Running away from Jakarta’s traffic to a nearby mall has probably become our last resort by now. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel right when you escape from the tight traffic only to find yourself enclosed again in the confined space of a shopping centre. Maybe this is why people are starting to opt for rooftop bars instead.
BART might be a late bloomer among those rooftop bar crowds in Jakarta, but it may soon become your closest after-work friend. Housed in the leafy suburb of Menteng, BART (stands for Bar At the Roof Top, very meta indeed) is perched on the seventh floor of – probably the most conspicuous boutique hotel in the city – Artotel. And yes, it’s adjacent to the highly congested Thamrin Street where most office towers reside.
BART is spacious with plenty of seats available in the open air and a small private room with air conditioning. The interior is a smooth execution of monochromic theme that projects an “uptown chicness” feel across the whole space. When the evening comes, stars are giving in to the city lights as these man-made objects cast an inconsistent glow on the green foliage that embellish the place.
One doesn’t have to fork out a lot for a night out at BART. The menu offers a diverse option of alcoholic drinks, from signature cocktails with tempting names such as Sweet Kisses and Bye-Gone (not the insect repellent) to cognac and whisky. Food wise, it’s a potpourri of Western and Asian finger foods. To begin with, fried enoki mushroom, which is thinly sliced into a floss-like texture, is the crowd-pleaser. Wish for something offbeat to go with your cocktail? Try BART’s martabak; they might be the first bar that features this local street food.
What’s better than having your cocktail in the open air, on the rooftop, while simultaneously aware that you’re not entirely far from the gridlock, but only a few metres above? BART is unique on its own amid the vigorous growth of rooftop bars in Jakarta. Now you can laugh at the jam from afar with a cocktail(s) in your hand.