Authentic Indonesian Food in Jakarta: 5 Restaurants Worth to Visit

October 23, 2019

When it comes to traditional cuisine, it is no secret that Indonesia has been known for centuries as one of the countries with the most diverse food selection. This is possible due to the fact that Indonesia has over 6.000 populated islands, with more than 300 ethnic groups.
Apart from these inevitable facts, Indonesia’s long history also plays a significant role upon shaping the country’s food delicacies. Take rice as the easiest example. According to Wikipedia, Rice has been a staple of Indonesian’s society as late as 9th century – when a relief was found in Borobudur and Prambanan temples which described rice barn and rice plants.
Many years later, Rice is still being considered as one of the staple almost in every household in Indonesia – along with some other famous food like Gulai, Rendang, or any other cuisine which is very rich in spices. The combination of fresh ingredients and varieties of spices makes Indonesian’s cuisines feel more special and beloved. For those of you who are planning on exploring the city this week, don’t forget to pay these restaurants a visit! Because not only known for its elegant decors, these five restaurants also have wide range of tasty Indonesian food in its menu. Bon appetite!

1. Lagoon Cafe
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Coming in at number one is none other than Lagoon Cafe at The Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta. Upon entering the restaurant, visitors will be greeted by the elegance of Royal Javanese atmosphere which has been the staple of The Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta since its early days. The nostalgic feeling of this restaurant had successfully made its loyal customers always want to come back – it has become very dear to their heart over the years. Of course, apart from the heart-warming vibes Lagoon Cafe has to offer, this restaurant also has wide selections of Indonesia’s most beloved cuisine from the creation of our professional Chef. Starting of, our Oxtail Rawon has been featured as “one of the best Rawon in town” by Indonesia Tatler. The richness of its black colored broth mixed with the tenderness of oxtail made Lagoon Cafe’s signature Oxtail Rawon as one of customer’s favorite. There is also the classic Nasi Goreng Kampung, which is served with sunny side egg, satay, fried chicken, and prawn crackers on the side. Apart from these two delicious menus, you can find many other Indonesia’s cuisine to enjoy at Lagoon Cafe. Just give us a ring at 021-5703600 and we’ll get you a table for two!

2. Kembang Goela
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Photo credit @kembanggoela.pakisculinary
Our next restaurant is famous for its Dutch Colonial decor and unique food serving technique. Located in Sudirman Road, South Jakarta, Kembang Goela has also become one of the go-to restaurants for those who seek for comfort through authentic Indonesian Food – as this place offers varieties of legendary or tempo doeloe types of cuisine, but with a rather modern twist. For example, Kembang Goela has a menu called “Nasi Goreng si Pitoeng” which consists of the classic Indonesian fried rice served with some tasty fried dishes on the side. There is also “Sosis Sinyo Londo” boiled hanging cheese or beef sausages that can be a perfect choice for appetizer. As for its unique food serving technique, Kembang Goela adapts a Dutch technique called Rijsttafel which translated as “rice table.” Fun fact, Rijsttafel was actually inspired by the elaborate meal presentation at Nasi Padang restaurant in West Sumatra!

3. Warung MJS
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Photo credit @mjsetiabudi
Previously known as Mbah Jingkrak Setiabudi, Warung MJS bring the richness of Indonesia’s spices onto your plate, through wide varieties of tasty dishes. Much like our two previous restaurants, Warung MJS has also become one of the go-to places for Jakartans who are looking for some comfort food which make them feel like home. But, what makes it special is that Warung MJS’ specialty on putting modern twists into many old recipes – especially from Javanese cuisines. For instance, there is a menu called “Ayam Setan” which is a creation inspired by the classic “Ayam Penyet” we’ve always known and love. Basically, Ayam Setan is a chicken based dish which has been cooked with a traditional steaming technique called “ungkep,” before then being fried and topped with a very spicy sambal. Another food which also become Warung MJS’ staple is “Udang Gaul,” a plate of fried shrimp topped with sambal and some pete. The ever-growing popularity of Warung MJS makes this restaurant always flooded with people every lunch hour and even dinner. So, make sure that you’ve made a reservation beforehand.

4. Harum Manis
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Photo credit @my.foodtograph
One customer described Harum Manis as a nice getaway from Jakarta’s hustle, since it gives a distinct holiday vibes to its customers. All thanks to the combination between Harum Manis’ homey ambience, as well as the soothing feeling that customers get from the traditional music played on a loop. Located around Sudirman area in South Jakarta, Harum Manis has become yet another perfect destination for those who love to hunt for some authentic Indonesia’s cuisine to enjoy during lunch or dinner. For instance, on appetizer there is a menu called “Sarwo Becik Sanget” which consists of five samples of Harum Manis’ most favorite traditional snacks. Next on main course, customers can get a taste of “Nasi Campur Nusantara” – a small tumpeng rice with mixed vegetables, Balinese lawar, satay, beef, and melinjo crackers. For those who are looking forward to have some light, tasty, yet refreshing meal, you can try out Harum Manis’ Soup and Soto selections. Needless to say, this restaurant has anything for anyone.

5. Kila Kila by Akasya
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Photo credit @patriciasari
The last destination in our list is Kila Kila by Akasya which is located around SCBD area in South Jakarta. Described as a place “Rich in flavor, a perfect harmony in the heart of Jakarta,” this restaurant offers wide arrange of homemade styled food, but with a modern and rather fancy twist to it. Many customers suggest that Kila Kila by Akasya shouldn’t be missed by those who are penchant for the tastiness of Indonesia’s cuisines. This statement becomes something that many people couldn’t deny, considering the wide varieties of food you can find on Kila Kila’s menu. For instance, there is “Buntut Goreng Cabe Ijo,” a deep fried oxtail topped with green chili sambal. Next, “Pecel Madiun” can be a great alternative if you don’t feel like eating such heavy food for lunch or dinner. As on the rice based food selection, “Nasi Kapau” and “Nasi Goreng Kambing” are the things you shouldn’t miss.
That concludes our five top recommendations! If you’re planning on spending a long holiday in Jakarta, make sure you put these places on your list. Also, don’ forget to check our most exciting promos by clicking here. Have a nice day, everyone!