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Nine Muses Club: An Amusing Affair

Published 02 April 2007   

Fine dining, checked. Beautiful décor, checked. Great music, checked, checked, checked. FRV can hardly find a flaw at Nine Muses Club.

Text by Ve Handojo

It’s a high level demand for the middle of the week: “I want a decent dinner with great quality live jazz music that I can enjoy until late at night. In Jakarta.” Option number one: Great French or Italian fine dining in a five-star hotel with easy listening love songs. Option number two: Vibrant jazz or blues stage act in a pub trying to serve pasta. All crossed out. There’s only one option left, and it’s name is Nine Muses Club.

Wisely located far away from any shopping malls, Nine Muses Club from the outside looks like a regular South Jakarta house, yet this one has been turned into a restaurant. The gray exterior contrasting with the blazing pink-and-orange peacock mega insignia, Nine Muses Club appeals to all genders, all orientations, and looks friendly enough as a jazz club.

On entering, we pass through a dimly lit hallway, like a tunnel into another world. Next to it is The Narcisse Bar, where gratin and fresh oysters are served in martini glasses – this is a stylish pre dinner hang-out area. The tunnel leads to a spacious dining hall downstairs, decorated as a French smart casual bistro with black table cloths. Outside is a romantic garden featuring a live grill.

The menu card is sparse and uncomplicated. “Basically, it is a friendly French menu,” admits Chef Marc Elie Chene. “We focus on quality and generous portions, not complications.”

The saying was proven when my seared foie gras arrived. For Rp 185K, the fancy appetizer came in quite a hefty portion, served on dry fig and crunchy apple tart, dressed with cranberry sauce. By far, the best foie gras deal in town, and it tastes excellent.

And for another Rp 220K, diners can have a big portion of magret of duck (300 gr) over massive garlic mashed potato! Seafood lovers can go for Halibut fish, served with brussels sprout, bacon, chestnut and sauce Persillade for only Rp 250K. Dessert items could not have friendlier price tags: all Rp 49K, including the creative honeyed ricotta with summer fruits and nougatine semi freddo.

What makes it all even better is the music. “We want to bring jazz closer to the audience,” states owner Gil D’Harcour, who also conceived and designed Nine Muses Club. “What is performed here is true jazz, no easy listening tunes, no Top 40, yet not a complicated style of jazz that may intimidate a first time audience.”

Sipping wine all night long while listening to the great, great, great Sue Bonnington (every Saturday night) is one of the best the city can offer. The big lady sings the blues and jazz, and always delivers music very close to the audience. She sings, she acts, she interacts. You could quickly forget you’re in Jakarta.

And for mid-week lovers, Wednesday evening at Nine Muses Club with Acoustic Punch is an effective way to melt anyone’s heart. Favorites like Sherly Octaviani (vocalist), and Nita Aartsen (pianist, vocalist) are joined by surprise stage acts on other evenings.

Nine Muses Club opens for dinner only, until one am every weekday, and two am every weekend, and it’s all about good food, good ambience, and good music. The amusing Nine Muses Club speaks of a truly unique dining experience. Beware: it’s addictive.

Nine Muses Club
Jl. Wijaya I No. 25
Jakarta Selatan
Ph: +6221-7221188
www.ninemusesclub.com