In the city’s current burgeoning landscape of plant-based treats, ORVIA’s vegan gelato stands out as one of the first establishments to tap into the market back in 2015. From a home-scale production to its first store in Kalimalang, the brand, led by founder Avidyarahma Noviyanto, has captured a loyal following (affectionately dubbed as O-Friends) for its feel-good gelato. Today, in a prime spot of Lot 8 at SCBD, Orvia opens its latest flagship outlet.
Backdropped by tall buildings of the office complex, Orvia’s brick-walled two-story juts out immediately, bringing the feeling that one is about to enter a restful space needed in the nine-to-five thrum. Inside, a display case of 16 gelato flavours greets incomers with names that are distinctly local: one of them, Martabak Kacang, takes a page from the popular streetside dessert, its nutty crunch elevated by the cashew milk gelato base. Made from the same base, the crowd favourite Cokelat Jawa Barat is smooth and profoundly bittersweet, putting an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients as a part of their values.
Here, one can also enjoy dessert variants, beverages and savoury main dishes that aren’t available in their scoop shops in Lebak Bulus and Cipete. There is the fun hybrid of the common banana split and North Sumatra’s beloved snack roti jala (a mesh-patterned thin bread) in their signature Roti Jala Merah Putih—a soft baked banana wrapped around a cobweb of red-and-white-tinted bread batter, topped with a scoop of Pisang Bakar gelato. Diners can also pick their own flavours for a few gelato-based items on the menu, allowing them to explore different combinations to match each dish. For example, choosing the Teh Melati Ibu gelato for one’s vegan affogato can balance out the espresso’s bitterness with the subtle sweetness and fragrance of jasmine tea.
In comparison to today’s overflowing options of plant-based treats, dairy alternatives were still scant when Avi first started the business eight years ago. But her plunge into this arena was also a personal one, which stemmed from her own health journey. “A lot of people with allergies or chronic illnesses can’t eat dairy, yet they still long for the comfort provided by this type of dessert,” she explained.
This motivation to offer an inclusive dessert experience has been at the centre of Orvia’s journey as a brand, one that has appealed to many of their customers from strict vegans to self-proclaimed omnivores—some of them even willing to place orders from places as far as Tangerang, Banten to Meruya, West Jakarta. “One thing about food, it shouldn’t discriminate against anyone. The experience of gathering at a dining table, talking and sharing different dishes—everyone should be able to have that,” closed Avi.