by Rozman Mashor
This quarter we continue to take a gander at what Tarakan Islet located off the coast of North Kalimantan has to offer. A place that we understand can be easily overlooked in favour of the rest of the Indonesian peninsula as well as their territory on the Borneo mainland. Join us for this deep dive as we check our some of the more popular eateries and cafes that make up their food scene.
Translated as ‘husk’, ‘peel’, or ‘skin, Cascara coffee is created from the dried skins of coffee cherries that are pulped and combined with the dried berries of the coffee plant after the coffee beans within have been removed. Cascara also happens to be the namesake of this modern locale that residents of this islet frequent just as often for their coffee cherry teas, as much for its bright, hip and minimal vibe.
Jalan Danau Jempang, No. 38, Kampong Baru, Tarakan Tengah, kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62081-352560607 | IG: @cascaratrk FB: Cascara Coffee
As far as business combinations go this is certainly a new one for me. Your friendly neighbourhood barbershop, that doubles up as a restaurant where you can grab a drink and a meal after trimming those locks of yours. A popular locale due to a wide variety of bands on the islet that perform as part of live music sessions. Groovy!
Jalan Mulawarman RT42, Karang Anyar, Tarakan Barat, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62089-5330507849 | IG: @dewabagoesbarbercoff FB: Dewa Bagoes Barbercoff
GALAXY FOOD REPUBLIC (GAFORE)
As an avid stargazer and Science fiction nut, the restaurant that proclaimed itself as the Galaxy Food Republic is certainly a locale that would catch my attention via its name alone. With a selection of regular meals and healthier alternatives, it is their cheap & cheerful Nasi Padang series that many visitors indulges in — after all, you know what they say, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’
Jalan K.H. Agus Salim No. 16 RT.08, Selumit, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62822-26767733 | IG: @galaxyfoodrepublic FB: Galaxy Food Republic
A successful local franchise with branches spread throughout all of peninsula Indonesia, this fast-food equivalent for buns and their home-branded bottle coffee, is a spot for a quick grab-and-go in addition to hanging out in should you need to take a breather. A staple on the Indonesian food and beverage scene, this is considered a household name.
Jalan Jend. Sudirman, Karang Anyar, Tarakan Barat, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 628215-8667101 | IG: @rotio.indonesia FB: Roti’O Indonesia
Talk about personality. From the live music bands, to the dancing waiter — 10th most recent post on IG, dated May 20th – this eatery that rocks an urban interior vibe with its rough concrete floors is popular with the youth. Punctuated with a creative use of wooden elements in addition to the artwork on some of its walls, as well as having a rooftop space to chill at, I have no doubt that the Italian physicist and astronomer himself would enjoy hanging out here.
Jalan Kusuma Bangsa No. 7, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62852-34711138 | IG: @galileocafetrk FB: Galileo Café Tarakan
Food and interiors. My favourite things to check out at any eatery. Katakita Café boasts great examples of both that are visually appealing in their uniqueness. Such as the tell mounds of grey-black, fist-sized pebbles sealed behind a thick iron mesh of which the upper half is exposed. And then there’s the prawn fried rice that is stuffed into a pineapple that is sliced in half to be used as an impromptu bowl. That. Is. Really. Cool !
Jalan Kusuma Bangsa, Gn Lingkas, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62811-5493183 | FB: Katakita Cafe
KAKI LIMA FOOD COURT
Having undergone a facelift just 6 months ago as well as celebrating their 5th anniversary 2 months ago (at the time of this issue’s publishing), this spacious food court is a terrific place to escape the sun and test out a variety of local fare, from the numerous vendors and merchants on hand. With friendly hosts and spots to take shots for the Gram, we recommend this place for a true taste of Tarakan.
Jalan Kusuma Bangsa RT.31, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62081-2549033399 | IG: @kakilimakekinian FB: KakiLima Kekinian Tarakan.
LEMAKAN SAMUDRA RESTAURANT
This eatery is well positioned indeed with its panoramic views of its surroundings should you choose to dine outdoors. Complimenting the serene view of the sea, the lobster and crab dishes that are served in scaled-down wood-carved boats look amazing. When one considers its strategic positioning, it should come as no surprise that their seafood offerings are both numerous and delicious to the max.
Jalan Gajah Mada, Kompleks TPI, Mustika, Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62081-250767696 | IG: @lemakansamudra FB: Lemakan Samudra
The overall vibe of this karaoke-café hybrid, which makes use of plentiful wall stickers and awnings to represent and stimulate foreign lands, in its own small way is laid back and chill. It goes without saying that thought, the pasta dishes such as the spaghetti in a white cream sauce is particularly enticing. When all is done and dusted, then the singing can begin in earnest.
Jalan Mulawarman RT.11, Tarakan Barat, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan | Tel: 628215-8667101 | IG: @mr.fujikaraoke FB: Fuji (Mr Fuji Karaoke Café)
It goes without saying that an islet located just off the coast of an Island is (naturally) going to have some pretty good seafood. This is one such provider of fare from the sea. From the oriental barramundi fish soup, and cuttlefish in oyster sauce, to the black tiger prawns cooked in a bumbu leaves-wrapping, and the hot and sour octopus; everything is straight out of the sea and as fresh as can be.
Jalan Slamet Riady RT10 No.70, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara | Tel: 62085-283399800 | IG: @pondles.trk FB: Pondles
A Chinese halal eatery with a cosy vibe and entrance-lobby, leading into a simple but spacious interior, this locale constantly receives great reviews courtesy of the chef’s consistency. It is one thing to be able to whip up a great dish, but to be able to do it repeatedly without fail over a long period of time earns this spot bragging rights, and they should be proud of that too. We tip our hats to the chefs. Well done!
Jalan WR Supratman, Karang Anyar, Tarakan Barat, Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Timur | Tel: 62821-56945468 FB: Restaurant Milo B-21
With an outdoor food-court styled layout, this provider of local delicacies and scrumptious dishes is a favourite go-to for families and large group of friends. The vibes here are very relaxed and atmospheric, with its fairy lights, and potted plants suspended from criss-crossing wooden beams up above, while down below patrons walk across red bricked flooring with yet more greenery around a bamboo-styled perimeter. Simply put — genuine smiles, good food, and chilled-out ambience. Perfection!