To Oetara and Beyond

by Pingkan Palilingan
27th December 2016
Taking pride in being located in North Jakarta, Oetara is adding on to the growing roster of third wave coffee shops in the neighbourhood.

In a culture that is obsessed with pretty pictures, F&B businesses are competing to draw customers through “snap-worthy” interior. Only once the food is out, which is also elaborately decorated to appease our cameras, you’ll soon realise that it lacks the punch. Has Jakartans had enough share of this kind of place?

Of course, as discerning customers, we long for genuine establishments that put their thoughts more on the substance, and Oetara may just be the one you’ve been waiting for. Named after its location in North of Jakarta (oetara is an old-spelling of utara, which means ‘north’), the Pluit-based Oetara is the offshoot of Percolate, a coffee shop that is based in Singapore.

Yes, it’s pretty, but it’s not all style and without substance. Aside from its attractive interior, which boasts plenty of photogenic corners, Oetara serves awesome coffee to boot. Don’t know much about coffee? Don’t worry, the owners (whom you’d found behind the espresso machine) will walk you through. Or you could always read one of the coffee bible books from the bookshelf. The good thing is, the latter is also for sale along with a handful other equipments to brew your cuppa at home.

Food is minimal and doesn’t take up much space in your tummy, but they’re planning to expand the choices soon. There are sweet cakes and croissant supplied by BEAU to help balance out the taste of coffee, if you will. On the savoury side, the Tofu Salad is recommended. The latter involves a combination of crisp lettuce, purple cabbage, melon seeds, and finally the fried tofu, which offsets the crunchy pile of veg.

It is heartening to learn that the owners of Oetara themselves who deliver the attentive service – from opening the door and greeting the guest, to manning the cashier and brewing your coffee. Isn’t it clear already how this place goes all the way to prove that they’re more when it comes to substance and not just looks?