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If there’s one thing that might have the power to unite humankind, it’s coffee. As the owner of Watt Coffee in
Jakarta, Alfred Agus knows this well. But
the Sulawesi, Indonesia-born entrepreneur
has already had many lives: He previously
lived in Singapore and the U.S. and worked
in the music industry. In 2011, he returned
to Jakarta — Indonesia’s capital, located on
the island of Java — and eventually began
brewing beans. Here are his tips for where
to find a buzz in this bustling coastal city.
Some must-visit areas in Jakarta are:
The Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) area and
PIK avenue mall in north Jakarta, where
there’s the famed Toby’s Estate coffee
shop and Sensory Lab cafe. Visitors should
also check out the Muara Karang area,
which is filled with restaurants and cafes.
Noteworthy places in south Jakarta are
the Kemang neighborhood, Senayan City
mall, Senopati street and the Blok M business and shopping district. In west Jakarta,
there are a lot of rising cafes, including
Dancing Goat Coffee Co., Say Something
Coffee, Simetri Coffee Roasters, Monks
and Calibrate Coffee. The malls to go to in
this area are Central Park and Neo Soho
Menteng, or central Jakarta, is where
my coffee shop is. I recommend going to
Shophaus Menteng, a lifestyle-oriented
establishment with multiple food and
A resident offers his top tips for uncovering the best of Jakarta, one of Southeast Asia’s most populated cities By Michelle Juergen
From left: Jakarta is
Indonesia’s capital; visitors
can view traditional dance
Museum of Indonesia
owner, Watt Coffee
beauty services; Plataran Menteng, a fine-
dining venue; and Indonesian eateries
Tesate and Kaum. For the best local malls,
visit Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia
and their famous rooftop bars.
Soak in the local foodie scene in: The
Menteng area. Try nasi goreng gila, or
“crazy fried rice,” which is a local specialty.
For Spanish food, Plan B is a must. For
cheap but awesome Japanese street food,
go to Daitokyo Sakaba in Blok M.
A tourist activity in Jakarta worth the
hype is: National Museum of Indonesia
and the Kota Tua old city area. Jalan
Veteran street is also a must, as is Monas