Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tips and Tricks : Café Hopping Jakarta

One of the reasons why I was compelled to visit Jakarta was to check out the café scene in this bustling town. I do not consider myself as a coffee connoisseur (not in public, at least), but that did not deter me to join the bandwagon and got myself into a one way ticket to Hipsteria.

The café culture in Jakarta is definitely booming, and I've made my pick to some of the commonly recommended ones, and the ones that feeds the phone camera well. I sound like a broken record, but I would say it again anyway, Jakarta's traffic condition can be a nightmare. Don't let that deter you however, with a little guide, you should be able to mobilize around like a local for your coffee fix.

Map Your Grounds
Jakarta itself is generally divided into 5 division (North, South, East, West and Central). Knowing where's where in advance would give you an advantage to the places to visit in terms of logistics. Getting around (and if you are not driving yourself), do consider Uber and the Blue Bird taxi (the most reliable taxi service in Indonesia).

Bro Tips : While I prefer the usage of Uber over taxi anytime, the disadvantage comes when it hits the rush hour carpooling time, where it is mandatory to have 3 passengers (including driver) in the personal car, so if you are travelling solo, it could impose a challenge (the driver might have to take a longer, alternative route, something that taxi drivers wouldn't have to).

South and West
I will be featuring some of the cafés that I have visited during my short trip here, so it is fair to say that these are NOT all of the cafés that Jakarta has to offer (heck, I did not even cover the Eastern part of Jakarta as well as the neighboring town of Tagerang). None the less, if you are around the Southern neighborhood, you would be able to find some decent coffee and hipster hangouts here.

Woodpecker Coffee
I navigated my way to Woodpecker Café before the rush hour kicks in for a light breakfast, and was not disappointed by its dainty but cozy place to dine in or have a cuppa. Coffee here are decent, and you'll be pleased with some of the cute chairs over here (secretly hoped that I have some home too). The cafe is well lit, ideal for any food photography (or OOTD if that's your thing), and they do have a separate area for smokers. I had the simple butter croissant (IDR 25k, MYR 7.40) and Flat White (IDR 30k, MYR 8), which is fairly cheaper than what I would normally spend in KL. 

Woodpecker Coffee, Jalan Panglima Polim V No.23, Kebayoran Baru, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Opens Daily, 0700 - 2100

One Fifteenth Coffee
15 minutes walk away from Woodpecker, comes One Fifteenth, another early riser café, that opens at 7 a.m. (legend says), which makes it ideal for those who needs their caffeine fix before hitting to work or so. The spacious interior and communal ambiance makes this place a great place to meet and catch up with friends, or seclude yourself to work or study. The specialty coffee available here, wouldn't hurt either, right?

One Fifteenth Coffee, Jl. Gandaria 1 No. 63, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Open daily, 0700 - 2100

Dia Lo Gue
Heading further towards the south east, would be this shop-artspace-coffee fusion place, named Dia Lo Gue (unsuspecting tourist like me would call this place Dialogue, but locals call this place as Dia Lo Gue, a play on the words Dia (he/she), Lo (you) and Gue (me) in Indonesian language). I'll be completely honest, the main reason why I came here was for the Instagrammable stairs, which was supposed to be one of the attraction here but it was under renovation when I got there (gah!).

Dia Lo Gue / Interior
I did however catch up with a local friend here and enjoy the spacious area here (not to mention that they have commendable art displays here for those art enthusiasts).

Dia Lo Gue, Jl. Kemang Sel. No.99A, RT.1/RW.2, Bangka, Mampang Prpt., Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Mon - Fri, 0930 - 1800
Sat - Sun, 0900 - 1800

Dia Lo Gue / Interior
North and Central
Now towards Central Jakarta, before making your way to visit the Welcome Monument, National Monument and the National Gallery of Indonesia, do drop by to Kosenda Hotel's 127 Café that is located nearby the lobby. Yes, this place would not be categorized as a hipster café for sure, but 127 Café do make it up for its posh seatings, and they do serve decent coffee as well. I had a drink called "Up to You" (because quite frankly, YOLO), and it turned up to be a hazelnut latte. Didn't see the connection between the name and the flavour, but oh well.

127 Cafe, Jalan KH Wahid Hasyim 127, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Open 24 hours

127 Cafe
10 minutes drive away from 127 Café is another sought after café name Tanamera. This award winning café pride themselves for using local beans, and apparently specialized in single origin coffee brewing. Plus, they have an array of cakes here to choose from. The only challenge here, is that the place is exceptionally small and does appear cramped, but that is also Tanamera's charm, a small sized café but packs a punch.

Tanamera Coffee, Thamrin City Office Park Blok AA No. 7, Jl. Kb. Kacang Raya, Central Jakarta City, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, Indonesia
Opens daily, 0700 - 2000

Tanamera Coffee
Heading far north towards Kota Tua, lies the oldest cafe (presumably in Jakarta) named Café Batavia. The dutch facade of the building where this café is located gives the impression that it is a cafe of grand proportion, and indeed it was. They have a menu of European and local Indonesia range, but being the most visited café by tourists, their price point is indeed slightly higher than regular eateries in Jakarta. Having said that, a few minutes walk away from Café Batavia is another highly recommended café (well, more accurately restaurant and bar) to savour the local cuisine at a lower price point (without compromising on taste, for sure).

Cafe Batavia, Jalan Pintu Besar Utara No.14, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Mon - Thurs, 0800 - 0000, Fri, 0800 - 0100, Sat, 0700 - 0100, Sun, 0700 - 0000

Historia Cafe, Jl. Pintu Besar Utara, Pinangsia, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Opens daily, 0900 - 1700

Left Top - Bottom, Cafe Batavia
Right Top - Bottom, Historia Cafe
I had the Ayam Bumbu Kecombrang (Torch Ginger Flower Spiced Chicken, served with rice) for IDR 45k (MYR 13) and Sarsaparilla van Indomesie (the fanciest name for Sarsi Cap Badak here), for IDR 32.5k (MYR 9.65).

Last Supper? Koultoura Coffee
Now, heading far west to Western Jakarta, is where Koultoura Coffee is. Probably the highlight of my Jakarta café escapade, this double storey café has that semi-industrial vibe, with touches of wood and steel in its interior, and interesting mural paintings and hanged paintings. If that is not hipster enough, I do not know what is. I initially targeted for the Cold Brew here but alas, it was not available. None the less, I settled for a good cup of Flat White, and a chocolate peanut butter cake. I was contented enough.
Koultoura Coffee

Koultoura Coffee, Jalan Taman ratu Indah Blok AA2 no 33, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, Indonesia
Opens daily, 0900 - 2200

I believe that there are more to explore in Jakarta on the café hopping avenue, do let me know which other cafés to visit if I am back to Jakarta (I guess pretty soon, hopefully?)