Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 12 October 2011 • Blog
One Saturday morning I woke up and out of nowhere a light bulb lit in my head. I thought, ‘Hey, why not I make a list of things and places I love most in Bandung?’ I took my laptop to the living room, slid open the balcony door, dragged my bean bag chair to the doorway and prepared a glass of milk. And here’s the outcome of the productive Saturday morning in a rarely cool weather of Jakarta.
My favorite places to eat
ORIGIN Restaurant. Located on Sumatera street, only a couple of meters from the railway, on the right side of the street. It claims to serve only healthy food. Let the Health Department worry about that, I just want a cozy and nicely designed place to eat and hang out, updating gossips with my college friends. Origin consists of 3 parts. You’ll find a store of healthy food once you enter the place, and then walk down the aisle you’ll see amazing vintage-style things displayed for purchase, and then the restaurant at the very end. Caged pretty little birds will accompany your meal, at whichever spot you choose to sit.
SAM’S STRAWBERRY on Jalan Ir. H. Djuanda or more popularly known as Dago street. I was gonna put this on ‘My favorite food’ because it really is the chicken noodle that always draws me back to this front yard diner. But I realize, they have a branch in South Jakarta as well, but I go there next to never. So I guess it’s the atmosphere that I also love. Very laid back, simple, and yet at one of the busiest hubs of the city.
My favorite foods
BUBUR AYAM PAK ZAENAL (translates to Mr. Zaenal’s chicken porridge). Passing away a few years ago, Pak Zaenal inherited the great recipe and shabby diner to his wife and children. I was never a fan of any porridge until my senior year of high school when I lived 5 minutes walking distance away from this place. It’s [kental] unlike most porridge, and my favorite [topping] would be the chicken liver. Watch out for the chili, it would most probably give you the Bali belly.
BATAGOR, sold at many places, as it is one of Bandung’s special food. Some of the places where I often have batagor: Kartika Sari restaurant on Dago street (near the intersection with Cikapayang street) and Batagor Kingsley on Veteran street. We’ve written a bit about it here.
My favorite places to shop
THE FACTORY OUTLETS (popularly known as FO’s) on Jalan R.E. Martadinata aka Riau street, around the intersection with Jalan Banda. I’m with the mainstream crowd on this. Now even Malaysians travel to Bandung to shop at these outlets.
An FO was originally a store that sells rejected export items and many carry international big brand clothes like GAP, Esprit, Nudie jeans, etc. They still have those now, but I’m suspicious that they also sell regular items. Honestly, the last time I went there, which was less than a month ago, I was kinda disappointed with their collection. It’s always like that with these FO’s, sometimes they have it good, sometimes yuck. If they keep up the standard like they do now, I might have another shopping place move up to the top of the list.
DISTROS. Distros carry local products, mostly from Bandung itself, being known as the ‘creative city’ and ‘fashion city’ of Indonesia. But it’s been quite a long time since I went in to one (the last time was in January). Many local boutiques and distro shops have been popping up. It would require another weekend trip to Bandung just to shop. Hm.. Tempting!
My favorite places to crash
The best things in life are free: friends’ houses to crash at. Danti and Tanti, both college friends of mine that coincidentally have similar names, have been the hosts of my Bandung trips most often.
Too bad they’re not listed on Couchsurfing, but don’t worry ‘cos there are plenty choices of places to stay in Bandung! 🙂
Note: this city never stops growing, I might make a different list in a couple of years, like I would probably have if I had done this 5 or 10 years ago.
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