Located in the creative neighbourhood of Darmo, this bright joint has a pleasing pastoral feel, thanks to plenty of plants and semi-outdoor seating. It’s also connected to a three-floor boutique called Ore that sells modern and vintage clothes and accessories from around the globe. Inspired by the colonial name of the street on which it sits – Carpentierstraat, now known as Jalan Untung Suropati – the restaurant features a menu with generous breakfasts and mostly Western dishes. Try the Ultimate Burger, a belly-busting bundle primed with hydroponically grown romaine, a homemade beef patty, mozzarella, barbecue mushroom sauce and beef bacon.
2. Museum Surabaya
Spread across a section of the Siola Building – a beautiful Art Deco edifice in the city centre filled with government offices – this museum is a quirky collection of items and information that seems to have been pulled together with little curation. And it’s all the more fascinating for it, with the feel of an eccentric millionaire’s estate sale. In addition to panels that recount the city’s history from the 9th century, visitors will encounter pianos, typewriters, dentist chairs, a recreation of an ancient Javanese kitchen, city revenue management ledgers from the 1920s and a range of traditional Javanese transport vehicles like the becak, bemo and bajaj.
1–3 Jln Tunjungan
“I like to wander around Darmo to visit some of its creative spaces. There will often be an event at Qubicle Center Suropati 84 or Kultur Space, and afterwards I can get coffee at one of the many cafés” — Erel Hadimuljono, architect
As its name hints, this independently run library and co-working space houses a trove of books, films and media shared among the community with the aim of helping people interact, learn and work together. Highlights include discussions, workshops, publishing projects, language classes, film screenings and farmers’ markets, as well as the chance for visitors to meet Surabayans from different walks of life.
A magnet for anyone hoping to score some good photos, this café is a study in minimalism, with white walls and ceilings, large plate-glass windows, muted poured-concrete floors and some carefully positioned potted plants and vines that give the place a clean, Scandinavian aesthetic. Its location close to a high school and a Catholic university pulls in a youngish crowd for its standard café bites (think waffles, fries, pasta, burgers and salads) but more reliably for its tea, hot chocolate and fabulous coffee.
Situated in west Surabaya’s Sambikerep – a district that locals might tell you is filled with “Crazy Rich Surabayans” – this new multi- functional complex is wholly dedicated to wellness. Divided between two levels of a sleek white building, the interiors include plenty of light-wood accents. Units include a kids’ club; a café and restaurant with health-focused menus; a spa; and a fitness studio with yoga and Pilates.
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This article was originally published in the May 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine