Sawadee ka, Honeys – in case you haven’t guessed, we’re going to introduce you to the best restaurants that deal in the flavourful trade of Thai cuisine. So, brace yourselves for some foodie hotspots that definitely add spice in your life by staking a spot (or two) in your I’ll-be-back list.
If there was any cuisine in the Southeast Asian region to rival our own, we’d let Thai give Indonesian food a run for its money. From tangy pad thai and crunchy spring rolls, to spicy papaya salads and sweet and sour fish, it’s hard to lock down a favourite. Ahead, we dish out some of our go-to Thai restaurants in Jakarta, but just a warning: delicate tongues are advised to stay far, far away.
Seafood is a bit of a specialty here with deep fried squid head, Thai soft shell crab and steamed fish Tamnak style ranking as some of our favourite dishes. As is customary at most Thai restaurants, food is best enjoyed family-style. Also order the pineapple fried rice, and finish off with a refreshing helping of mango sticky rice (although we would never share our desserts).
Tamnak Thai, multiple locations, check website for details.
Those hankering for authentic Thai food up North can head straight to TomTom Kitchen, where traditional eats like khao kluk kapi fried rice and aromatic pad ka-prao are lip-smackingly good. They also have a second location in Grand Indonesia that is currently being refurbished, and will reopen at the end of January 2017.
TomTom Kitchen, Rukan Garden House Blok A No. 30, Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta. p. +62 21 2903 3388.
If you can’t handle the spice, don’t attempt to establish your foodie credentials in Blue Elephant by ordering it “Thai hot” – bulging eyes and gasping for water is quite unflattering. This fine dining restaurant is headed by an authentic Thai chef serving you must-try dishes like the Tamarind Duck and Green Curry. Be sure to leave space in your tummy for their dessert – take it from us, everything coconut is awesome.
Blue Elephant, Jl. Cut Meutia No. 2 Menteng, Jakarta, p. +62 21 3150980.
Chandara Thai Restaurant
Located in Plaza Senayan (plus a recently opened branch at Plaza Indonesia), the head chefs have more than 15 years of experience in whipping up zesty, flavourful (the lime, lemongrass and coriander is still on the tip of our tongue!) Thai dishes using the finest ingredients. Kick start your appetite with their special Pomelo salad and miang karm, a dish of dried shrimp, shredded coconut and peanuts served on fresh betel leaves. They have a private VIP dining room for intimate celebrations too.
Chandara Thai Restaurant, Plaza Senayan, Level P4 Unit CP 414, p. +62 21 572 5342.
La Na Thai
The low-lit romantic ambiance here makes La Na Thai an ideal dinner date hotspot for couples. The restaurant boasts an array of deliciously modern and fusion Thai-Indian dishes – we love sipping their killer lemongrass cocktail while nibbling on fish cakes dipped in coriander chutney sauce. The good news? The spiciness in dishes here can be toned down if your tastebuds aren’t equipped for the ultimate level just yet.
La Na Thai, Jl. Dr. Kusuma Atmaja No. 85, Menteng, p. +62 21 3192 5037.