Jakarta’s culinary landscape is very diverse, but perhaps not many restaurants are willing to take the significant risk of choosing something genuinely unique. The restaurants on this list can all promise top-notch service, so if you’re looking for some then tirelessly different for your next dinner, then these strange places might be exactly what you’re looking for in Jakarta.
- Warung MJS (formerly Mbah Jingkrak)
Tucked away on the main road in Setiabudi. This restaurant not only serves a delicious selection of Javanese dishes (their specialty is Ayam Setan, Chicken with Devil’s Hair) but some truly distinctive décor. Placed inside a house built in 1959, the grand interiors are dazzling and whimsical, together with using antiques and knick-knacks every way the eye can see. Apart from the most crucial Garden room (backyard), full of moats, there are also themed rooms like the Wayang. Very Instagramable. Located at Jalan Setiabudi Tengah no.11, South Jakarta, +62 21 5252 605.
- Namaaz Dining
The brainchild of chef and owner Andrian Ishak, Namaaz is outstanding in its uncompromising molecular gastronomy manner. First of all, this is the only restaurant in Jakarta that requires reservations (and only 28 places available every night, you have to book well in advance).
And while Andrian’s strategy of blending black cuisine using molecular gastronomy is lively (the site notes it’s an “entertaining” dining table, perhaps not fine dining) that the Rp 1.25 million price tag for dinner is no joke. However, you will receive 17 epic dishes consisting of Andrian’s unique inventions for that price, using a new menu provided every 6-8 weeks. Located on Jl. Gunawarman No.42, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. +62 811-1557-798.
This family-friendly patterned restaurant at Plaza Senayan is dedicated to its jungle motif, with waiters dressed as navy rangers and many adorable animatronic creature models hanging out in one of the trees. The food is usually just okay, but the kids will get a kick out of place. Location: Plaza Senayan, 5th Floor, Jl. Asia Africa, Senayan, South Jakarta. +622157906082.
- King Cobra
If the extraordinary breed you’re looking for is crazy instead of adorable, then the King Cobra restaurant at Mangga Besar is the answer. Actually, many areas around Mangga Besar can serve snake blood, but generally roadside stalls. King Cobra is one of many brick-and-mortar institutions where you will find this “exotic” cuisine. You may also have snake satay in addition to dishes made from other impossible animals like lizards. It may be disgusting (and not good) for some people, but who believe in certain schools of Eastern medicine, consuming such creatures can be seen as good for your health.
Location: Jl. Mangga Besar Raya No.93C, Mangga Besar, Tamansari, West Jakarta. +62 21 6296087
Pingoo is his aquarium filled with cute Humboldt penguins. What’s funny is whether this kind of exclamation represents animal cruelty, as nearby animal rights activists have protested the restaurant on many occasions.
As per a press release in the direction of the restaurant, Pingoo has complied with all the regulatory and environmental guidelines required to find the correct license to house and display the penguins and creature penguins are closely tracked by the animal keepers of the Safari Park along with their habitat refrigerated to the proper temperature. The penguins housed in the restaurant have been created at Taman Safari as part of a penguin conservation and breeding program. They can work in conjunction with this Jakarta Aquarium, housed inside the Neo Soho mall. Pingoo used to get the minimum spend required for each table and has since gotten rid of this rule, although guests still have to buy some food or drinks.
Location: Neo SOHO Theatre, Ground Floor, Jl. Lt. Gen. S. Parman, Tanjung Duren. +622127893422.
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