The best local restaurants in Jakarta introduce first-timers to new and exotic tastes that make up Indonesia's national cuisine, while welcoming back those who have fallen in love with the rich flavours. Jakarta itself, being the melting pot of cultures from all over Indonesia, has a broad selection of places to dine and indulge in with local Indonesian dishes, from delicious fresh grilled seafood to grand rijstaffel ‘rice table’ experiences.
Here is a compilation of the 10 best local restaurants in Jakarta that should help you choose which kind of setting and offering appeals to you best. From Indonesian street food inspired menus and inimitable décor with rare art items from all over the archipelago, to world-class restaurants within Jakarta’s five-star city hotels, there’s one for you to try.
Lara Djonggrang introduces you to one of the most atmospheric dining experiences in the capital city, with stunning interiors filled with art collections that would easily make you think you’re dining in a museum or art gallery. Ancient tribal art pieces in one corner; then a very rare photo or painting in another. The restaurant comprises several separate dining rooms, with the main Lara Djonggrang dining hall with an impressive five-metre-tall statue of the namesake Majapahit princess. Various menu packages are available, with seafood, satay and set degustation menus starting from IDR 220,000.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 01:00
- Location: Jalan Teungku Chik di Tiro no.4, Menteng, Central Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 315 3 252
This local favourite is a wooden stilt house overlooking the waters of Ancol. Seafood City is one of the several branches operated by Bandar Djakarta, a local restaurant chain. It has its own ‘fish market’, a live seafood station where you can select your fish fresh then order how you wish it to be cooked. Seafood selections includes imported items such as Canadian geoducks and lobsters. For favourite local preparations, try the udang bakar madu pedas or ‘grilled prawn in spicy honey sauce’ (IDR 208,000 per kg), accompanied by a veggie dish of kangkung terasi or ‘stir-fried water spinach in shrimp paste sauce’ (IDR 15,800 per serving).
- Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 11:00 – 22:30, Sat – Sun 10:00 – 23:30
- Location: Jalan Pluit Karang Ayu Blok B1, Ground Floor #21, Bay Walk Mall, Pluit, North Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 666 760 60
Ikan Bakar Cianjur is a popular national chain restaurant that has several branches throughout Indonesia. Jakarta’s own in Central Jakarta offers great selections of popular Indonesian freshwater fish-based dishes and mostly traditional cuisine from West Java, which is known to comprise healthy and fresh ingredients. Highlight selections include gourami, nile tilapia, and catfish either grilled, fried or as soup (ranging between IDR 48,000 – 75,000 per serving). Veggie sides to try include juicy stir-fried water spinach, cauliflower, young pumpkin leaves and cassava leaves (IDR 20,000 – 22,000). Enjoy with steamed rice served in a basket.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 10:00
- Tel: +62 (0)21 350 778 8
Harum Manis is an Indonesian restaurant located within an exclusive apartment complex in Central Jakarta, and serves as a favourite spot for business people to talk deals over lunch or dinner, as well as families looking for a cosy place to gather and enjoy local cuisine. Executive Chef Beni Iskabul’s team cooks up tasty dishes, with signature must-tries such as ayam bakar bangsawan aka ‘statesman’s grilled chicken’ or the tasty veggie mix of gado-gado ngidham (IDR 55,000) for a starter. There’s also a list of rice dish favourites such as the mixed rice nasi campur nusantara (IDR 95,000) and a wide variety of satays to choose from. Live music is featured daily.
- Opening Hours: 11:30 – 23:00
- Location: +62 (0)21 579 417 27
Seribu Rasa, or ‘a thousand tastes’ in Indonesian, is popular with Southeast Asian dishes, as well as Javanese and ‘Peranakan’ heritage dishes. On the menu you will find quite a rich mix, from Hokkien spring rolls to oriental seafood cakwee fried breads under appetizers, Tasik style fish head gulai or thick soup and Jimbaran-style grilled fish under seafood selections, and Binjai fried chicken, Thai grilled boneless chicken thigh and beef rendang a la Minangkabau under meats. Prices range between IDR 39,000 – 130,000.
For satay galore, head down to this satay house on Jalan Pakubuwono in South Jakarta, where all your craving for this popular Indonesian grilled meat dish will be answered. In fact, there are several branches spread out all over the capital city. Satays range from lamb, beef, chicken and lilit or wrapped style, each with optional mixes. Satays range from between IDR 25,000 – 104,000 per serving. While you wait for your satay order being prepared, try out the various snacks available, such as spring rolls and perkedel croquettes. Refreshing drinks include fresh seasonal fruit juices and traditional Javanese hot ginger drinks, known as wedang.
For Indonesian dining with a bit of nostalgia, Oasis Restaurant located in Jakarta’s city centre is housed in a former Dutch colonial building, with dining rooms adorned with a wealth of paintings and sculptures sourced from all over the Indonesian archipelago. One of the main highlights here, in line with its colonial era vibe, is the rijstaffel experience (from IDR 1,000,000 for two), which comes as a medley of Indonesian dishes presented by a colourful troupe of twelve waitresses clad in traditional costumes. Delicacies include rice grilled with chicken, fish and beef, Sundanese style fried spiced chicken, grilled king praws and steamed spicy bean curd wrapped in banana leaves.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
- Location: Jalan Raden Saleh Raya no. 47, Cikini, Central Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 315 064 6
TeSate is a sister restaurant of Sate Khas Senayan, and while reflects a specialty in satay through its name, lets you discover a wide range of Indonesian cuisine. The restaurant is located on the fifth level of the Pacific Place Mall in Central Jakarta, and is good for families. It’s a great place to try out different types of Indonesian dishes, from gado-gado, tahu pong or fried tofu, and fresh spicy salads such as the papaya flower salad, and a variety of rice preparations. Other must-tries include the famous Indonesian sop buntut oxtail soup. Besides traditional brews, the drink list also lists wines and cocktails. Satays range between IDR 65,000 – 120,000, and premium seafood selections IDR 115,000 – 198,000.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 23:00
- Location: Pacific Place Mall level 5, Jalan Dr Samratulangi no. 39, Menteng, Gondangdia, Central Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 319 312 50
Another option for great Indonesian dining with Dutch colonial settings is Kembang Goela, with private dining rooms adorned in Indonesian antiquities. Another grand room, aptly named the Rijstaffel Room, is where meetings and banquets are usually held together with rijstaffel dinners. The menu presents mostly ‘peranakan’ heritage dishes, from lumpia sayur veggie spring rolls and otak-otak fish cakes as appetisers (IDR 48,000 – 55,000), to Dutch era-inspired Hollandsche Kroket croquettes (IDR 39,500). A variety of mainstay rice dishes include its signature aromatic yellow rice with deep-fried chicken, chicken jerky, potato cake in red chilli, sliced omelette and shrimp crackers (IDR 93,500).
Remboelan is a great place to try out home-cooked style Indonesian dishes, highlighting favourites from all the Indonesian islands. The restaurant is located on the third level of Plaza Senayan in Central Jakarta, and is great of families. Takes on traditional dishes include its special sour and spicy beef ribs soup called asem-asem iga (IDR 70,000). But before that, you may wish to try rujak pengantin (IDR 27,000) a very refreshing salad mix of fruits and veggies doused in sweet and spicy sauce. Remboelan too presents great rijstaffel experiences, available for a specified minimum number of guests at IDR 225,000 per person.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Plaza Senayan Level 3, Jalan Asia Afrika no.8, Plaza Senayan, Gelora, Central Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 572 508 8