Dating Indonesian Men: 5 Tips to Expat Women

By Simone Roberts, an Expat woman living in Bali, author of the blog

Moving to Indonesia alone and/or especially as a woman can be a daunting experience, but if you are prepared and educated about what to expect then you will be able to surround yourself with good, decent people. You will be able to find long, lasting relationships and spare yourself a lot of heartache and disappointment. Here are my 5 tips on finding love in Indonesia.

1. Be Understanding
Relationships are hard, mixed race relationships are harder. In mixed relationships you will find your fair share of cultural differences, and there will be times when compromise just seems near impossible. 

The secret to a lasting happy connection is a willingness from both parties to want to understand each other. Take the time to talk to one another, listen closely and don’t assert dominance (as either a man or woman) as it just won’t work. 

When starting a new relationship with an Indonesian man is best to be aware of where they came from and what customs are important to them too. For example the Balinese are very family orientated and if you expect to marry a Balinese man you might just end up playing house with the mother in law. 

2. Be Honest
You must make it a point to be aware of what is expected in the relationship. Indonesian men can be very sensitive people when it comes to matters of the heart. So if it’s a holiday fling or a ‘just for fun relationship’ you’re after make sure that the other person is aware of this. You might not think it is necessary, but it’s the best way to prevent it from getting messy down the track.

Also everyone knows that the male race is famous for not showing public displays of emotion. This too is the case in Indonesia, with the exception being the freedom of expression on facebook.  Expect it to be an all or nothing approach. Try to create a trusting and honest relationship so that the airing of your dirty laundry will be kept to a minimum. I cannot stress it enough, from the very beginning be honest.

3. Be aware
It is most essential that you as a non-Indonesian keep your wits about you as well, when you start playing the dating game. There are many playboys and playgirls out there that are ruining it for the good ones. Horror stories are aplenty of local men and women getting into relationships with foreigners just for the money and status.
4. Be 'prepared'
For most everyday Indonesians, sex is a taboo topic and sex education is not taught enough in schools. This is because generally men and women are not allowed to live with one another until they are married. Indonesian modern society just tends to turn a blind eye in favour of us foreigners, mainly in places like Bali and Jakarta. It also goes without saying remember to be prepared, especially if you are holidaying/working in Bali. STIs are common here as the waves of tourists come and go. 

5. Be the housewife…sometimes
From my experience as an expat but more so as a woman in Indonesia, money is also taboo topic. Let me re-phrase that, never talk with your partner about how much you make. Society dictates that men are the breadwinners in Indonesia and if your male partner cannot at least provide some financial security for you, he will lose face completely. Try suggesting to eat at warungs and local cafés to your partner so that you can try the local cuisine. That way he can pay for you and keep his pride intact.

Ultimately starting a relationship with an Indonesian man is a lot of fun; you will see the country in a new light and will be able to gain many more experiences. In order to make your relationship work with that special someone from Indonesia just remember to be prepared, be educated and be willing to understand one another.

Find more insights into the daily lives of Indonesians and more over at Simone’s blog or stay tuned as she will be writing more for us here at Jakarta100bars. 

Livingstone Seminyak Bali

Livingstone is a restaurant, café and bakery, located in Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak. It is bright, clean and modern, just like the kind of venues you would find in cities like Singapore or Sydney.

I visited during Lebaran so it was full with Indonesians, most of them seemed like they were from the upper class, probably from Jakarta or Surabaya.

The staff was very friendly but they were overwhelmed and it was hard to get their attention. They also made a mistake in my order. I imagine this was because of the high season so I didn't really mind.

They have a menu with mostly western foods: Sandwiches, Pastas, Pizzas, Burgers + all the usual appetizers. Nothing really original here.
Baker's Steak Sandwich
I had the Baker's Steak Sandwich (Rp95,000++) which was quite generous in beef and heavy on the sauce. The quality of the meat and the baguette were average. I enjoyed it like I would have enjoyed a Whopper in Burger King: It's not great food but it feels comfortable on the stomach.

Overall: Livingstone is a reasonably priced eatery serving mostly classic dishes.
Livingstone Cafe & Bakery
Located in Kokonut suites / Surabaya owner
Jl. Petitenget 88x Kerobokan – Bali

Phone number: +62 (0) 361 473 5949

Twitter: livingstoneBALI
Instagram: @livingstonebakery
Website: Livingstone Bali

Menu of Livingstone:

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.

The Playground Restaurant Jakarta

Playground is a themed-restaurant located on the 4th floor of Plaza Indonesia. It is occupying an alley, not a proper, individual space. For this reason, it is suitable for people-sighting, but certainly not for a more intimate occasion like a date.
Chicken Kiev
Strawberry Juice
I had the Chicken Kiev at Rp85,0000++. What they brought me was small and it tasted average. No need to make a long comment about it. I also had a strawberry juice which was rather tiny for Rp40,000++.

The total Tax and Service Charge that I had to pay was over 22%, which is probably a mistake but I noticed that only after I came back home (it is maximum 21% usually).
Overall: Apart from the location and the marketing, I didn't find The Playground to be particularly attractive. Their only originality is that you can sit on swings instead of chairs, which does not really serve any purpose. I don't think I would visit again.
The Playground Plaza Indonesia
On Level 4
Jalan MH Thamrin Kav. 28 - 30
Jakarta 10350
Phone number: +62-21 2992 3747/48
Mobile phone: +62 (0) 858 1491 9449

They also opened a new branch in:

Pondok Indah Mall
Street Gallery GF
Jalan Metro Pondok Indah
Jakarta 12310
Phone number: +62-21 2952 9729
Mobile phone: +62 (0) 858 1491 9449

BB Pin : 238E5AAF
Instagram : @_Theplayground_

Opening Hours:
Every day from 11am to 11pm (until midnight on weekends)

The Dusty Café - Seminyak - Bali

The Dusty may be the smallest café you will find in Bali. It was recently opened by a young Frenchman, Nicolas Vitetta. It is similar with a bar in Jakarta called Treehouse for those who know. The design combines classic items like the big chandeliers, with some cheaper, recycled ones. I'm not sure about the definition of hipster but it could be one of those places where they hang out.

Located just next to the bar Maria Magdalena in Jalan Dhyana Pura, it serves a small menu of mostly healthy food, including sandwiches and salads. 
"Party Belt" Bruschetta (Rp60,000+15%)
"Astral Totem" (Rp67,000+15%)
I had the "Party Belt", a duo of Bruschetta (quite expensive at Rp60,000+15%) and the Astral Totem, a Quinoa Salad (Rp65,000+15%). It was not fine dining but both tasted good and it was fresh.

Overall: The Dusty has all the ingredients to become a successful neighborhood restaurant. It has good food (albeit some items are too expensive), friendly staff, and a cosy atmosphere. I will be back!

Note: The Wifi was not working but I imagine it is because they are just starting.
The Dusty Café
Jalan Dhyana Pura (also referred to as Jalan Camplung Tanduk) no4
Seminyak, Bali 80361

Phone number: +62 (0) 8 21 46 45 20 51
Email: dustycafé

Opening hours:
Everyday until 11pm

Menu of The Dusty Restaurant:

The Manhattan Fish Market - Seafood Restaurants

The Manhattan Fish Market is a restaurant chain specializing in seafood dishes, either poached, grilled, fried, baked or flamed.

They are originally from Singapore, with branches in several countries in Asia and Middle East. In Indonesia, you can find them in Bali and Jakarta for the moment.

I took one of their signature dishes, the Small Flame (Rp129,000 +16% tax and service), which seemed very appetizing on the picture from the menu (you can see all of it here).
Small Flame (Rp129,000++)
They brought me the dish after a few minutes, and flame-grilled it for a few seconds in front of me. It is amusing but I'm not sure it serves a real purpose.

I was quite disappointed with my food as I realized it was just 3 tiny prawns, a fish fillet, some vegetables, french fries and rice. It tasted ok but it fell short of what I expect when paying Rp150,000 for non-imported items. Apart from the original presentation in a pan, there is nothing that differentiate their fish from much cheaper restaurants.
Overall: Unfortunately, as many restaurant chain, The Manhattan Fish Market is mostly about marketing. You buy an atmosphere and an image, but in terms of value for money it is poor.

I would recommend it to you only if you are receptive to themed restaurants and the fantasy world they bring you into. If you care more about finding proper food at a normal price, it is best to avoid.

The Manhattan Fish Market Bali
Near Kuta Beach and Lippo Mall Kuta, Jalan Kartika Plaza 10
Kuta, Denpasar, Bali
Phone number: +62-361 757 106
Opened from 11am to 11pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Central Park Mall
Central Park Jalan Let. Jend. S. Parman no. 28 kav. 34
Phone number: +62-21 2920 0015
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Grand Indonesia
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Sky Bridge 
Jalan M.H. Thamrin no. 1
Phone number: +62-21 2358 1055
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Kemang
Lippo Mall Kemang
Phone number: +62-21 2952 8382
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Lotte Shopping Avenue
Phone number: +62-21 2988 9466
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Supermall Karawaci
Phone number: +62-21 547 3668
Opened from 10am to 10pm

Facebook: MFM Indonesia 

Watercress Café and Revolver Coffee (Seminyak)

Watercress is a café/restaurant located on Jalan Batu Belig in Seminyak. It is mostly appealing for the healthy options of its menu, particularly for breakfast. It also serves a small range of pastries (American ones), healthy juices and extracts, and coffee from the brand Revolver (whose main branch is on Jalan Oberoi).

On the day I visited, most of the customers seemed to be Australians, which is not surprising considering the owner is Australian himself. He may have some French blood too as the playlist was made of songs popular in France a few years ago.

Watercress could be easy to miss as it is small and simple. I would have ignored it but it was quite busy from the outside and it made me curious to try. We had just eaten so we only went for a Lassie (Rp35,000+16% tax and service), a Smoothie (Rp35,000++), a Blueberry Muffin (Rp30,000++), and an Apple Rhubarb Crumble with Ice Cream (Rp55,000++).

The service is friendly but a little disorganized. They waited about 10 minutes to tell us that our first smoothie order (Mango) was unavailable, and it then took another 10 minutes to bring the food and drinks to our table.
None of the items we tried impressed us. It was home-cooking at best, the kind of cakes you could eat at your son's friend birthday party. It was a bit of a disappointment and it made us feel Watercress is a tad overrated. Their prices aren't that cheap either. I should probably try a "real" dish next time though...

My impression about Watercress is that it is the café of a community. It is a place where people go because this is where they will meet like-minded people. If you are a bit of a hippie, a hipster or just plain hip, Watercress is probably the place for you and you'll fit right in.

We were staying in the garden area and it was quite noisy as it is just a few meters away from the road. Corner House or Grocer & Grind, which are very similar to Watercress are more relaxing in my opinion, especially in the morning. I guess I would sit in the back of the restaurant next time I visit instead.

Overall: I may come back to Watercress but with very little excitement. My only expectations would be to eat a decent breakfast under 10$.
Watercress Restaurant and Revolver Coffee
Near Naughty Nuris
Jalan Batu Belig #21a
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia 80361

Phone number: +62 (0) 361 7808 030

Facebook: Watercress Bali
Twitter: Watercress Bali

Opening Hours:
Every day from 7am to 6pm