If Rumah Atsiri in Solo—a restored Indonesian-Bulgarian citronella factory from 1963 built under the support of former president Soeharto—reveals anything about its newest extension Atsiri di Sarinah, it’s that the establishment is serious about wellness and sharing information through experience. Spread across a five-hectare complex, the former spans a museum, greenhouse, factory, restaurant and shop, all of which revolves around the production of Atsiri, or essential oils, in Indonesia.
Atsiri di Sarinah brings over the brand’s Edu-recreational concept and offers the same interactive experience, packaged into a wellness playground at the heart of the city. Taking up half of the fifth floor within the historical Sarinah building, Atsiri di Sarinah is sectioned into three areas, Atsiri Shop, Atsiri Eat and Atsiri Museum.
Here, it’s clear that the team sees the combination of sensorial activities and learning opportunities as a priority. For starters, at the shop—where the brand’s range of products, from natural soaps, candles and essential oils are dotted across—a table is laid out for those who want to try their hand at crafting their own signature scents.
The museum and dining area invite engagement the same way. With a modest fee, one can enter through the cave-like entryway layered with greeneries to enjoy a tour of the small hanging garden, which displays the Japanese planting technique Kokedama or ‘moss balls’. A few steps ahead, an interactive screen greets visitors to discover their Aroma Persona, which will be revealed through a projection of colours and a list of essential oils based on a few quiz questions.
Centred on providing an aromatic dining experience, everything from the ‘wellness ratio’ menu to the tables and presentations is thoughtfully designed to amplify this further. With a multi-function feature, each table is filled with dried herbs and spices as well as detachable trays for meals. Whether the a la carte or set menu, Atsiri di Sarinah adds an extra layer to the experience by serving dishes alongside spray bottles of edible oils, such as rosemary or peppermint, to heighten both the taste and smell.
From sandwiches to heartier mains like the Lemongrass Salmon Bumbu Genep (grilled salmon served with uduk risotto and sambal creme) and the Spicy Opor Chicken Penne (sous-vide opor chicken breast served with caramelised penne and superfood salad), the menu combines local flavours and healthy ingredients aimed to encourage a balanced lifestyle. Deserts are not to be skipped here, options from the Earl Grey Panna Cotta to the Berry Tiramisu are best enjoyed with a cup of herbal tea on the side.
All of this ties back to Atsiri’s initiative to facilitate a space where visitors can engage in a well-rounded view of wellness and health. Where a dining and museum experience can be enjoyed minus the steep bill, Atsiri di Sarinah feels like a treat for Jakartans to get a piece of Rumah Atsiri propped right in the city centre.