Bali Nightlife (Updated)

As South Bali is becoming more crowded and more urban, its nightlife has somewhat improved. It is still much less interesting that Jakarta nightlife, but if you come to Bali for the weekend you will certainly enjoy it.

Most things haven't changed for many years so you can also read my previous Bali Nightlife review from 2013. Here are my top recommendations for partying in Bali in 2014/2015:
Skydome in Skygarden Kuta
In Kuta, Skygarden is still the number one club: It is the most crowded, the largest, has the best marketing and the best line-up of international DJs (famous House/Trance/Progessive DJs comes at least twice a month). If you are a tourist between 18 and 30-year old, this is where you should go. If you are single and looking for a place to get a guy or a girl, this is the place too. The prices before midnight are very low so it can be a cheap way to get drunk before heading somewhere else too. At last, it is the only club in Bali which is happening 7 days a week. Go there on Sunday or Monday night when everything else is empty.

Walking distance from Skygarden, you may walk into several other nightclubs or bars such as Eikon (popular with Australians), Engine Room, Bounty and Paddy's Pub (popular with Bogans), Vi Ai Pi (good for live music), MBarGo (Hip/Hop), Apache (reggae). All of them are normally busy as they are located in the heart of Kuta.
Still in Kuta, bars and clubs located on Jalan Pantai Kuta are more popular with Indonesians, in particular those from Jakarta. You have the new Velvet bar and Hypnotized club in BeachWalk Mall, maybe one of the best new clubs in Kuta in 2014. They have good events with international DJ about once in a month. Not too far from there, The Stones hotel also organizes regular events but it is almost always empty. Still on Kuta beach, Hard Rock Café is mostly popular with the Asian crowd: Indonesians, Malaysians, Singaporeans. This is the same crowd that visits the new District (replacing Musro) which gets busy only when they have concerts.
Concert in District
Party in Hypnotized Beach Walk
Speaking about the local and Asian market, there are a handful of clubs where you will find them. The largest is Akasaka, in the heart of Denpasar, which has two dance-floors, one with Western-style house music and the other one with Funky House / Chinese-style Techno Kota. Some expats go there too because the music reminds them of places like the Stadium in Jakarta. It is also full with prostitutes, among which a fair number of stunners (in A-Club in particular). There is also Boshe VIP Club, not far from the airport, which is a classier version of Akasaka. At last, you have Adora Club in Sanur, again with a similar concept of one-stop entertainment with bar, club, karaoke, live music.

Regarding these clubs, you can also read my review about Sex Tourism in Bali.
Sexy Dancers in Adora Club
Seminyak is still the favorite party location for expats, older tourists, residents from Java and regulars of Bali. Seminyak nightlife has actually spread out to the limits of Legian in Jalan Nakula (Jenja), Jalan Dewi Sri (Pyramid) or Jalan 66 (Double Six Rooftop). There have been quite many openings and closing in the past two years. The popular nightlife venues in Seminyak at the beginning of 2015 are the following:

- To have a drink: Mantra, La Favela, Jealous Lovers' Dive Bar, Mamasan, Red Carpet Champagne Bar (if you are above 40), Rumours, Zappaz (live music), Charlie. Jakartans usually prefer going to Motel Mexicola or Vin +. JPs Warung has closed and it was replaced by a strange Frankenstein bar which seems to be popular as well.
Mantra in Petitenget
Red Carpet's remarkable waitresses
Motel Mexicola
- To Party: Early in the night, Townhouse (European crowd), Huu Bar (Jakartans, Indo-Chinese). After 2am, move to Mint, Jenja, PyramidMirror / Gardin (Opened by the owners of Fable in Jakarta, the current trendy place, target the same crowd as Hu'u bar)
Hu'u Bar
Mint Club
- For Special events: Check the facebook pages of W Hotel (Silent Disco), Kudeta (White Party, Bikini Party, New Year Party), Potato Head, Cocoon (Hed Kandi, Splash Pool Party). Check also parties such as Disko Afrika or beach parties in La Plancha). You can also see most events in the guidebook The Beat Magazine which is available in all Circle K store.
Silent Disco in W Hotel
White Party in Ku De Ta
Disko Afrika
Splash Party in Cocoon
- For scoring with girls, hookers, transexuals: La Vida Loca, Mint Club, Bahiana, Jenja (and later in the night in DeeJay Café). For gays specifically: You should head to Jalan Dyana Pura to Mixwell, Bali Joe, and other places whose name I forgot. If you are not gay but open-minded, you can visit these bars and still have a lot of fun since they have great cabaret gogo dancers shows.
Mixwell Gay Bar in Seminyak
To conclude, it is good to know that DeeJay Café is the club that stays open the latest in Bali. It is still busy early morning at 8-9am. Needless to say most people who go there are on drugs.
Dee Jay Café in Kartika Plaza (Paradiso Kuta Hotel)
Warning about Safety in Bali: There is an increasing number of complaints about safety around nightclubs in Bali. Be careful with pickpockets. The main victims seem to be girls putting their purses in front of their motorbike. It is really recommended to put all your valuables in your trunk instead. If you have any problems, it is probably more effective to report it on the Bali Expat forum on facebook than to the police.

Photo Credit: Most of the pictures illustrating this review of Bali nightlife were taken on facebook. If you wish to have a photo you are in removed, just drop me a mail

Please comment and help me keep this page up-to-date!

Newton Executive Club (Lokasari)

Newton is a new luxury "Executive Club" with a lounge and a karaoke. It is located in the red-light district of Lokasari, just next to Mille's.
At the moment it is still quiet and the customers are almost all locals. There are many hostesses and girls companions hanging out in the lounge, where you have naked girl striptease in the evening.

For me nothing special, just a cheaper option compared to Malioboro or Alexis. A good reason to go there though could be to make a pre-party before going to Mille's.

Newton Executive Club Jakarta
Ruko Permata Lokasari Blok B1 (between Glodok and Mangga Besar)
West Jakarta

Phone number: +62- 21 6291.888

More photos on their website:

Top 10 Rooftop Bars in Jakarta

When you live and work in a city like Jakarta, you might want to elevate yourself above the traffic and the pollution. Rooftop bars give you this opportunity to enjoy a drink outside in the open air and to experience another sight of the city, most often spectacular. Most of Jakarta's Rooftop Bars listed here are located in Hotels or in landmark office buildings.

Here is a list of the 10 best Rooftop Bars, to have a drink with friends, to bring your date, to enjoy Jakarta's skyline or to simply enjoy Jakarta's Nightlife while having a drink outside.

1. Skye Bar
56th floor,
Menara BCA, Jalan Thamrin

2. Cloud Lounge
49th floor,
The Plaza building, Jalan Thamrin

 3. Awan Lounge 
9th floor,
Kosenda Hotel, Jalan Wahid Hasyim

4. Soupanova Ecosky
23rd floor,
GKM Tower, Jalan TB Simatupang

7th floor,
Artotel Hotel, Jalan Sunda (near Sarinah)

6. La Vue
Top floor,
The Hermitage Hotel, Menteng

7. SHY Rooftop
Top floor,
The Papilion Building in Kemang.

8. 8 Lounge
8th floor,
The Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place, SCBD

9. FJ on 7
7th floor,
The colony building in Kemang.

10. Lobbyn
Top floor,
FaveHotel Kemang.

Lucy in the Sky is also a good option for a Rooftop bar in the SCBD area, even though it is only located on the 2nd floor.

Jakarta Nightlife 2014


Jakarta nightlife has changed quite a bit since my previous guides: "Jakarta Nightlife 2011", "Jakarta Nightlife 2012" and "Jakarta Nightlife Tips". Before you head out tonite, these are the latest trends in the Jakarta's partying scene:

The new center of Jakarta nightlife in 2014 is in SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District), in the ex-Bengkel area. In 2 years, many bars and clubs have opened there and they attract the wealthy, trendy youth of Jakarta:
To have a drink, try Lucy in the Sky, Potato Head Garage, Beer Garden, Canos in Foundry 8
For clubbing: Fable (Young crowd, Jakarta International School) or Empirica (Upper Class Indo Chinese). 
These places do not have too many tourists or expatriates yet.
Apart from that area, two new clubs worth trying have opened in 2013: Alibi on Rasuna Said (replacing JackRabbit) and the popular Exodus from the Stadium group.

Immigrant was still on top of the game when it closed down for renovation a few months ago. We can expect it will still be popular with a more mature crowd (25-45 years old) when it reopens.

Dragonfly, Red Square (closed) and X2 now attract mostly foreigners and girls looking for foreigners, with a varying proportion of working girls in each (high in Red Square, lower in X2 and Dragonfly). Equinox in X2 is always full on weekends but the crowd is not as upper class as it used to be.

The following bars/lounge/restaurants are usually always busy with expats on weekend nights: Loewy, Bluegrass, Aphrodite, Liquid Exchange, Social House, Cork & Screw, Union, Potato Head, Eastern Promise, De Hooi, Fez, Face Bar, Awan Lounge, Molly Malone's, Murphy's, Black Cat, Melly's, Vin +. Level 5 of Grand Indonesia is nice too with many new cafés like Warung Kopi Tinggi, H5, Ismaya Catering Co.

There are 3 popular rooftop bars in Jakarta: SKYE is the best one with regular events. It is a good place to start a party night and it is busy every day. Cloud is very similar. You also have Awan Lounge in Kosenda hotel but for a younger, cheaper crowd

Hard Rock Cafe has moved for a third time in 10 years. It is now in Pacific Place but it isn't really happening.

Blowfish has been renovated. It is smaller and has become more quiet. Domain as well has some good nights but it is mostly quiet.

Prices have increased. It is not uncommon to pay a 200,000rp entrance fee in the most popular clubs.

Jackrabbit, Luv's Bar and Tribeca have closed. Jaya Pub hasn't and it is still the oldest bar in Jakarta nightlife.

BATS, CJs, Blok M are pretty much the same as before: They have live music, expats and businessmen, and lots of working girls. You can go there pretty much any day of the week and it should be busy. Some other hotel bars are not really happening but they are ok for a drink: Burgundy (Hyatt), MO (Mandarin Oriental).
Tiga Puluh (Le Meridien) and Tempus (Ritz Carlton Mega Kuningan) have live music as well but aren't too crowded.

Bars in Jalan Jaksa change name regularly, but the atmosphere hasn't changed. It is a mix of young indonesians, working girls, professional girlfriends, backpackers, budget expatriates, gays and random people.

7/11 stores are becoming the new cheap bars in Jakarta. On Weekends, they will be full everywhere.

Off the beaten track but very popular too, De Leila is where Saudis go to party in Jakarta.

In Kemang, it is hard to keep track but Nu China, 365 and Triple Nine are still there and crowded. There is a new strip of bars on Jalan Taman Kemang with many recent openings: Umbra, Beer Brother, Parc 19, Liberica, Cowboys Saloon. Hipsters may want to check Treehouse or Cafe Mondo.

In North Jakarta, the music is changing: Techno Kota/ Techno Dangdut/ Funky House is slowly becoming a thing of the past. They don't have it anymore in Mille's and Millenium (but still in Crown, Exotis, Puja Sera). The popular places are still the same: Stadium and Crown are the busiest ones even during the week. (Update May 2014: Stadium is currently closed following the death by overdose of a Policeman).

Still packed as well are Club 36, Malio Club, Alexis, Mille's and Millenium. Sexy dancers and striptease (full naked or boobs only) is the norm in many places: Classic, Malioboro, Crown, Club 36, V2, Emporium, Sumo, etc etc... Even in Stadium during the week...

Prostitution and massage parlours are still operating freely in the capital of the largest Muslim country in the world (Travel Hotel, Classic, Fortune, Malioboro, Alexis, Emporium, Orchardz, etc... basically all the clubs outside of the city center). Drug use is also massive in North Jakarta even though the prices have tripled in a few years.

The only major new nightlife venue in North Jakarta, 1001 (Colosseum) is a surprising success. I consider it to be one of the most impressive nightclubs in the city. Great lighting, great music and good crowd. On the other hand, Illigals, even though it has some interesting events is still rather quiet.

There is also some nightlife that has emerged outside of Jakarta's city center: In particular, in Central Park Mall near Taman Anggrek and in Pantai Indah Kapuk, near Pluit. Those are Cafés/lounges, no real nightlclubs to my knowledge.

Closing hours for the night clubs is very unpredictable. Officially, it is 3am but it seems to change every week. Normally, clubs in the South close at 5am maximum, and clubs in Kota around 7am-9am. Clubs that can be used for afters are Mille's and Exotis. It is very common to rent a karaoke room to keep the party going in some clubs like Stadium, Millenium, Crown.

Since I cannot be everywhere all the time, please drop a comment if I missed something! Thanks a lot!

More pictures of Jakarta Nightlife's new venues (Empirica and Exodus):


The Best Chinese Restaurants in Jakarta

There are probably as many Chinese restaurants as there are streets in Jakarta. To guide you through this maze of culinary delights, we made this list of what we consider are the best in the city. Of course we have forgotten some, so please help us keep this page updated by adding your comments or your suggestions at the bottom. Many thanks, Thibaud.

Ah Yat Abalone
in Golden Boutique Hotel, Jl. Angkasa St, Central Jakarta, Ph: +62-21 612-8833
in Mid Plaza 2, Jl. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Ph: +62-021/570-7333
High-end dining popular with the older generation. Known for pricey delicacies like abalone, scallop, and  sharks' fin. Dimsum on weekend is quite good but not really worth paying the full price (look for discounts offered by various credit cards instead).
in Kelapa Gading Square, Ph: +62-21 458-66333
in Ketapang, Jl. Zaenal Arifin, Ph: +62-21 634-3030
The undisputed darling of the older Chinese generations, especially those coming from out of Java. Extensive menu featuring all the classics with generous servings fit for the number of people around the huge round tables.
in Jalan Gadja Madah no8, Ph: +62-21 6392064
A hidden gem in Jalan Gadja Madah (Kota). You can taste the quality ingredients in the fragrant hainanese rice and fresh clean taste of the chicken broth.
Specialty: Hainanese chicken rice

in Jalan Tubagus Angke, Komplek Taman Duta Mas, Ph: +62-21 5649115
The sign outside their place said "the best roast pork in town", and they have truly earned the right to boast.
Bubur Ayam Mangga Besar (Bubur Hostess)
Main location in Jl. Mangga Besar I No. 46 A, Ph: +62-21 6280474
Late night porridge place in Kota (hence the nickname : hostess - the eighties indonesian slang for "working girls"). Limited menu available, but people really do come here for the porridge and thousand year egg (telur phitan).
Specialty: Porridge, Thousand Year Egg

in Jl. KH. Wahid Hasyim No. 9, Menteng, Ph: +62-21 3143077
Unremarkable décor, unforgettable food. Since the 1940s, they have catered to the who's who of Jakarta (including former Presidents, high-ranking government officials and celebrities). Oldie but goodie.
Cahaya Lestari/Sinar Lestari
in Jl. Hayam Wuruk no 124, Ph: +62-21 6397528
Old school establishment known for its fish head soup and butter fried frogs, also serves Hakka style dishes - which is  quite uncommon for Jakarta.
in Intiland Tower, Jalan Sudirman, Ph: +62-21 5785 2579
in Mall Kelapa Gading III, Ph: +62-21 4587 6421
in Pluit Village, Ph: +62-21 6667 0189 
Bbq specialties, quite expensive for an average quality.
in Jl. Tomang Raya No. 29, Ph: +62-21 568 1712 / 566 7766 (main branch)
in Jl. Taman Ratu D11 No.18, Ph: +62-21 565 1544 / 565 1548
in Jl. Boulevard Raya Blok I 4 No. 7-8, Ph: +62-21 452 6453 / 452 6526
in Jl. AM Sangaji / Petojo Utara Raya No. 8, Ph: +62-21 633 4187 / 633 3852
in Jl. Bulungan Raya No. 22, Ph: +62-21 724 6900 / 726 0089
A classic favorite, especially for formal wedding banquets. Specialized in luxurious dishes designed to impress your in-laws, like sharks fin soup, lobster with fruit salad.
More than 10 locations in Jakarta: Grand Indonesia, Kemang, Cilandak, Pondok Indah, Gandaria, etc...
Greasy goodness of wok fried street food at reasonable price. Don't bother with reservations, people tend to finish their meal quickly and escape the ever busy tiny space.

Many locations, please check their website.
Elegant dining experience with wide selection of dishes. Multinational chain originally from Singapore.
Specialties: Suckling Pig, Lamian Noodles
in Pluit Village, Ph: +62-21 66670367
in Prisma Kedoya Plaza, Jl. Raya Perjuangan, Kebon Jeruk, Ph: +62-21 5310001
in Jl. Mangga Besar Raya, Ph: +62-21 6594613
Simple tasty dishes commonly found on foodstalls in Shanghai. Variety of noodles, fried rice, dumplings and xiao long bao. Some say their xiao long bao is better than Din Tai Fung's
Specialty: Xiao long bao, Shanghai noodles with clear broth and bacon

in Mall Taman Anggrek, 3rd Floor, Ph: +62-21 5639 679
in Emporium Pluit Mall, Ph: +62-21 6667 6635
Their herb roasted duck offers something different than the usual Peking style duck dishes. A bit on the pricey side but well justified.

Many locations, please see website for complete list.
The place to go for xiao long baos (the yummy dumplings filled with tasty broth inside). Also servers à la carte Chinese dishes with excellent quality, small portions and quite pricey. International Chain originally from Taiwan. Pork available in selected locations.
Specialty: Dumplings (xiao long bao)

in Jalan Kemang Raya No.29, Ph: +62-21 7182963
All-you-can-eat halal dimsum in Kemang under IDR 100K. Good value for money, especially in pricey Kemang.

Fong Tu
in Jl. Pluit Barat 1 No. 1, Ph: +62-21 6696017, 021 6696118
Tasty home-cooked Hakka dishes made from fresh ingredients. Quite difficult to secure a seat during lunch hour since the place is quite small.

in Grand Indonesia Mall, 3rd Floor, Ph: +62-21 23580810
in Gandaria City, LG, +62-21 2900 7897
Chinese roadside foodstall turned hipster by the Ismaya group. Surprisingly tasty although prices quite steep considering the small portions. Try their alcoholic bubble drinks (a twist on the classic bubble milk tea currently trending in Jakarta) .

in Jalan Hayam Wuruk no. 45, Ph: +62-21 625 7272
The Hayam Wuruk institution has seen better days. Still quite popular as a wedding venue but the food is not quite what it used to be.

in Jl. Lodan Raya, Ancol, Ph: +62-21 6459868
Located in Ancol theme park complex, the place has seen its glory days in the 80's. Popular wedding reception venue on weekends, chinese businessmen crowd on weekdays.

Hay Thien
in Jl. Boulevard Raya, Ph: +62-21 45841682
in Ruko Pasar Puri Indah, Jl. Puri Indah Raya, Ph: +62-21 58353347
Chinese version of Hanamasa DIY style restaurant, with both steamboat/shabu-shabu and the usual grilling plates available. Good value for money. Poor exhaust system, so be prepared to walk out smelling like your meal.

in Jalan Sunda no. 5, Menteng, Ph: +62-21 310 7868
Located next to Sarinah, the chic minimalist décor and sunlit space is somewhat unusual for a Chinese restaurant. The menu features HK/Macau dishes with Portuguese influence (baked rice, creamy desserts). From the group behind Penang Bistro and Seribu Rasa.

Hunan Kitchen
Jalan Mangga Besar 1 St. No. 61, Ph: +62-21 6252666
Next to Jayakarta, good value Sichuan food with some odd dishes. Close very late which is convenient for clubbers.

in Plaza Indonesia, Ph: +62-21 3983 5100
Specialized in La Mian (hand held noodles) and Xiao Long Bao (dumplings). One of the most popular in Jakarta.

Jiuzhai Valley
in Jalan Marina Raya, Pantai Indah Kapuk, Ph: +62-21 3300 3007
Spicy szechuan dishes cooked by a native Chef, popular with families living in North Jakarta.

Several locations, please check their website
An oldie but goodie. Order anything with their name on the dish and you got satisfaction guaranteed
Specialty: Seafood (Jun Njan sauce squid, Jun Njan braised prawns)

Several locations in Kelapa Gading, Penjaringan, Grand Wijaya Center, PIK, Puri Indah Pesanggrahan, Gading Serpong, Green Bay Pluit, Taman Palem Lestari.
Not sure what glasses has to do with the honey grilled pork, but they sure are delicious! Also serves staples like noodles, porridge, and basic dimsum items.
in Jalan Mangga Besar I no.26, Ph: +62-21 649 2319
The place to go for chinese style porridge. Wide varieties of toppings and side dishes, cheap, opens 24 hours. Serves Pork.
Specialty: Porridge

Jalan Mangga Besar 1 No. 63K, Ph: +62-21 7078 3892
Authentic Szechuan seafood dishes. Spicy and fresh - you can pick and choose from the live ones on display (including the famous sea snails, turtles, and oysters).

in Four Seasons Hotel, Jalan Rasuna Said, Ph: +62-21 252 3456
Expensive. One of the few places to go for Sunday all-u-can-eat dimsum brunch in South Jakarta. Serves Pork.

Lim Thiam Kie
in Jl Kh. Agus Salim (Sabang) No. 48, Menteng, Ph: +62-21 310 0465
Vintage restaurant from the 70's, probably more popular for their steamed buns (bakpao)
Little Sheep Chinese Shabu-Shabu
in Jalan Gajah Mada Raya No. 17, Ph: +62-21 6387 5080
Actually more Mongolian, than Chinese. The usual mix of protein and veggies is available to pick and choose for DIY cooking fun. Mix and match broth with the various sauces available to suit your palate. No pork.

in Jl. Asemka Raya no. 168A, Ph: +62-21 693 0108
in Jl. Batu Tulis Raya No. 37, Ph: +62-21 345 1504
Old school restaurant near Kota Train Station. Prawns with salted egg yolk and crispy baked pork prepared in classic Hakka cooking style. Quite pricey but definitely worth it.

in Jl. Wolter Mongonsidi 80, Ph: +62-21 739 8537
Probably the only vintage chinese restaurant serving pork in South Jakarta, next to Santa Supermarket in Jl. Wolter Monginsidi. Consistently great classic dishes such as Nanking Chicken, Crispy Eel with Veggies, and Prawn Spring Rolls
Mangkok Putih
in CITOS, Cilandak Town Square, Ph: +62-21 759 20300
in Wisma Mulia City Plaza, Ph: +62-21 529 71204
in Setiabudi Building I, 2nd Floor, Ph: +62-2152 10548
Quick and simple basics with more localized (sweet) taste profile. Affordable yet unmemorable.
May Star
in Le Grandeur Hotel, Mangga Dua, Ph: +62-21 612 7880
in Emporium Pluit Mall, 4th Floor, Ph: +62-21 6667 6280
in Central Park Mall, LG, Ph: +62-21 5698 5422
One of the best Chinese restaurants in Jakarta. Specialized in exotic seafood, excellent dimsum, lovely dessert. Pork available in selected locations only.
Specialty: Exotic seafood (shark snout, lobster sashimi), coconut pudding

Epiwalk Rasuna Epicentrum, 2nd Floor, Ph: +62-21 2991 2323
Stylish high-end establishment in South Jakarta, usually crowded with businessmen. Features a bar in the middle of the restaurant, which makes it more western fusion rather than authentic chinese. Belongs to Tunglok group, also behind Taipan and M.A.D. It is not related to Ming Village in Senayan City.
Nan Xiang Steamed Buns
in Sultan Hotel, Jalan Gatot Subroto, Ph: +62-21 570 3600
Mainstream dishes with westernized taste profile, a bit on the pricey side.
Oen Pao
in many locations across Jakarta (Radio Dalam, Kemang, WTC, etc), Ph: +62-21739 9763
Halal hawker dishes : noodles with variety of toppings, hainanese chicken rice, basic dimsum items. Lacks the freshness that identifies quality chinese cuisine (noticeable poor texture and color of reheated dishes).
Paradise Dynasty
in Plaza Senayan, Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8, Ph: +62-21 5790 0146
Belonging to the Singaporean Paradise Group, which is behind Taste Paradise, Canton Paradise, Paradise Inn, and which is also related to Boga Group (Bakerzin, Pepper Lunch). It is known for its eight colorful fusion xiao long bao with exotic fillings like foie gras, black truffle, cheese, and crab roe.
Specialty: Xiao long bao

Paradise Inn
in several locations in Jakarta, see website for details. 
Teahouse-style simple yet unique dishes and desserts, casual chic atmosphere. Same owner as Paradise Dynasty above.
Specialty: Double boiled soup, infused tea

in Menteng, Jl. R.P. Soeroso, Ph: +62-21 31923111
Legendary wedding banquet venue for upperclass Chinese of the 70s-80s with exotic delicacies like deep fried pigeon and sweet&sour garoupa with lychee. Quite hard to believe that the owner is closely related to the owner humble Trio Restaurant right next door.

in JW Marriott Jakarta, Ph: +62 21 5798 8992
Large selection of dishes all-you-can-eat for IDR 365 ++ per pax includes suckling pig and Peking duck. Cantonese food, naturally rather expensive as it is in a 5-star hotel.
Putri Kenanga Nasi Campur
Several locations in Jakarta (Plaza Semanggi, Kuningan City, Central Park, Grand Indonesia, Bay Walk, Kemang Village, Alam Sutera, Lotte Ciputa Mall, Supermal Karawaci, Electronic City, Plaza Indonesia, Emporium Pluit, Mega Glodok)
Fragrant rice topped with all sorts of porky goodness : pork satay, pork siomay, crispy/honey grilled pork, braised pork ear and intestines, ngo hiang (pork rollade). 
Rendez vous
in Jalan Johar, Menteng, Ph: +62-021 31923468
The name might sound French, but it's one of the oldest establishments in old-money Menteng area. Unpretentious setting with vintage red folding chairs, excellent choice of classic chinese dishes. Quite pricey but the generous servings and consistent quality justifies it.

Red Bean
in almost every malls in Jakarta, see website for detail list.
Affordable chain restaurant serving halal popular dishes like sweet and sour chicken, salt and pepper calamary, and faux asparagus soup.
Rose Garden
Gedung Graha Indramas, Jl. KS. Tubun Raya No. 77, Slipi, Ph: +62-21 5367 3235 
Tasty all-you-can-eat dimsum and lunch at affordable price.
Samudra Seafood and Dimsum Restaurant
in BRI Tower II, Jl. Jend. Sudirman kv. 44-46, Ph: +62-21 571 3600
in Jl. Wijaya 1 no.17 Kebayoran Baru. Jakarta, Indonesia. Ph: +62-21 7223 958
in Alam Sutera Living World Mall, Ph: +62-21 2923 9509
Known for their head-spinning variety of dim sums and desserts on their all-you-can-eat buffet. The à la carte dishes are rather bland, although still quite good.
Sense Dining Theater (previously called Sands)
in Mangga Dua Square, 5th Floor, Ph: +62-21 6231 2888
Affordable all-you-can-eat dim sum at below IDR 100K per person. The place is always crowded so be prepared to get aggressive and persistently stalk the waiters to get your orders. It is also the location of a male spa and karaoke.

Shang Palace
in Shangri-La Hotel, Jalan Sudirman, Ph: +62-21 2939 9562
All you can eat dim sum for IDR 288 ++ on weekends covers appetizers, steamed dim sums, fried dim sums, chang fens, and desserts.
Shanghai Blue
Jalan Kebon Sirih 77-79, Ph: +62-21 391 8690
Created and managed by the people of Tugu group (Lara Djonggrang, Dapur Babah), it is more a lounge/bar than a restaurant. Beautiful setting worthy of an epic Ang Lee movie. The updated menu features a quirky Chinese/Betawi/Dutch fusion like Rijstaffels, Nasi Semur, Bebek Goreng Shanghai, and Udang Mabok (drunken prawns) .
Jl. Antara No. 31, Pasar Baru, Ph: +62-21 3441415
Established over 35 years ago, this humble place is a piece of history. The owner hails from Shandong Province and till now his granddaughter still serve the traditionally prepared kuotieh (pork dumplings).
Specialty: Pork dumplings (kuotieh) - fried/steamed/grilled
Siaw a Tjiap
in Jalan Pancoran 60 for the good branch
Old school establishment with several branches around Jakarta, although with somewhat inconsistent quality between branches. So always opt for the original one in Pancoran.
Sinar Medan
in Jalan Batu Ceper No 42, Ph: +62-21 345 5959
in Jalan Boulevard Raya No 22-23, Ph: +62-21 458 58545
in Jalan Gading Selatan no 22-23, Gading Serpong, Tangerang, Ph: +62-21 564183
Underrated no-frill place serving excellent seafood dishes. The spicier taste profile shows the Medan influence and sets it apart from the other chinese restaurants.
Singapore Kwetiauw Kerang
in Jalan Pluit Selatan Raya No. 61, Pantai Mutiara, Ph: +62-21 662 3232
in Jalan Purworejo No.28, Menteng, Ph: +62-21 391-7789
A North Jakarta institution, the place is always crowded with families. Don't let the extensive menu divert you from the true shining star : What else? Singaporean Clam Kwetiauw.
Soup Restaurant
in Plaza Indonesia 3rd floor, Ph: +62-21 39838220
in PX Pavilion @ St Moritz 1st floor, Ph: +62-21 583 56063
in Lippo Mall Kemang UG Floor, Ph: +62-21 2952 8353
in Senayan City 4th Floor, Ph: +62-21 7278 1331
The healthier side of Chinese cuisine, serving herbal soups and steamed dishes highlighting functional ingredients like ginseng, ginger, and lotus root
Specialty: Samsui Ginger Chicken, Double boiled healthy soups, Deep fried venison
South Beauty
Thamrin Nine-Podium, UG, Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Ph: +62-21 29937227
Fine dining establishment serving spicy szechuan style dishes
Sun City
Lindeteves Trade Center, 6th Floor, Jalan Hayam Wuruk N°127, Ph: +6221 6220 1900
One of the fancier establishments in Kota Tua. Mostly booked for wedding banquets. Have VIP rooms with karaoke and a men's spa. Serves Pork.

Surya Rumah Makan
Jalan Raya Bogor No 54 (near Kramat Jati Plaza), Ph: +62-21 809 6039
A hidden gem - probably the only Chinese restaurant that serves pork - in East Jakarta (near Taman Mini). Old school, no frill pork fried rice, fried noodles and fuyunghai is the must have here.
Ta Wan
19 branches in all Jakarta, see website for full list
Affordable family restaurant with rich flavors. Also known for their porridge.
Specialty: Three flavor porridge, Tahu lapis (layered tofu)

in Hotel Mulia, Jl. Asia Afrika Senayan, Ph: +62-21 5753271
One of the few places in Jakarta where the fanciness of the décor matches the quality of the food. A must try, especially if you're dining with VIP guests to impress. Serves pork. Possibly the best Chinese restaurants in Jakarta.

WTC Mangga Dua, 6th Floor, Ph: +62-21 3001 8877
The mecca of dim sum establishments. Impressive settings, great variety of dishes. Part of Tunglok group (Ming, MAD)

Taste Paradise
Plaza Indonesia 4th floor, Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Ph: +62-21 2992 3838
High-end Cantonese style cooking. Quite tasty but rather over-priced. Part of the Paradise Group (Paradise Inn, Paradise Dynasty, Canton Paradise).
Specialty: Sharks Fin soup, Cantonese style Foie Gras

Teo Chew Palace
Pluit Village Mall, Festival Walk, GF, Ph: +62-21 6683 688
Typical Teo Chew dishes (less salt/pepper/oil used, mostly steamed/braised/poached) focusing on the fresh seafood ingredients.
Specialty: Yin Yang porridge, steamed dishes, teo chew yam/taro desserts

Easily found in all major shopping malls in Jakarta (see list here). A bit on the pricey side but well worth it. It has a more sophisticated version called Grand Duck King.
Specialty: Peking Duck

The Mango
Citos, Cilandak Town Square, LG, Jl. TB Simatupang, Ph: +62-21 021 75920269 
Modern Chinese bistro popular with the South Jakarta non-chinese crowd for its halal dishes and casual chic setting.
Tian Xi Traditional Roast Duck and Seafood
Senayan City Mall, LG, Ph: +62-21 7278 1532
Halal chinese cuisine in Senayan City. Good clay-pot dishes, quite pricey.
Tien Chao
in Gran Melia Hotel, Jalan Rasuna Said, Ph: +62-21 526 8080
Cantonese and Szechuan dishes elegantly served with some interesting seasonal twist like dragon fruit or mandarin orange incorporated to the dish. One of the few hotel restaurants that serves live crabs. Impressive set menu for Chinese New Year at IDR 788,000++ per pax.
Jl. Soeroso No29A (Gondangdia Lama), Ph: +62-21 319 36295
A stubbornly vintage place from the 40's (no air con, no frills). Don't let the modest setting fool you. They serve the tastiest dishes in town (ham fried rice, prawn springroll, crispy eel with veggies) and the menu features unique Dutch-Chinese fusions like Huzaren Sla (fruit salad with ham and cheese).

Most of the content of the review was written by Antonia... You can contact her through Google+ here.

Photo credit: Taken from Don't forget to add a comment about your favorite Chinese restaurant in Jakarta at the bottom!

Nikki Beach Bali

Nikki Beach is planning to open its 11th Beach Club in the World in Bali in the second half of 2014. The famous brand already has locations on the hottest beach destinations worldwide such as Mallorca, Marbella, St Barth, Phuket, St Tropez, Miami, Ibiza, Koh Samui, Cabo, Marrakech. Founded by an American, Jack Penrod, the concept of the Nikki Beach is to be as bling bling and ostentatious as possible. A look at the pictures from their other beach clubs (above and below) will give you an idea.

Even though the prices and style of Nikki Beach Bali will probably not suit everyone, it is still a welcome addition to the island. We can expect it to make the Nusa Dua area a bit less sleepy in terms of nightlife and events.

Other luxurious beach clubs that you may want to check in Bali: Ku De Ta, Sundara, W Hotel, Potato Head, Cocoon...

Nikki Beach Bali
Sofitel Nusa Dua
Lot N5 Nusa Dua Tourism Complex
80363 - Nusa Dua, Bali

Phone number: +62 (0) 361 8492888 (Sofitel)

Facebook: Nikki Beach Club

Photo credit: All photos taken on Nikki Beach facebook page.

Expat Communities in Jakarta

The population of Jakarta is predominantly made of Indonesians from Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi or any of the other islands of Indonesia. The first ethnic minority would be Indonesian Chinese. Expatriates represent a fraction of the population, with the main communities being Japanese, Korean, American, Australian, and European.

Expats in Jakarta are spread in the whole city, but as each community tends to stay in the same areas and frequent the same spot, it is possible to get a general mapping of where they live and hang out:

- Indians in Jakarta (Expat or Indonesians): Many live in Pasar Baru or Sunter area. You will find them in clubs like Immigrant or Cloud or in one of the restaurants listed here: Indian restaurants in Jakarta.

- Japanese and Korean Expatriates: Most live in South Jakarta in Kebayoran Baru area (Pakubowono, Senopati, Dharmawangsa, Pondok Indah). Many offices from Japanese companies are located in Thamrin or in the Northern part of Jalan Sudirman so there are quite many Japanese/Korean restaurants there too. There is a Little Tokyo in Jalan Melawai (Blok M), which is a combination of Japanese restaurants and karaokes.

- Americans and Australian Expats: With the Australian School and Jakarta International School being located in South Jakarta, many American and Australians live in the Kemang/Pondok Indah area. Even though Americans are one of the main nationalities in Jakarta, they are not so visible. Most often, they will go out in 5-star hotel bars/restaurants, expats bars in South Jakarta, in Blok M (Jalan Falatehan), X2, Red Square.

- Arab (Saudis): Saudis I've met in Jakarta come mostly for tourism. Many come to enjoy drinking alcohol and meeting with girls, far away from their wifes. Jakarta is usually a stop on their way to Puncak. In Jakarta, they will hangout in Cikini area (Arabian Tent Cafe) or in Gatot Subroto in the club De Leila.

- European Expats in Jakarta are not a single community, but since each nationality is small, I prefer to group them: You will mostly find them in Kemang, Cipete, Pondok Indah, and in the Golden Triangle (Surdiman, Rasuna Said, Mega Kuningan). Naturally, they will hang out in clubs in those areas, particularly X2, Red Square, Immigrant, SKYE and all the expat bars.

- Indo Chinese are not expats obviously but still I wanted to include them on this listing: They are to be found mostly in Pluit, Pantai Indah Kapuk and Kelapa Gading for the wealthiest. In Glodok, the Chinese Glodok are supposed to be from a lower level. You will find them in many places in Jakarta, for instance Sun City, Club 36, Empirica, Da Fu.

- African: I haven't been there in a long time so I'm not sure if it is still valid, but in 2007 there was a small Nigerian community living in Jalan Jaksa/Wahid Hasyim area.

- Russian expats: I have rarely seen Russians in Jakarta except in Dragonfly and SKYE. According to my taxi driver, there are two big Russian expat compounds in Senopati and Tebet.

Warning: This post is full of generalities and stereotypes. It is not a scientific study about Expats in Jakarta, but merely observations I made while living here. I would be more than happy to receive your comments.