Surviving and thriving in Jakarta’s crowded restaurant scene is no mean feat: how do you continually impress a city of fickle eaters who are always on the lookout for something new? The longevity of Le Quartier, a classic that celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, speaks to the skill and foresight of Belgian chef-restaurateur Chris Janssens. This neighborhood gathering spot plates up brasserie-style French and Italian fare that is unpretentious, authentic, and beautifully executed. The kitchen team assiduously avoids foams and any other marks of molecular gastronomy, and, thank heavens, guests are not provided bottles of sambal for smothering their steak frites or artisanal pizzas.
Le Quartier’s weekly-changing menu of house specials offers a few appetizers to share, like an orange and ricotta salad that is as texturally varied as it is colorful, a heap of goodness festooned with beetroot, red onion, rocket, and crunchy pistachios. Another standout? The pan-seared foie gras atop caramelized apple slices and toasted brioche, with a pour-over of warm blackcurrant sauce. Janssens does not compromise on the quality of his ingredients, whether it’s tomatoes or Australian prime black angus beef, dry-aged for 35 days before being flame-grilled to become a 1.5-kilogram Tomahawk steak. Enough to feed a family of four, the latter comes with romaine lettuce and a whole head of roasted garlic, saucières of smooth cabernet jus and tangy Béarnaise sauce, and a sinfully rich gratin dauphinois. (You’ll feel somewhat redeemed by the side of pan-fried beans, baby carrot, and mushroom.) Equally gutsy Old or New World wines are available, too, and dessert-lovers should go for the perfectly baked soufflés or oozy fondant au chocolat with brandied cherries and Chantilly whipped cream. Le Quartier is the place to book when you’re craving honest French food and finicky bite-size portions just won’t cut it. —James Louie
+62 21 7278 8001
Jl. Gunawarman No.34, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, Indonesia