Originally a sleepy residential district – evidenced by the large colonial bungalows with sweeping lawns that still punctuate this kilometre-long stretch – Jalan Tirtodipuran was not always a happening ’hood. But the arrival of artists in the late 1990s slowly began to put the area on the map, a trend that has continued with the emergence of various shops, cafés, galleries and restaurants over the years. The colourful art now dominating its side streets also gives a stroll through this neighbourhood a distinctly off-beat vibe.
Offering a selection of retro toys and kitschy art pieces, this boutique will appeal to those looking for unique souvenirs of the city. But if it’s a more permanent memento that you’re after, pop into owner Anneke Fitrianti’s tattoo parlour next door. You may have to book her time early, as her reputation as an ink artist is spreading fast across Indonesia and beyond.
15 Jln Tirtodipuran
Warung Bu Ageng
Traditional Indonesian food is the main draw at this casual Javanese restaurant, which is owned by an Indonesian artist. The focus here is on home-style cooking, and standout dishes include the nasi pecel telur ceplok (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce) and sayur lodeh (vegetables in coconut curry). To balance out the spice, try the es kopyor duren, a refreshing drink of durian, coconut and ice.
13 Jln Tirtodipuran; warungbuageng.com
With its soothing white colour scheme and minimalist interiors, Ruang Seduh (whose name means “brewing room”) resembles a laboratory of sorts. It’s got the science of coffee down pat, too – here, you can either order a coffee at the counter, or brew it yourself at the communal coffee station, using beans sourced from independent local roasters. The baristas are happy to help you create the perfect cup of joe.
46 Jln Tirtodipuran
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy Lotus Mio’s gelato, cakes and pastries. The café also houses a branch of popular local chocolatier Chocolate Monggo. Started in Yogyakarta by Belgian Thierry Detournay as a personal project – he originally sold his creations from the back of his Vespa – Chocolate Monggo has since become Indonesia’s top producer of quality chocolate, incorporating exotic flavours that include ginger and red chilli.
10 Jln Tirtodipuran
Kedai Kebun Forum
Curated by Indonesian artist Agung Kurniawan, this two-storey art centre houses a gallery, a performance space, a restaurant and a shop selling locally made leather products. There’s always plenty going on here, from monthly art exhibitions to film screenings and music performances. Drop in for lunch or a drink, and soak up the artistic vibes from the second-floor terrace.
3 Jln Tirtodipuran; kedaikebun.com
SilkAir flies daily between Singapore and Yogyakarta. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
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This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of Silkwinds magazine