2nd March 2023
MENSA at Gedung Kemang 37 subtly fuses the experience of being a restaurant and furniture showroom, where diners can enjoy a spread of Asian fusion dishes while browsing through handcrafted furniture from their sister company, Forme.

Each family has their own way of bonding, and for siblings Didik Denny, Yani Susilowati and Sari Widiawati, that seem to be building businesses together. Branching from their furniture store Forme, which focuses on handcrafted homewares, they’ve now added MENSA to their portfolio, a restaurant serving Asian fusion dishes from the same building at Gedung Kemang 37.

“Mensa means table in Latin, it’s the name we chose because we want our restaurant to be as multifunctional as a table,” shared Yani. The idea is reflected in the interior; furnished with cushioned chairs, custom tables to wooden shelves from Forme, each room, hidden behind disguised doors, carries a different vibe.

Expectedly, the design builds on Forme’s mainly modern minimalist catalogue, a responsibility taken on by architect Ady Putra Sanjaya. It could be tempting to take a snap inside MENSA, where warm-coloured wood, curated greeneries—which includes their signature curtain creeper plant, the Lee Kuan Yew—and floor-to-ceiling glass windows tastefully combine to create an adaptable atmosphere that changes with the time of day.

At noon, it’s all about laidback lunch meetings and intimate gatherings with friends over a plate of the fragrant and spicy Aglio Olio Sambal Matah With Crispy Pork Belly and a glass of the fruity Berry Orange Tang mocktail inside one of the soundproofed VIP rooms, or on the outdoor terrace where it’s sunny yet sheltered thanks to the retractable roof.

As the sun sets, the mood turns romantic. A date would be impressed with the Red Curry Roast Salmon, a Thai curry dish that’s gentle on the palate and made with sashimi-grade salmon. For dessert, there’s the MENSA Black Forest, where the familiarly rich chocolate flavour of the classic cake is achieved through a combination of mousse and martabak crust. Over at the bar, fusion drinks, like the Pisang Cokelat Negroni would help break the ice when made into a guessing game of where the signature cocktail gets its flavour from (hint: it comes from banana Campari and cacao Vermouth).

To combine a restaurant with a furniture showroom might be unfamiliar territory here, but MENSA knows how to do it subtly. Some diners have dropped inquiries about the furniture and end up browsing through Forme, but if one opts to just enjoy the spread on offer while settling on one of the restaurant’s comfortable seatings, that is also on the table.