The Apartment makes Jakarta's diners feel at home

Tue Feb 9, 2010 11:55pm EST
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By Pip Freebairn

JAKARTA (Reuters Life!) - There is a restaurant in Jakarta that promises patrons they're going to feel at home and things look promising when a pajama-wearing waiter asks if you'd like to dine in the bedroom.

The Apartment, in South Jakarta's Kuningan district, has diners at tables nestled between furniture in seven rooms that you may find in a large flat, as well as a bar.

Most guests ask the waiter for a tour of the rooms which include a kitchen, library and pantry, before they settle on the space they'd like to have their dinner.

The bathroom, complete with a large bathtub, shower head and towels, gets the loudest giggles and its five tables fill up first. The outdoor terrace with bright yellow cushions, padded sofas and bamboo garden is also popular, especially as Jakarta is a city where most restaurants are in cavernous shopping malls.

The owner, Budiman Gani, says the restaurant, which opened eight months ago, was a labor of love that took 11 years to realize.

"I just kept looking at restaurants and thought why do all restaurants have the same chairs, the same decor, the same ambience? Why can't I do something different?" said Gani.

Each room has a different character allowing diners to choose where to eat based on their mood, according to Gani.

Solo diners usually fill the library, lingering over coffee as they read books from the packed shelves. The kitchen seems to be the place for young executives holding business meetings, while the terrace attracts even more youthful diners.   Continued...