This is one of my favourite places to eat in Jakarta. The hubby and I adore Indian food and we were semi-regulars at a place back home in KL called Passage to India. It's located on Jln Tun Razak and is the most delicious Indian food I've ever had. Be warned though - it is a bit pricey, so we usually only eat there when we know we can put it on the company account, hehe.
Indian food isn't as common here in Jakarta as they don't have the sizeable Indian community that we do in Malaysia and they certainly do not have our mamak shops where you can indulge in your banana leaf rice to your heart's content. However, someone took Dear Hubby to Eastern Promise quite early on in his stay here in Jakarta and he was just delighted with it.
Eastern Promise has two parts to it. One is a pub that's frequented by expats. On Friday evenings, they have something called the Pressure Cooker Hour (or something like that...) It's free beer for everyone in the pub from 5-6pm. The only catch is no one is allowed to leave or to to the loo. The moment someone does that, the free beer is over and everyone has to start paying up.
The other bit is a restaurant, located behind the pub. There is also an open air area behind where a band plays on Fridays, I think. Eastern Promise does quite good chicken, beef and lamb curries as well as your standard pub fare of pies and bangers and mash. They also do an all-day breakfast which we haven't tried yet because we always go for the curries. The curries usually come with saffron rice and a plain naan. If you fancy other types of naan, just ask them to sub it in your set. There's also a pool table there if you fancy a game or two. For the homesick Brits, you can get copies of the Guardian here to read while you wait for your meal.
We were there last night with two of Dear Hubby's work colleagues. One of them had never been there before and thoroughly enjoyed his meat pie and 1/4 of my Kyber Masala Curry. We ordered two pitchers of beer and each pitcher was enough to fill 6 pint mugs. I stuck with Coke and water of course, I've been off alcohol for 22 weeks now save for very small sips every now and then.
P told us a story about the pub last night at dinner that had my skin crawling. He said that it's common knowledge that when Kemang area floods (as it will when the rains are heavy), the snakes take refuge in the pub. His source were a group of his friends, all expats, who were none too pleased to be trapped inside a pub with snakes. YIKES. So you can imagine my reaction when the staff came out with powerful torches and started peeking under the seats sometime towards the end of our meal. I paled, "Are they looking for snakes? Do you think you guys can carry me out?" Dear Hubby took a look at my pregnant figure and shook his head regretfully, "I don't think so, babe..." Well, as it turned out... no snakes... for this time!
The place is easy enough to find. If you're headed towards Kemang via the Kemchicks end, Eastern Promise will be on your left, opposite an ABN-Ambro branch. It's usually packed on Fri nights and the weekends, so get there early. I have to say it's not the best Indian I've ever had, but it's decent enough. Our meal for four last night which included two pitchers of beer cost Rp500,000 (approx RM150, I'm just assuming an exchange rate of Rp10,000 to RM3). Pretty good price, I would say if you compare it to Passage to India... but of course it's much more expensive compared to just a street mamak.
Give the place a try... we're open to invites if you want company!