Giyanti Coffee Roastery is the number one ranked restaurant in Jakarta. Number one of over five thousand, which means it has a pretty serious reputation to live up to, especially given some of the delicious brews we’ve had around town. Although it’s been on radar for over a month, it wasn’t until this Saturday that we finally made our way up to Mentang to put its famous roasts to the test.
Giyanti is tucked away off Jalan Surabaya, an assuming entrance set back off the street. It’s small, funky and on a late Saturday morning, packed with expats of all shapes and sizes, from visiting grandparents to two-week old children in strollers. An enclosed out-door seating area is dotted with benches, tables and armchairs, and lined with an array of hanging plants and modern art. Inside and it’s even cosier, with big sofas obscured behind bookshelves, and large shared benches carved from gorgeous wooden slabs. It’s almost like walking into a Brunswick street feature; minus all the hipsters.
Not having made a reservation, we perched at a bench inside and ordered a selection of coffees and pies. On Saturdays, their famous apple strudel (RP25,000) is accompanied by a few more savoury options, and we opted for a chicken pie (RP32,000) to compliment our latte and flat white (RP34,000). We were served with two glasses of chilled cucumber water while we waited, a bit of a rarity in Jakarta and definitely welcome to balance out the humidity.
The coffee was, when it arrived, as quality as we expected, served in big, brightly coloured mugs. With blends from regions all across Indonesia, including Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Papua, Giyanti is serious about coffee, so much so that smoking is even banned in the cafe – in case it affects the roasting process. This, I love. The pastries were gorgeous too, but not enough of them! If you’re in the mood for a proper meal, though, you can order from the cafe next door, and some of the dishes floating past looked pretty tasty.
One the best things about Giyanti though, is that small business feel. The owner, Hendrik Halianto, was dashing around saying hellos, enquiring about the coffee and service, and generally ensuring everyone was having a good time. His wife is even the local chef, making it a family affair. I can see why so many people enjoy coming here, and I’m already planning a trip back during the quieter weekday period where I can snag a couch and relax for an hour or two.