If you’ve been living in Jakarta long enough and have made enough rounds attending weddings or corporate events, there’s a high probability you’re now familiar with a catering service called Akasya. After they achieved great success and recognition, some time ago the catering service expanded their operations by opening numerous small restaurants-slash-cafeterias around the city. Earlier last month, the well-regarded company finally opened a full-fledged restaurant named Kila Kila by Akasya that’s situated right across Pacific Place Mall in the SCBD district. Given their track record, it was only a matter of time before people can enjoy their favourite foods at any time of the day that are typically only available through banquet packages.
We decided to visit Kila Kila during lunch time on a business day. As expected, the place was filled to the brim with businesspeople taking a break from their daily routines. The restaurant itself is perched on the top floor of a seven-storey building, meaning you do get a pretty decent view of the surrounding area –although the smoking area mainly gets a view of the mall’s concrete façade right across the road.
After being shown to our table, we were promptly brought the menu and immediately marvelled at the selection of dishes. Having gone through numerous events with Akasya as the caterer, I could identify a few dishes that are familiar and often featured in their buffet spreads. It didn’t take long for us to decide on the dishes we wanted to order and because it’s an Indonesian restaurant at its core, we ordered numerous dishes to share.
From the first pages of the menu, the ayam bumbu rujak (chicken with rujak sauce) caught our eye. Not holding back, we expanded our selection by ordering the lidah cabe hijau (beef tongue with green chili), tahu kecap (tofu with sweet soy sauce), and the udang telur asin (shrimp with salted egg).
The food arrived at the table in a relatively short amount of time. After a good minute contemplating on where to start, I decided to start with the beef tongue marinated in green chili. I immediately recognised the dish as a lot of people have ordered it for their catering spread. Prior biting into the delicious-looking dish, I somewhat knew what to expect, and my expectations were found true. The tongue tasted just like I remember it to be: a good balance of dryness and tenderness, savoury, not overwhelmingly spicy, but with just a right amount of kick.
I then moved on to the tofu with sweet soy sauce –which I found out to be Kila Kila’s version of the famous Indonesian dish of tahu telur. Golden brown tofu were deep fried with egg whites, bathed in a watery sweet soy and garlic sauce, and garnished with generous amounts of beansprouts. I’ve tasted many tahu telur over the years and I have to say this was one of my favourites. The sauce had the right amount of sweetness and the garlic wasn’t overpowering. The egg whites were fried to a semi-crispy texture but had enough moisture to soak up the excellent sauce.
The shrimp with salted egg was next in my crosshairs. The portion was rather small considering we only got five pieces of shrimp on the whole plate. Having been a victim of the salted egg craze that has plagued the region, I was visibly excited to try Kila Kila’s take on the dish. As I munched on the bite-sized shrimp, it was clear to me that they know how to make a mean salted egg dish. All the best flavours of a salted egg permeated through my mouth after the first bite. One minor gripe I had with this dish is that the shrimp was a tad tough and chewy and lacked juiciness. Although that may be a given granted it was fried.
I saved the rujak chicken last because it required the most effort as it was a half chicken with bone still intact. I initially expected this particular dish to be the highlight of the meal, but alas it was not meant to be. The rujak sauce was by no means bad –I’ve tasted worse, but it was rather bland compared to the richness of the other dishes we ordered. Furthermore, the sauce tasted a bit on the salty side which unfortunately dominates the subtleties of the other spices.
Overall, Akasya has to be applauded for their effort in bringing comfort and familiar food to the masses. Jakartans no longer have to wait for a wedding banquet to enjoy their delicious food. Because their menu is quite extensive, I probably have only scratched the surface. Repeat visits are warranted and in this case recommended. Aside from minor underwhelming factors, Kila Kila is a great option to satiate your craving for delicious Indonesian food that’s accessible, adequately presented, and fairly priced.
Kila Kila by Akasya
Jl Jendral Sudirman Kav. 52-53
SCBD, Gedung Lot 4, 7th floor
T: 021 5140 1484
Rp.450,000 for two
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