The Exceptional Inggil Restaurant and Museum in Malang, East Java

Submitted by viravira on 27 December 2013   •  Destination

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Who here has dined in a museum? ME! Well, sort of. The place is called Inggil Restaurant and Museum. The concept is in the name, putting together some of Indonesian delicacies and historical displays in one place.

My first time to Inggil Restaurant was on a trip by Harris Hotel, and then I repeated it on my trip with Diyan a few months later. That’s how I loved eating there. The food, the interior, the restaurant mixed with museum concept, and the strategic location.

 Inggil Restaurant

The main dining area.

The Food 

Inggil Restaurant serves a lot of Indonesian menu, some of them being originally from East Java, like rawon, chicken satay, and tempe penyet. As world’s number one tempe lover, Diyan couldn’t possibly skip the tempe penyet. As world’s chicken dishes ambassador, I couldn’t possibly skip chicken on the menu, so I chose the grilled chicken.

Inggil Restaurant

 Corn rice, seafood & veggies, grilled chicken, tempe penyet

We also had some of the seafood menu, along with vegetables and corn rice. Most Indonesians eat rice as the main food, and a relatively small number of people eat corn or sago. I’ve only found corn rice (looks like it’s a mix of rice and corn) on my visits to Yogyakarta and East Java areas, as more and more people turn to rice as the main source of carbohydrate.

It was nice to have the corn rice on our plate, combining the subtle sweetness with the savory and hot dishes, with a different texture than the usual white steamed rice. It was served on banana leaf in a thatched rice bowl, giving it a traditional feel, which is in line with the whole restaurant’s interior design.

 

The Museum Part

When entering the building for the first time, I thought it was only a restaurant. Turns out, there’s a dining room that displays photos and cardboard cutouts of Indonesia’s forefathers with a bit of remarks of the important events depicted. There’s also a room that displays old appliances, like telephone and hair curler (how random!).

Vintage posters of commercial ads are hanged on the walls as well as a collection of Javanese masks and vintage cigarette labels.

Inggil Restaurant

 Cardboard cutouts and old posters.

I think combining restaurant and museum is a great idea. There’s a feeling of excitement when entering the building, especially if you didn’t expect it to be a museum. And when waiting for your food to be delivered to your table, you wouldn’t have to get bored because you can wait while looking at the collections and learn a little something about history. I think even if you’ve been there for several times, there would still be details that can steal your attention.

However, you can feel that the restaurant is the main deal of this place. If you’re interested in a more comprehensive museum experience, head next door to the Museum Malang Tempo Doeloe. Totally recommended!

 

The Ambiance

Inggil Restaurant caters to families and small groups. My first visit there was with a large group, and on the second visit there seemed to be a reunion that took up a lot of tables combined, in the main dining area. And when a group of Indonesians get together, we can be really noisy! But you can still dine peacefully in the smaller dining rooms. But if you want to have a more traditional experience, eat in one of the sawung (huts) and do it the lesehan (sitting on the floor with your legs crossed and shoes off) way.

Inggil Restaurant

 Dining in a museum, sort of.

The interior design is largely influenced by the traditional and vintage Javanese style. It feels like they’re trying to bring the outdoor ambiance indoor by using a lot of bamboos and wood for structure and furniture, and also thatched roof. The patterned tiles intensify the vintage feel to the whole design. I like it. It’s a nice change of ambiance to the modern restaurants I’m more used to.

Inggil Restaurant

 Patterned tiles in typical Instagram shots ;D

At the very end of the dining hall, there’s a stage with a set of gamelan and gongs. I’m guessing they’d have performances on special occasions, which would add the Javanese feel to the whole ambiance. That would make a perfect dining experience!

Inggil Restaurant

 Gamelan and gongs in the restaurant.

 

Knick Knack Shop

Entering Inggil Restaurant and Museum, you’ll walk past by a knick knack shop to your left. They sell tons of souvenirs in the forms of blangkon (Javanese man’s hat made of batik), sandals, necklaces, and many more. But some aren’t very traditional, like hair bands and baseball caps.

The strange thing is that the store keeper gave a confused look when I asked her if she had postcards in stock, like she’s never heard of a postcard before. Hm, I think it would make the whole concept perfect if they sold postcards for tourists there, wouldn’t you think?

Inggil Restaurant

Souvenirs and many more!

Location of Inggil Restaurant and Museum

It’s located in the heart of Malang city, East Java. Only a 5-minute walk from the Tugu monument and Tugu Hotel, and exactly next to the Museum Malang Tempo Doeloe. It’s a nice and leafy neighborhood with proper sidewalk.

Address:
Jalan Gajah Mada 4, Malang.

Inggil Restaurant

The exterior doesn’t quite do it justice.

 

If you like eating in artistic surrounding, you can also try Selasar Sunaryo in Bandung, West Java or Tugu Kunstkring Paleis in Jakarta.

Now, what is your recommended unique place to eat?


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