jakarta: honu bar opening

© honu / photography: sefval mogalana

to many an outsider, it's rife with stark contrasts, somewhat overcrowded, and the near 24/7 traffic gridlock hardly is a selling point either. there's no doubt that to appreciate jakarta, it takes a little effort, and perhaps also pinpoint navigation skills, to discover its fun side and the many hidden gems this sprawling megalopolis has to offer. one of the new spots that caters to a crowd of savvy young consumers is situated deep in the heart of kemang, a leafy residential neighbourhood in the south of the city. named after the hawaiian word for green sea turtle, and which happens to be a symbol of good luck, endurance and a long life, honu is a friendly hangout where a local crowd indulge in a variety of tasty and healthy poké and matcha concoctions. 

the bar is situated on a narrow and elongated plot alongside one of the neighbourhood's major thoroughfares, and features an interior design by architects rafael arsono and margareta miranti of jakarta-based practice rafael miranti architects. previously occupied by an italian eatery, the place has been fully stripped and was then given a full makeover. the modern façade dipped in a dark green hue and matched with timber and glass signals the venue's transformation from afar. the wood element resurfaces as well, notably captured by the ceiling and a chunky, protruding demarcation at the far end of the establishment that allows to create a private space by way of a curtain. furnishings comprise of simple tables with wooden table tops, contemporary wooden stools, and rattan chairs add a local touch. a small patio covered in pebbles at the far end allows in floods of daylight.

up front near the entrance a service station is situated, and it comes with a handy streetside window for takeout orders. modern lifestyle is anchored in honu's hospitality format, and that's also distinctly reflected in its menu which offers a modern take on the classic hawaiian dish in six varieties. bowls contain the indonesian staple of rice, and are paired with the goodness of marinated raw fish that's rich in lean high-quality protein, omega-3 and various vitamins and minerals. additional toppings provide another layer of complexity and source of nutrients. and if you're feeling excessively peckish, supplement your order with one of the side dishes. obviously, only quality produce is used, locally sourced and organic as much as possible. beverages come in the form of matcha drinks, all containing quality organic matcha powder, imported from kagoshima. not much of a fan? no problem, there's juices, cold brew coffee and water too. location: jalan kemang selatan raya 125 [kemang].

© honu / photography: sefval mogalana