Located in South Jakarta’s Senopati area, Amber Chocolate & Bar hopes to garner a clientele of young socialites with its European-inspired interior and delectable cuisine. (Photos courtesy of Amber Chocolate & Bar)
Boutique Chocolatier and Bar Is Hip on Many Levels
MARCH 02, 2015
There’s a place in Senopati, South Jakarta, that brings home Forest Gump’s famous pontification that “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get,” and embodies that wisdom in the realm of the real and literal.
Amber Chocolate and Bar is surprising in many ways, as each floor reveals a new exciting concept as well as diverse culinary treasures. Amber is the latest brainchild of Lal de Silva, president director of the successful and fast growing Mount Scopus Group.
“The name ‘Amber’ hails from a gemstone, famous for its color and natural beauty,” da Silva says. “In that spirit, Amber creates a lifestyle and culinary journey. Each level holds a different atmosphere to it.”
The chocolate and pastry boutique on the ground floor is a haven for friends of all things sweet; elegantly decorated as a tea salon overlooked by a sparkling chandelier, the counters are filled with little wrapped chocolate bars, colorful macaroons, tarts and pies.
“The pastry boutique is very popular with female guests, because of its design and menu,” da Silva says. “Identical to its interior, it serves mostly European-style cakes and pastries. Our signatures, such as the Pistachio & Raspberry Chocolate Mousse, offer a classic textured cake with an exotic taste, as does the Mango Dulcey and Strawberry Sasha.
“First floor sweets were created by our group’s executive pastry chef who is also responsible for creating fabulous desserts for all of our brands.”
The second floor is designed as a library; tables are set amid wooden shelves that are stacked with books of all kinds, creating a homey atmosphere that will be appealing even guests with only the slightest interest in literature. Compared to the rather posh ambience in the pastry boutique, the library is refreshingly humble.
“The books came from vintage bookstores all over Jakarta,” da Silva explains. “They’re not originally arranged for reading purposes, but if some titles catch the eyes of a guest, of course they can read them.”
The library section is busiest during lunch and dinner time. Diners can enjoy an array of international comfort food.
“The dishes are made only with the finest ingredients and cooking techniques,” da Silva says.
“Local ingredients are also thrown into the dishes for a twist in flavor here and there. The pork belly, salmon and duck confit are must tries.”
After dinner, he adds, visitors of Amber usually move on to the third floor, the rooftop bar.
In line with Jakarta’s latest trend, this rooftop bar may not be the largest nor the highest one where altitude is concerned, yet it does offer a lovely view of the SCBD area.
Divided into an inside and outdoor area, the top floor of Amber does provide a pleasant option for drinks and socializing.
“Every floor has its own ‘peak hour,’ and that’s precisely the purpose of Amber,” da Silva says, adding that its main target market is hip Jakartans “who believe that cuisine is a lifestyle and should be enjoyed by all the senses.”
Senopati is surely one of the most happening neighborhoods in the city at the moment, and therefore makes the competition among restaurants and bars rather fierce. Da Silva is well aware of this and knows how to tackle the challenge.
“Senopati’s business environment is very competitive, and the key is always to deliver the best quality and value,” he says. “The food and ambience are equally important ... Our group has already established Chateau Blanc — a French fine dining restaurant — and The Harvest. Based on their success, we want Amber to be another main destination in Senopati.”