There is a place near our house that we have been seeing for a while, but it was not until 2 weeks ago that we finally stopped by. Located just in front of the Senayan Tennis Court (Lapangan Tenis Senayan), this small café certainly looks attractive from outside. At the first glance, it looks like an outdoor hang-out area with fancy seating and lots of fresh air. Yes, it’s the Walking Drum café, which is currently trending amongst South Jakartans.
From the outside, we didn’t spot any signage whatsoever, but the crowds helped indicating the activities there. I heard it can be pretty crowded during weekends especially with all the people who play tennis just beside it, but the working people and students are basically regulars during the weekdays.
Walking Drums has a fabulous outdoor seating area in the front, and another one in the backyard. Indoor seating area is quite small but very comfortable because there are some sofas and lazy chairs around. Strange enough, although from outside this café looks like a type of instagenic café with lots of glass windows and natural light exposure, it isn’t the case inside. It is pretty dark with white, black, and red color combination for the furniture, and touch of yellow from the lighting. The best spot to take natural photos is definitely the outdoor seating area in the front.
We visited this café on a weekday’s afternoon and was actually surprised to see that it was almost fully occupied. Some tables in the indoor area had this RESERVED sign on them, so I think the place must be really popular somehow.
So the ordering system is just like typical coffee shop, where we make our orders in the counter then they will give us this numbered bottle that we can bring to our table. Surprisingly, they offer quite lots of food from appetizers to desserts, coffee, and many other drinks. Honestly, I think that the prices are quite steep, as the ranges are from IDR 15,000 to 80,000 for F&B.
Iced Matcha Latte IDR 30,000
Good version of iced matcha latte with balanced combination of sweetness and bitterness. Recommended if you like Japanese matcha rather than Korean matcha.
Singaporean Salted Egg Chicken Wings IDR 45,000
This is supposed to be an appetizer but it came the last, and it took very long until it was served. Luckily, it was worth the wait because it was so good. The chicken wings were small but wrapped in very tasty salted egg and deep-fried until very crispy. I really liked how they made these so spicy (did you spot the orange chili cuts?) and I found them so addicting!
Nasi Goreng Ijo IDR 45,000
I wish I have something good to say about this dish but I can’t. The presentation was not usual but somehow lacking of character that made this looks very pretentious. Imagine that it would have been much better if it is served in not-so-shiny wok like this, it would have been much more appealing to me.
The rice was the worst of it all, very soggy and sticky one to another, even babies could tell that the fried rice was made using newly-cooked rice, which is a big NO NO to create a good fried rice. Taste-wise, it was way too salty, not to mention that they also put salted fish inside the rice. If I have to rate this between 0-10, I will give it no more than 5, you do the math.
Soto Betawi IDR 50,000
Okay first of all, this was not how it was served. The rice was served separately from the soup, and another plate for the crackers and sambal. The soto looked sad and lonely because we barely saw anything inside. The taste was simply bland, it’s safe to say that it didn’t resemble what we know as Soto Betawi, at all.
Ice Citrus Americano IDR 30,000
Our dishes above certainly failed to impress, but there was a time for coffee so we tried their signature drink called Citrus Americano. The highlight is, whether you are a coffee drinker or not, this can be enjoyed by everyone. The coffee tasted a bit funny because there was a strong citrus hint, but in a good way. I found this very enjoyable and it helped me cleansing all the saltiness I experienced from the previous dishes.
Overall, our first experience at Walking Drum was okay, although some of the food were kinda disappointing. The place is really an ideal spot to sit around and hang out for hours, the staffs were very friendly and helpful, and the air conditioners worked so well, LOL. If you ask me whether I will come back or not, yes, I will. At least for the coffee!
I heard during Ramadan month, they will be open from 4PM everyday but you can always check their social media accounts for more updated information.
** This review is written based on our visit on 17 May 2016.
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