Padang fare is so ubiquitous in Jakarta that you might assume it’s the city’s indigenous cuisine. But no, Padang stems from the Minangkabau culture of West Sumatra. Quality varies greatly among Padang joints, but the set-up is usually the same: dishes are spread across the table, and you pay for what you eat. The Garuda chain is reliably good; head for its 24-hour Jalan Hayum Waruk branch and mingle with a colorful mix of happy families, strung-out clubbers and head-scarved waitresses. The signature dish is rendang, with beef or chicken (or even large jengkol beans) simmered in coconut milk and spices. Also order dendeng, thin strips of dried beef fried with ground chilies. Wash it down with a piquant martabe, a blend of passion-fruit and tamarillo juice.
Jalan Hayum Waruk, No. 100ABF,
Telephone: +62 21 626 2944