Le Quartier

Le Quartier

French for All

Le Quartier in Kebayoran Baru serves up fabulous French bistro fare without the fuss.


Located on a stretch of road containing some of South Jakarta’s most exciting restaurants, Le Quartier, which is French for “The Neighbourhood,” manages to live up to its name by capturing the feeling of a friendly neighbourhood French bistro. The management actually uses the term “casual fine dining” to describe the restaurant, a combination that should be contradictory but somehow perfectly sums up the mood and philosophy of this charming eatery.

It’s hard to miss the big bold signboard for Le Quartier outside the restaurant, and a similarly striking style can be found within. The main dining area is brightly lit during the day, thanks to a skyroof built into the high ceilings, while dozens of chandeliers lend a soft romantic glow to the hardwood tables at night. Graffiti style motifs and vintage-pop portraits add eclectic appeal to the otherwise traditional brasserie look of the place.

The combination of classic and eclectic is in keeping with the overall ethos of Le Quartier according to Chris Janssen, the mastermind behind the restaurateur as well as Jakarta culinary institutions such as Cassis and Ranch Market 99. Janssen says that Le Quartier is not designed to be trendy. Rather, the goal is to convey a sincere love for the sorts of meals he grew up with. He says the restaurant’s extensive menu is composed entirely of dishes that he loves, the kinds of dishes that combine quality ingredients, classical technique and good value-for-money into something that will keep customers coming back for more.

Many diners in Jakarta still feel uneasy about going to French restaurants, but you’ll find none of the usual fine dining pretensions here. Many of Le Quartier’s menu items are designed for sharing, and each table has a serving station with a stack of plates and cutlery for diners to help themselves.

Le Quartier is also one of the few restaurants of its calibre in Jakarta to be open all day, including a breakfast service starting at 7. You can order simple and satisfying morning fare such as cinnamon French toast and buttermilk pancakes, or opt for heavier morning meals, fit for a hangover remedy, like Portuguese salt cod scrambled eggs or poached eggs served on salmon zucchini cakes and topped with a luscious mousseline (aka Hollandaise) sauce.

The extensive lunch and dinner menus mainly consist of classic bistro fare, though there are quite a few crowd pleasing deviations from traditional French foods, such as a variety of pizzas and pastas. Some of the pizzas, baked in a traditional stone oven, do feature Gallic goodies on top, such as smoked duck breast with camembert cheese. A nice addition to the pasta and risotto section of the menu is a list of optional add-ons, so you can get your green pea truffle oil risotto topped with grilled prawns or even pan-seared foie gras, if you so wish.


But the bread and butter of Le Quartier (well, aside from the tasty basket of freshly baked country bread and butter they give you upon arrival) is the classic French dishes that the kitchen turns out with aplomb. The duck leg confit comes out with crackling crisp skin and juicy tender meat nearly falling off the bone and a pot of honey mustard offering just the right contrast to the rich duck. The bouillabaisse is expertly prepared, with each of the various seafood ingredients, including plump shrimp, clams and scallops, cooked to tenderness in the addictive saffron accented broth. A variety of moules (mussels)  preparations, including our favourite, the mussels mariniere with white wine, celery and herbs, can be paired with the traditional accompaniment of frites (Belgian-style fries) and mayonnaise.

Grilled items are another speciality of the house. Cooked over a wood burning grill, the steaks, which utilise prime 1824 Australian beef, are particularly well done. If you are eating with a friend and you both have a craving for some serious beef, go for the double entrecôte steak; 600 grams of grilled goodness that is more than enough for two to share. The steak, which has a wonderfully smoky char from the grill, is served with béarnaise sauce, a rich, cheesy potato gratin and perfectly seasoned French beans and mushrooms. It’s a meal that’s pretty much guaranteed to satisfy any steak lover.

If you can manage to leave some space for dessert, Le Quartier has a few sweets that are sure to please. The Valrhona Guanaja chocolate olive oil cake is deliciously dense and rich, with lemon curd and crystallised lemon offering an acidic counter note. The six hour roasted apple tart is another must-try. The thin slices of apple are slowly cooked in sugar raisins and honey until they reach a melting sweetness, while the topping of crisp apple salad and Chantilly cream offer nicely contrasting flavours and textures.

Having been open nearly a year, Le Quartier has already attracted a steady stream of loyal customers who keep coming back for more of the restaurant’s consistently excellent dishes and laid-back atmosphere. You can count us amongst its fans as well.