An Impromptu Trip to Semarang

This past two months have been really hectic for me. A week after coming back from Chiang Mai, I had to go to Kuala Lumpur for my bi-monthly infusion. I did not look forward to my KL trip and I felt like I didn’t rest enough after Chiang Mai so when my sister told she would be coming home right after my KL trip, it gave me a boost of enthusiasm.

My sister comes home to Jogja only once in a while. This time she decided to fly to and from Semarang since the ticket was cheaper by far. I had a great time showing her some new culinary spots in Jogja.

Since she was flying back from Semarang, my mum and I (and my mum’s friend as our guide in Semarang :D) decided to take her there. I thought it would be nice visiting Semarang and continue our culinary adventure there. I had some places in mind and we planned to go from Jogja early so we could stuff ourselves silly before she headed back to Singapore.

Thanks to the highway from Bawen, we reached Semarang in under three hours (I was asleep woops :D). Every time I visit Semarang, Toko Oen was always a must. This time though I wanted to try something new.

Since my sister wanted to have Indonesian cuisine, our first stop was Indah Sari restaurant. This restaurant looks a bit old fashioned but it has a wide variety of food, mostly Peranakan dishes. They also have some sweet bubur or porridge and we were huge fans of them. After much contemplating, we settled for bubur kacang hijau (or mung bean porridge) and bubur candil (made from glutinous rice flour).

Bubur Candil

The bubur kacang hijau here is special since it is white instead of the usual green colour. This is because they have peeled the green skin of the beans. It tasted really good, a combination of sweet and salty from the coconut milk. It was my first time having mung bean porridge without the skin! Their bubur candil has a hint of ginger, which I find slightly weird but enjoyable nonetheless.

For the actual lunch (the porridges were just entrée haha), we ordered Nasi Liwet. I have to say that their nasi liwet wasn’t anything spectacular, but much better than the ones in Jogja. We had side dishes of course which were tahu petis (my sister’s favourite, I’m not much of a fan) and also sosis solo. We love this restaurant for the fact that it has lots of delicious options to choose from.

Sosis Solo

After lunch we still had some hours left so I suggested that we stopped by for coffee at Spiegel. I have had my eyes on this place for a while and I was waiting for a chance to visit Semarang.

Spiegel Bar & Bistro is located in the old town area, right next to Gereja Blenduk. Semarang’s old town is gorgeous, filled with old buildings with Dutch influence. It was boiling hot outside so I welcomed the cool air coming from the cafe. The building is spacious and it seems that the original structure of the building is maintained.

Such an awesome space

It was still rather early so there were plenty of seats to choose from. I could see an island in the middle of the cafe where baristas were preparing some drinks. We settled on one of the sofa seats and soaked in the grandiosity of the cafe from where we sat. On our left was an explanation of the history of the place, it was nice to see that they kept the original name of the place and also shared the story with customers.

The history of Spiegel written on one of the walls

There was a lot to choose from the menu. As we were quite full, we decided to go for coffee and a dessert to share. The coffee was great, the crème brûlée we ordered had that perfect caramel at the top which made a satisfying crack when I tapped it a few times. Oh yes, they really nailed that one! We still had a few minutes before heading to the airport so I ordered bitterballen, one of my favourite snacks. I am a fan of the one they serve at Toko Oen, but since we weren’t stopping there, I thought to give this one a try. It looked mouthwatering, the bitterballen had that perfect deep-fried brown. Unfortunately I wasn’t a big fan as soon as I took a bite off it, the filling didn’t really have much taste. Too bad!

Coffee Break

After much munching and slurping, we finally had to make our way to the new airport of Semarang. The airport, as seen from my Google Maps, was nearby the sea. It didn’t take long from Spiegel to the airport, a mere 15 minutes. Ahmad Yani International Airport has a modern feel to it. We parked our car in the makeshift car park, we could see that they were still in progress of finishing the airport, including the car park.

Outside of Spiegel

We had such a great time on this impromptu trip. Though it was quick, we had so much fun. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t worrying much and laughing so heartily. As my sister said adieu to us, we extended our impromptu trip to Salatiga. We decided to stay in Salatiga for a night so we didn’t overtire ourselves. On our way back to Jogja, we stopped by at another impromptu stop which I will tell you in a separate post!

Have you ever had a fun impromptu trip?


  • Rumah Makan Indah Sari Semarang
    Jalan M.T. Haryono No. 409-411, Jagalan
  • Spiegel Bar & Bistro
    Kota Lama, Jl. Letjen Suprapto No.59, Tj. Mas,

6 thoughts on “An Impromptu Trip to Semarang

  1. Ah Samarang, kangen makan di Pangandaran di restoran yang atas. Kangen bandengnya juga. Toss Aggy, aku kalau ke Semarang juga disempetin mampir ke Toko Oen dan seringnya makan es krim aja 😃 aku doyan banget tahu petis. Sosis solonya tampak menggoda sambil ngletus lombok.


    • Toko Oen itu favorit ya mbak. Aku juga sama es krimnya apalagi yang kopyor, duh seger banget apalagi Semarang panas banget ya. Tahu petis itu aku suka tapi gak banget, mama sama adik yang tergila2 hahaha. Benerrr sosis solo paling pas sama lombok hihihi 😀


  2. For whatever reason some of the pictures are blocked Gy.

    Ah, it has been almost ten years (!) since my last visit to Semarang! Those Sosis Solo look yummy!!


    • Makanan chinese dengan influence dari makanan lokal. Dibawa oleh imigran2 dari Cina yang lalu menikah dengan orang lokal (banyak ditemui di Malaysia, Indonesia dan Singapura) jadi makanannya ada campurna dari kedua budaya.


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