The past few months, the Ismaya group has been expanding their business by opening some ventures like Publik Markette, the new Colette and Lola (both located in Grand Indonesia) and this particular one called GIA. Something about the naming that I like, it's simple but resemble elegance and class, but somehow French like while their concept is an Italian restaurant.

GIA is the high end venture a.k.a fine dining restaurant from the Ismaya group, it's located in Sampoerna Strategic Square, the exact same spot from what was Bibliotheque. I've been stalking GIA on their Instagram and the hashtag as well, from that I expected a certain level of elegance, well the naming certainly does, but to be frank I was a little down for expecting too high on the interior and actually see it with my very own eyes: I know it's tidy, neat, clean and nowhere near bad, but somehow lacking that sense of fanciness. There dining area was divided into two (not fully sure why): one located near the bar area and another one located on the other side. They also have a little lounge and waiting room on the other entrance of this restaurant, now that little lounge I was quite fond of!

They also serve wine here!

If I don't come in groups, my favorite spot would be the corner seating with the hanging bubble-like lamps.

I love the presentation of this bread because it's unique and not common. The bread had two sides: the black one with the parmesan garlic filling and the yellow one with onion and black olive filling. Best served warm as it's still fluffy and fragrant. The serving came with olive dust (which I thought was either sugar or Feta cheese).
Caserecce with Garlic Confit, Broccolini, Spinach, Parmesan and Chili
If you're not familiar with Caserecce, it's actually a form of pasta that looks like a twisted roll and narrow in form. I was fond of the consistency of the pasta, perfectly al-dente and proper in chewiness. The seasoning was very good, it was tasty, flavorful, garlic-y, fragrant and indeed quite spicy. Somehow the seasoning reminded me of the Asian cuisine, but in the most delicious way!

Tuna Bottarga Linguine Aglio Olio, Cherry Tomatoes, Parsley and Sicilian Crumbs
Again if you're not familiar, Bottarga is actually a Mediterranean dish created from the roe punch of a tuna or grey mullet fish (normally the grey mullet one costs more). First of all, the contrast of this dish was pretty good thanks to the Sicilian crumbs! Something about the seasoning that brought me to the feeling of Asian cuisine (and I did ask my friend and she felt the same way). The linguine was cooked al-dente and it's recommended to have the pasta with the tomato squished along.

Cartoccio - Baked Barramundi with Octopus, Mussels, Olives, Tomato and Pinot Grigio
The Barramundi was cooked beautifully leaving the meat to be soft, smooth and still silky, but the champ must be the Barramundi skin for me! First it was cooked semi-crispy and since the serving came with the Pinot Grigio white wine base broth, even after the surface of the skin turned a little more moist and wet, the flavor got even better: you got there salty, smokey, savory and fragrant (thanks to the zest!). The broth was quite tasty and flavorful. The portion came with beautiful octopus, mussels (love the mussels), olives, tomatoes and breads.

Bistecca - 250 gram Char-Grilled "Stockyard" Sirloin, Veal Jus, Gorgonzolla Polenta and Tatsoi
From the moment it got served to the table, I got a good feeling already that this steak would be very good, as you can see: thick Sirloin cut that looks incredibly juicy and tender! WELL IT FREAKING WAS!!! The meat was incredibly juicy & tender, and it was cooked on the "medium" state resulting the original meat flavor along with the juicy fats as the highlight! The veal jus was another bliss, it was this savory-meaty broth that was such a perfect match to the grilled steak. Their polenta might not be my thing (prefer smooth, creamy mashed potato) but that didn't bother me in any way, as to me, that Sirloin did all the talking already! The Tatsoi or spinach mustard was seasoned very lightly and with truffle oil making it very fragrant!

Cannoli Sicilani
One of their signature dessert dish here is this Cannoli Siciliani. I personally wasn't a big fan of the Ricotta cream Cannoli but I super duper love their Hazelnut Ice Cream as it reminds me (closest) to Ferrero Chocolate in the ice cream form! The green stuff was claimed as Pistachio crumb but I found the flavor to be a little weird while the popcorn indeed gave a little contrast to the texture.

Traditional Tiramisu
This Tiramisu is the recipe which originally belong to the chef's grandmom. Frankly speaking, I've never been an avid fan of Tiramisu because they use Mascarpone cream cheese and as you guys know, I am not a fan of cheese. However, the consistency of this Tiramisu was sort of light comparing to the creamier and cheesier Tiramisu I've had elsewhere, but my friends gave good reviews of this one so I think it's probably only my personal preference ;).

Overall, I had good experience in GIA. The food was good, the ambiance was decent and the pricing for what claimed as "fine dining restaurant" was not bad. BTW the head chef here is Chef Tomasso who used to run Pepenero Bali and Safehouse in Kuningan, have tried his food before and undoubtedly good. A couple here should be able to spend around IDR 500k and that's a pretty good deal. The service was also friendly and attentive, didn't experience any snobbish shit which is good <3.

Going to put this in my Valentine's Dinner recommendation list, read HERE in case you haven't.

Sampoerna Strategic Square
South Tower, GF Unit 7-8
Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav. 45-46
Jakarta Selatan 12950
021 - 5795 3300
Pricing: $$$ - IDR 500k/couple
Dresscode: smart casual


Map for Sampoerna Strategic Square

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