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Chef Chandra Yudasswara presents his authentic Italian creations at Bacco.

Text; Iwan Martinus Putuhena; Photography: Gugun A. Suminarto

Nested inside the Lotte Shopping Avenue Mall in the gold triangle area of Jakarta, Bacco is the preferred spot for business lunch and after office crowd who are seeking for a place to drink wine with good food. The cosy and laid-back ambiance, along with its rustic style décor that embraces nature-inspired furniture and earthy colours perfectly suit Bacco as the sanctuary for after-hours.

With the concept to educate people about wine, and to become a place where everyone feel welcomed, the three founders, namely Oscar H. Prakasa who takes charge of bar and operation, Ponti Young who maintains Bacco’s reputation as one of the best places for wine, and Chandra Yudasswara who is a celebrity chef that ensures the high-quality food to pair with the wine, are always determined to interact with guests and make the establishment a place to expand business network. Meanwhile, on day-to-day operation, General Manager Daniele Mangiola from Milan, Italy, ensures the best experience for guests and make them return for more.

Recently, the restaurant reached a milestone of five years of existence, which is not easy to achieve in Jakarta. “The key is staying true to what we created in the beginning, and regular guests are coming to chill, feel relaxed, and in good company,” Oscar explains. “After five years we must have done something right, but the bottom line, we want to have a place where the food is just as good as the wine” he adds.

At Bacco, you can discover the biggest selection of wine by the glass, which possible because they have an oenomatic machine (wine dispensing machine), imported from Italy, that holds 32 wine bottles to choose. “We want to increase the knowledge of wine by tasting, this machine is a tool where you can taste as much wine as you like instead of opening a whole bottle,” Oscar explains. “This system also makes wine education less intimidating,” he adds.

Bacco also ensures that its staff is well trained to become knowledgeable about wine, therefore able to assist guests for pairing their food with wine, hence getting their best wine and dine experience.

When it comes to food, without a doubt, chef Chandra Yudasswara delivers the exquisite taste. With a family influence from his grandmother and father who also in the food industry, he pursued his passion as a chef. For more than a decade, chef Chandra works overseas in five-star hotels, where he gained a lot of experience mostly in Italian cuisines, cooking next to professional chefs from around the world.

Thus, it explains why most of the food served in Bacco have an authentic Italian taste and some with a twist of Asian influence. “Bacco has become an outlet where I could express my expertise,” chef Chandra says. “Nowadays I really enjoy cooking comfort food,” he adds.

When The Peak visited Bacco, we couldn’t wait to taste the freshly made pasta and pizza, which are the most favourite items. As an opener, we tried the Mushroom Cappelletti, a signature dish with a rich flavour that consists of champignon stuffed pasta, truffle, topped with cheese cream sauce. My personal favourite was Burrata & Parma, where the pizza crust was perfectly baked on the crispy side topped with fresh burrata cheese, Parma ham, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese.

Each season, chef Chandra adds special dishes to the menu to preview his latest creations. We had the opportunity to taste a mouthwatering fusion, Wagyu Sirloin in Rendang Sauce. The spice in the kalio gravy perfectly balanced the medium seared wagyu sirloin that melts in the mouth. The sides that consist of nutmeg potato cutlet, roasted cauliflower, and purple potato purée compliment the overall flavour of the dish. Another special dish was the nutty and well-seasoned Deep Sea Bass Angel Hair. This enticing dish contains rare deep sea bass topped with almond sesame lemon honey on the skin, served with angel hair pasta, quinoa apple salad, and butter tomato chowder, which truly was an outstanding Tuscan-style cuisine.

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