I'd lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for the last five-six years, and just recently transfered to Australia, but if you ever visit this uniquely vibrant city, here are my recommendations, some might be hard to find.
- Bakmi Gajah Mada (Gajah Mada Noodle)
Basically it's noodle soup, but unlike those Cantonese or Chinese ones, the soup is separate, the noodle is dry and very tasty. They put slice chicken or with mushrooms on top, you can order it with meatballs, wet wontons, or fried wontons. This is the local's most favorite noodle place in Jakarta, located in Gajah Mada Avenue
- Nasi Goreng Kambing (Fried rice with goat meat)
It's not your typical Grand Hyatt restaurant. It's a small shack by the sidewalk of a busy avenue, you literally seat outside and have to tolerate the dust, smoke, and other not-so-hygiene stuff around you, not to mention the smell. But once you taste this food. You'll want to come back the next night. It's located around Menteng.
- Sari Bundo Restaurant
Without a doubt, the best Padangnese restaurant in Jakarta, if not Indonesia, outside West Sumatra province. The food is originated from West Sumatra in the Sumatra island. It's famous for its culinary excellence with spices. The food is almost similar to Indians, very heavy, tons of spices, a lot of coconut milk but the taste can leave you wanting for more for the next 3 days. Also, if you're an adventurous type, this is the best option to try, brain curry, fried lungs, intestine yellow curry, heart curry, fried crispy eel, etc. Prepare a huge cups of water from the hot chillies.
- Soto Sulung
One of the best soto places in Jakarta. Soto is a soup with heavy spices. This restaurant in particular mix it up with sliced chicken with skins, boiled eggs, and some veggies.
- Soto Jakarta
Some deal with above, except they use a lot of cows' internal organs, lungs, intestine, legs, even testicles. Yes, this is the one try. The soup base is also mixed with coconut milk and heavier
- Sari Kuring
Famous for their bbq fishes, all types of tropical fish bbq or fried. Trust me you'll never see it fried this way in any other parts of the world. Seafood is their specialties.
- Ayam Goreng Pemuda (Pemuda Fried chicken)
Indonesians use naturally breed organic chickens, unlike those we find in the US, Australia, or Europe. The chickens grow to be much smaller creatures, almost 1/3 the size of the ones I find in Australia. But if you bite on the meat, there's that sweetness coming out directly from the meat, that you can never find anywhere else in this planet. Definitely a try.
Just want to share my experience.