Canteen is a hip restaurant located in Pacific Place and Plaza Indonesia. In both places, they are next to the bookstore Aksara, to which they are related.

I visited the Canteen in Plaza Indonesia during the afternoon on a Saturday. It was quite crowded, with expats and visibly rich, cool Indonesians. Some of them looked familiar and could have been actors or singers. At night, I think it is best to make a reservation.

I liked the setting, in particular the fact that it is in a quiet part of the mall. With large windows letting a lot of light inside, and comfortable seats, it is a cozy venue, designed to be a hangout spot as much as a restaurant. Their menu features continental food, with mostly Italian dishes.

Everything seemed fine until I ordered my food: Salade Niçoise (Rp55,000++), Rib-eye steak (Rp110,000++), Bruschetta (Rp45,000++), and Orange juice. A 2-course meal with soft drink should cost you around Rp200,000+. To give you an idea of how expensive it is, in some 5-star hotels restaurants in Jakarta, you can have a set lunch menu at the same price.
Salad Niçoise (Rp55,000++)
Bruschetta (Rp45,000++)
Rib-eye grilled steak (Rp110,000++)
First, I didn't get a good feeling when I found out the orange juice had been mixed with water. In other restaurants in Jakarta, they usually hide it by putting ice in your glass, but I had asked for none so instead they used this trick. They could have given me half a glass I would have been happier.

The Bruschetta was fine, just overpriced in my opinion for some simple toasts with tomatoes and olive oil. The presentation was fine though.

The Salad was a miss. I don't want to make a big fuss about it, but I think I should mention that I found a white worm in it. I know it can happen even with fresh food though, so it should not be the main focus point. What is more important is that it tasted average and the ingredients used were low-quality. Each bites felt cheap: The tuna, the tomatoes, the beans, the sauce. No matter how good the chef is, if you don't use good ingredients, you end up with low-end restaurants dishes.
At last, there wasn't any incident with the rib-eye steak, but it was low-quality beef: not tasty nor tender.

Overall: I don't have any grudge about Canteen but I think it should be avoided because it is expensive and they don't give you anything decent in return, even for the drinks. The waiters were nice and efficient, though maybe a bit understaffed. I should mention that I didn't have to pay for my meal because of the worm.
Opening Hours:
Everyday from 11am to midnight (until 2am on weekends)

Canteen
Plaza Indonesia
5th Floor #E02-E10
Phone number: +62-21 315 6537
Fax: +62-21 319 01149

In Pacific Place:
4th Floor SCBD
Phone number: +62-21 579 73742
Fax: +62-21 579 73754

7 comments to '' Canteen (Jakarta) "

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  1. i think you got a little grudge to canteen while writing this review because i just had lunch there last week and it was an amazing experience. the place was cozy and the music is so well putted. the dish i ordered is aglio alio which i think was very delicious. the cocktail was also nice too

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  2. i totally agree

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  3. Nice place to hang out with your friend.. But i couldnt agree more with the writer bout the food, good portion, too decent taste

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  4. at first complaining and then get a free meals -_-

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  5. have to agree with the writer, dishes can be made at home , like moussaka, it's very creamy and yes the meat portions are good but lacks depth in Mediterranean taste. My friend ordered a kebab but the meat was way under cooked to even raw!!the helpless manager asked whether i wanted a new dish, when i just notified him about it(not a complaint since we discovered too late)! why people do not listen here?

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  6. Have to agree, this review is unfair. This place is easily on par with any modern western restaurant in London, Sydney or New York. I've eaten here three times and while it may be expensive by jakarta standards the food and service has been consistently better than anywhere else I've eaten here. The only thing that I thought could be improved was the bruschetta. That said, the salmon and the steak were absolutely perfect.

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  7. Plus it seems that perhaps some of the comments from the reviewer and commenters reflect a slight misunderstanding about how some of these dishes are meant to prepared . . . . Rare meat is something you'll find almost everywhere else in modern cities, canteen is simply trying to be true to the style and flavours that come with much modern cuisine.

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