The hustle and bustle of the metropolitan Jakarta is dominated by the city’s young blood finding what’s hot in the latest social scene. Just like its neighbouring South East Asian capitals like Singapore and Bangkok, a high number of snazzy hangouts start popping up in different parts of the city.
Not to worry though, Jakarta definitely has something for everyone. Whether you’re the city’s cool hipsters, the exclusive elite club, the young and fabulous or the glamorous expats, you will find where you belong in Jakarta’s social scene.
But with such vibrant options of eateries and drinking haunts, don’t you sometimes get confused? Keep reading this guide that will spell out the 10 new hip destinations to check out in Jakarta!
#1 HIDE AND SEEK SWILLHOUSE
This particular hangout attracts crowd with its refreshing concept that they’d like to call Steampunk (more affectionately known as the concept of invention). This concept is not only reflected in their interior, but also throughout their specialties such as Fruit Lobster Sandwich, Truffle Cream Orechiette and Braised Back Ribs with Basmati Rice. Fancy food doesn’t have to break your bank apparently, as their prices range from an affordable Rp 70.000 to Rp 300.000!
This stylish bar turns it up a notch past 10pm as the lighting gets dimmer and the music gets louder. Trust me when I say that you’ll occasionally rub shoulders with some of Jakarta’s top young and fab names.
Fairground SCBD LOT 14
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 52-53, South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 5150 366
#2 POTATO HEAD GARAGE
Almost the exact opposite of its laid-back sister establishment Potato Head Beach Club in Bali, elegant would be the perfect description for this fine dining restaurant cum cocktail lounge. With its all-white interior and chandeliers hanging from its high ceiling, it is almost like walking into the set of the movie The Great Gatsby.
The long dining tables are replaced for sofas at night as the young and fabulous mingle with cocktails in hand or dance along the spacious hallways.
Fairground SCBD LOT 14
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 52-53, South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 5797 3330
#3 H GOURMET & VIBES
Literally good vibes only at this spot. Its rustic and industrial-style interior combined with chill Ibiza-lounge melody coming from the DJ booth will make you understand why the cool hipster kids of the town digs this place.
Their Southern style American food and yummy cocktails are also worth coming for. I tried the Good’ol American Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon (Rp 75.000) paired with Nutellish Shake (Rp 45.000) and it was the bomb! I later found out that Nutellish was a concoction of blended Nutella with Baileys, just the perfect adult milkshake everyone needs.
Jl. Gunawarman No. 41, South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2751 0167
Parc 19 has a warm welcoming feeling with its simple, unpretentious wooden furnishing and cement flooring. It is a terrace bistro that has an indoor and outdoor dining within a glass house relying mostly on natural lights. It is the hangout of Jakarta’s cool hipsters as it hosts events such as guest DJ appearances on a regular basis.
Jl. Taman Kemang no. 19
Kemang, South Jakarta
Tel: + 62 7199988
#5 CLOUD LOUNGE & LIVING ROOM
As its name suggests, this place is literally above the clouds! Its cosy open air setting at the 49th floor offers a magnificent 360 degrees view of the city’s skyline. This “living room” is filled with snug sofas that provide great front row seats at sunset time.
The after work crowd starts pouring in at around 5pm for sunset cocktails. Both weekdays and weekends alike, Cloud seems to be the choice for the glamorous expats and young executives in the city.
The Plaza Tower 49th floor
Jl. M.H Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2992 2448
If you’re into the Parisian roadside bistro style, Loewy is the place for you. With retro décor of wooden floor and white brick walls, it feels like travelling into the 1940s Paris. Sitting out on the terrace while drinking wine, it is the ideal night out scenario for the expats of Jakarta.
Oakwood Premier Cozmo
Jl. Lingkar Mega Kuningan E4.2 No. 1, Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2554 2378
#7 BAU-HAUS 1933
What makes Bau-haus so exciting and special is its concept as a secret meeting venue. With the entrance that is hidden and its location at the basement, only people “in the know” know about this place. Secluded and small, Bauhaus caters to a niche group of Jakarta’s exclusive elite club that avoids mainstream bars and lounges.
You will easily spend around Rp 600.000 for a two-person dinner as prices are on the hefty side for Jakarta’s standard. While their interesting tapas such as Sea Clams & Naan (Rp 70.000) and Garlic Vodka Prawn (Rp 90.000) might not be for everyone, it is definitely an experience if you fancy something different!
The East Plaza Building Mega Kuningan
Kav. E3.2 No.1, Basement Floor, South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2952 7173 /+62 21 2952 7174
#8 NIP & DRAM
Nip & Dram is the perfect gentlemen’s nest. While it is not exclusively for men, its main focus as a Whisky and Fine Spirit bar that also offers a range of cigars clearly targets the exclusive elite club of Jakarta’s upper-class men.
It is highly recommended for those who search for a classy and intimate hangout accompanied by live jazz music. But only go there if you don’t mind paying the sky-high price tag for exclusive cocktails and hard-to-find single malt bottles!
The Landmark Centre II – Ground Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 1, Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 5790 3991
#9 PAO PAO LIQUOR BAR & DIM SUM
It is not like anything I’ve been to before, but it sure reminds me a lot of the setting of the traditional restaurants where fights happen in old Hong Kong movies. Weaved rattan chairs paired with round tables, dim lighting and murals on the wall surely give out the atmosphere.
Who would have ever thought that dim sum and liquor would be a match made in heaven? I certainly wasn’t convinced until I went and tried it myself! I have come back for this dim sum platter (Rp 125.000) many times now and Pao Pao is always a great place to go to when you feel like a dressing-down night out in town.
Jl. Senopati No. 16
Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2751 0698
It is indeed where everyone from different social scenes in Jakarta comes into one when it comes to a night out dancing. Blowfish that has been around for 11 years was once a Japanese-inspired club that has reinvented itself with a futuristic cutting-edge design. This new concept has now successfully bumps up its status to be the most popular nightclub establishment in the city. It maintains its elite reputation by being selective of their guests for everyone’s comfort and safety.
Jl. Jend. Gatot Subroto No. 42
City Plaza at Wisma Mulia, Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 5297 1234
About the writer:
Charina Prinandita is a non-superficial person with a very superficial taste in shoes. Aside from the aformentioned shoe obsession, restaurant hopping with her girlfriends and travelling with her boyfriend sum up the few things that put her in her happy place.