For the romantic at heart, it would be easy to imagine meet-cute scenarios worthy of a rom-com on the scene of Sesame Bakery Room (or SBR for short)—thanks to the warm and rustic ambience that permeates through its intimate space. Stacks of fresh scones and their buttery aroma immediately greet visitors upon entering, and rightfully so, the new addition on Kemang Timur Street has quickly grabbed the attention of the city’s culinary hunters.
With jazz on the playlist, a wooden flooring underfoot and multiple pictures of the late Queen Elizabeth II on the wall, SBR strikes off as the kind of place owned by an old English couple who would assist our imagined protagonist in their quest for love. But long-term couple and co-founders Kenny Pranata and Angelyn Agatha were actually inspired by the London Bagel Museum in Seoul, a popular café with a similar penchant for British memorabilia.
Despite the old-world charm, a general youthfulness could be observed from the white-aproned bakers who populate the room. “We purposefully hire young,” confirmed the 25-year-old Kenny, who had prior experience in the culinary business as one of the founders of Haka Dim Sum Shop. “We want our bakers to come up with fresh ideas that are not limited by what already exists in the industry.”
This explorative spirit translates into a wide-ranging variety of scones—of which options are still surprisingly few and far between in Jakarta. From the classic plain scone to sweet variations such as the Matcha Red Bean Scone and also savoury ones like the Truffle Black Olive Scone, they have just the right amount of crumble with soft and buttery insides. “We have almost 20 variants just for the scones alone, and they’re all baked in the morning before we open. Hence the noon-time opening,” shared Angel.
Accompanying these British staples are an array of charming cakes including the fluffy and subtly sweet Hazelnut Chocolate and Italian Meringue Cake which pairs well with the creamy Black Sesame Latte. Meanwhile, for a hot meal, the offerings also extend to the increasingly popular 100 Layer Lasagna and other comforting dishes.
To accommodate this expansive range of delights and the high traffic of customers, a typical day at SBR sees bakers always on the move, adding frosting to finish a layered cake or mixing up dough for another batch of scones. Absent of the usual glass boundary that separates the dining area from the kitchen, this close interaction between bakers and diners is part of the experience here—the bakery’s way of spotlighting the faces behind the creations at hand.
When many of the city’s popular joints are driven by hype alone, it’s easy to dismiss Sesame Bakery Room as yet another one to fall under the category. But linger long enough to witness the bakers at work and strike up a conversation with one of the co-founders—who would often drop by a table to check in on the diners—and one would see that there’s genuine enthusiasm for the craft that goes beyond the surface.