I want to share an unforgettable experience that keeps niggling my mind, so I’ve decided it’s worth a blog post – if only for me to have a visual remembrance. We discovered this resto beside Ikan Bakar Jimbara in Yogyakarta. The simple but lovely ambiance in the middle of the rice fields and the attentive service was a wonderful surprise.
I am not really a steak person, but this one dining experience in Yogyakarta stands out when it comest to steak. It was a quiet night and only one other table was occupied. There were 4 of us in our group and we were served soft warm bread with some delicious dipping sauces while thinking about what to order. I remember that TD and I both wanted to try their steaks which was on 50% discount promotion. We both got Tenderoin wagyu. The original price was IDR 369.000, less 50% it came out to IDR 213.000/pax inc. tax and service charge. The manager or assistant manager was taking our orders and he showed us the steaks prior to to cooking, showing us how fresh they were. He said that they guarantee the freshness. He asked us if we wanted to have it cooked on the table or in the kitchen. It piqued my curiosity, so I said I wanted to try having it cooked on the table. TD asked for his steak to be done in the kitchen.
The manager came out with a really hot stone, some roasted garlic and butter and starts cooking the steak in front of me. I explained to him that I like it medium well, with the outside seared and the inside juicy but not bloody. I thought he would cook it and then when the steak was done give the whole steak for me to eat, but to my surprise he started slicing it and searing each bit and serving it. Bite by bite. He was very passionate about the quality of their steaks and I didn’t have the heart to tell him to stop, so I just enjoyed the experience. I’ve never experienced something like this before and I felt very lucky because each bite was perfect – seared on all sides and then very tender in the middle.
Everything we ordered was delicious. From the sides, creamy spinach & potatoes, to dessert. Sawa was an unexpected surprised. I will admit that service was a little slow and the kitchen was not the quietest kitchen, but the taste and the manager’s enthusiasm made up for it for me.
I also also love the indoor outdoor design of the restaurant with a minimalist aesthetic that reflects the theme SAWA (it means rice fields) because we were literally in the middle of a rice field. I would recommend that you put on some citronella oil or insect repellent before you go though because it is basically outdoor.
This is one of our favorite places to eat in Yogyakarta, up there with Ikan Bakar Jimbaran, Villa Hanis and Phoenix Hotel. I was told that the owners of Ikan Bakar Jimbaran and Sawa are the same. Please take this post with a grain of salt though because a) there were not many guests dining and b) this was a while back so the staff are probably not be the same. I have no idea if that was just a great night for them or if they have continued to maintain the same level of service and food quality.
Let me say that this is a long, long, long overdue “Travel Diaries” entry. This happened in March 2011, but I sort of “lost” the photos of a whole bunch of Yogyakarta trips somewhere in my 3 different external drives because I didn’t label them properly. So bear with me because I’ll be doing more posts on Yogyakarta ias my online Travel Diaries of Indonesia is not complete without my favorite place to visit. (Yes I prefer Yogya to Bali!)
This resto is a bit pricey for Yogyakarta standards. To get an idea of the prices you can click here to see the 2011 menu. I surmise that the prices have probably gone up – by how much, I don’t know.
Have you ever eaten in Sawa? I would love to hear about when you were there and how found the place!
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- JL DAMAI,MUDAL | Sariharjo, Ngaglik, Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Location map)
- +62 274 4463912
* I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this post, since I was in Bali awhile back. Please check with the original sources in case the information is outdated. If you find any errors i.e. the store is closed, please write me on the comment section or email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know. I’ll try to update and correct the wrong information. Thank you!