Jakarta – best of (local knowledge)

This is list of tasty places to eat, and fun places to drink in Jakarta, largely provided by an Indonesian colleague.

I’ll underline places I’ve been to, and add a subjective comment in blue italics as relevant.

Absolute favourite places will get a 

Jakarta

Chinese food:

        1. Paradise dynasty – Plaza Senayan ,Level P5 | Delicious Lamian and Xiao Long Bao, also serve wide range of Chinese dish
        2. Paradise Inn – Plaza Indonesia, Level Basement | Homely and classic flavors of a Chinese cuisine; their signature in Chinese style double boiled soup.
        3. Taste paradise – Plaza Indonesia South Gate 4th Floor #01 (connected to Grand Hyatt hotel) | Luxurious Chinese restaurant – quite pricy but worth the taste and ambience. BR: Probably good for a business meeting (they have private rooms etc, china style). Food tasty and well presented. A bit too pricey / formal for it to be a regular for me.  
        4. South beauty – UOB Plaza, Upper Ground Floor, Jl. MH Thamrin No. 10, Thamrin, Jakarta | Authentic Sichuan cuisine – taste might have been adjusted a bit to match Indonesian taste, but still good. Nice ambience as well
        5. Little sheep shabu2 – Jl. Gajah Mada Raya No. 174, Mediterania Gajah Mada Residences, Ruko Unit TUD 16, Jakarta | I’m sure you know this one, chain restaurant from China. We actually have one in BRI 7th floor, but somehow it taste differently with the one in Gajah Mada (for me) and it opens until 4 a.m. Most of hot pot restaurant in Jakarta are Japanese style shabu2, not Chinese hot pot – this is the only Chinese hot pot I can think of. BR: I’ve been to the little sheep in BRI many times (my Chinese wife loves it). Pretty quiet, but always seems to be frequented by Chinese employees from Huawei or Japanese expats, which is basically a good sign. Pretty good value at c. IDR 200,000 per person. My colleagues complain this one is too smelly (smells of lamb). 
        6. Din Tai Fung – Plaza Senayan Arcadia Ground Floor, Pacific Place 5th floor, Plaza Indonesia 3rd floor are the easiest to find | Taiwanese food. BR: This place is GREAT! Really enjoyed the beef and xiaolongbao. Apparently it has a Michelin star, which i can believe albeit it’s not at all pretentious or expensive.. Best standard Chinese fair I’ve had outside China.  
        7. Din Tai Fung Chef’s table – Emporium Pluit Mall 4th Floor | Similar to other Din Tai Fung but this one serve pork (LOL)
        8. The Duck King – Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, East Mall 3A Floor | Peking duck
        9. Imperial Chef – Food Place, Jl. Hayam Wuruk No. 126, Hayam Wuruk, Jakarta | Part of the duck king group, open until 3 a.m. Decent Chinese food
        10. Imperial treasure La Mian Xiao Long Bao – Plaza Indonesia 1st floor. BR: This place is always rammed, and mainly full of Indonesian Chinese ladies with gigantic buffon hair. My Chinese mother-in-law loved it.  I really like the fact the kitchen is open plan with the seating, so you can see the chefs at work, making the noodles by hand etc. Been many times. 
        11. Crystal Jade Teochew Restaurant – Pacific Place 4th Floor. BR: Should be much better than it is for the money. We had the crab fried with egg, bbq chicken, pork belly, beef soup, and some veg. All dishes were good without being amazing.
        12. Table 8 – Hotel Mulia. BR: Went there for a dinner buffet midweek. Nice ambiance, as you’d expect at Hotel Mulia, and good food without being amazing. Would opt for Edogin (see below), if heading to the Mulia for a sumptuous feast.

Japanese food:

        1. Shaburi shabu2 – Pacific Place, 5th floor | Japanese all you can eat shabu2, served in individual pots with a choice of broth. All meats, vegetables and noodles are all you can eat buffet style, as well as the drinks, rice, dessert and salads. Good quality of meat. They limit your time to eat (90 minutes). BR: This place is seriously great value and massively popular – queues outside the door every evening. Book in advance. 
        2. Takumi – Senayan National Golf Club (Jl. Asia Afrika Pintu IX) | Pricey but they are from high quality ingredients. Sushi and sashimi are very good and fresh
        3. Sumiya – STC Senayan Ground Floor | Love the Kara-kara nabe and very tasty salmon. Full of Japanese expats who want to savour true Japanese cuisine at its best. Smoking allowed
        4. Edogin – Hotel Mulia | Good Japanese buffet. BR: Pretty expensive, at IDR 400k, but the quality of the meat is fantastic – sushimi, tappenyaki beef/lamb/lobster/etc. Limited desert options, but what they was tasty. We were able to walk in without a reservation at c. 8:30 pm on a Friday – i suspect the price puts most off, but for what you’re getting it’s good value. Shame it’s not all you can drink like the Japanese buffet joints in Shanghai! 
        5. Goemon – Keai Tower 3rd floor | Teishoku style – good taste at very affordable price. Open for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday, dinner only on Sunday
        6. Kushiyaki Umenadori Restaurant – Plaza Senayan Basement (entrance from Meat station in Food Hall) | So far best kushiyaki I’ve had in Jakarta
        7. Sushi Sei – Plaza Senayan Level P4
        8. Marutama ramen – Plaza Senayan Basement (entrance from Meat station in Food Hall) and Plaza Indonesia 3rd Floor. BR: Ordered the special pork ramen at IDR 99,000. The broth was delicious as were the pork chunks. Also had the gyoza at IDR 30,000 which were also just perfect. Will be going back. Note, the one in Plaza Indonesia gets very busy with queues outside at peak times. 
        9. Ikudo Ichi – Pacific place 5th Floor, Grand Indonesia West Mall Ground Floor
        10. YellowFin sake bar and kitchen – Jalan Senopati No.42, Kebayoran Baru | BR All encompassing japanese fare. I really like this place – food, decor, wide range of Sake. The Menu is all on ipads, which is quite novel, and actully really great as you get a realistic photo of each dish. Pretty busy on Fridays, so book. Midweek, you can normally just walk in. 

Indonesian food:

        1. Pondok Laguna – Jalan Batu Tulis Raya No.45, Pecenongan | Sundanese seafood. The place might be hard to find if you still rely on taxi. Best for: Ikan Bakar, Tahu Kipas, Gurame Goreng, Kangkung terasi.
        2. Cabe Ijo – Jalan Muara Karang Raya, Penjaringan | Wide range of seafood; my fav are: Chili crab, smoked black pepper crab, bamboo clams, steam grouper fish – hong kong style, pakis ebi (stir fry fern with shrimp paste), soft shelled crabs with salted egg
        3. Pangkep 33 – Jl. Pluit Putra Raya No. 12A, Pluit, Jakarta | Seafood & Makassar cuisine
        4. Jehmadi Seafood – Jalan Pluit Timur No.24 Jakarta Utara, Indonesia
        5. Saung GrenVil – Jl. Suryo No. 7, Senopati | Jumbo crab with a wide range of sauces
        6. Remboelan – Plaza Senayan, 4th floor
        7. Kembang Goela – Plaza Sentral, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, Sudirman, Jakarta | Betawi, Satay
        8. Harum Manis – Apartemen Pavilion, Jl. KH Mas Mansyur, Sudirman | Java, Soto
        9. Roemah Rempah – Plaza Senayan Level P4
        10. Huize Trivelli Heritage Resto & Pattisier – Jl. Ciujung No. 36, Kawasan Cideng Barat, Tanah Abang
        11. Tugu Kunstkring Paleis – Jl. Teuku Umar No. 1, Menteng, Jakarta
        12. Lara Djonggrang & La Bihzad Bar – Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No. 4, Menteng, Jakarta | Expat says exotic, I said creepy..
        13. Warung Tekko – SCBD Lot.8 / Warung Leko – Citywalk | Get the iga penyet
        14. Seribu Rasa – Lotte Shopping Avenue, 3rd floor, Jl. Prof Doktor Satrio no.5 – BR:  My favourite ‘Indonesian’ restaurant to date. Classy decor. To my mind the food was very Thai influenced but this did not stop it being delicious.  

Thai Food:

        1. Chandara – Plaza Senayan, 4th Floor; Plaza Indonesia, 1st Floor
        2. Suan Thai – Jl. Cideng Timur No. 59, Tanah Abang, Jakarta
        3. MK Restaurants – Grand Indonesia West Mall, 3A Floor
        4. E & O – Menara Rajawali, 1st Floor, Jl. Dr Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung

Random Western:

        1. Tony Romas – UOB Plaza, Mezanine Floor, Jl. MH Thamrin No. 10, Thamrin, Jakarta | Pork Ribs
        2. The Immigrant Dining Room – Plaza Indonesia 6th Floor
        3. Hacienda – Plaza Senayan Arcadia Ground Floor | Mexican
        4. Plan B – Rukan Permata Senayan, Jl. Tentara Pelajar, Senayan | Affordable Spanish cuisine
        5. Cassis – Apartement Pavilion, Jl. KH Mas Mansyur, Sudirman |French? BR:  My favourite European restaurant to date (May 2015). They do nice lunch sets – IDR 220k for two courses or IDR 250 for three. I had a Kale and vlue cheese salad to start and crispy pork belly with red cabbage as a main. The complementary sour dough bread is really tasty, and the complementary candi floss at the end a nice touch. We had great service and really liked the decor (would be good for a date night or biz meeting). Only downside is the AC is a little freezing. Bring a jacket. 
        6. Rosso – Hotel Shangri-La, Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Sudirman | Italian
        7. Il Mare – Hotel Mulia | Italian
        8. Outback Steakhouse– Ratu Plaza Ground Floor; Kuningan City GF, 28-28A BR: Thought this place was just ok. A little dark and drab for my liking. 
        9. Pepenero Cucina Italiana – Energy building Mezzanine level, Menara Karya Building 1st Floor
        10. Branche bistro – Jl. Senopati No. 33, Senopati. BR: I’d walked past several times, but never actually made it in. Error. The food here is excellent – French Bistro. We had the ‘Batavia Sping rolls’, ‘soft shell crab pancakes’ and ‘angus burger’, which were all fantastic. A large beer is IDR 50,000 which seemed fair. Three floors, so plenty of space to sit. Great service. Will return.
        11. Mama Goose – Jl. Panglima Polim 9, No. 16, Melawai, Jakarta
        12. Portico Terrace Bistro – Senayan City, Ground level
        13. Amuz – Energy Building 2nd Floor | French

Cozy hang out places:

        1. Skye – BCA Tower 56 floor – BR: Mind-blowing panaromic views of the CBD, and North-West-South Jakarta. If you just go to one bar in Jakarta, make it this one. Incredible.  
        2. Union – Plaza Senayan, easiest entrance from sogo, next to starbucks
        3. Loewy – Oakwood Premier Cozmo – Lobby, Lingkar Mega Kuningan E 42 No 1
        4. Cork & Screw – Plaza Indonesia 1st floor, next to Imperial Treasure Lamian & Wisma Kodel Ground Floor, Also one on the Ground floor of pacific place.
        5. Potato head – Pacific Place. BR: Favourite place for a drink. Nice relaxed environment. Good cocktail list. Shame the food doesn’t live up to the drink.  
        6. Potato head garage – SCBD Lot 14. BR: This place is the moment Patotoe Head got too big for it’s boots. It’s huge and empty when i’ve been. I think it will be a massive white elephant. 
        7. Social house – Grand Indonesia, East Mall. 1st Floor. BR: Nice venue for a weekend brunch. Food ok without being mindbowing. Relaxed atmosphere
        8. Paulaner Brauhaus – Grand Indonesia East Mall, 2nd Floor | German Beer & Pork knuckles! BR: The food was ok but the service was awfully slow. I think Social House is a better choice if you’re in Grand Indonesia
        9. Cloud lounge – Altitude – The Plaza Office Tower 46&49 Floor
        10. Blue Grass – Rasuna Epicentrum, Bakrie Toweri GF
        11. JimBARan Outdoor Lounge – InterContinental Jakarta Midplaza Hotel
        12. Mezzanine Moovina – Plaza Indonesia, 4th floor
        13. Cafe De Burse – Equity Tower, Lower Ground. BR The definition of old man boozer. I like it. In a basement; nice and dark if you happen to want to pretend you’re not drinking in the middle of the day. 
        14. Anomoli Coffee – L. Senopati Raya No. 19, BR: The most delicious coffee i’ve had in Indonesia by a mile. Prices are also ok (below Starbucks, Coffee Bean, etc). Has that urban pretentious vibe going on, which seems to be a feature of most serious coffee joints.

Fancy hotel brunch buffets (all c. IDR 500k per person incl. tax):

        1. The Cafe – Hotel Mulia – Jl. Asia Afrika Senayan 1, Jakarta BR: Good, but far from my favorite. I don’t think any of the food is especially delicious or high quality. Good spread with slightly Indo focus. 
        2. Satoo – ShangRi La Hotel – Kota BNI JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. BR: Best for families – really wide selection well presented in a welcoming bright environment. They also have a separate kids area on the weekend with bouncy castle, horses to ride and loads of toys. All you can east oysters always a win for me. The deserts are also excellent. 
        3. Table 8 – Hotel Mulia – Jl. Asia Afrika Senayan 1, Jakarta. BR: Chinese focused buffet. OK, without being exciting. The other restaurants at the Mulia Hotel are better.
        4. Edogin – Hotel MuliaJl. Asia Afrika Senayan 1, Jakarta BR: Fantastic Japanese Buffet. The food is really high quality – Sashimi, Teppanyaki, Tempura – It’s got it all. Been many times and i think this is the best Japanese joint in town. 
        5.  Lyon – Mandarin Oriental – Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Jakarta. BR: My favourite buffet. The selection is not as extensive as the other places and mainly european focussed, but the quality is fantastic (nice sunday roast with yorkshire pudding, excellent selection of cheese, and in particular the a la carte menu which is part of the buffet is amazing). They also have an all you can drink red or white wine option for an extra IDR 200k or so, which is great value. Not massively family focussed, but they were welcoming when we brought our baby 
        6. C’s steak and seafood restaurant – Grand Hyatt – Jalan M. H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta: BR: Simple menu (aka less variety than the other brunch buffets) – we went for the bottomless seafood platter option (lobster, oysters, prawns, clams). I also had the unlimited champagne add on c. IDR 500k incremental for two hours drinking which turned out to be great value (it was real champagne and i had two bottles). Nice ambiance and attentive service. They also seem to have a decent selection of wine. Will return.