The Oasis Restaurant on Jalan Raden Saleh in Central Jakarta was the first exclusive restaurant in Jakarta. The restaurant is set in a colonial mansion where diners are served, what the Dutch called, de Rijsttafel – the rice table spread. This is a whole array of sumptuous Indonesian dishes served by a seemingly endless stream of waiters and waitresses in traditional Javanese costumes, while
The Oasis Restaurant on Jalan Raden Saleh in Central Jakarta was the first exclusive restaurant in Jakarta. The restaurant is set in a colonial mansion where diners are served, what the Dutch called, de Rijsttafel – the rice table spread. This is a whole array of sumptuous Indonesian dishes served by a seemingly endless stream of waiters and waitresses in traditional Javanese costumes, while your food is presented on antique ceramic porcelain. US President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary held a special private dinner at the Oasis when they visited Jakarta.
The Oasis has received many awards. At dinner time guests are entertained with live music and the ever popular Batak singers.
The Menteng area in Central Jakarta was an exclusive district where the colonial elite lived in grand style surrounded by extensive gardens in the late 19th and early 20th century. Today these elegant houses are still maintained, and are now the preferred locations for fine luxury dining.
The colonial mansion that once housed the old Immigration office at Jalan Teuku Umar is secluded off by lush green trees, and today houses the Buddha Bar, serving what it calls special Asia-Pacific meals and wines in elegant French style accompanied by its special brand of music. For after dinner drinks and chat, there are the elegant lounge and bar and a stage for performances and entertainment.
Other restaurants in the Menteng area are the Bunga Rampai at Jalan Tjik Ditiro 35 serving Dutch-Indonesian Peranakan food, and the Jittlada Thai restaurant at Jalan Sultan Agung 10. The Lara Jonggrang at Jl. Tjik Ditiro 4 amd the Waroeng Shanghai Blue at Jalan Kebon Sirih and further up, the Kembang Goela at Plaza Sentral, Jl. Sudirman Kav. 47-48, serves Dutch-Indonesian cuisine and Rijsttafel.
Still in Menteng but already closer to Jl. Sudirman is the Seribu Rasa restaurant. This is housed in a modern minimalist building, but very tastefully decorated with very Indonesian décor serving excellent Indonesian cuisine.
Near to the Presidential Palace is Dapur Babah Elite at Jalan Veteran 1 housed in refurbished colonial shophouses. The restaurant serves authentic Peranakan Chinese-Dutch-Indonesian food in Indonesian-Chinese surroundings. There are other Peranakan restaurants like the Little Penang on Jalan Pakubuwono 6 no. 2 in Kebayoran or the Kembang Tanjung at the Mall of Indonesia in North Jakarta’s Kelapa Gading.
Also in North Jakarta, in the Old Batavia area is Café Batavia, situated at the corner of Jalan Pintu Besar Utara and Taman Fatahillah. Housed in colonial mansion, the restaurant is a favourite haunt for expatriates seeking the nostalgia of pampered dining in old colonial style. The restaurant has warm wooden paneling, old photographs taken during the heydays of the Old Batavia, and offers drinks like “white orchid” reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe or a “Shirley Temple” sweet drink.
If, however, you are seeking international cuisines, then head to the Kemang area in South Jakarta. This is the expatriate “village”. Here you will find all varieties of food, from Italian pasta and pizza to Japanese sushi, Korean bulgogi, Indian tandoori, Chinese abalone, Dutch beefsteak to gudeg from Yogyakarta, from exclusive high end restaurants to cozy bistros and cafes. The Pawon at Jalan Ampera Raya has a garden atmosphere serving Javanese cuisine. Or go to Dakken for real juicy Dutch beefsteak with strong aromatic coffee to top it off .
A favourite at Kemang Raya is the Anatolia Turkish Restaurant. As soon as you enter the restaurant you will be embraced into the Middle Eastern Turkish atmosphere in its décor and ambience and of course its delectable meals.
The neighbouring Kebayoran area also has some pretty good restaurants, most located in refurbished old houses to give that special atmosphere. Among these are the Pan D’Or at Jalan Wijaya, serving excellent European meals and bread. The Merah Delima at the corner of Jl. Walter Monginsidi and Jalan Wijaya is a favourite Dutch-Chinese-Indonesian peranakan restaurant for lunch and dinner.
Nowadays, however, the many luxurious malls sprouting all around this sprawling city do not want to be outdone. Most have entire floors dedicated to pamper lunch and dinner crowds in style and taste.
The Pacific Place by Jalan Sudirman is today the “in” place for business people to entertain at the many classy restaurants here ranging from Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, European, Korean, Mexican and Indonesian fare. The choice is almost endless. Similar range one finds at the Senayan City, the Grand Indonesia, at Citos, Pondok Indah Mall II better known as PIM or at Kelapa Gading on the other side of town.
Here are located some of the best and favourite restaurants that include the Duck King for Chinese food, Sushi Tei for Japanese food, Long Beach for spicy Singapore seafood, Dapur Sunda for fresh Indonesian meals. Of course on the ground floor are the usual fast food and coffee shops that include Starbucks, Coffee Beans, Dunkin Donuts, JCos, A&W, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds and favourite bread shops such as Bread Talk, Bread Life and many more.
If you prefer buffets, Jakarta’s best are the all inclusive buffets found at the Grand Hyatt and the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski at the HI roundabout, the Meridien Hotel, the Shangrila, the Mulia Hotel in Senayan and the Marriott in Mega Kuningan. But most hotels do serve buffet lunches where you are treated to a whole array of cuisines from sushi to roast beef, a wide variety of crunchy salads, to mouth-watering deserts and ice cream all in one price.
For more mundane surroundings but good seafood, go to Muara Karang, in North Jakarta where there is a whole row of seafood restaurants with chefs busy grilling or frying fish freshly caught from the sea at the shops’ front.
In the evenings Jalan Sabang behind Jalan Thamrin is closed for traffic to allow dining on the street. This is a fun experience. This is near Jalan Jaksa, favourite road for backpackers.
And so anywhere in Jakarta you will not fear to go hungry as there is a restaurant around almost every corner. If not, then there are the many road side stalls and tents that sprout in the evenings on parking lots, or there are the hawkers passing by offering anything from noodles and sate to bread and the typical snack of the original Betawi community, the kerak telor which is a crepe made of eggs.
Mostly sold by street vendors, this treat has gained popularity, and so now you can get this delicacy in food courts and traditional restaurants.
For details and reports on Jakarta’s many restaurants a good site to start is www.sendokgarpu.com
For details and addresses on this site click “Find Restaurant”.