One of the great culinary experiences in Jakarta is the “all you can eat” buffet.
They are most common at:
1) Jakarta’s over-the-top wedding parties where the gargantuan amounts of foods prepared at just one of these events could probably feed all the villagers in Lombok for a day or two; and
2) The restaurants located within Jakarta’s 4 and 5 star hotels.
Although many people jump at the chance to gorge themselves silly, I tread a little more warily.
It all goes back many years to an experience I had at university when some bright spark had the idea of laying on a party for us students with a fixed entrance fee of £15 - and with an “open bar” policy.
The thing was, however, that £15 was quite a whack to pay at the time, so as a bunch of hard-up business management undergraduates, we were obviously gonna make damn sure that we got our money’s worth.
But a beer every ten minutes for a couple of hours does have its consequences – and in our case included a visit late in the evening from the fine folk at St John Ambulance who were called in to pump out the stomachs of some of the more severely distressed individuals.
And never again was there an “open bar” party on campus.
At “all you can eat” buffets, similar principles apply.
But there are ways to prevent your evening from coming to a sickening end. Just follow these tips:
1) Pretty obvious this: make sure you are hungry! Personally, I find that a 10km run – or an hour on the treadmill – followed by a couple of hours in the gym, does wonders for the appetite - although leaving you pretty knackered.
2) Leave the stodge alone: you do not want to be filling up on nasi goreng. Instead eat the good stuff. At Satoo this includes the smoked salmon, Peking Duck, rib-eye steaks, continental cheeses, chocolate cake, etc. You get my drift.
3) Max out the length of the meal. It takes time to digest food, so the longer you are here the more you can eat. Arrive early, go home late.
4) Take short walks to aid digestion. At the same time get in some hearty burbs (but if you feel the need to let out some wind, the swimming pool area just behind Satoo is perfect).
5) A 73 course meal is extremely satisfying, so you may be tempted to bring along some Carrefour plastic bags to fill with the “leftovers” (piles of salmon, sushi, fine cakes etc). A word (or is that two) of advice: Don’t! - unless you want to overnight it at the “real” Jakarta Hilton at Cipinang.
For course 15, it was salmon, tuna, and oysters.
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1,
Tel: (62 21) 3048 8535
Breakfast : 6am - 10am (till 10.30am on weekends & public holidays)
Lunch : 12am - 2.30pm (till 3pm on weekends & public holidays)
Dinner : 6pm - 10.30pm (till 11pm on Friday & Saturday)
Rp275,000++ (there is no charge for drinking water, but you have to pay for other drinks)
Smart casual (jeans are okay but don’t wear flip flops
They also have free super fast wi-fi, so don't forget your laptop.