From some of Jakarta’s best brunches to a family-friendly environment to late-night amusement, this South Jakarta neighbourhood has it all.
Deciding where to live in Jakarta is a huge decision thanks to its legendary traffic. Many people choose to live near their office but others are looking for a high quality of life factor. That’s where Kemang, an area in the southern part of the city comes in. Sure the traffic can be messy but all of the dining, shopping, entertainment options combined with its close proximity to international schools and the South-Central Business District, no wonder people are calling it home.
Best place to live
Kemang is popular with expat families because of its close proximity to international schools and a strong neighbourhood feel. The small streets of Kemang are lined with large homes, many of them with their own security and household staff, it’s worth the effort to drive through and see who is renting or hire an agent to find you a place fit for your needs.
Another popular option for expats is the Kemang Club Villas, a gated community with apartments and spacious condos. Located behind the Hero complex (where you can also find Amigo’s and Antepodean), it has a wonderful mix of amenities and privacy.
Kemang is also home to a number of recent apartment developments. Kemang Village is attached to the Lippo Mall Kemang, making it super convenient, if you don’t mind living in a mall. Other fancy apartment buildings in the neighborhood include The Mansion and the Nirvana Residence.
This is one of Kemang’s specialties! Sleep in on the weekends and treat yourself to a hearty brunch at the Baconerie. Owner Sheila Sada makes all of the pork bacon, ham, and sausage in-house. But that’s not all, there is also a wide assortment of freshly baked savoury and sweet pastries to round out your meal.
No brunch is complete without a good Bloody Mary, our favourite can be found at the long-time Kemang haunt, KOI. Here you can order them classic or spicy, if you need the extra kick.
Best lunch date spot
Gather your besties for a healthy, delicious meal at Komunal88. This stylish café has a large selection of beverages, including homemade kamboucha, imported Italian drinks, and lovely coffee (pick the lemon black coffee for a refreshing caffeine hit, trust us!). On the food front, there are great salads, fresh baked goods, and a revolving menu of specials.
Best after-work drinks
After finish a hard day of work, the last thing you want to do is fight the macet. Instead why not wait it out with a drink? Eastern Promise has generous Happy Hour deals, while FJ on 7 is the perfect rooftop perch to enjoy a bottle of wine with a view of the sunset.
Best romantic dinner
Get in the mood and set the scene correctly at Mama Rosy Italian restaurant. Located inside a traditional Balinese house, Mama Rosy’s is not short on atmosphere or delicious dishes, cooked from home recipes. If you want to keep it light, SHY’s dining room is sleek and seductive, the perfect place to enjoy their sophisticated Japanese cuisine.
Best home décor shopping
This is a hard one as Kemang has so many good options! For furniture, head to Jl. Kemang Timur to buy or order bespoke Javanese pieces. Not only is the price super reasonable, this ornate furniture will definitely enhance your home and serve as a conversation pieces.
When it comes to home décor items, Cayenne is like an adult’s playground. They’ve got funky and fun printed pillows, an assortment of baskets, and other unique pieces for your home. For funky home accents, head to Le Souq. This shop specialises in one-of-a-kind prints and their Jakarta-centric ceramic pieces, which are perfect for gifts as well.
If you’re looking for more upscale home items, the imposing BIKA is the only official outlet for Missoni Home in Indonesia. They can also build you furniture, made from rare wood from around the world. You won’t be the only one who loves their aesthetic, they count luxury hotels, such as the Grand Nikko Bali, Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan, and the Kempinski Hotel Indonesia Jakarta, as clients.
Best impulsive shopping
We love surprises and we’re always delighted with what we find at the Dia.lo.gue Artspace gift shop. Not only is there a range of home goods, clothing, jewelry, and other odds and ends, many of the products in the gift shop are locally made. It’s the perfect last stop after a coffee in the Dia.lo.gue café and checking out the gallery’s latest exhibition.
We also can’t help but take something home every time we pop into the Aksara Store. Every outlet has a different character and the one in Kemang specialises in coffee table books and wacky novelty items, which are perfect for surprise gifts for friends.
Best late-night dancing
If you think our Saturday night bets were a bit too low-key, try dancing the night away at Parc19 or Queens Head. Kemang’s club scene isn’t the strongest, with neighbouring SCBD being the nighttime hotspot, but these two venues bring in a lively and hip crowd that keep you feeling great into the early hours of the morning.
Top image: Mama Rosy