it takes time, a knowledgeable insider's view, and last but not least, a solid dose of perseverance to discover jakarta's pleasurable side. this mega city of almost 27 million inhabitants is known to be overwhelming on more levels than one, and as said, one needs to know the often hidden pockets where the good life can be enjoyed. leafy kemang in south jakarta is one of such areas where comfy homes are interspersed with some of the best shops and restaurants in town. catering to savvy locals and expats alike, the scene here is in a constant flux and full of hidden gems. a recent addition that has wowed the crowds with its sleek setting and food is restaurant carpediem.
although high on style, it's conceptualized as an easy access eatery with a range of simple but well-made mediterranean dishes. carpediem occupies a 150 sqm. [1,615 sq.ft.] multi-level space on the second floor of the yamakawa building, the local headquarters of a japanese rattan furniture manufacturer, and is in fact linked to this company through various aspects of the interior design. local practice sidharta architect not only designed the latter's showroom, but also this restaurant's minimalist setting. rectangular and relatively narrow with a mini-atrium, the bar is situated right in the middle inside the void, and marked with a dramatic yet and functional artwork of, yes what else, rattan.
covering the bar, the material extends one floor downwards to one floor below, where it morphs into a bench. the utilitarian vibe of bare concrete walls and flooring is softened with sections of an expansive timber ceiling, paneling made of beautifully cut-out wood, and a staircase made of rattan. all of carpediem's furnishings are by yamakawa, and contribute a great deal to the restaurant's intriguing east-meets-west atmosphere. the menu lists a variety of international classics, yet mostly dishes from italy and france, matched with a lenghty list of signature cocktails and other beverages. location: jalan kemang raya 24 [kemang].