Betawi Café
Jalan Jaksa No. 18a
Hours: 05pm-02am

“Betawi” is the name of an indigenous group from Jakarta. The Betawi Café actually serves international food, and doesn’t provide any Betawi food at all! Although it’s not a romantic or fancy place, but the Betawi Café is a fairly nice place to relax.

Betawi Cafe occupies the center of the street. In its latest incarnation, it has become a semi-permanent set for the local TV show/soap opera -- locally referred to as sinetron – called “Jalan Jaksa”. That should last until about the middle of 2006, depending on its popularity on the tube.

Before it was taken over by Indosiar TV, it was a decent place for some good, local rock bands and mostly Indonesian clientele, with a free pool table and a good selection of beer, including all Indonesian brands as well as Carlsberg and San Miguel.

Prior to that, a few years ago it was home to the thriving Q-Bar, which was one of the best bars the street has ever seen complete with their own brick pizza oven and a stylish water fountain in the front Al Fresco section. It was run by Paul Q. from Australia and his Indonesian partner Koko. Apparently, price hikes and a lease dispute led to its sad demise in 2002. There are whispers that it could again be up for sale/lease, when Indosiar finishes its gig, and with a great location and good space, could once again be revived by an enterprising would-be publican.

Betawi Café is open every day from 05.00 pm to 02.00 am. Most patrons nowadays are Indonesians and their families. The place isn’t richly furnished, but the atmosphere is okay.

They also have floor space for live music on Saturday and Sunday night, which is why the Multivision production house choose this café as its shooting location.

Betawi Café is not really crowded with the patrons, though it can get a little busy on the weekend, for hanging out and watching live music.

As Henny, the owner says, “Betawi Café is not really a special place; it’s just a café to relax, and we don’t have special foods or programs for customers. We only have floor space. That’s why patrons want to come here, and the prices are really reasonable”.
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated