Is Senopati synonymous with epic nights out for you? Or is Senopati merely a place to get your international food cravings fixed?
Senopati is indeed a one-stop wonder to cater your food and beverage needs – not to forget home to lively nightlife. In the day time, you can have meetings and at night you can let off some steam with friends and family, all accompanied by decadent dishes and revitalising concoctions of alcoholic delights. Sometimes, it gets hard to keep up with this South Jakarta area’s newest and hippest dining spots. The Front Room, on the other hand, is remarkable because it feels just like home – or at least your friend’s home.
Nestled on Jl. Suryo No.23 in South Jakarta, The Front Room stands out with its blue walls. The restaurant’s greeter will open the large, dark, wooden door to welcome you with, of course, a thermometer check and a pump of hand sanitiser. A part of the restaurant’s ground floor has dimmed lighting with yellow-orange tungsten sidelights on a mirror, giving guests a relaxing sensation. If you come during the day, as I did, the other part of the room is beaming; highlighting the colourful set of furniture ready to be sat upon and an absolutely picturesque spot for the photo frenzied people of this era.
The founder of The Front Room said she wants the signage and logo outside, as well as the interior decor and ambience, to embody a pleasant visit to someone’s home. “Guests should feel homey when they come here,” she said. As someone who comes from a hospitality background and an apparent empty nester, she wanted to start something new for the saturated market by providing an exquisite experience accompanied by a collection of multi-cultural cuisines.
This casual dining restaurant does look like a home. The ground floor reminds me of a living room; comfy sofas, heaps of pillows, soft cushions, colourful carpets, and plants in almost all corners of the room.
Meanwhile, the second floor is warmer and dimmer, making it a great alternative to recharge; accentuated by more blues, yellows, and golds, all serving as dominant colours illuminated with tungsten lightbulbs. There’s a bar table on this floor as well. Though the founder doesn’t consider The Front Room to be a bar, guests who wish to have refreshing cocktails and other alcoholic treats are more than welcome. Since this restaurant doesn’t allow smoking in its indoor areas, unlike most Senopati spots, a terrace just through a glass sliding door beside the bar is still homey for smokers to enjoy a puff and their drinks while overlooking Senopati’s oddly quiet road, which happens to be a huge hit for guests after office hours.
The Front Room opened in February 2020, not long before the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) was enforced by DKI Jakarta’s provincial government. Following the regulations and strict health protocols, the restaurant reopened two months later, providing takeaway and delivery services.
During PSBB, no marketing strategies were undertaken, because safety and comfort levels for one person to another while ordering takeout is considered rather personal and different. Only returning guests and foodies who discovered this restaurant through word of mouth made orders at that time.
Time to relish in Western and Asian comfort foods inspired by global flavours and quality seasonal ingredients while you’re here – side note: pork is available! I had the pleasure to try seven dishes: three light bites, namely chicken skewers over shishito peppers, nachos, and petite soft tacos; two mains of spaghetti crispy chicken and mulwarra lamb chop; along with two desserts which were vanilla-infused pannacotta and lemongrass jelly. The chef didn’t hold back on spices, making each dish perfectly seasoned and cooked – fixing my strong Mexican cravings.
Some of the guests’ favourites, such as nachos, crispy wings, butternut squash soup, tokusen MB5 ribeye steak, chicken over garlic rice, tokusen MB5 ribeye fajitas, naughty chocolate martini, sangria, and margaritas are worth the try too.
Then at 2-6pm, a table on the ground floor serves three cakes of the day, which change daily. Today, the chocolate marble, banana, and caramel cakes were on display. Each is sweet and baked soft as a swan-feathered pillow, ideal for afternoon tea or coffee – whichever you prefer. There’s something crispy, savoury, tangy, light, spicy, and sweet to your liking!
Uniquely, the menu changes at least every month. The founder and chef, Deddy, determines and curates the menu. The Front Room continuously innovates to satisfy guests, not just stay still because people tend to be bored with the same options when they dine in a restaurant. The dishes are curated based on the fresh ingredients they can get their hands on. Roughly speaking, the restaurant sets a price range from Rp75,000 to Rp390,000.
Referring back to the homey feeling embodied here, events are not a priority. No externally curated events have been held but the restaurant doesn’t shy away from live music sessions playing classic, early 2000s hits simplified to jazz arrangements before PSBB.
Wonder how the new menu will be stirred up next month? Well, dine in Senopati’s new cosy, casual dining restaurant; The Front Room is truly a culinary escapade for everyone.
The Front Room
Jl. Suryo No.23, Senopati,
South Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 7201566
Mobile: +62 813 82511168
Operating Hours (New Normal):