Institutional Italian at Ocha & Bella

July 23, 2014 • Eat • Views: 4698

Ever since brunching down at Common People a couple of months back, I’ve been wanting to check out its sister restaurant Ocha & Bella, located on the other side of town in Menteng and with a reputation for delicious Italian food. With Andrew’s parents in town last week, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new, so we decided to check it out after a cocktail at nearby Awan Lounge.

We rocked up at about 730pm on a Wednesday night, slightly delayed by a torrential downpour. Based on previous experience with Jakarta restaurants, I hadn’t made a booking and surprisingly, the place was so jam-packed that we almost didn’t get a table. It’s not small either, with high ceilings and a long indoor floorplan, a big outdoor seating area complete with rocking chairs and sun lounges, and a bunch of couches and bar stools if you’re just in the mood for a snack.

We squeezed along a giant bench near the entrance, under the big outdoor awnings. I like the creative vibe of the place – abstract placemats and everything served on chunky wooden boards. We were in a sharing mood, so decided on a couple of pizzas and salads. Based on the waiters recommendations, we opted for the Proscuitto E Rucola with rocket, cherry tomatoes, basil, and fresh parmagiano (RP80,000) and the Salsiccia, with spicy italian sausage (RP85,000). For something healthy, we tried the Bella Salad with avocado, artichoke and raspberry dressing (RP65,000) and the Tagliata Insalata, with radicchio and seared beef strips (RP70,000).

The pizza was fresh, quick and deliciousSome of the best salad's I've had in Jakarta

The food came in less than 15 minutes, which was surprising given how busy it was. The portions were big too, especially the salads, which could easily qualify as a meal in themselves. The pizzas were the perfect blend of cheesy and crispy, especially the Proscuitto E Rucola, which has a great contrast of fresh ingredients.

Although it might not have the boutique and intimate feel of Mama Rosy’s, Ocha & Bella’s still serves up a delicious meal, perhaps better for a supper club than a romantic date. The prices were pretty reasonable too, for Menteng, with the total bill for four hitting around RP500,000. Next visit we’ll go when it’s not Ramadan, to catch some live music and alcoholic beverages, and not so jam packed with people breaking fast at the same time!

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