Follow the young set in this Indonesian city to a string of popular hotspots around town.
Home to a bevy of brand new nightclubs, cool coffee shops and Western-style bars, Surabaya is no longer just a town for heavy industry types and shipping officials. This coastal capital of East Java now offers good local and international coffee shops, where trendy cosmopolites sip on lattes, while well-known DJs mark the spot around the city’s up-and-comingclubbing scene.
In line with the rest of the world’s culture of coffee consumption, over the last three years, franchises such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean have open their doors to Surabaya’s caffeine-hungry crowd. A locally run outlet called Coffee Corner also provides some healthy competition; this two-storey coffee stop has served celebrities like Gerry Ishak and MTV VJ Marissa and draws a regular crowd of hip college students and young professionals.
Sipping a java on a comfortable sofa indoors at Coffee Corner during the day is a great escape from the city’s hot weather, but patrons also find the coffee shop’s outdoor area just as delightful in the evening, especially if there’s a light breeze and a star-lit sky. On weekends, live acoustic jazz performances in the evenings add to the already atmospheric surrounds.
Adi Brasco, a producer with My Radio, Surabaya, the city’s renowned radio station, is a Coffee Corner regular customer. “It’s a coffee shop with a homey atmosphere,” Adi says. “In addition to serving a variety of great Indonesian coffees and teas, an array of local and international foods is available at an affordable price.” Coffee Corner staff member Rizky Coffee Baniadi Putra, or Kochino, as friends Baniadi Putra affectionately call him, then points to the menu and says: “You should try our grand royal cappuccino or hot chocolate caramel paired with a country club sandwich.”
After filling up on coffee, visitors looking for a thirst-quenching ale should head straight to Eclectic Pub & Lounge. Nestled inside Surabaya Town Square (SUTOS), one of the city’s newest malls, Eclectic is an entertainment venue that combines a traditional a traditional Irish pub and modern classic lounge in one room. It opens daily at 2pm, has a wide choice of alcoholic beverages, and makes a great spot for a relaxing afternoon.
The crowd here starts to grow from dinnertime, when Eclectic becomes a popular haunt for those craving delicious Western food. Eclectic’s promotions manager Eddy Irawan recommends a grilled steak with a martini, or the house creation — an Illusion cocktail, a vodka-based concoction with Midori, curaçao and pineapple juice.
Lina, an interior designer from Jakarta, recently visited the popular spot and says: “I especially like the main bar, which is located in the centre of the pub and lounge. The lighting and the club’s acoustic band performance really make the place come alive.” The lounge doesn’t close until dawn and has attracted much attention from local professionals and expatriates.
For those seeking a younger vibe and hotter beat, just a short walk away from Eclectic is eight-month-old Foreplay Club, which has definitely spiced up the city’s nightlife. The new club offers a laid-back atmosphere across three entertainment rooms, each with a different theme.
Open from 9pm until 4am, the club’s Main Hall is set for live shows, the White Room is designed for those who enjoy DJs spinning genre techno house music, soulful house and progressive; and the outdoor balcony, is a good place for clubbers looking to chit-chat into the night (or morning as the case may be), with night-time views to boot.
“We’ve staged renowned musicians such as Glenn Fredly and Joeniar Arif,” says Foreplay’s manager, Negro. “We also regularly invite Indonesia’s best DJs like DJ Riri and DJ Romi to perform.” Negro says the club’s “minilycious” night, held on Fridays, “entices lady patrons in their 20s and 30s. This is a well-attended weekly bash where free drinks are given to ladies dressed up in mini sexy dresses.”
Another hip venue, with the same operating hours as Foreplay, Club 360º attracts nocturnal partygoers wiThenergy to burn. The cutting-edge décor, 50,000-watt sound and spectacular lighting systems, all make for a ground-shaking dance scene.
“With live music featuring bands from Surabaya and Jakarta, the dance floor is definitely getting hotter,” says Nick Soetiono, the club’s assistant general manager. “You should come to the club’s Saturday Orgasmix, one of Surabaya’s best events where you’ll find top-notch national DJs spinning.”
In addition to its Orgasmix nights, Club 360° has other entertainment options including Rhythm KTV, a 26-room karaoke area, and Celsius Spa, a 40-cabin spa that includes a hot and cold pool, traditional massage and reflexology. It’s the only venue in Surabaya that sees its regulars move seamlessly from a big night of drinking, dancing and singing into a healthy detox.
Coffee Corner Royal Park, Jln Arief Rachman Hakim no. 40-42, tel: +62 (31) 593 7373 +62 (31) 593 7373
Eclectic Pub & Lounge Surabaya Town Square (SITOS), Jln Adityawarman 55, tel: +62 (31) 563 3613 +62 (31) 563 3613
Foreplay Club Surabaya Town Square (SITOS), Jln Hayam Wuruk 6, tel: +62 (31) 563 3932 +62 (31) 563 3932
Club 360° Royal Plaza, Jln Ahmad Yani 16-18, tel:+62 (31) 827 1688 +62 (31) 827 1688
By Aulia Rachmat. Photos courtesy of Coffee Corner, Foreplay and Club 360°
Published in Jetstar Asia Magazine, August-September 2009.