Back on the brunch bandwagon after a brief respite from Jakarta, I was keen to try a new tasty treat this Saturday as I caught up with friends. After a hot tip from one of Jakarta’s many lifestyle mags, I settled on Monolog Quality Coffee, located on the ground floor of Plaza Senayan.
As if cafe’s in malls aren’t hard enough to get used to, Monolog is actually situated in the lower floor carpark of Senayan, tucked in between rows of white lines and maserati’s. Probably not the most inspirational of locations, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised as, stepping onto the strip, you find yourself transported to one of Melbourne’s boutique laneways.
Framed by ceiling-to-floor open glass windows, Monologue spills out onto a narrow footpath cosily neighboured by equally trendy-looking cafes and bars. Wooden stools and tables sprawl outside, while inside houses a jigaw of benches that can be squeezed together to suit any size or type of party.
Arriving earlier than we anticipated, Andrew and I took the opportunity to sample Monolog’s famous coffee, paired with a Nutella macaroon (RP12,000), a modest selection from a truly drool-worthy pastry shelf, which features oversized donuts dripping with icing (RP30,000), Oreo mud cake (RP50,000) and a pistachio lemon meringue (RP38,000).
Expectations of deliciousness met, we were keen to get the ordering underway once our friends arrived. Although not the most creative of brunch menus (see my brunch blog on Social House if you’re looking for a true breakfast/lunch fusion), Monolog’s all-day breakfast meals feature an array of fresh gourmet ingredients, beautifully plated and carefully designed to please.
Inspired by one of the website’s feature photos, I opted for the Croque Madame, a green pea and basil pesto smeared toasty, topped with a fried egg and filled with ham and sauteed mushrooms (RP, 78,000). Other favourites on our table included Eggs Norwegian with smoked salmon and dill hollandaise (RP80,000), and an open-faced salmon bagel with capers and cream cheese (RP86,000). Also noteworthy are Monolog’s selection of freshly squeezed Super Juices (starting at RP38,000), which are generous in size and flavour. If these prices sound expensive, note that they are inclusive of tax and service charge, a rare but very welcome deviation from one of my pet hates in Jakarta.
After such a long time away in the city (and having been surrounded by the culinary delights of none other than the Internationally-renowned Ubud), it was refreshing to throw myself back into Jakarta’s growing reputation for gastronomical excellence, with trendy cafes such as Monolog setting a new bar for the standard Saturday brunch.