A NA­TION’S DREAM

Dream and Dine - - Story Of Jakarta -

Jakarta is lo­cated on the coast of Java with an es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion of over 25 mil­lion peo­ple. Jakarta is now con­sid­ered a global city and the cap­i­tal of one of the fastest grow­ing economies in the world.

Modern Jakarta

With a metro area so large it war­rants the pop­u­lar acro­nym Ja­bodetabek (Jakarta, Bo­gor, De­pok, Tangerang and Bekasi), Jakarta is the largest city and cap­i­tal of In­done­sia and one of the most pop­u­lous ur­ban ag­glom­er­a­tions on earth, with more than 10 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants. Jakarta is cur­rently the largest city in South­east Asia, and from an eco­nomic point of view, the city now has the high­est re­turn on in­vest­ment for lux­ury real es­tate com­pared to any other city on earth. Span­ning an area of 661 square kilo­me­ters (255 sq.m.) Jakarta is one of the world's largest cities by area. Cap­i­tal of the Repub­lic of In­done­sia, Jakarta is an au­ton­o­mous prov­ince con­sist­ing of five mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, namely: Cen­tral Jakarta, North, West, East and South Jakarta and the District of Pu­lau Seribu or the Thou­sand Is­lands. The life­style as­pect of modern Jakarta is thriv­ing, with an em­pha­sis on tech­nol­ogy that's grad­u­ally catching up with the times, a rapidly grow­ing F&B scene, a mas­sive hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try and a rav­ing ap­petite for ev­ery­thing new, trendy and stylish.

One of the most pop­u­lar trends in Jakarta is en­joy­ing the many culinary out­lets, and at the fu­ri­ous rate at which new places are open­ing up each week, this comes as no sur­prise at all. In ad­di­tion, despite sev­eral eco­nomic set­backs in the re­cent years, the malls in Jakarta are thriv­ing in terms of vis­i­tors. Th­ese trends in­di­cate a very pleas­ant de­vel­op­ment that many are look­ing for­ward to in the fu­ture: grad­ual eco­nomic re­cov­ery. While for­eign banks seem to ex­pe­ri­ence a longer strug­gle, ma­jor national banks are steadily find­ing new ways to re­coup losses in­curred by the re­cent cri­sis, and as a re­sult, en­joy a steady rate of eco­nomic re­cov­ery. In 2016 and be­yond, in­vest­ment prospects in Jakarta are be­gin­ning to gain at­ten­tion from the global com­mu­nity once more.

Ex­plor­ing the City

Fondly known as the Big Durian, Jakarta is the shop­ping cap­i­tal of In­done­sia, and

it is also is one of the most fash­ion­able cities in the re­gion of South­east Asia. In re­spect to the said trends in Jakarta, shop­ping is ob­vi­ously an in­te­grated part of any Jakar­tan. Whether you're a se­ri­ous spender or half-hearted shopper, Jakarta has some­thing for ev­ery­one. From the best of lo­cal hand­i­crafts found at street mar­kets and cul­tural ar­eas to haute couture la­bels among hun­dreds of malls, the wide plethora of things you can buy in Jakarta is mind-bog­gling. Con­sid­er­ing Jakarta's hu­mid and of­ten scorch­ing hot weather, the to­tal air­con­di­tioned com­fort of the malls is like a sanc­tu­ary of cool­ness to most Jakar­tans. Be­ing as steamy as Jakarta is to­day, this is one of the main rea­sons why peo­ple spend long hours in malls.

Ac­cord­ing to some Jakar­tans, shop­ping and spend­ing the whole day in malls is a form of en­ter­tain­ment in it­self, par­tic­u­larly for the younger gen­er­a­tions. Aside from hang­ing out and spend­ing happy week­ends with fam­ily and friends, the peo­ple of Jakarta view mall life as part of their cul­ture. And this is not sur­pris­ing, given how a typ­i­cal mall in Jakarta of­fers ev­ery­thing from large de­part­ment stores, lux­ury bou­tiques, su­per­mar­kets, gyms, up­mar­ket restau­rants, food cen­tres, cafes, book­shops, kids' play­grounds and beauty sa­lons, to cinemas, all un­der one roof.

If you are look­ing for in­ter­na­tional top de­signer bou­tiques, head along Jalan Tham­rin-sudirman, where Grand In­done­sia Shop­ping Town, Plaza In­done­sia and FX malls are lo­cated. Fur­ther south are Plaza Se­nayan and Se­nayan City, and in the Ke­bay­oran area are malls cater­ing to up­mar­ket clien­tele, such as Gandaria City, Dhar­mawangsa Square, Pasaraya Grande, Pon­dok In­dah Mall and Kemang. Then there is Pa­cific Place at Kuningan, an­other favourite haunt. But each of Jakarta's many dis­tricts has one or more, so that find­ing things to buy and eat are all within easy reach.

Al­though rec­og­nized widely as tra­di­tional at­tire, Batik is con­sid­ered very trendy by some in Jakarta. There are many out­lets sell­ing ex­clu­sive col­lec­tions, both tra­di­tional style or mod­ern­ized with the lat­est tech­niques and touches of global fash­ion trends. Some of th­ese fa­mous names in­clude Da­nar Hadi, Batik Keris and Batik Se­mar, all of which can be found in malls. For ex­pats vis­it­ing Jakarta for the first time, Batik makes for the per­fect gift to take back home.

For In­done­sian hand­i­crafts, the best places are Batik Keris, Pasaraya Grande, Sari­nah or Grand In­done­sia. Here you will find a com­plete col­lec­tion of batik, ikat tex­tiles, sil­ver­ware, wood carv­ings and more. The UKM Gallery (Small- and Medium-sized En­ter­prises Gallery) at Ga­tot Subroto is an­other hand­i­craft cen­ter.

The Jakarta Din­ing Scene

From street ven­dors to chic and el­e­gant restau­rants, Jakarta has it all. Visit Muara Karang in North­ern Jakarta for a wide ar­ray of de­lec­ta­ble seafood. The malls and shop­ping cen­tres in Jakarta comes with their own food courts and restau­rants, mak­ing it easy if you're look­ing to com­bine shop­ping and din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Food courts tend to be noisy and crowded, hence, if you pre­fer pri­vacy, choose from one of the fine restau­rants or cafes in­stead. One of the orig­i­nal Jakarta dishes worth try­ing is kerak telor, a dish made of rice mixed with eggs and spices.

Jakarta to­day of­fers an ex­cel­lent va­ri­ety of so­phis­ti­cated fine-din­ing restau­rants lo­cated in many parts of this sprawl­ing metropoli­tan city. The cen­tral ar­eas of Tham­rin, Sudirman, Se­nayan and Ke­bay­oran are home to numer­ous fine din­ing restau­rants run by fa­mous world-class chefs. Five-star ho­tels also en­joy a lot of restau­rants, and it is not un­com­mon to see din­ers visit the ho­tel just to ex­pe­ri­ence the dis­tinct culinary ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mean­while, all of Jakarta's top ho­tels serve grand buf­fets for lunch for one all-in­clu­sive price where din­ers can pick from a wide se­lec­tion of cuisines from Ja­panese sushi to juicy steaks, roast beef and crunchy sal­ads, and close the meal with choco­late cake, fresh fruit and de­li­cious aro­matic cof­fee.

Malls have also got­ten into the fray to pam­per din­ers, where en­tire floors are to­day ded­i­cated to up­scale restau­rants, but there are also smaller bistros, cafes and fast food to cater to the thou­sands of busy pro­fes­sion­als from the sur­round­ing of­fice tow­ers, and shop­pers and cin­ema buffs fill­ing the at­tached cine­plexes.

The Kemang area in South Jakarta is a small world all of its own where there are some top in­ter­na­tional restau­rants, among which is the Turk­ish Ana­to­lia restau­rant, but also others serv­ing first­class Ital­ian, In­dian, Chi­nese, In­done­sian or Dutch cui­sine. With din­ing op­tions rang­ing from sim­ple restau­rants and street stalls abun­dantly scat­tered around the city, no one can ever re­ally com­plain of hav­ing to go hun­gry due to the lack of food avail­able.

In­done­sia's favourite dishes are sate and gado-gado or ke­to­prak; sate, some­times spelled sa­tay, is In­done­sia's ke­bab. Th­ese are thick slices of chicken, beef or lamb, mar­i­nated, skew­ered and de­li­ciously bar­be­qued then smoth­ered in hot peanut sauce or soya sauce. In ad­di­tion, the Jakarta culinary scene also en­joys a wide va­ri­ety of in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ences, as well as the up-and-com­ing pro­gres­sive fu­sion cui­sine.

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