Bandung is accessible by train or bus from Indonesia's capital: Jakarta. Its popularity continues to rise since AirAsia opens its first route from Singapore to Bandung, making this small and quaint destination become neighbour's favorite.
Lembang, in North Bandung
I went to visit Lembang, in North Bandung with two of my friends for a weekend escape. I knew nothing about the place, despite having family living in the suburb of the city, I never really go anywhere. We passed a restaurant called 'Kampung Daun' a few times when we went around the area and our rental driver kept on saying how famous that place is for dinner. "It's very busy at dinner time," he said.
Restaurant: Kampung Daun
Given the recommendations, we weren't bothered with going anywhere else and arrived in Kampung Daun just before dark to have an early dinner. They call themselves 'Culture Gallery and Cafe' at the entrance you will be greeted with small stalls selling local food and Indonesian traditional handcrafts and fabric. Little did we know, the place was a maze.
There is a counter underneath a little hut saying 'Reservation' -- that's where you reserve your table and while you wait for your table to be ready you are free to walk around the shops or sit at the coffee shop. The question is 'How do I know when my table is ready?', well they call out your name using the speaker that echoed through the whole place. I never felt more like a lost child in my life.
Our 'table' is actually a whole gazebo to ourselves. The menu ranges from local Sundanese food to international dishes like steak and pastas. We ordered ourselves the nasi goreng kampung daun, which was presented in a big rattan platter, mie tek tek, and nasi bakar seafood to share between us. Appetiser was fried tofu covered in spicy breadcrumbs. Drinks were tea and a green tea frappucino. For what it's worth and where it was, our meals cost only IDR 200,000 for the three of us.
There are no rules of just eating and leaving, so me and my friend decided to go out and explore the whole place. We were eating in hut number 14, and if I counted right, they have about 58 of them. You will be able to go all the way up, where eating venues varied from gazebos to tables laid out in a big hall. I suppose this hall would have some traditional performance to go with the dinner.
As we arrived before dark, during our meal here we managed to witness how this place magically changes into such a dreamy forest when all of the lanterns light up. These lanterns were made of recycled cement bags filled with soil to hold up a candle. What an eco-friendly place this is.
Where to find it:
Kampung Daun lies over a 3-hectare forest in North Bandung. It opens daily from 11 AM to 11 PM.
Travel tip shared by NyonyaWhitfield