A Bite of NYC in Jakarta: Bagel Bagel

I remember there was a time (a few years back, when I just started blogging), when bagel was the newest 'it' food in Jakarta. The name responsible for introducing the NYC tradition to the mass consumers in Jakarta was Bagel Bagel. You know it must be a good business when copycats started appearing, and that's exactly what happened: copycats selling bagels under different names.
Bagel Bagel
Today, as far as I know, only Bagel Bagel survives, although it was not without a significant struggle. The change of owners (the original owners were not so much into the business after a while and were on the verge of letting it 'die' slowly, but one bagel lover bought the entire business and today runs it with the other new business partners). The not-doing-so-well branches were closed, and they focused on the main outlet, starting from renovating the store to become more modern & brighter, while slowly adding new items on the menu.

I asked Amanda, the avid bagel lover I mentioned earlier (in other words, she's one of the new owners), on what a bagel must actually taste like. Based on her personal experience during her years in the US, American bagels are normally toasted and slightly tough outside, but chewy inside, nothing resembling buns / breads. It was another challenge to educate Indonesians about the art of bagel, because we still tend to see it as a type of bread, which most people assume, must be soft and fluffy. WRONG people!

To compensate this, Bagel Bagel has to tweak its bagels slightly to be not too chewy and tough, in order to appeal to the local palate. Quite a pity, but foodies in Jakarta today are much more open to new things, so perhaps one day Amanda can revert the bagel recipe to the original NYC-style bagels.

The Bagels
Obviously, the bagels are sold here, by the piece or by the dozen. Available bagel flavours are plain, whole wheat, everything, poppy seed, sesame seed, chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin, cheese.
Bagel Bagel
Left: Homemade Thai Iced Tea IDR 22,000
Right: Poppy Seed Bagel IDR 9,000
Choice of  'schmear';
- Plain / flavoured (garlic & chives / cracked black pepper) cream cheese
- Strawberry cream cheese
- Nutella
- Butter (plain / salted / garlic)
Strawberry Cream Cheese with Cinamon Raisin Bagel
Strawberry Cream Cheese with Cinamon Raisin Bagel IDR 25,000
The Bagel Bagel experience won't be complete without trying the 'Bagelwich' (bagel sandwich), which is basically sandwiches, but using bagels instead of buns / sliced loaf. At the time of my visit, there were 10 savoury Bagelwich flavours, which I heard from one of the current owners, more will be added soon.

These are some, which I tried:
Lox - smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers & red onion. Perfect smoked salmon with generous cream cheese, I don't have to say more.
Lox with Whole Wheat Bagel IDR 55,000
Turkey Cranberry - in-house roasted turkey with herbs, cranberry sauce & cheddar cheese
Turkey Cranberry with Poppy Seed Bagel IDR 55,000
Eggs Benedict - poached egg, smoked beef, hollandaise sauce, parsley.
The standard at Bagel Bagel is well done egg, so if you want that runny golden yolk, make sure you tell the staff when placing your order.
Eggs Benedict with Cheese Bagel IDR 52,000

Philly Cheese Steak - sauteed steak, mushroom and melted cheese sauce.
This is my brother's favourite and it became mine too. Super highly recommended.
Philly Cheese Steak with Everything Bagel IDR 55,000
So besides for dine in, you could stock up your fridge with some bagel take aways. How to take care of your bagels:
- Refrigeration (lasts 5 - 7 days): keep in a closed paper bag and add an outer plastic bag, store in the fridge.
- Freezing (lasts up to 6 months): keep in a vacuum ziploc bag & freeze. Requires thawing before heating.
- Reheating: never use a microwave! Toast / bake in an oven or non-stick pan (the latter works for me, as I don't have an oven at home).

Finding bagel (a decent one that is) in Jakarta is quite challenging due to the lack demand (if demand is low, supply is low). If you suddenly miss having a taste of NYC, Bagel Bagel to the rescue!! Oh, on top of those the above Bagelwich flavours I tried, you might like to try the Thai Spicy Chicken (grilled chicken breast, lettuce, tomato & tangy Thai sauce) or the Scrambled Egg & Salmon.

Open Hours:
Sunday - Thursday: 7 AM - 7 PM
Friday & Saturday: 7 AM - 9 PM

*) Prices are subject to 10% Tax.
Delivery (free) only in Kemang area.

- Kemang store: Jl. Benda Raya no 14D (across ATM BCA)
Kemang - South Jakarta
Click here for Google Maps
Ph: +6221 781 8769 / 780 6218
- Plaza Senayan store: Food Court 3rd Floor



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