For the last few years, we have watched the rise of new restaurants in the jakarta culinary landscape offering everything from the molecular gastronomy bistro to the finest upscale dining. Nevertheless, the city still lacks a great bar or lounge in which to hangout. Not any more it seems as a new whiskey lounge and bar, Nip & Dram is creating a strong buzz. FRV Travel stops by for a nip and a dram.
Finding the entrance to Nip & Dram is quite a challenge, being located on the ground floor of the Landmark building, the entry is hidden from sight. Thanks to the security officers we finally arrived at a big wooden door with the Nip/Dram logo on it. Knock – the ‘open sesame’ mantra for entry – and it slides open.
Immediately our eyes are greeted by subdued lighting with sensuous jazz sounds playing in the background while vintage tiles line a rectangular area filled with masculine, deep leather couches and armchairs in dark teak, which stand before elliptical wooden tables. Industrial-styled wood and iron stools stand at the 1920’s New York style bar making Nip & Dram one sexy looking place.
The centre of attention at Nip & Dram is not wine or champagne, it’s whisky, and they have a whole lot of it!
To the right side of the lounge area, you can find two glass cases filled with prestigious wines and champagnes such as Opus One and Laurent Perrier. Aside from its function as a wine cellar, these glass cases also help to divide the room into two semi-private rooms. However, wine and champagne are not the main focus here. The centre of attention at Nip & Dram is whisky, and they have a whole lot of it! Exclusive single malt whiskies like Lagavulin from Southern Islay to Japanese whiskies such as Suntory Yamazaki are all available here. Their collection here will certainly entertain every single whisky connoisseur in town.
On our visit, we were pleasantly surprised by a single malt, single cask scotch from the Bunnahabhain distillery in Islay. This 23-year-old drop opens with a fresh and honeyed aroma that develops into polished wood and beeswax tones, coating the palate with creamy spices and chocolate style liqueur tastes, leaving behind a sweetly spiced finish. It also makes a perfect match with a Cohiba cigar or their tapas-inspired menu.
Lead by Indonesian Chef Donald, Nip & Dram offers a select yet interesting menu. Their signature dish of gratin herb butter wagyu beef deserves special mention for its
juiciness and fantastic taste, although visually it needs the Martha Stewart touch.
Whisky lover or not, Nip & Dram has quite lot of great things to offer. This is one of few places in town that actually have great live jazz music on every weekend. And if you are clueless on what to enjoy here, then just look for the handsome duo of owners: Klaus and Bogdan. They are there most of the time and can definitely guide you to your first whisky experience. If you are tired with the whole wine scene and thinking to change, then give whisky a chance. Its masculine yet sexy and liquid gold to drink. I say, cheers to that!
This place is also perfect for those of you who are interested to learn more about whisky. Nip & Dram will host tastings with food pairing with the first one is on February 20th.
Nip & Dram
The Landmark Centre II – Ground Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 1
Tel: +62 21 5790 3991