Judging from the condition of his home, Mr. Fox is one mysterious, suave, and well-travelled fox. The kind of uncle every kid wishes to have, as he will come home after long weeks of travel bearing gifts and stories of places unimaginable. It’s a character that Ismaya Group creates as the heart and soul of its latest establishment in Energy Building, Central Jakarta. But who is Mr. Fox, really? Let’s look for clues.
The restaurant is his home. When you go there, you will be presented with different types of food with no particular genre. As a fox who has been to many corners of the world, it’s natural that Mr. Fox has an eclectic taste. Think of the food offered, including the newly launched breakfast menu, as a collection of his personal favorite dish, curated through a journey around the globe.
True to a real house, you can see personal belongings of Mr. Fox everywhere. There are family photos, memorabilia of his meetings with celebrities (Jamie Foxx, of course), and a few books about him. Similar to real foxes that mostly live in a den underground, Mr. Fox Jakarta is dim with no sunlight coming through, even during breakfast hours. We want to portray the ambience as it is, thus the darker tones of the photos. You may find brighter photos on the internet, but do know that it is not the actual situation.
As fox is a nocturnal animal, it’s no surprise that the mood at Mr. Fox Jakarta gets better as the day progresses. My personal favorite space at Mr. Fox Jakarta is a corner on the second floor—a private area that can host up to 20-25 people—where a super comfy sofa is situated. I will be back just to sit on that sofa, have a drink, and have fun with my partners.
Everything from the menu book to the colorful throw pillows, from the bar set-up to the neon signs are very well-thought-out. The choice of music also enhances the overall experience. During my two and a half hours at Mr. Fox Jakarta, no song is repeated. There is a continuity from one song to another, yet you won’t feel bored with the picks. A staff mentions that one of the board of directors personally create the playlist.
As for food, my number one dish at Mr. Fox so far is the Japanese Fried Rice. Call me biased, but lately I’ve been so into fried rice and am on a personal mission to find as many awesome fried rice as possible. My favorite fried rice in Jakarta at the moment is HOURS’, but this one comes in a close second place. The fragrant Japanese Fried Rice has a delightful hint of nori and the right texture of rice, made special by the addition of salmon. Next on the recommended list is Korean BBQ Short Ribs, served with onion rings and steamed rice. They way the short ribs is cut is perfect: Not too thin, so you get to taste the natural juiciness of the beef. The marinade also complements the flavor of the beef without overpowering it.
For those of you who love spicy food, go for Prawn Belacan Aglio e Olio Linguine. The spiciness level from the shrimp paste is no joke, not to mention the prawns are big and succulent. The generous portion makes it possible for you to share this dish between two people. Definitely worth the price tag. Last but not least, I want to give a shout-out to Fig Bruschetta. This appetizer is a drool-worthy serving of bruschetta, San Daniele ham, gorgonzola fondue, caramelized figs, and balsamic syrup. The flavors are quirky and weird, and the tangy balsamic syrup efficiently opens up your palate.
So, back to the question. Who is Mr. Fox? I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I think it’s safe to deduct that Mr. Fox is a personality that represents Christian Rijanto, one of the owners of Ismaya, and a person I look up to. If you follow his Instagram, you can see how he has travelled, tasted food from different parts of the world, and done incredible things. Just like Mr. Fox. But what do you think? Who do you think Mr. Fox is?