Nautilus Bar

8th March 2024
Nautilus Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta invites guests on a voyage across the Indonesian archipelago through their spice-centric craft cocktails.

It is said that the birth of Jakarta may be traced back to the old trading port of Sunda Kelapa, with the city taking its first forms amidst the bustling 16th-century spice trade. While the storied port belongs to bygone days now, Nautilus Bar of the Four Seasons Jakarta has reopened in celebration of that history, inviting patrons out on a voyage through craft cocktails with Indonesian spices taking centre stage. 

Stationed at the ship-fashioned bar (aptly named after the submarine in Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel “Twenty Thousand League Under The Sea”) is their captain, bar manager Julian Brigget, steering Nautilus in a new direction. Armed with his experience as assistant bar manager at Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur’s Bar Trigona—which often finds itself within the ranks of Asia’s 50 Best Bars—Julian is eager to regale patrons with his finely crafted cocktails. The menu journeys one through the spice trade, which is executed through four overarching spices: opening with Pepper, followed by Pandan, Cinnamon and finally, Nutmeg to end on a sweet note. 

“We play around with Indonesian spices, but not necessarily Indonesian flavours,” Julian explains, a theme that lays forth to tweaked classics and inventive creations that pleasantly tickle the tongue. Each spice category boasts five cocktails each, including one low ABV for those craving a slight buzz. One worth mentioning is Nutmeg’s refreshing Gin-melon: a mix of Bobby’s gin, watermelon and mace syrup, crowned with tangy asam boi (preserved plum) bubbles—a nod to Julian’s Malaysian roots.  

For something a bit stronger, the Andaliman Pepper Blue Pea Citadelle Gin is a personal recommendation of Julian’s. A signature amongst his Pepper creations, it’s a concoction of Plantation 3 Stars Rum, strawberry, and Andaliman pepper honey syrup, all clarified with almond milk—a step that cuts off the taste of alcohol; it’s sweetly floral with a whisper of pepper that creeps behind each sip. 

To accompany these libations, Nautilus’ array of Nusantara-inspired bar bites dips into flavours from all across the archipelago—playing well into the spice theme. The Beef Rendang Croquette is a bite of quintessential Indonesian cuisine, perfect to pair with deeper, full-bodied cocktails; while on a lighter note, the Salmon Tacos adorned with zesty mango sambal could benefit from being coupled with something more fresh and citrusy. 

Opening their doors on the ground floor at five in the evening, Nautilus beckons hotel guests and office workers alike seeking refuge from Gatot Subroto’s notorious sundown traffic. Here, Julian and his crew await, ready to sit their guests down with what they do best: crafting a drinking experience that rewards one with more than quality cocktails, but a good story to tell.