Category Archives: Travel
My office was having a team building activity in Solo for a couple of days. So it was a nice surprise when I found out that when we were there, the city also had the Solo Wayang Carnival to celebrate the city’s 267th anniversary.
The carnival itself was scheduled to start at 14:00. When we got there, it hasn’t started yet. The city’s main road, Jalan Slamet Riyadi was closed and already filled with people and food vendors. Along this road the carnival will be held.
The city mayor, Joko Widodo, opened the carnival. Dressed as a Wayang, he rode on a horse and greeted the people who have been waiting to see the Carnival.
Lots of people dressed as many kind of wayang, from wayang golek, potehi or wayang China, gedog or panji, wayang kancil, wayang suluh or nabi, and wayang wahyu, go through the main road. Some are sitting in a carriage:
While most were walking:
Most of the participants come from high school and universities, while there are others who come from art studios and media.
Lots of colours and some are dancing to the gamelan music that accompanied the carnival.
Some plyaed it cool
While some were happy to give a nice smile to the camera…
And off course, the spectators. Some of them got really excited that they jumped to the middle of the road and posed with the carnival participants 🙂
Ok, for the second part, It is all about the food. One common thing I found in most restaurants is that almost all of them serve fruit juice, like Avocado, soursop, orange coconut and Terong Belanda. Here are some of the restaurants we visited:
– Koki Sunda (Sundanese)
The first lunch we had in Pekanbaru. The interesting about this restaurant is that it displays sign “Cabang Medan”, which means that the restaurant is originated in Medan, not in West Java, where the Sundanese food comes from. I actually have been to their restaurant in Medan.
We can choose either to sit on the floor or the chair. I noticed that there is a sign on the table saying that if the waiters don’t smile, then you get a free drink. Unfortunately, they all smile. So we didn’t ge the free drink. Recommended food that we ordered includes Gepuk Iga, Sate ayam saos kacang, Ayam daun pandan, Cumi Bakar, fish, vegefruit, tahu kipas.
– Pondok Gurih, Pondok Asam Pedas Baung and other Melayu restaurants
We went to many Melayu restaurants, but the two that we visited most often were Pondok Gurih and Pondok Asam Pedas Baung.
Located at Jl. Jend Sudirman No. 202 Pekanbaru, Pondok Gurih is very recommended by one of my friends who had visited the city before. When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted with a man dressed in traditional dress and a rooster. The man will hit a gong for every person that walks by.
They serve local fish, like Baung/ Patin Asam Pedas or the smaller deep fried Pantau or Silais fish. The price itself ranges from 10k to 26k for main dish and 11k for fruit juice.
Still on the same road as Pondok Gurih is Pondok Asam Pedas Baung. Similar to Pondok Gurih, the restaurant also serves Baung asam pedas.
But in this restaurant, they serve the food like in Padang Restaurant, where they put everything in front of you and let you choose which one you want.
Other Melayu restaurants that we visited include Pondok patin H.M Yunus (on Jl Kaharuddin No.1), Lubuk Idai (on Jl Sudirman) and Karya Omsima (Jl Jend Sudirman)
– Apollo and Anom (Chinese restaurant)
Both restaurants are located only metres away from each other on Jalan Gatot Subroto.
We were actually gonna have dinner in Anom, to find out that the whole place had been reserved for a party. Hence we went to Apollo. With typical chinese restaurant decoration, it is dominated by red colour and round tables. They serve some nice chinese food, like ayam goreng tepung (25k), sapi lada hitam (35k) and fuyung hai (27.5k)
On the last evening we were there, we also found out that there is another Apollo restaurant on Jl Ahmad Yani. So we went there. The place is much more elegant than the other one. It looks newer and look more like a big house. The place is decorated with pink ribbon, as if it is reserved fo a wedding. Since it happened to be my bithday, we ordered “mi goreng ultah with telur merah” (45k). There was also a really nice deep fried chicken “Ayam goreng saus apollo” (27.5k) . It was filled with tangy sauce that tasted like mango.
Just few days after we went to the first Apollo restaurant, we went to Anom restaurant. We were expecting that there will be many people since it was Friday night. As soon as we went in, we realised that we were the first few people to come to the restaurant that evening. Then we realised that it was only 6 pm, and that’s why the restaurant is not crowded yet. We ordered 1/2 ayam goreng (40k), ikan kerapu stim (50k) and cumi goreng telor asin (55k).
– Pujasera 88 (Seafood)
The place is located just behind Holiday 88 cinema on Jl. Sultan Syarif Qasim and it is more of an outdoor foodcourt.
There are many type of food you can choose from, although most of them are seafood. We opted for 168 seafood which is located in the corner of the food court. The food we ordered includes cumi goreng tepung (45k) and kerang with special sauce (25k).
– Enoki (Japanese)
Located inside Mal Pekanbaru, the restaurant is actually owned by Jatra hotel, which is just next to the restaurant. On the menu are various type of sushi rolls, ramen, udon, teriyaki lunch box set.
– Warung Merry
Another eating place worth of mention is Warung Merry. It serves home cooking food. We went there once. From outside it doesn’t look like a normal restaurant. Located on Jl. Mutiara No 35B, it opens from 6.30 everyday (except Sunday) for breakfast and it also does catering service. They even have a face book account. Just search for “warungmerry”.
I guess our journey to Pekanbaru is not complete without eating our favourite durian. Not actually a restaurant that we went to, but more of a street vendor. They just stack the Durians behind a mini van. We stopped for Durian in front of Bukit Putra soccer field, and only had it once because we were worried about cholesterol. Each Durian costed us about 10k each.
We also went to other more familiar restaurants, like d’cost (which is incredibly cheap!), Ayam goreng lunak Hayam Wuruk, Pizza Hut, Bakso lapangan tembak Senayan, KFC and Ikan Goreng Cianjur.
Looking for souvenirs? We visited Cik Puan and Kembang Sari for our souvenirs. Not only they sell Pekanbaru souvenirs, we even found some other cities specialities, like Kripik Balado from Padang and Malaysian Apollo cakes.