Blast from the past

As the nation gears up for its 71st anniversary, we have seen Indonesia evolved in not just its people and infrastructure, but also its cuisine. Many eateries have run their course and closed down, yet there’s still a handful that have withstood the test of time. Here are five places that will delight your tummy while also giving you a glimpse of the days of yore.

Restoran Trio
Founded a couple of years after Indonesia declared its independence, Restoran Trio is located in Gondangdia – once a residential area for the Dutch, who frequently dined at the Chinese restaurant. Even Ali Sadikin – Jakarta’s governor from 1966-1977 – was a regular. The joint still crafts dishes using the same recipes from the time of its birth.

Not only popular amongst Indonesians, the likes of former USA president Bill Clinton and pop legend Phil Collins have made their way to Oasis and tried its signature rijsttafel (a meal consisting of rice and side dishes). The authentic flavour of its traditional delicacies – along with its decision to shun the use of MSG – has made this 48-year-old restaurant a favourite of many and justified its reputation as the pioneer of Indonesian fine dining.

Loenpia Gang Lombok
The city of Semarang has always pride itself on its signature dish: Loenpia Semarang (spring rolls filled with young bamboo shots, meat, and egg). While many Loenpia Semarang sellers abound, people would still choose Loenpia Gang Lombok over any of its counterparts. Founded a century ago by Siem Swie Kim, this small shop is recognised as the longest standing Loenpia seller around.

Situated in the heart of Surabaya, Zangrandi has been dishing out Italian-style ice creams since 1930. Two of its most-loved ice creams is the Macedonia – a U-shaped ice cream filled with rum – and its Tutti Frutti.

Warung Kopi Purnama
Established by Medan native Yong A Thong in 1930, Warung Kopi Purnama used to be called Chang Chong Se – meaning “come and try” in English – before a government policy forced it to change to its current moniker in 1966. Now run by the fourth generation of the family, nothing has changed here – its milk coffee and snacks such as Roti Selai Srikaya (white bread with sugar apple spread) and Roti Dadar Wurst (plain omelette-and-sausage sandwich) still keeps attracting old and new punters from across Bandung.

Monica Livia is the youngest contributing writer in Good Indonesian Food. Born and bred under the watchful eyes of her grandmother, who happens to be a baker, she has been falling in love with food since she was a wee kid.

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