Jakarta’s best-kept secret… hole-in-the wall & no aircon!

It’s small and always crowded.

Not much ambience. No aircon.

How the resto looks when the sun’s out

Dine in the day and it’s hot as hell.

Dine at night and there is a possibility that you will be the main entree of the mosquitoes lurking in the dark.

And yet, with only about 10 wooden tables, one restaurant has been drawing the crowds.

Food connoisseurs. Closet gourmets. And people, like me, who want a respite – even a brief one – from expensive hoity-toity restos.

A hole-in-the-wall favorite. Since 1947.

Welcome to Trio Restaurant in the Menteng district of Jakarta.

The food is so remarkable that it is probably the only place where the wealthy and the less wealthy mingle – a rare sight in Jakarta where each social class usually stays within the boundaries of its own territory.

It is understandable why their repertoire of offerings numbers over 300 – they’ve been perfecting the dishes since 1947

It will take you at least two hours to go through the menu with its over 300 dishes… so the trick is to simply look at the blackboard where the favorites are listed… or subtly point at what the people at the other table are having.

The all time favorites are posted on the blackboard… or you can ask what’s good from the blue-shirted waiters – mostly old-timers

To start you off is Trio’s appetizer of choice: heavenly pickled cucumber.

And then, you’re heaven-bound with dish after every delicious dish…

Whatever you order is guaranteed to satisfy: frog’s legs, lemon chicken, beef in all its reincarnations, pork knuckles, kangkong, etc etc

It will be a great injustice to the place if I rave only about the five or six dishes I feasted on when I was last at Trio. Best for you to go there yourself… try the offerings and rave about it to your friends.

All conversation ceased when the goodies made an entrance
We started talking again after all our orders were wiped out

Speaking of friends, it was the Castros – Kathy of CNN and Mark of LiveOlive – who went out of their way to take me to Trio and I will forever be grateful to them.

Yes, that’s how good the food was.


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