As those who await new ECDC posts with baited breath will know, Andrew and I have been busy spending our Saturdays and Sundays of late in search of the perfect brunch venue. A relatively new concept to Jakarta, brunch is yet to properly hit the dining scene, but there are a few places that have jumped aboard the gravy train and are setting the standard for those to follow.
One of these places is Social House, which is commonly touted as one of Jakarta’s best weekend dining options. On the 1st floor of Menara BCA, Social House shares its venue with other notable bars and restaurants including SKYE, Tokyo Belly and Fook Yew. Determined to stand out from the crowd, Social House is packed with character, from the wooden recliners in the bar area overlooking the streets below, to the indoor trees that drape their branches on the shoulders of diners as they eat. The ambience, the decor and the music (you had me at Aluna George) all scream ‘trendy’ and I have to say, it works.
Too often in Jakarta, however, an expensive fit-out and menu to match don’t live up to expectations. It’s not simply enough to put a price on something and expect people to think it’s quality. Luckily for Social House, it delivered the hands-down, BEST brunch that we’ve had since arriving, and maybe encroaching on Australian standards, where Andrew and I spent six months trialling a new cafe every week. Seriously, delish.
What I really like about Social House is they don’t just present a normal breakfast menu and slap a ‘Brunch’ title on it – they’ve actually created dishes that aim to fill that 11am hunger void. Eye grabbers included the crispy pork belly, sage sauteed beans and poached egg (RP135,000), fresh made tortilla with rendang shredded Wagyu beef, soft eggs, avocado and halloumi cheese (RP110,000), and the fresh frittata with smoked salmon, potatoes and a toasted bagel (RP120,000).
If you’re the big breakfast type, don’t worry – there’s still a plateau of dishes to satisfy you, including the truffle creamy scrambled eggs with bacon and balsamic glazed rocket (RP89,000), eggs benedict with sliced ham and melted gruyere (RP95,000) or the ‘urban legend’ of angus steak, roasted sausage, streaky bacon, eggs and potato fries with truffle mayo (RP165,000), probably suited to those who have stumbled straight down from SKYE at 7am.
The food (or what we sampled anyway – the truffle eggs and the rendang tortilla) was not only carefully prepared but beautifully presented, generous in size and thick in flavour. Even the coffees were huge, in oversized mugs that could easily double as soup bowls. Although erring on the expensive side, you definitely get bang for your buck, and neither of us were left wanting. A definite crowd pleaser and one we will most definitely back to sample again.
My only complaint – and it is a small one – is that the non-smoking dining area is tucked away in the darkest part of the room, where you can barely see the sunshine outside and the lights are kept to a moody minimum. Perfect for dinner-time dining, but brunch is best served with a ray of sunshine, so next time I will be booking ahead and braving the smoking section for some of that glorious JKT smog as I work my way through the menu.