From the authentic Manadonese to the molecular gastronomy, our top picks for must-try Indonesian cuisine
With more than 17,000 islands spread out across the archipelago, it’s no wonder that the range of Indonesian cuisines is a diverse as the many spices that come from this wonderful country. From the spicy Manadonese, good old Padang flavours, and authentic Peranakan, let your taste buds journey through Indonesia with our picks for the best Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta. Selamat makan!
Set in a charming colonial house in the heart of Kemang, Nusa Gastronomy takes elevated Indonesian dining to another level. Helmed by Chef Ragil Imam Wibowo, the restaurant serves contemporary Indonesian cuisine inspired by the ingredients sourced from his travels. With a tagline that reads ‘An edible story from Indonesia’, no wonder each dish comes with a tale of its background – rare mushrooms from Bangka, shrimp from Banyumas, tuna from Maluku…it’s truly a culinary experience that needs to be had.
Nusa Gastronomy, Jl. Kemang Raya No. 31, South Jakarta. p. +62 21 719 3954.
Plataran restaurants are truly in a league of their own. Not only do they serve fantastic traditional Indonesian fare from all around the archipelago, Plataran’s service is excellent as well. Their stunning locations are perfect to celebrate special occasions or for entertaining guests from out of town. Plataran Dharmawangsa is set in a stunning Javanese joglo, while Plataran Menteng sits in a restored colonial Dutch house fit for royalty.
Plataran Dharmawangsa, Jl. Dharmawangsa Raya No. 6, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. p. +62 21 2904 4167.
Plataran Menteng, Jl. H.O.S. Cokroaminoto No. 42, Menteng, Central Jakarta. p. +21 2962 7771.
A brainchild of the ever-innovative Potato Head Family, Kaum serves authentic Indonesian cuisine that pays homage to traditional ways of cooking. The Indonesian restaurant has a traditional ‘rumah Menteng’ facade, but once you step inside you’ll see fun, modern interiors in total Potato Head style. Must haves include the Ayam Kampung Berantakan Sambal Terasi, Kue Lumpur, and inventive cocktails inspired by Indonesian ingredients and spices like the Kecombrang Martini served with sambal matah and emping.
Kaum, Jl. Doktor Kusuma Atmaja No.77-79, Menteng, Central Jakarta. p. +62 813 8171 5256.
We love the colonial furniture and old photographs on the walls, but the food seals the deal. Make sure you order the dendeng balado (thinly sliced, deep fried beef with chilli sauce) and sosis oom Tantje (special 1 metre sausage). We also highly recommend the beef rendang (Indonesian beef curry), it just melts in your mouth!
Kembang Goela, Plaza Sentral, Parking Lot Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav. 47- 48. p. +62 21 5205651.
Named after the Hindu goddess of fire, Agneya is a homey Indonesian restaurant in the leafy neighbourhood of Dharmawangsa. Their specialty is Indonesian cuisine grilled over an open-fire charcoal grill. Standout dishes include their Jagung Goreng Keriting, Bebek “Ala Rica-Rica” Bambu Bakar, and not-your-standard Pisang Bakar.
Agneya, Jl. Wijaya IX No.23, South Jakarta. p. +62 21 7392430.
Restoran Beautika Manado
Caution: extremely spicy foods served here! This legendary Manadonese restaurant is tucked in the side right behind Senayan City. Try their Sate Cumi (squid satay), Ikan Kembung Pepes, Perkedel Jagung (corn fritters) and a Panada to take home after. But our absolute favourite? Their Pisang Goreng (banana fritters) with sambal. A delicious marriage of flavours.
Restoran Beautika Manado. Jln. Hang Lekir No. 1, Senayan, South Jakarta. +62 21 722 6683.
A modern twist on local flavours, Tesate showcases the richness of Indonesia’s culinary diversity. Go for the nasi oncom (crunchy rice), rujak pengantin (salad with spicy peanut sauce), sate blora (chicken skewers), and the tahu telor (tofu/egg with soy sauce). Finish off with chendol (jelly with brown sugar and coconut milk) or serabi Solo (pancakes from Solo).
Tesate. Jln. Sam Ratulangi No. 39, Menteng, Central Jakarta. +62 21 31931250. Multiple locations, check website for details.
Rumah Makan Pagi Sore
If you call yourself a foodie then trying out Padang cuisine while living in Jakarta should definitely be high on your list. Imagine sitting down at the table and immediately being served an incredible feast made up of a medley of delicious dishes like Ayam Pop, Telor Balado, Rendang, Ayam Gulai, and so much more. Rumah Makan Pagi Sore is definitely one of our favourites and trust us when we say you need to make the trip there, stat!
Rumah Makan Pagi Sore. Jl. Cipete 2 No. 1, South Jakarta. +62 21 766 7000. Monday – Sunday: 7am to 10pm.
Seribu Rasa (“One Thousand Flavours”) is nestled in between high-rise buildings and embassies. A little hard to find, so be sure to plan your journey there. When the sun sets, this restaurant is surprisingly relaxed, posh, and serene. Try the ayam goreng lengkuas (fried chicken), ikan goreng Jimbaran (fried fish) and for some extra heat, terong balado (eggplant with chilli sauce).
Seribu Rasa. Jln. Haji Agus Salim 128, Menteng, Central Jakarta. +62 21 3928892. Multiple locations, check website for details.
Lara Djonggrang is an exotic imperial Indonesian experience that should not be missed. Part of the Tugu Group’s repertoire, this unique restaurant serves authentic Indonesian food under an eclectic atmosphere. Lara Jonggrang is decorated with gorgeous antiques and a display of vintage Indonesian artifacts. A gorgeous spot, albeit a little bit spooky!
Lara Djonggrang. Jln. Teuku Cik Di Tiro 4, Central Jakarta. p. +62 21 315 3252.
Dapur Babah Elite
Another one from the Tugu Group is Dapur Babah Elite. This grand restaurant specializes in Babah Peranakan cuisine, popularized when the Chinese settlers arrived in Java during the colonial times. Try one of their Indonesia’s Cultural Dining experiences where you can book a Peranakan cooking class and learn all about Nyonya Oei’s family recipes, or even learn about the art of drinking tea in the Last Concubine High Tea.
Dapur Babah Elite. Jln. Veteran I / 18-19, Central Jakarta. p. +62 21 385 5653.
Located in a gorgeous old colonial house, Bunga Rampai also makes our list of top restaurants in Jakarta. With a stylish and elegant atmosphere, this is an Indonesian restaurant fit for a special occasion. We recommend their Ayam Bakar Seruni, Nasi Goreng Kampung Menteng, and Nasi Buketan.
Bunga Rampai, Jln. Teuku Cik Ditiro No. 35, Menteng, Central Jakarta. +62 21 319 26225.
Last but not least, Namaaz Dining is the most original concept in Indonesian cuisine. The genius chef of this molecular gastronomic eatery calls its cuisine“fun dining,” and transforms local dishes like Opor Ayam and Rawon as disguised objects to amuse and satisfy all your senses. Its degustation only menu is 17 courses of unexpected delights. Add this to the list for date night dining spot!
Namaaz Dining. Jln. Gunawarman No. 42, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. Online booking only.
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy: