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Top Arab & Middle Eastern Restaurants in Jakarta

By Tibs →
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 seem 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 that offer the best value-for-money and the most authenticity. Here are my favorite Arab or Middle Eastern restaurants in Jakarta: 1) Al Nafoura (Lebanese) 2 Al-Jazeerah (Yemeni) 3) Turkuaz (Turkish) 4) Sinbad (Syrian/Yemeni) - Review not posted yet, the restaurant is located Jl. K.S. Tubun Raya No. 2 in Slipi (Tel: +62-21 530 8366) 5) Beirut Lebanon (Lebanese) 6) Hadramou t (Yemeni) As usual, I will update this list as I discover new restaurants. You're welcome to comme

De Leila (Arabic Nightclub) - FX Sudirman

By Tibs →
De Leila is an Arabic nightclub located on the 8th floor of FX Sudirman. 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 is served. The new De Leila was opened in 2015 (the previous one was on Jalan Gatot Subroto). It is still partly owned by the Ahmad Fahmy family (also behind Tanamur ). It is now more modern and spacious, with an upmarket feel. I have to warn you though that is a place of prostitution, with at least 50 freelance working girls from Indonesia, China, and Morocco. The music in De Leila is Arabic, either from their live band or from the DJ. It is best to book a sofa so you can enjoy the show with the best possible view. You can order shisha as well. There is also a mezzanine with pool tables and a smaller bar area. The entrance fee is Rp150,000 and it incl

Hadramout (Yemeni Cuisine Restaurant)

By Tibs →
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 to the kitchen, more intimate. On the walls, you'll also find some traditional instruments and artifacts 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 .

Turkuaz (Tukish Jakarta Restaurant)

By Tibs →
  To my knowledge, Turkuaz is only the second Turkish restaurant to open in Jakarta. Sesai Zorlu, its owner and chef, worked in the first one, Anatolia, for 10 years. From what I've heard, since he left, the quality of the food in the latter has been deteriorating and it is no longer the great restaurant it used to be. If anyone can confirm it would be appreciated... Turkuaz is quite small, with only about 30 seats available. There are plans to expand by the end of the year, with two private rooms and a lounge upstairs to smoke shisha. When we visited, on a Saturday night, it was full and we had to wait for 10 minutes to get a table.

Abunawas (Arab Food) - Jakarta

By Tibs →
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 Tibs →
  Al-Jazeerah is among the best and most famous Arabic restaurants in Jakarta. They have several branches now but the one I tried is the original restaurant, which is located on Jalan Raden Saleh. The restaurant doesn't look fancy but it is comfortable and clean. It consists of a large function room, to be avoided if you are a small group, and a smaller one in the back which is much more intimate. 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 Tibs →
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 venues to do so in the area. Concerning the food, it is rather cheap. What I sampled tasted average, though. The Shawarma (Rp30,000) was made in the Egyptian way, with only tomatoes, peppers, and chicken. 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 (Le Méridien Jakarta)

By Tibs →
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.