Before And Now
Many of us heard of Kunstkring as the ex-Buddha Bar without knowing further what is this tongue-twisting place has got to offer. As I get curiouser and curiouser, life handed me the lemon. That was the opportunity to meet and chat with the owner. Without hesitation, I made a lemonade out of it and I got myself hooked. So when one of the most influential food blogger, Inijie, made it to Jakarta, I can’t help to show him Kunstkring.
Built in 1914, this building is made to raise the art scene. A place for Dutch artists to gather, exhibit their works from painting to musical performance, and also to learn their craft. At its golden years, it was once a host for world class paintings such as Van Gogh’s and Picasso’s. You can imagine the importance of it back in the day. However as the world moved on, the building went through a few different episode of adaptation. Once it was an immigration office, then it was idle, then a bar, and another idle years.
At its golden years, it was once a host for world class paintings such as Van Gogh’s and Picasso’s.
Back To Its Origin
Tugu, the same group that brings us Lara Djonggrang, Dapur Babah, and Shanghai Blue took over the management of Kunstkring and decided to repurpose it back to its original mission. It is now a restaurant, a cafe, an art exhibit, and also a function hall for all things art.
The restaurant is separated into three main areas. The Diponegoro Room, the main dining area that displays a 9m painting of the time when Diponegoro got arrested. The Suzie Wong Bar, is a more dimmed, lounge theme area to chill. Inspired by the popular British American movie in the 60’s, they took the original movie painting (the one they hang in front of cinemas) and let it shine in one of the walls. Last, The Bread & Coffee Corner.
Since it was afternoon and they have their famous Roti Bluder in stock, we decided that tea would be a perfect companion. What makes it interesting is that this particular bread is still hand made in Blitar and flown to Jakarta daily.
The bread is so fluffy soft that you just want to tear it with your hand and stuff it in your mouth right away. Have it warm and you’ll notice the smell that reminds you of home cooked pastries. It comes in two flavor: chocolate and cheese. For me personally, the chocolate rocks better than the cheese.
As for the tea, a selection of leaves from German dominate the menu as well as the classic ones. We shared the Christmas Punch as we were looking for something that’s more masculine with that classic, fruity, spicy twist. Don’t miss out on the butter cookie that comes with it. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had.
Their Kue Bluder has the smell that reminds you of home cooked pastries
Both food and drinks made quite an impression for me. Added with great hospitality from the staffs, and the green surroundings, tea timing at their al fresco area is definitely something I’d look forward to again.