Saturday, July 16, 2016

Jawa Timur Trip - Farewell Surabaya

We were ready to get back to the reality!

We spent our night packing all the things that we bought in Malang and Surabaya and the next morning, we were only left with one breakfast and we were bound to the airport already.

From this
To this

We chose our last meal in Surabaya to be Lontong Balap Pak Gendut. Lontong Balap is a traditional food of East Java consisting lontong (steamed rice cake), tahu goreng (fried tofu), taoge (bean sprout), lentho (nut cake), bawang goreng (fried shallot) with clear base sweet savoury soup. Literally, lontong balap means racing rice cake. It got its name from the custom long long time ago that the street sellers of this food would race to be the earliest to reach the market and get the best spot. Until now, even though there is no such custom anymore, Lontong Balap retains its name.

Lontong Balap Pak Gendut
The cart in front of the kiosk
Taa daa, Lontong Balap

The taste of this food is quite unique and tasty. I will not miss this food but it is not bad either. I think, if you ever visit Surabaya, you ought to try this food so that you know.

We made another short stop at Spikoe, the famous shop for lapis surabaya before heading to the airport.

The hard-to-notice sign board
The shop

We parted way at the airport.

We parted with Surabaya.

Jawa Timur, till I see you again.

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

Jawa Timur Trip - fin

Jawa Timur Trip - Missing Sunset, Missing Suramadu

Jembatan Suramadu (Bridge of Suramadu) is a bridge that connect Java Island and Madura Island. It got the name from the abbreviation of Surabaya and Madura. This cable-supported bridge has 5.4 km length and was the first sea-crossing bridge in Indonesia, operating since 2009. Since then, the bridge has become one of the tourist attractions in Surabaya and most Indonesians, behaving like Indonesians, like to alight from their cars or bikes in the middle of the bridge to take pictures even it is strictly prohibited.

We did not intend to do that of course. We only wanted to view the bridge and took some pictures with the bridge and the sunset as the background. As the old saying says, human can plan but God decides, we missed both Suramadu and the sunset.

We were already driving towards the north when the driver told us that some riots between football supporters were ongoing nearby and it would not be safe for us to approach Suramadu. We love our lives and we concerned about safety so we agreed to cancel the plan. He then brought us to a shopping mall nearby called Grand Palace Mall.

Grand Palace Mall

We were not so interested in shopping malls so we only spent less than an hour here. We called the driver to bring us to the next stop, which would be our dinner, Sate Klopo Ondomohen. It's basically chicken satay served with a twist. In the normal circumstances, chicken satay will be char grilled and dressed with peanut sauce, but here, the chicken satay is rolled in grated coconut before grilling. The result, terrible.

I am not so sure why the net praise this place so much. For me, the coconut shield the chicken to be grilled properly. The coconut is mostly burned and the chicken inside is dry and not juicy. There is no taste of marinate too. And the peanut sauce served with the satay is not as much as expected.

When we walked out of this place, we smelled like satay ourselves.

The not-so-obvious banner
The place where they grill outside and diners eat inside
Sate Klopo Ondomohen

We tried to console ourselves with ice cream and we went to Pondok Es Krim Zangrandi. This is somewhat like legendary ice cream depot in Surabaya. I had my hope quite high for this place.

Pondok Es Krim Zangrandi
The interior, quite cosy

We ordered various ice creams and cakes. The ice creams were generally too sweet for my taste and they melted easily. The cakes were not up to my expectation as the first layer and second layer of the cake did not suit each other, for every single one that we ordered. I was quite disappointed in the quality.

Our order
As long as we are together

We then got back to the hotel and packed our suitcases for the next day's travel back to the real world.

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

Next - Farewell Surabaya

Jawa Timur Trip - Hello Surabaya, Hello Sampoerna

It was around noon that we reached Surabaya and our first stop was of course lunch. We chose Rumah Makan Ayam Goreng Asli Pemuda (Original Fried Chicken Restaurant 'Pemuda'). Even though the restaurant has many franchise chain all over Indonesia already, we still wanted to taste the real one. So, here we were.

I think everything is delicious here. No more commentary.

The facade
The food

After filling our tummies, we moved to our next destination, Sambal Bu Rudy. This is a shop that sells its own brand of chilli sauce and it is very well known all over Indonesia. If you ever come to Surabaya, Sambal Bu Rudy shall be one of the thing inside your luggage when you depart.

The shop
What we bought. The cashier laughed at us when we paid.

We scheduled to visit House of Sampoerna in Surabaya. This is a museum that showcases the famous brand of cigarette in Indonesia and the founder of it. It is free of charge and the place is so well maintained, better that those in Batu.

The museum is located in the former house of the founder, Lim Seeng Tee, and the production facility. The complex consists of one main building and two annexes at the east and west side. It was an orphanage during the Dutch colonisation and was bought over by Lim Seeng Tee in 1932 to be his cigarette production facility.

In 2003, the complex was open to public even though the production of cigarette brand 'Dji Sam Soe' is still in operation. Half of the main building has been turned into a museum and shop, while the remaining still serves as a factory. One of the annexe is a cafe now, while another annexe is still occupied by the descendant of Lim Seeng Tee.

Taking photo in front of House of Sampoerna
The main building
Early life of Lim Seeng Tee
His transportation mode when selling his goods before he became the rich
The Packaging of Dji Sam Soe
Typical cigarette kiosk in many villages and towns
The machine used back then to produce cigarette
The operational factory
It is so well maintained, even the toilet!
A bit high due to the strong smell of cigar 
One of the annexes that serves as a cafe
House of Sampoerna also provides free city tour using this bus at certain timing, but make sure to book early!

Our next schedule was to watch the sunset at the Bridge of Suramadu. Did we manage to?

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

Next Post - Missing Sunset, Missing Suramadu

Jawa Timur Trip - Morning in Malang

We had schedule in Malang, not to visit any attraction but to eat and to buy souvenirs for our loved ones back home.

Our first stop is Malang Strudel. Malang is well known for its production of apple and strudel is always associated with apple. Strudel is the traditional Viennese delicacy that is brought to Malang recently. People can chooseIt has become one of the most sought food stuff in Malang nowadays. 

We reached the place early around 8 p.m. before the fresh one arrived from the factory. So we waited for a while until the goods arrived and purchased two boxes for tasting. After that, the impulsive decision came in.

Two for samples
Impulse kicked in
The result

Our next destination is breakfast by the side of a railway, literally. We have been reading a lot about this 'Bakso President' which has so so so many good reviews and recommendations. Of course, we were intrigued to try. We had one bowl of the bakso campur kuah (meatball soup) and shared the bakso bakar (char grilled meat ball). The meatball was so-so, the soup base was not bad, and the bakso bakar was not bad too. I will rate it 6/10 maybe.

Maybe it would taste better when a train passed by
Bakso Bakar
Bakso Campur

We sat there for a while because we met our secondary school friend who lived here and soon would be a practicing doctor. After catching up with each other's life, we bid good bye to her and continued our journey.


According to the theme for the day, our next stop was a centre to purchase traditional delicacies of Malang: Toko Sensa. It sells the famous bakpia, sweet delicacies, and also coffee. I purchased the coffee and the coffee turned out to be decent. They serve flat white too!

As women, we are not that easy to get satisfied. Besides Toko Sensa, there is another similar shops selling mostly chips, nuts and crackers. We also did some shopping here. I bought the tempeh crackers which tasted very good.

The coffee
The coffee lounge
Shopping at the neighbouring shop

Then, we drove to a place called Republik Telo. Telo is yam and this place specialised in yam product, such as bakpao telo (yam pau), pia telo (yam piah), es krim telo (yam ice cream), etc. We intended to try the bakpao telo but we came too late it had run out of stock.

Republik Telo

We finished our morning in Malang and drove all the way to Surabaya. Surabaya, here we come!!!

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

Next Post - Hello Surabaya, Hello Sampoerna

Jawa Timur Trip - Batu Night Spectacular

We had our early dinner at Omah Kitir Cafe. We read in many sites that this is the most romantic restaurant in town. In my mind, I had something like The Valley Cafe in Bandung whereby the diners could eat and enjoy the scenery of the town from above. Sure this place is at the higher ground, but we could not see anything even though we were seated outdoor.

The cafe served western food and we ordered a few varieties for sharing. The taste of the foods was quite nice although the place turned unsuitable for eating when it was dark. We chit-chatted for a while before proceeding to Batu Night Spectacular as our last itinerary in Batu.

Omah Kitir Cafe
No lights, nothing. Maybe this is why people refer to this cafe as 'the most romantic' in town.

Batu Night Spectacular is another highlight in Batu for night timer. It is opened at 6 p.m. and last until midnight or so. It consists of lanterns festival, ghost house, theme park rides, eateries, and shopping streets.

Moving inside
Go cart at the left, swing at the back, something else at the right, and a pretty lady in the centre
Castle full of lanterns
Lampion Garden
Phototaking 101: Block the path to create impression of having the place for yourself
Love Garden
I wish I can erase the two at the back
Millenial Cinderella

We also stopped by the food court nearby the Love Garden to stretch our legs and enjoy wedang ronde and sekoteng. Wedang ronde is glutinous rice ball in ginger soup and I extremely love this dish. However, the version of wedang ronde here does not use brown sugar thus it is not as fragrant as it is supposed to be.

After we finished with the display and exhibit, some of us went for some shopping at the shopping street. The rest just waited at the food court nearby the exit.

The food court
Tired but happy face

A full day to enjoy Batu finally ended. We got back to the hotel and gave ourselves our deserved sleep for the next day long journey back to Surabaya.

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

Next - Morning in Malang