Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jia: An Epicurean Journey to Contemporary China

The classic New-Year-New-You phrase resonates to Jia, Shangri-La Jakarta’s latest signature Chinese restaurant, which was opened in place of Shang Palace. This is Fiona’s adventure to discover the delicacy of contemporary China.

Ni Hao. This is Fiona.

I've been to Shang Palace couple of time. When Jia takes over the premise, I feel the difference, but in a good way. It’s still a Chinese restaurant, with a young, vibrant and modern feeling. I personally love the interior, which I think has taken the right path to present China. Tokyo-based firm Bond was in charge of the interior, creating an update from its former dining place with shades of cobalt and a range of earth colors. The dining area can sit up to 122 guests and the private dining rooms can host 20 guests each. 

It’s hard to stop taking pictures because the place is so photogenic. The big tables are everywhere and sofas for 4 people or less. There’s a small transparent glass room for those who want to see the Peking Duck roasting. Yummy, I can imagine the smell of Peking Duck being opened by the chef.

Guan Yin Tea Cold Brew is waiting for me at the end of my journey around the restaurant. Served in a transparent bottle, it gives another hint of modernity. It’s really refreshing and I always love Chinese tea. I’m glad to find a cold brew that I can enjoy in a hot mid-day. The menu book is a magazine. You’d be surprise.


Crispy Salmon Skin with Spicy Salt (Rp48K)
Salmon skin has always been a success, including at Jia. This one is extra thin, extra crispy without the strong fish smell. Mix it with crunchy spices underneath for salty touch. The kind of food that would come and gone in a flash over opening conversation.

Crispy Fried Beef in Honey Sauce (
Honestly, this is like an awesome beef jerky (or better known as dendeng). The honey sauce is unbeatable, adding sweetness to the crunch.

Then the DIMSUM arrives.

Steamed Pork Siew Mai topped with Abalone(
Siew Mai is the dim sum star, and at Jia it’s the same. A large abalone on top makes this pork Siew Mai something you should finish at one bite. I don’t think any other sauces (like the regular chili sauce that often seen by dimsum) is necessary. This dimsum is the restaurant’s signature and if you love abalone, you have to try this. 

Steamed Chicken Feet with Soy Chilli Sauce (Rp28K)
Another dimsum classic that, well, either you love this or you don’t. The same way with cooking it, some restaurant failed, others ace it well. This one is delicious, trust me. So, give this a try.

Steamed Glutinous Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf (Rp28K)
Otherwise known as Lo Ma Kai. It’s packed with salted egg inside. The only thing I can say about this is if you want to eat more of other dishes, better ignore the Lo Ma Kai calling you for more bite. It’s hard to resist.

Boiled Pork and Vegetables Dumplings in Sichuan Style (Rp32K)
The sauce is brilliant. The dumpling skin is thin, with generous fillings. You won’t be disappointed.

Steamed Pork Ribs with Crispy Garlic (Rp35K)
If you don’t mind garlic, then this one should be on the list of your Dimsum. This pork ribs has strong garlic flavor (which I love) combined with the tender pork ribs.

Steamed Pork Siew Mai Topped with Tobiko (
Well, Siew Mai is really the star. There’s another dish arrived, this time with Tobiko on top. This one tastes so good and I’m glad I love Siew Mai with large prawn and sheer wrappings like this one.

Steamed Barbequed Pork Buns (
What’s a dimsum without pork buns? I’d say this is the greatest pork bun to date with its generous fillings and the right amount of sweetness filled inside. The bun is soft too.

Steamed Custard Buns with Salted Egg Yolk (
The art to enjoy this one is making sure the salted egg yolk filling is still melting in your mouth. So eat this immediately.

Steamed Soup Crab Meat and Pork Dumpling (
Fans of xiao long bao would probably want to try Jia’s version.

Steamed Barbecue Pork Rice Rolls (
My gloom for not finding the cakwe-filled Chong Fan lead me to this dimsum, and it turned out to be delicious. I have made the right choice.

Overall, Jia’s dimsum is something you would enjoy with family and friends, whichever you decided to order. I believe there’s something for everyone here, from the classic xiao long bao to the extravagant abalone-topped siew mai. I barely use any sauce, aside from a drop of chilli sauce. It’s good as it is.

Let’s move on to the a la carte.

Crispy Roasted Pork (Rp98k)
The most important thing about this dish is the fact that it’s not soggy. It’s crispy on the top, which assure the dish to always get a spot on my order at Jia.

Baked Scallop stuffed with Shrimp Paste & Homemade Bean Crud in Barbecue Sauce (Rp168K)
Despite its fancy name, this dish is humble on the mouth. Soft tofu and easy-to-chew scallop combined with tasty sauce that isn’t overwhelming. Better to enjoy while it’s warm.

Shrimp Wonton Noodle (Rp58K) & Lan Zhou La Mian Noodle Soup with Beef Shank (Rp68K)
This dish reminds me of Shanghai, with the warm noodle soup to fight the cold winter. Well, who doesn’t love noodle, it’s our comfort food.

Deep Fried Swan with Almond Sauce (Rp32K)
You will see these photogenic swans everywhere on your social media timeline. They are so pretty, as well as delicious. Taste like Chinese cake with almond sauce inside.

PECKING DUCK (Whole Rp398K / Half 218K)
If you’re talking Chinese restaurant, you have to try their duck. The classic, yet exceptional dish is served right on your table by the chef. The skin is rolled inside a think sliced pancake alongside sauces and veggies. My first bite of this duck is a mix of crunchy, juicy and, well, yummy. The meat cooking method is “wrapped in lettuce,” which is chopped and mixed with spices. We just have to scoop them and wrap it in lettuce.

Even though Jia is located in a hotel, I would still go there whenever I need to eat somewhere comfortable. I would stop by and eat their dimsum anytime (since I can eat dimsum twice a day – yes you hear it right, haha). This place is also perfect for families, they have everything my mom and dad likes. My sisters would love this restaurant too. For a Chinese restaurant they have a real contemporary ambiance. If I have to sum up the dishes here are classic with a twist. Led by Executive Chinese Chef Christopher Chai, who has been with Shangri La Hotel, Jakarta since 2008, the culinary team behind Jia is ready to serve you their masterpieces.

If you’re in the middle of Chinese New Year meal planning, I would recommend Jia for you. The restaurant has set menus that you can choose from Rp. 988.000++/pax which already include Yu Sheng to start with, fish dish for the good luck and Nian Gao to end the celebration. Some dishes already make your tummy growl just by reading the name, because it’s something like “Deep-fried Lobster with Salted Egg Yolk,” “Steamed Marble Goby Fish with Black Fungus, Enoki Mushroom in Lotus Leaf” and “Barbecue Suckling Pig and Jelly Fish.”


In Chinese, Jiǎ means the first. So let this place and the scrumptious contemporary Chinese dishes be the place to dine with your family and loved ones come New Year time. Just a forewarning, this place has been overbooked and is often on waiting list. So, reserve your spot now at

As for me, Jiǎ is first. Meaning first that comes to mind when I want a dim sum run and escape from the busy Jakarta to serene contemporary China.

Where is This?
1st floor Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta
Jl Jenderal Sudirman kav. 1, Jakarta 10220
TEL: 021-29229999

More information and online reservation:

No comments:

Post a Comment