Jakarta's restaurants growth can be said to be severely lopsided, with the central and southern part of the city seeing more drastic and rapid developments of fancier and newer venues compared to the north or other parts of the city. I'm not talking about areas like Pantai Indah Kapuk or Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, they're out of the question here, because each of them have become a culinary hub in their own rights. I'm talking about areas such as Sunter or Kemayoran, where the famous and annually busy Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo Kemayoran) is situated at. As one of Jakarta's major exhibition venue, there aren't many options for international guests to stay near JIExpo. But now with the arrival of Holiday Inn Jakarta Kemayoran since March 2014, the hotel has given a little more modern and updated touch in the area.
As a foodie, I would highly unlikely think about Kemayoran when looking for a place to eat, because I'm totally unfamiliar with the area. I'm sure there are a lot of decent, even good places to eat there, but they're underexposed. I guess the area doesn't appeal much to food bloggers in Jakarta, whom I seem to notice, prefer to flock to the glitzier, more popular and fancier venues in Central & South Jakarta. I'm not being a hypocrite, because I myself am guilty of that, but as a self-proclaimed 'hipster foodie', I will try to live up to the name by featuring more 'hipster' or lesser known places such as this that I'm about to share.
Botany Restaurant is situated on the ground floor of Holiday Inn Jakarta Kemayoran, a 4 star (international) business hotel owned by a major Indonesian F&B supplies group. Botany Restaurant is one of the 3 F&B outlets that the hotel has, and this is where hotel guests have their breakfast in the mornings. The entire restaurant is quite spacious, with pleasant floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking either the pond or a well manicured garden.
|The lobby of Holiday Inn Kemayoran|
|Welcome to Botany|
Inside the restaurant, there are various buffet counters and live cooking stations, there's also a bar and a dedicated room for smoking guests. The smoking tables are still indoor, so non-smoking guests can still dine comfortably.
|Dine surrounded by soothing view|
|The Bar area|
|Smoking and non-smoking tables|
As an international buffet restaurant, Botany offers a decent selection of buffet for breakfast and lunch (dinner's served a la carte only). While the selection and variety may be pale in comparison from the other hotel buffet, but considering the quality, taste and the price, this is an absolute value for money deal, especially for someone who can't eat much at one go like me. I get full easily, so I'd be usually 3/4 full after just the second plate. With the ongoing buffet promotion that will last until the end of this year, the lunch buffet only costs IDR 163,000 nett / person.
|Fresh appetizers & salad table|
|Manually muddling sambal with traditional mortar & pestle|
|live cooking station: steak|
|started with a slice of sourdough bread|
|live noodles cooking station|
From the vegetable station, you can order freshly sauteed vegetables, like what my sister asked for. The veggie tasted incredibly nice, something that I never expected. The dessert varieties are decent, plenty of cakes to choose from, but do not expect a huge spread, I quite liked the vanilla mousse with a little bit of apple chunks in it.
|Right: the churros is from the a la carte|
The a la Carte
So, apart from the buffet, Botany Restaurant also has a la carte dishes, featuring international and Indonesian dishes from Appetizers, Salad, Soup, Western, Asian & Indonesian classics, Pasta, Pizza and Dessert. The good news is, the price of the dishes are absolutely reasonable for a 4 star (international) hotel standard. The prices are roughly what we find at restaurants in the shopping malls, and they come served in generous portion. So I suggest that you come here hungry.
Chef Nur of Holiday Inn Jakarta Kemayoran prepared one of his all-time-favourite al dente pasta: Botany Signature Spaghetti. The signature spaghetti is served with olive oil and pesto sauce, served with a piece of salmon and toasted bread. This is quite a fine pasta, I must admit, and my (picky-eater) sister even liked it. =P
|Botany Signature Spaghetti IDR 85,000|
When in doubt, simply order the chef's recommendation or the signature dishes, you can hardly go wrong with such safe choices. So, we had the Botany Signature Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng Kencur) served with chicken satay, pickles and crackers, as well as the Italian thin-crust pizza: Botany Signature Pizza (pizza with pepperoni, cherry tomato, mushrooms, anchovies, salad & olive oil).
|Botany Signature Fried Rice IDR 85,000|
|Botany Signature Pizza IDR 100,000|
Do not miss the churros here, which is also one of the signature items here. I haven't had churros in quite a while, but from what I remember, I truly enjoyed eating it here, the churros dough is soft and a wee bit chewy with pleasant texture. It's good enough to be eaten without any of the provided dips! We can choose from the available flavour of dips: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee, caramel, coconut, strawberry, cheese and green tea.
|Botany Signature Churros IDR 50,000 (8pcs & 3 choices of dips)|
I would definitely love to come back with my Mum and try the Sunday Taiwanese Porridge & Oriental buffet lunch, especially with the ongoing promo of 20% discount off the buffet price, I think this place is a good value for money and perhaps the first of its kind in the Kemayoran area.
- Wine, cocktails & alcohol are available
- Separate smoking & non-smoking dining areas
- 50% off cakes after 8PM
Breakfast IDR 135,000++
Lunch IDR 168,000++ (ongoing discount 20% until end of 2014)
Sunday Taiwanese Porridge & Oriental Buffet Lunch IDR 168,000++ (ongoing discount 20% until end of 2014)
*) Prices are subject to 21% (Government Tax & Service Charge)
Buffet: Breakfast and Lunch only (6AM - 10AM & 12PM - 3PM)
a la carte: 10AM - 10PM
Holiday Inn Jakarta Kemayoran
Jalan Griya Utama Blok B No.1 (click here to open in google maps)
Sunter Agung, North Jakarta
Ph: +6221 29568800
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