Is it just us, or have we all been craving specific dishes at random times during our quarantine? As it were, one fateful day, our taste buds wanted creamy, authentic butter chicken — so rare in Jakarta — and we came across Accha.
Accha is a relatively new Indian takeaway chain that opened in November, though we first learned about it in mid-March when the restaurant boosted its Instagram game and positive words about the chain quickly spread as people turned to food delivery amid the pandemic.
And it seems Accha is going big, and fast. So far, there are four Accha outlets in Jakarta, with the first one having opened in Bangka Raya street in Kemang, followed with branches in Bendungan Hilir and Gambir in Central Jakarta, and its newest store in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta.
Accha management staff Yohan told Coconuts that all outlets aren’t open for dine-in as the chain has adopted a cloud kitchen business model. However, Accha is keen to open for dine-in when it’s feasible in the future and it’s currently looking for expansions in other areas of Jakarta.
Last Sunday and Tuesday, we ordered Accha from the Bangka Raya and Lebak Bulus stores respectively, and this is what we thought of both:
We’ll start off with the dishes from the Lebak Bulus store, from which we were lucky enough to score an opening promo. We got our Butter Chicken Bowl and Chicken Tikka Roll each for IDR15K only, reduced from their regular IDR45K price. On top of those, we ordered a full portion of Butter Chicken for two people for IDR48K, down from IDR60K.
Lebak Bulus’ Butter Chicken or murg makhani was subtle in the tomato and herbs department, which was actually close to our expectation of the dish. However, the white rice in the Butter Chicken Bowl was way too mushy — it’s probably a good idea to have the basmati rice come in a separate container, if possible, the next time we order from Accha.
We found that the Chicken Tikka Roll stood out the most, as it was packed full of big, juicy well-seasoned chicken tikka chunks. It was tasty, filling, and as comfortable as a blanket and we’d love to order it again. One minor thing that bothered us was that the roti looked and tasted pretty burnt at some spots, though we believe we just happened to receive a sub-standard batch. Chicken Tikka Roll comes with a small pack of mint chutney and a housemade sambal.
Moving on to the Bangka outlet, we ordered the full portions of Butter Chicken and Saag Paneer (IDR64K, down from IDR80K), Basmati Rice (IDR15K), and Garlic Naan (IDR17K).
We were surprised that the difference between the two outlets’ Butter Chicken was quite striking, with the Bangka outlet’s curry being really sweet and creamier — far from our expectations of authentic standards of the dish. It certainly lacked Lebak Bulus’ subtle tomatoey goodness.
The Saag Paneer — described as “chunks of cottage cheese made with our special in-house spinach curry” — appeared as creamy spinach sauce with tiny chunks of the leaf barely visible. It was pretty salty, but the cheese texture was pretty firm. Since Accha’s version uses spinach, we feel it should be called palak paneer instead of saag paneer — as the former refers to the dish made only with spinach, while the latter refers to a variety of green leafy vegetables such as mustard greens and collard greens.
Lastly, the Garlic Naan, consisting of four slices in one portion, was fluffy but dry and we barely tasted the garlic. We tried experimenting by reheating the naan with butter on a pan, and we were glad we did so as it slightly improved the taste and texture before eating it by itself or dipping it into butter chicken and saag paneer.
Consistency is admittedly tough to achieve, especially for a takeaway-only model, wherein packaging and delivery can sacrifice food quality. And that’s where we feel there’s room for improvement for Accha, though it’s worth noting that Accha is still pretty new and may be trying to find its feet having opened four outlets in quick succession.
While the overall taste depends on the customers’ personal liking and idea of Indian food, we felt that Accha has adjusted to Indonesian taste buds as several dishes didn’t have that daring “kick” of spices we are accustomed to with Indian cuisine.
That being said, we’re glad to have a new, affordable Indian takeaway spot in town. We’re still pretty curious about other dishes in the menu, such as Chicken Biryani Bowl (IDR45K, IDR210K for the 1 kilogram portion), Lamb Curry (IDR80K), and vegan dishes such as Yellow Daal (IDR45K) and Chana Masala (IDR49K). We were impressed by Accha’s staple dishes enough that we’re certainly going to give the others a try.
There are 4 Accha outlets in Jakarta, including in Bangka Raya (Kemang), Bendungan Hilir, Gambir, and Lebak Bulus (Cilandak).
Open 11am-10pm daily
Takeaway only: order from Gofood, Grab, Tokopedia, Shopee, and Dari Rumah Aja