ON BUSINESS: JAKARTA (Cathay Magazine)

The original article was published by Cathay Magazinev



With over 10 million people, Jakarta is South East Asia’s most populous city. Even as Indonesia’s seat of government is set to start moving to Borneo this year, the city remains the country’s business hub, thanks to various industries having set up their national and regional headquarters here.

Jakarta has absorbed cultural elements from a period of Dutch colonialism, centuries-old waves of ethnic Chinese migration and the contributions of migrants from other provinces within Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelagic nation.Visiting Jakarta on a work trip soon? Enjoy diverse cuisine, coffee and handicrafts as you acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with the city.


Central Jakarta’s obelisk-shaped National Monument was finished and opened to the public in 1975, built to commemorate Indonesia’s war of independence. The monument, with its imposing height and the gold-coated flame at its peak, makes for an iconic photo background. Nearby is the Istiqlal Mosque, which opened in 1978 and is South East Asia’s largest mosque. Just beside it lies the Jakarta Cathedral, a neo-Gothic Catholic church that was consecrated in 1901. The two religious sites, connected by a soon-to-be-opened
“Tunnel of Friendship”, symbolise just some of the country’s diversity.

The MRT Jakarta, the city’s subway system that’s been operational since 2019, currently has one line with 13 stations. If the subway can’t get you to where you need to go, Gojek and Grab, both ride-hailing apps, can take you anywhere.


Dapur Babah Élite & Tao Bar, located in Central Jakarta, occupies a pair of restored 1940s buildings, lending it an ambience of early 20th-century Java. On the menu are a selection of Javanese, Chinese and Dutch dishes: crispy banana fritters with brown sugar, and the Dutch-influenced Javanese chicken soup are particular menu standouts.

Also in Central Jakarta, Shanghai Blue 1920 serves local Chinese cuisine, including comfort food like sapo tahuseafood (tofu served in a claypot with seafood) and tumis kangkung taotjo (stir-fried water spinach with fermented soybeans).

Kila Kilain Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD) represents an upscale Indonesian dining experience – worth trying are the rawon iga komplit, a blackened short rib soup with mung beans, and the sizeable ikan bakar tempo dulu, a marinated and grilled fish dish.