The historic Majapahit Hotel in Surabaya was the site where the Indonesian independence movement started in 1945, when freedom fighters climbed atop the hotel, removed the tri-colored red-white-and-blue Dutch flag, tore off the blue strip, and came up with the red-and-white Indonesian national flag.
The hotel, which claimed nodding acquaintance with the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, Eastern & Oriental Hotel of Penang and the Strand Hotel of Rangoon, was founded in 1910 by Lucas Martin Sarkies, one of the Sarkies Brothers who'd founded the other 3 more famous hotels.
Lunch and dinner choices at the Majapahit Hotel are either at the modern Indigo Restaurant & Bar on the ground floor which serves Western & Indonesian cuisine, or at the more grand & graceful Sarkies Seafood Restaurant upstairs which offers Chinese food.
This being Java, we opted for Indigo's local specialties:
- Sop Buntot, the delicious slow-simmered oxtail soup which was just okay here. No fireworks;
- Kare Bebek Bumbu, a sweetish, East Javanese duck curry - this one fared better, exuding pleasant aromatic flavors reminiscent of star anise, cumin, coriander & mace;
- Buntot Goreng, another oxtail dish - this one involved stewed oxtail which were finished off stove-top, resulting in a sticky, delicious "fried" oxtail dish which only needed a simple bowl of steamed white rice
Toko Deli next door served some of the best breads & pastries in Surabaya, including a very good Lapis Surabaya (tri-layered sponge cake).
Indigo Restaurant & Bar
65 Jalan Tunjungan
Tel: 031-545 4333