Nestled in one of the corners of the townhouse complex around Central Park Mall area is Sudoet Tjerita, a neighborhood coffee shop that caters to residents of the surrounding apartments. Other than that, the thought crosses my mind that the cafe might have another less obvious visitor group: people who unwittingly go to the mall because their spouses or loved ones want to go shopping and are looking for a spot to hide for a while. Sudoet Tjerita is easily accessible via East Tunnel exit that connects Central Park and Neo Soho.
Sitting there for two hours gives me a clear of idea of what inspires the unique name of the coffee shop. From a literal sense, Sudoet Tjerita is located right in a corner, or sudut in Bahasa Indonesia. Cerita, or story, represents the wish that it could be a place for customers to exchange stories and create memories. Looking at the faux tree in the middle of the room, the mini books corner, and the other customers chatting over a meal, I can see myself doing exactly just that.
The Indonesian name is perhaps a nod to little touches of Indonesia that, please correct me if I’m wrong, no other specialty coffee shop in West Jakarta has at the moment. The signature Kopi Rempah mixes coffee with ginger, clove, and star anise, giving the coffee a strong jamu vibe. You either love it or hate it, but there’s no denying that Kopi Rempah is brave and uniquely Sudoet Tjerita. If the beverage sounds too adventurous for you, they offer a selection of espresso-based drinks, manual brew coffee, tea, and fresh concoctions (Carrot Yakult, anyone?).
Food is more subdued compared to the beverage. Anticipate the likes pasta, croissant, waffle, pancake, and toast. I’m expecting something more daring and Indonesian to match the bold Kopi Rempah, but maybe everything is purposefully made that way to give balance. Mr. Bear Pancake is a fun menu that serves up bear-shaped pancake with butter, honey, and ice cream. It’s a tried and tested dish that can hardly go wrong.
Whether you are hiding from too much shopping, having your first cup of Kopi Rempah, or simply meeting a friend, there’s always a story to tell from a visit to Sudoet Tjerita. They couldn’t have picked a better name.