Best Indonesian Mall Food in Jakarta

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A few weeks ago my husband and I had the opportunity to take a spontaneous trip to Indonesia. So we packed our bags and hopped on a flight from Cleveland to southeast Asia – if you want to see what its like to dine in first class, check out my latest video where I am served some of the wildest dishes you’ll ever see on a plane. And don’t forget to subscribe to The Starving Chef on Youtube so you can check out all the incredible foods we ate in on our latest foodie adventure to Bali and beyond. If you like these travel type videos, hit that thumbs up so I know what kind of content you want to see more of in the future!

We arrived in Jakarta after over 30 hours of traveling and made our way to the Gandaria City mall where we were staying at the Sheraton. At this point it was technically 12am and we were absolutely famished so we ordered room service of spring rolls and satay – two Indonesian staples – before passing out for the night.

Since this first part of our trip was actually a work trip for my husband, I spent most of the week hanging around the hotel and getting massages at the spa. Plus jet lag was killing me so the more time sleeping, the better I felt. 

The hotel itself was a five star luxury hotel with the most extensive buffet I have ever seen. Indonesian breakfasts aren’t like the ones in the hotels here in America – in Jakarta, you will see everything from bacon and eggs to ramen and roast duck. It’s a true dim sum wonderland.

As someone who grew up loving curry and spicy food, seeing the range of authentic Indonesian and Indian food in front of me first thing in the morning was only a little bit overwhelming.

The fresh fruit juice is to die for – even if it is served room temperature. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat so I piled on everything from breakfast potatoes to samosas onto my plate for breakfast.

The hotel staff remembered my drink order every morning – a vanilla latte – and would even save the seats by the window for us because we were staying for so long. We did eat most of our meals here at the hotel – mostly out of convience for myself while my husband had to go to work – but the meals never disappointed.

They would even bring in local caterers so that the menu was different every single day. We also spent a majority of our time exploring the adjacent mall – Gandaria City.

In Jakarta, a majority of your time is going to be spent in a mall. Its insanely hot and humid outside, so malls provide an essential escape. Plus everything you need is inside the malls so its not exactly strange to say “I went to Indonesia and spent 95% of my time in the mall.” We either ate at the hotel or in a mall for every meal – because that’s the way you do it in Jakarta!

The malls basically occupy multiple city blocks – you can literally spend your entire day in a single mall and still not see the entire thing.

We went to three different malls but they all look mostly the same inside. At Gandaria City we went to Remboleon – an Indonesian soul food spot and officially the first time in my life I got to try real Indonesian food.

Nasi goreng is the national dish of Indonesia so we prioritized that. We first tried nasi bakar ayam asap. It’s a grilled lemon grass rice wrapped in a banana leaf with shredded chicken and Indonesian herbs. Holy cow was it was spicy but so insanely good.

We also got nasi goreng remboelan which is the house special fried rice with smoked stingray and herbs, tangy pickles and shrimp crackers. It was packed with smokey umami flavor and the rice was perfectly tender. And it was the first time I’d ever eaten stingray to boot.

After dinner we explored some of the more unique stores in the mall – which there were plenty of – before we found Poo ice cream. Naturally the name is what drew us in. After sampling a few choices I landed on a macron ice cream cone – which was absolutely the perfect follow up to our spicy dinner.

The ice cream was creamy but not overly sweet. My hubby got an extra chocolatey flavor that was so chocolatey it practically tasted warm in your mouth. It was incredible.

Despite the fact that when I travel in the United States I do everything I can to avoid malls and restaurants we can find at home, the food in Asia shares but a name with our chains.

Take this Pizza Hut in Pondok Indah for example. Here in Indonesia, it’s a high end pizza parlor.

They serve pizzas unlike we’ve ever concocted in the States – such as the black crust meat montsa pizza which is topped with frankfurter sausage, minced and smoked beef, cheese and a tangy cheese sauce.

Plus it has a stuffed crust with some of the meltiest cheese I’ve ever tasted. Naturally I had to dip it in a spicy sambal, which was quickly becoming our new favorite sauce.

Afterwards we explored the mall a bit more before heading back to the hotel for the evening to enjoy cocktails and live music at the hotel bar – which quickly became the thing we did every evening because the drinks were strong and the music was fantastic.

It was definitely a fun way to wrap up every evening during our stay in Jakarta.

The next night for lunch we went to Shaburi and Kintan buffet. Similar in concept to fondue, here you can grill your own meats over a grill in the center of the table.

We ordered everything from hot dogs to waygu. You can customize your meal with different accompaniments from fruit and salad to noodles and rice. There’s also many options to create your own soup or ramen from scratch at the buffet too. And a huge assortment of sauces to pair with your meat. Plus many different desserts to wrap up your meal on a sweet note.

The grill in the center of the table gets crazy hot and quickly cooks the thin slices of meat to perfection. Yes, I felt nearly 10 thousand miles to cook my own lunch.

After that we explored the Grande Indonesian mall in central Jakarta where we then found Hiro Sushi for dinner. We split a roll that was topped with katsuobushi – or bonito or fermented tuna flakes – which is a pretty popular topping on many dishes in Southeast Asia.

The following day we made our way to Kota Tua – the old Dutch district – where we explored the ceramics museum. It was incredibly cool to see all of the old pottery and art left over from Dutch occupation. 

The square of Kota Tua once held great festivals and still has canon balls littering the streets from the days of Old Batavia. 

From there we made our way to Sea World – which uhhh is definitely more of a knock off than an actual Sea World that we would think of here in the States. If you like aquariums it’s alright, but there’s a lot of upkeep to be done here so honestly, I would skip this destination if you ever make it to Jakarta.

Afterwards we walked down to Ancol beach to dip our toes in the Indian Ocean and then to catch a cab back to the hotel.

That night for dinner we decided to try Italian food. I think it’s fun to experience how other cultures filter cuisine through their own lens – and the Indonesian take on Italian was phenomenal.

For our starter I had the freshest calamari I’ve ever tasted. I had a seafood pasta dish that had flavorful tomato diablo sauce and perfectly al dente pasta.

My hubby had a mushroom ravioli dish that he said was probably the best he had ever had in his life. This dinner that was the perfect way to wrap up our week in Jakarta.

The next day we made our way to Bali – so be sure to subscribe so you can join us on our adventures in Ubud and Uluwatu too! Bali is an incredible destination with some of the best food I have ever tried – so you definitely don’t want to miss out on upcoming videos.

After a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime, we hopped back on the plane to Jakarta where we spent one more night in the hotel we had learned to call home and had a quick midnight meal of biryani and a spicy chicken sandwich to wrap up our trip.

At 3am we then headed to the airport to board a plane for the long journey home. Don’t forget to check back for even more travel content coming your way soon!

I hope you all enjoyed and I can’t wait for you to join me on our next adventure.