These 2 (Top Gun at Blok M and Red Square at Plaza Senayan) are definitely among the top clubs for a foreigner looking to spend some hours drinking, dancing and having fun. Though they are not far from each other (about 10 minutes by taxi) yet they seem totally different.
TOP GUN BLOK M A LOCAL LEGEND IN THE SOUTH JAKARTA
Top Gun is a famous bar that has live music most evenings especially in the weekends. Now some people really like the feeling and atmosphere of this place and the bands playing a wide array of cover songs are pleasant. The place is crowded after 10 PM or so and one thing that attracts some customers (and drives away others) are the usual working girls which are here every night. The drinks are reasonably priced but there is too much cigarette smoke for the non-smokers to feel comfortable. The girls are not at all aggressive though at the beginning they will bump into you or just ask your name and try to make small talk. The median age of the club customers is around 40 but you can still find younger people popping in once in a while. Rumors are that many of the expatriates fellows working in the oil industry are attending this place for girls’ services.
Top Gun is located somewhere at the start of South Jakarta, close to the Blok M Square Mall along with other obscure bars. To get there you could take a taxi and most people recommend Blue Bird for good reasons. There are visitors from other South East Asian countries that come specifically to spend the weekend in Jakarta. There are hotels close to Blok M and we can list M Hotel, Hotel Melawai, Losari Hotel, D’Cozy Hotel, Amaris Hotel and Win Hotel. No safety issues here though at the first glance the zone looks a bit shady. There are girls offering services at most corners but I’ve never felt threaten or in danger of any kind. A few times I’ve walked at night to the Blok M Square shopping centers and markets through the local bus stand and the small market.
JAKARTA RED SQUARE FAMOUS AMONG YOUNGSTERS
Red Square seems to attract a more upscale clientele that likes en vogue DJ and dance music and fancy drinks and cocktails. The owners are proud with the club name which represents a vodka bar. Inside one could find a mix of rich local kids, professionals, expats and tourists. The average age is somewhere under 30 hence the music taste and the dance ring. What I personally find difficult is to get into discussions with other clubbers. It’s true that you don’t need to talk a lot but dance and get drunk. Still the ambiance seemed to me a bit dry like the advertised vodka. Also the place itself seems tiny and can get very crowded.
Its location is inside the Plaza Senayan Arcadia (in case the taxi drivers don’t know) which is between Central and South Jakarta. To get inside the complex the taxi needs to pass a security checkpoint so if you are worried about safety this is the place to be. Also the neighborhood is more select with most of the luxury hotels located nearby. Some of the 5 stars hotels situated in Senayan and surroundings are Mulia Hotel, Ritz Carlton Pacific Place, The Sultan Hotel and Crowne Plaza.
WHICH BAR OR CLUB IN JAKARTA IS BETTER TO VISIT
Top Gun is a good place to spend a few hours with your buddies. It’s easy to make new friends and establish connections. Contrary to what some say you can find good girls here though you need a trained eye to spot them.
Red Square is more noisy and people more snobbish while the girls make themselves harder to approach even though they may act contrary to their intentions. I recommend making friends first then going there together.
Personal favorite: I enjoy the Lychee Beer which I haven’t tried anywhere else but Jakarta. Reminder: Always carry your passport with you and your helmet if you ride a bike. These are verified reasons for the Indonesian Police to stop you and your taxi and fine you. And you don’t get a receipt.