There are few foods more comforting than Italian cuisine. Carby, rich in fats and fresh produce with gorgeously complex sauces. Now, add to that a perfectly seared steak and you have yourself a winning combination. The newly opened Privy at Dharmawangsa offers just this combo, elevating comfort classics to satisfyingly sophisticated dining standards. 

Located on the fourth floor of Dharmawangsa Square, accessed through a private elevator, Privy really lives up to its name. When the doors open you’ll be welcomed into a warm and mood-lit dining lounge, a cosy and classically-styled restaurant featuring comfortable booth seating, with white-clothed table-tops giving this Italian American steakhouse an extra touch of class.

This venture is the creation of Chef-Owner Jonathan Tek, better known as the founder of Jon’s Smokery, a purveyor of traditional cured & smoked meat, also found at Dharmawangsa Square. Privy actually began as a way for Jonathan to showcase his artisanal produce to potential clients, serving immaculate dinners in the private rooms on lower floors (also available for bookings). The experience was wildly popular and motivated him to share it with more of Jakarta’s gourmands.

The main Privy menu showcases a variety of Italian dishes, with Starters, Salads, Soups, Pastas and a selection of meatier Mains. A separate menu is provided for speciality meat selections.

Highlights include the Bruschetta Figs and Cream Cheese, crunchy sourdough spread with homemade cream cheese, fresh (local!) sliced figs and a drizzling of Trigona stingless bee honey. Another is the Burrata Salad, featuring homemade burrata cheese, served with cherry tomatoes, more fresh figs, with a drizzling of 10-year-old aged balsamic vinegar.

The homemade dairy and meat produce certainly stand out at Privy. Jon’s Smokery delivers superb hand-prepared meats, but the cheeses are also superb. Made daily in Jakarta using fresh full-fat milk from Java, giving them a real gourmet, artisanal flavour. The cheeses, creams, panna cotta and even ice cream are noticeably creamy and silky.

This all comes together in the traditionally-prepared Spaghetti Carbonara, a divine combination of Jon’s Smokery Guanciale and an ‘unholy amount of Pecorino Romano’. The result is a plate of creamy, salty heaven. Other pasta highlights include the Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare, cooked in seafood broth, chilled and topped with fresh uni and crudo scallops from Japan. For something different, try the Linguine Pescatore alla Jokowi, a spicy ‘sambal’ pasta served ‘by accident’ to the President himself!

On the mains, you’ll find premium meat and seafood options, like the Canadian Kurobuta Pork Chop, Sous Vide Halibut and Full-blood Wagyu Chateaubriand. But, you may want to browse the separate steak menu, which features Non-Dry-Aged Ribeye and Dry-Aged Ribeye, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, and Tomahawk with a selection of marblings available.

As your final palate cleanser, Privy serves authentic Italian desserts, including Tiramisu Classico, made with homemade mascarpone and the ladyfingers still slightly crunchy (we approve); and a super-milky Panna Cotta. Their homemade ice creams are also tempting, with alcoholic flavours available such as Single Malt and Baileys – we recommend the Gin and Honey Lemon!

To match the elevated fare is a superb list of wines, with ‘by the glass’ options, natural wines, a wide range of imported regional bottles and also vintage Bordeaux selections. For something different, order a signature or classic cocktail from the central bar. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 5.30pm to 10pm. Bookings essential.

Privy at Dharmawangsa
The Dharmawangsa Square, Kebayoran Baru
+62 811 1908 9508 (WA)

Edward Speirs

Edward Speirs

Edward, or Eddy as he prefers to be called, is the Head of Publishing of the NOW! Magazine, and the host of the NOW! Bali Podcast. He enjoys photography, rural travel and loves that his work introduces him to people from all walks of life.