PASTA SURPRISE

That everything would do and taste good when you are famished was the predominant thought running through my mind when I trawled the Internet searching for a restaurant on Jalam Imam Bontol. I had missed the 9-12pm office hours by five minutes because of the snail-pace traffic at Cawang, and I was famished. Lunch while waiting for the Consular Section of the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta to resume business hours seemed to be the best – and only – option.

There were only three reviews that raved about the wine and dine FrontPage place on the Internet. Being the sceptic that I am, I hedged against disappointment by lowering my expectation, pegging it to the most basic of having a meal to appease my hunger pangs. But my scepticism was unfounded. FrontPage had several clients who were heartily digging into their meals when I ventured in. One table of three diners were tucking into their naan and chicken tikka, and were perusing the menu. The table obliquely to my side had a couple enjoying their Chinese lunch.

Don't be fooled by the nondescript signage of FrontPage. Venture inside and be surprised.

Don’t be fooled by the nondescript signage of FrontPage. Venture inside and be surprised.

Meanwhile, as perused the menu, a group of four men made their way to a table.

Service, as I noted, was pleasing and prompt. Right from the get-go, a waiter was there to assist and to lead me to a table of my choice and, within reasonable time, came back to take my order. There was no need to play the catch-the crew’s-attention because the service crew was alert and hospitable.

I finally settled on spaghetti with marinara sauce, which did not disappoint at all. Thick, sweet and tangy, the marinara sauce was replete with bite-size bits of fresh squid, shrimp and fish. Before fully tucking into the pasta, it served as a dipping sauce for the two pieces of tortilla chips at the middle of the pasta. Famishment aside, each bite of the al dente noodles wrapped in the marinara sauce was a heady mix of flavours: the sweet and sour flavour of the tomato sauce and cherry tomatoes melded with the creaminess of the parmesan cheese that was generously sprinkled on the pasta. With such a delightful pasta surprise, my previous vexation at missing the collection time at the embassy by five minutes was fully assuaged.

The spaghetti marinara, with its creamy sauce and succulent seafood, is a must-try from the menu.

The spaghetti marinara, with its creamy sauce and succulent seafood, is a must-try from the menu.

Another surprise landed on my lap when I perused my bill as I sipped my post-lunch caffe latte. Priced at Rp65, 000, the serving of the spaghetti marinara sauce was on the stomach-filling generous side. Talk about a serendipitous find! FrontPage was just a few meters away from the Philippine Embassy. Service was pleasant, price was reasonable and, most importantly, the meal was scrumptious.

Caffe latte done, I was ready to face the wicked traffic that I know would make the journey from Jakarta to Bekasi a test of patience. On a positive note, I would be heading home with satiated hunger pangs.

 

FrontPage

Plaza Gani Djemat

Jl. Imam Bonjol Kav 76-78

Tel: +62 21 3903614

Web: http://www.nomi-inc.co.id

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