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The Best Nightlife in Jakarta: Clubs, Bars, Spas, Restaurants
The #1 Reference of Jakarta nightlife: Bars, Night Clubs, Discos, Restaurants, Karaokes, Massage and Spas!...

Published: Sun 02 Aug 2015 12:19:36 PM CEST.

Favicon Museum of National Awakening (STOVIA School) Jakarta
2 Aug 2015, 12:19 pm
The Museum of National Awakening in Jakarta (Museum Kebangkitan Nasional) is not a very well known thing to do in Jakarta, but it is worth visiting.

STOVIA Building

It is located in the building of the STOVIA (School Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Arsten) or School for the Training of Local Doctors. The school and the building were created at the beginning of the 20th century by the Dutch, part of their "Ethical Policy" which consisted in improving the welfare of colonial subjects.

The STOVIA is famous in Indonesian history because it is the birthplace of Budi Utomo, the first Indonesian political movement. The day of its creation, May 20th 1908 is officially commemorated every year in the country.

The school changed location to Salemba in the 1920s and the building served different purposes until it was transformed into a museum by Suharto in 1974.

The story of the building is very helpful in understanding life in Indonesia during colonial times. It is also interesting to see how the Dutch themselves contributed to the Independence movement.
STOVIA dormitory
The classrooms have been recreated with statues
For Jakarta standards, the content of the Museum and the explanations are interesting but be aware that only half the displays are translated in English. You have some great old pictures of Jakarta, some dioramas showing the daily life of the students, and some old artifacts.

A section of the Museum is more modern and focus on the beginning of modern medicine in Indonesia.
The garden is very peaceful and it costs only 5,000rp to get in. If you stay near Senen, it is a pleasant place to walk around, especially with kids.
Overall: The Museum of National Awakening (STOVIA) is among my favourites in Jakarta along with the Museum Nasional and the Museum Bank Indonesia. If you have been living in Jakarta for a while and you are interested in the history of Indonesia, you will probably enjoy it also.

Museum of National Awakening (STOVIA Building)
Museum Kebangkitan Nasional 
Jalan Dr. Abdul Rahman Saleh No. 26 (Walking distance from Senen Atrium)
Central Jakarta 10410

Phone number: +62 (0) 3483 0033 or +62 (0) 21 384 7975
Fax: +62 (0) 21 3847975
Email: muskitnas@museumkebangkitannasional.go.id

Opening/Visiting Hours:
From Tuesday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm
Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from 8am to 2pm
Closed on Monday and on Public Holidays

Facebook: Museum STOVIA
Website: Museum Kebangkitan Nasional

Entrance Ticket:

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Favicon Pho 24 (Vietnam Restaurants - Jakarta)
27 Jul 2015, 4:44 pm
Pho 24 is a chain of Vietnamese restaurants with several locations in Asia. Specializing in Pho, it belongs to a major conglomerate in Vietnam which is also the owner of Highlands Coffee.

I've actually lived in Vietnam for several months and I tried hundreds of street Phos there (Pho is pronounced a bit like F*ck, without the "K" sound at the end).

Even in Vietnam, Pho 24 is not that good and it is expensive. The other major chain, Pho Ong Hung, is much better in my opinion.

The pho in Pho 24 Jakarta does not taste anything like authentic pho. It is bland, the meat is low quality, the bean sprouts are too big, and instead of the usual Vietnamese herbs (long coriander, cinnamon basil), they serve you a kind of parsley that does not add any flavours to the broth. It costs over Rp60,000 including tax, not worth it .

Overall: If I ever return to Pho 24 in Indonesia, I will not order their pho again. For the other dishes, I haven't tried them yet but I would not expect great tasting food.

Pho 24 contacts details:
Several locations in Jakarta, among which:
Gandaria, TIS Square Tebet, Food Court Grand Indonesia, Alam Sutera Boulevard, Mall Kelapa Gading 3, SMS Serpong, Jalan Wolter Monginsidi (Senopati) No 38, PIM (Pondok Indah Mall) 1 and 2, Pacific Place, Senayan City,  Kota Kasablanka, Lotte Ciputra World, CityWalk Sudirman, Central Park, Puri Indah Mall.

Facebook Page (vietnamese language): Pho 24 Vietnamese Food
Website: http://www.pho24.com.vn/
Phone numbers: See website above.

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Favicon 12 Delicious Indonesian Soups (and Where to Eat Them)
26 Jul 2015, 3:51 pm
A common mistake of foreigners visiting Indonesia is to limit their knowledge of Indonesian cuisine to Nasi Goreng and Nasi Padang. Few will taste one of the dozens delicious soups that you can try everywhere, from classy Indonesian restaurants to popular food courts.

Indonesian soups are typically made from some of these ingredients: turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, onions, potatoes, coriander, ginger, galangal, tomatoes and of course, coconut milk. Chicken is the most common type of meat, followed by beef, mutton and fish. Pork soups are very rare outside of Bali.

Sop or Soto?
It seems that even Indonesians are not so sure about the difference between "soto" and "sop". Some friends told me that "sop" are clear soups while "soto" are mixed with coconut milk. Wikipedia tells a different story: It says that traditional soups are called "soto" while modern, western-inspired ones are called "soup". If you know the difference, please help me by commenting below.

If you don't like coconut milk, you can ask the cook not to use any by saying "Jangan pakai santan". Alternatively, you can request your soup to be "bening" (clear).

I have just spent the last 3 weeks trying every possible "Soto" and "Sop" that I could find in Jakarta. That's about 40 to 50 soups. I noticed that the same soup will almost always be cooked in a different manner. Naturally, some venues are better than others so I give my some good restaurant recommendation for each type of soups. 

Sop Konro Makassar

Though the Coto Makassar is more famous, I prefer the Sop Konro. It is a thick, flavorful soup with a big piece of beef rib in it. It is made using keluwak which gives it a black color (similar to that of rawon). 

You can try it in Daeng Tata or in Sop Konro Karebosi (Kelapa Gading). If the taste is too strong, you can balance it using lime juice.

Soto Betawi

Originally from Jakarta, the Soto Betawi is similar to a few other soups that are cooked in a coconut milk broth (for instance the Soto Ayam). Just before serving, you will add green onions, boiled potatoes and fresh tomatoes. It is usually made with beef offals.

You can try in in Soto Jakarta Asen (Jalan Mangga Besar 1) or in Soto Roxy H. Darwasa (one of the oldest restaurants in Jakarta).


Rawon is a popular black beef soup originally from Surabaya. It is similar with Coto and Sop Konro Makassar as it uses kelawak. It is normally served with rice and called Nasi Rawon.

The most famous place to eat rawon is Rawon Setan in Surabaya. If you cannot go there, you can also try Rawon Setan Mbak Endang on Jalan Mangga Besar Raya, not far from Exotis.

Sop Buntut

The sop buntut or "oxtail soup" is usually rather expensive, even if you eat it in the street. Apart from the beef, it may include carrots, potatoes, cloves, nutmeg and tomatoes.

I would recommend you to try Sop Buntut Mangga Besar on Jalan Mangga Besar 1 (yes I spend a lot of time in that area as you can see).

Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam is the most widely available Indonesian soup, and possibly the most delicious too. The broth is aromatic and spicy, with a yellowish tint. It contains shredded chicken, fresh tomatoes, potatoes, turmeric, herbs, small eggs, koya and onions. The Soto Kudus, Soto Medan and Soto Lamongan (see below) are similar.

Best restaurant to taste a Soto Ayam in Jakarta: Soto Ayam Ambengan Pak Sadi (multiple branches in Kelapa Gading, Thamrin, Senopati, etc).

Sop Kambing

The Sop Kambing is my absolute favourite. I can usually smell restaurants that serve it a mile away and I love to try its variations. Popular versions include the Sop Kaki Kambing (Mutton Leg Soup) or the Sop Kepala Kambing (Mutton Head Soup). It is very similar with the Sop Buntut.

My favourite venue for Sop Kambing: Kui Sen Restaurant in Jalan Gajah Mada.

Soto Lamongan

 The Soto Lamongan is a variation of the Soto Ayam. The main difference is that it is a clear soup, without any coconut milk used. It is named after Lamongan, a city in East Java.

There are not many restaurants serving Soto Lamongan. If you don't find it near from where you live, you can go to the street food stall "Soto Ayam Lamongan Cak Kumis" in Bintaro 9 Walk.

Empal Gentong

Empal Gentong is a spicy beef soup from Cirebon. It is made of beef tripes (intestines) cooked in a curry sauce with coconut milk.

The most famous place in Jakarta is certainly Kedai Empal Gentong Mang Darma Cirebon in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta.

Soto Daging Madura 

There are actually several kinds of Soto Madura, with chicken or beef. The one I tried was a dark beef offal and meat soup. It is not my favourite as I find it less aromatic than other Indonesian soups.

I only had Soto Madura once in Tosoto, on Jalan Mangga Besar Raya. They have other branches all over the city as well.

Soto Medan 

The Soto Medan is a variation of the Soto Ayam, with a sweeter flavour. Another difference is that it contains potato croquettes called "perkedel". The one I had also had some noodles inside.

The best place to eat a Soto Medan in Jakarta is near Ancol in Soto Medan Pak Syamsuddin, Jalan Muara Karang Raya No. 17.

Soto Tangkar Iga Sapi

The Soto Tangkar Iga Sapi is similar to Soto Betawi except that the meat used is always beef ribs. It is popular mainly in Jakarta.

The legendary Soto Tangkar Tanah Tinggi is the must-try restaurant for this soup. It has been around since 1938, an eternity in Jakarta (Jalan Tanah Tinggi III No. 54 Central Jakarta).

Soto Kudus

The Soto Kudus comes from the town of Kudus in Central Java. It is a clear broth soup, usually made from chicken or buffalo, served in a small ball in which rice can be added. Its particular taste comes from the heavy use of garlic, fresh and fried.

There are several good venues to eat Soto Kudus in Jakarta. One of the most delicious is Soto Kudus Blok M on Jalan Kh. Achmad Dahlan No. 36.

Photo source: I took all photos myself except for the Empal Gentong and the Soto Kudus. I will add new soups as I try them, especially fish soups (sop ikan). Please don't hesitate to comment below if I made a mistake in my writing or if I missed your favourite Indonesian soup.

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Favicon 10 Classic Indonesian Food Restaurants in Jakarta
26 Jul 2015, 7:49 am
With the wealth of culture, cooking methods, and variety of spices, it’s not easy to define “Indonesian food” - let alone to come up with a shortlist of the best ones in Jakarta.

Most Indonesian restaurants will specialize on a certain dish or dishes from a certain region - and with over 17,000 islands spread over three different time zones, you can imagine how long the list can get!

The good news is, there are restaurants that do provide a variety dishes from all over the country so you can have a culinary journey across Indonesia in one sitting. Here are some of the noteworthy ones in my book - in no particular order.


Fancy restaurant within Alun-alun Grand Indonesia - needless to say, prices are on the higher side. Do drop by their snack shop Waroeng Kopi, though. They serve tasty Indonesian snacks at a more reasonable price further inside the shopfloor.

Lara Djonggrang

Although their website says “Indonesian imperial cuisine”, it is technically Javanese. However, they do feature dishes from the coastal regions of Java which displays distinctive tastes as a result of the Javanese’s cultural interaction with merchants from all over Indonesia as they pass through the harbor cities. The restaurant is also known for its impressive setting.

Sate Khas Senayan

The Starbucks of Indonesian restaurants - with numerous locations spread across town, cozy if somewhat cookie-cutter ambiance, good quality food, and great seasonal menus. They also have a range of Indonesian warm and cold desserts that provides a quick glimpse into what is available across the archipelago.

Tugu Kunstkring Paleis

Another place with impressive setting, also by the Tugu Hotels and Restaurants group. It’s an art space, a fine dining restaurant, a tea lounge, a bakery, and a wineshop within an elegant Dutch colonial building complex. Their Betawi Rijsttafel experience is a must try.

Kembang Goela

Upscale dining in the business district. They serve Indonesian dishes with Dutch and Peranakan influence. Known for their unique interpretation of the West Sumatran dendeng balado and dishes made from indigenous vegetables of Indonesia like genjer and kecipir.


A family restaurant with several locations in different malls in Jakarta. Try their mini version of the famous rijsttafel called nasi berkat which consists of rice with a combination of empal beef, shredded dried coconut, assorted vegetables with spicy coconut herbs, fried fermented bean curds, sautéed fried bean curd, pickles and sliced omelet. Other must try dish is their mangut ikan pe panggang - a traditional dish from Semarang that is seldom cooked nowadays because of the intricate 40-hours smoking of stingrays it involves in the preparation.


The upper-class sister of Sate Khas Senayan serving almost similar menus with more generous portion and sophisticated presentation. Several locations in Jakarta’s premium spots (Plaza Senayan, Pacific Place, Menteng) and VIP dining rooms availability makes TeSate perfect for hosting corporate dinners or other private dining events.

Bunga Rampai

The restaurant occupies a building that was once a Dutch colonial residence, dining here is like dining in your fabulous elegant Grandmother’s house. They serve Indonesian dishes with a hint of Dutch influence (think bitterballen, pannekoeken, and such.) The central Menteng area makes it popular for ambassadorial gatherings and private functions of Jakarta’s elites. 

Seribu Rasa

The one restaurant in our list that specializes on seafood dishes. The menu shows a Southeast Asian influence (predominantly Thai and Malay - no surprise here, since it is a sister restaurant of the famous Penang Bistro). Various tasty dishes made using freshest ingredients from the sea. Don’t forget to sample their creative drinks and desserts. 

Warjok (Warung Pojok) Asli

Another chain restaurants scattered in numerous malls across Jakarta. Their dining concept brings not only the dishes served in warungs, but the warung look and feel as well. Popular rice dishes served here are nasi soto ayam, nasi pecel lele, and nasi gudeg. Their serabi kuah panas (traditional pandan pancakes served with warm coconut milk and palm sugar gravy) is a real comfort food.

Note from Jakarta100bars.com:

As I was not confident ranking Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta, I asked Antonia for help. She wrote this review and also another one: Best Chinese Restaurants in Jakarta.

For cheaper Indonesian food options, you can read: Street food in Jakarta.


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Favicon The Sexy Pool at 1001 Hotel (Bikini Party)
22 Jul 2015, 7:12 pm
The Pool @1001 is a new concept developed by the Alexis Group. It is located in the same building as Colosseum nightclub.

Only male clients are allowed in the pool area, where you have sexy dancers and bikini shows by swimsuit hostesses. You can watch them from private cabanas and you can also invite them to spend time with you.

It is not a totally new concept as it already exists in Malioboro or D'Heaven (among few others). The only difference is that in those places, you will see the girls only once or twice at certain times, on certain days. The Pool @ 1001 promises almost non-stop performances and activities.

A few months ago, a bikini party organized by a group of high school students created a bit of a sh*storm (see article from Jakarta Globe). Maybe this is where they got their idea from.

The Pool @ 1001 Hotel (Gentleman Pool)
Jalan Kunir 7, West Jakarta
Next to Taman Fatahillah
Phone number: +62 (0) 21 690 3333
or +62 (0) 21 690 1001

Opening Hours:
From Monday to Tuesday, from 1pm to 3am
From Wednesday to Saturday, from 4pm to 4am
On Sunday, from 2pm to 2am

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© 2015 Frêney, S.r.l. - V.A.T. ID IT03001860166