Authentic Indonesian Food in an Elegant Colonial Setting: Kembang Goela Jakarta

When friends or family visit Jakarta, they always want to eat good Indonesian food. I am constantly on the lookout for new and interesting places to bring my guests, where they can experience the complex flavours of Indonesian cuisine in a traditional elegant setting.

In today’s post, I am going to share with you a list of my 5 favourite Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta – all tried and tested. One of them being Kembang Goela, a restaurant I recently brought my parents to (and they loved it).

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Entrance to Kembang Goela.

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Beautiful handcrafted mirror and chandelier overhead.

Kembang Goela feels like a mansion of some rich tycoon with many private dining rooms. I absolutely adore its high ceiling, which makes the entire place much more classy and roomy.

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One of the private rooms (it’s HUGE).

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Lovin’ the grand hanging lights.

Its interior is colonial yet elegant with old photographs on walls, pots of pretty flowers, dark wood furniture, and a grand piano by the side. #nostalgic

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Excited to order!

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Colonial-style architecture.

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Live piano music – a great dinner accompaniment.

Kembang Goela serves traditional Indonesian cuisine influenced by the various regions within Indonesia. What makes this restaurant unique is that its menu has a Peranakan twist as well. Indonesian food + Peranakan food = TREAT FOR THE TASTEBUDS.

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Table Flatlay of mains (not including the appetizers we ordered).

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Bon appetit!

The food was well-presented and excellent. Special mention goes to their Oseng-Oseng Ketjipir (sauteed wing beans) and their Brinjal Panggang (grilled egg plant with red chilli), which I loved.

I’ve also heard that their Dendeng Balado (deep fried beef carpacio) is good too but we weren’t feeling beefy that night and so didn’t order it.

Each dish on the menu comes with an English description, which I find really helpful. Saves me the hassle of googling to see what the dish looks like. 🙂

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Thank you for the lovely experience, Kembang Goela!


List of my 5 favourite Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta

1. Kembang Goela
Plaza Sentral Parking Lot
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 47-48
Central Jakarta 

2. Bunga Rampai
Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No. 35
Menteng, Central Jakarta

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Bunga Rampai (photo credit: JKTGO).

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Dining at Bunga Rampai.

3. Kila Kila by Akasya
SCBD Gedung Lot 4, 7th Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 52-53
Central Jakarta

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Kila Kila (photo credit: Akasya).

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Delish.

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Dinner at Kila Kila, when Jia visited Jakarta.

4. Harum Manis 
Pavilion Apartment Retail Aracade
Jl. KH Mas Mansyur Kav.24
Central Jakarta

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Harum Manis (photo credit: JKTGO).

5. TeSate Menteng 
Jalan Dr Samratulangi No. 39
Menteng, Central Jakarta

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TeSate (photo credit: Sari Rasa Group).

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TeSate with Indo girlfriends, when Juli visited.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

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Vibrant Peranakan Culture and Cuisine at Meradelima Restaurant

Meradelima Restaurant is a reflection of how two different cultures used to and still coexist side by side in perfect harmony.
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Meradelima Restaurant.

Commonly referred to as Peranakans, they are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago (which includes Indonesia and Singapore) between the 15th and 17th centuries. Peranakans are a unique heritage to Southeast Asia, an intertwining of the Malay and Chinese culture.
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A Peranakan wedding couple (taken from Wikipedia).

Meradelima beautifully embodies the vivacious and spirited Peranakan culture both in its design and cuisine. Housed in a two-storey building featuring Jengki architecture, patrons are welcomed into the restaurant by a red-carpeted wooden deck and servers dressed in red oriental cheongsams.
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One of the private dining rooms in Meradelima.

On entering the restaurant, I felt as if I was transported back to a bygone era. The interior was decorated with vibrantly coloured Peranakan-style porcelain collections, vintage replica becak chairs, and exquisite kebayas encased in large glass frames.
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Pretty porcelain on tables.

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Our first visit – dining against the backdrop of intricately embroidered kebayas with floral motifs.

According to the owner who was born and raised as a Peranakan, each kebaya is uniquely designed and the display stands as a tribute to the lives of Peranakan women of the past.

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An assortment of Peranakan-style porcelain ware.

A set of stairs leads from the first floor of the restaurant to the upper floor. The decor of the second floor is equally enchanting. A pair of gigantic doors made of teak wood is fixed to the wall and inscribed on it are four Chinese characters (which I could hardly make out with my sad command of Mandarin).

Since my dad is a full Baba (which makes me  half a Nyonya I guess), I thought that he might like dining at Meradelima. And I was right. My parents loved the setting of the entire place.
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Our second visit – seated at the exact same spot.

Food wise, their menu has a mix of Indonesian, Malay and Chinese food — thanks to the influence of the Peranakan era.

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What we ordered.

Meradelima makes a lovely place for a family get-together or a private party. It is also a good place to take your tourist guests to. If you want to dine in privacy, there are various private dining rooms on both floors as well as an enclosed al fresco dining area.


Meradelima
Jl. Adityawarman No. 47, Senopati

Jakarta