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The Best Nightlife in Jakarta - Jakarta's Best Bars, Clubs & Restaurants
Bars, Night Clubs, Discos, Restaurants, Karaokes and Spas! The #1 Reference of Jakarta nightlife!...

Published: Wed 23 Apr 2014 11:25:46 AM CEST.

Favicon Relax Living Spa Jakarta
23 Apr 2014, 11:25 am

Relax Living Spa is a chain of affordable family massage spas in Jakarta. They currently have 3 outlets: one in Menteng near the Restaurant Ocha & Bella, one in Kemang in front of Kemang Icon Hotel and another one in Pondok Indah. 

I used to go to Relax Living Kemang on Sundays, after a party week-end in the city. I recently went to the one in Menteng which is bigger. All the Spas have the same decoration and the exact same atmosphere. This Spa is very clean and as soon as you get in, you feel zen already. It is calm, the design inside is very elegant and it smells good. There was a time in Jakarta when you had to go to 5-star Hotels to enjoy a relax time in a Spa. These days, many Spas in Jakarta are able to offer a quality treatment in a very clean and peaceful environment, Relax Living is one of them. You can have 75 minutes of Reflexology for 225 000 Rp, where you would have to spend 1 000 000 Rp in a 5-star Hotel. On top of that, you have access to the Jacuzzi and the Sauna in the lockers room.

For those who want a special treatment for 2 people (it works great for a couple), you can choose the Presidential Suite. It is a private room which is pretty big with a Jacuzzi for 2 people and 2 Massage tables. You have your massage with your partner and then you have your bubble bath in the Jacuzzi. It is pretty fun and it is a great way to spend cozy time with someone.

The massage itself was very good also and i noticed my masseuse had experience since she has been working here for more than 3 years in this Spa.

Presidential Suite in Relax Living Menteng

Jacuzzi in Presidential Suite

Overall: I would recommend this Spa after a stressful day in the city or on the week-end after a crazy party in Jakarta.

Relax Living Kemang
Jl Kemang Raya No 2 (in front of Kemang Icon Hotel)
Phone: +62-21 719 4051

Relax Living Menteng
Jl Wahid Hasyim No 59
Menteng - Jakarta Pusat
Phone: +62-21 3192 3708

Relax Living Pondok Indah
Pondok Indah Plaza II BA 46
Jl Metro Duta Niaga
Phone: +-6221 765 4606

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Favicon Kalijodo: Visiting The Largest Red Light District in Jakarta
18 Apr 2014, 8:54 pm
I had heard of Kalijodo a few times before, in particular through emails from readers of Jakarta100bars.com. It is famous for being the largest red light district in Jakarta and also a center for illegal gambling.

It is located near Best Western Hariston Hotel, in Grogol, along the Ciliwung River. If you are on the toll road coming from the airport to the city center, you can actually spot it: There are maybe a hundred bars, discos and cafés lighted up with bright neon signs and with large advertising for Panther Stout or Bali Hai beers.
Kalijodo street from the opposite river bank
I visited a few days ago. It had been raining all day and the traffic near Taman Anggrek was horrible. Since we were stuck, I asked the taxi driver if he could bring me there to have a look.

He went to Kalijodo following Jalan Pesing street, which is lined up with ladyboys (waria) and further away, with street girls. The location is just in front of the nightclub MW.

Indonesian Ladyboy (Waria) on Jalan Pesing
MW Nightclub - Jalan Pesing
There are also some "hostesses" on the streets, serving beers and other drinks. This might be the lowest form of prostitution in Jakarta: The client pays for his drinks and can then enjoy time with the girl, from touching until a full sexual act. In this case they will go a bit further away from the crowd. From articles I've read, the price for such transaction can be as low as 20,000rp.

There is always a pimp waiting on a motorcycle nearby. If the prostitute goes with a client, he will follow them and then make sure everything goes smooth. Once finished, he provides the girl with a ride back.
Street hostesses on Jalan Pesing
Kalijodo's red light district is more organized, like a little city of its own, a ghetto. Being there feels like watching a violent documentary on National Geographic: It is a dark 1-kilometer long stretch of sin with prostitutes, gangs, poverty, and human misery. All of which are dressed to resemble a fantasy world of pleasure and fun.

I was there on a weekday, at 8pm so it was not so busy. Apparently it is packed on Saturday night with hundreds of people from all background, rich or poor, Indonesian or Chinese (very very few foreigners though).

The first thing that struck me is that the area retains a sort of common, day-to-day life. There is a police station, kids playing around, street food vendors, convenience stores, mosques. Business as usual some would say. From time to time, you see a lady with a jilbab walking by, seemingly unmoved by the activities in her surroundings. Kalijodo makes you experience all of Indonesia's contradictions and complexity.

The street is hardcore, like I have rarely seen before: "Preman" (gang members) are everywhere. They jumped on us as soon as we arrived to make us pay for parking. The fee was uncommonly high at 20,000rp: We tried to negotiate but the man told us: "If you want to be safe, you have to pay".  That's just what we did. A few meters later, I tried to take my camera out of my bag, but someone came at me angrily and asked me to put it back. I was there with my work clothes and a Macbook so it was not the best time to get into problems.

For this reason, I could not take any decent pictures, but we came back later on and shot the following video from inside the taxi:
The bars come in all kind of shapes and types: Some are very tiny with dangdut music; others are large and more luxurious with Western house music. There are also small massage parlours (panti pijat), short-time hotels, Viagra/Cialis stands, etc.  All the clubs/bars have prostitutes standing outside with some mamasan (male or female) trying to lure customers inside the club. The girls were awfully young and not at all what I expected. This was probably the most shocking from my visit and I still feel sorry about what I saw.

I didn't talk to any of them, but they were clearly underage. Some looked liked they were on drugs, dancing on Funky House music, but most were just frightened teenagers. The taxi driver told me that depending on the girl, the price was 50,000rp to 150,000rp, which is nothing. I have no idea how much money actually comes back to the prostitute but probably not much.

I have never had a definite opinion about prostitution in Indonesia. It is hard to pass a judgment about an issue that I find so complex. Kalijodo is different: It just feels completely wrong and it is really the kind of place that should not exist. Unfortunately, it is not enough to just destroy the cafes and to put a mall there instead (This is the plan of Jokowi/Ahok: Elimating Kali Jodo). It is about understanding all the parties needs and setting rules about how far one can go.

Prostitution is already illegal in Indonesia, and yet it is widespread. Wouldn't it be better if the government was to organize it, or at least to provide a safe environment for the girls, away from the gangs and with regular visits from doctors?

Or should the government be stricter in enforcing rules to fight prostitution?

I don't have an answer to those questions but I would be glad to receive your comments.

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Favicon Astons Specialties (Bar, Coffee, Grill)
17 Apr 2014, 2:01 pm
Astons Specialties is a Singaporean chain of restaurants serving Western food and drinks. They have only one location in Indonesia currently, in Alam Sutera Living World Mall (next to Mercure Hotel).

I wanted to try this place as I read that its owner wanted to bring "affordable western cuisine" especially steaks to its customers.

I was disappointed when I saw the menu because the steaks were certainly not inexpensive: Minimum 130,000rp++ for Prime Sirloin, up to 260,000rp++ for the Wagyu Ribeye Grade 6. These prices are very standards for Jakarta and Astons will certainly not have a competitive advantage on the prices.

The steak I tried (Prime Sirloin) was perfectly cooked and the taste excellent, but the french fries and the vegetables were cold.
I think the main advantage of Astons Specialties is that there is not a lot of competition in Alam Sutera at the moment... The place is not spectacular both in terms of design and food, but it is one of the few serving western dishes and steaks in the area.

Overall: I recommend if you are in Alam Sutera and if you are precisely looking for a good steak at a regular price.

Astons Specialities
(self-advertised as the Number One Steakhouse in Singapore)
The Living World Mall - Alam Sutera - Serpong
Phone number: +62 21 2921 1948

Twitter: Astons Specialties Indonesia
Website: Astons Steak Asia

Opening Hours:
Everyday from 10am to 10pm

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Favicon Keyaki (Hotel Sari Pan Pacific)
17 Apr 2014, 11:10 am

Keyaki is a Japanese restaurant located in Sari Pan Pacific Hotel, on Thamrin. Sari Pan Pacific used to be one of the Best Hotels in Jakarta back in the 1980's. Now with growing competition on the Luxury Hotels Segment in Jakarta, it is just a good hotel with excellent location.

Two outlets are still very popular and worth the detour in this Hotel though, it's the Sari Deli (Pastry and Delicatessen) and the Keyaki Restaurant. This Restaurant is located inside the Hotel, on the right side when you enter through the main entrance.

It is still a very popular Restaurant among business men staying at the Hotel or Japanese food connoisseurs. You can read my review about Good Japanese Restaurants in Jakarta, if you want to compare.

Overall: The food, the atmosphere and the Sushis were very tasty. Recommended for a Business Lunch Meeting. Still a very good place with emphasis on service.

Keyaki Japanese Restaurant
Hotel Sari Pan Pacific
Jalan Thamrin
Jakarta 10340

Phone: 021 31923330

Keyaki Japanese Restaurant: Website
Keyaki Japanese Restaurant: Facebook (not a lot of Facebook friends!)

Opening Hours:
Open Daily from 11.30 AM until 14.30 PM for Lunch  
06.00 PM until 10.30 PM for Dinner

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Favicon Le Quartier (French Restaurant)
16 Apr 2014, 5:44 pm

Le Quartier ("The Neighbourhood" in French, pronounced like the jewelry brand "Cartier") is a new French Restaurant, opened in 2013 in Kebayoran Baru, near Senopati. I liked the building facade of the Restaurant as we feel like being in Europe. The inside decoration is also well done with chandeliers on the ceiling. It gives an impression of luxury and elegance.

The food was good also, with a fair choice of French meals and good bread. I liked the Steak Tartare, tasty and juicy. I had some good wine also, which is quite important for a French Restaurant. The desserts were OK and the service was friendly.

Overall: Since the decoration and the atmosphere is very nice and it feels romantic. I advise you to bring a date here, it will be a successful dinner.

For our selection on the Best French Restaurants in Jakarta, you can read this article: My Favourite French Restaurants.
Le Quartier
Jalan Gunawarman #34
Kebayoran Baru
South Jakarta

Phone: +62-21 7278 8001+62-21 7278 8001
Mail: Contact@lequartier.co.id

Opening Hours: Open From 07:00 - Onwards

Facebook: Le Quartier
Twitter: Le Quartier

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