The old: Cork & Screw
Cork & Screw came to fruition from a partnership between Koi, known for its excellent Euro-Asian dishes, and the esteemed Vin+ wine cellar. Together, they are formidable. A lot of venues have opened since, but this place is still going strong.
Wisma kodel, Jl Rasuna Said, Kav B4 (+62 21 5290 2030)
The new: Seribu Rasa
This place opened early this year, and is already becoming a firm favourite thanks to its authentic local dishes and modern, stylish decor. Try the semilir brastagi, a popular iced strawberry drink.
Jl Haji Agus Salim 128, Menteng (+62 21 392 8892)
The old: Hotel Indonesia Kempinski
Originally just Hotel Indonesia, this landmark building, built in 1962, was one of the first five-star hotels in the country. Due to financial difficulties it was closed for many years, but now Kempinski has brought it back to life, while maintaining its retro glamour.
Jl MH Thamrin No 1 (+62 21 2358 3800; www.kempinski-jakarta.com)
The new: Alila Jakarta
It may be eight years old, but the stunning interior of Alila hotel is so contemporary it could have been built yesterday. Once featured on the cover of US Interior Design magazine, this truly is a haven for lovers of simple and serene modernity.
Jl Pecenongan Kav 7-17 (+62 21 231 6008; www.alilahotels.com)
The old: Dangdut
Dangdut music was developed in the ’70s by working-class Muslim youths and has swept Indonesia, with spontaneous shows of hip swaying and thumb jigging by spangly youngsters in the street. Don’t be afraid to join in the fun!
Dangdut clubs: Asmoro, Jl Blora, no17 (+62 21 319 9137); Hotel Sentral, Jl Pramuka Raya, Kav 63-64 (+62 21 422 5511)
The new: Festivals
The Salihara Festival is on until August 15th, celebrating all things dance, film, fine art, theatre and literature related (www.salihara.org). Or check out the Q! Film Festival between July 26-Aug 5; the only one of its kind held in a Muslim country, it explores controversial topics related to sexuality (www.qfilmfestival.org).
Fly with Emirates from Dubai to Jakarta during July and August with fares currently ranging from Dhs2,405 to Dhs3,715 return.