Parallel to the abundance of restaurants boasting local flavours, Jakarta retains a limitless choice of cuisines from far-flung countries. Before you come to the conclusion that they’re limited to European and Western food, Txoko (pronounced as ‘choco’) adds a splash of Spanish cuisine all hailing from the Basque region to the Jakartan scene.
Basque Country refers to the land stretching between Spain and France where the cuisine has distinct influences from both countries, characterised by an abundance of seafood and earthy ingredients from the fertile valley. Thus, helmed by true born Basque chef, Oskar Urzelai in the kitchen, Txoko obliges with flavours of the Basque country through their variety of tapas, or pintxos (pronounced pinchos).
Therefore, come in with the spirit of sharing. One should order the Gilda The King of Pintxos, made with olives, pickled green chillies and salted anchovies for a punchy mix of spice and saltiness. To balance, the Marinated Salmon with Avocado Foam and Mustard Ice Cream is a refresher with a little tingle to the palate. Another ode to the sea is the Grilled Squid in Its Own Ink with Caramelized Onion.
While the restaurants celebrates fun bites of tapas, some main dishes have acquired crowd-favourite status, like the Seaweed & Squid Mellow Rice and raw thinly-sliced prawns torched on the spot Garlic Prawns Pret-a-Porter. Their signature Idiazabal Cheesecake made from Spain-produced sheep’s milk cheese served with honey ice cream feels ideal for that special room down in your belly.
With the painted murals and catchy neons, one could say it’s a little too ornate and offbeat to pair with the rustic richness of Basque cuisine. The blue and pink tints certainly add a playful atmosphere unless you settle on the second floor where the mood is toned down for a little privacy. Alas, on the bright side, Txoko is a catchy and chic spot for the photos where good food will accompany your visit.