In the Privacy of Privy

by Runi Cholid
16th June 2023
Enveloped with a sense of mystery, Privy at The Dharmawangsa Square beckons with an Italian American spread of steaks and accompaniments.

The way into Privy isn’t immediately obvious from the get-go. Sure, one could stumble into the Italian American steakhouse by scouring for information on its Instagram profile, climbing three floors up The Dharmawangsa Square and warily stepping in through its heavy, handle-less door. But upon arrival, one would be surprised to discover that a more direct path exists—a private lift, hidden from unknowing eyes, leads into the intimate space.

This sense of mystery and discovery has always been part of Privy’s charm since its inception as a private dining establishment. “Privy here refers to information that you are privileged to have,” divulged Chef Owner Jonathan Tek. 

Thus, by word of mouth, the self-taught chef has been gathering the city’s discerning gastronomes under his roof since 2020. One dining room grew into three, and the steakhouse came to be as requests poured in from loyal clientele for a more readily accessible, walk-in alternative.

Serving for dinner only except on weekends, the steakhouse is aglow with soft warm light; which is in character with the attentive service of the waiting staff, who seem to instinctively know the best times to pop in without cutting conversations. Jazz tunes meld with the soft tinkle of cutleries, harmonising with the gentle pouring of tipples. The bar is a new addition, stocked with a collection of wine and brown liquor to signature cocktails like the Galveston Continental, which is gin infused with Crystal Queen tea and mixed with grapefruit, salted guava as well as citrus, ensconced in a chilled green seashell.

But those privy to the experience would know that the star here remains the food offerings. Steaks such as the Stockyard Ribeye delight with simple seasonings, allowing the high-quality meat to shine on its own. Spotlight stealers include the satisfyingly sweet Bruschetta Figs and Cream Cheese starter, the squid ink-infused Risotto al Nero di Fruti di mare topped with fresh seafood, as well as the unassuming yet refreshing House Chopped Salad.

The prospect of dining at a steakhouse might have beckoned the idea of sharing the meal with another. But here, that is only one of the many ways to enjoy the space. Whether to celebrate a birthday with friends over a bountiful spread of pasta and steaks or to simply satisfy a sweet tooth craving with bruschetta on one’s own, it’s all a go in the privacy of Privy.