Almost five years since ZODIAC first introduced its bar-slash-nightclub to Senopati’s thrumming nightlife scene, the team now stretched its influence to the blooming Melawai neighbourhood with ZODIAC Baresto.
Similar to its predecessor in Senopati, whitewashed walls stretch across the façade, marking its presence even before one gets to see the ever-recognisable ‘ZODIAC’ logotype. Inside, however, one would immediately notice a distinct shift from ZODIAC’s usual character. The signature pairing of red hues and leopard prints are expectedly present but sidelined in favour of light wood accents, glass floors and hues of white and light blue; a combination that prepares one for a relaxing afternoon of dining and drinking—which fits the purpose of the new space.
Serving a contemporary take on Japanese cuisine, dishes are on brand with ZODIAC’s unrestrained character (hence the penchant for loud graphics and colours). Flavours are bold, sometimes bordering on eyebrow-raising, like with Pecel Tempura, where shrimp and kakiage tempura are served over wakame and greens salad dressed in a mild version of pecel, a creamy Indonesian peanut sauce. Tune into Pizza in particular stands out; for this dish, chutoro (tuna back or stomach sashimi) is served over a round, thin piece of bread instead of rice and subtly enriched with a douse of ponzu in aioli form.
And where there’s ZODIAC, there are tipples to be enjoyed. Award-winning mixologist Shah Dillon showcases his craft with Baresto’s selection of cocktails, rewarding longtime regulars with signatures that they’ve become familiar with at the Senopati joint. That includes the gin-based, raspberry-infused Velvet & Cheese Club with its offbeat topping of grated parmesan, as well as the eye-catching Midori Slipper made with Midori Melon liqueur. But here, one can also find a rotating selection of natural wines, inviting diners to explore relatively under-the-radar producers like Cascina Tavijn from Piemonte, Italy to cult favourite Lammidia.
Indeed, the bar and resto—or ‘Baresto’—are the obvious source of entertainment, but the experience here is not limited to those two. Tucked behind the glass doors to one side of the dining area is ZODIAC’s retail and exhibition space where most days, one would be able to browse through fashion pieces and accessories from the brand’s in-house and collaboration creations. But every two to three months, the scene would change. In place of tees and trousers, artworks will be displayed within the starkly white walls; last month, spray paintings by Seattle-born visual artist Chito took the primary spotlight for his first exhibition in Indonesia, ‘Everywhere I Go (Pit Stop)’.
There’s a nonchalance to ZODIAC Baresto, allowing comers to decide how they prefer to navigate the space. Wine and dine? The place is made for it. Shopping for a new outfit? Find a suitable piece at the retail space. A quick caffeine fix? There’s coffee developed by Brookland‘s Lucky Suherman. Ultimately, it’s an all-encompassing hangout spot where many of South Jakarta’s casual-yet-fashionably dressed youths converge, grow their network and, occasionally, bump into each other by accident—once more cementing ZODIAC’s knack for gathering the ‘cool kids’, so to say, under its roof.