Ombé Kofie, Djule Kofi, and now Maarkeze.
Imagine a famous band. Their first album is a mega hit, critically-acclaimed and a chart-topper. People have never seen or heard of them before. It blows everyone’s mind and even creates a new sub-genre. Now, the second album is shadowed by pressure, because it has to be better than the first one. Meanwhile, the third album is a make or break moment when either the band manages to fix the second album, or they disband.
Ombé Kofie is such a disruptive hit in the North—the first album. Venturing to the South, Djule Kofi is the follow up album. It didn’t create the same impact as Ombé, but definitely very far from any negative adjectives and better than average. Maarkeze, the third one, is something different, although bringing the same two traits that seem to unite all three: great specialty coffee and hospitality.
Roughly three to four months after its opening, Maarkeze seems to be a mighty fine third album. Especially considering its location inside a gigantic mall, Grand Indonesia, unlike Ombé and Djule that stand alone at Pluit and Melawai, respectively. The few hours spent there are always filled with views of greetings, handshakes, and conversation between the staffs and the customers. At one time, there were a couple of om and tante who look like they’ve been to Maarkeze a dozen of times before. Or perhaps to Ombé or Djule. Besides that, there are also casual customers who drop by for a break after long hours of shopping.
The choice of coffee will make any coffee enthusiast excited. For those who favor manual brew, rows of bean options are all visible upon ordering. Jamaican Blue seems to be a permanent choice, typed and printed on the menu. First timers should give the quirky, Jakarta’s first Cold Brew Nitro a go. The use of nitrogen amplifies the freshness of the cold brew coffee, and it leaves a nice cooling sensation at the back of the throat.
Sitting behind the bar has got to be the best place at Maarkeze. You get to see your coffee pouring out of the espresso machine, people come-and-go, and here’s the most fascinating point: seeing the mini pizza coming out of the mini oven. The smell is very much appetizing that you just had to order one. It tastes as good as it smells, and the thin crust is heavenly. But if pizza is not your thing, there are also crostini and sandwich.
At the end of the day, this so-called band manages to bring existing listeners to take pleasure in their ever-changing style of music. Every album has a different song and its own fans club, but die-hards will stick to all three. Each new album has picked up new fans, and brilliantly you will find some of these people becoming loyals. Like yours truly. Call me Citizen of Maarkeze on Mondays and the occasional Djule Warriors, but I’m always People of Ombé wherever I go. At least every weekend 😉
Grand Indonesia East Mall, Central Dept. Store, 1st Floor
Note: Not Serving Food On Monday