My ultimate favourite type of cuisine, closely in line with burgers and steaks, has to be Chinese. It’s oily and high in salt; it is the perfect comfort food for an evening in or out. However, as of lately, I have been eating more than a fair share of Asian-inspired food, so much that I’m sad to say that ordering a greasy take away or opting for crispy aromatic duck will be a rare occasion for me now.
Okay that was a complete lie. I will always love a cheeky mouthful of a good ol’ chow mein or the sweet crispiness of a banana fritter. So imagine my face when I was scrolling through the pages of Jakarta’s menu online, “mm mm mmmm.”
I grabbed my friend, A, and headed down to Jakarta that very night. It’s situated weirdly on a side road so, trust me, it is very easy to pass by it quickly, but not to worry, there is plenty of parking outside, which is perfect.
The restaurant itself is very cultured with Indonesian carvings and sculptures placed around the room. Even the placemats were designed to the very last detail. I’m a sucker for small detail and Jakarta definitely nailed it making my future meal taste even better in my mind before even a crumb had reached my mouth.
I do not regret my continuous order of this soup. I always think it will taste different in each restaurant, but it is just as good each time. I just can’t have enough of its water-based spiciness, which gradually built up with the more spoonful’s of soup I drank. But I was majorly disappointed with the generosity of the restaurant when I saw only two juicy prawns floating around in the big mass of hot red soup.
I had a whole complete different image in my mind of the crab claws I ordered, so when I saw what they placed in front of me, and then proceeded to bite into it, I was shocked. There was SO much crab meat – maybe a bit too much. It was super fluffy and it gave me a good kick after dipping it in the sweet chilli sauce.
I may have been a bit too busy taking snaps to dig into this while it was fresh and piping hot, but even while warm, it was decent. The chicken was juicy and soft, but succulent yet strangely soft. The complementing peanut sauce was okay too.
Ayam Masak Pedas
This is rumoured to be the spiciest choice on the menu out of all the chicken dishes with three chillies next to its name. Those three chillies determine the fate of your stomach after your meal. I felt brave choosing this – real brave and nervous as I waited in anticipation of its arrival. Out came the chicken cubes doused in the green chilli sauce. Slightly excited and fearful too, I dug in. The eye watering, nose dripping effect hadn’t sunk in yet after 4 or 5 bites. Nor did it ever sink in for the rest of the meal. Those 3 chillies were a devious lie and I was left feeling a little disappointed but also relieved. The green chilli sauce was tasty, but next time around I am definitely asking for a lot more green devil sauce; that’s if I even get this dish again.
Bawang Putih Udang
Similar to the prawn tempura dishes where the prawns are long and covered in some sort of crispy batter, the prawns in this dish were thin and disguised in a soft batter. Taking a bite, it really was nothing special but a few more bites in and it turned out to be great. Nothing more, nothing less but it was near the top for the best dish of the night. I do not know if this is saying something about the quality of the food, but this dish was simple yet tasty.
This was a portion of fried rice mixed with the suspiciously soft chicken (shredded), eggs and peas with king prawns. The portion obviously doesn’t look like a lot, but between the two of us there was still plenty of rice left. The rice wasn’t too greasy considering it was fried and complemented the suspicious-chicken curry I had ordered earlier. The king prawns that were served as garnishes were similar to the Bawang Putih Udang ones but with a crispier exterior. Either way, they were delicious and everything worked well together.
Between two people we definitely ordered too much food, which ended up becoming a competition between A and I as to who could eat the most food. Despite my fat ways I ended up losing with A beating me by just a couple of chicken chunks, which I find unfair considering chicken is my weakest point, especially this suspicious chicken that is chewy on the exterior and super soft on the interior. Now give me a meat dish to end with and I can wipe it clean completely on my own!
^^^^ Lunch Specials – poor quality picture ^^^^
Seeing as I am an absolute newbie to Indonesian cuisine, I don’t really have many other restaurants to compare to, but despite the mystery chicken, I would definitely pay this place a visit again to try the several other dishes. Please note that only the chicken and lamb is halal and there are other dishes on the menu that are not halal.
Only the lamb and chicken is halal and this has been verified by the owner.
Check out their drool-worthy menu at www.jakartarestaurant.co.uk