Destinations in Indonesia
TOKO OEN: NOSTALGIA ON A PLATE
The spongy sensation when a guest has a bite of Oen’s Symphony, - waffles with colorful scoops of melting ice cream, - is too memorable to forget. Every taste in the mouth is intensely palatable. Some of the must-try longstanding specialties here are: Wiener schnitzel, cordon bleu, tongue beef steak, nasi goreng (the legendary fried rice) uitsmijter, kaasstengels, and huzarensla (traditional Netherlands’ special potato salad). The presentation and preparation of these culinary delights have not changed through the decades: a fusion of Dutch, Chinese, and Indonesian taste, particularly the way it is served in front of the customer.
Toko Oen is one of the oldest restaurants, patisseries, and cafés in Semarang established on April 16, 1936.
Immediately as you enter the restaurant cum pastry shop, a black grand piano welcomes you on the right side of the room before the counter. Large old-style cookie jars invite every visitor to turn back the hands of time. Not much has changed since its opening, and visitors, especially those from overseas, highly appreciate its preserved atmosphere. Try tutti-frutti to comprehend the taste of authenticity.
… it is about reminiscence and personal stories
The atmosphere in Toko Oen is more than welcoming. The high ceiling and tall windows of the room give that sensation of suddenly finding oneself in a colonial Dutch building built for tropical countries. Across the broken-white painted hall, a mural shows its 75-year anniversary. Toko Oen is not only about its longstanding business in cuisine and pastry, but to thousands of nostalgic Dutch tourists, it is about reminiscence and personal stories.
Madam Liem Gien Nio and Oen Tjoen Hok established the restaurant on Bodjong Street, which was popular for cultural interaction during the Dutch colonial time. The building in Semarang was bought from an Englishman who owned a grill room, and then converted it into a restaurant. Today, the shop is found on Jalan Pemuda no. 52, Semarang. From Kota Lama, it lies within walking distance. While, from Tawang Train Station, you just need a short becak ride. Toko Oen Semarang is popular with local guests and particularly with those from European countries, offering nostalgia as its most important ingredient.
By Becak To Toko Oen
There are a few street food stalls in Kota Lama and Tawang Train Station area, but if you wish to taste an extra flavor to the nostalgic tour in Semarang, a stroll to Toko Oen is a perfect choice. There is in fact an additional twist to a becak ride in Kota Lama, Semarang, as this is a pleasant and relaxing experience.
It will not take more than 20 minutes to cruise through Kota Lama and stop in front of Toko Oen. The Tawang Train Station is a place where becaks are conveniently parked. There is an informal group of becak drivers who flock outside the gate, that you can easily ask one to take you around Kota Lama and stop across Sriratu Mall, where Toko Oen is located. Alternatively, you can go directly to Toko Oen.
Bargain with the becak driver to get a satisfying ride. From where ever you are in Kota Lama or near the Tugu Muda close to the Lawang Sewu building, a becak ride to Toko Oen will not cost you more than IDR 20,000 a ride.
The restaurant opens from 10 am to 10 pm. If you missed it, stay at a nearby hotel in Semarang. If you must leave soon, and you happen to be in Holland afterwards, you can stop by one of the restaurants with the same name in Delft or Den Haag.
Toko Oen Semarang
Jalan Pemuda No. 52
Phone:+62 354 1683 or +62 838 3888 8067
www.tokooen.com (in Dutch)
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