So one day, I was on my way to East Java through the Great Northern Route and I stumbled upon Semarang. My mom-in-law who used to live there knows the way around the town but had never been to this particular place. So it’s our special first time there with the whole family at Toko Oen!
Quite unfortunate that we had our breakfast somewhere earlier so I was planning to take them for dessert. It was around 9 AM in the morning and even I didn’t sure whether it’s already open or not.
Luckily, it’s open and I was struck in awe by the extreme authenticity of the place. Similar places like this also can be found in several big cities around Java like, for instance, ice cream parlor Ragusa or colonial eatery Huize Trivelli in Jakarta, bakery shop Sumber Hidangan or ice cream parlor Braga Permai in Bandung, and I heard they got something similae as well in Surabaya.
Again, it’s unique, antique, and homey at the same time. Probably it’s because that the place is maintained well, inside at least. The exterior is not too inviting by the way. Perhaps they want to keep certain ingenuity degrees from the building.
Seeing from the menu, they do specialize in steaks with Dutch colonial touch, namely the Bestik. See my post about Miranda for that dish. Usually the sauce was a bit different than the familiar trio of BBQ, mushroom, and black pepper sauces plus they got pork too here in some dishes. The thing is, I believe that the ice cream must be homemade!
Apart from that, they also got several pasta dishes, Indonesian, Chinese, and our prime target, ice creams! Without further due, me and my wife got the Poffertjes with three scoops of mocha, vanilla, and chocolate ice creams. While the in-laws went with other types of ice cream parfaits.
The ice cream flavors do not vary much. It’s still between strawberry, mocha, chocolate, and vanilla but the parfaits have more variations. All named in Western, Dutch, and French style and with no descriptions at all so it’s best to ask the waitress about it. Even if you don’t ask about it, I can assure you that anything you pick would be fantastic!
For example, my in-laws parfaits. My brother-in-law had this particular Charlotten or three scoops of ice cream with lidah kucing or literally the cat’s tongue. It’s one of those Dutch hampers shaped long and thin, taste a bit sweet and works well with ice cream or afternoon tea. While my mom-in-law picked Oen’s Symphony or the same three scoops of ice cream but with three slices of strawberry roll cake.
The coolest part should have gone for ours, the Poffertjes with Ice Cream. It’s the whole nine Poffertjes balls with icing sugar washed dark with chocolate and overshadowed by three scoops of ice cream. It was a delight where the chocolate sauce should run the campaign as the star! The ice cream was good as well and filled with signs of classic homemade taste. Nowadays ice cream feels modern with the thick flavor and not watery at all. The one in Toko Oen was just different. Anyway, I was a bit dejected by the Poffertjes, much to my dismay. They put too many eggs in the dough and it tasted too thick as the result. Although perhaps it’s their trademark or even it’s they way to create Poffertjes but one thing for sure, it’s not the first time I taste Poffertjes and I don’t have much fondness for the one here.
The endings were swell anyway. Everybody’s happy especially my mom-in-law who used to live her 24 years of youth here but hadn’t had the chance to visit Toko Oen. I bought two boxes of hampers on my way out and that seals the deal. Thank you Semarang!