In recent years, the northern Jakarta region of Pantai Indah Kapuk has suddenly become a booming and diverse food town. Initially known for its Medanese street food sold in unsightly shophouses, you can now find all kinds of cuisines and many unique f&b concepts and instagrammable cafes. It is exciting of course, but truth be told, choosing a place to dine in PIK is like maneuvering amidst innumerable over-hyped & tourist traps. Too many choices but probably just a handful of great places that are really worth dining in. However, when it comes to the best artisan smoked & grilled meats in the area, there is only one place to go: Bara at PIK Avenue Mall.

wood smoked goodness at bara
Photo courtesy of Bara/NOW!JAKARTA

Bara is, in fact, the only restaurant with a wood fired rotisserie in North Jakarta, and no doubt that meats grilled over open flame really imparts that unique smoky flavour that cannot be replicated in a normal kitchen oven. Their custom built wood fired grill allows for slow roast cuts of beef & poultry to take on the flavour of the wood, the fragrance of the smoke and the spice of the seasoning. The result is sensational! Blackened, crisp, popping with tasty char goodness and incredibly moist & flavourful meats!

When it comes to food, I love trying new things and one can really find the most quirky menus here such as crispy pig’s ear and wild boar sausage. Pig ears aren’t popular in mainstream menus yet but Bara is definitely one of the first restaurants in town to pick up on the worldwide culinary trend of nose-to-tail cookery. At Bara, pig’s ears are fried to s crisp until the outer skin becomes crunchy and the inner cartilage becomes gelatinous and chewy, and you can taste the glorious sweet, rich, porky flavour. If you’ve never tried them, you should because they’re seriously good.

wood smoked goodness at bara
Double Bone in Pork Chop (left) and Mushroom Toast (right)

Another dish that I never fail to order whenever I return to Bara is their double bone-in pork chop. While pork chop is undoubtedly something you’ve seen on a restaurant menu before, you’ve probably never seen it prepared quite like they do with spiced honey glaze, apple butter, and Bara pork spice. The seasoning is superb. If there is ever a pork chop competition in town, I will put my money down for Bara’s pork chop, no contest!

wood smoked goodness at bara
Passion Fruit​​​​

For you who are not big meat eaters, don’t fret! Bara offers impressive vegetarian options like the garden burger, the crispy cauliflower, and not to mention 6 selections of different salad. Their vegetarian menus are unbelievably delicious, that even a devoted carnivore like me, am tempted to explore the whole world of green goodness at Bara.

Bara’s recipes are built around only the freshest ingredients. Nothing in their kitchen is frozen, reheated or pre-prepared. When an order is placed, they make to order and you can watch them do it in the open kitchen. They even handmade their pastas, which explains why everything tastes so good, fresh ingredient is really the basic building block of good hearty meal.

wood smoked goodness at bara
Bucatini Carbonara

I have tried almost everything in the menu, and I love them all. It’s really tough to pick favourites because there are so many dishes I like from Bara. So, when friends ask me what I’d recommend from the menu, I’d tell them to come in a big group and I will provide a long list of my favourite dishes. Here they are: pig ears, crispy pork crackling, crispy cauliflower, cider glazed wings, mushroom toast, bara bird, double bone-in pork chop, bucatini carbonara, tomahawk steak, passion fruit pavlova& lemon meringue cake. The amount of food you get for your money here is excellent, delicious food and very generous portions.

Bara’s tagline: “Let us light your fire” represents the authentic experience centered on the art of cooking over a real wood-burning fire and their unconventional approach in creating classic dishes to deliver a homey yet sophisticated experience to diners.

wood smoked goodness at bara

As you walk into Bara and the open kitchen, with its high ceiling, wood-planked walls, and wooden tables that give the rustic, warm inviting ambiance, you are walking into a neighbourhood restaurant where the food is always amazing, the service is genuinely affable and the staff remembers your name. Definitely my favourite restaurant in PIK!

Bara Restaurant

PIK Avenue Mall, Ground Floor, Unit E8
Jl. Pantai Indah Kapuk Boulevard, Jakarta 14470
T: +62-21 2257 2296

Linda Tan

Linda Tan

Linda Tan is the CEO of Sandimas group, a prominent building material distribution company in Indonesia. Last year, she was nominated as one of the next-gen leaders by SWA business magazine. She enjoys outdoor sports and is well-known for her love of adventurous travels to off the beaten path corners of the world. She is also a passionate foodie with impressive gastronomical experience of some of the world’s most critically acclaimed restaurants. She is a regular columnist of NOW! Jakarta magazines restaurant review section. Linda is also a board member of The Nature Conservancy Indonesia, a renowned environmental non-profit organization.