27th February 2024
ANEKA 57 arrives with a fresh batch of treats to add to the distinctive charm of Pecenongan Street, an area that has long been recognised as one of the city's culinary destinations.

The distinctive charm of Pecenongan, a historic neighbourhood strip in Central Jakarta, has long been characterised by legendary eats such as Bubur Kwang Tung and decade-spanning martabak joints like Martabak Pecenongan 65a. But those looking for something more current would likely be out of luck; these establishments thrive in their time-tested qualities and don’t particularly offer anything new—until ANEKA 57 opened its compact café on the same street last year.

“There were a lot of banters and a throw around of ideas in the process, but our one goal is to make something close to home, unpretentious, friendly and simple yet well executed,” shared Debora ‘Deby’ Yuza on the café’s founding, a journey she took on alongside friends Olivia Hadipranoto and Joscelyn Tan (also known as the baker behind independent bakery Breaking Bread).

The mix of red-brick accents and pops of yellow that envelop the space designed by Olivia (who has a background in photography and design) does its job of introducing ANEKA’s friendly aura from the get-go. While behind the counter, the regular presence of one of the three founders—all of whom would memorise the frequent visitors at the intimate establishment—further adds a personal touch to the service, cementing its affable charm. 

As for the menu of treats, the trio, led by Joscelyn, stays true to the ANEKA name (Indonesian for ‘a variety of things’) and doesn’t limit themselves to a particular genre, rather exploring familiar, comforting recipes that suit their fancy. Mainstays range from the housemade Pandan Kaya Toast, which has a satisfyingly fluffy interior and a crunchy exterior, to a selection of jajanan pasar (traditional snacks) such as Nasi Meong, where small portions of rice and side dishes come wrapped in banana leaves. To accompany these, visitors can choose from classic coffee options like hot latte and also drinks that are a bit more offbeat including Es Teh Markisa, a refreshing mix of chilled tea and sweet passion fruit syrup and pulps.

It’s through their rotating specials, however, that the team truly executes their creative flair. There’s the Ubi Brulee, ANEKA’s first-ever special for which baked ubi cilembu (a local type of sweet potato) is crowned with torched sugar and a slice of butter to produce a mix of sweet and savoury taste. For the recent Lunar New Year, Deby and Olivia’s trip to Hong Kong inspired the creation of the Ini Teh Kopi special, a reconstruction of the local drink yuenyeung (brewed coffee and black tea mixed with milk) which sees milk coffee topped with roasted oolong gelato.

Being the new kid on the block is not always easy, but it’s a challenge that ANEKA readily takes on by providing the area with a fresh experience. Almost a year since they opened their door for the very first time, neighbourhood mothers and office workers alike have become regular patrons of the establishment—and there are even those who frequently travel to the café from other parts of the city out of loyalty. It’s a promising prospect; if sustained, maybe someday ANEKA 57 will be another longstanding fixture that adds to the charm of Pecenongan Street.