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“Interesting old Dutch colonial style cafe”
Review of Cafe Batavia

Cafe Batavia
Ranked #18 of 7,846 Restaurants in Jakarta
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Marlborough, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 350 helpful votes
“Interesting old Dutch colonial style cafe”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

We had lunch at the Café Batavia during our full day tour around Jakarta. Very individual colonial style café with large numbers of old, mainly black & white, photos on many of the walls from floor to ceiling. Nearly half of our time there was spent looking at the photos and trying to identify old celebrities! If you like Asian European colonial style décor and furnishings, as we do, then you will certainly enjoy the Café Batavia. If you are expecting somewhere reflecting Indonesia itself then this is not the place but for experiencing an hour of two of what life might have been like for the Dutch community in Jakarta, then this is definitely the place. It was pretty quiet (although a few other tourists, mainly Japanese, were also there for lunch) when we were there as it was a Monday lunchtime but, still, we enjoyed our visit and the atmosphere there. There is a large restaurant upstairs and also separate bars both upstairs and downstairs, both with extensive seating in old fashioned armchairs and sofas. There was also a small stage downstairs so obviously there is entertainment on some evenings.
There were 4 separate menus, a) an All day menu, b) a Brunch menu, c) a Dessert menu and d) a Drinks menu. However, I'm afraid the choice was not great, very much basic Indonesian dishes with a few European dishes and I did have some difficulty making a choice as the selection was poor. Plus prices were somewhat high, at least for Indonesia. In the end I had some satay plus Indonesian chicken soup with rice and my friends mainly had satay or fried rice. Portions were fine and nicely presented but the tastes were very much dumbed down, certainly don't expect a gourmet experience. However, it was adequate and filled the gap. Service was fine, nothing special but no problems.
The toilets were also fine, if old style, and as in the rest of the café, also full of old photographs. There is a sign at the café entrance asking visitors not to take any photos inside the café without the permission of management which I suppose is fair enough. Anyway, we asked our waiter and he said fine, so we went ahead. A worthwhile visit if you are in the old Batavia area and looking for a drink or something to eat.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Arthurrvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Kuala Lumpur
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“Colonial nostalgia with a touch of Indonesian..”
Reviewed March 8, 2013 via mobile

Having read about this place, we decided we had to give it a try. The place & its decor resonates colonial nostalgia but little touches (like the batik tablecloth) reminds you that you are in Indonesia.

Service can/should be improved as they don't seem to have much of a system in place. When we arrived, we wandered around a good few minutes looking for a table downstairs before being approached by a staff, even though they had already seen us. The staff advised us to proceed to the dining area upstairs where, again, we wandered around looking for a table without any assistance despite already being spotted by the few staff on duty. One disgruntled patron actually walked out after gesturing a couple of times yet no one came to take his order! We had to wave for a staff to get the menu & wave again to get our orders taken. However, we were hungry & persistent! ;)

We were fortunate to get a table by the window, which gave us a good view of Fatahillah Square & its activities. The menu, which isn't terribly extensive, has a selection of local & western dishes, alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages. We opted for local dishes, which were not the best we'd ever tasted but were fine. The wait for the food & drinks was not long. Since food is generally quite inexpensive in Jakarta, the prices here can be considerered on the high end.

When we arrived there was a 3-man band playing - not sure if it's a daily thing or just because it was a Sunday. There's a bar upstairs & downstairs. Seating at the dining room upstairs is, of course, tables & chairs appropriate for eating but there is an area, like most of the seating downstairs, where there are sofas more suitable for lounging & having drinks.

Overall, despite some shortcomings, this is quite a nice place to stop by, especially after exploring Kota Tua, to chill & have a meal or for drinks, listen to some music & enjoy the ambience.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GPenaflorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“One of a kind”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This old restaurant gives you everything from perfect design, romantic music, and excellent food. You'll always want to come back for more.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Jeanysr07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greater Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
362 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 643 helpful votes
“Fabulous piece of history - and great, cold chocolate shakes!”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We love this little piece of Jakarta history and it's a wonderful place to get away from the heat of the day. We didn't eat but we had several drinks each and they were cool and refreshing and not overly expensive for the place.

The little stalls nearby are fscinating to walk amongst, though there's not much English spoken in them.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Dromomaniac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Food and Peace”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

after a long ride from Cikini Raya, Cafe Batavia made us happy people again because of the unique mood of the place. Surrounded by old buildings with impecable architecture and design, it gives you the feeling of Europe in the middle of a tropical night market.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Ryan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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