Fancy a trip from Turkey to Lebanon to Egypt to Morocco? You don’t really have to go far for a Middle Eastern culinary journey when we’ve got everything from lamb shawarmas and kebabs to falafel and hummus platters right here in Jakarta.
Here are our picks for the best Middle Eastern eateries in the Indonesian capital. And for more awesome food options, check out our lists of Jakarta’s best burgers, Padang restaurants, fried chicken, sweet martabak and many more in our Food & Drink section. If there’s a list you want to see, or if we missed your favorite spot, let us know! Sound off (or say “hi”) at email@example.com.
Specializing in lamb, this popular eatery may not look like much from the outside, but it’s got some of the best dabba around, and you can try that with other dishes like nasi goreng kebuli and nasi goreng gulai.
Jalan Benda No. 14, Kemang, South Jakarta. +61 21 2188 9061. Daily 24 hours.
An ornately-decorated, two-story restaurant that has been serving Middle Eastern delicacies up in Matraman for well over a decade, Abunawas is all about authentic, generously-portioned Arabian grub with signatures like mandi (traditional Middle Eastern rice) with lamb, fish, or chicken.
The ausal lahm of chopped lamb meat fried with tomatoes, onions, green peppers and spices is also a must-try, and you can pair these plates with classic options like hummus, tabbullah, and baba ghanoush.
Jalan Matraman Raya 15, Jakarta Timur. +62 21 7179 4691. Daily 10am-11:30pm.
Blanketed in a carpet of red, with intricate details on tables and chairs, Ajwad serves up big plates good for groups of diners, starting from soups and salads, followed by dips like foul medammas (mashed beans) and baba ghanoush (mashed eggplant) served with roti.
But the mains are what you’re here for, with different varieties of rice like mandi, kabsah, bukhari, sadah, and briyani paired with lamb, chicken, and fish. You can also get an entire portion of lamb or chicken to share, before ending your meal with sips of Turkish coffee.
Jalan Condet Raya No. 50, Kramat Jati, Jakarta. 0815 1626204. Daily 4pm-11pm.
A legendary Middle Eastern restaurant in Menteng, Al-Jazeerah Signature’s striking three floor venue includes a lovely rooftop area for alfresco dining. Food quality is pretty consistently high across the board though we’d definitely recommend the beautifully spiced lamb curry and their mousakka, which is one of the best in the city.
Jl. Johar No. 8, Menteng, Jakarta. +62 (021) 31907590. Daily 9am until late.
Not to be confused with Al-Jazeera Signature in Menteng, Jakarta’s three Al-Jazeera restaurants – all decked out in patterned walls and colorful oil lamps – each function as something of an Arabian entertainment space featuring a restaurant, lounge, alfresco area, and private room.
Their menus are extensive, so go with a few friends to share dishes like lamb mandi, kabsah laham (steamed rice with lamb in Arabic spices), chicken curry, and the platter of grilled skewered lamb, prawn, and lamb liver served with fries. Standard Indonesian dishes are also served here, in case you feel like an extra helping of nasi goreng kambing.
Three locations, including Jalan Raden Saleh No. 58, Cikini, Jakarta. 021 3914444. Daily 9am-2am.
It’s Lebanese hospitality at its finest at this hotel restaurant, where you’re treated to a warmth of colors interspersed with oil lamps hanging from the ceiling. Peer into the open kitchen and you’ll find a vertical roasting spit alongside a wood-fired oven where the aroma of baked breads wafts through.
Popular plates here – though slightly overpriced – include the haruf ouzi (braised lamb shank with rice and yogurt) with hot or cold appetizers like hummus and tabbouleh. Once you’re done with your meal, head outside to the terrace where you can take a puff of shisha and nibble on traditional Lebanese sweets.
Le Meridien Hotel Jakarta, Jalan Jendral Sudirman Kav 18-20, Jakarta. +62 21 2513131, ext 3788. Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon-Sat 6:30pm-10:30pm.
Open all day every day (so you can get your Middle Eastern fix even if the craving hits at 3am), this affordably-priced spot inside fX Sudirman mall is known for its mandi rice with lamb, although you can also get Indonesian grub like martabak telur and ayam goreng here, as well as pastas and pizzas, strangely enough. Round up a group of buddies for a meal here because serving sizes are for more than one, and lounge the night away on one of the plush sofas.
fX Sudirman, Lantai FB, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Jakarta. 021 29110201. Daily 24 hours.
Bringing German street food to Jakarta, this fast food kebab joint serves up slices of grilled chicken topped with salad veggies on baked Turkish bread, drizzled with white garlic, chili, or Mediterranean yogurt sauces. It’s ideal for when you want to grab and go, with simple menu options besides the titular Berlin Doner like pita falafel, currywurst, and salads.
Two locations, including Plaza Festival, Jalan Rasuna Said, Kuningan. 0822-1188-3715. Daily 10am-10pm.
In between sips of Arabic tea or mango lassi, sink your teeth into bites of tikka chicken, lamb briyani, butter chicken, and Turkish cheese bread at Eatz, which serves a mix of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. With a medley of vibrant colors, lavish patterns, and knick knacks from the region, there’s loads for you to look at while you’re waiting for your food to be served.
Ruko Margaguna, Unit 9, Jalan Radio Dalam No. 125, Pondok Indah, Jakarta. 021 22776357. Daily 10:30am-11pm.
Leave your shoes at the door and settle into the carpet in Hadramout’s little “rooms”, where you can have your meal in private. On the menu, you’ll find grilled meat kebabs, dips and spreads, various lamb-and-rice or chicken-and-rice combinations.
Jalan Tambak Raya No. 16A, Cikini, Jakarta. 021 3928104. Daily 11am-11pm.
A richly embellished space featuring dining areas, a family room, a meeting room, sitting rooms, an outdoor terrace, and a rooftop area, the multi-story Larazeta complex is nearly a castle in its own right, housing a restaurant and gallery in its premises.
Here, you’ll get to try the cuisines of countries like Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, and Turkey, with a pretty extensive menu spotlighting rice varieties such as mandi, kabsa, briyani, zurbian, and kebuli. After your meal, you can wander around the gallery to browse through Arabic trinkets and furnishings.
Jalan Tebet Barat Dalam Raya No. 17, Tebet, Jakarta. 021 8293714. Daily 10am-11pm.
A shisha paradise, this modern Moroccan space is bright with blue hues, quaint mosaic lamps, and plush couches. Plus, with a name like that, you know you gotta have some shisha time while you’re here. The flavored tobacco comes in fruity flavors like cherry, lemon, and watermelon, as well as mint, cappuccino, orange cream, vanilla, and “mocktail” blends.
Food-wise, you’ve got samosas and hummus for appetizers, and shawarma and moussaka for mains – alternatively, you could also go for the Western and Indonesian options.
Rukan Garden House Blok 17/18A, Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta. 021 290 33217. Daily 4pm-midnight.
When you’re on the hunt for an unpretentious, no-frills Middle Eastern meal, this is the spot to grab kebabs, roti and dips, mandi kambing, and salads. It’s not exactly the kind of place you’ll want to stay and chill, but it’ll do the trick when those cravings kick in and you’re in the neighborhood.
Jalan Raya Condet No. 8, Kramat Jati, Jakarta. 0813 15006655. Daily 11am-10pm.
A shisha chain with locations scattered across Indonesia, this casual Lebanese café is resplendent in kaleidoscopic lights, lush greenery, vibrant blue shades, and Oriental décor. With Arabian melodies in the background, you can nibble on delicacies like falafel, hummus, and kebabs before ending off your meal with puffs of the shisha pipe in flavors such as guava, honey, kiwi, plum, and even bubble gum.
Five locations, including Jalan Kemang Raya No. 10, Jakarta Selatan. +62 21 719 3587. Sun-Thurs 10am-1am, Fri-Sat 10am-2am.
A cozy space with old school décor, this eatery is known for its Lebanon/Yemen style of nasi mandi, with a wide selection of hot and cold appetizers, grilled meats, and Arabian rice.
Jalan KS Tubun Raya No. 2, Slipi, Jakarta. 021 5308366. Daily 10am-11pm.
Hailed as the pioneers of American Halal fast food, this fast casual spot from New York City – which grew from its humble beginnings as a food cart into an international franchise – opened up shop in Jakarta a few years ago to dish out their famous chicken, beef, and falafel gyros/platters, padded by essential sides like hummus, baba ghanoush, and fries. To complete your meal, munch on a flaky piece of baklava for a sweet ending.
Two locations, including Senayan City, Lantai 5, Jalan Asia Afrika, Senayan, Jakarta. 021 72782270. Daily 10am-10pm.
Situated in the upper crust area of Gunawarman, Turkuaz is one of those rare restaurants that always gets rave reviews. The eclectic space – adorned with glowing glass lamps, elaborate rugs, photo frames, and ornaments from the Middle East – has been around since 2011, plating up Turkish cuisine and some of the best baklava in town.
Start with a mezze platter of dips and bread before you move on to its signature lamb shank that you can pair with sides like fried aubergines, baked mushrooms, and artichokes. Of course, you’ll have to leave space for the layered pastry that is baklava, filled with everything from pistachios and walnuts to chocolate and almonds.
Jalan Gunawarman No. 32, Jakarta Selatan. +62 21 7279 5846. Sun-Thurs 11:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-11:30pm.
Brought to you by the same people behind Turkuaz, think of this as the restaurant’s affordably priced sister outlet in the neighborhood of Kemang. No expenses were spared in decking out the three-story place to look like a charming Turkish village though, from the mosaic tiles to the traditional bamboo roofing to the turquoise walls.
Must-tries include wood-fired Turkish flat bread, baba ghanoush, doner kebab rolled with lamb or chicken and, of course, the lamb shank and baklava. To stretch out your time here, head up to the rooftop and recline at the shisha lounge for a puff or two.
Jalan Kemang Raya No. 18A, Jakarta. +62 21 29055898. Daily 11:30am-midnight.
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