Restoran Trio Gondangdia: 70 Years of Tasty Indo-Chinese Food

Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng

The keroncong-influenced music meets loud rumbles of vehicles passing by welcomes our visit to Restoran Trio Gondangdia. The air feels humid after a heavy rain in the morning, and the electrical fan does little to stop us from sweating. While the situation sounds less than perfect, it gives a sense of familiarity and timelessness that I’ve come to associate with Restoran Trio. After countless fancy restaurants and too-cool malls, this feels refreshing.

Born in 1947, Restoran Trio has remained in its birth location at the junction of Jl. R.P. Soeroso and Jl. Cikini IV ever since. It stubbornly keeps the forest green exterior and the antique-looking signage in a font you’ll never see in modern establishments. But more importantly, the restaurant has maintained the quality of food and attentive hospitality, two things that must have played an important part in its longevity.

Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
Here’s something different: The staffs are middle-aged men dressed in batik shirts
Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
It was quite a slow afternoon for Trio. They usually get more packed in the evening.
Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
The food is served on metal plates
Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
Baby Kailan Cah Polos (IDR 27.5K)
Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
How old are these posters?

Seventy years are definitely long enough to fine-tune 319 dishes offered on the simple black ink-on-white paper menu book. Expect an eclectic mix of every Indonesian-Chinese food imaginable, grouped by simple categories: fish, bird, shrimp, crab, chicken, beef, pork, duck, frog, vegetables, rice, or noodle. You might feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of choices, but don’t be shy to ask the batik shirt-clad staffs or do your own research online for pointers.

Laid out on the table are our lunch picks: Nasi Goreng Ham, Lumpia Udang ala Trio, and a touch of greens from Baby Kailan Cah Polo. Nasi Goreng Ham, fragrant fried rice with chunks of salty ham, is an absolute delight to the palate. Add that with the tasty gravy sauce and a slight bitterness from Baby Kailan Cah Polos, we can’t stop eating spoon after spoon until everything is finished. Although technically our stomach has ordered us to stop.

Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
Have we taken a time machine back to 1947?
Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
The checkered white-and-red tablecloth is iconic
Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
More than enough for two
Restoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng
Lumpia Udang Ala Trio (IDR 95K)

Restoran Trio Gondangdia MentengRestoran Trio Gondangdia Menteng

But the crème de la crème has got to be Lumpia Udang ala Trio. Eight pieces of block-shaped minced shrimp, beautifully fried until golden brown. Drizzle them in the sweet-sour sauce, have a bite, and try to resist an involuntary “hmm-hmm” sound out of your mouth. Simple and homey dishes can indeed never go wrong.

Restoran Trio Gondangdia is a textbook example of the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” From the sturdy wooden chair that is probably as old as I am to the tried-and-test recipes, Restoran Trio is a constant in a sea of changes. Comfort in the middle of distress. Please stay that way and don’t ever change.

Restoran Trio Gondangdia is also featured in our Makan Apa di Menteng: From Vintage to Fresh article.

Restoran Trio Gondangdia

Price Icon

IDR 17.5-600K (Food); IDR 4-55K (Beverage)

Written By

Alexandra Karman

Coffee-induced chatterbox and lemon pie devotee. Associate writer at Find my visual musings by clicking the icon below.

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