Jakarta bar crawl

Ladies and gentlemen, I enjoy an evening cocktail. I am altogether too old, however, to do a bar crawl, even when such a thing happens in a place where I fundamentally understand the language, culture, and legal regime. However, I also have very good friends who guide me to life choices which are, um, memorable. A series of those choices occurred last night, starting at Skye Bar Jakarta. Really, it was just going to be one perfectly innocent cocktail. 

The principal attraction of this establishment is excellent views of downtown Jakarta. It is on a rooftop, which was roughly the 56th floor. We had to pay 150,000 IDR (11.28 USD) each to get in, but that was fine as it included our first cocktail. The views were indeed fantastic:

The view from Skye Bar Jakarta. It is hard to capture how massive this city is.
The view from Skye Bar Jakarta. It is hard to capture how massive this city is.

I enjoyed my vodka martini very much, and they let me call Grey Goose for it. Score. Unfortunately, however, I also noticed that their bar had Makers Mark bourbon. I hadn’t had any of that in a couple of weeks, and I didn’t want Kentucky to go out of business or anything, so I had a second drink. At this point, it apparently became “game on” in my mind.

“Game on” apparently meant that we needed to go to one more bar, and that bar was Loewy. Don’t let the fact that they call themselves a discotheque be disconcerting. This meant more “we play loud music while you drink” than it did “it would be wildly inappropriate for two men in their forties to be here, and it isn’t the seventies anyway.” They had a fantastic old school bar, what looked like good food, and did not say anything when I reached for the orange bitters which were on top of the bar to flavor my drink. You do need to fight aggressively to get a seat as this spot was lively, but I got game. Or at least using phrases like that seemed altogether appropriate at that point in the evening, and we eventually wound up with two seats.

Loewe Jakarta, where they keep cocktail bitters within reach of the patrons.

I can’t tell you what led to the decision to go to a third place. It did, however, seem exceedingly important that we do so. Next, we ended up at the Blu Martini in the JW Marriott. This bar had been destroyed by a suicide bomber in 2009, and we can’t let the terrorists win, after all. In the event, they also make an excellent martini and understood exactly what I meant when I said, “Belvedere vodka, no olives, use an orange twist.” They had no Lillet Blanc to use in place of the vermouth, sadly, but I may not have been in a place to demand such fine distinctions just then anyway. It was also the quietest place we went to, and a lovely spot to have a nice conversation and a nice cocktail. Also, my buddy and I both speak Spanish. It was hilarious when the bartender started making fun of him in that language. And, no, I am not sure why two people who speak English as a first language were speaking Spanish at a bar in Jakarta. Just go with it.

Entrance to Blu Martini in the JW Marriott.
The bar at Blu Martini, which is an excellent place to have an excellent drink in a quiet atmosphere.

At this point, though,we had struck a blow for freedom from terrorism and could not simply go home. I mean, obviously. Or something. Anyway, we poured ourselves into a Silver Bird cab and rode in a lovely Mercedes to wherever we went next. It seemed exorbitantly expensive until I realized it was less than $5. I would love to tell you where we ended up, but I cannot. I will try to get that information from my buddy when and if he ever wakes up and post an update. I do know, however, that they had excellent truffle fries. Food was important at this point.

Truffle fries and drinks at wherever we ended up last. I’m not gonna lie. Details escape me.
The bar at the last place. I really want to figure out where that was. Also, I was apparently only taking photos from a seated position at this point in the evening.

Update- This last place was called Sofia. It was amazing.

After this we got a regular Blue Bird cab and went home. Apparently that was a good choice, because I still clearly remember the evening and had a great time. I would love for everyone else to wake up so I can go get some d@mn coffee– this is Java, after all– but otherwise am none the worse for wear. So get out of the house and go somewhere your own self. Take care of the kids, be safe, and do all the things you got to do to live your life, but just go. An evening out every now and again is an exceedingly good idea.

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