This is a long overdue post but since I am craving for some Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisine at the very moment, I am writing about this now. XD
Sharing with you guys this beautiful restaurant named Zam Zam, which is located in Ampera Raya street just near Kemang area. Actually we found this place by accident last time, we wanted to have lunch somewhere else but the place was closed (holiday) so we randomly picked an interesting spot to try around the neighborhood. When we saw the building of Zam Zam, we instantly decided to try this as it stands out from the other buildings in the area.
The building doesn’t only look big from outside, the inside is also amazingly big and spacious. The interior design is rich of Middle Eastern theme, although the first hall looks a bit weird with all the framed photos of popular people (from presidents to scientists, so random!) hung on the wall. We can also spot a glass cabinet showcasing various styles of hookah (shisha) but I don’t think they are useable, probably just for collection only.
Going right side, there is a room which looks more like a lounge, with sofas and coffee tables. I think this area is best used to relax and enjoy some hookah.
Proceeding inside, there is a big hall as dining room. The room is decorated very nicely with elegant and luxury touches such as golden colors and black pillars, also some exotic hanging lamps. The ceiling decoration such as the golden fabrics really bring the exotic ambience of Arabian places like I always imagine from the stories.
Not only those rooms, the first floor also connects to the outdoor seating area, which looks very comfortable and beautiful at the same time. With a fish pond just beside it, who doesn’t want to spend time there? We wanted to sit there but unfortunately it was raining very hard after we took the photo so we had no choice but to sit inside. :'(
If you think these are the only rooms they have, no, there are still more! Going upstairs, we were amazed to see more rooms which are made more privately, less decorated than the halls downstairs but I think it’ll be great to do some gatherings with friends or family in one of the private rooms!
Zam Zam is owned by Moslems so rest assured, the food are halal and made as authentic as possible. They use beef, chicken, and lamb meat for the dishes, and there are options from salad and appetizers, to mains for personal or sharing portion. Too bad they don’t really have options for desserts, although I was very interested to try some.
For the drink, I forgot the name of it but it was a mix of blue Pepsi and some other syrup like orange etc. Surprisingly it was quite good.
Fattoush IDR 30,000
Fattoush is a Lebanese salad made with vegetables and crispy toasted flatbread, which soaks up the dressing beautifully. A mix of refreshing vegetables and light yet tasty dressing makes this salad quite unforgettable for me. It was the best companion when eating the meat or curry.
Shakshouka IDR 35,000
Shakshouka or Arabic scrambled egg, is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin, according to Wikipedia. Honestly it was like eating fried egg drenched with sweet sauce. Yum!
Buriyani Lamb IDR 90,000
This seems to be the most favorite menu in Zam Zam, so I definitely didn’t want to miss it. The biryani rice was white-ish instead of yellow, it almost looked like Oriental fried rice at the first glance. The taste was okay, but the lamb helped a lot in adding the flavor. The lamb itself didn’t really have much meat, but was still enjoyable especially with the additional raisins.
Lamb Methi IDR 90,000
This came with a plate of roti prata, and although I found the soup was kinda similar one to another, I really enjoyed the strong flavor and generous usage of herbs and spices. Lamb wasn’t really satisfying because it was not too meaty.
I also ordered some more bread (never can get enough of these bread!) and got another bowl of curry. In the end, we actually had too much curry on our table. Make sure to ask what you’ll get when you order this and that, LOL!
Lamb Curry with Jala Bread IDR 45,000
The curries are basically similar, the texture is medium, not thick and not thin. I actually prefer something like this so I didn’t feel sick after eating too much. The meat weren’t very satisfying but I guess people do eat this only to give flavors to their bread.
Hookah IDR 70,000/session
So a visit to Arabic restaurant is incomplete without some hookah experience, so Mr. K tried the Double Apple one. It took a while to be prepared, but the taste was horrible. The smoke wasn’t much, and the flavor didn’t really come out. It was harsh to the throat. We asked for a change but the second one wasn’t different at all. Honestly, preparing a hookah needs a good skill and experience, so not everyone can prepare a good one.
My overall thought about this place was good but not amazing. I love the place, it was empty and we were the only ones dining in there that time so it was almost like private moment for us in this beautiful surrounding. Food were good but not necessarily “authentic”, but much better than some places in Jakarta. Service was prompt, staffs were very polite and informative. Hookah preparation needs more training and hopefully it’ll be better next time!
*All prices are subject to 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
ZAM ZAM RESTAURANT
Jl. Ampera Raya No. 3
Ph.: +62 21 718 3410
Mon-Sun 10AM – 8PM