Jakarta Food Pics, 24 Hour Restaurants & Street Food
On my first trip to Indonesia I stayed in North Jakarta to be walking distance from the two cheaper sex clubs, Travel and Classic. It was a week long trip in July and I basically just ate delicious Indonesian food by day and did hookers by night, after the traffic died down.
More on the sex clubs here. This post is just a dump of all my food pics since RumandCokeMan asked how the local food is. North Jakarta is a bit rundown but I had no problems walking at night and there’s tons of delicious cheap street food around.
My favourite was 24 hour restaurant ‘Garuda Padang’ (top left on the map below) 700m away from my hotel, perfect when you roll out of the sex clubs after a few $30 short times.
Ibis Jakarta Harmoni is 1.8km from Travel (top right) and 1.3km from Classic (bottom right). Also 300m from Malioboro (bottom left) which has some Russian and East Asian hookers but that one’s more pricey.
Garuda is a chain of restaurants around Indonesia, where lots of dishes are on display in the window and you walk in and pick and choose what you want, eat in or takeaway. These huge mounds of beef and chicken caught my eye.
They have air con and seating but it’s nothing fancy, if you’re trying to impress an IndonesianCupid date you might want to go somewhere a bit nicer in South Jakarta.
They serve Padang food, a type of Indonesian food from the city of Padang. This particular restaurant is called ‘Garuda Padang’ and I always stopped off there on the way back from Travel club about 5am.
You can eat dishes on separate plates or combine everything together on a big banana leaf, takeout style. They have all kinds of meats, rice, potatoes, greens, fish, prawns, chilli, and crisps to add a bit of crunch (potato chips for Americans).
It’s a bit oily, they have water bowls on the table to clean your fingers in. Really heavy and filling, kept me full well into the next day so I didn’t have to leave the room until after rush hour.
The staff are really helpful, just point at what you want and they’ll add it to the banana leaf for you. I preferred to eat it like that even if I wasn’t ordering it to takeout.
You can stuff your face for under $10, good if you’re on an intermittent fasting routine. Some say the hygiene standards aren’t great in these places but I didn’t get sick or anything.
Ibis Harmoni Room Service
On my first day I took it easy and ordered room service at my hotel. They had a bunch of local Indonesian dishes on the restaurant menu and 24 hour delivery.
Even though it was hotel food it still wasn’t that expensive. One US Dollar is about 15,000 IDR. So a Nasi Goreng for 60,000 is about $4. It would be cheaper on the street though.
Indonesian food felt like a mix between Thai and Indian food for me, lots of rice as a staple but a bit more heavy meaty sauces, peanut sauces, and crackers.
On average Indonesian food is a bit less spicy too, I liked how they’d serve chilli separately instead of just chucking it into the food automatically like in Thailand.
There’s also a fair few noodle dishes like Thailand. For example Mie Goreng, which is Indonesian fried noodles with mixed vegetables and chicken.
Soto Ayam is an Indonesian chicken soup with glass noodles, boiled egg, and vegetables. Again fairly similar to Thai food, minus the obnoxious amounts of chilli and spoonful of sugar added in.
Pisang goreng is a dessert dish, fried banana with chocolate sponge inside, grated cheese and vanilla sauce outside. Served with strawberries. Sending a pic of this to chicks on IndonesianCupid should get them round.
Cap cay (or Cap cai) is an Indonesian dish of stir fried vegetables in oyster sauce and pepper. Carrots, broccoli, lettuce, etc.
They have some nice iced teas and signature coffee blends on the Ibis restaurant menu too. I got the fresh Lychee tea with syrup and the Almond mocha with whipped cream.
If like Dante you prefer western food, there’s a McDonald’s next to the hotel as well. You can see it from the lobby.
Ibis Harmoni is girl friendly, I had a Wechat freelancer and a motorbike hooker in my room with no issues (girls and pimps hang around outside at night on bikes).
Jakarta Street food
If you Google ‘Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih’ you’ll find this open air street food spot, near the National Monument. They have these huge bowls of yellow rice and meats. Kambing means goat.
This was super cheap, they wrap it up for you in paper and I was full after spending about $2. I had two portions. Again it kinda reminded me of Indian takeaway rice.
People either order it as takeaway or sit down at the plastic chairs and tables to relax in the evening after work. Guitar singers serenade the crowd. I gave this guy 10,000 IDR for a pic and quick song.
They also serve Satay meat (Sate in Indonesian spelling), these little skewered and grilled kebabs dipped in a spicy peanut sauce.
Those were super cheap too, like a Dollar for a plate of five.
I got these chopped fruits there too, you get a takeaway plastic box of apple, pineapple, guava, etc. served with a sauce that I couldn’t identify.
Rawon Setan is another chain of restaurants. ‘Rawon Setan Mbak Endang’ is around the corner from Travel Hotel. The dish above was delicious with a meaty sauce, and peanut cracker.
Rawon is a traditional black beef soup, rich tasting. I also found some wide noodle and chopstick style dishes there, similar to Pad Thai.
Another guitar singer came along shortly to entertain us while we were eating.
Took this pic in a restaurant somewhere because I knew I’d forget the names of the dishes. And there was a cute chick on the wall.
Buying Beer in Jakarta
Since Indonesia is a Muslim country you can’t get alcoholic beers in 7/11 stores, they only have zero ABV Bintang ‘beers’ that taste awful, like a syrupy lemonade.
Avoid those and just ask street sellers if they have beer. Usually they’ll reach under their stall if no one’s looking and pull out a can of real beer for you. Bars, sex clubs and nightclubs still serve alcohol.
There are Durian sellers all over the place too, that creamy Thai fruit that smells awful.
Summary – Thumbs Up for Indonesian Food
Overall Indonesian food is pretty decent, a breath of fresh air after Filipino food.
Jakarta streets look a bit sketchy, lots of garbage around and random potholes in the ground etc., but it’s perfectly safe to explore and try out local dishes. The locals are very friendly.
If you want air con check out a Garuda chain restaurant.
Or stay at an Ibis hotel (bunch of them around Jakarta) and order some snacks to your room. My room at Ibis Harmoni was $40 on Agoda.
North Jakarta Food Locations
- Garuda Padang on Google maps
- Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih on Google maps
- Rawon Setan Mbak Endang on Google maps