The dimly lit ambiance of Nautilus Bar sets the stage for an enchanting evening, accompanied by soothing jazz melodies and the delightful hum of conversation. Located in the heart of Jakarta’s city center, this elegant establishment captivates its patrons with its creative cocktails and hypnotic ambiance that encourages guests to linger.
As the newly appointed Bar Manager of Four Seasons Jakarta, Julian Benjamin Brigget aims to provide a casual and welcoming experience for guests seeking respite after a long work day. “We want to be like your friend, offering support and relaxation when needed. We strive to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere because we understand that guests want to unwind after a hectic day,” Julian explained.
Originally from Malaysia, Julian brings with him a wealth of experience from his time at Bar Trigona, which was recognized as the Best Bar in Malaysia and ranked #29 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. His expertise lies in carefully curating a selection of premium cocktails and spirits, drawing upon his extensive knowledge and skill.
“I believe it’s going to be a new challenge for me. Because you have a great beverage scene in Jakarta with many strong bartenders here. And it’s something that learning from them and seeing what they do will probably give me an insight into what I need to do and grow as a bar manager,” said Julian brimming with enthusiasm.
Julian’s journey in the food and beverage industry began in 2012 when he started his career at a five-star luxury hotel in Malaysia. From room service to all-day dining and eventually a high-volume rooftop bar, he honed his skills and developed a passion for crafting cocktails. His perspective shifted when he joined Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur and immersed himself in the craft cocktail experience at Bar Trigona, sparking a profound interest in beverages and flavor profiles.
Julian recounts that his involvement in the bar scene began around 2016. He started working at a bustling establishment, which could almost be described as a nightclub during weekends, serving popular yet straightforward cocktails. However, his worldview began to change the first time he was introduced to the world of mixology and the craft of cocktail-making. The focus shifted towards using fresh ingredients and incorporating a thoughtful concept into the menu, which piqued his interest. During this time, Julian’s expertise in the art of bartending began to take shape.
“When I started working at Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur at Trigona Bar,” Julian recalled, “my perspective of the beverage scene got completely changed into a craft cocktail experience. And along those lines,” he continued, “I started learning about beverages, the art of making cocktails and playing around with flavor profiles. So this is what caught my interest the most.”
Honing his skills at multiple luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Julian rapidly moved up the ladder to bar service leader and then team leader. He showcases his meticulous mixology skills with a touch of storytelling in every creation.
“Whenever you’re presenting a menu to a guest, it’s all about presenting it with a story. Why are you using a herb, spice, or fruit? So it’s all about introducing this to your guests and the customers that come here, or your regulars, or could be industry personnel as well. So they understand the direction of how you are actually going to go with a drink. It’s always good to have a bit of storytelling towards the concept of your menu, your concept of your drinks, and your ideology of what you want to move forward to,” explained Julian.
But his passion isn’t only about storytelling; his indulgence in the craft of cocktail making includes searching for the best ingredients and offering a unique experience for his guests. One of his past creations involved working closely with different farmers to showcase the beauty of local produce.
“When I was in Malaysia, my team and I created ‘Herb’s Garden in your Glass’ and ‘Lifecycle of a Fruit.’ These menus were solely based on Malaysia’s flavors and ingredients commonly found in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia,” he shares.
He also intends to bring something similar and more elevated ideas to Nautilus Bar. “One of my goals for Nautilus is actually to come out with a solid beverage program. And one of them is to focus all around Indonesia and the ingredients commonly used and found here.”
At Nautilus Bar, Julian intends to build a solid beverage program highlighting Indonesian ingredients’ rich diversity. Inspired by the spice trade of 16th-century Indonesia, the bar pays homage to seafaring traditions and skillfully combines premium spirits and sustainable ingredients with modern mixology techniques. Julian’s personal taste leans towards strong, spirit-forward drinks, complemented by fruitier options to begin the night. He envisions creating a variety of flavors to cater to different preferences.
“I like to drink very strong spirit-forward style of drinks. But at the same time, I also look for something fruity to start off the night. So generally, it’s strong to end and fruity to start. So my cocktails will be based on something similar to this type of process. So we will have three different flavors. So that’s how I would start to create.”
Above all, Julian’s goal for Nautilus Bar is to provide guests with a relaxed and enjoyable experience. Whether you seek a tranquil evening or a lively gathering, the bar aims to transport you to a space of comfort and relaxation. “When you step into Nautilus, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a place where you can chill and unwind. We’ll take care of you and ensure you have a wonderful time,” Julian expressed enthusiastically.
With Julian Benjamin Brigget at the helm, Nautilus Bar promises an enticing journey through flavors, ambiance, and exceptional hospitality, inviting guests to indulge and unwind in the heart of Jakarta.