Hidden inside the prestigious Plaza Indonesia is the latest sensation; a delicious hot pot restaurant, Shu Guo Yin Xiang. As one of the newest additions to the series of great dining outlets in this shopping centre, the Chinese restaurant established itself through taste and iconic contemporary design inspired by the Forbidden City.
As the name suggests, Shu Guo Yin Xiang, which means the “impression of the Szechuan culture”, specialises in the culinary delights known from this region, the most popular being the hot pot. Originally founded in 2018 with their first outlet at the Lokasari area in Jakarta, Shu Guo Yin Xiang was founded by Indonesian owners who love eating hot pot and found it challenging to find a good quality spot.
Going into its second year, Shu Guo Yin Xiang has found its strong market and has successfully branched out all over Jakarta. This latest outlet in Plaza Indonesia marks their fifth expansion, and has a unique approach in terms of design compared to all its predecessors.
Nestled on the fourth floor of the mall, Shu Guo Yin Xiang occupies 700sqm of space and was created to be the brand’s flagship outlet. Entering this restaurant feels like a journey to a contemporary version of the Forbidden City in Beijing. A typical Chinese gate with a sloping faux roof and talismans is the welcoming entrance that leads to the reception area, which is guarded by two red stone lions. This intimate yet grand reception area, is adorned by two beautiful custom-made Chinese kimonos made of golden threads from China that juxtapose a famous Feng Shui symbol known as Bagua. These eight symbols are used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts being implemented into a contemporary version of tiles using green and white marble. It is a strong piece-de-resistance that gives that first memorable impression.
A beautiful moon gate connects the reception area to the main dining area, which can fit up to 100 guests. Here, we can also find a semi-private dining section with a capacity of up to 25 guests. As Shu Guo Yin Xiang wants to focus on its hot pot specialty in this specific outlet, each table has a shared electric hot pot stove with a custom-made iron cast pot that has gold dragon heads as its holders.
A lot of incredible design details can be found in this main dining area, such as laser-cut gold-plated wooden lattice in Chinese geometrical symbols, various Chinese letter tiles covering the ceiling, Chinese ink style paintings, lattice accentuated with knobs that have a woven rattan motif made of metal, white brick walls and a contemporary mural depicting a Chinese lady. This section also features a series of aquariums inhabited by the live seafood products that are on the menu.
This spacious restaurant also has a series of private dining rooms that are connected by a long hallway accentuated by red brick walls reminiscent of the Forbidden City. Each room can fit 10 to 12 guests and has a more elegant touch of beautiful light grey surrounded by the Chinese-style wooden lattice panels and adorned with a modern oriental-style chandelier as a centrepiece.
Shu Guo Yin Xiang is more than just a restaurant. For this new main flagship outlet, the owners decided to add a bar, which they’ve never done before. Known as Shu Bar, this feature is connected to the main restaurant through the same red hallway. This bar also has an entrance that is slightly hidden and can be reached from the other end of the restaurant. From the outside, it just looks like a continuation of the red wall from the restaurant’s facade but an automatic sliding door will open as you approach it.
Once inside, a small intimate reception will welcome you with a stunning light installation that fills the entire ceiling with a series of contemporary-looking lights with round bulbs. This area is surrounded by mirror walls and a custom-made carpet depicting a Chinese-style cloud mural. This stunning bar is divided into two areas; an intimate lounge with a library set up overlooking Sudirman street and a bar that can fit up to 60 guests. Expect to find iconic cocktails with exotic names such as Madame Song Mei Ling or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon that has unique presentation and taste.
The strong design concept comes from the owner’s vision of opening a place that matches their Szechuan hot pot and comfort food objective. To bring this vision into life, they worked together with Metaphor Interior Architecture who has a lot of experience in designing various retail spaces, hotels, offices, bars and restaurants.
The design strength that is showcased through the interior layout also reflects the menu. Shu Guo Yin Xiang is indeed known for its signature hot pot that is served with the Szechuan mala broth or chicken collagen broth. However, aside from the hot pot, they also have a special menu featuring some exotic ingredients such as Miyazaki Japanese beef, Hokkaido scallops, to Panulirus Ornatus lobster that are served with beautiful plating featuring some of the best food sculpture ornaments.
It is no surprise to see the great success that Shu Guo Yin Xiang has achieved in less than two years, given the incredible balance of the delectable taste of the flavours to match its great design on each outlet. After the success of its outlets in Jakarta, Shu Guo Yin Xiang is ready to expand its wing to Surabaya this year. One thing for sure, this main flagship outlet in Plaza Indonesia is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated restaurant designs that we have seen in a shopping centre.