As the first molecular gastronomy restaurant in Indonesia serving traditional Indonesian food, it was only natural for Namaaz Dining to raise a few well-plucked eyebrows among foodies and enthusiasts in the culinary circles. If cubism existed in cuisine, then Namaaz Dining is its Picasso. Love it or hate it, deconstructing Indonesian favourites and creating something completely new is what sets Namaaz Dining apart and makes it so talked about.
Open only five days a week (from Tuesday to Saturday) and with limited seating available (four tables of eight seating a maximum of 28 persons), this gastronomic temple of modernity prides itself on the ephemeral quality of seasonality with a 17-course degustation menu which changes every six months. Be prepared to be shocked when you see what is traditionally a chicken curry dish coming out looking like a set of… stationery, with a paper note and pencil! Or marshmallow and popcorn being transformed into an ashtray complete with smoking cigarettes and cigarette butts! (Smokers take note!) Wait! I haven’t finished yet. What about Nasi Bakar Ikan Peda deconstructed to look like a black spider?
If this doesn’t whet your appetite at best, or make you run home to order Domino’s Pizza at worst, then this restaurant has succeeded in whatever it has set out to do. Chef Andrian Ishak calls his unique brand of food ‘fun dining’, removing the stuffy and pretentious element out of his dishes as he playfully employs scientific formulations and methods to concoct his unusual creations. If you have a perverse sense of humour, then the ‘fun’ part actually happens when you call for the bill. Expect to tantalise your taste buds, expand your mind, raise your eyebrows and max out your credit card when you wine and dine here.
42 Gunawarman, Kebayoran Baru Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 33061000
Tip: Don’t bring the squirmish, or your grandma. The former might not like eating food that looks like insects and the latter might not consider “cigarette ash” as proper food.
Le Quartier doesn’t believe in doing thing by quarters or halves when it comes to their wholesome and hearty fare. With a French brasserie décor complete with chandeliers and vintage touches, this warm and inviting neighbourhood bar and restaurant feels like a snug and comfy leather glove – with a menu to match. Its calling card is modern European cuisine and this certainly doesn’t disappoint with either casual nosh such as its pastas and pizza dishes or fine dining options with main courses such as Duck Leg Confit and Beef Tournedoes Périgourdine. And the food here is so tasty you can be forgiven for not dressing up because most patrons are focussed on what they are putting into their mouths.
A bar takes centre stage in Le Quartier and their complimentary bread basket is heaven-sent for carb lovers. But don’t overindulge on bread as there’s lots more on the menu to fill your tummy. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, start your day at this versatile bistro with either Belgian Breakfast Waffles topped with Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs, Buttermilk Pancakes done country style with syrup, butter and diced fruit salad or if you are brave-hearted, the Whiskey Scrambled Eggs with Brie Cheese. Yes, there are smart ways to sneak in your booze!
Lunch is also a popular pick at Le Quartier with its lunch special like Double Barrel Beef Bratwurst or its Pan Seared Crab Cakes. But the pièce de résistance of Le Quartier must be dinner time as the full effects of the ambience can be experienced. Remember to save some tummy space for its desserts – from Soufflé and Crème Brule to Molten Chocolate Cake and Red Velvet Crepes, this is a place where you forget your calorie counter and maybe even your woes and worries even if it’s only for a few hours.
34 Gunawarman, Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 72788003
Tip: Jakarta was never considered the Paris of the East but for just a moment you can suspend the power of your imagination and make believe it is, in this brasserie à la française.
SKYE BAR & RESTAURANT
High and mighty, Skye is a place where indoor dining merges with outdoor drinking and the view from this 56th floor rooftop eatery competes with the delicious food and thirst-quenching drinks on offer. Its leaning toward Latin America in its style of food sprinkled with some Middle Eastern and Asian dishes make this all-day dining place a popular chill-out destination for urbanites who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta or those who need to take a break from the office.
Located at the apex of the tallest office building in downtown Jakarta and adjacent to Grand Indonesian Mall, Skye is the perfect excuse to pop up for a quick client lunch meeting or a relaxing respite from shopping. Come twilight, the outdoor lounge and terrace is the best spot in town to sip a martini while unwinding to chill-out beats. Try their signature cocktail, The Shaman, an attractive red concoction of Pomegranate and Starfruit juice blended with Absolut Citron and Mint as a sundowner while their Tagliolini Nero Al Frutti di Mareh is a visual contrast for both the eyes and palate with the black squid ink pasta nestled below a cacophony of sumptuous seafood.
If you wish to burn off all those calories from indulging at Skye, then bring along your bikini or swimming trunks because a lap pool perched just on the edge of the outdoor terrace is put there not just for decoration.
Skye Bar & Restaurant
Menara BCA, Level 56
Jln M.H. Thamrin No.1 Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 2358 6996
Tip: Skye may be the limit when it comes to high-level dining and drinking but don’t let that dampen your hedonistic ambitions.
For traditionalists, Plataran is a welcoming place which harks back to another genteel era where manners and etiquette take precedence over fashion and form. Dining at Plataran Dharmawangsa is akin to visiting an Indonesian aristocrat’s mansion minus the protocol or pomp and ceremony, so be prepared to be transported back to a different period in time, sans the meddling matriarch monitoring your every move.
Located in the prestigious residential enclave of Kebayoran Baru, the setting is a good enough excuse to leave the city. Built on a compound to replicate a Javanese Royal home, Plataran comprises a 150-year-old wooden heritage Joglo house, wooden Javanese pavilions, a prayer house and a glass-roofed conservatory. Well-manicured lawns and a lush garden designed in the style of tempo doeloe (Western Art Deco mixed with traditional Javanese for the uninitiated!) might excite the horticulturist but it’s the refined and authentic Indonesian cuisine which has gourmands and gastronomists all stirred up.
Divided into 4 distinct spaces reminiscent of a typical Javanese palace, the Sedap Malam Room is the main dining room located inside the Joglo house. The Melati Room is a conservatory with a glass roof, while the Kenanga Room is a semi-outdoor area and the Kantil Room is located in a Limasan House that is two generations old with a seating capacity of 60.
The languorous layout and nostalgic architecture play second fiddle to the classic food – from starters like the Brinjal Chips to the Gado Gado Dharmawangsa (a classic Indonesian salad); the classic Buntut or Oxtail Soup; the Udang Gandum (fried prawn with oatmeal, chilli and pandan leaves); the Bebek Manggis Curry (roasted duck and mangosteen curry) and the Empal Cabe Ijo (braised beef tenderloin with chilli and tomato) all accompanied with plain steamed white rice or Nasi Goreng Kamagi (basil fried rice, prawn, squid, lemongrass, fried egg and served with crackers): this is a meal reminiscent of home cooking. For dessert, don’t forget the Pisang Bakar Plataran (fried banana fritters) and the Onde Onde (stuffed glutinous rice ball, red bean paste and sesame seed) to satiate your sweet tooth. And if you are too inebriated or simply too full to make your way home on your own, there’s always the vintage bright purple Cadillac, parked conspicuously in the front porch to transport you safely back.
6 Dharmawangsa Raya Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 29044167
Tip: Even if you have to brave traffic to get there, the ends still definitely justifies the means.
Understated minimalism might sound too little and too late for some design snobs, but when it comes to describing the décor of Monty’s, it’s oh-so-appropriate. Since it opened its black doors back in 2015, this ultra-chic restaurant has been thrilling the fashionable flock with its Scandinavian-inspired cuisine and international offerings right in the heart of bustling Senopati.
Casual yet always elegant, Monty’s industrial-glam interior is testament to the oft used adage that less is more. With its dark wooden walls, soft grey seating, black marble tables and a modernist light sculpture suspended in the centre of the room, the tone for Monty’s is set for anyone – from the true blue stylista to a wannabe celebrity. Add to that mix a well-stocked and extensive bar which specialises in champagne and mouth-watering dishes whipped up by a Norwegian chef and you’ve got a winning formula.
Apart from the inevitable Nordic influence wielded by the chef, other European delights are also on the menu. Signature dishes include Truffle Cheese Soufflé, Champagne & Sea Scallop Angel Hair, Norwegian Salmon and Rib’s Eye but try venturing to other dishes such as the On The Bone Lamb Chop, Organic Chicken or Pickled and Smoked Herring and you would have tasted the best of European cooking.
Chocolate lovers take heart: this place is paradise when it comes to satisfying
your sweet tooth. The White Valrhona Chocolate & Banana “Mess” is simply irresistible, and it comes complete with bananas and raspberries with a boomerang-worthy gimmick for your Insta-Stories literally thrown in. (The white chocolate ball is dropped onto the plate making a “mess”!) Just remember not to wear your favourite white shirt if you decide to order this dessert. The Dark Chocolate and Chilli cake might be a safer bet if your #ootd isn’t splatter or stain resistant and it might arouse your curiosity for its unusual combination. Who would have thought that chocolate and chilli would complement each other and its gluten-free quality is an added bonus!
Jalan Raya Senopati
No. 84 Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 7204848
Tip: Sleek and chic, this place oozes style as well as substance. Make sure to dress up to blend in.
This self-styled “Parisian bistro meets New York Loft circa 1940s” sticks true to its promise when the owners say the idea for Loewy was to create a casual bistro and everyday place with an accessible menu, informal decor, and energetic bar serving the stiffest drinks in town.
Looking at Loewy’s drinks menu, not only do they serve the stiffest drinks but also the most extensive ones with reds, whites, cocktails, beers, all well represented, boasting the city’s largest selection of the finest single malt whiskey. If the length of the bar at 15 metres is any indication of the number of cocktails on offer, then Loewy hasn’t misrepresented anything. From old classics like Kir Royale to the Guacamole Margarita, the hardest part must be choosing any one of the many exotic concoctions available.
But don’t rely on drinks alone to have a good time here. The food menu has a good mix of local and international choices catering to the breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner crowds. Why not try the Nasi Uduk which consists of Traditional Steamed Coconut Rice with Roast Organic Chicken, Corn Fritters, Sweet Herbed Tempe and Telur Pindang for brekkie or if you are a later riser, the Truffle Mushroom Bread Pudding for brunch.
Stay on for lunch just to try the Indonesian Grilled Short Ribs served with Jasmine Rice and Sambal and if you haven’t got tired of the place yet, then the Loewy Fish and Chips or Australian Chateaubriand for dinner. Still have room left? Then go for the Mille Feuille with a choice of chocolate, vanilla or hazelnut filling served with ice cream and you might just spend the next few days recuperating!
Ground Floor, Oakwood Premier Cozmo
Jln Lingkar Mega Kuningan Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 255 42378
Tip: Not everyone craves fine dining or haute cuisine and thank goodness because at Loewy, comfort food is key.