The dry season in Jakarta is starting to heat things up, and we sure hope the same goes for your love lives! What do you mean, ‘no?’. We know, we know, finding a romantic venue in Jakarta to keep the magic alive – or for a first date – can be tough. To avoid hitting the same old spots with your loved one – or prospective other half – we’ve checked out an awesome dining spot in town that wraps up two dates into one location, and offers plenty of reasons to cozy on up. Speaking of the location – it’s right in the CBD area of Menteng, near the Embassies (does it get more convenient?).
Drinking at Face Bar
What better way to break up the week by knocking back a couple of amazing cocktails in cracking company? Between the silk-laden harem-style interiors and the exotic details, Face Bar offers a quiet nook and an antique Buddha statue for everyone. If it’s a first date, grab one of Face Bar’s stiff Caprioskas to loosen your nerves and grab a seat at the bar to soak up the chilled-out atmosphere. Want to kick things up a notch? Try another Face Bar special – their delicious spiced Sangria or a Granny Smith Martinis (the city’s best appletini – so good!) and break the ice by battling it out over a game of pool. Yup, this is one of the few places you actually want to go in the Big Durian that has a pool table!
Dining at Face Bar
Book a table for two, slip off your shoes (grab a pedicure first!), and cozy up with your honey in a plush Imperial pergola, plumped with cushions (perfect for a little snuggling, if all goes well!). The vintage Southeast Asian-style mansion has lots of rooms to choose from, all filled with ancient artefacts and awesome artwork, which make great conversation starters for budding (or tired!) relationships.
Housing two kitchens, La Na Thai, and Hazara, you will not be short of dining options when it comes to the extensive menu. We started our date with some hot, vegetarian Samosas, and a couple of Thai Iced Teas that are good for the teeth (read: the tea isn’t your typical saccharin sweet version, but a well balanced, refreshing beverage!).
If you’re into something a little lighter, La Na Thai’s Laotian-inspired Nam Tok Nua – a tangy beef fillet salad speckled with mint, dried chillies, and some toasted ground rice for nuttiness and texture – will hit the spot. Now, we are no stranger to Jakarta’s street food (and will gladly stuff ourselves with some of the city’s best Kaki Limas), but we’ve always wondered what Satay would be like with premium beef. Well, our questions have been answered; using prime Australian succulent beef (and we all know how hard it is to get imported beef, especially with the recent import tax hikes!), this Thai bite melts in your mouth.It’s perfectly paired with a rich peanut sauce, and chilli shallot relish. And finally, the show stopper, Gang Kiew Warn, the notorious steamed Barramundi Green Curry. Let’s just say that the art of fish curry has been mastered. No rubbery seafood here, just fresh, flaky fish!
Hazara’s Indian menu definitely had us too. Instead of the traditional Tandoori Chicken, we had a tender, Tandoori fish covered in mustard spices and a twist of lemon. This was accompanied with a Cheese naan and the restaurant’s crowd pleaser; Hazara’s Murgh Makni (better known as butter chicken!). Just writing this has made us hungry again! You definitely need to add this joint to one of your go-to date spots!
Face Bar. Jl. Dr. Kusuma Atmaja No. 85, Jakarta Pusat. Phone +62/21-31925037.
Hours: Mon-Sun Lunch 12-2:30PM, Dinner 6-10:30PM. Bar: 12PM-11PM.