Boom explores the Michelin-recommended restaurant, IR1968, known for its gourmet Indonesian street food served in a comfortable,modern setting.
Never an easy feat for a restaurant to move locations, rebrand itself, and still be successful, IR1968 has defied all odds. “This is a new menu so if there is something you liked that’s not here, let us know and we’ll prepare it for you on Saturday and Sunday.” This is the message clearly printed on the front of the menu and this customer-oriented service is exactly what earned IR1968 its well-deserved Michelin recommendation. Formerly known as Indonesian Restaurant, which was located in Causeway Bay since (you guessed it) 1968, it’s almost been three years since they made the move to the new spot on the 5th floor of L Place in Central. Wooden countertops, vintage décor such as random soda crates and a hawker cart, laid back Indonesian music with ambient lights: the restaurant is the opposite of pretentious and lets you enjoy your food with an at-home feeling. With an open bar that serves the most popular happy hour drinks as well as cooling Indonesian refreshments, IR1968 is a casual spot to enjoy good food and good drinks, with good company.
The menu is centered on a wide range of traditional recipes that are bound to cater to anybody – IR1968 certainly does not hold back on portion sizes as well, so choose wisely or go with a group of friends willing to split the food (and bill of course). Meat lovers can choose from a variety of satays (they recommend beef tenderloin) and dip away into sauce, or go for a full-on dish such as the beef rendang, which is stewed to perfection and topped with fried onions and coconut curry sauce. Vegetarians are in luck; IR1968 has partnered with Green Monday to encourage meat-free diets to improve health and reduce carbon footprint, so they get to pick from their own menu. Featuring an array of dishes such as fried eggplant, rice paper rolls, and tofu curry, the vegetarian menu is irresistible even to meat lovers.
Whether you’re a meat lover, veggie lover, or both, be prepared to take your palate on a next-level adventure. The beauty of Indonesian cuisine is its complex taste that seamlessly blends sweet, sour, and spicy. Take their papaya salad for example, which seems simple, but lime vinaigrette and chilli peppers add both a sour and spicy kick to the sweet fruit. The dishes take your palate to a new level through through texture as well – try the popular Gado Gado salad, a collaboration of crunchiness from cucumbers and crackers, flaky boiled egg, soft potatoes, and a creamy peanut dressing.
You may have been lucky enough to trip out to Indonesia for a firsthand gastronomic experience of cart-sold street food and gourmet dining, but for thankfully for those of us who haven’t, there’s IR1968.
Address: 5/F The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Phone: +852 2577 9981