Padang Merdeka: Kota Tua Jakarta’s Hot Spot for Padang Food

7 Restaurants to Introduce Indonesian Food to Foreigners

Have you ever felt conflicted when your foreigner friends ask you to take them around Jakarta? This is where Padang Merdeka swoops in and save the day. No longer you have to take your friend to Kota Tua, then drive again to a nice Padang restaurant where said friend will have less chance of getting stomachache. Both Padang food and Kota Tua are on the “must” list in Jakarta for any foreigner, and thanks to Padang Merdeka, you can enjoy both in one location.

Situated within walking distance from Museum Fatahillah and the rest of Kota Tua, Padang Merdeka stands out with its big red sign right across BNI. When you choose to drive a car there, do not to miss the “Lada No. 1” sign before the restaurant because that’s where you can park. But you can always ditch the car and take the Transjakarta bus when traffic is too much to handle.

Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
We unite thanks to Padang cuisine ??
Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
The famous Instagenic alley
Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
Plenty of space, no need to fight for a spot
Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
Stacks of plates. Yum!

Padang Merdeka certainly has its differences from your ordinary neighborhood Padang restaurant. It seems cleaner, for one.  Gone are the white tables and simple walls, replaced by posh-looking wooden furnitures and paintings of Indonesian heroes. No worries, the real Padang food experience is still intact: No menu book. Food is served in waves of plates, carried by handy waiters to your table. All you have to do sit and eat to your heart’s content.

Despite the somewhat sophisticated atmosphere, dining at Padang Merdeka is pretty competitive when it comes to price. For example, Ayam Pop costs a cool IDR 19.5K, and Rendang IDR 20K. It is tricky to talk about taste as everyone has different preferences, but the general rule here is to expect twists from your favorite Padang food. It is the first time I’ve ever had salty Sayur Singkong, for instance. Their Ayam Pop is also one of a kind. If I closed my eyes and ate it, I would think I was eating Ayam Opor instead of Ayam Pop because of its rich coconut milk seasonings.

Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
I was struck with the need to sing patriotic songs
Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
Rendang (IDR 20K)

Padang Merdeka offers everything you’d hope to find at Padang restaurant, served in a modern packaging. It is a great introduction to Padang food and Indonesian culture for tourists who visit Kota Tua. Padang Merdeka is also a meal option for office workers around the area, as proven by the lunch crowd. The restaurant is spacious and plenty of seats are available, but if you’re vying for those two tables by the window, make sure to avoid peak hours ?

Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review Padang Merdeka Kota Tua Review
Padang Merdeka
Instagram: @padangmerdeka
Address: Jalan Lada No. 1
Google Maps: Click Here


Photos by Jeloy Tirie

Written By

Alexandra Karman

Coffee-induced chatterbox and lemon pie devotee. Associate writer at Find my visual musings by clicking the icon below.

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  • […] Located right in the heart of Jakarta’s prime tourist spot Kota Tua, Padang Merdeka surely was designed with foreigners in mind. It is easily accessible by car or public transportation, plus the place is decorated with posh wooden furnitures and paintings of Indonesian war heroes. Despite the upgrade in the looks department, Padang Merdeka takes the classic route when it comes to food: The staffs put a lot of plates right away on your table, no menu book. In general, taste is acceptable; price is affordable; and the place is clean. It is a no-brainer to include Padang Merdeka in the list of where to eat Indonesian food for the first time. Find out more about Padang Merdeka here. […]

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