Old World charm

JAKARTA Look deeper and you will find many unique venues for offsite events in the Indonesian capital, especially in the restaurant scene. One of the long-time favourites is 18-year-old Café Batavia, located at Fatahillah Square in the old town of Jakarta (Jakarta-Kota), near the northern shoreline. Depending on the traffic, it takes about 45 minutes to get there from Central Jakarta.

                                        Main dining room

Housed in a restored 19th century structure featuring wood-frame windows and French window shutters, this venue has long been popular for its theme parties and live music. The interior décor, with a wood banister, teak flooring, ceiling fans, dramatic floral arrangements and many framed pictures of 20th century entertainment personalities, feels like a time warp and it could very well be a restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

                               Cafe Batavia's bar

Looking out of the windows, you can see many restored colonial buildings around, including the Jakarta History Museum, and when the jazz music plays, you’d be thirsty for a good ol’ gin and tonic.

Café Batavia can be booked for exclusive corporate events, with local pharmaceutical company P.T. Takeda Indonesia as well as Coca Cola being among the clients. For a cocktail-style function there is enough standing room for 150 on the ground floor and 250 on the upper floor. For a sit-down dinner, the numbers are 70 and 150 respectively. A buffet can be arranged for IDR175,000 (US$19) per head, and group set menu IDR200,000 (US$22) per head. For canapes only, the price is IDR125,000 (US$14). For a food package, there is a minimum requirement of 50 guests.

A band can be arranged, with a pianist and singer costing IDR3,000,000 (US$327) and a full band IDR 9,000,000 (US$981). Akustik (acoustic band) can be arranged for IDR5,000,000 (US$545). The prices are based on three hours of performance. Two-hour free-flow drink packages are available, with prices starting from IDR100,000 (US$11) for non-alcoholic drinks. For one includes draught beer and house pours, it comes down to IDR250,000 (US$27) per head.

                                              Gado Gado

The menu features traditional Indonesian dishes as well as international favourites such as salads, burgers, spring rolls and spaghetti. The food is nicely presented, with the gado gado ingredients nicely arranged around the bowl of sweet peanut dressing and ready for mixing, and the nasi goreng presented as a half globe on a square white plate, accompanied by a small salad and fried chicken and topped with a prawn cracker. The dishes offered here are hit-and-miss but frankly, it’s really the ambiance that you come here for.

Cafe Batavia is open Mon-Thu  8am-1am, Fri & Sat 7am-2am, and on Sunday for 7am-2am.

For more details, contact Cafe Batavia in Fatahillah, Jakarta-Kota at tel +62 (21) 691 5531 or email sales@cafebatavia.com

Reggie Ho


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