You might know Betawi Café from its original location in Karama, where it opened in 2007 and quickly became known and respected for its real & exotic taste of Indonesian food. Luckily, you don't need to battle with Karama traffic anymore to get your hands on Indonesian dishes bursting with flavours and spices since the café opened a branch in cluster D in JLT. Having been to the “old” Betawi many times, we recently popped into the “new” branch, when we fancied something a little different for lunch in JLT.
Way back in time, in the 17th century to be precise, the people who lived in and around Jakarta were known as the people of Batavia (the colonial name of Jakarta). A century later, these people were known as Betawi people. When we walked into Betawi Café, we weren’t surprised to be the only guests who didn’t appear to be from Indonesia or neighboring countries. For us, it added a certain authenticity to things and we’re sure that guests, who’ve never been to Betawi Café before (we visited the Karama location a few time in the past), will find it reassuring, too.
Betawi's menu is compact, but there is a good selection of traditional Indonesian dishes to choose from. The selection of soups, starters, noodles, main courses and desserts will appeal to any appetite. We chose the amazing Nasi Padang, a traditional dish available with beef, chicken, or vegetables, and served with a spicy egg balado and sambal. The soto betawi chicken soup, which we ordered next, is a rich coconut-based soup served with cabbage and steamed rice.
Whether you choose to dine indoors or outside by the lake, we promise you won't be disappointed with Betawi. Your wallet will thank you, too - most dishes are 35 AED or less!
Betawi Cafe is open daily from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., with last orders at 10.30 p.m. On Fridays, the café opens at 2 p.m. only.