Jakarta is blessed with a wealth of great Chinese restaurants (on top of its other excellent food options – check out our lists of the best burgers, Padang restaurants, fried chicken, sweet martabak and many more in our Food & Drink section) but only some specialize in the delicious art of dim sum.
What makes dim sum so brilliant is that it offers a huge variety of tastes in small portions at low prices. If you bring a big crew and order wisely, you can have an epic dim sum meal without putting a massive hole in your wallet, even at many of Jakarta’s fancier Chinese restaurants. Here we’ve listed our absolute favorite dumpling joints in Jakarta (both halal and non-halal), from cheap and cheerful 24-hour eateries to grand affairs set in lavish banquet halls and 5-star hotels. Selamat makan!
Din Tai Fung
This chain from Taiwan became internationally famous after its signature xiao long bao (soup dumplings) earned the original DTF a Michelin star. The many DTF outlets in Jakarta uphold the chain’s generally high standards, but there is one caveat – almost all of them are halal and thus cannot serve up DTF’s original award-winning pork and crab xiao long bao, serving up a version with chicken instead (which is still very good but not quite the same). However, those looking for that original DTF flavor can still go to the Din Tai Fung: Chef’s Table outlets in Taman Anggrek, Puri Indah and Emporium Pluit malls, which are the only ones in Jakarta that includes pork on their menus, including the original recipe pork and crab xiao long bao.
Many dim sum connoisseurs in Jakarta consider Sun City to be the capital’s number one dim sum destination and you’ll often find the grand and spacious restaurant totally packed on weekends (try to get in before the after-church rush on Sunday at around noon or you might have to wait over an hour to get a table). Sun City gets all the standards like siomay and har gau spot on, but some of the other must-order highlights of their non-halal menu are the excellent honey BBQ pork and cheese puffs (puff panggang isi babi panggang madu dgn keju) and the fried taro dumplings (pangsit talas goreng). Sun City’s main dining room is already impressive, but the large side room with an enormous LED screen on the ceiling (often showing clouds lazily floating by) is totally a trip.
LTC Glodok, Lantai 6, Sun City Hotel, Jl. Hayam Wuruk No. 127, Hayam Wuruk. Website.
Dim Sum Inc
This 24-hour chain of eateries is a godsend for those in need a late night dim sum fix. While not as refined as the dumplings found at some places, even at 3am the shumai and har gau here taste well-made and feature nice plump shrimp (that don’t have the mealy texture you get at really cheap dim sum joints). While the menu is halal, Dim Sum Inc does have a decent selection of beers, which makes it an excellent option for drunken post-clubbing eats.
Found in malls all throughout Jakarta, the Duck King chain may not seem that exciting but they do consistently great dim sum in a comfortable setting for very reasonable prices. If you can come with a few people their eponymous peking duck is pretty great and affordable (the tableside service is a nice touch).
Imperial Chef is basically the same as Duck King (they’re from the same group) but with the addition of non-halal items to the menu. Their BBQ options such as the crispy pork belly (samcam) and cha siew are on point.
This Chinese fine-dining restaurant in Plaza Indonesia certainly looks and acts the part, with elegant decor and excellent service. The full menu is filled with opulent dishes featuring shark fin and foie gras (their lobster sashimi and porridge is worth a splurge) but their more down-to-earth dim sum items such as hakau, baked BBQ pork buns and egg tarts are also made with impeccable attention to detail.
Plaza Indonesia, Lantai 4, Jl. MH. Thamrin, Thamrin. 021 29923838. Website
Paradise Dynasty: The Legend of Xiao Long Bao
I love the xiao long bao at Paradise Dynasty almost as much as the rest of its over-the-top name. Their standard soup dumplings, available filled with pork or chicken, are amazing enough but the flavored upgrades like foie gras and black truffle are dynamite (well, maybe not so much the cheese one). The hand-stretched lamian noodles are also fantastic – if you like spicy, the lamian with poached beef in Szechuan soup is a mouth-singeing masterpiece (protip: if you’re sharing one of the enormous lamian bowls be sure to ask the waiter to cut the noodles up first to make ladling them out into smaller bowls more manageable).
This luxurious Chinese restaurant at the Hotel Mulia definitely wows in terms of atmosphere, with incredible decor and their Instagram-worthy flowering tea service. The weekend buffet is pretty pricey but in addition to all sorts of dim sum delights they’ve also got plenty of beautiful barbecued meats as well as custom stir fry, noodle soup and grill stations.
Hotel Mulia, Jl. Asia Afrika, Senayan. 021 5753271. Website
Sari Laut Jala Jala
This famed halal Chinese restaurant chain from Medan has an extensive menu of dim sum dishes (including a good selection of vegetarian options) that manage to be on the cheaper end of the price scale but consistently up there in terms of flavors. Their kwo tiek dumplings are dope, especially the pan fried ones, and the hearty bowls of bubur (rice porridge) are always comforting. They are also famous for their desserts including durian and mango pancakes.
This relatively new addition to the Mandarin Oriental has a menu filled with elegant, modern Chinese dishes including highly-Instagramable dim sum such as the gorgeous and tasty black swan dumplings filled with black pepper duck meat and served dramatically on a plate with dry-ice smoke swirling about them. The sui mai with scallop and the steamed mushroom bun with foie gras filling are also highlights. Li Feng is also one of the few Chinese restaurants in the Jakarta with an excellent wine list.
Li Feng, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Jl. MH Thamrin, Thamrin, 021 29938825
Imperial Kitchen & Dim Sum
Another chain of cheaper mall Chinese restaurants, Imperial Kitchen can be a bit hit and miss (also depends on the outlet) but if you know what to order it’s excellent value dim sum. Reliable bets are the siew mai, gao zi (shrimp dumpling in black vinegar), lumpia ayam saus tiram and bubur.
From the same group as Imperial Kitchen, Lamian Palace is their slightly more upscale sister brand where hand-stretched noodles and non-halal barbecued meats are additional draws. The mie dengan babi goreng (lamian with fried pork chop and pork bone soup) is a personal favorite, with the noodles tossed in a zesty sauce of coriander and chili accompanying the crisp but juicy slices of pork.
House of Yuen
From the same group behind Sun Tung Lok (the the 2nd Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong to receive 3 Michelin stars) House of Yuen in the Fairmont Hotel is definitely one of the most luxurious fine-dining Chinese restaurants in Jakarta, but if your main objective is their dim sum (only served until 3pm FYI) then you can still have an exquisite meal here without totally breaking the bank. Everything here is made to impressive standards but I’d recommend their baked ham and spring onion cake, pan-fried turnip cake with preserved meat, steamed scallop and shrimp dumplings in XO sauce and the pan-fried Shanghai dumplings, all of which are well worth the price.
Fairmont Jakarta, Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8, Senayan. 021 29039172. Website
The original May Star in the Le Grandeur Hotel in Mangga Dua is still the best, but its newer mall outlets are all extremely popular (try to get a seat at one during the weekend). One of the highlights of their extensive menu are the well-done renditions of regional dim sum favorites including “minced pork bun in Taiwanese style”, Hong Kong style beef balls, rice noodle rolls filled with shrimp in curry sauce and Malaysian pandan cake rolls.
Outlets in the Le Grandeur Hotel, Central Park, PIK Avenue Mall, Mall Artha Gading and Emporium Pluit Mall. Website
Ah Yat Abalone Forum
As the name implies, this old-school Chinese restaurant in Sudirman specializes in abalone, offering species of the pricey marine mollusc from all over the world. But their Sunday dim sum is also one of the best in the area (and one of the few that still has trolleys going around offering instant glutinous gratification). Their dim sum standards are fine but be sure to supplement them with one or two of the deeply-flavorful sapo (claypot dishes) from their regular menu. Arrive before noon if you want to avoid long lines caused by the after-church rush.
MidPlaza 2, Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav 10-11, Lower Ground Floor. +62 21 5707333. Website
This Singaporean brand has earned Michelin awards at a few of its many branches throughout the region and its five Jakarta outlets, while varying somewhat in terms of menu offerings, maintain high standards across the board. Unique dim sum dishes to look out for include the steamed cuttlefish with spicy belacan sauce, the Teochew-style shrimp dumplings and the deep-fried spring rolls with shrimp and crispy garlic.
This latest addition to the Shangri-La Hotel’s line-up of luxurious restaurants, Jia’s elegant decor offers a great setting for their delectable dim sum. As can be expected from this sort of fine-dining Chinese establishment, there are pricey “premium” dim sum like steamed pork siew mai topped with abalone, but the more down-to-earth selections are all well done, including succulent xiao long bao with XO sauce, steamed rice rolls with crispy shrimp and deep fried wontons with crab paste. The Peking duck is definitely worth ordering ahead of time.
Shangri-La Hotel, first floor, Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Sudirman. 021 29229999. Website
This restaurant inside Sense is part of a larger luxury “executive club” complex that also includes a karaoke parlor… that was recently shut down by the government after an alleged narcotics violation. But if you’re seeking a great dim sum deal, don’t let that put you off, because Sense’s restaurant is still very open and it’s got one of the best dim sum deals in town – an all-you-can-eat promo until 2:30pm in which you can eat your fill of over 60 different menu items for IDR125,000++ (as of time of writing, call ahead to be sure). Unlike some other AYCE dim sum joints, Sense manages to maintain a surprisingly high level of quality and service for that very reasonable price.
Mangga Dua Square, Lantai 5, Jl. Gunung Sahari No. 1, Mangga Dua. 021 62312888. Website