Hi my name is Martin Natadipraja, born and raised in Bogor, March 4th 1989. Graduated from At-Sunrice Global Chef Acadamy college in Singapore back in 2010. What I do now is being a Manager in the Monarchy Bistro as well as Head Chef there.
Initially I used to cook for myself at home, because I was taught to live independently since I was little. Plus I used to watch several Jamie Oliver TV shows. You know, the chef celebrity who has fans around the world and popular in the mid 2000s. He’s my idol and I tried to learn from what he did on TV. After my high school years, I decided to seriously pursue this field and started to learn how to cook professionally.
The first thing that I learned to cook was making Fusilli Bolognese which my understanding in Italian for “curly pasta with meat sauce.” And it was back in my high school years. Nothing fancy compared to what my mom used to make. But since then, I always learn how to cook from my mom and what she usually made. I was a pleasant things from her.
When and why did you open Monarchy Bistro?Monarchy Bistro originally opened on April 7th 2014. And why did I opened a restaurant? It was simply because it is always been my dream to have my own restaurant with my own concept of food and the food that I like as well. And finally the opportunity came to me when my cousins also planned to open a restaurant here in Bogor. It was a click and both of us had the passion for it. So now he became my business partner in Monarchy Bistro.
How did you get into the restaurant business in Bogor? Was this a dream or a passion that you always had in mind growing up?
Judging from the development of F&B business in Bogor, I think the culinary business and restaurant is quite promising. Not as big as Jakarta or Bandung but it is quite good. And when the chances are there, so I say why not open in here? Plus I understood the area that I am going to and had a lot of passion on it. So it was all natural for me to open Monarchy Bistro in Bogor.
Tell us about Monarchy Bistro and what makes it unique.
Monarchy Bistro is a restaurant with royal concept which enjoyable yet tasty for food hunters out there. The name itself represent what we are trying to do for the customers, as being treated as royal family and having those principal. For the interior design, I chose the industrial concept. I like minimalist interior and try to applied it on everything here. Plus perhaps the comfortable ambience that we have, very homie, and the taste of food which different from the others.
Did you design the restaurant? (Tell us more about the interior and exterior process)
For Monarchy Bistro, I asked and get assisted by a friend of mine named Melissa whom familiar and graduated from the architect and interior design world. I ordered for a more industrial concept inside while the exterior being more into minimalist. For the branding and murals, it was done by the creative workgroup of Fullfillisme.
What makes Monarchy Bistro different from other restaurant or bistro? What would you suggest?
What makes us difference from other restaurant is I want to give a different impression for “Bistro”. Usually you will find a more serious, quite formal fine dinning. While in here, you will feel the impression of being fun and cozy, while enjoying the food and chit chatting with you friend. For the food itself, we also made it playful but certainly good to eat. For food, I recommend you “Messy Burger”, “Barbacoa Pizza”, and “Shepard Pie’s”. For the drinks go and try “White Choco Matcha”, “Peach Passion Cooler”, and “Mango Breeze”.
I am not gonna tell you much but it will inspired from the French cuisine. There will be cooked land snail Escargot (baked with lot of cheese), Burger Sliders (served on dinner rolls to make fun yet alternative to traditional size hamburgers that we had), and perhaps few Sandwiches. The reason I put French menu because the nation used to run the Monarchy system in hundreds of years if I am not wrong. Plus it sharpens the concept of Monarchy Bistro.
The huge commitment and quality control for the product that is sold in the restaurant.
Besides Monarchy Bistro, are you running any of Restaurants or Bars? Tell us a bit about that (if you own any)
For the moment no, but I plan to open another restaurant or bar next year.
The biggest challenge perhaps the consistency and service. It must be maintained from the first time we open the restaurant. It sounds common but it is what it is. You must serve your best every single day and make it really good. And last but not least, is to find the human resources. Indonesia is a big country however it is quite difficult to find people with the standard that I like, from how they serves people, to their attitude on the workplace, and so on.
When you are not busy running the Monarchy Bistro, what are you doing?
I usually go to the gym and do Muay Thai with my friends. But nowadays I start to learn on photography. I just bought this FujiFilm XA-1. It is small mirror less digital camera and has the compact, lightweight, and high quality features. I got it online and it was a recommendation from a good friend of mine named Adil.
For sure, it is a new thing for me but I enjoy it a lot. Especially since the photos that I took will help gaining interest for the Monarchy Bistro. And yes, I do Instagram a lot. You can follow my Instagram account here @MartinPraja and Monarchy Bistro here @MonarchyBistro.
We notice that you’re quite a fashionable guy and knows the culture. What other brand or restaurant would you recommend for and why?
Thank you for that. For in Jakarta alone, I like to spend my time in Mama Goose, The Goods Diner, Mojo, Three Buns, Roca in Artotel Jakarta, and Song Fa Bakuteh. They are all quite diverse in food but share a good concept. For the brand, I like basic things so I go with H&M and Uniqlo. But occasionally, I roots for LOCALE Jakarta, Bluesville, VOYEJ, and of course Nike.
What do you like the most about making living in your hometown?
It is a breezy city, very close to my family, and I don’t need to get up early or go to office in hurry since traffic jam is low in here. I am really happy for that. Plus Bogor is also busy and really promising to do business on the weekend.
What led you to open up restaurants in Bogor as opposed to other cities?
The purchasing power of the people in Bogor is now increasing, so I’m sure they are up to the restaurant that I made. They do not need to go to Jakarta to find the food that they are craving because Monarchy Bistro have everything that they need it.
Jl. Pajajaran Indah V No.37
Bogor, Jawa Barat
+62 251 832-4043