it’s not easy to define “Indonesian food” – let alone to come up with a shortlist of the best ones in Jakarta.
Most Indonesian restaurants will specialize on a certain dish or dishes from a certain region – and with over 17,000 islands spread over three different time zones, you can imagine how long the list can get!
The good news is, there are restaurants that do provide a variety dishes from all over the country so you can have a culinary journey across Indonesia in one sitting. Here are some of the noteworthy ones – in no particular order.
Sate Khas Senayan: The Starbucks of Jakarta
With numerous locations spread across town, cozy if somewhat cookie-cutter ambiance, good quality food, and great seasonal menus. They also have a range of Indonesian warm and cold desserts that provides a quick glimpse into what is available across the archipelago.
A family restaurant with several locations in different malls in Jakarta. Try their mini version of the famous rijsttafel called nasi berkat which consists of rice with a combination of empal beef, shredded dried coconut, assorted vegetables with spicy coconut herbs, fried fermented bean curds, sautéed fried bean curd, pickles and sliced omelet. Other must try dish is their mangut ikan pe panggang – a traditional dish from Semarang that is seldom cooked nowadays because of the intricate 40-hours smoking of stingrays it involves in the preparation.
Serving almost similar menus like Sate Khas Senayanwith , but more generous portion and sophisticated presentation. Found in several locations in Jakarta’s premium spots (Plaza Senayan, Pacific Place, Menteng).
Warjok (Warung Pojok) Asli:
Another chain restaurants scattered in numerous malls across Jakarta. Their dining concept brings not only the dishes served in warungs, but the warung look and feel as well. Popular rice dishes served here are nasi soto ayam, nasi pecel lele, and nasi gudeg. Their serabi kuah panas (traditional pandan pancakes served with warm coconut milk and palm sugar gravy) is a real comfort food.