Indonesia March – May 2012 : Semarang

I say better late than never to finish my Indonesian travel photos. Now after Jakarta and Bandung, we come to Semarang. Semarang is the capital city of Central Java Province. A good friend of mine Deetha, altough she works in Jakarta but comes originally from Semarang. So I tagged along when she went for a weekend away to home.

And since I’m no good with words, here are the photos. Also with links possible to all the places, so whenever you go to Semarang and you happen to visit these places too, let me know what you think 🙂

We arrived early in the morning from Jakarta, with empty stomach we headed directly to this soto ayam Semarang place. This soto ayam is slightly different from what I know in Surabaya, it’s lighter but equally delicious.

The side dish that you can add to your main soto dish. Sate made of chicken liver, giblet and egg.

After resting for a bit we went out again to have lunch. This time was nasi goreng babat (tripe fried rice). This is also a typical Semarangnese dish. And yes we eat almost all parts of meat.

The nasi goreng babat place was next to the old city centre, known as Little Nederland. One would see immediately from the style of building that these were built during Dutch Colonial time.

Gereja Blenduk, the oldest church in Central Java.

Deetha’s brother Fath who was kind enough to drive us around. Thank you!

A water way locks or sluis in Dutch. And to no surprise the name of this place is also sluis.

After roaming the old city we were exhausted, we decided to go to Toko Oen. Also a historical place, a living monument so to speak. They serve Dutch-Chinese-Indonesian cuisine since 1910! A good place to go back in time.

Left poffertjes with ice cream, right chocolate ice cream.

With my good friend Deetha.

Next we visited Lawang Sewu (Thousand Doors). An old building with literally many door hence the name. During Dutch occupation, this building was used as office for the train company, thats why theres an old locomotif sitting prettily in the garden.

It is now an ongoing renovation, turning it back into its full glory with the stained glass windows.

However during Japanese occupation, they were much more ‘creative’ than the Dutch and used the basement (which was served as the foundation of the building) as a jail and torture place. I went down there and it was not a pretty sight, not to mention the eerie feeling you got. Here are some photos I took with my pocket cam.

In front of Lawang Sewu, theres a square with Tugu Muda as the centre of attention.

Lawang Sewu as seen from Tugu Muda Square.

Dinner was again typical Semarangnese food. Tahu Gimbal is the name, consist of tahu (tofu), gimbal (shrimp fritter), cabbage, rice cake, bean sprout, egg, topped with peanut sauce and krupuk. YUM. On the right is durian mixed ice, only for durian lover! Durian meat mixed with syrup, shaved ice, condensed milk.

The seller was frying the gimbal. He’s been seller at this Taman KB for years, together with his wife who was very friendly, making small talk to the customers.

But nothing beats home cooked meal. The next day we went to a good friend of mine who actually lives in Holland, but she was in Indonesia as well that time. Her hometown was not that far from Semarang. A 2 hour car ride to the south, nearby Ambawara city.

Her mother cooked a superb meal for our lunch. On the left was tempe dish and on the left was the usual sambal.

One kind of sambal is usually not enough with us Indonesian, so they had this sambal pete. I still remember how good they were, I’m drooling again.

Vegetable dish made of papaya leaves. If you think papaya leaves are bitter, but usually Indonesian mothers know how to prepare them into a tasty side dish.

My plate. Obviously I love pete.

And for dessert was durian from the field. Since the area is also famous for its durian. Although it was already late in the season but the durian was still so sweet and not to mention HUGE.

After a big meal he needed to walk it off a little bit and see the beautiful rice field.

How pretty.

Back to Semarang we stopped by at Sam Poo Kong Temple.

There are so many kinds of food cart in Indonesia, and each place has their own typical cart. Like this cart I wouldn’t find in Denpasar for example. It sells all kinds of snacks and fruits.

When we arrived in Simpang Lima, it started to rain cats and dogs. With empty stomach we settled with this nasi ayam which is also a typical Semarangnese dish. A rice dish with some side dishes.

Side dishes that you can choose. Top from left; sate kerang, sate telur puyuh (clam and quail egg sate), bakwan goreng (vegetable fritter). Bottom from left; sate usus (chicken intestine sate) believe me it tasted better than it sounded, tahu tempe bacem (tofu and tempe in sweet spices).

The nasi ayam without the additional side dishes is actually already more than enough. It consists of rice with shredded chicken and egg in opor sauce (a kind of Javanese yellow curry) and vegetable dish made of chayote.

And visit to Semarang wouldn’t be complete with Lumpia Semarang. This lumpia is different than normal lumpia because of the filling. The filling consists of bamboo shoot, dried shrimp, chicken, prawn. It is usually served with sweet chili sauce and baby shallot stalks. The combination of savoury from the filling with sweet from the dipping sauce is just divine!

If you are interested to read the series before this here are the links:


Jakarta Part I

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