What does it take to make a great restaurant? Are food and service enough to make a restaurantÕs reputation? How far do elements influence the success of a restaurant? It is a fact that great design is needed to give a guest a good first impression before following with excellent service and delectable food. These three elements are the foundation of any great restaurant. Mediterraneo in Surabaya follows this classic approachÐand we like it.
Photo by Bagus Tri Laksono & Mediterraneo doc.
The contemporary restaurant industry in Surabaya is a business trend that is still growing. More new restaurants have opened, from the very casual to the upscale. Mediterraneo is one of the new restaurants that has been targeting the upscale market. As its name suggests, the food here is Italian with a focus on the Mediterranean region. Opened in March, Mediterraneo is owned by Mulja family, who said that the city needed a real authentic Italian restaurant. With a concept that was started by their Italian partners, who have been working in the industry for more than 30 years, the first Mediterraneo was opened in Labuan Bajo, Flores in Nusa Tenggara Timur five years ago.
Located in the heart of West Surabaya amid residential complexes, this restaurant, which can seat 250, is set in a beautiful private mansion that has been in the possession of Mulja family for the last 30 years. This 1,600 square-meter, two-floor home has undergone a complete renovation, changing function into a restaurant offering a dining section, a central bar, a comfortable lounge, an open kitchen with a gorgeous garden and al fresco area.
Rustic charm welcomes you right from the entrance. Unpretentious and exposed brick walls with bare plank floors and retro tiles are in harmony with brick arches and concrete pillars. This first-floor layout features a dining section, central bar, lounge and open kitchen sitting all together. However, this mansion is quite huge and spacious, not to mention airy from all the surrounding windows, which allows beautiful natural light during the day to create a warm ambiance.
The second floor of the restaurant has a more flexible functionality, and can be used for either private events, or as a normal dining area when fully booked. The decision to eliminate all rooms on this floor and alter the space into two big areas was smartly done by the designer to maximise the available space. Going to the end of the first floor of Mediterraneo will bring you directly to its beautiful outdoor area, which is shaded by greenery. Divided into two, part of this outdoor area functions for al fresco dining, while the rest has been made into an exquisite tropical garden that would be perfect to host a wedding ceremony.
As a collaboration between Cinzia Ziggiotti and interior designer Monica Sutjihandayani, Mediterraneo embraces a spirit of rustic design, with its organic textures and approach. From classic furniture, old Italian photos to industrial-style hanging lamps with black light steel; Mediterraneo oozes Tuscan-style designs that celebrate the simple luxury of old world Italian architecture. It has a sense of connection to the past thatÕs hard to resist and which feels honest and evokes a simpler time.
It is also interesting to see how "design" has also been incorporated into the food presentations of Chef Daniele Lapolla. Starting off in a small restaurant in Turin, Italy; Lapolla has gained experiences from around the world, including in Bulgaria, Qatar and Spain, before finally settling for Labuan Bajo and now Surabaya.
We were blown away with not only his visual presentation but also his tastes. Dishes such as steamed octopus carpaccio and crab salad looked as colourful as a Mediterranean summer party with a refreshing balance. Expect to get al dente pasta, delectable thin crust pizza to classic Italian dishes such as Fiorentina steak. The combination between the food and this rustic ambiance might allure you to think that you are actually in Tuscany and not Surabaya.
It is interesting to see the great balance between the well- designed spaces with a delicious taste that comes out from their kitchen. Mediterraneo in Surabaya proves itself that such combination is possible to create.
Gross Floor Area
Approximately 1,400 sqm (1st floor & 2nd floor)
Interior Design Consultant
Jl. Raya Kupang Baru No. 74
T +6231 731 0464
M +62813 3336 9042