Adventuring in Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta is the capital and most populous city of the Republic of Indonesia. First thing that came on my mind about Jakarta, horrific traffic. One who needs absolute patience and a calm attitude to “survive” the jam.

I remember once on the road, I was stuck inside the car for 45 mins while travelling from the hotel to my dinner destination which was just 1km down the road! You would have agreed with me that walking is way faster than driving. That is probably my experience shock when I was in Jakarta for my first time back in Jan 2014.

Pullman Jakarta Indonesia is one of the recommended hotel to stay in. It offers upscale and modern rooms strategically located in the heart of Jakarta’s business and shopping district.

Rooms are clean, big and spacious. So much so on accommodation, coming up next will be a series of food trails.
The first one and most highly recommended place will be Pondok Laguna @ Jl. Batu Tulis Raya 45-47.

Looking at the iconic gurame fish statue, you will soon be in for some real good seafood. Pondok Laguna is a hyper-popular, open air, always crowded seafood restaurant located in the city. It is a long standing institution among those who love seafood in the city. Diners who come here will definitely get their hands on the Pondok Laguna’s astounding popular signature dish : the deep fried gurame. Not to mention their assortment of other delicious seafood and traditional Indonesian dishes.

The signature deep fried gurame. The whole fish is deep fried as one singular entity. It is so crisp and comprehensive that it looks practically like it is standing on the plate. The gurame is crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside. It is meant to be eaten by taking the chunks of it off with your hands, dunking and/or mixing it with some sweet soy sauce and house-made sambal belacan, and eating it with spoonfuls of warmed steamed rice.

The sweetness of the soy sauce, the spiciness of the sambal belacan coupled with the crispness/smoothness of the fish meat blended together. Simply put it, this combined concoction is “deadly”.

The fried squid is so good and tender without any hint of rubberiness while the batter outside is crispy without being too thick. I find it better than some of the calamari that I had.

The chilli prawn is big and succulent. It is tenderly grilled to its perfection with the right amount of sambal chilli . The prawns are slitted up nicely for hassle free consumption.

The grilled squid is awesomely tasty too. You can savour the aftertaste of the chewy squid feeling.

Chilli la-la (a type of clam) is deliciously good as well. The sambal gravy makes it ideal to go over your steamed rice.

Another dish worth commendation is none other than their kangkong belacan. I just can’t find a suitable word to describe it other than speechless. You will be crying for it literally.

The fried tofu (called tahu kipas on the menu) was full of vegetables to shrimp stuffing that it really looks bloated. It was ridiculously delicious and flavourful as each ingredient complemented each other superbly. It wasn’t like tofu, it was like heaven.

If you are ever in Jakarta and wondering where to go, look no further, just head here. You won’t be disappointed.

Another place you can consider for dine out would be at Sari Ratu @ Jakarta Grand Plaza Indonesia. Sari Ratu is a casual fine dining restaurant serving authentic Nasi Padang.

What is Nasi Padang?

Nasi Padang is a Padang steamed rice served with various choices of pre-cooked dishes originated from Padang city, the capital of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is a miniature banquet of meats, fish, vegetables and spicy sambals eaten with plain white rice.

The dishes will be served on the tables upon arrival and will be stacked accordingly. You are free to pick and choose the dishes that you want. You will only be charged for those dishes that you have consumed. Unconsumed dishes will not be charged and it will be recycled to another table thereafter.

This is another type of local restaurant serving traditional Indonesian cuisine which the locals go to for their meals (similar to our economy rice stall). You get to pick the dishes you want and the servers will combine the dishes ordered onto one single plate together with a plate of plain white rice & sambal chilli.

There is another restaurant, Bebek Tepi Sawah Ubud Bali located in Cilandak Town Square (Citos), South Jakarta. The atmosphere inside the restaurant feels cozy, and with the accompaniment of the music gives you the feel of Bali. The signature dish is their Tepi Sawah Crispy Duck.

As I am more selective when it comes to ducks, I decided to give it a miss and go for the more familar fried gurame fish instead. Food quality is great and ambience is cozy. If you are an avid duck lover, then you should give this restaurant a visit and try out their signature crispy duck.

Let me know what you think after you have tried.

Last but not least, you can visit this restaurant, Waroeng Kita @ City Walk for authentic Indonesian cuisine.

Soup Buntut Kuah – Oxtail beef soup

Tahu Pong – Deep fried tofu

Rujak Uleg – Assorted tropical fruits served with spicy peanut sauce & palm sugar dressing

Tahu Telor – Fried tofu omelette

Mee Goreng Jawa – Javanese style fried noodle

Nasi Goreng Jawa – Spicy Javanese style fried rice

Well, you have come to the end of my food trails in Jakarta. Hope you enjoy the journey with me. If you are in Jakarta, find time to experience my food joy. Happy feasting!

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