West Jakarta already has a fair share of brunch-and-coffee combos. From the established fares of Koultoura and Djournal to upstart locations popping up every once in awhile, there can only be so much variety in one place before it gets monotonous. To enter the fray at this stage requires a some talent in the brunch and coffee cup industry, and Common Grounds has proven they do.
Common Grounds Neo Soho location is a spacious place. Tall ceilings; large, transparent window panes. Ample space for seating and for going about. Gone are the conventions of the crowded, loud droning of conversation (although usual chatter is still audible). Present are the easy background music and blurry jolts of servers bringing orders around. They nail the ‘Australian feel’ of a coffee shop; in which people go in and out ever so nonchalantly. This happens partly because Common Grounds Neo Soho is located in the heart of Central store, interchanging customers between both venues, sort of like a symbiotic relationship. And it’s also a common ground (pun totally intended) for sneakerheads, business meetings, influencers, and the bunch. An ‘OG’ place indeed.
For food, the Wanderbites team ordered a meal for each mouth: Smoked Salmon Scramble (75k), Maple Glazed Bacon (70k), and Thai Beef Salad (85k), and a cup of cappuccino (35k). We knew coffee was good from the Common Grounds namesake, but to clarify, they used their Cloak and Dagger and Flora Technica house blends, which have a spot for more feminime taste buds. The food prices were justified by their generous servings of the fish and meat on the Scramble and Salad, though less so on the Bacon. Expect a standard-portioned, neatly-prepared brunch in this place. A special shoutout goes to the salmon, my shameless weak spot. For my palate, food was neatly balanced between sour and salty, although more on the savory. The salad was green and mighty fresh to eat. They’re all fulfilling, and that’s exactly what we needed on a hungry Monday morning to garner an easy thumbs up.
For the reasons above, Common Grounds Neo Soho passes all marks for a great brunch/coffee detour. We’re a fan of them since they opened their Pop-Up Coffee Stands back in the day, and to see them grow from their Citywalk Sudirman base is uplifting news. Common Grounds has grown by then, and for their Neo Soho branch, they added a ready selection of La Maison macarons and cake. Lots of seats for a decent-sized crowd, great food, and the stylish appeal to deliver for visual seekers. Y’know, what Jakartans expect from a brunch place this day and hour.
To sum it up, the Common Grounds Neo Soho is pretty cool, yo.
Common Grounds Neo Soho
Neo Soho Mall, 1st floor in Central store
Price range: 30k-100k (food), 15k-60k (beverage)
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