Originally from Melbourne, a popular gastronomic destination in the land down under, Carmel Gleeson is a keen foodie who loves to spend her free time experimenting in the kitchen. Despite her busy schedule as the President of Australia and New Zealand Association (ANZA), Gleeson tries to make time to catch up with family and friends on her spare time, usually on the weekend.
Passionate about dining, she’s always on the lookout for great food and atmosphere. She’s found quite a few in Jakarta and wishes to share her top picks, though along with a qualm. “I just wish I had learnt Bahasa Indonesia so the communication was better with the wait staff,” she says. That twinge though, hasn’t kept her from enjoying the city’s vibrant dining scene. Here are her all-time favourites.
For a special dinner, my favourite restaurant is Salt Grill at The Plaza. The views are amazing and the food is the best in Jakarta. I truly believe it is the only place that has the service that us expats expect. I love the fact that they do the three-course lunch for IDR 180,000. Unbeatable! When I first arrived in Jakarta, my husband was sick for weeks on end, and I asked a friend at ANZA whether there was an Australian restaurant in Jakarta. She put me onto Salt Grill and I have been going there ever since.
My favourite dish for dinner at Salt Grill is the lamb chops and for lunch I like the steak. When our book club goes there once a month, we sometimes get the chef to make us the molten chocolate fondant.
Warung Turki by Turkuaz
Warung Turki is my local favourite. I can walk there from my house. I love Turkish food and I also love Friday nights on level three. They have a great atmosphere that will make you linger for hours. I was at Turkuaz and was speaking to the owners when they told me they were starting a new restaurant in Kemang, so when I saw the soft opening, I got a group of ANZA girls to go and try it, and again, I have been going there ever since.
My favourite dishes in Warung Turki are the bread and the baba ganoush. They’re to die for! And their pistachio baklava is just awesome!
Warung Turki by Turkuaz
Komunal 88 is another Kemang local that is great for breakfast and lunch spot. I think it is a perfect place to go with your lady friends around the big tables and talk for hours! I first discovered Komunal 88 through a friend who invited me there and I just loved it right away.
I love the Dory Pasta, very recommended!