As a foodie, Italian food is one of my favorite. In my opinion, the yummyness of Italian food is unmatched by other western cuisine including french cuisine For me, French is too pretty and pretentious. For the last 2 years, Italian restaurant had been flourishing like mushrooms in the rainy season. We can find all sort of Italian food everywhere. Pesto is one of them. Located in the center of Jakarta, this place is swarmed by expatriates and people who works in Thamrin-Sudirman area.
I went there with Asmet a few months ago for lunch. The place is not that crowded but when we finished, it was full.I kinda like the place. It's simple with industrial touch here and there. It's kinda similar to Loewy actually. Service... Hmm... The guy waited us knows literally nothing about the menu. OMG! I asked bout the specialty and the answer is "ummm, ammmm" I ended of telling him to go and let me contemplate myself about what I'm gonna order.
1. Bread Basket (Complimentary)
One of the reason I like going to an authentic Italian restaurant is because the bread basket. I'm a huge fan of bread and usually those bread basket is a treat. Pesto's is quite disappointing. We got 3 kinds of bread. A soft roll, a sliced soft baguette and a cheese focaccia. The focaccia is yummy but the rest sucks. Is it that hard to serve freshly baked breadsticks?
2. Rustica (Rp. 59.000)
An Italian style pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarela, cooked ham and mushrooms. The pizza is very very runny. The topping fell of the pizza while I was trying to put it in my mouth, such a turn off. The taste is rather bland, the tomato sauce is a bit to sour for me, not enough mozzarella and the ham tastes like paper. The only good thing is they put quite a generous amount of mushrooms, otherwise that pizza is not worth paying for. The crust is not bad but I had better.
3. Saltimboca Alla Romana (Rp. 72.000)
According to the menu, it's escallops in parma ham, sage blackpepper sauce with spinach and potato gratin. Another disaster!! I don't understand this dish actually. The presentation is good but the sauce ruins everything. When I think of sage blackpepper sauce, I think of a juicy blackpepper sauce with a nice scent of sage. Instead, the pork and ham is drenched in some sort of reddish liquid resembling a thin tomato sauce with blackpepper on top. The spinach is just ok but the potato gratin is nice. A big plate of pork dish and the outstanding element is the potato gratin? *sigh*
4. Papardelle al Ragu (Rp. 69.000)
Finally!!!! There's something worth mentioning here. The papardelle has nice consistency. Blended very well with the tangy tomato sauce. The pork ribs are yummy!!! Tender and juicy, combined with the tomato sauce, it leaves a fresh yet carnivor-ish taste in my mouth. I dunno how to explain the sauce but it was very very yummy, love it.
One thing I hate in upscale places is the price of beverages. They don't sell local brand of mineral water here, instead they serve this Italian imported bottled water for Rp. 28.000. I don't mind paying high price for food but for 500 ml of water, Rp. 28.000 is outrageous. Serve a bottle of nestle for Rp. 10.000 has given your restaurant 600% profit, so why so greedy? The table next to us is an expatriate and he asked the waiter to serve Aqua and not this Lurisia brand. So it's not just me then :p
I don't think I'm coming back here anytime soon unless someone plans to treat me :D For the price they charge, there are lots of places in Jakarta that serves better Italian than that.
Location: ANZ Square Building, Jakarta