There isn't really much to do in Jakarta besides going to the different malls. Every time I go home, there seems to always be a new mall to check out. Unless you have lived in Jakarta, you probably don't know how important of a role the mall plays in the lives of Indonesians in Jakarta. :)
At a typical mall, there's usually grocery stores, movie theater, clothing stores, restaurants, hair salons, book stores, furniture stores, and even doctor's offices. Basically you can find almost everything at a mall.
If you do go to Jakarta, here are a couple of must-dos:
- Cheap massages: Massages cost around $10-$15 for an hour, which is so heavenly. I think I had a massage every other day. :)
- Cream bath: This is basically a treatment for your hair, where they massage your hair and back, and then steam your hair. It costs around $15-$20.
- Watch a movie at the luxurious theater, such as XXI or Blitz. The chairs are lazy boys and you can actually order food while you watch movie.
That's it. :) Other than that, enjoy all the different food. Here's what I ate while in Jakarta.
Chicken Katsu Toast
I have had chicken katsu before, but never inside toast. It actually was really good!
|Chicken Katsu & Toast|
Sup Buntut Bakar at D'Core
Sup buntut means "oxtail soup". A couple of my friends opened up a new restaurant called D'Core in Jakarta so I went there for lunch and ordered the sup buntut bakar, which means "grilled oxtail soup". It was good and definitely satisfied my Indonesian food craving. One of my other favorite places for sup buntut is at the Intercontinental Borobudur hotel.
|Sup buntut goreng|
Red Velvet Cake at Union
My friend raved about this red velvet cake at Union cafe in Plaza Senayan. So we went to try it. It was pretty good. The cake was moist, and I loved the crushed candied pecan on the cake. The cream was very buttery, and less sweet compared to the typical red velvet icing in the US.
|Red Velvet Cake|
Egg Chicken Roll at Hoka Hoka Bento
Hoka Hoka Bento is a fast food Japanese restaurant that is usually available at every major mall in Jakarta. The meal typically includes coleslaw salad with this yummy creamy sauce, as well as pickled carrot. One of my favorite dishes is the egg chicken roll (deep fried!).
|Egg Chicken Roll|
Martabak is basically Indonesian's version of a pancake that is in a "sandwich" form. This is probably the food that I craved the most all the time. :) This food is actually a typical street snack, and you can only find it on the streets. Some street vendors do delivery and that's what we did. I think I had this delivered 4-5 times during my 2 week trip in Jakarta.
The pancake is chewy, thick, soft, and a bit spongy - and very buttery. They use a Dutch butter called Wisman which truly adds to the taste. My favorite is the cheese with sweet condensed milk, but the chocolate & peanut one is really good as well!
|Martabak keju manis|
Like Singapore, there are lots of food courts with pretty good food at the different malls. You can find a lot of variety from traditional Indonesian food, to Japanese and American food.
I ordered a Nasi Langgi which is a traditional Indonesian rice dish. It was served with chicken, hard boiled egg, gizzard, and vegetable curry.
For dessert, I had Es Podeng--a dessert that I have not had since I was probably in middle school. This is typically a dessert served on the streets, so I am glad to have found this at the food court. It's basically a coconut ice cream served with avocado, jellies, bread, and sticky black rice.
Japanese Spaghetti at Angus Steakhouse
Angus Steakhouse served one of the best Japanese-style spaghetti! The spaghetti was cooked al dente, served with mentaiko and cut nori. Yum!
Short Rib at Angus Steakhouse
Angus also serves really good steak. We ordered the short rib and it was cooked nicely and was definitely a good cut of beef. The beef was actually imported from the US.
Avocados in Indonesia are typically served sweet, almost like a dessert. I know this is a funny concept for most Americans since they associate avocado with "guacamole". In Indonesia, avocado juice is usually served cold and with chocolate, coffee, and/or ice cream.
Overall I had a very satisfying trip back home, especially food wise. There's always an abundance of great food at a very reasonable cost. My favorite though is still the martabak...yum!
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