Whether you’re meeting clients or dining along, here are the best spots to eat and drink in Jakarta.
For a breakfast meeting
Decked in Indonesian and Scandinavian furniture, Waha Kitchen specialises in Peranakan cuisine such as laksas. If that’s not your thing in the morning, there are the Melbourne Brekkie menu options, including eggs Benedict and avocado bircher muesli, courtesy of Malaysian-born Australian chef Stewart Gan. Waha also roasts its own blend of coffee and is open 24 hours.
For a business dinner
Oasis is a Jakarta institution set in a magnificent building dating back to 1928 and was the former home of a Dutch plantation owner. It’s famous for its rijsttafel (literally, rice table) – a collection of Indonesian foods that gives you a gastronomic tour of the archipelago. There are several Grand Rijsttafel menus or splurge on the Imperial Rijsttafel. It gets busy so be sure to book.
For dining alone
Venture into South Jakarta’s Kemang district, where Toscana has been a favourite with expats and the Indonesian middle class for nearly 20 years. Most of them are convinced that this is the city’s best pizza. The restaurant offers Tuscan-style food (with options beyond pizza) and a decent wine list. Equally comfortable for a group or dining alone, Toscana has some of the best- trained staff in town.
For drinks with clients
The owners of this popular bar and restaurant describe it as: “Paris bistro meets New York loft in the 1940s”. Think chocolate leather banquettes, subway tiles and white brick walls. The restaurant is great but it’s the bar that is buzzing. Is that because they promise to serve the “best, stiffest drinks in town”? Grab a seat and try a cotton-candy cosmopolitan or an orchid martini.
For a coffee pit stop
For a city where 20 years ago coffee meant either a five-star hotel or a street stall, the explosion of its café culture has been remarkable. There are coffee shops galore but Common Grounds is one of the best, with its award-winning baristas among the most skilled in the city. Its coffee beans are sourced from both Indonesia and overseas.
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