Food is not always just about the taste, but the story behind it. Here at Warsaw Local we are always searching for something new and interesting. We came across an amazing story of a Polish guy than traveled Indonesia, met with two amazing chefs, together they all moved back to Poland and opened their own restaurant which today is now open and called Warung Jakarta. The story got us so excited to discover what was so amazing in Indonesia that they were all decided to quit their jobs, leave their families and focus on their passions. Let’s discover Warung Jakarta.
Finding Warung Jakarta
In all our reviews we use the Palace of Culture and Science as a point of reference as it is the tallest building in the city (and Poland!)
Price and Menu
There menu is only available in Polish, but all the staff speak English and will be happy to help you make the correct choice.
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Starter: Bakwan jagung 12zł
Sate ayam with jasmine rice 19zł
rendang with red rice 30zł
Total cost: 61zł
Here are Warsaw Local we review restaurants on an almost daily basis and we have come to expect that a meal for two people with a starter will come to close to 100zł. We were pleasantly surprised that this meal of two mains and one starter with such a central location to total almost half of our average! We believe Warung Jakarta to be one of the best value for money locations in this area and we’ll explain why now.
After placing our order we received our starter of Bakwan jagung within about six minutes. Bakwan jagung (sometimes called perkedel jagung) is a Indonesia traditional snack, but you can also find them in Native American cuisine were they are referred to as ‘Corn fritter’. This dish is a thin package of vegetables and Indonesia flavors. At first glace we were not sure how they were meant to be eaten. We tried tearing them apart with our fingers, but they were very hot so we opted for a spoon and fork.
The Bakwan jagung’s were easy to break apart with the edge of a spoon and do not requiring much force. They’re crispy, crunchy, a little bit sweet. The focus is more on texture and this dish is something that what you will find different than most Polish cuisine. This starter was severed with a small pot of what seemed like sweet and sour sauce. This was a perfect match to the dish.
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After we finished our starter, our table was wiped clean and our mains to severed almost right away. Something that we liked was the theme of using these basket instead of plates. Each basket had a palm leaf inside. This was a great touch and really added some authenticity. It is the small details that make you realize the care and thought that goes in to everything. If they care this much about the bowls then they must take great care when selecting and using ingredients.
When picking your mains you can select one of three different types of rice. You can select from white (jasmine), vegetable rice or Red rice. My guest went with the jasmine rice in their dish.
The dish was severed on a bed of rice and four sticks with chicken on each was severed. The chicken had been grilled and had a juicy and meaty punch to it. We would have liked to have seen the meat a little thicker, but a portion size of four sticks in total made up for it.
The chicken was served with a peanut sauce. It was a nice touch to server it on the side, as this gives you the option to add as much or as little as you want to the dish. We just use it for dipping, but there was enough to just pour over all the chicken if you wish.
The dish was severed with freshly cut vegetables and a good portion size of bean sprouts. This added a new dynamic to the dish with some crunch and earthly flavors.
My main was served at the same time as my guests and I went with ‘Rendang’. This dish had the same rice selection options from white (jasmine), vegetable rice or Red rice. My guest went with the jasmine rice and I went with the red rice to try something new. Again, this dish was severed in a basket with a palm leaf.
Rendang is a spicy meat dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia, and is commonly served across the country. On the menu this dish was described as Spicy beef stew in indonesian spices. As a beef fan I was looking forward to trying this.
The portion size was perfect. I was hungry so I was hoping for a good portion size and I got it. The meat was served in big chunks on top of the red rice. The meat was covered in a stew sauce, the sauce wasn’t too liquid. It was easy to scoop up with a fork without becoming too messy.
The beef was extremely soft and tender. You could break open the meat with just the side of a fork. It felt and tasted like high quality meat.
I am glad I chose the red rice over the white rice. There was nothing wrong with my guests rice, but the flavor of the red rice was a nice change and texture added to the dish. Give it a try, it is not something you can find in many places.
As with my guests dish I was also served with some freshly cut veggies and bean sprouts which matched the dish. They were not added to just be a filler but to add a contrast of textures and flavor. Everything was served in the right amount. There wasn’t too much rice, the meat wasn’t too big or small and the vegetables were perfect.
We think this last picture speaks for itself! Five out of five from us!
Service and waiting time
As we mentioned when we arrived it was between the lunch and dinner time rush, so we had the place to ourselves at first. This probably decreased our waiting time compared to being at Warung Jakarta during peak lunch hours. From ordering our starters to them being severed was about six minutes and our mains were served about one minute after the bowl from our starters was taken.
The service was great. Polite and fast staff that were happy to explain the menu and make recommendations. My guest had seen a dish on their Instagram page, and just by describing it the waiter was able to work it out and point the dish out on the menu.
Decor and atmosphere
We were pretty surprised by the size of the venue. From the outside it looks like a thin stair case that would lead up to a small room, but that was not the case. The Warung Jakarta is huge and would be a great venue for a large party or corporate gathering.
At the back of the venue they have a large table that can seat 12 people. The are doors to this space, so if you require a more private setting this is easily achieved. As you can see in the picture the tables can be moved around, so if you require seating for more than 12 this is easy for them to do. We were told by the staff the venue can hold 80 people in total.
We went at 17:00 which is a pretty quite time because it is the end of the lunch trade and not yet the start of the dinner trade, so we were the only people there at the time. The staff told us it gets much busier later and when we left close to 18:00 more than 50% of the tables were full. This created more of an atmosphere with the chatting sounds of the restaurant, mixing with the background music and kitchen sounds.
One thing we loved about the decor was the writing on the walls, not only was it educational but added a unique dynamic and feeling.
As a native English speaker that doesn’t speak Polish I sometimes struggle with restaurants in Warsaw that don’t have English speaking staff or menus only written in Polish but that is not a problem with Warung Jakarta. Their menu is presented in only Polish,but there staff helped me. The Warung Jakarta Menu on their website is currently only in Polish, however they use the traditional dish names as the title so if you’re familiar with Indonesians dishes then its simple to work out.
All the staff that we spoke to spoke a great level of English. We had lots of questions about the dishes, what type of leaves where used inside the bowls, the history of the venue and owners. All questions were happily answered and communication was never a problem.
Final Impression and things to note
Overall, we really enjoyed our visit. It was great to learn about the story, discover some new food and all at amazing value! Highly recommended from us.
We hope that you enjoyed exploring Warung Jakarta with us. If you would like to visit you can find them at Piękna 28/34, Warsaw, Poland. When you get the opportunity to visit make sure you share your own review here.