As the capital and largest city in Indonesia, Jakarta is one of the most important cities in South East Asia, easy to reach with cheap flights and is also at the heart of culture and cuisine in the country. Naturally, Jakarta has an amazing range and selection of restaurants ranging from the small stalls serving local cuisine through to high end restaurants serving some of the best Indonesian and international cuisine to be enjoyed in the region. One important thing to note when visiting a restaurant in Jakarta is that many will offer visitors a bowl of water with lime before the meal, and this is not a drink, but as food is consumed with the hands is provided to allow diners to wash their hands.
One of the best traditional Indonesian restaurants that can be experienced in Jakarta is Kembang Goela, and is an attractive restaurant that has been decorated in a distinctly colonial style. While the main dining room is large and spacious, the small rooms off the main dining rooms are cozy and welcoming and are particularly good for couples on a romantic evening. Among the highlights on the menu are dishes such as the excellent beef rendang, which is slow cooked in a sauce including coconut milk, while the Dendeng Balado is a great dish of beef strips that are served with chillies.
Italian cuisine may not be the first thought for visitors to the thriving city of Jakarta, but located within the Shangri-La Hotel, this Italian restaurant is one of the best available outside Italy itself. The stunning surroundings at Rosso are beautifully designed and give the restaurant a superb atmosphere, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable for what is truly a top end dining experience. Some of the highlights on the menu include the wonderful porcini mushroom cappuccino soup, which is served as a starter in its own coffee cup, while the veal tenderloin cooked in three ways is an excellent dish.
This is a true crossover restaurant where an Asian and Indonesian inspired menu stands side by side with a great selection of the best European dishes, all making the most of the great local produce on offer. The style of the dining room is quite rustic, and the colorful chalk boards with their wine lists and changing specials menu also help to give the restaurant a relaxed atmosphere. The food itself is very good, with the duck confit being among the best of the European dishes on the menu, served with a lovely dish of bacon, green beans and potatoes as a side. The tenderloin steak is another excellent dish, and shows the flair of a chef who was trained in Belgium.
This restaurant is a Peranakan Indonesian style place which serves some of the traditional dishes of the Peranakan culture which not only uses traditional Indonesian influences but also includes a Chinese influence too. The restaurant itself is in a small two-story building with a nice dining area upstairs, and enjoys a relaxed atmosphere that is popular among locals as well as visitors to the city. The food itself clearly shows the Chinese influences that are seen in this type of cuisine, with dishes such as the excellent grilled mackerel, which is one of the house specialties, and the spicy Asam Asam Iga, which is a great beef soup.
This restaurant is associated with the Face Bar, which is a part of a chain of popular bars that can be found across Asia, and is often considered a good place to go for dinner before heading out on the town in Jakarta. The cuisine itself here aims to bring together some of the best of Asian dishes, and is particularly good at Thai dishes such as mango sticky rice and Gai Hor Bay Toey, which is a deep fried chicken that is then cooked in leaves, and served with sweet dipping sauce. As you would expect for a restaurant that shares a building with a popular bar, the range of drinks and cocktails available here is particularly good.