Convivium Cafe Deli
Convivium Cafe Deli, is one of the authentic Italian restaurant at Jakarta. I already heard about this place since last year from OpenRice, I read the reviews and kinda curious but still haven’t get a chance to come and try, simply because I didn’t know the route to get there, yeah blame me for this. Luckily, the OpenRice crew held a gathering at Convivium, so I had a chance to get some short lunch with another OpenRicers. They open at 10:00 AM and I was surprised because there are certain people that already came and wait outside, so when I got inside, there are three tables that already seated.
From the entrance door, to be honest it didn’t looked like a huge restaurant, and yes it was not huge but definitely warm and lovely to had a dine experience there. As the staff opened the door for us, I fell in love for the first sight. They had yellow warm light, a little sparkling tree at the corner with butterfly lamp I guess, and I keep my eyes wide open to see their book cabinet, decorated with lot of vintage stuffs started from boxes, photos, books collection, and many other stuff that reminds me of Scoop or Ak.sa.ra, so vintage yet lovely!
The manager was very kind, he accompanied us during the gathering, he told the history name of Convivium, it means a place to eat and drink with people, so simple, right? At first I thought the name of Convivium must have quite complicated definition, well, I guess we should never assume something from the beginning, yeah. Rightaway, in each table, there are welcome snacks contain of cheese bread stick, quite nice and gave me a little bit taste of salt but not too much. We were waiting for the menu, and the most surprising part was when we saw an Italian man came to the kitchen, then I got informed that he is kind of a food and beverages consultant for Convivium, oh wow!
First to our table, Tagliere di Crostini, we might say this is a platter of several bread which I saw it more likely to Bruschetta. There are three toppings for each bread: chicken liver, cherry tomato combined with basil, and melted cheese and sort of salted fish (more familiar as an anchovies), well, another new food dictionary for me definitely. I didn’t tried this three toppings, but if I have to choose, I prefer to choose the last topping (melted cheese and anchovies, it would be safety for me, I guess). Somehow, I still like the color of their cherry tomatoes, so fresh and light!
Second menu comes up, Cream ai Funghi. As you might guess from the name, it was creamy mushroom soup. One thing that I noticed that day, Italian food contain lot of mushroom, and tomatoes! The texture itself quite solid if I have to compare it with any kind of soup, maybe because it contains mostly from mushroom. It served with a small piece of crostini bread, some people might like this kinda soup, some might not, it’s just a matter of personal taste.
Third menu from the Pasta division, haha! Spaghetti Chitarra al Nero si Seppia, what a hilarious name amongst all. It is basically a homemade spaghetti chitarra made from squid ink with fresh squid. So, as you might see from the photo, yes it was black enough! Squid ink, can you imagine? I put my face into a flat face, no emotion at all when I looked at this one, and I decided to pass this menu. But then again, the staff of Convivium were too kind, he took some portion for me, he brought it into my table, so I didn’t have any chance to run from this one, ha! Well? I will say, again, do not judge a food by it’s appearance. It might looks scary (with the black squid ink on it), but the taste itself, safety enough for me. Safety can be fun, right? The pasta itself quite tasteless, but if you eat together with the squid, there it comes the taste of a little bit salt, quite good though.
Forth, Funghi Pizza, this one I might say a menu that I’ve been waited during the gathering (another menu that made me so damn curious are the Sorbett, and I will tell you later, let’s save the best for the last, deal?), this is typical Italian Pizza with their thin slices, and it served in a huge plate. Honestly, I love any kind of cheese, and that’s why I only took one slice enough (we can see the amount of cheese they made even for one slice). A little bit salty but the combination with their mostly cherry tomatoes made it more balance in my mouth. The pizza dough itself did not really crispy nor crunchy, I just knew late after the gathering, the way to eat this kinda-wet-pizza-dough better to roll it one slice rather than to use knife and fork or hand as well. What a nice way to eat, I supposed to know this information previously, errrr..
Fifth menu and this is full main course of that day, Roast Beef. You might choose in three ways of cooking, rather you would like your beef to Medium, Medium-Rare, or Well-Done. It served into two to three thin slices at each plates, and looks so yummy and fattening! Juicy, oily, but soft from the textures, you will taste it better after one slice. Again, there are some cherry tomatoes accompanied this beef, haha!
Sixth, here we go! I have been waiting this menu for almost for 1,5 hours. Assagio di Gelati e Sorbetti! This is the new menu from Convivium, Top Ten Dramatically Unique Flavors spread into Ten Small Glasses. I will list them all, Risotto Mascarpone, Squid Ink, Orange Basil, Red Velvet, Vanilla Balsamic, Lime Rosemary, Earl Grey, Lychee, Strawberry Chili, and Bacon. All right, do you notice something from that list? I will write them with capital letters, RISOTTO MASCARPONE, STRAWBERRY CHILLI, and BACON! Can you imagine? I was hardly control myself from the huge curiousity and excitement to try three of them. I felt scariest with the Bacon Sorbetti, yeah as you know, I didn’t have a good relationship with any kind of bacon or pork or pig, you name it. I am quite picky for any various foods that contain bacon in it.
And as I taste the Bacon Sorbetti, ehmmm, how do I say yeah, well, I didn’t like it, at all. Just one tiny spoon, and done, I didn’t touch it again. I found myself run into another flavors to distract my tongue. I taste almost all of them, Orange Basil so fresh and safe, Red Velvet the sweetest amongst all and safe as well, Lime Rosemary had the strongest flavor and it surprised me, Lychee was safe as usual. I didn’t had a chane to taste the Earl Grey. Squid Ink, hmmm, not for my taste I might say. Then I found my favorite taste in Risotto Mascarpone, Vanilla Balsamic, and Strawberry Chili! Risotto (you will find rice inside the sorbett) very soft and the most white color from all, 50% sweetness. It was surprising for me as well because what I like the most was the Strawberry Chilli! Sweet-sour-fresh and a little bit spicy afterwards, my favorite! I eat this one alone, hahaha!
And here we goes to the king of Convivium: Torta Passione! Simply we know it as a Red Velvet Cake. The most happening red velvet at Convivium first time before now red velvet becoming so mainstream. Each person got one slice, basically it was a chocolate cake using food red color, that’s why the taste was not too sweet because it combined with vinegar. The topping, they use very soft cream cheese and mascarpone (or we might know it as a coconut sprinkles). The textures were soft and light, definitely different from any kind of Red Velvet that I have tried from various places. I love the cream cheese, well, pardon me if I always love cheese *big grin*.
Afterall, we had super nice lunch together with OpenRicers and the Dreamers Streaming Radio crew, thank you Miss Ratu and Ningcil that came to the gathering. Convivium Cafe Deli definitely a good place to share good foods, nice ambiance, homey and vintage, I just love to spend my time more than three hours doing nothing there except just eat, eat and eat. I can imagine how romantic Convivium at night, yes, I bet you guys to go there at night with your lovely one, ha!