Jakarta is a city of dynamic change and burgeoning growth particularly among the rapidly growing middle classes. There is much competition in all things, whether it is watching the latest Hollywood flick, owning the trendiest gadget or being seen at the cool Magnum Café, which opened last February in central Jakarta.

For many of us, Magnum conjures images of a handsome, mustached private detective who lived in Hawaii and rescued damsels in distress and righted wrongs for a few years.  But in Indonesia, the name Magnum has come to mean something else even more delectable.

Just as popular as the café itself is its offshoot, Magnum Ice Cream, a brand launched by Unilever, an Indonesian consumer goods conglomerate. Ice cream lovers line up in queues that get longer each day as they wait patiently for the unique chocolate-coated ice cream on a stick.

“It’s the Belgian chocolate that makes it different from other ice creams. The chocolate is amazing,” says Githa, a teacher in Jakarta.

Magnums can be enjoyed in different delicious ways. The chocolate can act as a dipping sauce into almost everything the café has to offer: appetizers, main courses, desserts and cocktails. An Italian chef developed the devastating menu which features: Waffle de Aristocrat, Goblet of Chocolate, Crown Jewel and Truffle Royale.

Magnum is not just ice cream. Its consumption marks an elite journey into celebrity, luxury and a lifestyle in view but just barely out of reach. Television stars such as Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives and actor, Benicio del Toro, have endorsed the “luxury” ice cream.

The café sells hundreds of Magnums each day and charges about $1.38 for each one. This may seem cheap by US standards but isn’t when juxtaposed with the fact that according to the World Bank data, the average Indonesian lives on less than $6 per day.

There seems little else to say except…YUM!




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.