In the unlikeliest of places around Central Jakarta, amidst rundown buildings that bedeck Ceper street in Gambir, the eclectic sibling to KOKONUT & CURTAINS found home atop a colour-clad building. It’s been bestowed the name of ULANA Gastronomia, an establishment that brings the fine dining experience in a one-of-its-kind setting found in the city.
Found on the rooftop of a three-storey building, those familiar with the white veils and rustic-ness of KOKONUT will surely notice upon glance the same DNA that threads ULANA: mismatched furniture, tender and earthy colours and the airiness of a place that was once barren. With ULANA, the building façade and entrance has been revamped to present the contemporary restaurant that hides atop.
Spruced up with antique knicks-knacks and poppy colours mingled into the rustic decor, the seating is divided into a small indoor and a spacious adjacent outdoor that is partially shaded at the seating area and completely exposed to the sun in the middle where a small garden sits. To no one’s surprise, sitting outdoor can be quite scorching during the day, but come evening just before sunset, and the al fresco dining is much more affable to one’s mood, especially with the hanging garlands that ever so kindly light up the place.
To pair with the rooftop experience is ULANA’s dishes. Unlike what one would imagine of a fine dining restaurant, mealtime here isn’t designed to be rigid. Instead, in line with the “hipster fine dining” concept, fine refers to the food they serve, and hipster for how they choose to bring about the experience. In other words, laid-back yet gallant in taste.
To wit, the decadent Pappardelle pasta with Shiitake and Cream Sauce is a crowd favourite to have. Other mains, such as the Norwegian Salmon (with zucchini chips and puree) or even the Shoreditch Chicken (deepfried breaded chicken thigh and coleslaw), are as impeccable without overdoing. ULANA’s coolers and mocktails pair well with these meals, and even better when the weather is being a little too scorching.
In true WAKIMUKUDO’s style, the Finnish-based creative agency responsible for KOKONUT & CURTAINS and now ULANA, both are establishments that have been rebirthed from the abandoned and forgotten in Jakarta. The latter, with all the whimsy of a rooftop and finer food, is cordially enlivening the neighbourhood.