Gourmet Trips

Lazy Afternoon at the Café Batavia

This place is like a movie set for Casablanca, where a kiss is not a kiss, but the Nasi Goreng is still Nasi Goreng.

The building where Café Batavia is established is the second oldest building in the square, second only to the former City Hall building of Batavia, which had been reestablished as the Jakarta History Museum.

Back in 1805, the Dutch initiated the construction of this building with the aim of establishing it as an accomodation for VOC’s high-ranked officers as well as their administration office.

As time goes by, a French native named Paul Hassan eventually purchased the building and turned it into an art gallery. An Australian native named Graham James then approached Paul Hassan with a vision of creating a restaurant and after several management changes – the rest is history.

Café Batavia is best known as a must-visit restaurant in Indonesia being one of the oldest restaurants ever, serving award-winning dishes and beverages while delivering outstanding services to its customers.

Café Batavia serves over 700 pax per day and has attracted honoured and reputable guests from all over the world; Queen of Sweden, Vice President of Argentina, President of Slovakia, Ambassadors of the United States, France & Morocco, and many others.

Dining on the balcony on the second floor

The favourite seating for the place are the tables on the second floor overlooking the Fatahillah Square. The madness of the streets of Jakarta are left behind as you relax away inside.

nasi goreng cabe ijo lidah sapi (beef tongue green chilli fried rice)

The menu itself offers various kinds of Indonesian and European dishes. I ordered nasi goreng cabe ijo lidah sapi (beef tongue green chilli fried rice) from the Indonesian main course section. This is the ultimate eating experience with a Dutch atmosphere but authentic Indonesian flavours.

Spicy fried rice

The fried rice was quite good, with bits of green chilli sambal with different chopped up vegetables. Came with some side dishes of crackers, beef tongue satays, pickled vegetables and topped with a sunny-side egg.

Beef tongue sate

Some purists will say that the Indonesian food has been altered to suit tourists taste. But I don’t regret it coming this dish, because this mixed rice contains various kinds of contents, so it feels like I’ve ordered several menus at once.

Sate Kambing (lamb skewers)

I ordered a side dish of sate kambing (lamb satays) that I think is delicious albeit it came up cold. What I find disappointing was the peanut sauce, not much peanut taste and quite runny.

Shelf of pastry

I have no more room for dessert, but they do offer a wide selection of cakes and pastries as desserts.

After days on the road in Jakarta it’s good to find a place for lunch which ticks all the boxes. Excellent service, good food and a table by the window to give a good view over Fatahillah Square.

Café Batavia
Jl. Pintu Besar Utara no. 14 Kota Tua, Jakarta Barat, Jakarta 11230
Tel : +62 21 69 1555 531

Visited Jun 2023

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