Looking for somewhere to welcome 2015 in Jakarta? Have a look at these options from ZOMATO. If they don’t serve Bali Moon ask them why not! Or send us an email.
These rankings of Jakarta’s best bars, restaurants, lounges and clubs should be read with my article “Jakarta nightlife 2014” for more information. I visited all the places listed below (and more), and I ranked them in the order by which I would recommend them to a friend.
I may have missed some great venues. Don’t blame me, just add a comment and I’ll revise if necessary:
Top 10 of the Best Nightclubs in Jakarta in 2014:
1) Empirica: From what I’ve seen, it is the most happening club in Jakarta at the moment. It is huge, attracts a beautiful/trendy crowd, and it is a really fun place to party. Easy number 1.
2) Immigrant: Still under renovation but we can expect great parties as soon as it reopens in June.
3) X2: Massive club, always packed but the music is very commercial and it is the same every week.
4) Colosseum (1001): The best lighting and nightclub design in Jakarta, but still missing the crowd.
5) Fable: Good crowd, a bit young for me though.
6) Potato Head Garage: Could be number one if they had events more often.
7) Dragonfly: Still crowded but not as happening as it used to be. Fewer special DJs.
8) Stadium: Used to be number 1. Maybe I’m getting too old for this now. The music is still great but the place could use a refurbishment as it is starting to look old. Update May 2014: Closed down following the death by overdose from a policeman inside.
9) Exodus: Middle size, new club. Good music and crowd but not full all the time.
10) Golden Crown: Most popular club in North Jakarta, it is not for everybody as there are many prostitutes and drugs. Full every night of the week.
Top 10 of the Best Bars, Lounges and Small Clubs in Jakarta 2014
|Safehouse in Bellagio
1) Lucy in the Sky: Young and trendy crowd, good music, perfect place to chill before hitting the other clubs in SCBD.
2) SKYE: Highest bar in Jakarta, great view and crowd, happening events.
3) Awan Lounge: For hipsters, good music and unique atmosphere.
4) Safehouse: Bar with also a very good restaurant, young expat crowd, great music.
5) Cloud: Similar with Skye. Rooftop bar.
6) Cafe Mondo: Odd cafe owned by a Japanese in love with Indonesian music. Unique events and concept
7) 365: Same as Lucy and Awan Lounge but for Kemang.
8) Treehouse: Super-small bar with good music and crowd
9) Umbra: One of the newer bar/lounge/clubs in Kemang and the most active to organize events.
10) Red Square: Still super crowded, but more and more prostitutes and the music is a let down.
Top 10 of the Best Restaurants/Lounges to go to before Party in Jakarta in 2014:
I considered mostly if the place is busy or not, and if the crowd is a partying crowd. I then considered the atmosphere (music and design). The food came in third. It is a blog about nightlife after all.
1) E&O: From the man behind Sarong and Mamasan in Bali, neat concept and design with a unique food experience.
2) Loewy: Good french food, with a busy bar area. Many Expats and girls. It is the best pre-clubbing pick-up place.
3) Luna Negra: Italian food with events organized regularly on weekends.
4) Bluegrass: They just had their renovation. Always busy and good food.
5) Cork & Screw: Wine shop with decent food. Less expatriates than the previous venues.
6) Social House: Ismaya’s ever successful wine lounge in Grand Indonesia. Very popular with Indonesians. If the food was better, it could be on the top.
7) Union: Disappointing food and difficult to get a table, but it is the busiest restaurant in Senayan. Upmarket crowd.
8) Canos: Spanish Tapas restaurant closed to SCBD nightlife. Only busy on weekend nights.
9) Potato Head: It suffered from the openings of many competitors in Pacific Place so it is not as crowded as it used to be. They were the first ones to have an open-air restaurant area concept for lounges.
10) Vin+: Mostly a wine shop with tables, it is often busy on weekends but the food is only average.Top 10 of the Best Sexy Bars and Sexy Clubs in Jakarta 2014
|Inside King Cross Jakarta (thank you CZ for this picture taken at your life’s risk)
1) King Cross: Wherever you live in Jakarta, if you are a guy, it is worth the ride up to Kelapa Gading… Sexy dancers on 2 floors and live music..
2) Malioboro: It has 2 areas, Malio Club and Malioboro Spa Lounge. Both worth having a look but very expensive. Only sexy dancers.
3) Club 36: The only (?) coyote bar in Jakarta. Still super popular. Sexy/Sensual dancers from Thailand and Indonesia.4) Golden Crown Lounge: They have live music and sexy dancers every night. Always crowded.
5) Emporium: Upper class joint similar with Malioboro. Sexy dancers.
6) Illigals: One of the most luxurious spas in Jakarta but not happening. It has sexy dancers but not on a daily basis.
7) Classic Club: It has 2 areas: Classic Club (Sexy Dancers and Live Music, more expensive and fewer girls) and Terminal Classic (Sexy Dancers and Live Music, less expensive, more girls).8) Alexis: The most expensive and probably overrated venue in Jakarta. But it’s always impressive especially for new people in the city. No sexy dancers but the 7th floor is famous for featuring high class prostitutes from at least 7 countries.
9) Sumo Lounge. They have Sexy Dancers.
10) V2: Live Music and Sexy Dancers.
Note: In Jakarta dialect, Sexy Dancer means the dancers will get at least topless if not fully nude. If they do not get nude, they will be advertised as sensual dancers or fashion show.
Top 10 of the Best Expat and Traveller Bars in Jakarta 2014
|Canadian band in BATS
1) Eastern Promise: Busy on week ends, good live music and food. Mixed crowd of younger and older expatriates, male and women, and always groups of Indonesian girls.
2) Molly Mallone’s: Newest Irish Bar in Senayan Arcadia, close to Red Square and X2.
3) De Hooi: Busiest expat bar in Pondok Indah area.
4) Murphy’s: First Irish bar in Jakarta, younger Expat crowd.
5) BATS: Mostly businessmen. Live music from foreign band and many prostitutes.
6) MO Bar: Not happening too much but nice design and music. Perfect for a quiet drink.
7) CJs: Similar with BATS but more expensive and even more prostitutes.
8) Tempus: Good live music and salsa events twice weekly.
9) Burgundy: Super quiet, but classy and with a nice view of Bunderan HI.
10) Jaya Pub: Oldest bar in Jakarta, very friendly with regular live band
These rankings are completely independant and based on my own personal preferences. I did not accept any money nor invitations from any of the bars, clubs or restaurants listed above. I am a male expat in my early 30s, so I imagine this article will be particularly correct if you are also a male between 20 and 40. If you are a woman in your 40s, you will probably have to find another Jakarta nightlife blog.
Editorial: We Support Jakarta Globe Call for President Joko Widodo to Cancel the Benoa Bay Reclamation
The Jakarta Globe recently published an editorial titled “Benoa Bay Doesn’t Have to Be Jokowi’s Legacy.”
Well-written and insightful, the editorial urged the President to annul the permits for the controversial reclamation project in Benoa Bay, labeling it a controversial remnant left by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that Indonesia’s new Chief Executive Does not need to embrace as his own.
Urging Joko Widodo to give full vent to his demonstrated image as a “protector of the environment” and populist leader, the editorial cited a recent lambasting given by the President to the devil-may-care attitude of large plantation companies that who set forest fires that pollute the entire region in order to widen the coverage of their plantation projects.
The Jakarta Globe editorial urged Joko Widodo to affirm the widespread opposition to the Benoa Bay reclamation project railroaded through in the waning days of the SBY presidency at the behest of the powerful business group behind the project who brazenly presents themselves as a protector of the mangrove forest that will be largely destroyed if their project goes ahead.
Suggesting that political payback should be ignored in the face of the public outcry against the project, the editorial called for the project to be stopped, or at the very least, halted and be put under critical review.
The editorial also underlined how those opposed to the reclamation are genuine members of the Balinese community and not the “rent-a-crowd” masses increasingly mobilized by the rich and powerful in Indonesia seeking to legitimize their positions behind public rallies.
We endorse the Jakarta Globe editorial and urge the President to bring this dark chapter that is fomenting division in Balinese society quickly to an end by appointing a blue ribbon, independent committee to review the environmental, social and cultural impact of the Benoa Bay reclamation project.
Such a committee should also be tasked to review the protocols and procedures used in appointing the company selected to head the Benoa Bay reclamation. Such a massively important decisions should not have been made behind closed doors and, instead, should have been put up to a competitive bid system to ensure the public derives the greatest possible benefit from surrendering their lands to the private sector.
Clearly, the people of Bali await President Joko Widodo to once again prove his true stripes as a populist President.
TRY A RED DEVIL MARTINI
The perfect drink to start of the holiday celebrations. Vodka 9’s very own RED DEVIL MARTINI. Best served with friends and maybe a plate of chips! Enjoy …
LOW cost carrier Jetstar is breaking new ground with an express Cairns to Bali route starting from March 29 next year.
Air Asia X is understood to have also been eyeing off the route which gives travellers a relatively quick flight of just over three hours to Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destination.
The three times a week service will be launched today with a sale price of $99 one way until midnight Thursday or until sold out.
The budget carrier has also announced plans to fly direct from Melbourne to Wellington from March 29.
It will be the first low cost carrier servicing the route, currently only flown by Qantas and Air New Zealand.
An initial sale price of $99 is being offered, rising to $199.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall said they were pleased to offer more international services to travellers along the eastern seaboard.
“We’re always looking to open up new travel opportunities for our customers and I’m delighted that we’re the first carrier to offer direct flights from Cairns to Bali,” said Mr Hall.
“Bali is one of Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destinations and I’m sure our direct low fares flights will appeal to families and groups of friends looking for a relaxing beach getaway.”
Jetstar will also reintroduce a six times a week Gold Coast-Perth service next year with a sale price of $199 until midnight Thursday (December 18).
Mr Hall said the change of heart was brought about as a result of a change in market conditions.
Jetstar is delivering the extra capacity without adding new aircraft to its fleet.
“We’ve done a lot of work revamping our schedule to ensure we can deliver more seats with our existing fleet,” he said.