Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Progo Street was just a sleepy residential area, hidden behind Bandung’s Neoclassical-inspired landmark, the Gedung Sate building. However, just like the city itself, this leafy avenue and its surrounding neighbourhood have undergone a major transformation in recent years. The former low-rise residences are now home to a host of popular shops, quirky cafés and trendy restaurants.
1. Warung Misbar
Taking its cue from old Indonesian street cinemas, this restaurant has walls covered in movie posters and even screens classic Indonesian films. The name “misbar” means “scattered because of the rain”, which is what happens to the audiences of street cinemas whenever the heavens open. The menu covers authentic Sundanese classics like sayur asem (tamarind vegetable soup) and empal gepuk (sweet and spicy fried beef dish).
2. Hummingbird Eatery
This cosy restaurant has an interior wall that features paintings of the eponymous bird while the alfresco area is dominated by a lattice-like structure that resembles an upturned nest. Enjoy a broad menu that covers everything from Indonesian favourites to Korean bibimbap (rice mixed with meat and vegetables) and their signature rosemary-infused roast chicken.
3. Sejiwa Coffee
This elegant coffee shop is set in a beautiful glass and steel structure, which lends it a real industrial edge. Apart from its striking design and well-presented desserts, the real highlight here is its famous Es Kopi Sejiwa (meaning “one soul ice coffee”), which packs a real caffeine punch. Another must-try is the Boozberry, a hearty strawberry and banana smoothie that comes power-packed with chia seeds.
4. Heritage Factory Outlet
One thing Bandung is famous for is its multiple factory outlets, making it a popular spot for weekend shoppers. This place stands out, however, for its unique location – it’s set within a 19th-century former residence, and sports an imposing Greco-Roman façade. Choose from a wide range of clothing, from babywear through to adult fashions.
5. Greentea Holic
A hugely popular spot, this café lets you dine lesehan style – cross-legged on the floor at shorter tables, overlooked by a feature wall of smiling faces. Alongside green tea and desserts, they also serve variations on local favourite seblak, a spicy, savoury Indonesian dish comprising wet crackers cooked in a piquant sauce.
5 Jln Ternate
6. Amaroosa Hotel
This four-star boutique hotel features an opulent design with a rich colour palette throughout its 92 rooms and four F&B outlets. There’s also a small pool and a gym, and it’s conveniently located close to attractions like the Gedung Sate and Merdeka Palace.
This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of Silkwinds magazine.