In this month’s edition: Gastromaquia, Warung Turki by Turkuaz, The Halal Boys, and more
We might be starting Ramadan this month but there is no shortage of new restaurants in Jakarta. Make sure you break fast at least once at these newly opened spots:
One of the most anticipated openings this year is finally here. Straight from Spain is Gastromaquia, a hip tapas joint that consistently finds itself on the Top 50 Restaurants in Madrid list. Many restaurants bill themselves as authentic but this place is the real deal. The Galician Octopus platter is a showstopper while the baked goat cheese is a table pleaser. In addition to the Spanish tapas offerings, there is also Western and Asian dishes too.
Gastromaquia, Jl. Ciniru 1 no. 1, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, p. 62-21/2930-5091. Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-12am, Sun 11:30am-10pm.
Warung Turki by Turkuaz
One of Jakarta’s best-known restaurants has made our dreams come true but branching out. Say hello and yum! to Warung Turki by Turkuaz, a more casual but no less delicious version of its sophisticated older sibling. Chef Sezai Zorlu works his authentic magic here with many of the same dishes are available including the tasty dips, crispy falafel, and delicious kebabs. And of course we can’t leave out the freshly baked bread, it’s a steamy, pillowy pocket of perfection!
Warung Turki by Turkuaz, Jl. Kemang Raya No. 18 A, Kemang, South Jakarta, p. 62-21/2905-5898. Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-10pm.
The Halal Boys
New Yorkers, and maybe Americans, who read the name of this hot new table probably raised an eyebrow. Yes, The Halal Boys, are unofficially connected with the popular New York street food venture, The Halal Guys. The premise here is super similar: still street food and still delicious yellow-rice bowls filled Middle Eastern-style chicken and lamb and topped with an addictive sauces. Filling, casual and fun (and of course, halal), it’s a great choice for buka puasa.
The Halal Boys, Jl. Hang Lekir 2 no. 4, Senayan, South Jakarta. Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-1am, Sun 8am-10pm.
Itadakimasu wins the award for cutest restaurant this month thanks to their signature panda rice. The curry rice is served in the form of five adorable little panda bears that are almost too cute to eat – almost. The bears might be the stars here, but don’t overlook over the rest of the traditional Japanese comfort food menu. And remember to save room for dessert, there is a Nutella croissant taiyaki pastry!
Itadakimasu, Jl. Ruko elang laut blok D no. 57, Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta, p. 62-819/600-3232. Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm.
Pepin & Malloy Hotdogs
Jakarta finally a serious hot dog contender … in Cilandank! Pepin & Malloy Hotdogs combines quality ingredients and imagination to create satisfying and fresh dogs. When we’re feeling invincible, we go straight for the Philly Cheese Dog but when we’re trying to be responsible, we pick one of their healthier options like the Nacho Libre Hot Dog. What, guacamole is made from avocado, which is good for you. Still counts. Hot dogs, indeed!
Pepin & Malloy Hotdogs, Cilandank Town Square, Lantai 1, Jl. TB Simatupang, Cilandak, South Jakarta, p. 62-21/7592-0300. Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-10pm.
Kelapa Gading just got a little saucier thanks to Holywings. They might have just opened but they have got the formula down pat: crispy wings in a variety of delicious flavours (their zingy “Grandpa” style, Chinese Spice, Korean Spicy, just to name a few) and a big selection of drinks, from the classic partner cold beer to soju to all kinds of mocktails, to accompany your favourite bar snacks. Speaking of bar snacks you can also get yakitori, Japanese rice bowls and other snackies here too and they keep the kitchen open late!
Holywings, Ruko Boulevard Kelapa Gading Utara Blok QA5 no. 8-9, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, p. 62-21/2970-4981 ext:201. Hours: Mon-Sun 4pm-late.
For those of us who aren’t fasting or eating Halal, Tontoki has officially opened at the MidPlaza Building in the center of town and it promises all the pork you can handle. Seriously, their tagline is “For all diners with special (pork) needs”. So it’s no surprise the must-trys here are pork-centric – the amazing Rafute, a Okinawa-style stewed pork belly stew that melts in your mouth; crispy and moist pork gyyoza; and the brimming Tontoki don pork and rice bowl.
Tontoki, MidPlaza I Building, Basement Floor, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, CBD, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/251-4585.
The Melbourne-café influence is still strong in the Big Durian, the latest stylish coffee shop to start brewing is Pennyroyal Coffee in Pantai Indah Kapuk. Closed every Monday to roast their own beans, you can be sure you’re getting a fresh cup of Joe at Pennyroyal. And with their cozy minimal décor, you’ll have a great place to kick back and enjoy a book with your coffee.
Pennyroyal Coffee, Ruko Cordoba blok F no. 29, Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta, p. 62-21/5698-3522. Hours: Tues-Sun 9:30am-6:30pm.
Top image: Gastromaquia