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Jakarta Restaurant Guide

Dining Out

In a Metropolis such as Jakarta the eateries number in the thousands. There are many recognizable international franchise restaurants scattered throughout the city offering a known commodity. Popular as these franchise restaurants are with Jakartans, there are quite a few independent "home grown" restaurants mentioned below that have stood the test of time - offering quality and service such that they have become favorites to many in the expatriate community. To be sure there are many more, this is just to get you started.

These restaurants offer excellent value for money. That said, good value does not always mean cheap and price in Jakarta is relative. A similar restaurant in New York City or Tokyo would easily be three times more expensive. Please be advised that when we say a restaurant is moderate or expensive it is in relation to other restaurants in Jakarta. Scale is $ (Inexpensive) to $$$$$ (Very Expensive). With no further ado, the knife and fork please......

Oasis $$$$
Address: Jl. Raden Saleh Raya No. 47 Menteng Tel. 315-8646
Description: Located in a colonial Dutch Villa circa 1928, this fine dining option has been listed as one of Southeast Asiaís finest. A dining experience where history, art and tradition all come together. The Oasis is noted for itís presentation of Rijsttafel (Dutch Planters meal). Continental Cuisine.

Café Batavia $$$$
Address: Jl. Taman Fatahillah No.14 Kota Tel. 691-5531
Description: Take a trip back in time in this historically significant 19th Century Colonial Building, on Fatahillah Square in North Jakarta. Decorated with historical pictures of colonial Batavia, (presently Jakarta) it has a distinctive 'olde world' charm as well as a delectable menu. Be sure to visit The Churchill Bar on the second floor. It has the distinction of once being listed among Newsweek Magazines Best Bars in the World...

Hazara $$$
Address: Jl. Wahid Hasyim No. 12 Tel. 315-0424
Description: This well established and very popular North Indian Cuisine Restaurant offers a variety of delectable dishes. The food is well presented and tasty. There is a funky bar and game room on the 2nd floor that features a selection of beers, wines and spirits as well as inviting cushions, low tables and assorted board games.

Kikugawa $$
Address: Jl. Cikini IV No. 13 Tel. 315-0668
Description: One of Jakartaís oldest Japanese restaurants, itís tucked away on a side street but well worth the effort to find it. Surprisingly inexpensive for the quality of the food and the setting.

The Empire Grill $$$
Address: Jl. Rasuna Said, Kuningan Tel. 835-3968
Description: Located on the 35th floor of the Menara Imperium Building (across from the Regent Hotel) in Kuningan, The Empire Grill boasts Jakarta's only revolving restaurant. Locals have been known to debate weather the sunset or the late evening provide the more stunning panorama of Jakarta. The obvious solution is cocktails at 5:30 PM Dinner at 7! The Gargoyles are particularly reminiscent of the Chrysler Building in New York City. The menu is international, the service is very good and the views are spectacular. It takes a little more than an hour to go a full 360 degrees. A unique to see Jakarta.

Chamoe-Chamoe $$
Address: Jl. Panglima Polim IX No.53 (South Jkt.) Tel. 720-8294
Description: We're partial to Manadonese cuisine - we particularly like the way it melts the enamel off your teeth. But seriously, the Manadonese do know a thing or two about sambal (chili sauce), but more importantly they know fish - whether it's grilled, fried or steamed. Portions here are hearty and the hostess, a former Miss Indonesia, is as charming as she is beautiful and the coconut and custard tarts are heavenly. FYI, there's now another Chamoe-Chamoe on Jl. Sudirman in the Millenia Bldg.

Bakmi Gadja Mada $
Address: Various locations
Description: If you want to experience typical Indonesian food a good bet is to go to one of the many Bakmi Gadja Mada restaurants scattered throughout the city. You fill in the order form, the waiter totals it up and you pay up front. The prices are very reasonable. Within minutes your drinks arrive followed shortly thereafter by your main course. In additional to noodles (Mie) there is a nice variety of Bakso (meatballs) served in broth with noodles and vegetables as well as some excellent Nasi Goreng (fried rice).

Sari Ratu $1/2
Address: Various Locations
Description: Though not as numerous as Bakmi Gadja Mada, Sari Ratu gives you a chance to try Masakan Padang (see sidebar) in a clean environment and with high quality ingredients (considering the food is pre-cooked and held at room temperature this is important).

Cervino $$1/2
Address: Jl. Kemang Raya No. 2 (upstairs) Tel. 719-4051
Description: This small stylish cafe serves up some very decent Italian fare. All the standards are here including wood-fired pizza, portions are ample and the prices won't put a dent in your wallet.

Praline $$
Address: Jl. Kemang Raya No. 2 Jakarta Tel. 719-2320
Description: When you only do one thing - you better do it well and Praline does. A romantic little ice cream parlour with delicious homemade ice creams served in delightful combinations or with crepes.

Mykonos $$1/2

Address: Town Square Complex, Cilandak (S. Jakarta) Tel. 7592-0271
Mykonos, the Greek Restaurant from Bali, is now available in Jakarta. Delicious food, fun atmosphere and value for money makes it all around hard to beat for great night out.

Beautika $$1/2
Address: Jl. Hang Lekir No. 1 Kebayoran Baru Tel. 722 6683
Absolutely delicious, this Manadonese restaurant serves some of the more traditional Manadonese fare that you won't find anywhere else i.e. Paniki (bat). Food is well displayed in a buffet style.

Jakarta Hotels - Photo courtnesy JW Marriott
Local Cuisine

One of the great things about Jakarta is the variety of cuisine from around the Archipelago. Just to get you started, below we have outlined some of Indonesia's most popular dishes:

Nasi Goreng:
Fried Rice: The ubiquitous national dish. Usually served with grilled chicken or beef satay & sometimes a fried egg on top.

Nasi Campur:
White rice, surrounded by small selection of meats, vegetables and condiments. Delicious and never the same twice.

Mie Goreng:
Bakmie means noodles. Variation on Nasi Goreng only this time using egg noodles but not usually served with satay.

Masakan Padang:
Indonesia's original fast food, all dishes are precooked and served. You are billed for what you eat. Beef Rendang (beef simmered in coconut curry) is out of this world.

Es Campur:

Shaved ice with a variety of seasonal fruits and jellied candies, topped with boiled palm sugar. Yum.

Somewhat similar to an omelet, usually filled with minced lamb and vegetables. Often served as an appetizer or accompaniment

Terang Bulan:
Literally Full Moon, this dessert is prepared only at night at hawker stands. There are many varieties of this dessert but the chocolate ones are Absolutely sinful.

Satay Kambing:
Goat satay. Usually served with a sweet soy sauce, no wedding buffet in Indonesia is complete without this all-time favourite.

Featuring un-ripened fruit, mangoes, apples, pineapple and so on mixed with a thick sweet, sour and HOT sauce that women seem to prefer more than men.

Ayam Goreng:
Fried chicken. The Colonel had better watch his backside. Indonesia has several fried chicken emporiums that put paid to KFC.

Soto Ayam:
This is Indonesia's version of chicken noodle soup. Almost a meal unto itself.

Sop Buntut:
Oxtail soup (with the oxtail). Hearty soup always served with a side of white rice.

Indonesian style meatballs. They're rubbery, they're everywhere.

Chili. Since most families have a Sambal recipe passed down from generation to generation (think Korea and Kimchee) there's a good chance that there are more types of Sambal concoctions than there are dialects in Indonesia. Some sweet, some hot, some lethal. All are delicious.

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