Our dream trip started in Jakarta, where we landed on October 31st. When I first announced to my family that my trip would begin with 4 days in Jakarta, they were quick to question me with worried thoughts: isn’t that city so polluted? Isn’t that a dangerous city for a blonde like you? It is true that Jakarta doesn’t have the best of reputations. And yet, only a few minutes after stepping foot in the capital of Indonesia, I knew I was going to love it!
We stayed at the Pullman, a luxurious hotel located in the heart of the city, more precisely Tharmrin CBD, right next to a giant mall with all stores you can think of. This part of town is known for being the place to find all the major international hotel chains. A very “businessy” neighborhood, nestled in the city center. The hotel offered 5-star comfort, with ultra-spacious and modern rooms, breathtaking decorations in the lobby, and most importantly (really!) a warm welcome from the staff. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Jakarta I highly recommend this hotel.
Our first day started in the Kota Tua district, otherwise know as the “old town”, the cradle of the city’s history. You can still see and feel the signs of the colonial Dutch past through the architecture and configuration of the buildings. We started by tasting the traditional Indonesian drink: Jamu at Acaraki coffee.
Gedung Kerta Niaga 3, Kota Tua, Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No.11, RT.3/RW.6
Kota Tua, Pinangsia, Tamansari, West Jakarta City, Jakarta 11110
*Some info on this particular drink: Jamu is a beverage that has been consumed in Indonesia since forever. It is said to have appeared over the 17th century in the Royal families, where it was drank by the women in order to increase their beauty. This juice is made out of different herbs and has a really bitter taste. Over 80% of the population consumes it, as it said to be a sort of “life elixir” preserving not only feminine beauty, but also protecting against all kinds of diseases.
We continued our day with a small spa session, at the Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa. It felt great to relax after 24 hours of travel! I really liked the massage, although it was a little strong, despite my different attempts to ask the masseuse for some softness. We then stopped at the Mall in front of our hotel for lunch (at Social House in the heart of the mall, which was so good!) and some shopping. While the shopping center was huge and full of our favorite brands, it is not interesting to shop there because of the price difference with Europe. Inside the mall, you have a small museum (Galeri Kaya) which is very technological and didactic, but that I personally wouldn’t recommend: I did not find it very thought through so it turned out to be a waste of time.
We got back to the hotel in order to cool down and had dinner at Bunga Rampai, one of the best restaurants in Jakarta! The restaurant is located in an old colonial house, with a sumptuous interior. They serve traditional Indonesian cuisine but on a finer level, which makes it exquisite! A perfect start to our culinary trip through Indonesia.
Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro 35 Menteng
Between 100K and 300K p/p
The day after, we started with a visit of the contemporary art museum ART:1. This new museum recently opened in the center of Jakarta and resembles an art gallery with temporary exhibitions. I’m not really receptive to contemporary art and I must admit I didn’t get everything the artworks portrayed, but if you’re fan of contemporary style and you wish to discover Asian art it’s really worth a visit! They showcase pieces from different countries like Japan or Indonesia and the building in itself is a chef-d’oeuvre!
Open from 10am to 6am – closed on Mondays
Jl. Rajawali Selatan Raya No.3, RT.4/RW.6, Gn. Sahari Utara, Sawah Besar, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10720
75K (adults) / 50K (students) / 35K children
We stopped by a restaurant called Fedwell Senopati to have lunch. This is a vegetarian restaurant, which I highly recommend! The food was simply delicious, more European than Indonesian, but so good. The place in itself is very well decorated and super cosy. We then had coffee at 1/15 Menteng, located in the heart of the business district in Jakarta. While the café is only on the first floor of a tower, the view is breathtaking! The coffee was good too, in fact they produce their own and their barista won first place at the Barista Championship of Indonesia. The place is decorated with a very “avant-garde” vibe, which got me some inspiration! We went to the one in Menteng, but they also have one in Jakarta and Bali!
Jln Senopati Raya no.82, Jakarta
Open from 10am to 9pm.
Around 100K p/p
1/15 MENTENG CAFE
Jalan Dr. Kusuma Atmaja No.79
Menteng, Kota, Jakarta Pusat 10310
Open from de 7am ro 9pm.
We then had a very gastronomic evening, dining at the Amuz. The chef, Gilles Marx, is French, and so is the menu! The setting is Paris-inspired and ideal for a romantic evening with delicious dining. The service was absolutely palace-worthy and we spent a very enjoyable evening there. While it isn’t the typical place you look for when coming to Indonesia, if you want to indulge, it’s the place to be.
Amuz Gourmet Restaurant
The Energy Building, 2nd Floor SCBD Lot 11A
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53 Jakarta 12190 – Indonesia
Around 800K p/p
The next day we were back at the airport, ready to explore the rest of Indonesia. Next stop : Bintan Island!