For food lovers like myself, eating is always an intriguing experience. A new dining experience, especially when you appreciate the venue, ambiance, and specifically the food, can feel like a reward akin to a journey to heaven. Speaking of new dining experiences, in this post, I will share my review and photos from a buffet hotel dinner I enjoyed at Asia Restaurant in The Ritz Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan. This is my personal review, so I will showcase photos that highlight the variety of food options available, from sushi and sashimi to a diverse seafood selection featuring lobster, crabs, clams, and more. Not to forget the desserts and teppanyaki! Let’s dive in!
A. Restaurant and Hotel Name
|Hotel||The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan|
|Type||Weekend Dinner Buffet|
|Date of Visit||2nd Visit: Saturday Night, 23 September 2023|
1st Visit: Saturday Night, 20 May 2023
|Price||Rp 796.180 for 2 persons (Promo Pay 1 Dine 2)|
*Normal Price Rp 796.180/ person
B. Why Asia Restaurant?
1. Hunting For New Dining Experiences
My love for food often drives me to seek out new culinary adventures. Whenever I grow tired of my usual dishes, I seek something new to tantalize my taste buds.
I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a variety of buffet dinners at several prestigious five-star hotel restaurants in Jakarta. Since those experiences, my love for hotel buffet restaurants has only grown. Each visit has been uniquely delightful and truly unforgettable.
Let me tell you about my buffet hotel adventures! I want to share a list of hotel buffet dinner restaurants I’ve tried:
- The Cafe, Hotel Mulia Senayan Jakarta (1x visit): My journey into the world of hotel buffet dinners began with a birthday celebration at The Cafe in early December 2022. That’s when my curiosity about exploring other buffet dinners was piqued!
- Signatures Restaurant, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta (2x visits): Many 5-star hotels offer special festive dinner themes during Christmas and New Year. Out of curiosity, I tried the Christmas Dinner at Signatures Restaurant in December 2022. I enjoyed their buffet, so I returned in July 2023 for their Weekend Dinner.
- Sana Sini Restaurant, Hotel Pullman Jakarta Indonesia Thamrin (2x visits): To welcome the New Year of 2023, I decided to dine at Sana Sini for their New Year’s Eve-themed buffet dinner and continued on to join the gathering to watch the amazing fireworks at Bundaran HI. I was so taken with the food, decor, and service that I returned in February 2023 for their Chinese New Year dinner. The variety of food at Sana Sini remains unmatched! The festive ambiance and diverse dishes made both visits particularly special. I’m seriously thinking about heading back for either the upcoming Christmas or New Year celebrations!
- Sugar & Spice, Hotel InterContinental Jakarta Pondok Indah (1x visit): After Idul Fitri, my curiosity drew me to the Halal Bihalal Weekend Dinner at Sugar & Spice. Both enlightening and delicious, the experience was a joy, with the staff’s outstanding hospitality as the icing on the cake.
- Asia Restaurant, The Ritz Carlton Mega Kuningan (2x visits): On my first visit in May 2023, I spotted their ‘Pay 1 Dine 2’ promo on Instagram and thought I’d give it a shot. By September 2023, upon checking Chope and seeing yet another ‘Pay 1 Dine 2’ offer, I decided to return. I was genuinely amazed by how much they’d upped their game in terms of food variety in just a short span. It truly made the dinner worth every bite!
- Café Gran Vía, Hotel Gran Meliá Jakarta (1x visit): I visited this place in early October 2023 because I wanted to try their Sunday Brunch. The first thing you notice is how enchanting the restaurant’s design is. Situated opposite the expansive lobby with its impressively high and vast ceiling, the restaurant gives the sensation of being outdoors despite being indoors. It’s richly adorned with plants and trees and has a wooden interior. The place feels like a little slice of heaven that takes you outside Jakarta. It reminds me of a tranquil spot in Bali, especially with the soothing sounds of a water fountain located next to the restaurant in the center of the lobby. While many 5-star hotel restaurants lean into a ‘luxurious modern’ aesthetic, Café Gran Vía chooses a different path. Its unique ambiance offers a relaxing retreat, making you feel like you’re on a holiday away from Jakarta’s hustle and bustle.
- Satoo Restaurant, Hotel Shangri-La Jakarta (1x visit): Before I even started my hotel buffet journey, I had tried a weekend dinner at Satoo to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday. This spot proved to be a gastronomic delight, offering an eclectic mix of flavors and dishes.
After all these amazing food adventures, trying out a new restaurant seemed like the next cool step in my food journey. My phone is filled with pictures of food and restaurant ambiance. I can’t wait to share them with you guys in different posts. Please stay tuned.
2. I Love Promos: Say Yes to ‘Pay 1 Dine 2’
Secondly, what truly grabbed my attention was the attractive promotion that Asia Restaurant offered. I came across a ‘Pay 1 Dine 2’ deal on their Instagram, which seemed like a fantastic opportunity to try new flavors without emptying my wallet. I had the pleasure of dining there during this promotion in May 2023 and returned in September 2023 to take advantage of a similar offer on Chope. Both visits were more than just meals; they were journeys into culinary delights, made even better by the great value.
Interestingly, each of these two visits felt like worlds apart. My experience in September 2023 was totally different from the one I had in May 2023.
Back in May 2023, I had a Saturday night dinner here. However, I felt somewhat disappointed because the variety of food didn’t meet my expectations, and it wasn’t as impressive as other five-star hotel buffet restaurants I’ve experienced.
When I returned to Asia Restaurant in September 2023, I kept my expectations low, not expecting much, but to my surprise, I was thoroughly impressed. They’ve improved a lot, offering a much wider variety of seafood, sushi, desserts, and more. Experiencing this level of enhancement, from a so-so level to a ‘wow’ level, was truly delightful. Honestly, it was like, OMG!
C. Review and Photos: My Dining Experience at Asia Restaurant
I’ve tried quite a lot of buffet hotel dinners from 5 star hotel restaurants around Jakarta. The festive seasons like Christmas or New Year, still offer the best timing when it comes to buffet dinner options offering the most lavish spreads. Each restaurant offers different experiences and tastes. So, when I stepped into Asia Restaurant, I was curious to see how it would compare to my previous adventures.
I always like to get to places early to avoid being late or stuck in traffic. So, even though the dinner at Asia Restaurant was at 6 PM, I was there already by 5:30. Luckily, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan has a really comfy spot right outside Asia Restaurant where you can sit and chill. It’s perfect for those moments before dinner starts.
When it finally turned 6 PM, my boyfriend and I made our way into Asia Restaurant. A friendly staff member showed us to our table, and I felt all nostalgic walking back into this familiar place.
1. Dining Area at Asia Restaurant
I really loved this dining setup! The half-moon, C-shaped sofa in a warm brown is not only stylish but also made of genuine leather, adding a touch of luxury. Paired with a sleek black round glass table, it feels perfect for couples, giving a cozy and intimate vibe.
The table and sofa are spacious, so there’s plenty of room for all your dishes. Plus, it’s set apart from other tables, so you can chat without feeling like you’re too close to other guests. It’s definitely a great spot for a comfy and private meal!
This was the view from our table:
In the second picture, you can clearly see how each table seems to have its own little private space. That’s what I love about the dining area at Asia Restaurant. We’re always lucky to get this spot. It’s my favorite!
After we got our table, we headed straight for the buffet to see what was on the menu for the night. Now let’s go to sushi and sashimi section!
2. Sushi Sashimi Section
During my visit to Asia Restaurant in September 2023, I noticed a wider variety in their sushi and sashimi section compared to my visit in May 2023. They offered salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi, nigiri sushi, maki sushi, uramaki sushi, Inari sushi, and more.
Curious about their sushi and sashimi section in May 2023? Here’s a picture!
The picture above shows the sushi and sashimi section at Asia Restaurant in May 2023. I arrived right at 6 pm, which was the beginning of the dinner service, but they hadn’t displayed the sashimi yet. They later placed the sashimi in that space between the sushi rolls.
From the images above, you can see clearly that in September 2023, they had a way greater variety of sushi rolls. They also offered more sashimi on longer plates. Additionally, they refilled the sushi and sashimi more quickly in September 2023.
Now, let’s move to the seafood section!
3. Seafood Section
When I visited Asia Restaurant in September 2023, I noticed they had really expanded their seafood section compared to my visit in May. They offered so many types of clams, such as green mussels, bamboo clams, and huge pen shells, among others. The lobster selection was impressive, taking up two long rectangular seafood displays. They also had significantly more shrimps, oysters, and crabs than before, with one long rectangular display dedicated to crabs alone.
I was also impressed by how they kept the lobster section well-stocked. Even as I was finishing up my dinner and leaving, there were still plenty of lobsters on display.
While a lot of the seafood had that typical boiled taste you find in hotel buffets, you can use the sauces they provide to add more flavor.
Their Sambal Mangga is something special. It was so tasty and definitely my favorite 😋. It seems to be made from ripe mango and spiced up with chili. It delivers a sweet, sour, and spicy kick, making it the perfect companion for dipping seafood.
Now if you are curious about their seafood section in May 2023? Here’s a picture!
In May 2023, the seafood section at Asia Restaurant was quite limited. They had one box split into five parts for shrimps, lobsters, oysters, and a couple of clam varieties. The sauce variety was about the same as in September 2023.
But wow, in September 2023, you can totally see the big change from the photos above. They went all out! There were so many kinds of clams, lobsters, shrimp, crabs, oysters, and more. It was a seafood lover’s dream!
4. Vietnamese Spring Roll and Rujak
Next to the seafood section, there’s a live station for Vietnamese spring rolls and rujak.
5. Noodle Station
Next to the Vietnamese spring roll station, there was a noodle station.
6. Indonesian Food Section
Right next to the noodle station, there was a spot filled with Indonesian food options. They served Nasi Liwet (a special kind of rice), Ikan Bakar Bumbu Sereh (grilled fish with lemongrass), Tumis Oncom Leunca (stir-fried oncom with black nightshade), Konro Kambing (goat rib stew), and Sari Laut Sauce Padang (seafood in a spicy Padang sauce), roast duck, Hainan chicken rice, sambal, kerupuk, and more.
7. Teppanyaki Station
Right next to the Indonesian food section was the teppanyaki live station, one of the signature dishes at Asia Restaurant.
Teppanyaki, a Japanese style of grilling on an iron plate, usually features beef and chicken paired with vegetables like carrots, cabbage, sprouts, mushrooms, etc.
However, what sets this place apart is their unique twist. Instead of the conventional teriyaki or garlic sauce, they use a distinct ‘Mongolian sauce’. This blend of Japanese teppanyaki with a Chinese-inspired sauce is a perfect example of fusion cuisine, offering a spicy and savory flavor that’s truly memorable.
Since this teppanyaki is Asia Restaurant’s signature dish and a crowd favorite, if you aren’t early enough, you might find yourself in a long line waiting to try it out.
8. Roasted Wagyu Beef and Roast Chicken
Right next to the Teppanyaki station, there’s a section for Roasted Wagyu Beef and Roast Chicken. The wagyu this time was much juicier than during my last visit in May 2023, when it was a bit on the dry side.
They also had satay, which was really tender. Each stick was made from lean meat without too much fat or skin. For dipping, they provided two awesome sauces: Maranggi and Konro.
Maranggi sauce is like a mix of soy sauce, black pepper, and some other spices. It’s tangy and savory and makes the satay taste even better.
Konro sauce is a bit different. It’s kind of rich and a little spicy with a beefy taste. It comes from Konro soup, which is popular in Indonesia. It’s like a mix of spices and beef that’s been cooked for a long time. It’s super tasty, especially with meat.
So, if you’re there, give the satay a try. They’re both so good!
9. Asian Food Section
Right next to where they had the Roasted Wagyu Beef and Roast Chicken, there was a spot filled with tasty Asian dishes. They had a bit of everything: Beef Mongolian Sauce, Chicken Curry Malay, Lamb Korean Sauce, Braised Tofu Mushroom with Oyster Sauce, Singapore Char Kwetiaw, Vegetables Fried Rice, and Steamed Rice.
10. Bakso Station
Right after the Asian Food area, there’s a bakso station. If you’re in the mood for some comforting, warm soup that’s a classic in Indonesia, this is your spot. Yep, they’re serving up bakso, those tasty meatballs in broth. It’s like a little taste of home for anyone who’s been to or grown up in Indonesia.
11. Steamed Fish and Steamed Red Rice
Right next to the bakso station, there’s a section serving Steamed Red Rice, Fried Tempe, and Steamed Fish.
Let me tell you, I absolutely adore this fish. It might be a simple steamed fish, but its taste is outstanding. Its uncomplicated flavor is what I love most. Pair it with the “Sambal Kecap” they provide, and it’s the perfect combo. I enjoyed the fish so much that I went back for seconds… and perhaps even thirds, haha!
12. Indian Food Section
Right after the steamed fish section, there was an Indian food corner. They offered Biryani Rice, a flavorful rice mixed with spices; Corn Palak, a creamy spinach dish with corn; Aloo Gobi, a delightful potato and cauliflower combo; and a rich Indian Curry. I didn’t taste anything from here since I was eager to get to the dessert area, but my boyfriend tried them and said they were really good!
13. Drinks Section
Now, let’s talk about the drink section at Asia Restaurant. Do you know what’s a real treat about their buffet? The wide variety of free-flow drinks!
I’ve been to some buffet hotels where they only offer water or even require you to purchase your drinks. But here? They went all out with a broad range of choices. They had juices, lemon tea, regular tea, coffee, infused waters, and this standout drink called Asian Punch. This Asian Punch was my favorite; it had the perfect blend of sweet and slightly tangy flavors, making it incredibly refreshing. Plus, they’ve set up glasses on both sides of the drink station, so it’s super easy to serve yourself.
If you’re into wine or other alcoholic beverages, the staff will come around and offer them once you’re seated.
Just a little tip: when diving into a buffet feast, maybe go easy on the drinks. Drinks can fill you up pretty quickly, and you’d want to save room to try all the yummy food they’ve got, right?
14. Live Band
At Asia Restaurant, they had a live band near the Indian food corner and the drinks section. While I appreciated the effort to provide live entertainment to enhance the dining experience, the volume and song choice might not have aligned with everyone’s taste. For a restaurant that exudes luxury and sophistication, subtler music would have complemented the ambiance better.
Personally, I prefer background music that doesn’t overpower conversations, allowing diners to engage comfortably. Some people gave comments related to this live band on Google Maps reviews. Perhaps, a shift towards genres like jazz or just instrumental renditions using acoustic guitar would be more fitting. This way, the music would seamlessly blend with the upscale environment and elevate the overall dining experience.
If you’re thinking of booking at this restaurant and you’re like me, preferring not to have loud music while eating, I’d suggest asking for a seat that’s not too close to the live band. It can make a big difference in your dining experience.
15. Salad and Vegetables Section
Right across from the sushi and seafood area, there’s this salad and vegetables spot that kind of looks like a little garden corner. They’ve got a bunch of fresh veggies you can mix and match. I even noticed they had a few kinds of kimchi! And for those who love a good sandwich, they had some buns ready to go. It’s a cool setup, especially if you want to grab some greens before diving into the seafood.
16. Fruits Options
At the fruit section in Asia Restaurant, they had a pretty good spread. They had the usual stuff like papaya, melon, pineapple, apple, oranges, and salak. And for those with a sweet tooth, they had marshmallows and waffles set up right in front of a flowing chocolate fountain. It was nice to see the mix of fruits with some sweet treats all in one spot!
17. Desserts Options
Now let’s get to my favorite part, the dessert section. At Asia Restaurant, as soon as you walk in, it’s right there on your left, just opposite the sushi section.
They had an amazing variety of cakes to choose from. They offered five different types of cakes, including orange mousse, Sacher torte, chocolate fudge cake, and a few others I can’t remember. They even had a big, round pandan pudding that looked so tempting!
On this shelf, they displayed several types of small square sponge cakes, perfect for a quick grab and bite. They also offered other desserts such as avocado tartlets, almond tartlets, eclairs, and more.
They also had a variety of cupcakes, cookies, and other sweets and candies.
They also offered 10 types of ice cream, including chocolate, rum raisin, yogurt, pandan, black forest, lemon, strawberry, among others. Additionally, there was a wide variety of toppings to choose from.
Lastly, on this shelf, they displayed orange custard, pandan pudding, Strawberries Romanoff, fruit panna cotta, chocolate pudding, and more.
I must say, they’ve really improved their dessert section compared to when I visited in May 2023. I tried most of them, and they were all exceptionally good. I loved them all.
If you’re curious about their dessert section from my last visit in May 2023, here’s a picture!
From the picture above, you can see that in May 2023, this corner was used for the fruit section and desserts. The ice cream selection was also more limited.
Meanwhile, in September 2023, you can see the significant differences from the pictures above! They separated the fruit section, placing it right in front of the dessert section. They dedicated the corner exclusively to desserts. They really had way many more options to choose from.
18. Bread and Cheese Section
In May 2023, the bread and cheese section at Asia Restaurant boasted a diverse variety of breads, as can be seen in the pictures below. The selection of cheeses was also abundant and of high quality. Their brie cheese was my favorite. They offered a range of hams right next to the cheese. However, when I returned in September 2023, this entire section appeared to be missing. The only thing I could find was sandwich buns in the salad area.
D. Conclusion and Advice: Is it worth it?
By September 2023, Asia Restaurant had truly upped their game. The most noticeable changes were in the Sushi Sashimi section, the seafood offerings, and the desserts. They even divided certain sections into two categories: Indonesian food and Asian food. Unfortunately, they removed the bread, ham, and cheese section. I hope they’ll bring it back.
While I was paying at the cashier, I had a little chit-chat and mentioned that Asia Restaurant now offers so much more variety compared to my last visit in May. The male staff member responded with a bright smile, “Yes, back then many customers provided feedback, so we adjusted according to customer tastes and needs. So yes, now we offer a lot more variety.”
It’s impressive, right? It shows they genuinely listen to feedback, and you can clearly see it has made a significant difference compared to before.
That night, all the tables were also full; it seems they now attract many more customers than before.
Overall, Asia Restaurant, you’ve truly stepped up your game and it’s evident you’re continually improving. Keep up the fantastic work!
With the improved food choices and taste from September 2023, I believe you’ll get much more value for your money than what I experienced back in May 2023. So, don’t hesitate to give Asia Restaurant a try or add it to your dining list!
If you’re a food lover looking for a new dining experience, I highly recommend Asia Restaurant. They’ve significantly expanded their dinner buffet offerings, making it great value for your money. To get a deal, keep an eye on their latest promotions on Instagram @asia_jakarta or regularly check Chope.
When diving into a buffet feast, maybe go easy on the drinks. Drinks can fill you up pretty quickly, and you’d want to save room to try all the yummy food they’ve got, right?
Another tip: At a buffet, it’s wise to begin with the pricier items or your personal favorites. If you’re sampling something new, take a small portion. That way, if it’s not to your taste, you won’t waste much.
Lastly, for those who aren’t fans of loud live music, consider requesting a seat away from the live band area.
Engage with Us:
Do you have an experience at Asia Restaurant to share or questions about my visit? Drop them in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.