|Udang kipas bakar daun (grilled fan prawn in banana leaves)|
My imagination wandered and I pictured a beautiful lake, with nice dining area around it, and great food. Well, only half of the imagination did come true.
So the father took us to this restaurant on Christmas, without telling us where to go at first. But he got lost when finding the place and ended up ruining his own surprise.
When we finally reached the place, the super crowded parking lot turned me off a bit already. Plus the long queue at the reception desk, where every customer has to get some kind of ticket first. The ticket then will be used to find our table. Too complicated, but I guess this is the risk of dining at restaurant that big.
Talaga Sampireun, true to its Sundanese name which literally translates to dining at a lakeside, offers a unique dining atmosphere ad environment. They have a lot of dining areas surrounding a big lake in the middle, such as floating deck, garden tables, and mini shacks. There's playground too, assuring entertainment for kiddies. And a lot of fish in the big pond. Kinda made me shudder, I don't like small fish.
|Clockwise from top left: reception, booking board, fish pond (?), children playground|
The lake is surely big, but not as beautiful as I imagined. If only the water isn't that greenish, it would be better I guess. Thank God it was cloudy that day. So the breeze was full on and combine that with the sound of splashing water, so relaxing.
The floating mini shacks (saung) had been booked completely. It would be the best place to enjoy the lake while dining, I suppose. I got the garden table instead, with direct view to the lake.
|Clockwise from top left: garden tables, saung (mini shack), fish in the lake, floating deck|
Cumi goreng tepung (deep fried calamari) was there of course, how could we skip such a favourite. Unfortunately, it arrived looking rather plain although the portion size was decent. They're served with bottled chilli sauce, and I really hate it. I don't think deep fried calamari is best paired with bottled chilli sauce, especially with that price. Having said that, they're crunchy and not chewy at all.
|Cumi goreng tepung (deep fried calamari) - IDR 39,000 ($4.3)|
We had a hard time choosing the fish, but finally settled for gurame bakar kecap (grilled snapper with soy sauce). Excellently marinated, sweet and flavorsome. The fish is perfectly cooked, without any fishy smell.
|Gurame bakar kecap (grilled carp with soy sauce) - IDR 63,000 ($7)|
I had never eaten udang kipas or fan prawn (Thenus orientalis) before. Driven by curiosity, the udang kipas bakar daun (grilled fan prawn in banana leaves) was added to the order list. Turned out that this dish is the highlighted dish of the day.
The dish consists of two fan prawns, which are flanked by spicy chilli sauce (sambal) and few Indonesian herbs and then grilled in banana leaves. The aromatic herbs are a great addition of course, as they are so aromatic and eliminating any possibility of fishy smell from the prawns. The spicy chilli sauce is rather pungent, and totally fantastic. The prawns are juicy and lovely too, if only there were more of them.
|Udang kipas bakar daun (grilled fan shrimp in banana leaves) - IDR 59,000 ($6.5)|
I was intrigued when I noticed that jus anggur (grape juice) is in offer, as I don't see that often in a menu. It's a perfect juice for such a humid day, 100% refreshing, sweet, and undoubtedly made from real grapes. The shattered grape skin and seeds prove it.
The brother's soursop juice is served with guava chunks on top. It's sweet and he seemed to enjoy every drop of it. I don't really enjoy consuming soursop in any form so I can't say much.
|Foreground: grape juice (IDR 19,000 - $2.1); Background: jus sirsak (soursop juice (IDR 19,000 - $2.1)|
The father's es kelapa sirsak (soursop juice with young coconut) is more like a dessert, the juice is not overly sweet and cold, accompanied by young coconut and canned lychee. Again, I am not fond of the soursop.
|Es kelapa sirsak (soursop juice with young coconut) - IDR 19,000 ($2.1)|
The downside of the restaurant's open dining concept is the flies. There were heaps of them, too many that they disturbed our lunch. A lot. Even after a candle is used, still no effect.
The service needs improving too, in my opinion. We actually ordered cah kangkung terasi (stir fried water spinach with shrimp paste), but not until we almost finished eating that we were informed that the dish is sold out. We requested for the normal cah kangkung (stir fried water spinach), but apparently they ran out of it too. I hope that they had informed us early, so we didn't need to wait for nothing.
So yeah, overall I like the place. They certainly has successfully created an unique dining experience, although the food is just good rather than great.
Rating: 3/5 (Worth the try)
Really great lakeside dining, decent food, service needs improvement, price a bit expensive. The rating is given mostly due to the lakeside environment.
Block B7/N1 Boulevard Bintaro Jaya
Area Niaga Bintaro Sektor 7
Phone: (021) 745 3999
Website (complete info): www.talagasampireun.com