Menu from Jakarta Indonesian Restaurant

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Among the many great choices on Brunswick Street in New Farm, all within a stone's throw of each other, one of these is Brisbane favourite Jakarta. Much like many of the choices from one another, each one has a characteristic an unique look and hook to them, with this one making attempts to transport you into the same aesthetics as Borneo. And it is worth trying out some time, even for old time's sake. From last time before she went going, my friend was talking about her parents coming down in the near future and the discussion here triggered the next planned eating venture with her. A mention was about her mom wanting to know about a good Indonesian place in town, and this was one that I had remembered - it was Indonesian, had a decent reputation throughout the years, and from way back I had noted it down as a place that I wanted to go. With that in mind, not only the direction for the next date but specifically the location was set in mind. That was the long and short of it. The interior of the place is aesthetically really pleasing. I am not sure if it is Bali or Java or whatever that is their main influence with choosing the decorations, however they have made great choices. At no point is there anything that is not given due care, with several artworks, Buddhas and statues adorning the walls. It is all done with plenty of golden hues, and maybe the best touch is being able to sit on wooden benches akin to a beach. With the service, it was at that level where I have absolutely nothing to complain about and it was at an acceptable level. Since it was not a busy night that night, and lip service has to be given where it is necessary, the waitresses were pretty attentive and cleared the tables promptly between courses. Dishes were done with, and they were there to clear them away to the kitchen, and during the mains section of the dinner, the meals were coming out quickly and piled up. That is a good sign, and makes Jakarta a worthy choice for the mid-week. They were pleasant, and it creates a good and welcoming atmosphere. What they serve here - simple, Indonesian cuisine. The cuisine trends more towards curries than stir fries, and is generally based on either seafood or poultry with plenty of vegetarian options. Various bits and bobs can be gotten for snacking, and the other main part of the menu is a range of both rice and noodle dishes. This menu keeps it relatively simple for once, not overwhelming the consumer. Of course, to avoid that they have value for money with the banquets, where more meals are able to be tried than usual with banquets. Drinks are pretty simple, with juices, waters, teas, and coffee. In what might have been one of the easiest and quickest decisions made between multiple people at a restaurant, the go was for one of the banquets. It is a rare treat to see one that is for two or more people, and they are good from a value point of view. It might have been two minutes tops that the first banquet was selected. Of course before going into the meal, it was time for getting drinks. Upon perusing the menu, it was more or less the same old deal that most places have until I saw that it had a different kind of coffee. It was simply called "Indonesian coffee", and it was a glass of hot coffee with a small side of condensed milk and some sugar. There was not a lot of condensed milk, so the coffee was just slightly lightened in colour but it was still unmistakeable when drinking it - the drink was quite sweet, and plenty strong. Also, it was not too hot either. Any coffee connoisseurs here, definitely try this one out for size. So getting onto the crux of the meal, it first started out with prawn crackers. In all honesty there is no need to really critique or describe them, since once you have had one you have had them all. Still, they are not bad a way to satiate the appetite for future courses in a banquet. Getting onto the serious part of the meal, next up were a couple of entrees. These were spring rolls and chicken satays, both bone fide classic choices. The spring rolls were served with a satay sauce - a strange choice to be honest, but that is a digression - and they were more or less what you would expect spring rolls to be as well. With the chicken satays, these were good. The chicken meat was tender, possibly using thigh meat, and there was plenty of peanut sauce to go around. This was nicked onto the plates during the main part of the meal. So, nothing super out there, and everything was going right so far. Next up were five different main dishes. These were a chicken curry, beef rendang, fried noodles, gado-gado and chili prawn. On the side for these, there was bottomless steamed rice. All the curries were mild, which if I was given preference they all definitely would have been spiced up quite a bit. Still, they were not bad. Each piece of meat was tender and juicy, obviously chosen from the best kind of cut possible. The chicken was breast, delicious, soft and moreish, and the sauce it was in was a light coconut cream. Beef rendang is always going to go down in history as one of the best dishes ever - period. Something about the slowly cooked cut of tender beef, marinated in a combination of spices and coconut milk, over a long period of time, is simply irresistable. It was no different this time around. The chilli prawn was tender, juicy and sweet, mixed with a good range of vegetables, and in a nice buttery sauce. Next up we have the gado-gado, the familiar salad that is a mixture of egg, tofu, and steamed vegetables with peanut sauce throughout it. Furthermore, there was a touch of prawn crackers sprinkled over this take on it. I will be frank, this was one I liked a lot more than I though. It particularly had to do with the peanut sauce. Last and not least are the spicy noodles. It had a good mixture in it with tender chicken, shrimp, plenty of peanuts, and egg mixed throughout it. This might have been the Bakmi Goreng, and if it was it would definitely be a dish that I would constantly order in the future. If it wasn't, whatever the name was, it would be likewise. To give it a complete analysis, dessert was on the agenda. If a meal is enjoyable enough, that is my policy. And each time it is ordering as they would in the country and always attempt to look out for something completely new. This time around, it was "Es Cendol". This is a drink that is based off coconut milk, and mixed with a brown sugar syrup, jack fruit and plenty of jelly. It is an interesting concoction, which I wouldn't hesitate to try again but what I certainly wouldn't do is recommend it to most people. The reason is that the flavour is hard to describe, and while definitely sweet, jack fruit is an acquired taste. In all honesty, I enjoyed the entirety of the meal that I had here. Most of it comes down to the fact that it is wholesome food, and for a bit of a change to the normal choices, it does itself very well. Whether it is a quick meal to be in and out as effectively as possible, or to take your time for a more relaxing session, they can cater to have those covered. Nice setting, good food, and effective service - this is quite the sum of its parts. With everything being a reasonable level of quality, and there being little to nothing outright wrong with it, Jakarta gets the diplomatic 4.0 rating. Maybe not the absolute most authentic Indonesian around, but it still gives a decent taste of what it is like. TL;DR: Jakarta is a good change of pace from numerous other cuisines which are commonplace in Brisbane. It holds enough of an exotic edge that it would seduce food lovers wanting to try something a bit different, and at the same time there is a causal aesthetic about it. Much the same way someone would say "let's go out for Italian, or Korean" as some examples, Indonesian in place really works especially with Jakarta. It has been around the block for a long time and has moved locations - but the fact still remains it is here as another local favourite. It all works as a wholesome dinner out on a whim.


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Among the many great choices on Brunswick Street in New Farm, all within a stone's throw of each other, one of these is Brisbane favourite Jakarta. Much like many of the choices from one another, each one has a characteristic an unique look and hook to them, with this one making attempts to transport you into the same aesthetics as Borneo. And it is worth trying out some time, even for old time's sake. From last time before she went going, my friend was talking about her parents coming down in the near future and the discussion here triggered the next planned eating venture with her. A mention was about her mom wanting to know about a good Indonesian place in town, and this was one that I had remembered - it was Indonesian, had a decent reputation throughout the years, and from way back I had noted it down as a place that I wanted to go. With that in mind, not only the direction for the next date but specifically the location was set in mind. That was the long... read more


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