In these rapid times and even more rapid advancements, it’s often that one searches for that haven for unwinding and merry times. Trouble comes, trouble goes but you can always rely on B.A.T.S to provide your much-needed distraction. It may be short-termed but hey, we never claimed that life is perfect.
Simply short for ‘Bar and Restaurant At The Shangri-La’, this jolly place has established its own special place in the hearts of Jakarta expats and tourists. Maybe it is not exactly as exclusive as you might hope for it to be, but it is chocked-filled with fun, that can make balancing accounts seem like kid’s play. Besides, it is simply impossible to ignore B.A.T.S’ s presence. The bar and diner’s location beneath the elegant towers of the Shangri-La hotel in the heart of Jakarta makes it easily accessible to everyone looking for hearty entertainment and release from the working day’s stress.
From its entrance on the hotel’s first floor, you would already notice that this is a very classy place, saved from frills and dodgy neon lights. B.A.T.S sticks to the good old masculine comfort of wood and bricks which for some, means the ultimate formula for coziness. Deceivingly medieval, you will notice that B.A.T.S actually caters to the urban underground bar image upon closer inspection. Raw brick walls combined with simple furniture and a maze of large pipes on the ceiling will trap you into feeling like you are inside an abandoned cellar CSI-style.
Upon arrival, you will be introduced to the non-smoking section of B.A.T.S. Perfect for that chill-out session, you can indulge in a few rounds on the pool table or throw a few darts. A flat screen broadcasting sport events gives a further nudge to the slightly sports bar image. Considerably smaller in size, this is the introduction to the party that is downstairs.
With a large circular bar facing the spacious dance floor, it is uncommon to see crowds grooving along to the tunes of the DJ or the band onstage. A dining section is tucked a bit further away in a corner decorated with caricatures of murals picturing famous B.A.T.S clients. Be seen, be nice, and you’d probably experience temporary fame there.
Usually coming to life after-work hours, the lower section of this joint is crawling with the corporate movers and execs. It’s your after-office party, with the tie loosened, the pen left aside and the charts cast away. What started out as a way to avoid the infamous jams of Jakarta, the party there just gets wilder and better as the night goes on.
The atmosphere here pushes it to triumphant heights over the rest of the bars. Mr Yuska Tuanakotta, the communications coordinator for Shangri-La, explains that B.A.T.S is among a few spots that has survived with the concept of live bands in these hey-days of DJs and electronic music. The key is simply entertainment and B.A.T.S certainly knows how to deal its cards in this game. With experienced international bands working up the crowd, B.A.T.S knows how to keep them coming back for more. Between the breaks, House DJ Buddy Mack keeps the party going with his skillful spinning. And if you feel you have more skills than them, prove yourself on Sunday nights, where the stage is left at the mercy of diners and party-goers.
Mr Yuska also explains that although the party can get wild in B.A.T.S, the place is proudly drugs and weapon-free. With a white-collared crowd just looking to have a good time and an opportunity to flaunt their ‘conversational skills’, the risks of your otherwise-daily-young-punk-brawl is greatly minimized.
B.A.T.S offers serious food with generous portions. Delicious, New York-style ribs and linguini are perfect accompaniments for the beer served in awesomely tall glasses. However, the highlight in B.A.T.S dining is certainly the mouthwatering 18-inch pizza bursting with mozzarella. We’re talking the sticky kind that stretches as you pull it, making your meal as fun as it is delicious. As for the drinks, it seems that beer takes the spotlight among the crowd, but do give the B.A.T.S specialty drink, Urban Bats, a try. This green evolution of tequila made with Bacardi, Blue Curacao, Vodka, Midori, Triple Sec and Sprite packs one mean punch. Cigar lovers can relish in high-quality puffs from the stock available in the bar.
Its acronyms may spell horror for some, but B.A.T.S is one ‘nightmare’ you want to indulge in. From the great crowd, the greater vibe, the big food portions and the safety it holds proud, B.A.T.S is more of a dream than it is a nightmare