10 Classic Indonesian Food Restaurants in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
With the wealth of culture, cooking methods, and variety of spices, 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 my book - in no particular order.

Palalada

Fancy restaurant within Alun-alun Grand Indonesia - needless to say, prices are on the higher side. Do drop by their snack shop Waroeng Kopi, though. They serve tasty Indonesian snacks at a more reasonable price further inside the shopfloor.

Lara Djonggrang

Although their website says “Indonesian imperial cuisine”, it is technically Javanese. However, they do feature dishes from the coastal regions of Java which displays distinctive tastes as a result of the Javanese’s cultural interaction with merchants from all over Indonesia as they pass through the harbor cities. The restaurant is also known for its impressive setting.

Sate Khas Senayan

The Starbucks of Indonesian restaurants - 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.

Tugu Kunstkring Paleis

Another place with impressive setting, also by the Tugu Hotels and Restaurants group. It’s an art space, a fine dining restaurant, a tea lounge, a bakery, and a wineshop within an elegant Dutch colonial building complex. Their Betawi Rijsttafel experience is a must try.

Kembang Goela

Upscale dining in the business district. They serve Indonesian dishes with Dutch and Peranakan influence. Known for their unique interpretation of the West Sumatran dendeng balado and dishes made from indigenous vegetables of Indonesia like genjer and kecipir.

Remboelan

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.

TeSate

The upper-class sister of Sate Khas Senayan serving almost similar menus with more generous portion and sophisticated presentation. Several locations in Jakarta’s premium spots (Plaza Senayan, Pacific Place, Menteng) and VIP dining rooms availability makes TeSate perfect for hosting corporate dinners or other private dining events.

Bunga Rampai

The restaurant occupies a building that was once a Dutch colonial residence, dining here is like dining in your fabulous elegant Grandmother’s house. They serve Indonesian dishes with a hint of Dutch influence (think bitterballen, pannekoeken, and such.) The central Menteng area makes it popular for ambassadorial gatherings and private functions of Jakarta’s elites. 

Seribu Rasa

The one restaurant in our list that specializes on seafood dishes. The menu shows a Southeast Asian influence (predominantly Thai and Malay - no surprise here, since it is a sister restaurant of the famous Penang Bistro). Various tasty dishes made using freshest ingredients from the sea. Don’t forget to sample their creative drinks and desserts. 

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.

Note from Jakarta100bars.com:

As I was not confident ranking Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta, I asked Antonia for help. She wrote this review and also another one: Best Chinese Restaurants in Jakarta.

For cheaper Indonesian food options, you can read: Street food in Jakarta.

Thibaud

2 comments to '' 10 Classic Indonesian Food Restaurants in Jakarta "

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  1. Thibaut good review as usual. I think next u should review on how expensive eating out has been in Jakarta lately. Even having meals at street stall in Sarinah area can cost up to 70 rb (usd 6) per meal which is ridiculous. Or even best values restaurants. Cheers.

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    1. Hi Double, yes it's true I was actually thinking about it after eating an ayam goreng with rice in a food court for Rp100,000....

      I was not sure of the reasons but I see a few:
      - Import tariffs make prices of goods more expensive
      - Rents paid by tenants is too high (you can see how often restaurants close down...)
      - Service charge + local tax add up to 21% to the meal cost
      - No free water so you always have to pay for a drink and add 10,000 at least to your bill

      I was in Vietnam and it's easy to eat anywhere for less than 3$... in Jakarta it's almost impossible unless you eat street food in non central locations...

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