Dining with the Stars

Jakarta is a huge metropolis that keeps growing in superficies but also in altitude, and when you rise above the ground floor, it is a totally different place. With its sparkling lights spreading as far as you can see, she can even make you fall in love with her again, or for the first time. Indonesia Expat has tracked down the best spots in town to dine with a view.

Skye at BCA Tower

Skye should be on everybody who lives or transits in Jakarta’s bucket list. Located on the 56th floor, the rooftop of BCA Tower near H.I. roundabout, it of course offers an amazing view of the city, but also a chill-out atmosphere and surprisingly good food. New chef Hamish Lindsay from New Zealand might have a little something to do about it as he took control of the kitchen a few months ago, making significant changes to the menu. Special mention to a few signature dishes such as the double baked cheese soufflé with heirloom tomato, olive salsa and basil and the beef and foie gras carpaccio with parmesan mousse, rocket salad, truffle oil, crispy capers and black pepper tuile. The homemade pan-fried potato gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese is just succulently tasty and the beef Angus tenderloin cooked to perfection. You must try the chocolate soufflé for desert. The wine list is not bad, although the ‘by the glass’ choices doesn’t do justice to the dishes. If you still have energy after dinner, the outdoor bar area is the perfect spot to finish the night under the stars. Perfect for a night out with friends.

Menara BCA, 56th Floor
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1
Tel: +62 21 2358 6996
Website: http://www.ismaya.com

 

Salt Grill at the Plaza

Salt Grill is one of three restaurants located at the 46th floor of the Plaza building, overlooking H.I. roundabout. It is part of Altitude, a fine dining concept with a 360° view of Jakarta, including two other restaurants: Gaia (Italian) and Enmaru (Japanese). The venue itself is perfect in a classy setting. Apart from the breathtaking view we believe is one of, if not the best, in Jakarta, the warm yet trendy decor of Salt Grill blends beautifully with Jakarta’s skyline. But most importantly, the food is excellent.

The internationally renowned chef Luke Mangan has created a beautiful mouth-watering menu, including his signature dishes such as crab omelette, enoki mushroom salad and miso broth and tasty liquorice parfait with lime syrup. We especially recommend the degustation menu with wine pairing by the in-house sommelier Faisal Fachmie, who makes audacious yet very right accords. Salt Grill at the Plaza is the venue in Jakarta if you want to spoil yourself and/or impress someone. Like most such venues, it is a bit on the pricey side. Degustation menu price starts at: Rp.850,000 per person. Although the main dining room is non-smoking, smoking is allowed in the VIP rooms surrounding it and at the bar upstairs. For a special evening.

The Plaza, 46th Floor
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Jakarta 10350
Tel: +62 21 2992 2448
Website: http://saltgrillindonesia.com

 

Shy Rooftop at Papilion

Shy Rooftop was the first rooftop to open in Kemang and is still a very trendy spot. It doesn’t have the same skyline view you can get from the high rise buildings in the CBD, but it has another charm. Shy Rooftop is located at the top of the Papilion building, a multifunction complex including fine dining restaurant, boulangerie and women and children’s fashion. With its huge white tent-like top, white washed wooden floors, candle-lit lanterns and long tables and sofas, the place is cosy and perfect to listen to the talented live bands that perform throughout the week. People don’t go to Shy Rooftop for the food but rather for the drinks, ambiance and music, although there is a snack menu – nothing fancy – but you can find something to nibble on while having a drink. There is a tapas menu including enchiladas, calamari or chicken wings. If you need something more consistent, the menu also offers main courses such as an organic chicken Kiev or the Norwegian salmon. Available for private events. For urban music lovers.

Level 5 The Papilion
Jalan Kemang Raya No. 45 AA
Tel: +62 21 719 9921
Website: http://thepapilion.com

Sky Pool Bar Cafe at Kempinski Hotel

 

Sky Pool Bar Café at Kempinski Hotel

Sky Pool Bar Café at Kempinski is not your usual hotel pool bar. Yes, you can sip on a mojito or margarita while lingering by the pool, but you can also enjoy a whole dining experience amidst the rooftop gardens with Jakarta’s high rises as backdrop. The à la carte menu offers an interesting choice of salads, soups, grilled meat and other tasty snacks. You can also let yourself be tempted by the homemade ice cream and sorbets. However, the interesting options at Sky Pool Bar and Café are the BBQ and most of all, the romantic dinner which has to be requested in advance. If you opt for the latter, you will be greeted with a beautifully set up table with flowers, lanterns, white curtains for privacy, and your own waiter. The avocado on the rock with fruit caviar and the trio of tuna capriccio, tataki and tartare are particularly delicious. For a special occasion or just a treat.

Hotel Indonesia Kempinski 17th floor
JL. MH Thamrin 1
Tel: +62 21 2358 3800
Website: http://www.kempinski.com

 

Lucy in the Sky

The owners were spot on when they decided on the name of this cool resto/bar located in the CBD of Jakarta. Inspired by the famous Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, it is the perfect refuge in the middle of the city, like floating in the sky amongst skyscrapers. Surrounded by plants and gardens, grunge and vintage décor, with wooden picnic tables and worn furniture, this place contrast beautifully against the bright city lights and modern buildings. We love the garden-like feel and the casual yet super friendly service. The dishes are simple: potato wedges, sandwiches, fried rice, pasta and spring rolls. However, we recommend the mini burgers. It is rather a place for drinks with friends, perfect for parties on the weekend and happy hour after work. Live DJs on Saturdays. Although it is more of a party hang out, we went earlier in the day with our one-year-old daughter who could run around everywhere on the terrace and the staff were lovely with her. It is quite pretty up there at sunset. Note: People with disabilities or parents with strollers, there are a few sets of stairs to climb up to get to Lucy and there is no elevator. We love Lucy in the Sky.

Central Business District
Jl. Jendral Sudirman Lot 14, Kav 52-53
Tel: +62 21 515 2308
Website: http://lucyinthesky.co.id

 

Cloud Lounge and Living Room

In the clouds you are on the outside terrace at the 49th floor, with a stunning view of the city from one of the tallest buildings in Jakarta. The decor is quite classic, with heavy materials such as velvet and a stone bar, with a touch of Indonesia with birdcage lamp structure in the middle of the patio area. However, the main feature of the terrace, apart from the view of course, is the massive bar which is literally, on fire. Although it has more of a bar-like atmosphere, you can enjoy a nice dinner at Cloud at a reasonable price. The Spanish inspired menu offers both a tapas section to share, and main courses that will particularly please meat lovers. We liked the grilled salmon, which interestingly, was not on the menu, and the warm churros with chocolate dip for those who have a sweet tooth. It is recommended to make a reservation, as the outside tables with a view are limited. There is also a cold room to drink vodka. For happy hour drinks that drag into the night and to share a few bites with friends or colleagues after work.

The Plaza, 49th Floor
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 28-30
Jakarta 10350
Tel: +62 21 2992 2448
www.facebook.com/pages/CLOUD-Lounge-Living-Room

 

The Edge at Kemang Icon

The Edge is probably one of the best kept secrets in Jakarta, yet it is right there in the middle of Kemang’s busiest corner. Located on the fifth floor of Kemang Icon Hotel, this rooftop terrace recently had a makeover and the results are stunning. The infinity pool, with Jakarta’s skyline in the horizon, the cool designs and candlelight ambience, makes everything perfect. We love the open grill concept, where you get to choose your piece of meat or seafood and seasoning, although the quality of meat could be improved. Among the appetizer options, the halloumi cheese salad with watercress, heirloom tomatoes, basil and mint emulsion is a good pick. Also, try the chocolate ice cream served in espresso and topped with shaved dark chocolate, orange zest and cardamom for dessert. It is a delight. There is work to be done on the wine list and the service is inconsistent. That said, there is live music every Thursday or Friday night. Very beautiful and an intimate spot for a romantic dinner.

Kemang Icon Hotel
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 1
Tel. +62 21 719 7989
Website: http://www.alilahotels.com

Sky Loft Restaurant

 

Sky Loft Restaurant and Bar at All Seasons Hotel

Located on the 14th floor of the recently opened All Seasons Hotel on Jl. Thamrin, Sky Loft Restaurant and Bar is making Jakarta sky dinning available again for all kinds of wallets. This all-day dining restaurant offers a simple menu of local and western cuisine at a very reasonable price. Some of the choices were, of course, habis (not available), but we were delighted by the grilled salmon and the lamb served with al dente vegetables, which was very tender. The beer and drinks menu could be a bit more diversified but there is an affordable wine list by the bottle. No wine by the glass, however. The restaurant design is slick and the terrace overlooking H.I. roundabout has a good lounge vibe to it. Breakfast and brunch are also available. For a night out under the sky without breaking the bank.

All Seasons Hotel
Jl. Talang Betutu No. 2
Tel:  +62 21 304 22 222
Website: http://www.accorhotels.com

 

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Sophie Chavanel is a Canadian communications girl and a confirmed globe-trotter. As a Journalist, she has worked for different media outlets in Canada and overseas. She is also a Communications delegate for the International Federation of the Red Cross emergency team. Sophie is a new mother. She moved to Indonesia in March 2013 with her husband and daughter.


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