Senin, 22 Maret 2010

Dago tea house

The widely known Dago Tea House located in the cool upper north part of Bandung is a must when you are in the neighbourhood. Situated in the hills of what used to be an area of tea plantations, it offers splendid views of the city, in an authentic Sundanese atmosphere. Already in existence as a restaurant and state owned cultural park since 1992 it has become a favorite amongst locals as well as foreigners. 

  • The Vibe
    After climbing up the hill and paying the measly 1000 entrance fee to the cultural park that houses Dago tea house, the blanket of dust and smog that accompanies you everywhere you go in the city center is replaced by an airy and fresh climate that reminds you of the importance of oxygen. The cultural park consists of several colonial buildings set in a green environment and apart from the great overview of Bandung , you can also spot the Tangkuban Parahu volcano on clear days. Next to the restaurant, that spurs 20 or so traditional Sundanese bamboo eating huts called saung, on the premises also an open air theatre can be found as well as an art gallery. Both are open to the public after paying the before mentioned entrance fee. Cultural performances are held every Saturday night ranging from operetta to traditional Sundanese singing, whereas the art gallery mostly portrays work of local and national artists. Sitting in one of the saung and enjoying the view, a more relaxed place would be hardly conceivable.

  • The Food
    Dago Tea House's menu features some of the best examples of the Sundanese kitchen. There is lalap (4500) a vegetable salad served with sambal, tahu and tempe goreng (4000), and sayur asem (5000), a delicious mixture of corn, melindjo nuts, pumpkin and lemongrass that compliments the taste of the main dishes with its subtle acidity. As a rice dish we try the nasi liwet asin jambal (21.000) that is served in a tin pan, the aromatic rice inside blended with vegetables and chicken. The nasi timbel bakar special (19500) is another example of a typical Sundanese dish, a delicious serving of rice wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf, accompanied by tahu, tempe, grilled chicken and veggies. Food is served straight from the stove, so very fresh and full of flavour.
    For the brave of heart there are also several traditional drinks on the menu, which will give you a taste of Sundanese sweetness. Bandrek (6000) is a slightly sweet concoction of ginger, palm sugar and coconut, while bajigur (6000) is an even sweeter mixture of coconutwater, red sugar and mysterious jelly beans.
  • The Service
    The employees are all dressed in traditional Sundanese batik outfits that are upgraded to traditional wedding attire on weekends. This might seem as if you are sitting in a tourist trap but that's not the case at all. The guests are approximately equally divided amongst locals and foreigners, and over all there is a true authentic feel to the place. The ring of colonial history adds to that, as do the longstanding reputation and ongoing involvement of the park in cultural activities.
SD's personal take on Dago Tea House
Dago Tea House is something different. It offers good views of a city that looks more astonishing from above than from within, and good authentic food for local prices. Whereas other mountainside establishments might be more highbrow and formal (with prices to match) Dago Tea House is more low-key while giving you a true feel and taste of Sundanese culture.

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Ditulis Oleh : Angga Azura ( eL aZura ) // 03.55

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