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Kila Kila by Akasya (Indonesian Restaurant)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Kila Kila is a brand new rooftop restaurant serving fine dining Indonesian cuisine. It is located not far from Pacific Place Mall and offers a beautiful view over SCBD.

It is managed by Akasya Catering, a famous company owned by Enny Latief. They provided the food for numerous VIP events such as the wedding of Edhie Baskoro, the son of SBY. If their food is good enough for the president of Indonesia, it should be good enough for you too.

You can get more information about their concept, menu, prices and design on their websites and social media accounts listed below.

Kila Kila by Akasya
SCBD Gedung Lot 4, 7th Floor 
Jalan Sudirman Kav. 52-53+62 21 514 014 84

Instagram: Kila Kila

Opening Hours:
Everyday from 11am to 11pm

12 Delicious Indonesian Soups (and Where to Eat Them)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
A common mistake of foreigners visiting Indonesia is to limit their knowledge of Indonesian cuisine to Nasi Goreng and Nasi Padang. Few will taste one of the dozens delicious soups that you can try everywhere, from classy Indonesian restaurants to popular food courts.

Indonesian soups are typically made from some of these ingredients: turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, onions, potatoes, coriander, ginger, galangal, tomatoes and of course, coconut milk. Chicken is the most common type of meat, followed by beef, mutton and fish. Pork soups are very rare outside of Bali.

Sop or Soto?
It seems that even Indonesians are not so sure about the difference between "soto" and "sop". Some friends told me that "sop" are clear soups while "soto" are mixed with coconut milk. Wikipedia tells a different story: It says that traditional soups are called "soto" while modern, western-inspired ones are called "soup". If you know the difference, please help me by commenting below.

If you don't like coconut milk, you can ask the cook not to use any by saying "Jangan pakai santan". Alternatively, you can request your soup to be "bening" (clear).

I have just spent the last 3 weeks trying every possible "Soto" and "Sop" that I could find in Jakarta. That's about 40 to 50 soups. I noticed that the same soup will almost always be cooked in a different manner. Naturally, some venues are better than others so I give my some good restaurant recommendation for each type of soups. 

Sop Konro Makassar

Though the Coto Makassar is more famous, I prefer the Sop Konro. It is a thick, flavorful soup with a big piece of beef rib in it. It is made using keluwak which gives it a black color (similar to that of rawon). 

You can try it in Daeng Tata or in Sop Konro Karebosi (Kelapa Gading). If the taste is too strong, you can balance it using lime juice.

Soto Betawi

Originally from Jakarta, the Soto Betawi is similar to a few other soups that are cooked in a coconut milk broth (for instance the Soto Ayam). Just before serving, you will add green onions, boiled potatoes and fresh tomatoes. It is usually made with beef offals.

You can try in in Soto Jakarta Asen (Jalan Mangga Besar 1) or in Soto Roxy H. Darwasa (one of the oldest restaurants in Jakarta).

Rawon 

Rawon is a popular black beef soup originally from Surabaya. It is similar with Coto and Sop Konro Makassar as it uses kelawak. It is normally served with rice and called Nasi Rawon.

The most famous place to eat rawon is Rawon Setan in Surabaya. If you cannot go there, you can also try Rawon Setan Mbak Endang on Jalan Mangga Besar Raya, not far from Exotis.

Sop Buntut

The sop buntut or "oxtail soup" is usually rather expensive, even if you eat it in the street. Apart from the beef, it may include carrots, potatoes, cloves, nutmeg and tomatoes.

I would recommend you to try Sop Buntut Mangga Besar on Jalan Mangga Besar 1 (yes I spend a lot of time in that area as you can see).

Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam is the most widely available Indonesian soup, and possibly the most delicious too. The broth is aromatic and spicy, with a yellowish tint. It contains shredded chicken, fresh tomatoes, potatoes, turmeric, herbs, small eggs, koya and onions. The Soto Kudus, Soto Medan and Soto Lamongan (see below) are similar.

Best restaurant to taste a Soto Ayam in Jakarta: Soto Ayam Ambengan Pak Sadi (multiple branches in Kelapa Gading, Thamrin, Senopati, etc).

Sop Kambing

The Sop Kambing is my absolute favourite. I can usually smell restaurants that serve it a mile away and I love to try its variations. Popular versions include the Sop Kaki Kambing (Mutton Leg Soup) or the Sop Kepala Kambing (Mutton Head Soup). It is very similar with the Sop Buntut.

My favourite venue for Sop Kambing: Kui Sen Restaurant in Jalan Gajah Mada.

Soto Lamongan

 The Soto Lamongan is a variation of the Soto Ayam. The main difference is that it is a clear soup, without any coconut milk used. It is named after Lamongan, a city in East Java.

There are not many restaurants serving Soto Lamongan. If you don't find it near from where you live, you can go to the street food stall "Soto Ayam Lamongan Cak Kumis" in Bintaro 9 Walk.

Empal Gentong

Empal Gentong is a spicy beef soup from Cirebon. It is made of beef tripes (intestines) cooked in a curry sauce with coconut milk.

The most famous place in Jakarta is certainly Kedai Empal Gentong Mang Darma Cirebon in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta.

Soto Daging Madura 

There are actually several kinds of Soto Madura, with chicken or beef. The one I tried was a dark beef offal and meat soup. It is not my favourite as I find it less aromatic than other Indonesian soups.

I only had Soto Madura once in Tosoto, on Jalan Mangga Besar Raya. They have other branches all over the city as well.

Soto Medan 

The Soto Medan is a variation of the Soto Ayam, with a sweeter flavour. Another difference is that it contains potato croquettes called "perkedel". The one I had also had some noodles inside.

The best place to eat a Soto Medan in Jakarta is near Ancol in Soto Medan Pak Syamsuddin, Jalan Muara Karang Raya No. 17.

Soto Tangkar Iga Sapi

The Soto Tangkar Iga Sapi is similar to Soto Betawi except that the meat used is always beef ribs. It is popular mainly in Jakarta.

The legendary Soto Tangkar Tanah Tinggi is the must-try restaurant for this soup. It has been around since 1938, an eternity in Jakarta (Jalan Tanah Tinggi III No. 54 Central Jakarta).

Soto Kudus

The Soto Kudus comes from the town of Kudus in Central Java. It is a clear broth soup, usually made from chicken or buffalo, served in a small ball in which rice can be added. Its particular taste comes from the heavy use of garlic, fresh and fried.

There are several good venues to eat Soto Kudus in Jakarta. One of the most delicious is Soto Kudus Blok M on Jalan Kh. Achmad Dahlan No. 36.

Photo source: I took all photos myself except for the Empal Gentong and the Soto Kudus. I will add new soups as I try them, especially fish soups (sop ikan). Please don't hesitate to comment below if I made a mistake in my writing or if I missed your favourite Indonesian soup.

Eating Dog Meat in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Contrary to what many could believe, most of the restaurants serving dog meat in Jakarta are not Chinese, but Manadonese (North Sulawesi).

Just to clear any confusion, I am not talking about hot dogs/sausages, but the meat of the following animal:
One of the best locations in Jakarta for Manadonese cuisine is the food court of the mall Ambassador, on Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio. Dishes are usually so spicy that you'll have a hard time eating them if you are not so used to it. Another particularity is that they serve some rare animals including wild pigs, bats and dogs.

In the food court, the cleanest and best restaurant serving dog meat is called Ragey. They have a huge buffet with no tags so you'll have to ask the waiters for information about the food displayed.

The prices are cheap, you can choose several items and you won't pay more than Rp50,000. My advice is to take a lot of rice to limit the feeling of spiciness.

The taste of the meat is really not that special but it isn't bad either. In my case it's a one-time experience that I probably won't renew.
This is the dog meat
Note: Dog meat is sometimes called  RW for "Rintek Wuuk" (which means "soft hair" in Manadonese).

Ragey Manadonese Restaurant
Mall Ambassador 4th Floor No 03A Food Court
Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio, South Jakarta 12940

Phone number: 0812 88 47 66 33

Opening Hours:
Every day from 10AM to 9PM

If you are into more weird culinary experiences in Jakarta, you can read: Eating Snakes in Jakarta.

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

Keukenhof Bistro (Kota Tua Jakarta)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Keukenhof Bistro is a café and restaurant located just steps away from Taman Fatahillah in North Jakarta. It is also next to Colosseum 1001 entertainment center.

It is inside a Dutch era colonial building that seems to have been renovated very recently. Unfortunately, the inside of Keukenhof Bistro is not that impressive, particularly if you compare it with Café Batavia. They don't have windows to the outside and you don't really feel you are inside a historical building. 

The prices are reasonable and it is clean so it is still an OK option for a drink or lunch while in the area.

They serve Indonesian and International food, only classics like Nasi Goreng, Mi Goreng, Steaks, etc.
Keukenhof Bistro
Jalan Kunir No5
Kota Tua - North Jakarta
Phone number: +62 (0) 21 690 88 56

Bengawan Solo Restaurant (Indonesian/Javanese Food)

By Nyoman →






I rarely go to Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel on Sudirman (it is located right next to Le Meridien Hotel), but I did go there recently because I heard there was a new Indonesian restaurant. The name of the new place is "Bengawan Solo" (it is not related to the popular coffee chain located in many malls in Jakarta), named after the longest River in Java. It is located on the lobby level of the Hotel.

I had a great dinner there, I like the idea of having truly Indonesian (or Javanese) food like chicken satay, Sosis Solo, Nasi Goreng, Bebek Goreng, Gurame Bakar or Iga Sapi Asam with a modern presentation you would find in any western restaurant. The decoration of the place is also modern with Indonesian Wayang and other javanese objects.

The place reminded me another Indonesian restaurant Seribu Rasa, located in Menteng, but with a more indonesian crowd. I would recommend Bengawan Solo for a business lunch or dinner or if you want take somebody who is in the city for just a few days and you want him to discover tasty indonesian food in an elegant place. The price are very reasonable for Jakarta standard and for the quality I had there (200 000 Rp per person for a Menu).

The plus: they have a dessert menu, which is quite rare for an Indonesian restaurant. I had a Vanilla ice cream and it was a blast !


Bengawan Solo in Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel 
(near Le Meridien Hotel)
Jalan Sudirman Kav 86
Jakarta 10220

More information on their website
Phone: 021 570 4444 ext 1610 - 1613
E-Mail: prm@grandsahidjaya.com

Opening Hours:
Everyday from 11 AM to 11 PM

Other pictures from Bengawan Solo Restaurant:







Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurants

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I visited the original branch of Bebek Tepi Sawah in Ubud a few years ago. I was disappointed at that time as it was expensive, overcrowded with groups of tourists, and the taste was really unexceptional. I blacklisted it in my mind and considered it a tourist trap.

In the past few years, the brand has opened outlets everywhere in malls in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali. I thought that the management may have changed and that it would be worth having another try. I did so in Beachwalk in Kuta.

My first impression was not too good. I was greeted by an apathetic waitress that I felt I was bothering. She gave me the menu and left. It took me 10 minutes to get another waiter, more friendly, to come to me and take my order.

The menu features all kinds of Indonesian and International dishes with a large choice of drinks. It is so big that I cannot imagine the team in the kitchen is able to prepare them all correctly.

Since Bebek Tepi Sawah means "the duck from the rice paddies" I thought I should try the duck of course. The price was 96,000rp (+16% tax and service) for a half duck. The food brought was not better than the one I could eat in a warung for half that price. It was a bit overcooked actually and I still prefer places like Bebek Kaleyo or Bebek Pak Slamet compared to Bebek Tepi Sawah. I also took a "100% pure" orange juice (Rp20,000++) which had been diluted with water.
Roasted Duck (96,000rp ++)
Overall: Bebek Tepi Sawah is just a typical chain restaurant and there is really nothing special about it. I will not return unless I don't have the choice. It seems that the reason they were able to expand so quickly in Indonesia is by giving away franchise rights quite easily, which of course impacts the quality.
Branches of Bebek Tepi Sawah in Indonesia:

Bebek Tepi Sawah Ubud
Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Br Teges, Peliatan
Ubud 80571 Bali – Indonesia
Phone number: +62 (0) 361 975 656
Fax: +62 (0) 361 975 655

Bebek Tepi Sawah Tuban
Jalan Raya Tuban, Krisna Wisata Kuliner Lantai 2
Tuban 80361 Bali - Indonesia
Phone number: +62 (0) 361 767251

Bebek Tepi Sawah Kuta
Jalan Kartika Plaza, Bintang Bali Hotel Arcade
Kuta 80361 Bali - Indonesia
Phone number: +62 (0) 361 8465717

Bebek Tepi Sawah Beachwalk Kuta
Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort
Jalan Pantai Kuta, Bali 80361 - Indonesia
Phone number: +62 (0) 361 849 6004
Fax: +62 (0) 361 849 6007

Bebek Tepi Sawah Bali Collection Nusa dIA
Unit B12#4&5 - Bali Collection | BTDC Complex Nusa Dua 80363
Phone number: +62 (0) 361 771 662

Bebek Tepi Sawah Serpong
Living World Mall Alam Sutera Boulevard Kav 21
Serpong, Tangerang - Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 2921 1919

Bebek Tepi Sawah Pluit
Bay Walk Mall, Ground Floor, Jalan Pluit Karang Ayu, Pluit, Jakarta
Phone number: +62-21 296 29441

Bebek Tepi Sawah PIM2
Pondok Indah Mall 2, Jl. Metro Pondok Indah, Pondok Indah, Jakarta
Phone number: +62-21 296 29441

Bebek Tepi Sawah Citos
Cilandak Town Square, Ground Floor, Jalan TB Simatupang, Cilandak, Jakarta
Phone number: +62-21 2904 2817

Bebek Tepi Sawah Yogyakarta
Jalan Damai 78, Yogyakarta, DI Yogyakarta 55581
Phone number: +62-274 4463912
Twitter: Bebek Tepi Sawah 
Email: info@bebektepisawahrestaurant.com
Email 2: tepisawahrestaurant@yahoo.com

Waroeng Ngupi Ngupi (Bellagio)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
 
Waroeng Ngupi Ngupi is a café and restaurant, serving popular Indonesian dishes. It is located in Bellagio Boutique Mall, in Mega Kuningan area. I visited the place in late afternoon and it was the busiest in the mall, with a crowd 100% Indonesian.

The place has a retro theme, with black and white pictures of Indonesia on the wall and oldies music.

I tried the Nasi Ayam Penyet (43,5000rp++), which was good but not very spicy and the accompanying lettuce and tomatoes were not fresh.

I also had the "Merah Putih" juice, a mix of Soursop and Strawberry juice, which was fine (30,000rp ++).

Overall: I would recommend Waroeng Ngupi Ngupi if you are in Bellagio Mall area only. The WIFI was quite strong too.
 
Waroeng Ngupi Ngupi
Bellagio Mall, GF
Jl. Lingkar Mega Kuningan
South Jakarta
Phone number: +62 21 3002 9808

Facebook: Warung Ngupi Ngupi Jakarta