Eat and play is quite literally the name of the game at MARI-MARI, a new dining concept by Lazy Susan.
The second-floor bijou eatery on Gandaria Satu Street runs on a self-service system where diners can take their order from the seven ‘pos’ or stations that are set up with their own culinary experience: Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Gorengan (fritters), Kudapan (snacks), Manis (drinks), Serut (shaved ice), Kriuk (crackers) and Racikan (make-your-own spice paste).
‘Play’ here does not refer to the bad table manners of messing around with your food, but rather a way to rouse a curious and appreciative nature towards what you’re eating. “The experience we had documenting Indonesian food culture is a big influence of why we do this [Mari-Mari],” said co-founder Valensia Edgina, who, via the Lazy Susan platform, has been connecting communities with various stories and perspectives of Indonesian food through printed publications, radio shows and offline experiences.
“We discussed how we want to deliver this message to a wider audience. That’s why we thought of having a space that can serve what we call ‘daily delights’ to invite more people to experience Indonesia through all senses, mainly taste.”
The Nasi Goreng station would be a good start in which you can pick from the four variations to sample; one of them is the smoky Kampung–style fried rice of Pak Asiri Wijaya, a popular fried rice street food stall that Valensia herself used to go to. Slide to another station, maybe the Kudapan this time? Here, displays of savoury snacks lead diners into a more explorative showcase of Indonesian flavours; you can find Darling, dadar gulung kari (rolled pancake served alongside curry) with chicken and prawn, side-by-side with Ayam Bakar Sampyok, grilled chicken with Chinese-Betawi flavours.
As for quenchers, the Manis counter poses like a makeshift bar that lines up drinks from the sweet coco-pandan soda Teman Baik to ginger-infused tamarind tea Gajah Mada. By this time, one would notice that some of the labels read not only the descriptions of each offering but also the collaborators behind it. The Roti Jala kudapan, for one, is served with curry sauce by Warung Pak Chandra, while each drink was specially crafted by barista Fanny Chandra Wijaya of Fnny&co.
This collaborative nature further extends beyond food, putting together a sensorial experience through visuals and even music, like the various artworks by local artists showcased neatly across the compact room (with each offering a certain perspective of the Indonesian culinary landscape), to the dedicated jingle composed with the help of Ibee Music.
It’s hard to imagine that the team were able to prepare everything in just a month, but this goes to show that each collaborator also places the same importance in Mari-Mari’s mission—and by extension, Lazy Susan—in preserving and cherishing Indonesia’s rich culture through food, further bringing the ‘eat and play’ concept in a unique and meaningful way.