It wasn’t long after setting up MOOI Space that founders and architects Henry Yonanda and Shendy Kresnaputra decided to continue their F&B ventures, again with the same design-oriented approach. This time, it took a spot on an empty driveway of a sleepy shophouse complex in Gading Serpong, serving a complete switch-up from sweet desserts and fusion dishes to the familiar taste of local fare.
Inspired by the concept of warung, the ubiquitous Indonesian streetside eatery, the simple outdoor setup of Petak Empat Lima finds unity with modern elements of stainless steel dining tables and a reflective steel ceiling—a clear influence from Henry and Shendy’s design and architecture background. Like their café, Petak Empat Lima also draws the playful characteristics of the founders’ architecture studio, bridged with an eye-catching brand identity that they worked on with Tiny Studio and designer Liko Sukhoy, which seeps through almost every corner of the space.
When it comes to offerings, they are simple, familiar and pocket-friendly, leaving little debate for hungry passersby who usually drop by from the nearby school and offices. Bakmie is always welcomed by all, add to that a variety of fresh juice and pleasant traditional Indonesian snacks. Henry, who develops the menu, knows that OG bakmie eateries are not far and between, but he sees this as his own freedom to craft a taste that is both classic and new at the same time.
Hence the creation of noodle bowls like the signature Mie Patlima, where thin noodles are served to the brim with dumpling crackers, pickles, and a pop of onsen egg. There’s also the Mie Chilli Oil, where each strand is gelled with the spicy condiment and makes for a flavourful slurp to go with the fried meatballs. The surprise, however, is the Nasi Kari Baput, a hearty rice dish with slices of garlic chicken that packs a subtle yet firm curry flavour.
From a creative standpoint, Henry and Shendy want to embrace the current F&B landscape with a boundless attitude; there’s the freedom to push new concepts and ideas, and Petak Empat Lima is a channel for that aspiration—hence the reference to Indonesia’s ‘Empat Lima’ slogan. One might dismiss Petak Empat Lima as another new eatery around the block, but with the creative approach they’re taking, there’s an added perspective that is fun and unconventional.