Just desserts: Jakarta's most snap-worthy sweets

Indonesia's capital city Jakarta has a dazzling array of scrumptious offerings that are a feast for the tastebuds as well as the eyes.

Chocolate layered cake plating
  • Anita Surewicz
  • September 2018

A wise person once said: “It’s okay to eat dessert for dinner if you don’t think you’ll have room after the main event.”

With so many people craving sweets, it’s no wonder Jakarta opens in new window’s dessert scene is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Once limited to street-side stalls serving traditional treats like kue cubit (sweet pancake) or kue pancong (coconut cake), the sprawling Indonesian capital is now following in the footsteps of the likes of Tokyo and Bangkok with sophisticated dessert houses, restaurants and cafes serving mini works of art worthy of even the most critical sweet tooth. In fact, with so many sinful options worth sharing on social media, the only issue a sweet-aholic might face is having enough willpower to document the indulgent moment before digging in. Here are some of our favourite dessert spots in Jakarta.

The one thing you can’t miss in Jakarta opens in new window

1. Fruity Delights – The Harvest

Established in 2004, The Harvest was one of the first patisseries to bring European-style desserts to Jakarta. While the modern chain serves a huge array of gourmet cakes (try the local favourite lapis legit layer cake), ice-cream cakes, chocolates, French pastries, macarons, cupcakes and ice-cream at its 12 outlets across Jakarta, the freshest addition to its menu has sparked a lot of interest.

The Madeline Rose combines sweet strawberry mousse and tangy mango cheese mousse into a soft, smooth and refreshing treat (IDR 31,000/SGD 3 for a slice).

It comes decorated with a strawberry, banana macarons and a white chocolate swirl. Dig into a slice in the café’s comfy seating area or buy a whole cake to take home.

Jalan Senopati Raya No. 47, Jakarta Selatan, +62 215289 2424

2. Ice-cream Haven – The North Pole Café

The North Pole Café is a cosy ice-cream parlour presided over by three adorable huskies – named Cream, Coco and Waff – who take centre stage in the cafes minimalist design. The venue’s signature dessert (IDR 59,000/SGD 6) comes served on a ‘smoky pan’ – or, more precisely, over dry ice – and is flanked by tempting cookie crumbs and fruity pebbles. Regular flavours range from lychee to Thai tea and premium flavours include Diablo Beer, Choco Ferrero and Baileys.

Gandaria City Mall, First Floor, Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda, Kebayoran Lama Utara, Jakarta Selatan, +62 021 2923 6306

3. A Delicious Mess – Monty’s

What better way to end a sumptuous Scandinavian and modern European feast at an elegant minimalist restaurant than with dessert? Monty’s White Valrhona Chocolate & Banana Mess (IDR 95,000/SGD 10) arrives at the table as a perfect white chocolate sphere. But the masterpiece isn’t done yet: sugar fiends will want to get snapping as the dainty dessert is then dropped from 40cm above the table to produce a scrumptious mess. The medley of white chocolate, chocolate mousse and caramelised banana is topped with rich toffee sauce right at the table – and worth every rupiah. Monty’s opens in new window offers an unforgettable experience that will be hard to find elsewhere.

Jalan Senopati Raya No. 84, Jakarta Selatan, +62 21 7279 2323

4. Watermelon Wonders – Coffee Cup by Cherie

Like many of the city’s gems, Coffee Cup is tucked away inside an office complex. While many visit the tiny store for their daily dose of caffeine – the green tea latte is supposed to be divine – others stop by in search of a sugar rush.

The family-owned café serves an assortment of handcrafted sweet treats, including the super-trendy watermelon cake (IDR 40,000/SGD 4). While the most basic take on the dessert involves a peeled watermelon smothered in whipped cream, Coffee Cup’s Instagram-worthy version of the refreshing indulgence consists of layers of sponge cake, cream and watermelon, and comes garnished with strawberries and almond flakes.

Jalan Tentara Pelajar No. 21, RT. 1/RW. 7, Grogol Utara, Kebayoran Lama, Jakarta Selatan, +62 21 2400 6507

Scoop of red velet cake
Union’s Red Velvet Cake is irresistible and known across Jakarta.

5. Michelin-Star Worthy Creations – Union Brasserie, Bakery and Bar

A favourite across Jakarta, Union’s opens in new window Red Velvet Cake (IDR 60,000/SGD 6.50) might just be the most raved-about dessert in the city. While in some circles the restaurant’s signature dessert might almost seem passé, many regularly brave Jakarta’s gridlock just to take this photogenic slice of heaven. Thankfully, the Union has three different outlets across the city: two brasseries and a New York-style deli.

The fluffy dessert consists of chilled cream cheese in between layers of red sponge cake, and comes topped with crunchy caramel and nut crumbles. Those who like their desserts light and creamy can opt for the red velvet pie (IDR 55,000/SGD 6), which contains extra cream cheese.

Plaza Senayan, Ground Floor, Jalan Asia Afrika No. 8, Tanah Abang, Gelora, Jakarta Pusat, +62 21 5790 5861