This traditional English-style pub and restaurant has been an old favorite among expiates in Kemang since it opened more than 20 years ago. Many come to relax among friends or enjoy a beer while reading the paper.
Patrons say this pub, with its cozy atmosphere, authentic wood paneling, pool table and dartboard, is a typical Western bar, only more special because of the Eastern delicacies on offer at Eastern Promise.
“It’s just like a regular bar I would find at home. But what makes Eastern Promise unique is the added value of the charm of Indonesian hospitality,” says Nicholas (Nic) Bower, a regular from Melbourne, Australia.
Nic regularly comes to Eastern Promise twice a week as an escape from the Jakarta’s hustle and bustle. “To me, this is a sanctuary where I can indulge myself in a western style ambience with the eastern flavor such as … Indian food!”
Eastern Promise’s operational manager, Meggy Teresia Mumu, says it’s the pub’s European-Indian cuisine that draws many customers. “We serve traditional Western dishes such as all day English breakfast, Dutch frikandel speciaal and traditional fish and chips. But it’s our authentic Indian cuisine that has won the hearts of our expatriate customers. Chicken Tikka Masala is the most favorite among all the main courses on the menu.”
Meggy also recommends Tandoori Chicken with Naan bread, and Lamb Balti Butter Masala. “You should pair them with Lagarita. It’s a mix of margarita and beer,” she adds.
There is space to seat 10 customers along the bar’s wall, and booths that all together allow up to 20 customers. Stepping further inside, there is a dining room with seating capacity of 70. The dining room offers seating at solid wooden tables and cushy sofas of various sizes, each of which can accommodate from two to ten diners.
Eastern Promise is also equipped with an outdoor area with a stage where bands play classic rock genre on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The outdoor area also provides an extra room often used for events. The indoor bar features an acoustic band playing old tunes and folk songs on Sundays.
Eastern Promise was originally opened by Carl Gilchrist, a British businessman who once owned several British-style pubs throughout Indonesia. Upon his return to Britain in the early 2000s due to health problems, new management took over Eastern Promise, but later failed to maintain the business.
In April 2006, Lens ter Wee and Bartele Santema, under PT Dwi Batara Boga, came to rescue and both have preserved the homey ambience of Eastern Promise.
Indonesians, too, find Eastern Promise a great place to hang out. Novelist Zara Zetira says the laid back atmosphere here is second-to-none. “It reminds me of bars in Bali. It’s a perfect venue to enjoy a splendid moment with my husband and friends.”
Risti Brophy, a communications consultant, adds that Eastern Promise is where she and her husband often spoil their palate. “The Indian food is a must try, but the frikandel is especially yummy.”
Both Zara and Risti are married to British nationals and come to Eastern Promise once or twice a week. “Whether it is for quenching our thirst, having a bite or chilling out, Eastern Promise caters to all,” Risti says as Zara nods in agreement.
By Aulia R Sungkar. Published in Kemang Buzz, January 2011.