Bistro Garcon

Bistro Garcon


Plaza Senayan’s Bistro Garcon brings refined yet accessible French fare to Jakarta’s foodies.


If you’re not a francophone, you may think that garcon is the French word for waiter. And while it is often used in that sense outside of France, garcon actually simply means boy. (In fact, if you’re in France, don’t call your waiter garcon unless you are actively trying to offend them.) This explanation is meant to clarify the fact that Bistro Garcon, one of the finest amongst many new Gallic eateries in Indonesia’s capital, is not focused on service (though their’s is quite good) but on creating a hip, youthful atmosphere that is quite in contrast to the stereotypical image of a stiff and stuffy French restaurant.

Bistro Garcon is the latest offering from the F&B group behind Rustique, a celebrated steakhouse, Immigrant, one of the capitol’s most perennially popular nightclubs, as well as De Luca Trattoria & Bar and Monolog Quality Coffee & Co, also located in Plaza Senayan. Bistro Garcon is just as well thought out as those successful venues, presenting Jakartans with a contemporary take on the classic French bistro that works perfectly for its setting. Located in Plaza Senayan, one of the Big Durian’s more popular luxury malls, Bistro Garcon’s decor eschews kitschy French iconography in favor of eclectic modern design, with black and white tiles, industrial detailing and pink neon lights forming a pair of lips on the wall. It all works together to create a setting fit for power pre-movie diners, pre-clubbing cocktail sippers and coffee breakers drawn in by the delectable array of pastries and desserts beckoning from the display case at the front of the house.


A similar attention to detail can be found in Bistro Garcon’s menu, which offers a selection of classic bistro fare as well as some interesting twists. The menu’s mastermind is Chef Camille Benedetto-Flosse, a native of Marseille France who brings with him over 18 years of experience including a number of stints at Michelin starred restaurants throughout France. You can certainly see his Southern French roots in the menu’s many rich and comforting dishes, such as a superb duck confit with shallots and red wine sauce, but he also has a penchant for Mediterranean influences, which can be seen in the lighter dishes in the menu.

You’ll know that you’ve arrived at a proper French restaurant once your loaf of crusty, freshly baked bread with seasoned butter lands on your table. The butter is kissed with pepper and sea salt from Bali, going along with Chef Camille’s philosophy of locally sourcing as many of his ingredients as possible. His succulently tender grilled calamari also comes from local waters.

Chef Camille takes advantage of what’s fresh and in season, with a rotating list of daily specials that are always worth trying out. However, I find there are a number of standout dishes on the regular menu, including the cheese wrap salad, which features lightly dressed greens topped with a crunchy parcels of fried pastry filled with creamy fromage blanc, and the braised brisket, which is braised for 72 hours and then finished off in the pan to achieve a brilliant crust and toothsome bite. The brisket gets paired with buttery mashed potatoes and a topping of just cooked root vegetables that provide just the right flavor and textural contrast.

The thought that goes into each dish is also evident in an inventive list of cocktails and that aforementioned array of French pastries and desserts. The delectable sweets come courtesy of Bistro Garcon’s pastry chef, Masaaki Konno, who worked under culinary legend Joël Robuchon. The impressive talent and pedigrees of those working behind the scenes of this eatery truly elevate it well beyond the realm of most mall fare, making it a must try for any foodies in Jakarta.