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9 OF JAKARTA’S BEST RESTAURANTS

By Momentum Editor (@momentumtravels)     18 Nov 2016

It’s not just Indonesian cuisine that is putting Jakarta on the foodie map—the city is a riot of international flavors, as these top tables attest

EMILIE—FRENCH

Featuring décor by the renowned late designer Jaya Ibrahim, Emilie oozes rustic French charm—to accompany a modern fine-dining menu.

Emilie

The signature French onion soup is a must-order. The delicate chicken boudin blanc with truffle and morsels of al dente barley risotto pairs well with any white wine from the restaurant’s collection.

The crispy and robust duck confit will satisfy fans of classic bistro fare—smear a bit of d’Isigny butter over the top for extra oomph.

Jalan Senopati No 39, South Jakarta, +62 (21) 5213626

 

EKA RIA—CHINESE

This iconic century-old Chinese restaurant serves up classic Cantonese cuisine with an Indonesian flair.

Think fried pigeon with spiced salt (burung dara jit-lok-jun), sweet-and-sour gourami, and Indonesian-style frog legs (swikee) with savory butter sauce, sour and salty seasonings, or simply deep-fried.

Their famous dessert, nasi manis, is like no other—a sticky rice cake mixed with Chinese spices and dried fruits, bathed in a fragrant milk and almond broth.
Jalan KH Zainul Arifin No 21A-23, Central Jakarta, +62 (21) 63857777

 

SOULFOOD—INDONESIAN

Part Javanese depot (a small traditional restaurant), part Sundanese lesehan, Soulfood has a homely feel, with vintage accessories adorning the walls.

Soulfood

From shredded beef with green chili (daging suwir sambal hijau) to savory
 and spicy stir-fried kecipir flower, delicious fried chicken with Balinese sambal (ayam gepuk sambal matah) and grilled chicken with red paste (ayam bumbu merah), all of the dishes remind us of hearty, comforting Indonesian home cooking.

Jalan Kemang Raya, No 72, South Jakarta, +62 (21) 22707049

 

1945—INDONESIAN

1945 symbolizes the future of Indonesian fine dining, with traditional dishes presented in a modern but unpretentious way.


Begin with homemade assorted snacks (kembang goyang, emping and kacang bogor), then move on to mains like sumptuous tongseng lamb chop, perfectly crispy yet moist bakwan, lilit kepiting—a flavorful crab cake—and an addictive and fragrant duck galangal.

Opt for the Rijstaffel set menu if you want to sample a variety of 1945’s signature dishes.

Fairmont Jakarta, 3/F, Jalan Asia Afrika No 8, Jakarta, +62 (21) 29039179

 

MAMMA ROSY—ITALIAN

The concept behind Mamma Rosy is humble Italian home cooking, served up in a house rather than in a formal restaurant building.

Try the pillowy gnocchi with sage butter or deep-fried ravioli with aioli as a starter, followed by a plate of one of the most delightful lasagne al pomodoro the capital has to offer.

mamma Rosy

Homemade sorbet (mango and lemon are delicious) or a classic tiramisu are a perfect antidote to Jakarta’s scorching heat—all made with a mother’s love.

Jalan Kemang Raya No 58, Bangka, South Jakarta, +62 (21) 71791592

  

AKIRA BACK—JAPANESE

Witness how chef Andri Dionysius creates unusual Japanese dishes in the open kitchen at Akira Back.

The duet of tuna and king oyster mushroom pizza is a must-try, as is the hirame carpaccio served on top of a chilled Himalayan salt block—its natural saltiness delicately penetrates the fish.

 

There are also more playful dishes like blue crab and yellowtail, topped with a roll of tuna sashimi and cucumber.

Finish with the decadent warm chocolate brownie served inside a coffee cup with rum raisin ice cream, banana foam and a chocolate disc.

MD Building, Penthouse Level, Jalan Setiabudi Selatan No 7, Jakarta, +62 (21) 29040777

 

SEORAK CHUOETANG— KOREAN

There are many Korean restaurants around Jakarta, but nothing quite like Seorak Chuoetang. Unlike your typical Korean barbecue joint, the authentic comfort-food dishes here don’t require a grill at each table.

Seorak Cheutang

Jokbal—a pork hock braised in soy sauce and other spices—is huge and the meat outstandingly tender; o-ri hun je is a smoky and flavorful duck dish that melts in the mouth; and a bowl of pork ribs soup (ppyeo da gui hae jang guk) is perfect with its spicy rich broth.

Jalan Senopati No 74, South Jakarta, +62 (21) 7267305

 

MONVIET—VIETNAMESE

Owned by a native Vietnamese, MonViet takes inspiration from street food. The pho preserves the chef’s mother’s recipe: a savory broth with a hint of sweetness and earthiness from cinnamon and star anise.

Bun bo hue is hard to find in Jakarta, but it’s here and even served spicy to satisfy the Indonesian palate.

 

The house-made chili condiment is the bomb—super-hot yet fragrant, with a hint of dried shrimp. We also love the freshness of the homegrown herbs, which are essential to good Vietnamese cuisine.

Lippo Mall Kemang, Jalan Pangeran Antasari No 36, South Jakarta, +62 (21) 29528439

 

BENEDICT—BRUNCH

Benedict is arguably the city’s foremost brunch establishment. Longtime chef-friends Fernando Sindu and Ivan Wibowo are like a culinary version of Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay.

 

The duo sticks to greatly executed, unpretentious comfort food. Their signature ‘egg in a jar’ is popular, as are the pork belly eggs benedict (served with a fried mac-and-cheese patty and herby hollandaise), Korean bowl, and foie gras rice.

Grand Indonesia East Mall, LG/F, Jalan MH Thamrin No 1, Central Jakarta, +62 (21) 23581238


 

Find these recommendations and many more in Top Tables 2016, an independent guide to Jakarta’s best restaurants and cafes by food writer and restaurant critic Kevindra Soemantri, and food photographer and stylist Natasha Lucas.

Photos: Top Tables 2016

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