Like many of the world's great metropolises, Jakarta is a city that never sleeps. Its heart beats 24 hours a day and the hustle and bustle goes around the clock.
Even after midnight, it is not difficult to find a place that is still buzzing in the city. The easy examples will be some of the city's fantastic culinary spots.
For those of you looking for something to eat in the early hours of morning – or maybe trying to find sahur (pre-dawn meals) to start your fasting day in this holy Ramadhan month –, here are five 24-hour restaurants you can go to in the capital.
Ampera 2 Tak
If you feel like munching down on some Sundanese dishes at the break of dawn, simply head to this self-service restaurant, which is located at Jl. RC Veteran Raya no. 61 in Bintaro, South Jakarta.
Open around the clock every day, Ampera 2 Tak offers plenty of choices of West Java cuisine, particularly from the town of Cianjur, at affordable prices.
Built mostly with wood and rattan with no walls at the front side, the spacious semi-open establishment offers a warm traditional atmosphere.
Customers can sit at one of the many long tables with plastic chairs or just go lesehan (casual dining while seating on the floor) for a more traditional setting.
Side dishes are displayed in a buffet-style long table at the front of the restaurant, comprising of various meals made from chicken, fish, offal, tempeh (soybean cake), tofu, and numerous pepes (steamed fish, tofu or chicken wrapped in a banana leaf), with prices starting from Rp 3.000 (30 US cents).
Several gorengan (fried snacks), like bakwan udang (prawn fritters) and perkedel jagung (corn fritters), are also available.
Ask the staff members to re-heat the side dishes to make them more enjoyable.
The rice is sold at a flat price of Rp 6.000, so scoop as much as you want.
Next to the rice is a heated bowl of sayur asem (tamarind-flavored vegetable soup), priced at Rp 7,000 per bowl.
Any Sundanese meal is incomplete without lalapan (traditional fresh vegetable salad) and deliciously spicy sambal (ground chili).
Ampera 2 Tak has a seemingly-unending supply of both, with the sambal served on a huge stone cobek (traditional mortar).
Each table in the restaurant has its own servings of lalapan and sambal, completely free of charge.
RM. Indo Gaya Rasa
If a combination of good seafood and deliciously sweet martabak (richly-flavored pancake) with cashew nuts filling sounds good to you, this restaurant on Jl. Fatmawati no. 20A in Cipete, South Jakarta, provides them around the clock.
Reading down the menu, it seems like Indo Gaya Rasa has all kinds of foods covered. Here, you can find various versions of nasi goreng (fried rice), kwetiau (thick rice noodles), porridge, noodle, capcay (stir-fried vegetables), and other dishes, containing fish, prawn, chicken, squid, mussel, crab, meat, and vegetables. Prices start from Rp 12.000.
The restaurant is also a treasure trove for yummy iced drinks and desserts, such as es cincau (grass jelly), es teler (an iced drink containing coconut, avocado, jackfruit, syrup and milk) and es lidah buaya (aloe vera extract in syrup with ice).
Another famous dish is the must-try sweet martabak, available with various choices of fillings, including cheese, durian, blueberry, banana, jackfruit, corn, pineapple jam and strawberry jam.
The salty variation of the martabak, made from either duck eggs or chicken eggs, is also available.
Make sure you try the sweet martabak with the perfect combination of chocolate, cheese and cashew nuts fillings, priced at Rp 45.000 for a small plate.
Dim Sum Inc.
Nestled among various other restaurants at the Plaza Festival on Jl. HR Rasuna Said kav. C22, right at the heart of the Kuningan central business district in South Jakarta, this restaurant claims itself to be the ideal place for a quick lunch or nice environment to wind down after work with friends.
With its hip and cozy interior, romantic lighting, and a semi-outdoor setting, it is indeed a good spot to hang out and it was evidently packed with young people on a weekday around 9 p.m.
Numerous types of fried and steamed dim sum are available here, with the mayo prawn dumpling, bean curd skin spring roll, fried durian, chicken feet and chicken curry pao being the most recommended items at prices starting from Rp 17.800.
If you are looking for meals other than dim sum, you can also try the various rice, noodle, pasta, and porridge dishes.
For desserts, the restaurant offers interesting options such as mango cream sago, black sticky rice, fried ice cream and coconut pudding with a starting price of Rp 24.800.
Bubur Kwang Tung
Located on Jl. Pecenongan no. 67i, Central Jakarta, near the famed Istiqlal mosque, Bubur Kwang Tung is always busy with visitors curious about their delicious meals day in, day out.
Even though it is a Chinese restaurant, Bubur Kwang Tung sells only halal meals so it is perfectly safe for all Muslim food lovers out there.
It offers various kinds of porridges as well as seafood and vegetables dishes – either steamed, sauteed, or fried. Must try dishes includes Steam Scallop Tausi (fermented black bean sauce), Crab Porridge and Steam Grouper.
During Ramadhan, the restaurant is not only packed during fast-breaking hours but also during sahur time before dawn.
Bubur Kwang Tung can get really crowded at times so it is advisable to reserve your seats by phone before going there.
During rush hours, you will need to be extra patient to wait for your orders to come. But, once your meal arrives, rest assured, that long waiting period is completely worth it.
If quick services and many food variants are what you are looking for, the Garuda chain of restaurants may just be the perfect answer for you.
First established in Medan, North Sumatra, in 1976, Garuda is one of the country's most popular restaurant franchise specializing in Minangkabau dishes.
It has several branches in Jakarta, including on Jl. Sabang, Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, and Jl. Raya Boulevard Kelapa Gading.
The one on Jl. Hayam Wuruk no. 100 in West Jakarta is open around the clock.
Like any other Minangkabau restaurant, in Garuda, you do not come to get the food, but the food comes to you.
Plates upon plates of various Minangkabau delights will be available right on your table for your own choosing, different choices of dishes are ready for you to pick on the table, these include different kind of meats, some seafood and also vegetables.
Popular meals include the ever-famous rendang (beef cooked slowly in coconut milk), ayam cabe hijau (fried chicken in ground green chili), martabak telor (deep-fried egg fritter), and satay Padang (Diced beef is spicy sauce).
For a more complete Minangkabau meal, add some sayur nangka (stewed young jackfruit in coconut milk) and daun singkong (cassava leaves).