Stepping into Restoran Trio is akin to stepping inside a time machine. The cramped space, lack of AC, and worn-out furniture — all suggests as if the restaurant comes from a bygone era. Instead of catchy pop beats, the restaurant opts for traditional folk songs. On the walls, posters from different decades advertise goods that may or may not still be on sale.
However, do not mistake this atmosphere for a tiresome restaurant on the verge of closing down. In fact, Restoran Trio is anything but. Serving traditional Peranakan Chinese cuisine, the establishment excels in delivering classic dishes in an almost homemade manner.
Take for instance the restaurant’s signature crab and asparagus soup. Served up in a metal dish, the soup is then shared amongst quaint orange bowls. Add a few dashes of vinegar, and the soup instantly turns into a dose of warmth and comfort. Or, go for the shrimp wontons, which will give way to the perfect crunch, and is appropriately served with a sweet and sour sauce.
But even with more common dishes, the restaurant still serves to a quality that is consistent to its signature dishes. Restoran Trio’s versions of Fu Yung Hai (Egg Foo Young) and Cah Kangkung (Stir-Fried Water Spinach), both being common in other Chinese restaurants, feels as if their recipes have been perfected over time.
Like most other establishments in and around the Menteng area, Restoran Trio has an amiable atmosphere to it; one that speaks, even screams, the multitudes of cultures that has seeped into Jakarta over the decades. At Restoran Trio, one may come for the food, but will definitely stay for the irresistibly timeless charm built into its walls.