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Jakarta 2008

Originally published on 31/03/2008 - Filed under: Home » City Guides » Home » City Guides » Asia Pacific »

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Margie T Logarta goes shopping for art and sporting deals, drops by a hot theme attraction, dines in style and stays out till the wee hours.

Pick up a masterpiece

In the market for contemporary Indonesian art? Cemara 6 Galeri Kafe in the leafy Menteng area (the late president Suharto lived here) is a good one-stop shop with its lively schedule of exhibitions and performances, showcasing the country’s promising talents. Set up in 1995 by poet-feminist Toeti Heraty, once rector of the Jakarta Art Institute, it boasts a permanent collection of over 40 local artists – many, friends of Ibu Toeti – including Salim, who spent a long period in Paris. But it’s her daughter Cita who is now actively involved in running the day-to-day operations.

The attached café provides a good excuse to mull over one’s considerations. Try any of the juices; they’re fresh and whipped up on the spot, while the menu features a blend of European staples (wiener schnitzel, chateaubriand au champignon) and Indonesian favourites (sop buntut, nasi goring kambing). If you still can’t decide what to purchase, why not sleep over it – in any of three cosy bedrooms offered for homestays, filled with antiques and equipped with air conditioning, cable TV and internet access. Single occupancy is US$22 and twin share is US$25, breakfast included. Open daily 1100 to 2200, tel 62 21 391 1823,

Snap up sports bargains

Indonesia is factory outlet haven, especially Bandung. But Jakarta has some gems and Sports Warehouse is one of them.

One of the branches is located inside Java Department Store, along Jalan Wahid Hashim, opposite the well-known Sarinah Department Store, and the most well stocked it seems to be, according to our local jock friends. Name brands seen on the shelves include Nike, Reebok, Diadora, Converse and even some leather labels, all averaging between US$20 to US$30. Ladies’ items for gym, tennis and swimming are also tempting, particularly in the “sample” only section where a T-shirt could go for US$5. Other finds: Wilson and Prince racquets that aren’t made in China and a wealth of eyewear and goggles. Open daily from 0930 to 2200

Expose kids to reality

If you happen to have the spouse and youngsters along on this trip, don’t miss out on KidZania, a unique “edutainment” centre that’s taking the town by storm. A miniature replica of a real city, the award-winning attraction, which made its debut in Mexico, invites children to step into adult occupations such as fire fighting, newscasting and doctoring among others. These experiences allow them a glimpse into the complexities of growing up as well as the value of money.

Activities are supervised by a qualified team and the children earn “kidzos” after completing a job. This can be used to buy goods and services available in KidZania. For clever marketers, there are plenty of opportunities to seamlessly promote their products and brands. (Get them while they’re young seems to be the message.) Open for two sessions from 0900 to 2000 on weekdays and 1000 to 2100 on weekends. Entrance fee is from US$8.30. Parents can come in and watch or hang out in the lounge and view films or order a meal. Location: 6th floor, Pacific Place Shopping Mall, Jalan Jend Sudirman,

Dine with a difference

The Anhar family of collectors have done it again with Shanghai Warong Blue and Samarra, two stunning show venues for their priceless treasures and a unique platform for tasty Asian delicacies. Like their two earlier restaurants Lara Djonggrang and Dapur Babah Elite, these new outlets draw upon themes harking back to Indonesia’s colourful heritage of immigration and trade. Shanghai Blue is based on the tale of Shanghai transplant Chan Mo San, who married a local woman Siti Zaenab, and the couple’s successful roadside eatery (warung). Samarra recreates the glorious city by the Tigris River and the influences it had on future civilisations. Open for lunch and dinner from 1100 to 0100. Jalan Kebon Sirih Raya 77-79, Jakarta Pusat (near Plaza Indonesia), tel 62 21 391 8690,

Don’t call it
a night

Not ready to call it a night? Flit on to Dragonfly, still one of the coolest hangouts in the city. Designed with “modern Asian” as its ethos, the main dining area, dominated by a long communal table, and the high-ceiling lounge bar offer multiple ops to see and be seen. Seductive mood lighting and eclectic sounds, spun by resident DJs, round up the experience. Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 1800 to 2400 and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 1800 to 0200 or even longer. Graha BIP, Jalan Jend Gatot Subroto Kav 23

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