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Browsing Category " Middle-East "

De Leila (Arabic Nightclub) - FX Sudirman

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Update 24th October 2016 : 17 Moroccan prostitutes were arrested in De Leila over the weekend, yet strangely no newspaper was mentioning the name of the club. This is the review I wrote about the venue in March 2016: De Leila is an arabic nightclub located on the 8th floor of FX Sudirman, where Privé used to be. It is a popular party spot for tourists from the Middle East and particularly Saudis, Qatari and Emiratis. You have a few other nationalities such as Egyptians, Iranians, Turkish and Omanis. Even though most customers are Muslims, alcohol and prostitutes are widely available.

King of Kebab (Best Kebab in Jakarta)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
King of Kebab claims to be the only authentic kebab in town and they are not lying! They have a tiny location on Jalan Gunawarman, just in front of Holy Crab , where you will probably meet the owner, a Palestinian who worked in Australia and Singapore. He prepares the sauces himself and imports the beef from Australia. The kebabs are not so big but the prices are low (Rp38,000 for one). It is very convenient for an after party craving as they stay open late. You can park your car easily, order from go-jek, or eat on the spot in one of the few tables provided.

Doner Kebab (Indonesia)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Doner Kebab is the largest chain of kebab restaurants in Jakarta. They serve their kebabs with beef, chicken or lamb and the price is reasonable, between 20,000rp and 30,000rp. There are quite many competitors too in Jakarta such as Opie's Kebab or Ali Kebab. I didn't expect too much when I tried their food in Taman Anggrek Mall but I was surprised because it actually tasted ok (or maybe I felt that way because I was starving). It is not too unhealthy also as you can ask them not to put any sauce. Even though it is fast food from a chain restaurant, I would still recommend Doner Kebab to you if you are looking for a cheap snack while inside a mall. Doner Kebab has locations all over the city, almost exclusively in food courts in malls: Doner Kebab Mall Summarecon Bekasi 3rd Floor, Food Temptation, Jalan Boulevard Ahmad Yano Phone number: +62-21 2957 2888

Istanbul Turkey Restaurant (Kemang, Ampera)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Istanbul Turkey is a Turkish Restaurant located on Jalan Ampera, not too far from Kemang. It was opened recently by a Turkish national who owns other venues in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The place gave me a very good first impression as it was mostly crowded with Middle-eastern people. It doesn't look very upmarket, but it is authentic, clean and comfortable. I tried the Iskender Meat Lamb and Beef (135,000rp). It found it was excellent, but I couldn't tell you how the original dish is supposed to taste like since I never had it before. Iskender Lamb and Beef As there were many Turkish customers, I imagine it must be pretty authentic. There is Live Music (Arab and Turkish) with Belly Dancers on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night. They also have all kinds of Shishas. Overall: Istanbul Turkey is a cheaper alternative to Turkuaz or Anatolia if you are looking for Authentic Turkish food in Jakarta.

Top 10 Arab & Middle Eastern Restaurants in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Surprisingly for the capital of the largest Muslim country in the world, the number of Arab or Middle Eastern restaurants in Jakarta is quite low. I've counted about 25 of them, and I've tried 15. It may seems like a lot, but since Jakarta is so spread, you're not likely to have more than just a few near where you live. The good thing is that within these, most of them are decent and affordable. In particular, I advise you to try one of the Yemeni restaurants which offer the best value-for-money and the most authenticity. As of October 2011, here is my Top 10 for my favourite Arab or Middle Eastern restaurants in Jakarta (you can click on the link to read my personal review): 1) Maroush (Morrocan Restaurant) 2) Al Nafoura (Lebanese)

Abunawas (Arab Food)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Abunawas is a middle-eastern restaurant, similar to nearby Hadramout , with mostly specialties from the Arabian Peninsula. I was quite disappointed with my experience there. The first time I came, it was 9.15pm and they were closing at 10pm so I was told to come back another day. I did come back, 2 days later, at 8.15pm, and already, the dining rooms upstairs, the nicest ones with a floor-seating area were not available (too late). We sat downstairs, while the staff was busy cleaning up the place, which gave us the feeling we were intruders. The waitress told us then there was no grilled meat available nor almost everything listed on the menu. I didn't keep the bill so I only remember the name of one dish (Mandi Laham). Here are the pictures (total bill was Rp120,000 with drinks):

Al-Jazeerah (Jakarta Restaurant Arabic)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
  Al-Jazeerah is among the best Arabic restaurants in Jakarta in the mid-range price category. It is located in Jalan Raden Saleh, about 200 meters South from Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) , and it is a popular hangout spot for Middle Easterners in the city. Apart from the restaurant, you also have a  take-away kebab stand and a busy shisha café (called Arabian Tent Cafe, a bit weird, it seemed to me that an abnormal proportion of girls were inside). In the restaurant, you have a large function room, to be avoided for dining, and a smaller one in the back. It doesn't look great but it is comfortable and clean. They also have a giant screen with Arabic channels. The night I visited, there was about 10 other customers, and all of them looked foreign, most likely Arab. The air-con was very strong and blowing everywhere in the room unfortunately, and it made me leave as soon as I was done eating.

Al-Tahrir (Egyptian Restaurant)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Al-Tahrir is a Middle-Eastern/Egyptian restaurant located in Pasar Festival, on Jalan Rasuna Said. Intended as a meeting point for the Egyptian community in Jakarta, it is named after Tahrir square in Cairo. The most interesting is that it is supposed to stay open 24-hour (see 24-hour restaurants in Jakarta ), one of the only venue to do so in the area. Concerning the food, it is rather cheap, but what I had tasted average. The Chicken Shawarma (Rp30,000) was made in the Egyptian way, with only tomatoes, peppers and the meat. I usually prefer when there are more ingredients (onions, white sauce, garlic, herbs, etc...), hence my disappointment. I also tried the Mixed Grilled Meat (Rp110,000), which is quite big for one person. The cooking was fine, particularly the sauce and the spices, but the ingredients used were probably not the best quality. There are no miracles, you get what you pay for.

Al Nafoura Lebanese Restaurant

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Al Nafoura is the Lebanese restaurant of the hotel Le Meridien. It is a great place to eat, especially for dinner, when the dim-lighting creates an intimate atmosphere, perfect for a romantic date. The food is not as good as in Anatolia , the most famous Middle-eastern restaurant in Jakarta, but the standards remain high for the city. Surprisingly, it isn't too expensive as well. You can manage to eat well for less than Rp200,000 per person, which is quite rare for a 5-star hotel restaurant.

Anatolia Turkish Restaurant Kemang

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Update August 2011 : Since the Chef in Anatolia has opened its own restaurant, Turkuaz , I've heard the food is not as good as before here. I'll try to confirm as soon as possible. You're welcome to comment.

Beirut Lebanon (Lebanese Restaurant)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Beirut Lebanon (also called Ali K. Baba) had been advertised to me as the best value Lebanese restaurant in Jakarta. The place doesn't look very good from the outside, and certainly not like a place you would want to eat in. The interior is better, very authentic and simple. It is not pretty but you feel that it isn't fake, and that probably if you ever go to Beirut, you will find some similar eateries. I ordered the hummus (Rp 20,000++) because I wanted to compare it with the more expensive restaurant Samarra ... No doubt about it, Beirut Lebanon's is way better. I followed that with a shawarma (Rp 50,000++) and it was fine also, especially the white sauce to put on it. Though the food is excellent value, there were no customers that day, in Lebanon Beirut. At the same time though, I'm guessing people were queuing in any other restaurants in Grand Indonesia and other malls. It made me think that restaurants located outside of malls seem to have troubles attractin

Diritna Lebanese Café

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Diritna is a tiny "mediterranean" restaurant where you can also smoke different flavoured shishas. The type of food available is Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian. You have an outdoor section, a bit noisy, and a sort of aquarium, more quiet but not really cozy.

Hadramout (Yemeni Cuisine Restaurant)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Probably one of the most authentic Arabic restaurants in Jakarta, Hadramout specializes in Yemeni cuisine, particularly Mandi/Madhbi (basmati rice, meat, spices). By coincidence, it is exactly what I ate the day before in Al-Jazeerah in Cikini so I was able to make a useful comparison. I preferred the atmosphere in Hadramout: They give you the possibility to eat directly on the carpet, in small private areas, which is quite unique in Jakarta. I advise you to choose the areas closest from the kitchen, more intimate. On the walls, you'll also find some traditional instruments and artefacts from Yemen. As in Al-Jazeerah , all the waitresses wear the headscarf and the television channels are in arabic. Of course, no alcohol is served. Concerning the food (Lamb Madhbi for 2, Rp121k++)), Al-Jazeerah was the best. The rice had the same taste, but the lamb in Hadramout was too salty and fatty .

Little Baghdad (Kemang)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Little Baghdad is a famous shisha bar in Kemang, opened since 2003. They also serve a mix of western/Indian/arabic food for a very affordable price (see menu here ). It is usually very quiet compared to other venues in Kemang, but the clients are regulars. Since no alcohol is sold in Little Baghdad, most people come for the shisha (Rp65,000) and for the middle-eastern atmosphere. Recommended for having a chat with friends, not a party place. Opening hours:

Maroush (Moroccan Fine Dining Cuisine)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
  Maroush is a Moroccan restaurant in Crowne Plaza hotel, owned by the same group behind Frontpage and Anatolia . Along with Al-Nafoura (Lebanese food), it is among the best fine dining Arab restaurants in Jakarta. It is great both for the atmosphere and for the food, and while it remains much more expensive than your usual warung, I think it is affordable by Western standards (approximately Rp250,000 for a 2-course meal with drinks).