Explore the heart of Jakarta and find its hidden charm
Known for the massive fountain and bank buildings, many of Menteng’s most charming treasures are often missed. Whether you live in the area, are just there for the day or are visiting our vibrate city, here is a guide to our favourite places in the neighbourhood.
Best place for outdoor dining
Ocha & Bella
A fun mix of Italian classics with Japanese favorites, Ocha & Bella (a combination of the Japanese word of tea and the Italian word for beautiful) is a charming – and unexpected – blend of the two distinctive cultures! Their patio is well ventilated and tree-lined giving you a serene break from the intense bustle of our beloved city. They have some great wood-fired pizzas and the burgers are also worth mentioning!
Ocha & Bella, Jl. K.H. Wahid Hasyim no. 70, Menteng, Central Jakarta, p. 62-821/1190-5999. Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-12am, – Sat & Sun 11am-1am.
Chicory European Patisserie
Chicory European Patisserie is probably the best patisserie in the entire city. Run by a meticulous couple, whose focus is always quality, everything from your cappuccino to your apple tart to your almond croissant is perfection, and of course, always fresh. You must try their syrupy, frangipani-fragrant bostock pastry is served with house-made berry jam that’s to die for. If you’re feeling like something savoury, their meat pies and quiches are also incredible.
Chicory Patisserie, Jl. Sumenep no. 9, Menteng, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/3192-5799. Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-6pm.
Best places to stretch your legs
With its abundance of tree-lined streets and some of Jakarta’s best-maintained parks, Menteng is one of the best places to take a walk in town. On Sunday mornings head to Taman Suropati for a free mornings yoga class or simply take a stroll around Taman Menteng to people watch or wind down after work.
Best “window” shopping
Deemed Jakarta’s most popular vintage market, Jalan Surabaya has shop after shop of trinkets and vintage finds (of varying authenticity, so beware) that you can’t find anywhere else in the city. Even if you decide to not to bargain for some treasures, it’s still an interesting spot to poke around and take a couple of Instagram snaps.
Jalan Surabaya, Menteng, Central Jakarta.
Giyanti Coffee Roastery
While on Jalan Surabaya, take a break with a cup of coffee at Giyanti Coffee Roastery, it’s one of the best in the city! They are so serious about their coffee that they source beans from across Indonesia and close the café three days a week so they can roast beans in peace. When they are open though, this super popular spot serves up friendly smiles and a pretty irresistible apple pie!
Giyanti Coffee Roastery, Jl. Surabaya no. 20, Menteng, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/3192-3698. Hours: Wed-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm (Closed Sun-Tues for roasting).
One of the Union Group’s newest restaurants, Benedict is quickly gaining popularity thanks to the mad genius chef-duo G48. Located in Grand Indonesia, this is becoming our go-to Sunday morning pick-me-up. Between their killer Bloody Marys, their brioche bacon French toast with frozen custard, and the heaps of savoury options like their signature Eggs in a Jar and the namesake eggs Benedicts, there is something for everyone. And if you’re feelings like something more on the healthy side, they also have a list of homemade granolas and muesli, filling salads, and other light options using heaps of local ingredients.
Benedict, Grand Indonesia. East Mall, Lower Ground, Jl. MH.Thamrin No.1, CBD, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/2358-1238. Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-10pm.
Best Place for some R&R
Relax Living, The City Spa
Relax Living has three locations in Jakarta including this one, the City Spa, in the heart of town. They focus on providing relief and relaxation for Jakarta’s working professionals, but it’s not all work and no play, Relax Living also has a selection of services including a couples’ suite, sauna, and Jacuzzi. Whether you just need a quick 30-minute reflexology pick-me-up or a full-on rejuvenation, Relax Living has got your covered!
Relax Living, The City Spa, Jl. K.H. Wahid Hasyim no. 59, Menteng, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/3192-3708. Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 9am-9pm.
Best dive bar
The Jaya Pub
Another Jakarta staple and a piece of city history, The Jaya Pub bills itself as the city’s oldest bar. Opened in the 1976 (some of the bartenders have been around for over 30 years), the bar recently moved to a space directly behind the old bar, but don’t worry, the place is exactly the same inside! We aren’t kidding if you went the old place and the new one, you would feel like you entered a time warp. They may not have the best drinks in town (Hey! You are in a dive bar!), but the live classic rock cover band and overall wild time more than makes up for it.
The Jaya Pub, Jl. M. H. Thamrin no. 9, CBD, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/3192-5633. Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-2am.
Best place to enjoy a romantic dinner (and feel like you’re in an Indiana Jones movie)
You know you’re in for an experience just pulling up to the grand Lara Djonggrang. Covered by Banyan tree vines and enormous hanging lanterns, this gorgeous restaurant is one of Tugu Group’s masterpieces. Although they have the Paleis Kungstring in Menteng, too, between the food, the ambiance, the delicious Indonesian inspired cocktails, and the Soekarno Room, we’re sold. The menu at Lara Djonggrang covers many of the archipelago’s most famous dishes. This is also an amazing place to bring guests visiting from abroad to introduce them to Indonesian food. Take some time to wander around the grounds and don’t be shy about asking questions about the plethora of antiques. There are more stories than you will have time for in one night, which is just another excuse to keep coming back. Make sure you make reservations as space is limited and they aren’t always able to accommodate walk-ins.
Lara Djonggrang, Jl. Cik Di Tiro no. 4, Menteng, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/315-3252. Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am.
Best Place for Friday night drinks
With three great options – Hazara Indian restaurant, Lan Na Thai and Face Bar – all in one location, this sleek Menteng space is the perfect after-work meeting spot to gather your friends. Celebrate surviving another week at Face Bar, a friendly and cozy bar with great service. Oh, did we forget to mention that they also have a generous Happy Hour from 5-8pm. Yeah, a happy hour you can actually make!
Face Bar, Jl. Dr. Kusuma Atmaja no. 85. Menteng, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/3192-5037. Hours: Mon-Thurs 1pm-3pm and 6pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-3pm and6pm-1am, Sun 12pm-3pm and 6pm-11pm.
Best place to dance the night away
SKYE has one of the best views in the city with some of the best DJs spinning the night away. At the 56th Floor of the BCA Tower, great music and great cocktails, it’s hard to have a bad time here.
SKYE, BCA Tower, Lv. 56, Jl. M. H. Thamrin No. 1, CBD, Central Jakarta, p. 62-21/2358-6996. Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-1am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-1am.