Culinary Bonanza: Is It Worth the SKYE-High Prices?
Jakarta is currently abuzz with the arrival of Ismaya Group’s newest brainchild: SKYE Lounge and Restaurant. From hearsay, reservations for dinner and functions on weekends are to be made weeks, if not months, in advance. Having said that, you could try your luck on weekdays; maybe you can walk in for lunch and still get a table. After all, I don’t suppose many people would consider paying sky-high prices for a quickie lunch at such a fancy establishment.
SKYE is perched atop of one of the tallest buildings on Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin: BCA Tower, which is conjoined to Grand Indonesia shopping town. Getting there might be little tricky, because there is only one access via Gramedia bookstore at the East Mall of Grand Indonesia. You have to walk all the way to the back of the bookstore on level 3, to reach the elevator that will bring you straight up to the 56th floor. Fortunately on weekends, the elevators are programmed to only stop at two levels: the 3rd and 56th. Otherwise, just imagine the frustration of stopping intermittently before finally reaching the rooftop.
SKYE is divided into two sections: an indoor restaurant on the right wing and a semi-outdoor lounge on the left. The semi-outdoor area offers a different perspective of Jakarta’s skyline with a spectacular 270 degree view of the city. It is a huge contrast, where one side the horizon appears muddled with towering steel structures, but when you turn your head 90 degree, your eyes are met with a clearer skyline, with hardly any tall buildings around. Surprisingly, for a spot that is 56 stories high, it was pretty much windless up here.
The drinks menu has the regular offerings such as juice, mocktails, wine and some rather interesting cocktails such as El Diablo, Lunar Eclipse and Ginger Mojito that I ordered. I quite liked the Lunar Eclipse, a cocktail served with crushed ice and muddled with grapes and blackcurrant juice. The Ginger Mojito tasted too subtle despite the big sliver of ginger stuck in the glass. Each drink is ranged from Rp 95,000 to Rp 110,000.
That being said, I would return to try out the restaurant. If it is any consolation, this is Ismaya Group that we are talking about after all, the proprietor of an army of hip and popular establishments like Kitchenette, Social House, Magnum Café, just to name a few.
Do come here for the view, or if you want to propose to your girlfriend at the edge of the rooftop. But make sure you book that spot months in advance. When the staff tries to make your life difficult (I’ve heard cases of guests who are denied entry), just flash your BCA credit card. That piece of plastic works wonders here (oh, preferably the platinum card, please). And behold. You’re entitled to 10 percent discount off the bills using that card.
Last advice: know what you want and order only the items off the menu. The crews aren’t knowledgeable enough to know what “dirty martini” is, that I actually had to repeat the orders several times and felt harassed and flustered before I finally got to sip the drinks.
Menara BCA Level 56
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.1
For more delicious treats, visit the author’s blog at http://culinarybonanza.blogspot.com/