Hujan Locale sits centrally at the bottom of Sri Widari. Downstairs there is a lively bar and upstairs you have the restaurant. It’s a very modern and airy space – casual, and on the right side of trendy.
We eschewed the expensive-looking bar for cheap cocktails across the street in House of Schnitzel (now renamed the Gluten Free Kitchen). However, after quickly knocking back two of their deceptively super-strong Margaritas, my head was seriously spinning and I feared I’d over-cooked it.
We crossed over the road and I ordered an espresso to start, hoping that it would sort me out. The head spinning continued and so alcohol was off the menu definitively, which was a shame because they had a great wine list and also had a special offer of a local red and white for only 280k a bottle. My dining companion Stuart, being Scottish, had a more robust constitution and managed a glass of Chilean red, which was excellent.
So, feeling like a dirty drunk, I set about the menu, looking for items that might absorb some of the alcohol. As if reading my mind, the waitress brought us a bucket of taro chips with sambal, which I demolished in a shower of crumbs.
As I was feeling slightly better, we decided to start with ceviche and crispy squid.
The ceviche was a bit disappointing, overly sour and the fish didn’t really lend itself to being ‘ceviche’d.
The squid was good though, nice and spicy (although not crispy).
The mains menu was a meat-eater’s dream and I was slightly disappointed about going vegetarian only 3 weeks earlier. However, there were a few fish dishes and, in my confused state, I was happy enough to have a reduced choice.
Stuart ordered duck, and I hated him for it (you can read about my heroic conversion to vegetarianism here).
For a similar price, the portion sizes couldn’t have been more different and I wondered if it was one of those places where they assume that people who order fish are on a diet. Stuart got two huge pieces of duck, which he waved under my nose every now and again, just to test my resolve, whereas my dish was much more dainty.
It was a bit like the first round of Masterchef where no-one can get the portion sizes right.
My small piece of fish was served in a bowl of tomato sauce with some grated pickles. It wasn’t quite what I needed to recalibrate my sobriety, but it was tasty, and the little packages of rice on the side were most welcome.
So, in all, we had a great meal and I’d definitely go back (sober, this time). The menu is extensive and interesting, particularly for meat eaters and the wine list is also great, especially if you are wanting to splash out. The atmosphere and the service were both very pleasant. It’s a great option for quality Indonesian dining in the centre of town.
- Leave the scooter at home and order some wine
- Sit on the street side so someone you know might see you while you’re dining finely
- Go meaty, if your morals permit
- Arrive drunk, take it from a cat that knows