By: Laksmi Pamuntjak
A guide to over 500 restaurants, cafes, casual eateries and street vendors (kaki limas) in inner Jakarta, written by the poet and novelist Laksmi Pamuntjak. The photographs are by Yori Antar (JGFG 2001, JGFG 2002-2003) and by Paul Kadarisman (JGFG 2008-2009, JGFG 2009-2010).
A guide independent of the hospitality or restaurant industry in Jakarta. It accepts advertising but NOT from restaurants. Restaurateurs cannot buy an editorial listing or a favorable rating in this guide.
A guide that selects restaurants based on reputation, popularity and consumers’ recommendations and reviews them on their merits. Laksmi visits restaurants and pays her meals in full.
A guide that describes and evaluates restaurants as the reviewer finds them. It is not intended as the last word on food in this city. As Laksmi is fond of saying, “Food to me will never be the same as food to you."
Laksmi Pamuntjak (b. 1971) is a bilingual Indonesian novelist, poet, journalist, and food writer. She writes for numerous national and international publications including the Guardian.
Amba, her 2012 debut novel, tells the modern story of two ill-starred lovers, Amba and Bhisma of the great Hindu epic Mahabharata, who were driven apart by one the bloodiest purges in the 20th century—the massacre of up to one million accused communists in Indonesia between 1965 and 1968. The novel was a finalist of the 2013 Khatulistiwa Literary Award and has been translated into several languages.
Alle Farben Rot, the German version of Amba, won the LiBeraturpreis 2016. It is the only German literary prize awarded to women authors from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Carribean, and the Arab World. The novel was also named #1 on Germany’s Weltempfaenger list of the best works of fiction from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Arab World translated into German.
Pamuntjak is also the author of two collections of poetry; a collection of poetry and prose; an extended essay on the relationship between violence and faith based on the Iliad; a collection of short stories based on paintings; and two translations of the works of leading Indonesian poet and essayist Goenawan Mohamad. She is also the author of five editions of the country’s first independent restaurant guide series known as The Jakarta Good Food Guide.
Pamuntjak’s second novel, Aruna dan Lidahnya, a culinary travel story laced with the corrupt politics of the public health sector, was a finalist of the 2015 Khatulistiwa Literary Award. The novel was published in the US in February 2018 under the title The Birdwoman’s Palate. The movie based on the novel will premiere in September 2018.
In 2012, Pamuntjak, who is co-founder of the bilingual Aksara Bookstore, was selected as the Indonesian representative at the Poetry Parnassus/Cultural Olympics, the largest poetry festival in the UK, held in conjunction with the London Olympics.
Her prose and poetry have been published in numerous international journals, including the preface to Not a Muse: A World Poetry Anthology (2008). Her poem, “The Traveller’s Tale,” was published in World Record: International Poetry Anthology (Bloodaxe: London, 2012) and Rain of Poems (Casagrande: London, 2013).
Paperback, 19,5cm x 15cm (portrait), English, 152 pages, 2009, Pena Klasik, Shipping Weight: 1kg
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