On the island of Java, Jakarta is the bustling capital of Indonesia. And though it is set in one of Southeast Asia’s largest cities, in its central business district, Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta is known for its lovely tropical gardens and relaxing ambiance. Think spacious rooms with private balconies to unwind after a busy day in the city.
The family will love the courtyard pool surrounded by lush gardens and spacious kids’ play area. While Mom or Dad is at a business conference, the hotel has on-hand kids’ board games, cartoons, colouring books and pencils and tempting snacks, plus two special kids’ programmes.
We spoke with Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta’s Seasons Café restaurant manager Ida Yanti, who organizes the hotel’s Sunday brunch kids’ programme and a Junior Chef class.
FS Family: What can families expect at the hotel’s Sunday brunch?
IY: We have a special programme for the kids. While parents are enjoying their meal in Seasons Café overlooking the gardens and pool, the kids (three to 12 years old) can join us nearby.
We have a mini buffet set up with a long table and chairs for all the activities. We’ll do anything from pizza decorating or arts and crafts to sandwich making. What’s really popular is cookie decorating. Parents love that their children can have their own fun time during brunch.
FS Family: What’s on offer on the kids’ buffet? What are some of the highlights?
IY: Nothing other than kids’ favorites! Burgers and French fries, cupcakes and popcorn—all served small portions ideal for our little diners.
FS Family: How about the signature brunch dishes for parents? Any local favourites that are not-to-be-missed?
IY: Our Sunday Brunch includes a variety of International cuisine: a cold seafood bar, fresh Pacific oysters, cheese board, Swiss fondue, roast beef and lamb carved to order, pasta cooked to order and popular dishes from Southeast Asia. We also have a pretty incredible Chocolate Gallery, plus a great selection of pastries, eggs prepared to your taste and favourites such as Orange Brioche French toast (the best in town, we hear), pancakes and waffles.
FS Family: How does the Junior Chef programme work?
IY: It’s complimentary for hotel guests. Junior Chef is aimed at kids three to 12 and takes place once a month during our Sunday Brunch as part of our kids’ activities The kids, usually in groups of 15 to 20, join our executive chef Sumanth Das to learn more about what it’s like to be a chef.
We equip the children with toques and aprons, and they learn how to prepare one dish from start to finish—usually a dessert. (One of our favourites is mini-cupcakes, moist cake with beautiful icing sugar, cream and decorations on top). Then they get to eat it (the best part). After the session, kids receive a certificate as a Four Seasons Junior Chef. I think the highlight for the children is putting on the chef’s attire and playing chef just like a real pro.
FS Family: What else can families expect?
IY: We have babysitting services at the hotel for parents and a special children’s menu, both at the Seasons Café restaurant and for in-service dining. Our most popular kids’ dishes are Fish ‘n Chips, burgers and our special Nasi Goreng Sosis (fried rice with sausage). We also serve our young guests complimentary milk and cookies before bedtime. Of course they love that!
FS Family: We’ve heard the puppets are really unique…
IY: Absolutely. If the parents request it (just ask at the concierge desk), we’ll take kids to a theatre to see a traditional folk performance (ondel-ondel) using large, colourful puppets. This is a wonderful experience, and along the way, they’ll get to see the Jakarta street markets and mosques.
While here, Mom and Dad might want to take the family to visit our Museum Wayang (the national puppet museum) and Southeast Asia’s largest performing arts centre, Taman Ismail Marzuki. The wayang golek (ornate puppets) that you’ll find in the city make exceptional souvenirs to take home. The family can browse for batik clothing and other traditional crafts.
Another fun to-do is to give the kids a mini geography, history and art lesson in Indonesia at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, a culture-based park with 26 traditional house replicas of the archipelago provinces. It’s just fascinating. You could spend a whole day there, really.
Read more about Jakarta in Four Seasons Magazine.
Ever since she was a young girl, Ida Yanti has enjoyed travel, meeting people from different cultures and food—especially sampling authentic dishes from different places. So a career in food and beverage proved the perfect match. Ida joined Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta in 2011 after stints at other five-star Jakarta hotels. She is the restaurant manager of the hotel’s main dining venue, Seasons Café, with the most lavish Sunday Brunch spreads in the city. Ida and her team also arrange the kids’ Sunday Brunch activities. She says: “For all parents, the perfect weekend is when we can just have fun with our children.”
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