There is one particular place in Kemang that had been stealing my attention but it was only until few days ago, that I finally visited this artistic spot called Dia.Lo.Gue (or DiaLoGue). It is actually an artspace, cafe, and shop combined altogether in one place. First of all, the name is catchy, especially for Indonesians, because it is ambiguous, it can be pronounced “dialogue” as in a “conversation”, or in Indonesian language, it’s “dia” (he/she), “lo” (you), and “gue” (I); the last two familiarly are used amongst relatively close friends as those are considered slangs.
Located in Kemang Selatan street, it is not difficult to find this place, if you know Moe’s, it’s right to the opposite, and with the big signboard, definitely easy to spot. Upon entering the area, there is spacious parking area that probably fits 10+ cars, then the entrance is on the left side of the building. The first thing I noticed was the shop selling artistic and cute stuffs, you know, something that are really artistic and (some) weird stuffs, not that girly kind of cute. From there, go farther and there is a mini gallery of paintings, before we finally arrived at the cafe.
|Entrance to the building
Honestly I didn’t expect it to be THIS big but I am telling you, this place is huge, as in, spacious. It goes a long way to the farther back, including main dining area with the counter, separated area with maximum brightness, and another area with the infamous “floating stairs”! Well, I am sure everyone has Instagram and it seems like everyone in Jakarta has already taken their photos on or with the stairs (but no, I didn’t).
Outside the area where the floating stairs are located, there is a nice backyard, also displaying some artworks. I am no artist and I don’t understand to make artistic stuffs, but I do enjoy arts, so seeing all these beautiful stuffs while enjoying my lunch was really great.
|The infamous “floating stairs”
|Le husband and nephew posed together with the famous stairs, LOL.
Actually long before I visited this place, I have heard so many bad reviews about the food, but people are still coming only for the sake of the atmosphere, lifestyle, and perhaps, trends. Not a new stuff for me because the main reason why I despise mainstream restaurants is because most of them (I don’t say ALL, but MOST) only emphasize on their beautiful interior design or theme, but fail big time in term of their food (and sometimes, services). And I already prepared myself to experience the worst this time, because my visit was purely because of my curiosity (curiosity kills the cat, yep!) about the place.
The food selection is quite good, there are Western and Asian food, as well as all-day breakfast menu. Prices range from IDR 12K to 75K (F&B)
, considerably cheap for a restaurant in Kemang area. There are variety of appetizers, soup, salad, main courses, desserts, and various drinks. We didn’t have much trouble deciding what to order because there was no expectation whatsoever, maybe sometimes it’s better that way, don’t you all think so?
We started with the Australian Beef Goulash Soup (IDR 30K), which was served with a slice of toast bread. The goulash soup looked typical but surprisingly it tasted very good! The flavor was rich, the broth was super tasty, and they put lots of meat and vegetable chunks inside. I tried dipping the bread into the soup and it went really well together. Honestly, I kinda had hope after this first dish!
Tortilla Chips and Salsa Dips IDR 25K
For the appetizer to accompany my soup, I ordered this basic chips and salsa. It turned out as a great snack as the chips were super crispy and fragrant, and the salsa dips was amazingly fresh and aromatic. To my joy, they also put some cilantro in it, making the taste so unforgettably delicious. I could tell that the tomatoes were so fresh and juicy, excellent!
Crunchy Italian Funghi Pizza IDR 35K
As the menu suggests, this pizza is different from the others because it is made with thin crusts, and it was thin, indeed. Although the picture might look big, but the pizza itself was medium sized, perhaps can be enjoyed even by 1 person only. The specialty of this pizza is the mushroom, also mozzarella and parmesan cheese. One thing for sure, this pizza tasted like cheese, cheese, mushroom, and cheese. Yes, it was very cheesy and could be a little overwhelming for some people; but trust me, I am not a cheese person but I enjoyed this very much. The thin crust made the “crack” sound when bitten, and it was just sooo nice. The taste was great, it was savory and I found it very difficult to stop munching once I started eating this, perhaps it wasn’t a good sign. XD
Exotic Green Chilly Nasi Goreng IDR 35K
This was recommended by the waitress and it was indeed very nice. The fried rice had distinctive taste of green chili, well-seasoned and very tasty. Served with ikan teri (anchovies), shrimp crackers and pickles, this green fried rice was fulfilling and delicious in the same time.
Kwetiau Goreng IDR 38K
When this was served, I didn’t know why but the appearance very much reminded me of Thai food like Pad Thai or something. Again, I was blown away by the taste of this dish, very bold and strong, with nicely stir-fried kwetiau noodle (complete with the smokey aroma) and loads of herbs and spices! Seriously, now we are talking, right? As if all the flavors were not enough, they put garlic chives (or kucai), garlic, orange chili, and cilantro on top, together with a jumbo prawn. There is also half slice of lime and pickles to accompany it. Everything on the plate worked so well together, there are saltiness, sweetness, sourness, and spiciness, crazily addictive! I would go to this extent saying that this is by far one of the best kwetiau goreng I have ever eaten in Jakarta.
Smoked Beef Pizza IDR 45K
Another pizza that I ordered this time was this, which was completely different from the other one. This was thick crust, with loads of meat, smoked beef, pepperoni, etc. This also tasted very good and even merrier than the other one, perhaps will be more popular too if you happen to bring kids around. What I liked the most about this pizza was the amount of meat, and also the delicious tomato paste that didn’t make me sick. Sometimes pizza like this use instant tomato paste and tasted horrible, but this one wasn’t.
Camomile Iced Tea IDR 28K
Iced Lemon Tea IDR 22K
After finishing our food, we couldn’t stop asking each others what’s so bad about their food? Because from everything that we ordered that day, everything was
decent delicious and we certainly are not the most kind type of reviewers. I mean, I have been claimed as brutally honest with my reviews and I have my own standards in evaluating food, and these passed successfully. I did read about how the service was bad though, and I understand that because I think their problem is that they are short of staffs. I mean, when I went there, almost all tables were occupied (didn’t expect it to be THAT crowded as it was weekday noon) and I only noticed one waitress taking care of everyone ALONE. Later on, I spotted a waiter, who probably works somewhere in the kitchen or counter, so basically everywhere it was only the waitress who walked here and there trying to satisfy everyone in the whole place.
Didn’t proceed with the dessert because I didn’t want to wait any longer. I mean, I understood that the active staff was only one for that many tables, but waiting for more than 20 minutes just asking for bill? That is ridiculous. And I haven’t even mentioned how long I had to wait for my friggin’ camomile tea to be served. And the appetizer. And the soup. Pizzas were even much longer and they took forever to finally come out. Now I know why people were such in rage talking about the slow service!
The ultimate question: will I come back? The answer is definitely YES! Because although the service was slow, the waitress was very attentive and informative, very polite and at least she tries her best to accommodate everyone in the cafe (and mind you, it’s not a small cafe with only one area, this one has large, separated areas). The food were great and cheap (for Kemang’s standard), and place was so beautiful and relaxing I don’t mind spending longer time there!
*All prices are subject to 10% service charge
* The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
Dia.Lo.Gue (DiaLoGue) Artspace
Jl. Kemang Selatan Raya No. 99A