A product that comes from a sentimental place, more often than not, results in something good. This rings true for Gentle Ben, a new coffee shop that first opened its door just two weeks ago. “Gentle Ben is the name of the place where I used to hang out with my friends in the States,” the owner, Chairul, explained.
Formerly a simple coffee enthusiast, Chairul then took a short lesson from ABCD School of Coffee. He fell in love with coffee even more. Coupled with the desire to replicate Gentle Ben from his memory, this Gentle Ben was born.
This coffee shop occupies a rather large space at Kebayoran Baru area, South Jakarta. The room is mentally divided into two distinct dining areas. The first one is propped with proper tables and chairs, perfect for ibu-ibu arisan and those who come for food. The second one is decorated with quirky chairs and impractical-shaped tables. You probably can think of twenty different ways to photograph your coffee in this space.
True to its name, the Gentle Ben house blend, a mix of Bali Ulian and Costa Rica beans, results in a gentle-tasting, smooth cup of flat white. The beans are roasted by Smoking Barrels, who also provide them with a couple of guest beans. Our Kalita-ed Malabar coffee tastes pleasantly fruity, complementing the choice of sustenance.
When it comes to food, Gentle Ben offers both flavors that are familiar to most taste buds like Aglio Olio Pasta, and “tricky” ones like Doughnuts and Bacon. Having tasted some disastrous sweet bacon dishes, I must admit this one hits my palate at all the right places. The use of yummy Gordon Donuts is also a major brownie point.
At this stage, Gentle Ben is still half-baked. There are some empty shelves where they would sell some stuffs in the near future, plus they are still experimenting with what works and not. Having said that, Gentle Ben has the making of a great coffee shop with awesome food. The barista is friendly and eager to learn, which is always a good sign. I believe that if Gentle Ben continues to improve, its namesake all the way across the Pacific Ocean would feel very proud.
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Address: Jl. K.H. Ahmad Dahlan No. 32, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan
Opening Hours: 08.00 – 21.00
Price Range: IDR 30-140K (Food), IDR 25-57K (Beverage)