Walking into the Satu Lagi Bar is like bumping into an old mate you haven’t seen for a while, instantly familiar and friendly. The place hasn’t changed much since it moved from inside the Kristal Hotel itself to its free standing position alongside nearly twenty years ago. Impeccably maintained, this lack of change is most definitely not a negative
Perhaps the greatest charm of the place is the staff; while most of them have been working there forever, they have retained their enthusiasm and service orientation and have an unerring ability to remember your name and what you drink, even after a significant absence.
Food remains as good as pubs get here in the City that really never sleeps™, a wide ranging menu and always fresh and well cooked – we tried the fish and chips on a recent visit and it was just great according to your correspondent’s 5 year old and a new item, a huge Yorkshire Pudding stuffed with steak and mushroom, was excellent according to Dad.
While very far from being a girlie bar, there are a few, generally mature, ladies who invariably gather mid-evening who welcome a nice chat and who knows what else if you play your cards right.
For the pool player a dedicated room provides one of the best kept tables in Jakarta – and plenty of opportunity to play as it doesn’t get too busy. They don’t have a pool team, however, if that is what floats your boat.
If you go more than a couple of times a year then it would be madness not to invest in the Kristal’s affiliation card which for 2 million roops gets you from 20% up to 50% off food and drink – and they throw in 2 free nights stay at the Kristal for heaven’s sake – very useful for the odd visitor – or whatever else you might need a hotel room for.
Being associated with the hotel also brings the benefit of making Satu Lagi a true year round bar, it has never closed for even a day over the years so you know where to go next Lebaran and those other odd days where the Mayor requires so many others to close or serve only soft drinks etc.
The place is also the HQ for the Yayasan Indonesia Chapter of HOG, the Harley Davidson owner group, the buggers even have their own reserved parking space in front though, thankfully, these HOGS are not of the chicken blood quaffing variety, preferring instead to gather around the “long bar” to drink the amber fluid, served extra cold – and generally take it while plotting how to help local underprivileged kids, not least those with cleft palates for which the HOGS raise very significant sums of money every year.
A magnificent initiative deserving of your support, so drop John Arcus a line if you can help in some way.
Great food, impeccably kept beer, genuine booze, family friendly, safe and easy parking and with a variety of distractions, so what’s not to like? The only thing we could think of is its location, being just a little off the beaten track and sitting on its own there is no opportunity to have it as part of a street pub crawl; if you go then you are intending staying there for the night. Bugger all they can do about that other than inviting a competitor in next door – and that ain’t going to happen. Oh, and your F&B correspondent still hates walking over the glass covered railway tracks after twenty years, on and off, of doing so.
Sounds like an advert? – mmm, a little, unfortunately, is it genuine and unpaid? – You betcha ..