Being a third culture kid and having lived in several different countries, Jakarta is still always home to me. The vibrancy of the city itself with an increasing myriad of up-scale restaurants, cafes and polished bars just make Jakarta that much better place to live in. I have included a diverse list of some of my favorite places in the city that have the best cuisines, ambience and views to hang out at.
Here is our guide on Where to eat in Jakarta.
PS: all places listed below can be conveniently found in Jakarta’s CBD (ie Sudirman, Thamrin and Senayan).
Altitude (Gaia, Salt Grill, Enmaru)
Located at the 46th floor of the prestigious the Plaza office tower, Altitude is a new fine dining concept in Jakarta that encompasses three restaurants in one place – Salt Grill by Luke Mangan (modern Australian), Gaia (northern Italian), and Enmaru (Japanese izakaya). This high-end and classy place offers the finest 360-degree views of Jakarta, which I can guarantee you that, the sparkling lights of skyscrapers will make you fall in love with the city right away.
The Plaza, 46th Floor
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Tel: +62 21 2992 2448
Café du Jour
Probably one of the most authentic and homely café that I have been to in Jakarta, Café du Jour is a humble place that is housed inside Senayan National Golf Club. The charmingly simple black and white appearance can easily make one lingers there for hours, especially with the lush greenery of the golf course right across the wide opened window. The café’s specialties include the aromatic Arabian coffees from Bandung and West Java, as well as the homemade cakes and Indonesian pastries.
Senayan National Golf Club
Jl. Asia Afrika Pintu IX, Senayan
Tel: +6221 571 0181122
Dapur Babah Elite
Housed in a semi rundown shop house at Jalan Veteran, the large wooden doors of Dapur Babah open their gates to a heritage of an ethnic Chinese family. At the dining room there lies a long dining table that is prepared meticulously with red, blue and orange tablecloths and cutleries, and at the courtyard is a tall altar with distinctive Peranakan charms and real antiques. The cuisine is an amalgam of three cultures – Chinese, Indonesian and Dutch, which makes dining here an interesting experience. Dapur Babah, which belongs to the Tugu Group, is considered as one of Jakarta’s best and most impressive restaurants.
Dapur Babah Elite
Jl. Veteran I No. 18-19
Tel: +62 21 385 5653
Le Jardin and Mezzanine by MooVina
This 2 concept in 1 restaurant have two levels – Le Jardin on the first level and Mezzanine on the second – and both are finely designed. Le Jardin is the first restaurant in Jakarta with an indoor garden dining concept with chairs shaped like bird cages and artificial trees and flower pots surrounding the tables, all of which seem like they take you away to a whimsical Parisian garden. Take the circular stairs up and it will bring you to Mezzanine, a modernly designed interior with open kitchen and full-length windows.
Le Jardin serves your casual and comfort French food like crepes, salads, and pastries while Mezzanine offers contemporary French cuisines with a Vietnamese twist. There is also a sleek and chic bar section and fireplace lounge at Mezzanine, which is the perfect place to chill.
3rd Floor No. 119 (Le Jardin)
4th Floor No. 6 (Mezzanine)
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Tel: +62 21 299 24567 (Le Jardin)
Tel: +62 21 299 23999 (Mezzanine)
This opulently decorated French and Pan-Asian restaurant is housed at the luxurious Hotel Mulia in Senayan. Just by walking through the lavishly elegant corridor itself is already enough to steal one’s heart. The interior décor is not simply classical, but historically artsy too if you pay close attention to the details – it is colonial French with a twist of Indo-Chinese elements. Orient8 serves a wide range of degustation tasting menu, from the 8-course Eight from Orient8 to 14-course Napoleon and 16-course Louis IX.
Hotel Mulia Jakarta
Jl. Asia Afrika, Senayan
Tel: +62 21 5753278
Rustique is one of the finest steak restaurants in Jakarta, and one of the reasons is because it is the first restaurant in Indonesia that introduces the technique of dry-aging for their meats. The steaks here are extremely tender and filled with robust flavors. The lovely ambience – with the unpolished red brick walls and large gilded mirrors – completes the dining experience.
Plaza Senayan, Level 4
Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8
Tel: +62 21 578 52760
Seribu Rasa, which directly translates to “One Thousand Flavors”, is one of the well-known restaurants that offer delectable local dishes with very rich Indonesian flavors. The dining environment with its full glass walls, ponds, soft yellow lightings and wooden furniture is peaceful, serene, yet homely and welcoming at the same time. While it is true that the food here is a little overpriced, the ambience and elegance more than made up for it.
Jl. H Agus Salim 128
Tel: +62 21 392 8892
Opened last summer by the Dapper Ismaya Group, Skye is located at Level 56 rooftop of BCA Tower (Menara BCA). This high-end bistro and lounge offers a spectacular panoramic view of Jakarta’s skyline, and with the loud music, fancy crowds, summer nights breeze and a million city lights high up in the skye – no doubt this is my favorite place in the city.
Note that reservations are highly recommended.
Menara BCA, Level 56
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1
Tel: +62 21 235 86996
The Papilion (Huize van Wely)
Jakarta’s famed Dutch patisserie, Huize van Wely is an elegant, chic and stylish tearoom that serves light savory lunches and delicate sinful desserts. Prices are more on the higher end here, but it is really because of the high caliber and exclusive fanciness – those decadent chocolate cakes among the white en white orchids and butterflies…
The Papilion, 1st Floor
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 45AA
Tel: +62 21 7191975
This brasserie, bakery and bar has a classic vintage setting with its black window panes, glass doors and wooden chairs that take you back to the early 20th century American bistros. Union is smartly situated at the Plaza Senayan courtyard, overlooking the serene fountain and leafy trees. Their amazing red velvet cake with a cup of hot café mocha on a rainy afternoon will just make your lazy Satur-daze perfect.
Plaza Senayan Courtyard, Ground Floor
Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8
Tel: +62 21 5790 5861
About the writer
Anlin Melina is a Business Administration and Economics student at the University of California, Berkeley, who likes travelling and writing during her free time. You can buy her new book “Once Upon A Blue Sky” – a travel guide book on cities in the United States – from Amazon.