I'm hoping some people can help me here. I recently moved from London. I very much enjoy eating the endless places of Indonesian and chinese cuisine (side road/warungs & restaurants ). But on the non-Indonesian restaurants/places (Europeans, Japanese, middle east, etc) I struggle to find nice restaurants that are not fancy but just good food. `i found a few that I will go back to..
The South Jakarta's restaurants have good interior/concept designs - but most of the time the food are not the focus. it's more of a place for people to catch up, celebrate birthdays or anniversaries.
A few places I've visited:
- Ippachi, the Arcadia Plaza Senayan, South Jakarta: Great sushi, fish are flown 2 times a week from Japan. A place I would go back for special occasion (let’s just say it’s not cheap. Spent Rp 3.500.000 for two, with sake of course)
- Sumibian, Chase Plaza, Jl. Sudirman, South Jakarta. A favourite, the decor is old and tatty, or may I say old school. In my opinion does not matter, food still delicious and I have more respect for these kind of premises. The waitress and waiter are not young people, just to show you that they have been working there for long time. Make sure they repeat your order. At lunch time you can get a great price for lunch sets. I believe the corkage fee here is Rp300.000 for bringing your own wine. I come here often
- Kahyangan Shabu-Shabu, Pullman building, Jl. MH Thamrin: to the contrary of Sumibian. Opulent decor (in my opinion badly done) expensive. I have to give credit the meat was good quality but the experience was in general very cold. I don’t plan to go back. PS: In Jakarta I would avoid any yakiniku and shabu-shabu restaurants that offer all you can eat. Will continue to search a good old shabu-shabu joint.
- Gia, Sampoerna Strategic Square, Jl. Sudirman: Decor concept is superb, expensive. Modern Italian food, a place to impress your guests or date. Carpaccio was good. Then I had their air flown ricci/urchin pasta, but they mixed with other ingredients that I could not taste the urchin anymore? They have lost the plot. I don’t plan to go back, waste of money.
- Skye, BCA Tower, Jl. MH Thamrin: A place to see and be seen. Why did I bother? But a good place for a drink maybe (I believe you can’t wear sandals or trainers? please check before you go) Chicken Quesadilla was not cooked properly, the rest of the food was not memorable. Not planning to go there for now.
- Paulaner Brauhaus, Grand Indonesia Mall: It’s in a mall so you get the Idea. Food is OK. lack of ambience.
- Turquaz, Jl. Gunawarman, South Jakarta: Turkish, not disappointing. but on a very expensive side. I guess we are paying extra for the decor here. In my opinion the food great but not better than the tiny restaurants on Kingsland road, London. A friend recommended ‘Warung Turki’ same owner but simpler. Will try this next time.
- Le Quartier, Jalan Gunawarman, South Jakarta: It was ok, but I don't plan to go back there. Again the decor is very nice.
- Bornga, Jl. Wolter Monginsidi, South Jakarta: Korean BBQ. I go to this one for Korean BBQ. It's fund and you can bring your own wine for Rp50.000 corkage fee.
- Little tokyo, Blok M: a few japans restaurants scattered here. Fun to go for informal occasions.
- Cantina 18, Jl. Suryo: good price italian, The decor reminds me with italian restaurants, a bit modern-kitch? Staff were very nice.
- Indoguna, near Pasar Santa, behind Jl. Wolter Monginsidi: A place to buy meat. They are one of the largest meat distributor, buy your yoghurt and pasta here, cheaper than the supermarkets. I haven't ate there but you can order the piece of steak/fish and bring upstairs for them to cook for you.
- Sushi Masa, Jl. Tuna Raya, North Jakarta: Another great place for sushi. I make this extra special trip to the very tip of the north Jakarta occasionally. suffocating by the bad traffic jam. On the ground level there's a fish shop though I haven't had the chance to browse the products (needed to rush back to south Jakarta). I try to go there when possible.
- Mama Rossi, Jl. Kemang Raya, South Jakarta: Pasta pizza are good, cold cut on a very poor side. You can see the mama sometimes supervising the cooks behind the kitchen glass window. I find myself cooking pasta at home more now.
- Toscana, Jl. Kemang Raya, South Jakarta: This restaurant has been around for long time. It's ok, more formal than Mama Rossi. THey say they have pasta with truffle (printed on the menu), only to find the truffle was ordinary mushroom. The nice waiter was kindly enough bringing out the specimen out from the kitchen to show me. I haven't been back since.
- Huize van Wely, Jl. Kemang Raya (with another branch in Pacific Place) : Food is OK, a range of japanese, indonesian and european dishes, the cakes are very good. They have brunch on Sundays. PS: In Jakarta family love to go for Sunday brunches in 5 stars hotels. I find it very crowded and not fun at all, If you wish to experience a low key one this is the place.
-Shy: same building as Huize van Wely. Kaiseki dinner or upscale Japanese. good but expensive. Decor is very nice, modern minimalist - felt a bit cold. People celebrate special occasion here.
- Die Stube, Jl. Kemang Raya: Ok. I only go for beer over chit chat or vice versa , not really for the food. I just don’t enjoy other pubs as much as this one. The sausages are ok, other dishes I can try at home my self.
- Koi, Jl. Kemang Raya: I am not sure my this place is always busy. Food is nothing special. My steak was overcooked. Only go there if my friends really want to go there as a meeting place. I don’t enjoy the place.
- Pizza Barboni: this is a gem for pizza and burger. Good stuff although a bit on the hipster side. But easy going and nicer than any over decorated restaurants. Corkage for free.
- Sophie Authentique, Jl Kemang Selatan: People come here for brunch. IT’s a nice place to meet people. But I had higher expectations on their menu, it would be nice if they can expand the menu.
- Ootoya, various branches across Jakarta (and Bangkok, Singapore, etc): a no brainer places for basic Japanese.
-1/15 coffee, Jl Gandaria, South Jakarta: worth mentioning this place is a popular coffee among the coffee enthusiasts.
I have no success to find good Spanish or French, I’ve tried a some Vietnamese but not worth mentioning. People keep telling me that you have to go the 5 stars hotel for good non-Indonesia food. So I will go there when I have to. But hopefully there are others beside these types of restaurants.
I will add more when I remember the other places I’ve been. As you can see I live in South Jakarta. I would like to take this opportunity to share and perhaps exchange experience with other people who lives in Jakarta.
I could be biased, but in London I am used to unpretentious small restaurants such as St. John, Moro, Morito, Numara Bos CIrik, Tayyabs, Koya, Barrafina. None of them glamorous, they are just people with passion for food. Perhaps someone more experience can point me to these hidden gems of Jakarta.
Looking forward to hear your replies. Many thanks!
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