While Cikini has some of the very best restaurants and food stalls in Jakarta, very few places have menus in English. Below we’ve made a list of the basics, to get you started.

Many places have regional ‘variations on a theme’, with food often named after the place it originates from. Our main piece of advice, though, is: if you don’t know what it is, try it! 9 out of 10 times you’ll find something completely brilliant.


Nasi rice
Mie noodles
ayam chicken
ikan fish
bubur Rice porridge
udang prawns
soto Rice soup
Sapi (or daging) Beef
kambing Goat
babi Pork
Bakso (pronounced ‘Ba-So’) Meatballs
Sate (Satay) Meat on sticks with peanut sauce
goreng fried
rebus boiled
bakar barbecued
rendang Beef in dry coconut stew (must try!)
sayuran vegetables
gado-gado Mixed veg with peanut sauce
Cap cai (pronounced ‘chap chai’) Mixed veg in a soupy sauce
Martabak Manis A sweet, very thick pankake (calorie bomb)
Martabak Telur Thick savoury omelette
Telur Egg
Ayam Kampung ‘village chicken’ –skinny, but delicious
Nasi Padang Food from Padang in west Sumatra,
includes rendang and various other delicious offerings.
warung street restaurant