is roasted mushroom and focaccia. I was never a big fan of mushrooms but this dish changed my mind. The soup was creamy and savory. Perfect combination.
For the main course, I had their well-known Pappardelle Con Bistecca. A plate consisted of pasta and sirloin steak with cheese drizzled on top. The steak was tender and perfectly cooked as requested. The al dente pasta was coated with a flavorful bold seasoning of mushroom cream sauce. It didn’t stop there. A glass (or more) of red wine will always be a perfect companion to your steak.
It isn’t an Italian feast if it does not involve Pizza. Although I stated mushrooms were not a favorite of mine, I thought I wouldn’t stay in my comfort zone for the night. After all, I’m at Emilia, duh. The next dish was Pizza Al Funghi – topped with tasty cream, mushroom, and truffle oil. The pizza is typically thin but the texture of the dough is still soft.
To close it all off, I ended my feast with tiramisu which surprisingly has a big portion. The taste was okay and was not as grandeur as the meals I had through the night. Unfortunately, since I’ve had too much to eat before, I couldn’t enjoy the desert to the fullest.
Dining at Emilia doesn’t end at round one. The intimate and nostalgic ambience will make you come back for more and more experience. It’s the perfect spot for you to enjoy quality time with your friends and family. Maybe, you could celebrate your Christmas or New Year’s at Emilia Cucina. Ciao.
EMILIA CUCINA ITALIANA
Jl. Biduri Bulan No. 03, Permata Hijau, South Jakarta
Photo credits: Emilia Cucina Italiana and Manual Jakarta
Written by Aldhanti Bodhihanna