Finally, another tea shop opening in the town and I can’t be happier! Let’s say hello to the Lewis & Carroll, a tea lounge located at Bumi 4, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta! *throws confetti*
While there are so many coffee shops opening in Jakarta, sometimes I wonder whether people here really prefer coffee to tea. I myself am more into tea and whenever I need some tea boost, I usually go to nearest TWG outlet and GAIA in Kemang. The options are not many here in Jakarta and most of the time I will end up making some tea myself at home.
Lewis & Carroll is nested on the first floor of Bumi Four building, while the second and third floor are used by Yoga Dham, a yoga center which is managed by the same family. Sylvia & Antonius, the creative youngsters behind Lewis & Carroll, kindly taught us a thing or two about their tea. Keep on reading!
The cafe/lounge is very spacious with simple yet beautiful surrounding. I love the clean and sleek feeling of the room, with simple wooden floor and white wall. They don’t even need murals to emphasize anything, seriously. It’s like an open space (with roof, obviously) that is inviting in term of community-friendly, but still give a lot of privacy thanks to the good spaces between tables. With seating capacity of 70 person, the lounge is definitely a great option to relax and sip some tea comfortably.
My first impression about the place is clean, sophisticated, and elegant at the same time. And although this is best said in the ending, yes, I already thought of coming back!
The outdoor seating area is located at the front, it’s very small and only can fit few tables but the view is just GREAT. For now they are still constructing it, means that this is not finished yet, and heard that fans will be added. Good to hear because it is so darn hot and humid sitting outside. When it’s done, I am sure it will be a popular spot!
Lewis & Carroll is a tea lounge, and I can see they are pretty serious with it. There are a total of 52 variants of tea which are categorized into 12 different categories: black tea, infused black tea, white tea, infused white tea, herbal tea, green tea, infused green tea, oolong tea, infused oolong tea, spices, fruit tea, and flower tea. The tea leaves and ingredients are sourced from reputable plantations across Indonesia and abroad in an effort to find that which represents and celebrates all of nature’s beautiful bounty.
When you are seated, a staff will bring you the “samples” of tea leaves which you can choose by smelling them. I think it’s quite interesting because we don’t only order the tea knowing only their names but we can choose according to the smell that we like best. It’s all about experience, right?
The first surprise is the view of Alpha Dominche Steampunk machines installed on the counter. This American-made USD 15,000 machine is THE BOSS and has been known to brew good coffee/tea with repeatable accuracy. The machine is connected to touchscreen panel that can control parameters like temperature, pressure and so on, based on the beverage recipe. It is amazing just to see how this machine works and I had never imagined that I could actually see this in Jakarta this soon! LOL, underestimate much? XD
While everything is handled by the machine, the staff put the tea leaves inside the tube and only use it once, means they immediately throw it away after one-time brewing process. This is done to keep the quality and flavor of the tea consistent one to another pot, and guests can enjoy their tea at its best.
Okay, half of post and not even one post about the actual tea or the food. Well, give me 2 more hours and I can babble around about the place alone!
Although Lewis & Carroll is a tea lounge, but they also serve variety of food which can be enjoyed with the tea. Prices for food range from IDR 35,000 to 90,000 only, which are very affordable, IMHO. And the food are those typical healthy, guilt-free dishes which I don’t mind having like, everyday.
For the tea, the prices (per pot) depend on their categories: the Signature tea IDR 35,000; Heritage tea IDR 55,000; and Legacy tea IDR 70,000. In the menu, you can check which variant belongs to what categories and so on.
Blossom Blanc IDR 55,000
This tea belongs to White Blend tea category and is one of L&C’s recommended tea. The transparent light yellow tea has a mild and comforting taste with hint of floral fragrance.
Colada Sun IDR 35,000
One of our favorites! The Colada Sun has this beautiful red color with fruity taste. From the first sip, it immediately reminded me of dried fruits flavors, the kind of flavor that makes you want more and more. The tea has a natural sweetness that gets even better when you add the (prepared) liquid sugar. Next time I am gonna try the hot version!
Spring Harvest IDR 55,000
This Green Blend tea has a slightly darker color than the Blossom Blanc, and the flavor was subtle, in a good way. The aroma was quite strong, not that I am complaining though. Flavor was clean and smooth, drinking it like breathing the natural forest air in the morning.
Potato Skin with Guacamole IDR 35,000
Was overly-ecstatic upon seeing that they serve Potato Skins here, as I really love this (Bennigan’s, anyone?!!) but rarely find (decent ones) in any restaurants in Jakarta. To my surprise, the skins are quite good although I prefer crispier, crunchier ones in term of the crusts, but the toppings were good especially because they also added broccoli in the ocean of cheese, smart! Guacamole is okay but even if it is not there, I won’t miss anything. XD
Turkey Sandwich IDR 80,000
Focaccia, wild arugula, tomatoes, and slices of smoked turkey breast with tuna mayo.
This beautiful sandwich is literally packed with stack of sliced smoked turkey breast like you’ll see in the picture below. The turkey is soft and juicy (not sure if I can use that word to describe turkey meat, but you know what I mean), has a beautiful smokey aroma and flavor that goes so well with the fresh vegetables. The dressing used is tuna mayo which is light and nicely complimented the whole flavor without dominating at all. Must try!
Fedora IDR 80,000
The plating is beautifully done, at certain angle you can tell that the arrangement of linguine stack and prawns somehow resemble fedora hat, but too bad we didn’t take any photos from that said angle. XD The linguine was cooked al dente, stirred with the tomato sauce and cheese very well. Despite its looks, the flavor was kind of mild and I just could taste the tomato sauce with no “kick”. The prawns are clearly better seasoned than the pasta.
Pan Fried Salmon IDR 95,000
Pan-fried salmon with mashed potato, lemon butter sauce and mixed salad.
You know when sometimes you go to restaurants and you’ll miss the chance to eat your food while it’s still warm because you need to take photos of it first? That’s when you start wondering whether the food is still “edible” after all the shooting time. *shrug*
Well, this happened to this too since we got our orders coming up altogether in the same time and this had to wait for a while before it could be photographed and eventually, eaten. The problem about this kind of dishes are when they get cold, the food become dry and lose the juice; where it will be entirely impossible to review them because it is just unfair for the chefs/restaurants.
To cut the long story short, we only tried this dish probably 10 minutes after it was served, and were actually surprised that the salmon was still soft and juicy like it was just served! The secret behind that is actually the way they cooked it: so the salmon was only half-cooked and left the inner part uncooked. The lemon butter sauce helped bringing out the flavor of the salmon, and was flavorful enough to dress the salad and potato. What a wonderful dish!
Melted Cheese Sandwich IDR 60,000
A simple “sandwich” consists of croissant, mozzarella cheese and Brie cheese; served with chips.
Any cheese lovers will definitely fall for this! The cheese slices are spread on top of the croissant like a pillow and melted in the most seductive way possible. Plus, the croissant is awesome!
Matcha Panna Cotta IDR 55,000
We love, love, and LOVE this panna cotta. Not only the flavor is strongly matcha, the texture is perfect. It is soft, smooth, jiggly and fun at the same time. I urge you guys to try this, especially if you’re looking for real-texture panna cotta, not the wannabes! XD
Belgian Chocolate Eclair IDR 50,000
Pardon me if I sound like a worshiper, but helloooo, this eclair is SOOO GOOD! You know the texture of eclair is usually similar to choux dough and it is quite fragile. This one has a texture like it’s mixed with cookies texture, less fragile and more crunchy in best way possible! The filling is thick chocolate which is generously spread, and later topped with fondant and chopped nuts. I am drooling like crazy now wishing to have it RIGHT NOW!
Earl Grey Ice Cream IDR 35,000
Yet another favorite of yours truly, this ice cream is created by Eskimomo and we really love their ice creams. We have ever tried some of their ice creams in KOIKI Eatery, a Japanese restaurant in Senopati Suite, and we couldn’t agree more that their product is one of the best we have had so far. The Earl Grey flavor really came out nicely but the ice cream still tasted light and beautiful. I don’t know how they do this, but the ice cream has been haunting me for days since my last visit here. I think I am gonna revisit tomorrow.
Safari Sunset IDR 35,000
Tried the other tea which belongs to Herbal tea category, which is Sylvia (the owner)’s current favorite tea. The tea has this beautiful orange color with bold citrus aroma and flavor. I usually avoid any kind of herbal tea because I simply don’t like the medicinal flavor, but this one doesn’t have any of that. In the end, the flavor really grows on me somehow and I ended up buying the tea leaves to brew it back home. XD
Gyokuro Gem IDR 55,000
Because drinking tea is never to be separated with Japanese culture, we tried their Gyokuro Gem, a variant that is imported from Japan. Although this is categorized to Green tea with recommended brewing temperature of 80 degree of Celsius, it’s advised to brew Gyokuro with lower temperature (around 50-60C) to preserve the refined flavor and avoid the bitter taste!
Beside a tea lounge, Lewis & Carroll is also a shop selling local artists’ creations like tea sets and many others. Our favorite is the 12 colors tea set (IDR 320,000/set) which are also used to serve tea in the lounge, with colors resembling 12 categories of the available tea in L&C. Cute, isn’t it?
Last but not least, we also got a tour to see the yoga place on the second floor, with complete equipment and accessories already prepared by them, including yoga mats and everything. So if you happen to enroll in their classes, you’ll just need to bring your body and everything else is already prepared there. How cool is that?
While they don’t have any private room, the lounge on the third floor is available for booking or private events.
This has been a long post but thanks for reading until this point! I am sure you are as excited as me and I can’t wait to come back. Hopefully L&C will exist for a long, long time because I for one will be their loyal customers as long as they serve delicious teas like now! Ciao! <3
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 6 November 2015.
LEWIS & CARROLL TEA
Jl. Bumi No 4
South Jakarta 12120
Ph. +62 21 270 2660
Mon – Sun 8AM – 10PM