Dangdut, Dinner and Drinking – A Day Out To Posh Kemang!

Another rainy morning, but yesterday we had the wonderful hot sunshine that more often characterises Jakarta.


So off I went, into town, due to meet a friend I hadn’t seen for a couple of years, though we don’t live more than a few miles apart.

Rather than another post bemoaning the television scenes of moronic rioters in Pakistan, it seems more palatable to talk about my day out. 

As a special treat, not having spent a lot of money this past week, it was agreed to sample the Grand Kemang’s free-flow buffet, details of which you should be able to locate on their website: http://www.grandkemang.com

It’s not a bad deal, depending, of course, how much you can eat or drink. If your appetite resembles that of a mouse, skip it. If your notion of a decent drink is s couple of glasses and then home, forget it.

But if you are a bit of a trencherman (or woman) then go for it.

Kemang is not somewhere I normally hang out. No slight on its vast array of shops restos and bars, but it is –

A  – hard to get to, because of its narrow roadways and consequent traffic, and


However, I left home in good time for the 6pm tryst and the ac34 got me to Blok M quite speedily.





There, fortune again attended my outing, a kopaja 605A looming up soon after I disembarked from the big bus. The small vehicle dropped me right outside the Grand Kemang.

So my total fare amounted to Rp.10K – a taxi would not be far off ten times that sum.




Before entering the hotel, I had time, an hour or so, to kill,  so took a wander into Kemchicks, almost opposite my intended destination. That fancy deli/store is always cool and pleasant and it generally affords me a good laugh, many of its prices absurd.

Fanta, for example, retails that at no less than 50% more than any of the other supermarkets or mini-markets I’ve been in recently. No problem with paying a lot for imported meats etc, but a soft drink manufactured right here in Indonesia?

On the other hand, some wondrous delights were on display, those big plastic bags full of mini-Bounty Bars, which were a feature of my domestic routine many years ago, when I shopped for offspring needs.




Haven’t seen them anywhere else in town, here.

Anyhow, to the Grand Kemang.

When I first went there, more than a dozen years ago, it was downright ramshackle, but these days it’s very plush, a grand renovation job indeed. The staff in the resto area were most friendly and polite, with that super habit of re-filling glasses without needing to be asked!  

There was live music too, a band with a beautiful singer, who produced a mellifluous rendering of my request, the dangdut fave Jatuh Bangun.


I add a link to another lovely songstress’s version, which I hope foreign readers both enjoy and can use to gain a little insight into Indonesia’s most popular musical art-form. 

The buffet ran from potatoes to beef to tandoori chicken, a fair old variety, plus ice-cream, lots of cakes and – a surprise- bread n butter pudding.

For us drinkers, you had to choose whether to go with wine or with beer.



We both of us chose beer, which meant a further, less challenging choice…Bintang or Bintang!

The buffet starts at 6pm then stops at 10pm, but we cherished our final beers and took them to the very comfy smoke-room, which is out by the pool. Since the rain had stopped, we progressed to the open air, by the pool, and chatted happily until late into the night.



I got home around 1am, and today am staying home to conserve my energies for next week’s party.