Eating is a major pastime in Jakarta. Indonesian food is a unique blend of Asian, Persian and European traditions, and culinary staples include rice (known as nasi), beef, vegetables and coconut milk, the ever-versatile peanut sauce and sambal chili paste. The food courts in most shopping malls offer a safe, inexpensive way to sample Indonesian favorites (think twice about sampling street food, though, unless you have an iron stomach). Foodies should grab a copy of the Jakarta Good Food Guide; it reviews more than 600 restaurants, both upscale and casual.

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