Warung Daun in Jakarta

June 19, 2011

Warung Daun in Menteng

When in Jakarta I love to eat Sundanese cuisine. A place to enjoy this type of foof is “Warung Daun”. There are several outlets, one in Menteng and one in Kebayoran Baru. The food is just beautiful, absolute delicious.

The entrance of Warung Daun in Menteng

The menu

The interior

According to tripadvisor Warung Daun in Kebayoran Baru is rated 81 and the one in Cikini (Menteng) 172 of the 518 restaurants in Jakarta.

The food I

The food II

Nothing better than good friends

My wine cabinet

December 7, 2009

My wine cabinet

Have I ever shown you my wine cabinet? No? Here it is.

It was made by Mr. Mambo, our furniture-maker in Jakarta. It was copied from one of the furniture magazines from which he makes his stuff.

I love it very much. It has a (red) marble top and a wooden rack for hanging wine glasses. I have the bad habit of putting empty bottles at the top. Many of them I keep for reference until I have written about the specific wine.

In the tropics one cannot store wine in the base of the cabinet because it is just too hot for that. But my hopes are high that once we have moved to Glenburn for good, I can use it, at least during the colder months of the year.

Restaurant review: Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920 in Jakarta

November 15, 2009

Shanghai Blue1

When discussing with my friends in Jakarta where to meet for dinner, Jasmin suggested “Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920” right in the center of Jakarta.

The restaurant belongs to the Tugu Hotel group, owned by the family of Anhar Setjadibrata, a famous art collector from Malang, East Java. The family has two more restaurants in Jakarta, “Dapur Baba” and “Lara Djonggrang”, both exotic places with wonderful decorations of Indonesian and other antiques where we had spent memorable evenings with family and friends while living in Jakarta.

“Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920” is no exception. The interior is just stunning. Apart from dining one can also listen to Jazz music which is performed on a large stage. It was my first visit, and I was in a nostalgic and elated mood: back in Jakarta and out with old friends.

We ordered a round of starters, in fact we ordered the whole menu of starters, followed by main courses. To say it from the outset: the starters were stunning, the main courses could not keep up with it and were mediocre at best. This did not prevent us from having a great time. We had a bottle of white wine from Western Australia. When selecting it together with my friend Flo, I thought that I would not forget the brand. Writing this blog entry a couple of days later, I must submit to the vagaries of life once again. Never assume the obvious. Memory will have its little victories. usually I take a photo of the wine bottles I consume, not this time. Maybe the reunion was just so much more important. Anyway, the started (see some in the pctures below) were wonderful and the wine was just right.

Shanghai Blue2

Shanghai Blue3

Shanghai Blue4

Shanghai Blue5

For us the evening ended in the Buddha Bar, a trendy hangout in Menteng. We were not deterred by a function for Cartier which occupied the interior of the bar but instead sat on the wide back-terrace with the garden view (also nice in the night).

I highly recommend to the casual traveler to visit the restaurants of Anhar Setjadibrata in Jakarta. The atmosphere in the three places – Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920, Dapur Baba and Lara Djonggrang – is wonderful but unique, the exhibits are breathtaking, they bear witness to Java’s glorious past.

PS: I never stayed at one of the Tugu Hotels but friends of mine rave about the one in Malang. From the website www.tuguhotels.com you might get a glimpse what it might be all about. Breathtaking, spectacular come to mind. I promised myself that one day I will visit one of them and enjoy a night delving in Javas past and in a “Tugu bed”.

Warong Shanghai Blue 1920 Restaurant
Kebon Sirih Raya 79
Jakarta Pusat
DKI Jakarta – Indonesia
PH 1: +62-21-391-8690
PH 2: +62-21-7088-3366

Impressions from Jakarta – Social House

November 9, 2009


The centre of Jakarta

We were lucky that we got a seat in the first place. “Social house” was, as always, booked out. We had a great view of the fountain at the city centre, odered two pizza and two glasses of house Malbec, a drinkable red wine.

SocialHouseme menue

Social house menue

SocialHouse motto

About food and wine

SocialHouse pizza



Social house wine cellar

There is nothing more relaxing than having a meal with a good friend, in a location where my heart is: Jakarta. Glorious memories and good company. What can be better in life

Jakarta: Elbow Room Restaurant revisited

July 18, 2009

During a brief visit to Jakarta to observe the presidential elections recently, I had dinner with dear friends of mine: Flo and Nelly. We wanted to celebrate our reunion, moreover it was Flo’s birthday. Therefore we selected the appropriate venue and went to the Elbow Room in Kemang. I had been there before, and during my two days in town, I went twice to this relaxing drinking and dinning place.

The food is simple but solid. The service is excellent. The wine list is well sorted and offers a wide range of new and old world wines. We choose a wine from Western Australia, a ‘2004 Mad Fish Shiraz’.


My pasta


The dessert


Mad Fish 2004 Shiraz

The Shiraz has a dark red colour. On the nose it displays cherry and spicy peppery notes. The tannins are well balanced, the wine has structure and a good finish. Wine critics give it 88 to 90 points. I like the wines from the Margaret River region.

During my second visit the next day, a live band played extremely well and entertaining guitar music. The restaurant also displays some interesting (copies) of famous paintings as shown below.


Yue Minjun’s paintings are unique and easily identifiable, even as copies

Overall, my verdict is: If you are in Jakarta, check the place out. It is right in Kemang, not too difficult to find. You will certainly enjoy a nice evening there. I hope you are lucky as regards the live music.

Elbow Room
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 24 A
Jakarta, Indonesia
Te.: +62-21-7194274

The other Pizza

July 9, 2009


While in Jakarta I learned of a very special pizza. At Izzi Pizza we spotted on the menue a so called “Obama Pizza”. This pizza is a kind of fusion food combining chicken rendang with mozarella cheese, capsicum and spring onions. Being a traditionalist I did not try it.


The menue explained why this specific combination was used for the pizza to honor Barak Obama. Chicken rendang is a rather un-traditional ingredient for a pizza. But I guess it will sell well in Indonesia. Cheers to the indgenious Indonesian cooks.

Restaurant review: Seribu Rasa, Jakarta

April 12, 2009


We had a business lunch at a restaurant which was non-existing during my time in Jakarta. It’s right in the centre of town, and its name is “Seribu Rasa” which translates as “a thousand flavours”. The place was officially openend only on January 5, 2009.

We arrived early for lunch and the restaurant was only sparsely occupied. That, however, should change fast. The place was packed when we were having our meal.


The main entrance

Coming from the street, the place look rather odd, because the entry leads down to a parking in the basement. To the left is a little footpath which leads to the gates shown on the picture above. There is a lot of glass but also a lot of wood, pillars, window shutters, window frames as well as wooden furniture. I loved the garden, the fountains and the small walkways linking the different parts of the buildings.


The wall consist of white washed bricks. The mirror above gives it a more spacious feeling. I also loved the various colourful lamps and the lamp structures.


Unfortunately, I have only one picture of the food. The business atmosphere was not conducive to the taking of photos somehow.

Moreover, I messed up and only one of the photos I took is somehow presentable. It shows the “Kankung” ( a kind of water spinach) with seafood dish and the beef, both were very delicious. Furthermore, we had steamed fish, a dish of crabs, some chicken, squid and some lobster. The other remarkable vegetable was the Batak stype singkong leaf stew.


The “kangkung” and the beef dishs

The good news is that there are great photos of the various fusion cuisine dishes on a blog called “Daily What Not”. Please go there and admire the excellent shots.

Regarding the drinks I could not detect wine on the menu. My Indonesian friends all ordered Semilir Brastagi, a local strawberry variety from Sumatra which is served as an iced strawberry punch with pieces of fruit.

I will definitely come back another time to explore further the menu and the many Indonesian delicacies. If you are in the centre of Jakarta near the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Deutsche Bank building you should just go around the corner and dive into the peaceful atmosphere of Seribu Rasa, an oasis in the city jungle.

Seribu Rasa
Jl Haji Agus Salim 128
Menteng, Central Jakarta
Tel.: +62-21-3928892

Restaurant review: Elbow Room, Jakarta

April 11, 2009

By default I had some time for myself. I took the opportunity and strolled through Kemang, the area in Jakarta where my hotel, the Grand Flora, was located. The other day, I had briefly met friends at the “Elbow Room”, a brand new place to hang out in Jakarta but we only had a couple of beers.

I was impressed by the shiny new décor of solid wood panels and the copies of paintings by classical and modern artists. Also the high ceilings appealed to me, so did the non-smoking ban which provides the air of freedom in a world which more and more subdues private lives to the wisdom of a certain kind of political correctness. I consider myself a non-smoker despite my occasional cigar burning rituals I perform with great gusto.

Last night I went there again, this time for tea, as we say in Australia, which translates for non-Australian as “dinner”. Apart from the wood beams and wood panels, the bar contains also some type of ship-features, in golden metal colours. At first sight the large round window on the first floor gives the impression of a porthole. The smaller inner-circle is more reminiscent of an eyeball though which you can look through and out to the street. The toilets are done in ship-style too.

I choose a table on the first floor near the window and sat in the big and solid country-style leather chair, I like so much. I was not very hungry. Actually, a glass of wine would have done it for me. From the earlier visit I knew that you can only order whole bottles. The waiters are extremely friendly and helpful (great service). The jazz music gives the place a flair of intellectual sophistication. The lights are subdued, in fact the place is rather dark.


My little digital camera could not cope with the general darkness of the place. This is why I cannot show you pictures of the interior and of the food I consumed. I ordered bruscetta and fried zucchini, both quite tasty snacks. The Australian Shiraz (Penfolds) was out, so I settled for a bottle of ‘2004 Geoff Merrill Cabernet Merlot’, from South Australia, the only other red wine on offer.

I had not heard of this wine and this producer before. The Cabernet Merlot blend is a medium bodied wine with a wonderful dark red colour (14.5 % Vol). The black fruit aroma was quite nice, and the wine tasted also like black fruit. The mid-palate weight was very remarkable, the finish was OK but nothing spectacular, in short a solid wine. When researching the wine, I did not find it on the Geoff Merrill website (there is no cuvée of this type). But the wines are reasonable priced (16 to 30 A$). The Elbow Room charged INR 469,000.-, about € 30 for the bottle which I find to be a bit on the dear side.

I asked the waiter if I could take the bottle home in case I could not finish it and he kindly agreed (otherwise I would have left the place). I smoked some kretek cigarettes and had a jolly good time.

If you want to know what the interior of this bar-cum-restaurant looks like, you have to go yourself and find out. I personally prefer to eat in more lit up places. The prices for the snacks mentioned above were very reasonable. I recommend to the Elbow Room management to consider introducing a wine-by-the-glass policy. Check the place out if next time in Jakarta, it’s worth visiting. I will definitely visit again.

Elbow Room Restaurant
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 24 A
Jakarta, Indonesia
Te.: +62-21-7194274

Keliling Jakarta, dari TPS ke TPS

April 9, 2009

As election observers we toured the city today from polling station to polling station. It was the third time in 10 years that I did this. As always it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know the locals. We were warmly welcomed at every place with open arms and smiles; we were invited to join and see what was happening. People were so proud of their democracy and rightly so. Indonesia is a beacon of democracy in Asia.

We also visited the neighbourhood were I had lived during my time in Indonesia. When the neighbourhood chief saw me, he ushered my “in” (the voting booth is in front of the mesjid) and I had to sit with him on the steps of the little mosque for a long chat. It was as if I had not been away. He invited me to join the polling station team for lunch which I had to decline because of other commitments.

Only much later did I have time for a coffee, my favourite: “kopi tubruk”, a thick sweet brew. In addition a kretek (clove) cigarette, and I felt as a “wong cilik” (normal or ordinary person) again. It is so good to be back. And the parliamentary elections will certainly be a success. Hidup demokrasi.


Home coming – Jakarta

April 9, 2009

It’s more than six months now that we moved and left Jakarta for Bangkok. The parliamentary election provided the perfect opportunity to return to the country which was my home for 10 years. There is, however, just not enough time to catch up with all the friends, and because my professional life is so much ruled by plans, time schedules and meetings, I am somehow averse to making appointments beforehand. I rather leave it to chance and mood, drifting can be so liberating.

Tonight we arranged on very short notice a get together with old friends, friends (Jasmin, Florian and Nelly)
I had passed my last evening with before leaving Indonesia for good. Sebastian came along as a “ring in” as we say in Australia. We had dinner, surprise surprise, at the Gourmet Garage. It was as if no time had passed at all. I was home again (one of the many homes my life provided me with).


Although we had left behind an empty house six months ago, we had also left with a heart full of love, a bag of mystical stories and friendships for a lifetime. It’s a good feeling to return home. Thanks folks for all the kindness and the warm welcome.

PS: By he way, I found an article by Fitri Wulandari which she wrote for Reuters on wine consumption in Indonesia to which I had the opportunity to contribute a little.