Marco Padang Grill Jakarta (Lotte Shopping Avenue)
WTF with the opening it's so dramatic and emotional, but really man, this post is going to be exciting! I went to Marco for lunch at its outlet in Lotte Shopping Avenue. FYI it's amazing how Lotte has so many amazing new (and existing) restaurants. The name Marco Padang Grill might be a stranger to some but it's actually first introduced to public back in 2009 (formerly known as Marco's Bofet) in Setiabudi one, the outlet still exist along with the current name and it told you all: they freaking serve Padang-Peranakan cuisine here!
I don't know where to begin with Padang, it's like the Holy Grail of Indonesian food and Indonesians are not fully "Indonesian-certified" when they haven't touched this particular food. Padang food came from its origin which is Padang, a city and capital of West Sumatra. There are zillion Padang outlets in Jakarta itself, normally they are not fancy looking, it could be just a small stall with few tables and chairs (sometimes don't) and they could call it Padang. It's all about the FOOD!
To be completely honest, this is like the first time that I ever had Padang in such a more upscale surrounding...and with spoon.
The venue was clean, organized, it's just proper without feeling very fancy.
Es Kopi Susu
Aside from their signature drink, it's always fun to experiment with certain restaurants' take on the common beverages like tea or coffee, this one took me by surpise, I was actually really fond of this iced coffee because the flavor of the coffee was sort of medium-strong but still acceptable and tolerable, the milk was just on the right amount to this drink. One you should order.
It's not common to see Iced Coffee served in wine glass eh!
Es Pinang Muda
This one was their highlight when it comes to the beverage but I personally didn't think this beverage is anything special, it was just plain sweet. I didn't even know how Pinang tasted like in the first place, judging from its color I thought it would be like Kedondong or something, despite that, this was quite refreshing.
Kopi Susu Pane
Traditional Padang iced coffee served with... surprisingly crackers made from cassave and dressed in sugar.
Nasi Sayo is one of the most basic and signature dish by Marco Padang Grill, I am so very impressed with the rice because they're using "Solok" rice which stood out as my favorite rice when it comes to the consistency, this is just the rice that you'd love to have on your fried rice because they're not that long grains sticky rice. This portion of Marco's Nasi Sayo I could eat just like that, I worship their chili as it's very well balanced, just the right amount of spiciness for me. I just have one issue with the crackers, they should be way crunchier.
I don't think I have to explain why they call it Petai Kacamata, just look at the photo below. They deep fried the petai to be 3/4 crunchy and left the rest to be chewy. Surprisingly even though this was actually petai's skin part that's being used, it wasn't bitter, they're really good at the seasoning I must say.
If you're up to something that's actually soup and heartwarming, then you should go for this one. I was fond of how the broth blended very well with the spices and herb-ish savory flavor of the Soto, just best served hot! The amount of beef given to this portion I would say pretty generous.
Cumi Panggang Pacak
Another favorite, when it comes to grill food, the smokey flavor just made everything better. The squid was cooked nicely, medium consistency without being too hard or too rubbery.
Call me a weirdo or something but I am very obsessed with kikil, everytime I eat Padang or bakso (meatball soup), I need to have kikil if they provide it, something juicy and jiggly about it that I love, especially when people know how to cook it properly, in this case I am referring to Marco! Their take on Kikil, PERFECT! I proudly announce this as one of the best in the range! They're fresh, clean, amazingly seasoned! If me, I could have this just with the Nasi Sayo, that would be just the perfect meal for me.
Barramundi Panggang Pacak
Wait, wait, I gotta clarify what I said earlier. The perfect mea would be Nasi Sayo + Kikil + this freaking awesome Barramundi Panggang Pacak. OMG I really have no idea how to emphasize how good this fish is but trust me, when I sound a little excited, maybe a little cheesy because something is CRAZY good, when I am so serious and smooth with my complaints then something must have *ahem* gone wrong. The fish was cooked to a decent level of consistency, the bomb was actually the seasoning, before the fish was grilled, it was marinated with coconut milk along with ingredients like red chili, turmeric, Serai leaves, orange leaves, lime and Asam Jawa, no wonder the result was this, a smokey flavorful fish. You can't just have one, believe me.
Another dish worth your attention and purchase is this following, it's called Dendeng Batoko, a dish made from tenderloin beef and it was crispy, in a way tender but overall very tasty! Well picture this, the beef was marinated in coconut water along with shallots, garlic and coconut oil and served with Lado Pop (coconut cream with red chili) and Lado Kecap (soysauce with lime juice, shallots and tiny red chili cuts), personally I love this either alone or with the Lado Pop, a little touch of hot wouldn't hurt :).
Consistency wise, beautiful! Flavor wise, torn between. I love how tender the meat is, generally, I just feel that Marco (referring to the chef right now) knows how to cook not only the base of something but the seasoning as well! This one was technically good because the ingredients used for this Randang was thick but I just found this to be a little sweet instead of savory and spicy as how I expected this to be, certainly not bad, but I was expecting that savory kick more.
Their take on Ayam Pop was not bad at all, but I would love it more if the base seasoning like salt could show up more, meanwhile, consistency wise, again, lovely.
Bebek Lado Ijo (Duck with green chili)
This state was pretty much when I realized I have eaten too much to eat the whole friggin thing! Marco was super duper generous in giving the meals not that I am not thankful but surprisingly, I learn that my tummy has its own limit -.- (usually eat like crazy), but rest assure since I am such a dedicated blogger (ahem), I still managed myself to try some of this. Again, amazing seasoning and the duck was cooked lovely, this one was a little spicier than the rest but for me, that's totally a plus.
Technically this is fried egg with meat and some veges but this one was surprisingly really good (sometimes eggs just couldn't go wrong), only the fact that it was given on the very last along with the dessert, I was kinda bloated, but this one would be a terrific match with the Nasi Sayo.
Gado-Gado Padang was actually not significantly different from the common Gado-Gado, only there was lettuce and the nut sauce was not as thick as let's say Gado-Gado Betawi. This was a refreshing choice as appetizer tho even though this was not hysterically good.
This was another personal favorite, technically, this was a very simple thin martabak (even though the texture was more like dorayaki) with shredded coconut and sugar but they were very fragrant! I even want this with additional scoop of vanilla ice cream if possible.
Well, when it comes to winning dessert, then this one is definitely the champ! If you knew "Es Campur" or "Es Serut" then it would be dish one PLUS the durian cream and actual durian fruit dressed in condensed chocolate milk. For the record, yes I do hate it when a restaurant claims that they're using durian fruit when in fact, it was just artificial durian flavor crap infused to the dessert! Total knock off, but this one, I could guarantee! The durian was so fragrant and fat and it was even imported straight from Padang (just like all the ingredients, like...all - another trivia), everything produced nicely with Durian always got me, and this one was no exception!
The food in Marco was just gloriously generous and THANK YOU Marco Padang Grill for spoiling me with such a lunch worth praising gratitude. The food was mostly amazing, maybe one or two just wasn't really hit my note but certainly not bad! I love having my padang with my hands, even though it might be dirty for some to think about but maybe that dirtiness is THE REASON why it got so delicious MWAHAHA! Joking okay! But don't worry, don't be intimidated by the venue, just because it's located in a shopping mall, doesn't mean you can't use your hands, the PR told me a lot of people eventually get rid of the utensil and use their hands!
As in for the pricing, I would say they're goddamn cheap, especially when it comes to Padang, it would be better to share the joy of eating together with your loved ones, I am not very sure that you would have what I had just for myself since mine was actually a food tasting session, but if you're a heartbroken single that wants padang, take it slow dear I have some recommendations: order their Nasi Sayo with Kikil and Barramundi Pacak HAHAHA! My favorite right?!
Once again, thank you Marco Padang for being who you are and for actually serving Padang, thank you for supporting the local culinary scene with traditional authentic Padang cooking. This place totally worth your visit.
Marco Padang Grill
1st fl Unit B 212 - 216
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 62
021 - 520 3221
Lotte Shopping Avenue (Ciputra World) 3rd fl.
Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio Kav. 3-5
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan
021 - 2988 7793
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