The restaurant draws on its culinary collective’s many trips around the archipelago to discover indigenous cooking methods, rare ingredients and authentic flavours. Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa’s menu is a feast that draws on the culinary heritage of individual islands. Standout dishes include the gohu ikan tuna – fresh tuna marinated in coconut oil, calamansi juice and fresh bilimbi (a relative of star fruit), served with kenari nuts and ginseng leaves – from Maluku; burung puyuh malon goreng bumbu rica-rica – deep-fried quail tossed with lemongrass, ginger, red chilli and fresh lime relish – from North Sulawesi; and gulai udang – prawns in a spicy Acehnese curry sauce with okra and plantain – from Aceh. The restaurant is set in a beautiful refurbished Dutch-era colonial building.
2. D Classic
Reminiscent of stylish Ginza bars, D Classic, which opened in November 2017, is one of Jakarta’s few atmospheric speakeasies. It’s helmed by head bartender Yutaka Nakashima, who previously honed his craft at establishments in Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul. Bespoke cocktails are the name of the game here – in lieu of a set menu, simply tell Nakashima what your drink preferences are (in terms of spirit, style and strength level) and he will create a drink that’s perfectly suited to your individual tastes. Plush leather armchairs, a handsomely built wooden bar, soft jazz music and Japanese hospitality all make for a great drinking experience.
3. Museum MACAN
Despite having just 4,000m2 of event and exhibition space, Jakarta’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN) is one of the city’s leading art spaces. The first museum of its kind in the country, it provides public access to a significant and growing collection of modern and contemporary art from Indonesia and around the world, with a permanent collection that includes work by Indonesian artists such as Raden Saleh, Srihadi Soedarsono and S Sudjojono. Three conceptual exhibits – “The Past Has Not Passed” by Arahmaiani, Lee Mingwei’s “Seven Stories” and “One Million Years” by On Kawara all open on 17 November.
Tucked away amid green overgrowth on Jalan Cikajang is artisanal bakery Beau. The brainchild of local pastry chef Talita Setyadi, it makes some of the city’s best breads using natural ingredients and leavens with no added preservatives. Beau also crafts delectable sweet treats: think éclairs, entremets (layered French mousse cakes) and colourful cakes. New on the menu is the Jajanan – a seven- layer entremet with Indonesian flavours, such as pandan, coconut, jackfruit and cendol. This is the perfect venue for an afternoon tea or coffee, or a quiet space to escape the bustle of Jakarta.
Nonita Respati heads up Purana – which means “old scripture” in Sanskrit – a fashion boutique that fuses old-world batik techniques with fashionable cuts, patterns and colour palettes. Respati experiments with weaving, tie-dye, geometric shapes and hand- painting to create unique one-of-a-kind fabrics including a multifunctional jumpsuit that can be worn as sarong pants – the epitome of the relaxed elegance typical of the Purana brand. The Fall/Winter 2018 collection consists of classic styles with a twist, incorporating linen material for an elegant aesthetic.
Singapore Airlines flies to Jakarta nine times daily. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
This article was originally published in the November 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine