I love taking visitors to Jakarta to SKYE bar, but we never stay for the food, after being told time again and time again that it’s up not up to scratch. So where can you get the beauty of the city below, with the gourmet menu to match? Well, just across the way, on the 46th floor of the Plaza, is Salt Grill. Opening just last year, Salt Grill is modelled on it’s Sydney counterpart, and the product of celebrated Australian chef Luke Mangan.
We made our way up on a Thursday night, having been tipped off by a friend that it was a good place to showcase Jakarta’s best assets: stunning night views and beautiful (by which I also mean beautifully priced) food. There were four of us, with Andrew’s parents in town for the week, and we were greeted by the very friendly General Manager Daniel, who seated along a red leather booth. Not one of the prime spots, but Daniel assured us that if we call ahead next time, we’ll be properly taken care of.
The restaurant is clearly designed to take advantage of its birds-eye view of city, with wall-to-ceiling glass windows that accentuate Jakarta’s best angle. The decor is slick but still with some Indonesian character, triangular angles and wooden fittings. Along the middle of the restaurant runs a low marble bench, adorned with some truly delightful looking delicacies, including freshly shucked oysters. The atmosphere just feels delicious, and I was salivating before I had even opened the menu.
Now you can really go one of two ways at Salt Grill. If you’re there to go all out, then the extensive menu of Australian beef and lamb will set you back up to RP700,000 a dish, but remember that it’s their speciality. Cuts include 300 day grainfed Scotch fillet, 100% Wagyu beef Sirloin, or grass-feed lamb cutlets, all served with steamed green beans and your choice of mustards and sauce. If you’re looking for something a bit more moderate (RP200,000-RP300,000), there are a range of fish, chicken and veal dishes, as well as plates to share between two or three people.
With Andrew’s parents picking up the check, it could have really gone either way, but in the name of keeping the in-laws on side, I opted for the Barramundi with prawns, capers, olives and brown nut butter sauce. Our other dishes included the Mahi Mahi with yabbi tails, the free range baby chicken with cauliflower puree, and the polenta crusted snapper with kipfler potatoes and a saffron and garlic mayonnaise. We also opted for a RP500,000 bottle of cabernet to wash it down.
The meals arrived within twenty minutes and my dish was, hands down, the best meal I’ve had in Jakarta so far. The fish had a delicious crunchy skin, and the brown butter sauce was absolute heaven, leaving me mopping up with bits of bread long after my plate was clean. The Mahi Mahi and the chicken were also serious winners, with Andrew’s dad later referring to the meal (the latter) as his favourite part of the holiday. Seriously. Good. Food.
Not that we needed it, but we were also pleasantly surprised to be served up some complimentary desserts from the chef, a tasting plate of macaroon, brownie and turkish delight that finished the meal on a definite high. Daniel also stopped by to check on us throughout the meal, and chat to us about the expat life in Jakarta. I really couldn’t recommend either the food, the service or the view more, and will definitely be back next time we have some friends stopping by we want to impress.