Dinner at Amanjiwo’s restaurant offers a connection to Indonesian culture in stunning surroundings

Amanjiwo Restaurant and Bar terrace

Dinner at Amanjiwo – served in the hotel’s main rotunda restaurant, on its outdoor terrace or to your suite – is an invitation to a feast where history, culture, and culinary excellence combine.

As the day comes to a close and darkness falls over the nearby Borobudur temple, the dining scene comes alive with an array of dishes that tantalise the taste buds and warm the soul.

The best place to eat is on the terrace just off the colonnaded lobby, looking out over volcano-fringed forests and a layered landscape that turns into a lush tapestry as the night draws in.

Although there is an extensive 11-page menu – available all day and through the night – featuring Western and Asian dishes, the Indonesian selection is the true star of the show.

The country’s cuisine celebrates the contrast of flavours – sweet, salty, sour, and spicy – often in a single dish that’s complex yet satisfying.

The tastes are distinctive, from a palette of ingredients that is as broad as the country’s geography.

Spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric were brought over by Indian traders, while cloves and nutmeg are native to the Spice Islands – a culinary identity that’s both local and global.

Herbs such as lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves add aromatic highs, while chili adds a fiery intensity that can be tailored to individual thresholds.

Adding even more or a unique spin, each island, each province, and often each city has its own signature dishes and local twists.

At Amanjiwo, the colourful Indonesian fried rice dish of Nasi Goreng – a national favourite – is subtly infused with a blend of aromatic spices, delivering a warm, piquant flavour that is invigorating and soothing at the same time.

Succulent pieces of chicken, marinated in traditional Javanese spices, add a savoury depth to the dish, with crisp slivers of bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and onion tossed into the mix, each adding its own burst of flavor and a crunchy texture that balances the softness of the rice.

At the heart of the Nasi Goreng is the telur ceplok, a sunny-side-up egg, which crowns the dish with its rich, runny yolk, offering a creamy richness that seeps into the rice.

Another must-order is the sate, which sees skewered morsels of meat infused with the smoky aromas of coconut husk embers, accompanied by a peanut sauce that’s both earthy and elevating.

For vegetarians and more adventurous eaters, the Tempe Orek, textured with the nuttiness of tempe and caramel notes of palm sugar, is marinated in the enriching aromas of salam leaf and galangal

It’s a dish that’s both humble and complex, perfectly showcasing the multifaceted nature of Indonesian cuisine.

For dessert, opt for the Bubur Sumsum, a comforting rice pudding that envelops the palate in warmth.

Its sweetness, offset by the subtle tartness of jackfruit jam, is a fitting endnote to dinner, a reminder of the simple joys that define Indonesian dessert traditions.

Complementing these flavours are the Lounge Bar’s crafted cocktails, where the Lavender Martini and Jiwo Mule stand out for their use of local ingredients that pay homage to the region’s lush landscapes.

Children are well catered for too, with smaller versions of the Nasi Goreng, Chicken Satay and other Indonesian dishes like Soto Ayam (a rice noodle soup with shredded chicken and steamed rice).

For fussier eaters, familiar options like spaghetti with tomato sauce or grilled cheese sandwiches are an easy pick.

Dining here brings a rich range of flavours to the table, from starters to the national favourites like the Nasi Goreng, and right through to hearty desserts.

It’s a meal that offers a genuine connection to Indonesian culture, served up in an atmosphere that’s as down-to-earth as the dishes themselves.